So the day finally arrived… Our doors are open! And as you can imagine, we are pretty excited. We were handed the keys just days before leaving on a buying trip for China so it was a mad rush to move in…
We hung vintage life preserver mirrors in the windows which were literally pulled off old ships…
Our newly arrived collection of heritage Jaipur blue pottery is finally on view…
We’ve been having fun mixing things up. We’re throwing together mid-century modern with vintage suzanis, industrial pieces with solid wood. And we’re draping kanthas just about everywhere!
We’re excited to finally bring these hand picked pieces we’ve found around the world to a retail home.
Come see our collection of gorgeous solid wood dining tables made from acacia and sheesham…
We’re exciting to share our new boho glam banjara handbags, which are perfect bling for the holiday season ahead.
Every piece has a story. Won’t you come wander with us? We look forward to making your acquaintance!
2201 Lloyd Center #1033 – 2nd Floor Across from H&M
Portland, Oregon 97232
T: 503-281-1338 F: 503-281-6188
Store Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-9pm, Sun 11am-6pm
I’ve been lax in blogging – there’s been so much going on! We’ve got some exciting news to announce, but I’ll save it for next post. In the meantime, I thought I’d share some pix from our May trip to the Maldives. We stopped over on our way back from India. It was a much needed respite after attending the High Point Furniture Market, a 3-day wedding in Jaipur, as well as a full on sourcing tour in India…
If you’re looking for down time, the Maldives is the place to go. We stayed at Velingandu Resort, which is in the North Ari Atolls. The Maldives is a series of islands in the Indian Ocean about 600 km off Sri Lanka. Literally, the islands are the peaks of old volcanoes in the middle of the ocean.
It is the lowest lying country in the world (the highest point is 7+ feet) and so is ultimately vulnerable to the rising seas. Known mostly for it’s resorts, the capital is Male – which is kind of like Hong Kong – super dense and vertical (but much smaller).
It’s a “slap me, is it real?” kind of place. The water is incredibly clear, the sand pure white, and fish everywhere…
I could ramble on about this unique, Muslim country, but I’m sure you’d rather just look at the pretty pictures. For more info on this island, I highly recommend the book “Gate Crashing Paradise – Misadventure in the Real Maldives“. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m always skeptical of places that look too perfect…
But who’s to argue when every sunset takes your breath away.
Veligandu Island Resort & Spa
North Ari Atoll
Telephone: +960 666 0519
Fax: +960 666 0648
Can I share a secret? I have new obsession… On my last trip to India I discovered a world of beautiful crumbling mansions and faded frescoes. The only problem is they are hours away from the closest airport and a harrowing drive across the Rajasthan desert.
The grand havelis of Shekhawati were owned by the merchant princes of Rajasthan (who are now some of the most successful business families in India). Located in Jaipur state, Shekhawati mansions are found in the districts of Jhunjhunu, Chur and Sikar. Many of these buildings have been left abandoned to the harsh desert climate by familes who have migrated to the modern commercial hubs of India.
The word haveli comes from Iran, and means “enclosed space”. In Mughal India it was known as a home for the wealthy and powerful.
Built by the business-minded Marwari, these mansions are a testament to past business successes and remain beautiful examples of Indian artistry from the early 1800s to the beginning of the 20th century.
Haveli architecture exemplifies Rajput and Islamic building forms, as well as occasional European influences. The richly painted frescoes reflect both the religious and folk art of Rajasthan, combined with the colonial influence of “Company School” style painting.
As in most of India, havelis housed extended familes. Havelis often consist of two courtyards – a semi public meeting place for the men called a “mardana” and a private “zenana” for women (who stayed out of public view).
Havelis were built inward facing which functioned as both a mechanism of privacy as well as protection from the desert and invaders. The traditional Indian courtyard home is built on the principles of Vastu Shastra, which state that all spaces emerge from the center of the house. All activities revolve around the center, which has a divine power and energy associated with it.
Ornate haveli doors were built to reflect the family’s status and wealth. Covered in wood carvings,hammered metal and elaborate murals, these grand entrances only suggested the splendors inside.
We had the opportunity to tour two beautiful restored havelis in the Shekhawati region. First stop was French artist Nadine Le Prince’s gorgeous old haveli in Fatehpur.
She has been lovingly restoring it over the past 15 years and has maintained it’s original artwork and features. A labor of love and definitely worth a stop if you’re in the area. For more info on tours and hotel reservations, go here.
Further down the road we stopped in Ramgarh, Shekhawati where we spent a wonderful night at Ramgarh Fresco. It is owned by Raghvendra & Priya Rathore, who are from a prominent Rajasthani family.
We were woken early by the sounds of traditional village life – cows mooing and the local Hindu temple bells clanging.
If you get a chance to visit Rajasthan, it’s well worth a trip off the tourist triangle to visit these elaborate desert mansions. One can only hope that some day this region will be recognized as a World Heritage Site and given the restoration and attention it deserves.
It was a full moon when we visited this magical Sunni Muslim mosque in Abu Dhabi. Earlier in the day, we had been told by a hostess in the Etihad that the best time of day to visit was in the evening. I love photography and I was skeptical – would I be able to get good shots at night?
I shouldn’t have doubted. It was like stumbling into Arabian Nights, albeit designed by Steve Wynn. There were acres of gleaming white marble, shimmering gold leaf columns, and chandeliers illuminated by millions of Swarovski crystals.
The mosque is named after Abu Dhabi’s late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, whose goal was to build a venue representative of the cultural diversity of the Islamic world. He is buried on the grounds of the mosque.
The mosque features the world’s largest carpet made by Iran’s Carpet Company, and designed by Iranian artists Ali Khaliqi. It is 60,570 square feet and took 1300 knotters two years to complete.
Sheikh Zayed Mosque is inspired by Mughal, Moorish and Persian mosque architecture – particularly the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan and the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco.
During Ramadan, more than 35,000 people visit a day. A sign board for the daily prayer times is mounted on the wall.
We were blown away by the level of detail and artistry everywhere.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque has seven imported chandeliers made by Faustig in Munich, Germany. Each contains millions of Swarovski crystals.
Women are required to cover their hair, arms and legs when visiting. The mosque provides covering if you didn’t bring your own.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is situated between the three main bridges connecting Abu Dhabi City to the main land (Maqta, Mussafah and Sheikh Zayed bridges). It is a quick 30 minute drive from the Abu Dhabi International Airport.
Visiting Hours: Sun – Thurs 9am-10pm Friday 4:30-11pm
For more information go to: http://www.szgmc.ae/
We visited Morocco recently and it won’t come as a surprise to hear it’s a photographer’s paradise. There is design inspiration around every corner. Here’s a diary of images that stood out. Enjoy!
If you’re a fan of global design, you’re probably familiar with My Marrakesh, the blog about Moroccan living by designer, hotelier and humanitarian Maryam Montague. She’s become quite the phenomenon over the last few years. Not only the writer of a drool worthy design blog set in North Africa, she’s the author of the recently published “Marrakesh by Design” – a guide to fabulous Moroccan design.
Designed by Montague and her architect husband Chris Redecke, Peacock Pavilions consists of a main house and two stand alone villas. We stayed for 3 nights and were lucky to have the Atlas Villa all to ourselves.
Peacock Pavilions is filled to the brim with Montague’s objets trouvés. Everywhere you look there are tassels, sequins, pottery, embroidery, feathers, carved wood, intricate tile work, and elaborate stencil designs. It is a veritable trove of Aladdin’s treasures. I was lucky enough to peak behind the doors, camera in hand…
Below is the gorgeous Golden Gazelles room we stayed in. J’adore the French poster and the luxurious stenciling behind the bed (based on a screen Maryam saw in a Christie’s catalog). Moroccan embroidered pillows and a vintage Kantha blanket make the bed pop while the African mud cloth fabric on the wood chairs are a nice contemporary accent. By keeping with the black and gold color theme, the different cultures and styles blend beautifully.
This is the view from the bed. What a marvelous fireplace! I could imagine cuddling up in this bed on a cold winter night. So romantic.This is the view from the rooftop patio above our bedroom. Throughout the day you can hear the call to prayer from the local mosque. Olive orchards surround the property and we enjoyed the delicious olive oil they produce from the trees each year.Here are some pictures from the main building. You enter Peacock Pavilions through these amazing rooms. I could spend hours looking at all the lovely and eclectic pieces (Egyptian driving glasses and Coptic crosses) in this collection. Maryam sells her treasures through the website Red Thread Souk. Here are some of the gorgeous Moroccan rugs on offer…If I had room in my suitcase I would have snapped a couple up. Morocco is frustrating in that way – too many beautiful pieces and not enough weight allowance in your luggage. But Maryam does ship internationally, so I may still buy one yet…And here are more lovely room shots… Drooling yet? Peacock Pavilions is all about the details. Inlaid antique door furniture, old Moroccan posters and French newspapers, jewelry hung as art… How about this tasseled saddle, old djellaba cape or hanging tasseled hoods? Have you noticed there are a lot of tassels at Peacock Pavilions? Don’t you love the beautiful stenciled stairs and tile work on the floors of this kitchen? The color and pattern mix at Peacock Pavilions is never overdone or too matchy-matchy which makes the decor feel fresh and not theatrical. The combined effect is totally inspiring. I came home and immediately started re-organizing my own travel collections. Isn’t that what travel does? Open your eyes to new possibilities? We hope you enjoyed our virtual Moroccan postcard and are inspired to new heights in global design chic. And if you get a chance, you really should visit…
Go to www.peacockpavilions.com
We travel to China four times a year, and it’s always fun to watch the changing skyline. It has changed dramatically from our first visit in 2006, and I was curious to see what it looked like 20+ years ago. A friend recently sent me a photo, and I was blown away…Here’s a shot of Shanghai in 1987. Wow! The skyline today is really beginning to rival Hong Kong. And from what I hear, that’s exactly what the government intends to achieve.
Shanghai is the world’s fastest growing city – growing at a rate of 10% a year. The current population is 23.5 – nearly double what it was in 1987.
This is the newest tower going up – Shanghai Tower. It will be China’s tallest building and the world’s second tallest skyscraper, at 2,073 ft high. It is scheduled to finish by the end of 2014.It goes up into the clouds…
One of our favorite Shanghainese restaurants overlooks the Bund – Shanghai Min (in Mandarin it’s Xiao Nan Guo). After indulging in amazing evening stroll and check out the ever-changing river skyline.
The ghosts/buildings of Shanghai’s past, still line the Puxi side of the Huangpu River. These stately historical Bund buildings once housed numerous banks and trading houses from the around the world.Today they are home to high end restaurants, nightclubs, boutiques and museums. It’s fun to see the old and new in close juxtaposition. Shanghai continues to be one of the most dynamic, interesting cities in the world.
On a buying trip to India in March, we finally got to Goa. (Sorry – the puns are hard to resist.) Long a stopover on the hippie trail of the ’70s, Goa continues to be a hot spot for jet set travelers, Bollywood stars and honeymooning couples.
We decided to go “glamping” – opting for tented luxury over a large resort environment. Amarya Shamiyana has four beach tents which are air-conditioned, complete with sitting room, two sinks and a shower.
Breakfast is served upon request, and you’re a mere 100 feet away from the Arabian Sea. I definitely was living out my Arabian Nights fantasies at this lovely hotel.We spent the third night at Paros, Amarya’s property down the beach.
The tents weren’t as large or glam, but the eating area has gorgeous ocean views. The food is delicious and we had access to a totally deserted beach. If I had to pick, it would be difficult to choose a favorite.
I also spent one of the days browsing the funky boho-chic boutiques on Ashvem Beach. Full of eclectic Goa-wear, there are a lot fun things to shop. Jade Jagger has a hot pink shop here and I couldn’t resist picking up a dress and ruby ring. I also got a sneak peak of her super cool compound (located nearby) when the credit card machine didn’t work. She has it decorated with Tibetan god/goddess pictures, rattan and a lot of hot pink. Very chic.
Another good stop down the beach is the chic French beach cafe – La Plage. It’s the heart of the Ashvem beach scene and serves up some yummy French and international cuisine. We had a lovely time in our brief Goa sojourn and are plotting a way back to sink our toes into the beach sand. If you get a chance, you must Goa too!
Amarya Shamiyana – Ashvem Beach, (Next to La Plage Restaurant), Mandrem, Goa-403527, INDIA
Paros by Amarya – Turtle Beach, Temba Vaddo, Morjim, Goa – 403527, INDIA