Friday, December 19, 2014

MY DATE WITH KATE AND WILLIAM

The GORGEOUS couple
During their recent whirlwind three day visit, Kate and William squeezed in dinner with moi. OK, there were a few others there, 450 to be exact--but it felt intimate and very special.  
Prince William's Place Setting
Shhhh! I was one of a handful that knew the Prince and Princess would be traveling to to New York to celebrate the 600th Anniversary of St. Andrews nearly 14 months ago but couldn't tell anyone. As part of the St. Andrews parents benefit committee, (my daughter CeCe attended) we were a group of about twenty that worked on planning the gala benefit and were sworn to royal secrecy. 
Kate and Will St. Andrews Graduation Day
As you may know, Kate and William met and fell in love at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. With the 600th Anniversary approaching, they wanted to do something special for the school (and help fund the University's endowment) with a gala in NYC. We knew a party at the Metropolitan Museum would be spectacular, and it was.
St. Andrews Grads in their traditional red robes holding ribbons to keep us back!
Cocktails were held in the Mets Great Hall, the majestic entry to the museum. Its a neoclassic work of art with three immense domes and a series of grand arches--the perfect reception area to greet a Prince and Princess. Cocktails had a decidedly Scottish flair with a whiskey tasting bar and mini Scottish haggis puffs. I went Continental with a glass of French champagne and a cavier blini. 
Me glammed up and waiting...
With a flurry of paparazzi bulbs and a regal announcement Kate and Will were lead through the room in a small procession. St. Andrews graduates in their red robes greeted them on each side as they made their way down the hall. While photos were forbidden, most of us couldn't help sneaking our iPhone out and taking a quick shot or two as they made their way in.  



Kate charmed the pants off Anna Wintour and Mary Kate Olsen
Kate was simply radiant in a midnight blue pleated gown with her hair swept up in a side chignon that showed off her emerald and diamond chandelier earrings. 
Anna and Kate dishing at the bar
You absolutely need a bag pipe player
Princess Eugenie made the party too.
Dinner was held in the Temple of Dendur. It's an imposing and glamorous space even in the light of day.  At night with dramatic lighting, jewel toned flowers and bag pipers in their tartan it was warm, intimate, spectacular.


I loved working on the rooms table decor. We kept it traditional with a St. Andrews plaid topper which covered a gold silk tablecloth. Flowers in golds and deep reds were layered on the table and added warmth and glamour to the room.

Kate and William's table post party
William's speech touched on his fondness for the University, it's traditions and of course, the fact that he met his future wife there--he was funny and charming! 
A perfect ending to the evening: Kate was presented with a baby St. Andrews red robe for her future prince or princess!


Friday, November 14, 2014

Something Gave At The Something's Gotta Give House



I recently received a call from a friend about an estate sale that was being held at the fabled "Something's Gotta Give" house in Southampton. The movie has become a classic--not just because it features A-list actors Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson, but because so many people have fallen in love with the "quintessential Hamptons beach house" where the movie took place.
Home today
The stunning oceanfront built in 2000 resides on tony Meadow Lane in Southampton and has quite a loyal fan base. Charming and picturesque, the estate features a sloped roof line, wooden shingles and expansive porches, perfect for summer drinks. The kicker of course is the priceless beachfront vista (well almost priceless, it recently sold for 41 million.)

Ocean front views
The interiors, designed for the 2003 movie by Beth Rubino, strikes just the right note of class and comfort. Beautiful transom windows and custom wood paneled walls painted a soft white sets the tone for one of the most loved and lusted living rooms. A pair of sea glass blue slip covered sofas house a collection of billowy pillows. Soft lighting from table lamps and an enormous tufted ottoman filled with candles, books and and a cashmere throw lend a cultivated elegance to the room. Even the sea blue striped dhurrie (which is now housed in my bedroom-see story here) adds a thoughtful contrast to the muted palette. The room is stylish and welcoming--a put your feet up, have a glass of rose and stay a while kind of room that is instantly relatable. I think what appeals most is that this "staged" room doesn't feel staged at all. Yes, I'm a big fan!
Iconic living room
Dining Room
Movie set kitchen
Actual kitchen
Back to the estate sale, which was scheduled to take place on a Friday-Saturday. I knew that anything worth buying would be scooped up within the first few hours and I arrived about an hour into the sale with about one hundred people milling about. While I knew the interiors for the movie were filmed mostly on a Hollywood soundstage, I was hoping for a chance to walk through the house and see if it still had the same elegant beach vibe I had long admired. 
Cosy nook in the movie
 Room photos from estate sale
I was disappointed--the exteriors where unchanged from the movie, but the interiors were lackluster. The second floor bedrooms were taped off as was the first floor master. We were relegated to the living room, dining room and kitchen which were filled with mismatched one-offs, dark carpets, heavy furniture and bric-a-brac waiting to be sold.  

I guess its true--you can never go back!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Super Moon-Super Color


Last night's epic Harvest moon, with its bold burst of orange and apricot hues reminds me once again how vital nature is as a inspiration to both fashion and interior design.  

One of my favorite fashion designers, Naeem Khan, channeled a summer sunset in his 2014 Spring collection.
From salmon to cinnabar, you can turn up the volume and make a statement with orange or add subtle peach highlights to a room with the added benefit that the color makes everyone's skin look fabulous!
I'm so enamored with the color that I used Beacon Hills gorgeous Silk Lantern in a showhouse dining room earlier this year. Voluminous ballroom curtains were paired with muted gray for a fresh, modern twist.  
Amanda Nisbet paired her nature inspired tree floor lamp with lush orange curtains.
Katie Ridder's exotic bathroom features an cinnabar hued wallpaper.
A bright orange banquette plays off deep blue lacquered walls in a room by Miles Redd.



Monday, September 1, 2014

SOUTHAMPTON SUMMER MIRAGE


My friend Chesie has a flair for entertaining and in the summer months her creative acumen is on fire. An invitation to lunch poolside in Southampton could include a scene from Tuscany complete with rustic Italian platters filled antipasto and fresh Montauk grilled fish or you may find yourself transported to the South of France, bottles of crisp Rose chilling next to a summer bouillabaisse and Hotel Costes music wafting in the background. It's always beautiful and completely transportive.

 Earlier this summer she called me giddy with news, "I have something new for the summer, its a tent from India and its fabulous!" A Saturday lunch was quickly arranged. Chesie greeted us at the gate looking fetching in a flowing pink caftan, arms filled with thin gold bangles from India. As we made our way down the winding garden steps, a majestic, Maharaja worthy tent came into view--utterly spectacular, regal in fact, with bands of pink and golden stars it felt like we stumbled into a stunning mirage.
The tent was imported from India, completely custom made to Chesie's specifications, in a happy pink with whimsical gold tassels and lush embroidery.
Large enough for a sleek sectional and luncheon table, the tent is perfect for summer entertaining.
Her table was gorgeous--hot pink with touches of orange. The gold chargers and turquoise Foo dogs elevate the table to summer spectacular!
Needless to say, it was a fun and very memorable lunch--I wonder what she has in store for next summer?
Wishing you much happiness this Labor Day!
  

Monday, June 23, 2014

DIVINE DIANE VON FURSTENBERG FOR KRAVET



Innovator, iconoclast, design icon; Diane von Furstenberg is all of these and so much more. With her introduction of the wrap dress in 1974, DVF launched a design empire and changed the direction of fashion. Now add "interior design guru" to her vast list of accomplishments with the launch of her new fabric Collection for Kravet.

I recently had the privilege to meet DVF at a cocktail party held at the Kravet NYC Showroom which introduced her new line of bold, color infused fabric designs. 
Dynamic and vivacious, Diane told the audience that she always wanted to create a fabric Collection--what a natural progression for this textile driven designer!
Design board for the new collection-her love of large scale graphics are clearly evident in this line infused with vibrant colors
 Cumulus features a happy combo of her signature "beet" and orange.
The designer's fondness for bold animal prints come to life in Funk Zebra
Named for the infamous 1980's dance club, "China Club" is a fearless update on a black and white a geometric print.

What's next for DVF? A reality show on E! slated for November. If its anything like the rest of her projects, its destined to be a success!



Thursday, June 5, 2014

READY FOR MY CLOSE UP

Designing a room for a Showhouse is the ultimate adventure for an interior designer. You are the client and the space is yours to design and build--its a designer's chance to channel her dreams and inspiration and create a space for the perfect client, you! I've always wanted my own sitting room, a sophisticated, girly room where I can write, relax and dress without the inevitable audience of kids and dogs. I chose to design a sitting room at the Designer Showhouse of NY using my favorite soft blue hue and furnishing it with a mix of antiques and modern luxuries. 
The carpet, a gorgeous silk and wool combo from The Rug Company is the ultimate indulgence--its Kelly Wearstler's "Flaunt," an eclectic mix of bold blue streaks on a creamy background.  
I staged the space with my killer Ralph Lauren platforms-perfect night on the town dancing heels!
Every room needs a touch of whimsy. This brass whippet from Flessas Design is so chic and won't leave footprints on the rug!
The desk is all out glam-Delphine from Jonathan Adler outfitted with an antique painted Empire chair from Lee Calicchio Ltd. The curtains are blue silk trimmed in a gorgeous tape, both from Highland Court.
To me, the ultimate in girly glamour is a big, beautiful ottoman. I custom designed this tufted poof in blue velvet from Robert Allen and made it 42", big enough to lounge and catch up on reading!
The gilded Chinese Chippendale etagere fits the side wall perfectly and houses favorite books and mementos.
Luxe fur pillows add texture and drama to a wall of Intaglio prints. Plain Jane  doors were panelled and modern door pulls installed to complete the room.

Visit me at Barbara Page Home to see more!