Monday, November 30, 2009

Palazzo Tornabuoni



Italian architect and interior designer, Michele Bonan is the mastermind behind several of my favorite spaces. I have blogged about three hotels designed by him: The JK Place Hotel in Paris, The JK Capri, and most recently the Heidelberg Suites back in April. Since then, I have been scouring the internet looking for more of his projects. I really cannot get enough of this man’s work! While on the beautiful Reverie blog last week, I was thrilled to come across his most recent design project, the Palazzo Tornabuoni in Florence (Thank you, Melissa!). The Palazzo is a magnificent structure with a storied past and was once home to Pope Leo XI and the Medici family.

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Palazzo Tornabuoni was painstakingly restored to its original splendor and is the first “Palace Residence Club” in the world. “Situated on one of Florence’s most aristocratic streets, in the heart of the fashion district, this historic fifteenth-century palazzo was home to a Renaissance Pope, and hosted the world’s first documented opera performance.”


The Palazzo’s beautiful interiors were designed by Michele Bonan, who in my opinion has the most extraordinary taste, blending classic and modern with the utmost sophistication. Palazzo Tornabuoni hosts 38 private residences for its members in addition to a number of indoor and outdoor common areas. While the main purpose of the Palazzo is to serve as an exclusive residence club, there are a limited number of private, full-time residences available as well.

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The restoration of the magnificent Palazzo Tornabuoni took four years to complete under the watchful eye of Florence’s Soprintendenza ai Beni Artistici e Storici. The palace has been restored to its extraordinary Renaissance origins and along the way, the restoration team discovered hidden frescoes, Mannerist statues, and beautiful stucco ceilings.


The library is one of the Palazzo’s shared areas for the club members. Bonan’s masterful way of blending classic shapes with contemporary touches is clearly on display in this beautiful space.

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A More Detailed Shot of the Library

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I love the upholstery on these chairs.

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The Palazzo’s pietra serena staircase is now the permanent home of this marble Diana the Huntress statue by Gherardo Silvani (1579-1675).

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Each of the private residences by Bonan is unique. Every one has a different layout and historic decorative details, such as the gorgeous moldings in this residence.

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Beautiful Renaissance Details Abound at the Palazzo Tornabuoni

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Bonan fuses classicism and modern details in the beautiful residences at the Palazzo. All of the residences feature a great deal of charm with all of the conveniences of modern living.

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A Second View of this Residence

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The residences at the Palazzo are equipped with state-of-the-art Boffi kitchens.

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Most of the residences also feature breathtaking views of Brunelleschi’s Duomo.

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I love the minimalist palette in this gorgeous space.

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Can you think of a more glorious view?

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Visit Palazzo Tornabuoni for more information on this remarkable project.

Image Credit: Palazzo Tornabuoni

This Week’s Quote


Today only: Free Ring with Purchase at Stella & Dot!

I thought this deal was too good to share. It’s only valid today! Click here to visit Stella and Dot.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Winner of the Derek Lam & Giveaway is…

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Congratulations to Rebecca June who has won a $100 gift card! Thanks to everyone who participated in this giveaway. I enjoyed reading all of your creative responses, but I loved Rebecca June’s description of how she would wear Derek Lam’s fabulous cape: “This morning I looked outside I saw the fog rolling in and instead of being depressed i knew that I had the perfect ensemble that would brighten my day. Dark skinny jeans tucked into my Tory Burch Jaydan boots with my comfiest white tee are made even chicer with my Derek lam Cape thrown over them. Tousled locks with a little cap and one big amethyst cocktail ring make me feel ready to take on the day.”

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! This year really has been wonderful and I have so many things to be thankful for: my dear husband whom I love with all of my heart, our sweet new puppy (and my first EVER), Tate, our family, great friends, our health, and this lovely little blog of mine that has brought so much richness to my life. I am so thankful for each and every one of you. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with the people you love!

Image Credit: emersonmade

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Table Inspiration

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I am not hosting Thanksgiving this year, but if I were, I would have definitely set a table inspired by these gorgeous images taken by José Villa, California wedding photographer extraordinaire. I wish I had known about him when I got married! The photos are from the beautiful and unique wedding of Jessica Claire and Jeff Norwood which took place at 3 Stones Winery in Napa.

I love the idea of a rustic, elegant table infused with color from bright dishes and flowers. The vintage vibe is just lovely. Overall, I think the table and decorations all look so special, but they have a relaxed quality about them which is perfect for Thanksgiving. Plus, who wouldn’t love a holiday meal in Napa? It’s the perfect setting for a fall holiday.

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Image Credit: José Villa Photography

25% off at Stella and Dot!

If you’ve been eyeing one of Stella and Dot’s gorgeous pieces for a while or you still have some holiday shopping to do, be sure to take advantage of Stella and Dot’s Friends and Family sale! The sale starts today and ends on Friday, so don’t let the opportunity pass you by. Please use this link if you’d like to place an order. Happy Shopping!

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stella fall

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ten Things I Can’t Live Without: Elements of Style

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Erin’s blog, Elements of Style has long been a favorite of mine. It was one of the first blogs that I started reading regularly when I had just started La Dolce Vita. Her style really resonated with me (and it still does) and I thought she had some wonderful ideas. Erin has a great eye and I appreciate the fact that she features design ideas for all budgets. From décor to fashion, she is never shy about sharing her fabulous taste with her readers.

The new "10 Things I Can't Live Without" series has been a great success so far with Eddie Ross kicking things off last week and now with the fabulous Erin to keep things going. I am so excited that she is participating in the series! I loved reading her list of “things she can’t live without” and I am sure you will, too!

1) Blogging- the best thing I’ve ever done and the way I was able to create an entire business for myself and become my own boss. The biggest luxury there is in the world.
2) Coffee- do not even THINK about trying to speak to me until I’ve had mine. It can be from anywhere, but I would be lost without my Keurig machine. I don;t drink lattes or anything fancy until winter time when a non-fat eggnog latte from Starbucks (in the red cups) becomes my weakness.
3) Yoga- the newest love of my life- I practice PranaVayu- -three times a week and when I go without it I feel totally would up and out of shape.
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4) Magazines- which are sadly becoming extinct.  There is nothing better than a brand new magazine to indulge in for me (with a cup of coffee, of course). My favorites: Elle Décor, House Beautiful, InStyle, Harpers Bazaar, Lucky, Elle, Coastal Living, Canadian House & Home, Martha Stewart Living.
5 )My dogs- Baxter and Oliver, who are Havanese.  Baxter was from  a breeder and Oliver was a rescue off  They are what makes getting up worthwhile and never fail to make me smile!
6) My family & friends- I am seriously blessed with the FUNNIEST, loveliest, most amazing group of friends and family in the world. From my amazing parents, three brothers to my unshakably supportive husband who brought me a new magnificent set of family members.

7) Child perfume- -a forever favorite and reminds me of what is quintessentially “me”, in a really odd way. I also love the sleek simple bottle.
8) DVF wrap dresses- I have spoken about my love for them ad-nauseum in the press this year, but I can’t leave them out of my ten things I can’t live without- because I can’t live without them!
9) Chocolate- in any form, but more specifically when combined with peanut butter or mint. And especially when eaten in Paris.

10) Vintage furniture and accessories- I absolutely love things with a story and some patina. I can’t imagine living in a home of all new things. 1st Dibs is like pornography to me.

Monday, November 23, 2009

This Week’s Quote

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“As we express our gratitude,  we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter the words, but to live by them.”

– John Fitzgerald Kennedy

P.S. The lovely Brooke Giannetti of Velvet and Linen asked me and a few other bloggers to help her narrow down the 170 + entries she received for her Brickmaker’s Table Giveaway. It was a tough decision to pick just five favorites, but Brooke has calculated all of the bloggers’ top contenders and has narrowed down the options to 10 lucky finalists. Be sure to visit Velvet and Linen to vote for your favorite today!

Image via This is Glamorous

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fabulous Room Friday 11.20.09

This week’s fabulous room comes from my image archives. I spent most of the week and the greater part of yesterday afternoon trying to find a new space to feature this week. Much to my dismay, I kept coming up empty-handed. It’s not that I wasn’t coming across any beautiful spaces, but none of them were really speaking to me. Perhaps I didn’t have a specific vision of what I was searching for.

Today, it is cool and rainy in Houston and all I am craving is some comfort. Once I registered this sentiment, Deborah Needleman’s Tribeca living room immediately came to mind. It is a warm, well-defined space that would be perfect on a day like today. In true Domino style, she mixes a variety of styles, like a Lucite coffee table and French-inspired chairs. I love the palette she used in this space. It is mostly neutral, but is punctuated with a few beautiful colors, like the olive green console, the graphite chairs, and pink throw pillows. All in all, it seems like the perfect place to spend a lazy day or to gather with friends.

Happy Friday! I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Image Credit: Melanie Acevedo for New York Magazine

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Holiday Giveaway: & Derek Lam

Derek Lam is one of my favorite designers because like in so many of my favorite interiors, he balances masculinity and femininity so perfectly. Today, La Dolce Vita is giving away a $100 instant gift card to one lucky commenter who tells us all about her favorite Derek Lam item from Why is it your favorite? Where would you wear it? How would you accessorize it? The most creative, fashion-inspiring comment wins. Are you already on the lookout for the perfect holiday dress? This is the perfect opportunity to get something fabulous!

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About Derek Lam
Derek Lam graduated from the Parsons School of Design in 1990 and began his fashion career working for as an assistant to Michael Kors (not a bad start!). After four years he moved to Hong Kong but decided to return to New York to accept the postion of VP of Design for the Kors line. Lam launched his own compnay in 2002 with his business partner Jan-Hendrik Schlottmann and debuted his first collection at the September 2003 New York Fashion Week.

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Why is Lam so popular?

Lam's line is most noted for his feminine fabrics combined with crisp silhouettes. Celeb clients such as Liv Taylor and Gwyneth Paltrow sport their favorite pieces all over town. Of his line, Lam said, "It really touches on a femininity that is grown up and very self-aware. It is competent, not an ingénue, intelligent but not overly intellectual, more emotional. The collection has a modern point of view, but always looks to the past.”

Giveaway Guidelines:
To enter the giveaway, sign up to become a follower of La Dolce Vita (on the right side of the blog) and leave a comment telling me which Derek Lam item from is your favorite, and why, for a chance to win a $100 instant gift card. Remember, the most creative and inspiring comment wins, so make yours stand out! The winner will be selected and announced on Sunday, November 29, 2009.

May the most fabulous comment win!

comment on derek lam

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Modern Madrid: Hotel Selenza

Next July will mark our fifth wedding anniversary and Fabian and I plan to take another big trip to celebrate. As you know by now, we both fell completely in love with London when we visited a couple of months ago and have been itching to go back ever since. However, I have also been dying to go back to Spain with Fabian since I visited in the summer of 2008. We will most likely combine the best of both worlds and pay a visit to both London and Madrid. I know it’s still pretty early to be planning a trip, but I have already started looking into flights and hotels. Earlier this week, I came across the new Hotel Selenza in Madrid and I had to share it with my fellow design-lovers!

The hotel is filled with thoughtful details and modern touches. The hotel’s design was carried out by the Italian architectural firm, Aplomo. The hotel’s dining room features pretty moldings by Lovitex, Zeppelin pendants by Flos, and a giant Venetian-mirrored ceiling. The clean lines of the furniture work perfectly with all of the flourishes in the room.

This part of the lobby, along with many of the common areas, features beautiful Sicis tile with a pattern designed by Aplomo. The Skygarden light fixtures are from Flos and the beautiful three-dimensional mural is the work of artist, Javier Madrid.

The guest rooms are sleek and modern and feature touches like whimsical Lucite chairs from Aitali and wallcoverings by Evans and Brown.

The ensuite bathrooms feature the same thoughtful, modern touches that can be found in the rest of the hotel. I love the mosaic tile, modern sink, Molton Brown toiletries, and the fabulous tub!