by Marisa Marcantonio

Scented candles have become the gift that keeps on giving.  Yes, the market is saturated, but, they are a pretty way to say thank you, and guarantee hours of scented bliss. No wonder they are such a popular item to give, they aren't complicated and everyone has a scent they adore. When selecting the best scent to give, try and do some fragrance homework by asking what perfume your friend wears. This tip-off should provide enough intel to select up the appropriate aroma and corresponding candle, and I've selected some fragrant candles based on their beautiful packaging and high quality aromatic oils.

Photo courtesy of Byredo

Winter is a time to hibernate with a good book. Friends who would rather spend a Sunday under a cashmere throw in a wing chair reading Anna Karenina can burn this romantic, evocative Bibliothèque candle by scent superstar Byredo, to escape the everyday. The scent, including fruity essences of Peach and Plum, is accented with leather and Vanilla. Totally rich and decadent.

Photo courtesy of Aerin

There's nothing like the allure of gold around the holidays. It just makes everything more festive. It's a good thing Aerin launched her Fireside and Fir scent just in time for the winter. A gold-leafed glass container holds a woodyy Aspen-inspired scent ,comprised of Mediterranean Cypress, Fir Balsam, and a bit of black amber along with white Birch.

Photo courtesy of Niven Morgan

Niven Morgan names his scents after the locales that inspire them. His Mustique 1958 soy candle has notes of florals, fruits and herbs such as Bergamot, fresh citrus and Neroli mixed with musks, amber, moss and blonde wood.

 Photo courtesy of L'Objet

The nice thing about

L'Objet's scented candles is that they come in porcelain and gold bowls that can easily be repurposed to hold earrings or coins. Winter is a good time to go for richer fragrances at home, so the spicy Cinnabar scent in this candle fits its ornate red exterior well.

Photo courtesy of Belle Fleur

Belle Fleur is known for their pure fragrances and clean packaging. They have just introduced a new assortment of scents with a more exotic allure.  For those that love fig, and there are many of you out there that do, myself included, Casa Malaparte, named after the famed modernist villa on Capri will enchant with Grapefruit, Heliotrope, Jasmine, Rose, Fig Leaf and Cedarwood.

Photo courtesy of Jo Malone

Tis the season for limited edition candles. Woodsy and warm with a hint of Cinnamon, the Blue Spruce deluxe candle from Jo Malone will have you singing carols in no time.

Photo courtesy of Matouk

Even when they are not lit, Matouk's White Garden candle with scents of Lilly, Orchid and Freesia give a subtle scent to the air. Like their well-designed crisp bedding, the candle is packaged in subtle white glass packaging.

Photo courtesy of Diptyque

If you are like me, and white flowers like Tuberose make you swoon, then the classic Diptyque candle is a fail-safe choice. It now comes in this red tinged glass, very holiday festive.

Photo courtesy of Cire Trudon

Know a hard to gift for captain of industry that has everything? Get this hard-to-gift-for titan a luxe leather-scented candle from Cire Trudon to burn while they read their FT in their cozy wood-paneled library. Yes, this is yet another special limited edition candle.

 Photo courtesy of Agraria

To add a bit of sparkle to the powder room, the Mediterranean Jasmine Crystal Cane Candle from Agraria comes in a petite size and will fit on the edge of a sink. Made of vegetable based soft wax, the bright blue hue keeps things interesting.

Scented in Ebony Teak, you can select which color ceramic vessel you would like with this cashmere brand heavyweight's candle - there is an assortment of pale hues offered. Made in Italy, Brunello Cuccinelli's wood wicked scented candle is quite extravagantly priced. So whomever gets it as a git  is definitely worth it.

 Photo courtesy of Astier de Vilatte

Know any aspiring actors that feel the pull of the great White Way? This Broadway scent with a high energy mix of citrus and caramel from Parisian tabletop line Astier de Vilatte will remind them to work hard and they might just make it.

Photo courtesy of Frederic Malle

Frederic Malle's scents are so pure, they are like burning his precious purfume. This season, for the traditionalists, he has created a special limited edition candle with top notes of pine, cinnamon and a bit of cotton candy (?!) . Clad in his usual red glass vessel, the Joyeux Noël scent, designed by "nose" Dominique Ropion, is packaged in a box illustrated by artist Konstantin Kakanias.  Is there a way I can frame the box afterwards? The artwork is just too good!

 Photo courtesy of Ralph Lauren Home

I tend to rotate my candle assortment for seasonally-appropriate fragrances. Last December, when my Red Currant, Evergreen and Juniper-scented candle was down to the wick, I was disappointed it was all finished. I am glad this classic scent pairing from Ralph Lauren is back in rotation every holiday season, or I would be forlorn.

Photo courtesy of Tom Dixon

Evoke reverie by escaping to exotic lands with Tom Dixon's rich Orientalist-scent candle. It come in a streamlined brass vessel with a marble lid and looks super chic in any setting.

 Photo courtesy of Lafco

If you are feeling stumped on what scent to get, there is always the safe bet of Chamomile and Lavender. Lafco's room appropriate scented candles are a no-brainer, and since so many people have trouble sleeping, this bedroom blend could be just the thing.


by Marisa Marcantonio

One of the highlights of visiting showrooms at market year after year, is seeing the evolution of styling.  The way a space is designed can reinforce as well as set trends.

Velvet upholstery, gilt and brass finishes, parchment, linen and leather-wrapped pieces were just some of the dominant design elements designers used when styling their spaces at this fall's High Point Market. Styling and creating relatable living spaces, showrooms put their best design foot forward. The benefits of a well-designed showroom are twofold. Buyers and designers can envision themselves living there, but they can also be inspired to buy into the complete package they see, and recreate a facsimile of this in their own spaces.  It becomes, if you will,  an idea incubator. The interior designers and stylists putting the room schemes together at market need to wear two hats, that of designer and merchant. The showrooms that have historically  set the tone for beautifully styled spaces at market-- Hickory Chair and Baker, are being joined by Bernhardt, under Ron Fiore, the former creative director of Hickory Chair, and the designer collections of Mr. and Mrs. Howard at Sherrill Furniture,  Celerie Kemble for Henredon, and AERIN at EJ Victor. The best style comes from the influence at the top of the market, where all eyes watch what is being done at the highest level. Luxury elements then trickle down, making their presence felt at every level of the market. Just seeing how many showrooms brought in Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees, the greenery du jour, you get the sense companies are taking their cue from what they are seeing used by today's best designer talent.  Enjoy the tour and pick up styling tips galore.

At E.J. Victor, the AERIN Collection included new pieces to round out last market's debut. I liked this streamlined chocolate sofa with handsome tufting and the gilded coffee table with bamboo detailing.

This season, she added light finishes, that included a chalky white leg option, as well as a chic parchment coffee table. I welcomed the lighter versions, they showed the collection growing in a nice direction.

A fireplace can help a showroom by providing a focal point. In this case, the seating arrangement is in a large space. The white finish is also used on her new lighting with Visual Comfort, seen here.

Bringing in greenery, fresh flowers and decorative elements bring a space to life. See the Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree in the corner of the dining room area? Well, it adds a touch of green to bring the outside in. 

 This is just one of the many showrooms that used velvet upholstery in a rich color. A deep bottle green velvet added a sleek comfort to barrel-back dining chairs.

Gold on gold, a recurring theme of Lauder's,  in an area where the art ties in with the furniture. A 1940's inspired gold painted wood framed game chair with suede upholstery.

For comfort and additional seating, it is hard to deny the appeal of a sectional sofa. Note the window treatments- cream panels with tortoise matchstick blinds recall what you would see done in a pretty New York apartment.

It's the little details that make styling, in any setting, key. A seagrass basket, often used to hold logs, is used for sports equipment. I like a real-life moment.

The Baker showroom always wows. To launch their new Jacques Garcia collection, a striped fabric is shirred to create a patterned wall. A striking modern art piece makes the setting feel instantly livable.

In a smaller space, art plays a role, this time, a black and white abstract painting is the perfect foil for rich wood pieces.

A black lacquer console and white upholstery are related by framed circular butterfly art.

At Henredon, Celerie Kemble worked in color for the follow-up to her launch assortment. Using coral and blue through patterns and solid upholstery she showed you can go bold.  See the Fig Tree? Kemble designed a great chevron bone inlay planter for it.

Teal upholstery was big at market, which I was glad to see, since I have a teal blue velvet sofa, very similar to the  color used here.

Last market this mirror-backed hexagonal-section bookcase was more Hollywood Regency in black. This market, it was reinvented in gold with a bright coral interior.

Taking their cue from men's fashion and the current rage for all things brass and vintage, Bernhardt's Ron Fiore created a chic haven with chocolate brown upholstery and brass detailing.

The round cocktail table was a showstopping piece of last market. A zebra hair on hide rug and pale upholstery on a sectional lighten this look. Oh look, another Fig Tree here too!

Another area that encourages pattern and texture mixing, with navy, black and white. The bone inlay table is a busy pattern but if you increase the pattern scale in the chairs as shown here, it can work.

Teal and white, check.

This etagere has been added to my Greatest Hits list of all-time best etageres. The tree provides something pretty to fill a corner.

In Alexa Hampton's rooms at Hickory Chair, she infused the windowless area with vibrant color. Aubergine and chartreuse jazzed up her classic pieces, complete with wonderful design details. So is there a shortage on these Fig Trees since they are all at High Point?

I love Galbraith and Paul, so I was happy to see one of my favorite wallpapers used with velvet upholstery and Muriel Brandolini fabric pillows. I cannot say enough about this sofa.  A sheltering tuxedo arm with bolster pillows? So chic.

But wait, this sofa is a traditional work horse too, when you need a large 3-seater. I thought long and hard on this color green for my sofa, but instead decided teal velvet was more me. She covered the walls in geometric Quadrille and coordinated a Lee Jofa chintz giving it a fresh take with the geo mix.

Look at the skirt and upholstered leg on the Allen Chair. Not sure I have the space for this at Casa Marisa, but I might need to free up  some room.

When I entered the Sherrill Showroom last year, I felt like I was walking into a Phoebe Howard-decorated home. From wallcoverings to rugs, she transformed the series of rooms with decorative detailed touches and architectural work that had heretofore, not really been done on this scale. Not only did she make her Sherrill designs covetable, she brought her own antiques to layer in,  similar to the way she designs for clients.  Her experience as a shop owner and designer makes this sort of thing a natural extension of her work.

A faux finish resembles wood panelling in a living room space.

She created a seating area in a bedroom setting, with the palest blue upholstery mixed with crisp white accents.

Chinoiserie took the form of green and white at Century. Fretwork fabric on a kidney bean sofa and pagoda lamp coordinate this fresh vignette.

Pale blue will never lose its allure. Perhaps because it is soothing and like a calm oasis.

What a great color pairing in Century. Two large seating groupings are connected by French blue and red with pops of mustard yellow.

This market brought William Yeoward to High Point, where he debuted his collection with Jonathan Charles Furniture. I adore Yeoward's distinctly British take on design. His pieces, including quirky and classic details were inspired by antiques he owned and those he wanted to make available. The line included light cerused finishes, rich carved wood detailing, and was scaled well, to fit into smaller city and country settings. Nothing was on-steriods huge, thank goodness. Scale is so important when translating antiques into new designs. I was asked to remove the photos I showed, due to a pending magazine exclusive, so stay tuned, as I will be sharing his collection in detail, soon.

Mixing in some of his beautiful Osborne and Little embroidered fabric panels, a moment with a grey sabre-legged marble-topped table.

How could I resist a visit to Palacek, to see the newest additions to the Jeffery Alan Marks Collection? I missed seeing him at his book signing, but was able to take in his great styling, seen here. The thing he did so well with this line was to work with what Palacek does best- woven materials, textural woods, and rustic finish treatments. The pieces have a pared-down, casual California vibe. He added a darker wood finish this market.

Thibault, known first and foremost for their energetic color-infused preppy prints, has joined forces with my friends Oomph. The bright finishes of their mirrors, consoles and tables complement the comfortable upholstery and beds Thibaut has in their collection. It is a match made in color heaven.

I passed by Festoni, and they have made a feature vignette a signature. Here, blue and white artwork, grey and black upholstery is popped with bright pillows, a curvy metal coffee table and coral cushion on a  gilt bench tell their story.

 Mr. Brown has been into turquoise and orange the past few markets. This shade is just so uplifting. They had a great mix of materials, as always, and this Directoire-inspired chest of wood and metal won me over.

Vintage-influenced pieces are everywhere, and the white sideboard at Bungalow 5 gets down to details with graduated nailheads and round pulls on white linen.

Perfect for cabin and lodge decor, Currey and Company took things in a rustic direction with bark-covered pieces.


I also noticed another detail worth noting: peacocks. These winged creatures have become the It Bird, the preferred taxidermy to style with. I spotted the bird above is at Lee Industries.

He might like to know he has a friend across the street from Century over at Lee.


by Marisa Marcantonio

Shagreen, stingray and shark skin, known in French as Galuchat (everything sounds better in French, don't you agree?) after a French master craftsman who worked with the material,  is recognizable by its tell-tale circular pattern of calcified scales on the surface and slight sheen. You can find beautiful antique shagreen pieces, often Art Deco period,  in a pale green coloration. But more recently, shagreen, both faux and real have made a comeback as a surface material. The appeal lies in the textural interest and subtle luxurious look of the varied skin.  It can be found in a wide variety of colors, on large and small pieces, making it a wonderful accent to both modern and traditional interiors. 

Photo courtesy of Garrison Rousseau 

A plethora of pastel-hued shagreen telephone tables made by Garrison Rousseau crafted in the Philippines make me swoon.  His assortment of beautiful furniture covered in shagreen is endless.

Photo courtesy of Century 

A classic Gueridon table gets the glam treatment with an inlaid shagreen top at Century Furniture. Note the charming hoof feet.

Photo courtesy of Hickory Chair 

Mixing a rich Mahogany and Rosewood alongside a faux shagreen, Thomas O'Brien for Hickory Chair channels Art Deco simplicity of form in the Margaux Table.

Photo courtesy of Walker Zabriskie 

Clean lines and plinth simple design provide a minimalist style in Walker Zabriskie's shagreen coffee table

 Photo courtesy of Kemble Interiors 

Based on a vintage design, this curvilinear custom coffee table by Kemble Interiors

through Dering Hall is covered in pale pink shagreen with a lacquer overlay. it is a great option for larger spaces. 

Photo courtesy of Gabby 

Soft curves covered in charcoal faux-shagreen on Gabby's Sutton Coffee Table through Candelabra.

Photo courtesy of DwellStudio

A sexy round low cocktail table, The Milo from DwellStudio from Zinc Door, is topped with grey faux shagreen and sits on a triangle-shaped black iron base.

 Photo courtesy of Made Goods 

Streamlined and covered in ecru faux shagreen, the versatile Sorin Nightstand from Made Goods can work double-duty as a nightstand or small dresser. 

Photo courtesy of Regina Andrews

 The Prism Mirror by Regina Andrews through Zinc Door covers all the right angles with a Deco feel. I am crazy about this piece.

 Photo courtesy of Two's Company

I cannot get enough of these trinket trays from Two's Company. Each season they come up with new designs, and I especially like the faux shagreen pale hues they do. These come in handy on every table.

Photo courtesy of Monc 13

 Beautifully quilted pieces of purple shagreen are like a puzzle on De Nacre et D'Orient's stunning inlaid jewelry box from Monc 13. The purple is jazzy.

 Photo courtesy of AERIN 

Providing a luxe spot to store baubles, AERIN'S sky blue embossed shagreen jewelry box trimmed with gold has a pretty closure detail. It would make a special gift anyone serious about pretty storage.