I received a lovely surprise yesterday from my friend Marcy who lives back East. She snapped a photo of Style & Simplicity on the shelf at her local Barnes & Noble in New York. The gesture was so lovely and much appreciated as I love seeing my book in situ, even as we near the second anniversary of the release. I wrote it hoping it would have longevity in the market and not be a title that was out but then gone in a flash. I have so many of you to thank for that, as many of you continue to give it as gifts. I know this because when I work the shops I often sign and personalize them, or I receive notes/e-mails from far & wide telling me of the gift received, which tickles me so. But the thing that most made me smile in this photo was that it also included The Perfectly Imperfect Home by Deborah Needleman and Around Beauty by Barbara Barry. Deborah hosted the swellest book party for me at her home in New York and Barbara wrote the most heartfelt foreword to my book. What a fun coincidence that the three books would be right next to one another. A happy trio, indeed.
As promised, I want to share with you some images and thoughts from the party the other evening. I must admit, I am still a bit in a daze about how special and amazing it all was. Without sounding odd or pompous, it at times was a tad surreal to be standing in that gorgeous room and thinking all of those folks were there to see me and to toast my book. Definitely a pinch me moment. No, make that a pinch me evening.
The hosts were my friend Deborah Needleman and her husband Jacob Weisberg. I have written before about Deborah. She is the editor in chief for T, The New York Times Style magazine. She exudes warmth & style, and was just so amazingly gracious to host the party at their home. A loft space that fit the 100+ folks oh so beautifully. Their home is filled with incredible details of artwork, books, flowers–it exudes love. I was just so honored to have my New York book party in their home.
Veuve filled the eve, but the run away hit was the signature Style & Simplicity cocktail. This I concocted for the book launch party at the shop on May 6th in Seattle and thought it would work well for this party too. Sparkling wine, a splash of Meyer lemon syrup, a wedge of Meyer lemon, served over ice. We used the same Marta flat bottomed glasses we used for the Seattle party too. Many, many trays of these were enjoyed!
I was surrounded by such love. To be in that room filled with folks I have long admired was so humbling. To hear their praise of my book was pretty darn exciting. Friends came from near and far. Holly Hollingsworth Phillips flew from Charlotte and Jane Dagmi from Florida. My best friend from college Devin Keudell was there. Simon Doonan fixed my Hermes pocket square and made it much more jaunty-er. The Hovey sisters who created the book I adore, Heirloom Modern were there. Along with James Dunlinson who was the Creative Director for Martha Stewart, whose work I have long admired and his partner Alistair Turnball. Simon’s husband Jonathan Adler was by his side. Stacey Bewkes who pens the incredibly popular blog Quintessence, along with Ronda Carman from All the Best blog, and Elizabeth Moyer from Pretty Pink Tulips enjoyed the party. John Derian along with Hugo Guinness and his lovely wife Elliott Puckette were there. Eddie Ross and his partner Jaithan Kochar, who are working on their book attended. Fashion folks Peter Som and Lela Rose were part of the stylish mix. My editor John Foster as well as many folks from Sterling that helped out on the pages and who are helping to promote my book were part of the party. These are but just a few. The creativity in that room was pretty mind blowing. What amazing memories the night created.
My orange socks were happy to sit for a bit at the end of the party. I just sat and looked at the room, the people, enjoying my glass of Veuve–filled with happiness and gratitude and so very thankful for every moment of it.
1. the quality or condition of being easy to understand or do “for the sake of simplicity, this chapter will concentrate on one theory”
synonyms: clarity, clearness, plainness, simpleness, intelligibility, comprehensibility, understandability, accessibility, straightforwardness
I was quite struck by the cover and contents of the T Magazine yesterday in the Sunday New York Times. I think ‘simplicity’ is such a beautiful word, with an equally beautiful meaning. Clarity, clearness. To me it means distilling something down to its very essence or purest form. More on this word and why it resonates with me in the coming weeks…
If you don’t get the Sunday Times, certainly look for it the weeks T, the style magazine is included. They are so good I save them. Under the editorship of Deborah Needleman, who many of you might remember from Domino, the magazine has flourished. “Style that lasts is the style that counts” are her wise words from this latest issue.
The newly redesigned T magazine arrived this Sunday in The New York Times, and the wait was so very worth it. With Deborah Needleman at the helm, I knew it would be in good hands. The cover story about Lee Radziwill as told through man-about-the-world & designer Nicky Haslam was insightful on many levels. The photos of her Paris apartment were stunning. A lovely feature of the London home of interior designer Rose Uniacke by my pal Rita Konig was incredibly pleasing with all the amazing shots of the grand home, but also in the way Rita captures a visual story through words. A ‘Take Two’ with Chelsea Handler and Oscar de la Renta where each reviews the same item was witty indeed. The magazine was filled with page after page of visual interest. I can hardly wait for the next issue. That, in my mind, makes for a real winner. A new stack of magazines to save has begun… The magazine fitting right in on our coffee table among one of the ‘T’s from our collection.
I hopped out of bed early this morning and ran over to the corner Starbucks to get the weekend edition of The Wall Street Journal. Our very cool set of 5 nesting baskets were featured in a laundry room article by the lovely Rita Konig. The handled baskets have been a staple at Watson Kennedy, so it is fun to see them highlighted in her story. Folding clothes straight out of the dryer into one of these chic & earthy baskets elevates the whole chore of doing laundry into a welcome task.
I first met my friend Rita Konig years back, when she came to Seattle to write an article for Domino magazine. In that article one of the spots she featured was Watson Kennedy. She and I hit it off from the start, so TPS & I hosted a dinner for her on that visit. Her style and manner easy going, witty, and smart. She carries all those traits to how she writes, and designs a space. I would see her and catch up on many of my visits to New York. Her apartment on East 9th Street was one of my favorite places to see her, as the space oozed of her warm, creative style. The above photo is a wall in her kitchen where she taped favorite photos and ephemera to create a rotating gallery, which contained a vintage flashcard that I rubber stamped and sent to her–which makes me smile.
Rita was who introduced me to Hugo Guinness and recommend that Watson Kennedy carry his work. She is now living back in London where she was raised, and is in the process of renovating her new home. You can follow the progress of the project on her blog, which you access through her website www.ritakonig.com
She still has an office in New York, working on design projects around the country. You can also read the column she writes, ‘Living Well: Rita Konig’ many Saturdays in the Off Duty section of The Wall Street Journal. If you have not picked up a copy of the WSJ lately, a Saturday issue is a must. The section is edited by Deborah Needleman, former Editor of Domino, whose is a good friend of Rita’s. The above vintage white chair sits in the bathroom of Deborah’s country home in Garrison, was a purchase Rita made from Watson Kennedy. She and I share a fondness for solo chairs. All the photos for this post were pulled from Rita’s site–check it out when you have a free moment for a bit of design inspiration.
A happy Saturday to all!