Category Archives: Travel

What Feels Like Summer To You?

This streak of gorgeous weathers feels more like August than the middle of May…but I will take it. We are heading up to Rhode Island for the weekend to get in on this summer fun.

Does summer bring out your arsenal of brightly colored clothing? Does it remind you of popsicles, beach balls, sun tan lotion, and wild fun? The below rooms are packed with color, whimsy, and do not take themselves to seriously, just like you!

Do you like your white linen dress to be crisp, not a wrinkle in your slacks, navy and white stripped bow tie to sit just so? These cool clean rooms may be a great jumping off point for you:

Is summer your time to kick back, relax, and let the sand fall where it may? If so, the rooms below are for you with their sparse furniture plans, slip covers, and sisal carpets.

Happy Friday!!

xo,

S

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Layla- Brooklyn

Once we left the Brooklyn Botanical Garden we wandered to Boerum Hill in Brooklyn and stumbled upon Layla, a jewel-box of a store that I have been meaning to get to for months.

Alayne Patrick works with master craftsmen in India to create one of a kind jewelry, clothing, housewares, and bedding. I picked up a lovely grey and white kaftan as well as some beautiful blue and white napkins, a tablecloth, and bedding for a client. The bedding is woven from high-quality cotton and accented with brightly colored stitching.

Layla is a beautiful store- a must visit!

xo,

S

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Brooklyn Botanical Garden

Last weekend it was 70 degrees and gorgeous. The perfect day for a visit to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. An easy subway ride from the West Village brings you right to the entrance but once inside you are worlds away from New York City. The smell of all the blossoming flowers and tress transports you to the country side.

Lilacs, grape hyacinths, and crabapple trees greet you as you enter the garden and make your way down to cherry lane.

The cherry blossoms were almost in full bloom when we visited. This is the perfect spot to bring a picnic lunch and a book.

There are so many flowers through out the gardens and all the plants have their names proudly posted.

Once past Cherry Lane the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden awaits. It is filled with a myriad of trees, flowers, animals, and sculptures. I love the cut-out shape above on the footbridge- it would be great as a repeated pattern set into venetian plaster.

The tulip bed took my breath away. Flowers are planted by color and species and the patterns are beautiful.

If you are enable to make it there in April, May and June offer their own special blooms.

  • April: Magnolias, daffodils, forsythias, flowering cherries, crabapples, Native Flora and Japanese Hill-and-Pond Gardens.
  • May: Lilacs, tulips, bluebells, wisterias, Shakespeare Garden, Rock Garden, dogwoods, azaleas in the Osborne Garden.
  • June: Cranford Rose Garden, Perennial Borders, Annual Border, Herb Garden, irises, peonies.

Visit the website for hours, directions, and admission: http://www.bbg.org/

Follow the Brooklyn Botanical Garden on Twitter for updates: http://twitter.com/bklynbotanic

xo,

S

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Je t’adore Paris!

If you are a fan of architecture Paris should be on the top of your list for a visit. Everywhere you turn you see beautiful buildings that have been there for hundreds of years. I can spend the whole day walking ( and eating) around the different arrondisments in Paris and still be thirsting for more the next day. I never tire of seeing all that Paris has to offer. Below I have listed a few of my favorite sites, museums, shops, and restaurants.

The Louvre was built as a fortress in the 12th century and then converted into a royal palace in the 14th century. It’s current appearance goes back to the 15th century when the original fortress was demolished and the wing along the Seine was built. During the 16th and 17th centuries the palace was extended and the Tuileries palace was added to the west of the Louvre. In the 19th century the Richelieu wing was added. It became a museum of art in 1793- The MET in New York was opened 79 years later in 1892.

The pyramid was built in 1989 by renowned American arichitect I.M. Pei. The modern glass entrance not only brings light to the ground floor, it also adds a wonderful modern element to the historic background which is the Louvre.

Musee Marmottan, originally built as a hunting lodge in the 16th arr., is now a small museum that holds the world’s largest collection of Monet paintings. This is by far and away my favorite museum. The home itself is stunning from the hand laid floors designed in intricate patterns, the paint colors on the walls, the drapes, the moldings, the decorative painting, and the antiques are all stunning. Then you get to view the art!

A brief history:
Originally a hunting lodge for the Duke of Valmy, the house at the edge of the Bois de Boulogne was purchased by Jules Marmottan in 1882 who later left it to his son Paul Marmottan. Marmottan moved into the lodge and, with an interest in the Napoleonic era, he expanded his father’s collection of paintings, furniture and bronzes. Marmottan bequeathed his home and collection to the Académie des Beaux-Arts. The Académie opened up the house and collection as the Museum Marmottan in 1934.
Though originally a showcase for pieces from the First Empire, the nature of the museum’s collection began to change with two major donations. In 1957, Victorine Donop de Monchy gave the museum an important collection of Impressionist works that had belonged to her father, Doctor Georges de Bellio, physician to Manet, Monet, Pissaro, Sisley and Renoir, and an early supporter of the Impressionist movement. In 1966, Claude Monet’s second son, Michel Monet, left the museum his own collection of his father’s work, thus creating the world’s largest collection of Monet paintings.
Jacque Carlu, then curator of the museum, built a special exhibition space for the Monet collection in a lower level of the museum. Inspired by the hall designed for Monet’s Water Lilies murals in the Musée de l’Orangerie, the large, open room allows visitors to see a progression of Monet’s work, as well as to view his canvases both up close and from afar. One of the most notable pieces in the museum is Monet’s Impression, Sunrise (Impression, Soleil Levant), the painting from which the Impressionist movement took its name. The painting was stolen from the Musée Marmottan in 1985, but recovered five years later and returned to the permanent exhibit in 1991.

Best Vintage Clothing/ Accessories Shopping: Les 3 marches de Catherine B has more hermes and chanel vintage pieces than you could dream of. I found beautiful handbags, scarves, and jewelry.

The most fabulous garden shop with a stunning display of taxidermy on the 2nd floor: Le Prince Jardinier/ Deyrolle

Prince Louis Albert de Broglie knows a thing or two about cultivating one’s garden—it was tending the one at his château near Tours that inspired him to create a shop that caters to the gardening art de vivre. In addition to offering handsome tools and other accoutrements, this store specializes in the kind of gear—country-chic jackets, aprons, and natural fiber bags—that has a life well beyond the garden. ” Your garden is beautiful, your tools should be as well”.

The enthusiastic response allowed the prince to twice rescue Deyrolle on the second floor of his shop: Founded in 1831, this unrivaled cabinet of curiosities—part taxidermy shop, part museum—was saved from bankruptcy by de Broglie in 2001, only to be gutted by fire in 2008. When Deyrolle’s space rose from the ashes in late 2009 ( there is a Phoenix on display!), “naturalized” circus animals had returned to the floor, as had other curios of the natural world, from boxes of mounted butterflies and iridescent insects (Yves Saint Laurent was a collector) to assorted crystals, shells, a polar bear, beautiful butterflies and bugs displayed in shadow boxes and bell jars as if in flight, as well as various species of roosters.

Le Prince Jardinier: http://www.princejardinier.com/

Deyrolle: http://www.deyrolle.com/magazine/

The Marais District: The oldest district in Paris has fabulous shopping, people watching, and dining. It is a mix of SoHo and the West Village.

Favorite spot for lunch– Chez Janou. The chocolate pudding is a MUST

Antique Hunting in The Marais: Between the Seine and the Marais the village of Saint-Paul has many shops to choose from.

Au Bon Usage – 21 Rue Saint Paul- a connoisseur of Thonet Furniture

http://www.aubonusage.com/aubonusage/index-en.html

Aux Trois Singes – A decorative shop with all the beautiful odds and ends to fill up a bookshelf of curiosities. Must-have traditional garden objects such as a beautiful watering can with the blue paint rusted off in the most perfect way. You will also find amazing one of a kid pieces for your New York terrace or country home.

Aside from the Marais district you must go to one of the local flea markets in Paris. I have found many treasures for clients and for myself.

Les Puces de Saint-Ouen – found in Clignancourt. This is a huge flea market (largest in the world) and can take days to wander through. It is best to get there early as many of the goods are picked through after lunch. I like to start on the left side from the the top of Rue des Rosiers with Marché Malassis which sells furniture and objects from the 18th and 19th centuries. Marché Dauphine is next and has a bit of everything. You will find art, furiture, books, vintage clothes and jewelry. Next up are Marche Serpette and Marche Paul Bert which both have a wonderful selection of mirrors, art, antique luggage, hardware, and kitchen goods.

Marche Vernaison holds many stores but the Moments & Matieres stand has amazing pieces that are perfect for propping clients homes for photo shoots. Old silk fabrics, beautiful colored rope, lamps, beaten up chairs from the 18th century, coral, pedestals, a tailor’s dummy, a plaster bust of napoleon, skulls, shells, and apothecary bottles.

2 of my favorite dinner spots:

1. Email ahead, way ahead, to get a reservation at the hottest table in Paris, Hidden Kitchen. The 10 course meal is served in the chef’s home ( a young couple from Boston, MA). You will be one of 16 guests and the location is emailed to you the week before your dinner. Below are images of my favorite courses.

2. When your stomach gets a bit tired of all the butter and cream try the best Italian restaurant in all of Paris, Le Cherche Midi. Two brothers own and run this marvelously quaint spot. We started with a huge rucola and parmesan and a plate of the assorted meats for the table. The mozzarella de buffala is flown in twice weekly from Naples. For the main course, I had to try a pasta and went with the home-made ravioli pomodoro with basil and ate every last bite. The pasta with white truffles was also, as you can imagine, amazing. With only a few tables be sure to make a reservation a few nights in advance.

22 Rue Du Cherche Midi, 6th Arr.

http://www.lecherchemidi.fr/

This was just a taste of all we saw and did in Paris. I hope you found it inspiring and helpful for your next visit.

xo,

S


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Parrot Cay Turks and Caicos

All of these snowstorms are getting old. Time to lift your spirits and plan an island getaway (or spend some time gazing at your computer screen taking a mental vacation!). I have gone through photos of trips we have taken over the last 2 years and will be posting some standouts . Just looking at these photos inspires me and gets me through these cold snowy months!

In the midst of February, we headed south to the Parrot Cay Resort, a private island with 1000 acres of forests, marshes, and beaches. There are direct flights from New York City to the capital Providenciales. Flight time is just 3 hours. From there you are picked up at the airport and whisked off to a dock via private shuttle. The staff greats you with coronas and water and then you get aboard the resorts boat.

Once you arrive via boat the staff is waiting with golf carts to transport you to the main building on the island for check in.

The views from the pool are stunning. It is elevated at dune height so you see out over the pool to the beach below.

The Lotus Restaurant is set up above the pool with indoor/ outdoor dining. The wooden structure is beautiful. At Lunch they serve up carribean inspired dishes and at night the cuisine has a japanese and thai flair. You can order off the COMO Shambhala menu ( the very healthy spa menu) at both restaurants as well as for room service. The restaurants were never crowded and the dress code is casual.

Below is the path from the main building and rooms down to the beach and gym. The outdoor stone shower below the pool is enormous. The gym is housed in a large wooden structure opposite the pool.

The Terrace Restaurant serves modern Mediterranean cuisine. The restaurant is attached to the main building and looks out over the gardens below, tennis courts to the right, and the ocean.

Ocean facing room: These rooms look out over gardens to the pool and beach below. each room has it’s own private deck with a sofa and chairs where you can have breakfast. Terra-cotta tiled floors, balinese furniture, and white cotton fabric and walls give the room a relaxing Caribbean vibe. The resort also has beach villas with up to 4 bedrooms. The largest residence on the property is made up of two homes ( each with 4 bedrooms) and belongs to Donna Karan but is available to rent.

At the poolside bar we would grab the backgammon set and settle down for cocktails before dinner. Some of the locals ( those lucky enough to have built homes on the island- Bruce Willis and Keith Richards) stop in for drinks at the bar as it is the only watering hole on the island.

The spa is incredible. The yoga and pilates rooms have large sliding doors that open up one entire side of the rooms to the marsh and ocean below. There are separate hot tubs and steam rooms for both men and women as well as one hot tub that is set out in a garden under the stars where men and women are both welcomed. There are complimentary yoga, pilates, and beach yoga sessions offered daily.

The scuba diving and bone fishing is exceptional. While on the island it is great to get out on a boat and see the reefs, flats, and the change in the color of the water. From the beach you can take out a catamaran and snorkel and mask for excursions.

Every evening you can walk the mile long beach with drinks in hand and watch the sunset… ahhhh I want to go back!

Book your trip: http://www.parrotcay.como.bz/

xo,

S

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John Robshaw Textiles

One of my favorite fabric designers, John Robshaw, has come out with his new collection of blockprinted linens and cotton voiles. His fabrics are totally inspiring and the color combinations are fresh. I have used his fabrics, duvets, bed linens, bathrobes, napkins, and throw pillows in many projects and in many different ways.

John’s forays in Asia have taken him to the villages of Gujarat and Rajasthan to work alongside artisans and study their traditional printing methods; he has made court batiks in Yogakarta, Indonesia; block printed sarongs alongside a family who has been printing for four generations; he has vegetable-dyed ikats in Thailand. In India, John found that he could apply a painterly aesthetic to the traditional method of block-printing by mixing up patterns and overlapping them in a more formally artistic way. There, his signature dynamic look was crafted: an updated spin on the exotic, handmade object; a vibrant mix of sophistication and romantic allure. “I want all the colors, processes and designs from each culture to blend. I redesign them and mix up the processes in ways no one has ever done before. I try to edit them, learn from them, make them my own but retain their essence. In piggybacking these designs and techniques with each other or with my own ideas, what emerges is new and fresh, and yet retains that sense of tradition, of the handmade. When I need to hire someone to help, I pick the old printers. Their hands are shaky and their eyesight is poor, so the pattern comes out slightly off. I want to feel that human touch,” says John.

“By producing my textiles abroad, I get to become a minor character in the lives of the people I work with, and I can take inspiration from what I see and do there. I go to their weddings, celebrate their festivals, I get sick with them, I develop relationships with the people who are teaching me. When you look at my textiles, its like you’ve been on the world tour along with me.”

Algiers Lotus

JRL 77-58

Alhambre Coral

JRL 75-61

Vintage Stripe Coral- I would love to use this as wall upholstery in a library or bedroom.

JRL 21-61

Petra Cobalt- This would look beautiful as drapes or on a sofa.

JRL 39-21

Anar Charcoal – for you black and white lovers. This can go anywhere but would be fun on an upholstered headboard.

JRCV 11-22

I used the above pattern in red and white for two twin headboards in a client’s beach house:

Another client’s beach house- John Robshaw euro squares, sheets and quilt.

A showhouse up in Rhode Island- John Robshaw crane pillow on the bed

Two rope chairs upholstered in John Robshaw’s blue on blue stripe.

More of John Robshaw: http://www.johnrobshaw.com/shop.htm

xo,

S

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Adirondack Style- Lake Placid Lodge

We had to cancel our big trip out to Aspen due to the incredible amount of snow the East Coast was receiving last week. With it being Valentine’s Day and a long weekend we had to get something on the books. With all of this snow and the winter olympics we decided to drive to a snowy winter wonderland… The Adirondack Mountains! We looked at Whiteface Lodge as well as a few other places but decided on The Lake Placid Lodge.

Lake Placid Lodge is a Relaid and Chateaux property and the original lodge was built as a family residence in 1882. In 1946, the Garrett Hotel Group purchased the lodge and turned it into a hotel. In the winter of 2005 a massive fire burned the lodge to the ground and the Garrett Hotel group set about rebuilding the Lodge with a team of architects and local artisans. The new Main Lodge is a majestic Arts and Crafts style building impressive in scale yet feels totally warm and cozy inside

.

Above: The bar is more of a large living room with small tables for two, large sofas and cocktail tables for groups, a roaring fireplace, a bar, and bookshelves crammed with board games, books, and the only television you will find in the Lodge.

Almost every piece of furniture, rug, and lighting source was custom made by a local artisan for the lodge. I spent hours pouring over every detail. The above chair is just one of the hundreds of unique pieces. Truly beautiful and very comfortable.

The bar itself is adorned with hand-carved and painted leaves, branches, and pines cones.

In the main dining area all tables, chairs, and pendant lights are custom made.

A detail shot of the chairs and tables. ails were not used in making these pieces. They were all put together with pegs by hand.

This beautiful birch tree grew up through the center of the staircase leading from the bar and restaurant to the bedrooms in the lodge.

I love the color combination used in the stairwell. The warm reds and oranges in the custom carpet really pop against the softly raged green walls. Local artists paintings hang on many of the walls.

This fireplace outside the bar was my favorite. The artist was given free reign to do whatever he wanted and he carved trees, branches, leaves, pine cones, chipmunks, owls, and pheasants. This was amazing!

Detail shots of the pine cones, chipmunks, and owl. You can see all of the little hatch marks he made on the chipmunk to make it look like fur.

Below: The map room. A hand painted map of the local area and birch trees used as columns. This room overlooks the lake and can be used for conferences or private dinners.

Our bedroom: We stayed in Hearthside, one of the few rooms located on the second floor in the main lodge. With a large balcony overlooking Lake Placid and a huge fireplace, this room was very cozy. The most amazing feature in the room was the bed. A local artisan carefully selected branches from trees and fit them together. He fit similar branches all around the top of the walls and they met and twisted around an oval shape full length mirror. The room felt like a forrest.

The cowhide rugs with zebra print on them were a fun playful addition. Theheavy linen used for the duvet and shams is from Andrew Martin.

Bedside table lamps were hand made from branches and had birds nests at the top. Great detail.

The moose head is carved from wood and there were two large club chairs upholstered in a deep red and green plaid on either side of the fireplace. The perfect place to snuggle up and read in the afternoons.

The bathrooms were enormous with Kohler “tea-for-two” bathtubs. The showers had large rain heads. Both the shower and the bathtub had views of the lake.

Durning the day there are a ton of activities: snowshoeing, cross country skiing, dog sledding, downhill skiing at Whiteface mountain. It snowed every day we were there. You truly feel a million miles away from the city! In the summer they have their own boat that you can take out on the lake. There is also fly fishing, swimming, and shooting.

When snowshoeing/ cross country skiing over the lake you have a chance to take a peak at all of the beautiful adirondack style boat houses and homes that surround Lake Placid. This is a place we will definitely be returning to!!

http://lakeplacidlodge.com/#/

A few picks for your Adirondack Camp:

Elk hair and antler stools

http://www.1stdibs.com/furniture_item_detail.php?id=179993

Rustic brach chandelier:

http://www.1stdibs.com/furniture_search.php?i_keyword=antlers&stype=1&type=2

Horn Lamp from the Black Forrest circa 1880

http://www.1stdibs.com/furniture_item_detail.php?id=255089

Moose Antler sconces with antique paisley shades

http://www.1stdibs.com/furniture_item_detail.php?id=313093

Vintage widemouth bass mounted on birch bark frame – USA 1940’s

http://www.1stdibs.com/furniture_item_detail.php?id=344425

Peter Dunham- fig leaf fabric for wall upholstery

http://peterdunhamtextiles.com/textiles/view/Fig+Leaf

19th century american sofa in homespun linen

http://www.1stdibs.com/furniture_item_detail.php?id=378744

1930’s navajo weaving pillow

http://www.1stdibs.com/furniture_item_detail.php?id=369043

Moroccan Marmoucha rug circa 1950-1970

http://www.1stdibs.com/furniture_item_detail.php?id=332071

xo,

S

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What’s In My Bookshelf

ThiThis post should be called “what isn’t in my bookshelf”. I am a collector of books, therefore our bookshelves are overflowing with every type of book. Aside from my collection of magazines ( every issue of House Beautiful, Elle Decore, House and Garden, Domino, World of Interiors, and Veranda), fiction and non-fictions books, and clients folders, I have a huge collection of books that I reach for when I need inspiration. The topics range from textiles, to architectural styles, to fashion, to artists, to table settings, to hotels, to interiors, etc. You never know what might move you. Each client requires a fresh eye and a different style.

xo,

S

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