Design Moving Forward

Design Moving Forward

January has been flying by almost as quickly as the holidays came and went. While most vestiges of Christmas in my house are gone, a few stragglers are still hanging on.  These slow opening paperwhites, now possibly winning the award for tallest ever, are reminders of the season.

With the final exodus of children back to school and cross country, I am now in a bit in of a catch up mode. I’m looking forward to sharing my recent visit to the Flatiron Design Collective, a creative collaboration of three exceptional artisanal companies who create custom couture products.

And after the weekend, I’ll be sharing Susanna Salk’s and my latest video, a very special visit with the owner of an iconic firm and their anniversary exhibition – major hint below.…

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Style Knows No Age

Style Knows No Age

I am certainly not alone in my espousal of the belief that style knows no age. And it seems lately that the fashion world agrees. Phoebe Philo’s enlightened choice of Joan Didion as the official muse for her spring campaign set off unprecedented online fervor.

After all, it isn’t often that an intellectual octogenarian has a starring fashion role (her short stint at Vogue notwithstanding). But it was perhaps the spot-on synergy with a label long associated with the understated sartorial cool of the thinking woman that gave rise to such buzz.

And right on the heels of Céline’s news, Hedi Slimane announced that Joni Mitchell is the latest in the Saint Laurent Music Project, a black and white portrait series building on the relationship between music icons and the fashion house.…

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The Power of Wallpaper in House Beautiful

The Power of Wallpaper in House Beautiful

As soon as I got a peek at the project by Philip Gorrivan in the February House Beautiful, I knew I had to share. There is so much to applaud in Philip’s design for this charming Connecticut country house, not the least of which is his masterful harnessing of the power of wallpaper. And while the makeover is replete with artistic flair (the title of the piece) in the designer’s use of pattern and color, the 1920’s colonial still retains a country air.

Bold pattern entreats you from the entrance, above, where David Hicks’ iconic Vase wallpaper sets the tone.…

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Armchair Traveler to France

Armchair Traveler to France

I buy design and lifestyle books for any number of reasons – for reference, for inspiration and certainly for enjoyment. But sometimes it is also so I can be an armchair traveler and take a trip anywhere I desire from the comfort of my home. Two books I purchased this fall fulfilled this category and more. The subtitle of Private Houses of France, Living with History, was an additional enticement.

In Christiane de Nicolay Mazery’s marvelous new tome, she gives us entrée into a dozen magnificent privately owned houses, each with an illustrious past. The Château d’Anet, for example, is a Renaissance masterpiece, built in 1547 to house King Henry II and his famous mistress Diane de Poitiers.…

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Lilly Pulitzer for Target

Lilly Pulitzer for Target

Yesterday evening, in the iconic Pool Room of the Four Seasons Restaurant, Target announced their latest design collaboration with another iconic American brand. Transforming the space into a tropical resort, the room was brimming with the colorful and ebullient prints of the new Lilly Pulitzer for Target products.

With over 250 items, including fashion for women and girls (how adorable is this pint size Lilly bikini)

as well as home and entertaining accessories, the collection will launch on April 19th in all Target stores in the U.S. and Canada as well as their website. Interpreting the vision of one of the earliest lifestyle labels, the products cross a multitude of categories, following the founder’s mission statement, “Style isn’t just about what you wear, it’s about how you live.”

And while Lilly Pulitzer’s original following included Palm Beach’s social elite, Target is now introducing Lilly’s resort chic to both existing fans and an entirely new audience, who can have a piece of the paradise with prices ranging from $2 to $150.…

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A New Year’s Salute to our Four Legged Friends

A New Year’s Salute to our Four Legged Friends

We had a recent scare with our dog Charlie, who I am happy to report is fine. But it was a reminder of his cherished position in our family. I know several of you lost beloved pets this year (my heart goes out to you) and others have joyfully welcomed new four legged friends into your homes. So for dog lovers everywhere, here’s to starting 2015 off right by celebrating our devotion to our furry family members.

In Susanna’s and my video from this time last year, we visited designers at home and in their offices who paid tribute to their personal passions for their pets.…

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New Year’s Movies

New Year’s Movies

Welcome to 2015! Whether out and about or celebrating at home, I hope you all ushered in the new year with style. As everyone seemed to like last week’s film suggestions and we still have a few days off ahead, I am sharing a few New Year’s movies for weekend watching. I was surprised to discover that I had never written about one of my favorite classic films, Holiday. This 1938 George Cukor classic, starring Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant, though not as well known as their other comedic collaborations, Philadelphia Story and Bringing Up Baby, is a winning romantic comedy with a great cast, witty repartee and mindful message, not to mention elegant wardrobe and fabulous setting.…

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Quintessential Guide to Champagne 2014

Quintessential Guide to Champagne 2014

While I am a proponent of drinking champagne throughout the year, there is certainly no more traditional time to celebrate with a glass of bubbly than on New Year’s Eve. And so I present this year’s edition of what has become an annual post – the Quintessential Guide to Champagne 2014. If you’ve ever wondered the how and why of champagne, read on (I’ve tried to tighten up the detailed explanation) and if you’ve visited this discussion in the past, you can hop to the end for some drinking suggestions. And while we may not all look as good as Jacqueline Bisset did with a glass of the good stuff,

we can at least have this much fun.…

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More Additions for Your Design Library

More Additions for Your Design Library

Since there is never enough time to catch up on all the new fall design titles, I thought this week, when we are all at home or relaxing on vacation, would be a good time to make some more suggestions for your design library.

Nancy Braithwaite’s work has long celebrated the power of simplicity. And as she states on one of the opening pages of her beautiful new book Simplicity, “There is nothing simple about simplicity.” I have written before about this concept, as have many before me going back as far as Socrates. It requires “education, discipline, rigor, and skill” to “edit a world of almost limitless available choices.” And this is what separates the dilettante decorators from the professionals. …

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Holiday Movies

Holiday Movies

For those who celebrated, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. Ours was filled with family frenzy and fun. As we relax in the aftermath, I thought a few holiday movies might be in order. I know I will be in couch mode for much of the weekend. Over the past several years I have reviewed some of my favorites, which I remind you of here.

The Bishop’s Wife is a holiday classic. You can’t go wrong with Cary Grant, David Niven and Loretta Young with some wonderful winter scenery and a little fantasy.

Desk Set with Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy is one of my all time favorites. …

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