French Country Chic: Le Mas de Poiriers

Last week, I shared my idea of the perfect English country house in a post titled “Country Chic” featuring a stunning property designed by Veere Grenney in Norfolk, England. Over the weekend, I stumbled on Le Mas de Poiriers on Instagram and found my ideal French country house. The stunning 18th century farmhouse near the town of Avignon in the Provence region of France was restored lovingly by an American family. The estate is situated on 65 acres which feature a working orchard, the main house, guest house, tennis courts, and swimming pool. Inspired by the iconic Le Mirande, the 9 bedrooms on the property were decorated by Susan Bednar Long exclusively using Pierre Frey fabrics. Esteemed local architect Alexandre Lafourcade spearheaded the architectural renovation of the historic property while Dominique Lafourcade designed the gardens.

Le Mas de Poiriers is a dream-worthy property with interiors that feel appropriate for the provenance of the house, yet there are all the comforts that modern living requires, such as wi-fi and beautifully-outfitted, renovated bathrooms. I’ve mentioned that my recent trips to Paris have really made me fall in love with France. I cannot wait to go back and seeing this beautiful property is encouraging me to spend some time in Provence as well. Wouldn’t it be amazing to stay at this incredible property? I’m thinking a 40th birthday celebration with some of my closest friends in a few years would be pretty fabulous! 

For more on Le Mas de Poiriers, check out this great interview between Andrea of The Glam Pad and the owner of the property, Shauna Varvel from earlier this year.

{Photography via Le Mas de Poiriers}

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams

On my most recent trip to Paris at the beginning of October, I had an experience I have not been able to stop thinking about. I didn’t really make any plans for the free time I would have during the antiques shopping trip I was a part of, with the exception of buying tickets to the Dior: Couturier du Reve exhibit at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs. When Fabian and I were in Paris this summer, we visited the museum just as they were putting the finishing touches on the exhibit, days before it opened. When I knew that I would be visiting Paris again, seeing the exhibit went to the top of my list. I could not have predicted just how incredible it would be.

The Dior exhibit is a magical, transformative experience. Not only isn’t breathtaking to see these couture works of art in person, but the way in which the beautiful clothes are displayed is just as amazing. The exhibit is a chronology of sorts, following the trajectory of Christian Dior’s life and career, as well as the course of his namesake fashion house since his death through the modern period. It was especially wonderful to see Raf Simons exquisite designs in person.

Modern Designs

The first part of the exhibit is a retrospective of the couturiers who succeeded Christian Dior: Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferre, John Galliano, Raf Simons, and Maria Grazia Chiuri.

Muslin Models

One of the most impressive spaces was this room, stacked high with the muslin models which correspond to many of the couture pieces displayed throughout the exhibit. Each was originally created to exact specifications prior to delving into the full couture piece. Seeing them all displayed this way was incredibly impactful and inspiring.

Cultural Influences

This gallery displayed various gowns according to their respective cultural influences, be they French, Egyptian, Spanish, or Asian.

Miniature Colorama

One of my favorite parts of the exhibit was the colorama of miniatures. Organized by color, these displays featured miniature versions of couture gowns, along with sketches and accessories. It is so fascinating! I only wish the exhibit hadn’t been so crowded with people so that I could have taken in every last detail.

Gowns and their Stars

I am not sure what this particular part of the exhibit was called, but it was all about gowns worn on the red carpet. The room itself was absolutely gorgeous. After all, the Musee des Arts Decoratifs is part of the Louvre.  There was also a lighting installation that corresponded to music and was just magical. At times, it was as if stars were raining down on the room. Sheer magic!

Garden Party

After the last part of the exhibit, I didn’t think things could get any better, but the last part was like the most beautiful garden party ever with a canopy of handmade flowers, leaves, and vines above the most exquisite gowns from the 1940s and 50s.

If you have plans to be in Paris between now and January 7th, I highly encourage you to make time to see this breathtaking exhibit. It is one of the most moving and beautiful experiences I have ever had in a museum. If you’re on the fence about going to Paris soon, this exhibit alone is worth the trip and you know what they say, Paris is always a good idea!

If your plans don’t include being in Paris before the exhibit closes, you can see all of the stunning gowns in the corresponding book, Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams.

{Photography by Paloma Contreras exclusively for La Dolce Vita}

Friday Favorites 11.10.17

What a week it has been! I was supposed to head to Savannah yesterday for Southern Style Now where I was to speak on a panel. Unfortunately, our sweet Tate’s degenerative spinal issues have flared up, this time in his neck, and he has been in a lot of pain. He hardly wanted to eat earlier this week until I started roasting chicken for him and feeding it to him along with brown rice out of the palm of my hand. He is on very strict crate rest and hardly wants to come out, even to go potty. The vet fears that another surgery is imminent, so we are praying and hoping that his regimen of rest and medication will work! The thought of putting him through another surgery breaks my heart. I’m sorry to miss everyone in Savannah this weekend, but I need to be home for Tate as he needs more TLC than ever. I have been spending a lot of time on my laptop this week, right next to Tate’s crate because he gets very upset and starts barking and crying if he can’t see me. Suffice it to say, I could use a small distraction, so this week’s “Friday Favorites” could not have come sooner.

Design: The new issue of Veranda is filled with beautiful projects by Danielle Rollins, Richard Keith Langham, and Alessandra Branca who designed this stunning dining room clad in treillage. Isn’t this stunning? After my trip to Paris earlier this fall, I have been so inspired by the classic beauty of trellis work and am dying to use this application in a project soon.

Style: The air has finally turned crisp in Houston, so it’s the perfect time to update my jacket wardrobe. I’m especially loving more festive pieces that can take me from the office to a holiday gathering effortlessly. I am currently loving this chic tuxedo blazer, this Chanel-inspired tweed coat, and this fun leopard topcoat.

Read: I received the new Vogue book, Vogue Living Country City Coast a few days ago and am in love! This book features so many iconic houses of some of the most stylish people in the world. It is beautifully laid out and edited. I plan to devour it from cover to cover this weekend. Maybe I can read it to Tate as a bedtime story!

Career: Tory Burch is an inspiring entrepreneur, philanthropist, and of course, style icon. I so admire the career she has built and the fact that she is such an advocate for women in business. If you are also a fan, be sure to read this brief interview about Tory’s thoughts on Curiosity in Entrepreneurship as she encourages women to #EmbraceAmbition.

Beauty: While I love cooler weather, I don’t love dry skin. Every year, as the weather cools down, I have to be sure to keep my skin extra hydrated. My go-to, all-natural skin care line, Tata Harper has a fabulous Winter Wonders set available with everything you need to quench your skin’s thirst and keep it looking supple and dewy, including my all-time favorite Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum, which absorbs quickly, isn’t sticky or greasy, and smells divine. My skin has never looked better since I got hooked on this line and the fact that it is all-natural, organic, non-toxic, free of GMOs and animal testing is a huge added bonus.

Shop: It feels like the holiday shopping season has officially kicked off this week! I need to start working on my list of what to get for everyone, but I have some ideas and will be sharing all of my favorites with you over the coming weeks in the LDV Gift Guides, the first of which I published this week, featuring lovely ideas for hostess gifts. A few of my top picks include this chic candle striker, a perennial favorite trio of Diptyque votive candles, and a stylish stocking in one of my favorite fabrics, Peter Dunham’s Fig Leaf. Also, for readers in New York, this time of year brings lots of great sample sales, including the much-anticipated Chelsea Textiles Sale featuring Chelsea Textiles, Holland & Sherry, and Vaughan Designs at St. Ignatius Church through Saturday November 11th at 4:00 pm. I wish I could go, so be sure to check it out if you’re in Manhattan!

2017 LDV Gift Guide: For the Hostess

One of the most wonderful things about the holidays is spending time with friends and family. With invitations for holiday cocktail parties, cookie exchanges, and overnight stays surely coming your way, you may be wondering what to get for your host. Whether you are spending a weekend at a friend’s home or attending a holiday party, I’ve pulled together the first of this year’s holiday gift guides with thoughtful and stylish hostess gifts for just about any occasion.

{1. AERIN Sphere Matchstriker | 2. Diptyque Votive Set | 3. Nest Classic Holiday Candle | 4. Gilded Bamboo Gallery Frame | 5. Gold Woven Cachepot— Perfect for dressing up an orchid from the grocery store! | 6. Set of 4 Topiary Cocktail Napkins | 7. Peter Dunham Fig Leaf Stocking | 8. Small Belle Rives Scalloped Tray (also available in other colors) 9. Tory Burch Lettuceware Tureen | 10. Set of 4 Navy Scallop Napkins |11. Set of 4 Pagoda Placemats | 12. Set of 6 Mini Ginger Jar Ornaments | 13. Set of 4 Marbled Dessert Plates | 14. Set of 3 Graphic Wine Totes | 15. Tube Glass Pitcher (available in other colors) | 16. Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook | 17. AERIN Tortoise Ice Bucket with Tongs | 18. A Place to Call Home by Gil Schafer | 19. Ralph Lauren Wyatt Cheeseboard with Saddle Leather Accents | 20. Bamboo Barware Set}


Country Chic

{The Chic Drawing Room mixes Classic and Modern Elements}

I often dream of owning a house in the country– a quiet getaway from the hectic pace of daily life. Sometimes I dream of a little house in the Hamptons or tucked into the Napa Valley. Other times, my dreams of country life are a bit more grand, imagining the restoration of a centuries-old French chateau or a Georgian house in the English countryside.

{The South Facade}

These dreams came flooding into my mind when I came across this beautifully-restored estate in Norfolk, England. Transformed by one of my favorite designers, Veere Grenney, the architecture throughout the estate pays homage to its past, however the house feels completely modern and conducive to the way its current owners live. The rooms are decorated in various colors, in soft, subtle hues– one of Veere’s design hallmarks. The estate includes the main house, a Tudor wing that was lovingly restored by the previous owners, and a new conservatory. Can you imagine spending cozy weekends in a house like this? How lovely would that be?

{The Tailored Master Bedroom}

{In the dressing room, Veere crafted a custom, built-in canopy bed using one of his signature fabrics for the headboard, bedskirt, walls, and to line the inside of the blue wool Holland & Sherry bed hangings.}

{It is nearly impossible to pick a favorite bedroom in this house as they are all so beautiful and serene, including this guest bedroom featuring a geometric wallpaper of Veere’s design and a beautiful chintz on the bed and on a lounge chair.}

{I love the pelmet boxes used in the guest room’s drapery treatments.}

{Pretty Guest Bedroom Details}

{The Influences of the Original Architecture are Evident in the Tudor Wing’s Flower Room}

{Though the cabinetry, lighting, and barstools are rather modern, the bones of the kitchen are completely classic.}


{The Dining Area in the Recently Built Conservatory}

{Does it get more English than this?}

{Chic Details in the Drawing Room}

{The Charming Morning Room}

{I love the mix of furnishings in the study.}

{The rear hallway’s walls are the perfect shade of gray-blue. I also love the antique chest, topiary, and lantern.}

{Sunny Yellow Hues in a Guest Bedroom}

{Pale Pink, Salmon, and Coral Hues Come Together in a Spare Bedroom}

{Photography by David Oliver for House & Garden UK}