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20 March 2010

Watch out, Kenny Jay Lane

Hutton's Star faux citrine ring can be yours for $34.95

There's a new kid in town...

My dreams of bejeweling myself with the creations of Hutton Wilkinson, the man who is continuing the Tony Duquette name and magic, are coming true a few decades sooner than I anticipated. Hutton is one of my real-life heroes - as gracious and interested as he is genius.

Hutton's sumptuous designs for the Jim Thompson fabric line

Hutton has just launched a bijou collection on the Home Shopping Network, with prices several zeros less than its couture cousin. Click here to see the full collection....

These Nautilus Shell Danglies will be gracing my lobes in 4 to 6 days....

14 March 2010

Hello Beautiful

House Beautiful, that is...

I am thrilled to announce my new affiliation with one of my very favorite magazines as a Contributing Editor. Did you know that House Beautiful is America's oldest shelter mag continuously in print since 1896? And it continues to thrive, surprise and delight under editor-in-chief Stephen Drucker's sure hand.

bedroom by Jack Simpson from House Beautiful April 1970 - why not?

It just so happens that this month's issue is dedicated to my very favorite color: blue! A wonderful spread highlights blue rooms featured in the magazine from its very first use of color printing (1938) to today.

Here is a selection from the April 1970 issue, including this wild dining room in Mrs. John Duffield's London residence by Baron Alexander Albrizzi.

"Glowing Sapphire Grotto" was the title given to this mirrored extravaganza. The geometric rug is reminiscent of David Hicks and perhaps there is a connection. Neil Zarach who formed David Hicks + Zarach had previously partnered with Albrizzi.

Bower for a little girl by John Doktor and Burt Wayne. (Wayne and Doktor later went on to head up the Anne Klein Design Studio.)

My "Apartment Beautiful" - Christmas 2008

In our library cum dining cum living room, we painted the walls Benjamin Moore Forget-Me-Not, in their heavily pigmented aura line. (With all of that going on in one room, it's no surprise that we opted for a 20" high Christmas "tree".) Palladian Blue and Farrow & Ball's Oval Room Blue also really get me going.

Of course who can talk about blue without mentioning Madame Castaing? Not me anyway - I've got a book to hawk! Here in her dining room at Leves, she brought the outside in with the blue of the sky and the green of the grass which during these grey days is just what the Dr. ordered.

That and a Ramos Gin Fizz.

04 March 2010

A Cocktail (Napkin) Conundrum

It seems like one of the major changes in my new life as a Madame (not that kind) is to go "old school" with linen .

After impoverishing myself at the Porthault winter sale immediately after our honeymoon, my next adventure in cloth was a set of cocktail napkins, pictured above. Spurred by an upcoming dinner party (as so many of my purchases are), I went on the prowl.

I was mad for these Madeira poodle ones on Gypsie Rosalie, but alas they had been sold. Besides, I needed them in hand within the next 48 hours. So I paid a visit to Janet at William Wayne where I found the pristine, never-been-used set designed by Georges Briard, perhaps better known for his glass and dishware.

This little Briard beauty is on ebay for only $9.99

Dear Reader, I have to confess I was thoroughly flummoxed by their unwieldy rectangular shape. How does one gracefully hand over such a large napkin? Janet suggested maybe wrapping it around the drink, but what if it's a wine glass?

With my guests' arrival looming, it was necessary to consult an expert and I knew just to whom to turn: Jared Miles, a butler and estate professional who has worked for families even the Joneses can't keep up with.

Jared advised, "I think that I would fold them. We never press a fold into napkins, the fold is always just simply done by hand. If the pattern is interrupted by the fold, if a guest wants to see the full design, they'll unfold them to have a look. I think it would look funny to use them unfolded." Aaah - yes, one can fold without a press!

For more of Jared's pearls, visit: http://thebutlerdoesit.blogspot.com/

Next stop on the EEE adventures in linen: guest towels! Any recommendations? The Peak of Chic's still haunt me with their Cecil Beaton lettering seen here....