Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

As a designer I look to a lot of places for inspiration and hotels are a great source. This morning I came across this beauty — San Giorgio on the Greek Island of Mykonos and just had to share.

The interior design is by Annabell Kutucu & Michael Schickinger.

Have a great weekend!!

~ Shannon




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Happy Wednesday! Today, I’m sharing my latest hotel crush — Casa Cook in Rhodes, Greece. A boutique hotel designed by architect Vana Pernari and interior designer Annabell Kutucu. I can’t decide which I’m in love with more — the interior design of Casa Cook or the exterior design. Which is your favorite?

Have a wonderful Wednesday!



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Although, I didn’t have much time for sightseeing on my recent trip to London, I was determined to visit Petersham Nurseries. Located a short walk from the train station, along the River Thames, Petersham has two cafes, a wine cellar and an inspiring garden center.


The setting around Petersham couldn’t have been more picturesque.


The public footpath


Above, the sign to Petersham Nurseries.


A peek inside the glasshouse restaurant





The teahouse, with gorgeous hydrangeas and geraniums out front


Inspiration for my next garden party…





How lovely & simple is this?


Although, I couldn’t bring back gorgeous plants or antiques, I was able to enjoy a beautiful lunch and take it in, if only for an hour. Looking forward to my next visit!



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The Satyagraha House was built in 1907 by the German architect, Hermann Kallenbach, a close friend of Mohandas ‘Mahatma’ Gandhi, who lived there from 1908 to 1909. The house, which is now part guesthouse part museum, is located in Johannesburg and was originally designed after a traditional African farm, called a Kraal.



Image by Elsa Young via House & Leisure


Image by Elsa Young via House & Leisure


Image via Styles de Bain



Image by Elsa Young via House & Leisure


If I could have a home built just like this and dropped right into my Southern California neighborhood I would be oh so happy! The simplicity of the architecture, black and white palette and mix of organic materials is simply beautiful. Click here to read more about this gem.

Photographs via the Satyagraha House unless otherwise noted.


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Settled in a gorgeous residential neighborhood in Santa Barbara, Lotusland is a 37-acre garden that was once the private residence of Ganna Walska, an eccentric opera singer turned plantswoman. The garden is full of subtropical and tropical plants from around the world, as well as more than 130 varieties of aloe, rare species of cycads, Chilean Wine Palms and massive amounts of cactus. unnamed-2

 The main house (now offices), was built in 1919 by architect Reginald Johnson and is a gorgeous example of Mediterranean style architecture.


The famous Lotus pond, which was once a pool.


An old Euphorbia drooping from weight and old age.


A fountain near the Olive Allee and Cactus Garden.

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Old Man Cactus


A beautiful old Euphorbia in the background with barrel cactus and purple aeonium in the stone planters.

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One of my favorite agaves, and one that is extremely popular here in Southern California –the Fox Tail Agave or Agave Attenuataunnamed-47 A group of striking colored Euphorbia


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An idea any garden lover can take home — an interesting planter potted with one type of succulent — left alone to grow into a little gem like the one above.


A 130 year old Dragon Tree

Ganna Walska’s reflective pool with giant clam shells and tons of abalone shells


She lined her entire reflective pool with abalone shells.

The Cactus Gardenunnamed-1

The work that went into this garden is amazing. The dedication in growing many of these species from seed, or as small pups, must have taken an extreme amount of patience and vision. It’s definitely worth a visit. For more information on Lotusland, click here.


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unnamed-8The Palihouse is a boutique hotel in Santa Monica, that some are calling, “The Chateau Marmount by the sea”.  It has great style, a lovely garden, a bocce court and is just minutes from the beach. Plus, you’re in a wonderful residential neighborhood (not a hotel zone) and only several blocks from 3rd Street Promenade and shopping on Montana Ave.


PalihouseSM_LobbyThe Lobby


The lobby

2631759-Palihouse-Santa-Monica-Hotel-Exterior-1-DEFOne of the guest suitesPaliHouse-santa-monica-traveller-7-4jun13-pr_b_646x430A kitchen in one of the guest suitesPaliHouseSM_Bedroom_Dylan_Jeniunnamed-8unnamed-10

unnamed-6 My husband, daughter and friend enjoying a game of bocceunnamed-11 The back patio


A gorgeous Velvet Leaf Kalanchoe

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Click here for more info about the Palihouse in Santa Monica.


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Island fever has taken over me! It could be because I haven’t been to the beach in a while, or because everyone I know has either come back from a tropical local or is at one right now. So, in order to ease my pain and suffering I am headed to Malibu tomorrow to at least spend several hours (before traffic gets bad) to linger in the sun.



Inspired by the Islands

my favorite meal after a day at the beach~


Below, is a recipe I’ve been using since the early 90’s (yikes, did I just say that)

2 lb mackerel, sea bass or red snapper fillets, cut into 1/2″ cubes
2 cups fresh lime juice
1/3 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic
2 lb ripe tomatoes
1 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup fresh chopped cilantro
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons Buffalo sauce (mild red pepper sauce) (optional)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped pickled chiles serranos
2/3 cup chopped green olives
whole olives for garnish (optional)

*Place the fish in a glass bowl, cover with the lime juice and marinate at room temperature for 2 1/2 hours.

Heat the oil in a small skillet, add the garlic and saute for 3 minutes. Discard the garlic and let the oil cool.

Chop the tomatoes, removing the seeds but reserving the juice. Place in a large glass bowl, add the onion, cilantro, ketchup, Buffalo sauce, oregano, salt, pepper, chiles and olives and combine. Add the oil from the skillet and set aside.

Rinse the fish 3 times in cold water. Cover with water, let stand for 5 minutes and rinse again. Add the fish to the tomato mixture. Add more salt and pepper, if needed.

If you like, garnish with whole olives. Serve cold with lime wedges and avocado.

**In warm climates, I love this ceviche served with a cold Mexican beer, like Pacifico or Victoria. In colder climates, when the wind is more fierce, I would go for a bowl of Sopa de lima (lime soup), also great served with a Mexican beer, maybe a La Bohemia Obscura.

Makes 6 to 8 servings
*recipe taken from Mexico, The Beautiful Cookbook
*All other photos from Pinterest, One Kings Lane & my own

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