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Monday Mantra

Monday Mantra

Oh, Oui!

Imagine yourself living in a space that contains only things that spark joy.  Isn’t this the lifestyle you dream of?  ~ Marie Kondo



Sam Allen Redux

Fairfield Beach Modern

If you combined clean, comfortable style and added interesting, organic elements you’d get Sam Allen’s chic aesthetic.  We’ve known Sam for years, ever since he broke out onto the local design scene at the age of 19, and are huge fans of his work.  We’ve even been lucky enough to work with him on a number of projects and love it when he shows up at our studio on a whim.

Glamorous Estate

Compo Beach Guest Room

Between setting beautiful tables for the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House Gala and taking on clients all over Fairfield County, Sam has found the time to redesign his website and it is as stylish as he is.

Timeless Beauty

We dare you to spend some time browsing through his residential projects and not want to live in each and every space.  Whether it’s an elegant living room, a luxurious kitchen or a colorful office, Sam’s interiors have a certain pizzazz that’s undeniably his.

Compo Beach Master Bedroom

Pied a Terre Office

It’s hard to believe that it’s been eight years since Sam launched his eponymous firm (since he still looks like a teen) and we wish him all the best for many years to come!

Happy Friday and may your weekend be fabulous…


Monday Mantra

Monday Mantra


I will not be another flower, picked for my beauty and left to die.  I will be wild, difficult to find and impossible to forget.  ~Erin Van Vuren



A Peck of Painted Pumpkins

Moody Florals

Who’s ready for Halloween?  We definitely aren’t!  Perhaps it has to do with the Indian summer we’ve been having…  The leaves are barely falling and we haven’t had to pull out our fall jackets.  And when it comes to fall decorating, there’s nary a pumpkin in sight.  Thankfully, the boys are old enough that pumpkin carving is not on the agenda but we’d still like to celebrate the season in style.

Fall Flowers

That’s why we’ll be rolling up our sleeves and getting our paintbrushes out this weekend.  No carve Halloween pumpkins are all the rage (time starved moms like us are making sure they are!) so why not join the ranks and try some of these ideas out.

Falling Leaves

To be honest, our mother is the creative one in the family so these first three designs may be more than we can handle…

Neon and Gold

Just Jade

Marvelously Marbled

But we’re willing to try the more monochromatic styles and who doesn’t love blue and white in any season.  Hmmm…  Maybe we can convince the boys to help!

P.S.  Click on the photo links below to get to the DIY instructions.

moody / floral / foliage / neon / jade / marbled

Monday Mantra

Monday Mantra

Little Sprout

Happiness consists not in having much, but being content with little.  ~ Countess of Blessington

P.S.  What’s making you happy these days?


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!