Chambre Bleu painting

A Backward Glance on rue de Varenne

  The narrow sidewalks push their black iron batons up out of the ground to protect the buildings hemming them; the rain turns the cobblestones to muted mirrors of damp light—I’m visiting her again on the anniversary of her 155th birthday, and it dawns on me that I’ve never seen the statuesque green door with […]

Château Pédesclaux in Bordeaux

Architecture with Heart in Bordeaux

In the preface to the book Grand Bordeaux Châteaux: Inside the Fine Wine Estates of France, Philippe Chaix describes discovering Bordeaux as a bewitching act: on foot, he reports, it means ambling through the city of stone and gazing into its mirror-like river. Setting off to explore the Mèdoc and Saint-Èmilion, he notes, the experience makes […]

Peace Bringing Back Abundance

Vigée Le Brun’s Passion for Painting

  A Passion for Painting Billowing ruched fabric, pointy toes of dainty shoes visible from beneath flounced skirts hemmed in gold fringes and ornate trims. A bejeweled crown on a pillow festooned with gold fleurs-de-lis; and a red velvet tablecloth flowing downward, its gold trim cascading onto a floral rug. Sumptuousness at every turn. Painting in […]

John, Jr., playfully tugs at one of the three strands of Jackie’s famous simulated pearl necklace

One Special Summer with Jackie O

  Hegel’s caveat “history teaches us nothing” may be relevant in cultural and philosophical realities but in the design world the statement is far from succinct. No one knew this more resolutely than Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, or as we have come to affectionately call her Jackie O.     One Special Summer with Jackie […]

An Indian woman in a village hand-sewing Welspun's SPUN collection.

Threads With a Soul

A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people —Mahatma Gandhi Soul is one of those words with as many connotations as there are people to consider it. Like truth and beauty, the concept of soul has been interpreted by many of history’s greatest writers and thinkers. Aristotle remarked, “What […]

A rendering of Michele De Lucchi's La Passeggiata

Michele De Lucchi: A Conversation of Soul

  The Greek philosopher Plato likened thought to “a conversation of the soul with itself—a philosophical communication.” It isn’t unusual for me to attend thought-provoking events but the Salone del Mobile press conference on January 15th brought me a deeper experience than I would have expected thanks to the presentation Milanese architect Michele De Lucchi gave […]

Interior view of the Jewish Museum in Berlin by Libeskind.

The Age of Genius

  “Ordinary facts are arranged within time, strung along its length as on a thread,” writes Bruno Schulz in his short story The Age of Genius. “There they have their antecedents and their consequences, which crowd tightly together and press hard one upon the other without any pause. This has its importance for any narrative, […]

Darryl Carter's Room 21 at Kips Bay

Kips Bay Show House

  “The house is one of the greatest powers of integration for the thoughts, memories and dreams of mankind,” wrote Gaston Bachelard in The Poetics of Space. What if that house is a mansion with excellent bones? And what if the person integrating its elements is a talented designer? Might normal dreams pale in comparison? […]