Château de Villette

Château de Villette

With design attributed to François Mansart (architect to Louis XIV) and gardens inspired by, if not actually designed by Le Nôtre himself, Château de Villette has stood, almost unchanged, since the late 17th century. It was, however, in the next century, that the château shone, serving as a hub for influential intellectuals and elite, supporting ideals of the Enlightenment.

In an elegant new tome, we are first guided through the history of the chateau followed by an intimate look at the recently refurbished interiors. New owners, who purchased the chateau in 2011, undertook an ambition restoration of the entire estate, guided by Pierre-André Lablaude, chief architect to the Monuments Historiques and for the Domaine National de Versailles.…

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The Power of Pattern

The Power of Pattern

Not only is my talented video partner Susanna Salk an insightful interviewer on our YouTube series, but a creative and prolific author. In her latest must-have tome, The Power of Pattern, just out from Rizzoli, she shows us the endless possibilities that pattern can bring to our spaces. As Susanna explains in her introduction, “it eventually became clear that the common element in a fabulous room, besides fearlessness and function, was, more often than not, pattern.”

Whether wallpaper or fabric, floral, stripe or chinoiserie, pattern is frequently both the life and the personality in a successful room. And in the book, Susanna gives the patterns she has picked (such as Pierre Frey’s amazing Pitaya, below – hand embroidered in India on a base fabric of a handmade ikat jacquard) their proper due, often running them as full pages, interspersed with many examples of how designers have successful incorporated pattern in their rooms.…

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Last Days of Summer

Last Days of Summer

As we are enjoying the unofficial last days of summer, I wish you all a very happy Labor Day weekend. It’s always a little bittersweet as the luxurious long days slowly start to shorten and fall’s long light creeps in. But I have an exciting and busy season coming up, so I am, like you I hope, soaking it all in for now and looking back at a few highlights of this Nantucket summer that has yet again gone too fast.

From long sunny walks to misty gray days,

from July’s flowers

to epic sunsets

to memorable meals with friends out and about

and family ones in at home,

it’s been another glorious summer to remember.…

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At Home in Los Angeles with Richard Shapiro

At Home in Los Angeles with Richard Shapiro

Enter Richard Shapiro‘s extraordinary home and it’s difficult to believe you are in the center of Los Angeles. Created with a passion for all that he loves – art, antiquities, architecture, travel – his home contains a level of authenticity, details and brilliant juxtapositions that few would have the knowledge, patience or eye to complete. Here references to ancient eras and far off places offer a romantic and very personal vision of home. Please join me and Susanna for a behind the scenes visit to Richard’s very special Los Angeles home.

As a true renaissance man – collector, designer, artist and shop owner – Richard’s goal, as he explains in his book, Past Perfect, was to create “fictions crafted and composed to allow for the suspension of your awareness of time and place.”

Even upon entering, you are immediately transported and the illusion has begun.…

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Sneak Peek – Veranda Wanderlust

Sneak Peek – Veranda Wanderlust

Ask any designer to name their favorite source of inspiration and many will cite travel. Nothing quite refreshes and expands one’s point of view as immersion in new geography and culture. Veranda Magazine quite agrees and so coming next month is their first-ever Wanderlust issue with a world of treasures from around the country and globe.

And it’s not just the interiors that inspire. I always think Veranda has one of the best front of book sections and this issue will have you coveting a bevy of beautiful furnishings and fashion inspired by legendary journeys like The Nile, below.

I was delighted to see friend, designer, design historian and author Maureen Footer‘s new home in the issue.…

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Nantucket Friday Favorites – Oldest House Reimagined

Nantucket Friday Favorites – Oldest House Reimagined

For the third year, as part of Nantucket by Design, NYSID students were invited to reimagine the front rooms of Nantucket’s Oldest House. Overseen by Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean at NYSID, Ellen Fisher, the project is a great hands-on collaboration with the NHA, spotlighting the island’s historic property and showcasing the talent and creativity of the students.

Built as a wedding gift in 1686 for Jethro Coffin and Mary Gardner by their fathers, what is also known as the Jethro Coffin House, is not only the oldest home on island but the sole surviving structure from the Nantucket’s original English settlement.…

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Nantucket House Tour – Hippie House Chic

Nantucket House Tour – Hippie House Chic

On the southeastern shore of Nantucket, where conservation protects over 2,000 acres of natural landscape, sits a house nestled in the dunes with expansive views of sea and sky. When the owners approached designer Jeffrey Bilhuber, their directive was for what they called a hippie house, with that nostalgic spirit of summers past.

And while the resulting residence is hardly a hippie shack, it is redolent with soulful images of sandy feet, biking, board games and the timeless accoutrements of summer life at the beach.

On the existing footprint of a grandfathered house set into the dunes, Bilhuber and his clients worked with local architects Botticelli and Pohl to build their image of what a shack buried in the sand should be.…

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Nantucket by Design 2018

Nantucket by Design 2018

With a flurry of lectures, parties, and a multitude of events large and small, last week marked the much anticipated Nantucket by Design 2018. In its third year, the Nantucket Historical Association’s major fundraiser celebrated the island’s unique influence on American design with attendees flocking to the Grey Lady from near and far.

The week launched Wednesday evening with a welcome cocktail party, this year sponsored by Northwestern Mutual, along with Centre Pointe and Oomph, at the lovely island home of design chair Phoebe Tudor.

With the cooperation of lovely weather, we kicked off the week in festive style.…

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At Home in Connecticut with One Kings Lane President Debbie Propst

At Home in Connecticut with One Kings Lane President Debbie Propst

One Kings Lane President Debbie Propst walks the walk. During the day she works to make OKL a desired design destination for bringing unique style home and at her bucolic country house in Connecticut, she has done exactly that, working with The Studio, the design services team at One Kings Lane, who helped update her house to reflect her own personal style. Mixing vintage picks with selections from the enormous offerings at One Kings Lane, she proves that the practical needs of a young family and stylish living aren’t mutually exclusive. Tag along with Susanna Salk and me for a behind the scenes visit with Debbie at her welcoming country home.…

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Nantucket Friday Favorites – Guest House Chic

Nantucket Friday Favorites – Guest House Chic

One of the most photo friendly areas on Nantucket is the charming town of Sconset in the southeast corner of the island. With an abundance of rose covered cottages and a tiny “town,” it is brimming with history and nostalgia.

Several years ago, I shared one of my first house tours –  a stylish home on the Bluff. Today we visit their guest house, where style and comfort meet summer living with ease.

While the guest house has been renovated, it retains a cottage feel and proportion, with lattice trim, deep overhangs and more whimsical architectural details, distinguishing it from the main house.…

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