Manila

I embarked on an Asian Adventure last week that left all of you without posts, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t thinking about all of you on my trip. In fact, the trip was completed with The Potted Boxwood in mind. An exploratory adventure of digging for treasure, meeting with skilled craftsman, and broadening horizons. This was my first trip to Asia, and Manila was my first stop. Don’t worry, it is not a stupid question, Manila is in the Philippines. Remember Imelda Marcos, the lady with all the shoes?! It is a highly populated town with traffic that will leave those envious of L.A. at rush hour. There are malls for miles on apparently every corner, they call it “malling“, which is baffling when you see the amount of homeless housing scattered along street corners, the likes of which you have never seen. The warning of a massive earthquake looming around the corner left me with a pit in my stomach for those thousands of people who will be in desperate need of help and life.

That in mind, I also had the privilege of meeting one of my favorite instagram friends, Blue Carreon. If you don’t follow him on instagram, you should. He has impeccable taste and a home store in Manila that is so chicly designed. It is full of treasures, and his inviting sophistication made him feel like an old friend. He was the most hospitable host and gave me access to neighborhoods that I am able to share here with you. I also met another instagram friend, Rachelle Wenger a.k.a Everyday Flair. She invited me to her home for some wine and it was a very pleasant evening overlooking the city lights.

This is not part of the world that many frequent, but I am happy to share what I saw with you. Lot’s of gated homes, in gated communities belonging to diplomats and the upper crust of Manila. I find it fascinating that you can barely see the homes, so they very much rely on curb appeal to get a sense of aesthetic.

Tomorrow I will post on the fabulous Hong Kong (seriously, plan a trip now!). Until then, enjoy my glimpse of Manila. So happy to be back with you all! There is one thing traveling does…and that is inspire my creative thinking. Lucky me, and lucky you! And just be grateful you get to experience Manila with air conditioning 😉

 

All photos by Christina Dandar for The Potted Boxwood

 

Gated Curb Appeal

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Doesn’t this gate make you feel like you are pulling up to a Kelly Wearstler designed home?! From the driveway to the gate detail, I can’t get enough!

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Here is some blue and white to inspire. I love seeing bits of Spanish influence throughout.

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A more contemporary approach and clean lines for this new construction.

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I love the color ad contrast of this blue/gray gate against the crisp white.

 

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I really admire the detail of this door. The light butter color makes the greenery pop.

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A perfectly landscaped wall. All walls should look like this.

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Bamboo has such a tropical sophistication. I wish more people used it in tropical locations, especially Florida. Manila via The Potted Boxwood  23

Another beautiful gate full of lush landscape.

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Would love to see the courtyard behind the gate.

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This just screams Trina Turk to me! A fresh coat of paint and it would be ready for business.

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Notice the floating lanterns that provide a magical flickering of light at night.

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Fantastic woodwork on this more Balinese style gate, all that is missing is some bougainvillea.

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A very colorful but beautifully hedged home with boxwood to boot. The most glimpse of a home I got in Manila. A majority of these homes had guards out front.

Gated enterance in Manila via The Potted Boxwood

I adored the lions and urns flanking this gate full of prestige and character.

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Isn’t it interesting how these shallow pots are practically floating on top of this walled in fence.

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A beautiful church inspired by the Spanish influence that once ruled in the Philippines.

Manila Spanish district via The Potted Boxwood

A lovely pink building in the Spanish area of Manila. Not sure what those little trees are, but I adore them!

Loely pink front door in Manila

How could you not want to see this perfectly pink door flanked by boxwood in a place that I hope to be frequenting upon my return to Manila.

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A real view of Manila from take-off. Those are all little towns and homes. Apparently the government housing is too far away from town, so people just continue to build on the side of the road. I just hate to think what will happen if this large earthquake they are anticipating actually strikes…read more here

 

Fab Finds

 

joanna preysler handbags via The Potted Boxwood

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Wish list!!

joanna preysler store via The Potted Boxwood

Joanna Preysler is one store that I wish I could go back to do some shopping. You know when you are on a trip and you find such a fantastic store right away, but you feel you need to hold-off because there is more to see. Well, don’t fall for it! Her bags were butter to the touch and the skins sent a shiver up my spine.

Amazing curated colletion in Manila

Blurry, but I am sure you get the picture.

Home Line for The Potted Boxwood

I have some exciting things coming around the corner. Raise your had if you would purchase this? More details coming very soon!

 

Blue Carreon

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Blue’s store left me feeling anything but blue. So many treasures and high quality items that would add a flair to any home. Too bad it is in Manila. I guess we all just need to beg him to open one state side (it is cooler here!). His items are also available in NYC at Bergdorf Goodman.

Blue Carreon Home in Manila via The Potted Boxwood

Blue’s adorable pup Brighton attracts visitors in his utterly chic pagoda bed. Notice the wall of placemats…how clever!

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A fantastically curated collection of housewares. Very inspiring.

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My mom is begging for those ginger jar prints on the left, and I do not blame her!

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His store was really a gem of good taste, which Blue is highly regarded for and uses in only the best ways.

 

Everyday Flair

Everyday Falir Home via The Potted Boxwood

Rachelle Wenger (Everyday Flair) invited me over to her penthouse for wine and cheese. While traffic had me two hours late (it should have taken 20 minutes), she was very understanding and gave me a tour of her three story view above Manila’s city lights.

 Everyday Flair Penthouse via The Potted Boxwood

A very open floor plan with exposed brick and a split level with open shelving above. Many of the pieces in her home told a story of their travels and time spent living abroad.

Everyday Flair Home via The Potted Boxwood

On the top floor I found this the most architecturally intriguing. A seemingly floating painting is actually a mirror for her bathroom on the opposite side. Everything is very open, leaving a sense of spaciousness and use for structured lines.

Everyday Flair powder room via The Potted Boxwood

I was quite fond of the wallpaper in her powder room. The park and city scene was calming and added a lot of character to the restroom.

Everyday Falir Home via The Potted Boxwood 2

The view of the city with boxwood growing in the corner. Boxwood is not easy to grow in Manila, but she managed to have some vibrant spheres. Her incredible view of the city was the focal point of her home, as well as her ample patio for entertaining.

Architect’s Eye: Andrew Skurman

While I am focusing on all my travel essentials, I didn’t want to leave you without one great post to hold you over for the next week (yes, I am taking a week off- so be sure to check instagram for fun photos). I recently came across the work of Andrew Skurman Architects who operates out of San Fransisco and Paris. The architectural team does a breathtaking job of incorporating unique elements into timeless architecture to create stunning masterpieces across the globe.

From French, to Georgian, to Mediterranean design, these architects take houses to new heights by adding the perfect amount of character for things not to look too “new,” as well as the addition of carefully appointed landscaping. The craftsmanship is spoken for in the eye of the architects, whose details are superb in every way. I hope you will agree!

Have a wonderful weekend/week and I will see you all as soon as my jet lag is recovered!  XO-TPB

Photos by Matthew Millman and they are in no particular order.

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Perfectly potted boxwood.

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A sweet bathroom. So cleaver to do the step up to the tub. I am also a huge proponent of bathrooms that open to the outside.

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Isn’t this so interesting? I bet that patio is fabulous for entertaining!

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The details are just…wow!

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An ideal bathroom, serene and simple. Look at the wall against the tub…see that detail! Not so simple after all!

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Love the U-shaped mold of the ceiling. Of course, I love the wallpaper as well!

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A more Mediterranean approach….enchanting and made of European dreams.

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These architects are truly crafted with the gift of knowing what will be appeasing to the eye. Their placement is perfection.

 

 

 

Travel Essentials

I am getting ready to embark on a long travel journey and travel essentials are just about all I can think about. I am not talking long like 3 or 4 or 5 hours. I am talking long as in travel experts even complain of the distance. It is often said that travel is the one thing money can buy that can make you richer, and I completely agree with that. There is so much in this world to see and take part of that it is a shame not to go explore (especially when you have no attachments like me).

People often complain of travel, and I see why. Long lines, delays, cramped quarters. However, if you are savvy and know how to travel well, the whole process becomes a lot less taxing and a little more enjoyable. If you don’t have the miles to upgrade, create your own first class. The right products and rituals will leave you arriving fresh and ready for your destination.

Just in time for your summer travel, here is my list of everything you need to arrive in style.

Keep An Open Tab

Flight Status Track your flight in-flight and get your real time of arrival (flight plan and radar included)

Turbulence Tracker  (I kind of freak out about it, this app prepares me for it)

One Mile At A Time A useful blog with reviews of trips and how to make the most of your points. (PS If you want to travel internationally, stop flying airlines that are only domestic… earn those miles and points and then take your dream European vacation). Sorry Southwest, I still LUV you.

Travel Agents Planning incredible trips all over the world with lots of perks.

 

Carry It All

Brics LuggageBrics luggage carry-on

I can’t rave enough about Bric’s hard case luggage. It is stylish, functional, and fits more items than you would think!

Gigi NY Hayden Satchel Louis Vuitton Eppi Tote

 

Gigi’s Hayden Satchel can be monogrammed and is a safe cross-body bag for traveling. It zips up and flaps over so no sneaky hands can make their way in.

An understated but luxurious carry-on tote is the Louis Vuitton Epi leather tote. It fits quite a bit, and also has a removable pouch than can double as a clutch for the evening.

Mark and Graham weekender bag

This canvas weekender tote from Mark and Graham can be personalized and provides a great deal of room for a last minute weekend away.

WOLF Travel Jewelry Case

One thing I think is essential for traveling is carrying on your jewelry.  This WOLF travel jewelry case is a stylish way to keep everything in its place.

Baby Audrey Camel Makeup bag

I own this Louenhide makeup bag and it fits a great deal more than you can imagine. It is also lined in chic black and white stripes.

Tory Burch Makeup Case

I love the shape of this Tory Burch makeup bag. A larger way to carry all of your toiletries.

 

Smythson Passport Cover

 

Could you imagine anything better for your passport than this lovely blue Smythson holder?! Monogram it for an extra luxe look.

 

 

Bring It All

Amazon Kindle

So I used to be one of those people who only really needed an iPad to do anything. While I love my iPad, my friend urged me to get a Kindle. It is so lightweight, so easy on the eyes to read, and delivers your amazon books instantly to the device. My new obsession for all the books I plan to read this summer.

Bose Quiet Comfort Headphones

 

I bought a pair of Beats headphones last summer for an international trip, but the plane offered Bose quiet headphones. I compared the two, and I must admit that the Bose were much better at quieting out the sounds of the plane, and more comfortable for falling asleep.

GiGis NY notebook

I thought this little notebook was so adorable from Gigi New York. What a great little item to jot down your to-dos and ideas for your trip.

Anthropologie Cashmere Travel Blanket Set

Anthropologie makes this great cashmere travel set. I love the dark hunter green of the blanket, which comes with a pillow and eye mask at a reasonable price.

Sofia Cashmere Travel Blanket via Amazon

 

If you want to splurge on some super soft cashmere, this Sophia blanket is certainly the way to go. I adore the charcoal gray color which looks good on just about everyone.

 

Goop City Guides

Gwyneth knows best, right? People love to hate her but she has impeccable taste and I trust anything with her stamp of approval.

 

Luxe City Guide Hong Kong  Luxe Cuide App

 

I swear by these handy guides for any city. Luxe gives you a perfect characterization of the restaurants, hotels, shopping (interior stores), and a true inside guide of tipping, reliable doctors, and the best ways to get around town.

Oh, and they have an app too!

And, hint hint*

 

Use It All

 

 

Bio Calm Repair Masque by Renee RouleauSkin Drink by Renee Rouleau

I am a big fan of Renee Rouleau products. She may have Dallas spas here which make her accessible, but her website is also easy and efficient for shipping for those non-dallasites. I post these products in particular since my favorite esthetician, Alison, created a skin ritual for long-haul flights. The number one issue: dehydration (it may not seem like it with oil on your face). The steps are as follows:

1: Wipe your face down. Makeup wipes are the easiest, or use highly dissolvable cleanser with cotton balls, followed by some toner.

2. Apply the Bio Calm Repair Masque. It hydrates and calms the skin from all the drying elements.

3. Clean off the masque with cotton balls soaked in toner.

4. Let it dry before applying Skin Drink. Let it soak in for the flight and reapply if you are feeling dry.

5. Your skin will be refreshed, hydrated, and blemish free.

 

EO Lavender hand santizer La Mer hand treatment   Fresh Sugar Lip Balm

EO Lavender Hand Sanitizer is something you can easily get at Whole Foods. It uses natural oils, kills the germs, and smells calming and clean.

Skin often gets dry on planes. La Mer hand treatment is a splurge, but totally worth it. If are reluctant to make the full purchase, go ask the makeup counter for a sample. It will still be better for travel.

Sugar lip balm by Fresh is the most moisturizing and reliable lip treatment out there. A must for any flight or any day!

 

 

 

Keep Me Where The Light Is

I have mentioned before my appreciation and obsession with Christopher Spitzmiller lamps. The odds are substantial that if you see a beautifully designed room, his lamps are somewhere in the mix. Spitzmiller is the master of his craft, so it is no wonder that his upstate New York home would be crafted with the same meticulous eye for detail. The comfort of being instagram friends with Spitzmiller has made me feel very accustomed to this home (in the weird way that social media can make one familiar). I love scrolling through to see Spitzmiller’s and Sam Allen’s posts of the view of the garden at Clove Brook Farm in rain, fog, snow, and sunshine. Imagine my delight when I see the latest Architectural Digest, featuring a cover-worthy,  glossy and in-depth look at their home at Clove Brook Farm.

The glossy, orchid color door is a cheerfully chic indicator that this Greek Revival farmhouse is going to be something quite delightful. Sure enough, the interiors are elegant, polished, and gorgeously colored, just like Spitzmiller’s lamps. Clove Brook Farm is an ideal retreat that has the warmth of home and the roaming grounds of the countryside. This farmhouse is full of natural light by day and Spitzmiller’s light by night. In my opinion, that is how it should always be!

William Waldron featured in Architectural Digest. Architectural designer Jonathan Parisen advised, Harry Heissmann collaborated on the interiors, and P. Allen Smith assisted with the landscape design.

Spitzmiller and Sam Allens home at Clove Brook Farm via AD

The oh-so-timeless Greek Revival farmhouse shared by two very talented individuals. I can’t get enough of those glossy, deep orchid doors.

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An incredible open kitchen area all dressed in white. Imagine the glow of the fireplace in the tall wood-beamed room.

Spitzmiller and Sam Allens home at Clove Brook Farm via AD 4

Dodie Thayer lettuceware is a vibrant pop of color in the kitchen. The use of wood work is incredible.

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Elegant, layered, and full of scrumptious texture. How ideal would this room be on a snowy day?!

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A fabulous blue floor and red patterned walls gives this guest room a sophisticated Americana ambience.

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A serene setting for a goodnight’s sleep after a day on the farm. Harry Heissmann had the chic wallpaper custom made.

Spitzmiller and Sam Allens home at Clove Brook Farm via AD 6

What a picture perfect farm! I encourage you to follow Christopher and Sam on instagram. You won’t regret it!

 

Under The Bougainvillea

I’ll never forget the first time I went to Cabo, my freshman year Spring Break of college. My friends and I decided we would stop by a very nice resort for lunch/drinks/something (so sad I can’t even remember). Upon entering the vast property, we were greeted with overwhelming blooms of abundant bougainvillea. I  commented to my friends about just how exceptional it looked. Puzzled, they responded, “how do you know that is called bou…gain…- whatever you said?” It wasn’t their fault, they were from the Midwest and parts of the South where bougainvillea is not a household name. It was then I recognized the oddity of my comment. I was from a tropical state where this flowering plant is as common as a fern. I was a native Floridian. We just know these things.

Fast forward to several years of living in Texas, and I have found myself forgetting the everyday commodity of bougainvillea. I feel like the past ten days visiting Florida have been a reawakening of the majestic quality of bougainvillea. It adds a depth to a landscape, whether wrapped around a column, displayed as an archway, perfected as a bush, or growing in a potted fashion. They are ever present in warm weather places like California, Florida, Mexico, and much of western Europe. They make anything look prettier, and who wouldn’t want to start off the week browsing something pretty?!

Happy Monday!

Care Of Bougainvillea

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This photo I took doesn’t even do it justice. Beautiful bougainvillea enhances this gated entrance to a classic mediterranean revival home on the Gulf coast of Florida.

bougainvillea climbing on the columns of the Gottschalks home in Ibiza via AD

Bougainvillea climbs on the columns of the Gottschalks vacation oasis in Ibiza. Via AD

bougainvillea columns on this patio via Mix and Chic

 

A sweet spray of bougainvillea on these columns on a effortlessly chic outdoor living area. Via Mix and Chic

bougainvillea covering the exterior of a home via House Beautiful

The most hideous architecture could be hiding under this bougainvillea, but it would still be eye catching. An abundant display of bougainvillea and wonderfully hedged half spheres. Via House Beautiful 

Florida bougainvillea by The Potted Boxwood. 1

Another gated entry that i captured in Florida. It keeps things simple when one plant takes over and the landscape can still look complete.

bougainvillea in abundance via BHG

 

A picturesque garden door surrounded by bougainvillea. Via BHG

bougainvillea in greece via Conde Nast Traveler

Greece anyone? It really bring ambience to the chic simplicity of a white building. Via Conde Nast Traveler 

 

Florida bougainvillea by The Potted Boxwood

You may have seen this on my instagram over the weekend. This is by far my favorite property in my hometown, strictly for this incredible entrance. Boom- there is a view.

bougainvillea on the balcony of Amanda Peets LA home

I love how the bougainvillea just clings on to whatever it can grasp, as is the case with this second floor balcony on Amanda Peet’s LA home.

bougainvillea patio at the home of Amador Calafat-Busquets in Mallorca

Gorgeous canopies of bougainvillea on the patio at the estate of  Amador Calafat-Busquets in Mallorca.

Multiple shades of  bougainvillea via Houzz

Bougainvillea up the steps, on the wall, and in the bushes. It is such a character builder.

Patio with bougainvillea arching the windows via Traditional Home

I love how it frames these windows.The blue and white paint and roman shades are an ideal addition. Via Traditional Home

Who needs paint when you have bougainvillea?A great Palm Beach home by Mimi McMakin via House Beautiful

But seriously, who needs paint when you have bougainvillea? A great Palm Beach home by Mimi McMakin via House Beautiful

 

Florida bougainvillea by The Potted Boxwood. 3

Some bougainvillea bushes I spotted with multiple shades growing freely next to one another. A great hedge topping along a property.