Sunday, May 24, 2009


A getaway provides a change of scene and a chance to recharge. This is the season to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and escape for the weekend. Susanna Salk's newest book with Rizzoli, Weekend Getaways, shows country escapes of all kinds. Readers are invited into rustic, seaside, minimal, modern barn, federal and Greek Revival homes, experiencing their relaxing benefits. The appeal of the homes lie in their location, but also in their personality. Home owners bring personal touches to every surface of their spaces, providing a peek into what moves and inspires them.

Photos Courtesy of Rizzoli USA
This red guest cottage was originally a school. The Unionville, PA property includes a main house and a barn, creating a country compound. Staying true to the historical details, the designer owners imported floorboards for the house from a farm nearby, and used local antiques and glass.

A plaster bust by the front door welcomes guests and serves as a makeshift hat rack.

A Stanfordville, NY modern barn sits tucked away in a wooded area. The home was influenced by the owner's Dutch and French design sensibilities, showcasing their take on classic barn living.

Their mudroom with closets and hooks for Barbour rain jackets and mud boots to survive a rainy weekend.

Designer Tricia Foley's Long Island living room in all white warmed with wide wood floor boards and beams. Placing accessories just so, her stylist's eye is evident in her selection.

The white on white kitchen has open shelving for ease and all white serving pieces in great shapes.

A Newport home with stone detailing resembling a castle's turrets is eclectic and unexpected in this seaside resort, where massive cottages abound.

The upstairs living room has brightly colored accessories and casual slip covered upholstery. Easy living and entertaining are key here.

Painted walls, floors and patterned steps bring warmth to a foyer in an 18th Century Greek Revival retreat in New Preston,CT.

The sun room combines rustic antiques in natural tones from local antique shops, making the spot a soothing place to escape to. A focal point of an elaborate bird cage is a conversation starter for sure.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Photo Courtesy of Anthousa
Maria Christofilis, creative director of Anthousa home fragrances, has long been a fan of England's De Gournay handpainted wallpapers. She decided to have them create artwork for her packaging, and Jardiniers and Citrus Trees Home Ambiance was born. The pattern with climbing branches and birds inspired a blend of oranges with Mountain Fir, Petitgrain, Peppermint and Lemon Leaves. Earthy elements of Cedarwood, Woodland Moss and White Musk make the scent fresh and layered. Order your limited edition scent oil with bamboo reeds from Anthousa.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


The console would work well in an all white summer house

Swags and curvy arms give an uber-feminine touch

The all out chandelier brings drama to a dining room, a red one

Photos Courtesy of Currey and Company
Perhaps a pair of sconces are just the thing a space needs

The market is now overrun with shell encrusted products. They may be ubiquitous but they are easy to love. Currey and Company was one of the original companies to do the look well. You see their chandelier constantly but may not be aware of who makes it. C and C are reinterpreting the shell this season in black with new pieces called Midnight. For an edgy new turn this adds silhouette-changing mystery and gravitas to the grouping.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


The other day Potterton Books sponsored an interior designer gathering at Kips Bay. The round table discussion included design books, their reason for being and purpose today. All the designers agreed books are better than ever, they read refer to them daily and their libraries are overflowing with new one's they cannot resist buying.

Photo by Tim Street-Porter

Annie Kelly, whose new book Rooms to Inspire in the Country, is shown below, moderated a lively talk between Jamie Drake, Anne Pyne of McMillen, Jeffrey Bilhuber, Bunny Williams and Juan Montoya.
The first question was about Bunny's runaway success book, Affair with a House. In its 10th printing (a big number for design books), the book has the winning formula which she thinks is due to its personal nature. Relatable recipes, real life entertaining relaxed living resonate with the reader, as it is a window into the way Bunny and her husband John Rosselli really live. She shared that the house was a long undertaking, and decorating and renovating happened in stages--- not in a year or two like client's projects. Musing on the power of books she ended with this: "my last penny I would spend on buying a rare design book--it is our education". No doubt there is much to glean from historic texts and images.
Anne Pyne of McMillan is working with Acanthus Press on a book about the history of the legendary firm. Her approach is much more academic, with footnotes and a lot of archival research. She is clear she wants the book to be an historically accurately account of the work and times of the firm. For a visual, she brought a stack of books that are her reading essentials. She recommends Frank Alva Parsons (founder of Parsons) Interior Design and Decoration: Its Principals and Practice from 1931, The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard from 1958, Cecil Beaton's The Glass of Fashion from 1921 and The History of English Furniture by Percy Macquoid and Ralph Edwards.
Juan Montoya wants his books to inspire, not just teach. He feels that books as oppose to magazines stay true to a designer's vision, since they have the say so and final approval on how their rooms are photographed, styled and written about.
Jeffrey Bilhuber recently came out with his fourth book, Defining Luxury. It's large format with brightly hued interiors is fresh and magazine- like, with its use of vignettes and close up shots. He shared that he feels books are a barometer of change and evolution that document societal changes. He uses design books daily as references for upcoming schemes and to share history and ideas with the clients. When discussing magazine editorial versus doing a book, he likes the fact that "you can control the process and edit through your eyes--you know what's there" but that "the camera will never capture what the eye sees." Being there in person is the next best thing.
Jamie Drake has Bloomberg as a client and has worked with Madonna. His book covers the first 28 years of his firm. His comment about magazine photography was, "you see see so much but you really see so little", referring to the closeness of many of the shots, styling by editors and omissions of what tells the interior's story. In a book you can show a whole room, and break it down into moments, which is a great platform for complete interiors.
What is next for this group? Bunny is working on A Scrapbook for Living about the essence of rooms and what makes them special, while Jeffrey is exploring how he gets from concept to completion of an interior and what inspires him.

Photos Courtesy of Rizzoli
A green painted bedroom fireplace with blue and white apothecary jars lining the mantel

In her follow up on Rizzoli's Rooms to Inspire, this new book delves into the homes of tastemakers and colorful characters who enjoy the country for relaxing, entertaining and renovating. A variety of design perspectives from new modern ruralism to over the top decadence are seen through the lens of Annie's photographer husband, Tim Street- Porter. The duo once again brings together a collection of covetable homes from around the country. I think people will start to use bright paint hues creatively after a good read of this tome!

Decorator Henry Davis Sleeper's nautical dining room in the seaside town of Beauport, Massachusetts has teal paint accents and a great collection on antique green china.

Molly Duffy and Hugh Burns Southampton LI beachside escape mixes Chinese Chippendale and light hearted lanterns with pastel lilac walls.

Steven Gambrel's Sag Harbor, LI sailors cottages from 1790 are filled with nautical details. Here, a melon hued bedroom has framed artwork of a boat that was made from antique wallpaper. What a clever use of color and material, especially if the rest of the wallpaper was damaged or not usable.

Steven Gambrel has a casual living room with crisp white bead board siding and reclaimed wood beams.

The breakfast room has pastel walls with French rush chairs surrounding an 18th century Belgian table

Ally and Jock Spivy's Victorian dining room in Kinderhook, NY. A 19th Century antique sideboard in rich burled wood pops against the bright pink wall.

Charming! In his garden Tim Street-Porter created a garden folly after John Fowler's original in England.

Tony Duquette's Malibu ranch guesthouse with layered fabrics and textures in coral gold and green.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Photo Courtesy of William Yeoward
When your clock looks this good, you will feel like time is on your side. Deco- inspired silver and cobalt glass rods dress up William Yeoward's new clock that can sit bedside or on a desk with flair. Double time it to Bergdorf Goodman for yours.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


When it comes to clearing out for charity, the following designers used creative display design to their benefit:

Elizabeth Bauer Design brought her booth to life with a flocked dog wallpaper.

Hable Construction channeled the inner artist with craft goody bags.

Charlotte Moss sold garden goods in her potting shed booth, full of plants and herbs.

The fur coat for sale makes the moment very Edie Beale.

Carolina Irving sold pillows in her sweet fabrics.

Carolina Irving and Lisa Fine together have Irving and Fine, and sold their gorgeous blouses at a steep discount.

Real Simple editors went for saffron yellow and teal.

The space was filled with great lamps in crisp white finishes.

Their polished area was move- in ready.

Country Living had a huge booth, complete with a penny candy table and new branded bedding and tabletop.

The rustic life, captured in framed magazine shots.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Sometimes you just want to take in a museum without having it overwhelm. When on the Upper East Side, you can choose the Met or another gem. Few museums are as small and jewel- like as the Neue Gallery, New York's unique museum of German and Austrian Art. Not only do they have a standout book store and gift shop filled with great glass and silver, they have two fabulous restaurants-- Cafe Sabarsky overlooking Central Park and Cafe Fledermaus downstairs.
The reason for all this fanfare is this. A stunning limited edition collection of Ikat pillows and throws was made by Madeleine Weinrib for the Neue Gallery Shop. Done for the current Brucke exhibit, the multi- colored antique textiles came from her collection and are available for the run of the show. Visit, eat, shop, and make sure to see BR√úCKE: THE BIRTH OF EXPRESSIONISM IN DRESDEN AND BERLIN, 1905-1913, which runs till June 29, 2009. Make a day of it, at 1048 Fifth Avenue at 86th Street.

Glorious reds, yellows and teal make this velvet pillow lush and graphic.

Photos Courtesy of Madeline Weinrib
A Suzani Throw with signature circle pattern.

A vintage red medallion suzani pillow of white embroidery.

An applique suzani pillow that has a handmade, sweet touch.

Friday, May 8, 2009


California's La Cienega Boulevard Design Quarter will get some much deserved attention over the next three days with the first Legends of La Cienega Design Walk. By celebrating design icons in window vignettes, today's LA interior designers reinterpret the work of home decor legends. Benefiting Habitat for Humanity Greater Los Angeles and sponsored by Elle Decor, a variety of design events are taking place through this Sunday, including book readings and panel discussions. Check out the full schedule at Elle Decor Legends.
For the shops that did not partake in the LA Antique Show, this is a way for them to get traffic. Over 40 decorative arts and antiques dealers in the area, the leading design district on the west coast, have banded together to form a supportive design alliance. This area needs all the interior designer rallying it can get, since fashion boutiques like Monique L'Huillier are slowly taking over.
Alluring window dressing was no problem for these designers. Below are some reasons to rubberneck:

Madeline Stuart honors Dorothy Draper at Downtown

McMillen, as created by Thomas Buckley at at Therien & Co.

Anthony Hail, presented by Jeffrey Hitchcock at Ralf's Antiques & Fine Arts

Sister Parish, exuberantly brought back by Joe Nye at Navona Antiques

At Paul Marra, a touch of zebra in a salute to Michael Taylor by Suzanne Tucker

Tony Duquette, channeled by Hutton Wilkinson at Baker Furniture

James Northcutt & Lou Cataffo, presented by Hendrix Allardyce at Jean de Merry

Chet Chidester, safari chic by Martyn Lawrence-Bullard at Woodson & Rummerfield's House of Design

Tim Clarke celebrates Mark Hampton at George Smith

Kim Alexandriuk tented the space in yards of fabric creating a Gladys Belzer moment at Bausman & Company

Suzanne Rheinstein presents a celebration of the legendary Elsie de Wolf at Downtown

All photos courtesy of Mark Savage and Elle Decor
Kalef Alaton with a light touch by Kerry Joyce at Rose Tarlow