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.…

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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.…

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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.…

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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.…

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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.…

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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.…

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New Passport Rules | Traveler Beware

New Passport Rules | Traveler Beware

Anyone who has seen me within the last week now knows of the new passport rules governing international travel. And while this may not be within my usual topic of discussion, I feel it prudent to share my recent experiences.

I was scheduled to leave for Paris the Tuesday evening before last. Due to the snowstorm, I was skeptical that we would leave on time. Little did I know that should have been the least of my concerns. It took 3-1/2 hours, for what is normally about a 45 minute to an hour trip, to travel to JFK from CT. But miraculously, it looked like my Air France flight was still scheduled to take off within 15 minutes of its scheduled time.…

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Jacques Garcia’s Champ de Bataille

Jacques Garcia’s Champ de Bataille

While his design career was launched with such contemporary projects as the Montparnasse Tower and the Meridien group of hotels, Jacques Garcia has been an avid antiques collector since childhood. Focussing primarily on the 17th and 18th centuries, he amassed an impressive collection including many royal pieces of furniture, art and objects. His natural propensity for grandeur started early. Growing up in Normandy, each day on his way to school he would pass a derelict chateau, then being used as a hospital. He told his mother that some day he would live there, so when Château du Champ de Bataille, by then long neglected, came up for sale in 1992, it was destiny that he should buy it.…

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Adventures in Paris

Adventures in Paris

My apologies for leaving you readers so long without updates. I had fully intended to write from Paris but it turned out to be a whirlwind of a trip with a few twists in the road. I have just returned home and while working on catching up, I leave you with a little visual inspiration of where I’ve been and what I’ve seen, from several new collections at Paris Deco Off, to chic shopping finds and exhibits in Paris to magnificent historic chateaus. I’ll be back soon with the stories behind my recent adventures in Paris.

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In the Pierre Frey Paris Archives with Susanna Salk and Patrick Frey

In the Pierre Frey Paris Archives with Susanna Salk and Patrick Frey

Pierre Frey is a welcome anomaly in our modern world. A luxury company, family owned, and privately held, it is dedicated to both the preservation of the past and innovation for the future. As President and Creative Director, one of Patrick Frey’s passions has been to build an extraordinary archival textile collection, now containing over 30,000 documents, that has become an invaluable resource for not only the company but designers, museums and customers around the world. This summer Susanna and I had the coveted opportunity to visit the renowned archives in Paris. Tag along as Patrick and Pierre Frey archivist Sophie Rouart give us an inspiring and illuminating tour.…

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