MERRY & BRIGHT

The holidays are finally upon us and if you’re traveling this year, I hope you’ve made it safely home to celebrate with your loved ones.

In the spirit of all things merry & bright, I wanted to share this lovely feature on Jane Scott Hodges’ New Orleans home all decked out for the season.

Jane is the founder of Leontine Linens, the New Orleans based linen company responsible for the envy inspiring monogrammed linens you see bedecking the beds and powder baths of many of the homes in our favorite glossies.

I’ve been a longtime fan (posts from the archives here including photos from my trip to their flagship) and while a set of monogrammed bedding has still eluded me, I’m a big advocate of their monogrammed jewelry rounds.

I gifted each of my bridesmaids one for our wedding, and my own has been well loved for 7+ years now.

But back to Jane’s stunning home. You know I have a thing for chartreuse walls–still waiting for the client daring enough to try them–and Jane executed hers masterfully.

I admittedly dropped the ball on holiday decor this year, and am taking notes from her magnolia leaf garland. There’s nothing more classic for a southern Christmas.

Naturally, Jane is the consummate hostess. I’d love to see more of her beautiful dining room. I spy some eggplant grasscloth in the background and that rug is a real stunner.

Her cranberry etched glassware is so perfect for the holiday season.

But of course, the real stars of the show are Jane’s linens. Perfect in every way. For more inspiration, pick up a copy of Jane’s book.

I’m off to find some last minute stocking stuffers for Garrett and treats for Brody, but I hope you have the most wonderful holiday. I’ll be back next week with one of my favorite posts to write all year, my game changers of 2017.

Merry Christmas!

MONTANA STATE OF MIND

The holidays are always hectic, but on the heels of an especially busy few months of work I’ve been craving a getaway. No cell phone, no email, completely off the grid. Just give me a fireplace, a log cabin, and Cameron Diaz’s wardrobe in The Holiday. It’s really not so much to ask.

I’m still working on the wardrobe (see my picks at the end of the post), but I’ve got the fireplace and log cabin on lock care of a recently booked trip to an adorable lodge in Big Sky, Montana.

Excluding trips to CA, this will be our first trip out West, and as a displaced New Englander living in the South, I couldn’t be more excited for some snow! Raleigh’s warm winters still feel strange to me.

While in my Montana state of mind, I was reminded of a project in Big Sky completed by one of my favorite up and coming designers, Anna Burke Interiors.

It’s everything a modern mountain house should be and more. I imagine the soaring glass windows give you the feeling of being in a snow globe. Can you even with those views?

Plus, the luxe neutrals and layered textures are essentially the interior manifestation of Cameron Diaz’s The Holiday wardrobe which, as we’ve already established, I am very into at the moment.

With its midcentury chairs upholstered in a Zac & Fox print and statement making modern chandelier, the dining area is a particular favorite.

I’m certainly reading too much into this, but I love that diamond pattern on the fabric subtly echos the mountains in the background, and the fixture almost feels like falling snow. Much less obvious than an elk antler chandelier.

The powder bath is another favorite with its Eskayel wallpaper and feather watercolors.

But the real standouts are the bedrooms. If I were a guest, the above is where I’d be angling to rest my head, if only for the long standing love affair I’ve had with Suzanne Rheinstein’s Indian Zag on the upholstered bed.

Really though, who would mind if you ended up in this room with its epic sculptural nightstands.

Or perhaps this room, with another stunner of a bed in Peter Dunham’s Ikat, and some equally gorgeous burlwood nightstands. Not a bad room in the house!

Parka | Sweater | Boots | Socks | Sunglasses

Okay, now on to my packing list. My biggest dilemma has been outerwear, do I invest in the ubiquitous, but undoubtedly January in Montana appropriate, Canada Goose down parka? Or maybe this three-in-one option, or this still chic, but more budget friendly buy? Completely open to recs and reviews so please weigh in!

These boots have served me well for 5+ years and have definitely earned a spot in my suitcase. I’ll also bring this pair as a dressier option for dinners, etc.

This sweater, sized up, feels very alpine chic. I also scored an amazing vintage fair isle and am eagerly awaiting its arrival – so many hidden gems here!

For sleepwear, I couldn’t resist this set. Also, the skiers on these!

I’m still working on accessories, so far I’ve grabbed this hat and will pick up a pair of these gloves I buy each season because I inevitably lose one.

For base layers, it’s time for a new set of Capilene.

If you’ve been to Bozeman (we’ll spend a day there) or Big Sky, I’d love to hear about your favorite spots!

MICHAEL S. SMITH IN GALERIE

Are you familiar with Galerie magazine? I recently picked up a copy, intrigued by the cover story of designer Michael S. Smith’s Madrid home, and quickly subscribed after devouring the issue cover to cover, which admittedly, is a bit unusual for me.

My typical magazine consumption looks a little like this: 1. immediately skim through the entire mag from back to front to see what catches my eye 2. flip through again, this time front to back, reading what interested me on the first go around 3. discard on coffee table/nightstand where I vow I’ll read it in its entirety later while “relaxing” (ha) 4. receive next month’s issue and feign shock that I’ve yet to finish the previous. Rinse and repeat.

All this to say, I’m very impressed with Galerie, and as you may have guessed from my musings in this post, appreciate its focus on art and culture alongside design.

Now, back to Michael S. Smith and his fabulous home in Madrid. If you’re not in the design world, but the name is ringing a bell, it’s likely because of Smith’s work on a particularly high profile project: the Obama’s private residence during their years in the White House.

In fact, Smith and his partner, James Costos, are quite the power couple; Costos served as Ambassador to Spain during the Obama Administration. After exiting the diplomatic arena last January, Smith & Costos relocated from the ambassador’s residence to a comfortable 5,000 square foot apartment in a 19th century former palace.

If you’re familiar with Smith’s work, it will be no surprise that the apartment is chock a block with exquisite antiques. I’m particularly enamored with the red lacquer chinoiserie secretary in the entrance hall and the Coromondel screen in the living room.

Upholstery fabrics and several light fixtures throughout the apartment were sourced from Smith’s own lines. Jasper, in particular, is a personal favorite. I’m still dying to find the perfect project for this fabric.

This will come as no surprise, given my long standing predilection for chinoiserie which has been well documented here over the years, but the dining room took my breath away. The 18th century hand painted Chinese wallpaper panels previously hung in the guest room occupied by the Obamas during their visits to the ambassador’s residence.

It really doesn’t get more beautiful than that, does it? Also, slipcovering the dining chairs in a simple striped cotton was a stroke of genius.

Ochre, turquoise, and light blue, are not colors I would ever immediately consider, but the pairing of the Bryan Organ painting against the traditional climbing vine wallpaper works beautifully. 

In the master bedroom, the walls are upholstered in a Madeleine Castaing fabric with coordinating drapery, and I just can’t get over the juxtaposition with the embroidered banner of a noble family’s crest above the bed.

If I’ve whet your appetite for Michael S. Smith’s work, I’d highly recommend any/all of his books below. I recently finished Building Beauty which tells the renovation story of a Malibu home which Smith and an expert team of craftsmen transformed into a Palladian inspired villa by the sea.

Michael S. Smith Elements of Style

Michael S. Smith Houses

The Curated House

Building Beauty

BELPERRON NYC

As I’ve begun to dip my toes back into the waters of a semi-regular blogging schedule, I’ve discovered some real gems (read on and you’ll see what I did there) in my drafts folder. Bright spots of inspiration that have stood out (to me at least) in an increasingly homogenous internet landscape. That’s a conversation for a different day, but for now, let’s admire the literal jewel box that is Belperron.

This draft dated back to 2016, and to the best of my recollection was inspired by this feature, this New York Times article, and likely some low grade stalking of architect, Daniel Romualdez.

So here’s the skinny: Suzanne Belperron was a legendary French jewelry designer in the 1930s with a client roster that included bold face names like Elsa Schiaparelli, the Duchess of Windsor and Diana Vreeland.

Daniel Romualdez | Belperron

Her designs were unmatched, but her legacy has gotten somewhat lost because she rarely signed her work. When asked why, she famously responded: “my style is my signature” which makes me feel equal parts inspired by her self confidence, and also wishing she could have read this WSJ article with Reese Witherspoon and assertively taken credit where it was due. Again, a conversation for a different day.

In 1998, the Landrigan family, helmed by Ward Landrigan, former head of Sotheby’s jewelry, and current chairman of the equally storied jewelry house, Verdura, acquired the Belperron archives. Last year, in partnership with AD Top 100 designer,  Daniel Romualdez, Belperron opened a New York City showroom.

Daniel Romualdez | Belperron

Simply put, like all of Daniel Romualdez’s work, it’s perfect. He was tasked with transforming a previously soulless white box into a space that recalled the Parisienne apartment of Madame Belperron. I think most of us could be perfectly content moving in, so I’d say he was successful.

Daniel excels at what I’d describe as approachable glamour. Naturally, the atelier of a high end jeweler calls for a certain level of luxury, and the black lacquer, mirrored, marble, and brass finishes certainly achieve that, but the casual seating groups and care taken accessorizing with books and art contributes to the feeling that this is more home than showroom.

Daniel Romualdez | Belperron

My favorite details are the reproduction of a Matisse drawing of Dorothy Paley wearing Belperron emerald cuffs hanging above that stunner of a fireplace, and how Daniel chose to sprinkle the display cases throughout the space, at times incorporating them into the millwork. Doesn’t it feel like you’re admiring someone’s private collection?

If you have a minute, be sure to scroll through the Belperron archives. I’ve found so much inspiration in the sculptural shapes and color combinations. This in particular seems like a no brainer for my Christmas list (ha!)

FALL LAYERS

The temperatures are finally starting to dip here in Raleigh, and I’m finding myself craving another layer in my interiors equally as much as I find myself reaching for another layer (this, please) as I get dressed. Here are a few of the places and spaces that have been inspiring me.

Robert Kime | Architectural Digest

I consider British designer Robert Kime the ultimate expert in the art of layering, and with a client roster that includes the Prince of Wales, I’m clearly not the only one. What I admire most about Robert’s work–and this project in particular–is his ability to create an inviting atmosphere in even the grandest of settings.

Robert Kime | Architectural Digest

In the hands of a less skilled designer, massive ceiling heights and imposing oil paintings could have easily become haughty, but a liberal use of jewel toned textiles in a variety of textures–mohair, velvet, and linen–and exotic patterns instantly cuts the formality and lends a feeling of coziness to the space. An enviable collection of antiques act as a counterbalance and tips the scales back towards formality.

Michelle Nussbaumer

We’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, but with two photoshoots scheduled on Tuesday and Wednesday, I’m beginning to realize the tablescape at my own home may be neglected this year (at least I’ll have flowers!) In an ideal world, I’d be channeling this lovely situation by Michelle Nussbaumer.

Soane Britain

More inspiration from across the pond care of Soane Britain. My sister teases me for the amount of animal art that has somewhat unintentionally made it’s way into our home (a huge Indian hunt scene on silk featuring a tiger above our fireplace, a wicker giraffe lamp by Mario Lopez Torres on my desk, etc.) so, unsurprisingly, I’m super into that lion above this fabulous suzani sofa.

Pierre Frey | Veranda

I was happy to stumble upon this fabulous bedroom featuring the less frequently seen red colorway of Pierre Frey’s iconic Toiles de Nantes. It’s so lively wrapped above the arch and paired with the Jacobean patterned headboard, bedspread, and leopard carpet. More is more.

Anna Spiro

Lastly, I never cease to be inspired by Australian designer, Anna Spiro. Her use of color, pattern, and art is unparalleled. This sofa is inspiring me to encourage clients to be more bold in their upholstery choices.

And that’s my brain dump and desktop cleanup for you, I hope you found some inspiration as well!