Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Dress Boston + Nina Farmer Interiors

My favorite store Dress Boston,  is kicking off the holiday season with a series of interviews. Here is the one I did with them recently.
Interior designer Nina Farmer of Nina Farmer Interiors resides in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston with her husband Michael and their two young daughters. Nina’s signature design style is rooted in a classical sensibility with touches of both modern and vintage furnishings. Her work has earned numerous honors, including features in House Beautiful and ID Boston. Nina Farmer Interiors was also recently acknowledged by Boston magazine in their Best of Boston Home 2015 issue for a stunning living room design she did. 
We had the tremendous pleasure of working with Nina on the design of our Beacon Hill space last year. She is wonderful to work with -- creative, collaborative, and flexible. And in our opinion, Nina is as stylish as she is talented. Curious to know how she spends her holiday season we asked her to sit down and chat with us about her family's traditions, decorating her home for the season, and gift-giving.
Nina - 2
Interior designer Nina Farmer and photos of her recent work.
What traditions do you and your family have around the holidays?   “I didn’t grow up celebrating Christmas, but I do now with Michael and the kids. Over the years we have established a lot of traditions that I cherish. We take the kids to the Nutcracker at the Boston Opera House every year, usually in December to get us in the spirit of the season. And, of course, we skate on Frog Pond in the Boston Common. The kids love that.
We also have a tradition of taking a weekend trip to New York City in December. We see a show, ice skate at Rockefeller, and visit the windows at Barney’s and Bergdorfs. Every year they have a new theme. They are always so creative and inspiring!"
Holiday windows at Bergdorf Goodman and Barney's New York.
Do you decorate your home in a special way this time of year?   “After Thanksgiving, we put up white lights in our garden in back of our house. They’re so pretty that we leave them up all winter long. While I don’t do a lot inside the house, we do have a tree, which we decorate together. Michael makes a special holiday cocktail [Bourbon T' Sour last year - see the recipe below] — the kids get a virgin version — and we play music and decorate. It’s a lot of fun.”

How do you decorate your tree?   “We hang antique ornaments on our tree, mainly from Michael’s childhood.”
Do you exchange gifts with family members, friends, acquaintances?   “I do, mainly with family, but also with the kids’ teachers and some good friends.”
Have you already selected gifts for anybody this year? If so, what do you plan to give?   “To be honest, I haven’t started yet!”
Are there any gifts you would love to receive this year?   “Ooh, yes! There are so many!
One thing I am coveting this year are vintage bookends by designer Carl Aubock. He was an amazing designer, one of my favorites.
I always love gifts from E.R. Butler. We have a collection of Ted Muehling candlesticks, which we add to every year. It’s become a tradition.
I would also love to receive the A.P.C. Mod Parka that you carry here at Dress. It’s such a great coat!"
Xmas List
A.P.C. Mod Parka, available at Dress. Candlesticks by Ted Muehling, available at E.R. Butler. Book ends by Austrian designer Carl Aubock, available online.
Pieces from your Gallery NF collection would make great gifts. What will you be giving, and to whom?   “I always think artwork or vintage pieces make really special gifts. For my mother-in-law, I think she would love a collection of vintage pottery.
I think my daughter’s teacher will love this jellyfish glass sculpture. It’s unique, but also really suitable for different rooms in a home.
I love giving books as gifts, too. I think my friend will really like “In Vogue”, the illustrated history of Vogue.

Vintage pottery pieces, Gallery NF Collection, available at Dress; Clear Fossilise Jellyfish Art Glass Sculpture, Gallery NF Collection, available at Dress; "In Vogue: An Illustrated History of the World's Most Famous Fashion Magazine" [Alberto Oliva, Norberto Angeletti, Anna Wintour], Gallery NF Collection, available at Dress.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Best of Boston Home 2015

Thank you so much Boston Magazine for the honour of being included in your Best of Boston Home 2015 selections.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

ID Boston

Thank you Chesie Breen and everyone at ID Boston magazine for the cover story in the Volume Two: Fall 2014 issue.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Paris Delights

Paris is a city full of shopping and culinary delights. Some of the highlights from my recent trip are:


Located on Rue du Bac in the left bank, Deyrolle has been the go to taxidermy and entomology shop since 1831. I was lucky to hit the store right after Fashion Week when they were showcasing their collaboration with Damien Hirst. He assembled a cabinet of curiosities titled "Signification (Hope, Immortality and Death in Paris, Now and Then)." He mixed butterflies and skulls with handmade objects to study themes of the organic versus the inanimate. Since the stores inception, artists such as Salvador Dali, have used Deyrolle for inspiration for their art. Hirst wanted "to raise science to an art" because "art is artistic but evolution is too." 46 Rue de Bac


Astier de Villate is one of my favorite sources for dinnerware. Their shop on Saint-Honoré is the perfect venue to showcase their hand made pottery.  Inspired by 18th and 19th century designs each piece is made out of black terracotta clay and typically painted in a glossy white glaze. 
173 Rue Saint Honoré


The Keramion gallery was a standout in the Saint-Ouen flea market because of its rare treasures. They are located in the Serpette market and are solely dedicated to classical archeology. Specializing in antique ceramics the gallery offers primarily Greek, but also Etruscan and Roman artifacts, marble sculptures and curiosities. 110 rue de Rosiers

Hidden away in the center of Paris is the restaurant Apicius. I had the pleasure of dining there with my French neighbors from Beacon Hill.  Everything from the service to the food was exceptional.  It is set in a 19th century private mansion on the ground floor of the former Hotel de Talhouet-Roy, complete with a decadent interior and fabulous works of art. 20 rue D'Artois


Verjus was the culinary highlight of the trip.  Tucked right behind the Grand Palais, this quaint restaurant did not disappoint  They serve a price fixed degustation menu of eight course. Each was better than the next. The neutral understated decor was the perfect backdrop to enjoy the complex assortment of dishes. 52 Rue de Richelieu

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

AD Intérieurs + Musée des Arts Décoratifs

I just got back from a wonderful trip to Paris, during which I had the pleasure of visiting the AD Intérieurs show house at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. The show featured spaces created by 16 French interior designers. The guidelines were that the concept be centered around a little-seen piece from the museum's collection.  The resulting spaces not only incorporated the museum's selections seemlessly but were works of art unto themselves. 

Designed by Luis Laplace and Christophe Comoy
Created around the desk of Clément Mére

Design by Isabelle Stanislas
Created around a 16th-century Venetian wood sarcophagus chest

Design by Caroline Sarkozy & Laurent Bourgois
Centered around Marie Antoinette's settee

Design by Chahan Minassian
Centered around smoked glass-spangled desk made in 1966 by sculptor César

Designed by Charles Zana
Created around a 1957 ceiling lamp by Ettore Sottass (not shown)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


I recently discovered Max ID NY, a quirky shop in Sag Harbor, selling an eclectic mix of both antiques and modern sculptural pieces. It is a family run business, with the father overseeing the antiques and art and the son designing the new stark contrasting pieces. The store is located in a house which is set up as a pseudo second home for the family. Vertually everything is for sale from the stacks of books in front of the fireplace to the 19th century pillars and panelling bought on a European shopping trip. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Chiltern Firehouse + Studio KO

Hotelier Andre Balaz's first foray abroad, the Chiltern Firehouse, is currently the hottest reservation in London.  Located in a 1889 Neo Gothic former firehouse in Marylebone, the restaurant features original tile floors, exposed brick walls and a woven canvas ceiling meant to be a nod to the hoses original stored there.  

The guest rooms were designed by the French firm Studio KO. The design duo has a talent at striking the right balance between finding the cultural roots of a project and keeping it feeling modern. I had the pleasure of staying at another one of their projects, L'heure Bleue in Essaouira, Morocco, and thought the design was both authentic and sophisticated.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Eric Piasecki

Last week I had the pleasure of working with esteemed photographer Eric Piasecki on a photo shoot for House Beautiful magazine. Eric regularly contributes to the top shelter magazines and has shot monographs for designers Steven Gambrel, Thom Filicia, Juan Montoya and Timothy Corrigan.  He has a phenomenal eye for light and composition. Here is a small sampling of his work.

Monday, July 21, 2014



I just returned from Tulum, Mexico.  I stayed at the wonderful six bedroom Coqui Coqui hotel.  The beachfront property is part hotel and part perfumery.  The hotel is right on the beach and the vibe was perfect.  The lack of air conditioning, modern amenities, and the salt water stone bath added to the charm.  The views of the Caribbean water could not be beat.   I would recommend highly it for a relaxing weekend getaway. 


Tulum's restaurants were highly touted prior to the trip and they did not disappoint.  Hartwood was one of my favorites.  The food was outstanding and the cocktail list was superb.  The Pina Habanero Margarita was a highlight.  Infused tequila, fresh pineapple, and cointreau was the perfect beginning to the meal.  I also enjoyed El Tabano and Casa Jaguar.