Archive for the ‘Q & A’ Category

Q & A with Timothy Corrigan

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Tremendously Talented Timothy

Glamorous doesn’t even begin to describe Timothy Corrigan’s lavish interiors…  We think “breathtakingly gorgeous” would be a better descriptive.  Despite exuding old-world elegance, Timothy’s interiors are fresh and comfortable, too.  Perhaps that is why he’s the designer of choice for European and Middle Eastern royalty, Hollywood celebrities (like Sarah Jessica Parker and Madonna!) and international corporate executives.  Not to mention the accolades he’s received from Architectural Digest (“Today’s Tastemaker” and AD Top 100), The Robb Report (World’s Top 40 Interior Designers), and Luxe Magazine (Gold List.)

Timothy’s Home in Los Angeles

His projects include extraordinary properties and span the globe, from a 45,000 square foot beach villa in Doha to a tiny jewel box apartment in Paris to his own Chateau du Grand-Luce’ in the Loire valley.  And in case he wasn’t busy enough, this advertising executive turned divine designer is working on a book about his chateau, a French national landmark and one of the purest examples of 18th century architecture, published by Rizzoli this fall, and has a number of other exciting projects in the works.  Thankfully, Timothy had time to graciously answer our questions and needless to say, we’re thrilled and honored to have him here today!

1.  What did you want to be when you were a child?
I wanted to be an architect from my earliest memory.  I used to build completely different style buildings (classic through what was then cutting-edge contemporary) out of balsa wood.  I would paint them then add trees and lawns.  I have always been fascinated by the creation of buildings and how people interact with them.

Chateau du Grand-Luce’ in France

2.  What is your necessary luxury?
Custom-made Belgian Loafers with the bows taken off…  I have about 20 pairs and war them every day…  There is no shoe more comfortable or chic.  The other thing that I cannot live without are good bed linens – I love the custom embroidered designs of DEA from Italy.

3.  What is your favorite decorating accessory?
Mirrors are one of the best things to make a room feel alive…  They reflect the light (both day and night) and they make any room look larger and more glamorous.  It doesn’t matter if they have a simple wood frame or an elaborately carved baroque surround – they always do the trick!

Mirror, Mirror

4.  Where do you window shop?
The antique shops on the left bank of Paris are one of the best places for antique window shopping – they always give me inspiration even if I can’t afford any of the wonderful pieces inside.  I also love the windows of the flagship Hermes shop on Rue St. Honore in Paris becuase they chnage them regularly with some of the most imaginative designs you can imagine.

5.  What makes a house a home?
Even the most beautiful house is not really a “home” unless you can feel totally comfortable living in all the rooms.  I don’t believe that you should have any “just for company” rooms.  Comfort is more than just having soft, uphostered seating to lounge on…  Comfort is also a state of mind.  I try to turn every piece of furniture in the house into everyday use by adding marine varnish onto table tops, upholstering seating with High Performance or outdoor fabrics and always having good lighting so that you can read where ever you want.

A Parisian Jewel

6.  What is the most enjoyable part of your day?
My biggest passion in life is learning new things…  I get so excited whenever I find a great new source, learn some new bit of history or figure out how to do something better.  It may sound corny, but at the end of most days I ask myself what have I learned that day?

7.  What is your favorite flower?
Favorite flower?  That is like asking a parent who is their favorite child.  I love almost all flowers but my favorites would probably be: a huge bunch of deep purple anemones, a small, fragrant arrangement of sweet peas or a sterling silver cup filled with long-lasting star of Bethlehem.

Lunch at the Chateau

8.  If you were a cocktail, what would you be and why?
I woiuld be a tall, icy cold Caiparusski – vodka, lots of tangy limes, shaved ice and a dash of sugar.  The vodka give me punch, the limes make me fresh and alive, the ice gives me vigor and the sugar evens things out so that I am not too overpowering!

9.  If your life were made into a movie, what would be the title and who would play your part?
If a movie were made of my life, it wouldhave to be something like 7 Countries/6 Days.  My entire professional life has been spent on the road; in my first career in advertising I was responsible for my company’s international division and I was constantly traveing around the world.  Now, I find that I spend about two-thirds of the time between our two offices (LA and PAris) and the international projects what we have underway.  Why six days in the title?  On the seventh day, I collapse!  Who would play my part?  Well, since this would be a somewhat dull film, who better than have someone like Cary Grant to spice things up?  I want someone dashing and romantic to make this film more fun!

Maison de Luxe at Greystone – 2011

10.  Name one thing from your “Bucket List.”
I have never really kept a bucket list; I feel so incredibly lucky to have been able to do all of the things I have in my life and I really try to remain open to all of the possibilities that present themselves to me.  I firmly believe that there are no real “coincidences” and so it becomes even more important to keep an open mind about everything that happens.  There are no good or bad experiences…  Just how you choose to react to them!

What marvelous and memorable answers!  Thank you, Timothy, for letting us “buzz” about you today and for sharing your amazing talent with us.

Beautiful Blue and White Porcelains

P.S.  We don’t know how Timothy finds time to blog with all his travels and projects, but he does and you can read more here!

Photos via Timothy Corrigan

Q & A with Carolyne Roehm

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Carolyne Roehm at Home

We’ve been wondering if the fabulous Carolyne Roehm needs a lengthy introduction, given the number of fans she must have all over the world, yours truly included…

Flowers

If you haven’t seen her books about flowers, lifestyle, decorating and entertaining (eleven in all), or followed her career as a top fashion designer resulting in her election as President of the CFDA, or been enchanted by her newly revamped website and blog filled with wonderful ideas and pictures, then you haven’t experienced Carolyne’s passion for beauty and her world of gracious style.

Fall at Weatherstone

Needless to say, we were thrilled to be able to interview Carolyne as her new book, Flowers, has just been published.  Better yet…  she’s coming to Stamford, CT this weekend to join notable interior and entertaining designers including Vincente Wolf, Amanda Nisbet, Lulu Powers and Annie Falk at Designing Greenwich sponsored by Connecticut Cottages & Gardens at The Loading Dock.  We can’t wait to visit this first-ever show of its kind in Fairfield County, featuring curated collections of fine art, modern antiques, couture jewelry and more from over 35 galleries worldwide.  What a perfect venue for Carolyne to share her style secrets and introduce her new book!  So, without further ado…

1.  What did you want to be when you were a child?
I really wanted to be a fairy princess and only wear “formals” as they were called back in the 50′s and a tiara of real diamonds – I had a rhinestone one that I wanted to wear to school every day but my mother dissuaded me.  I was not sure how to become a princess so I thought I should have a backup plan.  So, at a very early age, I wanted to be a fashion designer.  No tiara but lots of pretty clothes was second best.

2.  What is your necessary luxury?
My necessary luxuries are lots of cut flowers.

3.  What is your favorite decorating accessory?
My favorite decorating accessory is a mass of cut flowers.

4.  Where do you window shop?
Every place…  But my favorite place is Paris, I suppose, but I look wherever I am.

Setting a Fall Table

5.  What makes a house a home?
The individuality of the owner, the more intimate personal possessions that reflect the interests and the personality of the owner.  A house needs to feel alive in order to be a home – dogs, plants, flowers, scents emanating from something cooking in the kitchen, music playing, the movement of people in the house.

6.  What is the most enjoyable part of your day?
I love the early morning when the house is quiet, the dogs are gathered around me and I have a cup of coffee in my hand.  I also love the end of the day when the shadows are golden and long… with my dogs around me, sitting next to a cozy fire and a good glass of red wine in my hand .

Carolyne’s New Gardners

7.  What is your favorite flower?
That is just too hard – I love them all.  But I shall be traditional and say garden roses and tree peonies.

8.  If you were a cocktail, what would you be?
I am not a big lover of cocktails.  I would prefer to be a great glass of French red wine, either a Burgundy or Bordeaux, because a great glass of wine is memorable and stands the test of time.

9.  If your life were made into a movie, what would be the title and who would play a part?
Calamity Jane Part II.  Lord knows, maybe Robin Williams…  I would like for it to be a comedy.

Last Dahlia Dinner

10.  Name one thing from your “Bucket List.”
I want to swim with dolphins in clear, warm and safe waters.

A big thank you to Carolyne for entertaining us with her answers and inspiring us daily!  If you’d like to see her in person this Saturday, click here for more information and tickets.

P.S. And if you’d like to see us participate in the “Secrets of Design Blogger” panel moderated by DJ Carey, we’re on today at 1 pm!

Photos via Carolyne Roehm and House Beautiful

 

Q & A with House of Brinson

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

A Creative Couple

Ever since we met the very talented Susan Brinson at the ALT Summit in New York, we’ve been dying to profile her work along with her husband, William’s, beautiful photography here on The Buzz.  House of Brinson is their joint venture, a blog where they document all aspects of art, design, photography, food and life in general, and their aesthetic is all about contrast: black and white, light and dark, masculine and feminine, old and new, rustic and modern.

Artichoke

While Susan, an art director and designer, is into all things visual and crafty (and is known for her obsessive holiday cookie baking!), William, a still life and food photographer, is a foodie, always thinking about the next meal.

Queen Anne’s Lace

It’s no wonder that our mouths were salivating when we perused his portfolio.  We were thrilled that this dynamic duo agreed to take part in our series and loved their fun, unique answers!

The Moment – Tulips

1.  What did you want to be when you were a child?
S:  Mostly an artist, but sometimes a lawyer
W: Stunt man

2.  What is your necessary luxury?
S:   LaMer skin cream
W: Leather booths

The Moment – Roses

3.  What is your favorite decorating accessory?
S:  Succulent flowers
W: Vintage lamps

4.  Where do you window shop?
S:  Ferragamo via Pinterest
W: John Varvatos

5.  What makes a house a home?
S:  A casual mess, or looking lived in
W: My family, Susan and Nero (our boxer dog)

The Moment – Dusk

6.  What is the most enjoyable part of your day?
S:  Coming home from work to an overly excited boxer dog and my husband
W: Morning

7.  What is your favorite flower?
S:  Peony
W: Garlic blossom

8.  If you were a cocktail, what would you be?
S:  Amaretto and cream, on the rocks
W: Vodka Martini, strong and a little dry

9.  If your life were made into a movie, what would be the title and who would play your part?
S:  Taste, Kate Winslet  (She has nice eyebrows.)
W: Lunch with Will, of course Brad Pitt would play me

Black and White Things

10.  Name one thing from your “Bucket List”
S:  Visit Machu Picchu
W: Purchase a motorcycle

We wish we could have added more pretty pictures to this post…  Thankfully, Susan and William have fabulous sites so we urge you to visit both!

Photos via House of Brinson

Q & A with Loni Parker (Adore Home)

Friday, October 21st, 2011

We Adore Adore Home!

When we came across Australia’s first online home and lifestyle magazine, it was love at first sight!  After flipping through the pages filled with inspirational homes from “down under” and beyond, divine design from artists still waiting to be discovered and the latest home treasures (accessible with just one click), we were hooked (read our post here.) 

Lovely Loni

So it’s with great pleasure that the lovely Loni Parker, founder of Adore Home, accepted our invitation to be featured on The Buzz, especially since the magazine is celebrating it’s first birthday with a New York edition!

1.   What did you want to be when you were a child?
I actually have always wanted to be a pilot.  As a child I was fascinated by planes; when they would fly over our home (which wasn’t very often as I was born in a small country town) I would run out and just watch them.  When I got to high school I even enrolled in all of the subjects that you had to study if you wanted to get into the defence force.  Lucky for me, I was terrible at physics so I gave up on that idea and fell in love with art and design instead.

Lucy Fenton in Melbourne

2.   What is your necessary luxury?
Flowers.  To many people they would be a luxury item but I simply must have flowers in my home.  Every weekend I go to the local markets to pick up a fresh bunch or two.  My boyfriend thinks they’re a complete waste of money but I totally disagree.  Flowers add life to a home.

3.   What is your favorite decorating accessory?
Books and candles.  I like to make a little stack of books and pop a lovely candle on top or even a piece of coral.  Having a stack of three or so books automatically makes the pile of books a decorator piece and makes them look more visually interesting.  Great for putting on a console table or even displayed in a bookcase that way.  An excellent example of this can be seen in Jen Ramos’ home here.

Black and Spiro in Brisbane

4.   Where do you window shop?
Alannah Hill.  Only problem is I rarely can just stop at window shopping – I usually end up walking out of the store with a new piece.  I had to ban myself from going there for a while because I was like a kid in a candy shop!  Now that they have an online store, it’s even harder to resist.  For interiors, I love Brisbane stores like Black and Spiro and Magnolia Interiors.  Both have the most amazing pieces in store and showcase beautiful colourful furniture and homewares.

5.   What makes a house a home?
I think it’s important to add touches that have personality and that have meaning – otherwise, it just ends up looking like a display home that has no soul.

6.   What is the most enjoyable part of your day?
Receiving emails from readers who love the magazine.  It always brightens my day when I see that Adore Home brings someone else happiness to their day.

At Home with Melanie (Luxury Mongrams)

7.   What is your favorite flower?
Peonies hands down are my all time favourite flower.  They’re not always in season so I usually will have snapdragons or even chrysanthemums in a bright sunny yellow as they last for a couple of weeks and still look great!

8.   If you were a cocktail, what would you be?
Probably a pina colada.  Because it’s got that mixture of fruitiness and creaminess – not sure if that sums up my personality – but I think I’m a bit of a mixed bag so that’s probably what I’d be… plus I love the taste of pina coladas and my family’s emblem is a pineapple!

9.   If your life were made into a movie, what would be the title and who would play your part?
It would be called “Workaholic” and it would probably be a romantic comedy or indie flick.  I’d love for Zooey Deschanel to play my part, not because I think I look like her (although I wish I did) but because she’s a little bit quirky and not so mainstream which is what I love about her.

10.  Name one thing from your “Bucket List”.
Visit New York.

Summer Thorton's Home

Isn’t Loni fabulous and aren’t we lucky she didn’t become a pilot!  Thank you Loni for all that you do and when you come to New York, we’ll treat you to a pina colada…

If you can’t wait for the next issue of Adore Home to be published, check out Loni’s blog!

Photos via Loni Parker at Adore Home magazine

Q & A + Giveaway: Studio Eriksdotter

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011
Erica Eriksdotter

Erica Eriksdotter

What better way to celebrate spring than with pretty paintings of flowers that are yet to bloom in these parts and who better to go to than the talented and lovely artist, Erica Eriksdotter, for inspiration.  We met Erica last year through blogging (it seems that we meet the most interesting people by just sitting at our desks and surfing the web!) and immediately connected with her bright sense of color and unexpected floral close-ups.

Pansy

Pansy

Born and raised in Sweden, Erica sold her first painting at the age of 10 and has continued to make people and homes happy with her art ever since.  She now lives and paints just outside Washington D.C. and sells her work through her Etsy store and at art festivals nationwide.

Orange Callas

Orange Callas

Erica’s latest work has her creating beautiful keepsake paintings of bridal bouquets.  While most of her commissions come from customers in the States, Erica also tried her hand painting Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden’s wedding bouquet having watched the entire 12 hour event last year – isn’t it gorgeous?

A Bouquet Fit for a Queen

A Bouquet Fit for a Queen

We knew that with spring on our doorstep (actually, it’s in the house!), we wanted to celebrate the season with Erica’s Q & A and giveaway…  So pull up a chair and enjoy!

1.  What did you want to be when you were a child?
A painter, singer and a businesswoman.  I’m happy to say that at age 30, I’m a full-time painter and a business woman with my own company, Studio Eriksdotter.  Though I spent many years singing any chance I could, I much rather sing along in my studio while painting.

2.  What is your necessary luxury?
My very own studio in our house where I can be messy when I want to and find the stillness I need to be creative.

3.  What is your favorite decorating accessory?
Orchids and candles.  They always bring loveliness to any room in the house.

4.  Where do you window shop?
Online at various stores (Neiman Marcus, Saks, Anthropology) and on blogs and online magazines (LiveLikeYou, The Zhush, Everything Fabulous, thisisglamorous, Lonny, RUE and High Gloss.)

5.  What makes a house a home?
Love and family.  I do my best painting when I know my husband is home and the cats are enjoying the sun in the window.

Large Fringed Tulip

Large Fringed Tulip

6.  What is the most enjoyable part of your day?
Adding details to a painting while enjoying a nice cup of tea and hearing the birds sing through the open window.  Spring is coming!

7.  What is your favorite flower?
Since I paint flowers, it’s difficult for me to pick a certain one.  I love painting calla lilies, daisies and tulips.  My favorites to have in the house are roses, orchids and tulips.

8.  If you were a cocktail, what would you be?
I’d have to be something bold, blond and powerful – a Lemon Drop!

9.  If your life were made into a movie, what would be the title and who would play your part?
“22 Journals – the story of the woman who did it all” and I guess the woman who would have to play me is the woman people say I remind them of, Kate Hudson.

10.  Name one thing on your “Bucket List”
Travel the world.

Not only is Erica generous with her time but also with her stationery as she’s giving away her sunny “Sunflower Rising” cards – a box of five folded cards on linen paper with envelopes – to a very lucky reader.

Sunflower Rising Card

Sunflower Rising Card

All you have to do is leave a comment below or if you’re shy (and we know some of you are!), send us an email at TheBuzz.Giveaway@gmail.com.  We’ll be announcing the winner on Sunday, March 27th so enter by midnight Saturday, March 28th, 2010!

A big thank you to Erica for this colorful welcome to spring!  For more information, visit her website, Studio Eriksdotter, and read her blog.

Photos via Studio Eriksdotter

Q & A with Claire Ingram

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Every issue of Connecticut Cottages & Gardens is a treat, and we loved the Holiday 2010 issue even more as our friend, photographer Claire Ingram, shot all the lovely and luxurious gifts for the feature Present Perfection.

Perfect Present in CTC&G

Perfect Presents in CTC&G

With a background in stock and portrait photography, Claire began taking pictures of products, tabletops and still lifes when a friend commissioned her to shoot foodstuffs to promote a local Farmer’s Market.

The Lovely Claire Ingram

The Lovely Claire Ingram

Being the mother of a young daughter at the time, she was invigorated by the challenge of working with inanimate objects and thrilled to have patient subjects day or night (we can so relate seeing as we never can get our kids to sit still!)

Snowpeas

Snow Peas

Garlic and Oil

Garlic and Oil

Claire is currently working on a series of ink and water images, shooting different kinds of pigment as they travel through water, and is having way too much fun throwing liquid around the studio.  Though born in London and raised in Michigan, she now lives just up the road in Weston, CT, where she does a lot of shooting and mopping!

Orange Juice

Orange Juice

Having known Claire for over a decade, we are thrilled that publications are now getting to recognize her talent, and we thought you might enjoy it, too.

1.   What did you want to be when you were a child?
A spy.  I was REALLY invested in being a spy.  Finally, my mother had to tell me that it wasn’t a reasonable career choice.

2.   What is your necessary luxury?
Having the time and the means to be creative.

3.   What is your favorite decorating accessory?
Truly, it’s flowers.  I know everyone tells you that, but I think it’s universal.

4.   Where do you window shop?
Online.  I live in a small town, so window shopping is pretty limited.

5.   What makes a house a home?
All the imperfections resulting from being lived in.

6.   What is the most enjoyable part of your day?
Evenings.  I like knowing that there’s nothing on the schedule except bed.  Plus, I feel creative in the evenings and better able to think.

7.   What is your favorite flower?
Lilacs.  And they don’t last nearly long enough!  Hmmm… if only I could find someone to make silk ones…

8.   If you were a cocktail, what would you be?
Something gin-based, enjoyed at Sterling/Cooper/Draper/Price.

9.   If your life were made into a movie, what would be the title and who would play your part?
If only Rosalind Russell could play me, she could call it anything she wanted!

10.  Name one thing from your “Bucket List”.
I want to make a long cross-country-and-back trip with my daughter one summer when she becomes a teenager.  She’s 6 now.  There’s so much to see, and an extended road trip is such an adventure.  Naturally, I’d make it a photographic project, too.

Red Pepper vs. Zinnia

Red Pepper vs. Zinnia

Thank you, Claire, for your gorgeous pictures and for showing us that even the lowly snow pea can be beautiful!

Photos from Claire Ingram Photography

Q & A with Lynn Morgan

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010
Lynn Off To See A Client

Lynn Off To See A Client

There’s something so fresh and fabulous about Lynn Morgan‘s aesthetic that there’s no mistaking her touch when you come across her interiors.  Given that many of her clients live in homes by the sea (and her office has water views), her easy, breezy vibe fits the coastal lifestyle to a tee.

A House Beautiful Bedroom

A House Beautiful Bedroom

Palmer Hill Condo

Palmer Hill Condo

A native of Savannah, Georgia, a city known for its genteel elegance, Lynn worked as the decorating editor at House & Garden before launching her business in 1982.  Her interiors, with their bright hues (the most gorgeous blues, greens and pops of coral) and relaxed sensibility, are the perfect mix of comfort, sophistication and fun.

New Canaan Estate

New Canaan Estate

Rowayton Cottage

Rowayton Cottage

A Palm Beach Beauty

A Palm Beach Beauty

Needless to say, we are thrilled that Lynn is local and that we’ve had the pleasure of working with her over the years on a number of wonderful projects (and that she would submit herself to our Q & A!)

1.   What did you want to be when you were a child?
You know the saying “keep your eye on the prize”?  Ever since I can remember I had my sights on design.  First, as the Decorating Editor for House & Garden and then I moved on to start Lynn Morgan Design.

2.   What is your necessary luxury?
Flowers!  I have to be surrounded by pretty flowers!

3.   What is your favorite decorating accessory?
Color!  Splashes of color everywhere!

4.   Where do you window shop?
Anywhere and everywhere.

5.   What makes a house a home?
A dog, kids, and good friends… not necessarily in that order.

6.   What is the most enjoyable part of your day?
I love the first part of the day.  Arriving at my office early before the day gets ahead of us.  Sitting in the office with a cup of coffee, looking out the window over the Five Mile River watching the kayakers and boaters.

7.   What is your favorite flower?
Hydrangeas and peonies.

8.   If you were a cocktail, what would you be?
My southern roots are showing here, mint julep!

9.   If your life were made into a movie, what would be the title and who would play your part?
“One Lucky Lady”, starring Audrey Hepburn.

10.  Name one thing from your “Bucket List”.
Sailing in Polynesia.

Thank you, Lynn, for your great sense of design and refined simplicity!

Photos from Lynn Morgan Design

Q & A with Patricia van Essche

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010
The Lovely Patricia

The Lovely Patricia

We met the lovely Patricia van Essche at SM Home last year during an evening sponsored by atHome magazine.  Needless to say, we had been reading her blog, pve, and seeing her drawings everywhere – from blog headers (All The Best, Mrs. Blandings and most recently, Pretty Pink Tulips) and private commissions (people, pets, parties and places!)  to whimsical designs for the store J. McLaughlin.  We felt like we were meeting blogging royalty!

Mrs. Blandings' Header

Mrs. Blandings' Header

Pretty Pink Tulips' Header

Pretty Pink Tulips' Header

J. McLaughlin Press Kit Cover

J. McLaughlin Press Kit Cover

A Southern-born belle through and through, Patricia began her career armed with a BS in Fashion Design and her university’s coveted “Golden Brush” award.  Fifteen years later, she had held positions as designer and design director at Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Liz Clairborn.  Patricia, mother of three, now runs her own business out of her beautiful home in Westchester County (yes, she’s a neighbor, too!) and offers clients a broad range of designs services, including the most wonderful illustrations of homes (a great housewarming or Christmas gift!)

Decorated for the Fourth of July

Decorated for the Fourth of July

Absolutely Beautiful Things Notecards

Absolutely Beautiful Things Notecards

We were so excited earlier this summer when she came to our offices and spent the morning painting the most beautiful watercolor of one of our bouquets for a product extension launching this fall (more on that in October!)  And we were even more honored when she accepted to be part of this Q & A!

1.   What did you want to be when you were a child?
An artist or the flying nun.

2.   What is your necessary luxury?
LIFE!  Life is a luxury and telling my kids I love them each day.

3.   What is your favorite decorating accessory?
“A smile” is like a bouquet of flowers!

4.   Where do you window shop?
Everywhere I go.  I was a fashion designer and that is what I did – shopped, traveled the globe, shopped, resourced, and shopping was the inspiration for many collections.  I hope more small boutiques open as they are the creative soul.  I love small shops – to know the owner.  My favorite local shop is our bakery, our hardware store, our local Sunnydale for eggs, and daily needs.  My best shop is in my head.  I always prefer making things over shopping.  Making gifts.  Giving artwork.

5.   What makes a house a home?
Part of what makes a house a home are the inhabitants.  The markings on the wall, the scratches from the dog, the fingerprints, and the memories.  There is an old Irish poem: “It takes a heap-o-livin to make a house a home.”  Life, routine, the laundry, the daily meals, the celebrations, the sick days, the holidays all make a house a home.

6.   What is the most enjoyable part of your day?
Oh, the wee early morning quiet and the evening hours when the house is alive… and humming.

7.   What is your favorite flower?
My wedding bouquet had gardenias.  It was a copy of my mom’s bouquet.

8.   If you were a cocktail, what would you be?
I would be a champagne cocktail or an Old Fashioned with Kentucky bourbon.

9.   If your life were made into a movie, what would be the title and who would play your part?
“Artsy” would be the title and it would be a comic love story about an artist, a love affair with art, one part historical and the other part hysterical.  I guess I would want somebody unknown to play the role and this would make her famous.  She would be normal, down-to-earth and likable.

10.  Name one thing from your “Bucket List”.
One, jeesh… I think it would be to travel with my family for one year, to be missionaries – spreading care, kindness, teaching art – helping others.

Thank you, Patricia, for your works of art and gentle presence – we’re so fortunate to have met you!  For more information, please visit Patricia’s website and Etsy store.

Photos from pve

Q & A with Sara Gilbane

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

We were all dismayed when Domino folded last year, especially when the fabulous Sara Gilbane was to be featured on the cover and her interiors were the grace the pages of the April 2009 issue.  Fortunately for us, Sara is a darling of the press (both print and online) and we were excited to read the article about her growing business in Lonny last month.

Sara Gilbane in Domino Magazine

Sara Gilbane in Domino Magazine

It’s no big secret that we are huge fans of Sara’s (see our January post here after she was named one of House Beautiful ‘s “Next Wave of Designers to Watch”) so it was a thrill when she accepted our invitation to be part of our Q & A series.

Sara Gilbane in Lonny - Issue #3

Sara Gilbane in Lonny - Issue #3

Sara Gilbane in Lonny - Issue #3

Sara Gilbane in Lonny - Issue #3

1.   What did you want to be when you were a child?
An actress.

2.   What is your necessary luxury?
After travel, it would be flowers (real or faux!), baths, and bed-linens – I am a sucker for a high thread count.

3.   What is your favorite decorating accessory?
Great cocktail table books, vintage or custom table linens, a cashmere throw for a sofa or chaise, something with personality or flair that makes the room playful and interesting – you never know where you will find the piece (whether it is on the walls, the sofa, or the rug).  I will pull in lucite, metal, silk, linen, mohair, grasscloth and shagreen to keep a space feeling interesting and modern.

Sara Plays with Texture and Pattern

Sara Plays with Texture and Pattern

4.   Where do you window shop?
In New York, you can take your pick of areas but I love all of the antique stores on East 10th and 11th Streets – Anthony Todd is a favorite.  I also get inspiration from the antique stores on West 59th, 60th and 61st Streets.

5.   What makes a house a home?
Books, photos, loved objects.  Your friends should see your personality when they walk in.

6.   What is the most enjoyable part of your day?
Now that this glorious weather has come along, I would have to say morning and late afternoon – walks on the Highline or Hudson River Path.

7.   What is your favorite flower?
Oh, so hard to name just one…  poppies, hyacinths, peonies, anemones and ranunculus to name a few.  I love purples, reds, and pinks in my flowers.

8.   If you were a cocktail, what would you be?
Champagne – Nicolas Feuillate Rose is my favorite.

9.   If your life were made into a movie, what would be the title and who would play your part?
“A Night at The Design Center” directed by Tim Burton.  I would be played by Eloise.

Eloise as "Sara Gilbane"

Eloise as "Sara Gilbane"

10.  Name one thing from your “Bucket List”.
A beach house.

A big thank you to Sara for taking the time to answer our questions and share her divine design tips with us!  For more on Sara and to read her blog, Travel for Design, click here.

Photos from Style Court and Lonny

Q & A: Alison and Bo Jia

Friday, March 12th, 2010

“About the year 300 AD in a small town on the edge of Poyang Lake in the south of China, clever artisans discovered kaolin earth on a cliff side that now bears that name.  The first page of the long history of porcelain was thus written.”  And so begins the lovely story that inspired Alison Alten and Bo Jia to create Middle Kingdom Porcelain.

Alison and Bo Jia

Alison and Bo Jia

Though born and raised in different parts of the world (she in northern Virginia and he in Nanchang, China), Alison and Bo grew up appreciating the skill and artistry involved in the production of imperial porcelain. 

Hand Painted Scholar Vase - Grey Finch on Peach Branch

Hand Painted Scholar Vase - Grey Finch on Peach Branch

They were destined to meet and fall in love.  Bo’s talent as a highly trained artist (he’s a graduate of The China Academy of Fine Arts) and Alison’s passion for porcelain (she has an MA in East Asian Studies from Harvard) led them to create an art larger than themselves, and one they hope would endure well into the next century.

Mini Vases in The Washington Post

Mini Vases in The Washington Post

When we first met this charming couple, we couldn’t help but fall in love, too… with the elegant shapes, timeless yet modern, and the gorgeous colors in rainbow hues.  Each piece comes nestled in its own handmade muslin box, a gift of shear prettiness.

Colorful Bowls and Vases

Colorful Bowls and Vases

So as the weather warms and buds begin to blossom, we can’t think of a better way to show off garden blooms than with a Middle Kingdom bowl or vase.  Many thanks to Alison (“A”) and Bo (“B”) for sharing their passion and their art with us!

1.   What did you want to be when you were a child?
A: I wanted to read every book ever written, so perhaps a librarian?
B: I remember wishing Chairman Mao a “long long life” and hoping that I could be an immortal, too!

2.   What is your necessary luxury?
A: Dark chocolate and ripe yellow peaches
B: Sauteed soft shell crabs with garlicky vinegar dipping sauce

3.   What is your favorite decorating accessory?
A & B: Middle Kingdom porcelains, of course!

4.   Where do you window shop?
A: Increasingly, via blogs
B: Book Hill and Cady’s Alley, antiques and home furnishings destinations in Georgetown in Washington, DC

5.   What makes a house a home?
A: Children’s artwork
B: A personal collection of arts and antiques, amassed over time

6.   What is the most enjoyable part of your day?
A: Walking to school in the mornings and getting home for a few minutes of quite before Bo gets up!
B: Sitting in the back yard in the early morning, drinking coffee and looking at my bonsai plants

7.   What is your favorite flower?
A: Among many – cosmos, peonies and cherry blossoms
B: Chinese magnolia

8.   If you were a cocktail, what would you be?
A: Does bubble tea with milk count?
B: Blue Mojito

9.   If your life were made into a movie, what would be the title and who would play your part?
A (for B too): We could star as the star-crossed lovers in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, without the star-crossed part!

10.  Name one thing from your “Bucket List”.
A: Living on a taiko drumming commune
B: Inside tours of production facilities and workshops of the finest  brands in the world – I have been inspired by their excellence to create my own company

For more information about Middle Kingdom and to learn more about Alison and Bo, please visit their website.

Photos from Middle Kingdom, The Washington Post, and My Mama’s Table