Cube Formula

via Lulu Powers

I have recently become "ice cube happy" turning my ordinary, uninspired ice cubes into blocks of art.

It all started with my coffee ice cubes for my cold brews.  I hate watered down ice coffee.  It's a no brainer that can easily become overlooked.

It started out harmlessly enough.  If you know me you are no doubt familiar with my mint obsession.  That was my next choice for the cube du jour.

My decorative ice cube love has morphed into an slight preoccupation with  ~ what's new, what's next?  What else can I encase in ice?   Edible flowers take ice water to another level!  OMG, how beautiful are these?  Do you have a party or shower coming up?

I was having a meal somewhere and on their cocktail list was lavender infused vodka.  Hello lavender, I do like a calming cocktail.  This might become my "go to" hostess gift of the summer: a bottle of infused vodka made with love.

start with organic lavender

1 750ml bottle good quality vodka
1 tablespoon dried organic lavender buds
Using a funnel, add the lavender buds directly into the bottle of vodka. Recap the bottle and shake to distribute. Let the vodka steep for five days, shaking it daily to distribute the floating buds.
Once ready, strain the vodka into a clean container through a fine mesh strainer to remove the bulk of the lavender buds. Strain the vodka again through a coffee filter to remove the finer particles.
via Kaleandchocolate 

No longer satisfied with a naked ice cube, and who says it has to be ice in those ice trays, or in the shape of a block for that matter?  Smoothie cubes and kale cubes make things easier, post work out.  Yes, please!

I'll take chocolate any way I can get it, and the heart shaped frozen confection is quite the little multi tasker ...  for hot coffee or milk, or something harder perhaps?  Genius!

I am currently prepping these Bloody Mary cubes for an upcoming brunch and most definitely Father's day.

Stop the insanity!  Up your sparkling water game with layers of juice for a melange of fruity flavors.  Just freeze each layer one at a time for a subtle mixture of flavor.

It's such a little thing, but I appreciate all the details that make any meal a nicer experience.  Friends will think you went to so much trouble.  This will keep me busy all summer long!

For an elevated experience, it's like a cherry on top!


recipe courtesy of Alabama Chanin

A Gilded Space

This drawing room by Kristin Kelli was another favorite space of mine in the Kips Bay show house.  Kristin Fitzgibbons and Kelli Ford created an art filled, fun loving space that is highly stylized.  The touches of gold and look of glamour infused with natural materials keep it grounded and gorgeous!  The girls' goal was to make a happy room that would work in Manhattan as well as in the Hampton's.

What is one to do with a 35 foot long room?  Make two seating areas, of course, and layer the length with great art by the likes of Damian Hirst, Roy Lichtenstain and my new fav and Instagram "it artist," Kurt Pio.  His diamond paintings are as brilliant as the stones themselves.  Phillip Jeffries chevron wood veneer wallpaper is a beautiful backdrop.

Loved the way the shearling, patent leather and rattan chairs balance each other on either side of the room.

 An Yves Klein Bleu table looks perfect in any setting, but under those blue beams and a touch of purple ~ absolutely beguiling.

Mixed metals making an appearance, strategically placed around the room, kept it shining brightly.  A dusting of gold covering the birch logs in the fireplace as well, magic.

More please...

photo 1 by Barry Alan photography

Stairway to Savage

That is the hashtag Nashville interior designer Jonathan Savage of Savage Interiors created for his space in the 45th annual Kips Bay Show House.   I couldn't make it to the opening, but better late than never as they say.  A few rooms were the subject of much social media, but I still did not know what to expect.  As always, Kips Bay never disappoints.  Each and every space was photo worthy!  These two spaces WOWED me because sometimes stairs and landings don't convey a fully fleshed out design story.

Beginning at the front door before I got to the #stairwaytosavage, I was greeted to a melange of style, drama and whimsy.  Canadian design firm Powell & Bonnell crafted a magnificent foyer and hallway using the strength of the original classic Georgian architecture mixed with strong linear lines juxtaposed with soft upholstery and curves.

The neon framed art by Thrush Holmes helped convey the old meets new, modern meets traditional story play out, as does the mesmerizing criss cross hanging ceiling sculpture by Ridgely Studio Works

Ascending the double wide staircase, I'm glad I looked down.  I am so loving the barely there lucite carpet rods.

Once I looked up, magnificence unfolded before my eyes.  A menagerie of animals hid amongst the flora and fauna designed in plaster by MJ Atelier ~ hand applied plaster to a painted canvas (check out the video on the website to see the process).  It's depth and dimension played off the master design plan created by Savage Interiors beautifully.

Billy Haines lucite sconces, custom mirrors, settee and a console by Stephen Antonson round out this opulent space.

Nice, no?

Taking A LEAP

I am just back from an incredible retreat in Deer Valley, Utah.  It was called LEAP which stands for Liberation, Equanimity, Alignment, Power.

When we learn to release negative patterns, old ways of doing things that cause us suffering, we are no longer STUCK.  We are operating from a place of calm.  Balance through alignment and connection is so powerful.  Martha Beck and Boyd Varney lovingly and compassionately guided those who felt compelled to "tell their stories."  For all the participants, each on his/her own journey and at different places on their paths to peace, found a take away.

For me, I have been in the process of merging my two businesses.  My passion is design, but I think my calling is as a healer (of sorts).  There are always questions.  Am I doing the right thing?  Will anyone be interested in this message?  Do people care?  Etc, etc.  We fill our heads with thoughts that more often than not stop us in our tracks.  We unconsciously go back to old trauma patterns that sabotage the very thing we have made our goal.

Through storytelling we heard of magical synchronicities and began to understand surprising similarities to tracking animals in the wild and tracking self defeating patterns in our own lives that keep us from our best selves.

Living Beauty~ FULLY encompasses not only finding your path to inner peace, but making your surroundings as beautiful as possible to ensure the experience is the best it can be.

The Stein Erikson Lodge was the perfect place to peel back layers and look at our core beliefs.  We learned how they can get in the way of living that best life.  When we live in balance and alignment we can heal and let go of what does not serve us.  I for one do it better in a place where I feel comfortably supported, design wise.

The million dollar view was almost the only thing I saw!  Because I am all about our living space mirroring our inner space, having gotten a gorgeous suite did not hurt!  My experience was made all the better by that gorgeous view and a fireplace in the bedroom.  A hot tub on the adjacent balcony made for relaxing dreamy evenings.  I almost felt guilty with all the space to myself.  Almost.  The level of thoughtfulness that the Stein Erikson Lodge staff demonstrated was impressive.

 I was stunned when I saw the ribbon around my phone cord.  What nice touch!  Details matter! The nightly chocolates didn't hurt either.

Turtle steps towards taking a big LEAP into the unknown can be hard and scary, but there does seem to be MAGIC on the other side and not surprisingly ~ magic within as well!

Do you want to experience magic in your everyday life?  Drop me a line, let's talk.

Design on a Dime 2017

It was that time again, Design on a Dime puts the FUN in Fundraiser!  Now in its fifth year, it supports those living with HIV and AIDS of New York.  This event gets bigger and better every year! It's an event that is a win/win.  It supports a worthy cause and you can buy fabulous furniture or accessories 70% off.
If you get the opportunity, it should be experienced at least once.

Robin Baron's double booth painted in Benjamin Moore's spiced pumpkin with two Curry and Co. chandeliers and lush layers was HOT.  I loved the photograph of water above the sofa.

I always want to see what James Huniford is up to.  As the creator of this event, he must be awfully proud to see how popular this event has become!  His double booth was a perfect reflection of his aesthetic, and was literally wiped out by the end of the night!

The teak tub was a standout in Preti Lau's globally inspired bath

I had my eye on those faceted mirrors in Decor Aid's booth  ~ until I got distracted

The lighting in Miguel Lewis' space stopped me in my tracks.  After visiting that Richard Neutra home last week ~  I am MAD for all things mid century!

If you follow me on Instagram (and I hope you do) I was just commenting on the punk Buddhas covered in Swarovski crystals by Metis Awashi.  I was excited to see one in person in Sogol D├ęcor's space, but this particular one is not on my wish list.

The black currant walls in Phillip Thomas's space were a great backdrop to the oversized art and fashionable furniture.

A feminine game room brought to you by Brooks Limited caught my attention because of the selection of beautiful chairs, rug and of course the gold!  I went back for one of the brass floor lamps, but alas they were gone.

Foley and Cox's double space was a breath of fresh air.  Oh, am I picturing my future beach house!  I loved everything here; the brown cowhide deco chairs were screaming my name!  It's hard not to get carried away!

Ralph Lauren is always good for classic accessories


Matthew Patrick Smyth has a serious Moroccan moment

Nick Olsen layered several things I could have walked away with, starting with the braided jute rug

My girls at Root Cellar Designs knocked it out of the park once again.  Word was there was literally a war over the rug.  It can get rough!

Since Benjamin Moore was a sponsor, everyone used their Century paints.  It is a new, small batch paint collection, in a 75 color curated palette that has unprecedented richness and texture.

Elyria Grayer's dynamic razzle dazzle walls pop against the blues and grays.

Steven Gambrel turned up the drama when he invited fine artist Marcello Dadolce to paint a model reclining in his room.  The watercolors were for sale as soon as they were completed.  No surprise it proved to be a very  popular!

Phillip Gorrivan's booth was a beautiful melange of styles

Paris K Interior Design had  to "deconstruct" a sofa to fit everything in their space

Elizabeth Swartz for Bunny Williams packed a lot of fabulous punch in her vignette.

Eddie Lee and Tamara Eaton's booth spoke to me in terms of color and merchandise.  If I only had a place to put that marble table.  The bar cart was perfection!!

Welcome to your new home Robert Kuo crystal bowl!

After I grabbed this gorgeous bowl, I walked around to see of there was anything else I "needed," but  the booths were picked clean.  This is better than Filene's Basement bridal sale! ~  My only regret ~  that I don't have more arms   : )