Art & Lifestyle

Home & Realty Magazine proudly introduces Hollywood’s Maya Spielman, artist and philanthropist as our new Art & Lifestyle Editor. Her new column “Art & Lifestyle” will focus on creative art in the home and philanthropic events. Maya has an extensive background in the creation of celebrity portraits and has been a major contributor to many non profit and charitable events.

Aug 292016
Realtor J.J. Ballesteros is producing a video called “Everything Laguna Beach.” 
The video is a “best of” piece highlighting many of the desirable aspects of the 
city bringing exposure to the many deserving businesses The project also aims to 
raise money for Laguna Beach non-profits. The main video is due out in November 
however please see the trailer at 
<> or on Facebook & Instagram @ Everything 
Laguna Beach. We hope you enjoy and share it.

Jul 122016

Firenze Number Nine SpaVia dei Conti is one of those dreamlike, narrow, gently curving streets in Florence’s Centro Storico. It is a compilation of outposts: a trattoria, a cafe, a warm and inviting vegan-ish restaurant, a vintage store, and a quintessential caffe. If we did not arrive by taxi at the exact address, we would have walked right by the nearly secretive Firenze Number Nine, an urban wellness hotel noted for its incredible fitness center and spa. Even after the first day, I found myself walking right by it. Swing open the wide glass door, step into the chic entrance room of the restored 17th century palace, and find yourself in the capable hands of Simone, an Yves Saint Laurent look-alike, complete with subdued manner, elegant eyewear, and a calming voice. The buzzy Centro Storico lay waiting for you on the other side of the glass, but for now, take a moment to re-center yourself inside this oasis in the heart of a sometimes frenzied city.

The staff are young, attentive, and excellently trained for their posts in luxury service. They speak in relaxed tones, they anticipate your every question and request, and due to the small and manageable size of the hotel, they give you their undivided attention. The mood is relaxed, however, and the hotel is set up so that guests feel as though they are at home with an added bonus of fantastic service. Wipe away the old-fashioned check-in desk; here is a more casual interaction, a concept that has become the norm in luxury hotels. I dare not use the word ‘lobby,’ which feels so dated and formal. Each time we returned to the property, we felt as though we were entering our own living room filled with friends and family.

Firenze Number Nine Spa Hotel RoomStudio Pieratteli Architecture designed the hotel in 2012 with their signature focus on materials, shapes, transparency, and lightness, which altogether create a feeling of floating in space. The decor juxtaposes elements of the renaissance with the uber contemporary and modern. The entrance rooms are adorned in neutral colors and classic Florentine materials including stone and marble, harmonized with flowers, accented with pops of orange, and furnished with comfortable seating draped in deep purple and cream velvets. Floor to ceiling bookcases offer guests reading material sorted by category: viaggia, l’arte, etc. It is the perfect room to decompress after hours on one’s feet or while waiting for a companion.

Firenze Number Nine SpaThe immaculate guest rooms are the most modern areas. Purple remains the accent color, with the rest of the room decorated in fresh, clean white. The bathrooms are a composition of dark gray tiles and white marble. If one is so lucky as to snag the penthouse suite, each traveler is rewarded with his or her own floor. Upstairs, the master bedroom is a spacious loft with a king size bed and an oversized bathroom. We quickly discovered that having separate bathrooms is truly the key to a successful vacation, (at the very least, separate sinks.)

Le Muse restaurant’s menu is a welcome respite from heavy Tuscan cooking, with innovative cuisine and even a few seafood options to choose from (seafood is quite difficult to find in Florence). The cocktails are an article in themselves; surely this one of the best cocktail bars in town with best mojito within a 100 mile radius. Non-alcoholic beverages are also worth raving about; the cappuccino at breakfast was outstanding. With the hotels’ focus on wellness, the organic and healthful breakfast items did not disappoint; a selection of seasonal fruit, yogurts, nuts, seeds, grains, and vegetable juices are always on offer, as well as plenty of savory items. The usual, ever so tempting homemade cakes and classic Florentine cornetti are omnipresent as well, certamente.

Firenze Number Nine SpaAttached to the hotel is an expansive fitness center with every modern exercise equipment that one would wish to find in a London or New York City fitness center, as well as yoga and pilates classes. The Arya Spa offers an endless array of organic, all natural treatments and massages, as well as basics like manicures and pedicures. Downstairs, guests can take advantage of Firenze Number Nine’s urban spa and fitness center. The exclusive wellness spa is complete with a sauna, a bio sauna, turkish bath, and whirlpool, perfect for rejuvenating weary feet and muscles after a day of wandering in the center.

Apr 272016
Happy Pessach

Hag Sameach, Happy Pessach! These days we celebrate Pessach, one of the most important events in Jewish belief. It started last week Friday evening with a big Dinner, celebrating the end of slavery from the Egyptians, leaving the Egyptian country towards Israel and the long march through the desert. The first evening, “Seder” is a [Continue reading…]

Sep 272015
The Jewish New Year

Rosh ha Shana  –  ראש שנה  The Jewish New Year – Rosh ha Shana This year the Jews in the world celebrated Rosh ha Shana on the 14th of September, which means that hopefully all, have had a great celebration dinner on 13th evening after sundown. New year started on that day and it was [Continue reading…]

Apr 102015
Revelation of Peace

I have been commissioned to re-paint my classic “Revelation of Peace” painting, an original oil painting comprised of 4 great men who each became icons of Peace in their own unique ways. Originally created in 2010 in collaboration with philanthropist Gilles Sensenbrenner, this painting was created to use in fundraising efforts for various charities worldwide. [Continue reading…]

Nov 182014
The Evolution of Pop Culture Icons

In my 22 year career as a commissioned “artist for hire” I’ve learned to truly understand the desire of my clientele for paintings of “Pop Culture Icons”. Legally bound not to print copies of celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe without paying hefty commissions, I’ve had to paint certain famous and recognizable images over and over [Continue reading…]

Jul 252014
Maya's Art & Lifestyle

As a celebrity portrait artist for the last 22 years I’ve raised over 100k towards various charities thus far from my art by partnering with various celebrities and philanthropic organizations. When a celebrity agrees to sign my painting, their signature added to the painting raises the value of the painting substantially thereby allowing us to [Continue reading…]