Fireside Beauties in Time for January!


I don’t know about you, but January feels like the l.o.n.g.e.s.t  month of the year in my view. Yes, I know, it’s not.

Can you believe mathematically March, May, July, August, October and December are just as long? January just seems to drag on and on here in New England. it’s cold. The trees are bare and stand like spooky shadows in the night. The sidewalks are treacherous, covered in grey slippery patches.

The good things, that make January bearable (because I have to find something positive in all things) are:

-fresh snow

-cross country skiing

-Being in my bed

-A warm meal and intense winter cooking (Boeuf Bourgignon, anyone?)

-Sitting next to a roaring fire

And that brings me to today’s post topic: FIREPLACES!!

I love them and truly could not live without them. Wood fires add joy and color with pops of yellow and crackling sounds. Gas fireplace designs are becoming more and more attractive and look great in more modern interiors.

They bring people together, encouraging intimate conversations with glasses of wine or hot cocoa cups, legs up on ottomans and bundled under fuzzy throws.

Here is a selection of a few fireside beauties for you to enjoy:

Concrete fireplace detail - simple color scheme.

I find this clean, rustic and sophisticated fireplace from Architectural Digest (unfortunately, I cannot locate the designer) arresting. The concrete mantel and what appears to be aged iron surround is unusual and gorgeously designed.

This Greenwich 19th century townhouse decorated by Christine Markatos and published in Architectural Digest is a stunner. Cozy, soothing and so inviting! The classic wood painted mantel has been preserved.

The gas fireplace nestled in a luminous family room style space via California Home Design is begging for company! The horizontal wood panels on the fireplace column create a wonderful focal point.

This is probably on of my favorite rooms of all times. Actress Meg Ryan’s home photographed for ELLE DECOR and decorated by Marsha Russell of Satinwood. The wrought iron grid fireplace cover juxtaposed with a slab of grey stone acting as a visual mantel shelf is simply brilliant and so clean! Note how the seating conveys warmth and invites one to sit by the fireplace.

What could have become a dark, overly rustic room is lightened up by white and organic textures, setting all eyes on this stone fireplace. Design by Michael Angus. After skiing this morning, I recommend meeting for a cup of hot chocolate right here!

This metal surround has shifting tones which almost look like brushstrokes: I love the visual interest they add to the fireplace. Note how the dark charcoal color is echoed with the seating. Via House Beautiful, designed by Erin Martin and Kim Dempster.

Colette van den Thillart's London home is a reflection of her signature style: edgy, witty and utterly fearless.

Colette van den Thillart’s London home is a reflection of her signature style: edgy, witty and utterly fearless. The classic fireplace is contrasted with fabulous pops of green and teal, via pattern and solids. Tea, anyone? via House and Home.

Enjoy, my friends! And do let me know your thoughts! Which of these fireplaces strikes your fancy?

A bientôt!!!




Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse, Savant and what a Show!-Blogfest 2012

When:  Day 1 of Blogfest 2012, Monday May 21st

Where: Kips Bay Decorator Show House, The Aldyn Residences, 60 Riverside Blvd, New York

After the ICFF, Blogfest 2012 attendees were whisked off in buses to Kips Bay for the grand Kickoff of the tour, hosted by the lovely Margaret Russell, Editor in Chief of Architectural Digest.

What is a Show House, you ask? Simply put, a designer show house is a space in which  different rooms are decorated by a few select and talented Interior Designers or Decorators, who are usually given a very short time frame to do their magic. The amount of hair pulling to meet deadlines must be tremendous, but the interiors created are superb and offer a wonderful venue for designers to showcase their talent. Show Houses benefit a charity: they are typically associated with a fundraising event, and can be visited for a fee. Kips Bay is famous for its extraordinary show of designer rooms and benefits the Kips Boys & Girls Club located in the Bronx.

The Show House celebrated its 40th anniversary this year.

If you can imagine more than 160 bloggers/interior designers squeezing themselves through the penthouse rooms, you will understand why I have a limited amount of quality wide angle photos to show :-) I concentrated on selecting  mini vignettes to share with my readers.

Entering the Aldyn Lobby.
The massive and sculptural ceiling lighting in the Aldyn lobby was not to miss.
“In Memoriam of Albert Hadley” By Bunny Williams, David Kleinberg, and Brian McCarthy. I love this wood mirror above the console table. Of course the branches contribute to giving this vignette grandeur and an organic feel.
“The Cabana” by Scott Sanders. Scott was in the room himself and kindly answered my questions. His room was bubbling with good humor. I loved the yellow grasscloth covering the walls, against this white lacquered desk by Lorin Marsh.
Another vignette in Scott Sanders’ Room. Gorgeous alabaster lamp by Lorin Marsh.
“The Conservatory” by Neal Beckstedt Studio. Le Corbusier Chaise.


Lovely, stylish vignette by Neal Beckstedt. Italian 1950s Bar Cart.
Neal Beckstedt. Neal and I exchanged a few words on the importance of texture, and I feel he does a superb job of layering and telling a story. Chevron Gear Table Lamp by Robert Altman. Blue sculptural bowl by Martin Kline.
“Foyer” by Timothy Miller of Timothy and Associates. Timothy was very excited to be invited to decorate the Kips Bay for the first time! His use of two Daum Tulip vases-including an ultraviolet one- with discreet back lighting was spectacular on the Rosewood Saarinen table. I had never seen one with a rosewood pedestal but Timothy informed me it was a unique piece.
“Kidz Rule” by Laura Bohn Design Associates. This bedroom was just fantastic, a little green and red fuzzy and textured cave for little ones. Cabrio In Space saving unit with desk/integrated bed, Edward Fields round spiral shag rug, M2L, Inc Tatino and Tatone red ottoman and seat.

“The Writing Room” by Chuck Fischer Studio. Chuck was happy to take questions and explained he created and hand painted the Chinoiserie Mural, as well as the Lee Jofa desk chair. I liked the pale and soothing melons and roses in this room, mixed with browns and blues.
Another view of a spectacular retro two arm floor lamp Chuck found at  Alan Moss Antiques.
“Gentleman’s Study” by David Scott Interiors. David (shown seated here) had created a very layered, masculine and glamorous study which I really enjoyed.
Here he is pictured in front of the most striking Larry Zox painting, a lesser known but rising artist who found success during the Color Field Movement of the 60’s.  The painting did a lot to the room, creating a wow effect.
Sculpted Bronze étagère by Paul Evans in this David Scott study, George III writing table, Jacques Adnet floor lamp.
Custom Omnibus Chaise Lounge by Vladimir Kagan Couture across from the desk.
“Le Bureau Privé (The Private Office)” by the very talented Raji Radhakrishnan (Raji RM & Associates). Sebastian Ezzaruiz Tilt Bookcase and Ralph Lauren Collector Desk.
Another view of Raji’s Room with Christophe Côme Loukoum Lamps.


Margaret Russell, editor of Architectural Digest, is shown here just before kicking off the event with Beth Greene, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Branding for Kravet, and the mastermind behind Blogfest 2012
Kravet is a 4th Generation family owned company and the organizer of Blogfest 2012. Here pictured are Lisa Kravet (her back is towards the camera), Thom Filicia on her right, and directly across from Lisa, is her husband, Cary Kravet, head of the company. My apologizes for the awkward angle, but I was stuck in a crowd, and my small stature never helps in these situations :-)

After champagne and this extraordinary tour,  we were off to Savant to learn about automation systems for residential and commercial applications.

Floating TV screen projected behind this bathroom mirror. Note, reflected in mirror is the wall control panel, allowing for control of lights and TV in the room. All Savant interiors in the NY showroom are decorated by Thom Filicia.
Great shower tiling detail in the same bathroom.

After this, some of us continued on to the next venue, Savoir Beds, to try out luxury mattresses and nibble on lemon and chocolate cakes. Savoir is a line Savoy Hotel created back in 1905 to keep their guests comfortably tucked in!

It was a fabulous day filled with intensive learning and discovery. Thank you, Kravet and thank you, Blogfest 2012!