Friday, December 31, 2010


If you find yourself overserved on New Year's eve, perhaps a little hair of the dog and time under the covers will restore your energy and leave you ready to take on 2011! Here are some ways to wile away the day--

Photo courtesy of Charles Fradin
Breakfast in bed may be the best way to spend the better part of your day. Dine in duvet style with Charles Fradin Home's Alva Bed Tray.

Channel your love of folkloric florals with Anthropologie's Cadiz Mug.

Photo courtesy of Partners Tea Co.
Fill your cup with Partners Tea Co. fair trade teas, a company started by my college friend Sarah Scarborough. I was beyond excited to see her teas included in West Elm stores well-edited holiday gift assortment. Her Sweet Friend Blend is delicious, with its blend of herbal and raspberry flavors.

Kill a cold and get your energy back with Redoxon fizzy Vitamin C tablets. I always stock up on these when I am in London-- they really do the trick.

Photo courtesy of Anthropologie
Spend you leisure time writing thank you notes for gifts with Rifle Paper Co.'s amusing Friends of The Forest cards from Anthropologie.

Photo courtesy of Marigot
Stay indoors and get cozy wearing a Marigot Collection long cashmere sweater with a handy pocket for tissues if you have the sniffles.

Photo courtesy of Gorsuch
I love my shearling Uggs, but sometimes an adorable design can trump shearling. Gorsuch has these boiled wool Chalet Slippers with a charming winter scenic design.

Photo courtesy of Penguin
Start off the New Year right by reading a classic, again. Take on Jane Austen's Emma, a Penguin Hardcover Classic, specially encased in in graphic artist Coralie Bickford-Smith's design on stamped linen.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Photo courtesy of Baccarat
Few glasses are as beautifully made as those by Lobmeyr. The Austrian designs sweeping curves, delicate feel and fine lines make them a stylists favorite. When I was making the rounds on the home floor of Bergdorf Goodman recently, I saw these Thom Browne - designed coupes for Baccarat and was instantly smitten. The thin walled glassware set resembles the sweep of the Lobmeyr, but they are updated with a border of four etched lines. Why would a menswear designer take on stemware? Apparently he would collect the coupe shaped glasses on his travels and had set his sights on a collection for some time. Baccarat is known for their genius collaborations, and it seems whatever Browne designs turns to gold. What a soignee way to toast the New Year and ring it in with style. There are still a few sets available at BG so make them yours if you can.

Photo courtesy of Dom Perignon
If you like to celebrate in style and are looking for the perfect bubbly to sip, there is always the 2002 Moet et Chandon Cuvee Dom Perignon Andy Warhol Tribute Label. Created by the talent at the Design Laboratory of Central St. Martin's School of Art and Design in London, Dom Perignon asked them to take the iconic Dom Perignon label and reinvent it in a Warholian style. They have come up with three labels in red, blue, and yellow that evoke Warhol's classic silk screen images. You can get individual bottles or a set of six bottles from Sherry Lehman, and just think, you don't have to consult your art advisor on this purchase!

Friday, December 24, 2010


Photo Courtesy of Viking
This time of year, I think of one of my favorite children's books, Madeline. Ludwig Bemelmans charming illustrations capture the joy and wonder of Christmas in a sweetly nostalgic way, so every year I have holiday drinks at the Carlyle's Bemelmans Bar, surrounded by his painted murals. If you are in New York, toast the season there too!
Have yourselves a Merry little Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Photos courtesy of Clarkson Potter
After living in several spectacular homes, Carolyn Roehm has honed her classical and traditional artistic and stylistic sensibility. In her newest book, A Passion for Interiors, her varied homes are chronicled, revealing her love of classical architectural elements, the highest fabrication quality, color sense and flair. From her New York apartment with its double-height great room, to her Connecticut Colonial era country residence Weatherstone, with rolling acreage, to Aspen’s mountainous retreat, her latest book delves into her houses and the distinct style she has created in them. Over 300 photographs cover the intricate decorative details, museum quality antiques and inspired rooms she has completed over the years. Beautifully captured by Miki Duisterhoff, the sparkle and panache of Roehm's interiors come to life.

Roehm is drawn to floral woven fabrics and uses them liberally. Here, in her New York bedroom, she upholstered every surface in a Scalamandre cotton. Never underestimate the power of a print to make an impact. Above the elaborate headboard, she has placed an array of porcelain brackets and pots filled with porcelain flowers created by Vladimir. I adore these flowers and she has amassed a serious collection!

With a black and white painted floor and embroidered upholstery, the patterns work because of the neutral walls.

Weatherstone was totally rebuilt after a devastating fire in 1999.

Red and yellow Parrot tulips surround a painted french chair covered in orange ostrich.

In her Aspen home, Gustavian antiques fill the dining room. A serene blue and white color combination highlights the lines of the Swedish antiques. A fantastic antler collection is hung over the fireplace mantel and next to the windows.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Here are some uber last minute holiday gift ideas for yourself and your nearest and dearest. Some gifts you might never buy for yourself because you are so busy thinking about everyone else or you feel they are too decadent, so provide this list to a person that needs a nudge, and point them in the right direction. These goodies can help you get ready for the New Year, relax, recharge and get cozy.

Photo courtesy of Random House
If you want to harness your inner style, turn to this new book from Monacelli Press A Life of Style by fashion and luxury lifestyle icon Rebecca Moses for her wise words about what style means and how you can access yours both through your look and how you live. Now is the time to rethink it all, especially if you want to turn over a new leaf in the new year.

Photo courtesy of Rifle Paper Co.
When the holidays are over, you may or may not be into talking about, eating and looking at food. After you have swapped recipes and finally gotten your Aunt to divulge her famous Chili recipe, you can write the secret ingredients down in Rifle Paper Co's Heirloom Recipe Card box. The old timey box is painted in with a floral design and looks as though it was passed down from generation to generation, but that can be our secret. This is a nice time - consuming project for when you feel like opting out of the after dinner walk with the entire family to get some time to yourself. Does this sound familiar?

Photo courtesy of Canvas
Illuminate a Canvas Back to Basics candle to start off the new year-- after all, isn't that what resolutions are all about -- a return to the basic, easy stress-free life you once had? Fig and Orange Blossom scents will fill the air with a serene aroma.

Photo courtesy of Tiffany
Brew up a spot of tea and sympathy in Tiffany's bone china Sea Urchin Teapot. It is the perfect time out and a way to take a moment for yourself.

Few things are as cozy as crisply pressed cotton classic pajamas. Finally, they are being made in a wearable (not massively over sized) cut with beautiful accent colors. Lounge around well into January with luxe in a 140 thread count cotton poplin pajama top from Marigot. They are available with pretty contrast piping colors like lime, shown here, and get better with time.
Complete the set with Marigot cotton pants, and begin your collection of PJ's.

Photo courtesy of Waterworks
A gift box like this will make your friends feel like they are staying in a 5 star hotel from Waterworks. The box includes a white hand towel and Apothecary Hand Cream, Liquid Hand Soap, Bar Hand Soap, Shower Gel and Room Spray. Give it as a party thank you or keep it for the cadre of relatives that will soon be descending on your home for the holidays. Waterworks is offering Stylebeat readers a special 20% discount for the holidays and you can use the code STYLEBEAT10 at checkout!

Photo courtesy of Nina Campbell
Keep your toes warm with an adorable hot water bottle designed as only the British can. From Nina Campbell.

Photo courtesy of Kate Spade
If you must go outside, be ready for a flash snowball fight with these Kate Spade Snowball Mittens that read, "place snowball here" on the right glove.

Photo courtesy of Glamourpuss
It has been so cold in New York it is hard not to look like Nanook of the North bundling up to go outside. But since ski slope chic has hit the city hard, you may need this fur funnel neck piece to keep your head and neck toasty from Glamourpuss. A little bit Alps a lot warm.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Stars play a key role in holiday decorations. Whether they are hung from a pine bough or from the mantel, they always look festive. Here are some stars you will likely have in your collection for years to come.

Photo courtesy of ABC Carpet and Home
Delicate 3-dimensional wooden snowflakes have craftsmanship from days of yore. From ABC Carpet and Home.

Photo courtesy of Create for Less
If you love the look of plain Kraft paper, then the Craft Pedlars Paper Mache Star from Create for Less is the thing for you. But perhaps you feel like dressing it up and going to town with paint and glitter. The choice is yours!

Hung from simple baker's red and white twine, these Printed Star Ornaments from Kate's Paperie come with nine to a set.
Photo courtesy of Ikea
Get crafty with Ikea paper star ornaments. Let you inner origami goddess emerge with these stunners from Ikea.
Photo courtesy of Jamali Garden
A Glitter Star you can spot from afar from Jamali Garden.

Photo courtesy of Arcadia
Arcadia Home makes ornaments you will have forever, like their hand - beaded double-sided snowflake ornament on a velvet ribbon.

Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn
Hang puffy Gold Star metal ornaments from Pottery Barn in with your family made artisanal ornaments.

Photo courtesy of Pier 1
Silver Paper Lanterns would work well hanging from a mantel or a ceiling, from Pier 1.

A large star like the Natural Grapevine Lighted Moravian Star from Save On Crafts is just the thing to illuminate a hallway or entry.
Photo courtesy of Crate and Barrel
Glitter covered multi colored starbursts from Crate and Barrel would look great on the tree or in a bowl with extra large pine cones.
Photo courtesy of Crate and Barrel
A mod glass starburst from Crate and Barrel is shiny and gorgeous.

Photo courtesy of Christmas Forever
A Vintage White Glitter Star Ornament for the old timey look.

Monday, December 20, 2010


Photos courtesy of Rizzoli
A Horst photo of the Lampham Living Room in Greenwich, Connecticut where a floral chintz grounds the room, covering a turkish divan and chair. The mix with antiques sets the stage for comfortable entertaining.

If there is one book you must add to your design library this season, this is it. Often referred to as the most influential American decorator, interior designer Billy Baldwin's work and life have been painstaikingly chronicled by Adam Lewis in Billy Baldwin: The Great American Decorator from Rizzoli. Spending five years on the research, Lewis spoke to past clients, employees, friends and assistants including Deeda Blair, Edward Lee Cave, Albert Hadley and Harry Hinson, culling their anecdotes and the story of his rise in this fantastic book. Many of the images in the book are being published for the first time. I own Billy Baldwin Decorates and Billy Baldwin Remembers, the rare out of print books he published in 1973 and 1974, but many of the photos are grainy and black and white. In this book, the color reproduction is bright and clear, and the genius of the most important designer of the twentieth century really comes across. The photos have inspired countless young decorators and will continue to do so for years to come.

Baldwin was quoted in the New York Times in 1965 saying, "We in this country have the greatest taste level in the world. Maybe it's because we are young; we've always been on the way up and have never had to come down. I can't tell you how American I am." He believed America had the best decorating in the world, since we did not have to rely on past periods of design styles like the English and French. As a young country, he thought, we were full of fresh design ideas, and could do thinks in design that had never been done before.
He was raised well to do in Baltimore and surrounded by cultured influences from a young age, which prepared him for high society early on. After trying several jobs without success, his mother helped launch his career in design, by introducing him to his first boss, Ruby Ross Wood. Wood lovingly called him Billy B., and staunchly believed in his talents. Along with a cadre of stylish and influential friends, including Van Day Truex the president of Tiffany, Nicholas de Gunzberg the editor at Vogue, Woodson Taulbee, owner of Woodson Papers, and Linda Porter, Brooke Astor took him under her wing. His client's adored him, and the legacy he leaves is that of simplicity and comfort in design, masterful mixing color as well as period styles and a tailored ease.

A watercolor by the late Mark Hampton, depicts Cole Porter's Waldorf Towers library with its famous often copied brass bookcases and chocolate walls.

Baldwin loved reproduction furniture, and advised clients to use copies in high use areas. He saved antiques for low use spots. Being comfortable was key, and this came across in everything he did. Here, in a living room for a young client in Madrid, he used the light floors as a guide for the color scheme of the room, and filled the space with comfortable seating areas.

In a Florida home, Baldwin combined white and blue cotton fabrics with pops of red. He loved natural as well as man made materials, and even used vinyl on walls to get the glossy look of lacquer.

Looking to Brighton Pavillion for inspiration, Baldwin created a haven for hair at the Kenneth Salon in the early 60's. He was not big on commercial projects, but this one was well worth it. With exotic patterns, fretwork details and a red, yellow and white scheme, Kenneth was the ne plus ultra salon for the chic set.

Baldwin's New York apartment at 106 East 61st Street had a Korean screen behind the cream sofa, and dark walls. He liked a classic Lawson sofa silhouette, and used it time and time again. The slipper chair he often used was based on the center section of a Lawson, without arms.

Fearlessly combining zebra, big game heads, and patterned fabrics, this guest house in Bedford feels country yet sophisticated.
Baldwin did very well in his business, and worked for over fifty years. Sadly, he died penniless and alone on Nantucket in a cottage his friends provided, after years of neglecting to pay back taxes from his mother's estate. He narrowly avoided going to jail for the amount he owed, and this blight deeply embarrassed him. The design legacy he leaves behind is epic and his work will continue to spawn legions of imitators-- which, as you know, is the best form of flattery.

Friday, December 17, 2010


As the Christmas shopping deadline nears, why not hit Lex and allay your fears? With shopping list in hand, and deadline to meet, buy all your gifts and find something neat. Here is your roadmap for a stroll of Upper East Side stores where you are sure to come up with creative and special gifts for everyone on your list.

Begin your day getting a blowout at the Varin Salon at 762 Madison Avenue.

Yann Varin will give you a glam updo for the big holiday shindig or polished coif for shopping Madison.

Your chair awaits.

For serious big deal antiques, visit Louis Bofferding and hear him tell great tales of each piece and its provenance.

Swing by to see Connie at Plaza Flowers at 944 Lexington Avenue and order a red and green arrangement to be delivered.

Choose from festive red berry branches...

Adorable miniature trees are great for apartment living.

Flats of Paperwhites on their way out the door.

How can you not think of the warm days of summer when looking at this arrangement?

Stroll down the block to Mecox Gardens
at 962 Lexington Avenue where the windows don their best swags of greenery.
The shop is filled with well-edited home accessories including candles, lamps and books that would all make nice presents.

Up the street at 1011, Lexington Gardens does it up-- from ornaments to arrangements to garden statuary-- their holiday mood is infectious.

A white winter wonderland scene.

Treillage, the Bunny Williams home emporium for tabletop, decorative accessories and entertaining elements, usually sets the table near the window to enthrall passersby. The table is always beautifully arranged, it is as if guests were about to be seated.

Golden wire wreathes hang above a marble-topped console.

Another round table is filled with goodies-- Bunny's new book, Scrapbook for Living, a Spitzmiller Gourd Centerpiece and trees with tiny glass beads that look even nicer by candlelight.

A pair of gold trees flank a classical sculpture and Bee Line Lamps.

A small, shimmering decorative accent tree sits next to a great new book, Private Gardens of Connecticut.

Sit down for a ladies lunch at Swifty's. With a peach decorating scheme, the soft palette is ever-flattering and designed by a ladies who lunch favorite, Mario Buatta. Their curried chicken salad is always good.

Archivia Books at 993 Lexington Avenue, is Cynthia Conigliaro's top notch bookshop is filled to the brim with design and fashion books. You just want it all!

The counter at Archivia in a rare lull. The walls are lined with every title you covet- from rare Billy Baldwin tomes to Monacelli Press's latest intro in the home, garden, art and fashion arena.

A long table anchors the layout. Well lit with reading lamps, the tables are filled with titles you can peruse.

Pretty architectural notecards from Bernd Dams and Andrew Zega, the authors of Chinoiseries. Love these.

The window of Cove Landing, right next to Archivia, is great for peeking inside-- a clear view of some the best edited pieces in the city.

Angus Wilkie and Len Morgan have hung a beautiful cluster of silver ornaments in the window that catch the sunlight beautifully.

Make your way downtown to Ankasa's flagship store at 135 E 65th Street. Known for their elaborate Indian embroidery, the shop is arranged in vignettes by color, and the stage is set in winter white. Filled with decorative throw pillows, their upholstery collection, cashmere throws and gifty items, the assortment is lush and cozy.

Photo courtesy of Via Quadronno
End the day with a seriously good cappuccino at Via Quadronno at 25 East 73rd, where Milano meets New York.