Monday, December 31, 2012


Photo courtesy of Rifle Paper Co.
As 2012 comes to an end, let's ring in a New Year toasting every friend. I wish you a fantastic 2013, filled with style, great design and interiors that fulfill your every dream.
Thank you for filling my 2012 with such wonderful opportunities. The ability to share new talent, uncover beautiful design finds, and celebrate the classics gives me great joy. Here's to more discovering and uncovering! To 2013, may exciting new design keep you keen.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Sending you sunny warm greetings from Palm Beach. On vacation. Back soon.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Wishing you a joyous Christmas and a wonderful day! Merry Merry!

Friday, December 21, 2012


One of my favorite aspects of gift giving is wrapping the presents. I love to make a pretty package. I am pretty sure I got this from my amazing Mom, who has great tips and tricks to wrap the ribbon so there is no bump on the underside where the ribbons cross, and so each folded corner is even. 
Too add to the gift, I like to stick a fresh sprig of holly, shiny red berries or some bells in with the bow and tag. It just makes the presentation more interesting, and memorable. Here are some favorite patterned papers and tags I have come across this season, both traditional and fun. Enjoy the last few days of frenetic shopping for last-minute gifts and wrap em up with your own individual flair.

Photo courtesy of Sugar Paper
State the obvious with vivid red script dons letterpress tags from LA-based Sugar Paper.

Photo courtesy of Mara Mi
Say thank you with sweet little gift labels from Mara Mi featuring winter themes.

Photo courtesy of CB2
Put your own stamp on it with Yellow Owl Workshop's Label Stamp Kit from CB2. It doesn't read holiday so you can use it beyond Christmas.

Photo courtesy of Lobird
This one is to give to all your friends that gallivant all over the global. From Lobird. Each of this company's designs are cuter than the next.

 Photo courtesy of Anthropologie
Against a pale green sky, reindeer and pine trees in a winter scene on hang tags from Anthropologie.

 Photo courtesy of Connor
When only the best will do, Connor New York has hang tags with red grosgrain ribbon and hand-engraved motifs.

 Photo courtesy of Target
A cheery Santa and scallop-edge Do Not Open set of tags from Target are just adorable.

Photo courtesy of Target
Wow, these colorful cuties are from Target- love. Zesty colors and modern motifs for the un-holiday color scheme.

Photo courtesy of Mr. Boddington
Mr. Boddington always gets it right, they make some of the best preppy meets quirky papers. Rudolf heads in a playful hand-drawn repeat float across the surface of It's Raining Reindeer paper.

 Photo courtesy of Container Store
My favorite wrap is from the Container Store, with geometric Santa's all in a row.

Photo courtesy of Paper Source
The animals go marching on in Holiday Animals Wrapping Paper available through Paper Source. Too cute for the little one's.

Photo courtesy of Paper Source
White berries with silver leaves against a red ground make this red Paper Source paper an elegant option.

Photo courtesy of Kate's Paperie
Modern and graphic, the wrapping paper of master printmaker Charles Lahti from Kate's Paperie pairs kraft paper brown and poppy red.

Photo courtesy of Container Store
In a multitude of hues, Christmas trees line the surface area of kraft paper from the Container Store.

 Photo courtesy of Container Store
For all of you with dogs, the Container Store has recycled paper with Chilly Dogs as reindeer waiting in line to step up to the hydrant.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Photos courtesy of Potter
With the launch of Carolyne Roehm's latest book with Clarkson Potter called Flowers, readers are in for a real hortucultural treat. Fourteen years after her first book, A Passion for Flowers, she is back to share more "floribundance", with a deeper look at her gardens through the seasons and what they yield at her hand. The over sized (gigantic in a fabulous way)  book is packed with lush imagery (over three hundred photos, most photographed by Roehm with the results of her Connecticut garden) captures flowers by bloom type showcasing them in a variety of exquisite arrangements.  Covering the botanical spectrum, the assortment of vibrant abundance covers daffodils, tulips, lilacs, lilly of the valley, peonies, irises, roses, clematis and dahlias, with a chapter dedicated to each. A lot of hard work and dedication goes into gardening and arranging, and it shows becoming a green thumb can yield some pretty spectacular results.

Taking a moment's pause from a flurry of book signings, I was able to get her thoughts on working with flowers and what is next for her.  Here is what Roehm shared with me:

What is the best go-to arrangement when you are having guests for dinner impromptu and they are coming over that evening?
My instant go to if I have unexpected guests is to place a small fern surrounded by four silver candlesticks, or a bowl of apples or lemons which I usually have in the house for this reason. Last resort if nothing is in the house is to place a pretty tureen in the middle of the table. A good reason to have one in your collections that works with your china.

What was the biggest challenge, which arrangement took tons of practice tries to get just right?
 I have been doing this for so many years that I do it instinctively ---I think the biggest challenge for those starting out is underestimating the number of flowers and filler they need. Also getting over their fear so many say I am afraid to start---but you must ---and make mistakes. A great way to learn is to get post cards from any art museum showing how painters put flowers together, the Dutch flower painters are wonderfully inspirational.

Tell those that don't know about the legendary floral artist you apprenticed with in Paris. Paint the picture of what that experience in France was like. Any secret tips to floral handling or treatment to share? 
Working for Henri Moulie was a great experience I had already done so much work with flowers but the single biggest thing I learned at the time was the use of "filler" material. You have to remember at that time in the mid 90's we had just a handful of really good florists, such as Ronaldo Maia, and Renny even in a city like NYC. At that time the average florists used leather fern, wax flower and status as fill to make bouquets look larger . In Paris they used everything, lemon leaves, camellia leaves, branches of raspberries and blackberries and blueberries things that we did not use at the time. They created beautiful still-lives. When Christian Tortu came to NYC at Takashimaya then we started to get the great change and influence of the French here in NYC.

What is your favorite cheap and cheerful resource for great vases or decorative elements? 
I like going to Pearl River for affordable vases.

What is your favorite arrangement in the book for color, scale, impact or ease?
My favorite arrangement is on page 205 because it represents a mix of things that I mentioned above: raspberries, viburnum berries, unripened baby apples all working together with garden roses to create a bouquet and a still life.

You have covered it all, just about. What is next for you in design?
Next in design well.... my big project is my restoring a Greek Revival house in Charleston and creating a "southern flower garden". After that I have a couple of more books I want to do.

A study in tulip variety featuring Roehm's favorites, red and whites.

Years of collecting china and vases yield a pretty astounding collection of tabletop patterns.  Lilacs and tulips in a full spectrum of purple hues sit in a beautiful glass goblet as a centerpiece.

In a garden setting, the table is set in monochromatic white featuring stark white porcelain and delicate lilly of the valley.

My favorite! An abundant arrangement of pink peonies in a green glass vase read early summer.

What is more gorgeous than a just clipped arrangement of fresh June blooms? Here, she has paired peonies, rhododendron, geraniums, yellow baptista, nepeta and salvia in a free flowing robust and nature-driven arrangement.

Roses in pale peach and yellow are paired with charming pansies, raspberries and miniature apples in a dynamic mix.

The power of a single color is shown with the palest of pink roses. Ahh, beauties.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


We all have those friends that never stay on the ground for too long. For those with serious wanderlust that can't seem to stay put, lavish them with travel appropriate accessories.  Satisfy their travel bug with the necessities that make their journey one to remember.  Adventure seekers and design divas alike will forge ahead in style this season.
 Photo courtesy of Mrs. Strong
 Getting a little tongue in cheek, the Don't Fuggedaboutit tablet notepad from Mrs. Strong will help the recipient  remember to tackle everything on their to do list before they step on the plane or train.
Everyone loves a crisp new tote to use while running errands. For the print and pattern fan, Katie Ridder's signature fabric and wallpaper prints now come on a cute tote bag. Order by emailing:

 Photo courtesy of T. Anthony
I need a new rolly bag in the worst way. The new carry-on Wheeled Duffle from T. Anthony fits in the overhead bin and is a nice addition to give to someone that has their luggage already. Mom, are you reading this?

Photo courtesy of Land's End
For the pal who is always en route to a picnic or party, the Lands End Wine Tote is just the thing.

Photo courtesy of Sister Parish
These little zippered pouches help keep the contents of a bag neat and tidy. Sister Parish printed fabric Cosmetic Bags come in a set of 3, and can keep your charger cords and passport separate and easy to access.

 Photo courtesy of Anya Hindmarch
A tiny bag that can serve double duty as a clutch and hold your camera, Anya Hindmarch's Courtney Moire Clutch will make interior designer friends happy with it's big ol' custom leather hanging tassel. 

Photo courtesy of Turkish T
Super lightweight and easy to pack, a robe is a travel must. Turkish-T's beautiful soft cotton Spa robes have a fringed hem and sleeve with spirited candy colored stripes. They can multi-task from breakfast to the beach.

Photo courtesy of Shop Bop
Mary Green's Sleeping Mask from Shop Bop will make for rested travelers.  Rested travelers are happy travelers.

Photo courtesy of Julia B.
It might surprise you how many people love to have the comforts of home while away. Long-haul flights and hotel rooms are just better with the addition of a pretty boudoir pillow.  Bring the comfort of your own bed with Julia B. baby pillows, she has a variety of  beautiful customized options.
 Photo courtesy of Saks
Ward off a chill with Queen of Cashmere's monogrammed travel throw with matching case. You never know when a bit of cashmere may come in handy.

Photo courtesy of Barneys
For those that never leave home without a signature scent, Frederic Malle's highly addictive Carnal Flower perfume comes in a portable spray (case not included).

Photo courtesy of mypressi
On the go and need a pick-me-up? Take the tiny well-designed My Pressi on Safari and always have your caffeine fix close at hand.

Get a game going anywhere. Play to win with Tory Burch's sleek Printed Portable Backgammon set.  Such a luxe version.

Photo courtesy of Momastore
Crisp sound, an FM Radio and alarm clock make Geneva's  bright red XS Sound System from Moma Store worth packing to travel.

Photo courtesy of Clare Vivier
A classic vide poche for a fraction of the Hermes prix, Clare Vivier's zesty red version is perfect and portable for keeping jewelry and other lotions and potions on the nightstand.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


You may know her wonderfully descriptive writing from her political coverage in Vogue, Southern life and culture for Garden and Gun Magazine, and more recently, home coverage for The Wall Street Journal.  Or, you may know her as the erudite foodie who often writes about her beloved New Orleans.  One of the most stylish women there is, Julia Reed, is also the creative director  and  Fetch editor for online shopping site Taigan, which gathers unique finds from specialized boutiques around the country.  
I had the great pleasure of sitting next to Greenville, Missisippi-raised Reed at a Garden and Gun dinner this fall, held at Bunny Williams' and John Rosselli's vast garden emporium, Treillage.  I went to school in Virginia, so I get the South a little bit. But Reed's South is a mystical, magical place, with heritage and special traditions that seem to have existed for ages. A total dynamo, she has nabbed interviews with so many remarkable people, is incredibly well-traveled, and is the most fun you could ever hope for in a dinner partner.  Every adventure has an unbelievable story to go along with it. With this diverse and interesting background, I knew she was a perfect gift guide candidate! I asked the New Orleans-based author of Ham Biscuits, Hostess Gowns and Other Southern Specialties to weigh in on her holiday traditions and go to gifts this year. 
Read on for Julia Reed's inspired selection:

When I moved to New Orleans, I decided it should be all about the citrus that is so plentiful this time of year. I have must hundreds of Meyer lemons in my pots outside, along with kumquats and Satsuma oranges, so I use them everywhere. I wire them to wreaths, I drape garland around the front door frame and affix clusters of the fruit in the corners, I swag garland up the banister and put more clusters between the swags. I use them on the dining table in bowls or arrangements (it’s gorgeous to mix stems of kumquats or even lemons and oranges with deep pink and yellow roses, hot pink and red camellias, branches with berries, whatever). On the table, I also mix the fruit with their silver counterparts from Creel and Gow, one of my very favorite stores in the world.

 Photo courtesy of Taigan
This year I added silver birds from William Wayne. The real birds eat the oranges right off the trees every year, 
so I figured they might as well keep company inside!

 This year I’m giving a big Christmas bash for my neighbors and I’m going to do an old-fashioned cocktail supper menu that is almost the exact same thing my mother use to serve at her own holiday parties: seafood Newburg in a chafing dish with toast points, spinach Madeleine, country ham with homemade hot mustard and biscuits, tenderloin with horseradish sauce and yeast rolls. I’ll pass things like sausage balls and olives wrapped in cheese pastry—the kind of stuff people secretly can’t get enough of. When my mother hosted her own party, she always wore a plaid hostess skirt with a satin blouse.

Photo courtesy of Taigan/Jules Reid
  I might just have to follow suit—I adore this skirt from Jules Reid on Taigan.

Photo courtesy of Taigan/Herend
On Christmas day, most of my family will be here and we’ll sit down with close friends for another ridiculously rich feast that will include a standing rib roast, scalloped oysters, and Charlotte Russe.
I usually use my raspberry Herend Chinese Bouquet plates because they look so pretty with all the citrus on table.

Always books. There’s a bookseller called Nick Harvill on Taigan that sells out-of-print and rare books and there’s always something spot on for everyone—I got my friend Jon Meacham (whose first bestseller was “Franklin and Winston”) a book by Winston Churchill about his own watercolors. I also love to give and get gorgeous coffee table books.

Photo courtesy of Taigan/Nests
 This book called “Nests: Fifty Nests and the Birds that Built Them” is right up my alley.

Great soap. My friends call me the soap fairy because I keep a stash on hand for last minute gifts. For special friends at Christmas, I try to find a pretty silver or antique porcelain dish to go with it. And everybody gets a bar or two in his or her stocking.

Photo courtesy of Taigan/Aidan Gill
For guys it’s always this fabulous Italian cypress-scented soap from Aidan Gill on Taigan.

Photo courtesy of St. James Cheese Company/Taigan
Stilton. We always have a wheel of Stilton after at least one sit-down holiday dinner. When I give it as a gift, I usually accompany it with a bottle of good Port or Madeira.  This is Colston Basset from the St. James Cheese Company.

Photo courtesy of Taigan/Notti Toffee
Yummy toffee. My mother is a toffee fanatic, so for years I stuck a handful of Heath bars in her stocking. Now I’ve graduated to this divine butterscotch toffee with pecans from Notti Tofee on Taigan. It’s a great stocking stuffer for everyone. Butterscotch Toffee with Nuts by Notti Tofee on Taigan.

Photo courtesy of Taigan/Hollyhock
Italian paper. I’m a paper freak, so I am forever giving notebooks, letter holders, or desk trays covered in pretty Italian paper. My friend Suzanne Rheinstein’s fabulous L.A. store Hollyhock has a great selection. I especially love this table-top-sized paper garden pavilion. It’s just big enough to fill with a treasure—a bird’s nest, a seashell, you name it.

Photo courtesy of Treillage
Pot of Paperwhites. This trellis cachepot from another of my favorite shops, Bunny Williams’ and John Rosselli’s Treillage, is the perfect thing to fill with my favorite Paperwhite Narcissus, but an an Amaryllis Lily or a Rosemary Topiary would be equally festive—and of the season.

Photo courtesy of Creel and Gow
Tiny mineral bowls. Creel and Gow is a magical place full of treasures, including these bowls that come in a couple of different sizes in everything from lapis and malachite to this lovely moss agate.

Photo courtesy of Creel and Gow
Silver citrus. I have long decorated during the holidays with Creel and Gow's silver fruit. When I give someone a piece, as in this tangerine, I usually tuck it into a crate of clementines. There’s also a silver walnut that you could include in a bag of the real thing. 

 Photo courtesy of MacMillan
If you need some great Southern food for your holiday table, Reed's book, Ham Biscuits, Hostess Gowns and Other Southern Specialties: An Entertaining Life, will help you create some holiday rituals of your own.