Near & Far Aid 2016 Designer House Tour Celebrates the Art of Living

 Near & Far Aid 2016 Designer House Tour Celebrates the Art of Living - Image Molly Patton Design

Near & Far Aid 2016 Designer House Tour Celebrates the Art of Living - Image Molly Patton Design

Near & Far Aid, a Fairfield County philanthropic organization  will hold its annual Designer House Tour on Friday, May 6th with six exclusive homes decorated by renowned designers in the gold coast enclaves of Fairfield, Southport and Westport. This year's theme is "Celebrating the Art of Living."

Kicking off the day’s event is a pre-tour Designer Power breakfast at the Patterson Club in Fairfield featuring visionary designer Anthony Baratta, one of the country's most celebrated and respected interior designers. His work has graced and been featured in countless luxury, shelter and lifestyle publications including Architectural Digest, World of Interiors, House Beautiful, House & Garden and Veranda. The designer will be discussing the many ways in which color and design can be used in the home. He will also be available to sign his most recent book, All-American, The Exuberant Style of William Diamond and Anthony Baratta.

During the afternoon take a refreshing break and enjoy an Afternoon Tea Party at a magnificent private home with lush and fragrant gardens. A continuous service is being offered between 1:00 – 3:00 pm and will be catered by The Royal Tea Company. As you enter the front door of the elegant home you will enjoy the spectacular views of the pool and gardens. The afternoon tea will be served in the home’s first floor entertaining space with access to several terraces with lovely views. Stroll through the gardens or relax and mingle while enjoying a dainty, bountiful array of tea sandwiches and delicious, freshly baked confections as well as a signature tea blend, all in a magnificent private home in Fairfield.

Ticket prices for the Designer House Tour are $65 in advance or $75 on the day of the tour. The Designer Breakfast is $75.

“Near & Far Aid’s Designer House tour provides an inside look of some of the area’s most exquisite homes that are decorated by top-tier designers while helping to support our organization’s mission to target poverty in our backyard,” said Jessica Grutkowski, co-chair of the house tour and Southport resident.

“The house tour has become a spring-time tradition and it is a fun-filled day of touring amazing homes, getting design inspiration and unique décor ideas for your own home,” added co-chair, Christine Enea Yeranossian of Fairfield.

For more information on the house tour, go to nearandfaraid.org/event/designer-house-tour/

About Near & Far Aid

Near & Far Aid provides funding for agencies and programs in Fairfield County that are working to break the cycle of poverty. We work with other community leaders and funders to forge partnerships with a common goal of strengthening our community. For over 60 years, Near & Far Aid has remained an all-volunteer organization, currently working with more than 100 local agencies that address the causes and effects of poverty, and has granted over $14 million since 2000.

Serena & Lily saves a house from demolition and opens a design shop in Westport, Connecticut

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Last Thursday I had the opportunity to attend a quiet opening of the newest Serena & Lily Design Shop, which is located at the historic, three-story Kemper-Gunn House.  Built in 1889, the house is a celebrated landmark in the town of Westport. Slated for demolition to make room for a new development, the house was picked up and moved in November 2014 to its current 35 Elm Street location. 

Serena Dugan, the company's co-founder and chief design officer, said in a company press release that they were "drawn to Westport and this particular location because we saw an opportunity to bring our brand to a quintessential East Coast town in the most idyllic of showcases -- a historic mansion in the center of town...  It's a dream opportunity and project."

Customers will find a full line of bedding, bath, furniture, fabric, rugs, lighting, décor, nursery and art in settings for the dining room, living room and bedroom, as well as a swatch wall with more than 300 original Serena & Lily textile designs; rotating displays of more than 150 original art works; design advisers, and availability to interior designers for private appointments, client meetings and presentations during and outside regular store hours.

The store is positively stunning and makes full use of the beautifully renovated 3 story house in a perfectly curated show-house manner. I was able to snap a few images before the party, but had to return for more on Friday as the event was wall to wall people without much elbow room, let alone photo opportunities! The turnout was indeed tremendous.  The quiet opening was anything but quiet!  Peruse along with me in the images below.

 Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

 Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

 Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

 Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

 Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

The beautiful Liz Joy of Pure Joy Home and Dunes & Duchess's Stacy Kunstel joined in on the celebration.

 Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

Near & Far Aid Designer House Co-chairs, Christine Enea Yeranossian and Jessica Grutkowski, and Near & Far Aid Gala chair, Lisa Albenze

 Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

Near & Far Aid Board President Joan Panagos with Kim Heyn and Gina Manoni

 

And now for the tour... pay attention to all the wonderful details.... 

 Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

 Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

 Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

 Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

 Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

 Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

 Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

 Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

 Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

 Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

 Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

 Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

 Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

 Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

 Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

 Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

 Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

 Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

 Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

 Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

Serena & Lily at the Kemper-Gunn House in Westport, Connecticut. Image property of Jessica Gordon Ryan and The Entertaining House. 

Serena & Lily is graciously donating 15 percent of its opening weekend sales to Near & Far Aid, which supports programs to fight poverty in Fairfield County. This weekend Near & Far will host it's annual Designer House Tour. (More on this tomorrow)

ABOUT NEAR AND FAR AID
Near & Far Aid provides funding for agencies and programs in Fairfield County that are working to break the cycle of poverty. We work with other community leaders and funders to forge partnerships with a common goal of strengthening our community. For over 60 years, Near & Far Aid has remained an all-volunteer organization, currently working with more than 100 local agencies that address the causes and effects of poverty, and has granted over $14 million since 2000.

ABOUT SERENA & LILY
Serena & Lily is a Sausalito-based lifestyle brand founded in 2003 when Serena Dugan, an independent artist and textile designer, met Lily Kanter, an accomplished executive-turned-entrepreneur. Today, Serena's original textiles continue to anchor Serena & Lily, while a commitment to inspirational living is reflected in all that the brand puts forth, from innovative retail experiences to furniture, bedding, décor, nursery and art. With retail locations in East Hampton, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Westport each shop reflects local spirit and personality. 

The new flagship location is open to interior designers for private appointments, client meetings and presentations.
35 Elm Street, Westport, CT.  06880
Phone: (203) 635-8000
Email: westport@serenaandlily.com
Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-6pm; Sun 11am-5pm
For more information: http://www.serenaandlily.com/LP-stores.html  

The Many uses for Library Ladders in the home

In honor of National Library Week I thought I would talk not about books or libraries, but about library ladders. I've always loved them. They seemed to make a room feel more important. A home library seemed much more serious and sophisticated when a sliding ladder was on hand - at least I thought this way as a child. I'm sure part of the appeal was less about the aesthetic than the functional, or fun. I so enjoyed climbing the ladders and exploring the various titles that were well above my reach. Titles that were hard to pronounce, subjects that would bore the average child. But books, whether I was particularly interested in them or not, seemed to cast a magical spell over me. They seemed to hold secrets to unknown universes, where pages and pages of the written word danced on and off the pages. Some had images, paintings and illustrations of well known works of art, some of which I had seen before, others I had not. But it wasn't how these books looked on and off the many shelves but how they felt in my hand. Some were light and pliable, others were heavy with pages that smelled of must and age, with yellowed pages. I then began to notice these very same ladders used in other areas of the home. I saw them in kitchens, used to retrieve items off those impossibly high shelves (I always questioned that design tactic), in wine cellars, storage closets, shelves, home offices and even closets. In fact, as long as there's a need to store items that are out of reach, there's no room that won't welcome these wonderful pieces. 

 The many uses for the library ladder in the home. Image Architectural Digest

The many uses for the library ladder in the home. Image Architectural Digest

 The many uses for the library ladder in the home. Image Alec Hemmer

The many uses for the library ladder in the home. Image Alec Hemmer

 The many uses for the library ladder in the home. Image via Archetizer

The many uses for the library ladder in the home. Image via Archetizer

 The many uses for the library ladder in the home. Image via Archiform

The many uses for the library ladder in the home. Image via Archiform

 The many uses for the library ladder in the home. Image via Domaine

The many uses for the library ladder in the home. Image via Domaine

 The many uses for the library ladder in the home. Image via Freshome

The many uses for the library ladder in the home. Image via Freshome

 The many uses for the library ladder in the home. Image via HGTV

The many uses for the library ladder in the home. Image via HGTV

 The many uses for the library ladder in the home. Image via Home Design Ideas

The many uses for the library ladder in the home. Image via Home Design Ideas

 The many uses for the library ladder in the home. Image via Homedit

The many uses for the library ladder in the home. Image via Homedit

 The many uses for the library ladder in the home. Image via Lonny

The many uses for the library ladder in the home. Image via Lonny

 The many uses for the library ladder in the home. Image via Mechantdesign

The many uses for the library ladder in the home. Image via Mechantdesign

 The many uses for the library ladder in the home. Image via Planet Deco

The many uses for the library ladder in the home. Image via Planet Deco

 The many uses for the library ladder in the home. Image source unknown

The many uses for the library ladder in the home. Image source unknown

20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning Home Bar

 20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image House Beautiful

20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image House Beautiful

 

 

I must admit that I find bars intoxicatingly gorgeous - large and small, in restaurants and in the home. Admittedly not a huge spirits person myself, though I've been sampling more lately when I'm out on assignment for restaurant and food reviews - I do prefer to stick to a nice glass of wine. The beauty I find in bars has less to do with the assorted bottles themselves, but their unique beauty and the stories these bottles and labels have to tell. Couple that with the manner in which they're displayed with glasses, mixers and add-ins, and the result is an energy that is colorful, serious and slightly whimsical.

The at home bar is as much about decor as it is about the selection of libations, bar and glassware. I've never been a terribly big fan of the bar cart, and I think has overstayed its welcome.  I do love the spaces people create for their own personal bars in which they combine art, books and other assorted artifacts to create a space that is be very personal, ebullient, and celebratory. Whether your home is large or small, you needn't much space to create a stunning at home bar.

 

 20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image Pop Sugar

20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image Pop Sugar

The Corner Bar:

A piece of Mid Century furniture (or reproduction) takes a stand. Perfect for displaying a few select items, the large doors open for optimal storage of bottles, barware and glassware. A beautiful vignette is created simply by careful placement of a painting, a plant, a few bottles and a decorative tray.

 

 20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image Zhush 

20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image Zhush 

Repurposed with a purpose

An ordinary dresser undergoes an extraordinary renovation when a mini fridge and a wine fridge are built into it. Inside the center of the console is additional storage while elegant decanters and trays are displayed above assorted accessories, artifacts and lamps. 

 

 20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image Luxe Magazine

20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image Luxe Magazine

Vintage Charm

Your favorite piece of antique furniture gets a makeover. If it happens to be a valuable piece do have a piece of glass fitted and placed over the top to protect the wood from spills and moisture. The weathered wood makes for a nice contrast to the shiny brass, silver and glass elements above it.

 

 20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image My Domaine

20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image My Domaine

A Spirited Space

A causal sitting room is given dimension and personality with when assorted acquired artifacts take center-stage next to a cabinet that has had its doors removed and retrofitted with shelving to house assorted bottles, serving and snack items. The African characters seem to be keeping watch of the spirits! 

 

 20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image My Domaine

20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image My Domaine

This Bar walked into a Butler's Pantry:

With the addition of a few floating glass shelves, a lovely shade of blue lacquer and vibrant wall paper, this utilitarian space perfectly showcase how perfectly beautiful form and function can come together to create this magnificent bar. (Though my OCD is revealed with the thought that this must be dusted often!)

 

 20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image House Beautiful

20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image House Beautiful

A Bar Takes a Stand:

Simple can be oh so sophisticated. One really doesn't need much to create a stunning bar display. A few bottles and glasses are all that are needed. If you need a piece of furniture in which to create a bar display you needn't spend a fortune. Start by looking a yard sales, consignment shops, antique shows and Goodwill. Inexpensive furniture can always be dressed up with a coat or two of paint. This could also be a way to utilize and odd piece of furniture that's being stored in the basement because you really weren't sure what to do with it. 

 

 20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image Diego Revolo

20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image Diego Revolo

Beauty and the Bar:

A simple tray, a few elegant glasses, decanters, artwork and plants work together to create a visually stunning image. Looking for artwork? Framed posters, prints and lithographs are a great way to start and can all be found online, at your favorite museum, art gallery, even on etsy. I've found some ugly paintings at consignment shops in gorgeous frames. Good frames can be quite pricey so if you spy a good frame at a good price, don't worry about trashing the picture in it. Minor scratches, blemishes and dings can always be covered up by painting or staining the wood. 

 

 20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image Design Sponge

20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image Design Sponge

Mid Century Sensibility 

I've been noticing a great many Mid Century pieces (as you've noticed here) being uses as a place to stage and store a home bar. Again, you'll see the now familiar items - a pretty tray, glasses, bottles, plants and artwork. Framed photography is a perfect addition. Make it personal by using images that you have taken on a vacations or travels.  

 

 20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image Source Unknown

20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image Source Unknown

Of Books and Bars

The above might be my favorite of them all - it just speaks to me with all the different layers and textures and items. One's eye isn't drawn to any particular item, but the entire vignette which manages to draw the eyes up, down and then back up again with the many small and large details that all work together. What story is it trying to tell?

 

 20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Original source unknown

20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Original source unknown

The Bar Under the Stairs

This might be the most ingenious of them all. Clever, creative whomever designed this brilliantly crafted something from nothing. Wasted space becomes spectacularly functional.

 

 20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image Nastasi Vail Design

20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image Nastasi Vail Design

Best (Book) Case, Bar None

Take advantage of your surroundings. If you're lucky enough to be blessed with gorgeous built-ins, use them. In my humble opinion, bars and books make a perfect pairing - The juxtaposition of the shapes and textures of the assorted bottles and barware play magnificently with the purpose-driven decor and simple shape of books. A door swings down to conceal the area when desired and opens out to become utilitarian when needed to create additional counter space. 

 

 20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image Miles Redd

20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image Miles Redd

The Bar Behind Door Number 1:

I've always liked the closet bar. Perhaps that's because my grandmother had them, long before they were ever en vogue. Some people simply prefer to keep the bottles out of sight and under wraps.  I adore the pop of color and element of surprise once the door is opened. 

 

 20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image Jeffrey Bilhuber

20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image Jeffrey Bilhuber

The Bar Behind Door Number 2:

So dramatic! Such a statement! Color and architectural detail take center stage in this home bar which goes to show you just how a splash of color really does go such a very long way. 

 

 20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image Joy Tribout

20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image Joy Tribout

Simple and Sophisticated

A simple sofa console doesn't take up much of a room's square footage and perfectly serves a purpose to accommodate  a home mini bar.  I do spy a design flaw here, do you?

(I might not want to keep a wood table or my spirits directly over a heat source!)

 

 20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image Louis Bustamante

20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image Louis Bustamante

A Bar of Elephantine Proportions

Really this isn't a particular big space and not terribly complicated to create. An assortment of bottles, glasses, trays set out on a counter flanked by two elegant lamps in front of a mirror which immediately adds light, height, and dimension to the space. But my favorite element of all, the massive elephants seemingly suspended in air! 

 

 20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image M. Frederick Design

20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image M. Frederick Design

A Handsome Bar

Handsome and rich. The ornate piece of furniture might have been made to house a collection of beautifully bottled up spirits. It's intricate beauty is perfectly juxtaposed by the simple and straightforward book collection in front of which it stands.

 

 20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image House Beautiful

20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image House Beautiful

Bamboozled 

Bamboo cabinets, a brick and mirrored back splash created a multi- textured Manhattan loft bar built in a small corner, requiring not much space. The disco-like backsplash maximize the space's light much like (though on a smaller scale) the mirror above does.

 

 20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image House Beautiful

20 Stirring Ideas for Creating a Stunning at home Bar. Image House Beautiful

Rustic Charm, Bar None

An antique armoire with enjoys a new life as a liquor cabinet. Close the doors to conceal the content. As with the other bars, artwork, lighting and plants become part of the composition.  

15 Stunning ways to incorporate your book collections into your home decor

It's a wonderful problem for a book lover to have - finding a place to store all one's literature in a manner that is both efficient and beautiful. In this piece I share some ideas for homes large and small that are both functional and stunning. 

 Stunning ways to incorporate your book collections into your home decor. Image via My Domaine.

Stunning ways to incorporate your book collections into your home decor. Image via My Domaine.

One can never have too many books. Ever. In fact, a home without books is like a home without art. It lacks warmth and dimension and intellectuality. Books serve a multitude of functions, and when displayed in bookshelves, on coffee tables, even in carefully curated piles they completely transform a space. Like art acquired for collections or from travels, books are another form of creative expression in home decor. Some homes are large enough to house separate office spaces and libraries, many are not. Smaller homes can find multiple uses for rooms, a dining room can be transformed to a working library. Who wouldn't love to dine amongst a hundred books? What a conversation starter that would be! Guest rooms can double up as home offices with book-lined walls. Attic spaces and dry basements can be completely transformed to become unique libraries in their own rights. Add some shelves to a window nook. Remove the doors from a large closet and line it with shelves. Create book nooks in corners, in lofts, in kitchens, bathrooms, and hallways. Some homes have large built-in bookshelves. Others do not. In the past I have created walls of books using inexpensive book cases from Ikea, they can be painted or remained untouched. I love the look of books piled on tables - coffee, end, and dining... Do remember to dust them frequently! When it comes to displaying the books, the possibilities are endless as long as we can step out of the proverbial book box! 

 Stunning ways to incorporate your book collections into your home decor. Image Bunny Williams.

Stunning ways to incorporate your book collections into your home decor. Image Bunny Williams.

Art and books always make a perfect pairing and give a living room a personal, homey feel. 

 Stunning ways to incorporate your book collections into your home decor. Image Tumblr.

Stunning ways to incorporate your book collections into your home decor. Image Tumblr.

Books displayed on a long table and on a wall add another element of texture to this industrial loft.

 Stunning ways to incorporate your book collections into your home decor. Image via Harpers Bazar

Stunning ways to incorporate your book collections into your home decor. Image via Harpers Bazar

A hallway gets a magical transformation with bright paint, decorative carpeting and a wall of books in brightly lacquered shelves.

 Stunning ways to incorporate your book collections into your home decor. Image Domaine Home.

Stunning ways to incorporate your book collections into your home decor. Image Domaine Home.

A small book nook is created in a wall, surrounded by artwork to create a stunning and simply home office.

 Stunning ways to incorporate your book collections into your home decor. Image Domaine Home

Stunning ways to incorporate your book collections into your home decor. Image Domaine Home

Books carefully displayed horizontally and vertically, interspersed with art in a wall of black shelving creates a casual sophistication.

 Stunning ways to incorporate your book collections into your home decor. Image Apartment Therapy

Stunning ways to incorporate your book collections into your home decor. Image Apartment Therapy

A spare room is transformed into an office and library. Again art and books marry in an elegant black wall of books. 

 Stunning ways to incorporate your book collections into your home decor. Image House Beautful

Stunning ways to incorporate your book collections into your home decor. Image House Beautful

The popularity of black bookshelves is not lost on me and perfectly shows how versatile this look can be.

 Stunning ways to incorporate your book collections into your home decor. Image House Beautiful

Stunning ways to incorporate your book collections into your home decor. Image House Beautiful

Don't be afraid to let your books become a room's focal point. Here the eyes are drawn to the colorful shelves and the portrait that takes center stage. 

 Stunning ways to incorporate your book collections into your home decor. Image Ikea

Stunning ways to incorporate your book collections into your home decor. Image Ikea

Inexpensive bookcases are pushed together to create a look that looks much more elegant than the simple white structures actually are.

 Stunning ways to incorporate your book collections into your home decor. Via Casa De Libro

Stunning ways to incorporate your book collections into your home decor. Via Casa De Libro

Line the walls of hallways, lofts and landing places to maximize the use of space in the home. 

 Stunning ways to incorporate your book collections into your home decor. Image Tumblr

Stunning ways to incorporate your book collections into your home decor. Image Tumblr

The above photo shows just how piles of books can be visually stunning. 

 Stunning ways to incorporate your book collections into your home decor. Image HGTV

Stunning ways to incorporate your book collections into your home decor. Image HGTV

If you don't have enough books to fill a wall, create a special corner dedicated entirely to them. Shelves look better completely filled than half vacant if they can't be filled in with pieces of art and other objects.

 Stunning ways to incorporate your book collections into your home decor. Image via Today Home

Stunning ways to incorporate your book collections into your home decor. Image via Today Home

Multipurpose: a library, a dining room, a home office. Beneath the shelves of books cabinets can contain all sorts of office apparatus. Talk about maximizing space! 

 Stunning ways to incorporate your book collections into your home decor. Image Bravo TV

Stunning ways to incorporate your book collections into your home decor. Image Bravo TV

An all season porch becomes a dining room lined with books. Can you think of anything better?

 Stunning ways to incorporate your book collections into your home decor. Image Domino

Stunning ways to incorporate your book collections into your home decor. Image Domino

A home office becomes a guest room filled with books and a cleverly placed Murphy Bed!

I hope this piece has left you with some inspiration as to how you can decorate with books!

 

At Home in the American Barn

As we make great strides to slow down and return to basics, to bygone days and simpler times, many are embracing the American Barn as more than just a symbolic, but embracing it as the modern home. At Home in the American Barn is a beautiful tribute to the wonderful architecture of our past reconditioned to become the sought after residential spaces of today.

Those of you who know me and or follow me on social media know that I am completely enamored by all the barns that dot our landscape, #ihavethisthingwithbarns. I've been known to pull over to snap a photo without warning - simply because I'm enraptured by these structures - both new and old. 

Built specifically for utilitarian purposes, the barn was the most important structure on any farm, with more thought and care given to these buildings than the smaller homes of the farmer and his family. Functionality was essential - these dwellings were needed to house livestock and feed. The oldest barns were put together utilizing old world techniques, without metal fasteners. Eventually building techniques changed to incorporate both old and new world methods as well the various styles brought forth by the newly varied ethnic backgrounds. 

At Home in the American Barn showcases the architecture of the Dutch, German and English barn, noting their similarities and differences and how the natural American landscape came into play to accommodate the variety of sizes and styles of these barns. 

Due to the way in which these dwellings were initially constructed they're easily adaptable to modern living, though do have fundamental issues which need addressing beforehand. German barns had walls that were paper thin so that new walls and insulation are necessary and must provide space for modern wiring, plumbing and other necessary infrastructure. Most barns had few to no windows, but because many of the original walls were non load-baring the opportunity to add windows and doors is fairly uncomplicated. Due to the vast open spaces within, certain efforts are needed to create discreet methods of hiding the unsightly hardware that houses the necessary heating and cooling units. Once the technical aspects of these barns have been figured out, when it comes to decorating these residences anything goes. These infrastructures accommodate a wide variety of aesthetics and collections and are able to adapt to changing needs. 

At Home in the American Barn, written by James B. Garrison, beautifully showcases the original buildings that first dotted our country's rich landscape and their exemplary transformations, from old world to Bauhaus. The modern residential barn perfectly marries yesterday's history with today's modern lifestyle. Filled with nearly 200 pages of gorgeous photography, the stories, the architecture and the interiors are truly inspirational. This book is a must for those who love barns, architecture, interiors and history. Published by Rizzoli New York, At Home in the American Barn will be available in April 2016.

 Photography by Geoffrey Gross and Brandt Bolding,  At Home in The American Barn ,  Rizzoli New York, 2016. 

Photography by Geoffrey Gross and Brandt Bolding, At Home in The American Barn,  Rizzoli New York, 2016. 

 Photography by Geoffrey Gross and Brandt Bolding,  At Home in The American Barn ,  Rizzoli New York, 2016. 

Photography by Geoffrey Gross and Brandt Bolding, At Home in The American Barn,  Rizzoli New York, 2016. 

 Photography by Geoffrey Gross and Brandt Bolding,  At Home in The American Barn ,  Rizzoli New York, 2016. 

Photography by Geoffrey Gross and Brandt Bolding, At Home in The American Barn,  Rizzoli New York, 2016. 

 Photography by Geoffrey Gross and Brandt Bolding,  At Home in The American Barn ,  Rizzoli New York, 2016. 

Photography by Geoffrey Gross and Brandt Bolding, At Home in The American Barn,  Rizzoli New York, 2016. 

 Photography by Geoffrey Gross and Brandt Bolding,  At Home in The American Barn ,  Rizzoli New York, 2016. 

Photography by Geoffrey Gross and Brandt Bolding, At Home in The American Barn,  Rizzoli New York, 2016. 

 Photography by Geoffrey Gross and Brandt Bolding,  At Home in The American Barn ,  Rizzoli New York, 2016. 

Photography by Geoffrey Gross and Brandt Bolding, At Home in The American Barn,  Rizzoli New York, 2016. 

At Home in The American Barn by James B. Garrison, Rizzoli New York, 2016. 
Photography by Geoffrey Gross and Brandt Bolding
US $50
Rizzoli New York
Publication date: April 2016
www.rizzoliusa.com

Architectural Digest Design Show 2016 :: Will you be there?

Not to be missed, the 15th annual Architectural Digest Design Show will be held from March 17-20 at Piers 92 & 94 in New York City. This event showcases the best in the design and luxury market, featuring over 400 premium brands from assorted categories including: furniture, accessories, art, kitchen and bath products, flooring, rugs, carpets, electronics, ceramics, stone + tile, wall covering, lighting, outdoor products, building products, and more. 

Be among the first to view new product launches and participate in various special events. If you get to one trade/design show this year, ADDS is it. A must-attend for the industry's top professionals and most discerning consumers. Architectural Digest is the international authority on design and architecture,  providing insider access to some of the world's most beautiful homes and the fascinating people who live in them. AD offers wealth of information from architecture and interior design, to art and antiques, travel destinations, and extraordinary products.. The publication inspires millions of affluent readers to redesign and refresh their lives through a multiplatform presence which include print and digital editions, social media, signature events, and the magazine's website, www.archdigest.com.

FEATURED EVENTS

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST DESIGN SHOW ANNOUNCES FOUR DAYS OF HIGH-POWERED, INSPIRATIONAL PROGRAMS

New York, March 2016 - From products to programming, the 15th annual Architectural Digest Design Show presents the best the design world has to offer. Held March 17-20 at Piers 92 & 94 in New York City, the show features a comprehensive exhibitor lineup that is complemented by an equally impressive seminar series. Centrally located in the Jenn-Air Master Class Studio, the two-part program will kick off with three lively and informative conversations hosted by Architectural Digest, which will be followed by three days of inspiring talks curated by The New York Times. Content, presented by today's design leaders, will cover everything from hands-on design tips to broad industry trends.

Thursday, March 17, Architectural Digest sets the stage with seminars geared specifically toward the trade. The noon keynote address features Architectural Digest Editor in Chief Margaret Russell in conversation with Delphine and Reed Krakoff, whose projects include the sensitive restoration of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s childhood summer retreat, as highlighted in the magazine’s April issue.

The next session covers the ever-important designer/client relationship and brings together some of the biggest names in the industry, including Rafael de Cárdenas, Founder, Architecture at Large; Suzanne Kasler, Principal, Suzanne Kasler Interiors; and Vicente Wolf, Founder, Vicente Wolf Associates, with moderator Mayer Rus, West Coast Editor, Architectural Digest. The program concludes with a conversation on design trends, sponsored by Pirch and moderated by interior designer and TV personality Vanessa DeLeon. It will feature panelists Leura Fine, Founder, Laurel & Wolf; Eugenio Minvielle, Founder, Innit; and Jeffery Sears, CEO, Pirch.

Friday, March 18 - –Sunday, March 20, The New York Times will offer consumers a look at the power of design—from the harmonious blend of technology and furnishings to the art of crafting the perfect pastry. With 11 carefully crafted topics, the panel discussions offer inspiration and insight from residential experts and hospitality leaders. The star-studded cast of presenters includes interior designer Campion Platt; architects Allan Greenberg, Joel Barkley of Ike Kligerman Barkley, and John B. Murray; master pastry chef Jacques Torres of Jacques Torres Chocolate; New York Times reporter Steven Kurutz; HGTV star Genevieve Gorder; DIY Network star Jason Cameron; as well as dynamic industry executives from exhibiting companies such as Farrow & Ball, The Shade Store, and Sony Life Space UX.

In addition to the programming on the center stage, exhibitors across the show will be hosting a variety of in-booth events, including culinary demonstrations with chefs from around the world, book signings, product presentations, and more.

I'll be there on Thursday and I hope to see you!

For More information visit the show's website : http://addesignshow.com/

Go ahead, be a wallflower :: 15 Reasons to rethink floral wallpaper

I've noticed many of yesterday's trends are returning, reinventing themselves for today's modern home. One such item to grace the pages of top shelter magazines, websites and well designed homes is floral wallpaper. Today's florals are bold and striking, a far cry from what granny had in her home!

When one thinks of floral paper, images of delicate and pristine little flowers often come to mind with reference to the days of Laura Ashley and the home on the range, country flair. Or one thinks of papers decades old, stained from years of living, perhaps tattered, perhaps yellowing and peeling at the edged. I think of small English cottages lived in by little old ladies. I think of my first home when I couldn't wait to remove the outdated botanical images from my walls and replace them with several coats of brightly colored paint. There was, for a while, an anti wall paper movement of which I was very much a part of. After scraping down walls for what seemed to be an endless amount of time, I vowed never ever to do so again. And as I've learned, one should never say never. Luckily today's papers are easier to remove. Their acrylic coating which makes them scrubbable also quickly absorbs today's non-toxic strippers, which makes removing them much less of a hassle. 

As with everything in the worlds of fashion and decor, what goes around comes around. Though florals have been blossoming for several years now, they're currently in the forefront, making a grand statements in the most well designed homes.

Today's prints are often bold, bright - they make a statement and take center stage. They are very much the focal point around which the rest of the set (home) design evolves. Some are quiet and understated yet many are commanding. Suitable for every space, these pretty, but by no means delicate, floral papers are found in all areas of the home.  

And so, have I swayed you? Have you changed your mind in regards to floral wall paper? Could you see any of these designs in your own home? 

For more wallpaper inspiration visit Dress Your Walls :: Why Wallpaper is Better than Paint

 

The Bold and The Beautiful :: Pink Packs a Powerful Punch in Home Decor

I happen to adore pink. I prefer the bright, bold in your face pink. Dramatic shades that push the buttons between comfort and edgy. A ballet slipper hue pushed to the edge of safety, paired with a strong masculine color or print - so that it screams out "Look at me, I'm no wallflower!" I love a pink that dares to be different with a spirit that's both adventurous and dangerous. I go weak at the knees with deep shades that shake things up, with warm corals that add youth and energy and transform a space from safe and traditional to a modernistic one that dares to the push the envelope. Is pink ever really safe? I think it takes a strong sense of self to live with it. 

 Image via New York Social Diary

Image via New York Social Diary

When pink is partnered with a classic hue such as blue, white, beige, even green what transpires is a space that is so much more than room; it becomes a work of art, a three dimensional, livable canvas. Pink transforms the ordinary to create the extraordinary. Below are some of my favorite pink spaces. Not one can be called quiet or demure. It was the ceiling in the image below in a room created by Parker Kennedy that long ago captured my attention and inspired this piece. Depending on how spirited your personal style is, whether you prefer a just splash, a pop or to go all out, there is a shade for you.

 Image property of Dwell Magazine

Image property of Dwell Magazine

 Image property of  Joanna Henderson

Image property of Joanna Henderson

 Image via  Casa Abril

Image via Casa Abril

 Image property of Alex Papachristidis

Image property of Alex Papachristidis

 Image property  Katie Rosenfeld Design
 Image via Domino Magazine

Image via Domino Magazine

 Image via Domino Magazine

Image via Domino Magazine

 image via  Vella Interiors

image via Vella Interiors

 Image via My Domaine

Image via My Domaine

Blue and white in the home :: When a classic becomes a "trend"

 Image via  Luxe

Image via Luxe

There are certain color pairings that seem to last the test of time, that are suited to a multitude of architectural and interior styles. Like black and white, blue and white is iconic and elegant. It can be simple, chic, cutting edge and dramatic depending on the hue and setting. It's as versatile and universally appealing as any pairing. It can be safe and demure or it can be cutting edge and dramatic. It's smart, polished, luxe, lavish, and yet serene and tranquil. Blue and white serves as the perfect choice for those who want but yet fear color, as it does for those who embrace the dramatic and bold. Like a chameleon blue and white copiously morphs from one setting to another - from a tranquil coastal home, to an urban apartment to a stately manor. Like other classic colors, beige, grey, dark greens and black, blue won't ever fade from style, but now that it's once again in the spotlight, it has been brought back to the forefront - a serious contender for any setting, a popular choice once again, perhaps with thanks to Pantone's 2016 choices for Color of the Year. From Serenity to Snorkel and all the shades in between, blue and white embodies a multitude of styles and traits. Below are some images that I've curated. From traditional to transitional, classic to modern, there's a blue and white pairing for all palates. Yet, unlike conventional trends, this one has staying power. 

 Image via  Sarah Sarna

Image via Sarah Sarna

 Image via  Refinery 29

Image via Refinery 29

 Image via  My Domaine

Image via My Domaine

 Image via  ElleDecor

Image via ElleDecor

 Image via Tumblr (Miles Redd)

Image via Tumblr (Miles Redd)

 Image via  Pencil & Paper Co.
 Image via  House Beautiful

Image via House Beautiful

 Image via  My Domaine

Image via My Domaine

 Image via  Lauren Conrad

Image via Lauren Conrad

 Image via  Traditional Home
 Image via  Thou Swell

Image via Thou Swell

 Image via  Meli Meli

Image via Meli Meli

 Image via  Pop Sugar

Image via Pop Sugar

 Image via  House & Home

Image via House & Home

 Image via Architectural Digest

Image via Architectural Digest

 Image via Enchanted Home

Image via Enchanted Home

 Image via Domaine Home

Image via Domaine Home

13 Sublime Attic Transformations :: The Sky's the Limit!

 13 Sublime Attic Transformations - The Sky's the Limit! The Entertaining House. Image via  Domino

13 Sublime Attic Transformations - The Sky's the Limit! The Entertaining House. Image via Domino

I'm a lover of small spaces and despite the expansive homes I've lived in, I prefer the smaller ones. I love a small cozy home but because I have children, 3 of them, we all need places to get away for a while and we need a common living area that can comfortably seat us all. What we don't need is a rambling house where one can get lost in. It's overrated. I've been there and done that.  I had one. I didn't like it. It wasn't for me.

I grew up in a spacious pre-war apartment on the Upper East Side with a sprawling kitchen, a butler's pantry, 2 "Maid's Rooms" - 1 of which was an office, the other a small guest room, a large dining room, a living room with a phenomenal view of Central Park which was just across the street and 2 expansive bedrooms, each with its own bathroom. A long and narrow hallway that opened up to the living room and housed two large closets separated the two bedrooms. I loved to climb those walls as a child. My childhood bedroom was a child's dream with two raised 4 poster beds, white wicker dressers, white wicker couch matching coffee table.  Each wall had been painted a different color - pastel pinks, lavenders, yellows, greens and a pale blue ceiling coordinated with the pale leaf green shag rug below. The plaid bedding perfectly coordinated with the striped fabric on the couch and wall colors. It was magical and was the creative design of my mother. Although it was the quintessential little girl's bedroom my favorite spaces in the apartment were the 2 small "Maid's Rooms." The small burgundy room that was my father's office housed a long desk my mother had built specifically for that space. The desk spanned the length of the room. Over it were shelves and shelves filled with books. On the desk were assorted pads of paper, various writing implements and a dish of paper clips.

On the far wall was the only window in the small room. From it you could look out into the neighbor's kitchen and the courtyard below. In front of the window was a super comfortable oversized chair and to the left a small black and white television set. It would be many years before I would be allowed to have a television in my bedroom, but when friends came to spend the night we were allowed to carry the TV into my room where we'd stay up late to watch the Love Boat and Fantasy Island. But mostly the small television set lived in the office and I loved nothing more than to snuggle up in that chair and watch in there.

Next to my father's office, separated by a tiny bathroom, was the other Maid's Room that we used as a spare guest room - but mostly my mother used it when my father's snoring woke her up! Every once in a while I would get to stay there and I just adored it. I felt sheltered and cocooned. I felt safe. The decor was scant, but for a bed, an old fashioned secretary and a bentwood chair. I loved this room more than I loved my own. The small space, to me was perfection. 

I feel the same way about small spaces now. After my marriage ended nearly 4 years ago I left my nearly 5000 square foot home with very little in tow save for my children. I ended up in a small house that was just over 1200 square feet. It was all I needed as all my furnishings had been left behind and we had to start all over again. The house, now filled with our furniture and accumulated items does feel small sometimes, despite its coziness.  

There are certainly those times I would like to have an extra room to serve either as an escape or a place to which I can banish the children! The space is already here however. I would't need to add anything on to this charming little house - everything I need is at the top of the stairs. In the images below you'll see attics that have been beautifully transformed into play areas, bedrooms, sitting and living areas, bathrooms, home offices and even movie theaters. With attics, you see, the sky's the limit! 

 13 Sublime Attic Transformations - The Sky's the Limit! The Entertaining House. Image via  The Way We Play.

13 Sublime Attic Transformations - The Sky's the Limit! The Entertaining House. Image via The Way We Play.

 13 Sublime Attic Transformations - The Sky's the Limit! The Entertaining House. Image via Color Me Carla

13 Sublime Attic Transformations - The Sky's the Limit! The Entertaining House. Image via Color Me Carla

 13 Sublime Attic Transformations - The Sky's the Limit! The Entertaining House. Image via Tumblr

13 Sublime Attic Transformations - The Sky's the Limit! The Entertaining House. Image via Tumblr

 13 Sublime Attic Transformations - The Sky's the Limit! The Entertaining House. Image via Studio Aflo.

13 Sublime Attic Transformations - The Sky's the Limit! The Entertaining House. Image via Studio Aflo.

 13 Sublime Attic Transformations - The Sky's the Limit! The Entertaining House. Image via  Wood Home

13 Sublime Attic Transformations - The Sky's the Limit! The Entertaining House. Image via Wood Home

 13 Sublime Attic Transformations - The Sky's the Limit! The Entertaining House. Image via ElleDecor

13 Sublime Attic Transformations - The Sky's the Limit! The Entertaining House. Image via ElleDecor

 13 Sublime Attic Transformations - The Sky's the Limit! The Entertaining House. Image via Blood and Champagne

13 Sublime Attic Transformations - The Sky's the Limit! The Entertaining House. Image via Blood and Champagne

 13 Sublime Attic Transformations - The Sky's the Limit! The Entertaining House. Image via Huffington Post.

13 Sublime Attic Transformations - The Sky's the Limit! The Entertaining House. Image via Huffington Post.

 13 Sublime Attic Transformations - The Sky's the Limit! The Entertaining House. Image via Tumblr

13 Sublime Attic Transformations - The Sky's the Limit! The Entertaining House. Image via Tumblr

 13 Sublime Attic Transformations - The Sky's the Limit! The Entertaining House. Image via  Domino Magazine

13 Sublime Attic Transformations - The Sky's the Limit! The Entertaining House. Image via Domino Magazine

 13 Sublime Attic Transformations - The Sky's the Limit! The Entertaining House. Image via  My Domaine

13 Sublime Attic Transformations - The Sky's the Limit! The Entertaining House. Image via My Domaine

 13 Sublime Attic Transformations - The Sky's the Limit! The Entertaining House. Image via  Apartment Diet

13 Sublime Attic Transformations - The Sky's the Limit! The Entertaining House. Image via Apartment Diet

Architecture Crush :: The A-Frame House

 Architecture Crush - A-Frame Houses. The Entertaining House. Image  via  

Architecture Crush - A-Frame Houses. The Entertaining House. Image via 

The iconic triangular style home called the A-frame was a popular form of American architecture that surfaced in the 1930s and peaked in the 1950s and 60s. This mid-century tee-pee style of architecture, defined by it's steep roof, front and rear gables and deep-set eaves, seems to be enjoying a new-found popularity. Numerous windows, both large and small, can be found on the front and rear facades allowing the interiors to be graced by natural sunlight. The interiors are loft-like with their high ceilings, open-floor plans and limited living spaces with the exception of a couple of interior lofts. Due to their structure, these houses are best as vacation or secondary homes. Though now with the growing popularity of the smaller homes, it makes sense that the A-frame is once again becoming a style of interest. I love this style home for many reasons - I love it for its simplicity, the feeling of warmth and comfort it evokes, the large windows that open up to the outdoors and for the casual, rustic vibe which is a total contrast to our busy, modern lifestyles. 

I'm always thinking about my next home and where I will settle when my children leave the nest. On one hand a small pied a terre in New York City would suit me perfectly, on the other hand there's something equally inviting about a small A-frame out in the country. Perhaps I should play the lottery and see if I can acquire both!

A brief history of the A-frame:

Triangular and tee-pee shaped homes date back to the dawn of time, but several 20th century architects awakened our interest in the geometric A-frame form.

Though the popularity of this style of home peaked in the 50's and 60s, it was Austrian-born architect Rudolph Schindler who in 1934 brought this design to the States when he built a simple A-frame vacation house in a resort community overlooking Lake Arrowhead in California. It had an open floor plan with exposed rafters and glass-walled gables. 

It was perhaps the post WW2 era that brought forth the popularity of this style of home. During this period not only did Americans have more disposable income, allowing many to purchase vacation homes, but so was the affordability of the construction of this triangular shaped house.  The style was so adaptable that many architects started to explore different avenues of creativity due to the versatility of this structure. Soon this modern style of architecture was preferred over the traditional, and this vacation style home began to crop up all over the place. According to some sources pre-fabricated kits were widely available and inexpensive and apparently could be purchase at such as establishments as Macy's. Imagine that! It was the well known modern architect, Andrew Geller, who may have given this style more than a passing thought and saw it as more than an inexpensive way to build a home, making it an important style of American architecture. For more read here

 Architecture Crush - The A-Frame House. The Entertaining House. Image via  Cabin Porn .

Architecture Crush - The A-Frame House. The Entertaining House. Image via Cabin Porn.

 For the love of A-Frames! The Entertaining House. Image via  Homeedit.

For the love of A-Frames! The Entertaining House. Image via Homeedit.

 A-frame Crush. Architecture. The Entertaining House. Image via Tumblr.

A-frame Crush. Architecture. The Entertaining House. Image via Tumblr.

 A-Frame Crush. The Entertaining House. Image via  Freshome

A-Frame Crush. The Entertaining House. Image via Freshome

 A-Frame Lust. Architecture Crush. The Entertaining House. Image via  Design Sponge

A-Frame Lust. Architecture Crush. The Entertaining House. Image via Design Sponge

 Architecture Crush. The A-Frame. The Entertaining House. Image via  Design Sponge.

Architecture Crush. The A-Frame. The Entertaining House. Image via Design Sponge.

 A-Frame Architecture. The Entertaining House. Image via  Bromley Caldari.

A-Frame Architecture. The Entertaining House. Image via Bromley Caldari.

 A-Frame Architecture. The Entertaining House. Image via Tumblr. 

A-Frame Architecture. The Entertaining House. Image via Tumblr. 



Warm up with this Winter's Hottest Trend :: Cabin Chic

 Image via ElleDecor

Image via ElleDecor

Buffalo plaid, down jackets, fur coats, LLBean boots... I am not writing a flashback piece about your New England collegiate years in the 1980s, though I have clearly described the wardrobe of my small all-women's school in a tony Boston suburb. These classic and timeless pieces are in the forefront of today's style, seen on the streets, in both fashion and shelter magazines. As the unseasonably warm temperatures have finally bid us adieu, and angry winds hurl themselves against our window panes and the soft white snow starts to blanket our northern states, we seek warmth and comfort in our wardrobes and in our homes. It's the time of year to hunker down inside, whether to get things done around the house such as tidying and organizing, cooking large vats of soup or snuggling up in a soft, warm blanket with a great book. Turn up the heat, light a fire or soak in a luxurious tub with your favorite bath oils. There's no time where home seems quite so welcoming, offering shelter from the storms and chilly winds. Whether you're a minimalist, modernist, eclectic or traditionalist there are many ways to incorporate cabin chic into your decor. Architectural elements such as exposed wood, brick and beams lend themselves beautifully but not every home has these. A Cabin Chic look can be created with a few simple accessories including faux fur, animal hides and prints and with elements found in nature and in the wild (branches, logs, antlers), as well as seasonal sporting items such as antique skis, sleds, skates.

If you must go out - to work, or the grocery store, to shuttle the children back and forth, or an outing into town - dressing for warmth takes center stage. Elegant furs, both real and faux will keep you warm for a chic evening out and downy puffer jackets worn with warm knit sweaters and socks, hats and scarves and boots meant to protect the feet from the cold and the wet will have you warm and toasty no matter where you're headed. The classics never fade from style. In my closets, from my high school and college years I still have my original LLBean boots, a couple shetland sweaters and an old, navy LLBean puffer vest that bears my name in red that my mother sewed in during my school years that I wear to this day, name tag and all. Now my daughter has me shopping for the same items my mother bought me decades back. (I no longer have, however, the old buffalo plaid shirts and Woolrich jackets) Casual or luxuriously chic, this season what's fashionable outside the home is also fashionable inside the home. Take a look, you may just have a few of these items in your closets too!

 

 Image via  Timothy Design

Image via Timothy Design

 Image via

Image via

 Image source unknown

Image source unknown

 Image via Pop Sugar

Image via Pop Sugar

 Image via  My Domaine

Image via My Domaine

 Image via Tumblr

Image via Tumblr

 Image via  The Peak of Chic
 Cabin Chic Style via Pop Sugar

Cabin Chic Style via Pop Sugar

 Cabin Chic - Amanda Brooks, Image via Vogue

Cabin Chic - Amanda Brooks, Image via Vogue

Photographed for Vogue, Amanda Brooks is casually chic in front of her gorgeous Cabin Chic Mountain home. Read here for more. 

 Image via Williams Sonoma Home

Image via Williams Sonoma Home

 Image via Williams Sonoma Home

Image via Williams Sonoma Home

 Image via LL Bean Home

Image via LL Bean Home

 Image via LL Bean Home

Image via LL Bean Home

 Image via LL Bean Home

Image via LL Bean Home

 Image via LL Bean Home

Image via LL Bean Home

 Image via Anthropologie

Image via Anthropologie

 Image via Anthropologie

Image via Anthropologie

 Image via Anthroologie

Image via Anthroologie

 Image via Terrain

Image via Terrain

 Image via Terrain

Image via Terrain

 Image via Anthropologie

Image via Anthropologie

 Image via J.mcLaughlin

Image via J.mcLaughlin

Decorating for the holidays :: Creative ways to use ornaments when you don't have a tree

 Decorating for the holidays :: Creative ways to use leftover ornaments. The Entertaining House. 

Decorating for the holidays :: Creative ways to use leftover ornaments. The Entertaining House. 

What? No tree? Gasp! I remember when my parents decided not to get a tree. Luckily I was no longer living at home - I was an adult, married with children of my own. I didn't understand at at first. Why would they not want a tree? And then I thought about it - These trees, they're really a good bit of work to put up, decorate and even more work to take down. I saw how lovely and festive the home could look without a tree, in fact it was not even missed. Not everyone has a tree - Some homes are too small, and oftentimes people go away for Christmas and/or New Year's. 

For those who plan on doing without a tree this year,  whether your home is too small, you're traveling or you simply don't want one, there are so many wonderful ways to deck your home and halls that I can assure you that you won't miss the tree. So go on, bring the ornaments down from the attic (or up from the basement) because there are so many ways to display them. Mix old and new. Keep like colors together or mix them all up. I love to arrange mine in glass and silver bowls, on branches collected by the children that stand in tall vases. I love to hang them from the ceiling, and arrange them with candles and pine cones as centerpieces, as wreaths, hanging from the chandelier to give it a whimsical and festive flair! Just because you won't be putting a tree up this year doesn't mean you have to forgo the greenery and fresh balsam smell altogether. Branches in jars can be adorned and greenery can be placed all over your home from a mantel to chandelier, to your door handle. The possibilities are endless! Turn on those Christmas tunes and pour yourself a glass of mulled wine or eggnog to capture the holiday spirit! I hope you'll be inspired by the images below... Perhaps you'll be so inspired that you'll run out and pick up a few more! (There's even something magical for the December Bride.)

 Decorating for the holidays :: Creative ways to use ornaments. The Entertaining House. 

Decorating for the holidays :: Creative ways to use ornaments. The Entertaining House. 

 Decorating for the holidays :: Creative ways to use ornaments. The Entertaining House. Image via  Primitive and Proper.  

Decorating for the holidays :: Creative ways to use ornaments. The Entertaining House. Image via Primitive and Proper. 

 Decorating for the holidays :: Creative ways to use ornaments. The Entertaining House. Image via  So Into VIntage

Decorating for the holidays :: Creative ways to use ornaments. The Entertaining House. Image via So Into VIntage

 Decorating for the holidays :: Creative ways to use ornaments. The Entertaining House. Image via  Country Living

Decorating for the holidays :: Creative ways to use ornaments. The Entertaining House. Image via Country Living

 Decorating for the holidays :: Creative ways to use ornaments. The Entertaining House. Image via  Pop Sugar

Decorating for the holidays :: Creative ways to use ornaments. The Entertaining House. Image via Pop Sugar

 Decorating for the holidays :: Creative ways to use ornaments. The Entertaining House. Decorating for the holidays :: Creative ways to use leftover ornaments. The Entertaining House. Image via  Pop Sugar .

Decorating for the holidays :: Creative ways to use ornaments. The Entertaining House. Decorating for the holidays :: Creative ways to use leftover ornaments. The Entertaining House. Image via Pop Sugar.

 Decorating for the holidays :: Creative ways to use ornaments. The Entertaining House. Image via  No Biggie.

Decorating for the holidays :: Creative ways to use ornaments. The Entertaining House. Image via No Biggie.

 Decorating for the holidays :: Creative ways to use ornaments. The Entertaining House. Image via  Ballard Design

Decorating for the holidays :: Creative ways to use ornaments. The Entertaining House. Image via Ballard Design

 Decorating for the holidays :: Creative ways to use ornaments. The Entertaining House. Image via Atlanta Homes Magazine

Decorating for the holidays :: Creative ways to use ornaments. The Entertaining House. Image via Atlanta Homes Magazine

 Decorating for the holidays :: Creative ways to use ornaments. The Entertaining House. Image via  Country Living

Decorating for the holidays :: Creative ways to use ornaments. The Entertaining House. Image via Country Living

 Decorating for the holidays :: Creative ways to use ornaments. The Entertaining House. Image via  The House that Lars Built

Decorating for the holidays :: Creative ways to use ornaments. The Entertaining House. Image via The House that Lars Built

 Decorating for the holidays :: Decorating for the holidays when you don't have a tree. The Entertaining House. Image  via .

Decorating for the holidays :: Decorating for the holidays when you don't have a tree. The Entertaining House. Image via.

 Decorating for the holidays :: Decorating for the holidays when you don't have a tree. The Entertaining House. Image via  Paris Apartment.

Decorating for the holidays :: Decorating for the holidays when you don't have a tree. The Entertaining House. Image via Paris Apartment.

 Decorating for the holidays :: Decorating for the holidays when you don't have a tree. The Entertaining House. Image via Nest of Posies.

Decorating for the holidays :: Decorating for the holidays when you don't have a tree. The Entertaining House. Image via Nest of Posies.

 Decorating for the holidays :: Decorating for the holidays when you don't have a tree. The Entertaining House. Image  via

Decorating for the holidays :: Decorating for the holidays when you don't have a tree. The Entertaining House. Image via

 Decorating for the holidays :: Decorating for the holidays when you don't have a tree. The Entertaining House. Image via  Rusty Hinge

Decorating for the holidays :: Decorating for the holidays when you don't have a tree. The Entertaining House. Image via Rusty Hinge

Decorating for the holidays naturally :: When a simple orange becomes anything but

 Decorating for the holidays naturally :: When a simple orange becomes anything but. The Entertaining House. Image property of ElleDecor

Decorating for the holidays naturally :: When a simple orange becomes anything but. The Entertaining House. Image property of ElleDecor

I've always been a fan of decorating with nature and with what we already have at our disposal. I also believe that a home can feel warm and welcoming and look elegant without going to great costs. A large bowl of fruit is not simply to be eaten, but can serve as an element of decor that is not only visually appealing, but one that is aromatic as well. The orange, while springlike because of its bright citrus color is perhaps the perfect fruit to have at the home at Christmastime. As a child, there was always an orange at the bottom of my stocking, so this fruit also bears a bit of sentimentality and nostalgia. The vibrant sphere is as elegant as it is simple. Mix orange varieties for different sizes and hues - toss in some clementines and kumquats if you desire. The magnificent tree seen above, featured in ElleDecor, is adorned with small clementines. Below dried orange slices make the perfect ornaments. You'll see images of oranges, both fresh and dried, to help inspire. Whether mixed with greens on wreaths, on bannisters, or in bowls as centerpieces, as ornaments or garland, I hope you too will come to see the orange in a whole new light.

 Decorating for the holidays naturally :: When a simple orange becomes anything but. The Entertaining House. Image property of Shade of Blue Interiors

Decorating for the holidays naturally :: When a simple orange becomes anything but. The Entertaining House. Image property of Shade of Blue Interiors

 Decorating for the holidays naturally :: When a simple orange becomes anything but. The Entertaining House. Image property of  Design Sponge

Decorating for the holidays naturally :: When a simple orange becomes anything but. The Entertaining House. Image property of Design Sponge

 Decorating for the holidays naturally :: When a simple orange becomes anything but. The Entertaining House. Image property of  BHG

Decorating for the holidays naturally :: When a simple orange becomes anything but. The Entertaining House. Image property of BHG

 Decorating for the holidays naturally :: When a simple orange becomes anything but. The Entertaining House. Image property of  Garden Matter.

Decorating for the holidays naturally :: When a simple orange becomes anything but. The Entertaining House. Image property of Garden Matter.

 Decorating for the holidays naturally :: When a simple orange becomes anything but. The Entertaining House. Image property of  John Urbana.

Decorating for the holidays naturally :: When a simple orange becomes anything but. The Entertaining House. Image property of John Urbana.

 Decorating for the holidays naturally :: When a simple orange becomes anything but. The Entertaining House. Image property of  House to Home. 

Decorating for the holidays naturally :: When a simple orange becomes anything but. The Entertaining House. Image property of House to Home. 

 Decorating for the holidays naturally :: When a simple orange becomes anything but. The Entertaining House. Image via  Tumblr.

Decorating for the holidays naturally :: When a simple orange becomes anything but. The Entertaining House. Image via Tumblr.

 Decorating for the holidays naturally :: When a simple orange becomes anything but. The Entertaining House. Image via Veranda Magazine.

Decorating for the holidays naturally :: When a simple orange becomes anything but. The Entertaining House. Image via Veranda Magazine.

 Decorating for the holidays naturally :: When a simple orange becomes anything but. The Entertaining House. Image property of  Traditional Home.

Decorating for the holidays naturally :: When a simple orange becomes anything but. The Entertaining House. Image property of Traditional Home.

For a very accurate and detailed recipe on how to dry oranges, click here.

Always effortless, always stylish, always chic :: The Poncho

 10 stylish Ponchos :: The Entertaining House. Image via Tumblr

10 stylish Ponchos :: The Entertaining House. Image via Tumblr

A wardrobe must! Always comfortable. Always chic. Always effortless. The poncho is every girl's best friend - It is as forgiving as it is stylish. It is as adaptable as it is consistent. It's forgiving - it doesn't care whether you've had one too many slices of that delicious coconut cake! Whether worn casually with jeans or more formally, this stylish cloak-like garment is the perfect piece to wear while the temperatures dip. Large loose and blanket-like layers can be easily worn beneath for added warmth. When you can't decide wether you'd prefer to wear a sweater or a jacket... Look no further. 

 10 Stylish Ponchos :: The Entertaining House. Image via Zara

10 Stylish Ponchos :: The Entertaining House. Image via Zara

 10 Stylish Ponchos :: The Entertaining House. Image via Modo Buenos Aires 

10 Stylish Ponchos :: The Entertaining House. Image via Modo Buenos Aires 

 10 Stylish Ponchos :: The Entertaining House. Image via Hania by Anya Cole

10 Stylish Ponchos :: The Entertaining House. Image via Hania by Anya Cole

 10 Stylish Ponchos :: The Entertaining House. Image via Harper's Bazaar

10 Stylish Ponchos :: The Entertaining House. Image via Harper's Bazaar

 10 Stylish Ponchos :: The Entertaining House. Image via Country Road Australia

10 Stylish Ponchos :: The Entertaining House. Image via Country Road Australia

 10 Stylish Ponchos :: IThe Entertaining House. Image via Vivienne Westwood

10 Stylish Ponchos :: IThe Entertaining House. Image via Vivienne Westwood

 10 Stylish Ponchos :: The Entertaining House. Image via Tumblr

10 Stylish Ponchos :: The Entertaining House. Image via Tumblr

 10 Stylish Ponchos :: The Entertaining House. Image via Etsy

10 Stylish Ponchos :: The Entertaining House. Image via Etsy

 10 Stylish Ponchos :: The Entertaining House. Image via Vogue

10 Stylish Ponchos :: The Entertaining House. Image via Vogue

 10 Stylish Ponchos :: The Entertaining House. Image via Vogue

10 Stylish Ponchos :: The Entertaining House. Image via Vogue

On the Bookshelf :: The Pursuit of Beauty - The Interiors of Timothy Whealon

 The Pursuit of Beauty, The Interiors of Timothy Whealon. Rizzoli USA. 

The Pursuit of Beauty, The Interiors of Timothy Whealon. Rizzoli USA. 

I'm fascinated by people. I'm fascinated by people who've led remarkable lives. Interior designer Timothy Whealon is just the sort of person who fascinates me. Prior to his design days, he was a college graduate who found himself on Wall Street with a very promising career in private banking. The former financier would spend his weekends enjoying all the wonderful art venues the city had to offer. Despite his mother's belief that "art should be an advocation and not a career," Whealon left the financial world behind for the opportunity to study at Sotheby's Institute of Art in London where he became inspired by the country's rich history and the connection between the decorative arts and architecture that contained them.

From London he travelled back to New York to participate in the management training program where he was exposed to both the business as well as the curatorial sides of art. An opportunity to catalog the art collection of Saul and Gayfryd Steinberg would pave the path to his first job as an Interior Designer. His knowledge of art history, fine art, art restoration and architecture would lead to perhaps his most pivotal moment - the opportunity to renovate and transform a decrepit Grade II Georgian house in London where he oversaw everything from hiring the restorative architect to purchasing the arts and antiques. During this time Whelan had sublet the Chelsea flat belonging to India Hicks whose father was the renown designer David Hicks. Enthralled by some of Hicks' watercolors that sat upon his daughter's desk, Whealon immersed himself in the study of this legendary designer. 

Whealon also attributes his current success to his midwestern childhood. Influenced by his artistic mother who had an interest in houses and decorating, at the age of 12 when most boys were saving for baseball mitts and skateboards, he purchased a pair of Sheffield candlesticks. The rural midwestern beauty also gave him an appreciation for the outdoors - the natural light and the beauty surrounding it.

Whealon's style, clearly reflective of the events of his life thus far, may best be described as classic with a thoroughly fresh and modern approach. His interiors reflect and respect the architecture that surrounds them with elements from yesterday as well as today. In In Pursuit of Beauty you'll have a chance to peek inside a a modernist glass house in the Hamptons, a stately Gramercy Park penthouse, an eclectic Carnegie Hill townhouse, a glamourous villa in Monaco and more.

 The Pursuit of Beauty, The Interiors of Timothy Whealon. Rizzoli USA. 

The Pursuit of Beauty, The Interiors of Timothy Whealon. Rizzoli USA. 

As a kid I spent every cent from my paper route at auction houses. The first thing I ever bought was a George II mahogany chair with a needlepoint seat. I was 12.
 The Pursuit of Beauty, The Interiors of Timothy Whealon. Rizzoli USA. 

The Pursuit of Beauty, The Interiors of Timothy Whealon. Rizzoli USA. 

Decorating is a balancing act - antique and modern, polished and chalky. Those are the kinds of juxtapositions that make design interesting.
 The Pursuit of Beauty, The Interiors of Timothy Whealon. Rizzoli USA. 

The Pursuit of Beauty, The Interiors of Timothy Whealon. Rizzoli USA. 

I don’t like interiors that look wrong when the client starts adding things. I strive to create comfortable spaces that evolve - that get better with time.
 The Pursuit of Beauty, The Interiors of Timothy Whealon. Rizzoli USA. 

The Pursuit of Beauty, The Interiors of Timothy Whealon. Rizzoli USA. 

I like color that reveals itself and no color has the capacity to do that quite like complex whites.

Whealon's knowledge and appreciation of art and architecture, old and new perfectly lend themselves to these masterfully curated rooms that seem at times museum and gallery-like, and always inspiring. Whether simple or eclectic, traditional or modern each individual space offers a sense of timelessness. 

Timothy Whealon specializes in high end interior design with a focus on fine and decorative arts. His work has been published in ElleDecor, House Beautiful, Veranda, Architectural Digest, The New York Times and numerous books. A founding editor or The New York Times Styles section, journalist Dan Shaw has co-written several books including Mary McDonald: Interiors : The Allure of Style and The Age of Elegance and Interiors by Alex Papachristidis. 

In Pursuit of Beauty: The Interiors of Timothy Whealon
By Timothy Whealon with Dan Shaw
Published by RIzzoli New York
 

For those of you in the Westchester NY and Fairfield County CT areas, Juliska is hosting a book launch and party in honor of Whealon. Come meet the designer and get an autographed copy!

On the Bookshelf :: The Tailored Interior by Greg Natale

 The Tailored Interior by Greg Natale, Hardie Grant, 2015. All images © Anson Smart.

The Tailored Interior by Greg Natale, Hardie Grant, 2015. All images © Anson Smart.

My shelves and coffee tables are piled high with gorgeous design books. Each one serving its own unique purpose, reaching out to a select and stylish audience. It is not often that I think a book is for everyone; The Tailored Interior by Greg Natale is. A beautifully curated book that is both guide as well as visual inspiration. This beautiful manual filled with over 200 vibrant photographs of 18 of Natale's projects will delight the most accomplished designer as well the novice who may be intimidated by the whole process of designing a home. 

As I made my way though The Tailored Interior I was taken by the designer's diversity of styles, from a classic and traditional New England style home in Brisbane to a crisp and contemporary home in Melbourne. From Traditional to Transitional to Modern, each space clearly unique is shaped with Natale's unmistakable touch, a Midas touch it seems. Natale walks us through the importance of all elements of design. No detail is left unturned... No floor, ceiling or wall is uncovered. He offers up tips and facts from everything from paint to furniture, from rugs to accessories while factoring the importance of a room's architectural details, size and light sources. His insight, tips and suggestions, like a needle and thread, pull all the pieces together, to create a product that is polished and complete.

In The Inspired Room we're given images that inspire, words to admire. Carefully crafted and thought out Natale guides readers through the design process, starting with inspiration and conception through to cohesion, while navigating through the various aspects of pulling everything together.

A coffee table book indeed. And yet, this is one to cuddle up with in bed at the end of a long day with a cup of tea or glass of wine, to lose yourself in. These images aren't to flipped through quickly and the words aren't to be skimmed over. This is a book to savor.

About the author: With his signature style, Greg Natale has been feted as one of Australia's top designers, winning numerous awards. He has been featured in prestigious publications such as Wallpaper, Vogue Living, Time, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Architectural Digest, and ElleDecor.

The Tailored Interior by Greg Natale, foreward by Jonathan Adler, Photography by Anson Smart. Published by Hardie Grant/distributed by Rizzoli New York. Publication date September 2015.

When you’re creating the mood for a space, the first step is to find your inspiration. A revamped personal favourite, such as a re-upholstered piece of furniture, can often set the tone for a room’s design.
— The Tailored Interior, Greg Natale
The art of layering is to keep the big picture in mind while you address every little detail. Build up your look from walls to furniture to accessories, considering how each surface and piece relates to the next.
— The Tailored Interior, Greg Natale
When you’re building up contrast in a space, consider the interplays between different scales, colours and finishes, curves and angles, ceramics and metallics, man-made pieces and natural organic shapes.
— The Tailored Interior, Greg Natale
If you start with a neutral-toned sofa, you can then add details, patterns and pops of colour through cushions and accessories. Textures provide another level to play with - mix soft and hard furnishings for dramatic effect.
— The Tailored Interior, Greg Natale
Try mixing diverse patterns for a dynamic effect, but make sure they share a huge to keep your look cohesive. Then choose a piece a piece in one solid colour to tie the patterns together and provide a focal point.
— The Tailored Room, Greg Natale
Cohesion is about bringing together all the elements of your design so that the layers of walls, floors, ceilings and furniture speak to one another, both contrast and balance are evident, and finishing touches add vitality.
— The Tailored Interior, Greg Natale

Arm Candy for the Health Conscious

 The Calder Activity Tracking Bracelet via Wisewear

The Calder Activity Tracking Bracelet via Wisewear

There's good news for those of you who, like me, are a bit overly obsessed with your fitness-tracking bracelets. I have an old school Jawbone Up bracelet that I wear religiously. I love that it can track my steps, miles, activity levels, sleep, and now that I've finally figured out how to adjust it for multiple sports, calories burned. My health is important to me and I try to work out regularly - 5-6 times a week. Though due to children, work and travel, sometimes this simply isn't possible. When this is the case, I do what I can to get up and moving. I have my goals. When I don't meet them I don't beat myself up, but when I surpass them, I sure do feel good!

Now that these activity trackers have been on the market a while many improvements and advancements have been made. I still have to plug mine into my phone to see my results, but newer ones sync up automatically via bluetooth. Mine isn't waterproof, but the newer models are. One of the greatest issues I have is that my activity tracker isn't so pretty. While it's perfectly fine when worn during the day, dressed casually, but when I need to be more dressed up, whether meeting with clients, going out to dinner or even when headed out to a cocktail party, my ugly bracelet needs to come off even when there are still many more steps that need to be tracked! (I did mention that I was slightly obsessed.) 

In my search for an upgrade, I want something that's effective, functional and just as importantly, that looks good and can be worn with more than yoga pants or jeans. 

 The Calder Activity Tracking Bracelet via Wisewear

The Calder Activity Tracking Bracelet via Wisewear

The Calder bracelet by Wisewear might look like a gorgeous, modern piece of jewelry with it's clean lines and geometric shape, but it's so much more. This elegant piece is waterproof, and not only does it track your activity but it's smart technology allows you to stay connected without always picking up and looking at your phone. For more information visit www.wisewear.com.

 Fit Bit Bracelet coverlet via Tory Burch

Fit Bit Bracelet coverlet via Tory Burch

It is perhaps Tory Burch who first cleverly created the metal hinged bracelet as a cover for the not so elegant Fitbit. Modern, sleek and elegant this bracelet is perfect for those who already have a Fitbit tracker and want to dress it up some.

 Fit Bit Double Leather Strap Coverlet by Tory Burch

Fit Bit Double Leather Strap Coverlet by Tory Burch

She has more recently added another option to her line. The double-wrap leather bracelet is another elegant option, reminiscent to the iconic Hermés double wrap strap. For more information on these two items visit www.toryburch.com. (Also available at Neiman Marcus.)

 iPhone Watch with Hermés Strap. Image via Apple

iPhone Watch with Hermés Strap. Image via Apple

Modern meets tradition. Most recently came the announcement of a merger made in technology heaven. The iconic apple and Hermés brands have come together to offer what may be la creme de la creme for those who want it all - technology, fitness tracking and elegance. I was no fan of the apple watch when it first came on the market. Funny how a simple leather watch strap can change all that. The hardest decision here, which color? Double or single single strap?  Unfortunately the iconic orange color is not an option at the moment, but perhaps the Bleu Jean? The watch will be available for purchase in October at select apple locations. For more visit www.apple.com/watches

Slipping into the fall season in Style with Zara

 Orange Dress by Zara

Orange Dress by Zara

I'm mad about Zara, one of the world's largest international fashion companies. Their clothes are functional, fashionable and range from classic to trendy, to boho to mod - truly versatile. I happen to like them because they're affordable, high quality and work well when worn with higher end brands. I discovered the company quite by accident a few years ago in Greenwich, Connecticut after a meeting with clients. With some time to kill I strolled down the Avenue. The windows were quite inviting, and so I walked in. I was amazed at the selection, the prices and the quality of the garments. (I've been to other so-called inexpensive brand stores and am always disappointed with the fabric.) I had amassed quite a few items. And it turns out that because I was "saving money" I may have actually gone a wee bit overboard! I've been back several times since and am always pleased with the choices, prices and how well the items hold up. And so this fall, like every other fall, I'm looking to add a few transitional pieces to add to my wardrobe that won't break the bank. I'd like to be able to wear these pieces on warmer, as well cooler days, I need them to go with my existing wardrobe and I need them to be versatile - pieces that I can wear while working as well as during the evening. For these and many, many more visit Zara's website.

 Black off the shoulder shirt by Zara

Black off the shoulder shirt by Zara

 Red off the shoulder shirt by Zara

Red off the shoulder shirt by Zara

 Eyelet Maxi dress by Zara

Eyelet Maxi dress by Zara

 Leopard Print Maxi skirt by Zara

Leopard Print Maxi skirt by Zara

 Suede Jacket by Zara

Suede Jacket by Zara

 Suede Overshirt by Zara

Suede Overshirt by Zara

 Poncho by Zara

Poncho by Zara

 Masculine Trouser by Zara

Masculine Trouser by Zara

 Long black Tunic by Zara

Long black Tunic by Zara

 Square City Tote by Zara

Square City Tote by Zara