Hanging Around

lakeside hammock, Muskoka, Ontario

 Perched on the edge of Lake Muskoka, Ontario,

A heavenly hammock swings between a pair of perfectly placed trees in the garden of our friend’s charming old cottage.

It just doesn’t get much better than this.

I’ll spare the Jim Croce song, but “If I could save time in a bottle…”

This would definitely be one of those times.

BTW, have you ever been to Lake Muskoka or the Lake Region of eastern Canada?

Lake Muskoka

This is how beautiful it is. For miles and miles and miles.  No filter, plain & simple.

Put it on your list.

But once again, I digress…

hammock on deck

I told you I was still putting up a hammock post.

September, Schmmeptember.

beach hammockI could possibly have saved this for my “Indigo” post-which, in my timely fashion, should debut just before Christmas.

Cause I know when one hears the word “Christmas” one instantly thinks Indigo!

porch seat hammock

But for real, who doesn’t adore the promise of a cozy hammock with all the dreamy, romantic emotions  they evoke?

A macramé cocoon twisting gently from the creaky ceiling of a sleeping porch, a mattress ticking pillow, Hudson Bay blanket thrown over the edge and a great book nestled within?

or perhaps it’s more

Robinson Crusoe meets Swiss Family Robinson with Johnny Depp lurking behind the nearest palm tree, whittling you a coconut vessel from which to sip your rum. Together.


Hey, It’s all good, Matey :-)

At the other end of the spectrum…

hammock under the trees

This romantic vignette helped inspire my English Country Garden Tastemaker Tag Sale on “One King’s Lane” last week.

indoor hammock, tile floor

I also think it’s awfully fun to hang a hammock indoors, given the right setting, don’t you?

I’ve never done it, but never say never, though I think they’re especially great in a young person’s abode.

Lots of dash for little cash.

Besides,extricating one’s self from a hammock can take some manuoevering manuveouring effort.

black & white hammock photo

I love this photo, but I’m sure I’d have that basket weave deeply imprinted on my entire body for the rest of the day.

Ahh, once again, the ageing process…

it’s a beautiful thing.


Fancy bathing in a hammock big enough for two? check out  Splinterworks.co.uk


Here’s one sporting my favourite combo of black & white, plus a handy thick rug placed strategically underneath for a two-martini roll out.


The pinnacle of Hammock Chic- the woven leather one by Hermes

I’ll take two, on either side of the fireplace thank you very much.

boat bed

And a most charming turn on a nautical hammock, a vintage boat brought indoors.

Don’t you just love creative people?!

Screen Shot 2013-09-03 at 7.27.15 PM

2013 A Space Hammock. For the ultimate threesome.


Hammock in Greece

Or the perfect old school hammock swinging gently above the olive groves of Greece.

Pass the feta please.

seaside hammock

Tropical, indoor, old school or space age

Let’s face it. Hammocks rock.

Bora Bora

At the Nui Nui in Bora Bora

Paging Fletcher Christian…

Marlon Brando as Fletcher Christian



Here’s to sweet languorous dreams of a life lived slowly…

But only 9 more months ’til next summer!

Australia-you’re not even allowed to say a thing right now!

Happy September All



All uncredited photos from Tumblr or pinterest


It feels, at least to me, like it’s been quite a while since I’ve done a “Colour” post.

In fact, it’s been quite a while since I’ve written a post :-)

So what better combination to jump back in with than Black & White?!

Especially since I started compiling these, and scads of other images way back in the Spring, when the runways were absolutely choc-a-bloc with black & white stripes-particularly Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors & Balmain, to name just a few.

Alas, the summer has slipped by as quickly as those looks hit the shops and streets

and look who’s finally getting around to the “White & Black” post”?!

(I’ll be sharing that “Best Sunscreens” post any week now too!)

window shopping London, Slim Paley

But seriously, the combo was positively inescapable this summer.

I snapped this Harvey Nichol’s window in London in June.

white roses in black vases, Slim Paley photo, Sri Lanka

This cool arrangement, a particular favourite of mine, I shot at The Tintagel Hotel in Sri Lanka last year.

 The round  black vases sit on a large lacquer tray perched on a leather ottoman. So chic and unusual, and even more beautiful in person.

best black & white bedroom


Just one of my all time favourite black & white bedrooms ehvver, that’s all.

I wish I knew where it was and who to give credit to.

black & white exterior

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (then protest that I did not already say that)


Black & white stripes work in every possible permutation



more contemporary


photo Jeff McNamara

or flat out modern

black & white straws


They worked for Matisse and his models

black & white striped ottoman

and with every shade in the colour spectrum (speaking of Matisse)


They’re the perfect touch of homespun textile in an industrial space


A cheeky, yet classic addition to an eclectic vignette


And don’t even get me started on how cool these stairs are.

Of course you’d have to install railings in America, by code, which would totally spoil the look-

but you could then remove them after inspection.

Woops-was that my outside voice again??

black & white dishes, Target, Slim Paley Instagram

Speaking of being naughty, I pinched this great set of china for practically nothing at Target. I might have posted this Instagram photo once before, but it fits so well here, I couldn’t pass up the humble brag.

I think the ‘china’ looks great with the linens-

From the markets of Sri Lanka to Target in Ventura- a truly International table setting!

black & white striped risotto pot

Seriously coveting these black & white pots but don’t know where to find them- I just know they’re made in Italy.

black & white stripes

black & white tin buckets Target

I also scooped up about a dozen of these mini metal beach pails at Target for like 99 cents. Filled  with herbs and interspersed with votives, they’ll be fun down my  long barn table. That’s the plan anyway. If I ever get around to throwing a dinner party again.


(but that’s another post, right? I guess getting up at 5 AM helps)

black & white stripe accent wall

How about striping just one wall for a great effect that’s easily removable if you tire of it-

which you probably won’t, but I always worry about that. Virgo.

black & white striped chair

Cute chair, no credit, help me out here Pinterest People.

*Ahh-and already “Linda” has written in with the credit here Thank you!


Super simple to paint your own floor, right?

Says she, with the lantern still on the floor of the garage…

Mark Hotel bikes, NY, Slim Paley Instagram

My Instagram pic of the bikes outside the Mark Hotel in NY this summer.


Let’s forget about stripes for a moment.

In my next life I want to be able to carry off six wacking great bangles on each arm and act all blasé about it.

“Oh, these? these old things?? I wear them all the time…don’t even notice they’re there”

Screen Shot 2013-06-28 at 3.15.56 PM


I’m also loving this poncho by Rag & Bone, which I would wear to death.

Screen Shot 2013-08-14 at 10.24.58 PM

Keds by Kate Spade

Love the pic but I wish the shoes weren’t so pointy.


I SO coveted these sequined pants from Etro. I figured (justified) they were a timeless investment.

But were they in any of the shops?


loved the sandals and the toenail polish colour, which I bought but looked totally vile on me.

Black & white Paris

Is it Kate? So French, so cool. Even though I hate smoking.

Vintage Conde Nast


Carolyn Murphy via Vogue

Daria Werbowy

My favourite model, besides Christy Turlington, Daria Werbowy.
OK, so in my next life, I’m coming back as Daria with a whole armload of cuffs & bracelets.

I won’t say no to the jacket if that’s thrown in either.


Edie Campbell by Peter Lindbergh

This was one of the best editorial spreads of the summer-I’m still saving one of the other photos for an upcoming post.

But I think what we’re really learning here People is that we all need to get some black & white striped trousers.

Sooner than later.

black & white stripes


and how about that face?!

black & white striped bikini

BTW, Summer still isn’t over, especially for us here in Southern California

For those of you Down Under, it’s just about to start (lucky!!)

Kate Moss in Bathing suit

Kate Moss in Dolce & Gabbana. Photo Patrick Demarchelier

vintage beach shot


Screen Shot 2013-08-26 at 9.56.54 PM

Hat by Monet, photo Herman Landshoff, Mademoiselle, 1959


vintage black & white stripe fashion shot

In fact, Really timeless!

and if you’re still left with even a sliver of a doubt…


a glimpse of Anne Demeulemeester Spring/Summer 2014 Men’s collection.

black & white French Bull dogs

White & Black Forever!

wpid-Photo-17052011-655-PM SP


Last year’s “Black & White Redux” post HERE

black & white striped balloons

Balloons & pencil photo via Pinterest


Constant Wickering

photophoto taken thru a gallery window on Bond St., London

It was gloriously hot in Santa Barbara yesterday and it appears we’ve broken through the “June Gloom” and woken to sunshine again this morning-Hurrah!

 Definitely time to start pulling out the summer slipcovers and accessories, storing winter’s garb and, yes, addressing the bathing suit drawer. Ugh. The horror. Forget that. Let’s go back to accessories.


Something I spotted in a magazine recently reminded me of this great vintage wicker “picnic basket” bag I bought years ago. I can’t even remember where, that’s how long I’ve had it.

890A8612I love the way it hinges open, the tiny pearls, the hand painted variegated leaves and the rich golden hue of the old wicker.

227854062366869109_pb5vtvZc_fRaffia top hat, French, circa 1820


Straw hats in the hall, Slim Paley

The growing collection of wicker and hats in my home is an ever changing tableau…just never the right one, and never where I left it!

Baseball hats (all 5,000 of them) are kept in a less visible area.

The tripod-y thing you see to the left in the wicker basket is a folding wicker seat with handles and a sharp metal end to stick in the grass.

IMG_5532May also be used to perch your Pimms in a pinch.

I believe they were made for cricket, or perhaps polo matches. Someone chime in if you know for sure, but let’s not wicker about it :-)

Screen Shot 2013-06-18 at 5.26.30 PMSo adorable

Can you believe I didn’t have any girls???



Bridget Bardot

hm-summer-doutzen2Douzten Krouse.

Not sure if that’s how you spell her last name, but whatever…like she needs to care.


It’s nice to gather hats for guests in a big wicker basket in your front hall for summer.

217087644508349302_Zt0gRw1T_fI think I used this image once before, but it bears repeating. So charming if not that easily accessible.

93309023500742051_QVYsV4Y4_fI like the random nature and hanging of this collection. One of the best things about wicker is that it is absolutely affordable for everyone.

You can make Pier One stuff look great with the right touch. If your wicker looks too new, set it outside for a few weeks-presto, instant old wicker.

_VIE0572.450x675At the other end of the spectrum, Dolce & Gabbana did some pretty artful things with wicker this season, including these madcap shoes

_VIE1110.450x675and wicker corset.

Talk about pride feeling no pain…

But really, who needs to sit down when you’ve invested this much into your look

_VIE1159.450x675I really loved the playfulness and Carmen Miranda vibe of this collection.

Wicker dress form, Slim Paley photoSnapped at the Marches aux Puces, Paris

Screen Shot 2012-07-02 at 8.37.40 AM

and don’t even get me started on how much I love these. They’re like Campaign furniture made into shoes.

So, basically, two of my favourite things.

Screen Shot 2012-05-22 at 2.28.04 PMphoto Cote Sud

and these. I’m fashion-dextrous don’t you know.


Kate Spade proffered a wicker armadillo

Screen Shot 2012-04-20 at 7.37.07 PMRalph Lauren did a “Picnic basket-come-IT bag” last summer, but may I say that I like my vintage one much better

wicker wine carrying picnic basket, Slim PaleyYes, it’s lost a couple of pearls and a leaf or two but as it’s big enough to fit a bottle of wine, it could double as a picnic basket too!


Of course

402it’s easy to pull just one piece of wicker into your abode for summer

224Or you could opt for a total blast of it

Screen shot 2011-06-27 at 10.17.10 PMlike Anoushka Hempel did on her boat.  SO “Indochine”.  In fact, time to watch that movie again. by myself. The menfolk not at gunpoint.

403-1How pretty are the shadows cast by the “roof” in this room?

700_moon-lamp-one-jpeg“Jellyfish” wicker fixture. Sorry, lost the credit :-(

Screen Shot 2013-06-18 at 10.59.01 PMVintage fishing baskets repurposed as outdoor lights, Vogue.

amazing mid-century wicker chair, Paris, Slim PaleyIf I’d had the focus, time and the energy to organise a container at the Marches aux Puces in Paris last summer…

Oh, the damage I could have wrought. I mean how cool is this chair?!

L1140363And this turn of the century, pristine wicker conservatory seating? Also at the Marches aux Puces

Hotel Costes, ParisI fear we just spent too many evenings keeping the wicker chairs at Hotel Costes warm.

That’s some good people watching there.

Drum table Pottery Barn, Slim Paley photoI did manage to ship a couple of Toureg “wicker” rugs home from Marrakech though.

More on those when the room is finished. Metal drum table from Pottery Barn.

loquats, Slim Paley

And gathered a beautiful big ole wicker basket of loquats from my tree to make…jam? jelly? puree? The loquat remains an enigma. I washed them to make a puree and they started turning brown and rotten as fast as a peeled banana.

So, how about you? Do you have any great summer wicker design tips to share?

I’d love to hear.




Header photo from Dedon Outdoor Furniture


Get Schooled


Question #1: What’s the worst thing about traveling?

If your answer is “PACKING” you get an “A”

If you squeezed in 2 answers, including “Airport Security” you get an “A +”

Question #2: What’s the BEST thing about traveling?

If your answer’s “Learning”


(If you answered “shopping” you’re a naughty, naughty student but I love you and you may sit beside me in class)



Imagine our delight in discovering this unusual little hotel in Portugal earlier this year.

Tucked away in a very quiet but convenient neighbourhood in the heart of Lisbon,

“Hotel da Estrela” has stayed true to the school it once was.

Even a good portion of the staff are students from a neighbouring hotel & culinary Institute.

890A3606Two views of the “study room”


890A3602The Honesty Bar


I dihn’t see you take that 2nd glass of Port!

890A3609Halls are hung with old maps and cool art, even the baseboards are blackboards where inspiration may be chalked up daily.


890A3783How fun is this custom carpeting in the rooms?!  (yes, that’s my foot- for scale)

Screen Shot 2013-05-13 at 9.49.21 PM

While not overly luxurious (which would feel weird in this funky/modern school ambience) the rooms and bathrooms are large, well appointed (though the giant showers could use a soap holder ) and reasonably priced. The staff are young, eager & courteous.

Coming home late in the evening even requires banging on a massive wooden door, just to add to the feel of missing curfew!

Full disclosure; we did not eat in the restaurant, as my friend’s friends who live in Lisbon took us out to dine at night.

890A3628Plus these egg custard pastries are mandatory every day. It’s a Portuguese law.

94d2548a7fe1fcf431df6dffe5eff4c4Chanel Resort 2013

Be True to Your School


For more information on “Hotel da Estrela” 


For more chalkboard fun check out; Chalkboard China ( I just love them-if you click on the link you’ll see why :) )

Candle-Colletion-Blog-Ready3Chalkboard candles & Chargers both from Chalkboard China



* Ciate Chalkboard nails here (available in the U.S. in June 2013)

** Tutorial on chalkboard tags here

Screen Shot 2013-05-13 at 10.03.39 PM

Glazed apple for teacher here

Lights Out


Mandarin & Midnight

oranges in wooden bowl slimpaley.com


Tangerine & Noir

Mandarin & Midnight

Kumquat & Charcoal

Persimmon & Jet

Ebony &…

OK, let’s just cut to the chase…

Orange & Black

 It’s a great combination isn’t it?

So let’s not just save it for Halloween.

The black part of the equation is easy. Orange may be introduced as simply as above,

 with art, flowers, fruits, veggies in the kitchen, throws, books, glass or pottery in orange hues, candles, candy in a bowl,

leaving a luscious Leica laying around…

orange Leica

A minor touch of orange carries major impact!

and if you don’t have the element of fire in a room, orange is your man.


To further prove my point;

tumblr_mebiurvIM31rbsp5ao1_1280Love the art propped against the fireplace in this contemporary space.

orange roses slimpaley.comThese are Von’s roses, not from my garden.  No scent, but they lasted about 9 days! Viagra roses.

268949408967282370_THIuSsGo_fTake note how many of these images have some form of natural wood working beautifully with the orange & black combo.

134127529_CtdQBZ7D_cSuch a cool kitch!


Amanda Peet’s entry hall via Vogue

Do I see Viagra roses?

Here, natural wood, orange & black are adding a contemporary pop to an otherwise traditional room.

orange flowers, slimpaley.com

 I want to hang a hammock inside somewhere, don’t you?!

Public bike

How about a sexy Public Bike propped casually against your wall

Michael Smith

This is a favorite photo so I’m sorry I don’t have the credit.

The coziness of a sleeping nook, dark wood and the arched leaded window are all so charming.

The Barn, Hermes blanket, slimpaley.comHere fiery orange & deep charcoal in my “Boy Barn”

It will be finished…eventually. You know how I hate to be rushed.

700_roman-williams-stiller-libraryBen Stiller’s library by Roman-Williams

black bookcasesBlack bookcases are terribly chic.

Splashes of orange tones highlight them to dramatic effect in these three photos

one_kings_lane_scents_rusticand Hermes blankets always make Mommy happy.


Pumpkin blankets and crisp black lines help to make this bedroom a triumph.

Oh, you naughty young Parisian man in Hotel Costes! How did you get on this post?!

c0fb762f6ef0f4e96eac0a238136cedeI like the warmth of this living space looking out on to the snow and pines, but can you tell what’s going on on the ceiling?



and a touch of plum in these two pics60728294945475067_c7cdaavm_f


LOVE this bold, fun room, especially the burnt orange velvet cushions on the African bead chairs.



Go bold


Go baby steps

but do think about giving orange & black a go-go (been watching Madmen much?!)