Thursday, October 10, 2019

Herve Van Der Straeten's Tangier Getaway

I recently added the new Inside Tangier- Houses & Gardens coffee table book to my collection in anticipation for my upcoming trip to Morocco.  Right now, we are only planning to be in Marrakech- but if I can make the time, I want to try and do a quick trip to Fez or Tangier.  This new tome by Vendome Press features a handful of abodes owned by artists, designers, and writers in Tangier.  It's hard to choose a favorite, but for some reason I was particularly drawn to the home of furniture designer Herve van der Straeten and shoe designer Bruno Frisoni:


The couple first visited Tangier in 1997, and at the time didn't really see the appeal.  However, they became close with a few long time residents of the city- and when a friend recommended they look at a house on the market in 2002, they fell in love and purchased it.  At the time they weren't thinking of buying in Africa at all- in fact, they had set their sights on purchasing something on the Amalfi Coast.  The house was irresistable to them; however, due to it's location- right on the cusp of the city's medina.

{In the entrance hall, two of van der Straeten's designs are on display- a Cubist chandelier and a colonnaded base console table}

Herve and Bruno, ever the creative duo, set to work adjusting the house's floorplan and finishes to their liking.  They opened up and adjusted the floorplan, which was typical of North African homes- with a center atrium and long narrow halls leading to adjacent rooms.  They knocked out all the interior rooms and one staircase, and left only the outer walls of the home.   They expanded the windows on the second floor and framed them in black lacquer.  “If you notice around the medina,” says Frisoni, “very few houses have big windows.” Explains Van der Straeten, “It’s very Spanish to have small ones to block heat and protect privacy, but we have nothing to hide!”  {Departures, 2014}.  They also incorporated design elements they loved from their travels.  The marble flooring is inspired by the Casa de Pilatos palace in Seville, and the black and white stripe tiles in the master bath mimick a hammam the couple loves to visit in Damascus I've long been a fan of Herve's lighting designs, one of which hangs in their living room:


The modern mix of furniture and objects in the living room is so interesting to see in a Moroccan home.  I guess that's why I'm so drawn to it.  




The master bedroom is light and bright:


The walls and bedding in their guest bedroom feature textiles from Syria and other farflung places, while the headboard is a green painted door the couple found in Fez. The bedside tables were made by craftsman in the nearby medina:



{image above from Departures article}

The home's rooftop terrace overlooks the beautiful city of Tangier:


Read a write up Vogue did on this same house a few years back here.

Get a copy of the Inside Tangier coffee table book here.



Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Boho Vibes

It's an exciting time of year- fall.  I feel that right now we are having the best of both worlds in New York:  The energy and excitement that only a changing season can bring, yet summer-like temperatures remain.  In fact, it's 80 degrees outside right now as I eat a bowl of Egyptian red-lentil soup (sidenote- if you haven't tried Juice Press soups, you're missing out).  Next month I am traveling to Istanbul, Cairo, and Marrakech with a good friend, and I've been watching movies based in these cities for fun.  Last night I watched Hideous Kinky, which stars Kate Winslet and is based in Marrakech.  It wasn't the best movie, but the bohemian vibes of the setting and the main character's lifestyle spoke to me.  In fact, I've been gravitating towards all things 70s-esque lately:





1.) Soludu Leather Mules, $148/

2.) Kershaw Upholstered Chair, $1,198/

3.) Floral Mesh Top, $15/

4.) Juju Hat I, $395/

5.) Penelope Hoop Earrings, $36/ i also really dig these.

6.) Flare jeans in lasalle wash, $128/ - these are cute, too!

7.) Stephanie Vovas Photograph/

8.) Contrast Straw Fedora, $12



I'm also dying to add Ibiza Bohemia by Assouline to my coffee table book collection$78/ - this one is great, too.


Lastly, I'll leave you with a few instagram accounts to follow for all the 70s nostalgia you could ever want....








Sunday, September 15, 2019

Tom Scheerer's New Book: More Decorating

I've admired Tom Scheerer's laid-back, all-American approach to decorating for years.  Although I've never met him in person, he seems very down-to-earth and approachable, even while being innately stylish and wildly successful.  I devoured his first coffee table book and love any time a new project of his is splashed across the pages of a shelter mag.   To me, a truly talented interior designer is capable of creating so much more than just a pretty room- if trusted, they can bring out the soul of a homeowner or family through the aesthetics they carefully create.  To me, Tom Scheerer does just that.   So, when Vendome recently sent me  an advance copy of Scheerer's second book, More Decorating, I was thrilled:



Behind the glossy book jacket is a chic rattan print:



I first leafed through the pages on a subway ride downtown, and viewing each of the 16 projects featured was a delight.  Read on to see a few of my favorite rooms...


Monday, September 2, 2019

Labor Day Whites

Post Labor Day this year, I say we throw caution (and convention) to the wind and don all the whites we want to.    Cateye glasses? Why not.  Puka shell necklaces? In the right context.... why not. Popped white collars?  Again... in the right context, why not?  This girl's ensemble nails all three:


While I'm prone to love a good splash of color, the simplicity of an all-white interior can create a chic jumping off point for decorative elements- like art, rugs, or accessories-  to really stand out:




I am headed to Morocco this November, so this all-white hotel aesthetic caught my eye:




One of my all-time favorite child's play rooms is by Denmark blogger Mortil Mernee.  The combination of white walls, painted white floor, and white round table are anything but drab when paired with carefree artwork and a mid-century pendant (this would've been cool, too):


Loving this creative use of an attic space- lighter colors often really help to maximize the perceived space available in a room:


A few more all-white looks I love:



and this, this, these, and pretty much all of this:






PS- I am currently on a flight back to NY after visiting family in OKC, and have watched two excellent movies so far- Stockholm & Rocketman.  If you haven't seen one or the other, I highly, highly recommend.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Photographer Crush: Mark Shaw

Most of you all are probably familiar with the work of Slim Aarons, but have you heard of the photographer Mark Shaw?  He was a celebrity/lifestyle photographer who began his career at Harper's Bazaar magazine in 1946.  He went on to work for LIFE magazine as a freelance photographer for several years, but is most well known for being the "unofficial" photographer of the Kennedy family.  Here's a small sampling of my favorite images by Shaw:



Model Jane Sprague wearing Fath, photographed in 1953:


Coco Chanel at age 74, lounging in her Paris apartment, 1957:


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Grandeur Reconsidered

Kips Bay Showhouse is always a lesson in maximalism and I end up with 500+ photos on my iPhone every year.  This year was no exception, and I was particularly struck by Matthew Monroe Bee's petite sitting room on the fourth floor.  Each room typically has a story behind it, and Matthew's "Grandeur Reconsidered" was inspired by Drayton Hall plantation in Charleston, South Carolina.  Originally built in the 18th century, the estate is a classic example of Palladian architecture that has remained in tact for over 250 years.  The house is now a hisotrical preservation site and sits unfurnished, allowing the architecture of the home to be the main focus.

Matthew did a fabulous job paying homage to Drayton Hall within his room's details.  Fine antique pieces and valuable artworks are mixed in with relaxed southern touches- like the sisal carpeting throughout. If I had to describe my design aesthetic through a room, this would probably be it.  The room masterfully steps in to the present while keeping an eye on the past.  It was my personal favorite of the 2019 showhouse:




A few details shots I took on my iPhone while walking through the house- I adore the chartreuse pom trim on the curtains and the figure sketch:


Antique armchair uphosltered in a classic blue and white floral:



My favorite pieces in the room (although it's nearly impossible to choose) were these neoclassical bergeres upholstered in a cut velvet red and blue print, paired with the Scalamandre le tigre pillow:



Heather Clawson of Habitually Chic took this photo which perfectly encapsulates the level of detail Matthew considered when decorating his room.  A marbelized trash can, a silk-wrapped lamp cord, a marble baseboard, wall-to-wall sisal carpeting, and a whimsical chinoserie linen curtain panel:


{all photos, unless otherwise noted, via Matthew Monroe Bees}

“It’s no secret that Charleston and the Lowcountry’s architecture and interiors have been the sirens call to those both far and near for the better part of the last two centuries,” the designer explained in his show notes. “Now, the evolved aesthetic of a once colonial capital to one of the world’s top travel destinations is arriving at Kips Bay Show House. Where other places restore dwellings to a certain time period, Charleston has led the charge in preserving history as it is found. Inspired by the preserved rooms of Drayton Hall, a concept was formed.”

-Matthew Bee

Read more about Matthew's room here and here.


Thursday, May 2, 2019

Beauty Picks from Sephora's Insider Sale

I may never own an AMEX black card in my life, but I am a proud red card-carrying member of Sephora’s Rouge beauty insider program.  It’s not the life I chose, it’s the life that chose me:



{how much more chic is red than black, anyway?}

I buy every makeup product I use from Sephora, and those points accumulate over time.  Whether you're a beauty insider, VIB, or a rogue like me- this week is the week for *anyone* to stock up on your favorite products (or those you've been meaning to try) because it's the Beauty Insider Spring Bonus event for all through May 6th:






  • VIB Rouge Status (spend $1000+/year): 20% off April 26 – May 6 with code HEYROUGE at checkout
  • VIB status (spend at least $350/year): 15% off May 2 – May 6 with code HEYVIB at checkout
  • Beauty Insiders (anyone who signs up for Sephora’s free Beauty Insider program, even today!): 10% off May 2- May 6 with code HEYINSIDER at checkout
I wait for this event each year to stock up on the higher-priced items I love (such as Creme de la Mer and a 10-pack box of the SK-II Facial treatment masks) any new pricier products I've been wanting to try (like this), and my every day go-to's, which are these:





My Makeup "Go-to's":


1.) Naked Palette2 - My favorite eyeshadow tones are in this palette.

2.) Touche Eclat Brightening Pen - unfortunately I have perpetual dark circles under my eyes and have been using this brightening pen for years.  Nothing on the market can compare to it.

3.) NARS blush in orgasm - everybody's favorite, and for good reason

4.) Creme de la Mer moisturizing cream- I use this cream nightly.  It contains the Miracle Broth™ that La Mer is known for and smells/feels amazing.

5.) Dior Forever High Perfection Skin-Caring Matte Foundation - this is my go-to foundation.  I like a good amount of coverage while not looking "cake-y", and this is the perfect consistency to me.  It also has an SPF which is imperative!  I can't say enough good things about this product.

6.) Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt Candle - my favorite Jo Malone scent.

7.) NARS Lipgloss in "Turkish Delight" - I started wearing this gloss color when I tried it at an LA NARS store in 2012 (while on a trip with Gab!) and haven't worn anything on my lips since.  It's a very subtle, light pink that looks natural.  Apparently it's Kim Kardashian's go-to as well, which I'm not sure is a good or bad thing... :)

8.) Sephora's Makeup Brush Set - good makeup application can only happen when you utilize a good set of brushes-  and these are my go-to's.  They aren't insanely priced and are a great quality.




This is my favorite flatiron, I've been wanting one of these forever, and you can't go wrong with these palettes.

Also, if you only buy one thing during the sale, make sure it's the SK-II Facial Treatment Masks.  These are definitely the best face mask on the market (and I've tried a ton)! Yes, they are pricey, but personally I believe they are worth every penny, and when you think about it at $13/mask, they are much less expensive than a facial.  They leave your skin so smooth while brightening and lifting, and they soften fine lines.  If you have a big event you are going to or want to prepare for, using this sheet mask a few days prior will work wonders.  I promise you- this is a miracle product.




In the mood to gift?  Now is also a great time to get your momma something special for Mother's Day!  I love these candle gift sets, and this bath & body setHere are more ideas.

XOXO,

Sam





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