Friday Favorites: 07.21.17

It has been a few weeks since my last Friday Favorites post! The month of July has been a complete whirlwind. We started out in Paris, then came home and got quite sick. Three weeks later and I am still trying to get over my bout with bronchitis. I am so over being sick! In the past couple of weeks, we have had project installations, a couple of photoshoots for my upcoming book at client’s homes. For the past two weeks, we have also been remodeling my master bathroom in order for my house to be complete before we shoot it for my book next month. I am counting down the minutes until the remodel is finished and we can resume our normal lives, including bringing Tate back home from his grandmother’s house. I miss him terribly, but he doesn’t do so well with contractors in and out of the house, making messes and so much noise. On Sunday, Amanda from my team and I will be heading to the Hamptons to photograph our client’s house for the book, which should be fun. It feels like we are in the homestretch for several things right now! Here is what else is currently on my radar. Let me know what is on yours!

Design: Miles Redd is a creative genius, so it is a real treat to see where all of that creativity happens– his Manhattan office, featured in the August issue of Architectural Digest. It is filled with ingenious fabric applications and Miles’ signature style.

Style: A few weeks ago, the Fall 2017 Couture shows took place in Paris and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the stunning Giambattista Valli collection. It is filled with exquisite, feminine details including crystal embroidery, ballet-inspired tulle gowns, beautifully draped chiffon gowns, and a palette filled with black, white, and varying shades of pink. Simply sublime!

Watch: We finally went to the movies to see The Beguiled over the weekend. It was beautiful visually, though not as compelling as I had hoped it would be. During the previews prior to the beginning of the movie, we saw the trailer for a new television comedy called I’m Sorry. We watched the first three episodes on demand over the weekend and loved it. It is witty, smart, and a bit naughty! This is the least inappropriate promo I could find to share with you. Set your DVR!

Read: We are big fans of Sid and Ann Mashburn in our house. We love the brand, the clothing for both men and women, and I personally have a lot of admiration for Sid and Ann and the amazing brand they have built. Ann was recently interviewed for the Women in Business column on Huffington Post and offered such great advice and insight on what. it is like to find your footing and to run a creative business. I am going to make the article mandatory reading for my team because the takeaways are so fantastic, especially for a young woman starting out in her career.

Eat: I met Gaby Dalkin of What’s Gaby Cooking at a KitchenAid retreat in Seattle last fall and have followed her on Instagram ever since. We are both currently working on books and it turns out we have the same publisher and editor! Just the other day, she posted this easy to make Simple Basil Vinaigrette which I am looking forward to trying on grilled salmon and on a salad soon. I can think of so many things to put it on! Apparently, it is one of her most popular recipes, so it must be good!

Shop: The much-anticipated annual Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is now officially open to everyone! I’ve scoured the sale for the best finds and shared all of my favorite finds in this post earlier this week. Don’t miss out!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Five Minutes With Nicki Clendening

Nicki Clendening is a New York-based interior designer known for her eclectic, well-traveled style. She started her design firm, Scout Designs NYC in 2009 and in the years since, her work has been featured in Lonny and Time Out New York. She has also been named a New Traditional Designer by Traditional Home. Nicki has a great sense of style and can find a way to make interesting finds from all over the world work seamlessly in a single interior. Her love of the hunt and scouting great finds recently lead her to start her latest endeavor, Beetle. Beetle is an online marketplace for the amazing things Nicki finds on her travels abroad to places like Italy and France as well as domestic vintage destinations like Round Top, Texas. I can attest to the fact that it takes a special talent and a really great eye to spot a gem amongst throngs of vintage and antique pieces. With Beetle, Nicki is able to share her fabulous finds with a broader base of people who many not always have the time or inclination to hop on a plane and embark on a treasure hunt themselves. Beetle’s current assortment includes beautiful textiles, chic jewelry, and interesting decor. Be sure to check it out!

Paloma Contreras: What is the best vacation you’ve ever been on? Why?

Nicki Clendening: One of my favorite vacations was when my sister and I went to visit our mother who, at the time, was living in Franschhoek, South Africa. We spent two weeks exploring the coast and wine region and it remains a place I can’t wait to visit again. It is one of the most beautiful countries I’ve ever been to. Capetown is incredibly chic and vibrant! The people, landscape, architecture, food, wine…everything about this beautiful country is pure magic.

PC: What is your favorite gift to give or receive?

NC: I love making and giving homemade liqueurs as hostess/housewarming/birthday gifts. My best friend in Louisiana has a huge Meyer lemon tree in her yard and every year sends me up a couple of big boxes at Christmas time which I use to make homemade limoncello. I also gather up loquats when I’m in Charleston to make loquat liqueur and ramps in Connecticut to infuse in vodka for Bloody Marys.

PC: If you could pick six dream dinner party guests, living or deceased, who would you choose and why?

NC: Bill Murray– How much fun would it be to have him at every dinner party?! I can only imagine that no matter who was gathered at the table, he’d put everyone at ease. Cy Twombly– It’s hard to chose one artist as a favorite but if I have to name just one, it would be Twombly. His home in Rome is the epitome of perfection in every way. Beryl Markham– The embodiment of an independent, adventurous, dynamic woman who lived on her own terms, something I greatly admire. Her book “West with the Night” is a favorite Cleopatra– I’ve been obsessed with Egypt since a child reading National Geographic. Can you imagine the things she could tell us? David Attenborough– I have a huge crush on him and own all of his “Life” series and watch them often. Alain de Botton: I’m a big fan of his writing and am constantly re-reading the “Architecture of Happiness” and “Art as Therapy.”

PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

NC: Art is the thing I love the most and the museums and galleries in New York City offer a constant wealth of inspiration. I stop into the Met Museum several times a month and have, many times, used a painting as a reference/starting point for my design projects. It’s great to be able to show clients a painting as a way color palettes can work together.

PC: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

NC: ROME! From my first visit years ago, my dream is to be able to live there one day. Italy is the place where I feel most at home.

{A Recent trip to Italy via Nicki’s Instagram @scoutdesignsnyc}

{Portrait by Brittany Ambridge | Photos of Nicki’s Home by Patrick Cline for Lonny}


The Style Files: John Robshaw

John Robshaw is a prolific textile designer who has brought the ancient techniques of Asian textile printing to a new audience by updating them through his modern lens. The dashing designer studied art at Pratt and went on to work as an assistant to painter Julian Schnabel. In 1990, he traveled to India for the first time– a pivotal moment in his life and career. John fell in love with the fabric-making traditions of local artisans as well as the rewarding immediacy of the craft. Over time and after more extensive travels, John had become an expert in the textile-making techniques of several cultures and countries. Inspired, he sought a way to combine the styles and traditions in a modern way and his eponymous textile brand was born. John sells his bedding, textiles, and wallpapers, and fabrics by the yard via his website as well as through exclusive retailers including Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s. In addition, John has a collection of fabrics by the yard and custom-made furniture with fabric manufacturer, Duralee. He possesses an uncanny understanding and mastery of color and pattern, which is evident both in the textiles he designs, as well as in his homes, including his Connecticut country house which is currently featured in ELLE DECOR. I hope you will enjoy getting to know more about John as much as I have!

Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

John Robshaw: Waspy hippy.. lost on a world tour wearing a block printed shirt.

PC: How has living in New York influenced your style?

JR: The edges of NY and the walking the streets of NY keep me casual yet dapper when need be- lots of sneakers and good jackets as sort of my casual go to from studio, to art opening, to dinner.

{John’s Home as featured in ELLE DECOR | Photography by Richard Powers}

PC: What does your home say about you?

JR: My home says I travel a lot, that I collect all colors, shapes and sizes from old Samarkand carpets to art school paintings to demons from Sri Lanka.

{John’s Home as featured in ELLE DECOR | Photography by Richard Powers}

PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

JR: India and just travel, there are so many ideas floating about and to see them in different light. The colors people wear all over the world, the casual style of villagers in India smiling zipping by on motorbikes.

{Indian Adventures}

PC: Who are your personal style icons?

JR: Bryan Ferry

{John’s Home as featured in ELLE DECOR | Photography by Richard Powers}

PC: What trait do you most admire in a person?

JR: Creativity

{The Inspiration Board in John’s Connecticut Studio}

PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

JR: Peanut butter and deep dark chocolate otherwise I am pretty dull.

{John’s Home as featured in ELLE DECOR | Photography by Richard Powers}

PC: Who or what has been your greatest professional influence?

JR: Charles Jacobsen who I met early on in his cavernous showroom in LA put together pieces from around the world in a magical unexpected way. The actual Jim Thompson with his cool teak house in Bangkok where he had dinner parties and he might have been a spy and he disappeared into the Malaysian highlands with no trace.

{A Recent Bedding Collection}

PC: What is your idea of living “la dolce vita”?

JR: The good life is long distance with an intrepid partner to places to think, read and draw for weeks at a time.

{Vibrant Colors in India}

PC: What can we look forward to next from you?

JR: Next I am focusing on limited edition textiles made by artisans and telling their stories on the website.

{A Block-Printer at Work}

Go To Outfit: jeans and block printed blazer

Style Mantra: PRINT!

Scent: Eau D’Italie Le Sirenuse Positano

Piece of Jewelry: an old Rolex and John Hardy bracelet given to me by Mrs. Hardy

Color I Never Tire of: indigo

Flower: marigolds

Indispensable Design Element: antique textiles in any form

Era for Design: Baroque

Dream Project: designing a crazy Indian hotel in India

Fabric/ Textile: old Tapis, wedding sarongs from Indonesia

Hostess Gift: turban, she probably does not have one.

Meal: Japanese curry

Drink: coffee, coffee and more coffee.

Way to Unwind: yoga every morning and squash

3 Things I Love about my City: art museums/ book shops/ ethnic food

Weekend Destination: country home in Sharon, Ct

Hotel: Imperial in New Delhi

City: Roma

Museum: Rubin

Artist: Carol Dunham

Song: “Got to Give It Up” by Marvin Gaye

Actor: Jeff Bridges

Prized Possession: clay temples replicas from Madurai

Risk Worth Taking: starting your own company

Greatest Extravagance: business class tickets to far away places

Go To Color Palette: blue and coral

Rule to Break: print on top of print on top of print

Movie Set Design: Wes Anderson

I can never have to many… antique textiles

{Photography Courtesy of John Robshaw}


LDV Guide to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

The Preview for Nordstrom’s eagerly anticipated annual Anniversary Sale has begun! While the sale officially begins on July 21st, Nordstrom cardholders have the added perk of an exclusive preview period between now and July 20th. This is one of the best sales of the year because instead of discounting merchandise at the end of the season, you get to scoop up new fall and winter items at great prices. Could this be where the term “Christmas in July” comes from? I’ve scoured the sale and have pulled together what I think are the best items in the sale. More than $200 off Stuart Weitzman booties? Yes, please! Chic Tibi tops for $125 off? Sign me up! Over $250 off a cashmere Vince coat and $300 off on a Burberry jacket? There is no better time to buy. Seriously, if you’ve been thinking about purchasing some of these investment pieces, you can save hundreds by buying during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, but I have also included some more affordable picks like a great pair of lace-up flats for less than $60 and one of my go-to hostess gifts, an Antica Farmacista Fragrance Diffuser for more than $20 off the regular price. This year, there are a lot of exclusive beauty deals as well including a La Mer set for $85, a great deal on cult-favorite Rodin Olio Lusso, and a fabulous Le Labo Santal 33 gift set at a really good price. The sale is on until August 6th, but if you see something you like, act fast because at these prices, everything is flying!

At Home with Daniel Romualdez in Montauk

Daniel Romualdez is one of the most talented designers and architects working today. With an enviable client list that includes Deeda Blair, Daphne Guiness, Aerin Lauder, Ina Garten, Annette and Matt Lauer, and of course, Tory Burch, for whom he has designed homes and collaborated with to create the signature look of her stores. Born in the Philippines, but educated in the U.S., Romualdez’s work exudes classic American style in all of its various iterations. He possesses an amazing ability to execute a variety of styles. Over the weekend, while reading the newest issue of Vanity Fair, I was thrilled to see a story on Fisherman’s Cove, the charming home he shares in Montauk with his husband, Michael Meagher. Daniel does not have a website or a presence on social media, so anytime a project of his is published, I relish in it. I am crossing my fingers that he will write a book soon because I have such great respect and admiration for his work.

Fisherman’s Cove is composed of three tiny, 1930s saltbox cottages totaling 1,100 square feet, perched at the top of a bluff, just off of the beach in Montauk. Daniel and Michael sought a home where they could escape the chaos of the Hamptons, entertain friends comfortably, and keep things simple and void of any pretense. The result is cozy and chic, like something out of a storybook and goes to show that bigger isn’t always better, even in a place with an affinity for the ostentatious like the Hamptons. 

{Photography by Jonathan Becker for Vanity Fair}