Every January my husband and I take some time off and spend a few weeks in our favorite ski resort, Sun Valley, Idaho.  We always mix a little business with pleasure, so this time around I decided to check out the recently renovated Sun Valley Lodge, a place we had stayed at several times in the past.


Sun Valley was developed by Averell  Harriman, chairman of the Board of the Union Pacific Railroad and was America’s first ski resort, opening in 1936.  The Sun Valley Lodge has always been connected to movie stars and famous people visiting there, and has several hallways lined with wonderful pictures from way back when.


AND many a to-be-famous ice skater has practiced on it’s outdoor and indoor rinks located behind the hotel. Even we have done a few revolutions around  the outdoor rink when the mood strikes us and we are not challenging ourselves on the ski slopes nearby.


The Lodge has always exemplified mountain elegance…traditional leanings with sophisticated rustic pieces made from wood, wrought iron and horns.  The colors are warm and dark and the upholstery pieces large and comfy looking.


I had been hearing that Mountain Minimalism…think Mid-Century Modern/ late 20th Century design and contemporary architecture…had finally caught up with  the interior design and architecture of Sun Valley.  I was curious and wanted to see for myself if this new trend had manage to take over the recent renovation of the hotel, so I convinced my husband to join me for a quick tour.

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Well, The Lodge hasn’t quite caught up with true Mountain Minimalism, but it certainly has expanded it’s look and services and gotten rid of a lot of the dowdy/ dreary aspects that had made it look time warped…think elegance gone shabby. The fireplaces are simpler and more monolithic…there is even an ultra-modern gas fireplace in one room. The old photos in the corridors have all  been reframed and have been curated down to a group more oriented towards the new generation of guests.


The main lobby has been deposed of Harriman’s portrait, which used to hang over the fireplace…although, I did find it hanging on a corridor wall. I mean, the man is the original juice behind the development of Sun Valley, so we can’t disrespect him completely, right?


The accessories and lighting are more contemporary and a bright new glass walled sitting room area faces the skating rink in the back.  There is also a very chic new bar, which has a dark seductive kind of a vibe to it…much sexier than the one my husband and I used to call “the wrinkle room” because the decor and the patrons all seemed so very old!


The big highlight is the new Spa, which has a beautiful store attached to it, replete with very high ceilings and interesting marble wall decorations and lighting.  I have to admit that I adore the addition of copper to the front of the building and the entry door to the Spa.


Unfortunately, I did not get to tour any of the rooms, which I have been told have also been renovated and updated to go with the lovely new lobby areas.  My memory recall of those rooms when we stayed there was that they were pretty ordinary for such a fancy place. However,  you can check them out on line and see what they look like today for yourself (Sun Valley Lodge.)  My take is that they pretty much match the feeling of the public areas down stairs…light traditional…but they are all definitely fresh, new and comfortable looking.


My walk away interior design rating was “good job!”  The Lodge has managed to maintain its feeling as an institution in the hospitality industry in Sun Valley and add just enough new bells and whistles to make it appealing to the ever younger guests visiting the area.  Most importantly, they have kept the sophistication level high and one still senses the history and significance of this wonderful old hotel located in glamorous Sun Valley.


 FOR THE FUN OF IT: Here are a few of the photographs of famous people lining the walls of the lobby  area…See how many you can recognize:

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Ciao, ciao ’til next time!






I think we should start out the year with a post about a wonderful new product I unearthed quite by accident. On my last trip out to the West Coast, I was introduced to Rachel Lacy, a neighbor of my son and his family in Los Angeles. She is the creator of Drikolor, a totally new and fantastic way to make and mix paint colors…and I love this product.

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Having played in the interior design business for almost 30 years, one of my tenets as a designer is the belief that a great paint job makes a very big difference and is worth it’s weight in gold.  I always insist on hiring only the best painters available since there is no doubt that a great painter makes a major difference in the final results.


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I have tried everything from faux painting…which, I must admit, is effective in the right environment…and expensive European paints…which permit one to create a shellacked finish to walls and ceilings…as well as troweled finishes and the like on walls.  Now I have the opportunity to create with Drikolor!


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According to Lacy, all paints available in the market today use synthetic substances to create colors. Drikolor, on the other hand, utilizes natural pigments found around the world to create the colors in their palette.  Think of such exotic pigments as Champagne Chalk from France, Ochres and Umbers from Cyprus, Ultramarine Blue from Lazurite in Afghanistan, Bone Black from North America.  It all sounds pretty fantastic to me!


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Drikolor uses only the best quality materials to produce their richly pigmented palette of colors. Using these artisan pigments and combining them with other substances through their patented technology, they have produced paints with intense colors that can be used in home interiors, as well as on exterior walls of buildings made of cement and plaster.


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Not only are Drikolor paints  manufactured in such a fashion that they turn out to to be more economical than standard paints but they have also been given the blessings of several global organizations as safe for the environment.


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All of the pigments are packaged in simple, award winning white containers, surrounded by eye catching colorful packages.  These pigments are subsequently added to a base paint from a regular paint company recommended by Drikolor in order to guarantee the best results. The colors are guaranteed to be richer and stronger than ordinary paint and to react better with the different types of lighting in any room.


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Lacy and her team have given a great deal of thought to color theory and interior design theory which you can read about on  Their approach to paint is so much more scientific and intellectual  that it captivates your interest and you begin to wonder why someone hasn’t done this before. They have even developed a unique palette of paints based on Le Corbusier’s architecture and designs.  Now, we are talking absolute chic…paint with a historical design reference!


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Although, Drikolor offers several white colors, they emphasize using stronger colors to create interest in small places, such as hallways and stairways.  I’ve always believed that people who use white paints for their walls are just lazy or afraid of color. Truth be told, color pulls together the elements of a room, as Drikolor  so clearly states on their website, and white does just the opposite. Hmmm…something to ponder…


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I am really looking forward to trying out Drikolor paints in my next project.  BTW the company has a relationship with Dwell and has developed a whole line of paints with them.  However, you can buy any one of their products directly on their website and they offer great customer support to help you find your comfort level with their fabulous paints.

Viva la differénce…especially in paint!


Ciao, ciao ’til next time!






With another year drawing to close…yikes, they go fast lately…I always like to reflect on what I have written about and what I have experienced over the past year and share my favorite items and experiences with my readers.

Truth be told, I see so many fabulous pieces that it is hard to compile this “short list” sometimes.  However, it does sort of close out one year in the world of design for me and get me ready to see what new and dezignlicious things await me in the year to come.

Over the years, I have learned that the world of art and design is a bottomless pit of “terrifics” and “wonderfuls” and “to die fors” which is probably what keeps this passionate interior designer working and writing.


Nothing captivates me more than an artistic piece of studio furniture. The idea that something kind of has one foot in the world of art and the other in the world of furnishings delights me.  If it was up to me, I would opt for form over function any time!  Some of the best studio furniture is created by Elizabeth in this delightful Charly Cabinet…and you can see this beauty as well as other pieces designed by her at the Ralph Pucci Showroom here in New York City.


I am totally captivated by the photography of Marilyn Minter. It is so other-worldly and sexual and naughty and stunning all at the same time. I had the good fortune to attend a private talk with the artist at her studio here in the city and I have been a huge fan ever since.  This is one of my favorites and it is called “Siren”…and yes, I want it!


Veve makes some of the most beautiful Murano glass pieces and I have often used them in my interior design work. I think their customizable RGB Glass Curtain / Room Divider deserves a standing ovation for exceptional design concept. I simply adore the idea of dividing up a huge modern space with a “peek-a-boo,” colorful Murano glass screen, don’t you?  Not to mention how gorgeous the glass looks with any type of light shining through it…simply divine!


I met with the team at J Schatz when I was out in Los Angeles this year and fell in love with everything they do. Their  hand crafted wall of ceramic tiles is their signature piece and it can be easily customized into indoor or outdoor projects. The price point for the tiles is also quite reasonable, especially when you think about the great product you are buying. This is just another fantastic idea that takes your design into the  beyond ordinary category!


The Terranova Coffee Table is what I like to call a “to die for” piece of furniture. It’s totally unique, ultra thick slab of Statuary Marble is beyond fantastic.  KGBL…who I have written about several times…uses all of their materials in a way that truly makes each and everyone of their designs outstanding. This is definitely a table I would love to have in front of my sofa! How about you?


Priveekollektie Contemporary Art/Design  presented the Golden Lagoon Table and Champagne Chairs by designer Reinier Bosch at The Salon Art + Design show this year and I was totally blown away by the pieces. I am madly in love with the drippy gold details! The contrast between the sophisticated look of the  dining table and the simplicity of the chairs takes it’s design success up a notch for me. Basically,  I would kill to own them, even if you couldn’t use the table as a real dining room table!

With the closing out of this year, I wish one and all a life filled with beautiful things that delight the eyes and bring joy and comfort to your life!

Ciao , ciao ’til 2016!