Posted on January 10 2020
In this age of steel-and-glass high-rise condominiums that define the skylines of America, it’s fun to think of how you can make the interiors of such buildings charming, warm and inviting.
It is not easy, as concrete, steel and glass do not go well with rocking chairs of the President Kennedy style or with Marie Antoinette-era French chairs, although the latter can sometimes work as accents.
Posted on January 03 2020
The New Year always brings with it the announcement of Pantone’s color of the year, the hue that the analysts at the famous color institute believe will be a leading trendsetter in the design world over the next 12 months.
And for 2020, that color is Classic Blue. So we are back to the basics, albeit those who read my column regularly know that I believe the basics are never out of style.
Posted on December 13 2019
Oh, how I love Staffordshire dogs! I adore these antique porcelain pups in every shade — white and black, henna-red and white, and even solid black.
These Cavalier King Charles spaniel figures have a fascinating history. The breed itself was popularized by Queen Victoria, and the porcelain versions were made by children and mothers in Staffordshire, England, beginning in the mid-19th century. The figurines were often called “comfort dogs,” as they were sometimes given to children when money was not available to buy or maintain a real pet.
Posted on December 06 2019
It’s that time of year. I always know the season is upon us when the first estate sales get under way on Georgia Avenue near South Dixie Highway’s Antique Row in West Palm Beach. That happens this weekend at two popular establishments.
James and Jeffrey, a super emporium with a couple of locations on Antique Row, always offers plenty of treasures during special sales at its James and Jeffrey Estate and Tag Sales warehouse at 5704 Georgia Ave. The first sale is scheduled for this weekend, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Posted on December 03 2019
Posted on November 22 2019
Posted on November 15 2019
There’s one thing about Palm Beach I’ve always loved: You never know what you’ll discover just around the corner.
A visit to Lycette , a charming and colorful boutique owned and operated by needlepoint aficionado Jessica Chaney, is a case in point. This is a place where needlepoint dreams become reality, and the shop is filled not only with supplies, patterns and samples but also with joy.
Posted on November 01 2019
I plan to gather with friends Saturday at 11 a.m. at St. Edward Catholic Church to celebrate the life of Dr. John Whelton, a longtime Palm Beach resident who died Oct. 25 at 75.
Known to many simply as “Dr. John,” he was originally from Ireland, a rheumatologist who practiced in Palm Beach County for more than 40 years and who was loved by so many of us.
Posted on October 25 2019
It’s pumpkin time, a time to celebrate the harvest and to find the perfect costume for Halloween.
I always know Halloween is on the horizon when the costume shops pop up around South Florida. Who wants to be Darth Vader? Who wants to be Cinderella? Who wants to be a fierce pirate?Or do you just want to wrap yourself in a white sheet to be a ghost?
Posted on October 18 2019
In the 1960s as a young decorator in New York office of Dorothy Draper & Co., I had the opportunity to decorate an apartment for the late, great Judy Garland. It was a hotel apartment in Manhattan on the 18th floor on East 52nd Street.
It just happens that at the time, we also were engaged in designing an apartment in the same building — but on the 15th floor — for another star, Broadway legend Ethel Merman. When I think back to the contrast in personalities and decorating wishes of the two ladies I can only say: Vive la différence. But more about that in a moment.
Posted on October 11 2019
Looking for decorating talent? You really need look no farther than Palm Beach and vicinity. There are so many talented designers here who contribute so much to ensure that local homes, hotels, restaurants, country clubs and condominiums are filled with happy and beautiful rooms.
And among those at the top of my own list of favorites is the amiable Stephen Mooney, who has been a Palm Beach presence for some 22 years with an office, retail showroom and studio at 6 Via Parigi off Worth Avenue.
Posted on October 04 2019
Posted on September 27 2019
Many homes I see in my work have been beautifully decorated. But something critical is missing. They lack character, as far as I’m concerned.
Beware such a room. All the furnishings are in place, and the upholstery well coordinated with the curtains. The lamps and shades are in order, and care has given to carefully light the art hanging on the walls.
Posted on September 20 2019
Posted on September 13 2019
Get ready for it: Chintz is staging a decorating comeback, big time.
Picture the Victorian days when sofas and chairs were covered in posh velvets, only to be slipcovered in a happy flowered chintz when summer arrived. I remember my grandmother’s home, and it was filled with furniture covered during the warmer months with glazed summer chintz.
Posted on September 06 2019
Posted on August 30 2019
Greetings from Ireland, where I'm enjoying the late-summer green of the hills and the excitement of the ever-popular racing season.
These days, I've been spending some time among the horses and dogs on Sundays at Limerick Racecourse in Patrickswell, where the best of the best are awarded red ribbons for placing first, while second-place finishers take home blue and third, yellow. It's the Irish way.
Posted on August 23 2019
Posted on August 16 2019
What family home has a ballroom these days? Few indeed, but there are still some around.
In the days of yore, a generously proportioned ballroom was a staple of Palm Beach mansions. At Mar-a-Lago, Marjorie Merriweather Post enjoyed hosting dinner dances in hers and often hired dance instructor Frederico McMasters to teach the guests a little cha-cha-cha or maybe the rumba.
Posted on August 09 2019
Posted on July 19 2019
I always marvel when I encounter an artist who is adept at both painting and sculpting. And Dan Meyer of Lake Worth certainly falls into that category.
I once had the pleasure of using one of Dan works as a golf-course sculpture, of all things. Yes, his colorful groups of super-size golf tees never fail to wow the eye, as they do at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia.
Posted on July 05 2019
It’s July Fourth and weather permitting, the beaches today will be filled with suntanned people while Benny’s on the Beach in Lake Worth will be mixing its famous piña coladas and turning out the best-flavored French toast and pancakes in South Florida.
For décor Benny deserves a mention, too, with lots of bamboo-covered posts and natural-finish seaside furnishings, all in keeping with the warm and welcoming style of the Bahamas.
Posted on June 28 2019
Perle Mesta may have been known as the hostess with the mostest, but my late friend Charlene Nederlander — a client for 10-plus homes — could certainly have been at the top of the list.
She was married to the late Jimmy Nederlander, the Broadway producer and theater owner. From Arizona to New York to Palm Beach, the Nederlanders were always decorating. And as much as Charlene loved designing, Jimmy loved it too. The two never missed an antiques show or a jewelry exhibition. Charlene always knew diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires were a girl’s best friend. Jimmy also loved jewelry.
Posted on June 20 2019
Posted on June 14 2019
Posted on June 06 2019
Are you a minimalist or a maximalist? Or maybe a bit of both?
In the decorating world, we’re constantly seeing new names and titles to describe design styles and those who love them.
I have always said home fashions follow the clothing styles of any era. Victorian furniture — all bustled and tufted — was a reflection of the dress of the times. Ladies wore bustles with their long dresses, and velvet was the height of fashion.
Posted on May 31 2019
Posted on May 24 2019
Let’s talk about the brave new world of decorating and consider where we’re headed — or at least where some of us are headed.
A week ago, I was chatting with some young decorators — or interior designers, as some might prefer to be called these days — and one said the White House’s interiors were gaudy. The Blue Room, the Green Room and the Red Room, I was told, were all gaudy and outdated because “no one does color these days.”
Posted on May 17 2019
Posted on May 03 2019
Posted on April 26 2019
Posted on April 19 2019
Posted on April 12 2019
“Chiquita Banana” was a song I learned as a child and I also learned that one never puts a banana in the refrigerator unless you want the skin to turn brown.
I noticed while strolling South Dixie Highway’s Antique Row that Chiquita Banana was dressing up the windows of Judy Baron’s shop, The Brass Scale. In fact, that big banana was front and center, along with a watermelon painting on the wall above a small sofa accented with lemon and lime fabric throw pillows. It is always fun visiting Judy’s popular atelier of fantasy antiques and vintage wear.
Posted on April 05 2019
Posted on March 29 2019
Posted on March 22 2019
Posted on March 15 2019
On Sunday, we celebrate the shamrock — and everything else green — with the arrival of St. Patrick’s Day.
Now, I do love the poinsettia of Christmas and the red rose of Valentine’s Day, but the shamrock is so special — my favorite color of all is green. From banana-leaf green to pine-tree green and all the other in-between greens — lime, chartreuse, mint, granny smith apple, deep sea green. Oh, I could go on and on.
Posted on March 04 2019
Posted on February 22 2019
If you’re browsing the antique shops on South Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach or if you spend a Saturday or Sunday visiting the showroom at Kofski Estate Sales, you’ll most likely pass interior designer Gil Walsh’s new offices on the corner of Bunker Road.
The large white sign and the lovely white building at 5505 S. Dixie Highway is the decorating and design studio of one of Palm Beach’s star designers. Gil is a shorthand name for Marigil, a name created by her mother.
Posted on February 15 2019
We are several weeks into 2019, and that means design-related companies have made their predictions for the color of the year.
The paint company Benjamin Moore has selected a color titled Metropolitan as its of-the-moment tone. You might not know it from its name, but Metropolitan is a very stylish gray with cool undertones, a color I suspect that today’s millennials will be using to drench the walls of their condominiums and houses. Grays — in all sorts of tones — are certainly favorites in the decorating world these days.
Posted on February 08 2019