Monday, December 13, 2010

Tis The Season For Giving... A few thoughts for organizing your holiday gifts

When it comes to wrapping gifts I think planning your color scheme ahead of time is key.  I like to use a color palette of brown, red, white and burlap.  Very rustic and sweet!  Lots of monogrammed bags and tags make gifts very personal and special.  I adore the burlap bags below that I had monogrammed with the letter T.

Besides the usual gift giving ideas, I think the idea of sharing the seasons treats is the most charming way to give.

I bake all of the favorites:
Peppermint Chocolate Crinkles
Mexican Wedding Cookies
Cranberry and Pistachio Biscotti dipped in White Chocolate
White Chocolate/Peppermint Truffles
Stilton Walnut Crackers

Bags filled with holiday treats are my favorite gift for friends and family

Monogrammed burlap bags from Bell'ochio in San Francisco
Monogrammed name tags from Pottery Barn


Recipe for Chocolate- Peppermint Crinkles:

4 oz unsweetened chocolate/chopped
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup canola/sunflower/vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
20-24 peppermint candies
1 cup confectioners sugar

Melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler set over (but not touching) gently simmering water.  Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer beat together the eggs and the granulated sugar until well blended.  And the oil,vanilla extract, and melted chocolate and beat again until well blended.  Stir in the flour mixture just until fully incorporated.  Cover and refrigerate until the dough is firm enough to shape, at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 and have ready an un-greased baking sheet.

Place the peppermint candies between two sheets of aluminum foil and strike with a hammer or meat mallet, breaking them into large pieces.  Then roll the candies with a rolling pin to crush them into small piece.  Set aside.

Put the confectioners sugar in a shallow bowl.  Pinch off a piece of dough and roll it into a ball about 1 inch in diameter.  Roll the ball in the confectioners sugar, coating evenly, and place it on the baking sheet.  Repeat until all the dough is used, spacing the balls 1 inch apart.

Bake until the cookies have puffed up and surface cracks, showing the chocolate beneath, 8-10 minutes. Let cool slightly on the pan, and then gently press some of the crushed peppermint all over each cookie.  Transfer the cookies to wire racks and let cool completely. Store in layers, separated by waxed paper, in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Adore Home Magazine

Ever since Domino Magazine sadly closed we've been lucky to have some new and very similar magazines appear online. Below is an article from a new issue of Adore Home Magazine out of Australia.

In the most recent issue they did a piece on outdoor spaces, as it is Summer down under... They were kind of enough to do an article on a project we worked on in Los Angeles.

Adore Home Magazine  Here's the link.  Our story starts on page 20

I think you'll all enjoy this magazine

Sunday, November 21, 2010

It all started with Martha...

I've always loved this time of year and now that I live in New England it has taken on a whole new meaning.   The backdrop for Fall coziness couldn't be better!  It all started for me when Martha Stewart was on PBS (20 some years ago) preparing her Thanksgiving dinner at her Westport Connecticut home.  Julia Child paved the way for all cooking shows and Martha took it to another level creating a lifestyle brand that revolved around food and kitchens.  I was hooked. This was way before the thought of a Food Network was around to inspire us with chefs and their recipes on a daily basis.   Martha lived in the most quintessential New England home appropriately named Turkey Hill Farm.  Her Thanksgiving special was so inspiring and there has not been a Thanksgiving since I don't think about What Would Martha Do?  WWMD!  How would Martha decorate her table?  Where would she order her turkey from?  On Thanksgiving day, while I am roasting the turkey, I go over her roasting instructions at least 10 times, even though I have made the same meal for 20 plus years.  She is my go to reference for Thanksgiving.

Martha in her original Turkey Hill kitchen

The perfect turkey and presentation

I love this simple and rustic Thanksgiving table setting 

 So Charming!

images from Martha Stewart Living

Another food icon for me is Ina Garten.  As you know from a previous post, I was lucky enough to visit Ina at her home in East Hampton this Summer and enjoyed a lovely lunch while she shared some of her recipes from her new book "How Easy is That"?  As I stood in her kitchen/dining area, I couldn't help think about how great it would be to be cooking my favorite holiday meal in her barn, and as I left that day I joked with her "OK SO WERE ON FOR THANKSGIVING RIGHT?"  She giggled as she waived goodbye!!!  I am hoping Ina comes out with a Holiday cookbook soon.  It would be another food bible to add to my collection.

Ina and her beautiful barn

 This barn was made for entertaining

images from Ina Garten Barefoot Contessa

Nothing makes me happier than going through my favorite cookbooks while hanging out in my living room with a cup of coffee on the weekend before Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 15, 2010

My love of Fortuny Fabrics

Fortuny fabrics are among the most finely crafted fabrics in the world. The richly printed fabrics were first created by Spaniard Mariano Fortuny.  Born in 1871, Fortuny had an eye for Old World beauty and textiles, and moved to Venice at the turn of the century to build his renowned reputation for creating a new standard in luxury fabric. 

Today many designers, including myself, incorporate Fortuny into projects.  Fortuny is one of the most sophisticated, colorful and lovely fabrics to work with.

On a recent project we used a gorgeous brown fabric on a custom lampshade and pillows

A bench we made for a dressing area

Another custom lampshade for a client

This is from the newly opened showroom in NYC...Gorgeous!!!

More from the Showroom, loving the detail on the bottom of the sofa!

And now... An iPhone/iPad App!!! I am officially happy!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Orange - Images of Fall's signature color

I love the color orange!  It's a color that can define a room, accent other fabrics or add that special pop to an outfit.  It's a bold color that makes a statement in the home in many different rooms.  Orange is earthy and works well with so many other colors.  It can be both classic and modern.  I look outside my window at this time of year and all I see is orange.  From the Maple trees to the Boston Ivy growing on the brick building across the street - it's everywhere! 

I've picked out some of my favorite fabrics as well a few images from Tory Burch's New York City apartment on 5th Ave.  I went to Tory's apartment for a party celebrating one of my good friend's book release and it was a design feast.  Tory is not only an incredibly talented clothing designer, she has a fabulous eye for home decor. 

Tory Burch's gorgeous living room.  Her view of Central Park's Fall leaves are breathtaking

I love this skirted table in blue

China Seas Fabrics

The Best Lamp ever....Christopher Spitzmiller.  A staple for all of our projects

More lovely fabrics

Tory Burch's closet makes me crazy!!!

For me this is happiness...Hermes anything! My husband bought me this watch 10 years ago and the watch band changes each season.  It's incredibly versatile!  I love this Hermes messenger bag for when I go into New York City jamming to see all of my design sources.

A beautiful room by Jeffrey Bilhuber - classic

Love these orange Raoul draperies.  One of Thornton Designs great teenager rooms

This coming week I will be in Los Angeles working with clients and stopping by Suzanne Rheinstien's book party at Hollyhock.   I'll have more on my trip next week

Monday, October 11, 2010

Office Inspiration

Our office is located on a quaint little street off of Greenwich Avenue, on top of the neighborhood bookstore.  (Think Meg Ryan's bookstore in "You've Got Mail") We just took the entire floor and we are now getting ready to decorate the new space. We are working on turning my personal office into something that feels more like home than work!  

This is Thornton Designs...

Here's a fabulous home office that we recently finished.  The walls are done in a pink Venetian plaster and the fabrics are mostly Raoul, area rug by Elizabeth Eakins and the TV/File cabinet was designed by Thornton Designs, note the interior is painted in Farrow and Ball Calamine and fabricated in Raoul.  

I love these offices below

I love the dark cabinetry mixed with task lighting

Elegant and personal

Bright, open and collaborative

Aerin - completely chic at all times

There's something about this space that delights and terrifies at the same time

Our project room uses these Pottery Barn wall units for fabrics... lots of fabrics!

Every office benefits from "inspiration boards"

I love ladders!

This space looks a lot like my assistant's work spaces

 We'll update "It's Everything I Love" as we progress...


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