photography by Elizabeth Lavin
Creative director and co-owner of Cymbidium  +  Fashionista board member  +  Philanthropist


Peacock Alley. President and CEO Mary Ella Gabler is an amazing example of how to run a luxury goods business. Her late husband Ray shared his expertise on customer service and taught me the importance of high thread- count sheets. Once they sent me a set of sheets as a thank you. I also have a snuggly throw by them.

Pretty Dinnerware. I mix white vintage china with a Missoni floral pattern I got at Selfridges & Co. in London and my grandmother’s green goblets. I think everyone should have monogrammed linen napkins.

Orchids. Cymbidium orchids gave our store its name because our granny used to wear them to church on special occasions. The Hope orchid, a new product by Cymbidium, is a white phaleonopsis orchid in a black zinc vase. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Village of Hope in Ghana, West Africa. Rachael (sister and co-owner) and I travel there every summer.

Downy Fabric Softener. I double up Downy liquid in my washer and Downy sheets in my dryer. You aren’t supposed to use both, but I like the smell.

Brüt: The Champagne boutique located next to Hotel Palomar. Owners Susie and Ildefonso Jimenez only sell champagnes and sparkling wines. I buy bottles for hostess gifts and myself.

Calligraphic Arts. Anytime I—or anyone from the store—send flowers, they arrive with a handwritten note. I’ve taken classes at Calligraphic Arts and learned how to properly pencil-line pages and envelopes before lettering—a fairly detailed process that involves rulers, light boxes, and lots of erasing, if you’re picky like me!

My newest gadgets. My Blackberry Curve, my Samsung flat screen, my new iMac at work, and at home and on-the-go, my Sony VAIO, which fits in my handbag.

Wallpaper* City Guides by Phaidon. They are small, chic, helpful, and geared to people who are interested in art, design, architecture, and food. My favorites are London, Amsterdam, and Paris.

Magenta and Black: "They are always my favorite colors. But currently at work, I like green and aubergine."