Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Rose By Any Other Name

While David Austin has long been known for the lovely English roses he breeds for the garden, his exquisite blooms are now available as cut flowers. I recently received a bouquet of the Juliet roses from my kind mother-in-law, and they are truly the most beautiful I have ever seen. All bouquets ship over-night, are guaranteed to be delivered in perfect condition and arrive with simple instructions to assure long life. Visit the website to order.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Tara Shaw Maison

The weather in New York last weekend was so beautiful is was almost a shame to spend it indoors at the Gift Show - except that I did see a lot of great things. One of the most beautiful booths was Tara Shaw.

I have long coveted the exceptional Swedish antiques Tara sells in her shops in New Orleans and Houston, however, they are costly which is why I was thrilled when she introduced her line of Swedish and French inspired reproductions, Tara Shaw Maison.

Here are a few of my favorite pieces being shown in New York. This mantle clock is a new introduction.

A French buffet de corp with wire doors.

Love this charcoal grey biblioteque.

This painted chest is also new this year.

And of course, a Mora clock for which I still have a space for in my living room.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Cocktail Hour(s)

We are having a Mad Men moment on Church Street.

OK, it isn't exactly a 'moment' because it started last summer after we went to a lecture and demonstration by a celebrity bartender.

The story of our life includes several chapters devoted to often time-consuming, sometimes rewarding, culinary pursuits - homemade bagels...homemade ravioli...homemade sausage - endeavors which necessitated the purchase of mountains of specialized equipment - but I think this is going to require a move out of the kitchen.

Yes, we are now in a cocktail phase and these days it's about infusing spirits, flavored syrups and fresh sour mix. Parties at home feature a cocktail du jour (or punch if it's a crowd.)

Of course, this has led to the acquisition of yet more specialized equipment - a Boston shaker and a Hawthorn strainer, a muddler and a citrus stripper (that is for making neat curls of lemon rind and nothing else.)

I don't see this phase passing quickly - or possibly at all because, frankly, I am enjoying it (unlike sausage making which I did not) -  and it gives me an excuse to add to my collection of vintage glassware. So, I am looking for a versatile and stylish set-up to contain our permanent home bar.

While I love the bookcase above, I think a bar cart is a good place to start.

At the moment I am leaning toward this one, Arteriors' Connaught antique brass bar cart (also available in polished nickel.)

I'll leave you with a recipe for the Sazerac Cocktail pictured at the top courtesy of Bon Appetit.

2 teaspoons Herbsaint or Pernod
1 cup bourbon
1/2 teaspoon Peychaud's bitters or Angostura bitters
4 teaspoons simple syrup
lemon twist
Swirl 1/2 teaspoon Herbsaint or Pernod in each of 4 Martini glasses to coat inside of glasses.
Fill cocktail shaker with ice; add bourbon, bitters, simple syrup, and lemon twist. Shake well; strain into glasses.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Swedish Country Chic

It's no secret I love all things Scandinavian, and Swedish interiors in particular. This morning I am feeling enormously inspired by the rooms pictured below which, believe it or not, grace a horse farm in southern Sweden. Industrial chic in the country.

Photos from Sköna Hem magazine. See the original article here.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Turkish Delight

A visit to Istanbul is truly a feast for the senses - the dramatic architecture of Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque, the beguiling array of goods for sale in the Grand Bazaar and the scents in the Spice Market, the tantalizing cuisine and the haunting call to prayer - broadcast from the minarets of mosques throughout the city - five times daily.

The region's fascinating history and rich cultural heritage seriously inspire the imagination. Following my own tour of Istanbul only one aspect of my curiosity remained unsatisfied and that centered on the storied yali, originally the summer homes of the old Turkish elite, that have lined the Bosphorus for hundreds of years.

Traditional yali exteriors are painted a rust-red, known as 'Ottoman rose.'

An article in this month's World of Interiors about a recent John Stefanidis project, the total reconstruction of an historically accurate yali, has finally given me a glimpse inside. Taking his inspiration from traditional 17th and 18th century Ottoman design, Stefanidis created an authentic interior and it does not disappoint.

Guests are received in a double reception room with seating along the windows to take advantage of the water views.

In keeping with the style of traditional yali interiors, reception rooms and the dining room are located on the ground floor.

The dining room overlooks the Bosphorus.

Bedrooms and a private sitting room are located on the upper level off a central sofa,or hall.

A double staircase with a banister designed in the historical vernacular leads to the sofa; the staircase landing.

A traditional-style window seat in the family sitting room.

The master bedroom.

Ceilings throughout the house were created by a team of local craftsmen entirely of wood and elaborately painted as they would have been in an original yali.

The library.

Detail of the library's painted wood ceiling.

Stefanidis immersed himself in Ottoman culture and decorative arts, and his numerous visits to Topkapi inspired a series of painted panels on the lower level.

The entrance to a powder room is disguised by the painted panels.

For a look inside the walls of Topkapi Palace during the rule of the Sultans pick up Katie Hickman's novel The Aviary Gate. Alternating between present day Istanbul and 16th century Constantinople this is enjoyable historical fiction.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

My Dream Ski House

A Savoy Chalet in Megeve

At 2 degrees it is too cold for me to ski today, so, instead, I am home indulging in my new obsession with Pinterest and assembling photos for my dream ski house inspiration board.

This traditional Savoy chalet underwent an extensive eighteen month restoration, carried out ​​by local craftsmen specially trained in the rehabilitation of Savoyard farms, and emerged as a comfortable home that sensitively combines the best of modern technology with the authenticity of local architecture.

On the first floor an open plan combines a spacious living room, kitchen and dining room. Two views of the large living room and fireplace:

The restoration made use of the well preserved original materials including beautiful weathered wood beams, aged to a soft blond.

In the kitchen a few modern touches were introduced while respecting the original features. Polished concrete counter surfaces integrate seamlessly with the spirit of the cottage:

Open to the kitchen, the sunny dining room enjoys a view of the surrounding mountains:

 The cozy master bedroom:

Original article from Cote Est magazine here.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Morocco on My Mind

My cure for the cabin fever induced by the short days of our northern New England winter, and the days when the weather is just too awful to leave the house - for instance, today's freezing rain following yesterday's four inches of snow - is to indulge in a little escapism. Two new editions to the design library, The Villas and Riads of Morocco  Marrakech: Living on the Edge of the Desert, available at Amazon, have me dreaming of warmth and color while the landscape outside my window is shrouded in white.

photos housebeautiful.com & elledecor.com

photo adesignerspot.com

photo elledecor.com

A blend of influences from around the world, Moroccan style includes design motifs drawn from the region's multiple cultures, bringing together African, Mediterranean, European and Moorish elements. Utilizing warm colors and earthy textures, it makes for a truly luxurious atmosphere which one could imagine creating right here in the frozen tundra.

Brunschwig & Fils' Les Alizes fabric collection.

From Circa Lighting the Baltic Lantern.
Ann Sacks' Tiempo collection of terracotta tiles inspired by traditional patterns found in France and Spain, Yaffo 1 in paprika, mocka and off white.

From Made Goods, the Edurne woven abaca ottoman, Asher rough hewn bone boxes and Killian interlocking motif capis trays.

Serena and Lily's Damascus inlay mirror.

 D.L. Rhein Moroccan Tile embroidered linen pillow.

Jonathan Adler's leather Moroccan poof.

Arteriors Sullivan polished brass perforated lantern. 

Global Views' Arabesque rug in coral.

Wunderly Octagonal walnut table inlaid with mother of pearl.

And to complete the experience, Votivo's Moroccan Fig candle.

As the forecast is predicting even worse weather to come, the dogs and I are settling in front of the fire with tea and a stack of books.

photo housebeautiful.com