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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo: Habitually Chic

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

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Photo: Cap Juluca

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

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A shower in Marrakesh.  Fantastic built-in bench.

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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.

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Photo: Pinterest

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.

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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.

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One of the bedrooms mid-renovation.

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After.

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A bathroom before.

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After.

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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.

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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

I love decorating with mirrors.  That said, I’m a little over the sunburst ones.   They are everywhere.

I was looking for a mirror for a client, when I saw this beauty from one of my favorite furniture designers, Julian Chichester.

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This London-based designer has so many pieces I would love to have in my home.   I don’t own a palazzo but I think this mirror would work in a variety of décors.

The eglomis frame is stunning and not ornate.  This is truly stylish simplicity.

 

 

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.

I know there is a huge difference between want and need.  Many times I catch myself making statements such as, “that skirt needs to be in my closet.”

Hello, no it doesn’t.  I would like it to be there. That is a want.

I have written before about my lack of clothes for cold weather.  Now that I no longer spend the majority of my working hours in my house writing scripts, I really need to step up my fall/winter wardrobe.  I cannot meet with clients or vendors looking bananas.

Thank god I live in a city that is not as casual as Los Angeles.  If I wear a dress or a skirt to a meeting in Rome, nobody asks me why am I so dressed up.  Sometimes, wait for it, I even wear thigh-high stockings!

There are many things I would like to purchase this year but have narrowed down the list to five.

Long leather gloves. 

I’m thinking black or chocolate brown.  Why does Olivia Pope look so sad here?

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Ankle boots with heels that can handle cobblestone streets.

I have a pair of ankle boots with a narrow heel.  They have been destroyed.  RIP.

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A LBD.

Love the cut of this dress from J. Crew.

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A camel hair coat. 

i do need a new winter cloth coat but I think I can get another season out of my current one. This will go in the want column.  Max Mara’s coats are classic.

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Last but not least, I do need a short winter sports jacket.  I look like the Michelin Tire Man in puffy jackets.  I like the lines of this one.

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What’s on your list?

One of my favorite American stores has recently announced their collaboration with the incredible, Milan-based architect/interior designer, Paola Navone.  To say I’m a fan of her work is a huge understatement.

I would like to buy so many things in this collection.  The darker blues remind me of Rome at dusk or the color of the sky above the mountains in St. Martin.

I wonder how much it would cost to ship a few items to Rome.  Okay, I need to stop.  I once had to pay €40 to get a pack of Girl Scout cookies out of customs that my sister had sent to me.  I love Samoas but come on, that’s bananas.

I will have to appreciate this collection from afar.   It’s the very definition of Stylish Simplicity.

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For more information about Paola and to see the entire collection, HERE is the website.

I’m dead serious.

During my trip to Munich, I saw Haribo candies everywhere.  Haribo is a Germany company founded in 1920 and the birthplace of Gummi Bears.

I know there are fancier gummy candies in the world.

They are not for me.  I like my candy the same way I like my dècor, timeless.  Let others jump on the latest sweets fads.

I’ll stick to the original.  I except no substitutes.

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I saw a very cool old-school fan when I stayed at the lovely Baur B&B in Piemonte.

I don’t know where they bought it, but I finally found something similar.

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Restoration Hardware’s brushed nickel Allaire desk fan is gorgeous.

It’s functional, simple, and stylish.   Plus, it would work with a variety of interiors, modern, rustic, contemporary, etc.

Speaking of fans, I’ve been running mine pretty much non-stop for the past week.  I cannot wait until fall.  Seriously.

 

 

 

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