crystal Archive


Christmas List

Christmas List Image

Have you finished your holiday shopping? I didn’t think so, so I’m hoping that this list may be timely inspiration for those with creative flair and a passion for home on your list.

Finding the perfect gift for all the fabulous people on your list can be challenging and who wants an uninspired necktie or a sweater under their tree? One thing that I always welcome as a gift is a fabulous coffee table book-honestly Sam and I can’t get enough books and sometimes these are hard items to justify purchasing for yourself as a limited edition or coveted hardcover can certainly be expensive. Vintage and antique books are also welcome additions to our library shelves. Has designer tools a great book looks fabulous on the end table next to a favorite living room or bedside chair. A coffee table book looks great on the coffee table of course. Our favorite topics include books on design, architecture, travel, cooking and of course fashion.  Books we love this year include the new Mary McDonald Interiors not only for its content but for the fabulous gold lettering on the spine, (yes, my books coordinate and work with the room) The Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture.

Fabulous faux fur shawls and throws are rich warm and cuddly additions to the end of the bed, arm of a sofa or favorite chair. A delicious addition to a fabulous space: look for black mink for an art deco or traditionally styled room, fox for a country manor or white mink for a friend with a glamorous bedroom.

Email and texting are just too easy and we just don’t take the time to send hand written notes these days, which I think is a real shame. Personalized stationary is great gift that look luxurious on everyone’s desk. Grab your shopping list and head to your favorite craft or office supply store (most stores that order wedding stationary will also do personalized stationary) or just open up the laptop and look for a supplier on line and trust me there are plenty and start ordering. Inexpensive and thoughtful, I love this idea.

Here’s a rock solid idea. How about a beautiful chunk of crystal or amethyst or even graphite. Flipping through your favorite shelter magazine you undoubtedly notice amazing chunks of rock sitting beautiful on horizontal surfaces in the most spectacular rooms. We love finding fabulous pieces of rock to bring home a welcome treasure that will always be in style and will never go stale.

Linen dinner napkins are a great gift especially when you take the time to have them monogrammed with the families initials. We monogram all the time, table linens, bathrobes and even pillow cases. It take the ordinary and creates the fabulous-god is in the details and it’s these little touches that take the gift from good to wow.

Nothing feels more fabulous to give a gift that you are really proud of and that you know will be loved and adored for years to come-that’s fabulous living!

Scent is the number one route to our brains memory center- conjure fabulous visions of Christmases gone past by filling your home with the scent of the season. Candles and essential oils such as pine, cinnamon and citrus are right in seasons and don’t forget to blend a couple of scents together. Rooms should always appeal to all five of our senses.


Dressed for Fall

Dressed For Fall

I can’t believe we are almost at the end of August, another summer has flown by but the good news is I always find fall fashion exciting and eagerly anticipate the arrival of Vogue’s September issue. I’m in Shanghai this week and just returned from one of the large designer fabric markets fueled and filled with anticipation as I just found the fabrics I need for my master bedroom and library-aside from my clients windows these are my personal  current window dressing projects.

As the sun sets on summer we need to dress our rooms for fall and for me that always means window dressing. I love fabric and I love taking yards of scrumptious textiles and creating draperies that complete a room. No room is complete until the draperies are hung. Often we forget the windows or stall (which I agree is the right thing to do until you have found the perfect fabrics) but know that window dressing is the ultimate detail in a room. Just as we dress ourselves in layers so do we dress our windows.

When styling a room’s windows think in terms of layers. The first layer is a layer of light control, perhaps a blind or a fabulous sheer drapery then a layer or even two layers of sexy textiles to add pattern and or texture and then the finishing layer: a brilliant rod and finials, trimmings, tie back or perhaps a valance. I love to play creatively when we are dressing windows.

Let me give you a couple of examples. In my library I used metal chain link drapery to act as the first sheer layer as I am not terribly concerned about light control in this window as it faces out onto a courtyard. Next, a layer of fabulous distressed handsome gray velvet that will drape lightly onto the floor which will be swept back away from the window by a sensational tassel made from silk, chrome, and crystal and feather details.

In my master bedroom I started with a layer of white sheer fabric that has rows of silk leaves loosely running vertically then a layer of raw white silk panels that are detailed with white eight inch trim on the bottom hem.

My favorite drapery fabrics are sheer, velvets and raw silks or silk like fabrics which can be designed to create stunning window fashions in just about any room of any style. These are my go to textiles. Textiles designed for drapery are wider that dress textiles and this is important especially in a room that will be closing the drapes in as you’ll see the seams. When I’m using sheers I always look employ fabrics designed for drapery as the seams will distract from the window but when it comes to drapery panels which are often just used for esthetics consider using dress fabrics which when sewn correctly the seams can be hidden in the folds and could save you a lot of money as apparel fabrics are often considerably less expensive. Solid fabrics are often less expensive than patterned fabrics so when I’m working on a tighter budget I will use the patterns sparingly. Perhaps just on the bottom third of the panel or only in the valance or has a faux second layer to the drapery panels saving my money for what I consider to be the better investment: rods and finals, tie backs and trimmings. More bang for the buck, as they say!

It is also important to always line your drapery panels as this will ensure that the uv light does not damage or discolour the fabric and the panels will hang and look much better. Like the icing on your cupcakes draperies are to the room- the sweet finishing touch to fabulous space.

A great tassel can be used for more than just tying back draperies. We love tassels, small ones big ones and all in between. I hang small tassels from cabinet, end table or bureau knobs. Larger tassels look fabulous hung on the back of dining chairs or from behind a framed picture. Small tassels can be tacked onto the front of pillar candles or glued onto the front of glass canisters. Shop for tassels when you travel to exotic destinations such as China, India or Morocco.