At Home With Ralph Lauren

There are three designers that I not only wear, but whose furnishings and/or accessories can be found in an eclectic mix throughout Casa B. Yes, most of you know that I love Tory Burch, Kate Spade and Ralph Lauren. The latter of which has been a staple in my closet for as long as I could spell his name in pen and not crayon. Yes, that long. As a design blogger, I get a lot of catalogs, and access to collections before the glossy pages end up in your mailbox. Sometimes, it can be overwhelming, but my job is to sort through it all for my readers, and I wouldn’t change a thing. So in the past few years, I have been getting magazines from Ralph Lauren, they are introductions to his upcoming collections. Simply put they are breath-taking. He wears luxury like a second skin. In the current issue (some of the images included were from the 2011 home collection), I not only know what is upcoming in the world of home fashion, but I also feel rather close to his family, of whom are often featured in sets across the globe-Tuscany, London or other major metropolis.’ He makes jet-setting look easy if not fashionable, and I am transported into a world of fine living, and I like it. This multi-million dollar brand has assaulted our senses with the finer things in life, from the hills of Tuscany to modern London. Ralph Lauren is no longer synonymous with worn horse leather chairs paired with tartan sofas, but it has evolved into country chic and old world glamour. Fall at Ralph Lauren is a “time of sensuous fabrics and rich textures, of color…” The catalog and collection are opulent, and luxurious from furniture lacquered in glossy black to black porcelain and 24K gold tableware. The offerings in his home furnishing collections are vast, and timeless whether it focuses on organic linens or Leather and gold Leaf Louis XV tables, there is always inspiration for everyone. It’s a lifestyle, and an attainable one even if we can’t travel to glamorous destinations in a private jet.

When I was in NYC in the Spring for the Architectural Digest Show, I toured the tables for DIFFA, most of which were designed by some of the top names in our industry. Of course, the team at Ralph Lauren created a tablescape that I was quite taken with, it was ethereal and romantic from the draping of natural fabrics to an over-sized floral chandelier hanging from a pergola-esque structure. The latter made from wood that looked it had washed up on the beach, a patina that can only be achieved by the effects of sun and surf. Yes, Ralph Lauren also has re-defined the look of romance, and so beautifully. I wanted to share some images from his latest collection, of course Fashion Week is always buzzing about his pieces, several of my very lucky friends were invited to a chic and unique party at Central Park in NYC during the unveiling of his Collection for Fall 2014. How lucky were they? So until I get an invitation, I say “dream on dreamer…” Now for a little visual treat and inspiration…


Photo/ Ralph Lauren

This rendering is of Villa Cetinale, the setting for part of the mens collection…


Photo/ Ralph Lauren

All that glitters is gold and black….


Photo/ Ralph Lauren

The sophistication of black lacquer…


Photo/ Ralph Lauren

Harking back to the 30’s and old world glamour.


Photo/ Ralph Lauren

Gold and black are synonymous with luxury and sophistication, and are always timeless.


Photo/ Ralph Lauren

It’s a glamorous life…


Photo-Architectural Digest

The home of Ralph Lauren (no further words necessary)…


Photo/ Vicki Gladle

The DIFFA table designed by the team at Ralph Lauren during The Architectural Digest Show, although all the tables were noteworthy this was by far one of my favorites…

I hope you enjoyed a little taste of the new collections at Ralph Lauren, and as always don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook & Twitter for more design inspiration, and upcoming trends. The social media icons are located at the top of the page…

Until next time,




The Ace of Entertaining :: Setting The Perfect Table

I grew up in a home where formality ruled the day, as much as it could with five children. My mother insisted on white gloves to church, backs straight as a ramrods, and our patent leather Mary Jane’s buffed to a point that I swear I could see my reflection. For most of my childhood I believed that “please” and “thank you” always began any sentence structure. There were dinner parties, where roasted pheasant sat underneath sterling silver chafing dishes paired with fragrant bowls of wild rice, and poached asparagus.  The main course often made possible after a successful day of bird hunting courtesy of my father, his “cronies” and a group of well trained bird dogs.  Before we could serve ourselves, we would line-up like the kids from the Sound of Music and wait for the guests to be served before we were allowed to fill our plates. I would like to mention that we did not have to “sing for our supper.” Thankfully.

For most of my formative years,  I was under the impression that we were somehow related to Emily Post, because my mother would always threaten us with the words “If you don’t behave, I’m going to have to write to Emily Post, and then she’ll be coming for a visit.” What? Was Emily the Santa Claus of good manners? Would she show up with a perfectly coiffed “Pillbox bob” a la Jacqueline Kennedy, her short boxy jacket crisply pressed paired with a pencil skirt hemmed to fall  just below the knee,  just to lecture me on a breach of etiquette? Or worse yet,  take away my television privileges, as my mother would often threatened us. The thought of never watching the Partridge Family was enough to ensure that I lived my childhood days under the guise of perfect behavior.

I left the proverbial nest at eighteen to attend an institution of higher learning, armed with an arsenal of etiquette “do’s” and “donts” and knowledge on how to set the perfect table. It didn’t help me get a job after college, but it did help me on the job when I worked in Washington (in the political arena), and attended lavishly appointed State dinners, and parties hosted at some of the more prestigious addresses in Georgetown. Yes, I know the difference between the seafood and salad fork, and even know that you do not drink out of finger bowls, (as one of my dates once did). So when I was in NYC in April, and saw the stunning table settings for DIFFA , it brought me back to a time when having the perfectly set table was becoming for a person of good breeding. While, it is no longer the harbinger of proper decorum, I do think that putting effort and thought into the table setting will help create an evening to remember for family and friends. Plus, it’s just plan fun to think “outside the box” and create a tablescape that is memorable and will show your guests that they are worth the extra effort.  I wanted to highlight some of my personal favorites from DIFFA (although they were all worthy of mention), and hopefully you will be inspired to set the perfect table…P.S. My apologies to Margaret Russell, Editor-in-Chief of Architectural Digest, of whom I mistook for Mary McDonald. In my defense they do look alike after a few glasses of Champagne….


 Photo credit/ The Ace of Space Blog


 Photo credit/ The Ace of Space Blog

This dreamscape with watercolour fabric was designed by Kara Mann as a tribute to Maya Romanoff.


 Photo credit/ The Ace of Space Blog

3M Architectural Market Table by Rottet Studio. 


 Photo credits/ The Ace of Space Blog

A tablescape courtesy of Barney’s N.Y…


 Photo credit/ The Ace of Space Blog

The gauzy fabric surrounding this table was imprinted with architectural details…by none other than Phillip Gorrivan.


 Photo credit/ The Ace of Space Blog

 This tablescape was designed by the team at Ralph Lauren, the cascading floral arrangement hanging over the table was pure genius…


 Photo credit/ The Ace of Space Blog

This fun room was designed by the Pratt Institute…how sweet are the whimsical mosaic tiles?


 Photo credit/ The Ace of Space Blog

Love the Andy Warhol vibe of this tablescape…


Photo credit/ The Ace of  Space Blog

A DIFFA tabletop in watercolour….

Elegant Place Setting

A “pinnable” guide to setting the perfect table…If you are serving white and red wine with multiple courses, the water glass would be placed to the left of a red wine glass, then a white wine glass would proceed the red, usually the coffee cup and saucer would not be placed on the table until the dessert course…

I do want to mention that the table displays were set for a very worthy cause, DIFFA, which stands for “Design Industries Foundation Fighting Aids.” As someone who has lost several friends to this tragic disease, I  wanted to acknowledge the purpose behind this fabulous event designed to bring awareness to AIDS and help find a cure, additionally a “standing ovation” to all those who have devoted their time and resources to make this event a resounding success who selflessly worked for “the cause and not the applause.”

As always don’t forget to visit Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter for more design inspiration. I hope you enjoyed the first in what I hope will be a long running series-“The Ace of Entertaining.”

As always,

Be Inspired. Be Amazing.


I’m Feeling Blue-(Cobalt that is)…

Now that the election is over, it’s time to get back down to business. I’ll be honest I was glued to the news for most of the day yesterday…regardless of who you voted for it’s time for our country to heal-starting today. Enough said. In a way…the old red, white and blue was the inspiration behind my post. Blue specifically..the deep rich, “paint it in my study” kind, the colour that has been inspiring designers such as Ralph Lauren for decades, and happens to be Pantone’s Colour for 2013-Monaco Blue. In fact, I sent my little fashionista to school today dressed in a Ralph Lauren Tartan plaid shirt and Cobalt Blue leggings, that is how committed I am to using blue. Because I’m pretty sure Mr. B. isn’t even going to let me add a pillow to the sofa, so why not inject a little of 2013’s trend colour into my daughter’s wardrobe? A small consolation, but I have used blue in the past, in a client’s basement (for that “Country Club” vibe), and in a Powder Room with some really stunning Osbourne and Little wallpaper (www.osbourneandlittle), a crystal chandelier and a Venetian Mirror. I still daydream about that room, but unfortunately 10 years ago, taking pictures of my work was the last thing from my mind. Now I wish I had at least one snapshot…and I might just have to replicate it very soon. Because one of my client’s told me today that she is going to let us re-do her powder room and she adores blue, which gives me a great opportunity to push the design envelope again, (all with her blessing of course).

Now from the style files comes some really fabulous bluesy interiors, and a close up of a custom headboard I did for a client last year…in a deep blue with pops of gold….

A little slice of blue heaven in this custom headboard with the gold accents….

Designer/Miles Redd

I have to admit I have been a huge fan of Miles Redd, not because he hails from Atlanta, but because he creates the most dramatic and visually stunning interiors that my baby blues have ever laid eyes on. This space is no exception, the deep blue lacquered walls, the black and white tiled floors and the red accents create the perfect fusion of colour in this NYC foyer.

From Elle Decor

This space is full of inspiration, and is a lesson in layering. The rug reminds me of a oversized crocheted doily (in a good way), and the mix of modern pieces with more relaxed furnishings creates a cozy and eclectic space. All while using a colour palette of deep blues.

via Rue Magazine

I love the layering of blues in this space, and the fact that they brought in a deeper cobalt in the artwork, although I’ll say the subject choice is…interesting. The real standout is the knotted drapery…just luscious.

via House Beautiful

I have loved this photo for so long that it’s dog-eared and faded, but it’s still pinned to my inspiration board (barely hanging by a thread)…I.LOVE.THE.FOXED.MIRRORS. In fact, a room with mirrors, cobalt and white is simply stunning.

(L)-Joel Bray, (R) Stella McCartney

From the runway to home interiors, Cobalt is making it’s regal presence known…

An ad from Ralph Lauren, using a bit of darker blue. A special mention goes out to the patina on the distressed walls….L.O.V.E.

via Ralph Lauren Home

 I’m a “little or a lot” kind of girl, there is no happy medium as far as I’m concerned. Which is why I love this little table vignette…perfection. Adding a little touch of trend colour will bring in some pizazz…

So here’s to a new start…

 For more design inspiration visit my Pinboards on Pinterest.