Friday Favorites 12.02.16


Can you believe it’s December? I am excited to be in the holiday season, but can’t believe how quickly this year flew by! Lately, I’ve come across a few new “favorites” to share. I hope you’ll find something you love. Enjoy!

Style: The trend of overtly feminine details like ruffles, bows, and off-the shoulder silhouettes is still alive and well into the winter. I love this chic look of a sweater with ruffled sleeves, crisp black trousers, and smart black suede pumps. You can find similar tops here, here, and here.

Watch: Over the long, Thanksgiving weekend, I finally got around to watching The First Weekend in May, a documentary about the planning and production of the Met Gala in 2014, the year “China through the Looking Glass” was the theme. It is fascinating to see the level of detail that goes into the event and to see it go from a concept to one of the most important events of the year in the fashion world. I would highly recommend it! Watch the trailer here.

Design: It seems a lot of design friends have been in Mexico recently per my Instagram feed, which only cements my desire to go back for a visit soon even more. I am dying to explore Mexico City and would love to return to San Miguel de Allende for a long, low-key weekend. I have always loved Spanish Colonial architecture and long for the beauty, warmth, and culture of Mexico. It’s on my list for 2017!

Read: One of my favorite coffee table books of the season is the new John Derian Picture Book. It is filled with ephemera and beautiful images from his signature work as a decoupage artist. It is a great book to give as a gift because it is large in scale, has a graphic cover and spine, and has zero text. Instead, it is filled with hundreds of stunning images and I can just about guarantee that pretty much anyone on your list would find something to love in this book. If you’re looking for inexpensive art, buy an extra copy, take apart the spine and have your favorite images framed!

Eat: One of my favorite winter vegetables to eat and make is brussels sprouts, but they have to be crispy and are always best when they have a tangy dash of balsamic vinegar. I pretty much idolize Ina Garten, so of course, I like to use her recipe for Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta.

Listen: We listen to all kinds of music while we work in our office. One album that is constantly on repeat is Australian rock band, Tame Impala’s Currents. It is the perfect balance of mellow and upbeat and sounds like nothing else. One of my favorite songs is “The Moment”– have a listen here.

Shop: Our 2016 Holiday Gift Guides are in full swing and are better than ever! Check them out and finish your holiday shopping early this year: Kids & Pets | For Him |  For Her | For the Decor-Obsessed | For the Hostess

Have a wonderful weekend!


In the Mood: December 2016


Red isn’t a color I use very much. Very rarely do I wear red or use it prominently in the spaces I design for clients. However, it is my go-to nail color. I love that it is classic and glamorous! My staples are OPI “Big Apple Red” and “Color So Hot It Berns“. Known to symbolize love, passion, courage, success, and even rage, red certainly isn’t for the faint of heart. Perhaps it is because red is so inextricably linked with the Christmas season or because I have been feeling ultra-motivated lately, but like a moth to a flame, I can’t help but be drawn to this powerful color. As much as I love so many beautiful shades of green and use them often, red is always the color that comes to mind for me when I think of the holidays, so it couldn’t be more perfect for this month’s mood!mood-alessandra-branca-2

{Alessandra Branca}


{Catherine Jones}


{Jackie Kennedy}


{Miles Redd}


{Cy Twombly}

<> at The Waldorf=Astoria on May 13, 2014 in New York City.

{Lauren Santo Domingo}


{Luis Bustamante}


{Kayce Hughes}


{Johanna Ortiz}


{Beverly Field}


{Josef Albers}




{Charlotte Moss}


{America Martin}


{Lauren Santo Domingo}


{Brian McCarthy}


{Joan Miro}


{Oscar de la Renta}


{Robert Couturier} mood-cy-twombly

{Cy Twombly}


{Leandra Medine}


{Tom Scheerer}






{Tory Burch}


{Ellsworth Kelly}



2016 LDV Gift Guide: Kids & Pets

Over the weekend, Fabian and I shopped for Christmas gifts for our nieces and nephew. We don’t have children of our own, so it can be a bit of a challenge to shop for little ones sometimes since we don’t always know what they are into. I’ll usually be sure to check in with family and friends to see what sizes their kids are currently wearing and what they are interested in at the moment. Having said that, I am usually driven by my love of a classic aesthetic for children and usually opt for things that are beautifully designed and meaningful. I love giving books that children will hopefully grow into and treasure for years to come and always find personalized items to be thoughtful and special. I hope this doesn’t make me the gift-giving equivalent of the person who gives out toothbrushes at Halloween! Since our child, Tate, is of the canine variety, I made sure to include pets in this gift guide as well. You’ll find a few stylish items for the sweet pets in your life here, too!ldv-gift-guide-1 ldv-gift-guide-2
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{1. Streamliner Taxi | 2. Chelsea All-in-One Kitchen |3. Havana Ukulele | 4. Alligator Bath Wrap | 5. Teepee | 6. Cotton Lion Toy | 7. Stripe Sock Set | 8. Eames Style Table & Chairs | 9. Child’s Mitten & Hand Set | 10. Set of 4 Puffin “In Bloom” Classic Books | 11. Market Vegetables in Box | 12. ABC Blocks | 13. Italian Leather Dog Leash | 14. Striped Dog Toy | 15. Good Dog Bucket | 16. Ikat Dog Bowls | 17. Dog Treat Jar | 18. Chelsea Dog Collar | 19. The French Dog Book  | 20. “Nice Kitty” Treat Jar}

Shop All of Our 2016 Gift Guides:

For the Hostess | For the Decor-Obsessed | For Her | For Him


St. Helena Sanctuary


It’s no secret that I love the Napa Valley. Over the past several years, we have visited twice a year, but so far, we haven’t made it back in 2016. Thankfully, Fabian and I decided to book a much needed mini-vacation to Napa during the week between Christmas and New Year’s next month. After a year that has been filled with work travel and the move to our new house, we thought it would be nice to visit one of our favorite places and just relax for a few days, so we can’t wait!

Of course, when I saw this beautiful house in St. Helena, designed by one of my favorite architects, Howard Backen of Backen Gillam, Kroeger and featured in the newest issue of San Francisco Cottages & Gardens, I loved it at first sight. This home has the same clean lines, warm interiors, and elegant simplicity that have become hallmarks not only of the firm’s work, but of Napa style in general. This particular home is comprised of three separate structures– the main house, guesthouse, and bathhouse built using finishes like blackened steel, custom-finished Douglas Fir, poured concrete, reclaimed wood, and plaster. The result is a warm, cozy environment, perfect for the indoor/outdoor lifestyle that a place as beautiful as St. Helena, my favorite Napa town calls for.











{Photography by John Merkl for San Francisco Cottages & Gardens}

2016 LDV Gift Guide: For Him

I get a lot of enjoyment out of finding the right gift for someone and I feel like I really got it right with this guide– at least for the men in my life, and hopefully for the ones in yours, too. You’ll find lots of great options here for everyone from your husband or boyfriend, your brother, BFF, or even your dad. There are classic, sure-fire bets for every guy on your list– the music connoisseur, the traveler, the car aficionado, and the design lover. With Cyber Monday happening today, it’s a great day to cross some gifts off your list while taking advantage of great deals!

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{1. J.Crew Harwick Metro Bag | 2. Aesop London Grooming Kit | 3. Sonic Editions Framed David Bowie Print | 4. J.Crew Sussex Quilted Vest | 5. Fairbault Woolen Mills Foot Soldier Blanket | 6. Paul Smith Two-Tone Leather Wrap Bracelet | 7. J.Crew Heavyweight Chamois Shirt | 8. Master & Dynamic MH30 Headphones | 9. Tom Dixon Water Charcoal Scent Diffuser | 10. Neutra Complete Works Hardcover Book | 11. Marshall Stockwell USB Speaker | 12. Herschel Supply Co. Travel Bag | 13. Miansai Modern Billfold | 14. Cashmere Scarf | 15. Oliver Spencer Cross-Country Leather-Trimmed Wool-Blend Gloves | 16. Ray-Ban Original Wayfarer Sunglasses | 17. Native Edition CLIC iPhone 6 Case and USB Cable Set | 18. Speed, Style, & Beauty: Cars from the Ralph Lauren Collection Hardcover Book | 19. Tricker’s Skull Slipper | 20. Nixon Charger Leather Watch}

Shop All of Our 2016 Gift Guides for Cyber Monday Savings:

For the Hostess |  For the Decor-Obsessed | For Her