by Marisa Marcantonio

In the hot summer days when most of us escape the concrete jungle, it is nice to assess our living spaces and what we do with them. City living requires creativity, ingenuity. patience and style. In order to live with style, city dwellers edit and express themselves through the choices they make in how, where and what they live with.

Photos by Tim Street-Porter
Partners Annie Kelly and Tim Street-Porter collaborate again on another Rooms series book, this time focusing on city life with Rooms to Inspire in the City: Stylish Interiors for Urban Living from Rizzoli. What do you conceal, what do you reveal? Whether you dwell in a townhouse, apartment, loft, studio or garret apartment, you can pull great ideas from the exciting urban rooms showcased, that take us to Paris, LA, New York, London and beyond. Solution based living is really about making the most of what you have, enhancing the space and making it distinctly your own. The back of the book covers how to handle your book collections, make kitchen space workable, and entertaining. A handy design directory provides designer information.

The cover image shows Carolina Irving's apartment, chock a block with antiques, personal finds, and meaningful objets picked up from world travels. When you stand in the space and there is so much to look at, it just works. The blue and white dhurrie, slipcovered armchairs and pillows are charming and the space feels really relaxing. I just love it.

Mary McDonald's use of color and pattern is genius. In her guest house she wows visitors with large painted parasoled chinamen flanking a whimsical tufted headboard. The orange bedding and greek key pillows take it right up to the edge. Giving a space wow factor makes even the smallest areas memorable.

Peter Dunham's cozy seating arrangements and wainscotting on the walls come together in a blue and green palette. Not bad for what used to be a garage.

Alex Papachristidis cleverly divided up his living room space with a bookcase. Pale yellow walls can work with almost any color scheme, and he chose a Braquenie print for window treatments and a bolder print for the arm chairs. Exoticism and English antiques mesh in a soothing retreat.

British antique dealer Peter Hinwood lives in a very British setting. Eclectic and varied, a slipcovered sofa with ikat and cat print pillows and a marble topped console from 1730 mingle against a Crest toothpaste colored wall. What is that paint color? It sure shakes things up a bit.

With this kitchen, a wall of shelving allows for ample storage. The owners Beverly Archer and Robert Bernard use every inch of it.


by Marisa Marcantonio

Two girls, lots of travel and editorial backgrounds. When Lisa Fine partnered with Carolina Irving to create Irving & Fine, they took the blouse world by storm, creating something the market lacked. Fun, bright, Indian-inspired blouses with touches of embroidery and a dramatic cut, they were perfect for parties and running around town. They recently introduced dressy jackets in materials like velvet and linen, so you can always have them rotating in your wardrobe. The gals also have their own eponymous fabric lines chronicled on SB in the past.

Silk Patmos 100% light ramie blouse with bands of lace on the sleeves and at neckline. For additional detail, Jali like lace insets replace seams. Shown with a belt sold separately.

The 100% Natural Linen Lamu coat has hand embroidered black raffia and wooden beads. It is paired with hand-blown venetian glass rings by Legge and Braine, gold bracelets by Bungalow 8, Mumbai Wooden bangles with inlaid silver and turquoise by Jaisalmer Arts.

Samarkand Tunics of 100% linen in indigo with creme raffia and red with black raffia has hand embroidered raffia and wooden beads.

They hold trunk shows around the country and team up with Indigare Souk, so watch that space for their next pop up sale...


by Marisa Marcantonio

Hollywood at Home has a new home! Since 2007, the shop has led the way in California traditional design. Interior designer and Brit Peter Dunham came to LA in 1998, changing the design landscape with his eclectic mix and bohemian vibe. He recently moved his shop from Almont Yard to the bustling La Cienega antique shop row. His new shop oozes charm and livable design, with textiles from Lisa Fine, Carolina Irving, designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Jed Johnson Home and his own line, Peter Dunham Textiles. Furniture from his Hollywood at Home line is comfortable, well-designed and provides a sense of history in an interior. The final touches comes from well-edited antiques, vintage textiles, and accessories placed throughout shop--the home you never want to leave!

A red awning and door set an upbeat tone, welcoming visitors. Dunham red has become a trademark in his work, and it can be seen in the distance at 724 N. La Cienega Blvd.

Upon entering the space, you are transported to a casual chic environs, filled with antiques, chic finds and furniture and accessories of Dunham's own design. A large scale framed print by Peter Dunham for Natural Curiosities hangs to the right of the front desk.

The scene is set. White walls are the perfect backdrop for the printed fabrics.

Fabrics are hung on hooks that extend along the wall, showcasing the spectrum available in full lengths.

By creating a homey setting, shoppers are encouraged to hang out and scheme rooms. Natural light streaming in the windows makes for accurate color matching.

Hydrangeas in an antique vase sit in the center of the table stacked with vintage books and a Martyn Lawrence-Bullard exotic scented candle.

A 19th Century Hudson Table by Hollywood at Home is available in custom sizes and finishes with leaf extensions. Everywhere you turn, there is another great fabric to look at.

Amazingly, the numerous fabric collections all work together. Their bohemian style and rich colors go together well.

The Bobbin Chair, based on a 1910 Austrian chair, is made of hand-turned walnut and hand-woven rush, adds a rustic element to a room. Panels made of Martyn Lawrence Bullard's Majorelle fabric hang in the windows and a sofa is upholstered in his Moorish- inspired print, Marrakech. The rich Italian and ethnic colors and patterns look great en suite.

A bedroom set up in the large room is dominated by a 4 poster bed with bed hangings in Carolina Irving's Patmos stripe in Lake. Walls are upholstered in her Calico print in blue. A cozy seating area sits next to shelves with pillows.

A bedroom is not complete without a cozy reading chair. The Gibbs Chair, with a deep seat and tufting, is based on a late 19th century English model. It is on brass casters so it can easily be moved. Blown glass jugs have been made into gorgeous lamps by Dunham.

An antique 20th Century Tanzou lacquered chest holds photos and books, along with a mid-century turquoise crackle lamp on white bases, creating a lived- in home ambiance. A Hollywood at Home Moorish mirror in a black crackle finish hangs above it. The rush How to Marry a Millionaire Chair is a big success for H at H for its comfort and modernist lines.


by Marisa Marcantonio

When it comes to clearing out for charity, the following designers used creative display design to their benefit:

Elizabeth Bauer Design brought her booth to life with a flocked dog wallpaper.

Hable Construction channeled the inner artist with craft goody bags.

Charlotte Moss sold garden goods in her potting shed booth, full of plants and herbs.

The fur coat for sale makes the moment very Edie Beale.

Carolina Irving sold pillows in her sweet fabrics.

Carolina Irving and Lisa Fine together have Irving and Fine, and sold their gorgeous blouses at a steep discount.

Real Simple editors went for saffron yellow and teal.

The space was filled with great lamps in crisp white finishes.

Their polished area was move- in ready.

Country Living had a huge booth, complete with a penny candy table and new branded bedding and tabletop.

The rustic life, captured in framed magazine shots.