The Swiss Are Coming! The Swiss Are Coming!

The Swiss Are Coming! The Swiss Are Coming!

Switzerland is an understated place. This small landlocked country is not prone to outward displays of exuberance or extravagance. You rarely hear about Swiss stars at Oscar parties, young Swiss “it” girls in the pages of Vogue or a bevy of Swiss restaurants in New York boasting its cuisine. Unlike its more outgoing French, Italian and German neighbors, Switzerland seems to hold its cards close to its vest, so to speak. And it’s not as if there isn’t talent there – it’s just that, like the country, their stars can be described with adjectives such as  reliable, consistent and tasteful – not exactly fodder for the National Enquirer or People.…

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I’m Ready

I’m Ready

I must admit that although we’ve had several beautiful days, I am definitely tiring of our overly warm November weather and ready for a change in temperature. When I came across this beautifully renovated British home, all I could think of was the allure of cooler days and what is soon in store. I imagined myself sitting in this lovely room after a good night’s rest

With my book and this tasty treat,

lounging in my cashmere robe

and slippers.

I’d then meander upstairs to get ready for the day.

I would think perhaps a bath might be in order

although I spent so much time enjoying my coffee while reading  that I might only have time for a shower

Then it would be time to go out and explore on this beautiful crisp fall morning.…

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Stellar Stella

Stellar Stella

I love a great marketing campaign. There are so many bad commercials out there that when you see something special it’s like a breath of fresh air. Stella Artois, the upscale boutique Belgian lager, has a long history and over the years its advertising campaigns have frequently had associations with films. Long known for their clever advertising, the brand offers access to many of its TV ads on its site.

But this year, with its switch to the English ad agency Mother, an even more sophisticated approach was taken. Over the summer they featured a campaign shot by Bert Stern, famous for his 1962 pictures of Marilyn Monroe, with the tagline, “She is a thing of beauty.”

And Wim Wenders also shot a video in this series.…

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Tim Times Two – aha!

Tim Times Two – aha!

I have a whole new appreciation for Tim Gunn! Who knew that the Project Runway judge and style guru also has a passion for serious design. At the tender age of 7, he evidently spent his allowance to purchase reproductions of Thomas Jefferson’s architectural drawings for Monticello! Now that is impressive. Yesterday, Gunn was the guest curator on one of my new favorite places, ahalife. His fortuitous pick presented me with the opportunity to write about not only ahalife but also the incredible designer, both of whom were already potential subjects.

Ahalife (as in the aha! of a wonderful discovery) is a two-month old website that they describe as an “online discovery destination”.…

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Fall Clean Up

Fall Clean Up

No I don’t mean getting rid of all those pesky leaves clogging your gutters. For any of you with southern blood, you’ll that when someone says you clean up well, it’s a compliment. So in preparation for the beginning of the holiday season, I thought I’d give you my favorite recommendations for cleaning up your complexion so you can put your best face forward!

As we all know, exfoliation is key to beautiful skin. It’s what gives you that fresh and healthy glow. I have two favorites in this category. The first is fast, easy and delivers quick results. Exfolikate by Kate Somerville uses fruit enzymes to clarify skin and remove dead cells.…

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At the Movies

At the Movies

I love movies – of all sorts. And I thought it would be fun to designate some Fridays, in preparation for weekend viewing, as “at the Movies” days, where I will offer my recommendations with brief reviews. Some are old, some are new, some are famous, some are not, some are foreign and some are children’s but they all have that certain something that appeals to me. I will try not to pick too many terribly obvious choices but since there is a wide range of ages in readership, this may vary.

My first pick is an oldie but goodie – an enduring classic that is on many movie buffs’ lists.…

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In Honor Of

In Honor Of

courtesy of Life

In honor of Veteran’s Day, I have chosen this wonderful Alfred Eisenstaedt photo that appeared in Life Magazine, which features a U.S. Navy sailor grabbing a nurse in a spontaneous moment in Times Square as America celebrated the end of World War II when Japan surrendered on August 15, 1945.

Due to the fact that Eisenstaedt never got the names of these two, made famous from this photo, many people have, over the years, claimed to be the sailor and nurse featured. One such woman, Edith Shain of Los Angeles, at the age of 90, actually rode in the front of New York City’s Veterans Day parade as the event’s grand marshall in 2008.…

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Holiday Preview

Holiday Preview

Last night I attended my first holiday event of the season and what a lovely introduction it was! Held at Nielsen’s Florist in Darien, CT, the event was co-hosted by the luxury publication Connecticut Cottages & Gardens. Nielsen’s, a third generation family-run business since 1944 is still in its original location and offers many services from traditional floral offerings to special events in its fabulous conservatory. The shop was transformed into an elegant winter wonderland featuring the silk floral arrangements of Diane James, Simon Pearce glassware and Home James! dinnerware. There were several lovely tablescapes and many appealing ideas for holiday decorating.…

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Booked

Booked

Have you noticed? Books are the hottest new accessory. This fall we have been over-inundated with a plethora of shelter books. It seems that as an interior designer, you haven’t made your mark unless you’ve published a book. And it’s not just full color designer books getting all the attention. Retailers like J. Crew have been featuring all sorts of books as a vital aspect of their displays and advertising campaigns.

Even Marc Jacobs opened a full fledged book store.

or take a look at Kate Spade’s Book of the Month Club clutches, totes and Kindle covers

or French darling Olympia Le-Tan’s embroidered clutches based on some of her favorite titles.…

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The Royal Oak Foundation

The Royal Oak Foundation

Anglophiles unite! The byline of the Royal Oak Foundation is “Americans in Alliance with the National Trust of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.” You may be aware of the foundation’s work raising awareness of its important conservation and environmental work or you may know the name from its licensing agreements with such distinguished firms such as Cole & Son, Holland & Company, Katha Diddel and Lee Jofa.

But I’ve discovered there is so much more to this very worthwhile organization. The Trust has over 300 properties and conserves and protects over 626,000 acres of beautiful countryside in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, making it the largest private landowner in the UK.…

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