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.
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.
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!
A Rooftop Plunge Pool
For many, Memorial Day is the unofficial first day of summer so why not kick off the season with some coastal chic brought to you by the ever fabulous Beth Webb. This beachfront retreat on Costa Rica’s Guanacaste Peninsula strikes the perfect balance of family friendly style and gracious living.
Living Room with Layers
Cool and Collected Kitchen
If we had our way, we’d spend the entire summer in a home decorated with nautical blues and easy, breezy whites and this house ticks all the boxes. We especially love the addition of textured layers from woven chairs and rugs and the local vibe created by handcrafted accessories.
Master Bedroom with A View
Room for All
Since spending time outdoors is so important to us, we’d make full use of the beautiful pool and cabana!
Pool Cabana Living
Can you just imagine many lazy days with glasses of rosé… Happy Friday, all!
At Home with Jane Beiles
“You can’t judge a book by its cover” our mother often told us when we were young… and when we saw Jane Beiles’ home for the first time last winter, we couldn’t help but be reminded of this. What seems like an antique 1916 home on the outside is definitely not traditional on the inside. Small, closed off rooms were transformed into light-filled open spaces by architect Louise Brooks and RR Builders, and filled with chic but comfortable modern furnishings by Melissa Lindsay of Pimlico Interiors. The house was the perfect mix of old meets new and we were instantly charmed.
Entry and Dining Room
Kitchen and Mudroom
So it’s no surprise that we are super excited to see Jane’s wonderful home featured in the April issue of HGTV Magazine (and not only because our very own fiddle leaf fig tree makes an appearance on page 110!) Jane’s sunny personality shines through in the bright and happy interiors captured by photographer Alexandra Rowley and from the moment you enter the front door, you can’t help but feel at home.
While every room is a delight, we fell hard for the back porch which was decked out with winter greens and Christmas lights when we visited; we can only imagine how sweet it would be to spend a summer’s eve entertaining friends there. Perhaps Jane will indulge our fantasies by throwing another party this spring!
Welcome to Wistowe Island
What better way to cope with ten inches of newly fallen snow on the ground than to think about making plans for summer! We have friends who have just renovated a lake house in Canada so we’re hoping we’ll get an invitation this year. Whiling away a summer’s day in a hammock on the shore would be right up our alley. In the meantime, we came across this fabulous home in the Muskoka Lakes region which has us dreaming of warmer days ahead.
A Multicolor Space
A Fun Family Room
Designed by once-Connecticut resident Ann Hepfer, this cheerful summer home is filled with pops of color and comfortable spaces… and some unexpected accents like a hot pink JuJu headdress and a chandelier made of porcupine quills.
A Divine Dining Room
A Marvelous Master Bedroom
Ann describes the home’s aesthetic as “preppy boho” where layers and textures abound. Vintage wicker furniture gets a modern touch with ikat and geometric patterns while the unexpected palette of brights hues creates a sense of fun and whimsy.
A Perfect Porch
The entire home is designed to bring the outdoors in with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the serene lake, and a screened-in porch for watching the sunset. They say summer months are short in Canada but in a home like this one, the memories would last throughout the year. Happy Friday!
250 days until summer but who’s counting? We are… kind of. Loyal readers of this little blog know that as the temps get cooler and the days shorter, we start to get blue. Even as we’re surrounded by fall fabulousness (the pumpkin lattes, the cable knit sweaters, the turning leaves), we still look forward to easy, breezy summer days.
So when we come across homes like these, we have to share. Created to be enjoyed by family and friends, this waterfront property on Shelter Island decorated by Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller of Carrier and Company exudes laid back chic and is beautifully captured by the lens of Zach DeSart.
Fab Family Room
Shades of blue abound (and you know we love blue) whether they’re in large statement pieces like the handblown bubble chandelier by Liza Sherman Studio in the dining room or smaller accents like our blue hydrangea bouquet (yes, ours!) in the living room.
The subway tile by Waterworks in the kitchen is a heavenly shade of sky blue…
and there’s a Robert Hogan painting in turquoise hues over the freestanding tub in the master bath.
So as not to detract from the water views seen from the bed, the master bedroom has light touches of gray blue in the quilt, shams and walls to complement the floor-to-ceiling Christopher Martin painting.
Wishing you all a happy (not blue!) weekend and may you all enjoy the colors of fall.
A Home with a View
Since one of us is headed to the Hamptons today, we thought we’d profile this beautiful waterfront home on Peconic Bay designed by John David Rose and Jon Bjørnen. Owned by top real estate broker Tim Davis, the house was built in the early 2000’s and has been updated over the years to make it more gracious and stately yet still family friendly. Off the front hall is a lovely living room whose neutral palette is offset by Friedel Dzubas‘ colorful abstract painting prominently displayed over the fireplace.
Inspired by coastal corals, the sitting room feels warm and intimate with fabrics from Robert Allen and Brunschwig & Fils.
A Room to Love
We love the Provençal-style kitchen and especially the French doors which we can only assume opens up to a sloping lawn and a fabulous pool.
The lovely master suite has his and her baths, and her bath is to die for. Don’t you just want to pour yourself a glass of champagne and soak in that tub!
Sip and Soak
With its panoramic views (imagine the sunsets!) and vast stone terrace, this home is perfect for outdoor entertaining. Now all we need is an invitation… hint, hint. Happy Friday all and enjoy this last weekend of July. Where is the summer going??
TGIF! Not only are we toasting the end of a busy work week, but we’re also celebrating the fact that we’ve made our deposits for our sons’ college registrations. One of our seniors is heading to Massachusetts while the other to sunny California. Which got us thinking about a West Coast office for Diane James Home. We could easily become bi-coastal, especially if we could call La Jolla home. And this stunning beachfront contemporary has our name all over it…
From the terraced pool with connecting bridge, to the open floor plan where one can glimpse at the custom back-painted plate glass backsplash and the Studio Italia Design pendant fixture…
this home beautifully marries the indoors with it’s natural setting overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Sweet Master Suite
Once the word gets out that we have a West Coast pad, we’ll need more than just a master bedroom to accommodate guests…
unless we put them in our home office, which has a balcony with a view, of course!
And after a hard day’s work, we can all gather around the floating fire pit and be grateful that one of our boys chose to go to UCSD. Let us know if you have any San Diego hot spots to share since we’ll be visiting often.
An Ornate Entry
The Fall Tabletop Show is just weeks away so we’re madly working at completing our new Spring/Summer 2016 collection while our designers are busy elves putting the finishing touches on 52 wreaths for Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus. If there really is such thing as seasonal adjustment disorder, we have it! So we’re taking today to escape to more a exotic place, like this gorgeous apartment in Manila. The reason this home caught our eye is that it embodies the trend that inspired our new designs – a twist on tradition (and that’s in fact what the new collection will be called when it’s launched early next year!)
Glam to the Max
Simply Divine Dining
Blue Carreon has achieved the impossible by taking a modern blank box of a condo and creating a sense of history by adding crown molding, hand painted murals and blue and white porcelains. Mixing traditional furnishings with pieces from his own collection (like that stunning stone and brass coffee table in the living room or the shell and brass table in the dining room), Blue seamlessly combines the old with the new to create glamorous rooms that feel quite au courant.
Where the Magic Happens
“A space succeeds when it’s a collection of things you love and the layers of stories behind them,” says this designer and we couldn’t agree more! Blue’s office is filled with personal objects while a set of closet doors serves as mood boards…
and his shelves are so artfully styled one could paint a still life from them! What a wonderful way to end the work week, don’t you think? Happy weekend!
Photos: 1 – 6
Hamptons Home by William Minnear
While we’re setting up our booth for NY NOW, our boys are heading out to see Grandma Diane in the Hamptons for some fun in the sun and at the beach. Homes in the Hamptons come in all shapes and sizes – from cottages built at the turn of the century to uber mega mansions (you know the kind!) and Grandma Diane’s is more the former than the latter. But it still has that laid back summer vibe and that’s what we love about it.
Easy, Breezy Family Room
Vintage and Modern Mix
We also love this home which we spotted online at Luxe and we had to share it’s modern eclectic style with you. Statement lighting plus vintage furniture plus a neutral palette give this summer house the casual sophistication its owners desired. And New York-based interior designer Kevin Dumais made it all happen in less than three months.
Chic and Sleek
Piece de Resistance
This house was made for entertaining and we can just imagine family and friends gathering in the Christopher Peacock-designed kitchen or outdoors around the pool and fireplace. A nice place to while away the summer day, don’t you think?
Pretty Poolside Patio
Happy Friday everyone and if you happen to be at NY NOW, stop by and say “Hi.” We’ll be on the third floor at Javits (#1848) through Wednesday… (and not lounging by this pretty pool!)
Photos: 1 – 6
Sitting on the beautiful banks of the Navesink River in New Jersey, this renovated Arts and Crafts-style house is home sweet home to a family of four, though you wouldn’t know it from the calming palette of pale grays, taupes and blues. Designer Kati Curtis was given the task to make the original dark interiors filled with architectural details and quirky spaces (like two octagonal shaped rooms) into a light and airy home.
Given that two young children live here, the furniture and counter tops had to be durable and easy to clean. With that in mind, Kati chose stain-resistant outdoor fabrics for the family room seating and a stone-topped table in the dining room on which the children can color and not leave a trace.
The patterned Donegal wool rugs that are found throughout the home are not only beautiful but practical since they hide dirt and stains. There’s even a playroom in the attic replete with beanbag chairs and a vibrant patchwork carpet, a perfect space for play dates and fun.
No riverfront house is complete without a boathouse and this one converts into a guest room or an entertaining space depending on the needs. Who wouldn’t want to spend the weekend with friends hanging by the water and enjoying the views?!
Wishing you a wonderful weekend just hanging…
Photos: Navesink, NJ