Tuesday, January 27, 2009


To me, maps are very symbolic. They tell you where you are and how to get to new places. They show you where you've been and how you got to where you are now. If you look at an older map, it will remind you that things change: borders, names of countries, even geography.

So of course, I love the idea of incorporating maps into a room. I used to get my ex-boyfriend an antique framed map for his bedroom every year-- always of a country he had been to or of a place that had a special meaning. I always thought they were great gifts... they have character (especially antiques), they're cool to look at and can have a sentimental value. Now I have to start my own collection!

As you can see in these examples from a Hallmark magazine, you can get two completely different looks with two different maps. A more colorful and bright approach:
Or a more sophisticated and rich approach... (by the way, LOVE the trunks as a coffee table and the dog!)
I can't decide which look I like more, both rooms look so cozy and warm!

Maps are also a colorful AND educational addition to a child's playroom. Barbara Westbrook thought so too!

Thomas O'Brien even hung a map in his own home:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I'm Baaaack...

After being laid off in November I have been entirely too distracted, disillusioned and busy to blog. BUT... the other night I went to the new home of some friends of my sister's, Erin and David, and was finally inspired again! They are currently remodeling their house and David, an artist and carpenter, is doing the bulk of the remodeling himself. It is still under construction but some of the unique details are already obvious... like the hardwood flooring that David took off of the kitchen floor and reused horizontally on the back wall of the kitchen. Maybe they'll let me come back and take some pictures when it's done?!? ;-)

I LOVED these lights that David created using old glass jars. Each glass is a little different and so gorgeous and nostalgic that they'd be interesting alone... but what an amazing way to reuse them instead of letting them sit somewhere in the back of your basement forever!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Charlotte Moss - Architectural Details

Here are a few of my favorite images from Charlotte Moss' Manhattan apartment which was featured in the November-December of Veranda that just came out. I so admire her style and unique aesthetic. But what I loved most about her apartment were all of the architectural engravings. Using classical architectural engravings as art... or even wallpaper... is a great way to incorporate an appreciation for classical architecture and design without having to have a completely traditional interior.

Love the custom wallpaper-- makes something "old" seem very new!

Notice the back of the door is also covered in the architectural wallpaper.

I hope to start my own collection of architectural sketches soon. I wish I had started when I was studying in Italy... but I'll just add that to my list of reasons to go back! I love that she has hung her collection at eye level and below... definitely helps out the vertically challenged like myself!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Downtown Canopy Chair

I love the dramatic shape of Downtown's Canopy Chair and the air of mystery it solicits. Wouldn't you just feel like the Godfather??

It will belong in my study and I will cover it in Kelly Wearstler's Giraffe fabric from Schumacher...
...one day. Until then, telling you about it will have to do!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I have nothing to say except that I hope all the negative and hateful comments end soon. It is hard to enjoy such an exciting and happy moment in our nation's history and future when it brings to my attention how racist, intolerant and petty some people are... even some of my good friends. When it comes down to it, we all want the same things in life. So let's find some common ground, move forward and lay off the cynicism.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Everything Ina

I want to be Ina Garten one day. I love her show, I love her monthly columns in House Beautiful and working at Williams-Sonoma part-time has allowed me the priviledge of thumbing through her cookbooks when there is some down time. Her recipes are so simple but so luxurious, proving that very often, less is more and simplicity is elegant... and delicious! And she really seems like a cool person too. She ALWAYS has people just dropping by her house for dinner on the Barefoot Contessa show. And did you know that she used to work at the White House?? She got bored and decided to buy a small specialty foods store in the Hamptons on a whim. It (obviously) ended up being incredibly successful and is what led her to write multiple cookbooks and get her very own show on the Food Network.

Her home was featured in House Beautiful last month and she just came out with a new cookbook that is FABULOUS! Here are some of the photos of her house and a couple recipes I have on my list to try soon.

A view of the kitchen and dining area. I love the idea of lamps on the long island. When the cooking is complete and you're ready to sit down to dinner you can just switch off the overhead lighting for a more warm, intimate and formal feel.

The key to a great kitchen: a place for everything and everything in it's place :-)

Always a fan of a gorgeous bathtub with a view.

Love the desk!

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

1 small eggplant, peeled and 3/4-inch diced
1 red bell pepper, 1-inch diced
1 yellow bell pepper, 1-inch diced
1 red onion, peeled and 1-inch diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup good olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound orzo or rice-shaped pasta

For the dressing
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/3 cup good olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To assemble:
4 scallions, minced (white and green parts)
1/4 cup pignolis (pine nuts), toasted
3/4 pound good feta, 1/2-inch diced (not crumbled)
15 fresh basil leaves, cut into julienne

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Toss the eggplant, bell peppers, onion, and garlic with the olive oil, salt, and pepper on a large sheet pan. Roast for 40 minutes, until browned, turning once with a spatula.
Meanwhile, cook the orzo in boiling salted water for 7 to 9 minutes, until tender. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the roasted vegetables to the pasta, scraping all the liquid and seasonings from the roasting pan into the pasta bowl.
For the dressing, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper and pour on the pasta and vegetables. Let cool to room temperature, then add the scallions, pignolis, feta, and basil. Check the seasonings, and serve at room temperature.

Parmesan Roasted Asparagus

2 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus (about 30 large)
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 lemons cut in wedges, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
If the stalks of the asparagus are thick, peel the bottom 1/2 of each. Lay them in a single layer on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and return to the oven for another minute. Serve with lemon wedges.

Tuscan Lemon Chicken

1 (3 & 1/2 pound) chicken, flattened (see note)
Kosher salt
1/3 cup good olive oil
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon halved

Sprinkle the chicken with 1 teaspoon salt on each side.
Combine the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a ceramic or glass dish just large enough to hold the flattened chicken. Add the chicken, turning it in the dish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight, turning once or twice.

When ready to grill, prepare a hot charcoal fire on one side of a grill (or turn a gas grill on low heat). Spread most of the coals across half of the grill. Place the chicken on the opposite side of the grill skin side up, and weight it down with the dish you used for marinating. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until the underside is golden brown. Turn the chicken skin side down, weight again with the dish and cook for another 12 to 15 minutes, until the skin is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through. Place the lemon halves on the cool side of the grill, cut side down, for the last 10 minutes of cooking. Remove the chicken to a plate or cutting board, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Cut the chicken in quarters, sprinkle with salt, and serve with the grilled lemon halves.

NOTE: Stand the chicken upright and cut out the backbone with a large kitchen knife. Spread the chicken open on a board with the skin side down. Cut around and remove the breast-bone with a boning knife. (You can ask your butcher to do all of this for you.)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Plug Lighting out of L.A. has some awesome light fixtures. I'm not sure if I'd ever use them in my own home but I still love looking at them! I think a lot of them look like some kind of weird sea creatures!!

Poppy Chandelier

Methacrylate Light Sculptures - by Jacopo Fogini

Bobbin Pendant

Red Sculptures Chandelier - by Jacopo Fogini

Urchin Pendant - by Helen Gifford

Anemone Table Lamp

Seapod Wall Sconce