Black & Yellow



 I can’t even…it’s April 10th already!

Who do I see about slowing things down a bit around here?! How come school never went this fast?

Occasionally I lose consistency with posting and lately has been one of those times

(uh d’yuh think?!)

It doesn’t mean we’re breaking up or I’m seeing other blogs, just that I’ve lost my gossamer thread of thought or inspiration or, more likely, real life got in the way.

Eventually I find my way back.

tumblr_ms2zvrLiCA1suw27to1_500via Pinterest

So here I am, taking a break from travel posts just for a moment to consider the colours Yellow & Black.

Not the most popular or likely colour combination to be sure, right?

 Or so I thought…

Golden Mustard roses

 Though I’m a fan of warm golds and even yellow verging on mustard in interiors, yellow in brighter hues is not the crayon I gravitate to. I make the exception for flowers, and even then it has to be just the right yellow, like these beautiful “Golden Mustard” roses from my garden. Turning to a caramel colour in their denouement makes them just about the chicest, most interesting rose around, but I don’t wish to get off track here…

b8f1c5cea800e17a1f27a4389201ff5aAlthough these two photos are examples of yellows in super warm, almost gold tones, make no mistake, black & yellow in all hues is having a moment.

The Dutch House, Galle, Sri Lanka An Instagram photo of the parlour at the Dutch House hotel in Galle, Sri Lanka

01-LA-Ace-Hotel-Lobbyvia Voyage Vixen


The new Ace Hotel in downtown LA has used the combination to cool effect in their stained glass windows

a3d5d54993d4901511325fc4ff8ded8cAlexander McQueen bag

PaliHouse03-RemodelistaJust a touch of yellow can make a dark room really sing

Screen Shot 2012-09-01 at 12.32.40 AMRalph Lauren

magazine-kate-moss-08_155450590977 It certainly does something for Kate Moss


 As a person whose biggest design nod to black & yellow is the bunch of overripe bananas I toss out every week, I’m not asking you to love it…or even like it. I’m just asking you to consider it.

Ines-de-la-FressangeAfter all, how amazing is Ines de La Fressange here?

 Ines-de-la-Fressange-chez-Versace_portrait_w674and here.

and don’t we all want to be as chic as Ines when we grow up?

330Or taken in another direction

6fc221f60ed0a8c68c82e11df460a539You have to admit it’s a fresh pop for Spring

Gianvito Rossi

Gianvito Rossi

Cecil Beaton's New York book

Place a black & yellow book on your coffee table, step back and see what happens.

Ask your child to paint you a portrait with black & yellows and lean it on the mantle.

How about a few daffodils popping out of a dark wine bottle? Give it a try.

Go on! Don’t be yellow!! :-)

Iris ApfelOf course when Iris Apfel does it, she does it.

photo by Sarah Moon

Sarah Moon



2b5841740f537654c33232d96752c973Christina D’Ornano

Add blue and get all primary with it.

Jason Wu  slimpaley.comJason Wu

The stores in Dubai were choc-a-blok with black & yellow.






WP81388M-006-Scalamandre-ZebraScalamandre fabric & wallpaper

black & yellowAn interesting mix of textures, new & antique with a pop of chartreuse-y yellow

KOR_0145.450x675Michael Kors

yellow & black

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 10.43.02

Dior lemon meringue heels.


DIO_0198.450x675Dior Fall 2014

yellow & black

Louboutin for men Christian Louboutin for men (btw-I’ve never seen anything like the selection of men’s shoes available in Dubai-what is that about?)

_D7Q0979.450x675 Celine Spring 2014

One of the most widely featured bags this Spring

fa65b063a57fffb0def179baca298f0cRalph Lauren

Tintagel Hotel, Colombo, Sril Lanka, slimpaley.comThe Tintagel Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka

gold & black

london edition hotel habituallychic 014 The London Hotel, NYC, photo via Habitually Chic

Moda Operandi

 JW Anderson via Moda Operandi

e7be31ace3d5d43f5dd05a2306569f28via Remodelista

black & yellow

ELLE Decoragain with blue for Elle Decor

Manolo Blahnik via Vogue InstagramOh so girly Manolo Blahnik grosgrain ribboned pumps

d2bca74088a615d9c96f5da509583f84So is it kinda sorta slightly starting to grow on you??


Let the sun shine in!

xox SP


Straws via Etsy


 This time last year: Bedouin & Breakfast


Please forgive or provide if possible, any missed credits



A Mad Exuberance



With the romantic pressure of Valentine’s Day well behind us

(but hopefully still a few chocolates left) we can move on to something truly important;


Between trying to keep up with the Winter Olympics, ‘Downton Abbey’, ‘House of Cards’ (husband; finished, me; Fail) and, lest we forget, plain old Real Life, staying on top of all the shows during NY & London Fashion Week this season required a supremely valiant effort.

Sometimes a girl’s just gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

You strap on that (hand painted) helmet and forge ahead.

There were oh SO many heart-stopping collections but one of my favourites took place just a couple of days ago at “Burberry Prorsum”.

Burberry Fall 2014

Christopher Bailey knocked it out of the park for me with his “Bloomsbury Girls” Fall 2014 collection.

A couple of months ago I was asked to weigh in on what trends I was hoping to see prevail in terms of Fashion this Spring and my answer was;

“Keep an eye out for an exuberant abundance of colour, texture and pattern. Take a break from clean lines and mix…”

Of course for me it’s never just about one subject  :-)

I’ve also been feeling the same way about interiors. Now first, let me say that I appreciate the spare beauty of a mininalist room as much as anyone, except perhaps John Pawson, but I’m starting to fear we’ve become so focused on the ‘coolness’, dare I say safety of the almighty ‘clean line’ that the soul of interior spaces appears to be drifting away.

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 10.05.35 AM

 I’ve a sense of longing for the well layered space again.

Rooms that feel utterly lived in, proudly displaying the history and personality of their inhabitants.


In other words, where’s your stuff, people?!!

I’m not by any means advocating the acquiring of Things for acquisition’s sake, I’m simply wondering how all of a sudden it became so déclassé for living spaces to actually look lived in?

Who amongst us doesn’t have a huge pile of unread books & magazines, an overly used and frayed chair, or items worth virtually nothing, yet priceless with memories?

slimpaley.comWho hasn’t had a puppy that’s left a little memory (or two)?!

Dan Marty Design hb7

Dan Marty

Burberry Fall 2014

But not to veer off track too much (well, it wouldn’t be me, would it?)

I simply loved the mad exuberance of Bailey’s collection. The mix of florals, lace & leather. The luxuriously  long scarves tucked into skinny  knotted belts. The whimsically hand painted oversized bags-impractical as their handles and heft may be…the baggie open-toed ankle boot reminiscent of vintage Vivienne Westwood’s Buffalo Girls again

( Viv IS having her moment, isn’t she?!)

Burberry Fall 2014

Lisa Fine's Paris apt. Elle Decor

Elle Decor

Burberry 2014 Fall


Tamara Comolli

Tamara Comolli ocean jasper coconut bracelets and ring in sterling silver would be perfection with this collection.

Burberry Fall 2014


.“Yvonne Printemps on the Sofa”: Edouard Vuillard – 1919-1921.

Loulou Falaise's living roomLou lou de la Falaise living room

Who doesn’t love a room that feels comfortable in its own fabric?

A ‘house’ is a roof over one’s head. A ‘home’ tells a story


As does the way we dress

(although, speaking for myself these days, not exactly a bodice-ripper)

edouard Vuillard

Edouard Vuillard

NY Times slimpaley.comA cozy Sunday afternoon in front of the fire.

I don’t have to tell you why my ottoman has a Suzani over it.

Homes have their little secrets as well as stories :-)


majolica plates

A wall of fine majolica.

Tamara Comolli

And in gold. Sigh.



Burberry Fall 2014 finale lead by Cara Delevingne


Burberry Prorsum Fall 2014

Mix, don’t match

Elle decorvia Elle Decor



Viva la Exuberant Abundance!!


Inspired? Encouraged?


Me too!



One Year Ago: Heads Up

All uncredited photos via Pinterest or Tumblr. If you have a credit I will be happy to include it.

The Red Line


There was a red line

Screen Shot 2013-04-16 at 10.05.41 AM

It started in the laundry alcove of our barn.

It’s sort of hard to explain, but let me make a long story short…

(for the first time in my life. Ever.)


In designing the barn, I almost neglected to add a laundry area.

Let’s just get that out of the way first.

  I mean, who thinks of laundry when designing a barn for boys??

 Luckily, at the last minute (love those last minute Change Orders) we found a way to tuck one in, in the small hallway leading to the garage.  Because there was no window, and the room adjacent to the laundry houses all the guts, gadgetry and ‘guy stuff’ for the barn, our architect came up with the cool idea to remove one length of reclaimed wood and replace it with a ribbon of glass. An ‘electrical-guts-viewing window’ as it were.

Like I said, guy stuff. Then he added an LED multi-flitered light, which can be any colour, but I like the red.

MUA: Michelle Leander Herum

When passing by at night it’s both cozy and very James Bond.

If James Bond did laundry.


Plus, it matches the cherry red washer & dryer I’ve lusted after for years.

That’s when it started.

32c13272b67c15d0d694bdf141940966 I began to see the red line everywhere…

garzon-uruguay-3_0and to appreciate how it made cool, monochrome spaces pop to life

d7203af8ebadf6ee10357dee398a29f7Mark Cunningham

fonda-windsor-melbourne8_0_0Fonda-Windsor Melbourne

Like I said



Selman Hotel, Marrakech

The hallways of the Selman Hotel, Marrakech

bookcases, Sun Valley,

My own Instagram photos

Bar, The Tintagel Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka,

The bar of The Tintagel Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka

.This place

that placec22a49b5c16a980ddb445d07deaace35

and you can believe it didn’t stop there.

Fendi boot Fendi

I think you all know me better than that.

090613_Tommy_Ton_S2014RTW_slide_103via Tommyton

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 7.15.18 PM



The boots, Chanel Pre-Fall 2014970x544_BoxHomepage_1


I wanna say Ann Demeulemeester


MARC0291.450x675I forget.

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 7.11.09 PMGaultier


red leather jacket



Magdalena Frackowiak

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 2.31.11 PMJason Wu clutch

img_7784YSL pumps

In museums…

IMG_7221Chicago Museum of Modern Art


in magazines…


Eddie Borgo Fall 2013 Winged Scarab necklace


Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 7.13.19 PM



.even food…


the red line was haunting my dreams


calling out to me



It’s no bloody wonder I forget about the laundry.


BTW- This is my 500th post!!

Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 10.08.35 PM - Version 2


One Year Ago; I was “Feeling Very Delftish”


painted lips photo; Michelle Leander Herum

uncredited photos via 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


Red & White Stripes Redux


It’s that time again!

When I go to my “happy place” with the annual red & white stripes post.

And what better day than on the eve of celebrating America’s Independence?

I have so much to be thankful for living here and not, say, in Egypt right now.

Not that I’ve ever even been to Egypt, so it’s not like it was a close call or anything,

but still…

I’d love to go there someday. Prayers for the situation there to settle peacefully and soon.

and now let’s get back on a much lighter note,

Red & White stripes window shopping Marrakech

 I’ve always got an eye out for a good red & white stripe when I’m traveling.

I’m delighted by what the smallest dose of it can bring to a room.

On my recent trip to Morocco I spotted this lovely display in a great  shop in Marrakech.

They had wonderful linens, textiles, place mats etc. so I hope someone will leave a comment reminding me of its name.

*LATE ADDITION: The music I forgot to add last night! Great summer song

(must be turned up really loud)



An All American classic porch vignette


Ice cream filled watermelon rinds via Bakers Royale


Glasses via

989f5c6dd5b7364ae47a332308c41e40via Pinterest

How cheery is this kitchen wall painted like a dish towel?

If you’re in a bad mood in the morning in a room like this there’s pretty much no hope for you.


I spotted these cute “vintage” serving boxes in an antique store in Carpinteria and bought the entire stash of them. Perfect for popcorn or hot dogs and chips by the pool.  I propped them on my cotton throw/tablecloth in the “new” conservatory (which has basically become my new office!) for this photo.

Ask me if I painted the vintage lamp hot pink for the conservatory yet.



Screen Shot 2013-07-03 at 5.16.59 PM

OMG Ines-copy me much??

ED0112_Provence_001-400-lgnand Ines de la Fressange’s home in Provence

Screen Shot 2013-06-30 at 7.22.12 PMimage via Tumblr

Costa Nova, Portugal

great bunk bedsLovely to make up the bed with crisp, cool rouge stripes in the summer.

Screen Shot 2013-07-03 at 1.49.06 PM

cotton sheets via West Elm


 Stripes Then. Jean Shrimpton


Stripes Now. Kate Moss in Dolce & Gabbana


photo Cihan Alpgiray

Screen Shot 2013-05-19 at 8.30.34 AM

Adorbable striped ‘kini from Ete via Moda Operandi

Screen Shot 2013-07-03 at 4.50.31 PM

Or a one piece from Golden Goose Deluxe Brand




le Bristol hôtel, ParisI shot this photo in the courtyard of hotel le Bristol in Paris last summer.

I highly recommend it for the perfect combination of luxury & friendly ambience. Not too stuffy for kids and wonderful restaurant, bar & room service.


It’s amazing how well red & white stripes work in old world interiors as well as new.

They can feel totally Euro or quintessentially American. Take your pic.


They’re the Switzerland of stripes.

Screen Shot 2013-06-30 at 7.45.59 PM



OK, so I know this is not red & white exactly but how could I not put these 5 photos together? I wouldn’t have been able to sleep otherwise.

It’s not easy being me.




No stripes at all here in fact, but don’t you think this room was “inspired” by Matisse’s “Checkers”?!

BarbaraElle7French Elle Magazine

But back to  red & white stripes

Consider the turban.


Screen Shot 2013-06-23 at 3.14.05 PM

Conversely, the Converse


How about Roasted Strawberry & Toasted Coconut popsicles from Joy The Baker

Snow cone machine, Williams & Sonoma

Or classic snow cones (snapped at Williams & Sonoma)



And just in case you missed it the first time; my Red & White Stripes post from last July.

Timeless is timeless after all.

HAPPY 4th of JULY to All You Wonderful Yankees!

Be safe and joy-filled this holiday.

And thanks as always to the troops that afford us this day to celebrate.

xx SP

More Stripes for the die-hards;

“Red & White Stripes (II)