I drove to my new place last night to take all the measurements I needed to finish off my new floor plan. It was the first time I was there alone without realtors or building management. In that short moment, watching the sun set in my empty apartment, it finally felt like home. And that made me happy.
I’m probably not the type of person that chooses an apartment rationally. Sure there were bigger apartments for the same price—and buildings that weren’t standing next to construction sites. But this one felt right. The floors were light grey—not dark brown—and it was flooded with light. Unlike the other cookie cutter places I visited, I was able to instantly imagine myself living there. I knew at that moment how I would decorate and how I would live in the space. I guess that’s the gut feeling they call intuition. And if home is where the heart is, you better be able to feel it from the moment you first walk in.
West Elm is in full blown sales mode with up to 50% off bedding and bath and 20% off rugs, coffee and side tables AND curtains. I’m really digging this rug to go under my round dining table. I also want to splurge the beans on a marble coffee table… Should I go with this one, this one or this one?
Gallery walls may be all the rage on Pinterest, but nailing them without hammering moonlike craters on your walls is easier said than done. Follow these four tips to hang your gallery wall like a pro.
Mix with finesse
There should be a subtle cohesion between the artwork you choose— whether it’s a color palette, types of framing, size or artwork or historical period, but you don’t want to be too matchy-matchy. If you’re going for very different types of art, choose similar frames for example. Conversely, if you’re hanging black & white photography exclusively, consider breaking it up with one or two colorful prints. And if you’re hanging your children’s artwork gallery style, have fun with different frames!
Before you start hammering holes in your wall with abandon, lay your artwork on the floor and arrange the composition of your gallery wall. You can also cutout the artwork shapes in kraft paper and tape them to the wall to see the overall effect. The better you plan, the better the result.
Let it breathe
Don’t hang all your artwork tightly in a bunch (unless you’re Kristen Buckingham). Let the gallery wall breathe by leaving plenty of white space around the artwork. Start with hanging your first piece so that the bottom of the frame starts somewhere between your waist and chest. You’ll be able to enjoy each piece better if they’re at eye level.
Secure your work
If you own valuable artwork and want to go the extra mile to have a professionally installed gallery wall, consider picture hanging systems that doesn’t use any nails. These can be mounted behind moldings and can allow you to interchange your gallery wall at your heart’s leisure. More importantly, they come with anti-theft hardware so you can be at ease that your gallery wall is secure.
“I have pretty modern taste, but I didn’t want to disregard the building’s style. I wanted to keep things ethereal and airy, and to let the natural light stream in.”
When modern aficionado Ariel Ashe of Ashe + Leandro decided to pack up the 17th floor high-rise apartment and move to the top floor of a historic Greenwich Village town house, she knew she would have to pay respect to the apartment’s classical lines. Inspired by a collection of black white and beige rooms, she set out to find the right balance between her modernist sensibilities and the Greek-Italianate character of the house.
She started with creating a stark black & white contrast with a gallery wall that her business partner Reinaldo helped arrange just a couple of days after she moved in. She mixed modern furniture with antique pieces, and softened the rooms by adding sheepskins, long neutral draperies, unusual objets d’art and fresh greenery. The Moroccan Tuareg rug in the living room helped to bring the room together while adding graphic impact.
Things are bustling in Miami’s South Beach. Every time I visit there are a million new places to explore. I try to spend a few days in Miami each year when I visit my parents an hour north near Palm Beach. After a few days of golfing, I just need to go explore the newest and greatest that Miami has to offer.
With a new Sixty Hotel set to open in the old Shore Club and a Four Seasons to take over the legendary Surf Club, things won’t be slowing down any time soon. Here’s a handful of things to keep you busy in South Beach.
WHERE TO STAY
The Miami Beach Edition
South Beach’s new kid on the block, The Miami Edition opened during art basel in December as a “next generation urban resort”. With Edition Hotels popping up in London, Istanbul, NYC, Shanghai, Abu Dhabi, and more, I was curious to check out what the hype was about. The hotel is modern, it’s glam, it’s historic. It’s very Miami but in the most tasteful way.
Also, brand new, the Thompson boasts a yellow and blue poolside décor (my fave) and a mid-century allure with vibrant Palm Beach prints and colors. It’s retro at it’s at it’s finest with a strong youthful attitude.
British pedigree intermix with Latin flavor at this private club/hotel where leather club chairs sit atop patterned cuban tiled floors. The Soho Beach House answers to every traveler’s dreams: from the 100ft pool and stretch of private beach and bars or lounging spots around every corner—right down to straightening irons and fully-stocked Mad Men-esque wet bars in every guest room.
The new Jean-Georges Vongerichten dining room at the Edition Hotel blends old world glamour with Latin flavors. But it’s on the twinkly Matador Terrace overlooking the pool at night that magic happens.
Michelle Bernstein’s new talk-of-the-town restaurant is on Eater Miami’s heatmap right now. Seagrape serves a Florida-inspired locally-sourced menu in the familiar retro Miami setting of the Thompson Hotel.
Known for its’ celebrity sightings and exclusive crowd, this private oasis tucked away on a residential street serves classic Northern Italian in an intimate dining room adorned with blue and white striped banquettes, wicker chairs and immaculately styled gallery bookcases. If Cecconi’s isn’t South Beach’s most romantic restaurant, Casa Tua is.
Sometimes you just need to escape the flashy South Beach scene, which is the perfect occasion to visit the up-and-coming Wynwood art District and it’s most promising establishment. If competing for America’s Best New Restaurant isn’t enough to convince you, just take my word for it: it’s delicious.
If you’re not going to José Andrés’s popular venue to catch a glimpse of the magnificent oversized coral chandelier (a staple in recent Philippe Starck-designed restaurants) you should go for what Zagat describes as “an unbelievable culinary experience”.
I’m generally a fan of every property that André Balazs touches, and the Lido Bayside Grill is no exception. With an outdoor dining room vaguely reminiscent of Sunset Beach‘s vibrant casual vibe, Lido seems like the perfect place to grab a healthy (it’s located in a wellness spa after all) and fresh Mediterranean-inspired lunch.
You’d think that the 27 Restaurant located inside a bustling hostel is indicative of the crowd’s maximum age (and that’s being generous)— but for a late night cap, there’s no better place to grab a craft cocktail in a decidedly relaxed atmosphere.
Let’s not pretend that most of us go to Miami for any reason other than to relax (or party, or go to Art Basel for the lucky ones). So find yourself a lounge chair by the pool of one of the aforementioned hotels and order yourself a jalapeno margarita and a fresh ceviche.
If you’re itching to go walk around and you’ve done a beach walk already, head to Wynwood District to see the labyrith of street art, galleries and foodie hotspots.
If it rains (which is rare) or simply for the pure irony of it, go ice skating in the basement of the Edition Hotel, or challenge your friends to a good old fashioned game of disco bowling.
WHAT TO PACK
For more of my favorite addresses around the world, check out the Directory.