Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Textbook Tuesday | Savoir Vivre by Ladurée

Ladurée, the iconic Parisian patisserie, has done it again with the latest volume in a series of successful entertaining and lifestyle books. This stunningly illustrated gilt-edged book comes wrapped in tissue paper nestled in a gift box leaving you half expecting to discover delightful desserts inside! Savoir Vivre; The Art of Fine Living, from Vendome Press offers practical advice and inspiration on everything Parisian-chic: from how to prepare a meal the Ladurée way, to the art of hosting, to how to prepare your suitcase for jet set travelling. 

An image from my own travels to Paris

The author, Maud Hacker, is a historian and expert on Paris who also works for the Louis Vuitton Foundation. The illustrator, Sophie Bouxom is well-known for her work in Elle, Marie Claire, and the City to name just a few:

The book is divided into five sections, "In the Morning," "During the Day," "In the Evening," "At the Weekend," and "Travelling," with so many tips and tricks included under each section. Suggested event menus, proper table settings, cocktail recipes, addresses for the best beauty shoppes in Paris are just a small sample of the array of topics. I love that all the suggested menus, listed by event, just seem so utterly French. The number of courses alone! I often wished we appreciated food the way the French do here in North America. 

This sweet little read would make the perfect coffee table book as it's easy for guests to flip through and take in bite sized advice and topics. And what a great stocking stuffer or hostess gift for your upcoming Holiday parties! Ladurée has designed Savoir Vivre this to be the ultimate guide on how to live well, and I think it does just that.

The local Laduree shop on Robson street in Vancouver

*A thank you to Vendome Press for the copy to review - do check out their website for more of the finest publications on lifestyle, interior design, architecture, and French culture. A thank you to them for allowing all of us to access beauty and design through their publications!


Monday, December 12, 2016

Holiday Q&A | Jessica Claire Interiors

I've long thought of Toronto-based interior designer Jessica Waks as the queen of entertaining; she's an amazing cook, fantastic designer with and eye for neo-traditionalism, and she can style up an event like no other. So I thought it would be so fun to get her expert tips on how to navigate the holidays, and we are especially looking at how she prepares to decorate and host events for Hanukkah. The holiday begins on December 24th this year, and this beautiful 8-night celebration is laden with tradition and symbolism. Jessica so perfectly takes this special 'festival of lights,' and creates a wonderful opportunity for elegant entertaining and spending time with family.

Previously Style at Home's Design Editor, Jessica can now often be found appearing as a guest expert on the Marilyn Denis Show. I'm honored to share a little chat we had divulging all the details of her hosting and decorating tips (all images via Style at Home | photography by Donna Griffith unless otherwise noted):

 Photography by Stacey Branford

Nancy Marcus: What is your favorite color palette for Hanukkah décor?

Jessica Waks: The typical colourway you see is royal blue with silver and gold. I obviously gravitate towards the gold because I'm all about the warm metals, but I also like adding in some soft aqua and lighter blues which feels a touch more current and fresh.

NM: What are your must-have festive greens and flowers?

JW: It's all about layering in beautiful white flowers so I pick up whatever looks fresh and nice this time of year. Mums and orchid branches usually maintain well enough and add some lightness and pretty to the table.

NM: What are your favorite food and drinks to serve?

JW: You can't have a Hanukkah party without latkes! My fave version are grated and fried until crispy and topped with the classics: applesauce and sour cream. I love them savoury too, with lox (smoked salmon) and sour cream and chives. Sprinkle some caviar on top if you're feeling fancy!

NM: Oh my, I think the sour cream and chives would be right up my alley, you are making me hungry just thinking about it!

 Photography by Stacey Brandford

NM: Music playlist must-haves:

JW: Does Adam Sandler's Hanukkah song count? Just kidding we don't really have any recorded go-to's but the classic songs I grew up singing in Hebrew school like "Maoz Tzur," always bring on the warm and fuzzies.

Photography by Stacey Brandford

NM: What are some traditions you can't miss in your décor?

JW: A beautiful menorah is essential. It's great that there are more modern versions if you don't want something so heavy or ornate. I also love using gelt (foil-wrapped chocolate coins) as décor. Used as vase filler or sprinkled on table top it looks so festive and shiny.

NM: Go-to winter scent for the home:

JW: Anything that covers up the smell of fried oil from latkes! I bake beautiful dreidel and magen David cookies every season as gifts for clients so the smell of baking sugar cookie and gingerbread dough are my fave holiday scents.

NM: I must say that every year I drool over your cookie baking and icing art, they almost look too perfect to eat. I especially love the appearance of the star of David with a 'stained-glass' style filling.

Photography by Stacey Brandford

NM: And finally, what are your favorite tips or tricks to make entertaining easy?

JW: It sounds so basic but you really do need to prep as much as you can ahead! Everything always takes longer than you think it will so make your list and tackle as many tasks as you can in advance to avoid day-of stress.

Jessica is pictured baking her famous sugar cookies with her mom above, a perfect chance to spend time together as well!

A lovely idea of changing traditional Christmas crackers with the addition of blue paper and the Star of David, sitting pretty as a place setting atop the family's heirloom china.

To see more of Jessica's own design work hop over to her portfolio (her own home is divine), and you can see the full articles on Hanukkah home décor and entertaining via Style at Home here and here. A huge thank you to Jessica for being gracious with her time and sharing these fantastic tips & tricks on how to expertly host such a special event for family and friends! Don't forget to follow Jessica on instagram to see sneak peeks of all her cookie baking & dinner dishes - I promise you it will leave you inspired, and if you are like me, perhaps a wee bit hungry too :)

Friday, December 9, 2016

Friday's Favorites To Follow

Paloma Contreras of La Dolce Vita writes one of my favorite blogs to check in on daily. To be truthful, hers is one of the few that I still take in regularly! I love the elegant Southern influence I get from her posts on everything from high-end design, to fashion, and travel. Paloma's recent projects have had me drooling and I'm sure you've all been following along, but here are some of my favorites via her fantastically inspirational instagram feed:

Paloma's Dauphine Suite for Traditional Home's Southern Style Now Showhouse

Peeks at her new home in Houston

Nothing beats old school 'pinning'

Her recent powder room reveal

Phoebe Howard at High Point

The Polo Bar

A peek at a recent install in progress, just in love with the lacquered paint in Benjamin Moore's Water's Edge

Another install in progress, I just can't get enough of the olive green velvet, the large-scale artwork and the Christopher Spitzmiller lamps! Endless inspiration.

As many of you may know, I contribute a monthly series on LDV called Dissecting the Details, but truth be told I was already a huge fan of the blog long before I began as a contributor! I always fully enjoy putting those posts together, it gets me thinking about what it is that I love about my favorite designers as I dissect their designs. For me it's a chance to go a little deeper into what makes a room really tick. I thought I'd link to a few of my favorite installments of the series here in case you missed them, starting with this past weeks' post featuring Suzanne Kasler's living rooms:

A huge thank you to Paloma for allowing me to get creative and always have fun with my Dissecting the Details series! Have a wonderful weekend and stay warm, we've got a dump of snow coming our way in Vancouver today!


Friday, December 2, 2016

Friday's Favorites To Follow

I first learned of Emily Johnston Larkin when I began blogging nearly 7 years ago - she's the founder and editor of Material Girls blog, one of my favorites! Emily has since created such a stunning portfolio, and it's been so much fun to follow along with her projects. On instagram she shares unpublished sneak peeks like this stunning living room below:

I've always had a love for the garden map artwork via Soicher Marin so it was so lovely to see an example of them hung in a grouping above the sectional. On my wishlist for sure!!

Oh, and I should also mention that over on Emily's Facebook page she shares fantastic before and after shots. Who doesn't love a good before & after?

Be sure to follow Emily on instagram here, and check out her extensive portfolio here. Have a wonderful first weekend of December everyone!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Friday's Favorites To Follow

One of my favorite design firms to follow is LA/Seattle-based Massucco Warner Miller. Co-founders Julie Massucco Kleiner & Melissa Warner have truly mastered neo-traditionalism, and I am always so excited to re-visit their website and stumble upon a new inspiring project! The grasscloth-clad bathroom below recently stopped me in my tracks so I had to share it with you, along with some of my other favorites.

I just adore the combination of the dark hex tile, the wallcovering, and the tortoiseshell mirror. Shiplap up half the wall is also a very practical & pleasing choice.

Another element these ladies utilize with expert eyes; bold color! I just love the pop of these lacquered cabinets:

Of course the behind the scenes photoshoot prep is always fun to follow along with on instagram:

A recent LA project:

Oh an the little peeks at their LA design studio, what a pretty site! The black scalloped awning, and the hint of Fornasetti through the windows ... it doesn't get any more chic than that!

Be sure to follow Julie & Melissa on instagram, and get a look into their extensive portfolio on there website here. Have a wonderful weekend!

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