Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My Lovely Staycation in Los Angeles

I recently went on a working staycation in Los Angeles. 

One of the projects that I'm currently working on is a restaurant, so I love going into the city to check out the latest and greatest new restaurants. Not only do I enjoy good food, but I find looking at new restaurant designs inspiring. Having an Italian boyfriend restaurant owner certainly makes it more fun! :)

We both love to travel and eat our way through the vacation. We’re leaving for France next month so we thought this would be a good warm up. 

Where We Stayed: The SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills

We only had a couple days, so we decided to stay at The SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, which is like being in Las Vegas. World renowned Chef Jose Andres has his famed restaurant, Bazaar, in the lobby and the roof top pool is like a party in itself! 

Patisserie @ The Bazaar.

Here's a photo of the hotel's restaurant, "Bazaar". I love the cute chandelier and pink flowers. 

SLS Hotel Los Angeles
The Hotel Lobby at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills.  Gray and red! Two of my favorite color combinations. 

SLS Hotel Los Angeles Roof Pool
The Pool at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills
SLS Hotel Los Angeles
Interesting Peacock Chair at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills

The SLS hotel had a lot interesting and unique pieces of artwork and furniture (like the peacock chair above as well as this painting).

SLS Hotel Los Angeles
Monkey painting at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills

Where We Ate: The RivaBella in West Hollywood and Chi SPACCA in Los Angeles

The new Larder (the first one in Brentwood) has a new location next door to The SLS, so we walked over for breakfast every morning to start our day with gourmet coffee, fresh baked muffins, farm fresh eggs and fresh orange juice. Dinner the first night was at RivaBella in West Hollywood, same owner as Boa (which also made it feel like we were in Vegas). There were beautiful people nicely dressed, great food (always helps if you know the managers) and we were given the royal treatment with great service and tons of good food.

The main dining area is an Atrium with a huge brick fireplace in the center with tables all around as well as trees and greenery. They did an amazing job. I’ve been to The Soho house in LA and although they have the same décor, I have to say that the RivaBella took the same design concept and made it even better. 

And just when we were thinking that it couldn't get any better, we went to a brand new restaurant: Chi Spacca from Nancy Silverton and Mario Batali (right next to Pizzeria Mozza, Osteria Mozza and their take out Mozza 2 GO ). Only they can have four successful restaurants right next to each other. 

SPACCA - Interior
The Chi SPACCA dining room. Photo courtesy of TheDelicious Life

SPACCA - Interior
The Chi SPACCA bar. Photo Courtesy of TheDeliciousLife
Chi Spacca meal
A delicious italian fusion meal at Chi SPACCA. Photo courtesy of The DeliciousLife

Besides the food at Chi Spacca, what makes it so special is it only has nine tables and a counter that seats eight. They do two seating’s: one at 6:00 and the other 8:15. The space used to be for cooking classes and private events. The food is beyond "basic Italian food" and is Italian with a special twist; fresh and cooked to perfection.

All SLS Hotel photos courtesy of e.t's Flickr photostream.

What fabulous things did you do last weekend?

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Lost Paris Apartment is Gorgeous! Wouldn’t You Love to Live Here?

As a dealer of antique/vintage French and Italian paintings, you can imagine my unbridled giddiness when I heard about “the lost Paris apartment.” Virtually untouched since World War II, the apartment was found laden with dust­covered treasures, from an old plush Mickey Mouse to a stuffed ostrich to stacks of love letters lots of amazing artwork.

Among the many finds in this time capsule was a $3 million Giovanni Boldini painting! The grandmother of the apartment owner was discovered to be Belle Epoque, a beloved actress and muse of the famous artist. The dusty love letters were from Boldini to Epoque, no doubt praising her as his beautiful inspiration. I would have loved to explore this apartment myself and revel in the fact that not a single soul had entered it since the second world war.

It's been said that walking into this time capsule of an apartment is like "stumbling into the castle of Sleeping Beauty, where time had stood still since 1900," according to the The Telegraph.

ostrich from the capsule apartment in Paris France
                                                                          Source: via Sacheverelle on Pinterest

The discovery has me even more excited for my upcoming trip to L’Ile sur ­la ­Sorgue (near Provence, France). This medieval Provencal town is celebrated for its marchés aux puces, or flea market, the largest of its kind outside of Paris. A place for antique dealers to sell art and other vintage goodness year­round, I can’t wait to see what I find this year! 

river town near provence France
Source: via Cheryl on Pinterest

Enjoying the beauty of the town alone makes the trip worth it, as it is situated on the Sorgue River, which creates a “Venice­like feel” with its many canals and bridges. A “sprawling’” Sunday market is also featured, where you can find local produce and meat, soap, antiques, tablecloths, and a host of other practical items.

Source: via Angela Maria on Pinterest

Source: via Angela on Pinterest

The lost Paris apartment has also got me wondering about other abandoned apartments in the City of Lights and what proverbial gold they have just waiting to be found. I can’t help but compare the apartment to the abandoned New York City apartment of the legendary Marlene Dietrich, who also left the place untouched in the late ‘70s to live abroad for the remainder of her life. Inside the apartment were furs, Louis XIV furniture, letters, and glitzy mirrors fit for a movie star of her stature. The legend’s heirs eventually sold the apartment.

Have you been to the L’Isle­sur­ la­ Sorgue or know someone who has? Leave a comment and tell me about it. 

Janette Mallory

Friday, May 3, 2013

5 Ways to Make a Small Bedroom Appear Larger

Don’t let a small space hold you back; learn how to decorate around the confines and limitations of size. There are actually tricks of the trade that will create the appearance of a larger, more open bedroom, you just have to employ them and voila, the illusion of space.

sleeping nook
Isn't this a cute sleeping nook? Photo by Ooh_Food

1. Choose light paint colors

If you really want to create the idea of a larger space, opt for either an all-white room or white walls and white linens with a bold pops of color in a room instead. Avoid painting walls with very dark shades like greens and blues, because they will make a room feel even smaller.

323 sq. ft studio
Photo courtesy of Ooh_Food.

2. Avoid wall clutter

Although you opted for white walls and may be antsy to hang all of those pictures and pieces of wall art, find another room in the house to display them as hanging many small pieces of art will create the appearance of clutter. Keep your walls organized. Plus, you want to create one focal point and if your walls are filled to the brim, this will serve as a distraction. Indulge in one large piece of artwork like a well-framed photograph or one-of-a-kind painting.

clean and crisp bedroom
Photo courtesy of Cassandra Lavalle.

3. Make your bed the focal point in the room

One way to draw people's attention away from a room's small size is by creating a focal point.  Since the room is a bedroom, it'd make the most senes to make the focal point the bed. Draw attention to it through linens (like a canopy) and arrange the rest of the room around this focal point.

canopy bed white bedroom
Canopy bed. Photo courtesy of Ooh_Food.

4. Paint trim and moldings a lighter color than the walls

Now is the time to utilize your artistic skills. Paint trim and moldings on your walls a brighter white or light color and watch as the walls suddenly appear further pushed back. It’s an old trick that can also be used in any room in the house, not just a small bedroom.

5. Hang mirrors by the window

For an instant creation of space, use a mirror by a window or door in your bedroom. The reflection of natural light opens up the room, which will appear brighter. Also utilize mirrors by placing them at angles toward your previously created focal point. Again, this will reinforce natural lines that the eye will follow.

Janette Mallory