"My houses are more than homes— they are temples. Wherever I go, I create them. I live in my own temple within my own time, my own music, my own art, my own loved ones. Each element that I select has an aesthetic power or spiritual significance that elevates me. I don’t think in terms of design, but rather in a layering of my life experiences. Spaces have their own energies, and each layer that is added changes and influences the energy of a place. "
I was reading an article about Argentine hotelier and real estate developer Alan Faena recently in Elle Decor and everything this man said struck me. As I get ready to head south for the winter visiting the famous Faena hotel is on my "to do" list. If you don't know him, you may know his over the top properties. He created an entire FAENA district in Miami, encompassing a hotel, event spaces, retail and restaurants making an immersive experience the goal.
Mr Faena's own Spanish style Miami home, designed with the help of Diego Pereira Luchetta, expresses his desire to arrive at what he calls, his beautiful illusion. Alan says over the top interiors energize and delight him!
Each piece of furniture whether it be Regency, Louis XIV, Spanish, English, Italian Rococo or a custom Faena design gives energy to another, influencing one another, and the addition of bold art intricately fills in the pieces of a puzzle of a life fueled by authenticity, curiosity and creativity.
Alan Faena's thoughts, values, art, perceptions, religion, spirituality, and desires merge together into some kind of beautifully chaotic harmony. The deep colors and rich layers are like a tapestry evolving over a lifetime.
Nourishing a childhood dream, a desire to be transparent and magical thinking have given Alan the push to be creative and create. When thinking about his own home, creating a temple where one is renewed, is a sort of a layering process. Each piece, each experience, family and friends bring a richness, another layer to the whole. Every space has energy. Alan feeds off of the energy he creates. Spiritual deities and crystals are seen in many of the rooms. They really speak to energy and not religion.
There are so many great quotes in the Elle Decor article, but I will leave you with this last one.
"I am who I am because of the spaces I create - they allow me to live in absolute peace with myself and the exterior world."
OK, one more, " What matters most is not the end goal but rather my daily transformations along the way"
I like this man's energy!!
Ahhh the holidays ~ for many it is a time of stress and anxiety. For others, it's their time to shine!
Designers make everything look effortless. IF I decorated for the holiday, which I do not, I know I would want to have themes each year and experiment with the whimsical and the wondrous. It is a blessing and a curse each year when I day dream about what could be....
London based designer Hubert Zandberg decorates his clients homes in a more subdued way for the holiday. Not one to follow cliches, he imbues his spaces with a touch of green and a touch of sparkle. I love when the look doesn't "hit you over the head" but blends in and unfolds as you move through the house.
Scot Meacham Wood exclaim's, "more is more," but it feels oh so right!
Known for her use of red, Alessandra Branca stays true to her signature color through and through
Ken Fulk's usual over the top aesthetic has taken a turn for the simplistic and I love it!
Oksana Lazarets shows us uncommon holiday decor woven into garlands looks outstanding , fruit and greens ~ perfect together
Charlotte Moss does too
Baker Design group skillfully decorates around your interior ~ ideally the decor should match the interior in feel and color. Keep sights, sounds and smell in mind too. The details will get noticed.
Lily Bunn knows how to have fun!
Sara Story shows her playful side too, picking up colors from around the room makes the presents POP
Francis Sultana, a gallerist and designer, creates a study in simplicity and playfulness
Kelly Wearstler is turning the holiday upside down!
Clearly anything goes!
You are only limited by your imagination.
photos 1 thru 3 ~ Simon Upton
This year's gift guide features something for everyone. Whether self indulgent, hedonistic or good for you ~ wellness is the overarching word for my gift guide this year.
I personally think we are becoming a community cutting ourselves off from socialization ~ but we do lead busy lives, and some things need to be streamlined, like going to the gym and/or participating in a class. However, if you are not a fan of group activities ~ look at this: The Mirror.
It is a mirror when off, but a personal streaming, instructor led, workout when engaged. You can access anything from a bootcamp to yoga and follow along at a pace personalized for your level of ability.
CBD products have come out of the shadows. They are the fastest growing segment in the wellness category. I love a product that looks as good as it makes you feel. These are the perfect "buy one, keep one" products
MZ Wallace has upped their cool look factor. With a collaboration with Soul Cycle and Barre 3, there is a bag for every need . I an digging their yoga mat tote and envelope bags!
I have been swooning over Marlo Laz's evil eye jewels. This ring would work nicely keeping negativity at bay with its added benefits of onyx for protection, black diamonds for strength and an opal for spontaneity.
I am running to pick this up for me and a few of my nearest and dearest. I love the
Cle de Peau Beaute cosmetic line, and this illuminating stick brightens and lightens. Their concealer stick is on every "best of" beauty list .
I am stocking up on this stuff ~ Technically not vodka, but vodka light, it has 30% alcohol by volume, not 40% to be considered pure vodka. Ketel One Botanicals has no carbs, no added sugar, is non GMO and is redistilled with botanicals and essential oils for flavor. It's the perfect hostess gift as well.
These facial rollers are all the rage. Mountlai packages a holiday edition that includes a lifting tool as well. In rose quartz or jade, they reduce inflammation and puffiness encourage lymphatic drainage and just feel good. Used with serum, they force ingredients deep into the skin for better absorption.
What's better than 1 gift? A gift a month is the gift that keeps on giving! UrbanStems created a limited edition subscription program in collaboration with Vogue editors and Lewis Miller (of the incredible Flower Flashes, whom I wrote about here.) You can choose a 1 time boutique or a monthly delivery. These are not your 1-800 Flowers and the containers are equally as beautiful.
Gwinnie and GOOP are getting it right with their clean bath and body products, G-Tox. I adopted a dry brushing routine. Some say it's life changing or the equivalent of 5 minutes of meditating, but I just say it's invigorating and refreshing. If you haven't tried it....
Samsung unveiled a new TV, but you may have missed it because it is almost invisible when not in use. THIS IS BRILLIANT! The QLED models requires you to take a picture of the wall behind where the TV will hang. When the TV is off, the picture you took creates a seamless "wallpaper" that blends with the wall and essentially makes the TV disappear. This is the answer to the age old question ~ to see the TV or to not see the TV
Hope you get as well as you gift!
After a few years of heath issues that I still don't have under control, and losing my father right before the Thanksgiving holiday, I am trying so hard to pick up all the pieces. My body is tired and soul is sad.
What do we do at Thanksgiving? Give thanks. That was what I did. That was almost all I could do, all I had the strength for. I gave thanks that I had 57 years with my father. I gave thanks that my body was still strong. I gave thanks that my boys were with me and I gave thanks to the beauty I saw around me. I gave thanks for all the people that showed support and extended their condolences. I gave thanks that I was with my dad at the end of his life and I knew he knew I was there!
Countless people told me how much my dad meant to them, what a great attorney he was; admired and feared in the courtroom. Everyone said he was kind and funny, inappropriate and charming. I don't know of too many people that didn't like my dad. I had never really stopped and thought about it before. He was very well thought of!
I have obviously been thinking a lot about one's legacy lately. Ask yourself, "What would others say about me when I am gone?" I think it is a really valuable exercise in what your legacy might be.
"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel."
~ Maya Angelou
My dad had spent winters in Florida for the past couple of years. He dreamed of spending his days golfing and enjoying life in the gated community in which he lived. The residents apparently had an acronym for many of the men living there. They were called PIP's, a previously important person. I thought this was awful! Can you imagine being considered a previously important person, as if your value had changed because you got older or retired? Your identity was so tied to what you did, you practically ceased to exist when you stopped doing that very thing that "made you (so called) important." Well, I can tell you the fact that my dad was a great attorney was a footnote. He was a great man. He was generous, funny, he mentored, was philanthropic Dad touched people. He tried to be his best, be honest, live with integrity, love his family. That''s how he'll be remembered. That's how we'll all be remembered ~ if we live by the same values.
Living life with passion and purpose, expressing gratitude for what we have and those that surround us is a life well lived. Feeling abundant because you express gratitude keeps us in the "sweet spot" of feeling joy. Gratitude means really acknowledging all the abundance we have in our lives. Don't limit giving thanks to Thanksgiving; write it down, say it out loud. Tell people who mean something to you that you are grateful for them.
"Gratitude is the single most important ingredient to living a successful and fulfilled life."
~ Jack Canfield
I am grateful I had you in my life, Dad 💔
Moving forward, I think I will begin a Mindful Monday message on the 1st Monday of each month. That way you can come to expect some sort of wellness post on a more regular basis. I will give you some tips/tricks or antidotes to help you #livebeautiFULLY
Life is fluid, some days we're up, some days we're down or in my case some months.
I have not been having an easy time of late and maybe you are dealing with your own struggles. I was thinking long and hard about how to handle my pain and grief; physically and emotionally. I am not ready to talk about the imminent passing of a loved one, but I will say the feelings that are brought up are overwhelming and all consuming.
I am a proactive person. If something is broken I want to try to fix it. If a problem is creating too much suffering, I try to change the way I think about it, but grief and sadness are meant to be felt. You cannot wish it away, put on a happy face or change your thoughts around it. It truly is what it is.
OR is it? Is there something you can do? We have all heard about the importance of gratitude. No matter what is going on, it is so important to understand the need to take a moment to recognize what we have to be thankful for.
Make a list of all the things you are thankful for. I am talking big picture gratitude, not the daily things we might list,when we/if we, write a gratitude journal. Whatever that looks like to you.
When things get to be too much, BREATH and with each breath say this ~
I am fine,
I am safe,
I have everything I need in this moment
It may seem like a simple thing but sometimes it's all you've got. Next time you feel overwhelmed, anxiety ridden, or out of control, try it. Also. being in nature psychologically does wonders! We know that immersing yourself in nature, or even looking at beautiful pictures of nature ( if that is all you can do) reduces stress and heightens overall wellbeing. It makes us feel connected to something bigger than ourselves and for a moment you may just forget your own problems, if even for just that moment.
and laughter... look for opportunities to laugh... life's best medicine.
My love affair began in a store in Aspen. I saw beautiful ceramic lamps from across the room casting the coolest shadow. I regretted not purchasing one of the lovely Georges Pelletier table lamps when the selection was so vast. It is the lamp that got away. I look for them now when I am out and about.
Out and about in LA last week, there they were, the look is undeniable but these were more contemporary then the ones I had seen. I needed to learn more.
Georges Pelletier celebrates his 80th birthday this month, so I guess it is fitting that I am highlighting him! Georges was born in Brussels in 1938. He studied art in Paris and seems to have found his passion in ceramics. The year I was born, he opened a studio in Paris and began creating his unique pieces. The primitive appearance, the cutouts that light escapes through, the totems, sconces, sculptures, mirrors and objects d'art are easily idenifiable once you are aware of Pelletier's pieces. In the 1970's Georges moved his studio to Cannes where he still works to this day.
With one eye in the past and one eye towards the future, Pelletier is remaking the beloved pieces from the days gone by, specifically the 60's and 70's, which must have been the lamps I saw in Aspen, as well as keeping one eye towards the future, hence the more sculptural lighting, which was obviously what I saw in LA.
Passion, purpose and the desire to continue to be creative keeps Georges as relevant today as he was more than 50 years ago. You're on my radar Mr. Pelletier, now maybe he's on yours too! There is a nice selection of his fabulous pieces on 1st Dibs.