PALM SPRINGS DREAM AT VILLA GOLIGHTLY


The bright doors on mid-century modern homes, endless green golf courses and sunshine filed days best remedied by cool blue pools and (spiked) Arnold Palmers. It's hard to ignore the 70's inspired design aesthetic in this small dessert city just 100 miles east of Los Angeles. This past weekend I attended the Christopher Kennedy Compound Modernism Week Show House, which is an opportunity for decorators to create their own space during Modernism Week, a celebration of design culture and preservation in Palm Springs. The icing on the cake for me was this year's show house muse, Kelly Golightly, the darling of Palm Springs who runs a style guide for modern day Audrey Hepburn's and with whom I find to be the most perfect representation for the burgeoning reestablishment of city's chic resort style. This year Christopher Kennedy partnered with Kelly to renovate her home and keep the Palm Springs Dream alive and well. The result, I must say, was absolutely fabulous. Enjoy. 


I must say, my love for the blues really came to fruition here. What Allison Mattison and Liza Sharp of Trellis Home did so well was remain traditional in theme but add fun resort-like elements into the details. The tropical print wallpaper, cool marble floor and airy open space centered by a lovely view of the pool really made it completely appropriate for the year round high temps. I especially loved the desk/vanity setup looking out onto the outdoor living area, such a lovely view!


Americans live in their kitchens and that is why I absolutely love this setup by Kelli Ellis! I can easily imagine spending tons of time in here, cooking on one end of the island and drinking wine with friends on the other. I must say, I am not a huge magenta fan, but I think the beauty of this white and gold color scheme would easily allow for an easy swap out of chairs and floral arrangements to mix it up. 


The gold and white details are done in very good taste here, but I am obsessed with this marble farmhouse sink! Leaving some fresh white roses inside was a good touch I might add. The plates and cutlery are so pretty, I think it's such a wonderful way to add color without seriously committing to one pattern or theme for too long. 


The navy and white marble combo is a great one and I love the addition here of a black and white tile pattern and the gold hardware. As always, powder rooms are the easiest ways to experiment with your taste and put patterns together that perhaps would be too overpowering or strong filling a larger space. Salvador Cameron did a wonderful job managing color and pattern while remaining fresh and sophisticated. 


Christopher Kennedy himself designed the dinning room with such a great sense of color that really served as a centerpiece for the entire home. The pink and green, and bits of pastel in between, really embodied the vibrancy of the city's colorful doors and Kelly's bright style sense. My favorite part of the room of course are the pastel rich paintings and I think they really anchor the entire room that might otherwise appear, if I might dare to suggest, too colorful... Don't shoot me Palm Springs!


Kelly herself designed this self-proclaimed "glamily" room and it felt nothing short of glamorous, but also relaxed and calming. There were lots of neutral tones mixed with bright pops of artwork and accessories, my favorite being the poodle bookends (see below) and a bright turquoise Crosley record player I couldn't get a good picture of. It felt very comfortable, like a nice cool place to escape the sunshine for a few hours. 

{poodle bookends installed by Kelly Golightly | gold bar cart installed by Barclay Butera | "The Beverly Hills" by RK Photography via Designers Resource Collection installed by Natasha Minasian}

Perhaps the dreamiest part of the entire space was Kelly's "cloffice" designed by Natasha Minasian, who basically termed a concept that I myself, and I am sure many bloggers, can get behind, a combined office and closet! How chic is that?! I loved how many hints of my favorite place in Los Angeles (and I am assuming Kelly's as well) were present with the banana leaf wallpaper (not martinique but very similar) and photography of the iconic entry way and facade of the Beverly Hills Hotel


I just LOVE the idea of sitting and drinking with my girlfriends in my cloffice! Can you imagine? It's basically like getting ready with a friend but you have more space to entertain while you try on fifty things before going back to your original outfit idea. And of course, I would add a bar cart too. I am starting to realize I really only need one room, a big room for my clothes, desk, bar cart and sofa. 


Speaking of bar carts, Maya Williams, the designer of the master bathroom, stepped it up to a full on bar inside the bathroom and right on the edge of the master bedroom. I absolutely loved the accents of green and blue in the most beautiful wallpaper. It went so well with my favorite bottles of spirits on the bar and really tied both of the adjoining master bathroom and Kelly's cloffice together well. I didn't get a good enough photo of the window looking outside but it perfectly surrounded the built in bathtub for perfect views of the pool and mountains in addition to a very lovely walk in shower. 


And of course, my favorite beach photographer Gray Malin designed the outdoor pool space that had the most amazing tassel umbrella, coming to the market this April in a collaboration with Santa Barbara Designs. It reminded me of Palm Beach and Slim Aarons photography, which is exactly the inspiration both Gray and Kelly seem to base most of their work around. It perfectly matched the pool colors and tied in with the master bedroom, where the pool views are spectacular. 


A mix of details pictured above, all from varying rooms in the house but just another reflection of how cohesive the design throughout the show house was. Starting with the recreation of the iconic Slim Aaron's Poolside Gossip photo, shot by Kelly's husband and photographer, Fred Moser at the Kaufman House. The Beyoncé lyric references were just too good to pass up and actually were part of the bathroom mentioned earlier and designed by Salvador Camarena. In case you can't make out the text it reads: dial 9 to call Becky with the good hair. I need this. 


Another detail from Kelly's Glamily room, I just love colorful coffee table books and accessories, especially with a lucite or grey backdrop. The blues and greys are my version of neutrals, nothing makes me happier then a little pop of pink! 


Michel Boyd did a wonderful job with this marble and grey themed office. It's instantly soothing to walk into after all the very bright and sunny themes that pervade the rest of the house. As much as I love color, I think this serves as a better version of neutral in a very sleek way and serves as somewhat of a chill room to refresh and create. It's as if the blank slate became a gray slab of cool marble, a perfect place to start something new. And I just can't get over this lovely this flooring, such a great pattern and color combination!


And of course I had to take a picture with the lovely floor, which kind of matched my dress, which this picture, unfortunately, doesn't clearly depict. All in all, such a lovely show house! Thank you Christopher Kennedy, Kelly Golightly, Traditional Home Magazine, Modernism Week and all the talented designers for organizing such a wonderful event! 

Cheers to Palm Springs!

Xx, 

-M
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SPRINGTIME: SOME INSPIRATION

Spring has sprung... or maybe not quite yet, but here's some hope for what will eventually come, before my personal favorite summer season. Growing up in Chicago, springtime was a real tedious process waiting for some hope after rough winter. I remember many afternoons with my puffy coat shoved into my backpack and the awkward four hours of sunlight before dinner. I don't really miss living day to day in a place with four full seasons but I do miss the idea of it, and all the hope and promise of higher temps, cuter outfits and fresh (not freezing) air. Here are some visuals to get you acclimated to the new climate, whenever it decides to show up! Enjoy!


-M
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POLITICS ARE PERSONAL


Politics are personal... And I think we tend to forget that. Politics are about people; they represent the most central and important values we have about ourselves and the world around us. That is why they are so sensitive, emotional, and even painful. Many people will disagree with this statement and many will say oh I don't care about politics or I just don't get involved or people need to stop talking about the election. The truth is that anyone who has life experience and holds a political view; whether it fits well into one idealogical box or party or whether they choose to vote or express their views on Facebook. Everyone who is alive has an experience that guides the way they see and interpret the world and the lives of others. And since we all have our own experiences, politics are incredibly complex, incredibly important and incredibly personal. Whether it's an election or article on Facebook, we all are prompted to take a position, hence the mayhem. So how do we deal with this, why are we so impacted by the mere possibility that some of our nearest and dearest can think so differently from us? And what if we just can't respect a person after knowing where they stand? Some thoughts, please enjoy, respectfully. 

Speak now or just KEEP THE PEACE...


This is perhaps my number one concern. When we speak politically, we instantly expose ourselves and either validate or isolate others because the feelings involved in politics are too real. In this day of the internet and social media, people you know and even some you don't, are likely to disagree with you publicly. I don't think there is anything wrong with sharing your point of view, and many people do it quite gracefully, however, when other's who disagree start to weigh in, things tend to get tricky. If you are going to publicly express political views then you must be willing and able to deal with the potential conflict and there is a way to do this without being offensive, mean or attacking someone personally. For example, in response to an article I chose to share on my personal Facebook account, a friend of mine wrote the following: 



I suggest you read all the comments from your fellow women on that page. Many have valid points. I don't have any room to criticize because I'm not a woman, but I think it's interesting how so many women disagree with this article.

To which I responded,

Yes, there are woman who disagree, which is one of the things the article addresses. Clearly, I'm not one of them, hence the repost. Fortunately we all have valid points, just like we all have our own perspectives. Thank you for sharing yours. :)

I knew full and well that sharing my opinion on Facebook would create an opportunity for people to disagree with me, but I also promised myself that if someone did, I would allow them to respectfully. Fortunately, the conversation ended there and no particular points were raised that I felt I needed to respond to. But I do think that there is a peaceful way to respond to something you don't agree with. I think it also depends on the type of relationship you have with someone, perhaps for those really close to us we can just pick up the phone and have a conversation, rather then give other people the right to weigh in because it's accessible on Facebook. A response I would recommend would be something along the lines of this: you know I really value our relationship and therefore I would prefer we stop discussing this publicly. For the random people who somehow have access to what we might post, then it really comes down to what your intention is for sharing. Is it worth addressing publicly? Will I regret this tomorrow? What is the end goal in sharing my beliefs? What does it mean to me to share this view? Is it possible to get what I am asking for? If I don't get what I wanted out of this, then what? These are not reasons for you to post or not post, but rather questions that might be helpful in deciding how to share your views or best stand up for what you believe in. 


Yes, it may be a deal breaker, but maybe it doesn't have to be...


Political issues reflect some of our most important and pressing problems and so I don't think it's unreasonable to end a relationship with a person who disagrees with something that directly impacts your life or reflects your innermost core values. However, I think it is safe to say that many of those people also have very important and significant reasons for their disagreement. Sometimes people agree on some of the same issues but other ones that were more important to them were endorsed by an opposing candidate or party. We have to remember that not everyone prioritizes political issues in the same order, even if they have  similar views. And then of course, some people just don't agree, but we can't assume we understand their exact reasoning for that because we don't know their life experiences. 


Perhaps the goal can be to understand, rather then to agree...


So how then is it possible for us to learn from one another, listen to one another, accept one another, when we may have such different, polarizing views? It's a question I've been asking myself for so long, especially after the recent election and all of the concern for the divide in our country. One thing I know is that you can't expect people to agree or understand your point of view. Expectations are probably the one thing we all pretend to ignore at the dinner table. It's our expectation that if someone who thinks differently from us would just listen, then there is really no way for us to be wrong or not validated. We often expect people to listen to us, but the second they start talking, all we think about is our next argument. We must listen too or else it's not truly an equal exchange. Feel free to respectfully disagree, but I really think this is what ruins the conversation between people of different views, because when we start to realize that after giving many personal examples, statistics and even endorsements from people of power, the person next to us still insists we are wrong or the examples aren't relevant, we feel as if it's a personal attack against ourselves and our experiences. 

But if you still want people to agree...


If the goal really is to change peoples minds then we have to find a way to not take it so personally and understand the risk involved in allowing ourselves to be so vulnerable and potentially disappointed, as well as the risk involved in others defending themselves and you still not changing your mind. One of the ways most people change their political views is by having people close to them share experiences, over time, throughout their relationship. Changing peoples perspectives are not easy! Remember that our politics reflect our life experiences and therefore ourselves. So when you ask someone to change their political party, you are essentially asking them to be someone else. You must start small and be just as willing to listen, actually more willing to listen, then to share. If you can understand where someone is truly coming from, even if you don't agree, then you will be much more successful in making a relevant connection to their life experience.  


I must say from personal experience, this has happened to me and I have felt so incredibly angry and frustrated as a result. But I have also had some amazing moments of success in both listening to a view point with which I disagreed, as well as in explaining why I am so passionate in my disagreement with a particularly tense issue. I will always encourage people to advocate for what they believe for the rest of my life, but my hope is that we attempt to truly understand others in return and perhaps be willing to have the same experience of change in our own views as we expecting of others. 




"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." 
{1 Corinthians 13: 4-7}


Much Love, 

-M

GARDEN PARTY: WHITE LACE ROMPER


Spring is coming! And I am so ready to get back into bright colors, embellishments and more lighthearted fabrics like lace. This romper from Mia Mars is a perfect way to start the warmer season and won't break the bank with a price point just under $50. It's also a perfect start to building my summer white wardrobe, but technically we will wait for Memorial Day to jump on that train. Can't wait to drink some Pimm's, get back to warmer temps and higher hemlines. Enjoy!



More to shop here at Mia Mars,

Xx, 

-M

HOW TO HOST A GALENTINE'S DAY PARTY


Let's party ladies... Despite anyone's relationship status I am always a fan of celebrating love and especially with good girlfriends. So when I saw so many fun posts last year from #Galentine'sDay parties, I made it a priority to gather some friends together and get creative this year. If you are wondering what a Galentine's Day Party consists of it's generally an extension of the adult sleepover or girls night in. Thus, I highly recommend you go all out and eat at least some junk food and perhaps a cocktail or two, or four... Here's what I did. Enjoy!



THE SETUP/THEME: I really wanted the vibe of this night to be comfortable and relaxed - I always have so much staying in and sitting around with my girlfriends drinking wine and catching up on life. I think it would also work well a as a pre-party before going out, a February book club, or fun addition to a viewing party for The Bachelor. I made the invite on paperless post, partially because they have such great options for cards and invites but also because they let you add motifs and this pineapple one really makes me happy! Of course we needed some pink and red in the mix. So I decided to decorate the bar cart with some pink balloons hanging above and a pink, red and gold garland draped along the front that I found at a nearby party store, here's one that's similar. I wanted the vibe to be cozy so I told my friends to wear pajamas or activewear, and as a little treat, gave everyone spa slippers and bath bombs to take home. We had a great mix of rom-coms, sad love stories, and a classisc like Bridesmaids, The Light Between Oceans, The Wedding Planner and Clueless playing too. Of course I got some fresh flowers and had a few candles going. I definitely considered confetti but ultimately chose to make the cleanup easier on myself! 



THE FOOD/DRINK: Going with the #Galentine'sDay theme, I of course wanted some pink and red colors, so naturally the punch I made included a pretty colored blush rosé and some red cranberries. I found a lot of different recipes I liked for a rosé based cocktail but since I wanted to use my punch bowl I ended up using the easiest recipe. I also loved these pretty pink options: rosé, gin, & pink peppercorn cocktailthe love potion cocktail, rose lemon spritzer and some non-alcohol versions: white peach & rose lemonade & faux pink champagne. I also served some tea later in the night to go with the adorable, break-n-bake, heart shaped sugar cookies I found at the grocery store. For food, the obvious choice was pizza, salad and chips/guacamole, aka things I can find pre-made. Another great option would have been some sushi or Chinese take out. I promise that one day I will attempt cooking for people but until then hello Papa Johns! 



The night obviously turned out to be a major success, but then again how could anything involving pizza and rosé not? And good friends too! It's nice to recognize our friendships when we think about all the celebration of love this month, happy to have such wonderful friends who have supported me over the years! Hope you enjoyed this post! 

Happy Galentine's Day!

-M