sand Archive


It’s So Miami

It's so Miami Image 1

I just arrived back home from shooting another episode of Let’s Shop and this trip we hit Miami and have I got some great design ideas to share. One of the greatest blessings of travel is that not only can you hunt and gather fun products and pieces for your design but you can also gather suitcases full of inspiration.

Miami is a hot bed of product, creativity and hot designers, in fact, as I was chatting up the proprietor of one of Miami’s hottest design stores Nici, in walks Juan, straight out of Paris’s top 10 Designer  list. How fun was it for me to watch him and his client pick out and order about twelve items in less than ten minutes. “One of these, two of these tables and eight of these rock crystal vases and one of those oversized prints……”. Traditionally when we think of Miami we think sun, sand and of course South Beach but nowadays Miami is sooooooo much more.

I love colour and in Miami there is no shortage of fabulous colur and it’s truly a treat to see the return of colour to our rooms at home. Bright woven rugs, glass bowls and vases, chandeliers dripping with turquoise, amethyst and hot bright beads were amongst my top picks. Other notables in the lighting department were chandeliers dripping with barnacle’s – omg I’m in love and a chandelier is something that could change with the season. At one high end, all-Italian designer shop I saw outdoor ornaments such as two foot turtles, dog sculptures and strange kitchy pieces all painted in matte bright hues, blue, red, yellow and green. One of these pieces would look super beside the back yard pool or next to a patio chair, so much fun! Garden stools are also a fun find; you can find them in metallics and fabulous summer brights. I love the look of three in a row or even set a single metallic stool in your shower.

It's So Miami Image 2

Air plants, succulents and terrariums are all the rage in Miami, not only do they look fabulous, living art literally but they are so easy to grow, mist regularly and enjoy. Living sculpture, and oh so summer!

Oversized was also a notable trend, oversized and fabulous photo prints were very sexy especially when paired with a bright tangerine, yellow or a turquoise wall. Oversized glass bowls and vintage floor lamps made me drool and it was more than apparent that gold is certainly a stronger trend than silver right now and looked amazing with these bright summer hues. Photo prints also looked brilliant upholstered onto the backs of some very sexy one of a kind chairs-think about this: a wonderful high gloss black frame, black leather seat and then bam, a super pigmented photo (think Alexander McQueen) transposed onto fabric as a chair back upholstery. If you have the chance to visit Miami, be sure to make the Design District  a must-go shopping destination, when I travel I also like to visit a few show suites to see what’s going on and to undoubtedly bring home some great home fashion inspiration.

This weekend plant is an Aloe Vera plant, not only are they a sexy summer plant but they are useful. Aloe Vera plants are fabulous savers for a summer sunburn, addition to a cool tea or sparkling water cocktail and they look terrific on a patio table as plant art. Keep the planter simple and let the spiky elegance of the plant make the statement.

Classic Summer

When I say “summer”, what’s the first decorating item that comes to mind? Seashells, coral, driftwood, sand butterflies?

These are classic summer motifs that you can use to enhance your summer decor and at no charge.  How often can we get free decorating items that look amazing and are perfectly suited for our rooms? Almost never – so let’s decorate! One of my favorite summer do’s is to take a group of glass vases, canister or urns and fill them with sand I bought home from the beach and then to add a few shells on top. This group looks great on a bathroom counter-top, the fireplace mantel even the kitchen table as a center piece, they’ll also look fabulous outside on the patio table. What the heck, we love this idea so much let’s create two sets: One for inside the house and one for outside. A tray or bowl filled with sand and a shell or two also looks great mixed in with this group or as a stand alone piece.

A designer friend of mine keeps a collections of apocathery jars and every year she collects sands from her travels brings a bag of it home, fills a jar, labels it by beach and year and displays the collection amongst her books. Because we love design surprises during the summer we always lay a few shells or beach pebbles around the drain in the bathroom sink or if you have a beautiful larger shell, carefully drill two holes through it and insert about two meters of cording and make your own drapery tie back. We also love to cover mirror frames, lampshades and even furniture with shells. Keep the project going year to year as you gather more shells- it doesn’t have to be finished in one session and even a partially finished (shell covered) project looks great.

In my living room I have three large glass floor vases sitting behind my sofa each with a five foot piece of drift wood set in it. Driftwood is one of my personal favorite found items and I’m an avid collector. On our deck off the master bedroom sitting beside a pair of arm chairs we have a large piece of wood that we hauled home a couple of years ago from the Eagle River. As much as Roger, my husband, protested about hauling this sanding, ant covered hunk of wood in the car, he is now the first one to comment on what a fabulous piece of wood this is. Of course when I got it home I gave the wood a thorough hosing and even a quick coat of clear varnish and now it is natural sculpture. I’m a lover of weathered wood and one of my favorite pieces is an old weathered piece of two by ten that sits on the sofa table (inside or out). I added a couple of feet to the bottom and drilled holes just the right size in the top for tea lights-fabulous!!

Show off a great shell or butterfly collection using bell jars. Put the shell on top of a stacked set of coffee table books and set the bell jar on top or use a tray instead of books and set it outside on the sofa or coffee table. A bell jar displaying a summer classic can also work amongst the glass vase collection. Mix and match your summer collectables for fabulous summer living.

Sam and I were shopping for groceries last week and we came across solar powered white pvc planters. OMGosh for around fifty dollars these planters lit up the patio beautifully so we of course went back for more, now they sit on the dock and all around the house. But as always we try to think creatively and outside the ‘box’ or in this case the planter and now use a few of the planters as summer chillers. We fill the bowl with ice and then stock it with bottled water, beer or soda drinks when companies over for a summer gathering-When not in use they still look fabulous empty.