Friday, August 31, 2012


Wherever you are this weekend, I hope you drink up every last drop of summer goodness. Picnic, party, beach, BBQ or pool, you are sure to enjoy summer's last lovely moments with a bit of cool. Here are some ways to hang onto the feeling.

Party of 4! The grass is ready for you. Acme Party Box Company has a jaunty French straw basket ready to go with tablesettings for 4. Complete with a cool Weck glass carafe, Bistro goblets or Mason Jar glasses, 4 Weck glass jars for food, bamboo plates and cutlery, bamboo cheese board and red and white gingham cotton napkins, this is sure to be one good looking feast. Perfect for watching that end of summer concert or hitting Central Park for a little fun in the sun.

Photos courtesy of Acme
 Picnic time! 

Photo courtesy of Longstreet Collection
Popsicles on a hot day make everything ok. This Longstreet Collection print of watercolor popsicles in every flavor you can imagine keeps summer going.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


It's time to bid adieu to the seashore and seashells, but that doesn't mean you can't bring the seaside feeling inside. Karen Robertson's coastal chic  artistic endeavors never fail to surprise, so as you put away your flip flops and sarongs, you can still look at the art on your walls and feel as though your toes are in the sun - warmed sand.

 Karen Robertson's shell - encrusted Blue Limpet Shell Anchors framed artwork  come encased in acrylic or wood frames. There is an old - world charm to these clean and spare designs.

For a more is more effect, shell flourishes and curlicues. Like a neo - sailors valentine, The Shell Grotto collection includes detailed shell inlay in elaborate decorative patterns.  Utilizing the 18th Century art of mosaic shell patterning, the detail is incredible.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


If you love pagodas and bamboo like I do, then I have just the thing for you. I discovered Harrison Morgan's pretty jewelry collection recently.  Bridging the gap between super dressy and everyday go-to, his designs are inspired by classic vintage touches evolved for today. Things we love in interior decor, from bamboo and pagodas, to door knockers and semi-precious stones converge. Wearability and beautiful scale make his collection a hit, and can be worn with a crisp white shirt or to a cocktail party. Providing a bit of luxury and days-of-yore glamour, his designs are divine. To order, email, and their e-commerce will be up soon.
Have you started your Christmas list yet?

Photos courtesy of Harrison Morgan
Carnelian Agate Pagoda Drop Earrings

Carnelian Agate Links Necklace with Pagoda Drop

Carnelian Agate and Gold Doornocker Earrings

Carnelian Three Strand Necklace with Bamboo Clasp

Green Triple Strand Necklace with Bamboo Clasp

Coral Single Strand with Bamboo Clasp

Turquoise Single Strand Necklace with Bamboo Clasp

Turquoise Three Strand Necklace with Bamboo Clasp

Turquoise and Gold Arch Necklace

Sunburst Pendant Turquoise Brooch 

Sunburst Tiger Eys Brooch on Slide

Sunburst Tiger Eye Bracelet

Monday, August 27, 2012


Taking up an entire block of townhouses in Mayfair, Loulou's is the new darling on the London nightlife scene. The nightlife impresario extraordinaire and heir to the after-hours crown Robin Birley has done it again with Loulou's, his latest night/supper club.  Vanity Fair covered the opening party in their August issue, and interior designer and writer Rita Konig did an in-depth interview in the most recent issue of one of my favorite, hotly anticipated reads, the WSJ Magazine.  After the VF article, I was so taken with the lush decor, I emailed Rita to ask if she knew more about the interiors. Her thorough reporting provided me with every possible detail, giving me more than a glimpse of the layers upon layers of fabulousness.  Following in his late father Mark Birley's footsteps, Annabel's, which was named for his former wife Lady Annabel Goldsmith, the Birley son named his club after his cousin, French style doyenne, the late, YSL muse Loulou de la Falaise.  Like Annabel's, Loulou's, at least the nightclub part of it, is underground, so the dark warren of rooms had to be designed to captivate and sparkle aplenty. That they do, with the help of Turkish fashion designer turned interior stylist Rifat Ozbek.  The members, many of whom travel the world and seen it all, are not easy to impress, so no expense was spared with a staggering $50 million budget. The various spaces each have a distinctly different feeling, capturing a different mood, much like theatre sets. Layering rich jewel toned velvets, ethnic ikats, bold multi-colored stripes and animal prints with precious decorative details within glowing lacquer walls, the rooms are done in a shamelessly anti-prosperity measure, a more is more style.  Four dining rooms provide different sensibilities. Hanging artwork everywhere, a lot of it brought from Birley's home, the club merges the best Old British flourishes with a global handiwork.  Maybe that's the secret formula to the Birley's success- create a home away from home, where the dim lighting, luxe interiors and delicious food make you feel like you are escaping to another world.

Photo courtesy Jonathan Becker/Vanity Fair
 The Mayfair block of Hertford Street where Loulou's lives.

 Photo courtesy Jonathan Becker/Vanity Fair
A tiled courtyard, designed by garden designers Julian and Isabel Bannerman, known for their work at Prince of Wales' garden at Highgrove, with massive English stone architectural facades is a spot to dine outside.

Photo courtesy James Merrill/WSJ
Designer Rifat Ozbek became known in interiors with his silk Turkish ikat pillows from his London shop, Yastik.

Photo courtesy James Merrill/WSJ 
Upon entry downstairs, the main sitting area. Deco-inspired painted walls, multi-hued stripes and lush Prelle velvets add to the jewel box effect.

The upstairs entrance, with doors leading to the courtyard beyond. It looks more like a formal London home than a club.

Photo courtesy James Merrill/WSJ
A porcelain leopard keeps a watchful gaze at the corner of the bar.

 Photo courtesy Jonathan Becker/Vanity Fair
Lighting is everything. The grotto-like bar with a back wall of shells and  a surface with thinly veneered back - lit Agate slices.  is African meets Art Deco.

 Photo courtesy Jonathan Becker/Vanity Fair
Double doors lead out into the courtyard. A cozy seating area for hanging out.

 Photo courtesy Jonathan Becker/Vanity Fair
What would a bar be without a little taxidermy for exotic safari appeal?

 Photo courtesy Jonathan Becker/Vanity Fair
Off the courtyard, an airy white walled dining room with red velvet banquets and an elaborate Venetian mirror to nonchalantly capture who is dining nearby.

 Photo courtesy Jonathan Becker/Vanity Fair 
A striped and patterned curved settee fits into the stairwell corner.  Staggered sconces illuminate the cozy nook in flattering light.

  Photo courtesy Jonathan Becker/Vanity Fair
 Tiny footmen sitting on brackets have extended arms that hold the shades.

 Photo courtesy Jonathan Becker/Vanity Fair 
A nice spot for lunch, another dining room with plenty of light, and archways that existed when the space was used to store coal during the war. 

  Photo courtesy Jonathan Becker/Vanity Fair
 Gilding the lilly, another dining room with deep red walls, red Baroque sconces, and striped and boldly patterned curved banquets.

  Photo courtesy Jonathan Becker/Vanity Fair
A little tromp loeil goes a long way in the Yves Klein blue and green lacquered dining room with swag border and faux tortoise doorway. Chairs and pillows are upholstered in chartreuse and black silk cheetah velvet.

Photo courtesy James Merrill/WSJ
The screening room, with Michael S. Smith's  Jasper fabric upholstered on a sofa.

  Photo courtesy Jonathan Becker/Vanity Fair
The ladies' loo with an arched ceiling overhead in a vibrant red print.  Chic little sconces provide good "powder my nose" light.

Friday, August 24, 2012


With a few warm August days remaining, now is the time to thank those that hosted you for the weekend, or longer this summer. If you bring a darling gift with you or send it as a token of your appreciation, and your chances of getting invited back are increased. August Morgan, the vintage needlepoint pillow company run by Austin, Texas-based Kate Hersh, just introduced the most adorable linen cocktail napkins. Cocktail hour will never be the same again. 

Don't get overserved. These snails will remind you to take it slow.

In case your really thirsty.

Fish aren't the only ones who love the bubbly and the drink.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


I covered another round of Gift Show aisles today, where I uncovered an abundance of cheery new finds. Since summer is on the wane, I thought I would show a bit of beachy fashion and home accessories to help extend the joys of summer. Try to take full advantage of the casual living and entertaining till Labor Day.  You will find Three Islands clothing and Iomoi for Matouk additions fit right in with your few remaining lazy days.

 Photo courtesy of Tina Barney
 Looking for easy breezy clothing you want to wear every day of the week, all summer long? Look no further, Three Islands has you covered. A friend of mine, interior designer Amanda Essex, shared the collection with me awhile back.  I kept seeing the purple and white Julie Dress (pictured above)  this summer, and I always wondered where it was from.  With its little cap sleeve and a-line silhouette, it was just perfect to wear to lunch and over a bathing suit.  Not knowing it was Three Islands, I was excited to come across their booth at the show, and discover they made the elusive dress!  Rhode Island-based cousins Phil Barney  and Justin Goff took their love of the shore, casual lifestyle and Balinese prints and created the fresh clothing line. Their cotton graphic, block - printed batik patterns change seasonally, and beautifully capture the essence of chillaxing, at a price where you can feasibly pick up a few pieces. You have some time left to enjoy the summer in these resort basics, and they are sure to be the first things you pack for your next island getaway.

 The Julie Dress in coral

The Julie Dress in purple and white honeycomb

 Guys get to look casual cool too in long sleeve shirts that look great with a navy blazer or Nantucket Reds.
A tiny pink sunflower print on navy just shows real men do wear pink.

This cotton is the softest woven cotton, perfect for golf outings or BBQ's. Or grilling fish.

 Little ladies can also rock the look, with a mini shift dress in an alligator print. I mean, come on! So cute.

 Iomoi for Matouk debuted their second collection at the show. The small scale prints compliment the original collection perfectly. Mix and match to get the complete Iomoi effect.

 From bar towels to pillows, you can go blue/green, pink/orange, and pink/red and blue.

 All the pretty bar towels in Pom and Mr. Casual patterns all in a row...

 ... and the row goes on

 Mr. Casual gallivants around on his seahorse alone or with coral sprigs in blue and green. A gift set includes 4 in one of each pattern.

He also comes in pink and orange.

Photo courtesy of Tara Wilson
 Remember the Lucite photo cube your parents used to put pictures of you in? It's back! Tara Wilson Designs has brought back the classic 1970's icon, and you can relive the good ol' days with your kids pics.