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 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 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?!

May 21, 2016

Easy Breezy For Beach And Beyond

easy breezy summer dresses




We are blessed with so many splendid beaches in California. Up and down the coast there are a myriad of coves and expanses; small beaches and large.  Pictured here is Dillon Beach in Marin County located near the mouth of Tomales Bay.  Tomales Bay is home to a thriving oyster industry – take time out to enjoy the fruits of the sea at Hog Island Oyster and either stay at a private residence in Dillon Beach or nearby Olema and dine enjoying the old world chic of the Sir and Star at The Olema. Then there’s the miles of pristine coast at Point Reyes National Seashore to explore and the drive on Highway 1 through Bolinas to enjoy.  Nearby, don’t miss the Audubon Canyon Ranch where the snowy egrets nest en masse – a magnificent sight to witness.

January 25, 2016

Treasures From Turkey

Home decor treasures from Turkey



treasures from turkey at maison k

Prevalent throughout the Harem at Topkapi Palace in Istanbul are the exquisite tiles – these are certainly treasures from Turkey too.  While it’s a considerable investment to tile walls or floors, one can capture the beauty of these patterns in a very different medium with the pillows above. Typically, tile patterns are stylized versions of leaves and flowers. Carnations, rose, hyacinth, pomegranate, lotus and cypress trees are prevalent but perhaps the favorite motif is the tulip. The introduction of tulips to Europe is attributed to Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq, the ambassador of the Holy Roman Empire to Suleiman the Magnificent, sultan of the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century. The exotic flower quickly became a symbol of cultivated luxury and a status symbol. This adoration and an economy based on the bulbs created “Tulipmania” , explored in the soon to be released Tulip Fever starring Judi Dench, Cara Delevingne and Cressida Bonas.