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Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home in Madrid, Spain

Entrance Hall

It’s really hard to say goodbye to Madrid once you’ve lived for almost four years so when it came time to move out of the US embassy’s official residence, Ambassador James Costos and his partner, interior designer Michael Smith, decided to relocate their possessions to an elegant apartment in the city’s Barrio Salamanca.

Living Room

Dining Room

Michael took on the task of redecorating the stately home by reshuffling the couple’s art and antiques, and he said seeing pedigreed pieces in a new, more relaxed context, was both illuminating and fun.  An 18th century Coromandel screen takes on new life as the centerpiece in the living room, while the Chinese painted panels in the dining room once graced the walls of a guest bedroom in the former residence.  Talk about recycling!

Peonies and Alberto Pinto China

The couple is still buying art for their new home and it’s decidedly more Spanish in provenance – works from disciples of Goya grace the walls of the library while a banner embroidered with the crest of a noble Spanish family hangs over the headboard in the master bedroom.

Master Bedroom

Guest Bedroom

It’s hard not to love the bright and comfortable aura that is created by the use of colors and patterns and of course, flowers!  We just wonder if our flowers (seen here!) made the move…   ¡Que tengas un buen fin de semana!




Home: The Way We Live Now

When you’re the editor of The New York Times Home section, you get to see a lot of homes…  From small apartments and studios that make creative use of compact spaces to cottages and cabins that connect with their often remote surroundings, and everything in between.  So it makes complete sense that these editors would come together and create a book chock full of beautiful photographs and compelling stories from the newspaper’s vast home-design archive.

Photograph by Jane Beiles

Photograph by Tony Cenicola

Edited by Noel Millea and published by Rizzoli New York, this gorgeous tome offers a look at how today’s homeowners make the most of their living spaces and do it with style.  Unique and inviting, these homes are exemplary studies of living at its most seductive and creative… And each one is appealing in its own way.

Photograph by Bruce Buck

Portraits and interiors of Debra Heighten and Clay Caudy at their vacation home, designed by Rain Houser of Pearson Design Group, located at 2520 Trader Road, Jackson, WY 83001

Photograph by Trevor Tondro

As huge fans of the NYT Home section, we were thrilled when our talented friend Jane Beiles (one of the photographers featured in this book) reached out to us and offered it up as a giveaway.  Better yet, she will inscribe it for the lucky winner!

June 19, 2014. Home of Phil and Lucy Suarez on Fire Island, Fair Harbor, NY. The home was designed by the architect, Richard Meier

Photography by Trevor Tondro

So if you’d like to enter the giveaway, leave a comment below, like today’s post on Instagram or Facebook or email us at with “Home: The Way We Live Now” in the subject line.  You have until 11:59 pm on Sunday, October 15, 2017 to enter and we’ll announce the winner on Monday.  Good luck!

Note: Photographs may not be reproduced in any way without written permission from the publisher.  For information, please contact Pam Sommers at 212-387-3465 or

Monday Mantra

Monday Mantra

Sail Away

Fill your life with adventures, not things.  Have stories to tell, not stuff to show.

P.S.  In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue and probably had lots of stories to tell!

Fabulous Finds

Get Party Ready This Fall

Katie Ridder – East Side Townhouse

Fall weather is finally coming our way after a beautiful couple of weeks of Indian summer.  That means bringing the party indoors and sprucing up the house with some cozy fall accents.  From Vietnam, a country known for centuries-old gold leaf and lacquer tradition, this luxurious gold tray was inspired by the doorways of India’s Rambagh Palace and is perfect for serving cocktails or hors d’oeuvres.

Rock Flower Paper – Rambagh Tray

Speaking of serving, we love Blue Pheasant’s Halette spoons…  Made of gorgeously striated horn and cream-colored bone they are a hostess’s best friend.

Blue Pheasant – Halette Serving Spoons

You can walk on the wild side and add a bit of luxe lodge decor to you coffee table with these Tanner coasters.  Not only are they extremely chic, they’re practical, too!

Blue Pheasant – Tanner Coasters

Every powder room needs a beautiful candle and this one comes with its own quartz coaster.  Imagine a light wood scent mixed with notes of rosewood, cardamom, amber, and vetiver to create a sultry combination of sweet and spicy.

Mer Sea – Acquilaria Candle

What goes best with a cool fall evening and a roaring bonfire?  Hot cocoa, of course!  Flying Bird’s Chocolate Lover’s Gift Box comes with four charming tins of organic heirloom cacao blends – a great gift for your favorite chocolate lover or just for yourself!

Flying Bird Botanicals – Chocolate Lover’s Gift Box

Now that it’s really fall, what are you doing to get party ready?

dining room / tray / spoons / coasters / candle / cocoa

Monday Mantra

Monday Mantra

Rebecca Louise Law Floral Installation

To have ideas is to gather flowers, to think is to weave them into garlands. ~Anne Sophie Swetchine



Welcome to France & Son

Our Tres Chic Orchid

There’s a huge demand for mid-century modern design these days but most of the original furniture is way to pricey for our budget.  That’s why we love France & Son where you can buy a Sputnik chandelier or a Barcelona-inspired chair for an affordable price.  With a showroom in lower Chelsea and a full online site, France & Son offers a wide range of furniture and accessories designed by the likes of Sean Dix and Thomas Bina.

Anders Sideboard

Modern Dining

Shelves (Not Just For Books!)

Outdoors / Indoors

We’ve been fans of the store for a while so when they placed an order last month for our flowers, we were beyond thrilled.  So we’d like to give a warm Wednesday welcome to France & Son!

Bold Stripes

P.S.  And check out their design blog and Instagram feed – both are filled with pretty pictures and design inspiration.


Monday Mantra

Monday Mantra

Starting The Day Off Right

Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. ~ Lewis Carroll

P.S.  Let’s believe in the impossible this week…  Ok?


Insta Find

Second Bloom

Cathy at Work

Whew, it’s been a busy week!  Not only are we working on our new Spring/Summer 2018 collection to be previewed next month by top buyers, we also put the finishing touches on 220 floral ornaments, 15 bouquets and two scotty topiaries for a presidential library installation…  Needless to say, we escaped to Instagram for some floral therapy.  And as always, we fell down the internet rabbit hole and ended up in Cathy Graham’s Wonderland.

Sensational Centerpiece

Sunday Brunch

Plate Designs


Second Bloom

Known for her pretty parties and fab flowers, Cathy published a book this week on the art of setting a terrific table, just in time to inspire us for our new designs.  So we leave you with her wonderful work and wish you all a weekend full of beauty!