Archive for ‘Design’

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Santa Monica Mountains

I’m loving Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi’s ranch in the latest edition of Elle Decor, especially swooning over the leather and wood chairs.








Friday, October 5, 2012


Time flies and with no drastic change in temperature it goes without much notice down here. We’re still at a comfortable 90° in October and I’m daydreaming midst the heatwaves staring at pics of an amazing home in the mountains. snap out of the heat and celebrate seasons when there are none with a trip to the montagnes maybe? retire the sandals and summer gear and let’s go somewhere cool? Season etiquette, do I have to retire my favorite Celine wedges this fall/winter? Is wearing espadrilles this time of year like not wearing white past Labor day? Or do I get a pass cause I live in San Diego where you really can do summer all year round. Thoughts?

So back to this house, Khyber Ridge that I’ve been admiring in beautiful Whistler, BC, a  jaw-dropping view and what do ya know? The owner of the dreamy residence was once roommates with my other half way back when they were kids living the dream, snowboarding for a living in gorgeous Whistler, of course back then not living in this house. Check it, there’s a lot to like.

Khyber Ridge pics via Arch Daily

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Unpacking here and I’m shuffling through odds and ends. It’s strange to see what’s made it through all my moves, what my young self thought then was so important to keep. This old pic I ripped out of a Japanese fashion mag years ago, the sweater with the cut-outs, the holes for your thumbs was gonna be one of those things I would make when I’d get down to knitting. It hasn’t happened yet, inspiring nonetheless.

And cheers to Grace Coddington! the world’s most famous fashion stylist and much admired creative director celebrating 70 candles.

Cake? I’ll take care of that right away, fresh berries and whipped cream parfait from Whole Foods works.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Been back for 2 weeks now, my head committed and completely back to wrapping up this house reno. 3 more mahogany doors to install, the trim as well as around the windows, finish the bathtub, pick and order bathroom wall sconces, hang one last mirror, decide on art and photos, ceiling fans for the bedrooms, put up the last bit of the soffit, put floorboards down in the last bedroom, blah, blah, blah…does it ever end?

Motivated I am and I came across these Maison Martin Margiela runners on the Barney’s site last night, $525, you gotta be kidding me? After a two year house reno I have a bunch of runners that look just like this, one of a kind and they’re all yours for half the price, women’s size 7.5, men’s size 8 and 9. Seriously!?

Nearing the finish line and decor ideas appear left and right here. Dude sent me this link for bedspreads, looks like the recycling bin, homeless chic, anyone?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Palazzo Margherita in Bernalda, Italy

Have you seen this place? It’s gorgeous, very well done and open to the public to stay too, sweet!

To wake up in a bedroom like this; Tunisian-style painted tall ceilings, a busy bright floor, large windows with light and breezy window coverings, of course nothing less, it is Southern Italy and you are staying at Francis Ford Coppola’s fifth and most luxurious hotel, Palazzo Margherita.

Sofia’s bedroom would work too, the trompe l’oiel trellis walls are jaw-dropping gorgeous.

Then fly down the flight of stairs, you can’t miss the fabulous white murano glass chandelier and the railing’s real pretty too

Then we’d meet for a drink at the bar, how cozy are we? Look up and there’s another pretty murano glass chandelier, look down, a pretty tile floor and the wallpaper, it works.

And the many amazing lunches and dinners we’ll share, cheers with some good wine of course. The attention to detail is everywhere, in everything here and Parisian interior designer, Jacques Grange did an amazing job turning this home into the perfect “summer palace.”

All pics via WSJ.

Monday, February 20, 2012

guest shower/tub

A jack of all trades here and if ever he loses his day job there’s some comfort knowing he could build houses, less likely to starve is more like it but in this construction slump, who knows? And as I write this, I picture some heavy eye-rolls directed my way so in my defense I’m also proclaiming he’s officially retired from any more masonry work; ceramic, glass, stone tile, it’s all in the past now. Guest shower and tub done! and just 2 more to wrap up.

Izola shower curtain

Monday, February 20, 2012

pencil skirt

Looking at pics from the recent Burberry show and this is a stand out favorite. Skinny pencil skirts, bow waist and owls, fall…I can’t wait. Makes me want to pull out my Lanvin velvet pencil skirt with the bow waist, give it a twirl out for dinner soon. And owls? I’m on the search, Kate Bosworth’s grey sweater is perfect, especially loving the narrow shoulders.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Marni for H&M

Ya know I’m a huge Marni fan so this collab with H&M is such a treat. Consuelo Castiglioni and her design team, so clever and she is definitely my kind of thinking designer. My favorite coats and jackets that hang in my closet are no doubt Marni pieces, words can’t describe how well cut and designed these staples are. The cut and tailoring’s just so thoughtful and patient, so creative and some serious mad skills to sew pieces up the way they do, like no other and it seems they won’t disappoint with this collection, can’t wait.

I’m swooning over the bracelets and necklaces, both sequin collars, the signature prints and whimsical colors. Marni at budget prices, save the date March 8, 2012! Sweet!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Mai Handwoven

My family have been in the handwoven silk business in Vientiane, Laos for as long as I can remember so gifts of textiles and talk of design have always been a part of my life. Mai Handwoven is the studio and it has been such a labor of love for me to learn the craft and business to share it with everyone. Only using natural dyes and each piece is individually handwoven by highly skilled weavers, it’s really an art, amazing time-honed craftsmanship and skill. Life is brilliant like this, ya think about it, you write about it and what do ya know? last minute travel plans booked and I’m going to Laos very soon, tropical weather for 2 weeks, yes please.

The Saravan scarf is one of my favorites, here are some pics of my friend, Akiko rocking it.

My friend Mami as well elegantly rocking the Prabang scarf

and the whimsy Chavan scarf as well as the Khoa scarf.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

wood burning stove

It’s up and running finally, my brand new contemporary European Pallas Back wood burning stove that I got nearly 2 years ago for half the price on ebay, a score with a few glitches of course. The first stove they shipped arrived damaged with half of the wood crate missing, really? Take two and the second stove arrived intact at our front door. There was then the dilemma of moving this 500lb cast iron beast to sit in storage for over a year, which it did until we were finally ready for it, traveling up our sloping driveway to the road again, through the front door and into the house. It took a few people and a furniture dolly and if that wasn’t enough, try purchasing adapter pieces for a metric European stove when you live in the U.S., a country who’s main system of measurement is still the imperial system. And the photos I’ve seen of this stove model prior to purchasing it were all ones where the stove was set up right against the wall, and me knowing nothing about wood burning stove rules/regulations I soon realized that that’s an impossible scenario, a wood burning stove has to clear the wall by 18″ for fire safety. We also had to address the dude who built the chimney in the first place screwing up the measurements, the stove now needed to be an inch more off of the ground to have it line up right into the wall so yeah, we had to build up the section directly under the stove with some concrete and tile to match too. We figure one day after a good long break from building we’ll attempt to build a stone wall directly behind the stove so the heat can radiate off of that, super efficient.

Fact being, there were too many trips to fireplace shops, different solutions from different salespeople, some advice completely wrong and my words of wisdom after all of this, if you’re not certain get a second opinion. Henning’s Wood Burning Stoves in Vista was great help, and even when their parts did not fit onto our Euro stove they directed us to hit up a sheet metal place that could custom make something to fit and Addison Sheet Metal near the beach in Carlsbad did just that, delivered real quick too, nice! And considering our furnace isn’t running yet and we jumped the gun on moving in, having a wood burning stove to heat up the house now is ideal, it’s so efficient and it doesn’t take much time nor wood for the house to be toasty warm. Good thing we have lots of firewood from the trees we cut down when we first bought the property, that and the scraps from construction should last us for many, many years, sweet!