Rooms With A View

It was such a busy weekend that I didn’t have time to sit and read the newspapers, I’m just going through them now. I got a case of serious house envy when I came across this story in Friday’s WSJ. The modern house featured is in Montecito, California and hangs over the edge of the Pacific Ocean. New York based Kikka Hanazawa, president of fashion line VPL, and her husband bought and renovated it for vacations.

The couple’s goal was to maximize the views and natural setting. My favorite bit is the vertical herb wall in the dining room.

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what's new


Belted denim shirt


Jean canvas espadrilles


Bow-detailed crepe midi dress


Nude leatter sandals


Camilla one-shoulder textured-organic cotton maxi dress


Knotted sleeve-waist wool sweater


Paradise high-rise jeans


Nude leather sandals


Pearl ribbed-knit wool sweater


Cropped leather trousers


Ryder leather shoulder bag


Square sunglasses

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Field Trip


Last Monday I had lunch in Sag Harbor with friends. It was great to be in the Hamptons right before Memorial Day weekend; everything was open, and no crowds. After lunch, we popped into MONC Xlll, a shop owned by my old friend Natasha Esch. Once president of Wilhelmina Models, and then a stint as an interior designer in L.A., Natasha now lives out east with her husband and children. MONC Xlll is full of antique and vintage furniture, gorgeous homeware, and my favorite Cire Trudon candles. A perfect rainy day destination.

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A New Setting

Like many brides, when I married, I picked out two sets of china. The set for everyday use is the same pattern as my mother’s, Wedgewood Edme, and a formal set of Limoges white plates with a blue and gold rim for entertaining. I’ve added a few pieces here and there, but have not bought a complete new set of fine china since my wedding.

After seeing this story by Sofia Coppola in her special edition of W, I am completely inspired to shake up my dish ware.


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Clean Slate

My husband has been complaining about our overstuffed cottage, and my housekeeper spends 80% of her time dusting. Short of moving to a stripped-down space like this one, I think it’s time for a massive cleanout.

Images © NYC&G

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Art On The Line

My friends at The Line keep expanding their offerings and now you can buy art on the site. Seems like an natural addition since the artist Max Snow is married to The Line co-founder, Vanessa Traina.

You can also visit The Apartment, home of The Line, to see the works in person.

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Make A Note

Like Sofia Coppola, I’m a stationery nut and have a “wardrobe” of different cards. My go-to stationery is by Smythson, engraved Nile blue cards and envelopes, but I also have ones that I cherish from Cartier and The Printery. The above page, from the special issue of W edited by Coppola, shows a few of her favorites.

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Still My Favorite

Next to Rosemary, Abd el Kader by Cire Trudon is my favorite candle scent. I love how Cire Trudon candles are displayed– placed under glass domes to trap the scent. The heavy, green glass container, gold label, and pale green or white box is the ultimate in packaging.

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Spring Cleaning

With our seemingly never-ending winter and three dogs, I am itching to throw open the windows to let in some fresh air. Until that can happen, I rely on all natural, great smelling cleaning products. Method makes some of the best, especially their  Squirt + Mop (the only natural version I’ve found) and dryer sheets. I like Mrs. Meyer’s laundry soap in lemon verbena, but I’m not a fan of all of their scents. For riding clothes, I use half unscented Tide and half Mrs. Meyer’s. Dishwasher soap has been my bugaboo. My dishes weren’t getting clean with the one’s I tried. Now I use Palmolive Eco, it’s phosphate free and works like a charm.

I’m always looking for natural products that do the job, let me know if you have any to recommend.

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Interior Designer & Blogger

Mark D. Sikes

Mark Sikes

Mark D. Sikes photographed by Agnes Baddoo for KiC.

A few years ago, a number of my interiors-obsessed friends started mentioning Mark D. Sikes’ eponymous blog, and were raving about his posts. When I visited his site, I knew instantly why it was generating so much buzz– MDS is the perfect mix of “chic people, glamorous places, and stylish things”.  An L.A.-based interior designer with impeccable taste, Mark had created a must-follow blog.

And follow I did.  As it turned out, Mark was following me. After commenting on each others’ posts, an email exchange, and my begging him to join me at an event with Deeda Blair, we became fast friends.

Besides my favorite MDS posts on vintage imagery, iconic women, and envy-worthy interiors, I love that Mark uses his blog as a platform to promote other designers, illustrators, and creative folks. This sharing is the hallmark of his generous spirit. Henry James’ famous words “[t]hree things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind” pretty much sum up my dear friend.

Mark and his partner Michael kindly let us photograph them (and beloved Frenchie, Lily) at their drop-dead, and newly renovated, Hollywood Hills home.

The best part of profiling a tastemaker is getting them to divulge their must-haves and inspirations. Mark shares his list below.


MDS inspiration board: top interior Carolina Irving’s old NYC apartment, bottom Oscar de la Renta’s home in Punta Cana.


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An Eclectic Mix

This American couple’s Belgian apartment, in the March issue of Elle Decor, caught my eye. Or rather, pulled my heart strings. I grew up in homes with a similar aesthetic– Eames, Knoll, Mies van der Rohe, and George Nakashima furniture mixed with antiques and Oriental rugs. When my oldest daughter was a toddler, I gave away my Barcelona chairs fearing the sharp edges. Today, a Mies chair would shake up my living room nicely.

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