March 4, 2016

Che Bella! Italian Linens

Italian Linens____________________________________

FROM KIMBERLY

ITALIAN LINENS AT MAISON K

I have fallen in love with Florence. This is surprising as till recently I’ve always felt Rome the ne plus ultra of Italy, yet I’m smitten!  I was last there on business eons ago but recently a friend (a former colleague and buyer herself) said, “Kim have you been to Florence lately?  There are still many small workshops with people making things in their ateliers, there is so much for you there.”  As promised, an endless range of wonderful product abounds, such as the pillows above and suede fringe wraps we’ve sold out of again, awaiting a new shipment. Wherever you glance there is beauty; the buildings, the food, the gentility, the elegance of an European life – that grace is lost in so much of the world but it lives on here and may it always reign! Pictured here is the exquisite 14th century Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, built by the Dominicans. They also began making an antiseptic rose water to combat the plague and in 1612 founded the “Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella”, one of the oldest pharmacies in the world, still home to exquisite fragrances, bath and body care products.

March 2, 2016

Haute Home

haute home

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FROM KIMBERLY

HAUTE HOME LOOK FROM MAISON KLong on my must see list in Paris has been the Picasso Musée.  Closed for a 2 year renovation in 2009, it ended up taking 5, finally reopening in 2014. After all my business was complete (all the new spring accessories from Paris are in store now!) we headed to the Hôtel Salé, the grand 17th century home of the musée.  It was a cool grey day, and as we approached the narrow entrance, the portal opened into a majestic courtyard. The exquisite baroque design, particularly the grand stairwell, is the perfect contrast to all the work inside, showcasing Picasso’s multi genre artistic range; ceramics, found objects, paintings and sculpture are all beautifully presented with meaningful english translations. There is a lovely garden and cafe as well, so one can make a great day of the visit soaking up a glorious range of art, history and architecture.

February 20, 2016

Honorable Mention in Traditional Home Magazine

Trad Home Mention

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FROM KIMBERLY

MODERN art complements the traditional homeThe pops of color in the pillows and art, pictured above, bring a dynamic quality to the room. “Dynamic” brings to mind too, this beguiling, three dimensional work of art on loan from The Glass House which was a part of the recent exhibition celebrating Frank Stella at the Whitney.  It’s a visual flight of fancy, swooping and shimmering with glitter and glass, metal and enamel, the jewel tones commanding our attention.  Named “Khar-Pidda 5.5x” the piece is one of a series inspired by the exotic birds seen during the artists residence in Ahmedabad, India. The Khar-Pidda is a brightly plumaged bird and knowing this, the art seems all the more enchanting. Like many shows I’ve seen lately, the most impressive aspect of them all is the diversity of work, the prolific nature and constant creativity of the artists. I was familiar with the grand/XL/ color banded/geometric paintings by Stella, and this show opened my eyes to the diversity and dimensionality of his greater oeuvre.
January 25, 2016

Treasures From Turkey

Home decor treasures from Turkey

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FROM KIMBERLY

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.

 

January 18, 2016

Spring & Summer Fashion Preview

spring & summer fashion preview at maison k

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FROM KIMBERLY

Stairway

Here is another example of that beautiful pale copper shade paired with bright white. Pictured, is a stairway in the grand courtyard of Palazzo Doria Tursi in Genoa, Italy. It’s one of the 3 stunning 16th century palazzi on Via Garibaldi which comprise the “Musei di Strada Nuova.”  Palazzo Rosso, Palazzo Bianco and Palazzo Doria Tursi are architectural gems of a bygone era. The buildings themselves and the artworks therein exemplify the great wealth of the aristocrats in 16th century Genoa. The entire street was inaugurated in 2006 as a UNESCO World Heritage sight and is composed of 42 restored palazzi. One such palazzo is now an exquisite boutique called Via Girabaldi 12.  Stay at Palazzo Cicala across from San Lorenzo in the medieval area of this fascinating seaport city.  Remember too, this is the birthplace of Cristoforo Colombo.

January 11, 2016

New Shipment Astier de Villatte

SB Mag AdV

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FROM KIMBERLY

NEW ASTIER DE VILLATTE AT MAISON K

There was promise of rain, but instead the skies parted as we ambled down the granite path, past the 1919 Reginald Johnson villa of Lotusland. (Johnson was Architect of the main SB Post office and Bellosguardo as well.)  Surrounded by magnificent stands of “dragon trees“, euphorbia, cactus, palms,
ginkgo, on and on, a tour here is a grand adventure in a peripatetic garden of Eden.  The property was founded in 1882 as the commercial nursery of Ralph Kinton Stevens. Santa Barbara’s rare Mediterranean climate proved an idyllic atmosphere where rare and exotic plants flourish.  Fast forward to 1940. Madame Ganna Walska, a much admired personality and opera singer, leaves her native Europe, on the last ship out before the war, and purchases the property in 1941. Over the decades, she worked with numerous renown architects and landscape designers to evolve the property. In fact, she herself evolved from grand opera diva and socialite into a passionate visionary and creative landscape designer in her own right, leaving us with a magnificent, creative, horticulturally significant gift for all time.

January 2, 2016

Introducing Christina Zilber

introducing christina zilber

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FROM KIMBERLY

maison k introducing christina zilber

Recently, I’m making more trips to LA – there are gift shows to attend, vendor meetings and inspiration in the myriad of shops and restaurants. At the end of one such visit recently, we went to the Sunset Tower Hotel for an early evening cocktail.  I’ve long wanted to visit this Art Deco gem and landmark on Sunset Boulevard.  Indeed, it’s a deco beauty and so chic in it’s thoughtful restoration and keeping. The restaurant and bar are located on the ground floor, and because the tower is perched on a hill, this affords an almost arial view toward downtown Los Angeles.  It’s a warm, wood paneled room, with plush cushions to melt into, framed vintage portraits on the walls, candlelight and a huge bouquet of white roses on the bar.  Next time dinner too!  But this evening we were heading to our tried and true favorite Lucques on Melrose.  We dined on the prix fix Sunday Supper and promised to be back again for this feast. Bon appétit!