Monday, March 21, 2011

Miami Heat

It was hard to come back last week from Miami. Between the warm weather, sun, palm trees and salty ocean air coupled with the time change, it took me about a day and a half to get readjusted to DC. However, I'm grateful for the short stint down south, and I have a few memories to share!

I rented a car so I could explore the city while the Mister was working away, and my first destination was Miami's Design District. This area consisted of just a few blocks of showrooms and retail stores, and I stumbled upon some fantastic pieces of furniture and inspiration.

My first stop was the Christian Louboutin boutique - you couldn't miss this place as the exterior garden growing on the facade stops you in your tracks! I was first introduced to the store's exterior when I read about Habitually Chic's trip to Miami, and I knew I had to check it out for myself.

This is an interior wall of the boutique!

I immediately thought that the idea of growing a garden of orchids vertically would look incredible inside a hotel spa or even in a residential courtyard.

Next on my stop was the Ligne Roset showroom. Again, this showroom had an impressive exterior with its beautiful light blue tile work, Moroccan lanterns, and graphic balcony railing. This facade could easily translate to a personal home's beautiful loggia overlooking the ocean.

I love the painted blue ceiling to match the tile work.

One of my favorite stores I discovered was Monica James & Co. The owner has an amazing eye for selecting eclectic European antiques mixed with modern, fresh pieces. There wasn't much I didn't covet while perusing through the shop.

I spy some art from Natural Curiosities, one of my favorite art resources.
I love the color in these paintings by Paule Marrot.

Fabulous high-back love seat.

I love these fun side tables with the inlaid ivory sunbursts.

The manipulation of the wood on this mirror is stunning.

I also noticed as I traveled around Miami the abundance of flowering bougainvillea. The color was electric against the bright blue sky and vivid colors of Miami culture. You can never go wrong with hot pink. I loved how they created a wall using potted bougainvillea alongside this restaurant.

This was my first trip to Miami, and what I love about the city along with the amazing architecture was the international flavor. You are literally surrounded by all languages and rarely hear English. It happened to be spring break while we were there, which resulted in fun "people watching," but it also made us want to find the quaint streets. We stumbled on EspaƱola Way, a beautiful side street off of Washington Avenue, a few blocks over from the beach. This street was a haven in the midst of the skimpy bikini-and-stiletto-wearing-riding-moped types.

EspaƱola Way

We found a fabulous French cafe called A La Follie, and it is a must if you are in the South Beach area. The cafe atmosphere and food is pretty much straight from Paris. We ordered a savory and sweet crepe to share, and their fresh squeezed orange juice was topped with a bit of froth.

We decided to come back for one last breakfast before we flew out, and we spent the last few hours over our coffee, the NY Times and basking in the sun.

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