Happy Birthday Queen Elizabeth II

Hale and hearty design devotees shopping The Decorative Fair, underway in London’s Battersea Park since Tuesday, have been known to unearth an astonishing array of antiques and vintage wares, many of them celebrating some of the world’s most memorable occasions. Spied this year, just in time to celebrate the birthday of Queen Elizabeth II, are […]

Fine Specimens of Ceramics and Glass

  The New York Ceramics & Glass Fair closed to healthy sales and good attendance in January, not a surprise given the beautiful objects d’art and antiques I’m using to illustrate this post, though it certainly is given the blizzard that took over New York City the weekend it debuted. Even slight foot-traffic would have […]

The Well-Appointed Library

Henry Ward Beecher quipped, “A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life.” He was speaking of public libraries but I feel just as strongly that having a “room of one’s own” at home is as essential as having books housed miles away. And it’s not only volumes bringing on the […]

A House of Bourbon Holiday

My latest post on The Diary of an Improvateur features a literary design escapade I’ll be taking next month when I visit Bernardaud in Limoges during my trip to France for Maison & Objet. The manufacturer’s Historic Table patterns include one bought by Louis XV for Fontainebleau, for instance and Marie Antoinette’s pattern. These reach […]

The Orient Expressed

I’ve been watching Asian-inspired design take an uptick in popularity during the past several months, and not just in the US. As I was walking around Chelsea during a trip to London in April, I spotted products celebrating the spirit of the Orient in the windows of Designers Guild and India Jane. My inbox seemed […]

A French Garden House Bastille Day

Those of us in the design world who have been knocking around social media for a while have come across and created relationships with some pretty special individuals. Lidy Baars, the executive antique dealer and curator at the French Garden House, is one of my newer friends, though no less special than the peeps I’ve […]

Tile Envy Between the Covers

“My first meaningful encounter with tiles came in the form of an unremarkable cathedral whose only ornamentation was a spire covered in deeply colored mosaic tiles,” wrote clé founder Deborah Osburn in the introduction to her new book Tile Envy. “Not only did the tiles completely elevate the structure from drabness, they also protected it […]

The Hazards of Antiques Envy

Sometimes it’s more difficult than at others to do the work I do, and one of the toughest stretches I will face in quite some time will be attending The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair in London’s Battersea Park a week and a half from now. This has nothing to do with the number of […]

Talent Comes to Town

The Architectural Digest Home Design Show opens tomorrow and the buzz is growing by the nanosecond. As I was going over the programming schedule, I came across Barbara Westbrook’s name, quite a lucky happenstance since I had just received a review copy of the Atlanta-based interior designer’s beautiful new coffee table book published by Rizzoli. […]

A Slice of Show House Birthday Cake

It’s always a pleasure to see how talented designers mix the varied ingredients they source when they are fashioning rooms, every element holding a pinch of sorcery in the right designer’s hands. The magical details are never too subtle or too small—the understated arc of a chair’s profile echoed in the scalloped top of an […]

Urban Archaeology Excavated

It’s been snowing hard this morning (For once the weathercasters got it right!) and the cityscape below me is whitening, the flakes muting the normal cacophony I hear when I’m at my desk. But I haven’t been in New York City for the past few hours. I’ve been in Paris and the Amish country of […]