the DUNMORE

January 11, 2016

So, this is what heaven looks like I’m sure.  No… Really, H.E.A.V.E.N. At least I hope so. Just look at the beauty called the Dunmore Hotel & Resort.  I think their design team nailed the look! The entire resort has a sophisticated yet relaxed look to it, one that allows you to exhale but reminds you that you’re somewhere special.  Just look at the dining room shot below, I love the collected treasures and old photographs… they add warmth and patina to an otherwise crisp and  bleached out space.  And, who doesn’t love a stripe?  They are clearly cuckoo for stripes judging from these pictures (pictures that were in fact found on Instagram, I give credit at the bottom for each individual who posted them).
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In their own words…

Welcome to The Dunmore, a Harbour Island resort where the exceptional is part of each day. At our Caribbean beach hotel, you’ll experience the profound warmth of our people in a timeless retreat that blends classic elegance with contemporary comforts.

Our resort in the Bahamas overlooks the sea’s spectrum of blues and the celebrated pink sands that are uniquely Harbour Island. Join us at The Dunmore for your Bahamian holiday, and discover why we have been inspiring memories since 1963.

A little bit about the island…

Harbour Island, in the Bahamas, is one of the most celebrated destinations in the Caribbean. On the Atlantic side of the island are the famous pink sand beaches. A three-mile stretch of indescribable beauty, the sand here is truly pink. Sifted and smoothed by generations of waves, the sands are coloured by finely crushed coral. A light rose blush by day, they become a vibrant pink at sunset. With its gentle sands and the ribbons of blue in the sea, it is often called the world’s most beautiful beach.

Beyond the beauty of the beaches is the charm of the island itself. This precious place is a historic destination, dating to 1791 when Lord Dunmore, who had a summer residence here, planned the streets of the town. Today, well-preserved cottages are nestled along the streets where golf carts are now the transportation of choice.

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I wanted you to see the folks who captured these great images… follow them on Instagram!

Blackberry Farm

January 7, 2016

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I’ve never been to Blackberry Farm but these images (all from Instagram) made the decision for me to add it to my “must visit” list. I had never even heard of this beautiful place until today, but just look at it.  I’m sure my southern friends will say “hello, where have you been…”  I’m just happy to have discovered Blackberry Farm.  The decor and care and attention to detail is clearly something they pride themselves on.  To see many more beautiful images and to learn more about Blackberry farm visit their website here.  Here’s more in their words (taken for their website)…

In 1939, Mrs. Florida Lasier of Chicago snagged her silk stockings on a wild blackberry bramble while exploring the idyllic Smoky Mountain foothills, and the name Blackberry Farm was born. Thirty-nine years later, the Beall family invested their hearts and souls in the same romantic site that has become their family home and lifelong passion. Today, one of America’s most celebrated intimate luxury hotels beckons discerning guests who aspire to escape modern-day frenzy and slip into a Blackberry state of mind. Situated on a pastoral 9,200-acre estate in the Great Smoky Mountains, Blackberry will show you the many reasons why it is one of the top rated properties in the world.

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Whether you select the intimate charm of an Estate Room, the legendary elegance of a spacious Singing Brook, Farmstead Cottage, Holly Glade Suite or luxurious comforts of a Hill Cottage, Blackberry Farm’s accommodations offer a haven of carefree comfort. From heavenly feather beds adorned with sumptuous linens to plush robes and luxurious amenities, your accommodations reflect a meticulous attention to detail.

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Winter Rates available January – March:
Roaring fires, frosty mornings and everything signature Blackberry Farm in between – plus our annual winter rates for rooms and activities. No matter what draws you, there are plenty of reasons to slip away to Blackberry this Winter and enjoy the stillness of the smokies during truly one of the loveliest times of the year.
(Winter rates available from January 1 – March 13, 2016)

Winter Romantic Escape: Spend more time together at Blackberry Farm in an exclusive offer for a complimentary fourth night when you book three weeknights during December-March. You will also receive a split of champagne on arrival, a seasonal welcome amenity, and a rose petal turndown one evening.
Call 800–557-8864 for information and details. *subject to availability

imageNo promotional enticements or fees were paid for this blog by Blackberry Farm or another person or company.  This is just me, telling you what I think is chic and what deserves to be celebrated and admired.  

TULUM a loveletter

April 12, 2013

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As most of you know, I grew up in the Bay Area, San Francisco-ish.  Living in such close proximity to Mexico I have had the pleasure of visiting many times and,  just for context – this is not a brag – I have seen the beaches of Hawaii, Thailand, Spain, Italy and the Caribbean and I’m here to tell you that Tulum beach on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is one of THE prettiest beaches I have ever seen.  No lie.photo[1] (4)

Of course anywhere you go where your responsibilities don’t follow you is a happy place, a total checkout… But to add to that a warm sunny place with beautiful breezes and a relaxed and kick-back atmosphere surrounded by beauty like this?  Well, I’m sold and frankly ready to buy!  Did I mention the food? Giant fruit salads, yummy coffee (yes all the cafes had soy) and a yoga class within a stones throw starting practically every ten minutes.  The real test for me was the lack of pool.  I’m a pool guy.  In fact I love pools, laying by them, getting a drink brought to me while I’m near one and yes eating at the pool (the height of decadence) is something I love.  Well, there was no pool.  And I’m still in love with Tulum.

photo[1] (5)You will find almost every type of resort in Tulum.  All inclusive, Yoga and wellness focus, fancy & not-so-fancy, but the thing they all have in common is a underbuilt (3 story max from what I could see) and place sensitive architecture that allows the natural surroundings to stand out and remind you that your somewhere between a jungle and the ocean, with a sky filled with stars (and avocado on every entre!).  My architecture of choice would be something along the lines of the beach structure shown above.

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Newport

March 26, 2013

Hi everyone.  I had a great weekend that started on Thursday actually.  We braved a snow storm (really) to drive to Newport Rhode Island for a lecture on public gardens, landscape architecture and Olmsted put on by the Newport Preservation Society. Wow, what a serious collection of antique homes they have acquired… truly amazing and major treat for the architecture aficionado.   I take out-of-towners to this treasure-trove and it never disappoints.  An exhausting list of their properties looks like this: The Breakers, Chateau-sur-Mer, Chepstow, The Elms, Green Animals Topiary Garden, Hunter House, Isaac Bell House, Kingscote, Marble House, and Rosecliff. Rather than rant on about the houses themselves, I think instead I’l give the hight praise deserved for doing such a good job presenting these properties to the Newport Preservation Society .  Thank you.  And, I’m going to let them tell you about each of their beautiful properties.  click on the link to be taken to the Society’s web page.  Please do the stories behind each house are fainting.  breakers-mansion-newport-1This magnificent structure is the Breakers.

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The Elms is not to be missed.kingscoteSomething for everyone Kingscote is one of the few wooden structures in the collection.rosecliff-newport-rhode-island Here is where we were for the lecture, Rosecliff.breakers-mansion-sideview chateau-sur-mer-staircase breakers-mansion-gates rosecliff-ballroom-decorated chateau-sur-mer-newport-riOh and here is Chateau-sur-mer.

I had to “borrow” and re-post this blog from BAD (Blog About Design) because It’s so beautiful and you know I’m a big Kelly Wearstler fan!  AND, having just come back from Mexico… I’m an missing and “jones-ing” for more beach weather!!!  I give you the Viceroy Anguilla.

http://www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/anguilla
The Viceroy Anguilla is located in West End, Anguilla. The property features fantastic living spaces as well as beautifully manicured grounds and great places to eat, designed by Kelly Wearstler. (ABOVE) The architecture of the hotel is quite modern. It’s clean and smooth like that of the sand. With just a few short steps from the water, it’s the ideal location for the beach bum! (BELOW 1) The hotel features breezeways that one passes through to get to their suite. The tiling is modern, and gorgeous! I love the armchairs, they have that beach feel, but are very chic. (BELOW 2) The infinite pool is a phenomenal place to kick back and relax. It’s definitely a great place to swim laps or sip a drink and look at the views! (BELOW 3) One can relax on a lounge chair or one can have a seat at one of the seating areas and read a great book. The seating areas or wonderfully designed. (BELOW 4) Half Shell Bar is a great place to enjoy a drink or a quick meal. With fantastic views of the sea and cliffs, it’s a must visit while at the hotel. (BELOW 5) The Ocean Villa’s are detached large size homes. The Ocean Villa’s are three and four bedrooms. The Living Room of the villa is bright with floor to ceiling windows. The villa’s have an infinite pool! What do you think of the hotel?
http://www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/anguilla
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photo copy 7Not going to lie… The PUPPY along with a busy work schedule is taking its toll on me.  I’m runnin every day, working on designs for clients, making deliveries, and managing the paperwork, scheduling and other details that go along with a busy design practice… But today I found the time to have a runner installed on the back stairs at my house, yeah… MY HOUSE.  You’ve heard about the cobblers kids right? …they go around with old or no shoes, well I am no longer the designer with an unfinished staircase.  I have been a fan of this pattern for some time (I’ve used it more than once for clients) and love the way it turned out.      
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Speaking of clients, the sofa for this room finally arrived today.  The clients were in town last week for just a day or two are thrilled how things are turning out.  I can’t wait to hang art add accessories and the finishing details.  Once that happens I’ll be sure to get some professional shots before the clients start enjoying the house.  I have a beautiful pair of embroidered pillows in mind for that sofa!photo copy 10While at the New York Gift Show I spied this new color of the ever popular “Cats Paw” rug from Dash and Albert.  A fan for years of Dash and Albert for Summer homes and coastal cottages, I can not tell you how happy I was to see this affordable and durable wool rug in a palette I am literally in love with.  This rug is my soft, tonal, “greige” dream-come-true… It looks good with warm tan walls, grey walls and countless other colors and that’s why I ordered several for the store today , so excited.photo copy 9And, I helped install these custom-made drapery today.  The green flange at the lead-edge coordinates with a slip-covered chair and ottoman and the neutral colored sofa and love seat have orange and lime patterned pillows, perfect!  Now All I need is the sofa and the love seat, they’re still at the upholsterer (the slip-covers are custom).  I have been assured they will be done before this client returns from traveling for work.

photo copy 12I ‘d be lying if I told you I worked out today… But it has become a regular thing for me.  I’m seeing my trainer two to three times a week, I am committed to having the body I want by summer.  A trip to Mexico at the end of this month is coming a bit too quickly, I’m not where I want to be just yet, but the warmth and sunshine will be a good reminder of why I’m working out and help me stay on track.  I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t splurge from time to time.  Last week in Boston I had a great meal at cinquecento and I did have dessert.  This panna cotta was infused with bay laurel and was served with a cherry coulis, and it was worth every calorie!  If you’re in Boston check out this boisterous and popular eatery.  photo copy 11 In my down-time (7pm to 10pm) I blog, Facebook, Instagram, cook healthy dinners, play with the dogs, wash the dishes, email family, and occasionally try to catch-up on my DVR’d TV shows (Downton Abbey being the only show I try not to miss) and I squeeze in a bit of work from time to time.  I actually love sitting on the sofa, with a dog on my lap, poking around Pinterest, Zinc Door and many other great resources for furniture and accessories with my husband across the room while I enjoy the warmth and the crackle of the fireplace.  

Museum of Fine Art – Boston

December 28, 2012

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With a few extra days after Christmas and my Mom still in town exploring Boston was the perfect thing to do and what treasures Boston has, among them the Museum of Fine Art or MFA.  Always a pleasure, I find myself drawn to the Americas wing.  Fine and decorative arts spanning decades are displayed so beautifully  and the range from crude and rustic to deco and even modern is so thorough. The museum feels intimate although quite large.  I loved the details shown in each of the dining chairs they have on display from different manufactures across the nation most from the late 1700’s, similar in many (most) respects considering the distance between furniture makers, these chairs point of origin are all different but clearly what was in vogue at the time had the strength of popularity to in force certain details… trendy if you will:  The carved and bowed leg, the claw and ball foot.   Aren’t these chairs beautiful?  chairphoto5 chairphoto4 chairphoto3 chairphoto2