A FIRESIDE CHAT AT THE READY

by Marisa Marcantonio

Photo courtesy of Firmdale Hotels
After spending some time lounging by the fire at the Crosby Street Hotel, I was taken with the deep red walls, Vaughan fabric - covered wing chairs and amazing art collection. Creating a cozy environment around the fire is easy to do, and here are some ways to create a hearth haven at home.

Photo courtesy of Chesneys
Chesney's creates limestone and marble mantels, such as the Alahambra. This British company offers historic and contemporary designs, and have new collections from Jasper Conran and Jane Churchill.

Photo courtesy of Editions Design
Have a seat on a fire fender bench with a leather seat, like this one of brass and wood from Editions Design.

Photo courtesy of Restoration Hardware
Get a classic fire screen to save your rugs from flying embers that can create burns and dangerous situations. This 19th Century English design from Restoration Hardware with brass detailing looks like it has been around for ages.

Store logs in style with woven baskets from Williams Sonoma Home.
Photo courtesy of Jonathan Adler
Light a fire with Jonathan Adler Fireplace Matches, from Art Effect.

Yummy mohair blankets await you at Bergdorf Goodman.

Photo courtesy of Nantucket Looms
Hand- loomed Mohair Throws from the Nantucket Looms will be a part of your family forever.

Photo courtesy of Swans Island Blankets
Made by hand in Northport, Maine Swan's Island Blankets are woven from organic merino wool and hand finished with silk edges. The hand dyed fleece shows a subtle gradation of color.

Photo courtesy of D. Bryant Archie
A handwoven Peruvian baby alpaca throw from D. Bryant Archie is another way to stay warm.

Photo courtesy of Holland and Sherry
Sink back into down filled embroidery embellished custom pillows from Holland and Sherry.

Pierre Frey's Eidelweiss Pillow will remind you of the many piste trails you have conquered.

Photo courtesy of Restoration Hardware
Tools for the job will help keep the flames at bay. A classic choice from Restoration Hardware, these tools have round finials and a clean square design that is deco meets Victorian in brass and steel.

Photo courtesy of Lyle and Umbach
Lyle and Umbach has the most beautiful andirons, tools and screens. The items are handcrafted and forged in the US. The Katherine Fireplace tool set is available in a variety of bronze finishes.

Photo courtesy of Lyle and Umbach
Gates andirons from Lyle and Umbach add a classic design motif to the fireplace.

Photo courtesy of Plow and Hearth
Keep the flames going strong with bellows from Plow and Hearth.

Keep ash in its place with a broom that looks very old world. Williams Sonoma's Appalachian - made Fireplace Broom fits the bill nicely.

Photo courtesy of Frontgate
If matches are not your cup of tea, then check out the Fireplace Lighter from Frontgate. It lights in a snap.

RUSH MADNESS

by Marisa Marcantonio

Raffia and rush are perfect for a summery interior. Add touches to lighten things up in this natural material that matches everything.

Oomph's Slipper Chair with a raffia body fits in small spaces and adds a touch of texture.


Shed a little light with a raffia wrapped lamp from Mainly Baskets.



Carry it with the new Raffia Bow Clutch from J.Crew.


Set the table with Light Blue Raffia Applique Mats from Pomegranate.

Write thank you notes at the Hampstead Raffia Desk from William Sonoma Home.


Hang invites on a Magnetic Board covered in raffia from Ballard Designs.


Casamidy's Opera side chair in rush has become an instant classic. The metal frame and rush seat in mixed materials keeps things interesting.

FLOWERS AU NATURAL: TRY YOUR HAND AT A QUICK AND EASY ARRANGEMENT

by Marisa Marcantonio

With so many gorgeous flowers in bloom, take a moment to arrange your own. Get a few bunches of fresh stems, cut the bottom of them at an angle under running water, and arrange away.

CHOOSE A UNIQUE VESSEL FOR A CREATIVE DISPLAY:


Take a silver, glass or ceramic pitcher for arranging.


Use what you have. Take the lid off of a tureen, and fill it with oasis and arrange. Then set it at the center of a table with the lid propped next to it. Voila, another purpose for a rarely used and beautiful soup tureen. The one shown above is Chinese Bouquet from Herend.

Photo Courtesy of Charlotte Moss
Texture and shine make silver a perennial favorite for plants and flowers. Silver Swirl Cachepot from Charlotte Moss online.


Photo Courtesy of William Sonoma Home
Large vessels suit branches well. Try flowering Quince with these brown and white pieces. Perch them at either end of a mantel for symmetry . Chocolate Ginger Jars from William Sonoma Home.



SOME OF THE PICKS OF SPRING:


Think color, and don't be shy. Mix unexpected colors together or go the monochromatic route for a big impact.








Carnations, once considered cheap and often seen alongside Baby's Breath, are stylish once again and tend to look best used all one color for maximum punch.

THE GIFT GUIDE

by Marisa Marcantonio

Here is something for everyone on your list. Naughty or nice, show some love by giving gifts with some spice:


FOR THE COFFEE DRINKER
Photo Courtesy of Wedgwood USA
Diminutive and chic, Dynasty Espresso cups with a Greek key motif from Wedgwood are the way to go.

FOR THE DESIGN OBSESSED:
Photo Courtesy of Chelsea Textiles
If you follow all things design then you know Alidad, the Persian interior designer doing some of the most gorgeous interiors in London. He has an existing collection with Pierre Frey and now, embroidered pillows with Chelsea Textiles. He was influenced by 16th Century Ottoman designs. A must from Chelsea Textiles.

FOR THE CANDY CRAZY:

Photos Courtesy of Hammonds Candies
Old world Hammonds Candies out of Colorado make the best holiday candy--hands down. Their candy canes and lollipops come in luscious flavors.

FOR THE FORGETFUL:
Photo Courtesy of Michael Devine
Make a list and check it twice. With this sweet notepad and pencil cup, you will want to become a note taker. Michael Devine made accessories covered in his signature fabrics. Bagatelle in Chocolate is shown here.

FOR THE INTERNATIONAL SHOPPER:
Photo Courtesy of Graphic Image
A Leather European Shopping Guide from Graphic Image is fun even for the armchair traveler.

FOR THE WORKER BEE ON THE GO:
Photo Courtesy of Vivre
Wheel through check in with style with a Large Editor Suitcase from Steamline Luggage through Vivre.


FOR THE GAME PLAYER:
Photo Courtesy of Williams Sonoma Home
Backgammon anyone? Sit by the fire and watch the snow fall outside. This is a classic every home should have, from Williams Sonoma Home.

FOR THE PERSON WHO LOVES TO PUT EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE:
Photo Courtesy of Vivre
Distant Origins has these stunning Murano glass boxes with a metal framework. I have coveted this for years. It is a beautiful gift for someone who has everything. From Vivre.

FOR THE RUSTIC COUNTRY LOOK:
Photo Courtesy of Plait
Beautiful handwoven napkins from Plait are made in the US of 100% cotton. Plait is a chic little company started by a Cranbrook Academy of Art graduate out of Madison, Wisconsin. Order a set through Etsy.

FOR THE NEW BABY:
Photo Courtesy of Jack and Lulu
How about something permanent to decorate the nursery? Blue Tulips Wall Art is matted and framed behind acrylic in a soft white wooden frame. Frame measures 18 x 14 inches with 8 x 10 inch opening. Personalize it with initials.
Photo Courtesy of Jack and Lulu
What about a Tugboat print for the little gent? The graphics are adorable and can go trad or mod. Order yours at Jack and Lulu.

FOR THE WEE ONE:
Photo Courtesy of DWR
To give a toddler their first car, what a thrill! These retro wheels are sure to please from Design Within Reach.

FOR GRANDPARENTS:

Photo Courtesy of Two's Company
A cute picture of the grandchildren will make the elders happy. Bone frames are available from a retailer listed on Two's Company.

FOR THE NAPPER:
Photo Courtesy of Sferra
The Celine throw is pure heaven. Made of 100% brushed cotton it is the softest thing going and a great price. The subtle herringbone pattern comes in luscious colors, by Sferra.

FOR SOMEONE WHO HAS JUST MOVED:

Photo courtesy of Vellum
Bamboo bath accessories from Vellum are great for a new homeowner or to make a bathroom sparkle. Love the waste bin beside a desk.


FOR THE TRAVELLER:
Photo Courtesy of Crane
Compact and old fashioned, this leather encased clock brings it back to basics. What more do you need? Carried at Crane.

FOR THE NEWLY INTERESTED IN INTERIOR DESIGN:
Photo Courtesy of Random House
Domono: The Book of Decorating is a nice way to introduce the basics. With De Gournay wallpaper on the cover, you can't go wrong giving this book.

Photo Courtesy of Random House
This useful book takes the pages of the magazine and reorganizes them by category. You can learn decorating tricks, space saving techniques, good sources to shop from and what the fundamentals are for each room in your home.
Photo Courtesy of Random House
Learn how to pull it all together with easy to follow tips and ideas.
Photo Courtesy of Random House
The softcover makes the book look like a cute text book--it is not intimidating.
Photo Courtesy of Random House
A good gift for a newbie or a Domino dweller, through Amazon.

FOR THE LADY:
Photo Courtesy of Lunt
Use this Toast Rack from The Botanical Garden Collection for Lunt to hold monogrammed stationery on your desk or load it up with toast and use it on a breakfast tray.

Photo Courtesy of Haute Home by Jane Leider
Frilly, well-pressed linens are a heavenly gift. The girly girl often collects boudoir covers, and this will make her so happy. Or splurge and get the whole bed set from Haute Home.

FOR THE SAFARI LOVER:
You might not be in Kenya anymore, but elephants can still roam free in the sitting room. Get some big game through Mecox Garden.

FOR A SAILOR WITH ALLERGIES:
Photo Courtesy of Haute Home by Jane Leider
Drop anchor on the sniffles with this tissue box cover available through Haute Home.


FOR THE FOODIE:
Photo Courtesy of DWR
A Microplane Rock Salt Shaver is just the thing for the cook. The hottest trend since the olive oil craze, pick one up at Design Within Reach. Salt not included, hit Dean and Deluca for that.

FOR THOSE IN NEED OF DECORATIVE OBJECTS:
Photo Courtesy of Joe Cariati
Handblown glass decanters with gorgeous stoppers from Joe Cariati are a stunning gift. Bright hues make each sinewy shape a standout. Available through Joe Cariati.

FOR COLLECTORS OF OBJETS:
Photo Courtesy of Penkhurst Ceramics
Porcelain fruits look delectable in these lux glazes. Why not get one in each color from Penkhurst Ceramics.

FOR THE HOSTESS:

Everyone needs a great tray. Set up a bar, serve with it or set it down and stack books on it. Available from a retailer listed on Two's Company.

FOR THE PARTY GIRL:
Photo Courtesy of Vivre
SuRevolution's four regal purple Tasseled Silk Napkin Rings will rock the party, through Vivre.

FOR THE PARTY BOY:
Photo Courtesy of Michael C.Fina
J L Coquet makes the most stunning shiny black crystal champagne coup. Serve Cristal or Dom in these for your New Year's toast. Available through Michael C. Fina.

FOR THE NEATNICK:
Photo Courtesy of The Laundress
Keep dry cleaning bills at bay with this little bag of helpers from The Laundress