today is a special day- my birthday- since we are in the middle of my favorite homes week i had to draw upon a house that has had some sentimental pull, as well as, amazingly inspiring and beautiful.
michael, lily and i went to santa barbara and montecito last week for a night. we stayed at the biltmore, which sits right on the pacific ocean. words can’t describe the beauty and serenity. while there, as we always do, we drove the neighborhoods and took in the local architecture and design. a house that kept coming into my mind was this home designed by michael s smith in montecito, my favorite interior designer! published in elle decor many years ago and photographed by henry bourne.
this magazine issue has never been far from my reach. the house sits on the grounds of the former pillsbury estate, it was updated to reflect portuguese design and lifestyle with such authenticity and detail. I’ve used many of the ideas to influence our homes over the years- the white floors, coromandel screen, gilt wood mirrors, blue and white porcelain, hurricanes and lanterns, saddle brown leather accents with brass nail heads, belgium linen slipcovered furniture, floor to ceiling ivory linen curtains.
whats most stunning about this house is the blue and white tiles that create a chair rail throughout the living room. chic, chic, chic! reproductions of 18th century portuguese design, the most perfect design and perfect shade of blue green. love, love, love! i love so much i found the tiles and had our powder room in our current home tiled in the same manner. very old world , very chic, very sentimental!
as the new year quickly approaches, plan a journey to portugal. if you can’t get to portugal, visit montecito and santa barbara, and if you can’t get to california enjoy these beautiful pictures. mr smith’s birthday present to me and my birthday present to you.