Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Fixer Upper | Plants and Tassels

Porter and I are making tiny dents in our penthouse decorating endeavor and it feels so good to see it start to come together. We're going to man up this Hollywood Regency stool from ebay with suiting fabric or a nice, thick Black Watch wool for one of the three bedrooms. We want this one to feel like entering a modernized Napoleonic uniform when we're done.

Last Sunday, we hit the flower district in Chelsea and picked up this adorable olive tree, the two topiary trees below, and two box hedges that will stand guard alongside the outdoor cocktail/bar area. The patio is a miraculous 30' x 20' (it's like an entire extra loft apartment!) - with full views of Manhattan and the river.

We got four of these guys on ebay for the Napoleonic room.

I love these French-looking planters. A colonial-style couch is arriving to fit between them on Saturday!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Gettin' Out of Dodge (In Style....or Just Leather)

The lovely Chris Frey interviewed Porter and me about our travels - and the piece appears on Ebay's The Inside Source blog today! I love how they laid out my auction selections (which, in the end, mostly involve leather). Click here to see the interactive original.

War and (I'll Take 10) Pieces

The folks over at Art Knowledge News report that one ridiculously tasteful history buff's collection of militaria, uniforms and other pieces of military greatness will go on the block at Bonhams in San Francisco this November. There isn't a catalog posted on the Bonhams site yet, but stay tuned!  In the meantime, rip your heart out of your chest over this week's Quail Lodge Sale.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Remarkable Albums of Sylvia Drew

There is an art to scrapbooking, and if anyone should be crowed queen of the hobby, it's Sylvia Drew.  In the September issue of World of Interiors, her great grandson, historian Turtle Bunbury, recounts his childhood when he'd get to flip through all 240 vibrant, beautiful pages of her carefully arranged watercolors, prints and photos compiled and created from 1909 to the 1930s. They truly represent just remarkable graphic design. These shots were originally captured by James Fennell and then instagrammed by me.

You can buy a copy of the first of her four albums through the family by emailing

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Best of (in my Noggin) the NYIGF's Accent on Design

 Maybe it's because of the sheer childlike joy of giving (and getting) gifts, but I always revert to kid-like fantasies when I walk the New York International Gift Fair. Last time, I liked the very grown up Bellocq tea packaging the best, but I was really also in love with Doca Pet's doggy chew toys that looked like green plastic soldiers and smelled (and tasted, if you were to take a lick) like peanut butter. This time around, a gigantic giraffe won out. He's from the Japanese design house D-Torso and he would make any kid who got him and put him together the coolest, most imaginative tyke in school. It's die cut cardboard! But also a B.A. creature.

That said, the uber modern doll houses from Brinca Dada aren't too shabby either (yet exponentially smaller).

John Derian's booth looked just like the store, which means it was amazing (as usual). 

This Matouk towel was actually in an entirely different section, but I loved it for obvious reasons.

And we can't all be like Kate M., but we can buy oodles of her grandmother in-law from the fun folks at Kikkerland.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Playing Dress Up with Anthro (Again!)

 Last week anthropologie hosted what might have been the world's most darling blogger event since bloggers started blogging. Turns out it's just as fun to have hair, makeup and wardrobe pampering in semi-public settings as it is in your own home! They let us try on clothes from the fall line - and treated us to full shoulders-up spiffing sessions.
 I have that same J.Crew shirt that the makeup artist is wearing, but am boring and wear it with a blazer. It looks ridiculously great with a leopard print turban and tie die skirt - much, much better.

 These teats from New York Cake Pops were beautiful and maybe the best bites of cake I've ever consumed. 

 This Yabusame necklace is my favorite accessory of the fall selections (besides those amazing sunglasses Porter's wearing on top!)

The event that keeps on giving: My hair (which has been blondish for about a month now) was so big and amazing, I almost cried when I had to wash it on day three. This is day two - the best of the days. 

And here we are in the Smilebooth acting like goofs. Nice tongue, Port!

Shedding Light on the Peacock

The Smithsonian is finally shedding light on James McNeill Whistler's Peacock Room at the Freer Gallery. The restored ceramics room from shipping magnate Frederick Leyland's 1904 Detroit mansion has been open in D.C. since April, but the shutters have not. Now, visitors can see the gilt green, pottery-filled master room in its full sunlit glory on the third Thursday of each month (starting this week!).

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Library Lovin'...on the iPad

The New York Public Library isn't just scanning its photography and prints collections, it's cobbling them together as incredible, multi-media historical experience for the iPad. Download Biblion and you'll have an entire window into the 1939 New York World's Fair. The celebs, the clothes, the food, the future. It's a pretty fun ride!

My favorite item. Hard for surrealists to meet real deadlines, it seems.

They show you the backs of the photos, too!

The Greatest of Challenges: The Hoveys Take on Modern

Porter and I just found out that we get to decorate...a PENTHOUSE! And in the greatest of ironies, the we girls - who live in an apartment without windows - will be choosing and arranging items in a place that's basically a cube with 30-foot glass walls (and a 30'x20' patio!!!!). It's really quite a dream come true. The owners only instructions: No heads. I think we can handle that. (It's still going to be an amazingly hard, wildly fun load of work - and we cannot wait!).

The views from this place blow the mind. Here's a look down onto the Williamsburg Flea from that loft-apartment sized outdoor space.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Plum Crazy!

Haskell Harris at Garden & Gun asked me to cook up a fun cocktail recipe for my guest blog post on Belle Decor this month. The plums at the farmers' market this week were so ripe that their sweet smell was, well, smellable, from 20 feet away. So, they got to be the key ingredient. I've had some definite cocktail failures in my day (bacon vodka Bloody Marys really sounded like a brilliant idea! They did!) - but this one is actually shockingly good (after one initial failed attempt). Pop over to the G&G blog for the (very loose) recipe.

Perhaps my subconscious started acting up this morning, because I had no intention of placing Sylvia Plath right below my recipe for a Plum Crazy...but there she is! Oops! (And yes, I know it's actually "plumb" but that wouldn't make much sense here!).

Dead Poets Society Pt. 2 | Sylvia Plath on BBC Radio, 1962

Sylvia interviewed by the British Council's Peter Orr. 
Orr: You as a poet and a person, too, straddle the Atlantic - if I can put it that way...
Plath: That's a rather awkward position but I'll accept it.

Dead Poets Society | W.H. Auden (In Memory of W.B. Yeats)

How wonderful to hear the poet's own voice. No man honors the dead better than Auden. Well, maybe Whitman. No need for a competition, though. We're just so lucky to have had both bend the language so beautifully.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011