Thursday, October 29, 2015

Design Inspiration: A Beautiful Double Front Georgian Town House with French Color Palette

House and Garden UK magazine is one of my favorite go to design inspirations.  Besides the fact that at heart I am an anglophile, I love an interior designed space to have character and personal items accumulated over time; a beautiful place that becomes a home that you can truly live in.   Happily,  I found pictures of this double-fronted Georgian town house in the town of Ludlow designed by London designer Caroline Harrowby and companion article written by authoress Caroline Clifton-Mogg.   This town house is perhaps one of the prettiest English style homes, without all of the notable clutter, with its soft French color palette, elegant furnishings, grey-painted paneled dining room, deep pink and white toile de Jouy Pompadour curtains from Christopher Moore, detailed plasterwork, a Gothic summer house, a formal garden, and a secret garden with flowering trees and shrubs.  For me this is the perfect start to my weekend... 

"The owners both have natural good taste and my job was to interpret their ideas.  I have never done such a beautiful town house - it was a complete privilege."
- Caroline Harrowby

Colefax and Fowler fabric curtains in this charming drawing room.

Beneath the main staircase is the door leading to the lovely and stately back garden.

Classical in style and charming in design, an eighteenth-century mirror hangs above a marble-topped table in the hall.

What began as a series of small rooms; is now a lovey large kitchen with a perfectly distressed built in china cabinet.

A spare room papered in Alderney from Colefax and Fowler.

A Gothic summer house, which I would have loved to see the inside, with its mainly white secret garden.  

So charming!  The owners painted dressing table from a previous home and the pretty Colefax and Fowler's Evesham print in the main bedroom.

Sigh!  Perfectly Lovely.

Flanked by lavender, a narrow canal is the focal point at the rear of the house.

To view the original article by Caroline Clifton-Mogg see May 2015 issue or online @

Photography:  Alexander James

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Blogger & Decorator Lauren Liess' New Book - HABITAT: The Field Guide to Decorating

One of the perks of blogging is being sent new books to introduce.  I came home to find blogger and decorator Lauren Liess' new book HABITAT: The Field Guide to Decorating sitting on my kitchen table.  Along with her very popular blog Pure Style Home, Lauren and her husband David run their interior design firm and textiles company in Great Falls, Virginia.  Her newly released book, Habitat, is currently featured in the November issues of two magazines: Country Living and Family Circle.  Leiss' new book is a design reference guide that is broken down into three parts: The Fundamental Elements of Design, with each chapter devoted to a particular element, such as color, lighting, and furniture; The Intangible Elements of Design or the JE NE SAIS QUOI (that certain something), such as aesthetics and creating a mood; and a Room-by-Room Guide to the unique room-specific challenges of a house.

Her design approach is family and pet friendly, with an earthy neutral palette and an eclectic touch.  Design is always personal, but no matter your design style, Habitat is a comprehensive guide to her step-by-step design process and decision making.  Her hope: that it inspires you to have fun while decorating, to slow down, enjoy the process, and confidently hold fast to your vision...    

"Decorating is about so much more than fabrics and furniture; it's about envisioning how people will wake up, perform daily routines...  It's about living. " 

"The environment, or habitat, we create for ourselves should reflect every detail of our lives"  

"Hallways can serve as galleries, displaying interesting pieces of art or photographs... Never think of a corridor as simply a "pass through," but use it as a creative opportunity to add function and interest to the home."

"A central fixture overhead in the foyer helps set the tone for the rest of the home... If the foyer is large enough, a table lamp or sconces (or both!) add a welcoming glow."

"In our living room, we added the main focal point, 
the floor-to-ceiling fireplace."

"In the plain Jane dining room of our rustic contemporary 1970's house, we applied cedar planks to the ceiling for character and warmth.  The room was instantly transformed, and we benefit from the side effect of the wonderful smell of cedar. "

"I often begin to design a room with a single swatch of fabric.  It may be a pattern or a solid, but my goal is to select a fabric that is utterly and completely "my client."

My sincere thanks to ABRAMS - The Art of Books since 1949, for sponsoring this book review.  It has truly been a privilege. I would also like to thank Clarie Bamundo, Director of Publicity and Brand Strategy at ABRAMS for her kind consideration.

And my sincere congratulations to Lauren Liess on her very great success; a new book and two magazine spreads, wow!  I am sure it's just the beginning.  All the best to you and your family.

*All quotes by Lauren Liess
**All photos courtesy ABRAMS Books, except textile photo: courtesy of Pure Style Home Blog

Thursday, October 8, 2015

AERIN'S Chic Fall 2015 Campaign for the Home Inspired by Paris

Fall is beginning to make its way into these October days here in California, and the leaves have quietly begun to turn, leaving a tapestry of color to enjoy.  After being unplugged due to a wrist/hand injury incurred while pulling, OK tripping, with luggage, I'm back in business with AERIN's sophisticated and chic Fall 2015 campaign for the home.  Her new video's backdrop was none other than the gorgeous Carlton Hobbs' antiques gallery on East 93rd Street, captured by Douglas Friedman's unerring eye.  Aerin Lauder is always effortlessly chic, naturally beautiful, and utterly charming.  Her new lifestyle video to introduce her Fall home line is gorgeous, and you will want to view the entire video.  Here are some behind the scenes pictures I screened captured to inspire your home's transition from Summer's cool colors to the rich tapestry of Fall ...

"The palette in the AERIN Autumn collection was inspired by Paris, from the sophistication of the Right Bank with warm browns and greens found in nature, as well as brass and flecked gold in artisanal ceramics, to the bohemian Left Bank's bronze, gray and black influenced by the streets and boulevards." 


To view the behind the scenes FALL 2015 Lifestyle  video by Douglas Friedman

 A list of her favorite places and thing to do in Paris, the City of Lights on her blog:  World of Aerin.

To view and purchase the Fall Essentials 2015 Collection

To view the entire line: New Arrivals

Photo credit:

Friday, August 21, 2015

Sharon Santoni's New Book: "My Stylish French Girlfriends"

My French Country Home blog showcases the impossibly beautiful French life of Sharon Santoni.  Along with her gorgeous flower arrangements, the antics of her two dogs, her brocante tours, and her charming guest cottage, comes inspirational introductions to the French women she calls friends.  I have followed her "life as it should be" blog for many years and was thrilled when Sharon allowed me the opportunity to share some of the gorgeous photos of her debut book My Stylish French Girlfriends which showcases twenty of her girlfriends from different walks of life, some who live in grand châteaux, and others in charming little cottages or Parisian apartments.  It really is the must-buy book to curl up in bed with; add breakfast on a tray, or a cup of tea in a quite corner of your home, and you have the perfect beginning to a lovely weekend. - Jouir

"It is this insider's view, this private, discreet side to French living and to the French women I know that I wish to portray.   Women who work every day, with passion, who love to take care of their homes, their families, themselves."
-Sharon Santoni

"These portraits of women and homes show a side of France that visitors don't normally get to see.  I deliberately sought out women from all over the country...  Each girl friend was chosen because she has a story to tell and a great lifestyle to portray."
- Sharon Santoni





Un grand merci to the lovely and stylish Sharon Santoni for the opportunity to share with you her beautiful book.   

To purchase your copy:

Photography by Franck Schmitt

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Nancy Meyers The Designing Director Latest Film, THE INTERN

A Nancy Meyers' movie is synonymous with great design.  Many go to see her films just for the sets such as Something's Gotta Give or the English Cottage charm in The Holiday.  Today, I picked up the new September issue of Traditional Home magazine, and I was thrilled to see an article by Cathy Whitlock giving us a sneak peak on the set of Ms. Meyers latest movie, The Intern, staring Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway.  Ms. Meyers' design was influenced by the Brooklyn brownstone of J.Crew creative director Jenna Lyons (love J.Crew).

"Her house had a hip, youthful vibe but was a traditional Brooklyn brownstone, so the juxtaposition was interesting.  It was really so chic, and I felt it reflected Jule's world (Anne Hathaway's character) .
- Nancy Meyers

Kitchen Photos: Joshua McHugh

Nancy Meyers' designs are always realistic and always on trend.  Ms. Meyers gives this enviable kitchen a stylish spin, an elegant modern mix with a traditional center.  The bistro shelves, white marble counters, Hampton blue cabinets and moldings around the windows add a current feel, while retaining the original fireplace and antique wood floors of this Brooklyn townhouse.

Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures

"Because Jules and her husband are a young couple, we tried to furnish their house on a budget - the budget they would have."
-Nancy Meyers

Photo: Francois Duhamel

Mrs. Meyers filled the set with furnishings from local antique stores and catalog items: a Restoration Hardware reclaimed dining table, a Lindsey Adelman chandelier, and Josef Hoffmann dining chairs.

Photo Francois Duhamel

Nancy Meyers' Design Inspiration for Jule's home:

Jenna Lyon's former Brooklyn Townhouse, which by the way was sold and redesigned by the design firm of Roman and Williams.

To see more of Nancy Meyers' set design of The Intern, visit: 

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