Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cowhides never go away

I've been debating on bringing in cowhide rugs to the store but it seems that everywhere I look, I'm seeing newer, fresh rooms in which they appear. I remember buying my first zebra print cowhide when I was right out of college and I just HAD to have one. I put it underneath a glass coffee table in my loft-style apartment and thought my new career should be interior design. Whatever. So now I'm seeing these updated versions like the one below in a home decorated by Jan Showers, one of my fave!

And the very simple version that Phoebe Howard used in a condo designed for House Beautiful as a part of a larger showhouse project, Designer Visions: Cinema Style. I love the cool colors of this room matched with the shiny ceiling. Very sophisticated.

Then there is Gabriella Sarlo's showroom in San Francisco. She wanted the feel to be a little Parisian, which I totally get!

White glossy floors? Tres Chic! And I would've never thought to combine black and white stripes, solid baby pink chairs, and creamy walls like this. But she makes it feel so pulled together.

And modern settings.. Um, and did you notice these Milo chairs below?? I did because I happen to be a HUGE fan! And have two of my own. That I bought SIX years ago. Before they were cool and Crate & Barrel carried them. Just sayin'.

(via DecorPad)

I'm digging the mix of antiques with all-white seating. The mirror along the back wall makes the space feel twice as big.

(via DecorPad)

So, I think we're going to move forward with stocking cowhides in the store! With all of these great inspirations, it reaffirms that cowhides are an ever-lasting flooring solution that are as affordable as they are stylish.

See you soon,

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Intermix Fall Lookbook

I'm just going to post this one outfit. That is life-changing. No, really. That skirt, the bag, those shoes, I die!! I'm going to make it my mission this fall to acquire the Robert Rodriguez skirt. It's not too expensive and in my opinion, it is a timeless investment that I'll wear for years. The bag? I'm hoping Chanel enters my life in a hurry. But in case she doesn't, this Stella McCartney bag is pretty darn lustworthy as well.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Why Everyone Needs a Gucci Girl

I just returned from L.A. where I made the mistake of making an impromptu visit to a Gucci boutique in Beverly Hills. I say impromptu because I hadn't fully intended to stop.. I mean, it was on my radar screen.. Okay FINE. I was dying to try on a pair of tall boots that I've been eyeing since August. Obsessed would be a better term. This is all beside the point. Once I walked in, I met this angel named Ashley. She's my age, lives near the beach, and has been working at Gucci for the past year. Angelic she was with her long flowing dark hair, light complexion, and when she spoke, it was like a chorus of cherubs singing from the heavens. This sweet angel brought me pair after beautiful pair of the most sumptuous shoes you've ever seen in your life, at least until you walked into Jimmy Choo.. Back to the story. After determining it wasn't going to take much manipulation or arm twisting to talk this customer into making a purchase, my Gucci Girl then rolled out the red carpet. We bonded over silk crepe and wool cashmere. Girls, once you find the right Gucci Girl, she will then disclose to you in the privacy of your own dressing room that the famous and coveted interlocking G's have two big sales every year in June and December. But that's not all. Oh no! She will further disclose that most markdowns get a second markdown within a week. Stick a fork in me, I'm done. I gave her my contact info while she wrote down everything that fit like a glove. She followed up with me a few days after to let me know my boots had shipped (I caved), and that she was also sending me their latest lookbook. Ahh.. I love having a Gucci Girl.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

City of Lights

Paris. The City of Lights. Home to the Eiffel Tower. I don't think there's another city in the world that could rival the romantic vibe of this city. French food? Don't get me started.. Oh how I long to visit Paris, especially in the spring.

Monday, August 9, 2010

I Heart Steve Wynn

I should've posted this over a month ago but better late than never, right??

We just returned from another exhausting trip from Las Vegas. I say exhausting because I always feel like we need a vacation from our vacation when we return. We stayed at Encore, which quickly became our favorite casino on the strip since we've been coming together almost two years ago. It's our fave for reasons that I will now go into. Please don't think I'm a total snob when I say this but... The class of peeps we see in Encore is vastly different from the rest of the resorts in Vegas. Yes, I like to stay with the wealthy Europeans who come over here. Yes, I like to stay with the stodgy old rich folks who stay there. Even though I don't fall in either category. You know why I like staying with the classy's? They don't walk around the casino wearing bikini's carrying oversized plastic neon-colored glasses of frozen fruity cocktails. There, I said it.

So you can see that when we walked into the main lobby of Encore to check in on a Saturday afternoon and we saw multiple groups of young people who very well could've tried out to to be on "Jersey Shore" (neon cups in hand), we were just a tad bit surprised.. Sure enough, Encore had recently opened up a party pool to resemble Hard Rock's. The goal: To get bachelor/bachelorette partiers from nearby hotel to come spend their $$ in Encore in an attempt to gain additional revenue. Mission accomplished. We were quite relieved by Sunday afternoon when all was back to normal. I know, I sound like such a snob but I'm really not!

I love Encore. I love Wynn. I love Steve Wynn for building both. His taste, the aesthetic, the visual treats around each corner, it's just simply divine. I love walking past two Chanel stores every time we go to dinner. This has to be the only place in the world that Craig has to somehow navigate me away from the windows of two of them, just to go to dinner. It's marvelous! (By the way, as of this post, I do not own any Chanel. Other than some makeup.. But, SOON!! VERY SOON!!)

And the spa in Encore? Don't even get me started. I've never laid my eyes on such a beautiful and opulent place. The treatments aren't what I come here for. It's the sensual therapy on my eyes and brain by just looking around and soaking it all in. The drapes are made of Swarovski crystals and the chaise lounges are heated. Need I say more.. If you're ever in Vegas, I highly recommend that you just peep your head in. Here's a pic of the treatment room hallway:

And now that Paris Hilton has been barred from both properties? It's even classier!! Thank you Steve Wynn. You'll forever by my favorite billionaire resort owner.



Thursday, August 5, 2010

Shanghai Nights

About a month ago, we took what will now go down as one of the most memorable trips I've ever been on. We started off in California and then ventured over to the Orient, stopping in Beijing first. I was really, REALLY hoping to see the Great Wall and Forbidden City but unfortunately, the weather was not cooperative. The air was so muggy and foggy, it was hard to see past 20 feet.. Not ideal conditions for seeing a wall. At the very least, we stayed in an awesome hotel and ate amazing food! On our first night, we had reservations at Made in China, which is well-known for their Peking Duck. We somehow finagled our way into the table inside their private wine room-if you know this group, this does not come as a surprise. Savory food, several bottles of Malbec's, and great friends on an adventure halfway across the world--life does not get any better than this. After a few days in Beijing, we flew down to Shanghai and had the time of our lives! I have been to Shanghai several times but had forgotten why I loved the city so much. It feels like New York, only 10 times larger. We had the good fortune to stay in one of the best hotels in the city, Peninsula on the bund. Words cannot express how to-die-for this hotel was. The service? Impeccable. The view: Breathtaking. The room and hotel ammenities: The best in the world. The hotel is located right on the curve of the Huangpu River and overlooks Pudong. I don't know if we'll always get to stay there after the economy recovers in full, but I'm so glad I was able to experience it when we did! I won't go into specific stories of the unbelievable service that we experienced, but will say that the friendly staff knows your needs and desires the moment they pop up as thoughts in your brain and are already there by your side to serve you.

Here is a picture from the outdoor terrace of the hotel bar:

And here are pics of our room:

Isn't that amazing!! We had our own DRESSING ROOM! Complete with a built-in nail dryer.. So sick. Our days consisted of working out, eating a fabulous breakfast, either indulging in the spa and having lunch by the pool, or sight-seeing the city by way of taxi's that nearly killed us every time we entered into one. Oh! What fun! Here are some pics of the Yu Gardens:

And then there were the culinary treats we indulged ourselves in every evening. We hit several restaurants that are consistenly listed in the Top 10 restaurants in the city from Laris to Lost Heaven. It was marvelous. Here's a photo from Laris:

We had such an amazing time over there and I'm just thanking my lucky stars to have been able to experience all that we did. I think we'll probably visit Hong Kong the next time we make a trip to the Orient but Shanghai certainly surpassed every expectation I had and more.
Safe travels!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

California Girls

This past spring, I took a girls trip to Santa Monica with three other lovelies. Fortunately for us, we all had the same itenerary in mind when we booked this trip: Stay somewhere hip, relax by the pool, and soak in the Santa Monica SoCal vibe for four wondrous days. Oh, did we ever! My pre-trip planning consisted of scouring the internet for A: the cheapest rate at B: the hotel with the best-looking pool. I found both on and bingo, there enters Viceroy Santa Monica. Designed by famed interior decorator to the stars, Kelly Wearstler, this joint oozed with California sophistication but in a relaxed way. When we strutted in for the first time looking like the four Sex In The City characters, the lobby was popping off (yes, I just used that phrase..). Young, stylish, jet-set people everywhere mingling with cocktails over techno music. Needless to say, we could not wait to freshen up in the room and rejoin the party..

Here are pics of the hotel:

Here's a pic of the pool from our room:

And the cabana, which we fully helped ourselves to one afternoon.

The hotel was across the street from Shutters On The Beach and within walking distance to many, many, MANY great restaurants, shops, and art galleries. I was hoping to catch a surfing lesson on this trip but the ocean was a tad bit too cold for me, even in a wetsuit. Of all the different parts of L.A. that I've visited, I've enjoyed Santa Monica the most! You just can't beat being so close to the ocean. On our bike ride, we passed underneath amazing condos with breath-taking views of the Pacific--I could imagine waking up to that everyday after hosting a sunset cocktail party.

Our girls weekend was a complete success--we lounged around the pool, rode bikes along the beach, did a lot of walking and shopping, and of course, eating, drinking, and laughing.

The final verdict: Swanky hotel for a girls weekend? CHECK.

Best of all, with a direct flight from XNA, our trip cost for airfare and hotel was less than $400 per girl for a 4-day weekend. This fits in just about anyone's budget!

Be adventurous!


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Empire State of Mind

In honor of one of my close friends who's moving to New York next month, I thought I'd show you pics from one of my FAVORITE New York hotels, Crosby Street Hotel by the Firmdale hotel group based out of the UK. The Crosby just opened in October of 2009 and let me just tell you, the design and artwork they have amassed is incredible! The owners, Tim and Kit Kemp, design each of the six hotels within the Firmdale group and each have their own quirky uniqueness. What I loved about The Crosby was the English-influence Kit instilled that's easily seen in the common areas by mixing floral wallpaper with floral drapes, or by serving an English Afternoon Tea every day. Aside from the beautiful aesthetic, the hotel is located in Soho, just a few blocks from some lust-worthy stores such as Prada, Kate Spade, and Catherine Malandrino just to name a few. Which is exactly where we went after dropping off our bags! After exploring NYC, we came back and I found a handwritten note welcoming me to the hotel and a list of events happening in the city the week I was there. What a nice touch. I won't go into too much detail about my strange habit of collecting hotel toiletries, but I did manage to pilfer ALL of the soaps, shampoo, lotion, and conditioner I could find. They're too hard to resist when they come in interesting bottles and these definitely qualified!

Side note--I called that night to arrange for a wake-up call the next morning, and the kind lady asked if I'd like to have coffee brought up. For some reason, I thought this was part of their exceptional service and would be complimentary. Silly me. Well, at exactly 6:00am, my doorbell rang and there was room service in a suit not only functioning as my "wake-up call" but bringing me coffee as well. I noticed on the bill that this little service cost me $20. For coffee. Only in New York..

Here is the lobby filled with sculptures the couple has collected. Notice the antique Asian side table to the far left--we'll have these in the new store :)

And the guestroom.. Mine looked exactly like this in person!

And the marble bath. Again, it looked just like this in person!

This is a pic of just one of several themed board rooms.

And then there's this:

I love, love, LOVE the use of pattern and color in this room! The fabric on the couches have so much more contrast and shine in person--the picture doesn't do it justice.

Final verdict:

If you admire intriguing boutique hotels and have the discressionary income to do so, stay here! I will definitely be visiting again!

Until next time..