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.