Thursday, April 30, 2009

Modern Chinoiserie

The response to my post yesterday on the gala by Mary McDonald and Nathan Turner "Chinoiserie au Jardin" makes it clear how taken people are with modern Chinoiserie. I love Chinoiserie from classic to contemporary, but the more modern take of course goes so well with a more modern place. I really like Thomas Paul and could kick myself that I did not get one of his Geisha pillows that are no longer available. The Geisha pillow is pictured below in this lovely bedroom from House Beautiful and in its pink and chocolate versions. But never fear, his Chinoiserie edition in corn, black, and moss is lovely and would work in so many homes. They are a nice large 22" square in 100% linen and quite fabulous.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chinoiserie Show House Gala

Tis the season for design show houses, with many bloggers featuring gorgeous rooms done by some of our top interior designers. I am going to the Washington, D.C. Design House today and will be attending Kip's Bay in NYC next week. I had saved these stunning photos from Veranda of the Beverly Hills Show House from last November at historic Greystone Estate. I adore anything Chinoiserie, and for the Gala, co-chairs Mary McDonald and Nathan Turner were inspired by one of my favorite books Chinoiseries by Bernd H. Dams and Andrew Zega. The real life version of this book that they called "Chinoiserie au Jardin" featured sixteen foot high pagodas, green and white striped poles, and twelve foot high banners of geisha silhouettes. Many of the recipes for the food they served are included in the Veranda article. Guests drank cocktails of lime, a ginger liquer Domaine de Canton (one of my favorites and a drop-dead gorgeous bottle), vodka, mint, and a garnish of fresh gardenia. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Pleasant Surprise

Yesterday I decided to take advantage of the wonderful weather by relaxing in my building's courtyard. The landscaping is phenomenal. It's just like an English garden. My apartment building is right in the heart of Georgetown, D.C., very convenient to my work and close to the bustling activity of M Street. The building is older, charming, and elegant. The private courtyard, quite large btw, is one of the great highlights of living here. It's nice lounging on one of the stone benches and just freeing your mind. Residents often throw parties out here in the summertime. It's easy to forget you're in the city when you're at a place like this. 

I've been living at this building for almost two years and yesterday marked the first time I saw a courtyard duck! This was an exciting moment for me because I've loved ducks since I was a kid. He emerged from the pond and headed straight towards the pansies where he proceeded to bury his beak in the grass and soil. He was leisurely strolling through the garden, perhaps enjoying his surroundings as much as I do. I was glad to discover this little guy is not picture shy. Thanks to my iphone I captured a few decent photographs. The fountain sculpture looks especially beautiful in these shots. 

Audrey Hepburn's Lace Mask

Since yesterday's post on "How to Steal a Million," I can't stop thinking about Audrey Hepburn's wonderful mask. You wouldn't believe how difficult it is to find a black lace mask appropriate for dinner or a party! After scouring the web, everything is designed for sleeping (yes, I know, that's a different Audrey Hepburn movie), Mardi Gras, or sex play. Why don't people dress like this-how fun would it be? I finally found this lovely version online from a London boutique. Yes, Brits are into their dress-up far more than we are. It is made with black Valery lace and pink silk ties from Kuati. Anyone game?

Monday, April 27, 2009

How to Steal a Million

A recent series of posts on Sanity Fair on fashion in film reminded me about the wonderful movie starring Audrey Hepburn and Peter O'Toole "How to Steal a Million." This one is worth watching just for the clothes, sets, and cars. I can't stop thinking about her stunning black lace eye mask that matches her dress and stockings-so perfect, except perhaps, for running to the bank.

Tulle Mini Hats

I have done many posts on my love for tulle, and many on hats-two things I adore. I swooned when I found these amazing little hats. These tulle mini hats or fascinators are just darling. A fascinator is a small, delicate headpiece attached with a comb, headband, or clip. They are an alternative to a traditional hat and are quite feminine, romantic, and sexy. Available at Pixie Market in black or pink and lilac, and priced at only $39, one would be perfect for a Kentucky Derby Party or day at the races, a garden party, a wedding, a tea, or just because you're alive and it's spring.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Since posting photos of this charming scalloped wedding dress and then rediscovering this photo of Zooey Deschanel in a scalloped dress, I can't stop thinking about scallops. There is something so vintage, romantic, fresh, and feminine about this look. I created a Polyvore set with some stunning Christopher Kane pieces plus some amazing shoes with scallops. This will be my new obsession until I find the perfect addition to my wardrobe.

(Top photo courtesy of Rodney Smith)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Pretty New Things

The brand new J. Crew jewelry collection is incredibly gorgeous. When I went to the store the other day there it was lined in glass cases looking fresh and one-of-a-kind. It was a feast for my eyes. This collection reminds me of a garden party. Or maybe these beauties would be ideal accessories for a tea party. My current favorite of the bunch is the sunburst cuff bracelet. I'm drawn to the glossy look of the enamel.