Color Inspiration at the V&A!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

During a recent visit to London, I spent an afternoon at the Victoria & Albert Museum of Decorative Arts. The collection of furniture, metalwork, ceramics, silver, glass and textiles are all beautiful but the jewelry galleries really are my favorite - showcasing amazing pieces from the Roman era to the 1980's. I was struck in particular by the stunning turquoise pieces I saw! Turquoise is so upbeat and youthful but also can be quite sophisticated. Here are a few special pieces of jewelry I loved and a few accessories for your home if you (like me!) are taken with turquoise. . .  
Above is an English turquoise, gold and pave diamond necklace with a bow design from 1850-1860.
A German carved cameo of carnelian depicting a Bacchante female figure, and set in gold and turquoise, made from 1630-1670.

A pair of gorgeous earrings made of turquoise, amethyst, and pearls, made in England from 1835-1840. What a great color combo! 

A bright Zig Zag throw blanket made of baby alpaca from Jonathan Adler.

The Luxembourg Garden side chair by Fermob USA. This chic chair comes in 27 colors and retails at $216. 
I adore these vintage 1960's table lamps - they are made of ceramic and brass and are available at Little Paris Antiques.

A great enamel photo frame in turquoise also by Jonathan Adler.

And to end, boldly turquoise room by designers Kim Coleman and Michele Green! 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 26, 2010

While they may not celebrate Thanksgiving here in France - I still love the holiday and I certainly have a lot to be thankful for! Here are a few inspirational thanksgiving images and a Raspberry-Apple crisp recipe that looks so good (and so easy!) I might have to try it out for next year. Have a great day!

Raspberry-Apple Crisp
4 cups sliced tart apples (about 4 medium - try Granny Smith)
2 cups frozen raspberries
2/3 to 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup butter softened
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange sliced apples and raspberries in greased 8" x 8" square pan.  Mix dry ingredients and then add softened butter to create topping.  Sprinkle evenly over apples.  Bake for 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender.  Serve warm with ice cream. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Fur in Small Doses!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Its getting pretty cold here in France and with the winter setting in, all I can think about are cozy interiors! Aside from adding a fireplace, a little bit of fur is the best way to achieve a warm, chalet-chic look! Here are few of my picks for just the right amount of fur. . .
An inviting master bedroom by designer Todd Romano with fur throw rugs and a beautiful fur blanket. (Photo via Elle Decor)

A living room featured in Lonny Magazine. The fur throw adds so much warmth to this modern space.

Newell Turner's dining area - what a cozy and comfortable place to eat! 

A living room Jonathan Rosen with an elegant fur upholstered stool.

Pottery Barn faux fur throw blankets - this is the one Newell Turner used in his dining room above!

Bliss Living Ivan throw pillow.

Chincilla ivory faux fur throw blanket by Woven Workz.

Snuggle up and enjoy!

Chateau Living

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

After living down the street from the stunning Chateau de Fontainebleau for almost a month now, I feel pretty spoiled. Even from the outside, the proportions and the architectural details are so beautiful and classic. Since sadly, I will have to leave, I found myself searching for chateau inspired interiors which might let me take some of this style home! I think these rooms are wonderful - all traditional and certainly a bit French but with modern bent which makes them livable for today! 

A bath by Steven Shubel in House Beautiful. Amazing golden orange color he found for the walls!

A cozy yet stately family room by Cathy Kinkaid. The sisal carpeting and floral sofa help lighten up the space. 
The dining room in designer Amanda Nisbet's own New York home -  I think the table setting is fantastic (especially like the touch of the pale blue taper candles!).

A dining area from Living Ect. (designer not noted unfortunately) The contemporary table and chair, along with the whitewashed floors, really give the space a modern and breezy feel.

A luxurious master bedroom by Michael Smith, featured in Architectural Digest. The wall covering is by Brunschwig & Fils and the bed is a 19th century Italian antique.

Here's to chateau living! 

Yum . . . Laduree Paris

Saturday, November 20, 2010

One of the best things about Paris just has to be Laduree. The famous French bakery and patisserie was founded in 1862 by Louis-Ernest Laduree and has been a Parisian obsession every since. Like many things Parisian, Laduree is just so beautiful and chic! After a visit here a few weeks ago I have been dreaming of the their signature minty green (in addition of course to their amazing macaroon!)

The colors of these amazing macaroon are enough to make your mouth water! I love the rich raspberry ones! What about a room in tones of macaroon . . . hmmm!

We visited the St. Germain branch and I loved every minute in this fabulous Chinoiserie dining room. Tea and macaroon with two of my closest friends was the perfect afternoon! 

I love their packaging - so classic and stylish. I think the Laduree soft green might even trump Tiffany blue.
Even the Laduree delivery trucks are chic! 

The Laduree china is in the same beautiful tones, I found this china by Anna Weatherly at Perfect for your own afternoon tea! 

I love how the pistachio flavor is just the perfect Laudree green! I cant wait to go back very, very soon!

Lief Almont Antiques

Friday, November 19, 2010

While working at high end design firms in New York, much of my time is spent combing antique and vintage stores for that perfect piece of furniture or lighting. After seeing so many shops (or more often their websites!) there are always a few which stand out for having truly beautiful things. Lief Almont Antiques in Los Angeles is one of them, and while I have not yet been able to visit the store in person I always see well chosen and elegant pieces in their inventory. Lief is certainly a bit expensive but a girl can always dream (or at least draw inspiration)! 
A pair of late Rococo / early Gustavian chairs originally from the Gronsoe castle in Sweden, circa 1780 - I love how graceful the backs are!

A blue painted Rococo chest of drawers circa 1740, the soft patina of the paint combined with the delicate hardware are just beautiful.
An Empire period Swedish recamier (or daybed) circa 1810, this would be perfect at the foot of a bed.
A pair of Gustavian mirror sconces, circa 1820s. One could have these electrified, but the effect of the pillar candles framed by the mirrors and gilt wood would be a shame to miss!(All images via Lief Almont).

Do visit Lief if you find yourself in Los Angeles!

Design Press. . . by Allison Feldman Egan

All Keyed Up!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

After seeing this amazing balcony in Barcelona's gothic El Born district, I have been all keyed up over greek keys! (sorry for the cheesiness) The greek key has been a decorative motif since, well  . . . the ancient greeks, but its still so modern today!  It is refined and classic so don't be afraid to mix the greek key with other patterns and prints. Here are a few greek key items I especially love. 

Abbot single armed sconce in polished brass with natural paper shade, from Circa Lighting.

A chic cotton picnic blanket by Beekman 1802 with tone on tone greek key embroidered trim - I like how rustic and casual it is! (Image via Remodelista)

A glass and nickel William Sonoma Home side table, I love the single bold greek key! this would work so well in a living room or even as a bedside table.

Chocolate and ivory Greek Key wool area rug by Jonathan Adler - he is pretty much the king of the modern greek key .... check out his line for other pieces! 

A custom headboard with velvet ribbon applied in a greek key border! What a great idea! I also love the soft pink and red combo here. (Image via

Greek key throw pillows, also by William Sonoma Home, in driftwood or ivory on a natural linen ground.

Bloemenmarkt - Amsterdam's Flower Market

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

After a recent visit to beautiful Amsterdam, I was especially charmed with the flower market which lines a canal in the city's center. Established in 1862, the market has long been a source of floral inspiration! Fresh flowers in an interior are certainly a luxury but one that can go a long way. Following a few interiors which floral arrangements make a big statement! 
This shop was my favorite my far - Klaas Timmer - I loved their rich fall colors and sophisticated arrangements! 

Bouquet by Klaas Timmer - adore the plum colored leaves they used! 

A beach house dining room by Chris Barrett, featured in House Beautiful 2009. The trio of oversized glass jugs filled with flowers and branches give the room so much color and life!

A dramatic and traditional dining room in Atlanta pops with bright green florals! Interior design by Barbara Westbrook and Kim Winkler.

A dining room by Carrier & Co. The large arrangement of branches bring the outside in!

I loved the bright pink peonies framed against the blue chest and the photograph of flowers! Interior by Moises Esquenazi via House Beautiful

Enamored with the floral photograph above, I found this stunning Vintage Rose print by Susan Hornbeak-Ortiz. Archival ink on paper, 1/125, available through the artist at S.H.O by Shine. If you can't always have fresh flowers - this is a beautiful alternative! 
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