(Not Quite) 48 Hours in Santa Margherita and Portofino

(Not Quite) 48 Hours in Santa Margherita and Portofino

While less than 48 hours on the lovely Ligurian coast seems impossibly short, it was just long enough to get a flavor for this exquisite region of Italy. I thought you might enjoy tagging along for a photo tour of what Susanna and I managed to pack into our short stay. After driving from Parma to the coast (a bit over an hour), we parked in the seaside town of La Spezia at the base of the Cinque Terre. From there we hopped a ferry, transferring at Portovenere, below, that offered a wonderful water-based tour of the five famous hill towns.…

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Cornucopia Magazine

Cornucopia Magazine

I can still remember seeing Mica and Ahmet Ertegun’s Bodrum villa for the first time. It was decades ago in a publication I have now forgotten, but I recall being immediately smitten with the allure of the exotic seaside location and the white washed stone house filled with Turkish furnishings.

Years later Istanbul remains high on my travel bucket list. And I’m clearly not alone. According to Instagram, it seems I might actually be part of a minority who hasn’t been there. So I was intrigued when artist/designer (and Quintessence reader) Tania Vartan wrote, from Turkey naturally, to tell me about a publication she thought I might be interested in.…

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A Respite on the Italian Riviera

A Respite on the Italian Riviera

After Susanna and I wrapped up our shoot of the antiques show in Parma, we scurried over to the coast for a quick day and a half visit to the Italian Riviera. With unusually warm October weather and a wonderful centrally located hotel, we were able to pack in plenty of Mediterranean eye candy in our all too brief stay. Although I returned late last night, I couldn’t resist sharing a peek at our mini trip to paradise.

Hopefully I’ll have some time soon to share more of the details of this utterly delightful destination!…

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Antiquing in Parma

Antiquing in Parma

For most of this week, I have had the privilege to be shopping the fall Mercanteinfiera in Parma, Italy. Susanna and I have been attending the enormous antiques fair with Toma Clark Haines, otherwise known as the Antiques Diva, and will be sharing our experience via video soon. As we’ve been going non stop all day, exploring this international show, the largest one of its kind in Italy, with our expert guide, there hasn’t been much time to write. So I bring you a little glimpse of a mere sampling  of what we’ve seen.

We can’t wait to share a peek at what antiquing in Parma one on one with an expert team is like.…

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Robert Couturier Designing Paradises

Robert Couturier Designing Paradises

It is not surprising that the projects in Robert Couturier Designing Paradises are all beautiful, executed with an eye for exacting elegance. What is surprising, however, is how very personal the book is. But then again, that is a key component to Robert’s work. That, his unerring passion for perfection and, as Caroline Weber quotes in her thoughtful postface, the Baudelairian qualities of “luxe, calme et volupté.”

From a solitary childhood, Robert developed a particular love and attachment to warm and reassuring spaces, particularly those filled with antiques, fine furniture and art like his grandmother’s home where he grew up. And although these spaces may have pedigrees, they also, like Robert, have a wonderful element of wit and vivacity.…

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In the Studio with Peter Fasano Unveiling his Latest Designer Collaborations

In the Studio with Peter Fasano Unveiling his Latest Designer Collaborations

“New blood brings new ideas. It allows me to have my vision re-widened, to see things through other peoples’ eyes and that’s great.” So says textile designer, Peter Fasano. Producing hand silk-screened fabrics and wallcoverings in his Great Barrington, MA studio for over thirty years, the industry veteran recently welcomed four rising NYC design stars for a collaboration. Young HuhPatrick MeleSara Gilbane Sullivan and Garrow Kedigian brought their inspiration and ideas for custom fabric designs to Peter’s studio and the artistic brainstorming began. Susanna and I made the road trip up to the Berkshires to see the team in action.…

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Judging a Book by its Cover

Judging a Book by its Cover

This weekend welcomes the T Magazine fall design issue. While, as always, there are a number of enticing pieces, from the latest incarnation of Stephen Sill’s chic Manhattan penthouse (written by the ever astute and entertaining David Netto)

to the oh-so-charming Bloomsbury home of designer Ben Pentreath,


one small inclusion in particular caught my attention – Peter Mendelsund’s 90 Versions of Yes. Shown are the “Handwritten attempts made by the book-cover designer and author for the 2013 Vintage Books edition of “Ulysses” by James Joyce.”

The final cover below.

That is essentially the entire extent of the piece, but as someone who spent close to two decades art directing book jackets and covers, it made me curious to read more about Mr.…

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Lalique Fine Jewelry 2014

Lalique Fine Jewelry 2014

Long before René Lalique began to focus on his legendary crystal creations, he was a master of fine jewelry. Influenced by the majesty of nature in all its forms, he blended symbolism and naturalism into totally unique designs. Two years ago, Lalique reentered this realm, launching its first fine jewelry collection in over a century. Based on the four elements of the natural world, this year’s collection pays tribute to the final chapter of the Odyssey, Earth.

Gaïa, the symbol of Mother Earth and all its creatures and natural wonders, is the goddess of the collection, featured in the all the fabulous new graphics, melding the brand’s art deco heritage with a fresh updated look.…

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Markham Roberts Decorating the Way I See It

Markham Roberts Decorating the Way I See It

Even after many successful years as a designer, Markham Roberts is still a bit of an enigma. Understated and seemingly happy to be a bit under the wire, he has, since 1997, been discreetly working away, accumulating a wide ranging and impressive portfolio. And now many of his projects can be seen together in his splendid new book, Decorating the Way I See It,  just out from Vendome.

While Markham, and his impish grin, can usually be spotted in classic and casual waspy attire, his work is sophisticated, layered and eclectic, informed by a family of art collectors and six years working in the office of decorating legend Mark Hampton.…

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Carole Gratale Couture at Newel

Carole Gratale Couture at Newel

After years in the fashion industry, Carole Gratale was ready for a change. Inspired by the creativity and caliber of iconic designers such as Karl Springer, she translated her eye for quality and design to the interiors industry, starting with a small showroom in the D&D building. But as time progressed, Carole discovered her passion lay in metalwork, particularly that of 20th century masters such as Diego Giacometti. That proved to be a major turning point in her career and thereafter her company has focussed on high end custom metal furnishings reminiscent of the quality craftsmanship of those legendary designers she so admired.…

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