October 16, 2016

As Seen in Veranda Magazine – Outdoor Lighting

lighting maison k seen in veranda magazine

indoor outdoor lighting from maison kThere is something so enchanting about dining al fresco, surrounded by trees, flowers and the open sky. This is easy to do in Santa Barbara, even if that means wearing a down sweater and UGG boots for an evening supper.! Not long ago I met a friend for dinner near her apartment at Gramercy Park.  We dined at Gramercy Tavern. It’s a classic and has been around a long time but I had never been before. I  loved the ambiance the moment we walked in. Huge plate glass windows, high ceilings and larger than life floral arrangements with tree branches and flowers greeted us. A sideboard, pictured here, was layered with masses of roses, daisies, mounds of squash, piles of miniature clay pots and a large glorious cheese board.  Our table had tiny vases filled with rosemary arranged in a wooden tray and even the “toilette” was festooned with numerous floral arrangements. A city style al fresco experience in the heart of New York!

October 16, 2016

New Chandeliers For Your Home

chandelieres from maison k


modern chandeliers at maison kThe tree canopies in the forests of the Sierra Nevada create a similar affect of the lanterns above.  The sunlight filters through a myriad of limbs and branches – casting shadows all around; falling upon the berries and wildflowers, on the forest floor covered with pine needles and cones. Our annual road trip this year included Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia.  Each park has an abundance of glorious, jaw dropping sights – but the relative emptiness and calm of Kings Canyon and Sequoia really spoke to me. Each evening at check in,
we were informed of the proper etiquette around bears – we were prepared – now where were they? On our last morning, we took the beautiful, grand Congress Trail in The Giant Forest and there they were, the ultimate visual reward, a cinnamon colored mama bear followed by her 2 precious cubs on a walk-about through the ferns.
August 21, 2016

One Silk Scarf, Eight Different Ways

silk scarf


silk scarf from maison k

The scarf above would be a great accessory to wear to a luncheon in Montecito or on a private patio in Morocco. The lovely arrangement pictured here, beckons to be enjoyed! There is something so classic, versatile and enduring about white furniture. Here in the interior courtyard of Riad Dixneuf La Ksour, Marakech, the old world elegance of white wicker, paired with the creamy walls and earthy tile, is both unexpected and luscious; an invitation to lounge on the chaise, enjoy a glass of mint tea and read a book with the soothing sound of trickling water from the pool nearby. This is a sanctuary of sorts, a beautiful spot for repose and relaxation. Wherever we are, that is a gift we must give ourselves – whether a beautiful escape far away, in our own backyard, or even in the boundless realm of our dreams and imagination.

July 30, 2016

The Allure of Lace

lace textiles


summer lace textiles

Pictured here is a window at the inimatable Astier de Villatte on Rue Saint Honore in Paris.  The boutique is located in an 18th century building, in a shop once occupied by “Le Singe Violet” – The Purple Monkey – as Singerie

was very chic and in vogue then. Today the stunning antique shelves are lined with gleaming white ceramics (also available here at MAISON K), whimsical gifts, and books including Astier de Villatte’s newly published english version of My Paris Life, soon arriving at MAISON K. The everlasting bouquet here is made up of handmade paper flowers – a beautiful melange of colors and shapes which echo the exotic and higher than high hairdos of the 18th century.  Today the most amazing hair dresser is Julien d’Ys – he creates other worldly coiffure for exhibits and shows around the world.

July 23, 2016

Rincon Beach House

rincon beach house as seen in sb magazine

SANTA BARBARA BEACH HOUSEIndicative of many beach side communities is the palm tree. Is there anything that says summer and sunshine and balmy breezes more than an Arecaceae – as called by the botanists? What’s most phenomenal is that there are so many types – 2600 species, living within a greater geographical range than you might imagine. Palms create an incredible array of goods that billions of people depend on. From coconut meat, milk and water to wax and oil, coir and rattan, dates, nuts, heart of palm and wine – there are numerous products derived from this tree. The palms here are probably about a hundred years old and stand majestically along Butterfly Beach; they beautifully sway with any wind.  The Palms in Carpinteria has photos of their young palms planted when they first opened in 1912.  I don’t know if the ones there now are the originals but they are sky high.  An evening at The Palms is like falling into a time warp with the added fun, if you so choose, of getting to grill your own steak and halibut after a trip to their classic salad bar.  Happy Summer!

July 16, 2016

Baroque Pearls For Your Inner Goddess

baroque pearls from maison k 2016

mediteranean baroque pearlsI’ve been fascinated with Greek and Roman art and antiquity my entire life – I’m quite sure a very early visit to Ludington Court at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art started it all.  I have fond childhood memories of the museum where my mother was a docent for many years. Years later, I even met my husband there!  As a lapsed Art History student, I am still enchanted by museums of all sorts; that said the MET remains the ne plus ultra – especially with the addition of the MET Breuer. This makes for the perfect trio between the MET on 5th and The Cloisters. Pictured here is a bronze sculpture in the largest of the Greek and Roman galleries, standing on a finely tessellated floor surrounded by grand columns – very much evoking an ancient villa – quite a transformation from what was once a restaurant!

July 9, 2016

Salut and Chin Chin

French Finds at maison k

French CafeSpeaking of French Finds, this is one of them for sure — “Le Jardin du Quai” in L’Isle sur la Sorgue. A multi storied, vine clad villa with ice blue shutters stands amidst a verdant garden with dining tables all about – it could not have been more quintessentially provencal – utterly charming. I love these easy relaxed meals where you linger between the courses after a long day and soak up the atmosphere. We would never have found this gem, hidden as it was behind a tall wall, but our wonderful hosts at Le Clos Violette, who have an eye for beauty and a taste for fine dining gave us all the best recommendations throughout the area.  Priceless!  We actually returned to “Le Jardin” the very next day for lunch and decided to eat inside – beguiled by the floor of old french tiles and vintage counter dining surrounding a grand island with an astonishing floral arrangement ringed by luscious desserts – including a regional favorite – le Tart Tropezienne. Did we indulge? Oh la la!

July 5, 2016

Riviera Living

riviera living

lake como, italy, riviera livingLago di Como brings to mind images of grand villas rising from the lake, parasol pines spreading their canopies above verdant gardens and red tiled roofs everywhere. Pictured here is the dreamy Villa del Balbianello, exquisite enough for James Bond in Casino Royale. We had taken a vacation in Switzerland, the last stop being one night in Lake Como. I loved being a tourist, an off duty buyer, enjoying the excursion boat tour of the lake (“….and to your right, the villa with the green shutters… is George Cluny’s home..”) as well as walking the steep stone steps of the idyllic, (but crowded) Italian fairy tale town of Bellagio. Wandering around during our hour long stop I spotted some beautiful silk shawls in a shop window.  Little did I know that I was in the European epicenter of silk production and weaving. During the 18th century, silk was the largest export of Lombardy, with many mills near the lake.  A fine silk textile tradition continues to this day.  I quickly snapped up a number of pieces for the store, now long gone, but plan on bringing in a new assortment of these beautiful textiles this fall!

June 26, 2016

Bring The Inside Out!

silk ikat pillows at maison k




I love the earthy and elegant muted tans, blush and nudes of the textiles above – a palette echoed in many of the dresses featured in “Manus x Machina” (Hand and Machine), the Costume Institute’s Spring 2016 exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Like many, I (mistakenly) believed that Haute Couture was the epitome of high fashion because it was all executed by hand for a specific client. This exhibit showcases the fact that both highly sophisticated machine work as well as hand work goes into the creation of these otherworldly dresses. Pictured here is a fitted, yet frothy dress of lace and tulle from the House of Givenchy, Autumn/Winter 2011/12. There are a bevy of festive, fascinating ensembles from many different eras organized by technique: Plissè (Pleating), Dentellerie (Lacework), Plumasserie (Featherwork) – etcetera – the online overview  is an interesting glimpse of the show from the comfort of your home!

June 22, 2016

Fun, French Fashion Jewelry

fun french fashion jewelry for summer



I love the earthy tones of the necklaces above, the colors mirrored in this image of the magical enclave of Les Baux-de-Provence  in the south of France. This ancient town clings to a towering peak, surrounding a citadel and castle with views for miles and miles.  Inhabited since 6000BC Les Baux is built from the local stone quarried in the area by the native people and later the Romans in 2 BC. Down the hill from this fascinating fortress and surrounding town is “Les Carrieres de Lumieres” – a spectacular art space where huge images are projected on the walls of an old quarry and choreographed with music inside the vast chambers – it’s a breath taking experience. Both sites are part of France’s “Culture Spaces” a heady array of cultural treasures each spectacular in its own right; which to choose from next?!