New York Botanical Garden Orchid Dinner Preview

New York Botanical Garden Orchid Dinner Preview

One of my favorite events of the winter design scene is The New York Botanical Garden’s annual Orchid Dinner. Serving as a fundraising prelude to the annual Orchid Show, the Garden has continued its collaboration with Veranda in bringing together over 25 top NYC designers (see this year’s list below) to create spectacular orchid centerpieces and tabletops.

The theme of this year’s show, Key West Contemporary, opening March 1, should provide plenty of tropical inspiration.

Inspired by a modern garden originally designed by landscape architect Raymond Jungles for Susan Henshaw Jones, President of the Museum of the City of New York, and Judge Richard K.…

Read More »

Posted in garden, interior design | Tagged , , | 4 Comments  

An Invitation to the Garden from Michael Devine

An Invitation to the Garden from Michael Devine

With our recent Siberian-like weather, An Invitation to the Garden arrived at my door like a welcome breath of spring. Authored and photographed (with John Gruen) by multi talented friend Michael Devine, the volume transports you to his charming garden in upstate New York where he has created twelve enchanting seasonal events with 50 approachable recipes. An entertaining guide with both inspirational and practical information, Michael shares menu, floral and presentation tips that can be adapted to any  space. Whether you have an ample country garden or grow herbs on an apartment windowsill, you’ll be chomping at the bit to plan your next dinner party with all the creative ideas inside.…

Read More »

Posted in food and drink, garden, interior design | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments  

Updating Pretty in a Classic 1930s Revival

Updating Pretty in a Classic 1930s Revival

There was a time when pretty didn’t have such a positive connotation in the world of design. But no longer – pretty is most definitely back with a fresh new spin on tradition. And the upcoming March/April Veranda showcases a lovely example with designer Rob Southern’s timeless take on a classic 1930s revival gracing the cover of the issue.

While it may seem that Southern started with an embarrassment of riches – a light filled 6,000 square foot NYC pre-war apartment with river views – he was intent on restoring the space to its original 1930′s lines. So after raising the ceilings and staining the floorings a deep lustrous walnut, he then approached the task of creating an ageless interior that could grow with the owners and their young family.…

Read More »

Posted in architecture, art, interior design | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments  

Creative Collaboration at Chesney’s

Creative Collaboration at Chesney’s

Since 1983 Chesney’s has made creative collaboration the core of their business. Initially joining forces with the past, the firm focused on restoring antique fireplaces but it was when they began creating historically accurate reproductions as well as bespoke designs that their business really boomed. Since then, they have become the luxury leader in their field with a wide range of designs and collaborative collections with The Soane Museum, The Lutyens Foundation and distinguished contemporary interior designers.

In their spacious new showroom in the D&D building above, creative collaborations enhance the space. The contemporary glamour of lighting and hardware by Ochre is a wonderful contrast to the wide plank limed oak flooring by Rode Brothers (the firm who installed the floors in the White House). …

Read More »

Posted in history, interior design | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments  

Paris Chic at the Dior Home Boutique

Paris Chic at the Dior Home Boutique

When several of your chicest design friends all mention the same Paris shop as a must visit, it is duly noted. So although my recent trip was a short whirlwind visit, meeting with Doris Brynner at the Dior Home Boutique was a stop not to be missed. The Dior flagship store, at its legendary Avenue Montaigne address, is well known for its couture creations. But within this bastion of fashion, is a secret source for all things chic for the home.

Presiding over this space is the inimitable Doris Brynner, well known in all the right circles for her impeccable taste and discerning eye.…

Read More »

Posted in design, gifts, interior design, travel | Tagged , , | 14 Comments  

Style in Motion with Hock

Style in Motion with Hock

Finding motivation to exercise is hard enough. So when German product developer Kristof Hock got tired of working out with unattractive and institutional looking dumbbells, he decided to create a company of exceptional fitness products. Combining form and function into environmentally friendly and über chic products is not a goal I normally associate with exercise equipment. But with sophisticated designs and outstanding craftsmanship of natural materials, HOCK is the very welcome exception. I was thrilled to learn about this elegant alternative to the pedestrian norm that is already finding fans in upscale homes and spas in Europe, such as the renowned Brenners Park Hotel and Spa in Baden-Baden.…

Read More »

Posted in design, interior design, sports | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments  

New Outdoor Fabrics Blur the Boundaries

New Outdoor Fabrics Blur the Boundaries

As the boundaries between indoor and outdoor living continue to dissolve, the choices for new outdoor fabrics are inversely multiplying. At Paris Deco Off, we saw the addition of several chic new collections from upscale lines. Like many of Dedar‘s fabrics, their new outdoor collection has sartorial roots. With a Saville row tailoring, these weather resistant textiles are user friendly and long lasting.

Coordinating geometrics such as the diamond Basquette and rope-like stripe Summertime are available in black and white, neutrals and brights. These deliver not only in the design department but also in performance. While they are resistant to light, mildew and inclement weather, their easy washing and stain removal properties make them equally appealing for high traffic areas such as family rooms.…

Read More »

Posted in design, interior design, travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments  

Building a Business on Teamwork with Cullman & Kravis

Building a Business on Teamwork with Cullman & Kravis

I am delighted to be moderating the upcoming Architecural Digest Design Files lecture at the D&D building on Tuesday, February 25. As Cullman & Kravis celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, our discussion on Building a Business on Teamwork will investigate how Ellie Cullman and her team have developed a successful formula for in-house collaboration resulting in both an effective work flow and a nurturing environment. From how to divide work responsibilities, to organizing visual project folders to establishing budgets, anyone in a design related job can learn from the best. In writing this blog, I have dealt with many design offices and can personally attest to the friendly and incredibly efficient operation at Cullman & Kravis.…

Read More »

Posted in design, interior design, learning | Tagged , , | 4 Comments  

Cartier at the Grand Palais Paris

Cartier at the Grand Palais Paris

There is a reason the exhibit of Cartier at the Grand Palais in Paris is subtitled “Style and History.” While many today may think of the jewelry firm merely as a purveyor of red carpet adornments and the latest “tank,”  it is in fact a house of style, representing  over a century and a half of artistic achievement. This exhibit, the largest since 1989, assembles over 600 pieces and 300 documents, tracing the stylistic history and creative process. Jewelry at its best is functional art and Cartier throughout the eras has indeed elevated its finely honed craft to an art form.…

Read More »

Posted in art, jewelry, travel | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments  

Report from Paris Deco Off | Wallpaper Appeal

Report from Paris Deco Off | Wallpaper Appeal

It was a pleasure to see the cheerful lanterns swinging above the streets in Saint Germain and Rue de Mail again this year for the fifth edition of Paris Deco Off.

And while my visit to the show was unfortunately brief, it was clear that wallpaper is continuing to have its moment. As a return to tradition is being revived and retweaked in design, wallpaper offers a perfect way to update with pattern and color. Pierre Frey‘s new collection sources both classical and international motifs. From the baroque opulence of Venus

to the exotic tropical vegetation of Mojito,

it’s a cornucopia of visual references around the globe.…

Read More »

Posted in interior design, travel | Tagged , , , , , | 16 Comments