Marie Christophe, Guerlain and Cour des Senteurs

Marie Christophe, Guerlain and Cour des Senteurs

As Paris is only two weeks away, I thought it was an opportune time to write about the amazing confluence of events that led to this post. Last summer when I escorted my daughters on their first trip to Paris, we made the pilgrimage to Versailles, including a visit to the Cour des Senteurs, thanks to my good friends at The Buzz. Opened last April to coincide with the city’s grand celebration of the 400th anniversary of the birth of Le Notre (designer of Louis XIV’s gardens), it is a complex dedicated to the tradition of fragrance. The birthplace, in the 17th century, of perfumer as a profession, Versailles is also home to the Institut Supérieur International du Parfum, the only international diploma training for those in the perfume industry.…

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Tilton Fenwick for Duralee Fabrics

Tilton Fenwick for Duralee Fabrics

I have known the Tilton Fenwick design team of Suysel DePedro Cunningham and Anne Maxwell Foster almost since the beginning of both of our journeys in 2010. It was a quick start out of the gate for the talented duo. They were published in TradHome and named one of the Top 20 New Trad designers to watch within months of opening their doors and shortly thereafter were the subjects of my first video feature, which gives a little background on the team. Since then they have been additionally published, featured in showhouses and charity events such as Design on a Dime and widely acknowledged for their colorful, layered and pattern-infused take on traditional design.  …

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This Year, Change Your Mind

This Year, Change Your Mind

Illustration by Valero Doval for the NY Times

Now that it is a fresh new year, many are thinking of new years resolutions and what they can do to improve on the previous year. Several years ago, I wrote about an article I had read in the NY Times by Oliver Sacks entitled This Year, Change Your Mind. Many of you may be familiar with the best-selling author and professor of neurology and psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center. He has written many fascinating books including The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Awakenings, which was the basis for the Robert De Niro/Robin Williams movie.…

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Dogs and Their Designers Video

Dogs and Their Designers Video

When Susanna and I thought we might like to do a year end video celebrating dogs and their designers (as Steven Gambrel so cleverly put it), emails went out and within a few hours we had responses from most, all enthusiastic to participate. Several with scheduling conflicts sent in photos just to be part of the fun.

We even thought of doing a west coast version but as we realized our fervor had perhaps overtaken practicality, we settled on local locations, but have included shots sent from some L.A. friends as well. So please join us as we visit with designers at home and in their offices to pay tribute to their personal passions for their pets.…

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Quintessential Guide to Champagne 2013

Quintessential Guide to Champagne 2013

At this festive time of year, it’s become tradition in these parts to publish my Quintessential Guide to Champagne. For those of you who have read it before, feel feel to use it as a refresher and for those new readers, who perhaps didn’t follow along when I used to post about wine, welcome to the world of bubbly!

Thank you to Terry Rogers of Horseneck Wines in Greenwich, my former compatriot in Wednesday Wines, for the incredibly informative and insightful take on the history and making of our favorite holiday drink! What better way to enjoy the holidays than to share a glass of the good stuff with friends and family.…

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Rustic Chic New Year’s Lunch with Aerin Lauder

Rustic Chic New Year’s Lunch with Aerin Lauder

Attending elaborate parties thrown by her legendary grandmother, Estée Lauder, certainly influenced Aerin Lauder’s entertaining style. And tempered by her mother’s less is more sensibility, Aerin has developed her own take on her family’s holiday traditions. The upcoming January/February issue of Veranda features a festive New Year’s lunch at the family’s Long Island compound, where, in an old barn on the property, Aerin prepared a rustic chic Austrian-inspired affair. I’m delighted to be able to share with you a sneak peek.

It’s been a big year for Aerin. Launching furniture, lighting and fabric collections, she also recently collaborated with Lenox on a stylish tabletop collection, perfect for the occasion.…

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

To all who celebrate, wishing you a very Merry Christmas, from my home to yours!

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Design Books Round Up

Design Books Round Up

Although I started this fall with the best intentions, I somehow never managed to finish writing about the overwhelming number of design books this season. For anyone needing to fill out some last minute gifts, I suggest you hightail it to your local bookstore where you will surely find something for anyone on your list. For decorating aficionados, here are some final suggestions of books I can recommend. If you are an armchair shopper celebrating Christmas, I believe ordering express by midnight online will ensure delivery by Tuesday.

Designer Timothy Corrigan’s love affair with and subsequent five year, multi million dollar restoration of a dilapidated chateau in the French countryside, is delightfully documented in An Invitation to Château du Grand-Lucé.

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JAR at the Met

JAR at the Met

Not only is the JAR exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum the first US retrospective of jewelry designer Joel A. Rosenthal’s work, but the first at the museum devoted to any living  jeweler, or in Rosenthal’s case, artist, whose medium happens to be gems. Including over 400 one-of-a-kind masterpieces, the exhibit is an expression of his rare talent and unbridled creativity. Several weeks ago I attended the press preview for the exhibit and was overwhelmed by the exceptional detailing and unexpected combinations of materials that yield such unique and exquisite work. Take for example the Camellia Bracelet below, executed in enamel and embellished with rubies, silver and gold, which now resides in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris

or another camellia study, this time a brooch in aluminum, diamonds, gold, enamel.…

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Bejeweled

Bejeweled

Try as I might, there just weren’t enough hours in the day to get together my post on the JAR exhibit at the Met. So in the meantime, I offer you this delicious little morsel to whet your appetite. Stop by later to see more from this incredible exhibit.

photos by Quintessence

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