After a snowy start of our weekend that put a damper on a furniture rehab project, today the weather is unusually beautiful – warm and sunny, with only a few soft clouds in the sky. It has been a trying week, one that, like many of you, I’m ready to leave behind. Here are a few lifestyle links that cought my attention  – for foodies, fashionistas and decorators alike!CAFE DESIGN-11

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I spent some time last week reading about the latest trends in design. Not because I believe in trends, but because I’m curious to see what my favorite designers think it’s making a comeback this year. “Chintz is back”, “chintz is out”, “blue and white is over-done”, “white kitchens are passé”… everyone has, and is entitled to, an opinion. Personally, I am an anti-trends decorator. I love what I love, and what I find beautiful changes and is shaped with every home that I study. I don’t follow trends because I like to learn from the past by studying the works of legendary decorators and tastemakers. What was once old becomes fresh again, with a twist.  For so many of us, classic will never be out of style. Trends are the opposite of all that.

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Serena Crawford’s beautiful Cape Town kitchen

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Everyone loves a good makeover. Whether it’s an interior or a landscape transformation, before & after pictures offer the instant gratification of good design without the inevitable troubles of home improvement. It takes many trades to realize a designer’s vision for a space, it takes time and patience to create a beautiful home. Before and after pictures cut trough all of that. Over the years, I have collected quite a few transformation stories and it’s time to share some of them with you. Who knows? Maybe they’ll inspire your next home improvement project!

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Happy Monday!

Congrats to the Philadelphia Eagles for last night’s victory. I am more of a soccer gal but after four years of living in the States, I picked up a thing or two about American sports. I still don’t know much about football and last night was my first Super Bowl ever so I can’t comment on the technicalities (not that I would even if I could), but I really love to see the underdogs win. At anything. Those situations make for the best of stories, don’t you think?

Anyway, for today’s post I thought of a comfortable room many of us have fancied for ages. It is a breakfast nook in Sag Harbor, NY, designed by Steven Gambrel in his signature Early American style that he so often resorts to in designing his country projects. Everything about this room speaks to my heart: the light, the blue-green-grays, the wrap-around water views and the incredible connection to the outdoors. Through architectural details like transoms and multi-paned windows, wide pine plank flooring, Dutch doors and vertical panelling, Gambrel evokes the spirit of an old American farmhouse, in a clean, modern way.

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Steven Gambrel 

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“Be faithful to your own taste because nothing you really like is ever out of style. “

Billy Baldwin

The first gentleman of American décor, Billy Baldwin is a legend in the interior design world. His work was inspired by French furniture maker Jean-Michel Frank and fellow American decorator Frances Elkins (she designed the now infamous loop chair for one of her clients and started a trend that endures to this day). Moving from his hometown of Baltimore to New York proved to be the best career decision possible. Within a couple of years, his clientele included most of New York’s social elite. Taste-makers like Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Nan Kempner, Babe Paley, Diana Vreeland and Bunny Mellon relied on Baldwin’s discerning, clean eye for décor.

His love of clear hues was inspired by French painter Henri Matisse and was a departure from “Victorian color prejudices”, as Baldwin often used to say. Another Matisse inspired touch was the design of a black-and-white fabric for one of his clients, matching a Matisse painting above the sofa (pictured bellow).

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Billy Baldwin

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