Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What is it about the beginning of summer?  Does it go back to school being out as a kid?  I don't know about you, but it is the most relaxing time of the year for me no matter what is going on with business.  There are three glorious months to look forward to no matter what you are doing or where you are going.  I am equally happy in my own backyard or on a beach in the south of France or hanging out on Lake Como as long as I have all of my favorite things around----namely, my family and my dog!  

Hillsboro back 
Lake Como 

Robins and cardinals in our garden----they arrive much earlier, but become amazingly plentiful at this time of the year. 

Fish----from Copper River Salmon to really fresh red snapper from the gulf----it all tastes great this time of the year.
Domaine Ott Blanc---a refreshingly light wine from the south of France that reminds me of St. Barth's...the French like the rose version, but I prefer blanc.
Deviled eggs----only the ones I make----they are so perfect as hors d'oeurves before a lovely supper on the terrace.  The reason that they are so delicious is that they are simple---a little great mayo (either homemade or Spectrum) and a dollop of Durkee's Famous Sauce and a little salt.  Yummy!!  

Deviled eggs

Fireflies just before dark---as a child, I used to love catching them and putting them in a bottle with holes in the top.  Now when my grandchildren want to do the same thing, I tell them not to.
Lamps outside to be turned on as soon as dusk falls.  Just be sure they are under an overhang or awning or loggia.
Engstrom patio 


Outdoor drinks carts for lemonade or martinis.                                 

Leland Drinks Cart

A stack of books to read for the summer----or for travel, a Kindle since I can't carry all of them with me.
Wildflower---this book by Mark Seal gets 4 stars from me.  He writes a compelling story about Joan Root and Africa from 1960 until her murder in 2006.  Truly well written and researched.  A must read.
A Short History of Women by Kate Walbert----the story of a family focusing on the women past and present....great reviews.
The Bolter---by Frances Osborne, the wife of George Osborne who may be England's next Prime Minister about her great grandmother's adventures from pre "Great War" through her escapades in Kenya's "Happy Valley" in the 1930's.
Shanghai Girls by Lisa See---a story of sisters from Shanghai in the 1930's immigrating to L.A.  This one will certainly be a movie from what I am reading. 

   Wildflower        A Short History The BolterA Short History

Fourth of July weekend with my family at our house in the country---this year all of the children want to ride in the parade which consists of horses, bicycles and fire trucks along with a few motorcycles.
Lake Como----we'll be there in late July until early September.
A complete vacation from watching the news on tv....just checking out The Daily Beast every other day to keep up---love this website.  It's like reading the news in Vanity Fair on a daily basis.  From hard news to fashion to art....Tina Brown knows how to report on all things that interest me.  You can read in depth (or not) on her "Cheat Sheet".

The Daily Beast
Movies----I think the best ones come out in the fall, but there are always blockbusters in the summer.  However, I'm looking forward to seeing Meryl Streep as Julia Child in Julie & Julia.
So, kick back, read books, enjoy being outdoors and RELAX......

Friday, June 12, 2009


Jewelry by Elizabeth Showers
JS #4 in Aqua #1 JS Collection Venetian #3 in Moonstone #1

I love to compare design objects to other things in life...chairs often look like people because a great character chair has such personality. A Klismos chair reminds me of a really laid back guy, a Louis XV chair reminds me of a great looking lady with pretty legs. You get the idea. The next time you look at a chair, think about it!


JS Collection No. 108 Marnie Dining Chair

There is only one way that I describe wonderful lamps---JEWELRY---as they are the true jewelry in any room. They come in all shapes and sizes just like chairs. Changing lamps in a room can do more in a minute that almost anything else.

A great example of this is the sparkle of glass lamps. There is nothing else that adds this element to an interior. Glass lamps can be masculine or feminine depending on coloration and shape.

#1 Turq & Gold lamp

The one on the left has very straight lines and would look great in a man's study or library. The one on the right would be appropriate for a lady's dressing room or a formal living room with light colors.

I often use bronze lamps----they are oh so of the moment in Paris right now----as they add weight and a sculptural quality to any décor. We are working on a handsome house in Phoenix with stone walls. The house will look totally appropriate in the desert. Colors throughout are an extension of what's outside----sand, sage and pale blues. We are using bronze and nickel lamps in most of the spaces and also mixing in colorful vintage ceramics.


When there are lots of beautiful glass accessories in a room, I love to use ceramic lamps. They add color and form---no sparkle, but that isn't necessary if there are glass pieces present.

Kim's living

Just remember, there is nothing you can do to change your décor faster than to change your lamps or dated lamp shades! There is nothing that can spoil an interior faster than bad lamp shades, and conversely, nothing that can glamorize an interior faster than good ones.

Here are some of my all time favorite lamps.....

#1 #1
#1 Lamp from HB

So, if you're not redecorating an entire room, remember these jewels...instant gratification for achieving a fresh look!

More to come soon...