Crate & Barrel Meets Mallorca

One of my old bosses used to call me Mallorca.  I’m a fan of nicknames: Sledge, Champ, and Red just to name a few, but I was kind of indifferent towards this one.  That all changed this week when I was introduced to Paola Navone’s stellar collection for Crate & Barrel, which just so happens to be inspired by this very island.  Yes, geography was admittedly not my strong suit in school and no, I had never done my homework on this GORGEOUS island until now.  Thanks to my quick Googling I’ve come to realize that I should have taken the nickname as a serious compliment; Mallorca is absolutely stunning and has earned itself a stellar position on my list of places I have to visit some day.

Conde Nast Mallorca

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Conde Nast Mallorca 2

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But back to Paola.  She’s a world-renowned architect, decorator, artist and world traveler who was inspired by Mallorca, along with Como and the French Riviera for this casual yet chic collection of dinnerware, table linens, decoration and furniture.  Starting with her Como Dinner Plates, the deep cobalt blues and organic designs really exemplify what this collection is all about.  Their only purpose in life is clearly to be used for a fabulous al fresco dining over bottles of excellent wine.

Como Dinner Plates

And what is a great dinner party without some hors d’oeuvre?  What better way to show off these little bites than in the Como Spoon Bowls?

Como Spoon Bowls

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let’s begin with setting the table.  As a base, I’d start with the Como Gauze Linen Tablecloth.  It’s light and airy while packing a serious punch of color.

Como Gauze Linen Tablecloth

Then I’d pull a few of these Como White Woven Chairs up for my guests.

Como White Woven Chair

For a little ambience and an accent of red, I’d layer on the Como Loopy Candleholders.

Como Loopy Candleholders

We already discussed using these great plates and I’d top them with a set of the Mallorca Linen Napkins.  They have a range of colors, but I’d probably stick with the cobalt blue to keep the look seamless.

Mallorca Linen Napkins

For serving, I’d lay out a full spread with the Mallorca Oval Platters.  They’re so classy and simple and really could be integrated in to a variety decor styles.

Mallorca Oval Platters

And I adore the look of the Riviera Long Serving Set.  The pattern set within the silver reminds me of calm waves splashing on the beach.

Riviera Long Serving Set

My imaginary dinner party is looking pretty good.  Now I just need a great patio with an ocean view….

Mallorca Patio

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Fabulous Mediterranean al fresco dining isn’t the only thing Paola’s collection has going for it.  I’m totally enamored with this Como Bench.  It could be an incredible accent for a living room in need of a neutral piece of seating or pulled up to a long dining table.  It would serve as a stylish place to put on your shoes in a front entryway.

Como Bench

And personally, I’ve had my eye on this Mallorca Saucer to use as a small tray on top of my dresser to collect perfume bottles.  I think it will be the perfect companion to my West Elm Large White Lacquer Jewelry Box.

Mallorca Saucer

Overall, I think it’s a great collaboration for Crate & Barrel.  Paola Navone is on fire right now; she just did a VERY colorful 20-piece collection for Anthropologie this past spring.

paola navone anthro

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paola navone anthro 2

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So what are all of you lusting after from Paola’s collection?  I really would take the whole thing given the opportunity.  It’s 110% my style.

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Excuse this brief interruption….

Sorry I’ve been MIA kids. Between work and vacation, I’ve been a hot mess of stress with a ridiculous schedule lately leaving little time for you guys. But I promise I have some great stuff coming down the pike including some DORM ROOM DESIGN suggestions for you undergrads, a feature on the INCREDIBLE hotel we stayed in while on vacay and much, much more.

So stay tuned in the coming weeks as I get back at it. Can’t wait to share all the new stuff (and some home improvements of my own) with you soon!

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Sand Between My Toes

Summer has officially arrived in LA.  Between Memorial Day and the onset of 90+ temperatures in LA the last few days, I am ready for sundresses, day trips to Hermosa Beach and evening picnics at the Hollywood Bowl.  Although I’m a bigger fan of autumn, there’s always something so exciting about the start of the summer season.

And this year is no exception.  I’m already planning my packing list for Jefe and I’s annual trek east for our August vacation with our respective families.  His family has been gracious enough to host both Jefe and myself the last few years at the beach in Spring Lake, NJ.  It’s a gorgeous, quaint little town on the northern Jersey shore, just an hour train ride for Manhattan.

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So today I’m going to share some of the incredible architecture that I get to stare at for a few days every year when we’re making our way 5 blocks from our rental house to the shore.  The town actually became super-popular with the uber-wealthy of New York and Philly during the Gilded Age of the 1910’s and 20’s.

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(via Spring Lake Historical Society)

Some of those original houses are actually still standing.  You’ll notice the second one above is also below, as well as a few others that have been standing since Spring Lake’s hey day:

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And here are just a few gorgeous others that I’ve had my eye on.  They only run five-figures per weekly rental…. or $1 million PLUS for purchase.  I suppose my daydreaming will have to remain just that; but window shopping can’t hurt, right?

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The Victorian inspired architecture is really stunning, particularly in person.  There’s such detail and so many unique architectural features…. I’m starting to feel like Ted Mosby geeking out on buildings.  But there is definitely something to be said for homes whose structure and aesthetic appeal has withstood the test of time, some of whom have lasted over 100 years.  I’d love to sneak inside some of these homes.  Most of the great ones aren’t available for rental, so I unfortunately can’t do any internet snooping for you all.

In addition to the spectacular homes, Spring Lake has an incredible boardwalk.  And we’re not talking about the kind where you fear of running in to Snooki.  Spring Lake’s is simple and a perfectly serene place to take a walk or an early evening jog before dinner… which you just so happen to get stuck on during a thunderstorm… (true story – Jefe and I had to hide under the pavilion near a pool to avoid lightening last year.  But it looked AWESOME.)

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Unfortunately the hurricanes that hit the mid-Atlantic seaboard the last two years took their tolls on the boardwalk, but I have faith that it will look great by the time we arrive this year.

And now that you’re all dreaming of your future beach homes (who knew there were such gorgeous places in Jersey?!), why not deck yourself out like you own the place?  Here’s what I’m thinking….

Spring Lake Summer Style

  1. C.Wonder Wicker Picnic Basket
  2. JCrew Panama Hat in Natural
  3. Baggu Weekend Bag in Sailor Stripe
  4. Jack Rogers Hamptons Classic Navajeo Flats in Gold
  5. C.Wonder Colorblock Stripes Boatneck Tee Dress in Palm/Coastal
  6. Tory Burch Sunglasses in Blue/Green

I really can’t wait for summer vacation.  Almost makes me want to go back to school just for the summers off 😀

In other news, did anyone catch the new show Renovation Raiders that premiered on HGTV tonight?  I am officially obsessed.  Amy Matthews basically has my dream job (and has some rocking red hair).  It’s home design, renovation, and tv production all under a ticking clock: she leads an awesome crew that completely renovates a space in someone’s home in a few hours while they’re out to dinner.  I kind of want to be her.  It’s a shame so many HGTV shows shoot outside of LA (or the US for that matter – those Canadian accents are THICK).