Posts from August 2018

kitchen sink drama

August 31, 2018

I like to see a farmhouse sink juxtaposed with streamlined cabinetry and sleek, modern plumbing fixtures. This is a good looking utility room. This sink from Native Trails, a modern take on a traditional design, is kind of perfect for such a setting. I love it in slate. But it looks great in pearl, too.

take me to the fair

August 30, 2018

My brother and I spent summers in Greece, and the Luna Park was always a highlight. We’d pile into our nanny’s Renault, four or five kids and the wonderful Mrs. B, and off we’d go to eat candy floss and pumpkin seeds and ride rickety roller coasters under the stars. I remember the thrill of Snow White’s skirt and the way my tummy somersaulted at every turn. The Ex, unlike other local amusement parks, feels like an old fashioned European Luna park, especially when all the tacky lights comes on. I watched this week as my daughter’s face turned from dread to glee on the roller coaster, her teeth bright pink from her candy apple. It’s an invasion on the senses; the bright lights and screams from above, the smell of sweat, garbage, and saccharine delights. I loved the Luna Park then, and I love it now.

scent of a woman

August 29, 2018

I put a shirt on this morning, freshly dry cleaned, and thought immediately of my grandmother. There must be something in the dry cleaning chemicals that remind me of her. Crisp white shirts were her uniform, and I’m sure she had her wardrobe dry cleaned regularly. The smell of hot dogs remind me of her, she loved hot dogs, and so does First by Van Cleef & Arpels. That was her signature scent, grand and decadent. Dry cleaning chemicals, hot dogs and Van Cleef & Arpels –– what a combination. It speaks volumes.

gallery of life

August 28, 2018

Take a second today to look at these beautiful images of a 90-year-old Czech anežka turning a small village into her personal art gallery by hand painting blue flowers on its white, stone houses. Just the idea of this puts a smile on my face.

make believe

August 27, 2018

I was at an arcade with my cousins when I found out that Father Christmas wasn’t real. I don’t remember which one blurted it out, but the truth hit me like a steel pinball. I was seven or eight, and still very much delighting in the wonder of Santa. My Mum had done a splendid job of keeping the magic alive; half eaten carrots in the garden, biscuit crumbs around the fireplace, a trail of individually wrapped presents throughout the house. At 40, I swear I still hear the tinkle of bells on Christmas Eve. True to tradition, I indulge in the magic with my own children, sending beautiful letters across the globe, scattering glitter on their pillows, and yes, leaving half eaten carrots in the garden. The magic is for them, and for me, also. “Your children give you the first four years of your life back,” I once read. But when my daughter, nine-years-old, cornered me this morning, demanding the truth, I had no choice but to say, “Father Christmas, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, none of them are real.” It wasn’t disappointing for her to hear, or for me to say, because she’s absolutely ready for the truth. She asked me why I lied to her the last time the question came up, and I explained that I felt there was still room in her imagination for it, and that she wanted, needed even, to believe in it all. I’d been a bit robbed, and I wanted her to enjoy and relish in the magic for as long as possible. As the eldest of three, I asked her to now help her parents continue the magic for her siblings. “Father Christmas, the Tooth Fairy, they’re not real, but the feeling that believing in them gave us, that feeling is very real. You’ll see.”


August 24, 2018

Oh yes, to voluminous blouses and Gucci loafers that are a million days old. I love this outfit. it’s the only way I’d ever wear khakis. I may trade her cream clutch in for a splash of colour, and how about a hat? More is more is my adage. And pourquois not?

clay pit

August 24, 2018

When Brooklyn furniture company BDDW moved to the Frankfort neighborhood of Philadelphia, a 20-ft deep pit of clay was unearthed during the excavation of their offices. As luck would have it, the company’s founder Tyelr Hayes is a pottery enthusiast, so a line of ceramics was added to BDDW’s collections. And it’s really quite beautiful. It reminds me Delft pottery, and yet it’s unmistakably contemporary. I’m wild about these weird sea mushroom vases, and the plates, very Royal Copenhagen, are lovely. Have a look, you too will want to snap up a dozen mugs. At $180 a piece, a girl can dream….

be my guest

August 22, 2018

I like the idea of a spartan bedroom –– white walls and linens, no embellishments, and one very grand headboard. I have a fabulous piece of Uzbekistani fabric, and my plan is to one day have it made into an elaborate headboard. I also have a bolt of dark coral, floral fabric from S.M. Hexter that I bought at the Textile Museuem’s annual remnants sale for $10. That would make for a stunning headboard. And then there’s this gilded gem; children playing on the beach, sailboats at sea. Not bad for a guest room.

big smoke

August 22, 2018

We have a smoke tree growing in our garden. It’s especially pretty after a rainfall when the droplets look like tiny diamonds sparkling in a nest of burgundy blossom. It’s never occurred to me to bring a handful into the house. But this arrangement, with orchids, is really quite striking.

everyday people

August 21, 2018

It’s always kind of lovely to see an iconic figure engaged in the mundane, the everyday; a president playing basketball, a queen walking her dogs. It’s a gentle reminder that all people are human. All people fart, and ride their bikes and spread butter on toast. I love this image, caught on camera by Howell Conant, of Princess Grace doing her daughter’s hair. “I loved photographing Grace when she was with her children, if only because she could get so involved with them that she paid little attention to me and my camera,” he said. “At the moment when I snapped this photo, nothing was more important than fixing Caroline’s curls.”

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