Friday, October 29, 2010

Favorite Season: Autumn

"Seasonality informs my selection of color, style and menus, even the scent I wear and use in my homes. The crisp days of autumn arrive, and I'm ready to move inside, where cozy fires and candlelight makes me feel warm and comfy... I revel in the aroma of wood smoke in brisk air, spiced apple cider, pumpkin pies baking, my favorite white truffles. Even my choice of music is different: Vivaldi, Bach and Sinatra."

Amen, Carolyne Roehm.


Listening to NPR archives the other day, I stumbled upon Susan Stamberg's broadcast about 31 Rue Cambon, Coco Chanel's glamorous Parisian pied-à-terre.

The description of the small space in the City of Light was precisely as anticipated: "It's all very opulent, sophisticated and elegant, and yet the apartment isn't a large or grand space. Though the objects are impressive and luxurious, the apartment feels embracing and intimate."

We all know her stylings brought us the irreplaceable little black dress, coveted quilted handbags, and interlocking double-C logo. Not to mention the flawless makeup, perfumes, and nail polishes.

A few irresistables...

And on those special nights, when I need a hint of inspiration from the mademoiselle, I don the ultimate classic: Chanel No. 5. Floral, feminine, and a hint of strength.

Merci beaucoup, Monsieur Lagerfeld for continuing to keep this fashion house a powerhouse.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Aesthetically Pleasing

This past weekend I had the opportunity to spend the day at The Manhattan House with interior designer James "Ford" Huniford.

Having recently redesigned a 3,300-square foot apartment in this modernist iconic New York City building, Ford fused the tranquility of a modern, clean space with classic lines to the industrial nature of his furniture creations.

From the chair with fabric woven from horse hair and the tree bark hand-placed wallpaper to the white-washed picnic kitchen table and the wine barrel head hoops artfully arranged in the living room, it created a stunning calm within the storm. Even better, Ford designed and created ninety percent of the furnishings in the nine-room apartment.

His passion for explaining the craftsmanship and eye for challenging the traditionalist viewpoint fueled my interest in learning more about him.

A few of my favorites from his past work:

"Interiors should be tailored to how people live," says Ford. "Rooms should flow from one area to another and not have themes. Most importantly, they should reflect the spirit and soul of the people who inhabit them."

Beautifully said.

Learn more about James Huniford at

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Love of Style

“One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.”

Seeking the intrinsic beauty amidst the droning chaos in the city demonstrates a daily challenge. The portrayal of unique style between the melding of the multitude of cultures, however, proves to alleviate that stress.

From the contrasting cozy studios in walk-ups and the highrises with classic nine layouts to the three-piece suits in the early morning trains and contemporary hipster-chic urbanites to the seasons changing with sweltering summers and frigid winters, I truly can't get enough of the ever-changing whims of the inhabitants and physique of this city.

Although I look to New York and its city dwellers for creativity in design, cooking, and traveling, I learned best from my mother about true style. She embodies the traditional elegance and classic beauty throughout all aspects of her life that I can only hope to achieve.

Here's to timeless inspiration, to endlessly being guided by our surroundings.