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When decorating for my clients or for myself, I always put a great deal of emphasis on bed and table linens – well chosen linens help to create a unified vision of luxury and elegance.

One of my favorite people in the world of couture linens is the impossibly chic Jane Scott Hodges, founder of Leontine Linens. Hodges has been studying and collecting the best of the best in the world of fine linens for the past two decades and has been one of the major forces in reviving the art of couture linens for everyday use.

You won’t find ME serving a cocktail without a lovely cloth napkin, and it goes without saying that my own sheets are properly ironed. It’s a touch of luxury that says I care! Now, if you are as crazy as I am about linens, bedding, and napkins, you simply must run out and purchase Linens: For Every Room and Occasion by Jane Scott Hodges. It’s a glorious Rizzoli volume filled with endless inspirpiration — it’ll show you how, for instance, to utilize couture lines in new and exciting ways, combining, say, D. Porthault with custom embroidered and appliquéd pieces from Leontine and things from John Robshaw (which incidentally is how I make my own bed!).

Photo from Linens

Photo from Linens

I love vintage appliquéd cocktail napkins and custom designed monograms as well. For my table setting, a hand blocked Indian cotton table cloth mixed with custom embroidered napkins, for instance, creates the most marvelous mix. You get the idea. My point is, it’s important to have a variety of pieces to create different looks and moods – whether mixing the humble with something more formal or having something absolutely elevated to create the most elegant table setting.

From Hodges' Linens

From Hodges’ Linens

You’ll find all of this in Hodges’ Linens – it’s rich with advice from Hodges as well as decorators and other style gurus, all copiously illustrated with the most gorgeous photos. Do pick your copy of Linens: For Every Room and Occasion on Amazon.

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James Andrew at Frederick P Victoria

James Andrew at Frederick P Victoria

No doubt, many of you are familiar with the genius that is Fredrick P. Victoria. Since the 1930’s they have played a rather important role in defining what is chic in the interior design industry. I became an instant fan from the moment my mentor Albert Hadley took me to their ravishing gallery on East 55th Street many years ago. The selection of both vintage and bespoke possibilities there have always been quite endless.

I recently paid a visit to my exquisite friends Tony and Freddy Victoria there to see what beauties I might add to both my own and my clients’ collections. I’m always able to find something, as they have an almost overwhelming selection of objects, and in every style imaginable! Their atelier is now located in Long Island City, and a preview of their current floor model sale can be found of the fabulous Peak of Chic site or visit F.P. Victoria’s Floor Model Sale. Of course, one doesn’t really need an excuse to visit and peruse their incredible treasure trove – it is always worth a trip for the inspiration alone. All this being said, I urge you to take advantage of some of the remarkable bargains you’ll find at the wondrous Frederick P. Victoria, and prepare yourself to be delighted!

Spending a sublime afternoon with the Victorias, I’m sporting a Tom Ford era Gucci white linen jacket, linen plaid shirt in turquoise and lavender and black leather tasseled loafers, Tom Ford lavender silk mini herringbone weave pants, Ralph Lauren black alligator belt with sterling buckle, Charvet Paris turquoise silk pocket square and my fragrance is Creed Royal Water.

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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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