Tuesday, December 29

All the Best SFERRA Events 2010

I am very much looking forward to several trips to the States in 2010 and continuing in my role as Brand Ambassador for SFERRA. Together we will be hosting more parties to meet and engage designers, fellow bloggers and design aficionados.

Due to space limitations, the SFERRA events will again be by invitation only. However, I would love to meet as many of you as possible. If you are a designer or blogger in the Chicago, Dallas or Atlanta area, please send an email to allthebestevents@googlemail.com with your city in the subject line. We will try to included as many as space will allow.

The SFERRA event in Chicago will be hosted by Alessandra Branca, the Atlanta event will be hosted by Phoebe Howard and the Dallas event will be hosted by Michelle Nussbaumer.

Monday, December 28

Freezing Fog

We've had freezing fog in Scotland today, yes freezing fog! Before today I had no idea there were so many types of fog - ice fog, steam fog, coastal fog, hill fog, advection fog and radiation fog.

For those for are interested, freezing fog is composed of feathery ice crystals that are deposited on the windward side of vertical surfaces such as lamp-posts, fence-posts, trees and overhead wires (thanks BBC for our lesson today). My husband captured a few stunning photos in our back lane and garden this afternoon (of course I am biased). Enjoy!

Photos copyright Christopher Carman

Saturday, December 26

Holiday Wish List: Amy Lau

If you received all the books on your holiday wishlist, here are a few more that interior designer Amy Lau recommends. Amy has impeccable style and an impressive knowledge of art and design. Following her degree in Art History, Amy received a Masters in Fine and Decorative Arts from Sotheby’s graduate program where she studied with leading curators, art historians and industry professionals.

Amy's curatorial eye and deep passion for design were further honed at Aero Ltd., where she served as director under founder Thomas O’Brien. She was subsequently appointed design director of New York City’s noted Lin-Weinberg Gallery, which specializes in international mid-century modernism. Amy founded her New York-based interiors firm in 2001.

Design for a Living World by Ami Vitale
Dive in Style by Tim Simond
Visionaire No. 56: Solar
Liberty & Co. in the Fifties and Sixties: A Taste for Design by Anna Buruma
Slash: Paper under the Knife by David Reserve McFadden

Friday, December 25

Merry Christmas from Scotland

We awoke this morning to a white Christmas

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas. May your holidays be filled with great joy and all the best 2010 has to offer.

Much love,

Wednesday, December 23

The Homies 2009

It’s that time of year again! Apartment Therapy has opened up nominations for the 2009 Homies Awards. You can nominate as many blogs as you like in the following categories: Home Design, Home Tech, Kids at Home, Green Home, and Home Cooking.

If you’d like to vote for All the Best in the Home Design category you can do so here! Thank you to everyone for your continued support!

Tuesday, December 22

Holiday Book List: Georgia Tapert

I have had the pleasure of getting to know the lovely and very stylish Georgia Tapert this past year. Former design assistant to David Easton, Haynes-Roberts and Mica Ertegun (MACII), Georgia has a clear and heightened sense style and design. Her eponymous store Georgia Tapert Living in SOHO is a comprehensive collection of her extensive travels from across Europe, India, Asia and South America.

I recently learned that Georgia is daughter of writer Annette Tapert (her stepfather is a writer, Jesse Kornbluth). Annette’s book The Power of Style is on of my all-time favorite books to read again and again. It’s easy to see that style, talent and literary love run in the family.

The Penguin hardcover classics designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith

The Penguin hardcover classics designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith

Life is Meals by James Salter. Its not a new book, but I like to give it to foody friends.

I will also give the Jacque Adnet book. Its in French, but I have so many friends that have been waiting for a copy. Hopefully they will do an English edition soon.

I just finished reading a book Peter Viertel wrote in the 70s called Bicycle on the Beach. I will be giving this book to some girlfriends.

Jacques Grange

The penguin classics are on my want list too. I would also like to receive the Yves Saint Laurent book.

Monday, December 21

All I Want for Christmas is Grace Kelly's Wardrobe

I will be making a trip to London in April. The spectacular wardrobe of Grace Kelly, one of the most popular and iconic actresses of the 1950s, will be on display at the Victoria & Albert museum in London from April 17th - September 26th 2010.

Tracing the evolution of her style from her days as one of Hollywood's most popular actresses in the 1950s and as Princess Grace of Monaco. The display will present over 50 of Grace Kelly's outfits together with hats, jewelery and the original Hermès Kelly bag. Dresses from her films will be shown as well as the gown she wore to accept her Oscar award in 1955.

Grace Kelly as Tracy Lord in 'High Society', 1956.

The exhibition will feature dresses from her films such as 'Rear Window'. The dress Kelly wore for the film, above, inspired Carolina Herrera to design her own version.

The belted, short-waist dress, by Barnell of New York, which Kelly chose to wear for the announcement of her engagement, will feature at the V&A.

The display will also include the lace ensemble worn by Grace Kelly for her civil marriage ceremony to Prince Rainier in 1956 and 35 haute couture gowns from the 1960s and 70s by her favorite couturiers Dior, Balenciaga, Givenchy, and Yves St Laurent.

Saturday, December 19

Holiday Book List: Kathryn M. Ireland

If you are looking for any last minute gift ideas, take a few suggestions from interior and fabric designer extraordinaire, Katheryn M. Ireland. Kathryn's own book, Creating a Home, is a personal favorite.

Books Kathryn would like to receive:

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
by Stieg Larsson
Elle Decor Style & Substance by Margaret Russell
Marie-Antoinette and the Last Garden at Versailles by Christian Duvernois, François Halard
Paintings in the Musee d'Orsay by Serge Lemoine
The Main Line Country Houses by William Alan Morrison

Books to give:

Josef Koudelka published by Aperture
Creating a Home by Kathryn M. Ireland
The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier
The Blessing by Nancy Mitford
Mark Rothko by the National Gallery of Art, Washington

Thursday, December 17

One Kings Lane: A Special Gift for Readers

Yesterday I had a most wonderful and inspiring conversation with Alison Gelb Pincus, one of the founders of One Kings Lane. Susan Feldman is the other mastermind behind the popular online, home-oriented private sales destination for design enthusiasts.

The Manhattanites long shared a love of private sample sales. However, their access to samples sales ended when both moved to the West Coast. It was then they began to dream: What if there were a shopping destination that offered the remarkable deals of a sample sale, but with top quality, curated goods (no need to dig for great finds!)? And what if it could be accessed from the convenience of home (or the office)? This was an idea even New York City dwellers would love!

One Kings Lane is a perfect blending of their combined experiences in retail, apparel and digital media; their passion for home decor and design; and their entrepreneurial spirit.

One Kings Lane work directly with the top brands to bring you all the best in home decor- at truly sensational prices. In addition to fabulous buys, Susan and Alison love learning from their favorite interior designers. Most recently they launched the fabulous "Get Inspired" section and a selection of Holiday ‘how to’ videos.

Alison and Susan have a special gift for All the Best Readers!
Join One Kings Lane by December 31, 2009 (it's free to join) and receive $10 instant credit. Simply click here. Just in time for the holidays!

Wednesday, December 16

Meet Kathryn M. Ireland

Join Kathryn M. Ireland for a reception, insights and book signing

Thursday, December 17, 2009
4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Rooms & Gardens
924 State Street
Santa Barbara, California

All the Best + Home Plus Scotland

I was both honored and delighted when Home Plus Scotland Magazine approached me about becoming a contributing editor and columnist for their magazine. As I wrote in my first column, "Never in a million years did I imagine that I would one day write a blog, much less end up living in Scotland and writing for Home Plus Scotland. Life has a funny way of bringing about the unexpected. Through my writing for Home Plus Scotland, I hope to share many homes (plus people) from both Scotland and around the world."

I am thrilled that Brad Ford was selected for my first profile, and that his project made the cover! Home Plus Scotland's new website went live today and they are now on Twitter. Please make them feel welcome! You can read my first column, Brad's profile and my article here.

Tuesday, December 15

Philip Gorrivan + Canadian House and Home

I was thrilled to receive an email from Philip Gorrivan last night telling me of his Toronto project that is featured in the January 2010 Canadian House and Home (it got the cover as well). I have been hearing so many wonderful things about Canadian House and Home as of late. And, I must confess, that I have been obsessed with Suzanne Dimma's chic style since my profile on both her and her husband, Arriz Hassam, the past summer.

I especially love the David Hicks wallpaper in yellow and the dining room in Benjamin Moore Electric Orange. It took 12 coats of paint and 2 coats of glaze to achieve the rich color and sheen. Stunning! Pick up a copy if you can (maybe someone can send me copy too).

Monday, December 14

Christmas at the White House

Author Jennifer Pickens

The lovely Jennifer Pickens recently sent me a copy of her fabulous new book Christmas at the White House. Jennifer, a fellow Texan, spent more than four years researching and writing this wonderful book. Christmas at the White House beautifully documents the lavish private and public Christmas celebrations, decorations, themes and traditions spanning half of a century.

Illustrated with more than 500 photographs, many of which have never been viewed by the public before, this book is a real jewel. At Jennifer’s insistence the book was printed and bound in the United States by Williamson Printing located in Dallas, Texas. Williamson is a premier 125-year-old “green” printer using earth friendly dyes, 100% wind generated power, and recycled paper that contains 10% recovered fiber content, certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

A portion of the proceeds from this book will go to the White House Historical Association.

1961 - Caroline Kennedy and the Official Tree

1971 - Pat Nixon and Julie Nixon Eisenhower

1984 - Nancy and Ronald Reagan

2004 - Grand Foyer Pianist

2007 - Barney and Miss Beazley

You can see additional photos on Cote de Texas

Saturday, December 12

Shopping on Saturday: Nickey Kehoe

Celebrate the holidays today at the one day shopping event at NK Shop in LA. While shopping you can enjoy a cup of hot cocoa. If you fancy a spiked cocoa, just tell them you are an All the Best reader. All tabletop, home accessories and regular priced furniture will be marked 20% off today only. Enjoy shopping on Saturday!

Nickey Kehoe Inc.
NK Shop
730 North Highland Avenue
Los Angeles, California

Thursday, December 10

Loving Lonny: Issue 2

The December issue of Lonny is now live and it's even better than the premiere issue. Click here to read it for yourself. I was thrilled to see Kelly Wearstler's SFERRA line in the issue and beyond delighted (and surprised) to see my SFERRA partnership mentioned. Thank you Lonny. You are the BEST!

Wednesday, December 9

Holiday Booklist: Kristen McGinnis

Kristen with Santa

I adore Kristen McGinnis’ holiday booklist—it is as eclectic and chic as the interior designer herself. Originally from North Carolina, Kristen attended the prestigious visual arts program at the North Carolina School of the Arts. Following her passion Kristen moved to New York to study fashion design at Parsons School of Design. Using both her learned and innate talents she landed a coveted senior position with Sills Huniford Associates.

In 2005 the talented Kristen opened her own New York-based firm, Kristen McGinnis Design, Inc. This past April, Traditional Home Magazine selected McGinnis as one of the Top 20 Young Interior Designers to Watch. Most recently she was honored by Jamie Drake and the International Furnishings and Design Association as a Rising Star of Interior Design.

Kristen's books to give as gifts:
The Private World of Yves Saint Laurent & Pierre Bergé by Robert Murphy & Ivan Terestchenko

This is the perfect salve for those who missed out on picking up the Christie’s auction catalogue. I love that this book not only shows the well photographed Rue de Babylone residence; but also Berge’s home on Rue Bonaparte; the couture salon on Avenue Marceau; Chateau Gabriel, their house in Deauville; and their houses in Tangier, and Marrakech. A true feast for the eyes!

Jacques Grange Interiors
by Pierre Passebon
One of my all time favorite interior designers! Page after page of eye candy!

The American Ambassador's Residence in Paris by Ulrich Leben and Robert McDonald Parker

An inside look into one of the most prestigious hotel particuliers on the Rue du Fabourg Saint-Honoré.

Casa No Name by Deborah Turbeville
I just came across this book after seeing the must see Turbeville show at Pucci. Her haunting images of her house in Mexico are quintessential Turbeville.

Calder Jewelry by Alexander S. C. Rower and Holton Rower
All of my friends know that I love and collect artist jewelry. This book in particular is quite breathtaking. Many didn’t know that Calder made jewelry. Highly sought after by collectors and museums, the pieces were originally worn by many artists and notable patrons such as Peggy Guggenheim and Georgia O’Keefe.

Books Kristen would love to receive: (hint, hint)

Isabel Toledo: Fashion from the Inside Out by Valerie Steele and Patricia Mears
I have loved her timeless designs since I was a student at Parsons. She is an architect with fabric.

Insects by Thierry W. Despont
For my Esquire Soho Lufthansa kitchen, I incorporated 2 of Thierry Despont’s insects into my design. I came across his show at the Marlborough Gallery last year and fell in love. Despont is an acclaimed architect that many do not know is also a very talented artist.

Cy Twombly Catalogue Raisonné 4 Volume Box Set
by Cy Twombly
This is the must have book for all Twombly lovers, myself included!

The Wirtz Private Garden by Marco Valdivia
As much as I love living in New York City, it makes me crave a house in the country where I could be inspired by this wildly admired Belgian landscape artist.

Jean Despres: Jeweler, Maker, and Designer of the Machine Age by Melissa Gabardi
I adore his industrial and bold covet worthy jewelry!

Tuesday, December 8


A huge thank you to everyone who entered The Editor at Large/All the Best contest and a special thank you to the judges: Julia Noran, Sophie Donelson, Alison Hall, Vanessa Kogevinas, Marisa Marcantonio, Eugenia Santiesteban and Carolyn Sollis.

The Editor at Large
judges have selected the following three projects to be showcased in The Editor at Large Projects Database. Congratulations to David Cafiero, Elizabeth Dinkel and Robert Passal!

David Cafiero Grey Gardens LLC/Cafiero Select

Elizabeth Dinkel Design

Robert Passal

There were so many fabulous entries, and I will be posting a few of the projects to All the Best in the next few weeks.

Monday, December 7

Red, White & Blue Christmas

I love a trio of red, white and blue. For me, it has such timeless appeal, and can easily take on a traditional and whimsical look, especially during the holidays. Mary McDonald always works magic with these colors.

A graphic red and white painting by Alexander Liberman marries with blue and white porcelain in a dining room designed by Alex Papachristidis. The Brunschwig & Fils tapestry 'tablecloth' unifies the rich colors of the room.

One of my all time favorite rooms is that of Tulsa jewelry designer Angie Bovaird. The red and blue Cloisonné vases overflowing with greenery and miniature potted cypress trees look so festive against the red and white walls.

An antique Chinese panel in red and gold sparkles in the dinning room. Hand carved wooden topiaries take on the shape of Christmas trees.

Sunday, December 6

Carolyne Roehm’s Cream of Chestnut Soup

This time of year I am always reminded of how much I love my Carolyne Roehm Winter Notebook. The images and recipes never fail to excite and inspire. I think Carolyne’s Cream of Chestnut Soup would make a wonderful addition to any holiday meal.


2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped shallots
1 cup Sauternes
4 cups chicken stock (veal stock is preferable if available)
1 can (15.5 ounces) pureed chestnuts
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Chopped parsley or chervil for garnish

In a medium saucepan, heat butter on medium heat. Add shallots and sauté for 10 minutes. Add Sauternes and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

Add chicken or veal stock, bring to a boil and reduce heat. Add chestnut purée and whisk until smooth. Add cream, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve immediately, garnished with chopped parsley or chervil.

Makes 6 servings

Thursday, December 3

Meet Kelly Wearstler - By Invitation Only

Twenty five (25) lucky All the Best readers will be invited to join SFERRA and Kelly Wearstler at ABC Carpet & Home in New York on Thursday, December 10th to celebrate the launch of her new book HUE.

You have until midnight tonight December 3, 2009 (EST) to send your request for an invitation. This event is by invitation only and 25 readers will be selected at random to attend. I wish I could be there with you, I know it will be a great event! To enter send your name to ALBRSVP@sferra.com