Showing posts with label Key West. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Key West. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Into The Mystic

I recently had the pleasure of traveling to Key West for the weekend. This was my fourth trip to the tiny island and I still find it just as enthralling as I did when I went there on college spring break, not too many years ago. I always remember Key West as a (shall we say) colorful experience, and I'm happy to say that it wasn't just all the partying making it so. It was paint. And people. And the landscape and the roosters. And yes, I am sure the drinks played their part, too. Regardless, with its freewheeling, creative spirit, Key West possesses a demeanor reticent of the previous generation's Haight Ash-bury street. Established for it natural deep sea port in 1821, it experienced a capitalistic boom as the busiest sea port from New Orleans to Virginia. Attracting leisurely professional inhabitants doctors, writers, lawyers, the arts also flourished and the influence of European culture is still evident today (yep, we went to Ernest Hemingway's house). Did you know that it 1920, it contained more people than the entire rest of the state of Florida? Well, I didn't.

This is the resort where we stayed as it existed in 1920. Lots of tell tale signs of the old building still remain- tiny elevators, a beautiful wood grand staircase and heavy metal window frames.

This is the resort from above (it was first trip in a 4 person plane- good view, bad nerves), just look at the colors of the water! Lovely!

Such a magnificent reuse of the old Casa Marina building. Isn't it elegant! My little brother recently attended a wedding here, don't you know it was completely gush-worthy!

A car that I liked ;-)

This is the shelf in the bathroom. I took lots of pictures so that I can recreate it. See, there are two neon bulbs behind it, one on either side making the small bath just glow with ambient light. The installers also left the tags on most of the furniture in the room. Anyone heard of William Montague? That's the name of the company. Don't worry, I already emailed my friends in hospitality design to look out for the stuff.
In case my little snapshot didn't suffice, I found this image...I really wanted y'all to get a load of the shelf ;-)

This was our room, really simple sophistication. I appreciate that the flooring was some type of laminate/Pergo product...good for wet feet, sustainable minus the glue, also liked the simplicity of the window treatment. What do y'all think?

This fabulous specimen of Miami Art Deco, The Santa Maria Suites, was right around the corner and I HAD to HAD to find out what the interiors looked like! They're just so sleek and enticing- if I smoked I would stand on that balcony puffing a long one from an old fashion cigarette holder. Or imagine that I was a character in Miami Vice...

These are the bathrooms at the Santa Maria, GOD I love white Carrara marble. I know its not practical, but I would live in an entire house made of it. It would even be okay if the bed were of the stuff because it would be too beautiful for me to fall asleep.
This is a guest room at the Santa Maria...and do you know what I am going to point out? Well, Dear Reader check out the drama that simple long curtain lends to the otherwise band room! This is a trick I use a lot and its adaptable for a variety of price points.

Poking my eyes through all their pristine white picket fences, I noticed that many of the private residences feature these precious little pools, plunge pools! Aren't they charming!
The name of this restaurant is One Five Nine. Of course, I went there because the owner and I are obviously in complete simpatico, he loves blue and white....I love blue and white. His food is recognized by the New York Times and The James Beard Foundation, I love to eat food recognized by The New York Times and The James Beard Foundation. The Victorian masterpiece was built in 1906 BTW, I know that because my date and I had a bet going that the waiter had to settle. Date thought 1920, I thought 1908. I won. Don't pity him though, he had a steak au poivre I am still trying to recreate.

There are just so many charming little motels in Key West, too. Though I am sure all their owners would shutter at my use of the word "motel" until I replaced the epitaph with the more tourists friendly "resort". But we designers have a soft spot for the kitsch cool, don't we! Jonathan understands, just check out Palm Springs...I'll bet you understand, too!

I like the use of wood on this porch. I like the idea of turning its on its side, like a big shutter allowing privacy and natural light to coexist. I have used a more minimal interpretation of this solution on more contemporary structures in my own conceptual design, but this is a widely applicable solution that I did not want to forget.

And oh the yellow flowers! Magnificent!

This is Saint Paul's Episcopal Church on Duval Street. I just loved how the orange of the terra cotta tile played off the orange of the lovely tree. Simple pleasures are divine.

And there are roosters everywhere in Key West with baby chicks no less! I was not quite sprite enough to capture a picture of one with its babies or I might have also put them in my purse, to save them from becoming part of some local's voodoo ritual, of course!

We couldn't go to Key West without visiting the home Ernest Hemingway bought in 1929. He married a woman named Pauline, an editor for Paris Vogue with a fancy for fancy chandeliers. Insistent that her Murano masterpieces were a must, she removed all the ceiling fans! Can you imagine living in Key West before air conditioning without ceiling fans!

There's one.

There's another.

You get the idea.

A birthing chair in Hemingway's bedroom. Yuck.

Hemingway's bathroom tile! What a great pattern! Don't you think it would be splendid on a chair! Me, too.

I went to Pieces today...the Buckhead store of Atlanta designer Lee Kleinhelter, Silly, not the emotional state! Its fabulous, I'll share tomorrow.


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