Scarves are quite possibly my favorite accessory. Hard to believe given my love affair with fab shoes, but a scarf can be anything you want it to be. And they always make you feel cozy, unlike my orange leather Fluevogs that I wear for an hour at a time, only to make a grand entrance.
“Everything about him was old except his eyes, and they were the same color as the sea and were cheerful and undefeated.” – Ernest Hemingway
The inspiration for our July window was spawned from a vintage oil painting I found that was very reminiscent of Van Gough. “I am so tired of doing red, white and blue for July every year. It’s so predictable! I’m inspired by this painting.” said my merchandiser Jess. We both agreed that it reminded us of Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, and thus an un-traditional summer window was born.
“In Hollywood, we acquire the finest novels in order to smell the leather bindings.” – Ernst Lubitsch
Two of my favorite things: leather and a fabulous blank book waiting to be filled. Sketching, new design ideas, or just to get the million thoughts that fill my head on to paper…the possibilities are endless. While walking through the convention hall at Maison et Objet, we stumbled across a true treasure. This never would have happened if we didn’t walk the outskirts of the aisles as I always insist on doing, which always drives Jess (my general manager and merchandiser) crazy. “You never know what we may find,” I said.
What we found was Francesco Lionetti, a third generation leather atelier from Florence, Italy. The booth was nondescript at first glance. Then we noticed the colors of leather, and the beautiful workmanship. There was even someone embossing the books as we watched in amazement. Then Francesco appeared, and we were overwhelmed by his demeanor, charm and fabulous accent.
“BonGiorno belle signore. Hello, beautiful ladies. Would you like some cheese, or perhaps some wine?” When an Italian man offers you either of those things it’s hard to resist, even at 9:30 in the morning. We spent an hour with him and had to pry ourselves away. We listened to the story of his great grandfather starting their custom leather business which includes the likes of Zegna and Hermes. Old School manufacturing, everything is hand cut and sewn with precision.
After selecting piece types, colors, and embossing (you know I love croc), we couldn’t stop commenting on the cheese. “Oh, you like?” he said. Like?! We LOVE it. “Ok, I will send you some Grana Padano with your shipment.” We laughed, thanked him for a lovely morning and headed back to the bustling aisles. Our shipment came last week, and Jess called me screaming, “CHEESE!!! He sent the cheese!”
We didn’t just get beautiful leather journals, but also photo albums, notepads, and passport covers. The colors alone are making me dream of my next adventure to hunt for treasures. India perhaps….?
“You have taken Fester and turned him into your personal love slave. I respect that. But Debbie (gesturing at the decor around her)…PASTELS?”
― Angelica Huston as Morticia Addams
Hand dyed eggs, paintings, vintage shoes…pastels remind us of springtime holidays and a romantic nod to the past. Soothing and calm, they perfectly lend themselves to food, art, and accessories. Here is some of our fave inspiration with some decor ideas for your perfect Easter celebration!
What’s your favorite pastel inspiration?
“We read the haggadah every year. For artists whose lives are completely unpredictable, to retell a story that’s been told for thousands of years in our own way is amazing.” -Comedian Judy Gold, Chicago’s Downtown Seder
Passover has always been my favorite Jewish Holiday. It has been celebrated for thousands of years and every part of the seder (traditional service and dinner at home) is brimming with symbolism, not to mention delicious food. Anyone who has been to my house for Passover always makes sure to ask if my mother Linda is making her famous brisket. It has never been duplicated, as many times as I’ve watched her make it.
Every thing we eat at the seder has a meaning, and I love finding new ideas to incorporate into our traditions. Since we do not eat anything levened or made with traditional flour during the week of this holiday, I am excited to try the gluten free recipes we found. You will not believe the lentil based mock pate or the beet infused maror, two dishes that now even the faintest of hearts will gladly sink their teeth into.
Saffron Matzo Balls! Why weren’t these created sooner!? Just when I thought the world’s best soup couldn’t get any better. The Kale and Quinoa Pilaf is so hearty, your guests won’t even know it’s healthy for them too.
Passover was never a holiday known for its desserts unless you enjoy flourless boxed cake mix or some coconut macaroons. We have found the creme de la creme of Passover treats. The Chocolate Toffee Matzoh from She Kneads Dough is as good as it sounds, and is finished off with a dusting of edible gold. If you are looking for the perfect hostess gift, bring this to a seder and watch everyone swoon. If you love to bake, The Urban Baker has done it again by sharing her easy recipe for Gluten Free Almond Chocolate Thumbprint cookies. Nobody will miss the carbs, not to mention they are a blast to make with your children.