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June, 2014:

SUMMER ELEGANCE

James Andrew, NYC summer

James Andrew, NYC summer

It often seems that when the temperatures rise a few degrees, all of the sartorial splendor that the city usually exhibits quickly goes to hell in a hand basket. Granted the summer heat can be quite unbearable and perhaps it might actually be a good idea to air one’s self and jacket whilst en route to wherever (we don’t want to arrive a total sopping mess), but I find that making a bit of an effort to maintain some level of decorum is usually fairly handsomely rewarded by the general approval of friends and strangers alike.

And don’t get me started on the summer entertainment front — no, red plastic cups, plastic knives and forks, paper plates and paper napkins just won’t do. The fact is, summer brings endless opportunity to entertain in style, and this doesn’t even have to be an over the top effort either. In fact, I love the paired down, fresh summer dishes that involve very little cooking or preparation — cold soups are always a refreshing treat, for instance, and one can pop these up with a fine table setting. I can’t get enough of cabbage and lettuce-ware complimented by D. Porthault floral napkins, bamboo flatware and simple glass goblets (rosé and lemon water fill these quite nicely).

My impossibly chic friends like Howard Slatkin and Penelope Bianchi are quite keen on summer slipcovers which are an easy way to add a quick bit of seasonal flair to an interior — changing up the pillows on chairs and sofas can also give an interior some needed summer umph, so even if you happen to be stuck in town you can feel like you have a place in the Hamptons and/or the English countryside!

Dressing for an elegant summer soirée, I’m sporting a Tom Ford palest pink silk suit, pale blue cotton shirt with contrast white collar and cuffs, navy and pale blue silk polka dot tie, cap toe white suede shoes, Charvet retro print silk pocket square in shades of blue, vintage pearl and pale blue sapphire cuff links, vintage Rolex, and my fragrance is Creed Original Cologne,. Tom Ford bronzing gel adds a bit of a sun kissed glow.

ALWAYS ON THE PROWL

James Andrew Interior Designer

James Andrew Interior Designer

As an interior designer, I’m always on the prowl for the most unusual and wonderful things for my clients (and for my own collection!). For me, the hunt is certainly a big part of the fun. Design and decoration is a bit of a puzzle and there is a lot of problem solving as well. A good designer creates an environment that should not only make his or her client’s life more attractive but should also make him or her feel and function a little better. Part of that has to do with delagating much of the work of creating a beautiful and elevated interior to a professional. With a well trained eye, interior designers are constantly out and about putting the pieces of the puzzle together and a major factor in deciding to hire a designer is having access to his or her resources. Needless to say, if the designer has been in the game as long as I have, there is tremendous depth to that list. In fact, a professional can save a client from making some expensive mistakes (yes, buying a room full of furniture sight unseen on the internet is invariably a really bad idea). A trained eye can scout out the most sublime things in a sea of the ordinary and bring those things to bear on a particular interior. Nothing brings me more pleasure than seeing a client’s face light up as I present him or her with the rare and unusual things that I track down on my global jaunts. What I’m trying to say is the whole DIY thing just doesn’t make make much sense to me, especially if one has the means to hire a professional! (Have you ever attempted to cut your own hair? I’m going to take a longshot guess and say it probably didn’t turn out that well, right?). Do consider working with a designer on your next interior project — it’s really the only way to go!

Dressed for a prowl around town, I’m sporting a Tom Ford royal and ivory glen plaid silk jacket, ink and white dot print cotton shirt , Charvet Paris silk pocket square in a navy and cobalt retro print, black alligator belt with sterling buckle from Ralph Lauren, Uniqlo dark denim jeans, Pierre Hardy cobalt suede demi boots, vintage Rolex, and my fragrance is Tom Ford Costa Azzura.

DECORATE FEARLESSLY – SUSANNA SALK

Decorate-Fearlessly!-by-Susanna-Salk-

I am beyond thrilled to share my friend Susanna Salk’s latest Rizzoli tome, Decorate Fearlessly: Using Whimsy, Confidence, and a Dash of Surprise to Create Deeply Personal Spaces.

Of course I’m quite honored to be featured with the likes of super chic fellow decorators like Alex Papachristidis, Miles Redd, Mary McDonald, Jacqueline Coumans, Tom Scheerer and Jamie Drake to name a few. Just as I personally celebrate a bold sense of sartorial splendor, I’m also inspired by those who fearlessly express themselves when it comes to decorating houses.

James Andrew's Living-Room - photo by Simon Upton

James Andrew’s Living-Room – photo by Simon Upton

Knowing the rules of decorating is an integral part of being confident enough to break them occasionally—as Diana Vreeland once said “.. a little bad taste is like a dash of paprika..” When I was in the employ of Parish Hadley, my friend Albert Hadley would quite often add an odd thing or two that would add that perfect element of whimsy. He really new how to bring a space to life. Salk’s Decorate Fearlessly, celebrates our very different perspectives and points of view, while providing the reader with endless bits of inspiration and practical tips on how to boldly imbue a room with personal flair. Pick your’s up on Amazon here: Decorate Fearlessly: Using Whimsy, Confidence, and a Dash of Surprise to Create Deeply Personal Spaces

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