Legends of La Cienega

While waiting with a growing sense of desperation for spring to arrive on the East Coast, I escaped for a whirlwind few days in Los Angeles to participate in “Legends of La Cienega,” a three-day celebration of the city’s design talent and resources. Now in its ninth year, “Legends” is organized by the many shops and showrooms clustered on La Cienega Boulevard in an area known as La Cienega Design Quarter (or LCDQ) in West Hollywood. With the support of many sponsors, including 1stdibs and the Hearst Design Group, Legends included a wide range of fascinating panel discussions, tours of the finest of LA's extraordinary range of design houses, along with lively receptions and cocktail parties. There was something for everyone! The week kicked off with a gala cocktail reception at Fig and Olive, one of my favorite eateries. It was nice to see friends and colleagues and meet some California-based members of our design community.

At the Fig and Olive reception with LA designer Missy Calvert and NY designer Kati Curtis

At the Fig and Olive reception with LA designer Missy Calvert and NY designer Kati Curtis

Day two had us off and running. The jam-packed schedule left us exhausted but exhilarated.  Most of the day was spent visiting design shops and showrooms -- some of my favorites include:

Hollyhock—owned by designer Suzanne Rheinstein, this beautiful shop features a wonderfully curated collection of quality antiques, lighting and accessories as well as Suzanne’s custom line of upholstery, furniture and lighting. Behind the shop is a lovely garden space for special events.

Harbinger—one of my favorite showrooms in the country! An outstanding collection of wallpaper, furniture, lighting, carpets and decorative arts including some of my favorite lines—Amanda Nisbet, Moore & Giles, Coleen and Company, and Sister Parish.

A beautiful vignette in the Harbinger showroom

A beautiful vignette in the Harbinger showroom

Hollywood at Home -- an exceptional and wide-ranging collection of textiles, furniture, accessories and lighting.  Everything to create a chic and comfortable home.

I love the combination of pattern and textiles in this bedroom design by Hollywood at Home

I love the combination of pattern and textiles in this bedroom design by Hollywood at Home

Jasper—This chic showroom offers a stunning array of furniture, fabrics and accessories. I fell in love with this gorgeous floral and need to find a way to use it!

Exploring Jasper textiles with my west coast design partner Missy Calvert

Exploring Jasper textiles with my west coast design partner Missy Calvert

The Windows of La Cienega -- One of the wonderful traditions of this design celebration are all the shop windows, each styled by a different designer.  Seeing each designer's use of color, texture and staging inspired us all!  Some of my favorites are shown below.

Harbinger window by Nick Olsen

Harbinger window by Nick Olsen

The window at Downtown designed by Angel Sanchez and Christopher Coleman. I am always a sucker for a bit of femininity!

The window at Downtown designed by Angel Sanchez and Christopher Coleman. I am always a sucker for a bit of femininity!

The window at Hollyhock by Meredith Ellis—This “Explorer’s Journal” was a wonderful celebration of the colors, textures and materials from around the world.

The window at Hollyhock by Meredith Ellis—This “Explorer’s Journal” was a wonderful celebration of the colors, textures and materials from around the world.

There were also plenty of opportunities to learn from some of the true legends in our field.  Each day featured a series of panel discussions with an extraordinary array of design talent.  Some of the highlights included:

  • The Power of Paint: Achieving your Vision with a Stroke of the Brush, led by Veranda Editor in Chief Clint Smith, with panelists Alexa Hampton, Alessandra Branca and Ellen O’Neill, creative director at Benjamin Moore paints. Everyone agreed that, with paint, one can get the most bang for the buck and really transform the feeling of a space. And the beauty of it is that it is easily fixed if you don’t like it!
  • Demons and Disasters in Design, led by LA designer Madeline Stuart with panelists Nate Berkus, Philip Gorrivan and William Peace. A lively and humorous discussion. There is some comfort in knowing that everyone has made a few mistakes on the road to success. The important take away is to admit your mistakes (and fix them to your client's satisfaction), learn from them, and then move on.
  • Standing Proud: Preserving Architectural Heritage in LA, led by Luxe Editor in Chief Pamela Jaccarino with panelists Brett Parsons, Jaime Rummerfield and Tim Barber. As a New Yorker, it is always fascinating to learn about other cities and I enjoyed learning about the active movement to preserve LA's many architectural and historical treasures.
  • Say it Loud: Bold and Bright, led by House Beautiful Editor in Chief Sophie Donelson with panelists Anne Hepher, Nick Olsen and Ron Woodson. A lively, funny and inspiring exploration of the creative process and dialogue with clients when selecting color palettes.

As always, I love my visits to LA, seeing friends and colleagues and meeting new ones. Although travel takes time away from our day to day work and responsibilities, going away and experiencing another place is always a source of inspiration.  Legends of La Cienega also allowed me to meet some people whose work I have admired, such as Marisa Marcantonio, the founder of Stylebeat, a must-read blog for anyone interested in the latest trends and emerging talent in the design world. 

With Marisa Marcantonio of Stylebeat blog

With Marisa Marcantonio of Stylebeat blog

 

Being surrounded by sun, towering palms, and the stunning jacaranda trees that line the streets of LA this time of year made me yearn for spring to finally arrive at home.  The picture below is definitely not something we see in New York!  Until next time, LA!

lcdq-trees-elizabeth-pash

Twelve Days of Christmas

We kicked off the holiday season in our shop celebrating the twelve days of Christmas. Here are some fun gifts for friends, family or even yourself!

  On the first Day of Christmas my true love gave to me - One scented seasonal candle. Kick off the holiday season with the scent of Cinnamon Leaves wafting throughout your home.

 

On the first Day of Christmas my true love gave to me - One scented seasonal candle. Kick off the holiday season with the scent of Cinnamon Leaves wafting throughout your home.

On the second Day of Christmas my true love gave to me - Two brass apples. Looking to add a “wow factor” to your desk? Look no further than these brass beauties.

 

On the third Day of Christmas my true love gave to me - Three French hens. These delightful guinea hens are the perfect accessory to any kitchen, dining or living room.

 

On the fourth Day of Christmas my true love gave to me - Four gardenia scented candles. Reminisce to warmer days with the clean and light scent of spring and summer in your home. They are perfect socking stuffers as well.

 

On the fifth Day of Christmas my true love gave to me – Five stone fruits! While you might not be able to bite into these festive pears, they make the perfect centerpiece!

 

On the sixth Day of Christmas my true love gave to me – Six sparkly pillows. It’s the time of year to add some glitz and glamour to your home!

 

On the seventh Day of Christmas my true love gave to me – Seven linen coasters with metallic trim! No need for marks or stain on your tables this season.

 

On the eighth Day of Christmas my true love gave to me – Eight vintage cranberry highball glasses.  Be the hostess with the best looking cocktails at this year’s holiday party!

 

On the ninth Day of Christmas my true love gave to me – Nine red candles. No holiday tablescape is complete without elegant candles adorning the table.

 

On the tenth Day of Christmas my true love gave to me – Ten embroidered stockings. These adorable and chic miniature stockings by Rebecca Vizard are perfect for storing small gifts or decorating your mantle and tree.

 

On the eleventh Day of Christmas my true love gave to me – Eleven blue seashells. These shells are a staple for every beach home.

 

On the twelfth Day of Christmas my true love gave to me – Twelve Beauville napkins. These napkins are perfect for year-round entertaining.

So Long, Sweet Summer!

Although our busy and overcharged lives don't always allow us fully to enjoy those lazy days of summer, I am always more than a little wistful when September comes around.  Back to school, back to routine, and as the French say, time for "La Rentrée" or re-entry.  

Here are a few of my favorite things about summer:

Hydrangeas in Bloom: One of my favorite flowers, these beauties are easy to grow and you get a lot of "bang for your buck." They are long-lasting, look gorgeous in their natural setting, and are just as pretty in a vase.  I love watching these plants sprout their first leaves in late spring.  After a long winter's nap, they transform from their twig-like appearance to the full, lush and colorful blooms, peaking mid July, and offering a wonderful range of color throughout the summer months.  They just plain make me happy!

 

Eating al fresco and enjoying summer's fresh offerings:  The delectable fruits and vegetables of summer make cooking and eating easier and more pleasing.  I love picking tomatoes, cucumbers and fresh herbs from my garden and making delicious summer salads and side dishes.  And when it comes to the main course, everything seems to taste better on a grill-- especially when it is alongside a frosty margarita!  During the cold, dark days of winter, I will miss the taste and colors of summer meals.

 

Long Days and Summer Sunsets:  I love the long summer days when the sun rises early and doesn't set until close to 8:00.  The long days make us more productive and energetic.  And a perfect end to the day is watching the sun go down at the shore.  The last, lingering lights combine with wisps of clouds to create a dazzling array of colors and raise my anticipation for the next day.  Here is a recent sunset on the Long Island Sound. 

 

Wearing sandals all summer!  What more is there to say?!?

 

 

Playing tennis in the great outdoors!  Tennis is a passion and there is something wonderful about working up a sweat and swinging a racquet under the sun.  It is great exercise and a perfect way to make new friends.  I try to take advantage of every chance to play, especially when I can play on grass courts.  A real treat!  But this time of year, I am setting aside time to watch what I know will be breathtaking performances at the U.S. Open.