Dreaming Of: Italy's Monte Argentario peninsula

Italian hotels don't get much better than this one. Nestled on Italy's picturesque Monte Argentario peninsula, Il Pellicano is the stuff of legend. The terracotta-hued beauty is perched on a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in Tuscany’s famed Chianti wine region (surprise, it's not just rolling hillsides and farmhouses there). This is a legendary hotel that draws a crowd of the world’s rich and famous. The minute you set foot on the hotel’s grounds, you will understand why. While the rooms are exquisite, it's the pool that offers guests the main attraction. Turquoise waters as far as the eye can see. 

The Pellicano is a home, not a hotel. We have clients who have been coming here since the late ’60s. They feel they are in a family.
— Hotel Il Pellicano’s Creative Director, Marie-Louise Sciò

This magnificent boutique hotel has all the makings of a dream destination. A long line of famous (and infamous) guests, epic views, signature martinis and incredible exclusivity make this a hotel worth the journey. Offering only 50 suites, you'll enjoy views of the crystalline sea in relative privacy during your stay. Although it may behoove you to wear dark sunglasses so as to peek at the low-key celebs and who's who's tanning themselves and sipping on those signature cocktails.  

What famous faces, you may wonder, have enjoyed the same view? Jacqueline Kennedy, Lee Radziwill, Sophia Loren and Emilio Pucci are a few of the more prominent names from the past, but this hotspot is still a much-loved haunt of Hollywood's hottest. On any given week you're likely to run into princes, princesses (real ones) and jet setters of all varieties. But... what do you (yes, you) wear while lounging poolside amidst the rich and famous? I've rounded up some selections for you and your honey to enjoy while living la dolce vita in this historic location. 



Tom Ford Miranda Sunglasses // Mara Hoffman Swimsuit // Omorovicza Gold Shimmer Body Oil

No tugging necessary with this peek-a-boo Mara Hoffman swimsuit. It affords the skin-baring exposure of a bikini with the comfort of a one-piece. Heaven. Legs not quite ready for prime time? Rub up in Omorovicza's shimmer oil and prepare to be amazed at your newly Giselle-like limbs. And sunglasses, dear sweet sunglasses. Tom Ford's options won't leave that imprint on your nose, so they win high points for that. Add a tunic or kaftan and flip flops... you're all set for lounging seaside under an umbrella in the company of movers & shakers. 


Cutler & Gross Mirrored Aviators // Hartford Board Shorts // J. Crew Panama Hat // Acqua di Parma Deodorant Stick

Guys like to keep it simple. Classic board shorts, a cool fedora and reflective aviators are pretty much all he needs. Be sure to pack his flip flops and sunscreen, but aside from that he's going to require very little to be happy in your very plush poolside situation. 

Ready to head make your way to this fabulous and famous destination? Read more about it on TripAdvisor, Booking.com has tons of additional pix or get fiscally savvy and see what Priceline can do to net you a sweet (and perhaps suite) deal. 


Love to read? Find out why this small Italian hotel has captivated so many for so long by reading Robert Violette's book featuring photography by Slim Aarons.  


Dreaming Of: Snowy Castles...

Thinking of all of you snowed in (or at least enjoying a light dusting of the good stuff) up north. May your day be bright, light and filled with magical moments. Stay warm & safe. 



Dreaming Of: A Cozy Ski Chalet...

Forgive us southerners: snow is a rarified experience. We just don't receive enough of the white stuff to feel burdened by its presence. We're the ones on facebook and instagram saying "let it snow" and gushing on about how "fun" it will be if a few inches of the powdery goodness falls upon our southern city. It must drive those of you scraping off your windshields and shoveling snow crazy. And for that, we're sorry. On the rare occasion that we do experience any significant accumulation, our cities literally shut down for a few days until the mercury rises and melts it away. We're sissies and really can't handle the cold. Usually we only see a light dusting that doesn't allow us to really feel the thrill of snowfall, anyway. Believe it or not we suffer from snow envy. We just want the snow on our terms. 

For this reason, many of us head to the slopes during winter months to get our fix of fabulous snow-covered scenery. Even those of us who don't ski love the scenery and the vibe. There we can indulge in our fantasy of cuddling under fur blankets by the hearth, sipping cocoa straight from the stove and tending to a fire just to keep our toes warm. Surely that's what you all are doing up north all day... right? We seem to believe you're living out our winter wonderland lives for us. Rustic ski lodge fantasies?  Guilty. And we actually look for excuses to pull out the gloves and coats because they are novelty items rather than survival tools. Unfortunately, winter is just getting started and our achingly cold feet indicate that we are poorly prepared for this frigid polar weather. 

Want to mimic that fabulous ski chalet cozy vibe at home? Right now I certainly do. I'm craving (more) plump pillows, antler accents (yes, I know it's silly), far more blankets (because, dear God it is cold) and definitely more hot cocoa. I'm also having flights of fancy about trying my snowboarding skills. So.... who wants to go on a make believe snow-covered mountain escape with me today? Are you in? 



Whatever your weather, I hope you'll enjoy the day and dress the part. I'm learning to embrace the season - whatever that is - and indulge in the weather as it comes. Happy Friday to you all!

Dreaming Of: A Glam Furniture Design Project...

Do you see this magnificent console cabinet above? I adore it. I truly do. I also feel it could be a nice project for someone with a few proper tools and a willing (read: skilled in woodwork) accomplice. While I don't know that I personally am up for the challenge, I have found each of the ingredients a would-be-DIY'er might need to recreate a glamorous piece quite similar. 

The inspiration cabinet above is from Melanie Turner's 2013 Showhouse bedroom that featured yard upon yard of Mary McDonald's Schumacher fabric. So, so chic. Just look at that soft grey paint, the handsome tapered block feet, the chinoiserie feel of the brass hardware. I am digging this vibe, people. Digging it hard! 

Ready to see my plan...? Here goes. 


With a little help from some pre-fab elements I believe this piece could come together quite smoothly. Missing from the steps above are the two boards to create the top and bottom of the frame. This will turn those "starter" cabinets into durable, working side-by-side storage units. By unifying them with one long plank on top and bottom it will give structural integrity to the unit as well. This also allows the feet to attach to wood versus the laminate. 

Now... the fun: those Oriental pulls! These are brass with Chinese characters on them and a very similar look to Melanie's piece. These are just perfect.

Now: architectural detail. Using these easy-to-apply MyOverlays raised drawer panels is an easy way to give those doors the look they deserve. I've been considering these overlays for quite some time and this style is probably the best use for this piece. The Regency styling best aligns with the design of our inspiration piece and stays true to the style. Tip: it might be a nice touch to add them to the ends as well as seen on Melanie's cabinet. My Overlays come in a range of sizes and surely one would fit the bill. 

Now... paint: Amy Howard makes many incredible paints. The Luxe Grey appeals to me the most for this particular piece. It's toned down, neutral and will make those bold brass door pulls really stand out. Amy Howard's one-step-paints do not require priming, but something might need to be done to unify the wooden top & bottom with those IKEA bases. Rumor has it you need Zinsser BIN primer to prep those shiny flat pack surfaces for paint. This step will go long way towards making the finished piece look pulled together and professional and making the paint last forever.. 

So... there you have it. I've declared my DIY longings to you and now I hope one of you feels inspired to bring it to life. Trust me, if my Mr. was handy with the tools and we had any sort of an at-home-workshop I'd be tackling this myself because it is exactly the storage piece I wish I owned. I LOVE this look and the many functions it serves. I've hopefully inspired you to create something lovely and amazing. Or... if you're in the Dallas area and want to help me take my DIY dreams to the next level (and this chic piece to my living room) drop me a comment and let's get to work ;) 

Sources: IKEA // VanDykes // First Impressions Inc // Amy Howard // MyOverlays

{image credit Melanie Turner Interiors}