Our recent buying trip to California reaffirmed our passion for all things American. The Americans do life well. Very well. They live well, eat well, shop well, dress well and decorate. Very well.
For me, travel does two things. 1) Broaden my mind and 2) Inspire me. While it's such a blessing to travel and travel often, I can't wait to come home and adopt new inspirations learned abroad. Here are a few things I learnt (and want to adopt more of) whilst travelling throughout California.
1) Be house proud. A well kept garden can frame your home beautifully and give a lot of curb appeal. A well-manicured garden can dramatically increase the value of your property, and that's always a bonus!
2) Lights, lights and more lights. Lighting is one of the most important accents of any home. Driving through LA at night is beautiful, especially if you love to real-estate stalk! Almost every house in LA has outdoor lighting of some sort and as night falls the façades and gardens are magically illuminated as night falls. Everything glows beautifully.
3) Invest in your home. Your home is more than just a building. It should be taken care of and always put its best foot forward. Place special attention on the windows and entrances. From shutters, to pots filled with greenery and flowers flanking either side of the front door, or even a well presented letterbox. A little effort can go a long way.
4) La Dolce Vita. The sweet life. Enjoy and celebrate with gusto. We visited during the Super-Bowl Sunday and pre- Grammy season and the energy was amazing. No one can deny the patriotism of Americans- good, clean fun and everyone is invited.
5) Live with what you love. It's all about the mix and not the match. Almost every store we saw had an eclectic mix of pieces that work together beautifully. Retro mixes with French antiques and classic linen upholstery sit comfortably with lucite furniture. LA has a style of its own. California Chic!
6) Dare to be different. No two people are the same, so why should our homes look the same? There is so much variety in LA that it's easy for designers and decorators to create a unique look for their clients or themselves. Antiques and flea markets offer a 'low' cost treasure while custom made sofa's are the high feature in many homes.
7) Elevate the everyday. Transform mundane everyday activities by making your space more visually inspiring.
This season, I'm working on plans for my alfresco. To elevate the everyday and live with what I love. Stay tuned.
Here's to a beautiful home!