Monthly Archives: January 2011

To the Manor Born

I am already mourning the end of Downton Abbey. Oh how is it possible that we have in such a short time exhausted each and every episode? And how is it possible that the gentlemanly Julian Fellowes could choose to leave us hanging in such a manner – I would have expected better form!…

Posted in dining room, entertainment, furniture, interior design, kitchens | Tagged , , , , | 42 Comments  

Art & Commerce


photo by Bruno Gaget
We’re starting to see a lot more of Marissa Webb, Head of Women’s Design at J. Crew. She’s featured in the latest J. Crew video – a fun behind-the-scenes look at manufacturing their shoes in Italy (if you follow quintessence on facebook, you’ve probably already seen this).…

Posted in art, art history, fashion, J. Crew, learning | Tagged , , , , | 66 Comments  

Lego Love

My daughter is lego obsessed. And I couldn’t be happier. What a wonderful creative outlet for kids. With all her Christmas checks, she ordered the Harry Potter Diagon Alley set. She anxiously awaited the package, tracking it online every day and has been working on it diligently since the minute it was delivered.…

Posted in art, books, children, design, entertainment, games, learning, sculpture | Tagged , , , , , , , | 29 Comments  

Auction Update

Last weekend I wrote about the (then) upcoming auction at Doyle that I thought had many appealing and reasonably priced pieces. Well it turns out everyone else thought so as well! “The sale totaled a strong $2,739,469, against a pre-sale estimate of $1,802,700-2,794,700, with an exceptional 84% sold by lot and 94% sold by value.”
The featured item from the Joseph Patrick auction, these George II mahogany library chairs, sold to an English bidder for $164,500 (estimate $100,000 – $150,000)!…

Posted in art, auctions, Christie's, furniture | Tagged , | 40 Comments  

At the Movies

With posts on France, wine and art this week, the perfect movie was easy to choose. It’s a classic that I’m sure many of you have seen and if not, I’m thrilled to introduce you. How to Steal a Million is a frothy romantic comedy that shows Audrey at her best – charming, stylish and disarming.…

Posted in entertainment, film | Tagged , , , | 31 Comments  

Thinking Outside the Box

I love how the Met is using items from their collection to create smaller accessible shows that, like their new digital initiative, Connections, creates cohesive themes from different time periods and objects. Last week when I went to the Met with my sister, we saw Thinking Outside the Box, one of these exhibits.…

Posted in art, art history, history, learning | Tagged , | 35 Comments  

Wednesday Wine

Decanting can seem a mystery to many. It is one of the issues that has presented itself here in previous posts and that I think people are curious about in genera. Should you or shouldn’t you? Is it necessary or even beneficial?…

Posted in wine | Tagged , | 23 Comments  

Provencal Perfection

When I read about the renovation of this beautiful house in the Luberon Valley in France, it captivated my imagination with the fantasy of owning a little piece of Provence. Like Peter Mayle or our own blogosphere friend and author Vicki Archer, this owner’s tale is full of enchanting stories and slow progress.…

Posted in architecture, interior design, travel | Tagged , , | 67 Comments  

Pittman’s Passion

photograph Jay Lawrence Goldman
Last Wednesday was one of those days I wish I had more of. I met my sister at the Met where we saw a lovely exhibit (more on that later), had lunch in the serene Trustee’s dining room, and then wandered down to Bergdorf’s.…

Posted in fashion, jewelry | Tagged , , | 34 Comments  

The Stylish Nudibranch

No, I didn’t make it up. A nudibranch is a toxic seagoing slug that is protected by its brilliant design. Nature is of course the original style maven and the nudibranch has it in spades! Found in both warm and cold waters, from shallows and reefs to nearly a mile down, they are merely skin, muscle and organs with gills resembling tufts on their backs (Nudibranch means “naked gill,” a feature that separates them from other sea slugs.)
They defend themselves with toxic secretions and stinging cells.…

Posted in learning | Tagged | 40 Comments