13 May, 2015

The Duchess Recommends . . .

Happiest of birthdays to the brilliant author Daphne Du Maurier, who wrote Rebecca, later made into a film starring Joan Fontaine by Alfred Hitchcock.  The set design alone is worth the viewing!

19 March, 2013

The Duchess Shops Around . . .

Dearest Readers, if you aren't aware of the new designer collaboration between Sir Terence Conran and JC Penney, now you have no excuse.  The Duchess stumbled upon these expertly designed pieces by the innovative and famed British retailer/restaurateur/designer/writer just yesterday, and cannot decide which pieces will be coming home with her.  The prices are incredible, but don't take the Duchess's word for it.  Go buy some Design by Conran yourself.

The Brooke Sofa, $950 (other colors available)

Wool Square Rug, $175

Beep Floor Lamp, $250

Pair of Berger Side Chairs, $600

The Brimstone Cabinet, $1550

11 September, 2012

The Duchess Congratulates . . .

If it can't be Roger, at least, let it be Murray.  Congratulations to Andy Murray on his first ever Grand Slam win at the U.S. Open, where he defeated (after a lengthy battle) Novak Djokovic for the title.

Trying to find a sexy picture of Murray proved more difficult than the Duchess expected, so this will have to do.

The Duchess Remembers . . .

Jasper Johns, "Three Flags" (1958)

04 September, 2012

May The Duchess Recommend . . .

The Duchess is sure to be popping into Paul Smith on Melrose for a preview of the 20th anniversary auction of Los Angeles Modern Auctions ("LAMA"), which will be held on October 7, 2012.  Though the online catalogue is not available yet, LAMA says that works by Richard Pettibone, Sam Francis, George Nakashima, Andy Warhol and Yayoi Kusama.  Go see for yourself!  


23 August, 2012

The Duchess Rather Likes . . .

If the Duchess had a darling little daughter (she does not), she would be swathing her nursery in yards upon yards of LULU DK fabrics for littles.  Available through Schumacher, Lulu deKwiatkowski's joyful and fun prints run the gamut from graphic brights to pastel images of animals, flora and fauna.  "Butterfly" is almost Hirst-esque, sort of a kid's version of living with contemporary art.  .

Ode to Matisse (Leaf/Ocean)

Lollipop (punch colorway)

Firecrackers (in coral)

Parade (punch colorway)
Star (in sky)

Jelly Bean (punch colorway)

22 August, 2012

The Duchess Shops . . .

As usual, the Duchess can't wait for le week-end!  Once the marine layer burns off on Saturday, she plans on popping over to the uber-hip emporium of style TenOverSix, which will be hosting a trunk show for children's line boy+girl (and enticing Westside 'rents with 20% off their entire children's section).  New digs for the kids = guilt-free shopping for the Duchess.  

8425 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90069

The Duchess Shops . . .

While scouting chairs for the newly redesigned home library, the Duchess fell in love with this beauty from Kelly Wearstler.  The toughness of the materials (brass and black bison leather) balances perfectly with the femininity of the shape.  And two would be better than one!

24 July, 2012

The Duchess Shops . . .

LEADAPRON at Melrose Place is having a big moving sale from now through Sunday.  If you haven't been in, the art gallery/book dealer has a nice selection of rare art catalogs and books to peruse and the space (the former Rose Tarlow Melrose House location) is sublimely lovely.  Stop in and then pop over to Fig & Olive for an aperitif.

11 July, 2012

The Duchess Dines . . .

On Tuesday night the Duchess & Co. stopped by Laurel Hardware, the newest new restaurant at Laurel Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard in WeHo (so close to home!).  Once, as the name suggests, a hardware store serving the local population, the restaurant has been completely transformed:  there's a light and airy entry, with doors and windows opening to the street; a cozy bar area with nooks for private chit chat; a seating area by the bar that looks out onto the enclosed back garden.  It recalls the vibe of Soho House (but without the questionable admittance policies).  Though we didn't plough through the entire menu (drinks notwithstanding) we nibbled enough to know we'll be back, and soon.

Laurel Hardware
7984 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood

photographs by Alen Lin

05 July, 2012

The Duchess Pops In . . .

Hipster specs purveyor Warby Parker recently launched a little pop-up boutique inside The Standard hotel in downtown Los Angeles.  Petite yet instantly attention-grabbing, the eyeglasses shop is located in the lobby, just outside The Standard's 24/7 restaurant.  There are a handful of groovy, batik-inspired sunglasses co-designed with Suno to be had, as well as a few first and second editions of classic Beatnik lit (think Jack Kerouac and J.D. Salinger).  Quite a clever concept for those downtown denizens deprived of any place decent to shop, or for out-of-towners who mistakenly left their sunglasses in some shadowier locale.

Photo via Racked LA

14 June, 2012

The Duchess Recommends . . .

Pick up one or two (or three) of these adorable little vases from Anthropologie to spruce up your bedside table or a window ledge.  A cheap thrill if ever there was one.

The Duchess Applauds . . .

The Duchess was grateful to have been able to donate a few items to the Mary Magdalene Charity Design Project, helmed by the estimable Los Angeles designers Vanessa De Vargas (of Turquoise) and the Duchess's friend Jordan Cappella (most recently of Design Star fame).  Vanessa and Jordan had two weeks to completely transform the Mary Magdalene House, a safe house for women victims of sex trafficking.  They did an incredible job--on a shoestring budget.  Head over to Vanessa's blog (click link here) for more details and more details coming soon.  A few photographs of the finished project (taken by Erika Bierman) are reproduced below for your viewing pleasure. . . .

05 June, 2012

The Duchess Anticipates . . .

Sycamore Kitchen

Ooh, does the Duchess ever anticipate the opening of Sycamore Kitchen, the new culinary outpost of Quinn and Karen Hatfield of Hatfields fame.  The bakery/coffee shop will be open from 8 am to 8 pm, and right across from American Rag on La Brea between 1st and 2nd Streets (directly on the Duchess's commute, hooray!).  Arriving late June . . .  

04 June, 2012

The Duchess Recommends . . .

SO excited to stock up on some Todd Oldham-designed products for kids recently released at Target under the line "Kid Made Modern" (sold online here).  The Duchess has LOVED Oldham ever since his stint on MTV's "House of Style" in the '90s (admit it--you watched it too!).  Now the Duchess's children can have a taste of style, courtesy of Oldham, to suit their more contemporary needs.  

The Duchess Admires . . .

The Duchess is eager for renovations on her home to be complete so that she can get back into the swing of entertaining frequently.  It has been a busy but quiet year, with few dinner parties and even fewer major shindigs going down.

The quest for the perfect detail can be so time-consuming, but often yields abundant visual treasure, such as the Manhattan apartment of Veronica Swanson and Jamie Beard photographed for Harper's Bazaar.  (Mrs. Beard, together with her sister-in-law, Veronica Miele Beard, designs her own clothing under the label "Veronica Beard" (bien sur).)  Designed by Thomas Britt, the apartment is youthful and edgy with a very Parisian feel (and is quite similar in style to the home of Veronica's sister, Alexis Swanson Traina, also designed by Britt together with Ann Getty).  The Duchess is contemplating a wholesale copy of those black and white canopy stripes somewhere en casa and is especially coveting those overscale Serge Roche mirrors . . . .

09 May, 2012

The Duchess Admires . . .

Lulie Wallace

One of the joys of Pinterest is the exposure it provides to the ideas and inspirations of so many other people.  Today the Duchess took note when Katie Ridder mentioned the work of Charleston artist Lulie Wallace, and paid a visit to Lulie Wallace's site (where many of her works are for sale).  Lulie creates gorgeous flower paintings that are vivid and feminine but with an angularity that renders them modern.  Lulie also is happy to commission a work for you, and she mentioned that these days she is often asked to commission portraits of bridal bouquets.  This would be a memorable and lovely gift for a bride, a one-of-a-kind portrait of her bouquet from the big day.  The Duchess wishes she'd thought of this! 

Flowers for Abigail

Flowers for Lark

Flowers for Hailey

Flowers for Natalie

Flowers for Wimberly

Abstract No. 2


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