Hanging Gardens of Haifa

Photography by Itamar Grinberg

Photography by Itamar Grinberg


With a vantage that rests above the Mediterranean Sea, the terraced gardens of the Baha’i faith are a popular attraction, drawing thousands of visitors each year.

Formed into 9 concentric circles, there are 18 lush terraces and a few water features to explore in the tranquil setting.

Visitors can tour the gardens for free via the Bahai community. You’ll learn about the history of the religion and gain insight into the extensive work that happens in the gardens.

La Nouvelle Orleans

  • Celedon is a refreshing complement to the more neutral French grey and buff colours in this cozy family room.
  • The formal living room is filled with fine antiques Terri has sourced during her many trips to Europe.
  • LEFT: A velvet sofa rests handsomely beneath a hand-painted wooden screen.
  • Silk drapes puddle decadently onto gleaming parquet floors.
  • Antique dealer Terri Goldsmith arranges a bounty of hydrangeas and lilies in her elegant foyer.
  • The garden and pool mirror the formality of the home.
  • Manicured walkways are outlined with neatly clipped box wood hedges.

Sweeping down the intricate wrought iron staircase, surrounded by luxe floor mosaics and crystal chandeliers, who wouldn’t feel like a French empress? Terri Goldsmith gives Dabble a royal welcome, New Orleans style.

Unlike the proverbial shoe maker’s child, antique dealer Terri Goldsmith enjoys living in a well-appointed home. One that shows off her masterful skill in decorating with fine furnishings, attention to detail and savoir faire.

Photography by Cherie-Lynn Buchanan

Design for Living

  • Sir Noël Coward, the legendary English playwright, actor, singer, director and composer was also known for his flamboyant wit and personal style.
  • Immortalized in this stone statue, Coward sits forever in his beloved garden, peering out onto an almost unchanged glorious natural coastline.
  • Inside, rooms are filled with Coward’s original furniture, artifacts, paintings and photographs.
  • A photo of good friend, Marlene Dietrich sits atop the piano.

East of Oracabessa, Jamaica sits Firefly, named after the glowing insects indigenous to these lush hills. Noël Coward’s famed mountaintop estate offers an unparallelled view of St Mary’s harbor, the original lookout for the notorious pirate Sir Henry Morgan (of rum bottle fame).

My sense of importance to small. On the other hand importance to myself to the world is relatively hand my sense of my own myself is tremendous.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANGELA AUCLAIR

Savannah: Top Décor Spots

1  If vintage and antique furniture and accessories appeals, Savannah’s a great destination. Try Jeres Antiques which has 33,000 square feet to browse in.

2  It’s likely you intent to tour the Mercer House, but if time is short, at least make time to visit Mercer House Carriage Shop. Take home a copy of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil or go big and purchase the Bird Girl statue replica that graces the cover of the book.

3  When you’re shopping on Broughton Street, be sure to pop into 24e and  DC2 Design for contemporary furnishings and accessories.

4 Madame Chrysanthemum is the scented laboratory of florist Michelle Mikulec. The garden shop has great displays and vintage style treasures to take home.

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Madame Chrysanthemum

5  Alex Raskin Antiques claims they are the most interesting store in Savannah and we agree. Located on Bull Street, the old house turned store has architectural salvage, furniture, mirrors, accessories and more.

Spanish Eyes

  • Wrought iron balusters grace the foyer’s tiled staircase.
  • Various objet d’art and collectibles rest on surfaces throughout the spacious living room. A formidable and eclectic art collection adorns the room’s walls.
  • LEFT: The coffee table has a balustrade base and its top is edged in marble which surrounds a terra cotta field. RIGHT: At the bar, crystal glasses rest on a chest decorated with marquetry.
  • The panelled study enjoys uninterrupted views to the foyer and into the dining room. Its coffered ceiling creates cozy intimacy in the warm setting.
  • In the dining room, a two-tiered crystal chandelier with acanthus leaves at the crown and antique bronze fittings softly illuminates the oval table. The table is surrounded by leather-clad dining chairs with tapestry backs.
  • Looking outside to the courtyard, dinner guests catch sight of the leafy lemon trees that are poised to flower and release their delicate scent.
  • A large candle chandelier floats above the kitchen island. When the temperature heats up, family and guests move into the shade of the adjoining patio.
  • From the kitchen, doors open onto a charming patio beneath an ivy-covered archway.

Marci Valner’s Spanish Colonial style home circa 1929 is minutes from UCLA in the urban suburb of Westwood. Jockeying for a parking spot is de rigueur in this neighbourhood. We see one, grab it and remember to hang the coveted permit from the rear view mirror or—ouch—a $64 ticket is sure to be waiting upon our return.

Although the home is formally designed it’s clearly well-loved and used frequently for entertaining. Patterned chairs and serviceable sofas invite lingering in the living room. Aubusson tapestry and vintage leaf patterns adorn pillows on the velvet sofa. An antique trestle side table sits next to the William Birch arm chair with its vintage palm leaf upholstery.

In the kitchen, cool-to-the-touch terra cotta floors offer a respite from the day’s heat. White adobe plaster walls and rustic wood beams on the ceiling add to the 1920’s mood.

We are in no hurry to rush back to our parking spot and take a moment to rest on the patio’s cool tile steps.

Charleston: Did you know?

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In Charleston, porches are referred to as “piazzas” and are situated to catch harbour breezes and offer a view of the garden.

Homes in Charleston are generally elevated, have large windows and doors and high ceilings in order to have cross-ventilation of breezes from the water.

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Many homes have a distinctive architectural name, in local vernacular, referred to as the Single House. These homes are typically one-room and a hallway wide with long piazzas that span the length of the house. The entrance door faces the street but typically leads to the porch where the home’s front door is found. The homes are oriented in this fashion because the British taxes were based on streetfront measurements.

Shopping on Magazine Street

© CL Buchanan Photography

“Money’s like manure, it don’t do no good if you don’t spread it around.”

Kimberley agrees wholeheartedly with this sentiment, uttered to her in deep drawl as she contemplates a purchase in one of Magazine Street’s tempting shops. Ultimately she relinquishes her credit card, an activity she performs repeatedly while shopping the Garden District.

© CL Buchanan Photography

Top 4 Design Blocks on Magazine Street

Between Canal and Jackson
Specializing in tabletop, kitchen and gift items, just try to leave Quince without making a purchase. Nearby, Piranesi offers a tailored collection of continental antiques and objets d’art. Agora is a cooperative featuring several vendors and a tempting range of home finds.

Between Jackson and Louisiana
Antiques, vintage and contemporary furnishings are just up the front steps of Perch. At Neo Phobia, strains of the Partridge Family lure shoppers inside to find treasures from the 50s, 60s and 70s. Best store name goes to Belladonna Day Spa and Retail Therapy. Come for massage or browse the linens, candles and decorative toss cushions. When it’s time for a break, cool off in the mint green atmosphere of Sucre where you can try a decadent truffle or a grown-up milk shake like the Velvet Hammer with vanilla, brandy and nutmeg.

Between Louisiana and Napoleon
A visit to Maison de Provence is a virtual trip to the French provinces thanks to the well edited selection of owner Terri Goldsmith. Still more European antiques and garden statuary at Balzac Antiques. And, it’s a lucky day when you find Alex Williams at his Potsalot Pottery wheel turning out one-of-a-kind treasures.

Between Jefferson and Henry Clay
With a name like Pied Nu (French for barefoot) you’d expect (and will find) easygoing style and effortless chic. Don’t miss neighbouring Hazelnut for a wide selection of gift-worthy purchases.

At Home with Suzanne Rheinstein

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Looking stylish in a black linen ensemble and chunky gold bangles, renowned LA-based interior designer Suzanne Rheinstein takes Kimberley Seldon on a private tour of her gracious Hancock Park home and garden.

Industry Profile

Suzanne’s living room is luxurious and serene. She spotted the blue and white striped Regency chaise in a London shop window and insisted her husband pull over so they could run in to make the purchase.

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‘I design rooms clients can live in, and in this house we live in the family room’, says the designer. We can see why. Who wouldn’t want to relax on that cozy velvet-striped sofa with some late night reading?

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Natural lighting, soft hues and luxurious cotton print drapes accent the elegance of the master bedroom.

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To read the full article on Suzanne Rheinstein, check out Industry Profile, Issue 3 July/Aug 2011.

Beer Pressure

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At one popular joint known humbly as The Pub I encountered my first experience with “Beer Pressure”. The Pub has a large screen TV that tracks consumption at each table, against other pubs throughout the country. The bartender and other diners (let’s be honest, they were drinkers not diners) encouraged me (by way of derisive shouts and stares) to drink more beer and not allow our pub to look weak. I caved.

“To suggest Czechs are obsessed with beer (pivo) is akin to saying a human being is obsessed with breathing—it’s an instinct.”

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Popular Pubs

U Zeleného Stromu (Bel.msk. n.mesti 6)
If it’s a warm day, head to the outdoor garden patio.

U Medvídku (Na Perstýne 7)
There’s a brewery and a small gift shop with kitschy beer merchandise like pilsner lotion. It also has an outdoor patio where you can enjoy a plate of sausages, mustard and sauerkraut for about $7, including beer.

U Vejvodu (Jilsk. 4)
A popular Old Town destination.

Swimming Pools and Movie Stars

  • The stucco exterior is enlivened by a series of grid patterns —on the garage doors, at the front door, and in the concrete pads of the driveway.
  • In a city where everyone’s a star, Erinn knows what it takes to make a dramatic entrance. The Asian inspired fretwork of the front door is the result of a sketch she penned while out to dinner with friends.
  • The difficulty with contemporary design is its tendency to be cold. Erinn created a warm, modern feeling by incorporating sleek wood features in the window surrounds, on the floors and in the landscaping.
  • With a base of warmth established, she was able to clad the living room fireplace in stucco and insert a chrome U-channel to create the massive grid, mimicking exterior materials, without fear the feature would read as “cold”.
  • Introducing the soft, gray oak (a repeated element from the living room floors) warms the high gloss surfaces of the spacious kitchen.
  • The sun-drenched family room and kitchen enjoy poolside views and easy access to the outdoor barbecue. Erinn insists on an open floor plan for homes where entertaining happens frequently.
  • Erinn pays particular attention to the backsplash when she’s designing kitchens. “A typical mirrored backsplash might have created uncomfortable shine with so much sunlight,” says the designer.
  • Casual seating provided by sleek bar stools tucks discreetly beneath statuary Calcutta gold marble countertops.
  • The master bedroom is something of a departure from the rest of the house. Here, dark wood floors and the royal blue suede headboard create a cozier, more dramatic setting. Floor-toceiling bookshelves conceal a central pocket door that leads to the ensuite. “It’s almost like walking through a tunnel,” the designer enthuses, “which is very cool.”
  • Honeyed wood and white lacquer cabinets combine with champagne coloured mosaic tiles in the master ensuite. The room’s most dramatic feature is the private garden seen beyond the glass shower wall.
  • A repetition of organic materials—wood, stucco, stone—creates flow between indoor and outdoor spaces.
  • An avid gardener, Erinn uses succulents in boxed concrete beds to provide structure to contemporary gardens. Japanese maple trees (seen in the back corner) add complementary colour to large expanses of green.

Making a comeback in swanky town USA takes more than desire. Hard work, vision, re-direction and a bit of luck are required to bring waning potential back into the spotlight. Dabble chatted with interior designer Erinn Valencich who recently faced such a challenge transforming a traditional home in the tony Trousdale Estates neighbourhood of Beverly Hills.

“I envisioned an urban oasis with large windows leading to outdoor rooms,” says the designer. “We started with a beautiful footprint and expansive views. I added floor to ceiling glass walls and additional ceiling height, growing rooms from 9 to12 feet.”

Dabble Savvy: UNDERSTATED IMPACT

  • Sleek pattern makes a statement in contemporary settings. Graphic lines provide order and can be introduced as architectural detail.
  • High contrast adds drama. A combination of light wood floors and dark window surrounds produces head-turning results.
  • Combine diverse textures for impact. The rough, matte stucco and smooth, concrete stepping stones are complemented and softened by shrubery and trees.

Designed by Erinn Valencich; Photography by Adrian Anz