Holiday Shop Picks | The Neue Galerie

Holiday Shop Picks | The Neue Galerie

I’ve been feeling it for a while – something gemütlich is in the air and it’s not just Sacher torte and Tostmann Trachten. A focus on Austria seems to be making the rounds. This week T Magazine shared an amazing art collection in a 17th century Austrian Manor and Travel + Leisure explained why “Food is reason enough to come to Vienna in winter.” So since I don’t have a visit to Vienna scheduled in the immediate future (although I’ve discovered some designer friends do), the next best thing was obvious. An outing to the Neue Galerie to scout holiday gifts was in order.…

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Holiday Shop Picks | Verdura

Holiday Shop Picks | Verdura

It’s always a good day when I have a reason to visit Verdura. In their elegant boutique overlooking Fifth Avenue and Central Park, I had a chance to take a gander at their Mid-Century Master vintage exhibition on view (and of course for sale) through December 27th. Included are coveted pieces from Verdura and Suzanne Belperron, whose archives now reside within the Verdura vaults. Both icons of 20th century jewelry design, the exhibition shows how their distinctive styles each revolutionized the century’s style. A few favorites included these gold, platinum and diamond “wing” ear clips with peridot, gold and diamond pendants Verdura designed for Flato in 1945.…

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The English Country House

The English Country House

While trends in architecture and decor come and go, the appeal of the English country house is one that perennially remains. And for those who have been lost without their weekly dose of Downton Abbey, this season’s addition to Vendome’s Country House series will obligingly bridge the gap. Featuring ten exceptional British country homes still in the hands of the original families, The English Country House tells their stories, from stylistic evolution to familial traditions and historical relevance. As noted by Julian Fellowes in his introduction, the English country house will always hold “that intriguing blend of great art and architecture mixed in with the romance and tragedy of the people who have lived within their walls.”

Like last year’s The Scottish Country House, the book includes beautiful natural-light photography by James Fennell and through James Peill’s approachable and informative text, we are escorted through the houses, replete with architectural explanations and savory social tidbits.…

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Holiday Shop Picks | Calvin Klein Home

Holiday Shop Picks | Calvin Klein Home

The interholiday days are officially here. And that means my eyes are peeled for potential gift picks almost everywhere I go. Over the next three weeks, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite finds as I’m out and about.

While I’ve passed the Calvin Klein shop on Madison Avenue countless times, I had never ventured downstairs to the world of Calvin Klein Home. It had just been decked out in their version of a winter wonderland with a luxurious and luminous naturalistic vibe.

Calvin Klein Home has a zen-like minimalist mantra. And although not normally a minimalist at heart, I found quite a few items that could augment a setting of any style.…

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Francois Halard | The Book

Francois Halard | The Book

It would be hard to beat Mayer Russ’ incredibly eloquent and elucidating introduction to the much anticipated monograph of Francois Halard. “The collected images unfold like an intoxicating reverie, a poetic meditation on the themes of memory, history, inspiration, and the elusive, ecstatic epiphany of coming face-to-face with true beauty and genius.”

Think less traditional book and more immersive experience. You will be beguiled by the imagery, intrigued by the words and inspired by the ride. It’s a seductive, insider look at many of the greatest tastemakers and artists of our time, filtered through Halard’s personal and poignant lens. Both evocative and elusive, you will be transported to Casa Malaparte in Capri, the dramatic house and location that have inspired so many and to which Halard waited ten years for entry.…

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House Beautiful Design Trends for 2014

House Beautiful Design Trends for 2014

I was delighted to be asked recently by House Beautiful to predict some design trends for 2014. While I believe in living with what you love, pops of what’s in the air can keep your spaces fresh and updated. My suggestion they chose to include was the return of florals and chintz but do check out the other bloggers’ picks too, some of which I have covered here as well.

Floral fabrics have been popping up everywhere in fashion and decor. Alexa Hampton included the timeless Cowtan & Tout Bailey Rose, above, in her fantastic Hickory Chair rooms at High Point this past market.…

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Urban Electric Co. | A Decade of American Craftsmanship

Urban Electric Co. | A Decade of American Craftsmanship

Urban Electric Co. is all about raising expectations. It’s a motto that influences every aspect of their business and it shows. As the company marks its tenth anniversary this year, they can be proud of a heritage celebrating American-made hand-crafted products that elevates lighting to an art. While they have grown dramatically over the last decade, their focus is still on designing and manufacturing lights “infused with people and place,” with human contact at every touch point. If you’ve been following along, you know our trip included visits to local businesses and homes where Urban Electric Co. means more than just a fixture.…

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Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

From my home to yours, wishing all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving.

This year my table started with the amber accessories. I continued the theme with a similarly colored tole cachepot. I kept it fresh with the napkins and then added feathers to the autumnal arrangement for a little graphic pop.

I’ll see you back here tomorrow (Friday) for a special conclusion to my visit to Charleston.

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Mark Maresca in Charleston

Mark Maresca in Charleston

Much of the appeal of Charleston is the living history of its architecture and how its occupants give the art and tradition of the past a relevance in the present and hopefully for the future. Architect Mark Maresca and his beautiful Battery house are a perfect example. Built in 1800 by a captain in the Continental Army, member of the South Carolina General Assembly and president of the Bank of South Carolina, the John Blake House is an august though unusual example of a Charleston Single House. One of only two ell shaped houses of the period in Charleston, it is also on one of the largest lots in the historic district.…

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Sleeping and Eating in Charleston

Sleeping and Eating in Charleston

 

Eating in Charleston has become a major league sport. As the NY Times noted in its piece on the city last week, “Charleston, a city of 126,000, is home to a concentration of world-class dining normally seen in cities five times the size.” Now, I was only in town for two nights, but every sip and morsel on the gastronomic itinerary organized by the knowledgeable people at Urban Electric Co. was report-worthy. But let me start at the beginning. Upon our arrival in Charleston we were escorted to our hotel, the very lovely Zero George.

In five restored circa 1804 buildings surrounding open courtyards in the Ansonborough District of the city, owners Lynn and Dean Andrews have created a unique boutique hotel experience.…

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