Thursday, June 14, 2007


Going to visit friends on long weekends is one of the joys of summer. Life is more relaxed in the warm weather and practical as well as beautiful gifts go a long way. So you don't arrive empty handed, here are some gifts to guarantee an invite next year:

Get to the farm stand in a flash with these Grocer Bike hot wheels from Anthropologie

Image Courtesy of Artel
Artel Glasses in cobalt with etched sea life are divine---the well depicted details are beautiful.Blue glasses with white china make for a fresh summery table. Available from Etabletop etabletop

Photo Courtesy of Ann Veronica
Going to Nantucket in the summer always meant lobsters from Sayle's Seafood. On the drive to the ferry we would take a detour to buy great canvas duffles at a Marblehead shop, Marblehead Handprints. The company, started by Molly Haley and Kathy Walters, closed its doors in 1992. Ann Veronica a high school student of Molly Haley, the founder, took what she learned and opened her own company in a similar artistic vein, utilizing the hand printing process. Her bag patterns include block printed summery motifs on durable canvas. Check out the selection at Ann Veronica

Linens add charm to a powder room and personality to a table, these embroidered florals have realistic detail. Delicate petals and leaves bring the flowers inside. From Edward Boutross

Image courtesy of Mrs. John L. Strong
The Encyclopedic House box series is everything one would want in a summer gift. A fresh beach scented candle in simple packaging, beautiful writing tablets the color of the Mediterranean ocean, and unique pencils fill a wooden box with a house that we all would love to visit! Pick up yours and look at the array of truly unique gifts at Mrs. John L. Strong

Liz Victory, the doyenne of high design shower curtains and rings has something else for us to love-- cosmetic bags of geometric patterns printed on cotton, available with a monogram from Periwinkle

Keep track of weekend plans to look forward to with this chandelier calendar from Good Tidings Designs available through Write on Sarasota available in August

Monogrammed plates with graphic David Hicks-inspired borders will make your hosts think of you whenever they use them. From Fontaine Maury. Orders take around 10 days to create plates

Paper shell boxes can conceal yummy Charbonell and Walker chocolates, a gift certificate to a favorite day spa or a suprise for the host. From France at Bell'Occhio, the most unique gem of a shop with fantastic french finds in San Francisco

A perfect catch fish box could hold plans of a fly fishing outing in Canada or river rafting in Colorado, also from Bell'Occhio

Candles for every room in the house! Packaged in thick glass tumblers with a floorplan detailing which scent is meant for what room, these candles can be a continuous gift with each visit. From Lafco

What do you bring that old friend with a brand new baby? This adorable seahorse blanket in sunburst orange, from Red Envelope

Sunday, June 3, 2007


So you found the perfect weathered shingle cottage to rent. The outside is charming---climbing roses on the freshly painted wood gate. However, the interior is bare and sad, but for the wide floorboards stained just the right shade of honey. What to do? The answer: throw pillows for the sofa, switch out the table lamps, put fresh cut peonies on the dining table, throw down a rug and change the art over the mantle.

Photo courtesy of All Posters
Fairfield Porter knew just how to capture a summer day--still, serene and idyllic. Get your own from All Posters

Photo Courtesy of Artaissance provides endless options to fill your walls, like Kikka Wild Mums#1 Item #: 1121614 by New York Botanical Garden at Artaissance

Surround yourselves with family, silho portraits from Cut Arts add graphic punch a la artist Kara Walker's work. Cut Arts

These prints from The Art Farmer reminds me of what art was like on Nantucket in the 70's block printed fresh, summer motifs hung unfamed are not fussy and look crisp The Art Farmer

Photo Courtesy of Flavor Paper
Children will love the pop art nature of this wild scratch and sniff wallpaper from Flavor Paper. My sticker collection used to be full of them, so this is a nice flashback to the early 80's. Get panels made with firm backing or frame them and hang them. Then at summer's end they can come with you for the playroom at home. Check out the other riot of color papers Flavor Paper

Photo Courtesy of Reflecting Designs
Bright white keeps things crisp, the convex mirror keeps it current. Great, surprisingly lightwight mirrors in a variety of frames from Reflecting Design

Photo Courtesy of Rugs Underfoot
Cotton rugs, like this Rugby Stripe Cotton Rug, can be thrown in the washings machine and look great. You won't mind sitting on this to play a heated Scrabble game. From Rugs Underfoot

Photo Courtesy of Curran Online
Easy to clean and nice to walk on, this Bolon Woven Vinyl rug from Curran Online is easy to bring home at summer's end

Cotton throw pillows with sealife bring some zest to the sofa. Shown here and below is a selection from Dermond Peterson

The detail they capture in the block printing is amazing

Don't get in a tangle with this guy! He looks pretty real...

Blue and white, one of the best loved color combinations, is a surefire way to bring summer inside. Also from DP

If natural curiousities are not for you, embroidery is another option. Ankasa, a company leading the way in fashion forward color palettes and appliques, takes Palm Beach brights and Lilly-like details to dress up your bed or bridgewater chair. Go to their site to see their incredible collection at Ankasa or, stop by their NEW store that just opened in New York City at 135 East 65th Street and get ready to be amazed. There will be more on this shop soon.

And finally, silk pillows from Thomas Paul. His patterns capture trends in the market, Ethnic global and stylized floral influences done right. Buy these from Pillows and Throws

Designer Eric Cohler did a stunning collection of lighting with Visual Comfort. This lamp will work with a sisal rug and is a nice addition to a home by the water. Available through Circa Lighting, where there is no shortage of chic offerings Circa Lighting

This lamp has strong geometric lines and the black finish keeps it visually interesting. Also from Orbit through Lighting Universe

Inspired by the simple lines of a Giacommeti, this lamp would work bedside or chairside. Also from Orbit.

Always a safe bet, the gourd lamp! With a good price and wide color choices this is the gourd to get. Find it at Gracious Home

The Silver Bamboo lamps from Jayson Home are a sleek and sophisticated option.

Long and lean, this lamp brings height to a sofa table available through Jayson Home

Saturday, June 2, 2007


Arrive in style with a new bag and towel you will not lose! Bright colors in the sun and sand will help you find your things amid a crowded summer beach!

Photo Courtesy of Hable Construction
Perfect items to hit the hot sand. Grab this Hable Construction canvas picnic tote from Hable Constructionand don't forget the sunblock!

For a splash resistant graphic version, Accessories Unlimited has this great pink tote that helps keep it all together, from Accessories Unlimited

This Pomegranate bag transitions well from city to country and anything with a bamboo motif looks great Pomegranate

Photo Courtesy of Tory Ltd
As close to Hermes as you can get, this turquoise and lavender stunner from Tory, ltd. is the one to get from Tory Ltd

Photo Courtesy of Madeline Weinrib
A wonderful charity tie in has been created by Madeline Weinrib. The removable tassel make washing a snap.Madeline Weinrib

Photo Courtesy of Deborah Sharpe
Deborah Sharpe Linens have the most stunning flourish and stripes embroidery motifs. Her covetable towels are just what one would expect from such a stylish one. This towel along with the best coral embroidered towel can be purchased at Deborah Sharpe Linens

Photo Courtesy of Toss Designs
Games people play, aside from Kadema! Backgammon set in a bright color combination from Toss Designs at Toss Designs


Summer entertaining should be first and foremost easy. When the weather is warm, move your entertaining outside. Keep it fun and light with bright melamine plates, paper napkins and plastic handled flatware. From the beach to the garden, these items bring style by the mile.

Photo Courtesy of The House and Garden Book if Interior Decoration

The best beach and garden umbrellas I have seen are from Le Dauphin their patterns are unlike anything else out there and the quality impeccable.


RED RED RED!! These gorgeous red metal painted pieces from O'brien Ironworks will look great with the green in the garden, Obrien Ironworks

Perfect pieces like this can go in a garden room or outside

The more the better! Why not upholster cushions in Chaya Gata, from China Seas and Alan Campbell through Quadrille ?

A perfect piece for a small garden would be the this Heirloom Tomato Loveseat with all the right curves from Anthropologie


A teak option from Design Workshop. This has a nice small scale and clean Regency lines.


Plastic plates never looked so good. One of the best designers doing melamine in great patterns is Jill Fenichell and her company is Bongenre. Coral is here to stay, looking fresh in turquoise, from Bongenre

Natural motifs, as on these artichoke plates, are great to give as summer house gifts From CaspariCoral and floral are everywhere this season, from Caspari

Brighton Pavillion adds a bit of brit to your table

A fresh take on traditional natural bamboo, this green resin flatware pattern is easy to wash and holds up to wear and tear! For purchase through Carolyne Roehm

Set up an outdoor bar on this divine plastic Spisani tray from one of my favorite companies, Home, James!. Available from Home, James!

Eat lobster by candlelight with these chinoiserie lanterns from Pier 1 @ Pier 1

Keep the iced tea on ice in this giant pineapple dispenser from Two's Company

Now, for the food. Dust off the old copies of Loaves and Fishes and Siver Palate Cookbooks, and make some chicken salad and poached salmon for a yummy summer lunch.