Thursday, September 27, 2007


Your coffee table will certainly be lacking without these books on top of it:
Below, my list of key tomes to add to your existing selection that probably includes I Married Adventure, Billy Baldwin Decorates, various David Hicks, Diana Vreeland, Tiffany Tablesettings, Cecil Beaton, Ludwig Bemelmans, Horst P. Horst, Dorothy Rodgers and other stylish reads...


Photo Courtesy of Harry N. Abrams
Bunny Williams welcomes us into her world yet again with stunning photos of her home in the Dominican Republic, New York and Connecticut. Her graceful, warm and comforting style are reflected in photos that capture the essence of her successful look. Reflecting on her design over the past thirty years, mixed with iconic projects, this book shows how to plan as well as how to enjoy your home. Buy it early at Harry N. Abrams Books

Photo Courtesy of Rizzoli
Paint and Paper explores wall space as the decorative surface everything revolves around. Moody photography styled in a British casual way make you feel as though you are there. Moments captured show the subtleties of color and how they enliven a space and set the tone. From Rizzoli in October.

Photo Courtesy of Gibbs-Smith
Farrow and Ball: The Art of Color looks at designers use of British company F and B's superior quality paints and wallcoverings. Peek inside stunning residences designed by Emma Jane Pilkington, Leta Austin Foster and her daughter Sallie Giordano, and Kim Alexandriuk among others. The architectural details, charm and ultimately comfortable living spaces in the beautifully photographed images impart the depth and range of the paint and wallcovering line that has legions of fans. Their colors names are true Britishisms: how can you not love Library Red and Mouse's Back Grey?

Photo Courtesy of Gibbs-Smith
The perfect white paint when paired with colorful striped fabric makes a clean statement in a Virginia project by Barry Dixon. White is complex--finding the perfect shade for the light in the room and the fabric scheme takes sampling.

Photo Courtesy of Harper Collins Books
AvroKo, one of the leading restaurant design firms known for their quirky mix takes us through their projects. They champion raw woods, re-purposed material and found objects. They are all about the smallest details. Their offbeat touch comes across in the special touches. From stacks of specially packaged mini hotel soups that run up the wall in the bathroom at Public to lined up jars of honey at the entrance to Quality Meats, you get the idea. Grab it when it hits January 2, 2008 on Harper Collins.

Photo Courtesy of Harry N. Abrams Books
My favorite series continues! Lifestyle shots from life of leisure master Slim Aarons has a third book on the way! Perfect your languorous poolside lean with this inspiration. Due out in November. Get in line on ---Harry N. Abrams Books.

Photo Courtesy of Harry N. Abrams Books
House and Garden's design director Wendy Goodman and the fabulous Hutton Wilkinson delve into the rooms that inspire and the man that created them--Tony Duquette. Her upcoming tome, takes us inside Dawnridge, the fantastical home and gardens in LA's Bel Air. The fantastical world of layered embellishment and adornment mixed with animal prints and jewel tones are finally chronicled comprehensively. Look out for the super-luxe version encased in a special box at Bergdorf Goodman around the holidays. There will also be a specially boxed version like the one in the photo. I wait with bated breath---Harry N. Abrams Books. For a sneak peak, check out 1st Dibs Required Reading editorial!

Photo Courtesy of Rizzoli
Briger designs is known for their fantastic tole accessories, colorful painted furniture in poppy combinations that are Palm Beach chic. Their furnishings have also decorated J.McLaughlin stores. Their work is one worth taking a closer look at, to get their take on clean arrangements, calm neutral, livable palettes mixed with good antiques. It hits in October from Rizzoli

For an advanced look between the covers:

Photos Courtesy of Rizzoli

Photo Courtesy of Gibbs-Smith
Kathryn M. Ireland knows a thing or two about capturing the essence of living in a relaxed, comfortable way. This Brit has spends summers in her stone farmhouse in Toulouse France. Years ago, she made her mark on retail with a charming shop in Santa Monica where stocked home accessories from abroad. Then came her fabric lines with printed paisleys, ticking stripes and ethnic, batik and toile patterns. Her palette is full of easy to live with colors and her interiors create cozy spaces with those french blue, butter yellow and soft red schemes. Her interior design know-how is captured in this book. Another October launch, get it at Gibbs-Smith.

Photo Courtesy of Gibbs-Smith
Kathryn's deft mix of stripes and suzani prints bring this room to life. With pattern, a little goes a long way.

Photo Courtesy of Rizzoli
A birds eye view into the way designers live, this book will become a must have. A collaborative effort between a photog husband and designer wife, Tim Street-Porter and Annie Kelly are a one two punch. They have gathered stunning interiors from Marian McEvoy, Peter Dunham (of textile design and interiors), and Martynus-Tripp,Inc. to name a few...another winner from Rizzoli

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


To suit your fancy, these Cecil Beaton fabrics designs have been reworked by Beaudesert Fabrics. They make their worldwide debut this month at Decorex, the great fabric showcase in London. Let's hope they make it The painterly naive florals and stripes capture Beaton's love of roses. They were originally designed in 1948 and are so today in their youthful exuberance. To think that one can own a part of Cecil's legacy!!!

Photos Courtesy of Beaudesert Fabrics

Sir Cecil set the tone in stage and screen with My Fair Lady and Gigi, wrote numerous books about the demi monde, and had a creative influence over portraiture, drawing and costume and set design for over 60 years.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Photo Courtesy of Putnam Rolling Ladder Co. Inc.
You may not have a wall of bookcases up to the ceiling, but perhaps you just need a great ladder. The source, Putnam Rolling Ladder Co. Inc.

Photo Courtesy of Nicky Haslam Furniture
I have long coveted this table for the chic proportion and parchment finish. Get yours at Nicholas Haslam, or go to his amazing shop in person, just off Pimlico Road.

Photo Courtesy of J. Crew
This charming Library Bookshelf Cardigan from J.Crew is perfect to wear while drinking tea in the library. Being bookish is now something you can advertise on your sleeve if you please.

The Middleton Collection, a brand new gift show resource will make custom bindings out of vellum, wallpapers, whatever you select. Their beautiful handmade work is stunning. A custom library is just what you need. Isn't it?

Photo Courtesy of Deborah Bowness
Wallpapers like The Genuine Fake Bookshelf from witty Brit Deborah Bowness look great in small spaces. Line a closet or do a powder room in this for impact. Find it at Deborah Bowness. Inject a little humor in unexpected places.


Keep summer memories top of mind when the fall winds start to blow. These fragrance lines look great and smell even better. A candle is no longer just a candle. The wick width, container, labelling and outside package better be attention grabbing. But companies are going above and beyond the traditional wax in a jar, coming up with inventive versions of air fare. Wear a scent that you love and scent your home with it. I like the sweetness of white flowers, but for those that like something richer for winter, bois scents are huge.

The tropics of Hawaii inspired Malibu resident Gaye Straza Rappaport to create a white flower fragrance. Initially, the oil came in small roller ball bottle was the only way to enjoy the fragrance, but soon the brand grew to include candles, a spray and bath sponge. The store Dovecote in Connecticut understands that most Kai devotees like to buy in bulk. The plethora they carry is good for people like me that cannot get enough. Visit Dovecote to get your fix.

Photo Courtesy of Hei Poa
White flowers smell so clean and crisp. Tiare, a special Tahitian white flower oil bottled from Hei Poa is one of my favorites. Visit the island without the jet lag at Hei Poa

Photo Courtesy of Belle Fleur
Elegant script on matte chocolate glass, faux shagreen box and matches are all part of the details that make this candle so lovely. Belle Fleur candles complement their gorgeous flower arrangements. Check out the Index section of October Vogue to see one of Meredith's lush arrangements. The Mayan Tuberose is flying off the shelves at Barneys nationwide. The array of scents can be viewed at Belle Fleur. Look to them for diffusers and room sprays soon.

Mor Cosmetics found their inspiration in Edwardian chic this season with Flower and Narcissus. The hobnail glass vessel and slightly goth fabulous art on the packaging in black and yellow, a color palette to watch for more of, is new and fresh. Other packaging colors include red or kelly green paired with black. Be enticed at Mor Cosmetics

Edwardian informs and inspires Douglas Little on a daily basis. Modern Alchemy, his collection of candles, is growing to include, yes, chocolates! A little candlelight and chocolates--life's great pleasure. Using etched positive and negative glass, his art nouveau candles add a bit of art through their illumination. Each decoration is the leaf or flower of the scent. The bay laurel shown here is so delicate and sweet. The assortment is at DL and Company

Photo Courtesy of Anthousa
Anthousa, a home and personal fragrance company, means the perfect bloom. This brand defined itself with beautiful vessels for diffusers, then added candles and fragrance spray. Oil-filled glass decanters with a little silk tassel hanging from the neck look at home on the bathroom vanity and on the living room side table. Reuse the glass as a bud vase. Look at their delux 3 diffuser sets so you can have them everywhere, at Anthousa

Photo Courtesy of Seda France
Seda France wowed with their packaging when they began a few years back. A toile mini house box with tassle was a chic option for gift giving and made other brands realize how essential good packaging is. They have branched out into glass diffusers, like this Classic Toile Diffuser Set in Hyacinth from Seda France

Photo Courtesy of Dayna Decker
Dayna Decker Essence Couture Diffuser in White Tuberose is like having a modern sculpture that smells nice. This shiny bauble is a perfect for the Zaha Hadid followers homes. Observe other ultra glam home fragrances at Dayna Decker

Photo Courtesy of Slatkin and Co.
Cheap and cheerful choices come from Harry Slatkin, the fragrance man. Scentport™, their newest home fragrance system plugs into a wall outlet and offers continuous air beautifying. Modern and sleek, the device looks as good as your ibook. The Fresh Linen is nice fragrance to have around. Check out the next frontier at Bath and Body Works

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Tony Duquette did it. Marc Jacobs did it. Using malachite, precious stone, and rich looking geological gems is au courant. Marc did fine jewels inspired by Art Deco creations and Banana Republic named their new fragrance after it. Malachite is marvelous.

Photo Courtesy of Fornasetti
If you happen to be walking the hallowed halls of the 7th floor at Begdorf Goodman this September, you will pass this Piero Fornasetti stunner, a re edition of the 1950's original. This venerable Italian brand has become better known recently in the US with their black and white face plates for Rosenthal china. Their furniture, umbrella stands and magazine racks have whimsical lacquered decoupage surfaces. Glamorous!

Cole and Son, the British wall covering company, amazing us again, this time with a Fornasetti collection. The malachite papers add instant sophistication. If you are feeling extra inspired, use it to line a bookshelf!
From Cole and Son

Photo Courtesy of Ruzzetti and Gow
Malachite looks nice mixed into tablescapes in small doses. A box from Ruzzetti and Gow is just the thing. Christopher Gow made semi precious stones, coral, silver coated shells, blanc de chine porcelain flowers and special objets hot again when he began carrying them in his chic 72nd Street space years ago. His passion for natural curiosities shows in the peacock, ostrich egg and feather wreaths on hand.

Salt cellar, jewerly holder for your nightstand, or display piece, these little gems look best against glass where their subtleties stand out.

Veneer surfaces provide the look, weigh less and give the same bang. This mirror was done by Furniture Masters for a small collection with Jonathan Adler a few years back. Inspiration!

Photo Courtesy of Ruzzetti and Gow
Selenite logs are pretty much the chicest things ever. Use them in the off season to fill your fireplace. Birch logs, we have seen that before! Add some glimmer to your flame.

Photo Courtesy of Bernardaud
Jacques Garcia designed Albâtre Oriental, a trompe-l’œil pattern made to look like striated stone, after a stone that was popular in the 18th Century. Faux is beautiful in the hands of Mr. Garcia. Browse at Bernardaud

Photo Courtesy of Michael C Fina
Alain Saint-Joanis does the most drop dead chic flatware out there. They use semi precious materials, inlay and ornate settings to create place settings. If cobalt blue lapis is what you are looking for, look no further. From Michael C Fina

Photo Courtesy of Carl Martinez
Drawer pulls and knobs are jewelry for your furniture. These handmade pieces are the perfect way to add that jewel to your furnishings. Carl Martinez sculpts pieces with personality.

Photo Courtesy of Alexis Bittar
Alexis took lucite to new places with his jewelry, making it look fine and trendsetting by carving it to catch the light. His newer collections incorporate his unique material combinations with gold and stones. Be dazzled by malachite at Alexis Bittar

Friday, September 14, 2007


Belgian chic interiors a la Axel Vervoort are now easier to create. Creamy neutral interiors accented by natural woods like cerused oak, bubbled glass cloches, comfortable deep sofas and linen fabrics define the look.

Photo Courtesy of Flammarion
Just released: The newest Axel book! His soothing style comes through in his exhibitions of antiques at prominent antique fairs as well as homes he decorates around the world. His talent lies in his ability to mix English Antiques, rough hewn pieces, large scale artwork and relics with the spaces. It comes together to create a treasure trove of special finds only a curators eye could produce. Buy it asap from Flammarion

Photo Courtesy of Rizzoli
These floorboards are incredible!!! Find reclaimed wood from the Old Grain

This daybed with bolsters is such a great small scale and will look great in so many settings. Through retailers found at Palecek

Photo Courtesy of Williams Sonoma Home
Zinc and porcelain urns make nice accent pieces for flowers and on the mantle. These European made pieces are well designed. Pick up some the perfectly patinated at Williams Sonoma Home

Oly Studio makes light wood modern with this slatted sideboard. An ideal storage piece for your Bose ipod dock and large serving platters. Oly Studio

Atticus Home, a great new resource, makes porcelain china with fine thin edges giving it a handmade look. Get it for your table in time for Turkey dinner at Neiman Marcus in the fall.

Bobo Intriguing Objects takes materials with the patina of age and turns them into something great. Not found objects per se, but wood, stone and metal are taken someplace unexpected in their designs. These delicate lamps with stone bases remind me of French 1920's lighting, the curved shades are such a terrific detail. Through Bobo Intriguing Objects

This piece I spotted at Anthropologie. Aged to perfection.

Vagabond Vintage also gets that particular patina--their home items look as though they have lived other lives and are available at the peak of perfection. Rough hewn elegance comes across in this wooden octagon mirror. Find out where to buy it at Vagabond Vintage Furnishings

Photo Courtesy of Arteriors
Rustic and substantial, the Goldberg Tall Lamp from Arteriors Home
is a new take on wood. The gilt finish adds a touch of glamour.