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James Andrew at home with Quadrille's China Seas fabric.

James Andrew at home with Quadrille’s China Seas fabric.

I’m wild about the idea of summer slipcovers — changing one’s furniture covering (or simply adding a new table cloth), in a well-chosen fabric is always a quick and immediately gratifying way to freshen up any room. My little dining room/library here in town is pretty moody with its lacquered aubergine walls and silver holographic ceiling. As the temperatures have been rising, I wanted a room that felt brighter, lighter, crisper, and cooler. A bit of the exotic always helps as well. So I turned to my friends at Quadrille who are certainly at the top of my list of go-to resources for ultra chic fabrics and wall coverings. Quadrille’s China Seas collection provided the most perfect selection of fabrics to choose from, and Island Ikat in pale aqua on white did the trick — the pale aqua is a spot-on match to my living room wall color and ties the whole flat together quite nicely — with an overall effect that provides a dash of Lyford Cay-esque tropical splendor.

James Andrew, Quadrille transformation.

James Andrew, Quadrille transformation.

There is a softness and luxury that fabrics can bring to a room, and my new table cloth is already providing a splendid backdrop for my summer repasts. I switched out my Dodie Thayer tureen with a vintage Este white melon tureen to lighten the look even further. This aqua and white cloth will look super chic with plates in turquoise, coral, blues and malachite — stay tuned for photos!

I’m dressed in a Tom Ford ivory linen sateen suit, dusty rose cotton mini plaid shirt, pink silk knit tie and ivory suede and leather cap toe shoes, Charvet pink silk pocket square, vintage Rolex, Seaman Schepps cuff links in coral and shell,vintage Gucci python belt with silver buckle, Creed Royal Mayfair fragrance and a bit of Tom Ford Bronzing Gel for a sun kissed glow.

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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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