Armchair Traveler to France

Armchair Traveler to France

I buy design and lifestyle books for any number of reasons – for reference, for inspiration and certainly for enjoyment. But sometimes it is also so I can be an armchair traveler and take a trip anywhere I desire from the comfort of my home. Two books I purchased this fall fulfilled this category and more. The subtitle of Private Houses of France, Living with History, was an additional enticement.

In Christiane de Nicolay Mazery’s marvelous new tome, she gives us entrée into a dozen magnificent privately owned houses, each with an illustrious past. The Château d’Anet, for example, is a Renaissance masterpiece, built in 1547 to house King Henry II and his famous mistress Diane de Poitiers.…

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Lilly Pulitzer for Target

Lilly Pulitzer for Target

Yesterday evening, in the iconic Pool Room of the Four Seasons Restaurant, Target announced their latest design collaboration with another iconic American brand. Transforming the space into a tropical resort, the room was brimming with the colorful and ebullient prints of the new Lilly Pulitzer for Target products.

With over 250 items, including fashion for women and girls (how adorable is this pint size Lilly bikini)

as well as home and entertaining accessories, the collection will launch on April 19th in all Target stores in the U.S. and Canada as well as their website. Interpreting the vision of one of the earliest lifestyle labels, the products cross a multitude of categories, following the founder’s mission statement, “Style isn’t just about what you wear, it’s about how you live.”…

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A New Year’s Salute to our Four Legged Friends

A New Year’s Salute to our Four Legged Friends

We had a recent scare with our dog Charlie, who I am happy to report is fine. But it was a reminder of his cherished position in our family. I know several of you lost beloved pets this year (my heart goes out to you) and others have joyfully welcomed new four legged friends into your homes. So for dog lovers everywhere, here’s to starting 2015 off right by celebrating our devotion to our furry family members.

In Susanna’s and my video from this time last year, we visited designers at home and in their offices who paid tribute to their personal passions for their pets.…

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New Year’s Movies

New Year’s Movies

Welcome to 2015! Whether out and about or celebrating at home, I hope you all ushered in the new year with style. As everyone seemed to like last week’s film suggestions and we still have a few days off ahead, I am sharing a few New Year’s movies for weekend watching. I was surprised to discover that I had never written about one of my favorite classic films, Holiday. This 1938 George Cukor classic, starring Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant, though not as well known as their other comedic collaborations, Philadelphia Story and Bringing Up Baby, is a winning romantic comedy with a great cast, witty repartee and mindful message, not to mention elegant wardrobe and fabulous setting.…

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Quintessential Guide to Champagne 2014

Quintessential Guide to Champagne 2014

While I am a proponent of drinking champagne throughout the year, there is certainly no more traditional time to celebrate with a glass of bubbly than on New Year’s Eve. And so I present this year’s edition of what has become an annual post – the Quintessential Guide to Champagne 2014. If you’ve ever wondered the how and why of champagne, read on (I’ve tried to tighten up the detailed explanation) and if you’ve visited this discussion in the past, you can hop to the end for some drinking suggestions. And while we may not all look as good as Jacqueline Bisset did with a glass of the good stuff,

we can at least have this much fun.…

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More Additions for Your Design Library

More Additions for Your Design Library

Since there is never enough time to catch up on all the new fall design titles, I thought this week, when we are all at home or relaxing on vacation, would be a good time to make some more suggestions for your design library.

Nancy Braithwaite’s work has long celebrated the power of simplicity. And as she states on one of the opening pages of her beautiful new book Simplicity, “There is nothing simple about simplicity.” I have written before about this concept, as have many before me going back as far as Socrates. It requires “education, discipline, rigor, and skill” to “edit a world of almost limitless available choices.”…

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Holiday Movies

Holiday Movies

For those who celebrated, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. Ours was filled with family frenzy and fun. As we relax in the aftermath, I thought a few holiday movies might be in order. I know I will be in couch mode for much of the weekend. Over the past several years I have reviewed some of my favorites, which I remind you of here.

The Bishop’s Wife is a holiday classic. You can’t go wrong with Cary Grant, David Niven and Loretta Young with some wonderful winter scenery and a little fantasy.

Desk Set with Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy is one of my all time favorites. …

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Christmas Eve Tidings

Christmas Eve Tidings

Every year Christmas Eve somehow sneaks up on me, reminding me somehow of Carl Sandburg’s fog. And this year, it has seemed especially speedy. I thought I would be able to share my table with you today, but since I am not quite done, I offer a peek and wish everyone who celebrates, a wonderful Christmas Eve. One of my favorite nights of the year, it is a time for family, festivities and an abundance of food, including my husband’s veal stew and my sister-in-law’s trifle. So, back to my wrapping station in Santa’s workshop. Merry merry!

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Interior Design Books for Holiday Giving

Interior Design Books for Holiday Giving

Interior design books are always high on the holiday gifting list in these parts and while we’re in the home stretch, there’s still time to make a visit to your local bookstore or order online. I would have liked to share each of these individually, but this fall seems to have been in fast forward mode. No introductions are needed for Jacques Garcia, the French designer who seems to do it all. From his celebrated renovations of the Hotel Costes in Paris, the NoMad in New York or La Mamounia in Marrakech, his work, whether modern or classic, is informed by his passion for the past.…

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Walton Park a Dollhouse Dream

Walton Park a Dollhouse Dream

While Nina Campbell‘s granddaughter may be the distinguished designer’s youngest client, her dollhouse, featured in our recent video, may have set her grandmother on a new course. Working on large properties with five stories, two kitchens and a private garage isn’t out of the ordinary for Nina and her team but Walton Park, below, presented a new set of challenges.

The elegant town house, being sold by Savills for £25,000, may seem like a bargain for a period property until you consider that only a doll can live there. A creative collaboration between Lucinda Croft, managing director of Dragons of Walton Street, the luxury children’s furniture purveyor, and the designer, the house features miniature versions of Nina’s wallpapers and Dragons furniture, along with parquet floors and remote control lighting.…

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