Madeline Weinrib is one of my absolute favorite textile designers. I just adore her globally influenced collections which are full of ethnic prints and patterns in fresh, vibrant color palettes. I recently checked in with Madeline to get the scoop on how she plans to celebrate New Year's. Unlike Vicente Wolf and Laura Kirar who are jetting off to exotic places, Madeline plans to keep it low key this New Year's Eve. She revealed her plans exclusively with So Haute and here's the scoop...
"For New Yorkers, life is so frenetic that most prefer to see the New Year holiday as a time for rejuvenation and reflection and spend it quietly rather than partake in the traditional New Year's festivities. I'll be celebrating the New Year at my home in Bridgehampton and have invited friends to come out to stay with me. My house has a wonderful atmosphere in the wintertime. My dining room is all glass and last year it snowed so furiously it felt as though we were in a snow globe. This year I would like to keep my dinner simple, but special so I am buying some fresh white truffles to shave over pasta. It is perfect with a glass of champagne. The house also has a fireplace and I have to say that it's so cozy and lovely to just sit around the fire with my friends, watch movies and read. For me, it's the ideal way to ring in the New Year."
Thanks Madeline for sharing your holiday plans with So Haute! To see more of Madeline's beautiful designs, you can visit her website here.
Photo: Simon Upton for Elle Decor
Before the holiday I was too busy running around to post pictures of my decorations but I wanted to share so here you go...a little peek at my holiday decor! The scheme consisted of greens, whites, splashes of bright pink for a punch of color and lots of sparkle and shine achieved with silver accessories, candles and lights. The result was unfussy yet very chic and sophisticated.
Here's my dining area. On the right is a faux topiary in a silver pot with tiny silver ornaments purchased at HomeGoods for a steal. I added a mini string of Christmas lights for the sparkle factor. On the left is a vase of eucalyptus leaves which were spray painted silver. To create this arrangement I simply jumbled some lights around the stems which resulted in a soft, radiant glow inside the vase. I never have the time or patience for projects that are too complicated or cumbersome and this arrangement was so easy to do! In front of the mirror are two pairs of elegant ivory tapers in crystal candlesticks. Between the candlesticks are a pair of silver faux bois votives and at the center is a faux fir candle holder decorated with holly and silver ornaments.
I hit up the flower district for many of my holiday decorative items. One of my first stops was United Wholesale Florist where I purchased white roses and magnolia leaves which I arranged in a silver pot I had lying around the house. Above is the finished product. Green and white floral arrangements are my absolute favorite and fit in well with any holiday decor.
One of the best things about Christmas in New York is that you can buy fresh holiday greenery like trees, wreaths and garland on just about every street corner in Manhattan. I bought my live wreath above from a street vendor near my apartment and hung it on my living room wall in the place of my starburst mirror. It fills my apartment with the most amazing, wintery scent. I took a few acorns and hand painted the tips so they looked as if they had been dipped in gold then attached them to the wreath with wire. For a pop of color, I decorated the wreath with a hand tied bow made from pink ribbon I purchased at B & J Florist Supply in the flower district. The pink picks up the color of my gourd lamps.
Here's another chic green and white arrangement I made for my coffee table.
I don't have a fireplace so I treated my skirted TV console sort of like a mantle and decorated it with garland. I knew I needed to go faux because my TV console is very close to a heat source which would dry out real greenery very quickly. And in the interest of keeping things simple, I didn't want to be left with a mess of needles to have to sweep up! I wanted top quality faux so I went to Pany Silk, also in the flower district, which has a beautiful selection of silk flowers and fake greenery. They had the perfect 9 foot strand of fir garland that you would never know was fake by looking at it. I enhanced the garland by adding a string of Christmas lights, a string of sparkly silver glitter "berries" and more of the pretty pink ribbon from B & J. The silver ornament "tree" on the left was a find from Target a couple of years ago.
Decorating with books is an easy trick you can use to change things up in your own home. I'm always rearranging my book displays around the house to keep things fresh and here, I stacked a few green and pink books on top of my console to play nicely off the colors in the garland. I topped the books with a silver hammered metal bowl from West Elm filled with potpourri made of dried fruits, flowers and silver painted natural accents.
Since I didn't do a for real tree, I stacked my gifts on top of my x-base stools that I got from the Brimfield Antique show last year.
I wrapped all of my presents in silver paper which I think is so festive for the holidays and then hand tied bows on each package with various green and white ribbon. How pretty is that! As much as I enjoy wrapping pretty presents, watching them get unwrapped is even more fun. And seeing the happiness and excitement I bring to others through my thoughtfully chosen gifts, gives me an extreme sense of joy that reflects what the spirit of the holiday season is all about. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!
What are you planning for the holidays this year?
I'm staying in fabulous New York City for the holidays...it's the first time in three years. I plan to exercise, take naps in the afternoon, go out for brunch and dinners, visit museums, go to the movies, go shopping, and above all, spend time with my partner at home by the fire watching old movies...
What's your favorite gift to give others for the holidays?
Experiences! A great dinner, theater or dance performance, a great trip, a surprise party...anything you can remember later on in life which requires no other storage than your mind.
What's on your own holiday wish list?
Maybe a new laptop. I might upgrade my iPhone and for sure book a few more trips for 2010.
Interior designer Laura Kirar likes to describe her interiors as curated rather than designed. Her work is always tailored to her clients, incorporating their tastes and functional needs with her own vision to create spaces that are thoroughly modern yet utterly timeless. In each of her projects, attention to detail is paramount and the use of luxurious materials and elegant furnishings reflect her refined eye which has been cultivated through her love of collecting, her passion for art and her extensive travels. This holiday season, Kirar's travel plans include heading home to Chicago to visit family and then to Mexico with friends. Here, she shares her carefully curated list of stylish gifts that she plans to give and hopes to receive for the holidays...
My favorite gifts to give others are...
This year I'm hoping to receive...
"A Ruby Helmet by Karl Lagerfeld for my Vespa...because it's fabulous!"
"A truly warm and chic coat that's not "puffy" nor fur. It's a challenge to find something that meets that criteria. I have a closet of coats that are all just a bit too light for NY winter weather!"
"Custom 3 strap riding boots from Vogel. They are gorgeous and there is nothing like a custom leather last for comfort."
Vogel's 3- Strap Riding Boot
I'm a huge fan of artist and designer Don Carney and his quirky cool ink drawings which Jonathan Adler wittily describes as "ye oldie meets gothic meets mantiques meets botanical." Carney's technique involves the use of ink-filled eyedroppers and tiny brushes to create intricate, vintage inspired drawings that can be purchased through Adler's shops in New York or Los Angeles as well as at the recently opened Patch NYC showroom in Boston which Carney owns with his partner John Ross. In addition to Carney's art, the new showroom offers eclectic assortment of jewelry, accessories and home decor items designed by the couple for their Patch NYC label which is also available in specialty stores worldwide. This holiday, Carney has a date with a fireplace and 20 or so years worth of World of Interiors...Sounds like the perfect way to relax, recharge and get inspired! Read on for more...
How are you spending your holidays this year?
My plan this holiday season is to enjoy myself and relax the week between Christmas and New Years. I have a friend who has been collecting every issue of World of Interiors since the 80s and she has invited myself, John and our dog Edith over to relax by her fireplace and enjoy them with her. She has made us promise not to bring our x-acto knives to remove inspiring pages! There is always much pressure this time of year for us to produce product so it will be great to have a break. I have a list of ink drawings that people have ordered to give as gifts. I think I will be working until the last minute!
What are the top three things on your holiday wish list?
First -Tubes of colorful ink. I have been experimenting with linoleum blockprinting this year. New tubes of ink always make me want to explore new ideas. I want to do a series inspired by art deco wallpaper. Next is an Island getwaway! I can wish but I know it will not come true. Most of the travel that we do is related to shows for Patch NYC or for my art. So far we have not shown on any tropical islands and have no plans to in the future. Finally, I'm wishing for Vintage display fixtures. We just opened a gallery/showroom in Boston and have been filling it with various jewelry and product display cases. The plan was to showcase our jewelry and other accessories. What we did not realize was how great our art would look in them so now they are filled with a mix of patch product, sculptural objects and art. It's an unexpected way for buyers to see art.
What gifts do you plan on giving this year?
I have been collecting small antique frames all year. If I finish my commissions in time I may try to do very small ink drawings for a few close friends. They will probably not get them until the new year. Oh well!
For more on Don Carney visit Patch NYC website here.
Aside from being a celebrated interior designer and photographer, Vicente Wolf is also an adventurous world traveler. In fact, it's his passion for travel that informs and inspires much of his design work which reflects his global sensibility. Vicente enjoys immersing himself in other cultures and his travels have taken him to such far flung places as Ethiopia, Thailand, India, Peru, Myanmar, New Guinea, Namibia and the list goes on. This holiday, he's embarking on an exotic seven week trip around the world. Read on to find out more...
Where are you off to for the holidays this year?
I'll be braving the mosquitoes and other bugs in Mali, West Africa. My trip includes a 4x4 excursion to Timbuktu (yes, I'm actually going to Timbuktu!) and then I'm traveling to Portugal and Asia. I do a big trip out of New York every year for the holidays and I'm so excited about exploring this part of Africa I've never been to before.
What gifts are you hoping to receive this year?
The best gift I could get this season is the end of the economic crisis! I'd love to hear that all my suppliers are almost too busy to get our (many) orders to us on time. And I'd like to know that 2010 will be full of good health for us all.
What's your favorite gift to give others?
I love giving an orchid plant. They're so beautiful and it's something that fits into every home. Another favorite gift is a book - specially selected based on my knowledge of that friend.
Interior designer Jamie Drake, best known for his fearless use of bold, vibrant color, shares his holiday plans exclusively with So Haute!
What are you up to for the holidays this year?
I'll be in East Hampton with my immediate family and some friends for Christmas. Then I will run away from the cold to Miami for New Years!
What presents are you hoping Santa will leave under your tree?
A new black dress coat, because the ones I have and love have just had it! Weekly flower delivery, because sometimes I just don't find the time to buy and arrange them myself. And a trip to Istanbul as I have never been and love traveling to exotic locales.
What are your favorite gifts to give others?
Fun times! That includes delicious food, stiff drinks and a lovely decor.
Want to know what some of the biggest names in design are up to for the holidays? So Haute has the scoop! I checked in with some of my favorite designers, artists and tastemakers - including Jamie Drake, Madeline Weinrib, Vincente Wolf, Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz and more - to find out what they have planned this holiday season and what gifts are at the top of their wish list. They also dish on some of the gifts they'll be giving this year too. Find out who's heading to the Hamptons and who will be roughing it in Timbuktu...Who's craving an island getaway and who is longing for one of Karl Lagerfeld's much hyped motorcycle helmets! Be sure to check back starting tomorrow for the reveal!
Earlier in the summer I had my best friend and her husband over for a visit and I made them this very decadent, very yummy coconut cake. I garnished it with freshly shaven coconut and let me tell you, this cake was insanity! Here's the recipe:
Double Layer Coconut Cake
Adapted from Sweets: Soul Food Desserts & Menus by Betty Piner
2 sticks (one cup) of unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs separated
3 cups sifted cake flower (I prefer Swan's Down)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
3 cups confectioner's sugar
1 cup butter
1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
Milk as needed
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut for garnish
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom and sides of 9-inch round cake pans with butter, then lightly dust with flower. Set aside. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In another large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Then alternate adding in the remaining dry ingredients and milk, a little at a time until well blended. Next stir in the coconut and vanilla. (I used store bought coconut for the cake batter, but fresh coconut for the garnish.) In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Then fold the beaten egg whites into the cake batter. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans, place in the center of the oven and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, approx 30-40 minutes.
Remove cakes from oven and cool on wire racks for approx 15 minutes. Remove cakes from pan and place on wire racks, tops facing up, to cool completely. While the cake cools, start working on the frosting. Simply add your butter, confectioner's sugar, vanilla and cream to a large bowl and mix until blended. Add a few drops of milk as needed until you achieve your desired consistency. If your frosting ends up too thin, simple add more confectioner's sugar, a tablespoon at a time until perfect.
And the aftermath the following morning. For breakfast? You guessed it! More coconut cake! Mmmmm! If you'd like to know how to prepare and shave a fresh coconut, click "continue reading" for instructions.
When buying a hostess gift my rule of thumb is to spend no more than $50. So if you're headed to a last minute holiday party and have no idea what to get the host or hostess, here are 7 great finds under $50!
If I'm going to a Christmas party I always love to gift the hostess with a pretty ornament for the tree. Wedgwood has a beauiful collection of holiday ornaments that make the perfect hostess gift. Wedgwood Snowflake Relief Ornament, $29.95 at wedgwoodusa.com.
Food items always make great, easy gifts. How about a decadent bottle of truffle oil or jar of truffle infused salt? Italian White Truffle Oil, $29.95 and Italian White Truffle Salt, $19.95. Available at Sur La Table.
How cute is this cute little honey pot from Le Creuset?! Pair it with your favorite gourmet honey for a sweet hostess gift! Le Creuet Honey Pot, $25 and Maine Wild Raspberry Honey, $12. Both available at Sur La Table.
A chic little water pitcher & tumbler which also acts as a lid, makes a stylish yet functional addition to a bedside or desk. Bedside Carafe, $19.95 at Crate & Barrel.
Mother of pearl coasters add glam factor when serving cocktails. Mother of Pearl Coasters, $19.95 at Williams-Sonoma Home.
I'm in love with this winter-scented candle from Slatkin & Co. It's laced with notes of pine, cinnamon, crisp bay leaf and warm winter woods. It' smells absolutely divine! 3-Wick Luxe Winter Candle, $25 at Bath & Body Works.
One of my very first posts when I started this blog was on mother-daughter style and in the entry I wrote about how I inherited much of my mother and grandmother's taste. Ever since then I wanted to do a post on my grandmother's cute little house but for one reason or another I never got around to it. When she passed away in September we had to go through the tough task of emptying out her house and before we got started my sister and I decided to take photos so we could preserve our last memories of the house and remember it exactly as it was. I thought I'd share some of the photos here and give you a little tour...
Here's a view of the living room and as you can see my grandma was a lover of all things chinoiserie. This has definitely rubbed off on me too!
My grandma filled the niche in her non-working fireplace with a potted fern set atop a couple of antique books. Above the mantle is a drawing of my mother as a child which my grandmother commissioned from a notable Detroit artist named Carl Owens. Mr. Owens' wife was also my piano teacher.
This is my granddad's piano that both my mother and I learned to play as children. My granddad was a renowned jazz bassist. He was one of the best on the jazz scene and traveled the country with many greats including Billie Holiday. The bass was his passion but he also played the piano, tuba and sousaphone. He was featured on the cover of this book, released in 2001, which is all about the history of jazz in Detroit.
My grandmother decorated the piano with a brass harp motif task lamp for reading music as well as her favorite porcelain Buddha and some of her porcelain Japanese figurines which she collected. Above the piano hangs a series of drawings which my grandma bought my grandfather as a gift. It features all of the top jazz legends like Billie Holiday, John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk.
Here's a view of the dining room. I told my mom to put the dining set in storage for me so I can breathe new life into it one day! All of the window treatments you see in the house including the ones above were made by my mom.
Another view of the dining room and in the left corner is the entryway into the kitchen.
My Grandmother had this wreath hanging in her kitchen for at least 20 years. My sister and I gave it to her when we were little, probably for Mother's Day or something but it was so long ago I can't exactly remember the occasion!
Here's a view of the kitchen. All of the cabinetry and hardware is original to the house. Normally her countertops would have been spotless...she always kept her house immaculate...but when we took this picture we had already started clearing out the cabinets. One little tidbit about my grandma is that she almost always kept her tables set which I think is impressive! I never break out the full-on place settings unless it's a special occasion! Below are some detail shots of the house which give you a closer look at the many Japanese and Chinese porcelain pieces she collected over the years.
I was lucky enough to inherit many of the things that were very special to my grandmother, and many of these pieces are now a part of my home which I'll cherish forever. Here are some of the pieces I was able to keep that I especially love...
A set of these pretty pink Chinese floral coffee mugs...
A set of these pretty pink Chinese floral coffee mugs...
A pair of Quing dynasty Emperor and Empress reverse glass paintings which are now in my bedroom.
My grandmother, mom and grandfather circa 1955
I'll miss going to grandma's house but I feel very fortunate that I now have these photos to help preserve some of the memories that are forever ingrained in my heart and mind. Hope you enjoyed this little tour and insight into my family history!
(click an of the above photos to enlarge detail)
Paloma from the wonderful blog La Dolce Vita is on a campaign to raise awareness for a wonderful charity called Pencils of Promise that seeks to help end our global education crisis. She's gathered a collective of bloggers together to support this very worthy cause and I am happy that So Haute can serve as a tool to help spread the word.
Did you know that in this world there are 75 million children without access to even the most basic education? Pencils of Promise seeks to end that statistic by partnering with local communities and organizations to build early education schools in developing nations for some of the world's most impoverished and undereducated children. Through collaborative efforts of sustainable development, Pencils of Promise works to place a pencil in the hands of every child with the hope that it will be the first step towards self empowerment and an elevated quality of life. Here is a video that eloquently captures this organization's important mission:
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?
Many of us often forget the very important task of giving back to those less fortunate. In the spirit of this holiday giving season, I hope that you will consider giving back by donating to Pencils of Promise. The donations collected through our initiative will go towards building a dormitory & library for a high school in Laos, which is the only secondary school in the area.
The dormitory will house 200 high-potential girls currently living in bamboo huts in Champhet, Laos. We have the opportunity to make an enormous impact if each of us donated just $1. And if you're able to give more it would be greatly appreciated. ($35 will buy bookshelves for a classroom, $50 provides pencils for on year, $100 will pay a teacher's salary for three months and so on).
You can donate via this link or you can opt to donate via paypal if you prefer. Every little bit helps and together we can make a difference! If you would like to stay informed about the difference Pencils of Promise is making, be sure to become a fan on their Facebook page. Happy Holidays!
Photos: Nick Onkin
From pillows and throws to cookware and candles, here are 21 chic gift ideas for the lover of all things home...and they're all under $100!
This is the chicest cheese plate I've ever seen and will certainly wow your guests when you're entertaining. Agate Cheese Plate - Small, $65 for and Large, $75. Available at Jayson Home & Garden.
You can never go wrong with a beautiful coffee table book as a gift. These two inspiring books are at the top of my wish list and I think any design junkie would enjoy them too. Kelly Wearstler's newly released book Hue gives us a peek inside her high profile design projects and focuses on the use of color in interiors. Style and Substance celebrates 20 years of Elle Decor and provides a closer look at the most memorable, beautiful and timeless interiors featured in the magazine over the past two decades. Hue by Kelly Wearstler, $32.97 and Style & Substance: The Best of Elle Decor, $29.70 are both available at Amazon.com.
I think Nate Berkus' line for HSN is very well done. Above are his Amethyst Napkin Rings and Branch Candlesticks which would add a bit of style and glamour to any table setting. Set of 4 Napkin Rings, $59.95 and Branch Candlesticks, $19.95 at HSN.com.
To me, blue and white porcelain is timeless and classic. Traditionally, these porcelain pots painted with the Chinese symbol for Happiness were presented to newlyweds to wish them happiness in their marriage. This one from Wisteria can work as a beautiful vase or a decorative jar. Happiness Vase $59 at Wisteria.
Laguiole's cheese knife set is a great gift for the cheese aficionado. These beautifully handcrafted French cheese knives feature red resin handles with stainless steel blades. Cheese Knife Set from Laguiole, $39.95 at Sur La Table.
I really love this stemless wine glass and decanter set from CB2. It's chic and modern and incredibly affordable...always a plus! 6 Piece Botella Set, $23.25 at CB2.
A dutch oven is an essential piece for anyone who loves to cook. It's great for making stews and soups as well as for braising or roasting meats. The heavy enameled cast iron locks in flavors and creates the most tender and moist meats you'll ever taste. It's also great for making everyday dishes on both the oven and stove top. Mario Batali 4 Quart Chianti Red Dutch Oven, $89.95 at Sur La Table.
Another book high on my wish list is The Craft of Baking which emphasizes the use of seasonal ingredients to create simple yet decadent desserts. There are also plenty of tips on how to adapt recipes to make them your own. The Craft of Baking: Cakes, Cookies and Other Sweets with Ideas for Inventing Your Own, $23.10 at Amazon.com.
You'd never guess that these pretty little spoons are actually measuring tools! Dining Room Measuring Spoons, $24 at Anthropologie.
These comfy throws are perfect for snuggling up on a cold winter's night. Organic Cotton Knit Throw, $39 at West Elm.
This selection of holiday gift ideas is for the guys in your life. Whether its your husband, brother, boyfriend or buddy, our 11 stylish product suggestions will help you choose the perfect gift for your favorite men.
Although it's billed as a unisex scent, Kiehl's original musk fragrance has a decidedly masculine edge which I love on a man. Musk Eau De Toilette, Kiehl's Since 1851. $38.50 for 1.7oz at Kiehls.com.
You'll want to cozy up with your guy in this soft cashmere sweater from J. Crew. Cashmere Crewneck Sweater in Heather Spruce, $158 at Jcrew.com.
If you're in the mood to splurge on the man in your life, this elegant 14 carat gold vintage Rolex is sure to wow him. Rolex Square Bubbleback Watch, circa 1940s $5800 at 1stdibs.com
They say that cognac is the drink of choice for a man with refined taste and any cognac aficionado would tell you that Pierre Ferrand is one of the best. Pierre Ferrand produces exceptional cognacs made in the Grande Champagne region of France. Their reserve is aged at least 20 years and is full bodied with rich, spicy notes. Pierre Ferrand Reserve $89.99 at winespecialist.com.
Your cigar loving man will appreciate this Cohiba cigar sampler set which includes 6 cigars in 3 different flavors. Cohiba Holiday Cigar Collection - Toro $69.95 at Thompson Cigar.
A stylish cigar accessory is this python printed leather cigar set from Barney's that includes a cigar holder and stainless cutter. $85 at Barney's.
These silver plated knot cufflinks are a classic. Burberry Knot Cufflinks, $225 at Bloomingdale's.
He's going to want to wear these super soft cashmere socks every day! $24 at Garnet Hill.
If your guy is Beatles fan he'll love this box set which contains newly remastered stereo recordings of every album in The Beatles' music catalog...it's a true collectors item that is well worth the cost. Beatles Stereo Box Set $169.99 at Amazon.com.
This faux croc passport cover is from Smythson of Bond Street's new Malachite collection (I'm a huge fan of their leather goods!) The jewel toned beauty features convenient pockets for both a passport and boarding pass. Passport Cover with Slide Closure $210, available at Smythson of Bond Street.
This classic monogram duffel with removable strap is roomy and lightweight with a timeless shape. It works perfect as a carry on or for a quick weekend jaunt. Keepall 50 Bag $1225 Louis Vuitton boutiques world wide. Visit louisvuitton.com for stores.
If the frequent traveler on your gift list indulges is a lover of luxury and all things chic, then consider this travel adapter set from Prada. They'll be stylishly connected no matter what country they're in. Universal Adapter $290 at Prada boutiques worldwide. Visit prada.com for stores.
A hand held language translator will surely come in handy for the frequent globe trotter. This one by Lingo translates more than 400,000 words and 46,000 phrases in 40 languages to help users communicate effectively while traveling internationally. It also features a currency and metric converter. Lingo Ambassador 40-Language Talking Translator $249.99 at bestbuy.com.
An iPod is now a must-have travel accessory and this limited-edition, polished stainless steel shuffle fits 1,000 songs in a compact frame. Packing light is definitely the way to go when traveling and the shuffle is the world's smallest music player. 'Nuff said. iPod Shuffle $99, available at The Apple Store.
These bright leather luggage tags will help travelers spot their luggage easily at a crowded baggage claim. Brights Leather Luggage Tag $23, from Graphic Image.
A fun board game like this travel edition of Scrabble is a fun activity for downtime during a leisure trip. The tiles snap into the board so they stay in place if you're playing while in transit. Travel Scrabble $19.95 at Restoration Hardware.
Mr & Mrs Smith is one of the world's top boutique and luxury hotel specialists and the company's latest guidebook is a must have for the stylish and discerning traveler. The 30 carefully curated hotels featured in the guidebook represent some of the coolest, sexiest and most intimate places to stay around the globe. Mr & Mrs Smith Boutique Hotel collection: The Global Short List $18.21 at Amazon.com.
Clinique's All About Eyes cream will help diminish dark circles and reduce the appearance of puffiness around the eyes which is often associated with jet lag. Clinique All About Eyes $28.50 for .5 oz. Available at Clinique counters nationwide and at clinique.com.
These mini brushes from Giorgio Armani Beauty are sized perfectly for travel and packed in a stylish black zip case. Armani Mini Brush Set $100, available at Bloomingdale's.
A travel journal is a thoughtful gift that will help your jet setting loved one capture his or her many travel memories. This one from Graphic Image comes complete with a world map as well as maps of major cities. Travel Journal $85, available at Calypso Christiane Celle.
Can't figure out what to get the fashionista in your life this holiday season? Here are our most stylish gift picks for the fashion obsessed...
Of-the-moment sequins make this classic style blazer perfectly on trend...and perfect for the holiday party season! Sequined Blazer $295, Club Monaco stores nationwide. Visit clubmonaco.com for locations.
This chic emerald green clutch is sure to add a punch of color to any ensemble. The perfectly worn lambskin and Balenciaga signature zipper also adds a bit of edge. Arena Pouch $595, Balenciaga. Available at Barney's New York.
Unleash your inner urban warrior with this stylish studded cocktail ring....makes a great stocking stuffer! Metal Stud Ring $18, from BCBG.
Street style photographer and blogger Scott Schuman's book, titled after his popular blog, celebrates the best in street style and packs plenty of fashion inspiration. The Sartorialist $16.50, at amazon.com
25 year-old wunderkind designer Alexander Wang's diffusion line, T by Alexander Wang, is less than a year old but has already gained a cult following among fashionistas. Wang's tees are made of super soft jersey and have a drapey, laid-back silhouette. This must-have wardrobe staple makes the perfect holiday gift. Scoop-neck Jersey T-Shirt $76, T by Alexander Wang. Available at Net-A-Porter.
Classic Chuck Taylors are updated in a stylish gold metallic leather finish. Chuck Taylor All Stars $74.99, Converse.
This durable all-purpose tote, made of burlap and 100% organic cotton, is also reversible. The best part is that this gift gives back...a purchase of one tote feeds a child for an entire year through the World Food Program. Feed Bag $60, Feedproject.com.
A classic black pump complete with a sexy sky-high heel and Louboutin's signature red sole. I think Christian Louboutin shoes might soon edge out diamonds as a girl's best friend! Feticha Pumps $695, Christian Louboutin. Available at Sak's.
The pages of this definitive guide to finding your personal style, penned by Vogue contributor and fashion consultant Amanda Brooks, are full of style advice and inspiration. I Love Your Style $13.59, Amazon.com.
Last but not least, who can resist a classic Chanel 2.55 quilted flap bag? Named after the month and year the bag was first introduced (Feb 1955), this bag is a versatile investment piece that will last a lifetime and can be worn with just about anything in your wardrobe. Tres chic! Medium 2.55 Bag $2395, Availabe at Chanel boutiques worldwide. Visit Chanel.com for locations.
Winter is almost here which means holiday gift giving season is upon us! If you haven't yet begun your holiday shopping, no need to worry because this week So Haute will introduce a series of gift guides packed with plenty of ideas and inspiration to kick start your holiday gift shopping. I've hand picked some of my favorite products covering price points high and low so be sure to check back later for the first installment of my recommendations on luxe gifts for everyone on your list! xoxo
Doesn't this photo from the Dec '07 issue of Elle Decor totally embody the spirit of winter? For me it conjures up nostalgic memories of snowy childhood winters in Michigan and me with my sister making snow angels in our backyard. I can almost taste the snow! The photo is from a story on the country home of interior photographer and regular Elle Decor contributor William Waldron.
The Waldrons' 1760s farmhouse in New York's Hudson Valley, complete with a quirky giant peace sign on its facade, rests on 77 acres of land in an idyllic setting amidst fir trees and expansive views.
Inside an inviting fireplace adds a feeling of comfort and warmth. This looks like the perfect spot for enjoying a glass of hot chocolate on a cold winter's night, don't you think?
The home's minimalist decor includes a hodgepodge of mismatched antiques, flea market finds and salvaged fixtures. Soft white walls and a neutral color scheme exude pared down elegance and give the space a feeling of serenity. I'd say this home is the perfect winter retreat! Now I'm officially in the ready for snow and winter...which means the holidays are right around the corner and I can't wait!