Pied-a-Teardown Addendum

This story about Emmy Rossum's NYC apartment was absolutely one of my most read posts.  I guess it goes to show that controversy goes a long way.  Well, as an addendum to the pied -a-teardown post, this jewel of an apartment that was completely renovated and subsidized by high end brands VERY recently is now on the market!!

It was listed 106 days ago.  You can see the listing in the New York Times real estate section.  It can be yours for $1,150,000.00.  Honestly, by New York standards, for this kind of quality and square footage, the price doesn't seem bad.  I would buy it in a second if I could!

I am somewhat speechless.  That was so fast.  I hope all those high end brands got the media attention they were hoping for.  When I Googled this story, it looked like all the brands that sponsored the renovation of Emmy's apartment did take advantage of the opportunity to use it for marketing purposes. Teaming with brands does seem to be a trend I am seeing more and more.  I guess they feel like those  are advertising dollars well spent.  Brand sponsoring has become big business.  They are not just going to celebrities anymore, either.  I suppose I helped by blogging about it, didn't I?  I did it without any compensation.  I need to rethink my strategy!

Thank you anonymous for pointing this out to me!

Pineapple Happy

Is it me or have you noticed everywhere you look ~ there are pineapples?  It began slowly last summer and thru the fall, quieted down over the holiday and early winter, I think is picking up speed the closer we get to Spring. If it wasn't on your radar, now that I mentioned it you'll notice it: you're welcome  : )

Pineapples are the traditional expression of hospitality and welcome throughout the South. and Eastern seaport.  This spiky, funky fruit represents warmth, welcome, friendship, tradition, graciousness and hospitality.

In fashion everyone from Altuzzura to J. Crew is showing this sweet fruity treat.

Altuzarra, ph:Yannis Vlamos

Kudos for combing the pineapple with banana or palm leaves. Leaves have become an important statement as well.

Dolce and Gabbana


Think it's kitchy?  Well it can be, but it also has a sophisticated side.  Its history is no joke. It is said that Christopher Columbus gave it to his men after the discovery of Guadeloupe (their 2nd voyage of discovery) and brought it back to Europe.  Pineapples became extremely popular with the wealthy in the second half of the 18th century because exporting them from the West Indies was difficult.  King Louis XIV began growing them at Versailles.

The Dunmore Pineapple in Scotland, Otter/WikiCommons 

St. Paul's Cathedral 

 Soon they began showing up everywhere. Pineapples were used as a popular theme in design and decor, in centerpieces, hung over doorways, on door knockers, carved into wood and more!

 Its design is subtly sophisticated when silk screened on wallpaper and it's kind of  wow in graphic black and white. 

similar to Bernard Thorp

Studio Printworks

Its history makes it ideal as an antique with provenance into today's decor or as a quirky element in a contemporary space.

This would be an appropriate container for a refreshing Stoli Doli

or just chill'in at the bar

I'm seeing these tropical fruits with fresh eyes ~ they're not just vessels for drinks!

Talking Trends...

... Color Trends.  My friend Tamara Stephenson, NYC residential designer, textile and wallpaper designer of Root Cellar Designs and blogger extraordinaire has been traveling the world discovering the trends coming out of Europe that we in the United States will see in the next year and a half or so.  Tamara gave an informative talk based on her trips to Heimtextil in Germany and Paris Deco Off, as well as Maison et Object.  Not unlike fashion week, these internationally acclaimed European trade shows set the trends on all things home decor that we'll see in the stores and showrooms the following year.

Tamara identified 5 color trends to look for based on her sightings ~

PLANETARY BEAN ~  gemstones, minerals, wood, nature inspired, respect for the planet, washes, cerulean blues mixed with sandy neutrals.

Pierre Frey

Stephan Jones

EXOTICA, MAXIMAL ~ vibrant, worldly, optimistic, layered, a worldly melding of colors and textures. Stains from China, earth's clay from Mexico, stains from India.  Think orange, fuchsia, emerald, cobalt, saffron.

Fromental  Wallpaper

Pierre Frey

Jim Thompson

ARTISANAL, HISTORIAN ~ handprinted, handmade, painterly;beauty in a brush stroke. Timeless color with intensity pared down by patina. Richly layered antiques mixed with modern. Color combinations include:prussian blue, gold, pear, plum, ruby.

Robert Passel

Root Cellar Designs

de le Cuona, Dragonfly

MOODY, SLEEPY ~ black is still hot mixed with deep colors in matte as well as high gloss. We are dark obsessed, we want to cocoon. Glamour, mixed metals even on wood.  Digital printing continues to open possibilities.

Christian Liege


Lisa Mende

TECHNO LIGHT PLAY ~ LED light is infused into fabrics, 3D feel, opal, aqua, foils, shimmer and shine has an effervencet feeling.  Copper makes a comeback.

Victoria Hagan




POLITICS, bad weather, mind chatter, social media, terrorism, traffic, toxicity of any kind really reek havoc on our souls!  I have two words for you ~ Self Care.

I can't remember a time when there was so much collective stress, except maybe the economy in 2008.  We need to take a pause, and there really is only one way to do it ~ Self Care.

From the east coast to the west coast, from north to south, we coexist, we raise families, we all want the same things: to be happy, to be heard, to be loved.  We are more alike than we are different.  We're living in challenging times and we feel like we have no control.  Do you know what we have control over?  Self Care.

Rituals are a means to help create calm.  Whether it is a bathing ritual, a tea ritual, meditating, getting a massage, or getting together with friends on a regular basis.  We  need to make sure we take care of ourselves.  That we have control over!

Our homes are sanctuaries.  Make yours as calm a space as possible.  Whatever brings you joy within that space, by all means include.  Look at your home room by room and ask yourself, "Is this room balanced?"  Symmetry and balance create calm.  Does each room make me feel good?  Does it make me feel nourished?  Do I feel safe and cared for under this roof?

Double points for being able to bring the outside in.  Nature immediately helps quiet all the inner noise.

Who's that Girl: Tham Kannlikham?

I do not talk politics here.  I actually try not to talk about it anywhere if I can help it.  I tend to keep my thoughts (and I have a lot) to myself (mostly), but I do talk about design!  So with that in mind, the new White House designer has been named.   Tham Kannlikham is a Laotian American born woman about whom not much is known.  That's interesting because our new first lady has not picked any other staff members besides a Chief of Staff, and doesn't even seem that interested in living in the White House.  It is costing taxpayers of New York about 1 million dollars a day for security in the city.  I understand that public tours of the People's House have been suspended because of so much uncertainty.  That is really a shame!

But I digress ~ back to Tham.  She is 40 and grew up in Stockton, CA.  Her website is private, just for clients.  She has not been published.  Her Instagram account is private.  Her Linkedin account sparse.  She therefore has almost no social media footprint, but all that privacy might have been a selling point for Melania.  Tham did however get her start at Ralph Lauren Home, went to school at The Fashion Institute of Technology for a time and has studied classical architecture.  She has clients around the world, and her experience lies in the decade long study of American Architecture and the Decorative Arts.

The Obamas, you may remember, tapped Michael S. Smith to do the private rooms and oval office when they entered the White House.  I loved the Obama's bedroom.  It's warm, elegant, traditional, but updated and calming!

The Oval office under Obama~

The Oval office under George W. Bush ~

The Oval office under Clinton ~

If you look at pictures of the oval office today, you see Bush's sofa, Clinton's curtains and Regan's rug back in place.  I suppose the Obamas wanted their pieces for the new home as mementos or for his future library.

Asked how she felt about her most public design job to date, Tham responded, “I am honored by the opportunity to be working with the First Lady to make the White House feel like home.”  Huh.  Tham will also be responsible for redoing the private bedrooms, the President's Dining Room, Truman Balcony, and the Treaty Room.

I guess everything won't be sparkly and shiny and 24 carat gold.  We'll report back when we know.

photos of Oval Office via Vanity Fair, portrait Sean Zanni