Last weekend, I had the opportunity to venture from HGTV’s headquarters in Knoxville, Tenn. to the Big Apple – and had a wonderful NYC adventure. How did I spend most of my time? Eating my way through the city in one great restaurant after another…of course!
What I love most about NYC dining is that you can be as inspired by the incredible decor you find in a restaurant as you are by the food – and I now want to replicate several of those beautiful interiors in my own home. I was first inspired by Buddakan with its contemporary Asian flair and incredible two-story loungey vibe. You may even remember Buddakan from the Sex & the City movie.
Buddakan, photo from forbestraveler.com
On my second night, I had the pleasure of going to The Stanton Social with its great white brick walls, and incredible chandeliers – not to mention the crab cake corn dogs that still make my mouth water at the mere thought.
The Stanton Social, photo from nymag.com
Finally, I went to a casual brunch at Norma’s with amazing food and a cool Art Deco vibe.
Normas at Le Parker Meridien
Basically, I found inspiration at every turn. What restaurants have inspired your design aesthetic? I’d love to know!
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to spend some time in West Palm Beach, FL. We were shooting the 1-hr HGTV Green Home special in nearby Port St. Lucie –- and let me tell you that West Palm had some of the coolest antique and consignment shops I’ve ever seen in an area called Antique Row. Check out the 20th century antiques from www.objectsintheloft.com — I spent about an hour in there, and all different price ranges were represented, including the high end, like this Jay Spectre Eclipse chair:
Jay Spectre Eclipse Chair
I also loved some of the funky art in the area, especially the underwater photography I found at www.leidyimages.com
. And while you’re shopping, you have to have lunch at Belle & Maxwell’s, which is right in the heart of Antique Row. It was the best sandwich I’ve ever had in my life, and the sweet potato fries were to die for!
Got any design or shopping tips from West Palm? Share!
As you could probably imagine, working at HGTV has its advantages and disadvantages. One of the big pluses is I get to see one fabulous home after another on our shows each and every day. The disadvantage? I don’t get to live in one of them! So for the winter holiday, I decided to live the good life in the only way I could afford to: VACATION in one! I went searching all sorts of sites from Vacation Rentals by Owner to Vacation Rentals.com, etc. in search of the perfect home. I ultimately found this beauty in Palm Springs and gathered ten of my closest friends to join me on the trip of a lifetime to the California desert. Let me tell you, it was worth every penny!
Exterior of Palm Spring Rental
Ultimately, we got to stay in an absolutely gorgeous mid-century contemporary home (my favorite type of architecture), and met the owner of the home, who was one of the kindest and most charming people I have ever come across. Upon our arrival, she even baked us cookies and a cake! Talk about great customer service.
In the Living Room of the Home
But the coolest part was that we had the opportunity to stay in a Wexler Butterfly Home for a fraction of the cost of a 5-star hotel, pool and spa included, and yes, it looked exactly like it did in the pictures.
Stunning Views of the Interior
I’d highly recommend this for your next trip, before automatically just calling to make generic hotel reservations!