When we first booked our trip to Palm Springs, I really wanted to stay at The Parker or Ace hotels. But I’m so glad we found this little Moroccan-inspired oasis instead. Tucked away at the base of the mountain, The Korakia Pensione was surprisingly quiet, had the BEST breakfast vibe, and felt like we’d been transported to another country.
The property was beautifully landscaped, with fire pits and twinkly lights flickering at dusk. One of the coolest features was this outdoor “theatre” where old movies were shown against the stucco wall (it doubled as a yoga studio in the morning).
The thing I looked forward to most was breakfast in the courtyard. So charming!
The Pensione consists of the main house, bungalows scattered throughout the property on either side of the road (each with french doors opening up to a courtyard), a bocce ball court, pool, outdoor beds and lots of nooks and crannies. I would not recommend, however, booking the cheapest room at the inn—which is exactly what I did. We booked the Delphi Room, and it was reasonably priced, but lacked the amenities, space and updates of the other rooms. Lesson learned.
That being said, this is a place I’d love to come back to and upgrade to one of the suites. Definitely worth the splurge, and a quiet retreat that will have you feeling like you’ve gone to the Mediterranean and back.
Well, after 13 years of living in California, I finally made it down to Palm Springs. And it was everything I’d hoped for: sunny blue skies, 80 degree temps, those incredibly tall palm trees and miles and miles of mid-century charm. It was fun just driving around the different neighborhoods and checking out all the homes—from the modest to the iconic.
We arrived at the tail end of Modernism Week, an annual festival that celebrates mid-century design, so we booked a home tour by architect Donald Wexler. No pics allowed inside, but I can tell you it was immaculate. And next year I really wanna check out that Kaufmann house by Richard Neutra. So cool.
We met some friends for the weekend (my old Cleveland neighbors!), and they rented this place, pictured above. Not only was it very cool, I have to say it was really nice having a BBQ and pool parties all to ourselves.
That being said, another fun thing to do in Palm Springs is check out all the hip hotels. We had dinner at the Purple Palm in the Old Colony Hotel, and lunch at Norma’s in The Parker. Everything was groovy, right down to the menu.
We stopped into a bunch of other places as well—just to check out the scene. And our own hotel, the Korakia Pensione, was ridiculously charming (I’ll be posting pics of that next).
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of taking a workshop with Sandy Ostrau. Held at the aMFa Gallery in Orinda, this was my first official workshop, so I was pretty excited. I’ve been admiring Sandy’s work for years and couldn’t wait to watch her painting process, so I especially loved the demos:
I’m always amazed at how quickly a painting can come together for a seasoned artist. I tend to work really slow (too slow), but Sandy’s painting (above) started coming together within a half hour!
Below is an example of a painting that was reworked and basically painted on top of another. I’ve never really tried this, but Sandy loves the way different layers of color and texture show through—and that’s one of the things I love about her work as well.
Another is the combination of colors: her palette is gorgeous! So I was really excited she went into so much detail about color mixing. The painting below was something she did at the end of her demo, very quickly—to simply use up the extra paint. This is something she does regularly in her studio as well, which allows her to just be free and loose. Another great tip.
It was really interesting to watch Sandy interpret her subject matter and choose her colors. In general, a very inspiring workshop—can’t wait for the next one.
(All images by Sandy Ostrau)
Ever since I saw this navajo-inspired chair in Design Love Fest’s living room makeover, I’ve been obsessed with the overscale print. Which, of course, has lead to some online shopping. These are a few accessories I’m loving that give the same bold, tribal feel.
1 Camera Strap / 2 Rug / 3 Basket / 4 Pillow / 5 Blanket / 6 Cardigan / 7 Pillow
I took advantage of this amazing weather we’ve been having by going on a nine-ish mile urban hike yesterday. We ended up in the Presidio, as I had been wanting to check out Tree Fall: the latest site-specific sculpture by British artist Andy Goldsworthy.
This one is indoors, although completely free-standing from the historic structure that it’s within. You can read all about it, as well as his other Presidio works, here. And there’s yet another installation slated for this Spring, at the Officer’s Club, once it’s renovated
I just love his work, and feel lucky to have so much of it nearby. If you’re unfamiliar with it you need to check out Rivers and Tides. It’s a fantastic movie documenting his process of creating these (mostly) temporary, and always intriguing sculptures.
Hope you had a Happy New Year! It’s been a while since I posted here as I’ve been suffering a bit of computer burnout lately. But it’s time to get back into a routine.
After spending the holidays in Buffalo (where we endured a rainstorm, ice storm and snow storm in six days), I was reminded of how lucky I am to live in the Bay Area. Bad weather rarely dictates my life here, and I was able to get a few hikes in after coming back last week. We spent New Year’s Day at Tennessee Valley—which I’ve done dozens of times—but never with a huge coyote staring me down!
I have lots of getaways already lined up this year, and am looking forward to the adventure in each: tame or wild.
It’s that time of year again, when I start thinking about my motto for the new year. I think in 2014 I need to be more proactive—and less reactive. And get myself on a schedule. (Hence, the title of this post.) As a freelancer working from home, staying flexible can become a slippery slope that often leads to nothing getting done—unless I’m on deadline of course. And these beautifully designed calendars should do a better job of helping me plan for the weeks ahead.