Friday, January 28, 2011


The Northern Italians know the best way to manage a cold winter's day is to tuck into a unique drink called a bicerin (pronounced "beet-chureen").  Named for the small glass it's served in, this delicious drink has just three ingredients: thick hot chocolate, hot espresso and cool heavy cream, beautifully layered in a glass. I first had bicerin on a skiing trip to Cortina several years ago. Local cafes served small glasses of the decadent hot chocolate in the late afternoon. After a day of skiing, the rich drink really hit the spot. 

After our latest snowstorm yesterday, I decided that it's the perfect time for a glass of bicerin. Ciao!

Two servings

It’s important to use a clear glass; you need to be able to see all three layers.
To make a bicerin, warm one cup (250 ml) whole milk in a medium-sized saucepan with 3 ounces (90 gr) of chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate. Whisk the mixture until it begins to boil, then let it boil for 1 minute, whisking constantly (the chocolate mixture will foam up a bit.)
Afterward, remove it from the heat and set aside. Make a small pot of very strong coffee, or good Italian espresso.

Fill the bottom third of a clear, heat-proof glass with the warm chocolate mixture. Pour in some coffee or espresso. (If you want to help it create a definite layer, pour it over the back of a spoon, into the glass.)
Top with a nice swirl of sweetened, freshly-whipped cream.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


I've been on a book bender.  I love buying books;  looking at their covers, reading the brief synopsis inside, carefully culling my choices down and bringing my new finds home. The problem is that I don't have room to store them in my bedroom. My quick fix is stacking them in corners and on the top of my desk grouped in loose categories; Cleopatra is nestled between Keith Richards and Gloria Vanderbilt. I hope they like each other. I need a permanent solution for my book excess and have been exploring putting a set of bookshelves in my room. I like the symmetry of two bookshelves flanking a window.  Lot's of room for my collection of books and hopefully a few empty shelves too.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I took a taxi ride down Park Avenue this morning and I was greeted with quite a surprise. Amid the falling snow, an enchanted garden of 38 rose sculptures by the artist Will Ryman appeared along the Park Avenue Mall between 57th and 67th streets.  The Roses, Ryman's new installation, is a series of fanciful floral sculptures that tower up to 25 feet high. The dramatic burst of pink and red blossoms are the perfect pick me up for a bleak winter day!  Come visit-the installation will be blooming until May 31, 2011.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Nine new colors will be introduced by UK based Farrow & Ball in February, but I have a sneak peek for you today. Know for their lush color palette and intense, saturated hues, the nine new colors are a luxurious mix of neutrals with a pop of delicious burnt orange. The new paints join a sophisticated lineup of 132 colors that are eco and user friendly. Looking for a quick design change for 2011?  Pick up a paint brush!

 Oxford Stone No.264
Shown here in the cloth beneath the teapot, this warm neutral was named after the color of the stone used in Oxfordshire village houses.
 Manor House Gray No.265
My favorite new grey, this hue reflects the quintessentially English manor houses of the 18th century. Beautiful in both traditional and more modern designs.

 Mizzle: No. 266 
Named after the West Country description of mist and drizzle-it's a great neutral (and a great name!)
 Dove Tale No.267
A soft grey neutral that works well with a variety of hues.

Charlotte's Locks No.268
A brilliant burst of color, Charlotte's Locks is for those adventurous types. A deep burnt
with a sophisticated flair, use on a mirror frame for a fun pop.
 Plummett No.272
Sophisticated and modern, Plummett is ready to add drama to your decor. This deep grey was named after the lead weight used to sink a fishing line.

 Brassica No. 271 
This delicate violet is perfect with soft grays and whites.
 Calluna No.270 
 Calluna is a soft grey named after the Scottish heather.
 Cabbage White No. 269

Friday, January 21, 2011


It snowed last night. Again. I've decided that I wouldn't mind all the snow if I had a little ski chalet on the side of a mountain. Rustic, luxurious, perfect for a weekend getaway. Woosh.....

images via tumblr

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Did I happen to mention that I live in a 50 story high rise?  In a building that massive, everyday is moving day, so I wasn't all that surprised to see the tell tale boxes and blankets piled off the elevator on our landing Tuesday morning.  The movers were working on the opposite end of the hall carefully wrapping an exquisite gilded headboard so chic and stylish I knew that it had to belong to my decorator neighbor Jennifer.  Jennifer and I would sometimes meet up at the elevator on the way to walk our dogs and talk a little design business on the way down.  Her office was in midtown and she would take her cute little pug with her to work in the mornings.  I was sad to see my friendly neighbor leave and went to wish her luck. She met me at the door with fantastic tan and a look of blissful calm; she had just come home from Mustique where she had been working.  A wave of envy over took me! As sometimes happens when you say your goodbyes, I found out that Jennifer co-owns a design furnishing store on the island, Across Home Forever and does much of the interior design for the chic island homes.  Intrigued, I went to her website (Jennifer Bradford Davis) and was wowed!  Her portfolio showcases her love of exotic island design with a careful paring of organic elements and sophisticated architectural design. I was especially smitten with her portfolio of tablescapes--gorgeous settings that display a unique layering of natural materials and rich textures in delicate water and earth tones.  Beautiful inspiration for January!

All images courtesy of Jennifer Bradford Davis Design.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


One of my guilty pleasures is a daily read of exotic travel destinations on Jetsetter.  There always seems to be an exotic local to add to my travel wish list. Yesterday I found the perfect anecdote to my winter blues: Kamalama Cay in the Bahamas. Kamalame Cay is a 96-acre sliver of sun and solitude near Andros Island in the Bahamas. A chic little slice of heaven that can only be reached by sea plane or boat, the vibe at Kamalame is luxurious zen. The 19 cottages have 17-foot vaulted ceilings, chic island decor and the most perfect views of the turquoise ocean.  It's absolutely gorgeous!  After a day of snorkeling and sunning, cocktails and dinner are served in the resort's great room. If you are looking to up the romance factor, the staff will set up an evening beach bungalow complete with gauzy drapes, lounge chairs, champagne and the stars.  Jetsetter is running a special of $255 per night per room which includes breakfast. Flights to the Bahamas are inexpensive and frequent for those in the New York metro area, making this destination the perfect Valentine-don't you think?  

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Kate Spade's Date Night Corsage Ring
The perfect accessory for a fun night out, I'm smitten with Spade's silk georgette ring in poppy red. The 12K ring comes beautifully boxed and with a gentle $55 price, better than a box of candy from your Valentine.

What are your Valentine's Day plans?

Monday, January 17, 2011


 Good Design is Forever. Let's hope the motto for Brunschwig & Fils, the venerable century-old fabrics and wall covering firm holds true. Sadly, the company filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy late last week. Rumors have home furnishings behemoth Kravet poised to rescue the beleaguered company, offering 6.5 M for the firm.  

I have always had a sweet spot for Brunschwig's fantastic prints. I used Bengali Toile, a gorgeous bird patterned print in red in my dining room when I was a newlywed. It's timeless pattern is as relevant today as it was nearly two decades ago.

Le Touche, the ultimate cheetah pattern is classic and so chic!

 I'm in the process of using the print on a bench for an entry hallway-so handsome!

 I have my sights on Zig Zag, the perfect print for a beach house living room.
Boho glamour-Dzhambul Suzani is a cool crewel

Enjoy your Monday!