When I headed back home to CT after graduating from college in the Spring of 1996, with my art history degree in hand, I began a 3 day a week job at Susan Thorn Interiors. My tasks were definitely at the entry level of a design firm (ordering fabrics, organizing the sample room, etc...), but I was looking forward to gaining as much experience as I could at this established East Coast firm. Susan Thorn leans towards a style of sophisticated & classical European and American influences, with her rooms full of lovely fabrics & upholstery, period antiques, and fine art. I've always admired Susan's work for its reflection of high style, yet calming and cozy appeal. Included above and below are photos of completed spaces from Susan Thorn's portfolio....
All Images Susan Thorn Interiors
Today marks blog post #501. I thought it would be fitting to include the above photo, since it was the very first picture placed on my first blog post back on January 6, 2010. I referred to it as my "welcome mat", as it did and still does, represents the idea of what I love to write about... style, food, travel, design. Its been a great journey of discovery -- meeting artists, chefs, designers, as well as developing relationships with fellow bloggers. Here's to another 501 posts!
American painter Helen Frankenthaler died yesterday at the age of 83 at her home in Darien, CT. Frankenthaler's successful career spans over the last 6 decades. She emerged as a leading abstract painter in the mid 20th century with her developed technique of pouring turpentine thinned paint onto an unprimed canvas, allowing the paint to soak & bleed into the raw material. This "stain" method was applied to arguably her most important work to date, Mountains and Sea (seen below), painted in 1952, securing her placement among the rising and respected avant-garde artists of the day.
Mountains and Sea, (1952)
Image Elle Decor
Helen Frankenthaler's work hangs in homes above, plus three below, and watch the attached video for more.
Image Elle Decor
Vanessa De Vargas
Vanessa De Vargas, founder of the LA based interior design firm Turquoise, has earned a reputation for creating stylish fresh spaces. She layers repurposed vintage furnishings and custom designed pieces, with finishes full of pattern, texture, and color. Turquoise offers in-house design consultations, e-decorating services, as well as hand selected furnishings & accessories available for purchase through the website and Etsy store. Found below, I've included some images from Turquoise's portfolio of completed spaces that caught my eye and the photos from their work for The Good Shepherd Charity Design Project, featured in the Dec/Jan 2012 issue of Adore Home Magazine.
Mar Vista Project (top left) | Upward Bound House Homeless Shelter Project (top right) | Sherman Oaks Dining Room Project (bottom left) | Sherman Oaks Office Project (bottom right)
Images Turquoise Facebook
Let the holiday shopping continue with a stylish offer from Chic Shop, a boutique home furnishing store in LA, offering hand selected and custom designed items. Shop Chic Shop online and use code HAPPY HOLIDAYS at check out to receive 30% off your entire order, now until 1/1/12. Owner and interior designer Hillary Thomas seeks out interesting pieces to round out the overall design of a room. Pictured above are a couple of Chic Shop accessories that have caught my eye....
OK, so I went a little nuts yesterday at Whole Foods and grabbed all 6 flavors of High Road Craft Ice Cream & Sorbet offered in the freezer case. I have been meaning to sample the creamy dreamy goodness from this small Atlanta based company for a while now, and it is the holidays, right? The list includes (starting at the top of the pyramid pictured above):
- Vanilla Fleur de Sel
- Bourbon Burnt Sugar
- Caffeine & Cacao
- Aztec Chocolate & Caramel
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel
- Brown Butter Praline
My favorite of the 6 is the Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel, but full disclosure, I love anything with a Chocolate Peanut Butter combination. The neat thing about this flavor is that local restaurant chef/owner Ron Eyester of Rosebud asked the owners of High Road to perfect this ice cream flavor using the 3 featured ingredients. High Road happily obliged and even put Chef Eyester's picture on the side of the container.
Highlights from the remaining 5... love pairing ingredients from Cacao Atlanta (a local boutique chocolatier here in town) in Caffeine & Cacao. If you like a little bit spice & heat, the Aztec Chocolate & Caramel is right up your alley with hits of cinnamon & chiles. The Bourbon Burnt Sugar & the Brown Butter Praline are really rich and unexpected, but both nail such traditional Southern flavors. The Vanilla Fleur de Sel is not an intense salty flavor, just a nice subtle laying to the creamy Vanilla.
Click here to purchase online and watch the video below to learn more from the owners of High Road.
Brooklyn, NY based florist Emily Thompson was asked to lend her design services in decorating the interiors of the White House this holiday season. Thompson takes influence from nature when creating arrangements, with the addition of branches & lush greenery, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Vogue magazine features a Q&A with Thompson and among other tropics, asks what are her 3 decorating tips for at-home holiday decorating:
1. Use wild material: I always prefer to pull branches and weeds from the backyard before seeking out commercially grown flowers. In fact, I would suggest finding an interesting dead branch for your holiday centerpiece. You can dress it sparingly or elaborately, but defintely let the wood dry out first so you can eradicate any creatures that might come with it. Unless, of course, your prefer them to emerge during your dinner toasts!
2. Decorate with savory vegetables or fruits: Leeks, onions, long-stemmed garlic, black radishes, and weirdly shaped squashes can be unexpected and supremely elegant. Try nestling them in kale rosettes or other strong lettuce-aisle choices. Keep in mind these elements can have strong aromas, so consider your own instincts for pleasing smells, and consider the menu. Edible foliage makes an incredible canvas for cheeses or finger foods as well. If you prefer fruit, why not copy your favorite Dutch or Spanish still-life painting? Peel an orange in a spiral, just halfway, and let it scent the room.
3. Don’t confine your decor: Allow your flowers, vegetables, and tchotchkes to trail onto your tables and other surfaces. Let them drool down, twine upwards, splay across your walls and floors, and intertwine with the surrounding objects and architecture. This technique can make for a marvelous buffet table—you want to let everything erupt into the party.
As Quoted In Vogue
The East Room of the White House -- See behind the decorating scenes with pics form Thompson's blog and click here to read more from my previous post on Thompson.
1) Vintage Campaign Desk | 2) Pair of Ceramic Umbrella Stands 3) Chaise Lounge -- with new upholstery | 4) Pair of Vintage Arm Chairs -- with new paint & upholstery | 5) Jere Metal Wall Sculpture | 6) Glass Waterfall Style Coffee Table | 7) 30 Yards of Brunschwig & Fils Fabric | 8) Chinese Garden Stool | 9) Retro Floor Lamp | 10) Labeled Knoll Bertoia Bar Stools | 11) Chevron Detailed Basket
A video from October 13, part of the Conversations in Context series, features artist David Salle on the grounds and in the Art Gallery of The Philip Johnson Glass House. Located in New Canaan, CT, The Glass House was the home of American architect Philip Johnson and his partner David Whitney. The residence and its additional structures are part of The National Trust for Historic Preservation. Make your reservation to tour the 47 acre site by clicking here. (The photo at the top of this blog is me in front of Philip Johnson's Studio). Read more about Philip Johnson from my previous post.
With Christmas days away and so much talk of holiday travel, it makes me think back to our road trip taken 2 years ago this week from GA to CT. Jim and I opted to drive the 15+ hours, in part to get away from the craziness of airports but to also have the ability to bring back with us some larger items from my parent's home. We left on the 23rd and drove 8 hours from Atlanta to the Blue Ridge Mountains area of Virginia, allowing us to bypass the hectic I-95 corridor. As an alternate to spending the night at a typical roadside hotel, before we left town, I had researched a couple of smaller spots to stay. We settled on making a reservation at The Storefront in Staunton, VA. If you should find yourself on the same travel route, I highly recommend booking a stay.
The Storefront (pictured at right, gray brick)
The Storefront is a quaint old 2 story building located right in the heart of town, walking distance to restaurants and shopping. The exterior of the building retains its classic architecture, but the interior has been renovated with a contemporary feel. You enter right off the street into a small living area with TV and a bar (stocked with complimentary drinks & snacks). There is also a bathroom on the 1st floor. Up the staircase, you'll find a full kitchen, 2nd bath, and queen bedroom. The space is very clean and particular attention is paid to offering eco-friendly soaps & detergents (W/D provided) and recycled paper products. Breakfast at one of the 2 nearby cafes is included in the daily rate. We walked across the street and had breakfast (and picked up provisions for the road) at Cranberry's Grocery & Eatery.
Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward are the duo behind the band She & Him. Out now is their Christmas album, A Very She & Him Christmas, which includes the pair performing 12 classic holiday songs. For a little taste, watch below She & Him's recent appearance on Ellen, singing Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree. Followed by Zooey's study/music/creative room that was featured in and on the cover of the February 2009 issue of Domino magazine.
I am a little particular when it comes to going out for breakfast here in Atlanta.... the one or two places I really like are typically jammed on the weekends, so it always seems to be easier to cook at home. But, there is one spot that I must recommend, Home Grown, that seems to be under the radar (maybe because of its location) and that you can get into pretty easily on the weekends. Jim really flips for the Comfy Chicken Biscuit and I have tried the Omelette (which is packed with fresh veggies & cheese) and the B.e.S.T French Toast Breakfast (with a fried egg) that is super delicious! Home Grown also serves a variety of lunch dishes, prepared with fresh and locally sourced ingredients -- they have a vegetable garden in back of the restaurant!
My Omelette, Jim's Comfy Chicken Biscuit, and we also tried a Homemade Pancake
The Veggie Garden Out Back
Located inside Home Grown is Sew Thrifty 5 & Dime, a pop up store of sorts situated among the tables & chairs of the restaurant. The quaint space offers a collection of handmade and vintage items for purchase. My photos snapped yesterday....
The August 2010 issue of Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles magazine featured the in-town residence of former Atlanta Braves player Derek Lowe. The house was built new in 2008 in an established neighborhood, with architecture by D. Stanley Dixon and interior design by Betty Burgess. The home is currently listed for $3,495,000. Check out some interior photos below....