Checking in at the Hotel on a rainy day

Alec and I recently enjoyed a rainy weekend in Santa Barbara with the kids.  I regularly take shopping trips out of LA to get design inspiration.  Even during a family outing, I can snap photos to share with you!  What are your favorite stores to browse?

Shopping State Street Santa Barbara

My favorite store on State Street is Rooms & Gardens (924 State Street, Santa Barbara 93101, phone 805 965-2424).  Why do I love this store?  First of all, it has a timeless look.  They stage their merchandise in an inspiring way, especially the accessories.  I receive so much design inspiration whenever I visit.  I love a touch of black in every room, this setting has the oversized black cocktail table and black bowl on top of it.  The piece is not too heavy thanks so the woven top and glass insert, and open leg design.

As I walk through design stores, I really want to take in all the beauty around me.  I truly am inspired.  I remember feeling this way as a young girl, shopping with my mom.  I loved symmetry and balance (I did not know why then).   This vignette has assymetrical balance, achieved by visually balancing the furnishings, but not exactly symmetrical placement of accessories.  Note the varied textures, colors and finishes.  Try to achieve this in your makeover projects.

Italian Pottery Outlet

This store was just calling me inside.  I love mixing the look of Italian Pottery into interior accessories.  They work great on covered patios as well.  I love the texture of this tall urn. mmmm – this would be great in my garden with lovely bacopa streaming down!

The Canary Hotel

After a full day of shopping and eating – we returned to our lovely room at The Canary Hotel.  There was more design inspiration in this beautiful hotel, located just off State Street.

The room was painted a soft celery green, which is a lovely contrast to the dark wood furnishings.  So simple and timeless in design.  We really loved this bed, super comfortable, thick and soft.

The bathroom, although small, efficiently used the space.  What more could you need?

We headed back to shop a bit, and then to my favorite Santa Barbara restaurant, The Palace ,for a birthday celebration.  I had a fantastic time with Al and the kids!

At breakfast on Sunday morning, I had to get a shot of this large scale red mirror!  Don’t you love it?  Next time you go away-bring your camera, shoot what you like and even what you don’t… you’ll learn a lot about your sense of style and design personality!

large scale mirror