Tuesday, August 31, 2010


The breezes taste
Of apple peel.
The air is full
Of smells to feel-
Ripe fruit, old footballs,
Burning brush,
New books, erasers,
Chalk, and such.
The bee, his hive,
Well-honeyed hum,
And Mother cuts
Like plates washed clean
With suds, the days
Are polished with
A morning haze.

- John Updike, September

Photo by Heather Clawson for Habitually Chic

Sponsor Spotlight

I'd like to welcome two of my fabulous new sponsors, Lamshop, whose Ming table is seen above, and The Katch Design Company.  It's not too late to advertise in September or plan for October.  Contact me for rates today!


You never know where inspiration for a story will strike.  I was reading Page 6 yesterday and they mentioned that Cornelia Guest (above) is putting her ancestral home, Templeton, on the market again.  In case you don't know, Cornelia's mother was the chic style icon C.Z. Guest.  Templeton in Old Westbury on Long Island was actually the guesthouse on the estate of White Eagle, designed by Carrere and Hastings, which was owned by Cornelia's great-grandfather Henry Phipps and inherited by Frederick Guest, her grandfather.  He felt the house was too big and grand for his family to smaller quarters on the property.  Of course, Templeton was added onto and now the 28 room home on 15 acres includes 11 bedrooms, a pool, tennis courts, barn, formal gardens, and a greenhouse. I've included photos of how it looked while C.Z. was still alive that were published after her death in 2003 and more recent photos. 

C.Z. Guest in her garden in Mainbocher opera coat. I was actually privileged to meet C.Z. at a big beauty event at Bergdorf Goodman shortly after I moved to New York in 2001.  She was there to promote her garden line of products of course I bought one of her candles.  It came in a beautiful flower pot and included seeds you could plant after the candle had burned down.  She was just as chic as you could imagine, even into her 80's!

A look at the the downstairs library which features club chairs and a wall banquette upholstered in French printed cotton. The walls and bookcases are also covered with the fabric.

The downstairs library from House & Garden, June 2004.

The desk in the ground floor library.

A John Singer Sargent portrait of a baby Winston Guest with his grandmother, Anne Phipps, sits above a small sofa.  It is a study for the final portrait which hangs at Old Westbury Gardens.

A look at the same room from House & Garden, June 2004.

The hallway with its famous leopard carpet.

As the caption from House & Garden, states, the leopard carpet conceals muddy paw prints from all the dogs. 

The dining table holds stacks of Winston Guest's old equestrian books piled up by Cornelia. "I just have so many books. My father used to say, 'No more books!'"

The dining table set for House & Garden, June 2004.

A wider look at the dining room.

The blue and white room overlooks the garden.

A wider view of the blue and white room with it's tiger carpet and portrait of C.Z. by Salvadore Dali above the mantel.

The dramatic painting in the salon was purchased by Winston Guest in Paris.

The sunroom that looks like it had it's original lattice removed.

The sunroom from House & Garden, June 2004.

The entry foyer holds very large elephant tusks, a trophy from Winston Guest's big game hunting. The ocelot hide chairs were featured in Bruce Weber's book A House Is Not a Home.

Portrait of 6 year old Cornelia on Ivanhoe with her Jack Russell terriers, by esteemed equine artist Richard Stone Reeves.

A bedroom at Templeton.

A collage of rooms at Templeton including Cornelia's bedroom with her portrait by Andy Warhol, center. The bottom row are photos of White Eagle.

The gardens at Templeton include topiaries which Cornelia stands in front of, below. It can all be yours for $20,000,000 too! 

Photos from Alexandra Rowley, Peak of Chic and Luxist.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Grace is Good

It was reported by WWD last week that Vogue Creative Director Grace Coddington is hard at work on her autobiography.  She will be helped with this task by former Men's Vogue editor in chief Jay Fielden.  “We’re just starting, and I think it’s going to be a really fun project,” she told WWD, adding: “I’m hoping it’s going to be very rich in fashion history. It’s more than just about me.”  Before she was an editor, Coddington was a model who was shot by some legendary lensmen including Lord Snowdon and Helmet Newton.  I'm sure there are some good stories from those years as well as her time at both British and American Vogue.  It was The September Issue that introduced us to this amazing woman who I like to think of as the moral compass of the movie and I can't wait to read about her inspiring life in her own words. 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Paris in Pastel

If you don't already have the July/August 2010 issue of Australian Vogue Living, run, don't walk to the nearest newsstand!  This issue is one of their best and includes a fun story about eating in Brooklyn and a feature on the Montauk home of Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch of Roman and Williams which you can also see here.  But what really stopped me in my tracks was a gorgeous Paris apartment designed by Baroness Bruno de Pampelonne for a young Russian woman who received it as a birthday present (must be nice huh?!).  The Baroness whose name is Rose Anne, worked on the space with architect Florence Lopez and what's surprising is that it's so different from her own Paris apartment that was seen in Elle Decor.  The title of the article, Paris in Pastel, suggests that the apartment is full of pastel colors but it's not at all saccharine or sweet.  Lots of black and gold accents and marble, as well as a top notch art collection keep it sophisticated and modern.  It actually reminds me a little of Kelly Wearstler's home.  The photos below are only a few of what is quickly becoming one of my all time favorite interiors.  Enjoy!

Artwork by German artist Katja Strunz hangs above a table by Angelo Mangiarotti.  The lamp with pale blue shade and mounted crystal is by Bagues.

If I had seen this apartment last week, I could have included it in my mirror post.  Here, an Hervé van der Straeten mirror hangs over a mirrored wall panel. The Baroness designed the carpet. 

The sheep desk, "Mouflon de Pauline" is by François-Xavier Lalanne.  The Baroness is quoted in the article as saying, "You know when Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs and Peter Marino started to buy Lalanne, the prices for his furniture skyrocketed."  The Ico Parisi chair is covered in a Brunschwig & Fils fabric.

In the guest bedroom, striped leather walls by Elitis are a perfect backdrop for a work by James Nares and sconces by Objet Insolite. 

The black kitchen features a Thonet dining table. 

Photos by Richard Powers

Friday, August 27, 2010

See you Sunday!

I thought August was when everyone was supposed to be away.  Seems it's not and I've never been busier so I'm taking a few days off to relax.  I'll be back next week refreshed and renewed. I will also have lots of good posts for you including my visit with artist Jeremiah Goodman.  Bon Weekend!

Photo by Richard Foulser

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Art and Interiors on the Huffington Post

I was honored to be asked by artist Kimberly Brooks to curate a post on the Huffington Post and the subject of Art and Interiors seemed like a perfect fit.  As someone who holds an art history degree, art will always be important in my life and also my work. A beautiful home will never feel finished unless it is filled with artwork that isn't just bought as a prop but is meaningful to the owner. I can't think of any other artist whose work is admired by so many and can be seen in so many different types of interiors than Cy Twombly. Hope you enjoy it!

Photo of Cy Twombly's Roman palazzo by Horst 1966

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Oscar Elegance at Lee Jofa

I had a very busy day yesterday which also included a meeting at the D&D Building.  While I was there, I decided to see if the Oscar de la Renta room was finished at the Lee Jofa showroom.  Every season Lee Jofa installs a fabulous room devoted to one of their fabric designers.  I wasn't sure anything could top the lovely room by interior designer Eric Cohler but the new Oscar de la Renta room with its gorgeous green walls and luxurious bed definitely takes the cake.  It reminds me a lot of the de la Renta's bedroom in their house in Connecticut that I posted a few months ago.  Needless to say, I am as in love with the new Oscar fabrics as I am with the artwork in the room.  I'm sure Oscar de la Renta Home creative director, Miles Redd,  had a hand in this masterpiece and I thank him since it makes a dreaded trip to the D&D Building a whole lot more enjoyable!

Photos by Heather Clawson for Habitually Chic

Chic Reads: Assouline at The Plaza

If there is one publisher that epitomizes chicness, it's Assouline.   I had the privilege of attending their fall preview yesterday and I warn you again, make room on your bookshelves!  I was able to take a look at American Fashion Designers at Home and it's even better than I anticipated.  Those of you who love Paris will also want to order Antiquaires: Flea Markets of Paris by Laurie Verchere with a foreword by 1stdibs founder Michael Bruno.  The Assouline shop in the Plaza is also worth checking out since they often carry titles not available online and a vast collection of vintage books.  You can even pick up a Goyard trunk full of Assouline titles.  I told you they were chic!  Happy Reading!

Photos by Heather Clawson for Habitually Chic