Sunday, January 12, 2014

doris duke's shangri la, part two

I am absolutely in love with this room at Doris Duke's Shangri La in Honolulu, Hawaii. It is just so feminine and lavish - the Mughal Suite


She was inspired by a honeymoon to the Middle East.  She continued to collect and commission artifacts in keeping with the house's style for the next several decades leaving an impressive archival legacy:  

Let's go outside:

Mughal Garden

Pool with the Playhouse:


I'll be honest, I was beyond excited to tour this house... but then realized it was also a no-go with baby. I'm not sure what their official policy on children is but just so you know, should you fly all the way to Hawaii to see this house, be prepared to dedicate a significant amount of time to it. From what I understand, and why it wouldn't have worked out, is owned by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art in cooperation with the Honolulu Museum of Art. Only allows a few people to visit each day. You have to buy your ticket (and like I said, there's not many spots!), wait for a bus, take the museum's bus to the house, tour and then shuttle back. All said and done it was a few hours too many for a little one. We're planning to make another trip back when our daughter is old enough so I can get my house fix! And you can always order the book.

 sources: mostly here, some here, here, here, here

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

doris duke's shangri la, part one

I know this "polar vortex" has a lot of friends Stateside on ice. Think warm thoughts! And to help you do that, let's tour another Hawaii house! This house is amazing, and famous - I'm talking about Shangri La. The house Islamic-style mansion built in 1937 designed by Marion Sims Wyeth. It was owned by heiress Doris Duke, who spent her winters here. The house is on the outskirts of Honolulu, near Diamond Head. Look at this loggia on the "playhouse"

The house

The Entry:

Central Courtyard:

Going inside:

Damascus Room

Syrian Room

Mihrab Room:


The Dining Room:

Going into the Living Room:

Lastly for today, the private hall which leads to my favorite space:

 sources: mostly here, some here, here, here, here

Saturday, January 4, 2014

miniature grand house

Do you ever come across something so remarkable on the web and think to yourself, "this person is amazing!" That's exactly how I felt when I found the Merriman Park blog. This blog is the story of a man who set out, as a novice, to create a something of his very own inspired by historic miniatures. Look at his fantastic handiwork:

Photos by and from Merriman Park

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

happy new year and the iolani palace part ii

So what is the Iolani Palace you ask? It stands as the official residence of Hawaii’s monarchy that has been beautifully restored. The National Historic Landmark sits in downtown Honolulu and is a stark contrast to the surrounding high rises of bustling city life. I really enjoyed visiting the house, even if we couldn't go inside to tour it. I was struck by how many residents of Honolulu were lounging on the grass of the grounds, enjoying the historic home, and how it has a very cherished place to this day in city life. Built by King Kalakaua in 1882, it was also home to his illustrious successor, Queen Liliuokalani and stands as the only royal residence in the United States. Let's take a peek inside, starting with the Grand Hall, source, source

The Throne Room, source, source

The Blue Room, source

The Music Room, source, source

The Dining Room, source:

King's Library, source:

Bedroom, source:

If you're interested in the restoration process of this house, their curatorial department kept a blog in 2010 with some informative posts.