Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Farewell to Armoires?

Armoires are probably becoming an extinct species these days. I mean, what once used to be a practical means to store clothes or china or even arms (originally, the French armoires were used to store tools or arms and hence, the name), now everyone has large walk-in closets and built in shelves. So why would anyone need an amoire?

Well, I'll tell you why. To me, they are one of the most beautiful pieces of furniture one could ever own. It's right up there with owning a beautiful piece of artwork. There is just something so elegant about a house that has an armoire in the great room, or foyer or even the bedroom.

It just brings you back to a day when furniture was made with such painstaking detail and carvings were a must. In New Orleans, especially, where there are still a lot of beautiful old mansions and shotgun houses, an armoire is a common household staple. I don't think I've walked into a house (regardless of the number of walk in closets it has) and not seen a beautiful armoire displayed prominently in one of the main rooms. Whether used to hide a TV or children's toys (as in my house) or used as a pantry or to put extra blankets, etc., an armoire is just one of those pieces of furniture that has so many uses. And aside from it's uses, they are just plain beautiful to look at. They add elegance and poise to any room.

I have a love affair with armoires, from the very elaborate ones down to the very plain and simple ones. I can't have enough of them! Even in my bathrooms, I have small one door armoires. So go ahead, invest in one. Not only are they a gorgeous piece of history, but they only go up in value like a beautiful piece of art.

Although simple in structure, this armoire is stunning with its painted surface and intricate artwork (from Fabulous Flea).

An armoire painted in coutry swedish style for a girl's bedroom or home office (from Mitchell Settoon).

An elaborate and breathtaking french armoire in the living room (from Bountiful Home).

A more classic style, this empire style armoire looks regal in the bedroom (from Bountiful Home).

A powder room or master bathroom becomes an important room with an armoire (a Provencal Wire Demi Armoire from stylehive).

Perfect for a little girls' room, this one door french antique armoire was just purchased from my 1st dibs store for a 2 year old girl who just went into remission from a long battle with brain cancer. I could not be happier that this beautiful piece has found a wonderful home with such a strong little girl.

This is one of the most beautiful armoires I have ever seen and had the pleasure to have. Gorgeous carvings and details. It can be seen personally admired at my shop (3652 Magazine Street), or on 1st dibs at

A more simple one with glass doors to display linens and pillows. Also at my shop. Please inquire if interested.

And finally, my latest masterpiece below. Painted in a gustavian grey with hints of gilding and gesso. It is absolutely stunning!!!! Also part of my collection at disegno Karina Gentinetta.

Friday, April 16, 2010

My Little Roma

Today, I dedicate this post to my little girl, Roma Aida. Today, she turns 5. It seems only yesterday she was born a bit undercooked (she was not due for another 5 weeks), but as she has proven to be, she was determined from the very start to be part of this world and brighten it up with her smile. She's always been on the petite side (just like her mama) and in pre-K, she is the smallest girl in her class. But wasn't Madeleine the smallest and most vivacious one of the 12 little girls that lived in a house in Paris and walked in two straight lines?

When she was born, she had no eyelashes and no eyebrows (did I tell you she was undercooked?) and I thought I had been punished for wishing for a beautiful little girl. But here she was and I looked at her and she looked back at me with her hairless eyes and we decided to get along. I still cried. My husband thought she was the most beautiful little baby in the whole world. The jury was still out on my case. I waited, and I waited. But in her defense, I tell you, she was the most wonderful, sweet baby ever (as though to make up for what she was lacking in looks).

Roma grew up to be the most beautiful little girl ever and I am so ashamed that I ever doubted it. She can light up a room with her smile and bubbly personality. She's sweet, caring and very responsible for such a small person. She has stolen my heart and my life. My sweet Roma tomato, named after the most beautiful city in the world -- Roma (Rome).

When she was about to be born, I had a dream. I had already decided that if I ever had a little girl, I would name her Roma. But in this dream, my maternal grandmother Aida showed up. I loved my grandmother and she taught me so many things that I hope to pass down to my own children. She was a small, petite, Italian woman with red hair. Humble and loving and oh, so giving of herself. When she died (two weeks after we moved from Argentina to the U.S.), the Catholic Church gave us a special dispensation to have her body cremated so that we could take her with us wherever we went (because as immigrants, we did not know at that time if we were going to stay in the U.S.). My father thought long and hard for the perfect inscription for her urn that would capture the essence of who she was. After deliberating for a long time, he came up with the perfect epitaph.

In this dream, Abuela Aida came up to me. She smiled and hugged me. She took me by the hand and led me to her urn. She pointed at it and I looked, not quite understanding. She pointed again at the epitaph and said, "look." I read the epitaph that my father so lovingly wrote on her urn. It reads, "Amor, Amor, Amor" (Love, love, love). I woke up and knew that even my grandmother approved of my soon to be born little girl's name as I realized what she was telling me in my dream. "Amor, Amor, Amor" afterall is "Roma, Roma, Roma" backwards.

My sweet little girl through her five short years.

Happy Birthday to my sweet, beautiful angel.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Happy Birthday Ms. Paris Apartment

Yes, she is going to kill me but I would not forgive myself if I didn't wish my friend Claudia Strasser a happy birthday!!!!! Yes, she turned 29 yesterday :) And partied like it was 1999 (so I was told) and she is paying for it dearly today. So let's all wish Ms. Paris Apartment a happy birthday together.

In honor of Claudia's birthday, I baked a cake. Well, let's just say, I searched on the web for the perfect cake for her. And lo and behold, I found the most amazing blog. The most amazing confections that don't even look like they could be cakes. Let me introduce you to Sedona Cake Couture. Founder and cake artist, Andrea Blaut, has been designing and creating exquisite wedding and artisan cakes for over 10 years. She has won numerous awards for her creations including being named the Ultimate Cake Off Champion in 2010, Food Network Challenge Medalist in 2008 & 2009, NACE 2008 1st Place, Best of Show & Peoples Choice, NACE 2007 1st Place, Best of Show & Peoples Choice, ACF 2007 Arizona Silver Medal - Wedding Cakes. Her cakes have been enjoyed by celebrities such as Tom Cruise and Kirstie Alley.

So, Claudia, because I could not decide on which of her fabulous cakes to get you, I got you one of each of my favorites.

Who would not like a slice of Sedona Cake Couture's Peonie cake?????

Or perhaps something less indulgent????

Claudia, this little number is just for you.

But these delectable shoes are just for me!

Bon Appetit!!! And Happy Birthday, Claudia.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

There is no time like Springtime

I love Spring. It is probably one of my favorite times of the year. Of course, here in New Orleans, Spring is that week of cool weather we get between scorching humid summers and less scorching humid winters. But still, if we are lucky, we get a week of just beautiful California-like weather that we fondly refer to as Spring.

And this is the week! And here we are all giddy with delight at the opportunity of spending every minute outside, having good hair days and not breaking a sweat. So in honor of this beautiful spring time week, I'll share with you some of my most treasured pics that I've collected and keep tucked away in one of my folders to refer back to in the heat of summer.

Enjoy! And I hope this gets you in the spring time mood. These delightful and simply gorgeous images come from two of my favorite shops and websites -- Bountiful Home in California and Atlanta Bartlett (one of my all time favorite white on white designers in England whom I've had the good fortune of meeting, albeit by exchanging emails).

Kick your bare feet up and just bask in all the glory of spring.

Whoopi Goldberg's house as designed by Bountiful Home.

The amazing simple and elegant style of Atlanta Bartlett