Sunday, November 13, 2011

California Style

I just got back from an amazing vacation in California, where my beloved and I spent a leisurely week driving down the coast (from San Fran to San Diego)! Highlights of the trip included a motorcycle ride through Sonoma, breathtaking views on Highway 1, and an amazing birthday dinner at Chez Panisse. The change of scenery and the laid-back, sunny vibe did my soul a world of good.

What I didn't expect was to be so totally smitten with California's effortless style. Relaxed, bright, and full of texture, everything felt fresh and of-the-moment. I came back East craving a complete overhaul of my home. Thankfully, small details can create major change and so I've pinpointed some of the style elements I fell in love with on my trip.

Black and Gold

This is a picture of the lobby at the Sheraton in Santa Monica. I loved everything about the decor.

Back in NYC, I found these black and gold lamps at ABC Carpet & Home. They're also hanging at J.Crew on 5th Avenue.

The base of this lamp from Restoration Hardware is made of mercury glass, but the lampshade's gold inlay casts a warm glow and creates the illusion of antique brass.


There were succulent gardens everywhere, both wild and tame. They would look beautiful inside an apartment.

Natural Wood

The boardwalk at Pebble Beach.

I saw tons of wine barrel chandeliers on my trip. I love the modern feel of the one below from ABC Carpet & Home. You can find more traditional versions at Restoration Hardware. John Derian sells antique ones that will make you weak in the knees.

A stack of wooden cutting boards at ABC.


Artwork looks striking against the dark linen wallpaper. The textured fabric adds warmth and dimension to a room.


I saw tons of art displayed in white mat/white frame. This giant collection of black and white prints looks great against the seagrass wallpaper. You can find white-on-white framing at Pottery Barn, West Elm, etc. This is definitely the easiest and cheapest way to update the look of your decor.


Lacquer is probably one of my favorite design elements because it instantly updates a more traditional home. The glossy texture covered everything, from furniture to accessories. I bought the white tray from West Elm to store my jewelry. The ceramic bowls with gold inlay are from one of my favorite NYC stores, Ochre.

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