Thursday, November 21, 2013

Today's New York Times

What a thrill to wake up this morning and find an article about my apartment and me in today's Home section of the New York Times.

Penelope Green wrote a really nice article that captured my love of the great designers.

To read it, click here.

And a Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

December flower

I'm going to take a brief break from blogging while I'm on my book tour, but before I do so, I want to mention that I wrote an article that appears in the new December issue of flower magazine. 

Have you seen flower yet?  If not, go buy yourself a copy because you're in for a real treat.  The December issue features great articles on Alessandra Branca, Carleton Varney (who has a new book coming out next month, Decorating in the Grand Manor: A Design Memoir), and the Antiques and Garden Show of Nashville, which celebrated the life and legacy of Albert Hadley earlier this year.  (That's the article that I wrote.  The Albert Hadley connection made writing this article a real dream for me!)  And, as the magazine's name suggests, there are many photographs of beautiful gardens and flowers that grace flower's pages.

So, until I return Thanksgiving week, happy reading and see you soon.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Man of Mystery

When I was in a used bookstore the other day, I found this Sotheby's New York auction catalogue, dated October 26, 1990.  I admit that the auction catalogues that intrigue me most are those which feature interiors on the cover, and this particular interior especially intrigued me.  The room was very elegantly appointed, and yet, quite cozy looking too.  The catalogue cover had me wondering just who the collector was who had lived in such refined surroundings and amassed such refined pieces.

Unfortunately, the catalogue did little to answer my question.  The auction title itself, "Property of a European Foundation", implies that the collector, or perhaps his foundation, wished to maintain a certain amount of anonymity.  The catalogue's introduction, written by Derek Ostergard, did little to lift the veil of secrecy, with Ostergard referring to the man in question simply as "a contemporary collector" who was noted for "his degree of connoisseurship". 

One clue is that the auction and its catalogue were given the designation, 6078 "Weltkunst".  A Google search shows that there is a Weltkunst foundation, not to mention a German decorative arts magazine titled Weltkunst.  Perhaps there is a connection?  Also, the back cover of the catalogue featured an illustration of the drawing room, which appears to have been decorated for Christmas.  The illustration is reminiscent of those by Serebriakoff, although the artist's signature, partially visible in the bottom right corner, shows that it was not done by Serebriakoff.  And one more thing: the interiors have a number of Colefax & Fowler flourishes, including a trefoil-shaped ottoman and Bowood chintz in the drawing room and a Rocksavage-like print carpet in the guest bedroom. (I can't tell if it's actually Rocksavage or a similar print.)

If you know who the collector was, I would appreciate it if you would let me know.  Even if I never get the bottom of this, this much I do know: the collector was a man of great style and taste.

The Drawing Room

The Master Bedroom to the left and Guest Bedroom to the right

The Library

Colonel George Fergusson Henry Bey at the Sultan's Court by Guillaume Francois Gabriel Lepaulle, 1846, was one of the lots that was auctioned off.

Another view of the Drawing Room

A Vieux Paris Porcelain Centerpiece, Samson White Biscuit Mantel Clock, and two French porcelain boat-form inkwells, also featured in the auction.

A Five-Piece Chinese Blue and White Garniture set, Kangxi; this lot must have been displayed in the collector's library, don't you think?

An important Louis Philippe Four-Fold Silk Royal Tapestry Screen, Gobelins, c. 1830

An Italian Neoclassical Ormolu-Mounted Mahogancy Bookcase, early 19th century

Please Join Me in New York

Next week, I'm heading to New York, where Donghia and Hearst Design Group will be hosting my New York book launch.  The event will take place on Thursday, November 21st from 6-8pm at the Donghia Showroom (D&D Building).  I would really love to see all of you New Yorkers with whom I correspond.

Kindly RSVP to  I hope to see you next week!

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Very Caspari Holiday

Last week, Caspari hosted a book signing for me at their lovely Charlottesville flagship store. I really enjoyed meeting everybody, including a very nice mother and daughter who drove in from Richmond to see me.

Walking through the Caspari store is like being a kid in a candy shop. Everywhere you look, there are charming vignettes filled with all kinds of stylish goods, from tabletop and home accessories to fashion, books, and gourmet food. In addition to featuring the full range of Caspari's paper goods, the store also sells such lines as Kim Seybert, Juliska, Alberto Pinto, and more. Believe me, after you see how well Caspari's paper napkins and plates go with Juliska flatware and Alberto Pinto china, you will likely be inspired to incorporate paper into your table settings.

The shop has just recently been decked out for the holidays, so there is plenty of inspiration for holiday entertaining and decorating. My favorite collection in the entire store? Hands down, Caspari's Wild Christmas collection, which features leopards and zebras wearing wreaths around their necks. How appropriate that the store's display of Wild Christmas was being watched over by some very stylish leopard dummy boards.

All photos taken by Jennifer Boles for The Peak of Chic

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Time to Get Planting

I recently received a lovely gift of two Amaryllis bulbs, which will bloom great big red blooms come December. That is, if I make haste and plant the bulbs in their pots right away! In fact, these bulbs were a much appreciated gift as I was recently thinking that I needed to get my act together and start planting Amaryllis, Paperwhite, and Hyacinth bulbs in anticipation of the holidays, when the more blooms there are inside a house, the more festive the house appears.

I gathered up photos which show interiors that were made homey by pots of blooming flowers. I love the big burst of color that an Amaryllis provides, while I appreciate Paperwhites for their delicate little blooms and their elegant fragrance. (Not everybody likes the fragrance of Paperwhites, though; my parents think that they smell like an electrical fire.) And Hyacinths! What can I say? Their sweet fragrance instantly puts me in a good mood.

So, that's it for now. I'm off to do a little potting. Once your Amaryllis and Paperwhites start to bloom, send me photos.  I would love to see them. 

PS- As much as I love a fancy cachepot, I think that these particular blooms look best in plain terracotta pots or baskets.

The three photos above came from A Tiffany Christmas by John Loring. Don't they put you in the mood for Christmas?

Sister Parish had Paperwhites in her entry hall...

...and Hyacinths in her living room.

There were quite a few pots of Amaryllis in this photograph of Greentree, the Whitney's Long Island estate that was decorated by Parish-Hadley.

Amaryllis also dotted this Parish-Hadley designed Manhattan dining room, which was inspired by Liselund in Denmark.

A solo burst of crimson in the club room at 44 Berkeley Square, Mayfair, which was decorated by John Fowler.

A blue and white bowl of Paperwhites in a blue and white room by Colefax and Fowler.

Amaryllis, Paperwhites, and Hyacinths graced three different Mario Buatta-decorated homes, above.

They also appeared in homes designed by another great, Keith Irvine.