Take Me There...


Oh wait, I am going there! I'm off this week to do some sunning at Lake Powell and hopefully have some great adventures along the way. Have a wonderful week everyone!



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Aged wood floors may be one of the finest things a home can have. Creaking planks and knobby textures on your feet is a gift from your home. However, there comes a time when those beautiful floors become a little too worn out and need a little face lift.  In comes the paint can! Most people automatically think about staining or painting their floors but have you thought about painting the staircase? A little paint on your steps will dramatically change your space. I stormed through hundreds of Pinterest images to find the best painted staircases out there and posted them above. As you can see, there are several ways to approach your stairs with a paintbrush. Paint the entire staircase a solid or maybe just a sliver down the middle. A little bit of paint can create optical illusions. Painting the riser and not the step will create depth, while vertical stripes will make your stairs look like they go on infinitely. With a painted staircase, you can forgo the runners, meaning, less cleaning and risk of slipping. Why wouldn't you paint your stairs? 


5 Must See Landmark L.A. Homes

As sad as it may be, it is easy to forget how much art and design is at our fingertips on a daily basis. Living an hour south of Los Angeles and an hour north of San Diego, one would think that that would be impossible. Maybe it's the distraction of the beach or a daily routine of eat-work-sleep-repeat? Regardless, it is unacceptable. No matter what your interest, there is something for you to do or see nearby. Los Angeles is FILLED with amazing historical and significant architecture. I've only recently begun my quest to see every last piece of it. In case you would like to join me, here are a few landmark homes to get your architectural journey started.  

1. Chemosphere by John Lautner 2. Ennis House by Frank Lloyd Wright 3The Eames House by Charles and Ray Eames 4. Kappe House by Ray Kappe 5Gehry House by Frank Gehry



Sources (From Top Left to Right): Lolli Bow Bandeau, Anthropologie | Nanette Lepore Kimono Floral Bikini, Anthropologie | Sea Cove Tunic, Trina Turk | Seafolly Boyleg Maillot, Anthropologie | Orange Madeline Beach Towel, Jonathan Adler | Miu Miu Star Sunglasses, Bloomingdales | Orange and Pink George Beach Towel, Jonathan Adler | Fendi Sleek Sunglasses, Bloomingdales | Brown and Pink Waves Beach Towel, Jonathan Adler | Sea Cove Wide Leg Pant, Trina Turk | Nanette Lepore Kimono Floral Seductress One Piece, Anthropologie | Becca Crochet Cover Up Pants, Nordstrom| Mara Hoffman Pow Wow Bikini, Anthropologie 

Do you have your new Spring/Summer suit and accessories yet?  There is an array of gorgeous suits, cover ups, sunnies and beach towels out there. So many choices and thank goodness for it! There's nothing worse than a slim selection of swimwear. The days of only string bikinis are gone. We now have a million styles to choose from... one piece, two piece, bandeau, boy short, string ties, thick bands, halter, etc. Not only are there a ton of styles to fit any body type, there are amazing cover ups out there. From wide-leg flowy pants to sweet little tunics, there is no reason why any lady should not be sipping cocktails poolside or beachfront this summer.


Royal Hawaiian Estates (Cont.), Palm Springs, CA

On Monday, I shared one of my favorite homes on my tour of the Royal Hawaiian Estates. Today, I'll be sharing my other favorite, which is very different than the vintage-tiki style of the other home. This home literally made my jaw drop and I kept repeating to myself, "I want this, I love this. I want this, I love this." I am a sucker for bright colors and this house was sunshine YELLOW. Yellow kitchen cabinets, yellow wallpaper, yellow leather sofa (OMG!), yellow, yellow, yellow! Needless to say, I was in yellow heaven. The owner of this home purchased it from a family that had kept everything original. All the furniture, wallpaper, lamps, and some of the kitchen appliances were left exactly as they were when they were first put in, in the early 60's. Come in and let me show you...

The kitchen wallpaper was to die for - well, actually, ALL of the wallpaper in this home was to die for. The bold yellow color creates fun energetic vibrations. However, the formal pattern on the wallpaper, and its glitzy sheen, create a sense of sophistication. 
The simplicity of the black and white dining set gives the eyes a place to rest but also acts as a great contrasting piece to the brightness of the yellow. I can't forge to mention the pendant light above the table... perfection. If you saw the home I showed on Monday, you will instantly recognize how different these two homes are in style. However, this home still has a significant amount of tropical island influence throughout. The chairs and the shelving against the wall have bamboo framing. If the chairs and shelving were in a natural bamboo wood color, it would definitely come across "tiki" style. However, the white lacquered paint presents an entirely different look but still carries the same underlying theme. 

I am so glad that the original homeowners decided to carry the wallpaper throughout the kitchen walls. Who needs tile when you've got paper like this? 

Check out the original stove - so small but it has everything you need.

Hello fabulous living room! Look at that furniture! The side tables are so heavy and intricate with carvings. It's hard to find that kind of quality these days. This room is so balanced but I love that the lamps and side tables are not exactly the same on both sides. It's hard to see in these photos but the carpet was this sorta mixed green, white and yellow color that was so unique and so fitting for the colors in the home. 
Looking at the other side of the living room, towards the back patio. How fabulous is that lamp/side table? 

Coming off of the living room was a little family/bonus room. This room had my heart skipping a few beats. I mean, a yellow leather sofa and painted yellow built ins?!  I can only dream of having such things.

Seriously. Gorgeous.

As if the kitchen wallpaper and the yellow leather sofa weren't enough for me to die over, this fantastic yellow tropical wallpaper had to be plastered onto the guest bathroom walls. Killing me here. I so badly wanted to take those beautiful tropical fronds home with me.
The guest bedroom was small but spectacular. The green bamboo wallpaper was a nice change up from the yellow found in the rest of the house but was definitely not out of place. It fit right in with the green/white/yellowish carpeting and the subtle tropical tones throughout the house. The headboard and the nightstands help to carry the same subtle tropical feeling through and through.

Do you love the green lamps as much as I do? BEAUTIFUL!

The master bedroom and vanity area continued to make me fall in love. The big yellow balloon shaped lamps were perfect for this room. Not too yellow, not too intricate; they were just right.

As you can see, the nightstands, headboard (previous picture) and the dresser, all seem to be part of the same collection as the furniture in the living room. The pieces remind me of the type of furniture that would be in an old plantation house on the Hawaiian Islands. The pieces are regal but not over the top. It's that relaxed sophistication that wealthy islanders pull off so well.

Let's talk about this wall sconce for a second. First of all, I love that there is only one being used here - it makes it that much more of a statement piece. Second, the coppery metal scrolls are such a beautiful contrast to the graceful dripping threads of the shade. Third, the gold orbs at the top and bottom of the shade  create an exotic touch, as if the lamp came from far away land in the South Pacific. 
Again, the wallpaper in this home is the sort of thing I dream of. Botanical prints covering a closet/vanity area is so, so dreamy.  Can you imagine getting ready on that bench every morning? Seriously, I am not kidding when I say I dream of such things. 

As I mentioned on Monday, at the end of the tour Donald Wexler was available for a meet and greet. Although I did not talk to him, I snapped his photo (he's the man on the right) and tried to listen in to what other people were talking to him about. Yes, I am a total eavesdropper. I would love to own one of these tropical oasis in the desert one day. I already can't wait for next year's Modernism Week!


Royal Hawaiian Estates, Palm Springs, CA

Life has gotten to be so busy lately! I can't believe it's been over a month since I last posted something. I still haven't finished up sharing my Palm Springs Modernism Week highlights and that was in February! I have two more highlights to share before I wrap it up, both from the Royal Hawaiian Estates tour. Today, I'm sharing one of my favorite homes on the tour (my other fave is coming later this week). The Royal Hawaiian Estates were designed by architects, Donald Wexler and Richard Harrison in 1959 and 1960. The complex reflects popular Polynesian themes and modernist ideas of the time. 

The architects created steep peaks, exposed beams and projecting roof lines throughout to suggest the look of tropical huts (pictured left). They also designed rows of buttresses with bright orange triangles, called "Flying Seven's" that support the patio roofs and represent the stabilizers on outrigger canoes (pictured right).

Over the years, the decorative tiki elements began to deteriorate. Recently, the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation has granted the Hawaiian Estates generous funds to restore the complex to its original tiki glory. We were informed that the residents of the complex are a group of like-minded people, eager to transform the estates to its former condition. In 2010, the complex was designated as Palm Spring's first residential historic district. Donald Wexler was at the Royal Hawaiian Estates while we were there to answer any questions - although I did not speak with him, it was exciting to be in the presence of such an influential architect. 
One of the community pools at the Royal Hawaiian Estates. 

This is the first house that we toured and I immediately wanted to buy it as my vacation home. The man who owned the home had fabulous taste and was such a delight for opening his house to us. He designed the home based on the original Polynesian idea for the Estates. My favorite design element was that he took the original advertisement brochure for the Estates and blew it up to cover the wall (above). The enlarged ad really set the stage for the rest of the home. 
The dining room, looking into the kitchen. 

The living room.

Looking into the back patio from the kitchen area. 

The back patio area, directly out from the living room area. I love the bold orange on this patio. The color pops so well against the touch of greens and rockscape behind .
The master bedroom had great texture on the walls and headboard. The mixture of fabrics on the bed is too die for. The color and pattern combo is spot on. I even love how the frames on the wall have a slight curve as they go over the headboard. The movement and energy in the space is so fluid and lively. 

A design book by the fabulous Kelly Wearstler sits below a row of three ceramic turtle shells.  This little vignette alone, shows you how great the taste is in this home. 

Looking into the master bathroom. 
As you can see, the frames on the wall are all vintage photos of the Royal Hawaiian. For those of you who may not know, the Royal Hawaiian is a pink hotel in Oahu, Hawaii. So very appropriate, considering the color of the bathroom.

An all pink bathroom never looked so good.

A console with kitschy items greeted you in the hallway between the master and guest bedrooms.

The guest bedroom was small and simple but had all the essentials, including lively bedding.

Orange cabinets and green walls create a subdued but cheery guest bedroom. Both sinks in the home are original. 

As I mentioned before, I fell in love with this home due to it's toast to the original Polynesian theme of the Estates. I expected the remainder of the homes to carry the same tiki style in their homes but this was not the case. The other homes still payed homage to its 60's roots but lacked the same flair. With the exception of the last home I will be sharing with you this week, I thought this homeowner should take charge and remodel his neighbor's places!

All images: Love.Inspire.Create.


Palm Springs Modernism Week Bus Tour

While I was in Palm Springs for Modernism Week, I took an architectural bus tour throughout the city. The double decker tour explored some of the most famous architectural landmarks of Palm Springs and several celebrity homes. If you ever get the chance to take one of these tours, I highly recommend it. Our tour guide had an abundance of information to share and being able to view everything from the second story, we could see much more than you could in a small car. Here are just a few of the places we viewed...

The Dinah Shore Estate was designed in 1963 by Donald Wexler

Elizabeth Taylor's Palm Spring Estate was built in the 1930's.

This home, designed by A. Quincy Jones was used in Oceans Eleven. 

The Honeymoon House
Priscilla and Elvis honeymooned at this home in 1967. The story goes that they were going to get married and have the reception around the pool of this home with their closest friends and family. Rona Barrett, a  famous gossip columnist, lived around the corner and revealed to the public this news. Priscilla and Elvis snuck out in the middle of the night and flew to Vegas in Frank Sinatra's private plane and were married there. They flew back to Palm Springs right away and stayed here for their honeymoon.

The Kaufmann House built in 1946 by Richard Neutra. 
Barry Manilow was one of the many owners who lived here after Kaufmann died. 

Bank of America was constructed in 1959 by Victor Gruen Associates.

The Palm Springs Visitor Center designed by Albert Frey and Robson Chambers from 1963-1965. 
This was originally the Tramway Gas Station but now is the official Visitor Center of Palm Springs.

The Wexler Steel Houses were constructed in 1961 and designed by Donald Wexler. 
While Wexler set out to build a whole neighborhood of affordable prefab steel houses, only 7 steel homes were built due to the rising cost of steel.  

The Wexler Steel Houses
The Wexler Steel Houses
The Wexler Steel Houses
The Wexler Steel Houses

Palm Springs City Hall, constructed between 1952-1957 by Albert Frey

The Twin Palm Estates were designed by William Krisel and Dan Saxon Palmer in 1960 and built by George Alexander Construction Company. The majority of the community in Twin Palms has done a remarkable job   of maintaining the original architectural beauty of these homes. How amazing is that landscaping?!

This vacation home was designed by Moises Esquenazi & Associates. 
This has always been one of my all time favorite homes. I remember seeing it in a magazine or online somewhere a few years back and instantly fell in love.  I was so thrilled when our double decker drove right up to it - seriously, it made my day.

The "Ship of the Desert" was built in 1936 by Adrian Wilson and Erle Webster. 
In 1998, the home was destroyed in a fire and was re-built according to the original plans by fashion designer, Trina Turk & her photographer husband, Jonathan Skow. 

The Robot House
In a neighborhood filled with classic modern architecture and celebrity homes, you will certainly be caught off guard when you see a rainbow of robots scattered around a corner property. I don't know who owns this place or what the deal is but I seem to always appreciate it when I see it. 

All Images: Love.Inspire.Create