Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Fantasy Bar

Tory Burch's luxe, lacquered and mirrored bar puts me in the mood for a Harvey Wallbanger on the rocks and a little Chuck Mangione playing on the hi-fi.  (Photograph from Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens, People).

What better to add to the fantasy than lighting a few of Burch's own votives, made of bamboo extract, fresh citrus, water jasmine, dewy greens, osmanthus, sandalwood, white musk and amber.

For a similar vibe at a fraction of the price, try West Elm's Red Currant candle. I have this one myself and it smells divine (at $6.00).

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Reindeer Games

On Oprah last month, Ivanka Trump professed her love for competitive board games, like Clue and Cranium. And while I would love to own a beautiful, leather backgammon table from Asprey, similar to the one above, there are plenty of versions out there for less than $10.

Since games make great gifts and enliven the forced family fun around the holidays, I thought I would list a few that have been getting good press this year.

Jack Spade Travel Scrabble from Neiman Marcus is a bit pricier than the original, but handsome and portable with convenient snap-in tiles.

The Fabric Swatch Memory Game from Design Within Reach would make a great gift for budding designers.

Half the fun of Monopoly is playing with all of that paper money, but for those in a hurry, Monopoly's new Electronic Banking Edition speeds up one of the world's slowest games.

Table Topics: Family Edition spark things up once the conversation runs dry.

Mexican Dominoes have been all the rage in various shelter mags of late. The colorful tiles may have something to do with that.

Play nice!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Shoe Subscriptions

Looking for a gift for the girl who has everything? Enter J.Crew's "Shoe of the Month Club" at a mere $1800.

"Each month, our designers will handpick their favorite shoes and send them straight to the doorstep of someone who has been very good this year."

A nice idea, but I have a hard enough time waiting for my Domino Magazine to arrive each month. Shoes, like shelter mags, are best when available for instant gratification.  Happy Cyber Monday!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Space that Launched 1,000 Blogs

Or just mine, at least. It's my 100th post and I have Ivanka Trump to thank! About a year ago, I fell for her fresh, colorful, and sophisticated, New York apartment in InStyle Magazine. On a google hunt for a garden stool in Atlanta (like the one pictured above), I stumbled into the amazing (and addictive) world of design blogs. How appropriate that my 100th post should fall right before Thanksgiving, as I want to say thank you to all of the bloggers for their artistic inspiration, humorous insight and the much needed creative outlet.

So much has been said about this super cute apartment already, that I refer anyone seeking more, to Style Court's original coverage of the Emma Jane Pilkington designed space. All The Best also did an interesting Profile on Ivanka Trump earlier this month. Instead, I will leave you with a clip of Ivanka sporting her best I-am-so-much-smarter-than-you attitude in this behind-the-scenes interview at the InStyle photo shoot.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


A stately Buckhead mansion, photographed by Imke Lass

I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but Atlanta's own Buckhead Community has made the New York Times Travel Magazine.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

West Elm

I have had some hits and misses from West Elm over the years. While their quality can be a bit spotty, I am still a fan of the instant gratification they provide when it comes to affordable, trendy furniture and accessories.

This month, Nylon Magazine introduces us to the woman behind-the-trends, West Elm's design director, Aimee Miller. The decorating concept for her own Brooklyn apartment is similar to the one she employs at work--clean lines, mid-century style furnishings and a sculptural approach to storage.

Photographed by Cydney Puro.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Harvest Gold

I am not going to lie. Thanksgiving is not my favorite holiday in the aesthetics department. While I love the idea of being grateful for your blessings and celebrating the harvest, for the most part, Thanksgiving is just a drably-hued obstacle in the way of the Christmas countdown.

This year, however, Martha Stewart is challenging my prejudice with her shimmering, golden tabletops--borrowing a bit from her palette for Christmas 2006 (below). And while I am not much of a cook, the Carmelized Apple Spice Cake dusted with gold has me intrigued enough to study the mechanics of the recipe.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Michael Gibson

Photo from Paper City, May 2006

Tonight in Atlanta, artist Michael Gibson will be giving a short talk at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center. Gibson, who's work is displayed in the loft he shares with wife, Carolyn Carr, has been profiled in such prestigious publications as the New York Times and Art in America.

The orientation and density of the color shapes are carefully balanced in Gibson's works, and the allover distribution of the shapes gives the impression that the painting is part of a larger whole. Luminous biomorphic forms appear to extend beyond the edges of the panels, suggesting these paintings could be part of some continuous molecular configuration. -Rebecca Dimling Cochran, Art in America

Couldn't have said it better myself. Artist talks begin tonight at 7 p.m. Click here to see more photos from the loft pictured above.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Room Inspired Wrap

Photo by Stephanie Diani for The New York Times, via Stylecourt.

Inspired by designer Krista Ewart's use of this red and white Madeline Weinrib rug, I have been on the hunt for a holiday wrapping paper with a similar feel. The closest I have found to date is this Zig Zag pattern from Nepalese Paper. Their gift wraps are hand printed on cultivated bark, a practice which sustains both the environment and the local economy of Nepal. Everybody wins!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Art Directed Table

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas over at the Spade's house...

Elle Magazine attends a holiday dinner hosted by Andy and Kate Spade in the December issue. Celebrating retirement perhaps? The table setting was inspired by the Kate Spade for Crane peony stationary. (Click on photo to enlarge details).

An otherwise traditional table setting is challenged by contemporary art. Red painting is by Terry Winters. Black and white prints are by Hugo Guinness. (Photographed by Jason Frank Rothenberg for Elle Magazine).


I know this is 10 days late, but here is the ridiculous (but brilliant) jack-o-lantern my husband created while I was out of town. I married a clever man. It looks like what would happen if Martha Stewart invited Tim Burton on her show to carve pumpkins.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Friday Flair II

Here is a rare chance to own an entire set of vintage Flair Magazine, now available on Ebay. In case you are interested in a compiled version, Rizzoli published The Best of Flair in 1996.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The New Downtown

From the real jungle, to the concrete one...

I love this recent ad campaign for Tiffany & Co.'s new Wall Street store for a couple of reasons; One is the swinging, 1960's-style illustrations that harken back to the golden stride of Tiffany, years before we were subjected to the spoiled brats on MTV's  "My Super Sweet Sixteen", waving their clunky tag bracelets in our faces. Thanks to some good old fashioned marketing/nostalgia/damage control, we are reminded that Tiffany was once posh, exclusive, and all things New York. Just imagine how many Wall Street wives (and mistresses) will be getting a little blue box this year--and perhaps an orange one from around the corner, as well.

The other reason I love this ad is that I used to live on Wall Street. Back then it was a residential Siberia, and I lived on the 21st floor of the tall, tiered building featured in the illustration above. I shared a  three-bedroom apartment with five girls. We barely made it a year before fleeing to real neighborhoods. Still, it's fun to flip through a magazine and see the headline: "Downtown Is The Next Big Thing" for the umpteenth time and finally believe it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Pura Vida

Hola! I am back from the beautiful, Guanacaste region of Costa Rica with a fading tan and new love for this country. Despite traveling during the rainy "low" season, we had fabulous, sunny weather most of the time. Of course I would be a little dissapointed if we did not see any rain in the rain forest, so I was happy to have a little downpour during our trek into the jungle for horseback riding and a thrilling ( = scary) zip line canopy tour. If you are thinking of traveling to this part of the world, go now before the Disney Cruise Line pulls in!

Surfers on Playa Langosta, just south of Tamarindo.

Swinging from the trees in Rincon de la Vieja national park. The first platform seems harmlessly low to the ground, but before you know it, you are above the tree tops.

In the midst of this river sits the world's most relaxing hot springs.

Horseback riding in Rincon de la Vieja. The last volcanic eruption was in 1998.

A colorful mosaic at our charming little hotel, Sueno del Mar.

An elusive howler monkey. So cute!

A view through the trees to the beach at the super luxe, Peninsula Papagayo.

Sunset over Playa Langosta.