When I think of my own style, I always think of a mix of sophisticated and tough. From my vaguely gypsy-slash-rocker chick style in high school and college to the things I gravitate toward now (similarly rock chick chic), I love pieces with a little edge and hardware. Last night, I stumbled on this beauty online at Hudson, long a Boston design destination.
This ice bucket isn't inexpensive, but what a great statement piece (a much better statement than "I get tipsy off half a glass of red," which is sadly true in my case). Made of reclaimed teak wood, iron, and stainless steel, this will keep more than your wine bottle cool.
image via hudson
When I was new to market work and working really hard to learn about the home decor and design companies I didn't know, one of the first brands I became aware of was L'Objet. Someone had called in the Key Tassel candle for a shoot and later I ended up with it. I still have it, and love it, especially for the memories it evokes of the beginning of my career. I love how pretty it smells, and it was probably the first time I ever saw a candle and thought, "Wow, that looks so elegant." I will say all the best houses I've ever been in for shoots or interviews have always smelled incredible, so good, high quality candles are worth it.
This year L'Objet celebrates its 10th anniversary and in honor of that milestone, founder and creative director Elad Yifrach has designed a new collection of pieces called Sous le Ciel. There are essentially two lines within the collection: The Han dinnerware and accessories, and the Soie Tressée dinnerware.
China's Han Dynasty marked a period of unprecedented advancement and innovation in the arts, particularly in regard to the invention of paper, glazed ceramics, and developments in silk weaving. The Han Collection is a nod to this time and the ancient craftsmanship employed. The emperors of the dynasty were called "Sons of Heaven" and through their trade along the Silk Road, the Chinese acquired a superior breed of horse that became a symbol of power and prestige. They were called "heavenly horses" and are why the accessories have an equestrian theme.
The designs are very pure and zen (the pattern reminds me of the designs you can make in the sand of a zen garden) but the techniques used to make this line were very complex. L'Objet shared that the plates are crafted with an unusually deep foot, which is almost impossible to fire and references the Chinese philosophy that we should never be too grounded, but always be lifted up a little toward heaven.
As a complement to Han; Soie Tressée offers a contemporary take on an ancient shape. The pattern references the timeless image of the silk braid, and pairs its simplicity alongside the more intricate Han pieces.
Over the years, L'Objet has incorporated bright colors and on-trend patterns (love the leopard and malachite), but this collection is classic L'Objet, featuring the crisp white Limoges porcelain and 24K gold for which they are so well known.
Here is a look at Sous le Ciel:
images via l'objet
Are you enjoying all of the sunshine as much as I am? The weather has been beautiful and I couldn't be happier about it.
I am very excited to share that Arhaus Furniture and I had so much fun working together on my guest post for their blog the greenhaus, that together (and via Arhaus' extreme generosity) we are giving away their fantastic tabletop pieces to one lucky winner!
If you win, you'll receive exactly what I used for my family dinner (pictured above):
To enter, use the widget below; there are a few different ways to enter:
Fine print: Total retail value of products is $1,392.12. No purchase required. No likes or follows required, though they're welcome! Sweepstakes is open June 4, 2014 through June 9, 2014 at 11:59pm. Winner must be resident of the U.S.; Void where prohibited. There will be one (1) winner chosen at random within two days of the end of the contest. Please use the widget to enter and submit your entry, there are multiple ways to enter and the more ways you enter the greater your chances of winning. For complete rules, click here.
Well, it seems like a million years since I had a chance to last post, but I can finally share one of the reasons I've been so busy. I was totally caught off-guard and flattered when Arhaus Furniture asked me to be the first guest blogger on their blog, Greenhaus. I've worked with Arhaus for years on editorial stories and it's always been a pleasure and I remember how fun it was to get a preview of their Manhattan flagship store before it opened.
It actually took a long time for me to figure out what I should write about for the post. I was trying to think of some grand theme I should try to create but finally it occurred to me to talk about what I know, dinners with my family, and make it look exactly like it would if I were buying it for myself with no online attention.
I knew I wanted something bright and fun, something that would make me smile, and even though I was stressing out until the very last second, I think it came out well and somehow from my brain translated to the table exactly how I wanted it to.
This was the first "full-scale" shoot I've done since I moved and let me tell you, it was as fun as I remember but so much harder! For a typical magazine shoot, you put your concept together but you can order lots of options to choose what works best together. I couldn't do that so I just had to hope that my idea would come out right and make me look like I know a little about what I'm doing and not criminally insane.
I really love the pieces I chose and I can't wait to keep using them in different ways. I had a great time digging through my own things and finding a few new pieces (can't get enough of these zebra glasses) to pair with them.
If you read the post, let me know what you think!
full disclosure: I was allowed to keep the products that I selected to photograph for my post, but all opinions are my own.
This week is Tabletop market in NY and I can't wait to see images of the new introductions. Tabletop market is one of my favorite market events (actually, I love them all), even though I don't get to work on tabletop stories very often. New place settings, serving pieces, glassware, and some giftware are on display both to the press and to retailers who decide what to buy for the upcoming season. Most, but not all, of what you see at Tabletop is high-end so it's fun to create tablescapes using these beautiful pieces.
In honor of Tabletop week, I decided to share some of my favorite tabletop pieces from past years at market (see the slideshow above) and these are still available for purchase.
Ruche by British bridal designer Bruce Oldfield for Royal Crown Derby is a pattern I fell for right away. The pattern is inspired in part by the way the silks Oldfield works with move and the ruching technique. The yellow accent plate is actually a little more chartreuse in person, and the gold bands on all the pieces are textured.
Haviland's Laque de Chine chargers are classic and come in wonderful colors, so they mix with nearly anything.
I'm not usually into the sea creature-theme, but I do love these textured plates by Richard Ginori with creatures in relief.
Kosta Boda's glass Mine collection is swirly and smoky and fabulous.
I adored Juliska's Country Estate collection from the minute I saw it because it has all these wonderful details like little hot air balloons in the scenery.
I am pretty much a fan of everything Kelly Wearstler does, including this tabletop she designed for Pickard.
I absolutely love John Rocha's Black Cut collection for Waterford. The black crystal with the cut clear crystal is so gorgeous and feels a little mysterious.
Nason Moretti's Cliff glasses are another product I was constantly drawn to.
The Harcourt glasses are the oldest collection in Baccarat's archive. I love weighty stemware and the hexagonal foot.
Saint-Louis' Les Endiablés collection is a major favorite. It's so high end, but I love the colors and the fact that they're both objet and functional glass, and can be used upside down or right side up.
The incredibly talented (and lovely) Marcel Wanders designed a line of flatware for Christofle, and the engravings are gorgeous.
Lladro is really more of a collector's brand, but the craftsmanship of the pieces is incredible and I love the creativity and whimsy of them. This Clown Lamp is by designer Jaime Hayon.
Rosenthal's Studio Line has a bunch of wonderful vases and this is just one of them. If I remember correctly, it was designed by a student.
Full admission, the Oberon pattern from Wedgwood is not one I saw at Tabletop initially, though I did see it there once I started attending market. Oberon is actually my own wedding china pattern, but I still love it, so I thought I'd share it.
images via royal crown derby, bloomingdales, richard ginori 1735, kosta boda, juliska, pickard, waterford, nason moretti, baccarat, saint-louis, christofle, lladro, rosenthal, wedgwood
I'm not the first person to be excited about Oh Joy!'s collection for Target, which just launched, and I certainly won't be the last. I have to say in all honesty, that Joy Cho is probably my favorite blogger of all right now (I even bought her book on my Kindle so I could learn more about blogging as a business, now if I could just find time to read it). In addition to having an insanely attractive family (I want to have a playdate with our daughters), her taste is fabulous, and she seems so down-to-earth and real; she's very positive, but she isn't afraid to peel back the layers and share her hectic reality. Somehow it was comforting to know that Joy struggles with a lot of the same things I do; you always know other parents feel the same way but it's reassuring to hear it anyway.
Her collection for Target is really lovely and feels very much "her"—as much as you can know someone from reading their blog, it feels like an accurate translation of who she is and her style. The products are very cheerful and feminine, and the shots from her LA launch party have so many great entertaining ideas and decor moments in them. The paper goods are adorable, but I especially love the entertaining pieces that have more longevity. The collection includes more paper goods, cutlery, decor items, cake toppers, and balloons.
The launch party in LA was intended to be an outdoor garden party, but rain drove them inside. I don't think the party lost much of anything by being indoors. There are so many great and easy entertaining ideas that I'm actually planning to blog about them tomorrow for my other job at the event planning company. But decor-wise, here's something I loved. We've seen this cocktail table around for years, but it's always in white. How fresh does it look in color? I love how they painted the tables to coordinate with the collection.
When you're adding global or ethnic touches to your decor, as many are wont to do, it's always nice if the pieces have an air of authenticity. Antique pieces often have a lot of personality, but new pieces can also bring great style to a space. Noted interior designer Sara Bengur recently debuted her newest products, which are inspired by her Turkish background and upbringing, as well as her extensive travels.
Sara has been in business nearly 20 years; her eponymous firm is located in New York. After hearing her name and seeing some of her work in publications for years, I finally had a chance to meet her at the gift show last month and she couldn't have been lovelier.
A lot of times when you ask designers what prompted them to create their own product line, the answer is that they couldn't find something they were looking for to use in their projects. "I often design custom pieces for my clients that have been inspired by either my Turkish roots or the location of the house I am working on at the time," she says. After increasing demand that she create her own line of products, she finally has.
Sara has spent a great deal of time studying and immersing herself in Ottoman designs. "The patterns have an organic quality and I love the idea of giving a new life to them in a different scale, form, and texture." Most of the products are made in Turkey, though the stoneware comes from nearby Malta. The collection features plenty of color because Sara believes rooms don't have to be neutral to be serene and cozy and she tries to encourage clients to follow suit.
Check out more of the new products:
Sara's favorite products are the peshtamals, more commonly known as hammam towels. "I call it my favorite travel accessory. You can use it as a shawl, scarf, towel, pareo, or blanket on the beach!" The peshtamals are woven by an all-women's cooperative in Southern Turkey.
My personal favorites are the covered bonbon dishes—love the scalloped edges—and the kilim runners shown at the top. A larger area rug incorporating the runners' designs is coming soon. Sara and I both share the opinion that the details and the layering of accessories are crucial to making a home more personal.
"My passion has always been to create the unexpected in interiors, something nobody has seen before. My hope is that through this line, people feel they own something unique and made just for them," Sara says.
images via sara bengur
Life's been a little crazy lately and I feel the blog has gotten the short end of the stick for sure, so thanks for hanging in with me even though there've been a lot of days without posts. I decided to do another throwback-style post today and share something I worked on three years ago.
Trad Home, Traditional Home's digital magazine was still under wraps and being produced during the early months of 2011. There was a lot of industry buzz around the issue and it was a very exciting time. We were really trying to turn people's notion of "traditional" on its head. At the time, I was also producing my first major trend feature story completely on my own (plus a bunch of other stories) for the print mag, so I actually didn't have a lot to do with the digital version, but this was my contribution.
Each editor had to select a color and source several products for the premier issue. The thing I like about this story—aside from the sorely-needed shot of sunshine it's providing—is that I would absolutely choose all of these products again. None of them seem dated; they're all as classic and relevant as they were three years ago. And not only would I choose them all again for the editorial, I would actually choose each of them in my own life. Sadly, DVF Home no longer exists. I really liked a lot of their tabletop and bedding pieces, so that's a shame.
Another thing this does is illustrate that even if you're afraid of a lot of bold color, there are small-scale ways to bring in some brights in order to add interest without overwhelming yourself. I'm a bold color girl, but I can appreciate that some might like to keep their house toned down. (A little surprise here and there never hurt anyone, though.) A bright yellow business card holder, aside from being chic, is practical, too, for finding-it-in-the-abyss-of-your-purse purposes.
In addition, you get to see what I look like with a blow-out and my head tipped at an angle, so there's that, too.
photo: my own
Hope everyone is staying warm and lifting with their knees when they shovel, it's crazy out there lately. I drove down to New York last Friday to attend NYNOW, formerly NYIGF, the gift show at the Javits Center. In two and a half days—and 2700+ pictures later—I walked every single aisle of the show and saw some great products.
Mostly, I was really excited to be back in New York and to see a lot of the vendors I haven't seen in a while, since I missed the last three shows (not sure how that time flew so quickly). It was great to catch up with people and this was my first time experiencing the show since they changed the format and rebranded. I think it worked out well to have all the home companies under one roof, though as I walked the show, I realized there were several brands that I didn't see. I'm hoping they'll be there in August.
At any rate, I'm looking forward to sharing the things that I saw over the next weeks and months. In addition to new and interesting products, the booths themselves are often styled creatively. Here are just a few fun things I noticed:
I'm working on an article that's due Friday about the house of a local interior decorator who has a fashion background. So I've had the interplay of fashion and home decor in my head for a few weeks. I happened to be checking TradHome last night to see if there was a new issue I might have missed (there wasn't, but I hope there will be one soon), and came across this menswear-inspired tabletop scheme.
The marbled cocktail plate and the flatware with sculptural handles immediately caught my eye. I think the mix of varied shades of blue and gray is so lovely and sophisticated. The combination of the blues with the pewter stoneware charger and plate, and the patterns on the cocktail plate, fabric (acting as tablecloth) and napkin… all I can think of is Stacy and Clinton from What Not to Wear (who I miss dearly): color, pattern, texture, shine. This has it all.
You know I love clever details and a touch of humor, so of course to me, the mustachioed Jonathan Adler teapot and the fabulous punchy purple bow tie used as a napkin ring around a shirt stripe-patterned cloth napkin are just the right notes to make this sing. As with fashion, it's all about layering and the details.
The plates, navy placemat, mug, and napkin are all Juliska and the flatware Mikasa. I don't know what that gray background is, but I really love it. I can't stop looking at the marbled plate against that backdrop. Adore.
image via traditional home
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