Rumor has it that when I was younger I was kind of a nosey kid. The kind of child who constantly needed to be reminded “don’t touch that” as I was caught admiring the tchotchkes of friends and family members. The inclination to wander in other people’s homes hasn’t much subsided, however, I’d like to think my awareness of appropriate social behavior has greatly improved.
As a firm believer in surrounding yourself with things you love, I find the objects other people treasure fascinating. Have an interesting collection? I want to hear where you found each piece. Found something on a recent trip that your partner hates but you couldn’t leave behind? I’ll be your cheerleader. Take me on a tour of your house and tell me all about your favorite pieces–I genuinely want to know.
As someone with an unabiding love for objects, I get a special thrill when I stumble upon the home of a kindred spirit–minimalism is not my thing. I’ve been a long time fan of New York based interior designer, Alex Papachristidis, so naturally I was thrilled to be able to poke around his apartment care of New York Social Diary. Somehow I think “appropriate social behavior” would go out the window if I had the opportunity to explore this treasure trove…
I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Oscar de la Renta last evening. It’s odd an odd feeling to be moved by the passing of a complete stranger, but the loss of monumental talent in the world is always something to be mourned.
In addition to his elegant clothes, I’ve always been particularly inspired by his Punta Cana home. His sophisticated take on coastal style has influenced my own considerably. In fact, re-visiting these photos, I’m realizing the mix of blue and white ginger jars with coral likely subconsciously inspired some of the design choices I made for our wedding. Funny how that happens.
It goes without saying that he will leave an indelible mark on American fashion; however, I’ve always appreciated his commitment to style rather than trend in his collections. A favorite quote:
“Fashion is about dressing according to what’s fashionable. Style is more about being yourself”
May he rest in peace.
While we’re on the subject of books, add this one to your reading list too: I’ll Drink to That: A Life in Style, with a Twist. I picked up a copy to get me through the train ride back to DC a few weeks ago and haven’t been able to put it down. I love a good memoir, and this one is written by 86 year old Betty Halbreich, a legendary personal shopper at Bergdorf Goodman.
Halbreich’s descriptions of her early life of luxury paint a picture of a much more glamorous time in New York; one that had me wishing I could play dress up in her enviable closet. Thankfully, Town & Country gave us a peek into her Park Ave. apartment (which reportedly has 12 closets!)
A collection of blue and white china, fabulous monogrammed linens, and a bevvy of colorful scarves have me thinking Betty and I would get along just fine.
A few months ago I announced my participation in a contest sponsored by French fine furniture company, GRANGE. I was asked to design an ambiance featuring GRANGE’s beautiful Directoire console for a chance to win a trip to Maison et Objet in PARIS for myself and one of YOU, my wonderful readers!
I designed my heart out in hopes of getting us one step closer to the City of Light, and now it’s judgment day…
Voting is open on the GRANGE Facebook page and I would be so grateful for your support! Become a fan, like my ambiance, and we could be saying: “Bonjour, Paris” in a few months!
A little background on my submission…
I sent the GRANGE team my design plan and they brought it to life in the beautiful rendering above (I wish I had the original, isn’t it frame worthy?) The allure and exoticism of the Far East during the 17th and 18th centuries inspired the fanciful chinoiserie ambiance.
The blossoming Tree of Life patterned paper, ornate gilded pagoda mirror, marbleized lamps and zebra hide combine to create a statement making entry that is just as beguiling today as it might have been in the home of an East India Company merchant.
My design selections:
Win or lose (but obviously I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a win!), it was such an honor to partner with GRANGE throughout this competition. Their 110 year heritage of expert craftsmanship speaks for itself, and their focus on classically designed pieces with modern sensibility is something I fully embrace.
Don’t forget to head on over to the GRANGE Facebook page to cast your vote, and Paris here we (hopefully) come!
I’m off to Nashville tomorrow to celebrate my bachelorette with some of my best girlfriends. Our itinerary is still a surprise, but I’m told amazing restaurants and a boutique hotel that I’m going to love await! Any recommendations for must-visit spots? This will be my first visit and I can’t wait to explore!
While I’m eagerly awaiting slipping on my cowboy boots and cut offs (also packed this sassy little number which is slightly moredaring than my norm, but SO flattering–highly recommend) allow me to distract you with this gorgeous Nashville home designed by Markham Roberts and featured in House Beautiful. Projects like this are exactly why I’m so eagerly anticipating Roberts’ forthcoming book: Decorating the Way I See It.
The home owners had a beautiful older home and impressive collection of antiques which Roberts skillfully mixed with modern art, delightful color combinations, and some of my all-time favorite fabrics and wallpapers–Arbre de Matisse (chairs, second photo), Le Touches (chairs, third + fourth photos), Talavera (wallpaper, third + fourth photos). Read Roberts tips for mixing old and new–I’m taking notes!