Category Archives: Blog

Miami Heat

Ahhh, Miami. The place for beach, sun and fun, but is it the new “it” place for design? Art Basel along with the ever-developing Wynward design district has put Miami on the design map, and on a recent trip there I took inspiration from my surroundings.

If you happen to venture down to Miami, the Fontainebleau is the place to stay. Built in 1954 and labeled the most luxurious hotel in Miami Beach at the time, it had it’s Hollywood debut in Goldfinger starring a very young Sean Connery as James Bond. Since then, it has changed ownership hands, undergone a $1 billion renovation and is once again the epitome of opulence, extravagance and indulgence, a/k/a all the things you want in a vacation spot! If you can, do this hotel DIVA style:

• Get a waterfront room with balcony in the Chateau building, on the left side of the hotel…away from thumping bass emanating from Liv’s nightclub
• Reserve a daybed by the pool in advance (they rent quickly)…looking for the free lounge chairs is a drag
• Get a spa treatment. Although I have had better massages, the spa with its waterfall walkway and mineral pool is worth checking out
• Go to Scarpetta restaurant (my favorite out of the 6 restaurants at the hotel, just beating out Michael Mina 74) and cap it off with a drink at the Bleau bar.

These large crystal chandeliers add glamour and drama to the large lobby and are a testament that every girl needs a little glitz in her space.

Fontainebleu lobby

That’s me, rocking it out at the Bleau Bar. The blue lights got me thinking… cool mood lighting for my next bathroom renovation??

Bleau bar

Take a tour of the Wynward district. Still raw and industrial, it is like Chelsea in the 80’s. But this is Miami’s design center, and worth a visit on one of those days when half the day is lost to a passing rainstorm. Check out the various design stores:

• Oggetti – Cool furniture, accessories and lighting

• Thread Count – Luxurious bed linens

• Poltrona Frau Group – this company specializes in contemporary Italian furniture. In addition to the store’s funky architecture, the large interior displays über cool lighting, furniture and accessories from its many brands.

• In addition to design stores, art galleries line the area. My favorites: Artfusion, Sponder Gallery, Arevalo, and Britto Romero Gallery

Finish your day by visiting Coconut Grove in South Miami, a short (15 minute) drive away. Check out the cute boutiques, and end up at the Green Street Café, a fabulous spot featuring Victorian couches (both indoors and out), and great indoor/outdoor dining, food and cocktails!

Greenstreet cafe


Ode to the JDIA attitude

Each New Year always brings out a list of resolutions that heartily take effect for the month of January and wane by the time February 1st rolls along. Just check out your local gym – it’s amazing how many people are running on those treadmills! Check it out four weeks from now. I guarantee the crowds will have dwindled.

Sadly, I am no exception. I make a long list of things I wish to accomplish in the new year, only to have completed none of them by the time December 31st rolls along. But this past year was different for me. My mother, who was the picture of health both physically and mentally, died suddenly from a brain aneurysm at the age of 78. While this is not exactly a tragedy – she lived a wonderful and full life – it was a totally unexpected shock and a sad reminder of how fleeting life can be.

With this in mind, sounding like a modified Nike ad, I decided to opt for JDIA (Just DO IT Already) attitude. I took 5 things I have been meaning to do but kept putting off and just did them. Some of them were small (cleaning out my make up drawer) and some of them were big, like redesigning my website and adding this blog. This JDIA mentality is not to be confused with a “bucket list”. No, I have not climbed Mount Kilimanjaro nor ran the NY marathon (neither of which I have any desire to do anyway) but yes, I am getting to projects that enhance my lifestyle and career.

It would be wrong if I didn’t credit a recent client as an additional source to my JDIA frame of mind. Last spring, I began working for a couple who have 2 sets of twin teenage girls. She and her family have been living in a spacious rental for the last 15 years. But due to a busy lifestyle of careers and raising 4 girls, her apartment became overrun with paperwork, furniture and meaningless tchotchkes. During our first meeting, she expressed a JDIA attitude and we quickly realized that I wasn’t just re-designing her space. Rather, she was making a life change. She worked tirelessly with a professional organizer and spent all of her spare time, purging, cleaning and editing her belongings. Meanwhile, I devised and implemented a stylish new furniture plan that was more functional for her family’s daily needs. Check out this before and after picture and get inspired.

Happy 2014!!!! Now get out there and JDIA!!!