August 1, 2015

California Dreaming – The Perfect Accessories

the perfect accessories california style



AquariumAbove the sea (at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park) and below the sea (at Monterey Bay Aquarium), we are on a grand coastal tour from Santa Barbara to San Francisco with our 10-year-old granddaughter. First stop, Hearst Castle – I’d not been since I was a child myself and was awed by the history and vision of this property, created by Hearst and Julia Morgan, California’s first female architect. Next, a scenic drive up to Big Sur and then onto the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a delight to me as I had a passing fancy of becoming a marine biologist! A hundred photos later (jellyfish, sharks, sea anemones, penguins, big fish, little fish galore) we headed to the California Academy of Sciences Museum in Golden Gate park where my all-time favorite creature to date is a manta ray covered in a leopard pattern, stunning! Now aboard a ferry to the city from our home away from home in Sausalito for more great adventures! Perhaps some cake from my favorite bakery in SF, Miette (which means “crumb” in French!

June 26, 2015

Baroque Majesty From Italy

Baroque majesty baroque pearls from italy



baroque majesty at maison kPearls are often considered the “Queen of Gems” and have been prized for thousands of years; the first historical mention is from China, some 2,300 years ago. Speaking of China, I just got to see “Through the Looking Glass,” a show-stopping exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The show is the culmination of a collaboration between The Costume Institute and The Department of Asian Art. Gorgeous gowns from many eras inspired by the designers’ fascination and inspiration of China’s artistic heritage. The clothing is beautifully displayed in the Asian Art Galleries alongside Chinese art and architecture. Shown above, a silk brocade dress by Alexander McQueen Autumn/Winter 2006-2007.

June 18, 2015

Bohemian Chic

bohemian chic at maison k



bohemian chic style for summer

Padding about in my Bohemian chic sandals from Marrakech, we were on an errand downtown the other day, parking near the SB Historical Society. After completing our task we tucked in for a quick visit, so worthwhile! It’s a fabulous museum dedicated to the history of Santa Barbara, chock-a-block full of  interesting shows, as well as home to a fascinating permanent collection. Founded in 1932, and housed in several locations until this dedicated site was chosen for a classic adobe building (the bricks made on site), it was inaugurated  in 1965. Make sure to stroll the grounds, which include a courtyard, library and two historic adobe buildings. By the way, remember Old Fiesta Days are coming soon, August 5-9.

June 5, 2015

Skyler’s Picks – A Saturday Out And About

skylers picks at maison k



SKYLER'S PICKS ARTIST SMOCKSkyler’s outfit would be the perfect ensemble for a day at Giverny. The smock is very much like those that Monet himself would wear.  His art speaks for itself, and a trip to his incredible home and gardens just outside of Paris provides a glimpse into his inspiration. After a rainy grey week in Paris it was a joy to see the billowing clouds adrift in a bright blue sky above these magnificent gardens. We managed to sneak in just as the morning crowd was leaving, and just before the noon crowd hit. The allees and arches were filled with glorious buds, the uber-famous lily pond reflected the clouds above, the wisteria was bursting in bloom on the Japanese bridge. If you are anywhere near Giverny, the trip is well worth it.  Meanwhile, back at home in Santa Barbara, a visit to the Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens is always an inspiration and pleasure in our own backyard!

May 2, 2015

Outdoor Elegance

outdoor elegance at maison k



MAISON K OUTDOOR ELEGANCE FLORALS AT MOMALiving in Santa Barbara, we enjoy a marvelous indoor / outdoor lifestyle. We have the luxury of living and dining outside many months of the year, surrounded by the outdoor elegance of flowering trees and bushes. For those living in New York City, especially after a very cold winter with snow-covered streets, the sight of tiny green leaves and budding branches is exhilarating. That said, one can bask in the beauty of massive floral arrangements in the foyer of the Metropolitan Museum of Art year round. I always marvel at these arrangements and have taken numerous photos over the years; they are always that inspiring. There are four grand pediment niches and a central pedestal which support classic marble urns bursting with a magnificent arrangement of flowers. This enduring gift is from Lila Acheson Wallace. Who was this woman with the foresight of gifting all who behold, these beautiful flowers? Lila and her husband founded Readers Digest in 1922 and generously went on to create The Wallace Foundation and fund a number of great philanthropic causes.

November 14, 2014

Sparkle Shimmer and Glow

holiday gifts at maison k

We are so excited to share this divine new jewelry collection with you! There is nothing like the beauty of diamonds and natural stones to add elegance and sophistication to any ensemble, whether it’s a white t-shirt and jeans, or a little black dress.These one-of-a-kind pieces from Turkey are perfect to wear now, to kick off the holiday season – and versatile enough to wear year round. Composed of antiqued sterling, diamonds, pearls and stones such as iolite, labradorite and emeralds, this jewelry is meticulously designed and created to be timeless and worn for years to come.
Each piece is truly unique so please contact us to reserve any of the pieces you see here.

1. Moonstone/Diamond/Labradorite Pendants: $395-595
2. Pearl/Diamond Bead Necklace: $395
3. Pearl/Diamond Bracelet $595 and Diamond Earrings $1,495
4. Baroque Pearl/Black Diamond Necklace: $595
5. Shagreen/Diamond Bracelet: $1,595 each
6. Iolite/Diamond Lariat: $1,495
7. Citrine Necklace: $1,295
8. Labradorite/Diamond/Emerald Necklace: $895
9. Feather Earrings: $1,795

Come and visit us in our new location:
1253 Coast Village Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93108



CHRISTMAS AT MAISON K MONTECITOIn addition to the beautiful topography of Santa Barbara, we are surrounded by a multitude of cultural treasures.  One of the oldest and most iconic is our  “Queen of Missions.” Founded by Franciscan Friar Fermin de Lasuen on the Feast of St. Barbara, December 4 1786, the Mission is unique with it’s twin bell towers, a feature restricted to a cathedral church.  Most visitors know the classic exterior view, yet a visit inside the main chapel (pictured), gardens and cemetery is fascinating. The Mission has the oldest tradition of choral singing among the California Missions and in the 19th century served in part as a college, making it Santa Barbara’s first institution of higher learning. I always make an evening visit to the creche set up mid-December, wonderfully back lit by the Mission facade under a big shimmering starry sky.

October 17, 2014

Fall Into Luxurious Textures

Luxuriuos textures at Maison K, alpaca, wool, lambskin and more

We have a stunning new assortment of luxurious textures and textiles in a marvelous range of natural colors and amazing fibers. Lovely clothes and scarves to wear, as well as pieces to decorate and add comfort and beauty to your home.

Come and experience the soft touch and elegance of these pieces in our new location: 1253 Coast Village Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93105.

1. Cashmere-like Throw From Portugal
2. Cashmere Throw and Lambskin Pillow
3. Assorted Cashmere Shawls
4. Assorted Cashmere Shawls
5. Cowhide Pillows
6. Mohair Fringe Throw
7. Wool and Rabbit Fur Throw
8. Natural Weave Sweaters
9. Tibetan Lamb Throw
See you soon in the store to feel these luxurious textures for yourself.

Palais Royal columnsNo trip to Paris is complete without a stroll through Palais-Royal. There are a multitude of moods and aspects to experience – Quiet strolls through the long galleries, early morning or late evening, when all the businesses are closed or prime time when people are sitting around the central fountain, walking through the allée of plane trees, visiting Serge Lutens, Masion de Vacance and Didier Ludot or sipping espresso at a cafe contemplating this vibrant and grand creation which began as a 17th century palace.   

March 1, 2014

New Arrivals from France, Silk Scarves

silk scarves from france at maison k, montecito ca
lace pattern silk scarves at maison k, santa barbara ca
Arriving at San Francisco International Airport a couple days ago, after 30 hours of travel from India where I was finding wonderful new things for Maison K, I was entranced by a marvelous exhibit : Lace: A Sumptuous History 1600s-1900sPrior to being in India I was in Paris where I found the fantastic silk scarves shown above, designed with a beautiful lace and floral pattern.
I love lace! This beautifully displayed show explores a wide range of laces made over the centuries.  It succinctly explains the historical and technical development of lace and the various types with gorgeous, mind boggling examples be they edgings, parasols, gloves, collars or dresses. What exquisite creations!
The exhibit was made possible by generous loans from Lacis Museum of Lace & Textiles in Berkely, CA and The Lace Museum in Sunnyvale, CAI have never been to either museum but now look forward to further exploring this remarkable art form the next time I am near.


December 1, 2013

Holiday Inspiration

522gift ideas for men and women from maison k
If you haven’t visited already, please check out our blog PAPILLON to keep updated with our Holiday Countdown!  
Each day, we feature a holiday décor or gift giving
idea which we hope will inspire you now
and through the Holidays.

holiday gift ideas at maison k

Speaking of gifts, one of the greatest ever, is that of the Smithsonian Institutionin Washington DC. I lived in DC for 3 years and have spent countless hours soaking up the richness of this gift of science, art, nature and humanity. Yet, until this moment, I didn’t know anything about the vision and founding of what is the world’s largest museum and research institution in the world. With 19 museums, the National Zoo and nine research facilities, it is, in my eyes, our nation’s most incredible gift, envisioned by James Smithson, a British scientist born in 18th century Paris. What is most astonishing to me is, he never set foot in America even though he was a well educated and well traveled gentleman. Because he never expressed why, there is much speculation about what prompted his decision to leave his fortune in a trust to create this institution. Twenty years after his death, the Smithsonian was founded and named in his honor. Would he not be astounded with the reach and might of his gift which millions and millions of people from all around the world treasure; he has touched us and greatly enhanced our lives with enlightenment, wonder, knowledge, inspiration, and joy. (Pictured above is the rotunda of the National Gallery of Art.)

October 17, 2013

Brand New Colors

Riviera Tote in new colors at MAISON K

Maison K, Brand New Colors, Riviera Tote, From Kimberly, Aime Maeght, Beaulieu sur MerFor years, I had heard of a French language emersion school located in the south of France on the French Riviera.  Situated in Ville Franche sur Mer, in a villa on a steep hill overlooking one of the deepest natural harbors of the mediterranean, the Institute de Francais is an intensive 9-5/ 5 days a week commitment for one month.  My high school French was sorely put to test – and I came out the other side with a diploma stating most improved!  During the weekends, we (adult) students from all over the world would take the bus to Nice, walk to the market nearby in Beaulieu sur Mer, (where I found fabulous Italian clothing for the store) and take bus trips to the surrounding areas.  Shown here is an image from the garden of Foundation Maeght located in St. Paul de Vance. Inaugurated in 1964, it is a private foundation conceived by Marguerite and Aimé Maeght, a showcase of contemporary art and architecture surrounded by nature. Works by Giacometti, Miro, Chagall and Braque, among other artists collaborated in creating a unique creation and experience.