Archive

Travel

A few weeks ago I went to Anguilla to check in on one of my projects.  The build is going very well.

When I think of the mood for a beach house, the first thing that comes to mind is relaxation.

I’ve been looking at books in my library and pulling images from the internet for inspiration.  The bathrooms don’t have to be from a Caribbean beach house but must have some elements that would work in that environment.

There are many decisions that have to be made. What kind of finishes? What color? If we use tile, what size?

While this is a house in Anguilla, the style will not be British Colonial.  It’s too formal for a beach house.  There will be touches (like a mahogany four-poster bed) of course but mixed with a contemporary spin on Caribbean design.

Below are few spaces that caught my eye:

This bathroom is from a home on the tiny Island of Mustique.  I love the natural feel of it.  We’re already using poured cement for the kitchen counter tops. To use it again in the bathrooms might be too much.

3_1286399055_ED_0406_Mustique_10-lgn-1

Photo: Elle Decor

This large en-suite bathroom in a Sicilian villa has a stone sink.  Love the simplicity of the shower stall and the use of wooden stools.  This is a newish boutique hotel.  I must see Rocca delle Tra Contrade in person.  The photos are stunning.

trecontradesicily10

Photo: Rocca delle Tre Contrade

I’m not a fan of shower caddies.

Our clients for the Tuscany project were very clear that they wanted built-in spaces for shampoo, soap, etc.   If it’s early enough in the build/renovation, I recommend going in this direction.  Just make sure there’s a slight slope, so water doesn’t pool in the space.

A partial wall works for this project.  It never gets cold.

016461ed4b43a85dfcc8cda63ee34e88

Photo: Elements Of Style

Getting away from the neutrals for a minute, this bathroom from the La Banane hotel on St. Barths is very bright and colorful.

A fun design like this might be a great idea for one of the smaller bathrooms.  Or the powder room.  In a large space this color and pattern would be not be relaxing to me.

PITER09BANANE0965_low-910x910

Photo: Villa La Banane

Brass fixtures are having a moment.  I like them in this bathroom.  I look at all this tile and worry about cleaning the grout.

14.+grey+and+white+march+2014+habituallychic

Photo: Habitually Chic

I LOVE outdoor showers.  The ones at Cap Juluca in Anguilla are fantastic.

luxurybath

Photo: Cap Juluca

A more traditional style at Oscar de la Renta’s former home in the Dominican Republic.

132-1024x730

A shower in Marrakesh.  Fantastic built-in bench.

45-720x1024

Photos: Mark D Sikes

I don’t know where this house is but I like the contrast of the stone-tiled floor with the black contemporary trim on the windows and with the lines of the tub.

d2b027e91efe2266e1ad3aff2a060463

Photo: Pinterest

The award-winning Fathom Magazine is celebrating Sicily this week.  I’m trilled that I get to join in the festivities.

IMG_4629My article is about Sicily and the solo traveler.

When I booked my trip, I didn’t think it was a big deal that I was traveling alone.   Then once everyone and their mother kept saying, “Wow, you’re going to Sicily by yourself?!”, I started to get nervous.

You can read about my Sicilian adventures HERE.

The entire series is fantastic.  I want to book a trip now.

 

How funky are these chairs?

IMG_5161

I am a big fan of Kelly Wearstlers commercial work, yet the Viceroy in Anguilla took me by surprise.

A few years ago I met clients for a drink at the bar.  At first, when I walked in, the décor seemed so “uncaribbean” to me.

Then I walked around.  It IS very Caribbean.  Wearstler’s use of natural materials, her color palette, and the subtle nod to more tradition Caribbean design makes the Viceroy one my favorite hotel spaces.

This hotel is huge and could easily feel very corporate (thinking of a certain hotel on the Dutch side of St. Maarten that ruined one of the best beaches on the island).

Instead it’s unique and jaw dropping gorgeous.

Not a bad place to meet for drinks, especially with a locals’ discount.

I have more meetings this weekend about my Caribbean project.

Feeling very inspired

Buon weekend!

 

 

Last year I wrote about the vacation home in Tuscany I’m working on with architect Domenico Minchili.

Our clients had some photos taken and below are a few of them.

First, a before shot of the living room.

IMG_1840

After.

The room is so much lighter.  The new “old” floors make a huge difference as does the paint color.  I was consumed for days regarding which shade of Farrow & Ball white was the best white for the  walls.  We decided to use Skimming Stone.

The chairs were custom made by Tondini & Radicchi. So were all the draperies in the house.

P1050072

One of the bedrooms mid-renovation.

IMG_1675

After.

_MG_7917

A bathroom before.

IMG_1836

After.

_MG_7936

Wider shot of the living room.  The sofas, coffee table, and sconces are custom.

The studio.

This room receives little natural light.  Many people assume that a small dark room must be painted a very light color in order to make it look bigger.  Not true.  It seems counter-intuitive but going darker gives a small room more depth.

_MG_7828_MG_7879_MG_7876_MG_7884_MG_7888 _MG_7892_MG_7905 _MG_7924_MG_7933_MG_7941P1050086

One of my Italian friends called this décor, “Relaxed Chic.”   Another friend said it was “Casual Luxury.”  Both work for me.

Every bedroom, and its bathroom is unique, yet the entire home is cohesive.

The paint is from Farrow & Ball.

Most of the new furniture was custom made.  We also sourced pieces from Flamant, Barthel, and small shops in Rome and Tuscany.

Our fabric sources were, Dedar, Ralph Lauren Home, Kathryn M. Ireland, and Pierre Frey.

If you would like to know the specific colors or more information about the fabric or furniture, please feel free to ask me in the comments section.

This property is available for vacation rental.  It’s in the heart of the Chianti region surrounded by vineyards.  The views are stupendous.

For more information (and some exterior photos), please visit the luxury rental  Abercrombie & Kent website.

Photos by: Mario Flores

Before my first trip to Italy, nine years ago, I had to cut my vacation short.  The production company I worked for decided to shut down, permanently, two weeks before Christmas.  Happy Holidays everyone!

I was going to scrap the entire trip but my family was very worried about my mental state and insisted I go.

I decided to travel to only one city for just one week.  I narrowed down my choices to Rome or Florence.  One of my good friends in L.A. is a hardcore Italophile.  She proclaimed that I was a Rome person and should save Florence for another trip.

I’ve been to Florence twice. The art is stupendous and the city is beautiful.  Yet each time I felt anxious and couldn’t wait to return to Rome.  It’s not as if Rome is a laid back place.  However, Florence is a much smaller city and cannot handle the hordes of tourists and study aboard students.

Well, I need to get over it because I must see the new Portrait Firenze.  The architect/interior designer is Michele Bonan.  I’ve written about how much I LOVE his work, especially, the newish J.K. Place in Rome.

The hotel is owned by the Ferragamo family (the Lungarno Collection) and is located in the heart of the Historic Center. It has only thirty-six rooms and killer views of the Ponte Vecchio. It’s scheduled to open this spring.

Look at that view.  Love the soft relaxing colors.  Those green lamps?  Must track down.

sUYXXGQFZR47zefnG4mAD54sTVvf79nq1FGd5nRjyfg,UBmzoqTkaK8tyET-Z1kui8M8yEFAwt-hcqYuWIB_KTE,ho-fgUc6kBoIit7axfCIkxI7V7whcmD19xHjVdnuvjM,OkknJ9vwWPdnTx4f0Nlitj82mh3VQUy6s5r1ad0xt9w,0nhQv88HP_fnp9eoPX3xkaGKnb8M_pB5zuTe3C7fl3g

pK1m2R-hRsIL2NvxKQBQQSQEZue27QLtqVSPOYkkpUw

Sigh. No words.

0YVHfPdrC01wG6kRpbnZvP9rcv9QKy67PgloZSiTvJA

I need to be here with my man, enjoying the Franciacorta.

q5rBjxnwnwNexvKQeUlpYKwluMkBiS4sbRiLp_Pw-vM,-M-eqktmJl0Kg7jTHA5ngeDYD86VbjkUp23cXB_-e2I,vEdjLIZAzSuoztaBUI8aFpumgfSgFNrUu55LcEb9TV8,XFj5nsDV5Y7UoDdkkccM4XRLtreT3eBORRa-p5MTWvk,iSE5KE9PwvbKpyqCys5_WezY6y9PU5U9JXvqigxgkas

Pocket doors. Dark wood.  Look at that ceiling.

4wwWwwlz1MChNf2DkZoaGm6BqcjecQBShWYko1vWDvw,BoIhajwAQBT8drFC1_NbNnrZLlj_rHst7n7TrZmo1QQ,xucAjYg4_gue_04De-goLtfyLrab29D__45vIdTOzbw,7TppkATKU765GodA_Oa8p6jltPUFJN0Zq9mi_wb9Osc,bIT0bFaomt3z-3ffCG5K7XK8lIxzVQtfUOPaLMzVouw

Photos: Lungarno Collection

This Thanksgiving I went to Sicily.  It was my first trip to the main island and I stayed at the incredible Monaci delle Terre Nere.

On my last day, I had this for lunch.

IMG_4779When you have a dish with so few ingredients, they better be of the freshest and highest quality ingredients.  There are no sauces or foam to mask bad food.

While this dish was simple, the flavors were not.  The pasta was cooked perfectly al dente and the tomatoes had that killer combo of acidity and sweetness that you cannot find in out of season tomatoes at a mega supermarket.

We eat with our eyes as well.  I really appreciated the presentation.  It’s Stylish Simplicity.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,998 other followers