Weekend Wandering at the Met

Weekend Wandering at the Met

One of my Christmas presents to my sister was a dual membership with me to the Metropolitan Museum. Since her birthday is Monday, we decided to celebrate by seeing a couple of exhibits at the Met and having lunch in the lovely Members Dining Room, which is almost worth the cost of membership alone.

photo courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum

On the fourth floor overlooking Central Park, it is the perfect respite for a special occasion. The service is attentive and Chef Fred Sabo’s  food is fresh and delicious with appropriately stylish presentation (below our Key Lime Baked Alaska with Lime-Ginger Sauce and Blackberry-Oregano Sherbert – delicious).…

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A Kindel Furniture Update with Eric Cohler

A Kindel Furniture Update with Eric Cohler

Since 1901 Kindel Furniture has been hand making fine American furniture in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Whether their own designs or those from Dorothy Draper, the Winterthur Museum or architect Robert A.M. Stern, their bench made pieces reflect over a century of experience and commitment to quality craftsmanship.

And now, Kindel has collaborated with designer Eric Cohler to give the brand a timely update. I stopped by the unveiling of their brand new showroom in the New York Design Center to chat with Eric and see the fabulous new look, above.

By translating many of their iconic pieces with new finishes, colors and tweeks, Eric has given them new life, offering inspiring examples of how to harness the power of Kindel’s limitless customization options.…

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Flatiron Design Collective

Flatiron Design Collective

Over the past few years, several additions to the lower Fifth Avenue area have made the neighborhood a go-to source for design. One of the more recent introductions is the Flatiron Design Collective, which I was delighted to visit last month. Here three distinguished artisanal companies, John Lyle Create, CL Curated and Fromental, work directly with designers to create couture custom pieces in a space that is part showroom and part design studio.

John Lyle is a long time industry veteran whose handmade sculptural pieces have been sourced by high end designers and collectors for years. Perhaps best known for revolutionizing the look of fireplaces with innovative designs for andirons, screens and tools, as seen recently in Ally Coulter’s Holiday House room and Forehand + Lake’s “Alpine Exposure” vignette at Rooms with a View) and below,

his collections also include fabulous furniture and lighting.…

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Ottoman Chic

Ottoman Chic

Clearly a trip to Turkey should be on my docket. Having tempted you in the fall with the beautiful Cornucopia and more recently with the jewels of Sevan Biçakçi and the European interpretation of the near east in turquerie, we will round out the week with Serdar Gülgün’s opulent book Ottoman Chic. A personal tour of the Turkish designer’s home interspersed with history, inspiration and culture of his native land, you will feel immersed in the “decorative layers of Istanbul, the seductive capital of the Ottoman Empire.”

Originally the hunting lodge of the Hungarian Feyzullah Pasha, Gülgün’s home is a multicultural melange within an old wooden form.…

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A New Look for Gil Schafer

A New Look for Gil Schafer

For so many of us in the world of design, any new project emanating from the office of architect Gil Schafer elicits a sense of excitement. His classic American style is the perfect bridge between past and present – rooted in history, with a timeless sense of scale and proportion, yet effortlessly translated for comfortable modern living. While Gil looks to the past he is also constantly looking forward, for fresh and innovative ways to adapt the rules of classicism to a 21st century lifestyle. And so I am thrilled to share his brand new website with you, an updated renovation with a fresh face and lots of enticing new content and photos.…

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Exotic Chic

Exotic Chic

There is so much theses days, in fashion and in our homes, reflecting a love for exotic chic. Even long before these far off places were easily accessible, westerners have been adopting styles as they envisioned life in these cultures. In Turquerie, a book from last year that I have been meaning to share, author Haydn Williams thoroughly explores this fascinating area of fine and decorative art that still influences us today.

As early as 1453, when the Ottoman Turks captured Constantinople, Europeans became curious about this exotic domain. Artists such as Pieter Coecke van Aelst, whose works from his travels there attempting to sell his tapestries, offered glimpses of the Near East.…

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Stylish Entertaining at the NYBG Orchid Dinner

Stylish Entertaining at the NYBG Orchid Dinner

The tables at the Veranda NYBG Orchid Dinner were amazing in their diversity and creativity. Some designers focused on the splendor of the floral centerpieces while others chose to exhibit their talents for stylish entertaining. Veranda contributing editor Danielle Rollins has long had a passion for the latter as seen in her pieces for the magazine and her book Soirée.

Her table was a study in spirited and layered eclecticism. With a navy underskirt of SFERRA linen, she used one of my favorite Brunschwig patterns, Samarkand, as a topper, edged with Samuel & Sons’ bold Aristotle Greek Key – a wonderful pairing.…

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New York Botanical Garden Orchid Dinner 2015

New York Botanical Garden Orchid Dinner 2015

Tuesday night at the Mandarin Oriental in New York marked the New York Botanical Garden‘s Orchid Dinner 2015. One of my favorite annual events, organized by media sponsor Veranda Magazine, it is always a treat to see the creative designer tables fashioned with unusual orchid centerpieces. All the proceeds from the evening help to fund the Garden’s very impressive orchid research collection.

Before dinner, there are always exquisite plants for sale, including very unusual specimens such as the Cattleya Park Ridge ‘Thornridge’  in front below.

While there was no specific theme for this year’s tables, the Botanical Garden’s 2015 Orchid Show, opening at the end of the month, is entitled Chandeliers.…

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Sneak Peek at a World of Color in House Beautiful

Sneak Peek at a World of Color in House Beautiful

With the current state of white out this winter, I am delighted to share a sneak peek at a fresh project full of color in House Beautiful. Lindsey Coral Harper is a young designer who knows how to put an updated spin on tradition. With bold pattern and unabashed use of saturated hues, she has transformed a young family’s large house in Charlotte, North Carolina into a stylish, comfortable abode, perfect for the magazine’s annual color issue.

The statement-making entry offers a glamorous yet grounded welcome. The bold pattern of Jim Thompson’s Duquetterie linen is balanced with the geometry of Phillip Jeffries’ Rivets wall covering in the back, which in turn echoes the gold tones of the fabric, Bunny Williams’ classic Hourglass table and a custom light fixture.…

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The Exquisite World of Sevan Biçakçi

The Exquisite World of Sevan Biçakçi

Earlier this week, at the Sotheby’s Important Jewels preview, I dropped my business card in a bowl for a chance to win a group of fabulous books. What an unexpected surprise when I received an email informing me I had won.

When I posted the photo of my spoils, above, on Instagram, the Sevan Biçakçi volume in particular elicited several excited responses from followers who were thrilled to see a book on his work. It was not surprising, as the master jeweler has a strong cult following around the globe among sophisticated collectors and design mavens in the know.…

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