Oh, What A Night!

Celebrating Mark D. Sikes and his Coastal Living Idea House in Newport, Rhode Island. 

I’ve had a few “pinch me” moments the past few weeks. There is of course a longer, more contextual narrative to note at a later date, but it really boils down to a very special feeling that I hope will never fleet.

Feeling nurtured, inspired, challenged and respected are some of the most important things in life – all feelings everyone deserves to, and should, truly feel to their core, at least for some juncture of their life. When I was younger, I was told by a very influential mentor to “select your own board of directors in life” – both personally and professionally. As I’ve gotten older, I have learned how incredibly important that mentality is, and how the company you keep, truly shapes your own life perspective, approach and definition of success.

I feel incredibly fortunate to have spent the past few weeks with some accomplished individuals – architects, designers, artists and creators – all of whom embody the feeling I described prior. They champion for each other’s successes, share their varying perspectives and experiences, and brainstorm on creative solutions for each other’s work. The sense of community and unity is incredibly palpable. The authenticity and passion for their respective work is rich and never wavers.

In a strange way, in a short span of time, many of these individuals feel like family. They have taught me such a simple lesson – a beautiful one that I will always cherish.

Life is short – choose your board wisely and don’t forget to celebrate the milestones along the way. Champion for and nurture others, and follow your heart and intuition.

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C&C Profile: Mark D. Sikes

MarkPortrait1mark1insta5mark2insta4 MarkPortrait2insta1mark4insta2 MarkPortrait3I couldn’t be more thrilled to share with you a fun Q&A with Mark D. Sikes. I’ve followed Mark’s lifestyle blog for ages and can confidently say he is a true connoisseur of chic. His daily record of “chic people, glamorous places and stylish things” is part of my morning reading routine and Mark’s narratives and imagery always make my heart pitter patter. His home in the Hollywood Hills, one of my personal favorite interior and exterior spaces (and also above), was featured in Veranda Magazine’s 2014 July-August issue (including the cover!). Stay connected to Mark by subscribing to his blog, following him on Pinterest and Instagram. Read-on, below:

C&C: For starters, Mark, I love your blog! We both know that it takes a lot of work to curate and compile content, but that’s easy with being inspired. Tell us about your methodology in collecting content for the blog.

Mark: Well, I really don’t know if there is a method to the madness, I just save images and ideas as I find them, my desktop on my laptop is quite full! I do read a lot and I do stay on top of everything in design, fashion and news daily- I have come up with a daily routine that seems to work….

C&C: You studied finance and economics in college with the intention of having a career in international business. By the looks of it, that career path didn’t exactly take shape! When or how did you discover you had a different path ahead of you? (Was there an “aha” moment?)

Mark: When I got out of college, I started to look for jobs…I was living in Nashville with my parents…I got a few part-time jobs, one at a fashion retailor and another as an assistant at an interior design firm…I enjoyed both and felt connected…when you love what you do, you are happy…from there things fell into place…I guess that was my “aha” moment- it’s truly been a beautiful and fun journey!

C&C: One of my favorite components of your blog is the “MDS Interviews” feature. I won’t ask you to pick your favorite interviewee…any hints as to who might be on deck for your next feature?

Mark: There are a few interior designers coming up, If I tell you who they are that will spoil the surprise, and then a few ladies whose style and elegance I admire…. And who knows there might soon be some actors, actresses and editors coming up too…

C&C: You write about your favorite “Glamorous Places”. If you were to magically slip into a scene from one of your most cherished glamorous places, where would you be and with whom?

Mark: Most definitely to La Colina, Bunny Williams and John Rosselli’s home in Punta Cana…it’s the most beautiful place…it’s my ideal…and I would want to be there with dear friends….

C&C: Is there a particular (fashion) item you are looking forward to coveting this Fall?

Mark: I guess just more navy and grey cashmere crewnecks… I kind of have a uniform, I tend to collect more of the same…boring I know, but I love what I love….

C&C: I swooned over the photographs (and cover!) of your home in Veranda’s July-August 2014 issue. Is there a particular space in your home you adore most?

Mark: To be honest I love every room, we use every room, but if I had to pick one it would be the tented library…the room is full of all my books and magazines. There is a day bed in the middle of the room, I find myself in there a lot….. it’s a space that I feel inspired in!

C&C: Those that know the true essence of Mark D. Sikes are well aware of your affinity to all things blue and white. I’ve asked you to share with us some blue and white items from your Instagram account you so adore (photos above).  Can you please speak to those pieces and your connection to each one?

Mark: I’m mad about antique blue and white ceramics, I have a very large collection, I love blue and white Portuguese tiles, and there has never been a blue a white stripe I didn’t love- I love to wear blue and white stripes and I love to decorate with them!

C&C: Do you have any pet peeves when it comes to decorating or manners?

Mark: I don’t have many pet peeves when it comes to decorating, I have my own rules, but that doesn’t mean they are right or wrong, and you know rules are made to be broken…everyone has there own taste, that’s what makes the world interesting and beautiful. In regards to manners, just be thoughtful, considerate and kind, it’s not hard!

C&C: What’s currently on your nightstand at home?

Mark: A picture of my partner Michael and lily (our French bull dog, better known as HRH Lily), there’s always a stack of magazines, possible a new design book, hate to say it but my phone and computer charger is always present, a carafe of water, fresh cut flowers, an ivory shagreen box with a pen and post its- I make lots of notes in the middle of the night!

 Images above are from Veranda Magazine, Mark’s Instagram and property of Mark D. Sikes.
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The Ultimate Luxury

garden2 garden5garden20 garden6 garden7 garden8garden19  garden10 garden11 garden12garden17garden14This weekend certainly had me thinking. I spent it with my two best friends, soaking up the sunshine across the Golden Gate bridge at a dear friend’s home. Early mornings were spent with refreshing swims in the pool, followed by coffee on the terrace while listening to the birds hum their morning tune and watching the sun fill the yard with its warmth. We hunted for fresh cherry tomatoes and scallions in the garden for omelet ingredients, and later poured ourselves into books and magazines by the dark-bottomed pool. I found myself reflecting on how simple our days were, yet how happy they made me. Perhaps this is the definition of summer to many, however that definition changes when you live in San Francisco. Just the vision of lush shrubs and greenery and the act of sourcing our breakfast ingredients from the garden filled my soul with delight. A joyful garden, in my opinion, is an ultimate luxury. I am devoting this post to the simplicities of life and the beauty and luxury they often bestow.

Images above are from Mark D. Sikes’ curated collection via Pinterest. Be sure to follow his blog, also, a C&C favorite!

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Sea & Sea

sea15 sea14 sea12 sea10 sea9 sea6 sea2 sea1 sea3 sea4 sea5 sea71It seems everyone is getting away for a little escape lately. Mark Sikes has been posting about his musings from Punta Cana, and this recent article in the NY Times had me thinking about photographs of the iconic Veruschka often with the sea as a backdrop.

Above, my own tribute to the sea and the pleasures that come with its seduction. Whether it may be enjoying a paperback read, fresh summer fruit or a revitalizing swim, I find myself yearning for my own escape with the sea (and salt! and sand!).

Images via

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The Renaissance

Pierre FreyWallpaper is most certainly having a renaissance. I love Pierre Frey’s “Toiles de Nantes” collection featured in Author Alex Hitz’s powder room above. I was very pleased to read Mark D. Sikes’ post on the editorial featuring the ravishing Hilary Rhoda accompanied by a collection of wall papered homes. Mark and I certainly share the same sentiment about wallpaper and most other subjects. Be sure to follow his blog too!

(Image via).

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