Lumia against a backdrop of cracked earth.

A Book of Light

To design is much more than simply to assemble, to order, or even to edit: it is to add value and meaning, to illuminate, to simplify, to clarify, to modify, to dignify,  to dramatize, to persuade, and perhaps even to amuse. To design is to transform prose into poetry. —Paul Rand I’m absolutely giddy to share […]

Settenani pendants by Karman Lighting illuminate a contrary Snow White.

Snow White Meets Settenani

“Oh, mirror, mirror on the wall, am I most beautiful of all?” Snow White’s mother, the envious Queen, would ask her looking glass each evening, soothed by the oracle’s assurances until the night it copped to the fact there was no way she could outshine her daughter’s loveliness. Into the woods went pretty Snow White, […]

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 regarding […]

Blonde bombshell Jean Harlow on Saxon Henry

Harlow at Bergdorfs!

I stood for a while admiring the chandelier in the window at Bergdorf Goodman. There was something about its icy lozenges of light telescoping out from a brass center spindle like planets around an axis that caught and held my eye even before I learned it was called the Harlow. Bergdorfs Welcomes Harlow The tony window-dressing […]

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, of […]

Roger Crowley Dream of Venice

Dream of Venice

When JoAnn Locktov asked me to contribute a poem to the book she was planning to publish in collaboration with photographer Charles Christopher, I didn’t hesitate. When she gave me access to the photography so I could choose an image to use as my inspiration for the piece, which would be paired with the photo […]

Ally Coulter at Holiday House 2014.

Ally Coulter and the Opulent Salon

Ally Coulter’s grand salon on the first floor of the Holiday House NYC took my breath away the minute I entered the room. It was as if I’d stepped into a Romanesque nod to modernism that intermingles a smooth mix of time-honored and modern elements—Otto Naumann art and Newel antiques hold court alongside Fendi Casa furniture […]

The Delano Desk by Currey and Co

Rooms of Their Own

A private place in which to write… As someone whose life is spent working with words for at least a part of every day, I find myself obsessively scouring the biographies I read for mentions of the rooms in which lauded writers made their magic. Descriptions of them exist more often than visuals do so I […]

Bernhardt's Marquesa dresser on Saxon Henry's blog.

Harmony and Proportion

Love of beauty is taste…the creation of beauty is art. -Emerson I’ve been a fan of Alexandra Stoddard since I came across the designer’s book Living a Beautiful Life in the mid-1980s. She has since become a prolific author with an insightful list of releases but Living a Beautiful Life remains the book I return to […]

Saxon Henry photographed a Lion door knocker in Parma

The Sense of Beauty

I am guessing this will not come as much of a surprise to anyone but me. As I was digitizing the majority of my design and architecture clips—all 400 of them—during the past few days it occurred to me that my twenty-year career as a journalist and author has been focused around the subject of […]