This Flower Friday brought to you from the John Derian booth at the show earlier this week. Truly, dreamy, right? Walking the aisles of the Javitz Center for a few days looking for shop goods is wonderful and challenging all at the same time. One must look at a bunch of ‘not great’ (ok, sometimes really awful) to find the gems, so when I stumbled into John’s booth to write my order, my heart skipped an extra beat when I spotted these roses in a display. A respite of floral beauty. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did/do.
Setting a dining table should be fun. And keeping it fun means changing it up from time to time. Mixing & matching patterns from what you have stashed away in the cupboards. Such was the case this Sunday when we were fete-ing our visiting sister-in-law, Marian, who was here from New York. I took my cue from the crazy good creamy white tulips with streaks of green that have been some of my very favorite this season.
Out came the leafy white plates, as well as the green. I had never used the two together. Now was the time. The flowers pulling it all together. I even set half the settings with green handled silverware and the other half with cream. Assorted green objects like the Italian marble fruits and a John Derian paperweight of a green apple filled in the spots in-between the dancing tulips. The mixing and the matching creating a Spring table that was a different version than times before. Setting a table really needs to capture the interest first of who is setting it, you. If it makes you happy, it most assuredly will make your guests feel that way too.
It’s the Little Things: Creating Big Moments In Your Home Through The Stylish Small Stuff the newest book by Susanna Salk is out this week. I say cheers to the stylish small stuff! All the little extras in our homes are truly what make a house a home. A favorite piece of pottery bought on a trip to Italy, seashells gathered on memorable beach walks, artwork snatched up at an art school auction–all little things that bring meaning into our spaces and our hearts. This book is filled with page after page of design inspiration to delight & encourage us all to find joy in the little things. Susanna has amassed a roster of some of my favorite design folks (Alessandra Branca, John Derian, India Hicks, Bunny Williams, Ken Fulk, Tilton Fenwick, Howard Slatkin, Charlotte Moss) who have opened up their homes to show us rooms/vignettes that inspire them. I am always most interested to see their own homes as it is so personal and often distills the very essence of their style. I was delighted when Susanna asked me at my New York book signing party for Style & Simplicity if she could highlight our kitchen at The Gainsborough for her book. Filled with green, green, green we are honored to see it on the pages in such esteemed company. This is most certainly a great gift book, but one you will definitely want to keep for yourself too. She has graciously sent me signed bookplates so each copy we sell with have a little extra special bonus. We are more than happy to wrap as a gift, just ask. A true gem filled with oodles of fresh ideas.
It is always an extra special happy day when a big box of John Derian’s decoupaged work arrives. I like to play around with them in a group before putting them out into displays. They look so cool massed together. John finds lovely old images and crafts them into a keepsake that is both new but with a very aged & patina feel. They tell a story. Whether singly or grouped, they work hung on a wall, snuggled up with other things on a table tableau, or just shining all by itself.
Returning back to the shops from being away, I always take a quick spin around to see how things are looking, what is new that has come in, what has sold, what we need more of, what needs to be moved around. The first few days back my mind is always racing with ideas. I think of spaces like plants or flowers in a way. They need to be cared for, looked after, watered, fed, and they will blossom. The shops are very much the same. Spaces have energy. That energy needs to be fueled. I am always looking for ways to keep things fresh & visually interesting. One of the biggest compliments we receive in the shops is when someone says they “feel good” when in the spaces–then I know we are doing it right. This is a big, overall goal, we are always looking to maintain. This is what caught my well-rested eyes after having come back from vacation.
I have a favor to ask. I would love to start a collection of images from shops that carry my book. If you see Style & Simplicity at a store, if it is no trouble to snap a photo of it and send it to me via e-mail, that would be hugely appreciated. The above I snapped when I was at one of John Derian’s shops in NYC a few weeks ago. The below was posted in situ the other day on Instagram by a very cool & lovely shop, Upstairs at Pierre Lafond. On a trip to Santa Barbara a few years ago, on our meandering we were fortunate to stop into this gem when we were in Montecito. It tickles me to no end to see my book in other environs. Thank you so much in advance if you do end up seeing it somewhere. A reader sent me an image of it at the Harvard Bookstore, and it just made my day. I may not have made it into Harvard, but my book did! Insert very large smile. email@example.com
We are having cookbook author extraordinaire Dorie Greenspan and her husband over for dinner this evening after her book signing at the shop. I really wanted to set a fun, creative table for her. My tip this week is how new placemats & napkin rings can give your table settings a fresh new look. They are also items that are some of the least expensive things to buy in the tabletop arena. Giving your table a refresh that is as easy as 1, 2, 3. And in this case, add a 4.
There are still spots available for Dorie’s book signing this eve. It starts at 5 going until 7 o’clock. We would love to have you join in the fun. Complimentary sparking wine, cider, and Mariage Freres tea will be served. Her new book is all about simple French desserts that you can whip up at home. Perfect as we head into the Holiday season.
Even though we are not there at the moment, it is fun to look back and write a Hawthorne post. This one while sitting in my favorite chair at WestWard. Ahhhh, air travel. I still find it fascinating how we can get from A to B, or in this case H to WW, so quickly.
I think honoring the meal is incredibly important. To slow down and enjoy the meal and to slow down and enjoy the conversation. Setting a table goes hand & hand with all of that. I don’t think it has to be fancy in the least. It should just make us comfortable while we are sitting at the table having our meal. A regular Tuesday night dinner should/can hold the same importance as a fancy Saturday eve dinner with guests. The above and below table in green just that. Candles lit and a nice napkin and our weekday meal is elevated to special status. No reservation required.
You all have been with me from the start of this book journey, so I thought I would fill you in on what has happened/what is happening coming up. The other day I found out that the venerable Bergdorf Goodman will be carrying my Style & Simplicity come Autumn. I am deeply honored. I e-mailed my friend Deborah Needleman (who threw that swell book party for me in New York awhile back) the day I found out and said how even as a little kid growing up in the Midwest, I knew BG was IT. It all just makes me smile. The artist John Derian, whose work we have carried at Watson Kennedy since we first opened, will be stocking the book too, at his gloriously eclectic shop on the Lower East Side. It was a smiling day.
The above image of the book I took in the showroom in Las Vegas who was showing it and selling it at the show I was at recently. Flanked, as you know I love that word, by 2 House Beautiful books I love and we sell the heck out of at WK. I felt in very good company.
We head to New York early tomorrow. A few days of r&r at Hawthorne and then into the city for me for the big buying show. I will also do at book signing at the Sterling booth on the Monday of the show. If you are attending, please stop by. I will be signing from 2 to 4. I will also be meeting with my editor to discuss ideas for book number two. Really all so very exciting.
Then back to Hawthorne for a few more days and then back to Seattle. While up at the house, I am going to be shooting a dining table setting. I have been asked by House Beautiful magazine to design and shoot a table for a Spring issue of their magazine. I will do a few table variations and see which they choose. Over the moon about this opportunity.
There were several really lovely blog posts about the book recently. Lisa Mende wrote such a complimentary post I wanted to share it with you. I have met Lisa over the years at events and just adore her. She is one of those people I instantly felt a connection with. Click on her name to read her kind words. The Enchanted Home also wrote a sweet, sweet post about how the book was enjoyed after a terribly stressful day finished off the a bubble bath and a little Style & Simplicity.
I continue to be humbled by the response and continue to receive just the kindest correspondence in many forms from folks near & far. The below comment on the shop Facebook page from Marlien who ordered the book and is reading it in South Africa. I have have gotten so sentimental in my years–this just brought a tear to my eyes.
A happy Saturday to you all! Thank you so much for following along on this book adventure. I gain so much enjoyment & strength knowing I have you all along for the ride.
With huge thanks.
From my favorite chair at The Gainsborough, Ted
We got a stack of this book in a few days before we left for New York, and within fewer days the stack was gone. I was so bummed not to have snagged one before we left on our trip. So I was quite excited to see the stack replenished when I walked into the shop yesterday. THE INSPIRED HOME Nests of Creatives is simply a very, very pretty book. Ethereal almost. There are so many ways photographers shoot rooms. This book is shot by Ditte Isager in a lovely dreamy way. Not whole rooms but parts of them. A corner here, the side of a room there. You kind of feel like you could climb into the photo. They evoke a mood. A relaxed I want to sit in that chair in that photo with a glass of red wine and just look through this book vibe to it. They are not overly styled. Filled with page after page of the homes of creative folk. I always love the reference of a home as a nest, as I feel the ones I most gravitate to have that feeling. Things collected over time. Things that have deep meaning to the inhabitant.