Doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt last night. About a month ago I received an invitation to Bunny Williams’ latest book launch party at John Rosselli Antiques on 61st Street and was beyond tickled by the opportunity to meet Mrs. Williams personally. She is a design legend and one of America’s most talented and beloved decorators of our time, and I admire her greatly. Her new book, Love Affairs with Houses is gorgeous and I’ll share more about it on the blog once I get back home and have had a chance to thoroughly read it. In the meantime, I’d love to take you with me to last night’s party. It was impressive, I felt like a kid in a candy shop! Rooms filled with treasures, botanicals, hurricanes, beautiful textiles, crystal chandeliers and exquisite furnishings, the temptation was everywhere I looked… I knew that John Rosselli’s stores are a favorite among designers and a destination in themselves but I wasn’t expecting so much beauty, at every turn. Add to that the fact that designers whose work I’ve long studied and only wrote about were actually standing right next to me. It felt humbling and inspiring at the same time. I also got a chance to meet Stacey Bewkes and Susanna Salk, the fabulous duo behind the blog Quintessence, and they were both as lovely as you’d expect them to be.

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This is one of those posts I’ve been meaning to write for a really long time. I am an avid fan of Robert Kime’s work – his interiors and textile collections? have an unmistakable romanticism, a beauty that blends different eras and flavors. Robert Kime is one of England’s most esteemed decorators and his signature style has attracted a select and discreet clientele, including the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Beaufort. Kime is one of those rare decorators that has been successful on three major lines of his business. Driven by his passion for history and furniture, he started his career as an antiquities dealer. An avid collector of vintage and antique textiles from around the world, his lines of fabrics are among the most coveted in the industry, and while his passion for decorating started as a Friday indulgence, decorating homes for friends and distinct clients, that one day had soon taken over his entire business plan. He is accomplished in all three major areas of his interest and his firm, Robert Time Design still deals successfully, creates exquisite textiles and decorates some of the most beautiful homes in England and around the world. Reading an article from the New York Times written by Rita Konig, I was surprised to find out he left school at 16 to pursue archeology in Greece and Israel. Upon returning to England, he studied history at Oxford. To fund his studies, he’d often deal antiques to his colleagues and this resourcefulness was the beginning of a flourishing career in the antiquities world. After graduating, he joined Sotheby’s, the famed auction house, before working for Miriam Rothschild. With an instinctive eye for scale and proportion, which stems from his passion for archeology, as well as a thorough knowledge of furniture, Kime creates homes both humble and opulent. His talent works the same, whether it’s a modest farmhouse or a palace. For today’s post I collected some of my favorite images of Kime’s many homes – his bright and airy London flat above his shop in Bloomsbury, Upper Farm in Fosbury, Wiltshire, Docker Nook – his Cumbrian retreat, and La Gonette – his home in Provence. Although set in different parts of the world, they all share that comfortable, lived-in classic English style Kime is known for. They appear to have evolved over time, inviting, colorful and collected.?

Robert created the sitting room out of a jumble of seventeenth-century rooms at his house Upper Farm in Wiltshire.
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Happy Friday! I’ve read somewhere a quote that says “If you have everything under control, you’re not moving fast enough.”?I can’t remember who it’s attributed to but it resonated with me and the whole idea of discomfort and stress being signs of growth. I guess we are moving way above the speed limit because life has been just crazy busy lately. We found a lovely home, put an offer and the owners have accepted it!! It is such an exciting moment in our lives…Pinch me, pinch me, pinch me! It is a little bit scary too because things are moving faster than we had initially planned. We were prepared to patiently wait until the right house came along and now that it seems it has, we keep our fingers crossed it will all work out. We have general home and radon inspections lined up for next week and, if all goes well, we’ll take it from there. The best part is that we’ve met some incredible people during this process and we feel like we’ve already learned and grown so much! (As I am typing this, I have visions of a roaring fireplace (it’s still really cold in Massachusetts) and cozy attic bedrooms, visions which partly explain the rest of today’s post.)

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Modern meets traditional in this Birmingham, Alabama loft that used to be home to artist and interior designer William McLure. I’ve written about it on a different occasion, but I have come across new photographs taken by Hector Manuel Sanchez that I think show just how amazing this space really is. I’m not a modern gal at heart but every now and then I get a hankering for a touch of modern, for eclectic rooms that successfully combine contemporary details (be it abstract art, sleek furnishings or raw finishes) with the timeless beauty of traditional pieces. I think McLure got it perfectly right in his loft and of all the homes he’s lived in and decorated that we’ve got to see glimpses of, this one is my favorite. The raw, exposed brick walls and cracked cement floors contrast beautifully with a sea of whites and various textures. The entire home is one open space he’d cleverly partitioned into different areas based on functionality. There’s a cozy-feeling living room anchored by a natural fiber rug, there’s a private space -the bedroom, separated by soft linen curtains, an open kitchen and chic dining “room”.

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The search for home continues and it is both exhilarating and scary. Exhilarating because we’ve been waiting for this moment for so long… Scary because we have so many balls in the air right we can’t afford to make a mistake. So many things are out of our control, details have to work out, people need to align in order for things to happen for us that it is a challenge to keep cool. So I need to clear my mind and stay focused and organized because that’s when I’m at my best. Although I can’t share the exact home we are considering at the moment, I can share one lovely cottage that unfortunately did not work out for us.

Steven Gambrel
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