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Category: Design & Architecture

Kara Smith One of Hollywood’s Best Kept Secrets

When it comes to luxury designers, Kara Smith is the cream of the crop. Her style is classic and modern and her clients keep coming back for more. The LA-based interior designer has 14 years under her belt with SFA Design, and as the president of company, she has been able to grow the international recognition of this boutique firm. Her ideas are progressive and she’s involved with all aspects of SFA’s design practice. She is the go-to designer for commercial and residential properties, catering to celebrities and other A-List individuals that want the ultimate in luxury design. Interior...

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Fashion From the Ground Up

For the professional on the go, selecting an ensemble that will take you from day to evening is inevitably a consideration. When I open my closet in the morning, the first thing I look at are my shoes. I like to build my outfit from the ground up. If the shoes don’t feel right, it doesn’t matter how designer the rest of the look is, something will feel off. Standing 5’4” in bare feet, heels are a must, but lately my eyes have been drawn to a more comfortable foot covering that has been walking up and down the...

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citizenM Hotels Take Time Square

The Cutting-Edge Chain Opens First American Location in NYC  There was a time when luxury travel was defined by white Egyptian cotton sheets, accented, suited concierge personnel and martinis delivered to your door. However, in the era of technology, efficiency and mobility, those standards seem archaic and obsolete, especially to a generation of chic, modernistic young professionals. citizenM, an Amsterdam-based hotel chain that stands for “citizen mobility,” thought so too. Catering to cutting-edge and on-the-go business travelers who love their luxury and technology yet like to keep their wallets full, citizenM aims to democratize the high-life by providing extravagant...

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Diamonds, Or Is It Jewelry, Is Forever

As someone who has a substantial amount of jewelry, on rare occasions I’ve said, “Oh, I really don’t need any more.” Need and want are two different words. Songwriter Gordon Martin stated it so well when he wrote, “Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend,” which Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell sang in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.” He was also wise enough to include “expensive jewels” in the song. For those who have and love jewelry, you may hit a weak moment, when you say you have enough. But then a talented new designer or trend will capture your eye and...

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Abu Dhabi’s Beauty: Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque, UAE

I approached slowly, feeling a gentle pull, as if by a magnetic force. Then, I wanted to stop, cement my feet to the ground, and simply stare. My mouth gaped open, like an opera singer belting an aria, as I tried to comprehend the extreme, yet serene view. Ahead of me lie a bevy of marble domes, four towering minarets, and a thousand jeweled columns rising from delicate inlaid floors. Yet, I had thoughts of Aladdin and magic carpets in my head. My western upbringing slipped back to childhood storybooks. I recalled pictures from the Tales of 1,001 Arabian...

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A Singular Vision – Luxury With A Past

A modern day steampunk fantasy has been resurrected from the industrial bones of an early 20th century cold storage plant in Southern Chile.  In this historical space, Singular Hotels now offers a 5-star luxury hotel and spa experience like no other.  The hotel is visually unique with its immense brick wall architecture, vertical columns supporting high ceilings and large windows that draw in every bit of sunlight.  Giant flywheels attached to huge pistons sit next to a complex series of valves that once regulated the flow of Ammonia.  Electrical generators that bellowed around-the-clock to feed the industrial heart of...

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Indy’s Plat 99

 My experience with cocktail lounges is generally limited to when I travel and have the opportunity to check out well known, historic, or new establishments. Indianapolis was not different. Norm and I had just finished a gondola ride and were scheduled to have pre-dinner drinks at Plat 99 before dinner at Cerulean. We could have spent the entire night at Plat 99. Its design alone was breathtaking, with contemporary architecture and blown glass chandeliers welcoming you into a lively bar and lounge area with an outside patio. If desired, you could just eat at Plat 99. Its menu focuses...

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Finding Nirvana in Manhattan At The Rubin Museum of Art

The Premier Museum in The West For Himalayan Art New York City, NY beholds an incomparable wealth of cultural and ethnic diversity with art treasures from around the globe. Among its many virtues is providing a home for one of the world’s largest collections of Himalayan art. The Rubin Museum of Art,  which opened in 2004, is the premier museum in the West for Himalayan art and the surrounding regions. This spacious 70,000-square-foot museum, located at 150 West 17 Street, near 7th Avenue in Manhattan, is a treasure trove of spiritual art. Serene intimate galleries showcase ritual sculptures in...

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Art in Full Bloom

Three Different Artists Who Are Inspired by Flowers With the arrival of spring New York City residents and visitors alike are encouraged to visit the many wonderful outdoor attractions such as The New York Botanical Garden. Located in the Bronx, this spectacular 250 acre oasis offers diverse gardens and luxuriant plant collections. “Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.”  ~ Luther Burbank Viewing art that has been inspired by flowers and fauna is an experience that offers us the same healing benefits we receive from exploring outdoor gardens. The...

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Perfect Antidote to Seattle’s Winter Grey Palette, New Chihuly Garden and Glass

As soon as I entered the exhibition I thought that this is exactly how Alice must have felt after she tumbled down the rabbit hole into a fantasy world. This one is populated with surreal, kaleidoscope-colored glass creations ranging in size from minute, gem-like balls to a 1,340-piece, 100-foot long sculpture, hovering high overhead in the “Glass House”, inspired by Dale Chihuly’s two favorite buildings, Paris’ Sainte-Chapelle and London’s Crystal Palace. Done in vibrant shades of orange, yellow and red, it offers a warm sunrise/sunset glass-framed view of the Space Needle towering behind the building. As you meander through...

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Luxury Fashion in the Bedroom

  Silk is the answer and Manito silk makes a difference. Until recently, I know I had experienced many of the best of the best, when it comes to silk sheets, pillow cases, duvets, pillows, robes, gowns and pajamas. Well, by accident, I’ve found a new favorite and sheer indulgence—Manito products.   All silk is natural, sustainable, durable, hypoallergenic, gentle, comfortable and easy to care for. Whether this brand of silk is indulgence, bliss, or a slice of heaven, I’m not sure. But the Manito family-owned company, with decades of history behind it, makes a difference. From harvesting the...

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Tierra Patagonia – Luxury At The End Of The Earth

Our adventure’s luxe base camp was at the five star Tierra Patagonia which is the very manifestation of “organic elegance”.  Designed by chilean architect Cazu Zegers, it is built of smooth and rough hewn lenga wood and glass. The hotel curves and flows with the wind along the top of a small hill that overlooks Lake Sarmiento and the world famous Towers, those craggy mountain peaks that so uniquely define the park.

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