Favorite Movies for the Holidays

Favorite Movies for the Holidays

As New Year’s Eve and Day conveniently fall on the weekend this year, it’s the perfect time to publish my annual favorite movies for the holidays. There are always some classic repeats that are required holiday watching but I’ve tried to include a few new ones that I think warrant inclusion. Of course, no holiday movie list is complete without It’s a Wonderful Life, Frank Capra’s timeless classic that reminds all of us what really counts.

Classic movies for the holidays is a long list including The Bishop’s WifeMiracle on 34th Street, Holiday Inn, White Christmas, A Christmas Carol, A Christmas Story, Remember the Night, Christmas in Connecticut and the more contemporary Love Actually and The Holiday. …

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Quintessential Guide to Champagne 2016

Quintessential Guide to Champagne 2016

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost time to be celebrating the start of 2017, which, in these parts, means it’s also time for the Quintessential Guide to Champagne 2016 edition. Champagne is a wonderful way to celebrate throughout the year but of course there is no more traditional time to indulge than on New Year’s Eve. If you’ve ever wondered the how and why of champagne, read on and if you’ve visited this discussion in the past, you can hop to the end for some drinking suggestions with several new additions for this year. While perhaps no one drank champagne more stylishly than Nick and Nora,

certainly no one had more fun that Dali and Bardot

As you may know, in order to be called Champagne the wine must be produced within the boundaries of the Champagne Region in France. …

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From My Christmas Table to Yours

From My Christmas Table to Yours

The time has come to wish all of you who celebrate a very Merry Christmas. Longtime readers know that one of my favorite aspects of the holidays is setting my Christmas table. This year I wanted to stray from the traditional color scheme with something seasonal and festive but a little different. I adore the Pierre Frey Braquenié fabrics with their combination of historic significance and French elegance and have long loved the classic Le Grand Corail. An 18th century tree of life pattern on a vermiculé background, it has movement and detail in beautiful colorways that feel particularly relevant today.…

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David Monn The Art of Celebrating

David Monn The Art of Celebrating

Tis the season and as we all plan our holiday celebrations, there is no better place to look for inspiration than the incredible repertoire of David Monn, as captured in his recent book, The Art of Celebrating. While many of Monn’s events may be larger than life, from parties at the White House, galas at the Met’s Costume Institute and affairs at the New York Public Library, there is much to glean from his thoughtful and individualized approach to each and every celebration.

Monn is guided by three principals – authenticity, scale and detail, which must all successfully work together and engage all the senses to tell the story.…

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Nina Campbell Does New Preston Redux

Nina Campbell Does New Preston Redux

I really felt I was ahead of schedule this year, but yet again, Christmas has snuck up leaving not nearly enough time to accomplish everything, including all the posts I wanted to share. One of my favorite shopping destinations here in Connecticut is the charming town of New Preston, where shops like Pergola, Privet House, Plain Goods, J. Seitz and more can answer almost all your holiday needs. And I am certainly not alone. On the weekends in particular, legions of fans show up to shop the sophisticated stores in meandering country style. A couple years ago, Susanna and I managed to coordinate a visit with designer Nina Campbell (who has an extensive shopping site of her own) and film our shopping extravaganza in New Preston.…

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Sneak Peek – ELLE DECOR Global Style Issue

Sneak Peek – ELLE DECOR Global Style Issue

Each year, ELLE DECOR assembles stories from the best of their international editions for their Global Style issue. A perennial favorite, it includes designers and projects around the world, introducing us to new faces and locales. The cover of this special issue, which will hit newsstands next week, features a project by the talented Monaco-based design firm Humbert & Poyet, which originally appeared in ELLE DECORATION Netherlands. 

With a focus on luxury and fine craftsmanship, their modern spin on traditional elegance yielded a fresh redo of a tired ’70s apartment on Monaco’s prestigious Avenue Princesse Grace. Always looking to emphasize a sense of place, Emil Humbert and Christophe Poyet took inspiration from a pair of Slim Aarons photos of Palm Springs and the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc that now hang in the entry of the apartment, below. …

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Amelia Handegan Rooms

Amelia Handegan Rooms

I have met Amelia Handegan on several occasions and like her work, she is understated, accomplished and full of surprises. She is probably best known for her sensitive work on historic properties, where, with “one foot in the past and one foot in the future,” she intuitively melds old and new. These are not staid houses filled with period furniture, but homes that are layered with a fresh touch and sophisticated color palettes.

In her new book, Amelia Handegan Rooms, thirteen homes are featured, from classic historic houses, to weekend retreats to Amelia’s own apartment in a 1920s neoclassical revival building in Charleston.…

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Christmas in Shangri-La

Christmas in Shangri-La

Every year friend and designer Carey Karlan goes all out creating themed holiday decorations for her charming 1926 cottage-style home. Past years have included odes to Mad Men, Literary, Russian, Musical and Scottish Highland Christmases, the last landing on the cover of Connecticut Cottages & Gardens several years ago.

two photos above by Keith Scott Morton for CTC&G

This year, the decor was inspired by one of my favorite novels, James Hilton’s utopian fantasy Lost Horizon. Based on the Tibetan locale, Carey created a Shangri-La ambience with snowy whites, green and gold.

It all started with a jacket Carey inherited from her mother, which she wore every year at the holidays.…

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Interior Design Master Class

Interior Design Master Class

While there are many beautiful design books on the market that are inspirational, some with tips and hints, none has approached the topic with the rigor and intellect of Interior Design Master Class. Creating a library-worthy resource on design, the volume’s editor, Carl Dellatore, recruited one hundred top American interior designers to contribute essays on a particular aspect of design, interspersed with examples of their work. Useful for both aficionados and professionals, the volume reveals the meticulous and often heady process that goes into creating great interiors. You’ll be impressed with not only the knowledge and articulate musings of the designers but also the sometimes surprising sources of inspiration.…

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At Home with Susanna Salk & Ted Kennedy Watson

At Home with Susanna Salk & Ted Kennedy Watson

Since 1998 Ted Kennedy Watson has been helping customers make their homes and lives more beautiful through his two popular Watson Kennedy shops in Seattle, Washington. Whether in person or online, both locals and visitors from around the world, find endless temptation in the special, the must-have and the life-enhancing items Ted procures for the shops, all displayed with award-winning, inspired creativity. During the week, Ted and his husband, Ted Sive, live in Seattle, escaping to their Vashon island retreat on the weekends. But, in 2013, missing the changing seasons, they bought Hawthorne, their home in Ghent, New York. Tag along with me and Susanna for a visit with Ted and his adorable mini-schnauzer rescue dog, Bailey, at their charming Columbia county home.…

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