by Marisa Marcantonio

If you are headed someplace warm for spring break, taking a well deserved respite from a long winter, or just dreaming of an escape, here are some sunny colors to get you though till the arrival of spring. Next week, I am off to LA for Westweek, so I have tropical hues on my mind. I will be attending fabric launches at The PDC, a Lars Bolander book signing at Nathan Turner's, and catching up with LA's amazing designers. I am looking forward to checking out new shops and checking in with everyone from Kathryn M. Ireland in West Hollywood to Windsor Smith in Brentwood.

A chic J. McLaughlin red linen and turquoise leather trimmed tote is my bag of choice for a week in Los Angeles. It is called The Melinda.

Photo courtesy of Anya Hindmarch
Trinny, this slip of a sandal from Anya Hindmarch has cute little pom poms on the t - strap and comes in a great fuchsia metallic.
Photo courtesy of Robyn Brooks
An armful of shiny bangles from Robyn Brooks are sure to banish the winter doldrums

Photos courtesy of Guru
Guru linen tunics are a wardrobe staple. Aqua yellow and white makes for a fresh combination that is beach ready.

A red, navy and fuschia linen dress from Guru is another great combination. Come to think of it, this would be an amazing room scheme as well.
Photo courtesy of Anya Hindmarch
Sun protection is a must, especially if you are headed to the Carribean. Keep a cool head in this woven Italian topper from Anya Hindmarch. It has a tri color band of red, white and natural straw making it a showstopper.

Cotton scarves from See Design work well in highly air conditioned areas

Photo courtesy of Target
Casablanca, a fresh light blue, white and green quilted geometric bed from Dwell Studio for Target is a bold new design that embraces spring hues.

Hand towels with little embroidered palapa huts from Lulu DK Matouk captures the life of leisure- if you can't board a plane to Maya Tulum.

Embroidered pillows from Trina Turk sit in a hanging chair in her Gansevoort Street store where they are ready for spring.

Mod geo ceramic trays from Two's Company in a bevy of contrasting colors are great for holding jewelry and adding a hit of color to a dresser.


by Marisa Marcantonio

I am hearing everyone in the industry say, "we are cautiously optimistic." Interior designers say new clients are active, albeit slowly and cautiously. I hope the optimism continues. I sped around the gift show over the past few days and discovered some great new companies that took a leap and brought their designs to market. Trends included unexpected shades of colors like persimmon, plum, mustard, and muted orange. I wish them all great success.
Here are some of the things I am loving now.

Sea grass frames and trays in serene coral, yellow and purple were showstoppers.

New York - based Robyn Brooks had a beautiful booth. She painted the walls in a pale blue hue to offset her bright skin, cork and sea grass designs. She learned all about high quality skins working with jewelry and bag designer Kara Ross, and then set out to do her own stylish thing. I am so glad she was at the show with her frames, mirrors, lamps, trays and bracelets-- something new to get excited about, when there was not a ton of newness out there....
Fortuny- covered chairs sit around an Eero Saarinen inspired table from Ikea for taking orders. She even brought a potted palm!

Here is Robyn standing next to a chic oversized cork lamp.

Her skin trays and frames are really nicely made and finished.

Love this! I don't usually go crazy for skins in wild colors, but her colors are stunning.

Fun geometric patterned poufs from John Robshaw are the new beanbag.

Joel Fitzpatrick just launched this great new eco towel line with cotton trim that comes in orange or green. As a designer, he saw there was a lack in attractive eco towels.

The Kelly green is fresh and crisp, great for a tropical home.

They are seeing what the response is to the geo's, I say, it's a go. Don't you?

Caskata, always taking their lead from natural beauty, had a beautiful new blue peony pattern that came on plates, trays and bowls.

Waylande Gregory introduced his small ceramic painted bowls in new, graphic designs. The elephant is a fave, and the glazes are in cool, unexpected off colors.

My favorite glass designer Joe Cariati did it again with these cloche designs in smoke, red and turquoise glass with a pretty ball finial on top. It would be great as a cheese plate, for cakes, and anything that needs some pomp and circumstance.

I had to include this Stray Dog Designs paper mache plant in turquoise. Low maintenance plants are a good way to go!

See Design is a new joyful printed collection out of New Canaan CT that captures the fun carefree spirit of bold color and pattern on bags, pillows, caftans and scarves.

The gals in their Accent on Design booth. Donna Gorman, left, is a textile designer that spent 20 years with Marimekko, can you tell?!

I loved this cheery tote with circles and dots in a perfect shade of lavender.