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Think Outside The Box

FRESHEN UP YOUR SPACE

The new year is full of opportunity to hit the refresh button on everything – your hair, wardrobe (Instagram!) and your space.

We’ve enlisted the help of some of our favourite style gurus to show how you can style your home or office space using our signature SAMANTHA WILLS, hand carved wooden boxes.

@thessy_saboskirt

  

Add some greenery to your desk with the wooden box - it's the perfect combination!

@allymayhayward

Feeling inspired? Perfect! For a limited time, we are gifting a FREE carved wooden cuff box with all orders over $100, so you can let your inner stylist run wild!

SHOP NOW

SW x NESPRESSO

BEHIND THE SCENES

Recently, Samantha sat down with the team at Nespresso to chat about her day to day lifestyle, and how she incorporates Nespresso into her ever-changing routine. Watch below as she discusses on film her favourite daily pleasures, things that inspire her and how she combats the mundane, plus gain a look behind the scenes of the shoot at SW HQ in Alexandria, NSW.

#SWxNespresso #NespressoMoments

How do you start each day?

I like to start the day with a shot of Nespresso Dharkan. I’ve heard that Victoria Beckham has a double shot espresso before she jumps on the treadmill each morning and if it’s good enough for Posh, it’s good enough for me!

You have said that you aim to mix up each day and avoid getting stuck in a rut. How do you do this daily?

It is making those little changes to your daily routine that can have big impacts on your life. It can be as simple as adding some variety to your morning coffee routine. For years, I drank Rosabaya de Colombia only, but when I ran out recently, I discovered how much I like Dharkan, (the only sleeve I had left…desperate times!). So now, I have Dharkan before my morning workout and save Rosabaya de Colombia for the afternoon.

And even though I work out every single day, no workout is ever the same. Whether it’s a walk along Bondi to Bronte and ocean swim in Sydney or a gym session and Soul Cycle class in NYC, I vary the intensity and workout every day. And earlier this year when I was finding it hard to push myself, I decided to sign up for the New York Marathon, which gave me a renewed sense of purpose. I’m running for the charity, RUN FOR KIDS, and then my daily routine took a turn had a new sense of purpose.

Life is often about the small pleasures of each day. What are some of the things that always put a smile on your face?

I’m a big believer in living in the moment. There have been times in my life when I have been too consumed by thinking about the future, but then I thought to myself, this is no way to live! That’s why, last year I had the words ‘Belle Vie’ – French for Beautiful Life – tattooed on my arm as a reminder for me to enjoy each day and the small moments that make it beautiful.

You spend long hours in your studio working on new collections and running the Samantha Wills Foundation. How do you keep your workspace exciting? 

I think the environment around us has a big impact on our productivity. To keep the creative juices flowing I like to smell fresh greenery, which I place in vases around the studio. I like to feel the sunlight on my skin, so I try and position myself near a window. I also look forward to sitting down with a cup of Nespresso coffee. 

What inspires you?

Travel is hugely important to me. In the last five years, I have taken over 70 international flights, many of which have been from New York to Sydney and back again. Last year, I saw an opening in my calendar and decided to book an adventure into the Costa Rican jungle. This type of travel was slightly out of my comfort zone, which made it all the more memorable to me, and the experiences I had are some of the most enjoyable and treasured moments. I was also able to acquire a new appreciation for my favourite Rosabaya Grands Crus, which are made in Costa Rica. 

 

DESTINATION: LA

HOTEL CALIFORNIA

I am spending a lot of time West Coast of late, and when your life leans towards living out of a suitcase, I think it is important to find places that feel like a home away from home. You know, where you can hang your clothes, make a makeshift desk on a dining table, know exactly where to get good coffee…. My West Coast haven is The Rose Hotel in Venice Beach. While it is described as a boutique hotel on travel blogs, it is more like a bohemian luxe apartment, that happens to be a stone's throw from Venice Beach. 

The building was built in the very early 1900’s & rumour has it that it was built as brothel for the romps of Abbott Kinney… Rumour ALSO has it that Jim Morrison & Charlie Chaplin also frequented the establishment… It feels full of history, but with surf luxe refurbishments, that are done in a beautifully understated way. It has the same feel as Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont but by the beach.

If you are West Coast bound & are on the beach side of town, here are my suggestions on what to do while you are there….

SUNSET: No matter what you have planned for the day, if you are on the West Coast you should NEVER miss a sunset. There are a heap of bars on the Venice boardwalk that you can catch it from, or if you have a room on the upstairs area of The Rose, grab a bottle of rosé, and kick back on the balcony.

ICE CREAM: I gave ‘ice cream’ its own category, because well, it’s the best ice cream I have ever tasted. Salt + Straw on Abbott Kinney. I recommend the Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbon + the Honey Lavender double scoop in a waffle cone. But hey, that’s just me. 

EAT: Rose Cafe (it's on Rose Ave, same as the hotel). Gjelina – still a favourite!, and whatever you do, DO NOT leave town without eating at SUGARFISH (Santa Monica). Order the Trust Me box, and ask no questions.

RENT: Bikes and ride along the boardwalk.

SHOP: On Abbot Kinney, it will take you the better part of a day to do it, there is that much to take in!

While I was in LA for work, I always make a point of extending where possibly for play - Thankyou to my beautiful girlfriends who I was lucky enough to hang out with & laughed til we cried! Side note; It’s also great to have such incredibly creative friends – When there is a photographer, hair & makeup artist & stylist in the group, every afternoon becomes wine, Beyoncé & impromptu photo shoots. The best example of this can be seen on @AliMitton’s Insta feed – censored by yours truly.

Blue Jean baby, LA lady. – SWx

Photography By: Ali Mitton

(Interior shots: via The Rose Hotel)

Styling By: Conor Graham

Hair & Makeup: Stoj Bulic

Wine Pouring: Karissa Fanning

SAMANTHA WILLS Jewellery Featured has just been added to The Waiting List; Available July 2016 

Clothing is Stylists Own. 

DESTINATION: FRENCH ALPS

LES CHALETS CLUB MED DE VALMOREL

I am thrilled to be partnering with Club Med again, showcasing all of my favorite things in their Exclusive Collection of Villas & Chalets, in some of the most beautiful locations in the world.

french alps 

Last year, I showed you all my favorite things from paradise at the The Finolhu Villas in the Maldives and this year I am beyond excited to take you to a true winter wonderland at The Valmorel Chalets, in the stunning French Alps.

 french alps

I grew up in a small beach town in Australia, and now living in NYC, I get to experience snow (still a novelty to me!) every winter… But nothing prepares you for the breathtaking beauty of the Alps. It. Is. Truly. Breathtaking.

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LUXURY

At Club Med Valmorel, there are accommodation options spanning all budgets. The Chalets are the ultimate luxury option & sit at the top of the property…. Annnnnnnd when you check into your Chalet, you get your very own butler. I’m not talking about a virtual-butler-app-push-a-button-to-get-room-service type of butler. I am talking about a real life butler, who will unpack your bags when you arrive so you instantly feel at home, will be upstairs in your Chalet’s kitchen when you wake up, with the open fire place roaring & cooking your whatever you would like for breakfast, and have your favorite type of Nespresso coffee steaming hot for you to enjoy before heading out for the day. That same butler will also be back at your chalet at your specified time in the afternoon to prepare you the most delicious afternoon tea, a different delicious every day from a local patisserie, that you enjoy by your fire place after your day of alpine adventuring (or spa treatments!). Then when you are out at dinner, your chalet will be magically turned into a haven of relaxation ready for slumber, with nothing left for you to do but to slip into your turned down bed, enjoy the gourmet chocolate on your pillow, and dream away on your bed that feels like a cloud, so you are rested to do it all over again the next day. THAT type of butler.

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CUISINE + COCKTAILS

Club Med is known for its all inclusive holidays. The Chalets at Valmorel are obviously included in this, however their location on the property sits at the top of the resort, where your private balcony looks down over all the happenings. Like the butler privilege, there is also a driver on call, to whizz you back & fourth from the village, where you enjoy an open bar & all dining, inclusive in your experience. In full disclosure, the word ‘buffet’ scares me. To me, it is reminiscent of primary school birthday parties at Pizza Hut… Trays of cold pizza, wilted salad & as much soft serve ice-cream you could physically whip into your bowl…. So I am going to refrain from using the dreaded ‘B’ word, and try to explain to you the luxury that is Club Med Valmorels all inclusive dining; Imagine a collective little gourmet restaurants… Italian, Japanese, Seafood, Home Style Roast, French, a salad & juice bar… A bakery, a patisserie & a locally, hand made ice-cream parlour. Now imagine all these little gourmet restaurants where in a large room, like individual pop-up spaces, each with their own team of chefs, preparing the food there in front you, fresh fish going from grill to you plate, the cheese on the pizza’s bubbling as they are taken straight out of the oven, French baguettes at the bakery so addictive you are convinced they must contain something illegal, and a patisserie offering that is more like edible art…. And no soft serve here; choose from 8 flavors & the hand made ice-cream is served to you parlor style, by an ice cream connoisseur…. What you CAN do for yourself (I mean, word from the wise; it is VERY hard to get back into normal life after spending a week in this heavenly experience!) is scoop your own warm chocolate from the fondue fountain (it alternates between milk & white chocolate) to drizzle over your ice cream…. Me? I’m a Mint-Choc-Chip-with-warm-milk-chocolate-topping kinda gal.

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So that gives you an idea of the type of luxury you will experience by checking into the Club Med Valmorel Chalets, but I have two things that I love even more that I want to share with you. If you’re like me – you have a bucket list. My current bucket list is made up of incredible experiences, Scuba dive with manta rays, wake up in one of those bungalows that stretch out over aqua waters, like the ones I had seen on pinterest a million times over, learn to snowboard, have lunch on the top of a snow covered mountain in the French Alps, with views to mountain tops in Italy….You get the drift. Sometimes you don’t know where to start with your bucket list items, and find yourself wishing you had someone just to tell you where to go, what to do, and how to do it. The experience of Club Med is that for me, and should you wish to do it in a 5 star way; Their Exclusive Collection of Villas & Chalets, allow you to do so in the utmost luxury.

 french alps

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

The second thing, is how truly, genuinely warm & lovely the Club Med team are. I am lucky enough to travel a lot for work & pleasure, and from all my travels, the hospitality & focus on people is incomparable to how the team at Club Med treats their guests. Bear with me as I jump out of vacation-mode & quickly defer to business mode. I have a business, I am involved in a few businesses, I love learning about business. One of my favorite areas to learn more about how other businesses do things, is in their customer engagement focus, strategy & above all, mindset. On this trip, in speaking with some of the Club Med team, I learnt that everyone who works for Club Med signs a contract that states that they will do everything they can to ensure the guests are having an awesome time, to make sure the guests are smiling. How incredible is that? The second thing I thought was very cool, was how the company structures their reporting pyramid… From the majority of their team (and it’s a big one!), to their managers, to senior management who report into the executive manager of the entire resort…. Then at the top of the pyramid; Us. The Customers. With that focus on customer experience, in addition to having experienced 5 star luxury, having enjoyed some amazing cuisines, wine & cocktails, ticking some breath taking stuff off my bucket list (snowboarding down from over 2000ft in the French Alps!? Tick!) You leave with a full heart & new friends, both other guests at the resort, & also members the Club Med team. It’s hard to explain – But when you experience it, you will know exactly what I mean… And if you are Les Chalets Club Med de Valmorel bound, be sure to say hello to my new friends there; Laura & Thibault – Who made our stay so spectacularly incredible.

 french alps

 

BUCKET LIST

Not a skier or snowboarder…. Neither was I! But I wanted to be! Snowboarding was one of those things I’d always said I wanted to do, and what cooler place to learn the sport then in the French Alps?! So with 5 private lessons booked, the fear of god, and determination to be able to at the very least snowboard down a kiddies slope, I put my big girl snow pants on, and met my instructor Laurent (picture; a French Justin Timberlake. I know, poor me!) for him to impart his 16 years of ski / snow board instructor knowledge to me.

 french alps

My first lesson started on the kids slope; The Piou Piou (meaning tiny bird).  There is NOTHING tiny about this bird, I am 5’10” in the shade, and if the fear on my face was not an indicator, my finger nails digging into his arm where. Laurent assured me, that in the coming days we would be up there *points to French Alps glacial sized mountain. I said he was kind to say such lies, and we got to work.

 french alps

And guess what, by day 3 we were up 2000ft on the mountain! My dismounts from certain chair lifts required just as much work as my fledging Olympic snowboarding career, but it was INCREDIBLE! Flying (sometimes falling) down the mountain, surfing on snow, with pine tree branches with white dustings, and the world famous Mont Blanc mountain in view. It was so surreal. No words I find will do it justice. On my last lesson on day 5, Laurent had me speeding down the mountain, and on the final run, pointed over to what now looked like a flat plateau of snow, the Piou Piou. It was an incredible feeling, to think on five days before that was my starting ground. Like all graduates of the Piou Piou, admittedly most of them where aged under 5 years old, Laurent gave me my own Piou Piou medal as a symbol of how far I had come in only a few days. I pinned on the inside of my jacket, and while going up in the lift solo the next day, I took a glance at and felt pretty damn good.

french alps

While I may not make the next Olympic team, I definitely will now be snowboarding at any chance I get, plus its one more thing I can tick off my bucket list. With the gratitude to Laurent for his patience, & empathy… And for not laughing (on the outside) when I stacked it off the chair lift. J

french alps 

TAKE THE ADVENTURE

SO there are my favorite things & recommendations from my time at Les Chalets Club Med de Valmorel.  If you are wanting a winter wonderland adventure, and granted there are many places in the world where snow falls, but at Club Med Valmorel you get to experience all these things in the French Alps (And as the ancient French proverb goes, Snowboard & Ski instructors in the French Alps are all French Gods of the snow (read; Really Hot). So whether you want to tick some alpine adventuring off your bucket list, experience pure luxury by the fire place as the snow falls outside, eat gourmet cheese & the best breads you will ever taste with every meal, enjoy wine on a snowy mountain top whilst overlooking the Mont Blanc (You can do this even if you are not a skier / snowboarder), or if you simply want to road test a new treatment on the spa menu daily & have the best seat in the house to watch the final runs of the day; the outdoor Jacuzzi…. Then The Valmorel Chalets, in the stunning French Alps are waiting for you. – SWx

french alps

See more of the #ClubMed experience on Instagram @ClubMed @ClubMedValmorel

 

 

SHOP SAMANTHA'S HOME

SW HOMEWARES

The new SW Homewares collection has just launched online, offering a unique composition of the fusion between bohemian elements and luxe finishes. Comprised of natural crystal agate bookends, carved wooden photo frames, raw cut crystals and coasters dipped in sparkling metals, the collection draws on the natural occurrences of each stone. Shop Samantha's favourites from the images below, and see how she mixes them with luxe bohemian elements in her NYC apartment.

 

SHOP CRYSTALS

SHOP WHITE MARBLE COASTERS

SHOP CRYSTALS

SHOP WHITE MARBLE COASTERS

SHOP WHITE MARBLE COASTERS

SHOP WHITE MARBLE COASTERS

SHOP AGATE BOOKENDS

SHOP AGATE BOOKENDS

SHOP BLACK MARBLE COASTERS

Add a Comment Comments | Posted in SW Blog Interiors + Lifestyle By Samantha Wills

SPRING RACING

FASHIONS ON THE FIELD

One of the thousand perks of my job as Creative Director of Australia’s favourite house of sparkling, is that I get to be involved in the fun that is the fashion around Spring racing time! These last two weeks have been pretty manic, but so much fun! As it is Melbourne Cup Day today in Australia, here is a recap of my favourite looks from this year's spring racing carnival, all styled to perfection by Yellowglen Fashion Ambassador, Lana Wilkinson

My favourite look was Caulfield Cup day, wearing Maticevski! But my favorite millinery was on Derby Day, as this incredible piece from Danica Erard was made from Yellowglen - no joke! The fabric used in the golden piece was made by a company called Nanollose from sustainable fabric, created from 3 bottles of Yellowglen sparkling! It took a few weeks to create & then was made into this magical headpiece by Danica. -SWx

IMAGE 1 - Dress: Toni Maticevski / Headpiece: Suzy O'Rourke

IMAGE 2 - Samantha Wills FINE Jewels, from the upcoming 'Halcyon' collection

IMAGE 3 - Top & Skirt: Mossman Clothing

IMAGE 4 - Dress: Piper Lane / Headpiece: Studio Aniss

IMAGE 5 - Dress: Toni Maticevski / Headpiece: Suzy O'Rourke

IMAGE 6 - Dress: Misha Collection / Headpiece: DeMillinery & Nanollose

IMAGE 7 - Dress: Toni Maticevski / Headpiece: Suzy O'Rourke

IMAGE 8 (Samantha) - Top & Skirt: Mossman Clothing

IMAGE 9 - Dress: Piper Lane / Headpiece: Studio Aniss

IMAGE 10 - Clutch & Shoes: YSL / Headpiece: DeMillinery & Nanollose

IMAGE 11 - Dress: Carla Zampatti

IMAGE 12: Dress: Toni Maticevski / Headpiece: Suzy O'Rourke

IMAGE 13: Dress: Sass & Bide

SAMANTHA WILLS SHOWCASE EVENT

#SWSHOWCASE

The #SWShowcase event was hosted by Samantha last Tuesday evening, in true luxe bohemian style. Celebrating of the arrival of stunning fresh water pearls into our current FINE collection Pania, and our Winter FINE collection Halcyon (launching in Feb’16).

Held at a stunning three-storey residence in Gordons Bay through Luxe Houses, the tone was set for the evening with the sprawling views of oceanic perfection and the architecturally acclaimed & sophisticated design of the luxurious property. Always sparkling, Samantha wore a nautical inspired Maurie & Eve ensemble that tied perfectly with her fresh water pearl pieces, and the exceptionally picturesque backdrop of the ocean views.

 All guests celebrated with a glass of Yellowglen sparkling in hand, indulging in some delicious canapés and seafood from Gallivant, and surrounded by an abundance of white roses and softly gleaming pieces from our FINE offering. Guests included Gritty Pretty Editor & Publisher Eleanor Pendleton, Sophie Faulkner, Aly Carey from Substance Blog, Vogue, Emma Lung, Demi Harman, Alec Snow, and Helen from GypsyLovinLight.

 Shop the collection HERE.

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PHOTOS BY SCOTT EHLER

CELEBRATIONS

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BABY!

Celebrating the day of birth, of the wildest soul I know. - SWx

New York City, Images by George Elder

Happy happy oh my friend
Blow out candles once again
Leave the presents all inside
Take my hand and let's take a ride

Add a Comment Comments | Posted in Interiors + Lifestyle By Samantha Wills
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