Spring Entertaining

Spring Entertaining

Since we finally have had signs of warmth and sun, we can start looking forward to time outdoors and spring entertaining. Products from the fall tabletop show are now available, so it is a good time to consider what you might want to add to your collections. One of the most exciting updates has been the reinvigoration of Richard Ginori. Taken over by Gucci in 2013, the 270 year old porcelain brand represents a distinguished history of Italian excellence and creativity that deserves to be protected and rediscovered.

Gio Ponti was the artistic director in the 1920’s and many of his timeless designs are still produced today.…

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Signs of Spring

Signs of Spring

What a change a week makes! With sudden temperature rises, we are actually seeing signs of spring poking through the melting mounds of snow. It is also school vacation this week, so instead of working on my planned post, there was a lot of this going on.

But nonetheless, there were other activities as well. Tuesday evening was the splendid gala for the New York School of Interior Design Benefit Dinner honoring Edmund Hollander (Thomas N. Armstrong III Award in Landscape Design), the New York Restoration Project (Green Design Award), John Rosselli and Bunny Williams (Albert Hadley Lifetime Achievement Award) as well as the school’s current exhibit, Celebrating Landmark Interiors.…

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Dodie Thayer for Tory Burch

Dodie Thayer for Tory Burch

In the Slim Aarons era of Palm Beach life, potter Dodie Thayer was a name known to all fashionable hostesses. Self taught and using a second-hand kiln in her garage, she hand-made ceramics molded from lettuce and cabbage leaves, many pieces taking up to two weeks to complete. Sold at the exclusive Au Bon Gout shop on Worth Avenue, they quickly became must-have staples on every stylish table.

Her Lettuce Ware was soon collected by the likes of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis,the Duchess of Windsor and Brooke Astor, whose over-200 piece collection sold at Sotheby’s several years ago for over $75,000. The quintessential combination of artisanal craftsmanship with unpretentious yet distinctive style, Dodie Thayer’s work appealed to those who loved bringing the the fresh color and shapes of the garden to the table like Bunny Mellon and C.Z.…

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Geoffrey Bennison Master Decorator

Geoffrey Bennison Master Decorator

Designer Mark Hampton perhaps described legendary decorator Geoffrey Bennison best. “Like some Proustian arbiter of taste and manners, he knew exactly how to get it right, while at the same time he left a tingling impression of mystery. How did he do it? Where did it all come from? The decorator magician. That’s what he was.”

Long before I even knew what a blog was, I was a devotee of Geoffrey Bennison and his iconic fabrics. In this first book on the designer’s work, we are immersed in the magical and theatrical world of the renowned British designer, whose unconventional approach changed the way we look at decor.…

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Penny Morrison Then and Now

Penny Morrison Then and Now

Several years ago I wrote a piece about Guy and Penny Morrison’s charming house in Wales, below.

Since then, I have come to know Penny’s beautiful line of fabrics, and her chic collaboration with Carolina Irving, Irving & Morrison, below.

So I was delighted to see the marvelous cover feature on her home in the April ELLE DECOR beautifully captured by Miguel Flores-Vianna. The house has been updated since I last wrote about it with a marvelous sense of color and pattern. While it certainly has at its roots an English country sensibility, it is made personal and unique with bold hues and a stylish international mix of textiles, accessories and art.…

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Weekend Update

Weekend Update

Sometimes, I’ve put something on the back burner for whatever reason and a nudge from my wanderings online and elsewhere will serve as a reminder to circle back around. As we approach the weekend, it seemed a good time to catch up on several people, places and product I’ve been meaning to mention. You may remember when I visited the exceptional jewel box of a shop Simon Teakle, I wrote about Taffin, the exquisite work of James de Givenchy. Ever since then I had been meaning to visit his NYC showroom. This fall he moved into new headquarters and before the holidays I finally had a chance to visit.…

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Anouska Hempel

Anouska Hempel

It was Blake’s, the chic London boutique hotel, that put Anouska Hempel on the map in the world of design. Inventing an entirely new template of what a hotel could be, this unique creative endeavor was an early indication of what would grow to become an all encompassing international realm. From architecture and furniture to landscape, products and fashion, Anouska Hempel has an insatiable thirst and talent for every aspect of design.

In this comprehensive volume of her work, architectural critic and author Marcus Binney invites us into her visual world, touring us through Hempel’s homes, hotels and other projects, with explanatory notes on her creative vision and process.…

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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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