CATEGORY: Travel

Spring Break

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Greetings from London, friends! I’ve been here on spring break and it hasn’t been pouring the entire time (for once) so I’m a happy camper. Regular blogging will resume next week so I will see you then. In the meantime, I’m on Instagram (@FromTheRightBank) and Twitter (@FromTheRightBnk) if you want to follow along. Bye for now!

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A Painterly Tour of a Venice Palazzo

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If you’re on Instagram, chances are good that you saw the explosion of the Waterlogue app the past week which converts photos into digital watercolors. As you can see by this video I posted, I went a little crazy with it in Venice (mostly while I was up with jet lag). As much as I love watercolors though, I love oil paintings more so when I discovered the Glaze app which transforms photos into paintings, I really went bonkers. I used it on some of the beautiful interior shots I took in Venice so here’s something a little different from my usual design notes.

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These are all from photos I took at the Aman Hotel which I blogged about here. Being as obsessed with hotels as I am, the whole experience felt like a dream. To think that the entire palazzo was once a private residence boggles the mind. I think I can definitively state it is the most beautiful hotel I have ever stayed in. I’m still sort of in a daze.

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FROM THE RIGHT BANK | www.fromtherightbank.com

I used to have big plans of drawing and painting on my trips, packing art supplies everywhere I went. But I stopped doing that because I found I never had enough time so this is a nice option. Not that anything can ever replace an artist’s hand, of course! I hope you enjoyed this painterly tour!

(Photos: FROM THE RIGHT BANK)

One of My Favorite Spaces in One of My Favorite Places in the World

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You may have seen on Facebook or Twitter that we just came back from a fantastic vacation in Peru. It turned out to be one of our favorite trips, with so many highlights but for today I want to show you just one place I really fell in love with and one that I think you design addicts will also appreciate.

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This is a lodge called Titilaka, which is located on the shores of Lake Titicaca, a place I’ve wanted to see since I was a child. The entire area is magical – traditional cultures, floating islands, wildlife, and of course, the lake. Oh, the lake.

[FYI, Titicaca means "stone puma" which depending on whom you ask, refers to either a legend about how the islands in the lake were formed or the shape of the lake.]

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These are photos from the website and as nice as they are, they don’t do justice to how beautiful the setting is.

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The decor was even better in person than I anticipated. The colors, the use of local handicrafts and all the small touches were perfection, in my opinion.

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This is similar to the room where we stayed:

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And now here are some photos I took, starting with our room:

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How perfect is this:

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The view of the lake from our window:

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Every night, we’d come back to find hot water bottles in our bed:

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and incredible sunset views:

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I couldn’t stop taking pictures….. especially of this sitting area. I was obsessed with this giant candelabra:

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as well as this cabana:

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I could have stayed there forever, just looking out at the water.

Another view of it:

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Like I said, pictures just can’t capture how beguiling this place is.

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It got a little windy at times (as you can see from these slipcovers!) but that didn’t stop us from taking our coca tea and coffee breaks on the deck:

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A few more of the pretty details…..

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And the service, food and drink were all wonderful. Produce from their own garden, locally sourced fish and meat, quinoa (of course), wines from neighboring Chile and Argentina and plenty of pisco in sours and other concoctions.

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Who could complain with this view at every meal?

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A final look at the lodge from the rowboat we took out for an afternoon:

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I’m still under the spell of Titilaca and Lake Titicaca and I think I will be for a long, long time.

(Photos 1-11.Titilaca 12-28.FROM THE RIGHT BANK)

Design Notes and Travel Tips from Paris

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Ah, Paris. Inspiration galore.

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You may remember I blogged about the wallpaper collection here. I sort of forgot about it but now that I’ve seen it in person, I’m completely obsessed. And by the way, the new store in Saint-Germain is insane. If you have Paris in your travel plans, you have to add it to your itinerary. And not too far away is another must, the Christian Liaigre showroom.

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We happened to be in town for the 40th birthday party of a very good friend of ours. She is one of those naturally stylish Parisian girls and having been to her family’s house, their vacation house, and her sister’s apartment, I can definitively say it’s in the genes. This party was in the garden at her parents’ house where I took this quick shot of the tiny powder room – textured gray walls, old mirror, books stacked to the ceiling, paper pendant….. so much personality in such a small space!

One day, I’m going to edit a book of real Parisian interiors. Yup. Just putting it out there.

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You know how I’m loving brown these days? This was a space at Galeries Lafayette and somehow that blue and brown combo that was done to death looks fresh again. I’m telling you, brown is the new black. Or new gray. Or new something…..

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We seem to have gotten on a Park Hyatt roll lately. They’ve been doing a really great job of converting historic properties in the best locations.  I generally prefer the unique atmosphere of boutique hotels but if I can get that in a chain that will also earn me hotel points, that’s hard to resist.

That brings me to my number one tip for anyone wanting to travel more: be diligent about collecting airline miles and hotel points.  Be sure to register every trip. Try to stick with one airline/chain or one of its partners. Sign up for updates so you’re notified when they issue bonus points or have a points/mileage sale. And if your credit cards aren’t earning you anything, trade them in for one that does. To me, miles and points are like gold. FROM THE RIGHT BANK | www.fromtherightbank.com

Addresses & Links

Hermès 17 Rue de Sèvres, 75006 Paris

Christian Liaigre 42 Rue du Bac, 75007 Paris

Gérard Mulot 2 Rue Lobineau, 75006 Paris

Park Hyatt Vendôme 5 Rue de la Paix, 75002 Paris

Le Pur’ 5 Rue de la Paix, 75002 Paris

A few other restaurants from this trip:

l’Arpège 84 Rue de Varenne, 75007 Paris
This is a must-do for most gourmands and a huge, huge splurge. (I chose it for my birthday.) The big question has been: was it worth it? Overall, I say yes. It’s worth doing just once, for the experience.

Le Soummam 3 Rue de Bièvre, 75005 Paris (no website)
Authentic couscous, tagines and other Moroccan fare in an ancient building.

Rose Bakery 46 Rue des Martyrs, 75009 and at Le Bon Marché 24 Rue de Sèvres, 75006 (no website)
I try to go once on every trip, at least for tea and cake if not for lunch. I’ve also been to the one in London and am planning to go to the one in Seoul on my next trip. I also have the cookbook. You could say I’m a little obsessed.

L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon 5, rue de Montalembert, 75007.  Somehow I forgot to add this to the list! This is a Paris favorite. There’s a second location now but I prefer the original – on the left bank(!)

In fact, all the addresses from this trip are on the left bank except for one. There’s a first time for everything, I guess!

(All iPhone photos: FROM THE RIGHT BANK)

FTRB in California

Hi, everyone, how have you been? (I’m still not used to not talking to you everyday so I’ll probably start out asking you that in every post!) Anyway, we were in Southern California last week for some family time and here are my design notes from the week.

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We started out in L.A. with a stay at the Chateau Marmont. Its mashup of Spanish, Gothic, French, neoclassical, and 1940′s styles is as unique and interesting as the hotel’s history. It’s a real hodgepodge that just works. Staying there was one of those L.A. experiences that’s fun to do once and yes there were some celebrity sightings – namely a very schleppy but still hot Jake Gyllenhaal, Don Cheadle who was looking super sharp and some others I couldn’t identify but paparazzi were shooting so I assume they were somebody. The dark and moody atmosphere totally works too and the outdoor space is like a little magic garden. I’m realizing more and more that those are my favorite types of gardens – really lush, even slightly overgrown and with lots of quiet, hidden spots.

After an anniversary party for my in-laws with the extended family and a night catching up with an old friend in L.A., we headed up to Santa Barbara for a beach weekend with Mr. Right Bank’s parents, siblings and their families.  (It was a caravan!)

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Up in Santa Barbara, I was drawn to all the wine tasting rooms for – no, not the obvious reason – the cute decor. (The wines weren’t half bad though!)  My favorite discovery of the trip was William Laman in Montecito. It’s one of those rare stores where I want every single thing. Check out their website and you’ll see what I mean.

I always come back from California inspired and weirdly upbeat and this trip was no different. I got lucky having family there to give me an excuse to visit! There’s just no place like it.

(Photos: FROM THE RIGHT BANK)