It's easy to understand where Kelly Wearstler got her design inspiration for the The Viceroy Hotel Palm Springs, California.  The grounds are surrounded by citrus trees and the theme is carried indoors.  Recently, we stayed there while our family gathered at my brother's and sister-in-law's house for Thanksgiving.
Doesn't our dog, Rocky fit in perfectly with the color scheme?  He loved this "dog friendly" hotel.
My brother's granddaughter, shows his plentiful grapefruits.  Several organic citrus trees grow in his backyard.  We had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration in their garden with a view of the mountains.

The next day we went for a bike ride through a mid-century neighborhood and toured an open house.

Notice the citrus color splash?

The drapes in the modern pergola match the pool and sky.  Such a great home for entertaining when you want to enjoy some warm weather.

On the way back to the hotel, we cruised past the shops on Palm Canyon Drive.
Trina Turk has a home store with the perfect touches for a cheerful, "glam" life style.

During the mid-1900's, Palm Springs was a favorite getaway for Hollywood stars and industry moguls.  In this area, architects were influenced by the Bauhaus movement and the International Style.  This resulted in designs that were elegant (but often affordable) and informal with open spaces, high ceilings and views of the mountains.  If you are interested in "Desert Modernism" check out this website  here.

Thanks for visiting!  Mary Ann


Fresh New Beach Baths

Our home on Lido Isle in Newport Beach, California was built in the 1950's.
  Recently, we remodeled three bathrooms.  I like a bargain.   I shopped sales (like at Restoration Hardware and Wisteria), negotiated prices at the plumber's warehouse and with stone suppliers and bought a number of field tiles from Home Depot.
 The above photo is of the new powder/guest room bath.

the vanity originally looked like this.

We replaced the window with a vertical one to the left and had a smaller vanity custom built (good job Adrian).
The vanity was painted a charcoal grey. We added the Circa Lighting Iron Kassel Sconces and a narrow Venetian mirror from Wisteria.  White wainscoting is below a custom mixed soft dove grey color.
This is another "before" picture.  We put a door where the medicine cabinet is so that guests in the adjacent room would have private access to this bathroom.
Another complementary Venetian mirror hangs above the toilet.  The shower to the left was claustrophobic so... 

this window was added.  All the tiles in the shower are basic Home Depot white subway tiles.

In fact, the Carrarra marble floor tiles are also from Home Depot.  My daughter comes home to visit from New York tomorrow.  I am excited for her to see her new bathroom for the first time.

On to my son's bathroom.  It is a good-sized room.  Here are two "before" photos:

And now...

The sailboat oil paintings were purchased at the Long Beach, Ca. flea market.

The herringbone tile insert in the shower adds some interest to a focal point wall.

 For a teen-aged boy, why bother with a towel bar?

Now... to the master bathroom "before" photos (shooting around mirrors is tough--I'm surprised I am not in more photos):

The large whirlpool tub was mildewed and the arched window leaked and did not really fit the architecture.  

After the renovation...
The little television on the opposite wall is reflected in the mirrors.  We have an extra tall medicine cabinet and crystal knobs.  The sinks are rectangular. 

The shower is light and spacious.  (Incidentally, all the oil rubbed bronze egg shaped door knobs were a great deal from Overstocks.com).

A 200 year old print of the Grand Canal in Venice is difficult to see here (but not from the tub). The demi-lune table was my mother's.  She enjoys a nice bubble bath, too!  So, which bathroom is your favorite?
This photo in my son's bathroom was taken when we lived in Paris on the day of his First Communion (10 years ago).  Today is his 18th birthday.  Another reason to be thankful!

Stayed tuned for a Palm Springs design feature next.

Mary Ann


A Great, Inexpensive Cutting Board for the Kitchen

One more kitchen item...My nephew is putting together IKEA furniture for his apartment.  He reminded me of this great IKEA find, an over-sized chopping block with beveled edge for only $9.99.  Here.  It protects the white marble counter top.  I might just buy another, although I am determined to relax about the counter top "patina."


Our Renovated Kitchen

Recently, we completely renovated a 1950's beach cottage where we live in southern California.  Throughout the design process, many great ideas from blogs were incorporated.  I hope that this post will help you see some possibilities for your own kitchen.

#1. The Viking Six Burner with Griddle Gas Range.  This is one extravagance that my husband wanted (and friends said "let him have it as we will ALL benefit").
Before photo--hard to tell but the cabinets were falling apart
Before photo -- raising the ceiling was a priority
#2.  Large Island for Serving.  Notice the island color from Joni's  Cote de Texas post.
It is a great place for spreading out homework or wrapping presents.
Before--we added gauged slate flooring and library sconces

#3.  Sitting Area to Keep the Cook Company.  I like to cook, too but sometimes it's better to move out of the way and have a glass of wine.

#4.  Kitchen Utensils Within Easy Reach.  To avoid a cluttered countertop, I used to keep them in a drawer but it they became disorganized and hard to find.   I bought the canisters at Home Goods and just removed the tops.  Do you keep your utensils out?  The reason I can keep the countertops relatively clear is...
#5.  The Walk-In Pantry (with obscured ribbed glass).  

We lost a little hallway for this but...
we actually use the appliances in the pantry.  They are plugged in so my son can make a smoothie or toast without hauling the appliances out.  Don't you think twice about using the food processor or heavy mixer when it is in a cabinet?  Ha!  You non-cooks out there are thinking "who uses a food processor when there is take-out"?

But, my favorite thing about my kitchen is...
#6.  The Beverage Center.  Aside from the wine refrigerator, this is great as we have a filtered water tap with cold and instantly hot water.  Great for making tea or for pouring hot water into a cup to preheat it.

I organized everything in an industrial tool tray that I bought at the Pasadena flea market.  Notice the Nespresso coffee pods?  This was the office coffee where my husband worked in Paris (those French know how to live), then my friend Netta bought a little machine and now all my coffee drinking friends are sold on it as...
you can have a delicious cappuccino every morning!  No more Starbucks 
(one espresso pod costs just $.55).   It's a good life.

Check out the complete remodel, including Before and After...HERE.