summer loafers & mules

I am not one to wear flip flops often, especially having lived in NYC for over a decade, you need some barrier between your feet and the street.  You can usually find me in a mule or a loafer during the summer months. Some of my fav picks for this season below.




























pink raffia loafer – stubbs & wootton mules – soludos espadrille mule raffia loafer – tassle mules – denim mules – pale blue driving loafers


images via pinterest and link

outdoor entertaining

The kickoff to the summer season starts Memorial Day weekend which is only a couple weeks away! I’ve rounded up some fun summer entertaining ideas that go beyond your typical BBQ.  All of these can be tailored to your guests whether the get-together is for kids, coworkers, friends, etc.  I find that the fun can either come from the activities or the food. Enjoy!

Free Printable Troop Beverly Hills Invite! How cute is this??

1.) Movie night under the stars- I came across this link here from Camille Styles and I just have to do this! They style it for kids but I would totally get together a bunch of girlfriends for wine and movie night while watching one of my all time favorite movies, Troop Beverly Hills!

2. Change up the seating- Instead of serving dinner at a dining table, why not set up a low table or create a backyard picnic. link here


3. Don’t overlook the power of lawn games!  I find them to be a great ice breaker and they keep the party going.  They can be tailored to accommodate any guest list. Link here and here.

Make the food fun!

Shrimp Boil, Southern recipe for Memorial Day




4.) Ever since I saw Chrissy Teigen and John Legend throw a crabtacular  with Chef Roble on Bravo I just fell in love with this idea! It takes away the formality of dining and lets people get a little messy.  Wax paper down the center table, seafood, bibs = summer. To check out clips from the episode with Chrissy and John click here. To try it yourself link here, here and here


Grilled Pizza Party #blackboxsummer



5.) No one likes to see a stressed out host so parties where you can prep in advance are ideal.  This is a great idea where all of the prep can be done in advance.  You can set up the pizza prep station, a great bar station and throw the pizzas on the grill when people have completed their creation. Link here. The link is set up as an ad but their styling is great for inspiration!




Summer BBQ party ideas

6.) Another DIY option link here.  You can prep a fun station and let your guests choose their own adventure.





Kid's Stuff7.) The ultimate BBQ is the pig roast. Link here. My dad has requested this for his 70 1/2 birthday party (actual day is in December) If anyone has tried this, let me know your tips! Would love to hear them before I attempt it myself.

Toddler bed reboot

I have shopped for many toddler beds over the years.  It is such a special time when your tiny baby becomes a little person, the room should reflect that.  A project I am currently working on, the little boy was so happy when the Phillip Jeffries accent wall was installed.. he hugged the wall! It was so sweet but also a reminder that kids really care about their space and that should be encouraged.  The biggest step for this transition is usually the bed.  I always like for it to be a statement, either with the fabric, the scale or the shape.  Let’s face it, kids’ rooms get messy so the bed needs to be the anchor and also the reassurance that it can be pulled back together.. one day!

I like a lot of these options because the fabric can be semi customized (or even fully customized) or there are many color options available  depending on your littlest love’s preference.

kids beds1. Architectural Bed 2. Rounded Headboard 3. Industrial Yellow 4. Bobbin Bed 5. Dandelion Headboard 6. Daybed 7. Daybed Livenup 8. Modern Cube 9. Pondicherry Bed


cover image via Krista Ewart in House Beautiful

Bring it outside

I am currently in the process of transforming our landscape and outdoor area, outdoor everything really! From paint, to gardens to furniture. I am working with the firm Christie Dustman for the landscape and I am super happy with the initial plans! Hoping to have this ready for summer which is almost completely unrealistic. It’s like I’ve never heard of a lead time before! We shall see how far we get.

Look below for the furniture direction (for now!) and some inspiration.



1. Outdoor Sofa 2.Stool 3. McKinnon and Harris (Trade) 4. Console 5. McKinnon and Harris (Trade)

6. Dining Chair 7.Lounge Chair 8.Dining Table


I really want to cover the house in ivy. When looking through the town archives it seems our 1920s Tudor style home once was, maybe it’s time to bring it back! Some inspiration below.


Stephen Sills-Bedford NY



via Lonny


I was also inspired by yesterday’s talk with Stacey Bewkes and Susanna Salk at the Boston Design Center to look back at some of the classics by the great designers and style makers. Particularly Bunny Williams’ Connecticut Home with John Rosselli as well as Aerin Lauder’s family home in Palm Beach. If you don’t follow Stacey and Susanna on Instagram you should as well as check out the Quintessence blog and their web series ‘at home with’ on YouTube. They are fabulous!!



via Quintessence Instagram Bunny’s Connecticut gardens


Aerin Lauder- Palm Beach

I definitely won’t be planting any Palm trees in New England but how can one not be inspired by this estate!





Summer Hostess Gifts

As people come out of hibernation, in the northeast at least, they want to mingle.  That sad social calendar is now becoming overbooked.  I find, it is always a good idea to have a ‘ready to go’ hostess gift arsenal.  For the stocked gift I never want it to be too large or have the hostess think, “oh great, where am I going to put this?!” I like small thoughtful gifts. Of course for some well planned, close friend’s party you may want to get something special and specific but it is also great to have some special gifts on hand, just in case! Some guidance below of some perfect summer hostess gifts in varying price points, you’re welcome! Cheers!


hostes gifts1. For the millennial sibling or close friend- emoji coasters 2.For the social friend – overserved cocktail set 3.For the hostess who likes her wine (and likes it cold!) – wine cooler 4.For the splurge hostess gift – goyard matchbox 5. For the hostess with kids – beginner chopsticks 6. For the homemaker (can include a fun drink recipe)  – citrus juicer 7. For anyone, it smells amazing, perfect for a powder room – capri candle

New England Beach House, Guest Bedroom

With the weather warming up just a bit, the mind naturally travels to summer.  New England beach interiors are all about blue and white for me. Nautical and brass accents just emblazon this theme even more.  Feeling the summer momentum building, I pulled together this beach house guest bedroom.  Cheap and cheerful and filled with all things New England beachy.
This is the first of a series I will try to commit to on Wednesdays, of either a room’s décor, style focus or a design roundup.  Hope you enjoy!

Beach bedroom 2

1. Sophia Flushmount 2.Serena and Lily Bed 3.Nightstand 4. Monogrammed Pillow 5.Bedside Lamp 6. Rope Mirror 7. Lee Radziwill 8.Merida Dhurrie


Some other beach bedroom inspiration!

Interior Design: Victoria Hagan- Nantucket- Architectural Digest

Victoria Hagan

Interior Design: John Knott and John Fondas- Summer house in Maine (amazing!) – House Beautiful

blue and white2

Interior Design: Suzanne Kasler/ Architect: Les Cole

Maine, the way life should be – Architectural Digest

Designing for Adults (with kids!)

It seems like, at the moment, all of my clients either have young children of their own or have little grandchildren that come for visits and overnights.  The request is always the same, please make it look beautiful but also durable.  Usually this request is for specific rooms, most commonly the living room and family room are at the top of the indestructible room list.  Another request, but also good practice, is to be mindful of all seating material and construction: banquette, breakfast room chairs, dining chairs, living room sofa and chairs.  It is important to not look like the kids have the run of the house.  I keep the design focused on the adult clients style and taste and fine tune it to be durable for the littles.  Truth be told, they won’t be little forever! Here are my tricks of the trade to keep things looking good and staying that way.

Fabric Choices

Luckily outdoor and stain resistant fabrics have come a looong way in recent years and for the most part you would never know that they are protected.  I tend to use these fabrics for where you sit: sofas, chairs and ottomans.  These large upholstery items are pricier and if damaged would be quite the undertaking to redo.  I mix in some more luxurious fabrics into the window treatment choices and pillows.  For the pillows, I have them fiber sealed after.  Also, be careful with leather choices as some are more forgiving than others.  Opt for stain protected or textured leathers not pure analine leathers.. Edelman has an Edge line that has been easy to work with.

The construction of how you upholster with your fabrics is just as important.  I don’t do a tufted seat with kids in the house, it tends to be a collector of Cheerios and loose toy pieces.  When I use deep tufting I do it on the back of the seat.  You just need to consider the client and how these pieces will actually be used and also how they will hold up.

Placement, Shape and Material

Depending on the age of the littlest clients- placement, shape and the material of pieces are very important.

Placement– In constructing built ins with kids in mind I tend to keep the lower elevation cabinets that can be closed and locked if needed and the upper elevations shelves to display objects and books etc.  That way it tends to keep everything looking tidy.  Depending on the client, even if they don’t have kids this may be a good idea.  The type of client that can’t handle open shelving or glass cabinet doors in a kitchen, but more on that in another post!

Shape– I try and keep coffee tables round and upholstered in a high performance fabric when kids are in the picture.  I just installed a custom one I designed for a project that has upholstered sides, wood tray top, ottomans tucked under on one side which will face the room and open shelving on the inside facing the sofa to tuck away remotes, magazines etc. Pretty, tailored and functional, the way it should be!

Material– I already discussed the importance of high performance fabric in high traffic areas but also important is the material on tables.  You would want to avoid untreated parchment, lacquer without a glass top, stone that will stain etc. For wood, a satin finish is best.


Anywhere you can gain extra storage is key.  Especially in New York City apartments!  Clients with kids ultimately have a lot of toys that need to be tucked away when not in use because in some cases the living room or dining room also acts as the playroom.  I have had custom pieces made that you wouldn’t know the seat cushion opens and holds storage inside, especially important in the entryway which can become overwhelming with clutter. Or another instance, we were building out a wall to make a proper doorway and had the opportunity to make a new closet.  This is something to always keep in mind.  Multipurpose furniture and building out/adding storage to the original structure when possible.


Most importantly you want there to be an element of fun!  Whether it be in the artwork or sculpture or even something as small as the placemats! You don’t want your apartment to be so serious! Everyone needs a little humor in their lives, with or without kids!