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Beautiful Things

Crushing on: Benjamin Vandiver




I shouldn’t even title this one crushing on so much as totally, completely, 100% obsessing over. I recently discovered Benjamin Vandiver’s beautiful interiors work on Domaine and was smitten. His style is at once eclectic, glamorous, homey, and modern.

Believe it or not, Benjamin was previously a piano player for 15 years before launching his own firm in the spring of 2012. Originally based in Nashville (he’s already worked with the likes of Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere), his company is now working in LA and NY, too. Totally a star on the rise.

I’m loving this beautiful black and white room above (so sexy and chic), but when you look at some of his other projects, it’s easy to see he’s not kidding when he says he approaches each client very individually. Check out some other work from his portfolio (you’ll want to pin ‘em all):
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A Little Lesson on Veuve Clicquot


fun facts about veuve clicquot champagne

Last weekend, I had the unique opportunity to attend the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic, a quick ferry ride away in Liberty State Park. This was its 7th year, and the Classic is a day filled with picnicking, amazing people watching, athletic men galloping around on horses, and of course, lots of Champagne. As we were walking to the match after disembarking from the ferry, I was telling my friends everything I knew about the house of Clicquot. To be honest, it wasn’t too much — I knew how to pronounce the label, where it was from, and that Veuve was the first Champagne house to ever be run by a woman (did you know that Veuve is not someone’s name, but in fact, is the word for “widow” in French?). I was inspired to come home and learn a little bit more about this iconic producer, and was astonished at the history this house has. It’s pretty incredible! A little trivia for the next time you’re enjoying a glass with someone.

If you’re interested in learning more about Veuve (and Madame) Clicquot, there’s a great book about it here. You can also check out Hallie, Julia, Grace and Carly’s recaps of the day too. They were great picnic buddies!

Images: Riddling Rack / Champagne coupe

An Ode to the Peony

ode to the peony

The peony. Is it (overly) ubiquitous these days? Oh, totally. Did I let that stop me from buying some to place near our guests’ quarters this past weekend? Actually, almost. I’ll admit that sometimes, I shy away from certain “popular” things just because when I see them so much on social media – despite being a perpetrator, at times — they no longer feel special. Can you relate to that at all?

But when something’s good, it’s good, and I have to say that peonies are just that. I love how they grow into curled up, tight little balls that burst open with layers and layers of bright, cheerful color — like nature’s version of a delicate mille-feuille. They’re full, voluptuous, and more often than not, smell so feminine and fresh. I’m glad I didn’t shy away from peonies last week, because even though our friends have departed, these little buds have been the gift that keeps on giving (currently, on a corner of my desk). I couldn’t stop admiring my little peonies yesterday, so I decided to write an ode to them…but in visual form, of course.

Speaking of which, sorry for the lack of post yesterday, but take it as a good sign that this weekend was a doozy in the best way possible. We had such a great time playing tourists in our own city and showing old friends (and even new ones!) the sites and some of our fave places in Manhattan…as well as why Joe’s margaritas always lead to dance parties. I needed yesterday to ease back in, catch up on email, and just plain rest! Did you have a fun Memorial Day holiday too?

Graphic created by me; peony images all licensed under Creative Commons with some modifications made by me. Image credits as follows: “Peony Scan”, Sharon Mollerus; “Pink Tree Peony Blossom”, Normanack; “Apple Blossom Peony, Close Up”, Deb Nystrom; “Pink Peony”, Ruth Hartnup; “Peony/Paeonia Lactiflora”, Tanaka Juuyoh; “Peony”, Carl Wycoff