L.A. to Santa Barbara and Home Again

photo credit - here

Took El Jefe to Santa Barbara this past weekend for his birthday. We stayed at the Canary Hotel - which by the way was really great. According to the front desk, Michael Smith helped with the hotel's renovation. And that makes perfect sense.

We had less than 24 hours to relax (is that possible?) so we headed to Joe's Cafe for a cocktail and some local fare. The Tri-tip sandwich with au jus = Yum!

My husband's birthday desire was to watch the Jets and Patriots duke it out. An easy wish granted, so after he was duly ensconced in the local scene, I headed out onto State Street for some indulging of my own. Spotted Tracy Porter walking down the street and thought, "hmmm....that mid-west girl is a long way from home?" Turns out Ms. Porter convinced her sister Robin and brother in-law George to go west. And now the trio has a store in Santa Barbara. The new shop is fabulous, bohemian and well worth the day trip. Below are two photos from a quick spin around.

Clothing designs by Tracy Porter, store design and merchandising by sister Robin.

There's only one thing to say about these shoes...Do they come in a size 7?

After doing some damage at Tracy Porter, I headed towards the ocean only to be stopped dead in my tracks by Rooms & Gardens. At the entrance, Dash and Albert rugs catch your attention and the rest..is history.

If you read my earlier post, you know I'm looking for the perfect ottoman and it just so happens that Rooms & Gardens had a really cute Suzani number listed at a great price. They have beautiful pieces through-out and help tirelessly with decisions. Very accommodating. Loved them.

Suzani Sun Fabric on upholstered ottoman at Rooms & Gardens

Our final destination, a bit further down State Street was Raoul. Can I just say OMG. Pure drop dead gorgeousness. Really, if you're at all into California design - you need to stop in. In a great way, Sally McQuillan is pushing the California-meets-old-world-furnishings-and-organic-fabrics envelope to a new level. If you're wondering where West Coast design can go from here? Ms. McQuillan has her finger on the pulse. While these fabrics are high-end and usually available only to the trade it's nice to have a showroom open to the public with in-store sales gal and designer Lynn Barker who was very helpful with design questions.

The new Raoul store location: 136 State Street. Subtle and beautiful.

So there you have it: my less-than-24-hour Santa Barbara design trip tips. What are you waiting for? ;)


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