Classical Invention | The Architecture of John B. Murray

Classical Invention | The Architecture of John B. Murray

We really have the author’s mother to thank for John Murray‘s elegant new volume Classical Invention | The Architecture of John B. Murray. If she had not suggested he take a summer design program at Carnegie Mellon, he might have finished his pre-med studies instead of continuing on to architecture school.

And that would have been quite a loss for the design community. For all those who love classic architecture, executed with a mastery of detail based on the timeless principles of the past, this is a volume for you. In fifteen projects encompassing both country and city residences, Murray exemplifies how he creates timeless homes with the comforts and conveniences of modern life.…

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High Point Highlights | Wesley Hall

High Point Highlights | Wesley Hall

I was delighted to have Wesley Hall as one of my co-sponsors again this market. As a privately owned made-in-America company, they pride themselves in being involved with every aspect of the business and the results show. Following a recent facelift, their spacious and open showroom welcomed many new styles this season including over 200 new fabrics and three new finishes. Needless to say, there was a lot to see.

Blue continued to be a strong color story this market as was tufting, both of which made an appearance in the new Foster sofa, shown in Jubilee, a super durable new fabric, available in over 20 colors.…

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Jamie Drake for House Beautiful at Designer Visions

Jamie Drake for House Beautiful at Designer Visions

In the Designer Visions apartment designed by Jamie Drake for House Beautiful, it’s not surprising that color plays a major role. And no where is this more evident, or dramatic, than on the walls. As seen in the living and media rooms, Jamie worked with Jonathan Kutzin of America Painting to create beautiful bespoke treatments that add depth and rich texture to the rooms. Both bedrooms benefitted from these treatments as well with surprising results. The daughter’s bedroom is a sophisticated retreat with gorgeous Venetian plaster installed by Alpha Workshops. The almost black color is actually a deep plum, adding another layer of subtle color.…

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T Magazine Luxury Issue

T Magazine Luxury Issue

Deborah Needleman always seems to say just what I have been thinking but haven’t quite gotten around to articulating. In her editor letter for this weekend’s T Magazine Luxury Issue, she writes, “To do ‘simple’ right isn’t as easy as it looks — whether it’s the design of a building, a dress or even a life. If knowledge is power and simplicity requires knowledge, then Socrates might agree with our issue’s premise that simplicity is very powerful.” And of course I’m with Socrates – and T.

Simplicity for me isn’t always simplicity of mere form. It could be simplicity of concept – a singular thought or vision that is adhered to without compromise.…

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Jamie Drake Designer Visions 2013 for House Beautiful

Jamie Drake Designer Visions 2013 for House Beautiful

With a shared love of color, Jamie Drake and House Beautiful are a perfect pairing for Hearst’s Designer Visions showhouse. Taking inspiration from the 1920’s period of the building, Jamie embraced the deco era, imaging the apartment for the fictional granddaughter of Josephine Baker, the chanteuse who embodied the spirit of the jazz age. The tone is set in the black and white foyer where a fabulous Clarence House paper grounds the space with a graphic energy.

Overlooking the neighboring rooftops, the apartment’s view of the many faded brick buildings guided the choice of the salmon color enveloping the living room.…

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Howard Slatkin on One Kings Lane

Howard Slatkin on One Kings Lane

For those of you who couldn’t get enough of Howard Slatkin’s amazing Fifth Avenue apartment, I am delighted to report you will be able to get a little piece of that luxurious life for your own this Saturday when his Tastemaker Tag Sale on One Kings Lane debuts.

There will be two sales – one of books and one of assorted furniture, tabletop, accessories and collectibles, both of which will benefit three of Howard’s favorite charities. I was treated to a sneak peek and now am not sure it was a good thing since I have flagged practically everything. Here’s a bit of what you’ll find, from an enormous collection of covetable volumes

to an irresistible selection of items for the home.…

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Louis Benech | Twelve French Gardens

Louis Benech | Twelve French Gardens

While I have little talent in the arena of landscape design, I can certainly recognize someone who does, so I was delighted to discover Louis Benech in the new book of his work, Twelve French Gardens.

Although he studied law, Benech’s lifelong love of plants led him to horticultural apprenticeships in England and Normandy. Back in France, he received work from Loël Guinness, where he met neighbor Guy de Rothschild, and then Anne d’Ornano and Stavros Niarchos. But it was Pierre Bergé, whose country house with Yves Saint Laurent received his attentions, who urged him to form his company and establish his career.…

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Alessandra Branca Designer Visions Bedrooms

Alessandra Branca Designer Visions Bedrooms

At an enviable 4,800 square feet with three bedrooms, the Alessandra Branca Designer Visions duplex would have been a game changer for many of us who exiled the city seeking more space for our growing families. While the public spaces are convivial and open for shared family living and entertaining, the bedrooms are havens of cocooned coziness. The master is a sophisticated sanctuary enveloped by one of my favorite fabrics in her new Schumacher collection, the acid green Anna Damask. A modern take on timeless elegance, it is a textured tumbled linen that is the essence of spring.

In the morning, the bedroom feels fresh and invigorating and in the evening glows with a sexy yin yang of the luxurious damask tempered by the handsome upholstered furniture in gray velvet and wool from Schumacher.…

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Alessandra Branca for ELLE DECOR at Hearst Designer Visions

Alessandra Branca for ELLE DECOR at Hearst Designer Visions

In her Designer Visions apartment, Alessandra Branca is all about contrasting combinations – of old and new, of elegance and comfort and of color and pattern. What was originally planned as the dining room was repurposed as a warm and cozy library/sitting room. Trompe l’oeil abounds with her fabulous faux bois cotton sateen on the walls and one of my favorite Candida Höfer photos of the Trinity College Library in Dublin, seeming to extend the room with its incredible perspective. Creative connections come alive as the view into this historic library containing thousands of valuable volumes overlooks a room where reading may now mean merely an iPad.…

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Hearst Designer Visions Showhouse 2013

Hearst Designer Visions Showhouse 2013

On an unassuming street in the heart of Chelsea, sits the beautiful new Walker Tower, in which the seventh annual Hearst Designer Visions Showcase is located. No doubt inspired by the building’s gorgeous architectural details and unparalleled views, this year’s three designers have created the most luxurious and alluring apartments for their respective magazines. ELLE DECOR‘s sophisticated global perspective is well represented by Alessandra Branca. With her signature mix of old world elegance and relaxed modern living, she has designed a a chic duplex apartment full of color, comfort and craft.

Alessandra had existing upper east side clients in mind when she designed the space.…

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