"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!