This Weekend: Best of the Fest Children’s Film Series and The Antiques & Garden Fair


Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the first installment of Best of the Fest Children’s Film Series, produced by Chicago’s Facets Multi-Media and presented at Gorton Community Center in Lake Forest.  Milos Stehlik (pictured above), founder of Facets, travels the world to find films for children that engage, entertain, and empower.  Last Sunday’s short films carried themes of persistence, music, love, acceptance, courage, and the environment that were told mainly from children’s perspectives but loved by viewers of all ages.   The familiar sounds of children’s chatter, wiggling seats, and rustling popcorn bags came only in the moments between short films.  During the showings, kids in attendance were completely engrossed in the films, letting out bursts of infectious giggles and sometimes shouting enthusiastic proclamations of plot discovery.   This Sunday, April 13th, Facets returns to Gorton at 4pm to present three book-based short films, including the Oscar winning “The Gruffalo.”  Seating is limited but tickets are still available on Gorton’s website (link here).  Tickets are also available on Gorton’s site for the last installment on April 27th.

Also this weekend is one of my favorite Chicago Botanic Garden events, the Antiques and Garden Fair.  Friday through Sunday from 10am to 5pm each day, gorgeous floral displays surround 120 booths filled with treasures from around the world.  Year after year I walk out with a lighter wallet and a heavier trunk (remember this goody from last year?)!  Tickets available on the Chicago Botanic Garden’s site (here).

Happy Early Weekend! xo

Michael Smith at the Antiques and Garden Fair + Treasures from the Day

Image of Michael Smith via

Michael Smith, one of America’s premier interior designers (and the one chosen by First Lady and President Obama to redecorate the White House family quarters), gave a fantastic lecture on Friday at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Antiques and Garden Fair.  I’ve been a huge admirer of Smith’s work, particularly his ability to layer textures, ages, and cultures seamlessly throughout his interiors as well as his extraordinary attention to detail, but given his success and his rolodex of beyond A-list clients, I had preconceived notions of him taking himself a bit too seriously.  Right?  Wouldn’t you think?  I couldn’t have been more wrong, and feel comfortable saying that everyone in the room fell in love with him and secretly wished he was their best friend, present company included.  Not only is Smith thoroughly knowledgeable about art, history, and architecture (which I expected) and wickedly funny (which I did not expect), he is also disarmingly genuine.

Smith’s new book, available May 7th.

A big part of Smith’s lecture revolved around the upcoming April 23-24th Christie’s sale of a breathtaking Palladian villa he designed on the largest privately held piece of California coastline (click here to view the auction catalogue).  He also documented this phenomenal home in the above book Building Beauty (click here to pre-order, available May 7th).  Smith spent half a decade working on this house, searching the globe for treasures both humble and grand to fill the vast space.  Upon completion, his clients inhabited the home for a short time until someone knocked on their door and offered them 70 million dollars, which they accepted.  Thus the Christie’s sale.  If you have the time, you really should look through the catalogue.  Sure, there are exceptional pieces with exceptional auction estimates to match (including a to-die-for Helen Frankenthaler) but there are also several lovely objets d’art estimated at less than $1000.  They may not sell for less than $1000, but a girl can dream.

After his talk, my friend Cynthia McCullough (who happens to be a brilliant designer in her own right) and I walked around and took in the booths of antique dealers from the U.S. and Europe.  We almost lost our minds when we spied a vintage leather trunk trimmed in brass, painted one of my favorite colors, with the most outrageously perfect patina I have ever seen.  I debated for less than a minute, knowing if I went home without it that I’d regret it for the rest of my life.  It has taken up residence in the living room, adjacent to my antique Chippendale chairs that we had upholstered serendipitously in Michael Smith’s Grace fabric in Willow a few years ago.

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This is my other treasure from the antiques fair, a great little crab-handled cachepot.  How could I resist?
This is my other treasure from the antiques fair, a great little crab-handled cachepot. How could I resist?

Dream in Sea Green

J Crew Swimsuit

Do you always gravitate to the same color?  This is it for me.  Thank goodness it works on brunettes.  I’m loving the above swimsuit from J Crew, though I’d rather cut off a small appendage than put it on after the holidays.  Seriously.

Equipment Sweater

Now this is more like it!  Throw this oversized cashmere beauty from Equipment on with some leggings or skinny jeans and the sins of overindulgence are washed away.

Fishing, summer 2012
Fishing off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard this summer.
Tumblr image – lost the link /:

Lou Piccadilly Demi-Cup Lace Bra

Lace and Satin Boyshort

What girl wouldn’t want these gorgeous underthings?  Lace and satin bra and boyshorts, available at Journelle.

Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Perfume

Tom Ford does everything right. Including this wallet-emptying perfume.

Living Room
A corner of our living room – custom ottoman in Lee Jofa’s Mallard velvet.

Hermes Enamel Bracelet

Hermes Clous en Tromp l’oeil enamel bracelet

image via

Bounkit Earrings

Love these Onyx and Amethyst Earrings from Bounkit.

Barneys Fur Vest

Ridiculously indulgent, mildly impractical.  But this vest from Barneys would be warm and toasty.  Which DOES makes it practical.  Kind of. Okay, I’m reaching.  But it is sooo cold here!

Agate Costers

My favorite agate coasters.  I bought them at the amazing Megan Winters Atelier in Lake Forest, but similar available here.

Mulberry Bayswater Bag

Mulberry’s Petrol Snakeskin Printed Bayswater bag available at Stylebop.  Sigh.

Dining Room
Dining room detail – wallpaper is Schumacher grasscloth in peacock.

Tory Burch iPhone case

A cheeky little iPhone case from Tory Burch, on sale here.

Lafco Game Room Candle

I’ll admit it.  I have a Lafco candle addiction.  When you are done burning one completely, you can pop it in the freezer to get the remaining wax out and use the beautiful glass as a vase.  How’s that for being green?

A favorite painting.

Claus Porto Soap

Crazy over Claus Porto’s Brise Marine shea butter soap, available here.

Giuseppe Zanotti Suede Pumps

Dreamy suede pumps by Giuseppe Zanotti, on sale here.

J Crew Grand Stone Bracelet

And finally, the beautiful (and budget friendly!) Grand Stone bracelet from J Crew.

All images via me unless otherwise noted.

For the Men

Today’s inspiration comes from the masculine shades found in winter’s austere landscape.  Silvery grey, snow white, midnight and weathered teak meld with the warmth of deep mahogany, rich amber, camel, and espresso to create a sophisticated neutral palette in menswear and interiors.

Images via The Gifts of Life, Patterson Maker, and Pinterest.

Girl Crush

When it comes to personal style there is no one I admire more than Aerin Lauder, so I was over the moon when I read she would be launching an eponymous lifestyle brand this fall.  Her cosmetics line will be available in late August (a sneak peak available here) and I’ve read that the brand will offer tabletop and gifts for the holiday season with fabrics, home, and personal accessories to follow.  Lauder, who left her position as senior vice president and creative director at Estee Lauder last fall, explained in an interview with Architectural Digest that “the line is about embracing a kind of everyday elegance.”  If the Aerin brand can successfully convey the elegant feel of her inimitable style, it will make legions of women very, very happy.

From Aspen:

To East Hampton:

Everything she touches exudes refined and chic simplicity.

Click on each image for sources and links.

Kind of Blue

If you were to take a stroll through my home, my closet and my breakfront you would see that the common thread is undeniably blue.  I’ve read that every room needs a touch of black, but I find blue to be much more soothing and welcoming.  From the deepest navy Edelman leather on our dining room chairs to the soft but complex blue/green/grey paint on the master bedroom walls (Farrow & Ball’s Mizzle), you’ll find at least a touch of blue in every one of our rooms.  This weekend I was flipping through my Pinterest pages and the multitude of pictures I’ve dragged and dropped into my laptop’s interior design file looking for an image of a monogrammed pillow I’m planning to duplicate.  The following are some of the beautiful, inspirational interiors I came across that are too good not to share.*

*This is the first time I’ve ever posted without precise photo crediting and links.  I have always been incredibly diligent about it, but because most of these images were pulled for personal inspiration and not for posting purposes, I did not record where they came from.  I know that many, by virtue of my great love of these sites, came from elledecor, habituallychic, capecodcollegiate, and elementsofstyle.