DESIGNER’S GUIDE TO PARIS

Bonjour! I recently returned from a magical trip to Paris and am feeling très inspired, and had to share some of the highlights. I went to explore Maison Objet -- the premier lifestyle trade show that features incredible furniture, accessories, textiles, fragrances, tableware and more from around the world -- but as one does in the City of Lights, got to experience so much more.

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Let’s start with my adorable hotel, Fauchon l’Hôtel. Not only is this hotel super chic, it is covered in one of my favorite colors...pink! From the closet to the custom credenza to the Dyson hair dryer, it was as if I had entered a Parisian pink fantasy land! I also love the Grand Hotel du Palais Royal because of its central location and impeccable 5-star concierge service. And, of course, Hôtel de Crillon for a quintessential Parisian bar experience.

One can’t go to Paris and not indulge...and I certainly got my fill of croissants and champagne this time around! Beyond the cuisine, though, the entire dining experience in French restaurants is truly memorable and special. 


GRAND HOTEL DU PALAIS ROYAL

GRAND HOTEL DU PALAIS ROYAL

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I was blown away by Alain Ducasse at Plaza Athénée. It’s fine dining in the purest form where food is art and ingredients are perfectly fresh and flavorful. Plus the decor is to die! Another favorite is Pink Mama (are we noticing a color theme?!), a charming and bustling Italian eatery. The interiors are stunning and the food even better. I guess that’s why there was a line around the corner at lunch.

I can’t go to Paris and not dine at Monsieur Bleu. The meal is consistently good and the interiors are effortlessly modern, but it’s the direct Eiffel Tower views that make it incomparable. A real treat on this trip was Balagan. All the dishes are superb, but the “Crashed Snickers” dessert was unlike anything I’ve ever had. The Snickers is literally “crashed” tableside and satiates that sweet tooth! And, you can’t go to Paris and not be a tourist alongside locals at Café de Flore during the day and Hotel Costas at night. Both offer the best people-watching in Paris!


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In addition to Maison Objet, I charged my creative batteries at Paris Deco Off, an event in which showrooms, exhibitions and pop-ups across the city showcase their newest collections. I especially enjoyed seeing the Adam Hunter x StudioArt leather collaboration, having lunch with Jonathan Browning at Les Climats hosted by Ligne Group, boating down the Seine with Holland & Sherry, and having a private luncheon and tour of the Paris flea market hosted by Jobi Blachy-Quintus and Roger Thomas.

When not working, I made the most of leisure time, strolling through the charming streets and soaking up the city. I took in some art at the Louis Vuitton Foundation, which had a Jean-Michel Basquiat exposition, checked out the new Chanel boutique at 31 Rue Cambon (one of everything, s'il vous plaît!), and connected with some of my fellow LA designers at the American Party in Paris at the College des Bernardins.


CHANEL - 31 RUE CAMBON

CHANEL - 31 RUE CAMBON

LV FOUNDATION

LV FOUNDATION

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One of the highlights of this trip was meeting and connecting with so many wonderful people. From beginning to end, I feel like Paris played the ultimate networking matchmaker. For starters, when my flight from San Francisco to Paris was delayed by a day, I met and had dinner with Deb Spofford of Made On 23rd, a super talented textile designer. When it came time for our flight, we were serendipitously seated next to one another! Tony Forte was on that flight, as well, and I found out he’s a Barry’s Bootcamp instructor in the Bay Area (and, we all know I love my Barry’s!). Interior designer extraordinaire Roux MacNeil and I were randomly seated next to each other at a dinner and realized we worked on the same project (at different times) in Cary, NC. I’ve known Thomas Lavin, a creative mastermind, for years, but we really bonded over veggies and rooftop decks at the Jonathan Browning luncheon. Dynamic Chicago designer Donna Mondi and I bumped into each other at the Adam Hunter presentation and discovered we share the same PR firm (guess our agency has great taste in clients!). And, I met one of the sweetest people, Maryna Gulevskaya, a hair and makeup artist who has an enviable Parisian flat that I’ll continue to draw inspiration from.

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As the saying goes, “Paris is always a good idea,” and this trip proved that more than ever. Until next time...


 
 

PACKING FOR PARIS

So while LA is drowning in rain, I decided to make a quick getaway for some French festivities with designer friends! I’m heading to Paris for the Paris Deco Off 2019 as well as Maison & Objet!

You might be wondering if my organizational gene makes its way into my personal life - the answer is yes!! Packing for the trip, I’ve been inspired by the latest street style trends in my instagram feed, as well as the fully packed itinerary for the trip. See what looks are coming along for the ride in my suitcase below, and stay tuned for all the fashionable #ootd posts in Paris - one of my favorite cities in the world!

Shop my suitcase below:


FRIDAY

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SATURDAY

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SUNDAY

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MONDAY

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STYLISH STOW AWAYS

The holiday travel season is upon us!

This means we’re all once again digging through our hall closets and garage storage to find our favorite carry-on bags… well, not all of us! Some of the most practical specialty closets I’ve been commissioned to design over the years are for stowing away luxury luggage! If you thought it was important to have a place to protect your shoes and handbags, you’ll understand why clients are starting to dedicate space for their suitcases. Traveling for the holidays can be stressful enough; the last thing you want to do when packing for a trip is spend precious time trying uncover a suitcase in a cluttered storage area. And, contrary to what you might think, finding functional ways to store them doesn’t have to require a ton of space. If you can get creative, and dedicate an area the appropriate size for your suitcases, it can make packing a breeze!

Here, I’m going to show you a few of my favorite ways to stow away your precious cargo in style, whether you have a whole room to dedicate, or you’re already using every square inch of space!:

SHOW THEM OFF

What we often forget when trying to store luggage - these trunks and travel bags are MEANT to store things! Therefore, they don’t have to take up extra, unnecessary space. If your closet is already bursting at the seams, consider incorporating your luggage as decor in the space. If you have nice travel accessories, they can be used to keep seasonal items out of sight, and become the focal point of your closet (or any room in the house)!

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USE THE SPACE ABOVE OR BELOW

Often, clients just aren’t making the best use of their existing space! They hesitate to store anything on the top shelf of their closets, for fear of not being able to reach. The same can be said for the space under your hanging clothing - you’re afraid if you store anything here, you’ll forget about it and it will be lost forever! These are both real concerns, but luggage is the exception! Take back that underutilized space by tucking your travel bags away, out of sight, but still within reach. Next time you’re packing, you’ll have everything you need right there in your closet.

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CREATE A LUGGAGE CABINET

Clients often forget that nothing about their closet is set in stone! It might require a few touch-ups, but adding/removing shelves and rods are simple solutions that can exponentially improve the functionality of the space. This is a room where you’re usually starting and ending every day, and it’s worth a little investment to make that experience run smoothly! If you’re storing large suitcases in a basement or separate area of the house, I would recommend a little reorganization, removing a couple of shelves, and designating a space in your closet or dressing room to keep them close!

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CREATE A CUSTOM LUGGAGE CLOSET

This is definitely the way to go, if you have the space to allocate! Whether it’s converting a linen or hall closet, or designating an area of your dressing room, custom suitcase closets are the perfect way to stow your luggage in style! Designed to fit everything from totes to trolley bags, these spaces can incorporate custom lighting, hooks, staging areas, and a place to pack. No more trekking to the corners of your home every time you need to pack a bag!

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WEST SIDE COLOR STORY

As designers, inspiration can come in many forms! I often hear people say Fall is their favorite season, and we go out of our way here in SoCal to get a glimpse of the Fall colors before winter strikes. In the spirit of the changing seasons, I decided to break out a few fall colors of my own. Last week, while launching Closet Design Bible in New York, I had a chance to hit some of my favorite haunts, as well as check out a few new spots. The city is full of life and character, and what better way to pay homage to everyone’s favorite season than to draw inspiration from the vivid colors all around. And for anyone who thinks the city is nothing but gray, think again! See the full color story below:

 
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Whether it’s a deep stain in a dream dressing room or a velvety soft shade on your new coat for the season, this rich red tone is just right.

brandy brown

brandy brown

bit of blue

bit of blue

 

This is one color that has no season! It goes by many names — sky blue in summer, ice blue in winter, but I’ll take more than just a Bit of Blue any time of year!


 
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For anyone who thought pink had no place in the fall palette, stop and smell the Café Créme! Somewhere next to nude on the color spectrum, this shade brings Cali cool to the East Coast.

cafe creme

cafe creme

oyster gray

oyster gray

 

Possibly the perfect go-to grey, this humble hue can go uptown modern or downright rustic depending on the application.

 

Don’t let the end of Summer make you blue! But if it does, make sure it’s Deep Teal. This saturated shade just goes to show how cool colors can take a rightful year-round spot in the wardrobe.

deep teal

deep teal


 
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twilight mauve

twilight mauve

 

This isn’t your grandmother’s mauve lipstick! The moody purple Pantone color combines the neutral appeal of grey with a lovely pale lavender that can’t go wrong.

 

No Fall palette would be complete without an earthy orange. Autumn Maple makes us remember why we fell in love with Fall in the first place!

autumn maple

autumn maple

lead crystal

lead crystal

 

Believe it or not, grey has temperatures, too. I’m rounding our the group with a cool grey complement that embodies timeless elegance. Take it home or wear it well, Lead Crystal is a gem of a color.