Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Since we are well into the holiday shopping season, I thought I would do a little personalized GOOD TASTE GIFT GUIDE to get everyone motivated to scoop up those last minute items on your list.  Play Santa for a bit and grab some of these perfect finds for that special friend or loved one. Here are some ideas based on certain preferences and personality types to hopefully save you from the chaos of scrounging an overcrowded mall for that last person on your list!

For that domestic goddess with expensive tastes...

For the girl who loves the glitz, the glitter
and everything a little "over-the-top"...

For the gadget queen with serious style...

And for the one who is always pinned up and put together...


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

[interior] infatuation: elizabeth bauer

On a recent trip to New York, I was strolling the West Village when a tiny shop with huge curb appeal caught my eye.  With a very chic chair covered in a bold pink print staring at me from a prominent spot in the quaint bay window, I knew I had to stop into Elizabeth Bauer's store.

Later, after running into a 'Bauer-obsessed' friend next door at equally colorful, Jonathan Adler, I had a feeling I would soon join the club and decided to do a little research on the designer. Named one of Traditional Homes,' "20 Young Designers to Watch" this year, Bauer's style is described as "modern in a traditional silhouette," but I instantly thought of Palm Beach chic when I saw her collection. I love how she adds a bit of playful whimsy to the mix with bold layering of patterns (love her candy-striped couch with geometric pillows, below) and unexpected color choices. With summers spent designing with a firm in Nantucket, its no wonder Bauer's design choices always incorporate a bit of "preppy chic" into a more modern, sophisticated form. Just take a look at some of her fabulous designs....I think I just about died when I saw the navy and white zebra print wallpaper paired with the coral lampshades (one of my favorite color combinations) that Bauer used in her own NYC studio...

All photos courtesy of Elizbeth Bauer Design and Lonny Magazine

Thursday, December 2, 2010

freshen up that holiday color scheme

I've always been a firm believer that you can find inspiration in almost anything.  Take a trip to an art museum, a quirky little antique shop, or simply browse through a colorful coffee table book.  Whatever you choose, document things that jump out at you - I like to keep an inspiration book where I paste all my design, fashion, food and color tidbits that I happen to come across so that I can refer back to them for other uses later.  Last year I threw a holiday party inspired by a linen that I was using at an event - a fabulously whimsical magenta and red damask - so fun!  Although that was last year, I still think this bold color scheme gives the holidays a fresh face.  Try using vibrant red Amaryllis mixed with hot pink accent flowers (roses, tulips, etc.). I love using pink poinsettia instead of (or mixed with) the traditional red for a pop of color. Here is the swatch I was inspired by, followed by an "Inspiration Board" I created to visualize this holiday look:

Photos courtesy of: Amaryllis: Voila Fete. Room with red curtain: Country Living. Candy: Gifted.
Pink ornament tier: Country Living. Poinsettia centerpiece: Southern Living. Room with tree: Country Living.
Invitations: Jean M. Magenta ornaments: Better Homes & Gardens. Candy Canes: Phyllis Asher. 
Champagne: Delicious Magazine. Roses: Jean M.

For those looking for a little less color and a little more sophistication, I absolutely LOVE mercury glass and am constantly looking for ways to use it.  While browsing for more pieces to add to my collection, I came across this great urn from Wisteria.  Styled with the fresh evergreen, I was immediately inspired to look into a green and white scheme, accented with glistening mercury glass accessories.  This is a great option for those who tend to have cooler tones in their homes or those who prefer an updated traditional feel. For this look, I would recommend using fresh evergreen, magnolia or boxwood and accenting with white Hydrangea, white Amaryllis or Paper Whites. For a use of green with an unexpected texture, I adore the moss wreath below...

Photos courtesy of: Mantle: Better Homes & Gardens. Tabletop: Pottery Barn. Banister garland: William Waldron. Wreath with mercury glass: Martha Stewart. Doorway: Martha Stewart. Mercury glass ornaments: Pottery Barn. Chair with snowflake detail: Country Living. Champagne glasses: Country Living. Lit Boxwood arrangement: Kaboodle. 
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