Monday, October 29, 2007

Travel Write II

In a couple of days, I am heading down to Costa Rica for a much needed break from the working world. Since I plan to "unplug", I will be blogging the way nature intended...with pen and paper. I picked up a couple of these animal print journals at West Elm yesterday in an attempt to channel a little of Osa Johnson's adventurous flair.

Because the pages are unlined, they double as a sketch book as well.

As cute as these little journals are, I was sorely dissapointed with how well they held up on the road. The paper seems to be coming loose from the binding after a couple of uses. Caveat emptor!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Photography by Rinne Allen.

Decorno's call for "Original Content Week" has lead me to two startling realizations:

1) My house is nowhere near being camera ready. (Actually, this is not that surprising).
2) I don't know how to use a digital camera.

I know this may seem impossible in these modern times, but somehow I was absent on the day that everyone, including my technologically challenged parents, learned how to operate one of these newfangled gadgets. Of course I know how to take the photo, but since it is usually on one of my husband's 10 different cameras, I am still lost as to how it arrives neatly in my computer file, if not emailed to me.

While I am experimenting with ports and data cards, I will leave you with the beautiful, macro-organic photographs of a much more talented artist, Rinne Allen. You may recognize her environmental photos from the Hable Construction website, but she was also the photographer for our small backyard wedding in 2005.

Yours truly with bouquet of hydrangea and fiddle head ferns. Photography by Rinne Allen.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Gossip Girl

"You know you love me.
xoxo, Gossip Girl"

Unfortunately, I do. Even though I managed to avoid an entire decade of crappy teen dramas--The O.C., Dawson's Creek, and 90210, I can't seem to resist the siren song of this one. It must be that magical combination of beautiful, upper east siders with ridiculous sounding names (Serena Van der Woodson?) who drink martinis at slumber parties and backstab each other all the way to the Ivy Leagues. It's like a weekly version of Cruel Intentions with a snarky voice-over bonus.

Friday, October 19, 2007


So, I am finally getting around to posting some of the photographs I took last weekend in South Carolina.

Charleston is one of those cities that is so beautiful, it makes your heart beat a little faster--especially coming from Atlanta where there is very little in terms of historic architecture. Although I did not have time to do much antique shopping, I did have a chance to wander the neighborhood and listen to the paint peel. One of these days I am going to make a special trip just to shop (or at least browse), since there never seems to be enough time.

Speaking of historic neighborhoods, don't forget about the Castleberry Hill Loft Tour this Saturday and Sunday in Atlanta.

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Seeing Clearly

A good pair of floating acrylic cocktail tables always adds a little style à la David Hicks to a space. What I love best about these tables is their function as small and easily movable while looking simultaneously inconspicuous and funky.

Keith Irvine designed this living room for Merrill Hanley using acrylic cubes, a great option for smaller New York apartments. (Photography by Paul Costello for Domino Magazine, October 2007). For more photos of this home and that of her sister, see The Peak of Chic's September post, Sister Act.

A couple of days after spotting the cubes in Domino, I saw these Kartell "Jolly" tables in this room from Metropolitan Home, designed by Ron Marvin. (Photographed by Annie Schlecter).

As an alternative to more expensive acrylic cubes, the Jolly Table by Paolo Rizatto works well in an otherwise busy room, and measures only 16" square. Available through Kartell.

An early proponent of the clear cube, David Hicks designed this London apartment in 1972 as a "dorm room" for the sons of Stavros Niarchos, while they were in school. The lacquered walls and Perspex tables add to a nightclub feel. What a cool place to not get any studying done. (Photo from David Hicks: Designer).

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Speaking of Halloween...

Domino Magazine contributor, Allison Sarofim is known for throwing the season's wildest costume party at her West Village brownstone pictured above. Imagine this room filled with famous creatives, like a modern day Studio 54 (which coincidentally was the theme of her 2005 bash). (Photo by Paul Costello for Domino, April 2006).

The Rue de Lota apartment of early 20th century designer, Eileen Gray served as the inspiration behind Sarofim's zebra-lined room. Gray's 1926 Bibendum Chair is featured as a pair in this photograph.

Last year's Halloween party was a Hieronymous Bosch-themed "Garden of Earthly Delights" for which Sarofim and Elle Decor's Carlos Mota dressed the part in 2006. (Photo from

Here is a re-styled version of the same room with Sarofim in Chanel. You can view more (including a fabulous Moroccan tented lounge) at Avenue Magazine. (Photographed by Gray Scott).

Monday, October 15, 2007

Trick or Treat

Growing up with a nutritionist mother, I had very little opportunity to consume large amounts of sugar--with exception to one night each year. I have never had a cavity though. (Thanks Mom)! Anyway, it is time to stock up on Halloween candy, only to need to restock on the 31st after it mysteriously disappears. Here is what I had in mind for round one:

Halloween costume kisses from Hershey's Gifts.

Cool, retro treats can be found at Nostalgic Candy.

Crystal-cut candy from Williams-Sonoma evokes the scary Victorian era.

Chocolate covered Oreos from Dylan's Candy Bar.

A staple at New York corner stores, in Atlanta, I have to buy Morinaga Hi-Chew candy in bulk from

Nobody's favorite, marshmallow peanuts.

Elegant truffles for big kids from Williams-Sonoma.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Creative director for Circa Jewels, Fabiola Beracasa gives a tour of the sprawling New York penthouse she shares with her mother, Veronica Hearst in V Magazine. In case you are not familiar with Fabiola, she is a fixture on Park Avenue Peerage, a site to which I became totally addicted after the hilarious New York Magazine article, The Number One Girl. The space appears to be cavernous, ornate and not someplace I would want to live, but it is always fun to see how the other half lives.
“What you’re seeing in the photos you took are the common areas,” she explains of the photographs on these pages. “It’s not really the place in the house where I get my mojo on.” She has her own section of the penthouse decorated rather simply with a large dressing closet. During the photo shoot, she was wearing jeans as she straddled the antique horse in the hallway. “I wasn’t expecting my mom to be there, but she just stopped by,” she remembers. Mrs. Hearst gracefully walked by her daughter and out of the room, before having her secretary interrupt. “Mrs. Hearst says it is inappropriate to be on the horse. Please get off the horse.” Thankfully, Beracasa got her picture before she climbed down.

- Christopher Bollen, Photography by Douglas Friedman

Atlanta Peach

Atlanta Peach Magazine, our answer to Ocean Drive, is on fire this month with profiles on Kelly Wearstler, Lee Kleinhelter of Pieces, Thom Filicia, artist Todd Murphy and chef Hugh Acheson of Five and Ten (which also has some fantastic art). If anyone wants my extra copy, email me and I will mail it to you. Otherwise, there is usually a stack of free copies in front of the Kate Spade store at Lenox.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

His and Hers

Not wanting to ignore the other half, today's post is dedicated to closet space that accommodates both sides of the equation.

Separate but equally beautiful dressing rooms were designed for a Chicago couple by Alessandra Branca. (Photography by Alan Shortall for Veranda Magazine, October 2001).

Below are the dressing rooms of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor (pictured above). In 1998, Sotheby's auctioned off the contents of their famously stylish wardrobe to an adoring public. My very first job as a clueless young grad was to give private tours of the pre-sale exhibition. (Pardon me while I date myself).

A pair of Chinese Chippendale style pagodas flank the dressing area of the Duchess of Windsor. Most of the shoes in the closet are designed by Roger Vivier.

The Duke of Windsor preferred the designs of Peal & Co. for his velvet slippers. Just imagine the ascots and jodhpurs this closet has seen.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Opening Season

With all of the excitement over Gwyneth Paltrow's pad in House and Garden, I almost overlooked this rendering of Kelly Wearstler's new boutique at Bergdorf Goodman. Strictly selling home accessories, the space is comprised of niche displays for vases, bowls and the like.

Many of the items available for sale were originally conceptualized while Wearstler was designing hotels for the Kor Hotel Group and in need of decorative accents. The in-store Design Happening will be the first opportunity to view the boutique space next weekend. (Pictured above is the Knot dish, Thorn goblet and compote). For more photos of the new inventory, check out Studio Annetta's post last week.

Because Wearstler's style is so distinctive, it would be impossible to achieve her look from one decorative object, but it should be interesting to see if her influence continues to spread on the East Coast. Photo from Modern Glamour (via Flickr).

Mapping It

Christopher Columbus with compass, map and navigation instrument

In honor of the great explorer, I thought I would post some rooms featuring maps and globes. In my own house, I keep an atlas on a stand. I realized I was referencing it so much, there was no need to ever put it away.

India Hicks Harbour Island home from Domino. If you like the chair fabric pictured in the background, Stylecourt has a great post on it today.

A paper map creates privacy for an otherwise see-through French door. (From Better Homes and Gardens, Sept. '07).

This room was created with only $150 worth of inexpensive maps. Room designed by David H. Mitchell for Southern Accents 2005.

Bathroom designed by Kendall Wilkinson.

Map collector and dealer, W. Graham Arader III hangs sections of this 1733 map over the stairwell. This is the first wall map of the American colonies to be created. (Photography by Simon Upton for Decorating with Pictures).

Elle Decor 2006, via Katiedid, who has more great maps and globes in her July archive.

Happy Columbus Day!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Rachel Zoe, Working Waif

Ever since Jane Magazine went belly-up, I have been receiving Glamour Magazine in it's place. While it is not quite the same thing (less snark, more articles about loving your extra 20 pounds, etc.), I am actually enjoying this unsolicited, unpretentious magazine. The paper quality is also much higher than that of Jane, which I suspect had something to do with lagging subscription sales.

Anyway, this month's Glamour shows us the "real" work spaces of high-powered women, one of which is the Beverly Hills home office of our favorite Bravo stylist, Rachel Zoe.

Click on photo to enlarge.

The stack of purses in the bottom right corner are the Medusa Bag, a collaboration between Zoe and Judith Leiber.

For a more detailed look into her workday, check out the New York Times article, Being Rachel Zoe. Zoe also has a new book out this month, Style A to Zoe: The Art of Fashion, Beauty, and Everything Glamour.

(Top photo by Andrew Durham).

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Loft Tour

Artist Michele Oka Doner's amazing NYC loft is a true live/work space. A pioneer during Soho's rehabilitation days, she has maintained her remarkable sense of personal style while the neighborhood around her evolved.

Update: The eagle-eyed Liberty Post recognized this loft as the space used in the movie Ghost.

Only one notch lower on the cool scale is Castleberry Hill, Atlanta's hippest downtown neighborhood. Their Sixth Annual Loft Tour will be held this month and is a great opportunity to see the galleries and artists in residence of this revitalized in town neighborhood. For an example of what you might find, check out Stable 1897.

(photos from Taschen's New York Interiors).