Thursday, March 27, 2008

Beautiful Calligraphy by Maybelle

I am a big fan of Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls who is based here in San Francisco. You may have seen her work in Martha Stewart Weddings. It is just lovely.

She calls her calligraphy "perfectly imperfect" and I think it's amazing! She is also the owner of Stumasa in San Francisco. Don't you just love this rubber stamp? You can custom order on her website May-belle.

All photos courtesy of

Friday, March 14, 2008

Hotel Le Meurice

Since I recently blogged about hotel style decorating, I thought I'd have to mention the most recent renovation of the Hotel Meurice in Paris. It is so refreshing and inspiring. Designer Philippe-Starck finished his beautiful face lift of the downstairs areas of the 5 star luxury hotel palace. Inspired from one of the Meurice's legendary guests Salvador Dali, Stark has included some wonderfully curious pieces that make my jaw drop! He has done a beautiful job mixing modern decor while maintaining the traditional old world French decor. Over 600 new pieces of furniture have been added to the hotel. If you click on this link and watch movie #3, you can see a great video of new welcome areas designed by Philippe-Starck. With the dollar so weak here in the US, we can at least pretend we're there! And for those reading this that are there, please check it out for us!

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Being a lover of hotel style, this is so refreshing that one can take classic elements of French decor, add some Neoclassical elements and top it off with some unique modern pieces. This is the concept I always try to achieve in my own home; a mix of traditional and modern. The color palette of black and white with accents of silver and gold create the look. Some crystal chandeliers, Neoclassical pieces & one-of-a-kind accents can bring that Parisian hotel feeling right into your livingroom.

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Okay... this lobby is exquisite! There is a glass case filled with aged hand mirrors and white pillar candles flickering below. Stunning. The showcase is flanked with Neoclassical chairs & a settee with a gilt bird motif.
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This chair is based on an original drawing by Dali, done in polished brass.

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This is Le Meurice Gastronomic Restaurant. Amazing...

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The mirrored "dresser" (above) holds all the glasses, dishes and cutlery for the restaurant.

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Silver leaf wing chair that was inspired by Dali's use of birds in flight to form faces.

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What can I say? Looks like Starck did an amazing job. I'm waiting for my dear friend Janet at FrenchBlue & Company to take a trip this year and report back. I know she will make it there before me, so I'll just have to settle with my "faux hotel" home for now!

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Vintage Lady Portraits

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Collecting vintage lady portraits is not a new obsession for me. I've been filling my home with these whimsical pieces for about 15 years now. Everywhere I turn there are ladies staring at me! At some point I had to start selling off some of my paintings because frankly, my house just isn't that large. I just returned from a buying trip and found a few vintage treasures for myself and my website.

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Each of these portraits are so unique and tell a story.

This latest acquisition (above) is a large portrait of an affluent woman from Santa Barbara, California. available at
This large portrait above my sofa is signed, "Cincinnati Opera Guild" on the back. Now this glamorous opera star is the focal point of our livingroom! Here are some more paintings in my stairwell. Don't they make such a nice grouping?

The new Spring issue of O At Home Magazine features Los Angeles event planner Mindy Weiss's home. Mindy plans the most lavish celebrity weddings. She too has an obsession with vintage lady portraits. Aren't they great?
O at Home, Spring 2008, photo by Roger Davies

More portraits below from Here's lookin' at you!

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Pink Palace: Decorating Hotel Style

I just love decorating hotel style. If anyone is familiar with my website, I love old hotel items that capture the elegance of a bygone era. So, when I picked up the new March issue of InStyle Magazine, I was excited to see Nicky Hilton's home. She has taken her dinette and turned it into a mini Beverly Hills Hotel with their banana-leaf wallpaper, pink dinette set and mugs and canisters from their gift shop. So charming! The chandelier even has cute pink lampshades tying the room together. She had memories of time spent at the hotel as a little girl and wanted to capture it in her home. If you're ever been to the Beverly Hills Hotel aka the Pink Palace, it's truly a treat. You can't escape the sweet scent of flowers that grace the entire property. The Polo Lounge is the classiest place to dine. The coffee shop takes you back to an innocent time. The hotel service is amazing. The amenities, fabulous! And, of course, I can't leave out the people watching...quite a scene.

A bit more on Nicky Hilton's home. I couldn't pass up these photos of her black & white abode.
Love the patent leather headboard and bench in the bedroom. The whippets at the fireplace and this fabulous vintage Chanel serving tray that she converted into a side table. Fun!