All in the Family

This post is dedicated to my future daughter-in-law.  My son proposed in a very romantic, unexpected way at the Versace Mansion in Miami to his best friend ~ Kira Calder.

Can you take a guess where this post is going?

As an art and design lover, I was beyond excited to learn that Kira IS a descendant of Alexander Calder.  Alexander Calder's grandfather, Alexander Mile Calder, and his family made their way to Philadelphia from Scotland in 1868 and called Philadelphia home.  Fun fact ~ One of the most famous landmarks in our little city of brotherly love is City Hall.  Billy Penn sits atop it like a sentinel watching over the city.  Mile Calder created that statue, which coincidentally my son has tattooed on his back (don't ask).  Sculpting obviously ran in the family.  Grandson Alexander Calder is considered the most famous sculptor of the 20th century, and as we know, the creator of the modern mobile.

Richard Hallberg

As a young man, Calder moved to Paris to study and work.  He discovered wire and his fascination of the linear line and movement was the precursor to the mobile.  A visit to Mondrian's studio changed the trajectory of Calder's career.  Seeing those large blocks of color made him think, "How interesting it would be if they oscillated?"  Marcel Duchamp supposedly coined the term "mobile" when he saw what Alexander was working on.  Calder soon moved his art from geometric shapes to more organic, conceptual imagery.


Among all the commissions he did, the most unusual and absolutely the largest was a series of airplanes for Braniff airlines.  Dubbed "The Flying Colors of the United States." Another fun fact, the plane was destroyed in an explosion during the filming of Will Smith's movie Bad Boys while it was grounded in a hangar in Opa-locka.

More than 40 years later, Calder's work still fetches staggering prices at auction.  Calder had retrospectives at all the major museums here and abroad and is included in almost every important collection, public or private.  The priceless Calder pieces look amazing anywhere.  They are poetry in motion, kinetic wonders that fascinate and titillate.

 D'Apostrophe Design

Fortunately, if you are as fascinated as I am with these moveable, magical marvels, you can find them at many different price points by artists who were obviously inspired by Alexander, just as he was inspired by others.

Kay Douglass

"Calder's body of work represents an ever evolving demonstration of risk taking, creativity, ingenuity, and extremely impressive technical achievement."

 I hope my grandchildren inherit those traits!    : )

I am feeling a whole art theme, but as I am reminded, "it's not about me."  Luckily,  Paperless Post has the happy couple covered no matter which direction they go when the time comes to announce the details.

*This is a semi- sponsored post but all sentiments are my own  <3

Bradley Cooper's Next Move

Is there anything this man cannot do?  He sings, he dances, he directs and writes, he speaks French, he is down to earth and beyond handsome!  I know he loves his hometown Philly roots because he lets it be known.  I happened to have lived up the street from him.  Sometimes when he comes back to the neighborhood there is a palpable energy in the air.  Sightings are mentioned on social media from all over town.  He has a few special haunts that he likes to go back to.  I once saw him in Whole Foods after coming out of the gym.  This was after the Hangover series, but before Silver Linings Playbook.  He was not yet mega famous, but you couldn't miss him.  We looked at each other in one of the aisles.  Those baby blues were mesmerizing!  Okay, I am fan girling and not ashamed to say it!  It looks like we will have to share him though, as he takes up residency in the Big Apple, when he's not in LA or Paris, that is.

It  was just disclosed that Bradley purchased this stunning 13.5 million dollar townhouse in New York's West Village.  It was bought through a trust last May, "The Cool Trust."  This 5,100 sq. ft. pre war, 6 bedroom, 4.5 bath, 5 floor stunner is private and discreet on 10th Street.

With its grand entrance, 12 foot ceiling height, temperature controlled 1,000 bottle wine cellar, fireplaces, outdoor kitchen, gym, private yard and every other amenity one would expect a celebrity would crave are all there.

Maybe Bradley will try his hand at interior design next. Everything he touches seems to turn to gold.

photos via Scott Parks Reality

Mindful Energy

Our outer space mirrors our inner space, in other words, our home is a reflection of what goes on in our minds.  It is not enough to have a beautifully designed, functional room anymore.  We need to be mindful of the energy that occupies that room!

Shifting the energy held within a space requires a holistic approach.  One that considers our thoughts, our actions, possibly the addition of feng shui techniques and what I am now fascinated with—crystals. Crystals, minerals and the natural beauty of stone have the ability to help change energy. 

In home decor, these beauties, brought to you by mother nature “amp up” intention brilliantly.   As a focal point or accent who wouldn’t want some “good vibes” in their home? If you want more romance in the bedroom, incorporate rose quartz.  It not only encourages romance, but signifies self love and unconditional love.  Amethyst emits positive energy and is considered a protective stone that also helps create balance, abundance and inner peace.  Like the proverbial phrase, “When life gives you lemons…,” the yellow citrine stone taps into empowerment, generosity and success.  Selentite, seen so often in home decor products, is known for its cleansing properties, as well as harmony and peace.  It also promotes personal transformation.  Smoky quartz emits positive energy, reduces feelings of anxiety, grounds us and rids the space of negative energy.  Clear quartz amplifies everything!  Start with any of these multi-taskers or another, if that speaks to you instead.  There is no shortage of stones to choose from ~  if you feel inclined to dabble.

Call it magical thinking, but in these challenging times, among challenging people, along with our challenging thoughts, it is more important than ever to nurture yourself and create a sanctuary that calms and centers you every time you walk through that door.  Incorporating these rock star stones (in any fashion) is so easy and beautiful to boot!

I’m a believer because I choose to be.  If we have learned nothing, we have learned everything is a choice!  Choice and a willingness to be open is 
sometimes all it takes to begin manifesting optimism, abundance, the ability to heal on a deeper level and decorate accordingly!


Columbian Chic

Johanna Ortiz is stylish through and through.  Whether designing her euphonious fashion line or decorating her Cartagena home, she hits many a fashionable high note.
Her Columbian roots are evident in everything she does.  I have always been attracted to her dramatically draped clothing, often with ruffles or balloon sleeves in colors as bright as her Spanish/Mexican heritage.

I now can swoon over the 16th century Spanish colonial villa she owns in Cartagena too!  Her love of fashion actually stems from her love of interiors, ironic since she is known for her fashion label. Growing up watching her mother design, influenced Joanna's love of textiles.  That's where her process starts.

“She captures the sultry, sophisticated South American spirit,” says Lauren Santo Domingo, a family friend and founder of the fashion site Moda Operandi.

She is admired for her sense of authenticity, which is apparent in whichever medium she works.  Ortiz and her husband bought this place as a vacation home years ago within the walled "old town" of Cartagena, a UNESCO site dating to the 1500's.

All the hand painted tile and wooden details were painstakingly restored.  The hand painted mural by artist Elon Rivera represents the flora and fauna native to the area.  Johanna's love of travel is on full display as she carefully curated everything to incorporate her passion for life.

There is nothing more inspirational than having the ability to travel, experiencing far off lands, then imbuing the flavor of another culture in to your aesthetic.

My friends and I have to up our girls' night out ensembles!

 The Otomi textiles pair beautifully with the whimsical Asian hand painted faux headboard for a look completely unique to Ortiz in their guest bedroom.  The master features a combination of suzani's ikats and Johanna's prints in her upcoming collection.  That's convenient!


I love that too!  It feels romantic and mysterious ~ like Johanna's fashions.  Style, whether in  interiors or fashion inform each other as we have seen time and time again.

Let's Get Salty

Salt caves are the new "it" wellness trend.  The question is whether it is here to stay or is a fly by night fad.

I tried it the other day.  Reflexology was added so I had really nice experience.  I might have been hard pressed to just sit there for 45 minutes, but sometimes that is exactly what you must force yourself to do, all in the name of wellness.

Dry salt air is more powerful than moist air and the negatively charged ions in the salt improve overall health and mood.  Air charged with negative ions suppresses serotonin within the body, thereby lifting our mood and relaxing us.  Science has shown that the detoxifying qualities in Himalayan salt caves help with everything from allergies and asthma to autoimmune issues.  The 84 minerals identified in this specific salt are bio identical to your body.  Also called halotherapy, which means salt is ground to microscopic particles and blown into the air via a generator.  Breathing it in affects everything in our body systemically ~ the lymphatic, respiratory, nervous and immune systems.  The really cool thing is, there is a synergy between the minerals and your system specifically.

For centuries people have made the pilgrimage to these caves after discovering their health properties.  A physician in Poland opened a salt clinic 150 years ago!  We Americans always seem to be behind the curve.

The natural pink, peach to orange color tells us it is full of minerals and iron.  It makes for a beautiful accent and the back lit bricks positively glow!

Salt rooms can be built in a matter of hours, for in home use, or completely custom for the spa and  wellness industry.

Just sitting in a salt cave is beneficial enough, but why stop there?  You can incorporate a massage like I did, a yoga class, singing bowls or meditation.  It is a great way too help the time go by.

The cave I was in had zero gravity chairs to keep your body at a perfect pitch.  Blankets were provided.  The temperature was comfortable, set at about 70 degrees but it was cozier under the weight of the blanket.  When I came out of the cave I felt good and noticed a slight salt taste on my lips.  I had the impression I was going to be filmy but it was not the case.

It remains to be seen whether we will see demand for salt blocks in a residential setting.

Would you consider a salt wall in your home?  Perhaps I'll start with a salt lamp and see where it leads me!

Hampton's Designer Show House~ part 2

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I loved this room by Samuel Robert Signature Spaces.  It hit all the right notes for me.  It is livable, tranquil, fashion forward and has a warmth about it.  The pictures do not do it justice.  The Thibaut wallpaper in silvery blue gave you a sense like you were underwater, but the furniture insured the room was grounded.

Also on the lower level was this lovely reading lounge by Mary T. Miller.  I liked how Mary created faux windows on either side of the room (mirroring each other) and dressed them with all the thoughtful details we have come to expect to give the otherwise dark show house room the illusion of space and light.  No doubt a cozy space that you would want to curl up in with a good book and a glass of wine.

As we moved upstairs I loved the calm moment on the upper landing.  The ombre walls that we saw downstairs give way to soft (mostly) solid wall color in the upstairs rooms.

Having said that, I did enjoy the whimsical jellyfish wallpaper in a contemporary guest bathroom. The bath inspiration was the "tranquil submersion" one might feel underwater; perfect for a home by the sea, by Petrie Point Designs

Kate Singer Home for Garnet Hill with their beautiful linen textiles and Kate's favorite color ~ pink was a "would be" ballerina's dream bedroom.  The soft, romantic, lyrical space is a match made in Hamptons heaven.

I loved the boy's bedroom with its hip, surfer vibe by Cocobolo Interiors.  The wallpaper looked like a series of pictures strung together a la Instagram from one of my favorite design stores in the Hamptons, Elizabeth Dow, and it played off perfectly with the painterly fabric used for the drapes.

Mikel Welsh Designs had maybe the most dramatic room in the house.  I loved it for its soft background with a strong ethnic message.  The room looked like treasured artifacts from the owner's travels were collected over time and expressed him/her/them to a tee.  While I was in the room a few ladies came in and really reacted to the urchin light over the bed.  The beauty of a show house is that you can do things that you would not ordinarily do in someone's home.  It is bad feng shui but it's just for show!

The Hampton Designer Show is open until Labor Day, so there is still plenty of time to get there if you are in that neck of the woods.