interiors

I love the color green.  It might be my favorite color. I use the word might.  Is it strange that I am not definitive on my favorite color?  I know I love the use of green in home decor or room design.  I know that if I had to pick between green and blue…I think my dear green would win.  But not sure.  Does that make me color fickle?  My bestie AM went through a pink period (her entire NYC apartment was white and pink and she has a husband) and now she is in her blue period (like Picasso but not like Picasso).  My sis DS seems to lean towards autumnal tones in her home decor.  My grandmother loved yellow so she had an entirely yellow kitchen.  I LOVE green.  Why am I not able to commit to it in home decor…go all in?  Well, this adorable fresh green apartment made me start to think about making some bold green moves in home decor.  I have the whole COCOCOZY Design House to decorate…should I just do it in shades of green (kidding but not kidding but kidding)?

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home

I need to brag about my dear friend Linda Grasso for a second.

Linda is the editor of Los Angeles magazine Ventura Blvd and the host of the SheSez with Linda Grasso podcast. She is a veteran journalist who interviews fascinating women about their bold, innovative, and sometimes badass moves. She and her husband Charlie recently remodeled the kitchen in their fantastic Encino home. They’ve lived in the house for years and have raised their sons there.

A little background, Linda and I go way back. We both worked at E! Entertainment Television, where we became friends after working on a project together. She has since been a fabulous confidant and consistent sounding board over the years! You may remember when she interviewed me on her podcast — which you can catch up on by clicking here.

Anyway, I went over to Linda’s house right before the remodel to have lunch with her and to brainstorm with her about fixtures, counters, the works. I loved her old kitchen… it had a Tuscan or French country feel to it. Linda and Charlie were ready for a change, though. This whole project started as an interior paint refresh, but it turned into a whole new kitchen. Like me, she is an avid cook and entertainer — so I understand her desire to create an inviting place that she’s proud of.

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entertaining

Summertime means outdoor dinners out on my patio!

I recently decided last minute (per usual) to cook Sunday night dinner for my family making my famous summer grilled chicken with a lime cilantro garlic marinade. I invited two people and then naturally that number grew to five after giving everyone a heads up only three hours beforehand.

As it goes… I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare, but my first step was to set up a simple summer table! I couldn’t wait to put my new AERIN Ardsley collection (by Aerin Lauder) from Williams Sonoma to use.

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shop the cococozy collection

home

I am extremely excited to introduce you to another fabulous partner for the COCOCOZY Design House, Monogram! This is GE’s elite line of professional kitchen appliances.

As a major anchor partner for our renovation of the 1860 square foot Spanish style home in View Park LA, Monogram has offered to provide EVERYTHING… EVERYTHING appliance related for the kitchen. This mean Refrigeration, Stove, Dishwasher, Microwave and even the Washer/Dryer. Woo!

I was at my day job one day and I was telling a colleague, who is a major home chef, about the COCOCOZY Design House concept and he suggested I reach out to Monogram, the best in the business. I immediately hopped on Google and learned about this amazing line of professional quality kitchen appliances. The minute I saw this great collection, I was in love! That weekend, I popped over to the local showroom where I spent a good amount of time oogling over all of the appliances on display!

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interiors

Work on the COCOCOZY Design House continues.  

Next step — lighting! This has been THE single most difficult design decision for this house by far. Lucky for me, Lamps Plus came on board to help me solve the dilemma. As one of our fabulous anchor partners in the COCOCOZY Design House project, Lamps Plus offered to give me lighting for all areas. Wait, what? All rooms and outdoor! Again, what?! All lighting! Yes.  

Lamps Plus does have some brands they make themselves like Possini, Franklin Ironworks, 360 Lighting, John Timberland, and a few more… but in addition to those, they carry tens and tens of thousands of lights from other brands. I whittled down my selection after several visits to two different Lamps Plus stores here in Los Angeles. This was a real exercise in decision making!

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home

As far as exterior color goes, the house in this first picture is my inspiration for the color scheme on the exterior of the  COCOCOZY Design House! The inspiration house was designed by my COCOCOZY Design House partner, amazing real estate developer, Steve Jones of BetterShelter

I am in the process of picking all the exterior colors for the renovation of the stunning 1860-square-foot Spanish style home built in 1930 in the heart of View Park, LA. I have never had to make so many decisions in such a short amount of time other than right now. We started actual construction the first ever COCOCOZY Design House in the middle of April — and since then, I have been running around like crazy!!! Arghhhhh.

One of the decisions that was easiest for me was picking Benjamin Moore as the exclusive paint partner for the project. The Benjamin Moore team was nice enough to give me all of the paint for both interior and exterior of the home. I felt honored that this brand was open to the idea of working with me and my team on this inaugural COCOCOZY Design House.

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home

Decisions, decisions! As you know, we have been hard at work on the COCOCOZY Design House. Today, it’s all about two main exterior hardscape surfaces — the front walkway and back balcony.

Curb appeal is everything when designing a house… especially one that is going on sale! Sometimes a book is judged by its cover. Lucky for me, the facade of this house is already so amazing — my main goal is not to mess it up!  The Cement Tile Shop has come on as a partner to help me in that effort.

The photo (above) is what I’m using as my main inspiration for this part of the project. Now, before I go any further, I just want to note that this house is a work in progress. Please read using your imagination for what the space will look like. And don’t worry, I will show you all the final result as soon as I can!

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home

Time for some kitchen planning!

The cabinets have been ordered, appliances have been selected, and now I am thinking about counters. I am super duper lucky to have another wonderful company on board to provide product for the COCOCOZY Design House. Caesarstone has generously agreed to supply all of the countertop material for the kitchen and the baths.

I had Caesarstone counters in my first house — you all may remember that tiny little cottage in the Hollywood Hills. Now for my first COCOCOZY Design House, I went to Caesarstone as my first choice for counters!

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home

Taking a quick break from the COCOCOZY Design House craziness for a Laurel Canyon home tour!

I lived just east of Laurel Canyon for such a long time, so this one hits home for me. I love the rustic nature of living in the hills above Los Angeles. One of my favorite things is finding a really refined spaced in the midst of the windy roads. This grand 1925 Mediterranean-style mansion belonging to interior designer Brigette Romanek and her husband Mark is quite fantastic. It is a 2800-square-metre untraditional family home (previously owned by legendary music producer Rick Rubin) that has true California refinement and obvious musical history.  

Let’s take a peek (below)!

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home

The planning and renovation phase of the COCOCOZY Design House is in full swing!

As you know, I’m currently in the midst of transforming a beautiful 1860-square-foot Spanish style home in View Park LA (my first ever design house!) — and we’ve meticulously selected a few partners to work with us by providing product.

I was so thrilled when TOTO came on board to supply all bath and plumbing fixtures for the 4 new bathrooms we are creating in the Design House. You heard me… EVERYTHING! That means sinks, faucets, shower heads, toilets, gorgeous tubs, accessories, and all of the fittings and valves. WOW!!

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I have woken up the past two days crying thinking about the thousands of children being torn away from their mothers and fathers at the border of the United States of America. All in a matter of weeks.

As a result of the current administration’s “Zero Tolerance” policy, the migrant parents (who are often seeking asylum) are now being criminally prosecuted and jailed because they were looking for a better life for their families. I was stunned when I learned parents were being held in jails described as concentration camps for simply wanting to be an American. And their young children are left crying with no love and affection in facilities with horrifying conditions.

I am not a mom or a parent but empathy means that we are able to understand and sympathize with others regardless of their situation. My blog is not a political platform… but what I have seen over the last year and half from our country’s leadership has made me ashamed. The treatment of minorities, women, and those less fortunate is truly shocking.

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video

As promised, here’s the first look video inside the first ever COCOCOZY Design House! I am so excited to share my first ever renovation journey with you!

Get a behind the scenes look at the very, very beginning phase of transforming this beautiful 1860 square foot Spanish style home in View Park LA with my partner in crime, Steve Jones of BetterShelter by watching this COCOCOZY Design House first team meeting video!

And for more information about the property, refer back to my post introducing the project by clicking here!

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travel

If you know me, you know I was admittedly OBSESSED with the Royal Wedding!

I am still on a detox after days of being glued to the TV, live streams, and social media soaking up every detail I could about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. I can’t be the only one who cared that much, right?? Help me please.

One thing I can’t stop thinking about from the magical weekend is the Cliveden House, the exclusive hotel property just outside of Windsor where Meghan and her mother, Doria Ragland, stayed the night before the nuptials.

As you can imagine, the dreamy seventeenth century estate located in the quaint Berkshire countryside is incredibly historic and sits on about 400 acres of land. Surrounded by trees and gardens, the venue also offers stunning views of the River Thames. Inside there are ornate chandeliers, gold-plated furniture, heavy-canopied beds, oil paintings, and velvet couches. The definition of glamour!

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home

The best made plans…often go awry.  When that happens, I use spider mums!  This lovely spring centerpiece I used for an Easter gathering actually came together by mistake.

It ended up being the perfect, bright and fresh addition to the table setting — and it’s so simple to make, you could throw this together for any occasion!

So here’s what happened… I had 12 members of my family over earlier this month. The *perfectly-planned* plan was for a lovely garden filled with blue hydrangea.  If you caught my girl boss luncheon post… kinda like that! And my menu included barbecue chicken, lightly dressed kale salad, fennel and tomato salad, corn bread and from my Caribbean background the family gathering staple, Haitian rice (red rice and beans).

 

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interiors

Spring days call for Spring Gray!

I keep spotting rooms, architecture, and home accessories with gray accents — and I just love how the typically-drab color is being used to make other colors (including white!) pop.

Incorporating gray can keep your space sleek, neutral, and of course, oh-so cozy!

See some of my favorite spaces for inspiration (below)!

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home

Introducing my cozy breakfast nook!

I love having a special space in my home that is bright and inviting — the perfect place to have a cup of coffee and start my day!

Whether you have a whole room or just a corner, these ideas will help you create a charming place to grab a quick bite before heading out or dine with the whole family. Have a look (below)!

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