I still remember my first visit to Los Angeles about six or seven years ago, all wide-eyed and excited yelps at the first sight of the Hollywood sign. Sadly, my enthusiasm for the city waned a little after numerous work trips and hours (and hours) sat in traffic. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the city anymore, I just felt a little jaded towards it.
Last month, Visit Burbank kindly invited me to experience a city within Los Angeles I was yet to explore and promised colorful murals, studio tours, great food experiences (and less traffic!), I was keen to see if I could fall in love with Los Angeles all over again.
Fall in love I did! If I could describe Burbank in one word it would be ‘easy’ – easy to fly into (more on that later!), easy to navigate and easy to have fun with so much entertainment and shopping experiences on offer. Burbank is just a stone’s throw over the valley from Runyon Canyon, Hollywood and West Hollywood, but also has plenty that will make you want to stay in the area all day. Entertainment Capital
Burbank is home to more than 1,000 entertainment companies also situated next to Universal Studios Hollywood, so a stay in Burbank gives visitors the opportunity to visit two of Los Angeles’ most popular theme parks, The Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood and Universal Studios Hollywood. In fact, 11 of the city’s 18 hotels are Universal Studios Hollywood Partner Hotels, giving guests early access to the theme park, which is awesome! If you’re a TV geek like me (I blame my days working at the BBC in London) then you can catch live television tapings of shows like Conan and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Media District
Most of the aforementioned entertainment companies and studios are based in the Media District of Burbank. I loved seeing the Harry Potter exhibit at The Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood, as well as exploring the back lots and seeing the costume and prop departments – so cool to see! Coffee from Coffee Commissary was great, and the breakfast at Bea Bea’s is so popular it’s best to get in line early! Luckily, it was right across the street from Hotel Amarano (more on that later), so it was easy to hop across to get a bike to eat in the mornings.
• Bea Bea’s (breakfast) – 353 N Pass Ave, Burbank, CA 91505
• Coffee Commissary (breakfast) – 3121 W Olive Dr, CA 91505
• Lou The French on The Block (pastries and coffee) – 4007 W Riverside Dr, Burbank, CA 91505
• Olive & Thyme (wine bar) – 3821 W Riverside Dr, Burbank, CA 91505
• Smoke House (dinner) – 4420 W Lakeside Dr, Burbank, CA 91505
• Simmzy’s (dinner) – 3000 W Olive Ave, Burbank, CA 91505
• The Tangerine Hotel (bright orange walls and retro vibes) – 3901 W Riverside Dr, Burbank, CA, 91505
• The Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood Magnolia Park
Thanks to its abundance of antique stores, fun murals, cool coffee shops and walkability, Magnolia Park was one of my favorite neighborhoods in Burbank. I enjoyed a delicious lunch at Romancing the Bean and loved browsing all the cute giftable items and home goods inside Mindfulnest. I really enjoyed strolling through this neighborhood and just exploring the stores and murals.• The New Deal (brunch) – 3501 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505
• Blast From the Past (store) – 3117 W Magnolia Blvd
• The Mag Park Store (store) – 3500 W Magnolia Blvd
• Mindfulnest (store) – 3319 W Magnolia Blvd
• Atomic Records (store) – 3812 W Magnolia Blvd
• It’s A Wrap Production (store) – 3315 W Magnolia Blvd
• Besame Cosmetics (store and cosmetic museum) – 3505 W Magnolia Blvd
• Star Wars Mural – 3117 W Magnolia Blvd
• Butterfly Mural – 3501 W Magnolia Blvd
• You Are Beautiful Mural – 3400 Burbank Blvd
• Romancing The Bean (coffee) – 3413 W Magnolia Blvd
• Porto’s Bakery and Café (bakery) – 3614 W Magnolia Blvd Downtown Burbank Murals
As well as plenty of great shopping experiences and stores, Downtown Burbank also offers up plenty of Instagram opportunities with colorful murals and wall art. I grabbed a coffee to go and explored the area with my camera in hand, which sure made for a fun way to spend an afternoon.
• Burbank Town Center Mural – 201 E Magnolia Blvd
• I Heart Burbank Mural – 164 Palm Ave
• Burbank Mural – 300 N San Fernando Blvd
• Made in Burbank Mural – 220 N San Fernando Blvd
• Colorful Patterned Mural – 164 Palm Ave
• Inspire Mural – 401 S San Fernando Blvd
• Colorful Flower Mural – 129 S San Fernando Blvd The Green Room at Castaway
1250 E Harvard Rd, Burbank, CA 91501
One evening during my stay I went to the Green Room for cocktails and food at sunset. Sitting atop the mountain while the sun goes down is a classic Californian view that will never ever get old! Doing so from the comfort of the Green Room’s terrace with delicious bites and experimental cocktails (all inspired by different movies – I loved the Harry Potter one) is the way to do sunset in style. Hotel Amarano
322 N Pass Ave, Burbank, CA 91505
I stayed at Hotel Amarano in the Media District of Burbank, which was very comfortable and clean. The rooms are decorated with an Old Hollywood Glamour theme — my room was inspired by Casablanca, with subtle design details like the movie script across the bed headboard and behind the scenes photography as art. There was also a pool that felt like an oasis to cool off in after a hike in the nearby Runyon Canyon Park.
Getting to Burbank
I flew JetBlue from JFK to Hollywood Burbank Airport and after years of flying into the city it was definitely the most convenient way to arrive. The airport welcomes more than five million passengers per year and offers nonstop flights to 17 US cities, opportunities for national and international connecting flights include JFK, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, and Houston. New nonstops debuting in 2019 include Nashville, and Atlanta.
My oh my, is this a knockout West Village studio apartment, or is this a knockout West Village studio apartment?! I audibly gasped when I saw the pictures on the listing for the first time, so I was thrilled that StreetEasy asked me to partner with them to film an episode of my 60-second Open House Tour inside this beauty. The listing describes the apartment as being ‘perfection on Perry Street’ and to be honest, they broker is right! Not only is Perry Street beyond adorable and charming but it’s also home to the location that was used to film the exterior shots of Carrie Bradshaw’s brownstone apartment in Sex and the City. A light and bright apartment on the same street as Carrie for under half a million? Sure, I’ll tell you more…!
As you walk through the front door of this forth-floor walk up you’re greeted by a wall of rainbow books that add color and personality to the palette of bright white, exposed beams, brick and maple floors. The wall of custom cabinetry is a big plus as it would make moving in so easy with ready-to-go storage. Win! The cabinetry also beautifully frames the fireplace. And you see the oversized art above said fireplace? Well, it’s on a runner and slides to reveal a huge TV – go watch the 60-second video tour on my Instagram to see it in action. So cool!One thing I really admired about this small but perfectly formed West Village studio apartment was the high standard to which it had been renovated. Alongside the custom cabinetry built-ins and closets there are new Anderson double-paned and tilt windows, custom lighting with dimmers and smart link and a Greek marble white fireplace surround. As a New Yorker myself I can say that this little kitchen as all a New Yorker needs. The Corian surround, Blanco sink, Axor Chef faucet give the space a high end quality feel, and with a Miele convection oven and clever SubZero drawer refrigerator (again, check out my video tour to see this in action!) the current owner has cleverly fitted a lot into the space available. I was impressed that they even squeezed in a dining table for two – and right by the window overlooking the charming Perry Street, no less!The bed has been situated in a smart location as it allows for easy TV-watching; there’s another TV hidden away in the built-ins behind the art. It also means easy access is available to the closets behind. The current owner has decorated the space with fascinating artifacts and books amassed from her travels around the world. However, as there’s a clean lined blank canvas underneath it all it would be easy to put your own stamp on this studio if you were to move in.One of the real wins of this apartment, in my book, is that the windowed bathroom. In New York City, having a window in your bathroom isn’t a given even in million dollar plus apartments, so to have one in a studio that’s under half a million is a rare find for sure! There’s also a deep soaking tub, rain head and handheld Axor fixtures, Duravit sink and heated towel bar. The apartment is in the heart of the West Village with stacks of restaurants and stores close by, as well as the Saturday Abingdon Square Greenmarket, the Whitney, the Highline and more! Let me know what you think of this little charmer?!
It’s no secret that I have a love for blue. I decorate with it. I wear it. Heck, I probably sweat blue I’m so obsessed with it! One if my favorite shades of this versatile color is navy. Although it’s a darker hue in the blue spectrum, it’s totally wearable through spring and summer. With that in mind, for this week’s Instagram outfit video I pulled together three navy outfits that work right now and can be worn through summer, too. Before I dive into all the details from this weeks three looks, I wanted to give links to the precious week’s videos and shopping links in case you’re in the mood for any of those themes:
Outfit OneThis look has three of my favorite fashion things: a graphic motif, layering and white pants! Seriously, I think I’d wear white pants everyday if I could. I mean in theory I guess I could do that buttt you get what I mean. I’m obsessed with this lobster sweater and love how it pairs with the navy jacket with red piping detail on the arms. Those striped shoes add a punch of pattern that references the piping detail in the jacket – love!
Outfit TwoThis look mixes pieces that are casual and comfortable with a formal jacket, which I think makes for a unique look. The eye-catching nautical print shirt injects life and visual interest to the navy slacks. By layering on the woven jacket it dresses it up just a little bit but without making it too formal. I love the unexpected texture of adding in the woven market tote, and don’t get me started on the suede star shoes — I looooove them! The perfect pair of sneaks I can wear with so many looks this season.
Outfit ThreeThe third and final look this week is all about layering blues on blues. The striped shirt has a breezy fit that is super comfortable (and you folks know I love my stripes). I wore it with this pair of creamy denim and layered on a navy jacket. The brown sneak works so well with the blue and white palette and the flat cap is a fun touch, too. Def feel super comfortable wearing this outfit because it’s very ‘me’! Be sure to tell me which of the three looks is your favorite?
Each time we have friends over to the beach house we inevitably end up hanging out in the kitchen. We designed it to be an open, sociable space so it’s no surprise that it has become the gathering point in the house. As our renovation is only a little over a year old, conversation often ends up on the topic of design and why we chose the materials, colors, finishes etc. that we did. Without question, we always get asked “What’s your favorite design feature in here?” and we both reply: “The Cambria quartz countertop”. We were fortunate to partner with Cambria for our countertop and it turned out to be the cornerstone (no pun intended!) of the space that pulled the two-tone kitchen together. Read on to discover why I picked them…When I designed the beach house kitchen I knew I wanted to have our island peninsular be a different color to the cabinetry along the kitchen walls. While the Cosmos and Decoy colors are complimentary to one another, I still needed to make sure there was a synergy across them. The solution came in the form of Cambria’s beautiful Torquay Matte countertop. I chose this finish because it has a marble-like effect with a subtle pattern and grain to it. I didn’t want a countertop that was too heavy or had a high impact pattern because I felt it would complete with, rather than compliment, the two-tone color story in the space. Also, the simple Ridgeline edge profile works perfectly for the heritage meets modern design approach I took for the beach house kitchen, too. If you have a more traditional or perhaps a super contemporary space, there’s plenty of edge profiles to pick from to make your countertop suit your aesthetic.Two of the main things I would think about when considering a countertop choice for your own kitchen are: first, carefully think about what kind of surface finish will work in the space, and secondly, what grain/pattern would you like? Most countertops come with a high sheen that gives a glossy polished finish, which can look beautiful but isn’t always *right* for every kitchen. I was thrilled that Cambria offered a matte option because I didn’t want to go for a glossy countertop for our beach house kitchen. Personally, I think the matte finish provides a warmer look and creates a more tactile experience in the space. Cambria are one of the few manufacturers that provide matte finishes while also offering the same warranty as they do for a gloss finish, so they are great option to consider.Finally, also consider carefully the grain in the countertop. The Torquay Matte has the perfect grain and subtle marble-like pattern to unify the colors in our kitchen. However, if you have a one-color kitchen (vs. two-tone like ours) or you are looking to make a design statement with the countertop, then I would consider a high pattern, such as Summerhill, which will become a focal point in the space.
It’s definitely not a secret how much I love stripes. From decorating with them to wearing them to posing in front of striped walls, it’s a given that I stan a stripe! For this week’s outfit video on Instagram I’m focusing on three different ways to wear vertical striped outfits. I pulled together three totally different ways to wear vertical striped outfits, from loud and proud through to muted and understated. Remember, you can catch up on previous weeks right here:
This outfit works because it pairs a solid and a stripe element. The vertical striped pants add a graphic punch thanks to the thick stripe and the heavy contrast it has to the cream pant. Pairing a block color, like this blue flowy shirt, works well because it’s visually strong enough to stand next to the vertical striped pants but as there’s no pattern it doesn’t compete with them, which in turn creates a balanced look. For me, the oversized lemon tote is what makes this look – I love it!
If you’re keen to give vertical striped outfits a whirl but are looking for a toned down option, then this is the look for you. In this outfit the striped pants have a thinner stripe that’s closer in color to the base color of the pants, making them less of a statement vs. the pants in the first outfit. By pairing these striped pants with pieces from within the white-grey color family, it creates a quieter monochromatic look that still feels interesting and fun.
Remember when I shared on IG Stories that Kitsune very kindly sent me their Souvenir Jacket a few weeks back? Well, I had just the look in mind for it. After all, a jacket with blue stripes and lemons on it couldn’t be more me, right?! This outfit is all about the layers – I referenced the brighter blue from the stripes of the jacket’s elasticated waist in the washed tee, and then layered the yellow vertical striped shirt on top of it to set a base for the look. The jacket pairs really well with both of these colors, but the outfit still works well without it, so it’s great for spring days where the temperature is all over the place. Which outfit is your fav?
Florals for spring? Groundbreaking. Even so, the reason we see floral shirts season after season is because they are so darn cuuuuute! And trust me when I write that those of us in seasonal climes (hello, fellow East Coasters!), where the temperature has been close to or below zero for months on end, are oh-so-ready to welcome spring and all its florals, sunshine and warmer weather with open arms!
With that in mind (look away now Miranda Priestly!) this week’s outfit video on Instagram centers on three ways to wear floral shirts. Before I dive into the outfits I wanted to take a minute to say thank you for all the support you’ve shown my outfit video series. Today’s video is only my fifth in the series but they’ve almost reached one million (!!) views on Instagram, so thank you, thank you, thank you for all the support. You all are the best and I’m so grateful. You can catch up on previous outfit videos right here:
Look oneThis is my favorite of the three looks because it feels so light, airy and, well, springy! The linen pants are super comfortable and the I’m obsessed with how the floral shirt pairs with the pink tee.
Look twoI like how the weave knit brings texture to this look and contrasts with the viscose shirt, which is flowy and perfect for a mild spring day. You could also wear the floral shirt in a French tuck.
Look threeThe final outfit is a smarter take on floral shirts compared to the first two outfits. The smaller print to this floral shirt makes it a great option if you’re looking for a more understated take on spring florals. The layering of the denim jacket with the overcoat not only looks cool but it’s practical for the chilly mornings and warmer afternoons that spring brings.
This month’s episode of Move In or Move On brings us from these petite, affordable homes out west in Palm Springs to this gorgeously grand Brooklyn brownstone townhouse here on the east coast. Originally constructed in 1910, this Brooklyn brownstone is newly renovated with high-end finishes, modern technology, and impeccable details that honor its past. It still has the original staircase, which is a thing of beauty — check it out in my Instagram video that I made in partnership with StreetEasy. The 2820 square feet property is a two-family Brownstone, is on the market for $2.175million and features five bedrooms, three full bathrooms, one powder room, a large parlor deck, and backyard garden. Let’s kick off the tour… Parlor Living Room
The moment I stepped inside this Brooklyn brownstone I could feel the sense of space and natural light, thanks to the 20-foot-wide foot print, 10.5-foot high ceilings and 47-foot parlor off a mosaic tiled entryway. There’s a wood-burning fireplace (hello!!!), mahogany stained windows boxes and beautiful molding throughout. The dining area would be a dream for entertaining, don’t you think? Speaking of entertaining, let’s check out the kitchen because it’s a dreaaaaam!Chef’s Kitchen
OK, for most of us New Yorkers, a kitchen of this size (and quality!) really is a dream. There’s a three-seat island, custom cabinetry, and Caesarstone countertops (love!). There’s also a farmhouse sink (which reminded me of the one in our beach house kitchen) and stacks of high-end appliances like a Viking refrigerator and Wolf six-burner stove. Oh, to have an eat-in kitchen like this is in the city!Master Bedroom Suite
Just like downstairs, the upstairs features the gorgeous 7-inch wide white oak floors, As well as the master, there are two additional bedrooms (with another two on the ground floor that offer a perfect income producing opportunity) and a full bath. The elegant master bedroom looks over townhouse’s the private garden through three large windows which also afford the space with lashings of natural light. I looooved the marble tile in the master bath, not to mention the oversized rain shower and deep-soaking tub. What do you love about this Brooklyn brownstone? See more of the space by checking out the full listing and in my 60-second home tour video.// Photography by Will Taylor as a paid partnership for StreetEasy. | Staging by Jason Saft
Hey friends! I’m back with another outfit video on Instagram. This week I’ve focused on three ways to wear olive green outfits as it’s the perfect color for transitional seasons. I love wearing it in the fall (case in point: see this look!), and I also love wearing it in the spring. It’s actually a fairly versatile color that pairs really well with white, navy, petrol blue, brown and tan. Each of these three styles are very different so I hope you’ll find a look that you love for the sunny months of spring that lie ahead! Let me know which is your favorite!
Look oneThis look is hands down my favorite of these three looks – I always love a lil’ bandana moment and I really like the color story of this outfit. It’s perfect for those spring days that start cool and warm up by noon because the outfit works really well with the over-shirt jacket tied around the waist, too.
Look twoThis was my first time wearing overalls and I wasn’t sure if I was going to like wearing them but I was pleasantly surprised… they are SO comfortable. This is the perfect Sunday errands and farmers market run outfit because it looks stylish but it’s super comfortable and quick to style.
Look threeThe third and final look has a preppy/collegiate vibe that I always dig. The mossy olive green shoes are the star of the outfit as they are a lone pop of green amongst the navy and grey palette. I love this pair of M.Gemi sneaks because they are so comfortable from the very first wear (confession: I have them in three color ways!) – you can grab a pair of your own here and save $40 with the code WILL40.