Monday, 16 April 2012

Palm Springs Life!

The Easter holidays are over, the children are back at school, and we're still adjusting to the time difference after a wonderfully inspiring holiday in Palm Springs.

Those of you who know my blog are aware that I am a fan of all things old, English country, painted and French, slightly shabby, very pretty and usually faded - hence my love affair with Hill House. However, sometimes an aesthetic can creep up and turn your head without you realising it, and suddenly your heart palpitates as it is drawn towards something that you would otherwise have passed by. Well, Palm Springs was a design epiphany for me. Now, don't get me wrong - my heart will always belong to old English roses, Georgian houses and medieval church spires, but if one were allowed to stray once in a while, then the mid-century modern architecture and design ethic that shapes the city of Palm Springs wouldn't be a bad place to start.

We stayed in a rented house a short walk away from the Uptown Design District of Palm Springs. Even I - a stalwart lover of blowsy white or faded pink flowers - was left in awe of the acid brights of our temporary garden - particularly as the flowerbed commanded the attention of several incredibly tame Humming birds throughout the day. In this climate, and with the light constantly streaming down from a hot sun, how could I not love the vibrant splashes of colour that feature everywhere from the furniture, to the soft furnishings, accessories and paintings - in gloriously sharp contrast to the severe lines of glass, steel and concrete that dominate the style of architecture. My brother-in-laws' house (whose wedding we had come over to attend) is quite simply a breathtaking work of architectural art. Each room seems to appear straight from the pages of a magazine. One couldn't simply walk through these rooms - we had to 'waft'. One doesn't merely 'sit' on an Eames chair - one 'drapes' - you get the picture? (Although, admittedly, even two weeks of glamorous wafting and draping can get a little tiresome, and as I sit here, back at home in jeans and wellies, ready to tackle the weeds in my garden, I can't help but feel pleasantly relieved that I can now 'stomp' and 'slump'!)

Ahhh, but back to Palm Springs! As claimed by the Mayor in the Design District publicity brochure, over the years, Palm Springs has become a "world-renowned destination for decorators, designers, and visitors in general who seek the unique, eclectic and eccentric." - in short, a modern interior lovers HEAVEN!

Palm Canyon Drive is home to a host of vintage and modern furniture stores such as the divine Insolito Home, where they boldly (and quite rightly) claim - "It's not just FURNITURE, it's ART"!

And then there are the fashion boutiques like Trina Turk where you can make-believe that you are an extra from the film "Valley of The Dolls", or art galleries, such as the stunning Michael H. Lord Gallery, and the fabulously named SHAG - the store, (a retail store and gallery dedicated exclusively to the artist 'Shag' - yes really!)

For friends and family back home, there are a multitude of gift shops, book stores and design shops, and as for people watching or testing out those Pucci prints - even the restaurants, such as at The Parker, celebrate the cities famed mid-century modern roots.

Nepotism aside, my favourite slice of retail therapy had to be found at the amazing pet shop PAWZ, owned by my brother-in-law Don. Not an ordinary pet shop, PAWZ PS is a truly modern pet boutique offering the finest doggy fashion, luxury pet items, doggy couture, toys, collars and beds etc. A veritable feast of doggy madness and canine glamour.

Naturally, Byron our Jack Russell, was the beneficiary of a suitcase full of mid-century modern doggy chic - although whether he will dare to wear any of his Palm Springs brights in the presence of his burly Norfolk farm dog friends is another story altogether!

Happy to be home!
Paula x

Images courtesy of; 1)Poolside of Kaufmann House by Slim Aarons circa 1970; 2,3 & 4) My brother-in-laws Palm Springs Home; 5) Our holiday rental pool; 6)Chair from; 7) www.TRINATURK.COM; 8)SHAGTHESTORE.COM; 9); 9)www.PAWZPS.COM; 10) BYRON!


  1. ooh how lovely i am oh so envious, desperately want to get out of town and feel the heat....although not a natural palm Springer i did once spend a very delightful weekend there poolside.....fabulous!!

  2. Your vacation in Palm Springs sounds glorious! I like many styles and I absolutely adore English country style. I´d love to see more from Hill House :)


  3. Great post! And I love stumping instead of draping, hahaha, that was funny to read, thanks for sharing this, have a good week!
    Maureen xx

  4. Yes, everyone should experience wafting and draping at least once. Your respite sounds delightful. The pup is so handsome.... Bonnie

  5. Isn't it weird that although you know what style you love, another one can just creep in and you say wow, not to live in all the time but to enjoy for what it is!
    Have a lovely week, but what a difference in temperature it is for you!

  6. You can love more then one design style at once I know because I covet many. You had quite the long trip hours wise I'll bet you're jet lagged. Byron looks quite handsome in his new shirt, what a cutie. Glad to hear everyone made it home safe and sound.


  7. Hi Paula - Many thanks for leaving such a wonderful comment on my new blog. Absolutely delighted I visited yours! I am in love with your glorious country home. It is exactly what I covet: the symmetrical facade, hip roof, tall windows....what a gem!! My partner and I travel to the UK quite frequently for our antiques biz, and we always love seeing the countryside. I'm looking forward to reading, over tea tonight, your old postings. From my old home to yours...cheers, Loi in DC

  8. WOW, wow, all of it!! Your stay sounds interesting and full of glamour!! Fascinating, as you say, to visit somewhere so different.

    Your BIL's house looks ah-maz-ing!!!

    What a fun trip you must have had :)

    Welcome home - and thanks so much for the lovely comment you left me today :) XX

  9. A change of scene can be so inspiring! I like a lot of different styles, but can only live witha few! haha! Thanks so much for your very nice comment!

  10. Sounds like you had a lovely holiday! A change of scene is great especially when there is some sunshine and good furniture stores! Like the idea of draping and wafting - great description! I like some modern interiors but would prefer Hill house and your style any day!

  11. Hello sweet Paula! So happy you are home too! Thank you for your visit and sweet words dear heart! I enjoyed reading your lovely post. Oh, you had me laughing about "wafting and draping" and "stomp and slump!" There truly is no place like home! I think I am in the stomp and slump category and am more at home in my garden! Your Hill House style is what I love best! I am glad you had a lovely trip and it does sound wonderful! Your doggie is the sweetest thing and he looks very dapper in his new outfit! How wonderful your brother-in-law owns such a fabulous pet shop and gave Byron some goodies! I love to put clothes on my doggies too! I am sure his Norfolk farm dog friends wouldn't mind a shirt like his! Have a lovely day sweetie and have fun in your garden! Love, Paula xoxo

  12. This looks like a fabulous glamourousl holiday.
    Draping and wafting definitely the order of the day!!
    It's always great to return home though to have that first look round the garden to see what changed or what you've missed.
    Hope all well in yours.

  13. Hi Paula, thank you so much for visiting my blog and for your sweet comment:) Yes, those strapping boys are mine...thank you for saying I look too young, you made my day!

    When I was in high school Palm Springs was THE spring break location. The streets would get jam packed and all the hotels would be filled up. I believe some strict laws were passed in the 90's that made it fall out of favor with all the young people. I've been a few times since then but it's just soooo hot there...definitely central air/pool territory:)

    BTW, I'm your newest follower:)

  14. Sounds like a lovely trip, but there really is no place like "home" wherever that may be. I do like stomping and slumping. I guess mostly the latter as it is easier to slump with crochet in hand than to stomp. Ha! I didn't post the pumpkin muffin recipe that I use but if you want to give them a try, then here it is --

    1-1/2 cups of flour, 2 tsps baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp cloves, 1 cup of pumpkin, 1 egg, 1/2 cup of milk, 1/2 cup honey and 1/4 cup canola oil.

    For the "frosting" I just mixed up cream cheese with a little bit of pumpkin, powdered sugar and cinnamon/pumpkin pie spice to taste.

    Best wishes, Tammy

  15. I love Palm Springs! The architecture is straight out of the Jetsons! I stayed in a fabulously 50s kitsch motel last time I stayed there. Your brother in laws house is super.

  16. Sounds like a fabulous vacation with eye candy at every turn! I know the feeling, though, of coming home and being able to relax in a way that's totally different than vacation "relaxing!" And your pooch looks adorable in his new duds! ;) Thanks for stopping by to see me and have a fabulous week, sweets!

    Sandy M ~ Ooh La Frou Frou

  17. Dear Paula!!!!

    Where to begin - you have been EVER so busy !!!!! Well :) GOT to start with Bryon!!! He is just adorable!!!!!! Please please please let's see ALL of his new things,,,:) (and never mind his Norfolk friends:) - he is just THE cutes!!!! ANd VERY trendy!!! :)!!!) Glad to have 'met ' him now!!!!

    Your break sounds just wonderful - new impressions are just so refreshing!!! ANd I SO know what you mean! I only need to go to someone's house and want to change EVERYthing at home when I get back..well, to start with anyway...:) Lucklily, different stles suit different areas....someting that works over there and is most proberly SO wrong over here....

    And your middle name! I LOVE it!!!!!! I am suer it has given you all your love for pretty things and blowsyness!!!! I am a firm believer that names are MORE important than one might think..I think they send you on a certain way of life.... (Friends of friends have just named their little girl Missy Marmalade....i don't even want to think about this poor little girls destiny...!). And I also love the story behind your name!!!!!! VERY sweet!!!!!

    When I last posted and you commented - we had that lovely weather...WHAT a difference now!!!!! Is it as horrid up in Norfolk as it is here in Suffolk? My candles have been on all day long!!!!

    Well, have a cozy evening, enjoy the memories of your holiday and isn't it nice to know that there is no better place than home ?

    'See' you soon!

    Nicola x

  18. Hi Paula,

    Welcome home! I enjoyed reading about your trip to Palm Springs. It all sounds so glamorous. Like a different world. Lucky you to be part of it, if only for a short while.

    I know exactly what you mean. I too love everything old and English, but appreciate modern architecture and design very much as well!

    Good luck with your washing :-)!

    Madelief x

  19. Thank you for stopping by so I could discover your blog!! Love it. Instant follow!

  20. Oh my, Byron is a lady killer in his little outfit - how will the locals resist?! Glad you're back. Hugs, B x

  21. I love Palm Springs...growing up I use to go every year and always enjoyed myself. Glad to hear you had a good time too.

  22. I would love a taste of palm springs! I have never been. My dear your house is delightful. I always assume bloggers are American and i looked at your house and thought ...why that is an English house! So happy to find another Brit blogger! xo

    The new site will be much fun...maybe a house tour in Norfolk could be just the thing!


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