Friday, August 31, 2007

Happy Travels

Hermes canvas and leather suitcases with navy or caramel trim, photographed for Vogue, June '07.

Have a nice Labor Day Weekend.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Shelling Out

I am heading to the Georgia seashore this weekend with shells on the brain. As Labor Day signals the end of summer on the East Coast, I am suddenly feeling not-quite-ready for the season to be over.

Lettuce coral is the centerpiece for a table set by Hable Construction founders, Susan Hable Smith and Katherine Hable Sweeny. (Image from Southern Accents).

Michele Oka Doner's collection of shells and shell books in her Miami Beach Library (From At Home with Books).

Ornithological prints framed in ocean-motif decoupage (from Decor Fall/Winter '07).

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

At Home with Books

"I like a project that never ends, and library is that."
David Hicks

I am probably the last person on the planet to know about this book, but the second I pulled it off the shelf at a friend's house, I knew I had to order a copy for myself. Even though it was published twelve years ago, At Home with Books: How Booklovers Live with and Care for Their Libraries is my new favorite. With text by Estelle Ellis and Caroline Seebohm, and photographs by Christopher Simon Sykes, this is a fantastic collection of libraries and their caretakers. I could honestly stare at the pages in this book for hours. There are over 200 images and it is fun to scrutinize each of these well-known book lover's collections.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Closet Lust II

Private closets are looking more like small boutiques these days.

I first saw Mariah Carey's palatial closet on an episode of MTV Cribs. With a new season on the horizon, MTV has been re-running the infamous (and somewhat ridiculous) house tour. Catch it if you can. (Top photo from Architectural Digest).

In case you missed the show, more photos of Mariah Carey's home are featured in Cribs: A Guided Tour Inside the Homes of Your Favorite Stars.

Julie Janklow's acrylic-and-glass, 500 sq ft. dressing room was created by the builder of the Christian Louboutin boutique in downtown New York, and inspired by the movie, Mommie Dearest. I apologize for the grainy image, but the original photo in Vogue was the size of a postage stamp. Was there was not any extra room to spare on the other 1000 pages? You can see more of the Janklow apartment and September's Vogue at Habitually Chic.

The Office, Part I

Monday, August 27, 2007

Pray for Delays

Whenever I am waiting for a plane at the airport, I find myself wishing I could use the extra time to get a manicure. Well, lucky first-class travelers in Sydney now can.

Meet the luxurious new first-class lounge for Qantas airways designed by Marc Newson and Sebastian Segers. The 20,000-square-foot space features a restaurant, day-spa services, a vertical garden with over 8,000 plants, and a fully stocked library/entertainment zone with plasma TVs. It's basically a five-star hotel without the beds.

Spa services are free for first-class customers and will include private marble shower suites, stocked with Kevin Murphy hair products and Payot Cosmetics.

PB Does PB

I think this may be the brightest print to ever hail from the halls of Pottery Barn. After decades of solid, neutral twills, is it possible that they are moving toward a Palm Beach aesthetic?

Alas, this retro-tropical print armchair is the only piece in the current catalog that dares to stray from the expected Pottery Barn formula. I can easily imagine a pair of these in the background of a Slim Aarons photograph.

Arlington Armchair in "Clarissa Kiwi Print".

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Simple Life

Looking for more India Hicks in Harbour Island? Curiosity led me down the garden path to her Crabtree and Evelyn website, India Hicks Island Living. The videos are a little hokey (there are four in all), but they give some insight into the inspiration for her fragrances, and a glimpse of what life would be like as an aristocrat in paradise. Be sure to check out the "Conversation with India" segment and "Experience" the Collections.

For more India Hicks, check out the Stylecourt archive.

On a heavier note, India and her mother, Pamela Mountbatten have written a new book, India Remembered: A Personal Account of the Mountbattens During the Transfer of Power.

Other titles by India Hicks: Island Life and Island Beauty.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Mandir

For the past 17 months, the largest traditional Hindu mandir outside of India has been under construction right here in the Atlanta suburbs. (I had no idea until I saw it in the paper today). Based on ancient Hindu architectural guidelines over 5,000 years old, the temple is made of 34,671 pieces of Italian marble, Turkish limestone and Indian pink sandstones. Hand carved stone domes cover some of the mandir’s 97 ceilings.

According to NPR, "The temple is an engineering marvel. No steel or metals have been used in the construction, and each piece, hand-carved and imported from India, was numbered, divided into sections and eventually set in place. The whole structure fits together like a giant jigsaw puzzle".

As of September first, the BAPS (Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Sanstha) Shri Swaminarayan Mandir will be open to the the public. Visitors are required to dress within specific guidelines. For more information and photos, see the Atlanta Journal and Constitution.

The Grand Tradition of Southern Hospitality

My favorite thing about Queer Eye for the Straight Guy is the quietly sarcastic home guru, Thom Filicia. While the other Fab Four are busy taking the "straight guy" to Brazillian dance class or to have their eyebrows waxed, Thom is always left behind with the daunting task of redecorating the poor schlub's apartment. Even if the house is piled high with Dungeons and Dragons collectibles, he finds a way to incorporate them into a pleasing, hip design. When the hour is up, everyone sobs with joy over their slick new digs.

Anyway, I was excited to learn that Filicia would be responsible for designing the new W Atlanta in Buckhead, slated to open June 2008. Of course it could always end up being corporate blah, but I am hoping the design will include some of Filicia's signature modern elements--like in the Chelsea loft project pictured above. According to the Starwood Hotel Group, the design plan will combine "urban style with the city’s deep history and culture" and "maintain the grand traditions of Southern hospitality". Yay Atlanta! See you at the rooftop bar!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Cake Walk

Protect your next birthday cake with these silver plated candle holders. Then serve it on green beaded plates. From Source Perrier.

Wildlife in the Wings

Photos from the Pierre Frey showroom in Paris. Deer x-ing in "Tsuba" fabric in front of "Kanto" zig zag pattern.

Colony Couture

Bits of blue punctuate this otherwise white-on-white beach house belonging to Juicy Couture co-founder, Pamela Skaist-Levy. The 1940's bungalow is one of the few original homes left in the famed Malibu Colony. Even the Mariebelle tea tins coordinate. The question is, how does Skaist-Levy decide which Birkin bag will best match her terrycloth sweatsuit with "Juicy" scrawled across the rear?

(Image from Hip Hollywood Homes, by Sue Hosteler. Photo by Peter Christiansen Valli).

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Victoria Hagan Trellis Linen Coasters Set in Blue or Green, $12.99 at Target.

Suzanne Kasler

I have long admired Atlanta designer Suzanne Kasler. Walking the line between fun and formal, Kasler's rooms always feel balanced and bright. This is just one of her projects, but many more can be seen on her website. Stay tuned for her upcoming furniture line, the Kasler Collection from Hickory Chair, set to debut in early 2008.

Monday, August 20, 2007


Children's shops usually make me gag, but how chic is this one? Modeled after storefronts in Paris, designer Nancy Braithwaite and daughter Chaffee have created B. Braithwaite, a sophisticated "infant boutique" for furniture, toys and clothes. Everything about this store is well done--from the cleverly carved boxwoods in front, to the innovative gift wrapping in stenciled canvas bags. Maybe one day they will open a store for grown-ups...

Harvest Color Redux

Looking more like candy corn than fallen leaves, the addition of white gives traditionally fall hues a fresh look.

From Top:
Autumnal reds and golds get a kick of white from cowhide chairs and a mid century table in the Connecticut home of Bruce Glickman and Wilson Henley (from Elle Decor).

Harvest tones are featured in stationary and desktop accessories from Thomas Paul.

In Atlanta, A John LaHuis painting echos gold, white, and brown (from Atlanta Peach Magazine).

Saturday, August 18, 2007

High Happenings

There are only three weeks left to see "Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer's Life, 1990-2005" at the High Museum in Atlanta. A special gallery talk and tour of the exhibition will be led by Julian Cox, the High's Curator of Photography, this Thursday night at 6:30. It is open to members and public with museum admission in the Wieland Pavillion.

From the Leibovitz collection, this pensive portrait of Philip Johnson (2000) looking out of the Glass House was a standout. For a look inside, Habitually Chic did a fantastic post on Philip Johnson's masterpiece the other day.

Upcoming at the High are two more lectures that look interesting:

Judith Miller of Emory University will lead a lecture, "Sensational Scandals on the Eve of the French Revolution", linking arts and politics in the late 1770's and 1780's. Saturday, September 1, 2 p.m. in the Hill Auditorium and free to members and the public with museum admission.

Ronald T. Labaco, the High's Curator of Decorative Arts will lead his "Masterpiece of the Month" series, this time highlighting a Rhode Island Chippendale Secretary (Desk and Bookcase), ca. 1760-70. Thursday, September 6, 7 p.m. in the Hill Auditorium and free to members and the public with museum admission.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Bargello Pillows

It may conjure up memories of the early 1980's, but flame stitch, aka Bargello needlework, has been around for centuries. The earliest accounts of this embroidery work date back to a set of 17th century chairs at the Bargello palace in Florence. The patterns are generally characterized by diagonal lines in gradating tones to resemble a flame or in some cases a curved or geometric floral motif.

From top:
A pair of flame stitch pillows adorn the sofa of designer Evan Lobel, a champion of the eighties resurgence. (photo from New York Magazine).

Jonathan Adler "Bargello" pillows adorn Liz Lange's New York Apartment (photo from Domino).

Flame stitch pillows are spotted in Trina Turk's mid century living room in L.A. (photo from Elle Decor).


If not for Jonathan Adler's interview with Top Design winner Matt Lorenz in Elle Decor this month, I would have completely forgotten the show ever existed. I never made it past the initial episodes--actually, I barely made it past the annoying theme song.

When first announced, Top Design seemed full of promise. With host Todd Oldham and judges Jonathan Adler, Kelly Wearstler and Margaret Russell, the ultimate, design dream-team had been assembled. Plus it was to air on Bravo, home to the Cadillac of creative contests, Project Runway. So what happened?

This interesting article about the Bravo network in New York Magazine breaks down why some shows are hits, why some are flops, and what happens to the legitimately creative talents of Top Design, Top Chef and Project Runway after the cameras stop rolling.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Dining Library

The shape of the American floorplan is ever evolving. Where once a multitude of purpose-driven rooms stood, now stands the hybrid. Working in New York, I saw many of these "dining libraries", but even in homes where space is not so limited I rather like this idea. After all, books make a great conversation starter at dinner parties.

Top image: designed by Jonathan Adler
Others: from my random collection of tear sheets--my apologies. If I had ever known I was going to start blogging, I would have taken better notes!

R & Y Augousti

More on the team behind R & Y Augousti, photographed at their home in France for Vogue (March '07).

Meeting in design school in London, Philippine-born Ria and Greek-born Yiouri married in 1990. They initially developed a furniture collection, and later expanded the business to include handbags--all made from exotic skins found in the Phillipines, Iceland and Japan. The designers describe their lifestyle brand as having been inspired by Art Deco, the gates of the Peggy Guggenheim museum in Venice, and Asian peacocks. They live with their twelve-year-old daughter in Paris, which is also home to their flagship store. The website is still under construction, but handbags and small home goods can be purchased through Barney's New York.

R & Y Augousti
103 Rue du Bac
Paris 75007

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Give Eva Jeanbart-Lorenzotti a run for her money with these cute R & Y Augousti accessories. From Barney's New York.

From Top:
Beige Sunsnake wallet with shagreen buckle. $195.00
Brown python Park clutch with stingray clasp. $440.00