Saturday, February 10

The Mandarina Trading Company

While travelling back home on the train yesterday I had the chance to catch up on essential reading (namely home and fashion magazines). I read an article in Homes & Interiors of Scotland about Caroline Townsend, Co-founder of the Mandarina Trading Company—a quirky and original collection of shoes headquartered in Scotland.

If you haven’t guessed by now, I have a real weakness for shoes, handbags and accessories! Not only are the design fabulous (can’t wait to buy a pair!) the Mandarina Trading Company works with small, ethical manufacturers in India and South-East Asia, and all the products are hand-made using a unique choice of fabrics, prints, and brocades.

Thanks to everyone who posted while I was away. It was really fun to read were everyone is from and dream about all the fanatic places to travel.

all photos The Mandarina Trading Company

Thursday, February 8


I will be away for 2 days (business—not pleasure) and will post again over the weekend. In the meantime, I’d love to know where in the world All the Best readers hail from (North America, South America, Europe, Australia…)? I’d also love to hear some of your favourite places to travel.

Wednesday, February 7

Sheila Bridges

Sheila Bridges' beautiful apartment in Harlem.
All photos New York Social Diary

Monday, February 5

Profile: All the Best

Moi (Ronda of All the Best)

I had not intended to profile myself, and was quite happy to stay in hiding! However, I’ve had so many nice emails asking if I planned to profile my own blog I decided that I would. What’s the old adage? Don’t ask others to do something you wouldn’t do yourself!
All best,

Which interior designer would I most like to meet?
This is such a hard question for me to answer! There are so many designers whose work I admire! I’ll just have to name a few: Muriel Brandolini, Eric Prokesh, Ruthie Sommers, Katie Ridder, Markham Roberts, Schuyler Samperton, Lynn Von Kersting...

If I could vacation anywhere in the world where would it be?
Spain, Spain, Spain or a secluded villa in the south of France (with a pool—of course). I’d love to spend the week with my husband and son, relaxing and exploring the countryside. Each day we would go into the village to buy fresh foods for lunch and dinner, fill a jug with local wine and dine alfresco every night.

What is my favorite luxury in life?
When I’m in Texas visiting family each summer I love to spend each day at the pool ordering wine and club sandwiches. At home I love lying in bed each morning with a cup of coffee, a laptop and our puppy snuggled at my feet.

What is my favorite place to shop?
It’s hard to beat Neiman Marcus

From whom would I most like to receive a dinner invitation?
Texas socialite Becca Cason Thrash

What is my idea of a fantastic dinner party?
Beautiful surroundings, classic cocktails, diverse guests, delicious food, great music and a host who can put their guests at ease. I would have loved to have attended one of Nan Kempner’s Sunday night Spaghetti dinners.

Villa in the south of France

Sunday, February 4

Elliot Rhodes

If you love well-made distinctive belts, then you must look at Elliot Rhodes. What’s so great about Elliot Rhodes you ask? Well, for starters, you get to personalize and design a belt to your own specifications. First you choose a belt and then you choose a buckle. All the buckles attach and detach using a unique popper system.

The store has a gallery like feel, where both men and women can come and fashion their own unique creation. Handmade in Italy and Spain by traditional craftsmen, belts are available in the finest leather, suede, snakeskin, crocodile and ostrich. And the best part, there are more than 300 belts and 1000 buckles to choose from—oh decisions, decisions!

If you are lucky enough to find yourself in London you can visit the shop in the Covent Garden area or visit the Elliot Rhodes website.

all photos Elliot Rhodes

Saturday, February 3

Jay Jeffers

I am in the process of trying to convince my darling husband that yes, in fact, we DO need to wallpaper our hallway! It’s a large, long hallway (large enough for two armoires) that just cries out for a bold and fun design. When I found these photos of Jay Jeffers work, I fell in love!

Just look at the large foyer he transformed into a swank cocktail lounge, enveloped in a bold David Hicks chinoiserie print. His trademark approach to design is Sophisticated Fun—interiors that are luxurious but liveable, well-grounded, but never stuffy.

All photos Jay Jeffers

Friday, February 2

Profile: Design DNA

Amy of Design DNA

One of my favorite bloggers is Amy at Design DNA. Everyday I wait with anticipation to see what beautiful finds and photos Amy will post for the day (and most days there are several). If you’ve not seen this delightful blog you must visit Design DNA. It’s a wonderful collection of uniquely gorgeous and unusual objects.

Which interior designer would you most like to meet?
Andree Putman
How would you spend the day?
On a rocky beach, under an umbrella, with pen and paper, excitedly talking and drawing.
What is your favorite CD at the moment?
This is a hard one....I guess I will stick with a constant favorite, one of which is the small faces, a nod is as good as a a blind horse. Takes me right back to wild but simpler times.
What personal characteristics do you most dislike in a person?
If you could vacation anywhere in the world where would it be?
This is an impossible question! I guess either Paris or Ouro Preto, Brazil on Easter week. The entire week is filled with celebrations and re-enactments, but the night before Easter each family decorates a section of road with flowers and murals made from colored sawdust. All of the murals connect into a seamless, multi-colored carpet completely covering the one lane streets from one side of town to the other. Easter morning the children put on their fanciest clothes and a pair of angel wings, some of which are large and elaborate, some home made, and walk in procession over the multi-colored sawdust carpet from one side of town to the other, ending up at the cathedral for Easter service. I’m pretty sure the beauty of it would make me tip over and cry.
What is your favorite luxury in life?
The ocean
What is your favorite place to shop?
Goosebay lumber, Takishimaya, Louis Boston
What is your most prized possession?
The artwork and Christmas decorations we have made ourselves over the years and my husband's accolades.
Who is your favorite style icon?
I guess I do not have a favorite style icon. I do love French girl everyday chic. A little quirky, not over the top.

prized artwork

Thursday, February 1

Breakfasts in Paris

Leave it to the lovely Rita Konig at Domino Magazine’s Daily Dose to introduce me to the beautiful blog Paris Breakfasts. Artist and blogger Carol Gillott spent three weeks in Paris photographing glorious Parisian patisseries and then painting the food around her. The result is a beautiful collection of watercolors like the two above. Paris Breakfasts is truly a delightful feast for the eyes! Just beautiful.