Friday, August 30, 2013


The long sunny days of sea and sand have come to a close.  After numerous heatwaves, a lot of thunderstorms and hair malfunctions while surf side, I am looking forward to fall. I wish you all a wonderful, relaxing holiday weekend. Bask in summer and it's final moments. Enjoy!

 Photo courtesy of Alex and Alexa
You can wear your straw hat for a few more days. This one, lined with a sweet Liberty print, would be my pick.

 Photo courtesy of Haus Interiors
A carved wooden anchor sculpture in a pale wood from Haus Interiors will remind you of summer all year long

 Photo courtesy of Natural Curiosities
Unwind, framed rope gets the artistic treatment from Natural Curiosities

 Hung side-by-side with the white version above, the natural rope seems grounded and versatile

Photo courtesy of Anthropologie
Put the Paddle Board away till spring. Anthropologie's exclusive board with Kai Po'i has a little mod geo design. Styling. 

 Photo courtesy of Horchow
Towel off after a final dip with Jonathan Adler's bright linear beach towels from Horchow.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Summer happens but once a year, and there are annual events I would love to attend, like visiting Tricia Foley's The New General Store, a seasonal Pop-Up Shop in Yaphank, NY. With an unerring eye, this editor-turned-author fills the store and her website with "new basic" necessities, like the perfect woven hamper, or sleek, monochromatic tabletop pieces. With over 10 design books to her name, Foley, a design purist, has a radar for everyday items that are simple, functional and pared-down. Everything she showcases has good design behind it. Fill your pantry with her delicious olive oil and honey, or, find a gift for someone that appreciates spare, elegant home accessories, all found on her e-commerce shop. Foley, also a product and packaging designer, understands and appreciates a tightly edited assortment, so expect to find interesting things, chosen with her discerning viewpoint.

A basket of white flower on an all-white bike at the entry of The New General Store

Guests followed chalkboard signs to the action

An arrangement of greens and florals inside

A matte earthenware bowl, for serving large groups salads, or holding the fruits of summer

Platters in large and small sizes

Big cutting boards made in New England have a weathered finish

Lavender Honey from Orient Farm. Yummy on Greek Yogurt

I love a good clean white canvas tote. Until it gets dirty.

Storage that looks nice and will last-- this woven basket a winner.

With fall on the horizon, a throw is in order. A lightweight cream colored throw in a "moss" stitch is indispensable.


Photo courtesy of Burrow and Hive
Fabrics and accessories company Burrow and Hive is having an end of summer sale on their website.
The Chicago-based line is offering 40% off all online orders placed by Labor Day. Choose from  shawls, pillows, travel cases, bags and tabletop. To receive 40% off click here. Place your order and at checkout use code "40OFF" to receive the 40% discount.  Get yourself some brightly colored print things to hold onto that summer palette as long as possible.

Monday, August 26, 2013


A fuschia and grey palette

Sensational red and blue

Acid green and taupe

Alessandra Branca  sitting on a velvet upholstered banquette

Reinventing the lexicon of historical, classic design fabrics, Alessandra Branca's debut collection for Schumacher takes the iconic damask, toile and chintz to new heights. Exploring the boundaries of vibrant color, dramatic scale and classical techniques, her collection centers around her particular brand of inspired chic.  Her affection for daring pattern, as seen in her floral not-your-grandmother's-chintz, bold chinoiserie, and signature red and white thick and thin stripes, are now available for any designer's vision--  the application and interpretation is up to you.  
After speaking with Branca, the Chicago/Rome/New York-based interior designer, about the creation of her Schumacher collection, I got the sense this was a labor of love from the start. As in her interiors, no detail is overlooked.  The designing process involved copious amounts of research into the history of toiles and damasks, and a creative back and forth to arrive at the final assortment;  the fabrics arose from a desire to create what every room needs--a stripe, a damask, a fabulous print. "The most fun part of the process, Branca noted,  "is to have an idea in your mind's eye and then see it come to life." 
Never one to shy away from color, the Rome-raised designer has become known for using red and it has become a signature in her layered, antique-infused interiors. Channeling her worldly travels  (which she shares on her wildly popular Instagram and Pinterest pages), she has one foot rooted in tradition, while the other pushes forward into modern living with comfort and color.  When asked about the inspiration behind the designs, she shared, "I wanted to bring joy and quality and create classics with a twist. That is the principle behind everything I do. In a world of taupe, I wanted to put something out there that you can have fun with. It puts a smile on your face. It tips it's hat to the past but takes charge in the present. " These re-worked fabrics with a modern sensibility would be equally at home on an antique Louis XVI bergere or a modern Italian clean minimalist piece. After I wrote this,  I spoke to her about it, and she said she just upholstered an Egg Chair in the floral chintz.  The decidedly robust color stories are "a play on masculine and feminine colors together, they just feel different, these color pairings."

Photos courtesy of Schumacher
The yin yang of bold prints with strong stripes in a seating area

The collection standout is this oversized toile. The pattern is then embroidered over in a contrasting color. It can be used in fun ways- from cut out pillows, to headboards. "I looked at all the toiles out there," she said, "and created something modern that incorporated wonderful hand-work, doing the outline embroidery adds some kick. "

Continenti, a Linen/Viscose blend  in Rouge and Noir 

Continenti in rouge and grey 

Continenti in Rouge 

Dudley Chintz in Rouge with Andrea Velvet Strie in Rouge and Branca Stripe in Rouge

Branca Stripe, of cotton in Rouge

Branca Stripe in Fuschia 

Branca Stripe in Noir 

Branca Stripe in Prussian Blue 

Dudley Chintz in Rouge 

Dudley in Prussian Blue

"Four years ago I started to research chintz. I could not find anything I liked. I wanted to create a clear color palette- and reinvent it. It is fresh, like a breath of fresh air."

Coromandel, a Toile Chintz in a Glazed Satteen in Prissian Blue and Rouge. The color combination feels new.

Coromandel in Rouge and Noir

Coromandel in Fuschia and Grey 

L'Indienne, a linen print next to Dudley Chintz, Coromandel Chintz and over- embroidered  toile, Continenti

L'Indienne, printed on linen,  in Rouge and Prussian Blue 

L'Indienne in Rouge and Noir 

L'Indienne in Fuschia and Grey 

Corallina, made of a Linen and Viscose blend, in Rouge 

Melograno, a robust printed Linen in Greige and Rouge 

A serene corner amped up with red, white and blue

Sophia Diamond, a Linen and Cotton Weave in Rouge 

Melograno in Rouge and Blue 

A vivid mix of stripes and prints in blue and red, Branca Stripe, Coromandel, Dudley Chintz and Elizabeth Chintz

Elizabeth in Rouge. If you are a fan of psychedelic color, this print is for you

More pattern play, featuring Alexander Tartan, Anna Linen Damask, Strie Silk Velvet and Elizabeth Chintz

Melograno in Rouge

Elizabeth in Rouge and Grey 

The acid green is one of my favorite colorways. Unexpected and vivacious, the color is cheeky on a chintz

Acid Green invigorates the adapted classics further. Corallina, Elizabeth and Anna

Elizabeth in Acid Green 

Corallina in Acid Green 

 Anna, a Linen Damask in Acid Green