Haute Hotels – L’Auberge DelMar

It’s travel season once again, fall markets are coming up, and in my case, a much needed trip to California before all the madness begins. I’m sneaking in some girl time, shopping, beach walking and sight seeing (and more shopping). “Work hard, play hard,” is motto for the week. Part of girl time includes enjoying a little “wine-time.” I was whisked (immediately from the airport) off to a fabulous location in the tony little town of DelMar a little north of it’s posh sister LaJolla. Of course forget the wine, because when I stepped through the door of the L’Auburge Hotel DelMar I entered (unbeknownst to me) the “liveable luxury” world of a design icon (I’m saving the “who” for the next paragraph). I knew little about this little jewel in Southern California, but you can bet I did my homework after. The hotel was an unexpected treat after a very long day of travel, it was a mixture of European, American and Eastern design, all stylishly interpreted into a form of “Cali-Chic.” Greens, creams, and blue sky greeted you at the doorway whose expanse opened up to million dollar views of the Pacific. So who designed this gorgeous slice of design pie?  None other than Barclay Butera. In fact, I had just purchased his book “Living On The Coast” last week, so I suppose it was fitting that I happened to walk right into one of this designs. It was fresh, glamorous and to quote my friend Anya, who is my partner-in-(constant)-crime on this trip “He did a lovely job mixing cozy with luxury. If you’re not familiar with Barclay’s work I could sum it up in two words “livable luxury.” In this case, from the intimate setting groups to his use of velvets and stylish shapes. Unfortunately, I didn’t have an opportunity to look at the rooms upstairs, but I did have a look through their website www.hotellaubergedelmar.com As we toasted our good luck with a promise of a fabuous girls trip yet to be, I soaked in the stunning vistas, and when I had a moment I snuck off to snap some photos for the viewing pleasure of my readers…so I hope you enjoy and my apologies for a short post, but I’m on vacation…


 Photo credit/ Vicki Gladle Bolick

A room with an incredible view and furnishings…


 Photo credit/ Vicki Gladle Bolick

The seating groups were stylish and cozy, in fact I think I just might like sectionals again…


 Photo credit/ Vicki Gladle Bolick

I loved this statement piece, it’s twin was on the opposite side. Neptune would be proud. Barclay used a similar console in the 2006 House & Garden Showhouse in the Hamptons. How is that for a great memory?


 Photo credit/ Casa Sugar

Organic shapes and plump pillows paired with traditional elements…


Photo/ Vicki Gladle Bolick

A glass of wine, incredible views and I’m ready for a little vacation…

For more on Barclay Butera’s incredible coastal style pick up his latest book full of inspiration at your local bookstores..


“A home should be elegant and glamourous. But always comfortable and inviting.”- Barclay Butera

As always.


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Until next time.


Coastal Living :: On Land, Inspired By The Sea…

We just got back from our last vacation of the summer, and like most migratory Atlantan’s we went to the beach. Yes, I braved getting sand in my shoes, and salt water in my hair just to get a little R&R. In all honesty, I love the sea…some little known facts about “The Ace,” I am a coast guard certified Sailor, I can drive a boat up to 48,’ (at least that’s the largest I’ve ever driven), I can snorkel for hours-at least until someone yells “dinner,” I can paddle-board, windsurf, and at times enjoy simply floating on the water on a rubber dingy. I grew up surrounded by water, and snow. The best of both worlds really. So on to Seaside, Florida. A much touted master-planned community by Andres Duwany, who also designed the community I live in. Although, it’s fairly close and only a six hour drive, I never like to vacation where you see the same people, and Atlantan’s flock there in droves. Not a bad thing, but it certainly causes you to make sure that every hair is in place (at least underneath a fashionable straw fedora), lipstick is on, and your shoes come from Burch, Choo or Spade (sounds like a coastal law firm). As someone who likes to travel incognito, and wear snorkel flippers pretty much everywhere, it becomes a bit of a challenge.  So after much coaxing from Mr. B., we went. I found it charming, and not quite as frenetic as I imagined. The first thing I did? Visit the shoppes, snap a few for my readers, and find a secluded area of the beach where The Fashionista and I could snorkel uninterrupted by the crowds until chow time.

I know much has been written about Seaside- so I don’t want to go down that same path to coastal chic. Over the past month I have been saving some pictures of interiors that are fresh, and less published (hopefully). Now that we are looking at a vacation property on the beach, I have been looking at inspiration everywhere, and wanted to share some of my very favorites, and a few that I captured on vacation…Now for the announcement- since Summer is all but over, we’ll be posting three times a week starting next week, and in September we will be bringing you “The Ace” five days a week! Including a new section “Entertaining with The Ace,” which will focus on dining, tables-capes & restaurants we visit…I look forward to bringing you tons of inspiration from the world of dining, and share some entertaining tips from some amazing talent…so check back often.


 Design/ RR Interiors

This design is for the Lark Hotel. Of which, should be on everyone’s bucket list. The perfect example of how not to look like a hotel, and more like a coastal retreat. The pattern mix is simply refreshing.


Designer/ Miles Redd

Stripes for miles in a sea of blue. The palm relief that is repeated on the wall is design genius at it’s finest.


Photo/ Vicki Bolick-The Ace of Space Blog

I love wall treatments, and a simple “1×2″ board repeated on a wall is classic. From Pizitz.


Photo/ Vicki Gladle Bolick-theaceofspaceblog.com

From Pizitz at Seaside. I thought these vignettes were the antithesis of the simple charm found in this coastal town…


Designer/ Jamie Moore

The architectural detail in this space is utilized to perfection, and the furnishings are the perfect accompaniment…


Photo/ Vicki Bolick-theaceofspaceblog.com

Who doesn’t love a quiet corner? Photographed at Pizitz in Seaside, Florida


Photo/ Vicki Gladle Bolick-theaceofspaceblog.com

Whoever styled the shelves in this store has a seriously talented “design eye.” As we all know bookshelf styling is an artform.



This dining space is from the Utah Parade of Homes, although Utah is not a coastal space, this dining room pays homage to seaside style from the natural grass rug to the Capiz shell chandelier.

Don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook & Twitter for more design inspiration…Starting next week we will be starting our bathroom renovation. We partnered with Kohler so it’s going to be an exciting design collaboration (with a lot of fabulous products including a custom designed dual vanity). I’ll be sharing pictures of the progress along the way.

As always,

Be Inspired. Be Amazing.




Why I Think You Should Take A Seat (Or Two)…

A few weeks ago I received a press release from a P/R person in Wisconsin introducing Merchanstyle (www.merchanstyle.com), a unique company they thought I may be interested in writing about. Most press releases that come through our inbox are generic, impersonal, and never looked at (needless to say my delete button is well worn). This was not the case with the release I received from Merchanstyle. It caught my eye, not only because they actually used my name in an e-mail (that signature personal touch), but after a visit to their internet store I was duly impressed, it was a carefully curated visual feast for my discriminating eye. I have an internal litmus test, if I start wondering what I need to sell in my own home to find room for a new piece of furniture, then I’m smitten. Yes, Merchanstyle had that effect on me.

Conversations ensued and it became evident that the energy and passion of this dynamic duo underscores the fact that they are on to something really big. They have created a company that offers unique one of a kind pieces that the design industry craves and needs in a sea of mass produced furnishings and textiles.

I’ll be honest I have rolled up my sleeves and dug through barns, gone through storage units mixed in with a bit of “dumpster diving,” (no I didn’t actually crawl into a dumpster, they were kind enough to leave the Victorian screen doors on the curb). So Michelle and Maureen you have a soul sister right here in Atlanta. When I first spoke with these charming ladies, I found myself truly captivated by the storied history of their eye-catching collections from the Murano glass pendants, vintage lamps, colourful pillows made from Alfred Shaheen fabric, a horseshoe chair upholstered in zebra print (yes, I almost hit the “purchase” button on that one), and the list is growing daily. Which is a good thing, a very good thing. So if you are looking for that one perfect piece (or more) then visit Merchanstyle (www.merchanstyle.com). Check out our interview with the ladies of Merchanstyle…and find out what makes this company a refreshing breath of fresh air, and why I think you should take a seat (or two).

logoforinterviewsWhat is the idea behind Merchanstyle?

We believe the concept of Merchanstyle is three fold. First, our motto captures our desire for each piece we bring to the marketplace. “The love of vintage, the thrill of the hunt, the happiness that ensues when our treasures find their new home.” Secondly, we always wanted to create a positive, creative & honest work place as well as collaborate with artists in our community. We are able to provide jobs to people in the community, and give them an opportunity to showcase our vision and their talents. And finally, we are committed to being as eco-friendly as we can by recycling and up-cycling.  For instance, the vintage and antique furniture is restored and given a new life by using remnant fabric. We have created a cycle of life for vintage treasures.

Of course, our mission became clear when we walked into a virtual vintage vault piled high with Mid-century modern chairs, lamps, shoes…anything you can imagine. This vault told a story of a couple lived their lives collecting & salvaging pieces by cleaning up after a train derailment or abandoned warehouses. One day while sifting and sorting through warehouse after warehouse, we were approached by one of the owners to see if we were interested in pendant lights. Before we bought them we had them appraised only to find out they were vintage Murano. We ended up buying the pendants at a very fair price. Later, the same couple let us go through three large buildings and tractor trailer loads full of vintage and antique furniture. Years of history and collecting were housed in these spaces, not only were we incredibly honored to have this opportunity, but we felt a deep seated commitment to preserving a way of life. We’ve also found that longstanding farms are being edged out by large commercial operations creating a need to find a home for the treasured pieces that are oftentimes sold off or scraped. Furniture and lighting passed down through generations have such a storied history and we want to give them new life, creating updated and exciting pieces that are relevant in today’s modern design.

This is the inspiration behind Merchanstyle.

logoforinterviewsMaureen & Michelle what are your backgrounds?

Maureen-I attended the University of Wisconsin and graduated with a degree in Marketing and International business. I helped start-ups including building an internet company. Of course, I’ve always loved antiquing, and searching the countryside in Wisconsin on the hunt for unique pieces with a history.

Michelle-I graduated from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh with a degree in Fashion Design. From there I started working in the non-profit sector for organizations such as the Red Cross. In fact, it was at a New Year’s Eve Gala in 2000 that I first met Maureen. We later joined forces to help several start-up businesses. But, I yearned to find a way to work in design again, help people and still support my family.

logoforinterviewsWhat a great story….what type of products will you offer?

One of a kind pieces, mid-century chairs, lighting and fabrics. We love to give vintage pieces a new life. We look at the silhouette of a chair and re-imagine it for today’s customer. Whether it is new welting or a beaded fringe skirt…we update our pieces to give them a more current look, with timeless appeal. For example, we found a Danish vintage rocking chair that had perfect rushing on the back but the seat needed to be totally replaced. We bought the chair and added an updated upholstery to bring it back to life. We pride ourselves in seeing the beauty within, and seeing all the possibilities.

logoforinterviewsWhat are some of your greatest finds?

The Murano glass pendants of course, and fabric from Alfred Shaheen that we re-purposed into pillows. We were thrilled to have found vintage Shaheen fabric. To be able to offer this vintage fabric re-purposed into pillows is just another way we can preserve history, while making a long standing contribution to the design world.

logoforinterviewsThanks, Maureen & Michelle for sharing your amazing journey with us…

An “Ace” side note: Alfred Shaheen was a legendary textile manufacturer of the “Hawaiian Shirt” worn by such well-known celebrities as Elvis Presley.

I want to share some truly stunning “before” and “afters” of their treasured finds…no further words necessary.



BefAfter PoppyBlack


Botanical Beauty


Pink Paisley

Tiger Print

Office Chair



merchan4 merchan2 800-MRCH.LMP.RMBT.BL

Vintage Accessories from top to bottom: Photo 1 & 2-Alfred Shaheen pillows: Photo 3-Vintage Murano Glass Pendants: Photo 4-Vintage lamps.

The inventory at Merchanstyle changes frequently as things are purchased by the lucky owners, and new items acquired. So check back often (as I am) and enjoy “the thrill of the hunt” an experience you can only find on Merchanstyle (www.merchanstyle.com). This post is sponsored, but the thoughts and reviews are purely my own.

Also, don’t forget to follow Maureen & Michelle on social media here:





As always,

Be Inspired. Be Amazing.