Health Hiatus

source: Elle Decor

My health issues have gotten a bit out of control lately — hence my unexplained absence. So I’ve decided to take time off and focus hardcore on getting healthy. Hopefully, it’ll only take a month.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday! You’ll be in my thoughts. And fingers crossed I’ll be back right after the New Year!

On a side note, if you have to be sick, wouldn’t the bedroom above be a great place to waste away the time? Throw in some greenery, a mountain view and a giant stone fireplace, and it would be perfect for christmas.


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ON THE HUNT: Gold Flatware


With the holidays less than a month away, entertaining will soon be on everyone’s mind, and if there’s one thing I wish I had to put on my table, it’d be gold flatware. Over the past two years, I’ve spotted it everywhere. Magazines. Catalogs. TV shows. And during the holidays, when warm colors — orange, brown and red — reign supreme, it looks even more fitting and fantastic.

Surprisingly, the majority of options are offered in contemporary styles. Perhaps, they’re afraid gold would look too dated in a traditional guise — not that I believe it for a second.

My mantra when shopping is simple: Ignore the trends. Buy what you love.

That’s the only way you’ll be truly happy. So if you love gold and traditional, click through to see more stunning, shiny options.

1. Due Ice Oro by Mepra, $130

2. H Art Gold by Sambonet, $140

3. Gold Flatware by West Elm, $23

4. Domino Gold Cutlery by Canvas, $74

5. Marchesa Imperal Caviar by Lenox, $90

6. Night by Dianae Von Furstenberg, $105

See 4 Traditional Sets of Gold Flatware »


permalink | Posted in entertaining



There are 3 essential elements of the perfect jean. One, a good cut. Two, a good color. And three, good fabric. The first two elements — cut and color — are easy to find now that practically every jean manufacturer offers skinny, bootcut and flare jeans in a variety of washes. It’s the third — good fabric — that’s as elusive as the fountain of youth.

Granted, given jeans history — they were initially distributed as durable workwear — it’s understandable some would still pay homage to their past and use rough and tough fabric. But now that they’re worn as casual, everyday wear with a fit akin to sausage casing, you’d think the majority would have moved onto a softer, suppler fabric. No such luck.

Walk through rows of jeans — high or low end — and here’s what you’ll find. Scratchy. Stiff. Rigid. Hard. It’s the standard. We’re accustomed to jeans being uncomfortable and needing to be broken in. But I’m as unwieldy as the wild horses the original jean wearers were trying to tame, and the thought of wearing stiff jeans makes me cringe. So much so, that when I go jean shopping, I no longer look at the cut or color. I simply walk through the store feeling the fabric of each jean and only consider them if I like what I feel. And most of the time, I don’t. Actually, 99% of the time I don’t.

And then, on a chance encounter, I came across these. AG Jeans. They felt like sweats. Soft. Smooth. Supple. They looked like a million bucks. And when I put them on, they hugged — and hid — all the right things. In other words, they were — and are — the perfect jean.

I was so excited, I ordered a bunch more AG Jeans only to receive a bunch of stiff, typical jeans. So after a little digging, I discovered the secret is in the fabric blend. If you find an AG Jean with a blend of 30% cotton, 45% rayon and 25% poly, consider yourself blessed. You’ve stumbled across a rare specimen: the perfect jean.

Currently, AG Jeans sells three jeans with that blend: The Alexa, The Stilt and The Angel. Unfortunately, the pair I have is the Ballad, so I can’t vouch for those. But if you’re on the hunt for a super comfortable jean, I’d highly recommend giving them a try. After a year of owning mine, they’re still my go-to pair.

If you’ve found another super comfy pair of jeans, let me know. I’d love to give them a try.


permalink | Posted in fashion

Horchow’s Win Your Cart Sweepstakes


Like shopping? This giveaway is for you. Horchow’s hosting a “Win Your Cart Sweepstakes,” where you could win up to $15,000 worth of merchandise. To enter, create a Horchow account and add all your dream items to your cart. And be sure to hurry. The deadline to enter is October 29.

I put luxury linens, a cashmere throw, gold flatware and a cowhide rugamong other things — in my cart. What will you choose?


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Photographer Spotlight: Evgeni Dinev


When it comes to the visual, few things transport and elicit as intense of an emotion as photos. And given the main goal of decorating is to elicit emotion — as I explain in detail in my book — photography serves not only as ideal decorating pieces, but also as the perfect jumping off point for a room — or as I call it, your muse. So I’m always on the hunt for talented, awe-inspiring photographers. After all, the better the photo, the more intense the emotion we feel.

Of course, saying that begs the question: What makes a great photo? When it comes to landscapes, I believe the best photos are those that walk the line between real and unreal. The photos that appear so fantastic you can’t believe they’re real, yet they’re so real — so true to what you know — they must be. Those are the ones that take your breathe away. The ones that make you feel the most.

And Bulgarian photographer Evgeni Dinev‘s photos fit that bill. His photos have that surreal, jaw-dropping, I-can’t-believe-they’re-real quality to them. If you like what you see, I urge you to check out his portfolio. And if you’re so inspired, a number of his prints are available for purchase.

See More of Evgeni Dinev’s Work »


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