by Marisa Marcantonio

We all have those friends that never stay on the ground for too long. For those with serious wanderlust that can't seem to stay put, lavish them with travel appropriate accessories.  Satisfy their travel bug with the necessities that make their journey one to remember.  Adventure seekers and design divas alike will forge ahead in style this season.

 Photo courtesy of Mrs. Strong

 Getting a little tongue in cheek, the Don't Fuggedaboutit tablet notepad from Mrs. Strong will help the recipient  remember to tackle everything on their to do list before they step on the plane or train.

Everyone loves a crisp new tote to use while running errands. For the print and pattern fan, Katie Ridder's signature fabric and wallpaper prints now come on a cute tote bag. Order by emailing:

 Photo courtesy of T. Anthony

I need a new rolly bag in the worst way. The new carry-on Wheeled Duffle from T. Anthony fits in the overhead bin and is a nice addition to give to someone that has their luggage already. Mom, are you reading this?

Photo courtesy of Land's End

For the pal who is always en route to a picnic or party, the Lands End Wine Tote is just the thing.

Photo courtesy of Sister Parish

These little zippered pouches help keep the contents of a bag neat and tidy. Sister Parish printed fabric Cosmetic Bags come in a set of 3, and can keep your charger cords and passport separate and easy to access.

 Photo courtesy of Anya Hindmarch

A tiny bag that can serve double duty as a clutch and hold your camera, Anya Hindmarch's Courtney Moire Clutch will make interior designer friends happy with it's big ol' custom leather hanging tassel. 

Photo courtesy of Turkish T

Super lightweight and easy to pack, a robe is a travel must. Turkish-T's beautiful soft cotton Spa robes have a fringed hem and sleeve with spirited candy colored stripes. They can multi-task from breakfast to the beach.

Photo courtesy of Shop Bop

Mary Green's Sleeping Mask from Shop Bop will make for rested travelers.  Rested travelers are happy travelers.

Photo courtesy of Julia B.

It might surprise you how many people love to have the comforts of home while away. Long-haul flights and hotel rooms are just better with the addition of a pretty boudoir pillow.  Bring the comfort of your own bed with Julia B. baby pillows, she has a variety of  beautiful customized options.

 Photo courtesy of Saks

Ward off a chill with Queen of Cashmere's monogrammed travel throw with matching case. You never know when a bit of cashmere may come in handy.

Photo courtesy of Barneys

For those that never leave home without a signature scent, Frederic Malle's highly addictive Carnal Flower perfume comes in a portable spray (case not included).

Photo courtesy of mypressi

On the go and need a pick-me-up? Take the tiny well-designed My Pressi on Safari and always have your caffeine fix close at hand.

Get a game going anywhere. Play to win with Tory Burch's sleek Printed Portable Backgammon set.  Such a luxe version.

Photo courtesy of Momastore

Crisp sound, an FM Radio and alarm clock make Geneva's  bright red XS Sound System from Moma Store worth packing to travel.

Photo courtesy of Clare Vivier

A classic vide poche for a fraction of the Hermes prix, Clare Vivier's zesty red version is perfect and portable for keeping jewelry and other lotions and potions on the nightstand.


by Marisa Marcantonio

Mrs. Astor by Cecil Beaton, 954
She lived to be 105. And live she did. What a lady. The estate of the inimitable, hugely generous New Yorker Mrs. Brooke Astor goes on the block at Sotheby's September 24th and 25th. The catalogs have sold out. The furnishings, art and decorative accessories from her 14 room, 778 Park Avenue duplex and country homes of this epic philanthropist and pillar of society will be attended by many that want a piece of history. Parish Hadley designed her apartment, which includes the Hadley-designed library, the most wonderful lacquered room, which is now in the canon of great room history. Mark Hampton also worked on her residence.
When looking at the wonderful assortment of stuff, it is hard not to notice her love of animals, especially her beloved dachshunds, as there are lots of paintings and sculptures around the theme. For such a grande dame, her interiors were formal but cozy, and many chintz-covered chairs filled her rooms.  Fine French and English antiques, export porcelain, and truly stunning paintings and historically-important mementos will surface in the sale. It's nice to think that such an incredible collection will now find many new homes, to enrich and enhance people's lives with their beauty and elegance.  Pamela Fiori shared a heart-warming portrait of Mrs. Astor for Sotheby's At Auction Magazine. When asked the secret to her longevity, she responded, “an optimist, be curious, read every night, don’t meet the same people all the time (sooner or later, they become lazy, boring and repeat themselves), don’t be a cynic, don’t envy or be jealous…spend some time in solitude in order to reflect, meet different people (young people), travel, and, if you are rich, adhere to the Gospel of ‘The Joy of Giving.’
The proceeds from the sale will benefit her favorite charities, which is just what she wanted.

Photos courtesy of Sothebys
Her New York Living Room

The French mirror is exquisite

This screen is sure to fetch a big number

The dog paintings give such a warm feeling and personal touch to her home

Get ready for a major return to chintz. It's back in a big way

Her house's Memory Room with photos and mementos from her long life

A reading room with simple blue bookshelves

Her poolhouse, with cheery yellow and white striped upholstery looks like it would have been a perfect perch on a hot summer day

I knew I loved bamboo chairs, they add a casual feel to any interior

Pale hues in a living room are soft and femme

What do I have my eye on? This gold faux bois box. I love this moment.

 A shot from a country room with the prettiest painting of a white flower arrangement

A watercolor rendering of the living room in her country home

The room that leaves me speechless

Trimmed out in brass, what is chicer?

Owning a piece of history is going to be on everyone's minds as they raise their paddles

Accessories placed just so look great together

The palest of blue strie wallpaper balances flower paintings

Hello, chintz

 Chinoiserie Cut and Glass Mirror Mounted tole six light chandelier, 20th Century

John Frederick Lewis painting A Memlook Bey, Egypt 1869

Freddy Dachshund by Thomas Woodruff

Daschund figurines

A Chinese export pieced bone model of a pagoda, 19th Century

A large pair of Chinese Famille-Vert glazed biscuit figures of Buddhist Lions Kangxi Period

A pair of Chinese Export reverse-painted mirrors circa 1770

A Louis XV white-painted and carved low chair circa 1740

A set of 34 Fornasetti Porcelain Malachite Ground Plates, 1955

A pair of Regency style cream and green painted pagoda-form standing bookcases

 Oh the places you will go, or wish you were going with her 16-piece set of T. Anthony luggage.


by Marisa Marcantonio

I cannot contain how excited I am for these new Sister Parish Design fabric covered accessories and pillows. Accordion files, desk blotters, picture frames, note pads, pencil cups, photo albums, pillows, tissue box covers, wastebaskets, ice buckets, trays, napkins and tablecloths await you. I want one of each to have great gifts on hand at all times! This is why I am convinced I need a gift wrapping closet and a shelf in it for future gift giving.

Sister Parish's granddaughter Susan Bartlett Crater and Libby Cameron, Sister Parish's protégé and colleague founded Sister Parish Design, and launched their fantastic collection of fabrics and papers several years ago. Their accessory line will debut at the NY Gift show this weekend, say hi to Libby and Susan at Pier 94 Booth 44047!

All your favorite Sister Parish prints make for lively accessories. Dress up your office desk at work with a blotter and pencil cup to bring a bit of style to your space.

Photos Courtesy of Sister Parish Design
Pattern love!

Napkins and cloths make entertaining with style a snap

They make it so easy, these pillows are ready to go


by Marisa Marcantonio

Photos Courtesy of Rizzoli
Babe Paley's taxi cab yellow living room by Sister Parish

Adam Lewis does his research. The design writer spent ten years on the drilling down process, going through design archives for his newest book, The Great Lady Decorators by Rizzoli. On Tuesday night, he gave a captivating talk at the Grolier Club and a signing with Potterton Books. Not only is he a dynamic speaker, he was an Episcopal priest AND an interior designer! Much of his research involved Albert Hadley-- Lewis penned Hadley's book, and since he had worked with these ladies he shared great stories. Mr. Hadley sat in front of me that night, and it was great to hear him chuckle at the funny tales. One such tale involved a French designer who lived and worked in her shop, Madeleine Castaing. The great French decorator never liked things to look too neat. So when she vacuumed, she would reverse the flow to release dust into the air because she felt it gave the space more character! These women were nothing if not independent thinkers. He has selected the dames of design, featuring the works of Elsie de Wolfe, Ruby Ross Wood, Elsie Cobb Wilson, Dorothy Draper, Frances Elkins, Thedlow and Marian Hall, Syrie Maugham, Nancy Lancaster, Madeleine Castaing, Eleanor Brown and Sister Parish. Through a mix of period photographs and color interiors painted by Jeremiah Goodman, the book tells the design stories of these twelve legendary and influential women, sharing their decorating maxims and theories. Even if you are not familiar with everyone on the list, there is a great deal that can be learned from looking at the work of women who helped shape modern day interior design as an industry and as an art form from 1870-1955.

These designers were all ladies. Most either married someone of great wealth or had to find ways to support themselves after the war. Above, a Dorothy Draper room with coordinating floral elements and shapely chairs. Draper did mostly commercial work in the dramatic Baroque style, starting off with the Carlisle here in New York. If you walk through the elegant lobby today, few things have changed.

Syrie Maugham's entry hall in her King's Road home has richly painted walls and white accents. She is best known for her short period of designing all white rooms. Not practical but visually stunning.

A Frances Elkins room painted by Jeremiah Goodman with red upholstery. He uses bold colors in his work that come from his imagination and are not necessarily an accurate recreation. To him, nothing is more boring than realism. Elkins was one of the first designers to bring back Jean Michel Frank pieces from Paris.

Eleanor Brown's Sutton Place apartment with a round dining room. It is considered one of the finest rooms she designed. Brown was one of the only ladies that studied design, she took classes at Parson's after her divorce.

But there is more to come!
Never one to rest on his laurels, Adam Lewis is working on his next tome about Billy Baldwin due out in the fall.