31 July, 2011

"Sunday Runway, Details . . . "


As with interior design, we all know that a beautiful ensemble is ALL in the details.  The ritual of dressing each morning should include a few moments of important decisions.  A pair of charming cuff links.  The perfect, jaunty pair of socks.  The dimple in a tightly knotted tie.  An impeccably polished silver belt buckle.   A little flourish of personality.

Enjoy . . .


-images from Gentlemens Quarters 

29 July, 2011

"Friday at the Office . . . "


It actually comes as somewhat of a surprise.  Because I use them all the time.  In several different projects.  But.  Somehow.  In a way that I can't quite get my mind wrapped around -

I don't have any of Suzanne Tucker's amazing textiles in my own home yet.  Lush.  Beautifully coloured.  The perfect balance of a European sensibility and American style.

So - I have a wondrous collection of samples here.  All spread out on my work table.  I took a few home last night - and I'm thinking that the "Fleur de Plume" in Peridot is going to find its way into my living room in the very near future.  Sometimes we all need a new decorative pillow.  Or two.  Or three.


28 July, 2011

"With a Laser-Like Focus . . . "

From here . . .  just beautiful 

One of the most amazing aspects of design these days is the almost un-ending variety of products and inspirations readily available on the market these days.  If you're a fan of clean, modern lines - there are a plethora of options of you.  If you lean more towards lush European design, you have numerous choices.

And I guess my thoughts keep turning towards the dark, mysterious concept of 'design trends.'  What are the current trends?  Should you follow them?  Or should you avoid them like poison oak along a hiking trail? (Can you tell I was hiking in Marin County over the weekend? lol)

Jonathan Adler, New York NY 

No matter what aesthetic you're drawn to - whatever it might be - it's all waiting for you at the end of a quick google search - or a quick call to your personal interior designer.  As someone that spends a goodly amount of my workday shopping for that *perfect* item - we designers love 'the hunt.'  But, I'm always amazed - when I start looking for something specific (antique books on French history or brightly coloured broadloom for a custom entry runner) - the market seems to be flooded with them.

Is it a trend?  Or am I just paying attention . . . 

Ralph Lauren Home, Le Grand Hotel Collection
I remember years ago - on a vacation in London over Christmas - that I wanted to find some simple silver flatware for my dining room.  I didn't care if it all matched.  As long as everything felt good together.  And maybe I could find a piece or two that was monogramed with a "W."

Nick Olsen, for House Beautiful 
(photography by Bjorn Wallander)
Well, once my eyes (and my over-caffeinated brain) had latched onto the idea, it seemed as if ALL of London had been alerted to my search.  Vendors were all brimming with glorious flatware.  I even found several small complete sets with a jaunty "W" emblazoned on them.  And vintage Asprey flatware made with stag horn.  Yes, to say that the day's search was a success is a bit of an understatement.  lol.

Christina Murphy Interior
So - I was sitting with one of my clients - working on a beautiful home here in San Francisco - and the topic of chevron patterned floors arose.  The graphic pattern could be perfect for the house.  Maybe for a rug in the master bedroom.  Or maybe even for an upholstery fabric for the antique chairs in the main living room.

Mary McDonald, Los Angeles
And one simple google search (and a quick Pinterest search) - and the world is almost littered with beautiful examples of chevron patterns.  On floors.  On dressers.  On chairs.  In bathrooms.  In bedrooms.  In kitchens.

Is it just a trend?  Or a classic?  Can you, at the same time, be 'on trend' without being 'trendy?'  Maybe in the end, who cares.  We're using them regardless.  Just as I wouldn't use something *JUST* because it's the hot topics in all the shelter mags - I would also never think of *NOT* using the perfect textile, or bath fixture, or wall finish - just because it is the hot 'darling' of the design crowd.

Trends come and go.  Design is long term.  And you can always buy a great new pair of jeans if you want to stay on trend.  lol.


26 July, 2011

"Love, Love, Love . . . "


Breathe in.  Breathe out.  Breathe in. Breathe out.


(image from the website of Thom Filicia)

25 July, 2011

"Sunday Runway, Closeted . . . "

Steve Gambrel, New York, NY       

Well, if we're going to spend our Sundays together chattering on about men's fashion - we should at least spend a few moments examining where all these clothes are going to be kept.  And after spending a luxurious Saturday afternoon re-organizing my own closet - (sweaters re-folded and back in flawless organization, socks all paired back together, dress shirts back in order - solids, stripes, then patterns (from light colours to dark colours) - today seems to be the perfect day from some serious closet envy.

Of all the things that my life might be missing - having my own personal valet to maintain and organize my clothing would be the zenith of perfection.

But, until then - let's just spend a few minutes seeing how it's done . . . 

Nate Berkus, from Elle Decor
(photography by Pieter Estersohn)

Miles Redd, New York NY 

From Country Living

Ralph Lauren's Closet, from Architectural Digest
(photography by Durston Saylor)

From New York Magazine, 2009

Michael Smith, for Elle Decor
(photography by Simon Upton)

Designer and Blogger James Andrew, from New York Social Diary (photography by Jeffrey Hirsch)

The closet of The Duke of Windsor 

Inside the closet of yours truly.  And a small portion of my footwear collection.

From my interview with Mr. Peacock in 2009
(photography by Nicolas Smith)

19 July, 2011

"Just Driving By . . . "

Marshall Watson, from House Beautiful (photography by Eric Piasecki)

Just sprinting through Tartanscot here . . . I didn't have internet access at the office for the last few days . . . so, I'm spending a great deal of time getting caught up with everything here . . .

So, I'll just leave you with this wondrous living room from designer Marshall Watson.  Love the bright, clear colours.  Love the hint of lucite.  And totally love the beautiful woodwork.

Catchya later,

13 July, 2011

"Come Sail Away . . . "

“Every ship has her own personality, the tricks she does, the foibles she has.”
- Errol Flynn (
from Architectural Digest)


Because of a new project around here - we all totally have yachts on the brain.  Not one of the ultra-modern boats - but, more of a vintage 1940's kinda yacht.   Beautiful woodwork.  Gleaming with varnish.  Bold navy and white striped textiles.   Tan ankles in tattered boat shoes.  And wide-brimmed hats shielding sun-glassed eyes from the afternoon sun.

Sean Kennedy’s motor yacht, the Mariner III, was restored by designers Robert 
Bray, Michael Schaible and Mitchell Turnbough to a condition recalling 
its 1920s construction. The bridge deck, with its view into 
the pilot house, is used for sunbathing.

She is an object of beauty and strength,
and I stand and watch until at last she hangs
like a speck of white cloud
just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says, 
" There she goes! " 
- from Henry Van Dyke's "The Parable of Immortality"

President Kennedy, out on the water . . . 

Or maybe - something simple.  And plastic.  And lego?


11 July, 2011

"When SMW Met Martha . . . "


Firstly, though I have met Martha Stewart on a few occasions, the title of this post is more of a play on words than an actual announcement about my seeing Martha again.  But, I AM pleased to let you know that I'll be interviewed tomorrow (Tuesday) on Martha Stewart Living Radio (2pm eastern, 11am pacific) on Sirius/XM channel 110.  If you're not already a subscriber - you can get a FREE 7-day trail subscription and listen in!

Ryan Brockington

I'll be chatting with Ryan Brockington about solving the challenges of merging two differing styles into the same home.  So if you're struggling with your sweetie about that horrid coffee table - we might just have a solution for you!

And good heavens, call in during the audience portion - and say wonderful things about me - please!


10 July, 2011

"Sunday Runway, Summer Is a Verb . . . "


Alrighty y'all.  I've always considered 'summer' as being comprised of three holidays.  Memorial Day.  4th of July.  And Labor Day.  So just by doing some very simple math - we're two down and one to go.  So, if you've got summer clothes that need wearing - I would recommend that you get started!

Gingham.  Prints.  Madras.  Bucks.  Patchwork.  Right now.  Summer's not going to dress itself . . .


08 July, 2011

"Well-Ordered Perfection . . . "


Just feeling like I'm needing to organize.  Put away.  Place everything back in its appropriate place.  Put things where they go.  Straighten.  Catalogue.  Maybe this weekend I'll finally attack the bookcases in my library.  They could use a few hours of love and attention.

Todd Klein, for House Beautiful
(photography by Simon Watson)

The Home of James Andrew, from The New York Social Diary   (photography by Jeffrey Hirsch)
The Library of Jorge Almada, from Elle Decor
(photography by Simon Upton)

Michael S. Smith, for Elle Decor
(photography by Henry Bourne)

SMW Design, San Francisco Residence
(photography by Nicolas Smith)

The Home of Ward Denton and Christopher Gardner, from Elle Decor    (photography by Pieter Estersohn 

Ryan Korban New York, NY
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