Past Perfect: Richard Shapiro Houses and Gardens

Past Perfect: Richard Shapiro Houses and Gardens

Enter Richard Shapiro’s new book Past Perfect and prepare to be transported. Dive into its pages of exquisite photography by Jason Schmidt, sensitively designed by Mary Shanahan, and you will enter another realm. Take a deep breath of air redolent of ancient eras and far off places and then exhale as you make your arrival into his homes full of “serenity, beauty and wonder,” as Mayer Rus so aptly describes it in his foreword.

The world of Richard Shapiro is not merely beautiful, it is a passionate evocation of beauty – a subtle yet meaningful distinction. The book encompasses his two homes, both highly personal romantic visions, or as he depicts, “fictions crafted and composed to allow for the suspension of your awareness of time and place.”

Created with an obsessive fervor for all that he loves – art, antiquities, architecture, travel – these houses contain a level of authenticity, details and brilliant juxtapositions that few would have the knowledge, patience or eye to complete.…

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DIFFA Dining by Design 2016

DIFFA Dining by Design 2016

In several weeks of busy events, the DIFFA Dining by Design 2016 gala last night was a highlight. The annual tabletop fundraiser for this worthy cause featured 50 vignettes showcasing the talents of designers in collaboration with brands, publications and manufacturers. We’ll take a look at more of these creative dining environs, but first a quick peek at a few favorites. I was delighted to be sitting at the Henredon table designed by Mark Sikes.

Celebrating his upcoming collection for Henredon, Mark designed a freestanding dining pavilion tented in his signature blue and white stripes, accented with Samuel and Sons trim.…

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100 Years at New York School of Interior Design

100 Years at New York School of Interior Design

This year the New York School of Interior Design celebrates its centennial. Since 1916, it has been providing students of all ages with the education needed for a career in interior design. From its inception as a Home Study Course in the Decorative Arts, the school has grown into its current status as one of the top five interior design schools in the United States. An impressive alumni list and a high employment rate (92% for undergraduates and 94% for graduate students) enhance its ranking as a global leader in interior design education.

New York School of Interior Design class of 1923

Robust programs, from summer courses for pre-college teens, to a joint master’s program with Sotheby’s Institute of Art and an Institute for Continuing and Professional Studies including Online Learning, offer opportunities for a wide range of diverse students at all stages in their careers. …

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Going Green at the AD Design Show and Dining by Design

Going Green at the AD Design Show and Dining by Design

Nature is in the air. And not just because it’s almost spring but because going green with natural themes seems to be a trend both on the runway and at home. While I will be back to report on favorites from both this year’s Architectural Digest Design Show and DIFFA‘s Dining by Design, here are a few picks from each showing that going green is a good (and stylish) thing.

Sasha Bikoff‘s installation for Luxe Magazine with LIAIGRE utilizes a living ceiling and de Gournay‘s exotic Le Eden wallpaper to evoke the lush landscape of a tropical rainforest.…

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Sneak Peek: A New Look for a Classic Georgian

Sneak Peek: A New Look for a Classic Georgian

When a Chinese family was moving to America, buying their first house on Long Island, they turned to designer Christopher Maya to create interiors that felt traditional yet updated for today. The 1930’s classic Georgian colonial they purchased had great bones and proportion but Maya gutted it to start fresh, adding creative touches and furnishings to the English-inspired decor. Join me for a sneak peek at this beautiful project featured in the April House Beautiful.

The core of the house is anchored by a majestic spiral staircase. Maya accented the graceful curve with new wainscoting and, like his design icon, Sir John Soane, infused the space with spring-like color by installing the glorious green Temple Newsam wallpaper by de Gournay.…

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It’s the Little Things

It’s the Little Things

“In my own home, it’s the combination and juxtaposition of meaningful details that bring emotion to every room and make me happy every time I see them.” So explains Susanna Salk in her latest title, It’s the Little Things. In the book Susanna successfully celebrates those details in our homes where we express ourselves the most and where our memories, our personality and our style come alive. With a wonderfully diverse selection of designs, It’s the Little Things illustrates how “creating big moments in your home through the stylish small stuff” is an essential step into making your home your own.…

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At Home with Susanna Salk and Hutton Wilkinson

At Home with Susanna Salk and Hutton Wilkinson

A multi-talented creative force, Hutton Wilkinson began his career at the age of 18 as apprentice to design icon Tony Duquette. He went on to collaborate with Duquette for the next thirty years on a myriad of projects including interiors for such clients as Norton Simon and Jennifer Jones, Doris Duke and John and Dodie Rosecrans. With his own interior design firm and now as creative director and president of Tony Duquette Inc., Hutton designs residential and commercial interiors, various collections and writes both fiction and coffee table books. He oversees the legendary Duquette estate, Dawnridge, in Beverly Hills, and several years ago built a residence for himself and wife Ruth next door. 

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Weekend Inspiration

Weekend Inspiration

Before it’s time for the many upcoming spring design events, I wanted to share some weekend inspiration I’ve been stockpiling over the last few weeks. Several months ago I received a snail mail invitation that was so beautiful, I saved it for future reference. On heavy creamy stock with handsome navy calligraphy and matching tissue liner in a custom crafted envelope, it was a statement of understated elegance.

After noting the blind embossed name of the stationer, I was delighted to discover the work of Ellen W. Weldon. A professional calligrapher who began her career at Cartier and Estée Lauder, Ellen is the founder and head of her couture invitation and calligraphy studio.…

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Inside Venice

Inside Venice

Celebrating the best of Venetian decorative arts, Inside Venice offers us a private view of the city’s most beautiful and rarely seen architectural and interior design jewels. Written by Toto Bergamo Rossi, the director of the Venetian Heritage Foundation, the book transports us to seventy-two mostly private apartments and palazzos, beautifully photographed by Jean-François Jaussaud.

In each chapter we travel vicariously to one of Venice’s seven neighborhoods. The quarter known as San Polo contains both the large public square, Campo San Polo, second only in size to Piazza San Marco, and the Rialto, one of the oldest and most characteristic areas in Venice.…

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Soane Britain Jumps the Pond

Soane Britain Jumps the Pond

While craft and the art of bespoke are experiencing a resurgence in appreciation, it’s always been the singular mission at Soane Britain. For the last 18 years, founder Lulu Lytle has been creating covetable furniture, lighting, fabrics, wallpapers and accessories that are the essence of “exquisite craftsmanship, elegant proportions and deliciously English sense of the exuberant.” With a strong following among select designers and architects in the area, Soane has finally opened a New York office.

As a longtime and admittedly obsessive admirer, I was thrilled to stop by this week to finally take a peek at all the beautiful products in person.…

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