How to extend your summer

With the end of summer fast upon us, many of you may not be ready to pack away the flip-flops and cut-offs.  But sadly, we can’t keep the earth from spinning and the seasons from changing, although El Nino is certainly trying to do its part.

So why not keep that summer feeling going even if summer is leaving?

I was going to break it down into three easy steps because digital readers love nothing more than a list –things like 7 Easy Steps to the Perfect bathroom vanity or The top 5 must have Monograms.  But how about if I give you just one easy way to extend summer, impress your guests, and possibly even score you a weekend invite to a luxurious lake house?  The lake house part is dependent upon the fact that you actually know someone with a lake house and that they want to spend that much time with you.

Your one step to keep summer going is the…coconut margarita.

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Yes, I know coconut and margarita don’t typically go together.  It kind of makes you think of one of those overly sweet coconut drinks with an umbrella that your mother would only drink while on holiday at the beach before walking into a sliding glass door.

But trust me, these are nothing like your mother’s cocktails. The coconut flavor comes from the flavored tequila and it is very subtle and not from coconut cream, so it isn’t super sweet.

Here is a list of the ingredients you will need.  I also purchased a deep basket with a lid so I can just toss everything in and have an easy carrying case because once you make them, people will invite you over again specifically to make them.

1 large bottle of 1800 Coconut tequila

1 large can of Dole pineapple juice.  We tried organic blends and it just didn’t have the same flavor. Of course, you could make your own pineapple juice, but why bother?

1 bottle of Orgeat syrup (almond syrup)

Fresh lime juice

Here are the amounts you will need per drink – adjust as needed to suit your own taste.  If you are making for a group, just multiply the amount by the number of people and combine in a pitcher and you should be good.

In a cocktail shaker filled partially with ice, add:

1 large shot of coconut tequila

1 large shot of pineapple juice

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

½ to 1 tsp of Orgeat.   We think one is almost too much, so adjust as desired.

Shake vigorously, and pour over crushed ice and serve.

After a few sips, your friends should love you just that much more.

And I hope you love me more for sharing.  You’re  welcome.

We aren’t going to talk about the heat

We aren’t even going to talk about the heat. It is August and we live in Texas. Go get a frozen margarita and get over it already. Who cares if it is ( insert any day of the week)?

And don’t even think of posting a picture of the temperature. Don’t do it. We already know how hot it is because we can feel the heat dripping down our back in the form of sweat as we get in and out of our cars with black leather seats that feel more like the top of the grill at Whataburger and less like a luxury sedan.

I suppose we should talk about why I haven’t posted since June. As you know, my chip and salsa eating, faux British accent speaking, reality TV loving friend and editor, Laura Kostelny has left for the land of monograms and crap cakes – AKA – Alabama. It is a big deal for her career and I am super happy for her.

But I think she forgot something? Something very important. Me! No one asked me if she could just up and leave me. I had to read about it on D. So many things started racing through my head like …  who will share my love of reality TV? Who will gossip about socialites with lots of money but no manners? And who will know when too many fart jokes are enough? None is probably the correct answer to that one.

It actually took me awhile to digest. I had to sit in my thinking spot, the stairwell on the fourth floor of my house with my all-knowing buddy, who even in the height of summer is wrapped head to toe in fur and pearls. Yes, Miss Kitty is a great listener. She also talks quite a lot, but I have yet to figure out what in the hell she is saying. Not much different than my second marriage.

It was Laura, after all, who suggested that I pursue writing by writing a few words for her for the D Home blog. I replied, “Really? What do you want me to write about?“ The reply was, “Whatever and whenever. But we are design focused so you need to include that as well.” Whatever and whenever and about design?!? It sounded like the perfect marriage, minus the rich husband. So, of course, I just jumped right in. Now this was definitely like my first marriage, naïve and thinking love could concur all. Well it can until the Amex bill comes in.

So five years, hundreds of blog posts, and massive amounts of design inspiration via many a digital image that sometimes feels like it takes another lifetime to source, combined with my many years of design experience later, I hope that you learned through laughter. There is always truth in humor. It makes the truth easier to swallow. I hope in bringing you some laughter, I also brought you a new way to look and read about design. One that isn’t overly fluffy and full of pomp and itself, but instead one that is more real and covered in dog hair and pizza sauce like your own life.

For the record, I have never been paid one cent for any word I have ever written for D. I have also never received any free merchandise. And trust me, I can work the word Cartier into almost any conversation or blog post. I didn’t even receive a free bottle of Topo Chico. Nothing. I guess I just wrote for the joy of it. The joy of hoping that one day I might get paid.

So what will become of Friday Fun with Jim Williamson? It will continue, because Mr. Jim always likes to have fun. It will just be on this site and not so much on  D Home.

D says that they are “going in a more pragmatic direction — more informative than entertaining, more edifying than writerly.”

I have to say, it is a big change from the current byline “a daily conversation about pretty people, places, and things.” I mean nothing says pragmatic more than – “Top pins from Instagram.” Digital readers apparently want pragmatism and edification. Which I guess explains why the popular site Buzzfeed, which offers such hard hitting news items like  17 Puppies with Their Role Models, is in talks with NBC Universal to receive  a $250 million investment. It all makes sense in a True Detective kind of way. And by that I mean it makes no sense. I think it is just a nice way to say – See ya!

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So with this, I bid a fond adieu to Friday Fun with Jim and hello again to Style Bastard, where hopefully the ghost of Joan Rivers will do some guest posts and where we can all still get an education about design, travel, and food – all with a big dose of humor.


Style Bastard


Friday on a Monday

Learn it, love it, and live it. I think we should have renamed Friday—no, better make it all of last week—“Out of Week.” Everything I presented to clients big and small, from a powder bath to a giant conference table, has either been out of budget, out of stock, or out of production. It made me want to drink my dinner so I could be out of it while repeating that long lost word that will probably never find a new generation: carte blanche.

Atmosphere collection by Chivasso

Atmosphere collection by Chivasso

Speaking of being out of it, I will soon be very much out of this… country. (Did I build some suspense with that ellipsis?) The 10 Days of Mr. Jim’s Birthday Extravaganza begins in just a few short weeks as I transition from one age bracket to another less desirable demographic. I know, by just looking at me, you can hardly believe I could be anywhere near that old. I’m so youthful, so young, and yet still so bitter. But it’s true. Time marches on and usually across your face and all other parts of your body. Since they have yet to discover the wormholes that Einstein theorized must exist in the universe, and I see no time machines ready to take me back to an era of Jovan Musk, zipper jeans, and wide-tooth combs, I will just have to keep Dr. Ho on speed dial.

But back to my birthday celebration about which I should be more excited—especially since Max and our friends in Switzerland have spent many hours/days/weeks planning this only-going-to-happen-once celebration. It sounds lovely and busy with travel from Lugano to Milan to Florence, back to Switzerland, and finally the big hurrah in Lake Como. Rumor has it that Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux will be in Como staying at their friend George’s place. I am pretty certain Max started that rumor because a Google search of “Where will Jennifer Aniston be while I am on vacation” proved nothing. Plus I think most shows go back into production in July. But who cares about facts when a possible star sighting is at hand?

Nonetheless, I have been told by a reliable source that should I be able to score an image with either, both, or the golden of all tickets—Jennifer, Justin, George and Amal—I will receive free advertising for life! (Please note, this offer did not come from this publication.)

Trust me, if there were any conceivable way to make that happen, I would be on it faster than Iggy Azalea’s latest single is dropping off the charts. What some of you may not know is that I actually have six degrees of separation with Ms. Aniston. Yes, believe it. She used to get her nails done with a friend of mine in California. Of course, this was prior to her becoming an expectant mother for the past three decades and one of the most recognizable stars of all-time. But hey, it exists just like those wormholes. We just can’t see it. Not yet anyway.

So while I try to figure out how to pack 10-days worth of clothes in one piece of luggage while also trying to look good just in case that perfect photo-op should happen, I leave you with some lovely design inspiration courtesy of Carlucci Di Chivasso, or as we like to call it, Chivasso. This image showcases two beautiful velvets and some amazing technical feats in the weaving department. First, we have Palazzo velvet, one of my faves, in the most gorgeous shade of blue on the lounge chair. It also comes in a zillion other colors. Next, we have Pistoria velvet on the sofa. Pistoria is dyed then foil embossed with a delicate pattern, giving you a three-dimensional look. You have to see and feel it to appreciate its true beauty but it looks almost like sheared fur or some super-soft exotic skin. It’s from their new Atmosphere collection, and it is giving us some definitive atmosphere of sophistication.

Are you a lake person?

Hello, party people. Unfortunately, I was out of town on Friday and didn’t have access to my computer, so I was unable to post. Please forgive me, and read them now.

I am typing this with bleary eyes even though the Nespresso machine was working overtime this morning. We can blame the lack of sleep on the extra loud storms Thursday night that felt like they shook the entire house and that shockingly bright lightning that seemed to travel through my house for hours. Seriously, it looked like it went in one window, traveled through another, then went across the ceiling of the master and out the master balcony. At one point I was almost scared to sit up for fear of being struck. Add the two flash flood warning alerts blaring across my phone during the wee hours and the drip from a new leak in the roof hitting the bottom of a plastic bucket, which sounded like a shot gun every time it hit, and sleep is bound to escape just about anyone.

Here is a helpful hint for anyone ever experiencing any leaks that might require a bucket: Place a rag in the bottom of the bucket, and it won’t be so loud. It will absorb the sound so anyone still remaining in bed at 6 a.m. won’t think you are trying to torture them with the drip-boom-bang sound akin to some Edgar Allen Poe nightmare. Encountering me this morning was like coming home after curfew smelling of elder berries and Dairy Queen while encountering your mother with her hand on her hip. Continue reading

What is a barrio queen?

It’s recap time, and you know you love some recaps because something almost always happens. I will try and do a quick recap as I have to pull drapery fabrics for a client in Austin; select some new pieces from our awesome new furniture line, Powell & Bonnell, that will be arriving soon; and I also have to talk to my real estate agent about listing my condo. (My NYC friends would say “Oh no, darling! You simple must say ‘apartment’ or ‘townhome.’ Please don’t be gauche.”)


I don’t use the place anymore now that Max and I have begun our fourth year of togetherness—or what I like to call “a very long engagement with gold finger bands.” And you don’t really need two residences in the same city that are located within a few miles of one another unless you have some major bladder issues or those homes happen to be located in the Hamptons. Continue reading

Break the routine

Here we are with yet another Friday already upon us. I tried to muster up an exclamation point for you but I think I am a straight-up period person today. It has nothing at all to do with the fact that Max used that awful six-letter word with me the other day. It was that word you never ever want to hear: BUDGET. That sound you hear is me screaming on the inside.

Christine Phillips

I’m also experiencing an uncomfortable pain shooting up from my lower back, which in turn is making me rather nauseous. It’s the kind of feeling I have when any Zooey Deschanel song plays on Sirius. It may have something to do with moving 12,000-square-feet worth of furniture or that charlie horse I had at 4 a.m. that happened just after Max began his snore cycle in my left ear and just before Big Ray saw movement and thought it was time for breakfast. He then proceeded to crawl on top of me (Ray, not Max), which felt like someone put an extra-large ham on my stomach.

But let’s don’t dawdle (I have no idea how that word just popped in my head or why it even resides there) on my maladies. Let’s talk food, which is my second favorite subject behind design. Since we do eat out a lot—even on a “budget”—sometimes you get stuck in a rut where you go to the same places on the same day each week. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. I enjoy when the restaurant staff recognizes me as a regular and gives me a little extra special treatment. But routines are just that: routines. That can get boring super fast like trying to watch an episode of The Mysteries of Laura. (I mean, has anyone actually listened to the dialog on this show? It should be called The Not-So-Mysterious Case of the Utterly Obvious.) So Max and I have been trying to mix it up.

On Sunday, we attended the first pop-in at Café Momentum with guest chef Andre Natera from Omni Barton Creek Resort and Spa. Many of you will remember Andre from his work at the Fairmount and Marquee grill in HPV. I am definitely not a restaurant critic, although I do critique (design wise) absolutely every single room I have ever entered. I can’t help it. My brain is just wired that way. However, I can throw down a delicious meal. I like nothing better than having a free Sunday afternoon where I can listen to music and spend hours preparing an experimental dinner. Typically, this is just for Max so you will have to trust me that they are usually pretty darn delicious. I have also eaten at some of the best restaurants in many a fine city so we are using this as the basis that I might have a more refined palate than say Mama June. But this meal was one of the best meals I have eaten in a very long time with some flavor combinations I have never tasted. I am not even a yam person but his east side yams baked in clay with maple comb, smoked corn emulsion, aqua dulce ogo seaweed has me reconsidering the sweet tater. And to top the evening off, it went from four courses to six courses of sublime heaven on a plate.

Later in the week, we tried Agave Azul thanks to a recommendation from the SOBs. No, I am not being hateful—well, not at this very moment anyway. SOB stands for Steve, Oliver, and Bill, three downtown fixtures everyone should know. Need a recommendation on where to eat on any given day in Downtown? Just ask the SOBs. Want to know who has the best drinks on a Tuesday night? You got it. Ask the SOBs. The restaurant currently has a small menu with small plates but everything was tasty and fresh. And from talking with some of the staff, they plan on expanding the menu soon. It should definitely be on your “try” list. I say we all meet for happy hour.

We also tried the new sushi restaurant in Trinity Groves. It wasn’t bad but it also wasn’t great. It will not be knocking Yutaka off my top-10 list any time soon. And then Wednesday, we decided to try a new/old restaurant: Truluck’s. The new space is nice and open, and the food was delicious and perfectly prepared. If you are trying to have a nice, quiet dinner though, this would not be the place. The bar gets really loud and some of that filters upstairs. Other than that, it was all good.

Now on to what’s new in design. I had a visitor this week. Fancy decorator to the rich and famous, Timothy Corrigan, stopped by to say hello. He was in town giving a talk at Brook Hollow Country Club and popped by to tell me about a new furniture collection he is working on. It sounds super interesting and will be made in France by a well-known manufacturer. That’s perfectly appropriate since he calls France his second home—and who wouldn’t with that fabulous chateau he owns? Anyway, be on the lookout for the new collection to be revealed at Maison & Objet in 2016 and followed in the States shortly after.

In other design news, it is spring market in High Point. It is a huge market and massive amounts of new product will be shown, some of which will be headed this way soon. But I have to say, my favorite image so far is from my friend and PR guru, Christine Phillips. Nothing says market like flats, Band-Aids, and Advil. This is indeed one smart woman who knows how to work a market.

And with that, I’m out of here!

Stainless steel memories

Meant to post this on Friday from the D Home blog.  Please enjoy.  Have a great week.

I hope the yellowish-green pollen that seems to cover everything from my car to even objects in the house has not thrown your allergies into overdrive. (Note to self: maybe keep all the doors closed during beautiful spring days.) On the plus side, yellow is supposed to be in this year.

During the Easter weekend—a moment also noted for its overuse of yellow—Max decided it would be a good time for a garage sale. I never think it’s a good time for a garage sale. And yes, we did have an estate sale just two years ago when we got engaged and decided to live together. I think Max might be questioning that decision on a daily basis. It was also two years ago that Max said he wouldn’t change anything in the house. Since then, almost everything has changed in one way or another; therefore, we needed to have a garage sale because it was starting to look like we lived on a set for Extreme Hoarders.

For two straight days, I organized, cleaned, and priced the entire contents of the garage. It was dusty and dirty. We had enough stuff out there for a first apartment, down to the placemats and napkins. We also had a much-debated set of stainless-steel cookware. (Remember when that was all the rage? I think I purchased it with my first paycheck.) The debate wasn’t about keeping it. We just couldn’t agree as to whether we should give it to my friend or sell it. Max said it was a draw, and the cookware should definitely stay in the sale. I said I felt like we should send it to my friend. So back and forth we went until the day before the sale. As I looked at it on the table marked for pennies on the dollar, I decided to send it to my friend. Max said, “Whatever. I just don’t want to see it in the garage again.”

So I took off the stickers, put it in a box, and placed it in the trunk of my car so I could send it off. I also decided to text my friend and let him know the good news. But guess what? He didn’t want it.

So after all that, I retrieved it, repriced it, and replaced it on the table for the sale, which was early Saturday morning. That morning, I was my usual morning self—a combination of Miley Cyrus after a late night binge and my father. Max put out signs and left me alone with the garage sale and the cookware. When the first car pulled up, a woman looked around and wanted to make a deal on some furniture, but since she was the first, I wasn’t ready to deal. The next car arrived, and a woman emerged who liked lots of stuff. She grabbed all of the Champagne and most of the martini glasses, a lamp, a vase, and then the much-debated cookware. I was calculating her total in my head—not all that complicated—and then I noticed I had put a 10-cent sticker on a pan that should have been $10. I explained my mistake. She was disappointed but took the other stuff. On her way out, she saw a bench and decided she wanted that as well. She said she would return later with her husband and a truck.

When Max returned, he was on the phone. I barked at him to get in position. Then another car arrived, but it wasn’t just any car. It was Code Compliance. I thought the officer might be on break and perhaps wanted to shop. He didn’t. He wanted our “certificate.” Apparently, you need one to have a garage sale? I never knew this fact ever. So Max talked to the officer, and then came back and told me, “We’ve got to shut it down.”

So one hour into the garage sale, the police shut us down, down. (Hat tip, Kesha.) I contained my rage as best I could. I just went silent and started moving all that stuff back into the freaking garage. The neighbors came over asked why we were closing so early. We explained, and they howled with laughter. I had to eventually laugh, too, but only after a visit to Brain Dead for an early beer brunch.

But all was not lost. As I was moving the last of the stuff back into the garage, which filled it back up completely, the lady who purchased the bench showed up with an empty truck and a husband. I said, “Let’s make a deal on some furniture. I don’t want to move it one more time and you have an empty truck. How much cash do you have?” So that cleaned out one side of the garage. The other side of the garage was still full of tables and tables of goods.

When I arose on Sunday, I went into the garage and looked at all the things still priced for sale, including the cookware. I realized I was only hanging on to that set because it represented the last vestige of my old independent, single life—a time when I boarded a plane and took a job in a city I had never visited and never looked back. It was something I had never done before alone. I had placed all those old hopes and dreams onto some stainless-freaking-steel cookware. Yesterday, when I arrived home to see the garage empty including the cookware, I was slightly overwhelmed. I had forgotten that the charity we selected was picking up everything. My stainless-steel past was gone.

I actually had to just sit in the car for a few minutes to process everything. But I was also more than slightly relived. It was time for that past to go. I had more than realized all those dreams and then some. It’s time to embrace whatever the future holds, which apparently includes a well-organized and rather empty garage. So from the world’s shortest garage sale, I also get a life lesson on moving on and letting go.

Reverso for Verreum designed by Sacha Walkchoff

Reverso for Verreum designed by Sacha Walkchoff

And speaking of letting go, it’s time I let go of the keyboard and get ready for my weekend. I leave you with something beautiful that caught my eye this morning. From the creative genius that is Sacha Walckhoff, creative director for Christian Lacroix and my former man-crush, I bring you this awesome collection of glasses and vases called Reverso for Verreum. Designed for use up, down, or however you choose, these lovely creations in glass-and-silver coating are both fun and surprising. I love the mix of colors, and I love anything that is multifunctional. But wait a minute! This just gave me an idea. I could have reused that cookware as decorative pots for plants or maybe really loud wind chimes.

No definitely not a good idea as I don’t live in a trailer park. Not yet anyway. Happy Friday.

Get your green on

Should have posted this Friday.  Please enjoy from my post for the D Home blog.

I just realized it is Friday the 13th. I am not superstitious—he says with fingers crossed while throwing salt over his shoulder—but the date could explain why the dog did a number two on my new rug. (It really looked more like a numbers 2, 3, 4, and 5.) Anyone looking for a sweet, super cute but slightly neurotic dog can text me. He comes with a free-but-slightly-used rug.

The date could also explain why the recently repair roof is leaking in not one but four different locations. I just really want to crawl back in the bed. Of course, the fact that my new super soft and luxurious bed linens just arrived from my friend and founder of Tribute Goods, Karen Pulaski, has pretty much everything to do with the urge to return to my bed. These linens are as beautiful as Karen is, and she is pretty stunning. She is also super nice and does a lot of good things for other people. I, on the other hand, am not super nice. I know it’s hard to wrap your mind around that fact. It’s kind of like believing that any kitchen remodel will finish on time, all network shows are well-written, or that Downton Abbey will last forever. But I swear, I was once a nice person. At least I realize that I am less Ellie Goulding (universally acknowledged as a very nice person) and more Ariana Grande Latte.

I try to compensate for my “directness” by helping out various charities that benefit our local community. These may not be donations that will get a bridge or a marble plaque with my name in gold, but even the smallest donations can help make a big difference in someone else’s life. Hear that, Karma? I am trying to ensure my destiny in my next existence so you better not put me next to that mean, mean decorator with the bun on top of her head,  loves jazzercise, and told me to go to hell because a manufacturer was late delivering her sconce. Listen, I don’t build them; I just sell them.

But don’t let the gloomy weather or my mood dampen your pre-St. Patty’s Day celebrations. Get your green on, don’t drink and drive, and you should be fine. Here’s a tip: whatever you do, don’t drink a lot of green beer and then go eat sushi. Just don’t do it.

Spring/Summer 2015 collections by Designers Guild

Spring/Summer 2015 collections by Designers Guild


Here is something else that is fine and, appropriately enough, it is also green. It is your daily design inspiration, and it is courtesy of one of my all-time forever favorites, Designers Guild. From the Shanghai Garden Collection for Spring/Summer 2015, Tricia Guild shows you how green is done. I don’t know about you but I just love modern fabrics in an old chateau. It is so simple but so very chic.

So that is a wrap. Have a great weekend. Get your green on. Just don’t get it on anyone’s white furniture.

The mood is blue and it is a good thing

Doing some much needed blog updates so please excuse if you have already read this post, which should have been up last week.  Please enjoy!

 I am not sure if it is the fumes coming from the offices upstairs that smell like someone has left the top off the world largest Sharpie but something is making me dizzy—and not in a good way. The dizziness could also be the result of the rather ungraceful fall that I had on some black ice walking into the showroom this morning. Don’t worry. I landed in a downward-dog position, or as I like to call it, the “cavity-search” position. I wouldn’t know personally but I do have Netflix.

Not helping my mood is the additional fact that the top button of my pants popped off with great force when I got in the car this morning. It almost embedded itself into the dashboard. I am blaming the pants, not my fondness for chips and salsa. All of this explains why my facial expression is stuck in the Kanye position. You know the look—like something smells and it is not the kitty litter. I love using that line almost as much as Max likes talking about the time he missed the Grammys. It’s a lot.

If you are in need of any favors, today would not be the day to ask.

Last night was not like this morning. It was fun. The evening was all about the food and friends at Twenty Seven in Deep Ellum. Chef Dat knows how to throw down some delicious bites. If you like dining out as much as we do, then you should definitely take some friends and go. I promise you will have fun and experience flavors you have probably never had before like frozen fennel pollen. It was strange yet good, especially when followed with a sip of Pinot Noir. The restaurant also has one of my favorite bathroom designs in town. We will call it “dead rocker chic.”

The meal last night almost makes up for the Amsterdam Bar closing, which will continue to make me sad each time I walk the dog by it. Unless of course, someone uses the space to open a chicken salad sandwich and iced tea bar that also happens to have dog treats. Hey, there are currently more than 50 new restaurants opening in Dallas with what I think are like 35 just in Deep Ellum, so it could happen.

In design news, everyone is thinking spring and update time. Nothing like a snow and ice storm to expose all the stuff you need to get done at home. Yes, it is time. While you are fixing that leak(s) or broken hinge, you might also want to think about redoing that sofa the dog loves to wipe his mouth on after dinner or finally select a fabric for those vintage dining rooms chairs that scream, “Please help me!” And let’s not forget about that lounge chair that you placed that fabric sample on so your friend could see what  it’s going to look like. That was a year ago. We want to see the damn chair recovered.


But don’t worry because Mr. Jim—with the help of the talented designers at Designers Guild in London—has some inspiration for you. No need to make a single decision because we have done all of that for you, right down to the paint color. Today’s inspiration also comes from the blue skies above, which we haven’t seen in while. So please feast your eyes on today’s mood board in blue. I really like the addition of black with the blue. It bumps it up a notch and takes it from pretty to chic and edgy while still feeling pretty. And who doesn’t want that? And every room can always use something in black, as long as it is not a mood or an evil presence like your mother-in-law.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Yes, it is finally Friday! Now what?

Well the last of the golden rays that shone upon us from Goopy’s perfectly styled mane are finally beginning to fade. Was it really only two weeks ago that I posted my most-liked image ever? Time goes by so quickly—much like my youth and my patience.

This morning when I got up I was thinking, which hat am I going to have to wear today? Will I be a meditator, psychologist, salesperson, mystic, decorator, or problem solver? I will probably be all of the above. One thing is for certain, come 5 p.m., I will be wearing my mixology cap. But enough about that. I will have plenty of time to explore all the behind-the-scenes drama involved in the high-end world of interior design when I finish my first novel based on my many years in the business. I have a few working titles in mind including Beyond the Bunting or A Tear in the Taffeta. There’s also always Heavily Distressed.

But we should be talking about 2015. As many of you know, Pantone announced their color of the year for 2015: Marsala. I’m not sure what your feelings are about the color, but it reminds me of the color left at the bottom of the stemware the morning after one of Max’s famous dinner parties. I totally see it in fashion; I even own a shirt in the shade. But I don’t think the world of interior decoration is going to go as gaga over Marsala as they did Radiant Orchid. 

What else do we have to look forward to in 2015? Lots and lots of new products. My tickets have already been booked for PARIS DECO OFF. It’s a huge event that takes place during several days in January where all the new collections of furniture and textiles are unveiled in Europe. I will give you all the inside scoop for sure. Sadly, I am certain I will have no time for sightseeing, as this is a working trip with events each night. But I am super excited to see all the new things and to meet lots of new design folks and hopefully see a friend or three.

It’s also a milestone year as far as birthdays go. Max has a big one, but we won’t mention the specific year because I would like to have pleasant weekend. I will also be celebrating a milestone birthday and guess what? I’m also not saying. But it is just down the road from 30. It’s down the road, take a left, another left, then a right, and then go down that road for a bit. Should you need suggestions for gifts (for me, not Max) I would probably go with, “What would Wallis Simpson want? “ Hint: It starts with a C and ends with “artier.”

Beautiful textiles by Misia-Paris for Casamance

Here is some design inspiration from Paris, but I think it also takes us to Miami and South Beach where much of the art world has gathered for Art Basel. This is from the Les Cles de L’archipel Colletion of printed velvets, textured silks, natural cottons, and linens from Misia-Paris for Casamance. I love that blue texture silk, and the color is stunning. I wonder if it would look good with some Marsala?

With that, I am off to don my mixology hat because I hear that whistle blowing somewhere. Today’s cocktail is appropriately called “The Rich and Famous.” I tried it at Thanksgiving and served it in amber champagne saucers from the 1920s. Presentation is half the battle. Here is the recipe:

Combine one ounce of gin (two if you are my old acting coach), two ounces of Prosecco, about a ¼ ounce of Dram Allspice liquor, one sugar cube, and a dash or two of bitters. It is Mr. Jim, so you know you have to have some bitter with the sweet. Garnish with a twisted lemon peel and enjoy. Even if you aren’t rich and famous, you will feel like you are after a few of these.

You’re welcome. Happy Friday!