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With the holiday season sneaking up any day now (Once Thanksgiving is here - that's it!) - there are so many great choices this year for the DIY and Home Design Enthusiast in your life.  Today, the Fashion and Interior Design world have never been closer.  Chances are, your favorite fashion designs mirror a mood and feel similar to the way you live.   The term "Lifestyle" is used to death - but it is so appropriate.   These books are the latest from some of the most talented interior designers, design experts, food editors, and experts in all things "Shelter".    Choose two or 3 and make a great bundled gift for designer on your list!   Click on authors to visit their website, or click on book jackets to purchase on Amazon.   Also - click Indie Bound to find the local bookstore in your area.   Happy Holidays!

SUSANNA SALK - Decorate Fearlessly

JOAN OSOFSKY - Love Where You Live


CHRISTOPHE POURNY - The Furniture Bible


DANA COWIN - Mastering My Mistakes In The Kitchen




Love Where You Live - Joan Osofsky shows you how!

Design expert Joan Osofsky has just released her first book - Love Where You Live.   Joan has been helping customers in the Hudson Valley and New England do just that for years with her popular design & lifestyle stores - Hammertown.   The three locations are bursting with fun and stylish items for the home & bustling with devoted clients who regularly visit the stores in Pine Plains, Rhinebeck, and Great Barrington.   *The stores also offer design services - a secret resource to so many of the VIP clients who weekend in these beautiful locals.*

Clearly, Joan loves what she does.   Spending just five minutes with her will leave you inspired, smiling, and readyTHE HAMMERTOWN BARN IN PINE PLAINS, NY to tackle any design project!   I recently ran into Joan at the NY NOW gift show.   It was 9:05 and Joan was on the go - greeting me with a big smile!  ORGANIZED TOOLS CREATING A HIDDEN SPOT FOR READING - PH: JOHN GRUEN

Love Where You Live is a must have for any first or second home, and also an excellent host / hostess gift. LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE - A COZY LIVING ROOM - FOR LIVING - PH: JOHN GRUEN Co-Written with Abbey Adams with photography by John Gruen, you'll come back to this book again and again.

A BEDROOM FOR RESTING AND REFLECTING - LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE - PH: JOHN GRUENClick images to learn more about Hammertown and to get your copy of Love Where You Live now!



If you spend any amount of time in home furnishing stores or gourmet coffee cafes then you have felt the latest trend in interior design.  Possibly, you've enjoyed this phenomenon without knowing.   White washed pine furniture sound familiar?  Heavy linen upholstery and slip-covers ring a bell?  The knotty pine communal farm tables have taken the U.S. by storm.   Two companies were ahead of the trend, and actually helped create the trend.  Restoration Hardware & Le Pain Quotidien.COMMUNAL TABLE AT LE PAIN QUOTIDIEN

The West coast lifestyle home furnishing haven - Restoration Hardware has reset the bar for interior designers from coast to coast.   What once took tens of thousands of dollars to acquire items at auction all over Europe, can now be found for a few thousand dollars at a mall near you.   If you haven't been to a mall recently, undoubtedly you have been besieged by catalogs the size of phone books from the newly re-branded RH.  Make that multiple catalogs - Furniture, Outdoor Furnishing, Children's Furniture, and so on.   While the brand was once synonymous with other stores like Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn, nobody is confusing Restoration Hardware with other brands today.

Le Pain Quotidien also achieved success through furnishing - despite the fact that they don't sell furniture.  That's right, this Belgian baker of daily bread, pastries, and brewers of delicious coffeeRUSTIC PINE MANSARD MIRROR AT RESTORATION HARDWARE has changed the way Americans spend time in cafes.   What was once relegated to the Amish in Pennsylvania, has found it's way all over the United States.  While American suburbia has created communities of people who live life behind fences and gates, Le Pain Quotidien is forcing you to actually see your neighbor - even if you won't talk to them. 

In the late 90's, a THE AUTHOR WITH ANTIQUE RESTORER CHRISTOPHE POURNY AT LE PAIN QUOTIDIEN DURING "BETWEEN THE SQUARES" SPONSORED BY 1STDIBS - PHOTO COURTESY OF 1STDIBSdifferent wave of Belgian influence was the biggest trend in NY Cuisine.  Nothing was trendier than "Moules and Frites" aka Mussels & Fries with your favorite pint of pale ale Belgian beer!  Large beer hall style spots like Markt (Formerly cavernous on 14thst & 9th Avenue - now the home of the Apple super store) and the mini-chain BELGO from the U.K that had opened it's first U.S. outpost in the windowless space that is now known as BUTTER on Lafayette Street.   Belgo made a big splash and fast crash -which basically summed up the brief Belgian food trend of the late 90's.  Certainly Moules and Frites still thrive in many NYC restaurants, but as an overall theme - Belgian cuisine fizzled.  This time around it's light and sweet and really hits the spot.  The furnishings at RH are also no nonsense.   While you can't say the brand is avant-garde, it is relevant and beautiful - two aspects that cannot be faked, and oh-so-hard to get on trend. 

So the next time you find yourself redecorating or craving a ceramic pot of coffee - visit an RH or PQ near you!  The man that most probably influence both companies is Axel Vervoordt

This Belgian interior designer has a way to balance intricate details with austerity, creating a sophisticated and soothing space.  If you are not familiar with his work, click the book cover to search this and other collections of his best work.   



Stella McCartney adds one more check on the impressive list that is her ever evolving media presence.   This Fall, Stella becomes a cartoon character in the popular children's book series Little Miss / Mr. Men by Roger Hargreaves.    McCartney has a long history of incorporating artists and paintersSTELLA McCARTNEY - FASHION DESIGNER & LITTLE MISSin her actual collections, as well as runway staging design, and artwork for campaigns and show invites.   Hargreaves helped design the invite to her show back in 2006.  ( I saved mine!).    Hargreaves realizes Stella in his world of little round characters, as she helps a fellow classmate find her self confidence through her fashion designs!

To celebrate the partnership, Stella created a capsule collection of Little Miss items in her Stella McCartney Kids Collection.  LITTLE MISS STELLA - FASHION DESIGNERThe collection launched in the UK in August, and makes it state side this Fall.   Shoppers who spend $150.00 will receive the Little Miss book with their order!  The limited edition book is destined to be a collectible.

You should buy SM Kids collection for many reasons.   First and foremost - they are adorable.    Secondly, the collection is made from eco-friendly fabrics.   Lastly, Stella is the only fashion designer with the nerve to refuse the use of leather and animal products in her collections.   Considering all this, how can you not shop Stella!  Shop Stella McCartney kids now - click - Little Miss Stella to shop now.




Susanna Salk returns to bookstores this Spring with her latest how to guide to decorating.   BE YOUR OWN DECORATOR published by Rizzoli is really the best interior design book you can buy this year.  The reason is Salk turns to her contacts in the Interior Design world and brings together looks from the biggest designers in the business.  With over 75 talented professionals showcasing rooms that feature their signature style, B.Y.O.D. has an endless supply of inspiration.  Design legends like Jamie Drake, David Kleinberg, Charlotte Moss, & Bunny Williams join recent interior design stars like Nate Berkus and Celerie Kemble in Susanna Salk's most comprehensive design book to date.

Susanna is seen regularly on the Today Show with her segments on design and decorating.  Her contributions to and are fun and informative.   AUTHOR & MEDIA CORRESPONDENT - SUSANNA SALKSalk is at her best when she gives straightforward solutions to design issues that everyone has at home.   That's why her latest book is an excellent gift for any recent graduates, newlyweds, or anyone moving into a new home.   Be Your Own Decorator by Susanna Salk should be on the short list for every licensed Real Estate Agent as a gift to any home buyer.   It was on my great  agent's list - I was so happy to receive BYOD from Stacey Matthews when I recently bought a home!  

**Click book image above to buy your copy now**




The Boutique Hotel travel experts known as Mr & Mrs Smith say Ciao Italia with their latest guide.   The land of Tuscan dreams and Roman Empires is any vacationers ideal destination.  From the Northern hills of Turin to the Southern beaches of Capri, your dream vacation awaits you!   Mr & Mrs Smith know a thing or two about ideal destinations for romantic getaways.  The travel series aren't named after the Brad & Angelina film of the same name.  However, they do reference the age old practice of couples lookingBRAD & ANGELINA'S MR. & MRS. SMITH for a secret rendezvous checking into a hotel and signing the ledger "Mr. & Mrs. Smith"!    Having said that, you can bet all the hotels recommended in the guides are first class, intimate, and out of the ordinary when it comes to amenities and service.  One fashionable highlight is the Tuscan refuge of Castiglion del Bosco.. aka the Ferragamo Resort.  OVER 4,000 ACRES OF CASTIGLION DEL BOSCO With 23 luxurious rooms on over 4,500 acres - let's just say privacy is not an issue at this 5 star resort!  With the legacy of POOL WITH A VIEW - CASTIGLION DEL BOSCOluxury the Ferragamo name carries, you can be sure that the accommodations, the cuisine, and the service will be as exclusive as you can imagine.  A few days in Florence on the way to this amazing destination would be a dreamy holiday just on it's own, or as the beginning of a long journey around the country blessed by the Gods. 

It makes perfect sense that Mr. & Mrs. Smith were guests of honor at the recent re-launch of the Ferragamo Flagship boutique in NYC.   The 20,000 square foot SALVATORE FERRAGAMO FLAGSHIP - 5TH AVENUE PH: VT MALINOWSKIpalazzo of luxury is the largest Ferragamo boutique in the world!   The Smiths signed copies of this latest guide book featuring Castiglion Del Bosco.   The latest runway collection from this house of Italian Fashion FERRAGAMO SPRING RUNWAY SANDALwas also on full display.   The colorful and creative designs had every man and woman thinking "tropical getaway".   One of the hottest accessories right on trend are the colorful and sexy sandals that were the star of the Spring 12 Ferragamo runway show in Milan!

With Venice, Florence, Rome, Naples, & Sicily all in one Country - how does one choose where to begin?   Consult the experts of course! Let Mr & Mrs Smith help plan your next holiday.  Arrivederci!