Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Wine List

With temperatures cooling down and fall on the way, I'm looking forward to switching my wine intake back from rose and riesling to a good cabernet.    Although generally speaking I'd say I prefer red wine over white, during the hot, humid summer it's hard to crave a rich red.    With the changing season, I also tend to switch up my wardrobe color palette- and I'm inspired by shades of burgundy, bordeaux, and merlot.

Here's what's on my wine list for fall 2016:

Shop Wine List:

Nordstrom Cross Front Tee $29/Roche Bobois Wishbone Indoor Lounge Chair $Price on Request/Rita Koenig Red Bordeaux Scalloped Tray $150/Safavieh Cypress Red Area Rug $227.99/Nine West "Kellan" Stretch Boots $149.95/Rochi Leather Clutch $340/La Cornue Stove in Cabernet Red $8,600/Standard Schoolhouse Bed $1,724.99/Guerlain Nail Lacquer in Vega $26/

La Cornue stoves are all the rage, and to me it doesn't get better than a rich shade of red with brass accents.  I also plan to scoop up those Nine West boots in both red and black - because you can't beat that price tag. 

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Needing, Wanting, Loving: Oushak Rugs

Oushak rugs have always been my favorite style of carpet to place in a room, whether the decor leans more traditional or contemporary. These rugs utilize a particular group of designs that are called by convention after the city of Usak, Turkey.  Usak was one of the larger towns in Western Anatolia, which was a major center of rug production from the early days of the Ottoman Empire.  They often have a silky wool composition and more muted, soft colors like ivory, gold, blues and greens, with touches of terracotta. To me, they create a nice added element to a space without feeling overwhelming.  They often feature geometric or floral patterns:

I find oushaks to be much more palatable and unique than European aubussons (ick!) or those awful Beni Ourain rugs everyone seems to love.   But hey, that's just me.

My Favorite Vintage Rug Sources:

And here are a few gorgeous oushaks I found for sale online (and just love!):

5.4' x 8.2' Vintage Oushak via Splendid Rugs- $389:

1.5' x 3' Vintage Oushak Rug via Old New House- $315:

Vintage Turkish Oushak - 111" x 61"-  $522

Antique Oushak Rug- 2'11" x 5' 8"- $1,450:
Oushak Turkish Rug- 6' x 8' 2" - $900:

So what are your thoughts on oushaks- perfectly dated or too traditional?

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Get the Look: White Hot for End-of-Summer

Happy Thursday!  I am so thrilled to have my good friend and New York PR star Vicky back to guest post today.  I trust her fashion sense more than anyone else I know, so I felt that having her share her favorite end-of-summer white dresses with you would be a perfect topic.

{Vic in the white romper, Christy of Crowns by Christy teaching us to make flower crowns}

Hi Peak of Tres Chic readers, happy to be back talking fashion before the summer season is over!  I can’t believe we only have two more weekends to sport that pretty little white dress hiding in the back of your closet, or to purchase a new one! Whether you are spending the weekend out east in the Hamptons or enjoying the city (or wherever you call home!) while it’s just a tiny bit emptier than the rest of the year, make sure to take the time to enjoy these last few wonderful weeks of summer. There are a few adorable white dress options still on the market:

From Top, Left to Right:

Gili Island Dress $105/Tassel Earrings in Turquoise $98/Off-the-Shoulder Poplin Dress $895/Emerie Cut Out Dress $268/Tularosa Meave Dress $150/ASOS Missguided  High Neck Lace Dress $96.74/

With so many places to shop and so many different online retailers, I still find myself going back to good ‘ol ASOS.  The quality of their dresses is always on point, the selection is always stylish, and the shipping is quick and easy. I also can’t help but lust after the gorgeous dresses on Shopbop and Net-a-Porter, so I might be making an impulse end-of-summer purchase to make myself feel better about the impending fall.

In my selections above, there is something for every occasion- a beach party, a night out, a daytime picnic or even for work!

Thanks Vic for posting!  I hope everyone is having a good week so far.  It's almost Friday...

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Sam Loves: 14

Sam Loves, Edition 14 (Top to Bottom, Left to Right):

-Maja Wyh looks as glamorous as ever in her latest post, perched on a vintage leopard print upholstered club chair.  

-Ellen Hanson's floor-to-ceiling marble bath via Vogue Australia is to-die-for. 

-All Things Mochi keeps my tassle dreams alive with their Spanish Earrings, $172.

-Loving the versatility of the Faux Leather Crossbody Bag in Camel, $44.  It's a perfect tote to make the transition from summer to fall. 

-A maxi playsuit to scoop up before summer is over (only $61.95)! 

-Bernard Dunaux's Antigone, $189, mixes all my favorite shades of blue.  Available in 2 sizes via One Kings Lane

-I'll never tire of a classic English roll arm sofa.  This one, spotted in my firm's portfolio (Carrier & Company) looks stunning in a light-filled Pre-War apartment. 

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Needing, Wanting, Loving: Neck Scarves

Chokers are back in a big way.    My 2001-self is pretty damn excited, as this was one trend I couldn't get enough of growing up.  I can hardly find a picture of myself in my 6th-9th grade years where I'm not sporting a choker of some sort.  This past weekend, I re-watched one of my favorite documentaries about the life and work of Iris Apfel, called Iris.  It really is true what Mrs. Apfel emphasizes at various points throughout the movie-  everything comes back in style again, and you can't go forward without having an appreciation and understanding of the past.  Although I am envisioning your typical black choker, I want to first discuss a chic alternative to the choker that is also very much on trend- a neck scarf:

Worn closely around your neck, a cute silk neck scarf can add a pop of pattern or color to a pared down ensemble for the perfect pulled-together mix.  It feels very Parisian chic to me. Wrap it a few times and close with a bow, or simply let both ends of the scarf hang loosely, the neck scarf feels like the new "statement necklace" to me:

A more laid-back alternative to the silk scarf is a bandana.  I've seen this more and more on girls walking around New York.  At first I was skeptical-  it felt a little unnatural to me, like maybe these fashionistas forgot to take off their cowgirl costume.  But it's grown on me, the same way jellies did back in third grade (another trend we should think about bringing back, no?):

Lastly, my favorite alternative of all to the typical black choker- a choker neck tie.  It can be wrapped once or twice and tied in a bow at the base of your neck, or left to dangle down like a drop necklace: 

Here are a few other neck scarves and chokers I love:


Friday, August 19, 2016

Honoring the Greats: Dorothy Draper

Before we delve in to another "honoring the greats" post, I have to be honest.  I actually wanted to write about the late, great Edith Wharton today.  Sorry, Dorothy!  However, as I was collecting my research and preparing my draft, I realized that Edith was someone so complex, so layered, so much a "Renaissance Woman", that paying homage to her properly would take a few days of reading and studying.  Not to say that Dorothy wasn't a trailblazer herself- she practically invented the interior design profession in a time when women simply did not work.  She's also credited with helping to create the Hollywood Regency style, with it's bright exuberant colors, slick glossy surfaces, and rococo scroll work details. 

Dorothy was born in to the prestigious Tuckerman family in Tuxedo Park, New York in 1889.  Her great-grandfather, Oliver Wolcott, was one of the 56 delegates to sign the Declaration of Independence.  Despite her family's prestige, Dorothy never had a formal education of any kind.  She later said, "I had no schooling to speak of, except that I was brought up where I had the privilege of being constantly in touch with surroundings of pleasant taste."  Her family also traveled extensively in Europe while she was growing up, which helped to inform and sharpen her keen design eye.

{Greenbrier Hotel lobby, designed by Dorothy in 1948}

In 1912, Dorothy married Dr. George Draper  (Franklin Roosevelt's personal doctor after he contracted polio) and began decorating their homes exuberantly.   She had a natural confidence in her design sensibilities that allowed her to shake up the stiff, buttoned up style of the Victorian era.  Up to that point, rooms were decorated in a specific "period," without much fluidity or thought to connecting the rooms from one to the next.  Dorothy threw all conventional rules up to that point out the window and livened up the drab home fashions of the day.   She designed according to her mantra- "If it looks right, it is right", and gravitated towards a maximalist palette of oversized florals (she particularly loved cabbage rose chintz), vibrant colors, glossy finishes, and anything with glitz and glam.   Soon, she was causing such a stir with her lively designs that she decided to form the first ever interior design firm- The Architectural Clearing House (which later became Dorothy Draper & Co). 

Although Dorothy's husband ran off with another woman right after the Stock Market Crash of 1929, she clung to her work and continued to decorate with fervor.    This is one of the many reasons I admire her so- she once said, "Never look back, except for an occasional glance, look ahead and plan for the future. Success is not built on past laurels, but rather on a continuous activity. Keep busy searching out new ideas and, experimentally, keep ahead of the times, or at least up with them."   And onward and upward she went! 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Patio Perfection

As I alluded to yesterday, I am not ready to even acknowledge the fact that we're on the downward slope of summer.  I am a summer girl through and through, and I also love lounging on a good patio.  When meeting friends for dinner, I am always the girl pushing to sit outside in the sun.   Backyard patios are another favorite spot, although they are few and far between in Manhattan.  It makes me wish I hadn't taken my terrace in Houston for granted!  Here are a few backyard arrangements I'm lusting after:

If I had an opportunity to decorate a patio now, I'd definitely fill it with bright, punchy colors.  Think Palm Beach and a dash of Mrs. Lilien:

From top to bottom, left to right:

Safavieh Tangerine Outdoor Umbrella $349/Mariner Stripe Indoor-Outdoor Pillow $31/Adirondack Yellow Chair $128/Adirondack Green Chair $143/Katrea Indoor-Outdoor Pillow $25/Crosby Teak Chaise Lounger $1995/Genoa Turquoise Side Table $799/Pink Striped Textile $75/

There's still a month or so left of summer, and maybe even a few more weeks after that for backyard lounging.  Let's enjoy it!

Monday, August 15, 2016

The View Through My Lens: 29

I'm still very much in the honeymoon phase when it comes to my relationship with New York.  I feel a bit starstruck still-  I'm stopping and pinching myself on a somewhat regular basis.  The opportunities that arise here and the people you meet never cease to amaze.  I'm also very much in a phase in my life where I'm open to new experiences.  My new favorite response is, "yes!"  Want to tag along on a weekend in the Hamptons?  "yes!"  Ok, but are you okay with sleeping on an air mattress?  "yes!"  Want to check out the new Parish museum?  "yes!"  Want to go on a girls trip to Tulum?  "yes!".  Can you work late to take on an extra project? "yes!"  I know the popular phrase these days (at least when it comes to business opportunities and overworking yourself) is to "just say no," but I find "yes" to be more of my vibe lately.  The other funny thing about New York is the opportunities that come up.  I'm constantly finding myself in situations where I'm pinching myself.  "I definitely don't belong here but I'm happy to be here" is a common thought running through my mind.  Case in point:  I got invited last Friday to tag along with a few friends for an intimate dinner in the Hamptons to celebrate summer with Vestiaire Collective.   The event was hosted by Athena Calderone of Eye-Swoon in her gorgeous Amagansett backyard: 

The dinner was absolutely beautiful and one of the most special nights I've had while living here in New York.  And the weekend was just starting!  Amy, Gabby and I stayed at Baron's Cove in Sag Harbor Friday and Saturday evening and it was dreamy:

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Blair Voltze Clark's Chic Park Avenue Apartment

I have been a fan of Blair Voltze Clark (and her gallery) for some time now, and I loved running across her Park Avenue apartment tour recently when scouring the archives of Lonny.  Voltze Clark Gallery represents Natasha Law (one of my favorite artists out there) and features a rotation of stellar art from emerging and established artists alike.  Blair is married to Alistair Clark, who runs Sotheby's English and European furniture division.  It is no surprise then that the NY apartment they share on Park Avenue is chock full of enviable art and antique pieces that could make any serious collector drool.

 {Blair looking fab as always}

Their living room is tied together with one expansive curtain rod and 2 panels for both windows.  I love the touches of gold, like the gilded bergere upholstered in a lush black velvet and the antique cartel clock on the wall.  The antique pieces feel fresh when paired with a Stark sisal rug, modern artwork, and a lucite coffee table:

The couple displays their china collection in glass-front built-ins between the living room and office:

When Alistair and Blair first purchased the apartment, she was insistent on removing the George II mantle.  However, Alistair talked her out of it and now she's glad he did- "He was right, now I cherish it!"  I'm glad they kept it.  It is so unique and adds a great deal of character to the space:

A painting by Richard Serra hangs above an intricate bombe chest in the office, which is flanked by two handsome leather Louis XVI chairs: 

The dining room doubles as a library and features a chandelier constructed of 72 martini glasses.  And, as I mentioned in my post yesterday, I can't resist a skirted table.

That bookshelf featuring smaller art works hanging on the frame is to die for.
For their two daughters, they wanted to create a room that both could grow in to, so mixed in with the dolls and children's books are quirky art works the couple gathered on their travels:

I love this apartment for it's perfect mix of old and new and because each room feels well thought out and truly conducive for an artistic family of 4.  Bravo, Blair!

{images via Lonny Mag, see the full story and more images here}

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