26 February 2014

Book of the Month: SOIREE: Entertaining with Style

As you know, I adore design books…. and since I love to entertain, I also really enjoy books on entertaining. The problem is, unlike books on Interior Design, in my opinion there are not many very good ones in this particular category.  

Last fall, I ordered this beautiful new book on entertaining (actually, it was published in the Fall of 2012 but it was new to me).  I did my usual flipping through the pages when it first arrived and thought the photography was so lovely… but I have just recently sat down to thoroughly enjoy the actual contents. 

This book is a delightful conglomeration of fantastically amazing party pictures mixed with stylish table settings, glorious floral arrangements, menu suggestions, and recipes you would actually want to make. (and of course, it is from my favorite publisher RIZZOLI!)

Danielle mentions in her book that there are no rules to throwing a party... Dishes do not have to match, napkins do not have to match, and you do not have to have a degree from a culinary school to be a great hostess… you just have to have a little passion.  I couldn't agree more.

The most poignant remark Danielle makes in her book is that entertaining is about people… Not money, not perfect decor, not finding the most important chef to cook for your guests, but PEOPLE. I absolutely agree with this too! In my own entertaining, it took me a while to actually realize this and appreciate that not everything has to be perfect. It should be PERSONAL, not perfect.  When you can get a grip on this, the hardest part of entertaining is over.

This book is beyond heavenly. I hope you will consider adding it to your collection.

About the Author per her Rizzoli Bio:

A contributing editor to Veranda and Southern Living and lifestyle editor for the online magazine LuxeCrush, Danielle Rollins is a tastemaker and trained chef. The co-founder and chair of several charities, she lives in Atlanta.

As an added bonus, the lovely Ms Rollins is a Texas girl…and while I do not know her, we seem to have several mutual friends and acquaintances.  I knew I liked her style!

Danielle also has a website and blog on gracious living and entertaining which you can find here.

All photos via Rizzoli and Danielle Rollins.


23 February 2014

Design Trends: The Fabulous World of Wallpaper!

Tiffany Jones Interiors

I have always been a fan of wallpaper… It has so much more personality than paint and can really make a ho-hum room come alive and feel more elegant.  It adds a layer of sophistication, if you will.

It truly transforms a room like nothing else and quickly defines ones' style.  Depending on the pattern selected, wallpaper can make any sort of statement to reflect your style.  A softer palette can creating a calming effect while something more bright will add energy to the space.  Many people tend to think of wallpaper as old-fashioned…In my opinion, nothing could be farther from the truth.  I have used it in every house I have ever owned… even having the walls one my houses almost 100% covered. (I still think of it as one of my favorites!)

Honestly, I am not sure why people factor wallpaper in general into the "trend" category…In my opinion, it is a classic execution of design. Like anything design related, the popularity of  things ebb and flow…. And while I have never stopped using it, thankfully, those who are in charge of setting the trends have declared that wallpaper is making a HUGE comeback!

Here are some of my favorite examples of absolute wallpaper gorgeousness!

The Palm Beach dining room of the Lauder Family

Hamptons Cottages & Gardens

Gerald Pomeroy

Tiffany Jones Interiors

Cathy Kincaid

Mary McDonald

The Decorista

For many people, the idea of committing to a wallpaper is scary… If it seems too much for you, try just wallpapering one wall for an accent.

Todhunter Earle

Happy Monday!


19 February 2014

The Art of Stylish Living with Jennifer from THE PINK PAGODA!

I am so excited about our February collaboration on things of style and beauty!!

Please meet my very lovely friend, Jennifer, from THE PINK PAGODA.  Jennifer and I met over a year ago and became fast friends but in yet another small world story… it turns out that we have many, many mutual friends and we cross paths in so ways besides just blogging. I just adore her.

Jennifer's blog was one of the very first blogs I started reading… and I think she may be the only person who loves blue and white more than I do!   In addition to blogging, she has a shop that sells the most fabulous blue and white accessories and Chinoiserie prints for the home.  In fact, one of my favorite ginger jars is from her collection.

She has fantastic taste so I thought it would be fun to take a peak into her style today.

Name:  Jennifer
Location:  Dallas, Texas
Occupation:  Owner, The Pink Pagoda 

My home is...

a Colonial Revival.  
I commissioned this watercolor of our house, 
and Waterlogue can't touch it.  

painted by Laura Laurent

Describe your style in three words ...

classic, fresh, tailored

My Family Room

What inspires you most…

I never tire of turning the pages of my interior design books.

A luxury you cannot live without...

Your dream dinner party list...

Tom Wolfe, Edith Wharton, Albert Hadley, Tina Fey, David Sedaris, Jimmy Fallon, Oscar Wilde, Laura Bush, Bill Clinton, Sister Parish, Dorothy Draper, Dorothy Parker, and Mark Twain.

Favorite flower...

via Flowers by Carolyne Roehm

pink peony

Favorite Place in the world...

where else?!  NYC

I've been many times, but my favorite was during the summer of my sophomore year in college.  A friend's family kept an apartment at 55th and 6th, and my parents let me go stay there for a month (what were they thinking?) with a group of girls. Such FUN.  

What are you currently reading?

I'm re-reading both The Little Friend and I am Charlotte Simmons. Not sure how I ended up reading them both at the same time, but both are amazing even the second time around.

Describe your perfect evening...

Nothing exciting.  
What I enjoy most is just being at home with my family.

If you could be anything else in the world what would it be?

Can't choose just one.  
A great writer, tennis player, singer or artist … 
and I could go on!

I have loved this visit with Jennifer… Hope you did too! If you are a lover of blue and white and Chinoiserie, don't forget to stop by her shop and see her beautiful offerings!

Happy Wednesday!


17 February 2014

All Around the World: Travel Notes on New York City

All photos taken by Tiffany Jones

As I mentioned last week, I never tire of visiting New York City.  My first trip to The Big Apple was when I was 15 years old…I was hooked.  As a young girl from a small town in west Texas, it  was the greatest place I had ever been.  The energy of the people, the museums, the plays, the amazing lights, the fabulous hotels and places to eat… I couldn't get enough.  From the moment I graduated from college… I was New York bound.  I loved the years I lived in the city….they were amazing… not always easy... but amazing.  (I like to fondly call those years  "Earning my MBA in Life").

While many of the restaurants and stores have changed over the years, many things have not…. Here are a few of my all-time stylish mid-town favorites.


This landmark architectural gem has just recently undergone a $140-million renovation.  At the corner of 50th and Madison… it just doesn't get any better in terms of location. Be sure to ask for a room overlooking St. Patrick's Cathedral…It is completely magical.

Photo courtesy of The New York Palace Hotel


21 club officially opened on January 1, 1930 and is one of America's most famous speakeasies from the Prohibition Era… (It still has the original disappearing bar and secret wine cellars that hid illegal liquor more than 80 years ago).  I have been dining here since I lived in the city…and it never disappoints!

21 West 52nd Street


Established in 1964, this 6-story townhouse houses THE BEST collection of books.  In addition to offering general interest and best sellers, Rizzoli specializes in illustrated subjects…Fashion, Interior Design, Art, Architecture, Photography, Design and Literature (Italian, French, Spanish, and English). They also carry an amazing selection of European magazines and newspapers.  When I was in my 20's, I used to spend hours in this store just admiring all the beautiful pages and wishing I could afford just one of their Interior Design books.  Now, their books are some of the favorites in my collection.

Photo Courtesy of Rizzoli
31 West 57th Street


There are so many wonderful museums in New York where I could spend hours but my hands-down favorite is The Frick Collection. It is internationally recognized for its outstanding examples of European sculptures and decorative arts…(right up my alley!)  Housed in one of New York City's few remaining Gilded Age mansions, this museum is just the right size to add a dose of culture to your weekend without feeling overwhelming… And if you happen to be there on a day where they are offering one of their lectures or educational seminars, you have really hit the jackpot!

Photo courtesy of The Frick Collection
1 East 70th Street

They say you are either an East Coast Girl or a West Coast Girl… I am definitely East Coast.  What about you?


P.S.  Be sure to join us tomorrow for another exciting interview!

14 February 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

I hope your Valentine's weekend is as FABULOUS as mine… I am spending the weekend in NYC with my precious family.  

And speaking of LOVE, I have loved this city since the first time I stepped foot on Fifth Avenue many, many years ago.  I never grow tired of spending time here… Thankfully, my girls don't either.

Happy Valentine's Day!


PS - This ADORABLE LOVE print is available here.

10 February 2014

My Favorite Gifts for Valentine's

I LOVE these heart paper weights from Baccarat!  I think I have 4 of them (in different colors) and never get tired of receiving them. A perfect gift for many occasions.

Peony Tulips…. Is there anything more gorgeous?

Hermes Enamel Bracelets

Little did I know when I purchased my first bracelet almost 10 years ago that this would 
become a small addiction! (File it under the category of COLLECTIONS!)
These are ALWAYS on my list to receive!


Christian Loubitan

Hello, Lover!
Girl… what I would not do for these shoes…..I saw them in person just the other 

day and they are even more stunning than this picture!
(Sweetheart…are you listening?? And just in case you need a reminder…. size 36.5)

The Printery

In my opinion, some of the most fabulous stationery on the planet.  I love everything THE PRINTERY does… from their amazing bespoke work to their pre-boxed cards… you cannot go wrong. 
The meticulously lined envelopes and the hand bordered edges are to die for.
Bill Miller and his team truly create perfection in the paper world!

What are some of your favorite things to receive?  I would love to know!


04 February 2014

Design Inspirations: The Chinese New Year

Goodbye, year of the water snake…..
hello, year of the wooden horse.

The Chinese New Year began last Friday on Jan. 31, the first day of the first month of the Chinese calendar, and celebrations will carry on for the next 14 days.  Talk about a party!!  You may or may not know that the Chinese calendar is determined by both solar and lunar changes and while I am sure there is interest in that for some… I find total fascination in the animal signs and the decorations!
The Chinese animal signs are a significant part of the new year, with this year ushering in the horse, an animal signifying unexpected adventure and surprising romance.  These characteristics are the most pertinent to those who were also born in the year of the horse: 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014.  (of which one of these is my birth year so I am doubly excited about any unexpected adventure!)
As for the decorations…I find the level of beauty and the detail in all of them to be so exquisite…and I am mesmerized by the happiness, the festival of lights, and the sheer joy that a paper lantern can bring.  


image via crazy-frankenstein.com

image via serena poon

A celebration in London

image via dragon horse

Quite frankly… red is my least favorite color but in the Chinese culture, red symbolizes fire and drives away bad luck so it is customary during any New Year celebration to wear red and decorate with red paper… and in this case, I think it is beautiful.  What do you think?

Happy Wednesday!


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