PERFECT PAIRING: THE COCKTAIL OTTOMAN, COMPLETE WITH A BAR TRAY

by Marisa Marcantonio

Often called cocktail ottomans,  the ottoman with a large tray for easy serving delivers the ideal dual-function piece. If you have a large scale square ottoman, there are great trays you can place on top, to create a surface area to hold a portable makeshift bar and all that goes along with cocktail hour. If you don't and have been searching for a go-the-distance piece that suits a family room well, here are a few varied suggestions to help you on your hunt.

From the just-launched partnership, decoupage artist John Derian has created a scallop-edge lacquer tray with The Lacquer Company, the highly specialized British brand that has worked with Rita Konig, Stephen Gambrel and Martin Brudnski on trays and small tables.  Available in pea green, vivid red and black, the substantial shiny piece is a statement maker, just the piece that can play bar and tray table, as seen above.

Photos courtesy of Oomph

With crenelated cut out details resembling a fortified castle, high sides and ample handles, the Edgartown tray from Oomph makes an impromptu bar an easy reality. Oversized with a generous surface area, the lacquer tray will look at home on a large ottoman or etagere shelf.

A tray this size can be slightly unwieldy to move around frequently, so the Chatham ottoman below makes a nice perch for it.

Covered in raffia with discreet nailhead trim, this new square ottoman, the Chatham,  from Oomph is an easy substitute when you need a space-friendly square upholstered piece to put your feet up rather than a rectangular one.  The carved bobbin leg adds an additional decorative detail with traditional flair.

Photo courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Howard for Sherrill

A mid-century modern silhouette with an additional shelf for books, Mr. and Mrs. Howard's Un Deux Tray Ottoman has a streamlined walnut base, cut corners and upholstered top that holds a faux shagreen covered tray in a recessed section in the middle. 

Photo courtesy of Bunny Williams Home

With a built in tray, the Tray Chic Ottoman from Bunny Williams Home has the best of both worlds with a tufted edge and inset removable tray, it has versatility to be a workhorse.

Tailored and traditional, Hickory Chair's Bexley Otoman in leather with a sliding tray inside, has an x stretcher and tapered wooden leg on casters, ideal for a subdued chic look in a study.

RED WHITE AND BLUE: PATRIOTIC STYLE TO RING IN THE 4th OF JULY

by Marisa Marcantonio

Lo and behold, the 4th of July is upon us. I wish you a fantastic holiday, filled with blue skies/sun/sand/BBQ's/cold cocktails/family/best friends/beautiful views and memories in the making. See you next week!

 Photo courtesy of Chandon

A crisp blue and white striped bottle,  Chandon's Limited Edition Brut Classic 2013, is a 4th of July must. The bottle design, rope and all, will have you hook line and sinker.

Photo courtesy of Kate Spade Saturday

Tie one on and chill with Kate Spade Saturday's acrylic ice bucket with red rope handles. So mobile.

Photo courtesy of Pier 1

Rituals are part of the family fun. Festive red, white and blue crackers come with little surprises inside. Kids love this sort of thing. They get a paper crown to wear around. Pier 1 is a great go-to for 4th of July paraphernalia.

Photo courtesy of Bloomingdales

You will rarely ever lose your towel when it is  a vivid pattern, like Sunnylife's Jervis towel in red and navy.

Photo courtesy of Mr. Boddington

Say thanks for a great holiday with Mr. Boddington's always charming letterpress note cards.

Photo courtesy of Opening Ceremony

Rock some blue and white gingham. Sunnies from Opening Ceremony will keep you looking and feeling cool. 

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Adler

Protect your optics with Jonathan Adler's needlepoint anchor case.

Photo courtesy of Thomas Paul

Serve up crustaceans in red white and blue patriot style on Thomas Paul's melamine friendly lobster platter

Photo courtesy of West Elm

Since your dogs will be scared stiff after the Fireworks, lure them out from under the bed with a cookie, served out of West Elm's minimalist chic Dipper Pet Jars. Hopefully, they will soon forget about the trauma to their ears.

Photo courtesy of Lance Wovens

Crafted of supple woven leather, Lance Wovens Nation on Vacation pillow is a great reason to relax on the sofa.

Photo courtesy of Cost Plus World Market

An indigo blue lumbar pillow with a red and white striped swath down the center make World Market's  pillow a nice one for the summer rental.

Photo courtesy of Oomph

Bring the blue and white inside with Oomph's Tini Ottoman, upholstered in a casual wavy blue and white print.

NYIGF 2013: GIFT SHOW GREATS THAT CAUGHT MY EYE

by Marisa Marcantonio

With the cold that has gripped most of the country recently, it is nice to look at summery home accessories to warm up with thoughts that summer days are not far off. I was able to do just that as I walked the isles of the New York Gift Show yesterday, where there were coastal chic nautical motifs, shell-encrusted pieces and warm weather entertaining accessories aplenty. 

I also noticed more than a fair amount of Chinoiserie. I feel like we JUST went through this trend, but it is back, and has been bubbling up for some time. It is here a major way, from painted cherry blossoms on ceramics, to ginger jars, pagodas, and more. I love the style, it is just incredible that it is back with such warp speed. Is this the way popular trends will surface, just hit the repeat button every few years? This may be the case. If people like it, evergreen themes sell well. Speaking of popular motifs,  I am also seeing a LOT of coral again. It just went away....or so I thought. So here are some of my favorite things that caught my eye and have style that (I hope) will endure.

I went a little bit crazy when I spotted these. JM Piers painted tole mini lanterns with bell detail votive candles are the perfect thing for outdoor entertaining.  They are available through Dalton Pratt in Washington DC.

 Add some Oomph to your dining room table or mantel with their brand new simple hurricanes. I love how the base resembles a puffy column base, while feeling fresh and classic.

I have been meaning to write about Holly Stuart Designs for ages. Her printed hard place mats and coasters are done in incredibly pretty prints that work well in so many interior settings. Incredibly durable and easy to gift, her printed coasters are now available in a set of 4, by color or pattern. Such an easy and elegant hostess or dinner party gift.

Plat du Jour, a line of cheery and practical paper mats came in great new patterns that included Chinoiserie, whales and schools of fish.

 Chinoiserie looks fresh and new on this Dransfield and Ross pillow with Chinese blue and white plates and vase cut-outs.

Kim Seybert knocked it out of the park this show, with a ton of slew of  Chinoiserie and coral motifs.  The Pagoda embroidered cocktail and canape napkins with dragon boat and pagodas surrounded by a fanciful colored border in a set of 6 had me at hello.

Lest we forget the darling elephant chain being shaded by an umbrella with a punchy orange scallop edge.

 Or the multi colored seersucker with bright contrast edging and tropical motifs, sold in a set of 6.

 More Chinoiserie! Kim Seybert did a punchy blue and white pagoda toile pattern in melamine, complete with a matching picnic basket. Now you will be ready for Central Park or Ascot.

 Zoe Bios Creative continues their winning streak with artwork that combines individual style and beautiful abstract watercolors  and photography.

I adore the decorative painter Harrison Howard, so happy to see his Chinoiserie designs at Dean Rhys Morgan Works on Paper booth.

Jonathan Adler killed it with mixed materials this show. Brass! Inlaid shells! Lucite! This articulated turtle has my name on it for my menagerie collection. Good thing Mr. Adler was on hand to show me the plethora of newness with, as always,  such wonderful unbridled enthusiasm.

Scalloped brass tables with shell inlay are super sexy glam from Jonathan Adler.

What! Coffee tables, side tables and more in lucite with brass corners also at Jonathan Adler. I kinda want everything. Just like vintage, but fresh and new.

There speckled colorful painted cubes from Jonathan Adler in punchy colors remind me of the work of a decorative painter without the customization and wait time.

Emporium Home launched a bevy of great new things. This stacked glass and metal Luck Be a Lady lamp was spot on with a vintage vibe.

It's here! John Robshaw has teamed up with environment friendly Cisco Brothers Furniture for a line of pieces. This little tufted number leads the collection.

Adding to their upholstery ensemble, Oomph's charming linear X- Bench with painted wood leg and small arm is a winner for small locations that need a perch.

With cut corners and classic lines, Bungalow 5's new Jardin kelly green bamboo chair is as good as it gets for all you vintage classic reboot fans.

Circular details, round lucite knobs and a cut out base add special touches to Bungalow 5's Savoy three-drawer white dresser that is calling out for a tropical home.

With green penshell overlay, Made Goods simple Parsons style table has an added elegance to it.

STYLISH TRAVEL: ON MY WAY TO LYFORD CAY

by Marisa Marcantonio

In a few days I am headed to the Bahamas and the trip is sure to be a beautiful escape.  With the palest hue of pink as it's signature shade, Lyford Cay, located in Nassau, is a pristine spot frequented by New Yorkers and Brits seeking all-things leisure: sun, sand, sailing and play.  The enclave, founded in 1963 by E.P Taylor, recently received a design overhaul by New York-based interior designer and architect, Tom Scheerer. A long-time Bahamian resident, Scheerer understands the Bahamian lifestyle, sense of tradition and tropical temperament of island life. The result is something I have been eager to see, so having the opportunity to visit is a terrific way to start the new year.  Looking forward to sharing some island style with you upon my return!

Photos Peter Estersohn for Town and Country

The pink and white new tented area houses The Little Club, surrounded by Palms.

The Living Room at The Lyford Cay Club is surrounded with brown and cream painted palms on grass cloth. Seating areas include cozy sofas upholstered in Quadrille fabrics and wicker chairs. Every spot seems intimate in this large room.

The view of the other side of the room, that leads out into the entry. Touches of pale green dot the room to play off the palest pink in the print.

 The dining area in The Yacht Club has a rich royal blue painted floor, and a sailfish as a focal point. Clean and crisp, like a freshly pressed dress shirt, the room is simple and comfortable.

A covered seating area is curtained to let the breezes pass through. A plantation table in the center of the room creates a gathering spot.

An seating area of the  bar with cane-covered walls and coral colored touches.

THE DETAILS: 

Tole Agave potted in an antique urn by artist Tommy Mitchell reads dry heat. 

Photo courtesy of Serena and Lilly

Durable teak and delicate bone inlay in Serena and Lilly's Starburst Tray makes a nice addition on an ottoman or can serve as a makeshift bar in a pinch.

Photo courtesy of Made Goods

The Bruni Chandelier from Made Goods resembles spiny coral, and it's round shape is perfect for illuminating center halls.

Photo courtesy of Soane

Nothing says tropics like pineapples. Soane's stunning Pineapple Lamp in antique nickel is on my short list.

Noir's canopied Gigi Chair in woven rattan has island appeal.

In a cerused light finish, Century's curvy backed dining chair adds a light presence.

Diminutive little Jenna slipper chairs from E.J. Victor are a favorite of mine.

With a lattice back and cushion seat, Global Views light wood armchair has an elegant air. 

Photo courtesy of C. Bell

Fretwork sides and round nickel pulls on the new C. Bell Collection Sarge Desk makes it a winner for it's Chippendale interest and substantial size.

Photo courtesy of Bungalow 5

A simple silhouette with classical lines, the white lacquered Porto Dining Table from Bungalow 5 is sleek and chic.

 X-based bunching tables from the newest Bernhardt collection are simple and functional.

 Always have a place to set a drink with Emissary's ceramic octagonal garden seat with lattice detailing.

Global Views does it again, with a laser-cut fretwork detailed marble coffee table with plenty of surface area for stacks of books and hurricanes.

Photo courtesy of Oomph

Backgammon is a frequent past time that is best paired with rum drinks. I hear the Rum Dum is the thing to swill. Oomph's table has room for each player's glass.

Photo courtesy of Circa Who

A foyer could benefit from the addition of breezy natural bamboo, like this vintage console and mirror from Circa Who.

A nightstand that actually has space to put things is key. This two-tiered version, the Rennie, from Mr. and Mrs. Howard for Sherrill does the job well.

A great pediment and column detail on Mr. Brown's vast bookcase brings a touch of English to the islands.

Cut-out doors and a light limed finish on Studio A's cabinet provides storage and surface area for  a dining room or living room.

 Photo courtesy of Haymarket Designs

Monogrammed beach towels from Haymarket Designs come in a zillion bright and cheery patterns and colors. They make great thank you gifts. I was going to get them for my mom in Florida, but she beat me to it.

Photo courtesy of Helen Kaminski

When you would rather go incognito, Helen Kaminski's wide-brimmed raffia hat does the trick.

Photo courtesy of Quadrille/Taigan

For the beach and lunch under an umbrella, Quadrille Shorts in their Aquarius print.  I will be taking along my Quadrille tote bag as my carry on, a job it has performed well for years.

Photo courtesy of Jack Rogers

I'm not advocating wearing these with the coordinating shorts above (!), try pairing these Quadrille for Jack Rogers with all white for a polished look.

Photo courtesy of Della Terasi

Light up the night in a Della Terasi silk Mandarin Tunic made of Fortuny fabric.

Photo courtesy of Shellkare

Keep cool in a versatile Kate linen Kaftan by Shellkare with beautiful embroidery and beading.

Photo courtesy of Sail to Sable Sail to Sable's linen Flirty Dress is in the perfect shade of shell pink Bahamas homes are often painted in.

Photo courtesy of Chance

Updated classics, like Chance's striped sailor shirt in aqua and white stripes broadens the Breton 's match-ability.

Photo courtesy of Trina Turk

With a singular shining sun charm, Trina Turk's chain link bracelet is simple and elegant on the wrist. It would work well with the striped boatneck shirt above.

Photo courtesy of J. Crew

A nautical Knot bracelet from J. Crew adds a glimmer of gold with classic knots.

Photo courtesy of Julie Vos

A clear aqua Chalcedony hangs from a chunky gold chain on Julie Vos's long Robi necklace that adds a bit of color to a tunic for evening. It is the same necklace pictured above with Della Terasi's silk top.

Photo courtesy of Kotur

Ombred silk on Kotur's blue stried straw bag with silk tassel has charm, with just enough space for the basics.

 Photo courtesy of Annabell Ingalls

Mixing raffia and leather, Annabell Ingall's Sunny Bag is a good carryall tote bag for lugging beach stuff.