Monday, March 10, 2014

Comfort zone

Well, Florida was swell, and I drove almost the length of the state. I started out in Jacksonville to visit my uncle, and I took a pilgrimage to Mrs. Howard, Phoebe Howard's eponymous shop (there are also locations in Jacksonville Beach, Atlanta, and Charlotte).  Phoebe Howard is famous for soothing, neutral and very posh...she has a whole book of it.  I couldn't live in most of her interiors, but mostly due to my personal failings like poor housekeeping, hoarder tendencies and a general indifference towards polly pocket bodies strewn about a rug (it's like I barely see them....).

The store was in an enormous building, thought to be an old grocery store by the person who helped us out. And they were perfectly charming although I'm sure my uncle and I did not appear to be serious shoppers.  Of course I bought a souvenir.  
Small inlaid box for $45
I can tell you that google maps is right--it took about 4.5 hours from St. Augustine (where Mari treated me to the classic road trip breakfast--Cracker Barrel) to hit the Miami city limits on Friday. It took another 30 minutes to slowly crawl through traffic to the Fountainbleau (my first stop but sadly not my accomodations).  I saw the beach, the Aventura Mall, and Coral Gables (or, as I like to call it, THE GREATEST SUBURB IN THE ENTIRE WORLD).  We had dinner at the Viceroy on Saturday night, in no small part because I insisted that I see the common spaces. Which are tiny by the way, but packed with goodness.

Viceroy Miami, design by Kelly Wearstler
Kelly Wearstler did all of the Viceroys.  Generally, I (like everyone else) love Kelly Wearstler.  I'm not sure I could move right into all of her interiors (they are closer than Mrs. Howard) as they are getting either too glamorous for me to reasonably maintain or--particularly the newer ones--are a little too edgy for where I am in life.  

The design was, generally, fabulous (the food at 15th & Vine was good, too).  But being in situ really brought home a KWID design go-to:  earth raping amounts of natural stone.  
Floors:  2 hallways, women's bathroom and elevator lobby near restaurant
I mean, you kinda pick it up from the pictures but pretty much every surface had marble, granite, onyx...something.  

(all via google image search)

But on the real, I am filing the 15th floor ladies room away for a future reno:
(the creamy tone was pinker in person--the pic in the quad above is more accurate)

That could totally work with some Home Depot 12" marble tiles.  Black and White for crazy, tonal for less crazy.....

What do you think:  Does natural stone weigh on your eco-conscious?  Or should we buy in bulk now before someone decides to take it away like my precious incandescent light bulbs?

And, just for a further nod to the proletariat, how 'bout this Ikea hack found in Hollywood, FL:

A personal record for me--that is 2 iPhone pictures of bathrooms on the same day.  Dedication.
The beloved PS 1 cabinet, legs removed, mounted to the wall and topped with a sink.  (PS:  does anybody else want to get a PS 1 plated in brass?  I've been day dreaming about my tropically landscaped 60s ranch in Miami and I think that would be pretty groovy on top of the tile floor I've painted charcoal as a quick budget solution--my daydreams fluctuate between having Bewitched like magical powers to having realistic budget constraints).  

So, are you a Mrs Howard or a Kelly Wearstler?  Or an Ikea hack?


  1. Mrs. Howard on an IKEA hack budget.

  2. I am IKEA all the way. Mrs Howard and dear Kelly are just too perfect but so lovely to look at.

  3. In my head, I like to think I'm reality, I'm an IKEA hack.