The Redbury

There’s a new hotel in Hollywood called The Redbury.  I noticed it because of the room decor.  One of my favorite things about design school was doing hotel and restaurant design.  Being a business traveler and having a degree in design, I tend to be highly critical of even the best hotels.  I’m always looking at the space planning, the furniture used,  the fixtures, (even moved furniture around), how the room functions, plug placement (don’t even get me started), etc.  I also have been in sales in the service industry for over 20 years so it makes me a very difficult customer.  

Here’s a description by the hotel, "The Redbury features 57 thoughtfully appointed guest flats that exude a bohemian counter-culture feel, inspired by traditional English antiques with design elements that are drawn from a variety of Old World ethnic cultures. Created to provide a relaxed and entertaining environment, each spacious guest suite offers a home-like atmosphere to accommodate stays of a day, a week, or as long as wanted."

There is nothing about this that screams hotel.  It feels like a cross between some of my favorite designers.  Unfortunately, for business I don’t travel to L.A., I live in Los Angeles.  Why can’t I find something like this in the cities I travel?  Probably a good thing!  I’m afraid I would be sleeping in, ordering room service, working and ordering room service again, napping, and then watching my late night shows with a glass of vino and jumping up and down on the bed!  Do you like?





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Photo Credits: Redbury Hotel from Redbury




Many of us know a man or woman that has lost someone to Breast Cancer, is currently undergoing treatment or is a breast cancer survivor.  October is around the corner and as many of you know is Breast Cancer Awareness month. We can do our part by supporting our loved ones by  donating to a cause or purchasing a product where the proceeds go to charity.  Pink is back in fashion in more ways than one, it is making a comeback in interior design, our clothes, paint, etc.  There are products for everyone.  If you are in need of a birthday gift, a just because gift,  a hostess gift, etc., think pink. What a great way to honor the women in our life. This could be any one of us at anytime and the more we can fund research the more we can help save each other.  

This post is for the fabulous women in my life:  my Jersey girl Rosie, my new BFF Rita from Beantown (don’t mess with her), my colleague in New York, Atalie ( a New Yorker with great determination), Dawn Banks, and Laura’s (my great friend) mom, Diane Tlapa.  You are the strongest and bravest women I know.  May God continue to bless you with great health and for those of you that still endure, the strength and will to fight each day to overcome breast cancer!

Today, I honor YOU and all the women, moms, friends, that face this challenge daily!  See Below some great finds and little and big ways we can help!

Rebecca Taylor Silk Top

Breast Cancer Awareness - Rebecca Taylor Silk Top 

(The Triple Negative Cancer Foundation gets 100% of the proceeds for this top.)

Freshen your Breath with Tic Tacs

(Limited Edition mints are low calorie and great as stocking stuffers or to keep in your purse at select drugstores, $100,000 donation goes to CancerCare)

Anu by Natural Scarf

(singer22.com; 20% of proceeds goes to Breast Cancer Research Foundation)


Crane & Co. Stationary


 (Available at Saks Fifth Avenue, $2.00 is donated to a breast cancer organization)

Cashmere Mist Perfume by Donna Karan


(www.zappos.com up to $10,000 is donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation)


Titan Luggage


Titan Luggage X2 4-Wheel 22" Trolley - Flash

(Purchase at www.ebags.com / 10% of proceeds go to Susan B. Koman all year round on any pink product)

Ralph Lauren Pink Pony Cashmere Hooded Sweater

Cashmere Hooded Sweater - Pink Pony - RalphLauren.com

(A percentage of sales from all Pink Pony products supports programs for screening, early diagnosis, treatment and research and brings patient navigation to medically underserved communities)

KitchenAid 5 Quart Mixer

KitchenAid KSM150PSPK Komen Foundation Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer, Pink

(www.amazon.com and a portion of the proceeds goes to Susan B. Komen Org)

Pine Cone Hill Linens

(www.pineconehill.com; 20% of profits go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure)

Diptyque Pink Roses Candle


Breast Cancer Awareness - Diptyque Pink Roses Candle

(www.beautyhabit.com 20 percent of sales from the Pink Roses candle to The Pink Agenda.)

Bobby Brown Pink Ribbon Makeup

Breast Cancer Awareness - Bobbi Brown Set 

(Bobbi Brown pledged $35,000 from the sales of her Pink Ribbon products for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation)


Sharon Eberhardt

Barbara Fortier

Kathleen Meliere

Angela Menza

Lori Shrotman

Marilyn Slowik


All The Women Who Have Lost Their Battle to Breast Cancer!



Feeling Fall’ish

  As most of you know, we had our fall this summer.  Mother Nature is playing tricks on us L.A. folks.  This weekend it’s suppose to be in the 70’s and 80’s at the beach and 90’s inland.  Where was this weather this summer?  This is when I miss New England.  The leaves turning, crisp air, chunky sweaters, curling up on a worn leather sofa reading a book, and drinking hot apple cider picked up from the local orchard.  The reality is, I will be in flip flops and a tee shirt driving around with the A/C on.  Have a great weekend everyone…enjoy, wherever you are! 



Vintage Inspired Appliances

While I am not active in interior design since graduating from FIDM,  I still like to be informed on creative and new products on the market.  I found these vintage inspired refrigerators and had to share them with you. The company “Big Chill” was started by Orion Creamer and his uncle, Thom Vernon.  Thom was designing a retro kitchen but wanted something with a vintage personality.  However, all the old 50’s retro refrigerators were either too small or inefficient for today’s modern times.  Thom’s nephew was just out of industrial design school and together after studying many vintage refrigerators and appliances came up with their own up to date design.  They use stamped metal, real chrome trim and gave it that vintage design feel with modern interior amenities makes it fresh, unique and has a special niche in the marketplace.  Living in a beach home, this style would work perfect for our 1915 home.  Our kitchen is very small and somehow stainless steel appliances would not fit with the architecture of our home.  They have the perfect apple green that would look amazing in our kitchen.  Do you think I can convince my landlord?  They have an array of custom colors you can choose from and also produce dishwashers and vintage looking stoves.  See for yourself how delicious these candy colored appliances are!!!


Original Big Chill Fridge Pink Lemonade

Love the two tone one, perfect for the beach!

Big Chill Custom Series Beach Cruiser Retro Fridge

Original Big Chill Fridge Buttercup Yellow

Look at all these custom colors you can do.  It’s like a box of crayola crayons…!

image Stoves in every color.  How fun would this be to cook on…how could you not be happy!

I could see these in a little beach house East to West (think Florida, Venice Beach, the Carolinas, etc.)!


Photo Credits:  Big Chill Fridge


Firenze, Italy

I got back from Italy on Thursday to major jet lag and a bit of a cold.  I’m just now getting back into the groove of things and have caught up email, grocery shopping, and work stuff.  It was a great business trip and I had a blast with my colleagues.  I left a piece of my heart in Italy.   Our Florence office (located near the Ponte Vecchio) had recently closed and had consolidated with our Prato office.  Prato is most known for production of textiles and is more of industrial city. We had most of our meetings over the weekend but I did get a little time to go into Florence and explore the city.   After studying interior design at FIDM and learning the history of architecture, I was struck by the beauty of this Firenze.  It’s hard to imagine this city was built in a time with no modern technology.  I tried to envision life back then and how they created these amazing sculptures and churches.  I walked the entire city by foot so I could  get a feel for the city. Since my time was limited and tourism was high, I decided not to visit the museums and churches but to get to know the city.  On my next visit, I will make a list of the specific places I want to visit.   I was so busy taking pictures of the architecture that now when I sit down to blog, I’m like I can’t believe I didn’t photograph the shops.  Funny, I was photographing from a tourist perspective not from a bloggers. Here’s some photos and things that captured my heart will in Florence and Prato!

  We were on our way to lunch when my boss was explaining he was considering buying this property.  I was in love with the color of this door and asked if he would stop so I could take a photo. 

P1010980 A charming trattoria in Prato, Italy up on the hills overlooking the city.  Our owner took us here so we see the city from above.P1010982

You have to walk down these stairs into an open aired restaurant overlooking the hills.  A natural spring runs through it with vines growing all over the walls.


The view from our chair in the restaurant.


The menu.

P1010990 My chicken was so yummy!  Everything is served with potatoes.  The main course never comes with vegetables.  After three days, all of “us girls” all wanted greens.  We each ordered a gigantic salad.


The sites of Florence.  The famous Vespa.


The city view from a colleagues house.  He lives in a 14th Century apartment, which has the most breathtaking views of Firenze.  Can you imagine having your coffee every morning with this as your view?  Unfortunately, that dam crane ruined my photo.


Another view from his patio.  The man that lived here passed away and had no family and left this beautiful home to Harvard University in Cambridge, MA.  The green vines along the side of the tower is actually a spiral staircase.


Antonella who lives in the house we were visiting had some incredible antique pieces.  I was quite smitten with this wooden crown and wanted to take it home with me.


Many of the door ways and buildings have various motifs above them, people, or religious pictures.


Each day artists would be drawing something different.  Done with chalk on the streets in Florence. 


I know your thinking “what are you taking a picture of a trash can for?” If you look above the trash can there is a statue, it just so happens that the statue is holding it’s nose and the trash can is just below.  Pretty funny. Scroll down for the close up of the statue!

P1020152 P1020151


This guy was making funny faces at me as I took photos.



As I was walking the city, I wanted to see the dome up close.  I had seen it from the balcony (see pictures above) from the other side of the city but wanted to see it up close.  I was unprepared for the scale and it’s massive structure.  It completely overwhelmed me. The color combination of pink, green and various  shades of marble was more prominent when standing face to face.  From a distance you can’t fully comprehend the magnitude of its size until you are up close.


 P1020060  Ponte VecchioP1020158 P1020090


Fountain on a corner of a street.P1020113This was above a doorway.




Views along the water across the bridge.


San Lorenzo – The Markets P1020075

P1020064  P1020066 P1020067 P1020068 P1020069

P1020070You will find pictures, wooden sculptures, and various items with Pinocchio on it throughout Florence.  Pinocchio  is native to Italy as a fictional character that first appeared in The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi in 1883.  He was carved from a piece of pine wood by Geppetto in a small Italian village.  He was created as a wooden puppet but dreamt of becoming a real boy.  The name Pinocchio is a Tuscan word meaning “pine nut”.   (Source Wikipedia)

P1020163  I fell in love with this store. I was walking down a tiny street and stumbled upon this store in the middle of what looked like an alley street. The inside was the size of a walk in closet.  She had beautiful olive oil boards, balsamic vinegar, fresh produce and flowers, wine, etc. Everything was hanging off the building.  I was like does she hang this stuff up everyday? Isn’t it just the cutest!  P1020136

Up Close. P1020137   P1020140


The only place that I did not make it to was the Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella. It is considered one of the most beautiful stores in Florence.  It’s an ancient herbal pharmacy dating back to the 12th century, containing world-renowned products considered to the be the best in the world and the famous Acqua di Santa Maria Novella.  This will be my first stop on my next trip. 

Via della Scala, 16

I only purchased a few things since my time was limited.  I bought a tan handbag in leather that looks similar to the Hermes bag.  They had them all over the markets in gorgeous colors and various types of leather, etc.  I loved this one because the stitching and hardware was so beautiful and it’s hard to capture in a photo how beautiful it is in person. The inside is all leather as well and it has gold hardware on the bottom as well.



I bought some 100% silk wraps in Italy.  I bought a pink one, tan and various colored one (see above and below) and a grey one.  I could kick myself for not buying more. The had beautiful cotton ones, linen ones, etc.  I am always dressing up my jackets, tees, etc. with a scarf or wrap. Here’s some of the patterns I bought.


The pink one is two sided – as you can see one side is lighter and the other is darker.  They are so soft.


The pictures doesn’t do this one justice.  It looks incredible on!


I think one of the best things about Italy was the paper and art work.  If your like me and collect stationary, art work, leather books, etc.  you will fall in love with the paper stores in Italy.  I bought these pictures (some in a store) and some on the streets, all cost me about Euro 1.90 to Euro 3.00 per picture, which is less than $5.00.  The paper quality far exceeds anything you would find in the U.S.  I bought these blue architectural prints as well as these women (I wish I bought two more for a set) and some other ones.  I could have bought the entire store.  The two little ones are of the Dome and the Ponte Vecchio were hand created by a street vendor.  I could have spent hours in the paper stores in Italy.  They were amazing.  I cannot wait to frame these.




It was a fabulous trip and I cannot wait to go back.  I’m already plotting my next trip. If you have ever been to Florence and have a favorite place you like to go be sure to post it in the comments section.  I would love to hear from readers any great suggestions that I can check it out the next time I am there!

Until my next post, Ciao'!


Photo Credits:  All photo’s except the Santa Maria ones are taken by me.  If you would like to use these photo’s kindly reference Peggy & Fritz.


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