Monday Funday: Could This Country/Pop Star be a Future Mrs. Kennedy?

Happy Monday Funday!
In our last Monday Funday post, we were treated to views of actress Reese Witherspoon’s lovely holiday ranch in Ojai, California. We also then asked you to name the  brokenhearted “Twilight” star who had been hiding out there while nursing his emotional wounds after his girlfriend/co-star was papped en flagrante with her married director.

Did any of our dear Stiletto-istas guess who we were talking about? I’m sure you did! The news coverage of that supposed scandal was so overwhelmingly RIDONCULOUS you could be forgiven for thinking that NOTHING, NADA, ZIPPO was going on in the world. No London Olympics, no war in Syria, no Mars landing, etc. Of course we were talking about...(drum roll)…ta-da! British actor and extremely crunchy man-child eye candy Robert Pattinson.

Did onscreen vampires ever have awesome hair, before Robert Pattinson came along? I don’t know if any of you young ducks out there are old enough to remember the film adaptation of Anne Rice’s novel, “Interview with a Vampire”, with Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt , Kirsten Dunst and Antonio Banderas all playing vampires…but from what I recall, with the exception of Ms. Dunst (who really looked like a vampire doll), everyone else who played a vampire in that movie all had atrocious hair! (Mr. Pattinson’s image courtesy of Vanity Fair)

Anyhoo, moving on to today’s Monday Funday!  We have a soft spot for this next story because, let’s admit it, The Bamboo Stiletto has had a lifelong girl-crush on the Kennedy family.  I mean, growing up, didn’t we all harbour a burning secret desire to marry John F. Kennedy, Jr.? Didn’t we all fantasize about calling the fabulous Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis our mother-in-law and dream of raiding her closet? Imagine having JFK as a father-in-law: AMAZEBALLS. And weren’t we all just simply devastated…and I truly mean, devastated (I still remember exactly where I was when I first heard the news)… when JFK Jr.’s plane crashed off Martha’s Vineyard, killing him, his wife and her sister? (Don’t know about you girls & gays but I was in mourning for weeks).

I remember one summer at grad school in New York City when I was bamboozled by my Manhattanite friends into going on a Cape Cod road trip. We took a boat out on the water in Hyannisport and while everyone onboard was excitedly trying to spot whales, I was busy with my binoculars trained ashore, trying to spot a Kennedy!

So recently, we couldn’t help the tug on our girlhood heart strings when we heard about the budding romance between this 22 year old country/pop singing superstar and Conor Kennedy, the 18 year old hunk-in-the-making son of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., a grandson of both RFK and JFK and whose mother, most tragically, had committed suicide this past May.

Since she presumably wants to spend time with her teenage boyfriend whose family famously summers at their celebrated beach compound in Hyannisport, Cape Cod, what does our young multi-awardwinning singer/songwriter do? Well, plunk down nearly US 5 million dollars to buy the beach house next door, of course!  I have to say…it makes you wonder, what is THAT like? To be that young and yet already be so accomplished, rich and famous, date a Kennedy scion and buy the beach house next door to their compound with your own money. To put it simply? AMAZEBALLS.

Let’s take a look at what 5 million smackeroos buys at the Cape, shall we? (all images courtesy of Hooked on Houses):

The beach house sits on over an acre of land and is within walking distance to the Kennedy family’s Hyannisport beach compound (right next door).
The house overlooks beautiful Nantucket Sound and is accessible via a private road with its own security during the summer season.
The house was built in 1928 and has 7 bedrooms and 5.5 baths. Comfort seems to be the guiding rule when it comes to its decor and furnishings. Love this cozy  library with amazing sea views.
A very blue dining room, to match that view!
Shabby chic bedroom. And simply divine bathroom below.

Spectacular sea views everywhere, huh? The house has a total floor area of a little over 400 square metres.
Adore this tiny sitting room with the spiral staircase!

Apparently, the house had been on the market for 4 years and had been originally priced at US 14 million dollars (!!!). Turns out our young country/pop star has got the real estate savvies, after snagging the property for only US 4.9 million. What a bargain!

Can you guess who this country/pop singing sweetheart could be? Oh yes, Stiletto-istas, I know you can! It’s Monday Funday so come on and play…let me know in the Comments below 🙂

An Instagram Morning at Casa Stiletto

When Instagram first became the latest social networking plaything, I remember registering for an account right away and then…nothing. For the longest time, my Instagram account languished, unused, while I stuck to my usual social networking tools.

This morning at Casa Stiletto, since I had no appointments to go to or assignments to work on for once, I thought it was the perfect time to play with Instagram! I was SO relieved to find how easy & user-friendly  this app is, even for a newbie like me. Here’s a look at some of the fun this morning at Casa Stiletto, as captured on Instagram:

The view from my home office window. Yes, Stiletto-istas, this is what I feast my eyes on while contemplating my thoughts for you & putting ’em down into words on my laptop. Sometimes if I’m lucky, there’s an occasional piece of eye candy of the male persuasion lounging around, for additional visual inspiration 🙂
A “cornerscape” in our foyer where we dump keys, the occasional pair of sunglasses & my beloved trusty tennis racquet. Little red table with door (used for storing slippers) is vintage, which I found dumped in the bin of my old apartment building in Manhattan; I rescued it & lugged it 5 flights of stairs to my walk-up. Silk lamp is from Saigon, Vietnam (where Herr Hubby used to live), the wooden warrior puppet with sword is from a market in Chiangmai, Thailand. His name is Krishna (we name all puppets, teddy bears & ceramic animals in Casa Stiletto) & he guards our foyer. Sandalwood chair with Chinese silk fabric & embroidered “good fortune” cushion from landlord.
I tried my hand at “tablescaping” in the dining room by putting together these random pieces from our former homes in China & the US: “his & hers” stainless steel espresso cups with porcelain saucers from American designer Ross McBride’s Anamorphic series, silk-screened floral Chinese tea pot, cup & saucer in one (all elements are separable) a gift from our life in Beijing, China, pair of inscribed ceramic-bottomed wine glasses from a divine shop in my old Upper West Side neighborhood in Manhattan: Our Name is Mud. The wine glasses remind us that:” Life’s too short for bad wine.” Round wooden tray from Ikea.
These inspirational words from our collection of fridge magnets are what greet us first thing in the morning when we grab our milk out of the fridge. Kinda like a real-life version of a Pinterest board! Aren’t they hella cute???
In the guestroom, a little Mexican hand-painted wooden chest which I picked up in a Manhattan flea market provides extra room for storage while some of our collection of culinary & beverage books make a nice prop for a hand-sketched fun cartoon of Herr Hubby & myself by a South Korean artist during a memorable “mini-moon” in Jeju Island.
Soft early morning light filters through the sheer white curtains framing a view of palm trees from the guestroom. Wooden sailboat, tiny lighthouse & cottage (partially seen) are mementos of a trip to the coastal town of Svenborg, Denmark while white cotton curtains, hand-embroidered with tiny flowers (can’t be seen clearly in photo) are from France, provided by our landlord.

Isn’t Instagram FUN, Stiletto-istas??? This is totally our latest addiction, haha! What about you, have you been Instagramming too?

If you’d like to share some fun Instagram-scapes of your interiors and home decorating efforts, I would LOVE to see them…and I’m sure your fellow Stiletto-istas will too!  I will make sure to ask your permission first before posting them online and give photo credits where it’s due. And don’t sweat it, if you would like to remain anonymous but would still love to share your Instagram-scapes,  you can do that too! We absolutely respect our readers’ privacy here at The Bamboo Stiletto. PLEASE, PLEASE, pretty, pretty please email The Bamboo Stiletto with your pics and privacy preferences at

My email inbox is quivering with anticipation! 🙂

The Far-Off Philippines — Dream Escapes


The Philippines as interior design Inspiration – from Apartment Therapy. Bamboo Stiletto hearts!


GASP! The Bamboo Stiletto’s favourite time sink – Apartment Therapy – has Filipino roots! Who knew? It was an absolutely delish surprise to see this post about design inspiration from the Philippines in our blog reader inbox this morning. We’re avid fans ourselves of the capiz shell pendant lamp and of course, the rattan “Voyage” bed by Kenneth Cobonpue, a super-talented young furniture designer from Cebu. Here’s a shout-out of pride for Kenneth and our hometown, y’all. Yay!!!


Jonesing for Jute Rugs

jute rugs work for every room

Lately at The Bamboo Stiletto, our home decorating has been so focused on our walls, framing prints, paintings and photos and preoccupied with the business of hanging them, that we’ve almost forgotten about our floors. Isn’t it easy for all of us to forget about our floors? We seldom let our gaze linger downwards when we’re home…

Yet, a lot of us may not realize that it is what we put (or do not put) on our floors that anchor and define the spaces we call our own, for living, dining, sleeping, playing, relaxing.

And speaking of floors – I’ve just been jonesing for jute rugs. Such a tropical touch! And a perfect accessory for bringing summer right into our homes – without breaking the bank. The golden brown colour and rough-hewn texture would be ideal with the smooth wooden floors of our living room  at home as well as with the dark brown slatted wood floors of our balcony. For the living room, I’d layer a massive jute rug underneath our smaller soft, shaggy, grey-brown carpet  (so that the carpet is framed by the rug) while letting the rug go solo to define a dining space in the balcony.

I played around with this morning to create this photo collage to show how jute rugs can work in just about every room in your home! Isn’t it fun???

For more photos and tips on how to enhance decorating with jute rugs, visit Tuvalu Home, a coastal-inspired decorating blog we were delighted to discover recently. Photo collage images courtesy of Tuvalu Home.

What about you – have you got the jones for jute rugs too?

Welcome to Monday Funday, 4th Edition!

It’s time for Monday Funday, Stiletto-istas, when The Bamboo Stiletto combines her obsessions about home beach houses/decor and celebrities/movies/TV all into a single fun post!

So, who are the lucky ducks who managed to guess the answer to last week’s Monday Funday pop quiz, about a rom-com starring Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson as a sparring odd couple inadvertently thrown together – and eventually falling in love – in her Hamptons beach house? A couple of you wrote in with the correct answer and it is, “Something’s Gotta Give”, of course! We love that movie and yes, we LOVE that beach house probably even more, hahaaa!

pop this DVD in, grab a bucket of popcorn and call me…maybe?

So for this week’s pop quiz…are you Stiletto-istas ready???

This Monday Funday is especially dedicated to the fashionistas out there: this world-renowned fashion designer has made his fame and fortune by making us all hanker for his all-American, now iconic preppy designs. Back when I was in high school, all I wanted to own was one of his polo shirts with its sought after logo on the upper left hand side of the chest. It was considered the epitome of preppy cool…(sigh! chuckle)…and all these years later, astoundingly, it still is!

From clothes, shoes and bags, perfumes and sportswear, his global fashion brand empire now includes bed and bath linens, home decor and accessories, all designed to inspire the all-American spirit and lifestyle. What’s made his success all the more remarkable is how, in spite of his fame, the spectacular homes around the world and his billions, this designer has remained very much a devoted family man, husband and father, still married to the same woman for 40 years and having raised three extremely goodlooking, well-adjusted and highly successful (in their own right) children, one of whom now works in his company. Are you starting to guess now who this designer could be?

Check out this designer’s spectacular beach house on the Caribbean island of Jamaica below – all images courtesy of Architectural Digest – and you may recognize some of his home fashion accessories in these photos:

touches of chinoiserie give the beach house an exotic Asian feel
high ceilings, an antique mirror & chandelier gives grandeur to this living room but the reading nook in the corner does make it warm & cozy
a closer look at the reading nook…sigh! makes you want to slip off those shoes & just curl up on thos pink & turquoise cushions, huh?
I have an ongoing obsession with directors’ chairs (I have 2 at home that I picked up at a New York flea market & which I love) and the ones in white canvas on this patio are just so beachy-chic!
just adore how tropical this bedroom looks, with the bamboo & wicker furnishings, white linens & mosquito net…according to the magazine, the floor matting is made of banana (!). reminds me of jute actually…
genius idea…of course a beach house has to have a screening room!!! the rich polished mahogany is gorgeous & will only look more beautiful with age…

Isn’t this beach house just to die for? What I’ve shown you here are interior shots of the main house of this designer’s beach holiday home compound…this family compound in Jamaica also has a stunning guest cottage, the interiors of which I’ll show you when we reveal the identity of this fashion designer.

TELL ME – can you guess who it is??? Let’s play Monday Funday, y’all!!!

Snuggle Up: 8 Cozy Cottage Bedrooms to Inspire You

summer lovin’…

Buenos dias, Stiletto-istas! I absolutely love lazy summer weekend mornings, waking up to the sound of birds chirping, soft breeze and gentle morning sunlight caressing the trees outside, cup of coffee in hand and having all the time in the world to browse through the latest on my blog’s Reader (which aggregates posts from blogs that I follow). This morning, this is what caught my eye…

It’s Monday Funday Time, 3rd Edition!

It’s Monday once again, our dear Stiletto-istas, and that means one thing: Monday Fundays! Where The Bamboo Stiletto combines her obsessions for to-die-for beach houses/holiday homes, addiction to the movies/TV and celebrity gossip, all into one single fun post!

Did you figure out the answer to last week’s Monday Funday pop quiz ? We asked for the name of the blonde Hollywood actress who became a rom-com star after headlining three of the late Nora Ehpron’s biggest blockbusters and whose envy-inducing Martha’s Vineyard beach house we managed to get a peek into, courtesy of Elle Decor. One of our readers wrote in with the correct answer…yay! yes, it’s Meg Ryan, of course!

Actress Meg Ryan relaxes outside her sophisticated yet homey beach house in Martha’s Vineyard

This week, we’re going to test your Hollywood movie trivia skills once again as we visit the set of one of The Bamboo Stiletto’s favourite Nancy Meyer films. Director Nancy Meyer seems to have specialized in making movies featuring production sets of the most gorgeous homes for us to drool over.

For instance, how many of you can remember the house from the Steve Martin classics “Father of the Bride” and its sequel “Father of the Bride II” when they added the baby’s nursery into the house? How about something more recent, like the house from that hilarious Meryl StreepAlec Baldwin starrer, “It’s Complicated“? I can’t remember the exact details of the movie or if Meryl Streep ended up with her rogue ex Alec Baldwin or promising new romance Steve Martin, but dear me in heaven, do I remember her beautiful Santa Barbara ranch-style Mediterranean!

In today’s Monday Funday, browse through the beautiful pics of this divine Hamptons beach house below – and tell me if you recognize which movie it comes from (all images courtesy of another The Bamboo Stiletto addiction, the Hooked on Houses blog):

the charming living room, so stylish it warranted a feature in “Architectural Digest” magazine
here’s another look at that living room, with lights dimmed during an evening storm
such a cozy dining room!
love, love, love this reading nook in the library…sail away, sail away, sail away…
THE showpiece in the house…I mean, this kitchen is just a stunning beaut!
the main character’s master bedroom, with the gorgeous bay windows framing her cute little home office, where she works as a writer. when Herr Hubby & I watched this movie and I saw this home office, I told him: “that’s what I want to do for the rest of my life, write and work from home…and I want a home office like that to do it in.” he patted my hand & said: “then you shall have it, my love.” hahahaaaa!

By now, you may have recognized the house already and may be racking your brains for the movie’s title. Soooooo…to make it easier, it is only the beginning of the week after all and we don’t want to frazzle you too much, here’s a photo of the movie’s main stars and a short plot synopsis below:

Divorced writer Diane Keaton and notorious playboy bachelor Jack Nicholson “Meet Cute” at her Hamptons beach house when he is invited to be her daughter’s weekend date then unexpectedly extends his visit due to a heart attack while on premises. He convalesces in her guestroom while daughter (the always cute Amanda Peet) heads back to Manhattan and his hunky heart specialist (played with heartthrob soulfulness by Keanu Reeves) seems to be showing special interest in the lady of the house. As Jack and Diane spend more time together in the house and on the beach while he recovers, all kinds of comical and romantic “complications ensue”, as they say in screenplay lingo.

Have you figured out the title of this romantic comedy yet??? Let us know…for our 3rd edition of Monday Fundays! C’mon, don’t be shy, we would LOVE to hear from you 🙂

Staycation? Escape with a Reading Nook at Home

grab a book, get comfy…and sail away, sail away, sail away…

Not all of us are fortunate enough to go away to the beach or travel on an exotic holiday this summer. The next best thing? Indulge in a “staycation” and escape by creating a cool, cozy reading nook right within your own home then curl up with your favourite summer read. Haven’t read it yet (and not sure if I actually will) but, “Fifty Shades of Grey”, anyone?

Here’s a few excellent practical tips from our favourite addiction – the Apartment Therapy blog – about how to create the ultimate summer escape in your own home:

Cool, Cozy Reading Nooks Creating an Escape at Home | Apartment Therapy.

Summer project, love it! Anyone doing this with me?

Eye Candy Friday, 2nd Edition: Cozy High at the Carmel Highlands, California

Welcome to our second edition of Eye Candy Fridays! Where The Bamboo Stiletto features real beach houses owned by real people and real holiday places at terrific destinations by the sea or up in the mountains we’d all love to visit – and not just the fantasy places that exist in the make-believe worlds of TV & the movies. So that we can all have something to dream about over the weekend!

Last week on Eye Candy Friday, we visited the beautiful cliffside beach home, a genuine labour of love, by a lovely Australian-Filipino couple in Bali, Indonesia. Today, let’s venture north all the way to northern California, over two hours’ drive from San Francisco and just a little way past the postcard-perfect, picturesque town of Carmel, to a cozy oceanfront cabin up in the dense, rugged hills of the Carmel Highlands, with staggering, jaw-dropping views of the coast of Big Sur.

I do love the uniquely northern California vibe of utilizing lots of natural wood and stones organic to the area, that palette of browns and greys so different from the tropical whites and bright colours that I’m used to – and also love – in Asia. There’s also something very soothing about that northern California palette and the roaring thunder of ocean waves nearby makes a nice rhythmic soundtrack.

After a delayed flight out of Shanghai, a missed trans-Pacific flight in Hong Kong followed by a sleepless night in San Francisco (that’s a whole another story altogether…), we were just dogbone-tired and weary. A real kick-ass, extra chilled vacation stay at this serene sanctuary of a cabin in a five-star resort overlooking the Pacific was exactly what we needed:

the cabin’s rustic-chic exterior
here it is from another angle, peeking out from the treetops
the private little pathway leading to the cabin

The cabin is part of the Park Hyatt Highlands Inn, Carmel and the one we stayed in – officially known as a One Bedroom Oceanfront – has two storeys. Accommodation is very residential in style (which we love) but also, as befitting a Park Hyatt, luxurious (we can’t complain!) Upon entering the cabin, one is immediately greeted by the kitchen to the side and a living area/dining area in front, with doors opening out to an oceanfront balcony.

the living area, awash in warm browns, apricot and honey hues and accents of blues which match the colour of the ocean outside the balcony windows…
that sun-bleached driftwood art installation in the cozy living area is pretty neat, isn’t it?
sweet loveseat…cuddle up!
really like the bleached wood nesting tables & the clear glass base lamp

A quick look at the compact yet functional kitchen:

confession: the kitchen didn’t see any action at all during our stay, with two award-winning gourmet restaurants within the resort and what with the sheer number of world-class restaurants in nearby Carmel as well as in Pebble Beach. we just couldn’t be persuaded to stay in.

And the staircase leading to the bedroom and bath downstairs:

The entire lower floor is devoted to a spacious bedroom and equally spacious adjoining bath – loved it!!! Tall windows on one side of the bedroom face the ocean. At night, all you can hear is the peaceful sound of ocean waves crashing against the cliffs, lulling you to blissful sleep:

sea, sky & sleep…what’s not to love?
wood paneled sliding doors can be closed to afford more privacy to the bathroom
a simple, elegant vanity & sink in the bathroom
the spacious bath & jacuzzi, wide enough for two

In the evenings, after one of those incredible dinners that seem to just proliferate in this part of the world, with the abundance of fresh, organic ingredients, amazing seafood and the California people’s inherent pride in and appreciation for good eating – it was always delightful to come back home to the cabin by the ocean and snuggle up to the warmth of this:

life’s simple pleasures

And simply glorious to wake up to the sight of this:

when nature just makes you catch your breath…

To book your own dream vacation at the Park Hyatt Highlands Inn, Carmel, browse the resort’s site here. Make sure to tell us about it!

The Monterey area of California remains one of The Bamboo Stiletto’s most favourite places in the world and from these photos, you can see one of the reasons why. Doesn’t this make you just want to hop onto a flight to San Francisco and drive to Carmel…like, NOW???

Thank God It’s Eye Candy Friday, everyone!

It’s Time for Monday Funday, 2nd Edition!

Hey gals & guys, welcome to the 2nd edition of Mondays Fundays – where The Bamboo Stiletto combines her obsessions with beach houses/holiday homes and the movies/TV and her guilty pleasure for celebrity gossip, all into one single fun post!

Last week’s Monday Funday was a huge success as I heard back from several readers in the Comments section. Yes, the correct answer for last week’s fun quiz was the TV show “Revenge” and apparently, a lot of you are as hopelessly hooked as I am! Now we all have to wait until summer is over and the new season debuts in the fall, before we can all get our “Revenge” fix again. Sigh! It’s going to be a looooong summer, dontcha think???

did you watch the season finale of “Revenge”? spoiler alert! do you think Victoria Grayson is dead? we hope not…we LOVE Madeleine Stowe!

This week, Monday Funday pays a tribute of sorts to one of The Bamboo Stiletto’s favourite writers, who, sadly for us, passed away at the age of 71 due to cancer last week. Nora Ephron was responsible for some of our favourite movies over the years, including “Sleepless in Seattle”, “You’ve Got Mail”, “Heartburn” and what I still consider to be the best romantic comedy of all time, “When Harry Met Sally”. Consider this monologue below and tell me that writing like THAT doesn’t make your heart melt:

I love that you get cold when it’s 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you’re looking at me like I’m nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it’s not because I’m lonely, and it’s not because it’s New Year’s Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible,” – Harry Burns (Billy Crystal), “When Harry Met Sally”, 1989

A Hollywood actress who worked in three of Nora Ephron’s biggest hits and who became known to all of us as the quintessential rom-com sweetheart of the ’90s, chose Martha’s Vineyard to be her holiday home base, where she could spend quality time with her two children. So, from the Hamptons last week, this week we’re off to Martha’s Vineyard, that absolutely picturesque holiday island off the coast of Massachussetts which makes me automatically think of sailboats, ice cream cones, picnic blankets and clambakes.  Not many people may know that the shark horror classic “Jaws” was filmed there (although the town called “Amity” in the film actually does not exist).

This star’s stylish yet homey holiday house was featured recently in Elle Decor and we can all swoon over the gorgeous rooms here:

the living room…lots of white on white, makes it look very clean & the tall windows, ceiling lighting feature & the fireplace!
hello, country style kitchen.check out that imposingly beautiful kitchen table. had me at hello…
don’t you love the A-shape sloping ceiling of the dining room? the metal letters spelling out “flowers” add a whimsical touch.
simplicity reigns in the all-white breakfast nook.
so many things to “heart” in the master bedroom, from the wooden storage chest at the foot of the bed, the ceiling, mirrors, to the bed itself. somehow nautical, reminded me of a very solid, comforting ship.
though she uses a lot of white-on-white treatments throughout the house, like in this guestroom, somehow it doesn’t make me feel cold. rather, I feel she succeeded in making it stylish yet homey.
i really like the vintage pendant lights…in fact, glance through all the pics & note how lighting fixtures are all unique & interesting.
and isn’t this bath simply divine??? with a bath like this, I would be soaking in there for hours, until I’ve turned into a prune!

That ends our tour of this Hollywood actress’ fabulous beach house in Martha’s Vineyard.

Here’s a couple more Monday Funday clues for you: she was married for a long time to actor Dennis Quaid whom she later divorced amidst rumours of an affair with a co-star, Australian actor Russell Crowe. Her signature tousled blonde locks, button nose, mega-watt smile and air of insecure vulnerability was what made all of us fall in love with her during three of her biggest film blockbuster romantic comedies, all written by Nora Ephron.

Can you guess the name of this Hollywood actress??? It’s Monday Funday so just have fun, let me know in the Comments below!