In the Studio Video with Susanna Salk and Frances Palmer

In the Studio Video with Susanna Salk and Frances Palmer

I had been a fan of Frances Palmer and her beautiful ceramics long before I started this blog. Her distinctive and artistic take on vases, pots and other vessels attracted me along with legions of early admirers.  Trained as an art historian, Frances found her passion in working with her hands, first as a printmaker and ultimately as a potter. But it isn’t just art that informs her educated eye, but also her garden and her kitchen. Whether cultivating her magnificent dahlias, cooking a tempting treat or working at the wheel, it’s the process of bringing her ideas to fruition and the satisfaction of sharing them that drives her creativity.…

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Posted in art, food and drink, garden, In the Studio with, interior design, Stylish Shopping | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments  

Haute Couture Ateliers

Haute Couture Ateliers

While the sharing speed of the internet and social media has made the accessibility to the Paris haute couture shows universal, what is doesn’t show is the intricate artistry of the craftspeople behind these distinguished fashion houses. It is their tremendous talent that translates the designers’ visions into runway reality. And it is this combination of the designers’ creativity coupled with the meticulous expertise of these artisans that elevates fashion to an art form. And now, in the beautiful new book Haute Couture Ateliers | The Artisans of Fashion, you can go behind the scenes to tour the process of transforming designer dreams into exquisite finished creations.…

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The Mystery of Memory Loss

The Mystery of Memory Loss

How often do you forget where you left your keys? Or where you parked? Or an acquaintance’s name? These types of temporary memory loss are common occurrences that almost all of us encounter on a daily basis. And if you have never seen this hysterical video about  “Age-Activated Attention Deficit Disorder,” make the jump after you finish the post for a little relatable humor.

But what happened to me a couple of weeks ago is a memory-related neurological phenomenon of an entirely different nature that I share here as a both fascinating and cautionary tale. I had flown back from Italy over the weekend and was returning to my regular routine, working out with my trainer on Thursday morning.…

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Posted in film, health | Tagged , , , | 26 Comments  

Winterthur Collection at Currey & Company

Winterthur Collection at Currey & Company

Although I was unable to attend High Point this market, one of my regular stops, that I was sorry to miss, is Currey & Company, who was debuting, among other introductions,  new additions to their Winterthur Collection. While Currey now carries a wide range of furnishings, you may not know that they began, in 1988, as a company offering classic garden furniture from the Winterthur Museum and the Smithsonian.  Winterthur was the birthplace of Henry Francis du Pont, one of the many heirs to the family fortune, who inherited the estate. It was he who was responsible for assembling Winterthur’s American furniture collection, the largest and widely acknowledged to be the finest in the country.…

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Posted in furniture, history, interior design | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments  

Tabletop Gifting and Entertaining Preview

Tabletop Gifting and Entertaining Preview

It’s that time of year when hints of THE season start to permeate our thoughts. This week is tabletop market so I spent the day perusing the showrooms. And while most of the offerings at the show are for next spring, I thought I’d present a teaser peek at some gifting and entertaining ideas that are available now or very soon. Hopefully there will be time to take a closer look but I also have an enormous pile of fabulous fall books to review so stay tuned for the onset of the temptation and don’t feel guilty if you some of the gifting is for yourself!…

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Designer Picks from the Sotheby’s Bunny Mellon Auction

Designer Picks from the Sotheby’s Bunny Mellon Auction

You have no doubt by now read about the upcoming Sotheby’s Bunny Mellon auction. The much anticipated event will be spread over the course of several dates next month filling almost all of the galleries. The excitement begins on the 10th with the Masterworks auction of a curated selection of fine art, including her famous Rothkos. The 20th and 21st feature Mrs. Mellon’s collection of Jewels & Objects of Vertu. And the series concludes with the blockbuster three-day interiors sale from the 21st to 23rd of an extensive collection of furniture, art and decorative pieces. With over 2,ooo individual items and a wide range of price points, this is a monumental sale.…

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Posted in art, auctions, furniture, interior design | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments  

Behind the Scenes at a House Beautiful Shoot

Behind the Scenes at a House Beautiful Shoot

When House Beautiful gave Susanna the exciting news that they were going to come and shoot her Connecticut home for the magazine, we knew instantly it would made a fun behind-the-scenes video. It was fascinating to see acclaimed photographer William Abranowicz and his crew at work and House Beautiful Interiors Editor Doretta Sperduto made all the styling look effortless. The only hiccup was posing the dogs. Please join us for a sneak peek at just a bit of what goes into creating the alluring pages of House Beautiful.

These couple of minutes capture the final moments of what has been months of preparation.…

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A Walk from Santa Margherita to Portofino

A Walk from Santa Margherita to Portofino

After enjoying our hotel‘s bountiful buffet breakfast on our one full day in Santa Margherita, we approached the always helpful concierge to inquire about an outing to Portofino. He suggested that, if we were up to it, the 5 kilometer walk from Santa Margherita to Portofino was a worthwhile venture and proceeded to highlight the path on a map with suggested stops both on the way and in Portofino.

The footpath is essentially a sidewalk on the water side of the very narrow winding road. Each turn reveals a new vista, whether villas, small beach clubs, restaurant or open water.…

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(Not Quite) 48 Hours in Santa Margherita and Portofino

(Not Quite) 48 Hours in Santa Margherita and Portofino

While less than 48 hours on the lovely Ligurian coast seems impossibly short, it was just long enough to get a flavor for this exquisite region of Italy. I thought you might enjoy tagging along for a photo tour of what Susanna and I managed to pack into our short stay. After driving from Parma to the coast (a bit over an hour), we parked in the seaside town of La Spezia at the base of the Cinque Terre. From there we hopped a ferry, transferring at Portovenere, below, that offered a wonderful water-based tour of the five famous hill towns.…

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Cornucopia Magazine

Cornucopia Magazine

I can still remember seeing Mica and Ahmet Ertegun’s Bodrum villa for the first time. It was decades ago in a publication I have now forgotten, but I recall being immediately smitten with the allure of the exotic seaside location and the white washed stone house filled with Turkish furnishings.

Years later Istanbul remains high on my travel bucket list. And I’m clearly not alone. According to Instagram, it seems I might actually be part of a minority who hasn’t been there. So I was intrigued when artist/designer (and Quintessence reader) Tania Vartan wrote, from Turkey naturally, to tell me about a publication she thought I might be interested in.…

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Posted in architecture, art, design, food and drink, history, interior design, learning, travel | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments