Charming Spaces || Coastal Vibes

10/08/2014 § 3 Comments

Charming Spaces || Costal Vibes Charming Spaces || Costal Vibes Charming Spaces || Costal Vibes Charming Spaces || Costal Vibes Charming Spaces || Costal Vibes

Lovely bit of inspiration by way of Robert McKinley’s apartment in Chelsea, as captured by Nicole Franzen for T Magazine/NY Times.  Unfamiliar with McKinley?  He’s the interior designer and creative director behind places such as the Surf Lodge and Ruschmeyer’s in Montauk and the downtown outposts of Sant Ambroeus.  I’m feeling inspired by the relaxed, well-worn and faintly beachy style of his space, especially the palm frond curtains and that amazing rocking chair.

So if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be stepping out shortly to track down one of those hurricane plants  Please hold my calls.

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Tchau Winter!

01/04/2014 § Leave a comment

Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 1

So it’s officially April and I’m feeling optimistic.  Like warm weather and sunshine are just around the corner waiting for me.  With the worst winter in a record 40 years, New York has felt like a purgatory since…forever.  So to treat my slight case of seasonal depression I’ve prescribed myself a regular visit with these photographs by Matthew Williams for Elle Decoration UK of a gorgeous beach home in Brazil.  White walls, polished floors, weathered wood, all offset by the lushness of green fronds and lazy vines.

Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 5 Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 6 Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 8 Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 9 Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 10 Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 12 Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 13 Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 14 Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 15 Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 16 Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 17 Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 18 Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 20 Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 21 Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 22 Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 2 Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 3 Matthew Williams for Elle Decor UK 4

I want, I want, I want.  The only question left: who’s coming with me?

Real Property Lust || Old Hollywood Heaven

12/11/2013 § 1 Comment

Have you ever seen a room so perfectly you that you instantly wanted to wrap yourself up in it and wear it every day of your life?  I have — namely, when I gazed upon this gorgeous library, from the Hollywood home of Eric Hyman and Max Mutchnick.

19th century oil painting of a jockey and horse
Pacific Connections rosewood square serving tray
Louis Vuitton shoe trunk
Cowhide Queen Anne chairs
Campaign desk

Receiving an honorable mention is the master bath, with its glass tiled floors, vintage English club chair and brass clock that once hung in an Associated Press newsroom.

Be sure to wander through the rest of the home on Elle Decor.

Real Property Lust: West Hollywood home by Schuyler Samperton

16/07/2012 § 1 Comment

Quite taken by this West Hollywood home by California interior designer Schuyler Samperton.  The eclectic mix of the old with the new, the feminine and the masculine, the west with the east, strikes a stately balance that seems arty, intelligent and worldly.  Some of my favorite bits include the inlaid box above, and the zebra skin rug and bamboo bookshelf below — lovely touches, indeed.  And that library!

For more of Ms. Samperton’s portfolio, visit her site and her blog.

All images via Schuyler Samperton Interior Design.

The Grand Tour || The House Where Satchmo Played

29/04/2012 § 3 Comments

Most homes of a certain age in Los Angeles usually come with old Hollywood stories of former residents.  This Spanish beauty in Westwood, owned by good friends of mine, is no different.  Home to Spencer Tracy and his wife for a time, and host to an intimate concert by Louis Armstrong, this estate has a charmingly eccentric layout, complete with original tile work, exposed beams, hardwood floors, interesting built-ins and one of the only SoCal basements I am personally aware of.

A relatively recent purchase, the owners are still hard at work with renovations but I twisted some arms and was allowed to take a few photos of their progress thus far.  I can’t wait to see the finished product.

Real Property Lust || Eccentric King George

02/04/2012 § 1 Comment

“Harriet’s projects stitch together restoration and classic modern design; the 20’s hang out with the Edwardians, everyone is invited, just as long as you are well turned out. Her confidence and her playful nature with design allows rooms to be fun without the ridiculous, smart without dullness and most importantly a place you would want to be.” [via]

When the past is engaged in an active dialogue with the present, you already know my interest is piqued.  Here, the mid-19th century late Georgian home of designer Harriet Anstruther in London successfully honors its architectural origins without a slavish adherence to Georgian decor, creating a statement home that feels fresh, yet nostalgic — and is completely personal.  What I love about this space is its successful and seamless blending of so many different sources of inspiration without the sacrifice of comfort or personality.  Neither a stuffy museum nor a stark exercise in modernism, its soaring white walls immediately call to mind a gallery space, a context helped along by the family’s art collection.  Some of my favorite touches include the Penguin watercolor, the crystal chandeliers, the black stripes of the upholstery, the magenta skylight in the shower and — above all — the fire bucket sink and the Fornasetti wallpaper in the bathroom.  Hello, lover.

Whereas our last discussion on interiors encouraged me to mix up my sources (IKEA vs. antique finds), I really like how this home illustrates a successful mingling of very different aesthetics.  It’s got me inspired…and eying the Harper sofa by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams.  Thoughts?

All images via T Magazine.

Real Property Lust || Sweet and High/Lowdown

23/03/2012 § 4 Comments

While it remains one of my absolute favorite pastimes to meander through the rich imagery of high-end design magazines and websites (for which my House & Home board on Pinterest has become an essential accompaniment), I personally am not yet a member of that rarefied club that can actually purchase such luxury items.  Please note the “yet”!  That said, I still think there is plenty of inspiration to be had by looking at gorgeous places (like the East Village apartment of Ralph Lauren Executive VP Alfredo Parades that I found over on Habitually Chic today — swoon!)  for lower-budget households like my own.  But what is absolute tops, is finding a home that is decorated not only in an aesthetic that I appreciate, but also with furnishings within the reach of my own pocketbook.

Whilst my head did explode upon my initial view of this lovely home, featured on Skona Hem, with its empire touches and rustic feel, it exploded a second time after I translated the text and discovered that this home had been furnished with a combination of antique treasures and new purchases from Ikea.  Ikea, people!  Does this not give you hope that with a little eBay stalking, flea market wandering and a trip to your local Ikea, you too could have such an amazing nest?

Big items from Ikea include the canopied bed and the couch. Really love the restrained palette here, which calls to my mind sepia photographs, and the open storage of the china, in varying shades of off-white.  The space is a hodge podge, but one with continuity.

In fact, I’m rather ashamed to admit that I thought Ikea didn’t really have anything to offer me, other than picture frames and Swedish meatballs. Obviously, I need to take the water taxi to Red Hook and put my creative hat on.  I also must mention another source I’ve recently come across that is oriented toward affordable decor: Copy Cat Chic.  Best part?  When founder Reichel chooses a high-end home item (rug, chair, lamp, etc.) and then finds a virtually identical, more affordable item.

What about you?
Got any secret decor sources you’d be willing to share with me?

Real Property Lust: Umbrian Palazzo

31/01/2012 § Leave a comment

A bathroom to live in.

The 16th-century Italian palazzo of Antonello Radi, in the Umbrian city of Foligno.  I adore the way he has decorated his home, the old with the new, completely color drenched and magnificently luxurious.  The bathroom is my absolute favorite room.  I could soak in that tub forever.

Decorating mastery aside, one must really give Antonello’s bio a brief look:

Antonello was fortunate to be born into a wealthy and prominent family in Foligno, a commercial center surrounded by vineyards, olive groves, and rolling hills. Radi, a bachelor, studied jurisprudence, found he didn’t like the life of a lawyer, and now works in the family business, finance, when he isn’t traveling.

Didn’t like the life of a lawyer, so he works in finance…when he isn’t traveling.  Must be very nice indeed.

Images via Elle Decor.

Real Property Lust: Los Feliz Hacienda

08/01/2012 § Leave a comment

I attribute the fact that I feel an irresistible pull toward Spanish Colonial Revival style homes to my childhood in California and to a beautiful hacienda a very special former Mister of mine owned. There is just something about the dark wooden floors, gleaming white walls, hidden spots of beautiful tile work, wide open windows, wrought iron and streaming light that sings to me.

This home in Los Feliz, California, was gorgeous even before Commune Design (the design firm also behind several commercial projects such as the hotel design for the Ace Hotel and Swim Club in Palm Springs) got their hands on it, but the finished product is quite amazing. The multitude of styles, colors and textures on display is the type of inclusive approach to decor that I find most interesting.

All images via Commune.

Real Property Lust: The London Apartment of Broosk Saib

04/01/2012 § 2 Comments

London-based interior designer Broosk Saib may originally hail from Baghdad, but his style is quintessentially British, with a bit of an irreverent twist.  At once masculine and luxurious, Saib’s apartment immediately gives me the impression of a well-travelled and good-humored gentleman who I earnestly hope will allow me to move in…and give me an invite to his next dinner party:

But it’s at night that the rooms truly come to life. Sometimes the entry hall’s hanging light fixture is taken down and the peripatetic table is moved to make way for as many as 70 guests; the walls of the drawing room reflect the warm, clubby glow given off by lamps with red-silk shades. An exotic Vietnamese incense fills the rooms, while the aroma of roast lamb escapes from the kitchen. “I love to entertain at home,” says Saib, “to cook and feed my friends. My doors are always open.” (via Elle Decor)

I especially love the Union Jack upholstered chairs and this gorgeous entry way shown below.  I like how Saib manages to accent what is obviously an amazing collection without turning his apartment into some kind of jumbled antiques roadshow nick-knackery.  The restraint really allows the pieces he has chosen to shine.

All images via Elle Decor and

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