London, England

Rainy & gray. Every day. This is what I imagined London to be, and it did not let me down. I had been wanting to visit this city for years, and finally got the opportunity. I feel like we hardly scratched the surface, however how does one ever feel as though they've done so when there are 1,220 pubs. However, that number has dropped drastically since 2001, when there were 4,835 pubs. Nonetheless, the Salisbury was a sight to see with it's historical etched glass mirrors. 

Another excellent pub to check out, is the notable Churchill Arms, famous for the flowers on the exterior and bed pan lined ceilings. I was especially fond of the darling little stained glass details. Don't leave here without trying some Thai food, trust me. 

After having a pint, or two, or three... try climbing these stairs. YES. These were in our flat, and lead up to the restroom. It was always an exciting adventure upon arriving home, or waking up in the middle of the night. I am happy to say, there were no casualties due to these steps during our stay. 

IMG_2420.jpg

When we weren't grabbing a cheeky pint.... (hey it was rainy and gray, what would you do) We did do some walking around, and came across some beautiful architecture. I suppose that isn't surprising when the city was founded in 50AD. 

Another trip to London is definitely in order, I think next time I'll bring a pair of rainboots. 

IMG_2450.jpg

Medellín, Colombia

Medellin, Colombia. The perfect balance of history, culture, relaxation, cuisine and nightlife. We stayed in El Poblado neighborhood, in the spectacular Energy Living building. I could have stayed on this wrap-around balcony for the entire trip, with an Aguila Light and been happy as could be, but of course I didn't...

IMG_2697.jpg

Medellin was incredibly affordable, and the weather could not have been more perfect. There were so many restaurants that we enjoyed. We especially loved going to Casacomedor. They had great cocktails and fresh fish. The decor is especially interesting, the designer definitely has an eye for detail and it did not go unappreciated by me for one. See a photo of the staircase below. 

IMG_2727.jpg

What may have been the most memorable experience of the trip was our walking tour with Walter, with Comuna 13 Tours. We were guided through Comuna 13, which up until relatively recently, was the most dangerous neighborhood in South America. It was thrilling to witness the history and culture in this area. We took the Gondola up the mountains, and got a close look at how people are currently living.

IMG_2775.jpg

We then rode the Gondola back down and got on a local bus to another part of Comuna 13, where we go out and walked around to see the Street Art. Different than in America, local artists are commissioned to design and paint these pieces throughout the neighborhood. The art represents, hope, strength and is meant to invigorate the community. The artwork plays a strong hand in the major turn around that Comuna 13 has experienced. We saw pieces from ChotaPaola Delfin, Yesgraff, Yorch Art, and many other artists. 

In addition to wandering around Comuna 13, exploring El Poblado and relaxing at the Energy Living's infinity pool we also took a day trip to Guatape to climb El Penol and visit the colorful town. 

 740 stairs, at 6500' altitude. NBD. 

740 stairs, at 6500' altitude. NBD. 

The view once you reached the top was nothing less than breathtaking. And luck enough for us, during our climb the clouds broke and you could really see how clear and turquoise the lakes were. 

If you thought the street art in Comuna 13 was colorful, you haven't seen Guatape. Guatape is a town full of color. We had a lovely crepe lunch at Guatacrep, which was well deserved after our climb up and down El Penole. 

Overall, Medellin is definitely a place I want to go back. It's a mammoth city, with so much left to uncover. If you are to visit, I would recommend either being able to speak Spanish yourself, or someone you are traveling with to speak the language. Lucky enough for me, my husband was able to communicate for us. 

For me, the city was full of inspiration. I hope that this post can give you a taste of that as well!

New York City, New York

The Concrete Jungle. The Big Apple. The City So Nice, They Named It Twice. The City of Dreams. New York City has so much to offer, I enjoy so many new experiences each time I come here, and of course some traditions as well.

This year we stayed at Hotel 50 Bowery, in Chinatown. The hotel is so beautifully designed, I definitely would stay here again. I loved the concrete ceilings, and collection of art above the bed. And who doesn't love a well integrated In case of fire sign? Just me.... okay :]

2.jpg
1.jpg

We also checked out the Whitney Museum of American Art. I don't often enough make it a point to check out museums, this experience will ensure that I do so more frequently. The museum was great, below are a few photos of my favorite pieces and exhibits. 

3.jpg
4.jpg

Marrakech, Morocco

Design. Everywhere. From the custom painted electrical outlets, to the table we ate breakfast on, to the intricate tiles in the Bahia Palace. Marrakech certainly did not disappoint. I had been looking forward to this trip for the imagery I imagined I could capture and was not let down! I'm excited to share with you, and hope you can find some inspiration as I have. Below are some images from our stay at Riad Hikaya, which was amazing. The girls working there did an excellent job to make us feel at home, and Dan gave us a great overview of the city over mint tea right when we arrived. 

Our first full day was very thrilling, we began with breakfast on the rooftop terrace. (How is everything so adorable!?)

IMG_0191.JPG

After breakfast, we made our way, via horse drawn carriage, to Jardin Majorelle, which is home to the most vibrant blue buildings I have ever seen. And no, I did not color coordinate my shirt on purpose! 

What is going to Morocco without riding a camel? This was quite an experience, my camels name was Scooby Doo he was imported from Saudi Arabia and was the leader of the pack. He was a cool dude. 

Even after all that, our day was not over yet! We made our way to Barometre for dinner, where we had such a great meal, that we migrated to their bar and spent our evening trying the cocktails. We met some new friends along the way while I sat mesmerized with the custom illustrated drink menus. (PS get the Rosee Du Matin, you won't regret it)

Our trip consisted of a mix of getting lost in the Souks, negotiating with taxi drivers, and trying new foods. I am desperate to learn how to make a fish tagine, we brought home a bunch of spices so I may try my hand at it!  

But the tiles, OH the tile. Upon making our way to Morocco, I was looking forward to this, and again was not let down. At the Saadian Tombs, there was an area where someone is in charge of restoring the ancient tiles. What an awesome job. 

IMG_0504.JPG
IMG_0497.JPG

At the Saadin Tombs we got to take a look at the majestic room shown above. The level of detail here is incredible, the photo does not do it justice. The ceiling is gold, this is where the sultans son, Ahmad al-Mansur was buried in 1603. On a lighter note, back to tile! Here's a some eye candy just because I can't help it. Overall Marrakech was a great place to visit, and I hope to go back someday. One thing I can guarantee, given my hundreds and hundreds of photos, is that you will be treated to some more Moroccan inspiration in the near future!

Cartagena

Polar opposite climate from my last post, Cartagena, Colombia! What a beautiful city, founded in 1533, there is so much history and culture to discover. I'm excited to share some of my adventures with you. 

After breakfast on our first morning we stepped outside on the bustling street, and were hit with the incredible heat and humidity. They were packed with cars driving on the narrow roads, men selling hats to protect you from the sun, and woman selling fresh cut fruit.

IMG_2724.JPG

We stayed at Bastion Luxury which was a delight, the staff were so friendly, we were only there 5 nights and by the end they had learned our orders. (light beer and water, in the pool please :) Speaking of the pool, what a dream, I think I could stay on this rooftop forever and be happy. It was amazing to relax here and admire the design of the old city.

IMG_2800.JPG

I've never been so fascinated with doors, until this trip. Various shapes, colors, and intricate designs really liven up the streets. They almost could be a museum of their own.

IMG_2822.JPG
IMG_2806.JPG
IMG_2803.JPG

We met some great people, I would highly recommend Demente, they had amazing food and we were greeted with an even more amazing server. He remembered us when we came back a second time, which is always endearing. 

On our walk to Demente, which is located on Plaza da la Trinidad we walked down the street photographed below. The street art here was incredible, so many different styles and so much to look at. For a minute it almost had me forgetting the fact that it was still 100 degrees out, at night. 

IMG_2854.JPG

All in all, this was a great trip. It's such an affordable city, that you almost can't afford to not visit, I would recommend taking a trip and exploring it for yourself!

Montreal

Montreal! What a lovely city, I greatly enjoyed my time here. It's so quaint, and feels a world away from my home, Chicago, without actually being that far.

Nearby the Notre-Dame Basilica, we sat and enjoyed a hot cup of tea. (it was a freezing weekend!). From the outside it looked amazing, so of course we had to go inside and check it out.

IMG_7532.JPG

And my, what a treat. I had no idea it was so beautiful, I could have sat here for hours discovering new things within the architecture. I definitely would love to return here someday.

We had a great brunch, at a place called, Olive & Gourmando the wait was very long but the food was awesome. And of course, the obligatory latte photo is below. 

IMG_7561.JPG

My husband wanted to try Le Mal Necessaire, for the cocktails, I secretly just wanted to go because I thought that their green neon pineapple was fun. Either way, it was an enjoyable time with some good drinks. 

IMG_7562.JPG

Istanbul

Welcome! I am so excited to be starting my design blog, inspired by travel. As Istanbul, in my opinion is the most magical place I have experienced to date. I find it only fitting to be my first blog post.  Below is a photo from my favorite restaurant, Mellow. They have a cat, Layla, who lives here and greets the customers. She laid on my lap a good portion of the meal.  <3

IMG_5208.jpg

Istanbul is jam packed with inspiration for designers of all types. You can not walk a block without seeing intricate architecture. The old age of the city, mixed with new elements makes it remarkable.  Below is a restroom sign I found unique. 

IMG_5168.jpg

Below is a the entrance to the Grand Bazaar. It's a winding maze, easy to get lost in (I speak from experience)! Within it, you can find everything from gold jewelry, hand woven rugs, knock off designer bags, to Turkish delight. I really enjoyed wandering the Grand Bazaar and stopping from time to time for a cup of Turkish tea. 

IMG_2120.jpg
IMG_5294.JPG

It's unfortunate the happenings going in Turkey the past couple years. I would love to return to explore more of this glorious city, and hope to do so someday. For now, the memories I captured on our two trips there will have to suffice!

On both trips, we stayed at the Witt Istanbul Suites, which deserve an entire post of their own.