New York Social Diary


This week's New York Social Diary is out and as usual, it's fabulous! If you don't subscribe to it, but you love New York shopping, culture, art, society, and design, you should sign up for it. This week NYSD previews fab designer Thad Hayes' new NY design office. Here's a few pics from the layout. For all you design bloggers who LOVE design books, here's a picture from Thad's collection. Bloggers: Let's see what books Thad reads: Bunny Williams - yes!, Frank Lloyd Wright, yes!, Stefanidis, yes! Billy Baldwin, Albert Hadley, Jed Johnson (didn't like that book, sorry) AND he has my bible: Style by Salandino. Gee, Thad, we have the same taste, why aren't I as famous a designer as you???? The picture below is how he keeps his clients'files. So neat and organized (not like me). Notice it looks like he keeps the fabric samples above in the clear plastic boxes. I'd love to read the names of those clients. Bloggers - how do you keep your current clients' files? I use these shopping bags that I buy wholesale, some are zebra print, some are white, etc. for the samples. I put the papers in Anna Griffin files.

And more of his office library. Notice the framed magazine articles of him on the wall:

This week NYSD visits a horse show in Milbrook, NY. Doesn't this look like an ad from Ralph Lauren?

I don't know who's cuter, the dog or the purse?

Tag, I'm It - OY!


ok, I've been putting this off, but I've been tagged a few times and I can't run and hide anymore. So, I hope I don't bore you too much. Here are eight facts about me that you didn't know or ever even wanted to know. I am going to throw in an free fun fact. That person above is MOI, ready to go to the beach, talking on the cell phone, as usual. I refuse to wear a cricket Bluetooth because they are SO ugly! For some reason I think a black cord hanging out from my face is prettier. Here goes 8 fun facts:

1) My husband is my best friend. We were born exactly 11 days apart, so we're both Scorpions and we are very much alike. We are both homebodies who say "there's no place like home" every time we get back from vacation. He lets me decorate my (our?) house all I want and never says a word about it - good or bad! He's much nicer than me, though. Wherever I go, people are so nice to me when they find out I'm married to Ben. Places like the dry cleaners and people like the Fed Ex man - everyone loves Ben. He's so cute, do you blame them? Here's Ben, talking on his cell phone:

2) I am a magazine junkie. I need a fix every day. I go from grocery store to bookstore to grocery store picking up copies of magazines. I don't like to subscribe to them because they don't come in the mail as early as the stores. The few magazines I do have subscriptions to, sometimes if I see the new issue in the store, I'll buy it anyway because I can't wait for it to be delivered to see it. That's sick, I know.

3) I'm also a political junkie. Democrat all the way, baby!!!! This picture of an elephant was taken by my nephew and niece this summer on their African safari:

4) My love of country french furniture comes from my mother, Betty Rae! For those who don't know me in real life, she's really my step-mother, but we don't like that word, step. The first time I ever saw French furniture was at her house and I've been hooked ever since. She has the best taste of anyone I've ever known. Thanks, BR!! This is a picture of my french day bed, my french chair inherited from Betty Rae, my french wine tasting table, and my french Buffet a Deux Corps:

5) I don't like food and never have. Neither does Ben. He eats cereal for dinner and he's happy with that. People don't get that I don't like food, but I only eat because I get low blood sugar. I eat the same thing every night for dinner because it's easy and I don't have to think about what to eat: Wendy's Caesar salad. I know, it's horrible and sad. You'd think I'd be skinny.

6) This is REALLY hard to do!!! ok, as I'm listening to the waves, I LOVE the beach. Ben and I are going to retire on a beach someday, hopefully sooner than later. That's our dream and always has been. No lake, no countryside, no mountains - it's the beach, any beach, any time. Our favorite beach - South Padre Island, Tx:

7) I don't care about clothes shopping. In fact, I hate to clothes shop. I only like to house shop. Ben says it's a bad day for me if money hasn't been exchanged some way. OK, I'll admit it, I'm addicted to shopping for my house. Candles, throws, antiques, design books, sconces, dishes, blue opaline, transferware, Masonware, flowers, etc. - anything that makes my house cosier, warmer, more cluttered, better smelling - I'll buy it. Here's an example of excessive buying:

8) And lastly, I wish I had had more children. Having one child makes the time as a mother go by too quickly. I loved being pregnant and I loved having a baby. I wish I could have done it more than once. I mean, who wouldn't want more of a child like this?

Ta da! I'm through and so are you. Thanks for sticking with it. So now, I have to tag 8 people. I have to think about who.

Joni aka Cote de France

Greetings from South Padre Island, Texas!

Hello from the tip of Texas! One week down and two more to go. This was the beautiful view outside my window today. Nice.

Ahhhhh, this is living, a few new magazines, reading glasses and a cell phone:

Photostyling doesn't take vacations. Check out the perfectly aligned monograms on the towels and the trendy LL Bean beach bag:

Over worked Husband doesn't know how to relax. Get off the cell phone and go get your legs tanned!!!

At least you don't have to pace up and down the beach. Show off:

Ok, enough of the beach, time for shopping. For years, there has been only one store on the Island worth shopping at. This year, I was very pleasantly surprised to walk into a new store, Park 100, that was actually worth shopping. Check out these darling hot pink and green pillows and throws:

Park 100 is an interior design shop that caters to all the condominium owners on the island. Very Palm Beach-y decor:

Check out this display and veddy fashionable lamp:

And one more table with jewelery and accessories. Very cute store, all in all.

Next, I head over to the old standby, design wise, Isla/Rica. Two stores under one roof, very chic, urban clothes at Isla, and Flax type linen clothes at Rica. Both stores are for sale, in case you are looking to own a laid back business in a laid back beach town. Here's the outside of Isla/Rica - all painted up in eye catching colors:

Dainty Lewis, the owner, accessories her stores with shabby chic type antiques. It's all very charming and original.

Outside, next to the store, the owners built this wonderful home. Not sure if the house is also for sale, but it probably could be for the right price.

And, finally, how do you keep a lonely 16 year old teenager happy at the beach? Why, have her picture taken professionally, of course. Except, this "professional" photographer gave us her Myspace address which advertises her Slovakian punk rock band! I kid you not. Actually, the pictures came out rather good, much more artistic than I expected:

Dressing Tables

Is there anything more romantic than a woman's vanity? Full of beautiful perfume bottles, some old, some new, silver hand-held mirrors and natural bristle brushes, old cut crystal jars that hold lotions and oils - a vanity conjures up images of a daughter sitting on the floor, gazing up as she watches her mother put on her jewelry and fancy dress for a party that night. Vanities represent grown up femininity and many an adult woman now wants that fantasy in her life.

Vanities through the ages were a staple for the upper class. The style of the vanity changed with the fashion. Along with Louis XV and Louis XVI, Art Nouveau and Art Deco vanities are plentiful in antique stores. The fabric covered, skirted, kidney shaped vanity was popular in the 50s and peaked in the 60s. At that time, the vanity fell out of favor due to the rising use of built in cabinets. Today, there is a resurgence of the vanity, but not as a vital piece of furniture. The vanity is more of an accent table placed in the bedroom or bathroom suite. Catalogues such as Horchow Collection and Ballard Designs sell different types of vanities for the more budget minded.

Currently, I am designing a bedroom for a 15 year old girl. When asked what she wanted in her bedroom, the first item she mentioned to me was a vanity with a mirror and a chair. Her mother balked at this request, but I honored the teenager's wish and she will be getting her vanity after all.

A modern vanity, accented with pink prints - this is an example of a non-working vanity.

A rendering of a Charlotte Moss bedroom. Skirted vanity is placed at the end of the bed instead of a bench.

Mary McDonald places a mirrored vanity in a bathroom.

An antique writing desk doing double duty as a vanity in a French home.

A built in that's been skirted to give the appearance of a freestanding vanity.

An absolutely gorgeous writing table, used as a vanity.

Californian designer Madeline Stuart places a vanity in the bathroom.

What a beautiful setting to put makeup on, or just to look at family photos.

Another bathroom vanity.

Picks from 1St Dibs this week - Vanities:

An unusual rattan vanity from the 40's.

19th century French vanity.

Very, very fine and expensive red tortoiseshell vanity mirror. Note the two candlesticks on the top.

Mirrored vanity with Tiffany blue interior.

Another mirrored vanity, practical with so many drawers.

A beautiful array of sterling silver vanity brushes, mirrors and bottles.

Gorgeous Empire style vanity.

Art Deco mirror and wood vanity.
Authentic English traveling vanity. Adorable.

And lastly, for the budget minded, Horchow Collection's version of vanities: