Monday, May 9, 2016

Beautiful Gardens and Inspiring Spaces

The window at Nathan Turner decorated by India Hicks for "Legends La Cienega" 

Last week was an inspiring one here in Los Angeles for home and garden enthusiasts. If you are an interior designer then you probably know about the Legends La Cienega event that occurs every year in Los Angeles during the first week of May. The windows of the design stores on La Cienega and Melrose Boulevards are decorated by interior designers and can be viewed for one week. I have gone with friends several times to see the windows. There is always a theme and this year it was "One of a Kind." The designers consistently do a fantastic job and this year was no exception.

The other and much bigger component to the "La Cienega Legends" are the lectures, seminars, conferences and book signings. Two days worth of fascinating and educational design events. This year I was able to attend with my sister who is an interior designer in Greenwich, Ct. I was wowed by all the fascinating information I learned as well as the visual feast put on by everyone involved. What a fun and inspiring two days!

The photo above is of the window at Nathan Turner decorated by India Hicks. She created a fantasy room for the well-travelled home-owner. It represents a lovingly curated space filled with souvenirs from far-flung locations. You could easily spin a narrative based on this space. What interesting conversations there would be about all these objects.

Her well-appointed coffee table

India Hicks was at the store to show her new fashion line which includes scarves, handbags and accessories.  

Mecox Gardens

Mecox Gardens is one of my favorite stores on La Cienega. It always makes me think of summer, casual living and outdoor entertaining. They have everything you would need to decorate a beach house. When we visited last week the place was jumping. In the back room there was a trunk show for interior designer Mark Sikes' new clothing line. And in the front room Will Taylor, an interior designer from London, talked about his design career in England and new book which is about to be published. He has a popular blog Bright Bazaar

Suzanne Rheinstein's Hollyhock 

Will was on the panel of design bloggers that kicked off the first event which was held at Suzanne Rheinstein's beautiful store Hollyhock.  Hollyhock is one of the loveliest stores in Los Angeles. Antiques are combined with carefully curated objects, art work and ravishing fabrics. Suzanne was signing copies of her newest book Rooms for Living. We gathered on her outdoor patio for a bloggers' breakfast and panel discussion. It was a spirited affair moderated by Newell Turner, the former editor-in-chief of House Beautiful. The bloggers were asked to give their opinions on many different design trends. 

This generated a lot of laughter as the bloggers held up paddles saying either "Love" or "Hate. They weighed in on the following home decor concepts:

Banana leaf print, macrame wall hangings, black walls, round copper pendant lighting, chalkboard walls, sheepskin seating, white tulip tables, entertainment wall units, tufting, green velvet, sliding barn doors, skirted round tables, sunburst mirrors, peacock chairs, zebra rugs, black and white checkered floors, all white kitchens, Staffordshire dogs, Windsor chairs, succulents, the great room, cement floors, ginger jars, layered rugs, tufted headboards, and faux flowers.

There were many diverse opinions but the one that generated total agreement was "faux flowers." They were universally disliked!

A lovely little vignette in the back room of Hollyhock

Of course we couldn't forget about the windows and luckily when we went over to Melrose Place for lunch we saw the window that was decorated for Waterworks. It was created by interior designer Schuyler Samperton. Her theme was "The Past Perfected" and was an ode to "one of a kind women." The spirit of Vita Sackville-West loomed large here. It's amazing how a creative use of objects, colors, textiles, lighting, flowers and whimsy can convey such a strong sense of place. I felt as if I were in the English countryside. The designer's goal was to create a "refuge of a creative spirit where history is revered, inspiration flourishes and dreams come to life." This was my favorite window. By the way, I had to photograph the windows from inside as the glare was too strong to take a photo through the glass!


And just in case the garden lovers felt left out, there was a design event for them as well. This was the weekend for Garden Conservancy Open Days in Los Angeles. It featured beautiful and intimate gardens in Santa Monica and Brentwood. They were filled with inspiration. Nothing lavish or showy in these gardens. Just beautiful garden moments that were created with enormous attention to detail. These were gardens we could all relate to. Each was an inviting, green haven. Take a look at a few of these serene and inspiring outdoor spaces.  

What a stimulating few days here in Los Angeles! Ideas flowed all around us and it was very exciting to be among so many vibrant and creative people. If you love home and garden design, be sure to sign up for one or both of these events next year.  


  1. I've never been to this event, and didn't even know it existed until you told us. Looks like fun to do, and the photos are beautiful.

  2. It really is an interesting design event. The window installations by the designers are always so much fun to see. I think you would enjoy it!

    1. Love that lipstick pink sofa in the first pictures.

    2. I agree about the sofa. It really made this space pop!