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Archive for the ‘luxury linens’ Category

Market time again..! It’s freezing cold here today in Atlanta so I was very glad I could walk through connected hotels to get to the Building 1 for market this morning. As usual, beauty abounds at every turn.  So, what’s new? I will be giving you trend updates all week.

Linen is here for the long run. It is just stronger and stronger at each market. This year we are going to see it mixed up quite a bit, used as a base to play off of other design elements and also provide a foundation. This works so well and I love to use it

A beautiful line that carries Bed and Bath, Tabletop and Accessories is “Pom Pom at home” . LOVE, LOVE their line.   I always say that “Comfort is a luxury” and that  is evident here.  Everything is crumpled and washed- perfect.  My favorite color combination with this is a natural-oatmeal shade paired with a faded gray-toned eggplant (crazy about gray-purples.)

Lots of frayed edges, very big trend for 2012.

This smocking is gorgeous!

More frayed, love the casual, elegant feeling. Reminiscent of worn, luxurious linens from a  beautiful old Chateau.

More tomorrow!

je

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With Thanksgiving only days away, food is the topic of many conversations. In our home, the table is a sacred place. Eating dinner at the table, with the whole family, is a priority at our house and I make sure we are all there together pretty much every single night. With 4 kids, that can be a lot more challenging than it sounds. But I am old-fashioned. We eat together. We eat real home-cooked food. We talk. We share. We have manners. I have taught my children good old-fashioned Emily Post etiquette and expect them to show it on a daily basis. But, I do not set a formal table very often. A beautiful table is a luxury we should all enjoy.

Emily Post’s TOP 10 TABLE MANNERS

  1. Chew with your mouth shut.
  2. Avoid slurping, smacking, blowing your nose, or other gross noises. (If necessary, excuse yourself to take care of whatever it is you need to take care of.)
  3. Don’t use your utensils like a shovel or as if you’ve just stabbed the food you’re about to eat.
  4. Don’t pick your teeth at the table.
  5. Remember to use your napkin at all times.
  6. Wait until you’re done chewing to sip or swallow a drink. (The exception is if you’re choking.)
  7. Cut only one piece of food at a time.
  8. Avoid slouching and don’t place your elbows on the table while eating (though it is okay to prop your elbows on the table while conversing between courses.)
  9. Instead of reaching across the table for something, ask for it to be passed to you.
  10. Always say ‘excuse me’ whenever you leave the table.

A Paula Deen Table (Traditional Home)

Now, you know I love to mix up the high style with the laid back. The dish collection from Canvas (below) is so organic feeling, literally. When you pick up a plate or a bowl, it has a distinct feeling to it. I just love it.

I would love to have sets upon sets of silver, like these 2 collections available at Neiman.

Amazingly classic, this monogram set is simple and divine (Pickard at Neiman).

Add some fun like these Moroccan tea glasses (also NM)

OK. The important stuff. Emily Post is my bible when it comes to Etiquette. Here is a refresher on the formal table setting:

The placement of utensils is guided by the menu, the idea being that you use utensils in an “outside in” order. For the illustrated place setting here, the order of the menu is:

  • Appetizer: Shellfish
  • First Course: Soup or fruit
  • Fish Course
  • Entree
  • Salad

(a) Service Plate: This large plate, also called a charger, serves as an underplate for the plate holding the first course, which will be brought to the table. When the first course is cleared, the service plate remains until the plate holding the entree is served, at which point the two plates are exhcnaged. The charger may serve as the underplate for several courses which precede the entree.

(b) Butter Plate: The small butter plate is placed above the forks at the left of the place setting.

(c) Dinner Fork: The largest of the forks, also called the place fork, is placed on the left of the plate. Other smaller forks for other courses are arranged to the left or right of the dinner fork, according to when they will be used.

(d) Fish Fork: If there is a fish course, this small fork is placed farthest to the left of the dinner fork because it is the first fork used.

(e) Salad Fork: If the salad is served after the entree, the small salad fork is placed to the right of the dinner fork, next to the plate. If the salad is to be served first, and fish second, then the forks would be arranged (left to right): salad fork, fish fork, dinner fork.

(f) Dinner Knife: The large dinner knife is placed to the right of the dinner plate.

(g) Fish Knife: The specially shaped fish knife goes to the right of the dinner knife.

(h) Salad Knife (Note: there is no salad knife in the illustration): If used, according to the above menu, it would be placed to the left of the dinner knife, next to the dinner plate. If the salad is to be served first, and fish second, then the knives would be arranged (left to right): dinner knife, fish knife, salad knife.

(i) Soup Spoon or Fruit Spoon: If soup or fruit is served as a first course, then the accompanying spoon goes to the right of the knives.

(j) Oyster Fork: If shellfish are to be served, the oyster fork goes to the right of the spoons. Note: it is the only fork ever placed on the right of the plate.

(k) Butter Knife: The small spreader is paced diagonally on top of the butter plate, handle on the right and blade down.

(l) Glasses: These can number up to five and are placed so that the smaller ones are up front. The water goblet (la) is placed directly above the knives. Just to the right goes a champagne flute (lb); in front of these are placed a red (lc) or white (ld) wine glass and a sherry glass (le).

(m) Napkin: The napkin is placed on top of the charger (if one is used) or in the space for the plate.

In General:

  • Knife blades are always placed with the cutting edge toward the plate.
  • No more than three of any implement is ever placed on the table, except when an oyster fork is used in addition to three other forks. If more than three courses are served before dessert, then the utensil for the fourth course is broght in with the food; likewise the salad fork and knife may be brought in when the salad course is served.

And last but not least, some fun gift ideas that could double as placemarkers:

I love this idea for Thanksgiving. Fill in your table decor with these adorable cookie jar gifts (recipe from Whole Foods) and include a cute gift tag ( http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/holidays/giving/tags/Hol10_GiftTag_GingersnapCookieMix_recipe.pdf)

I saw these in Pottery Barn and thought they are an adorable gift, either hostess or guest. How sweet would it be to have these hanging over the back of each chair with the guest’s initials?

I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving full of family, friends, good food and thanks and don’t forget to chew with your mouth closed and not talk with food in your mouth (the latter my hardest rule to keep!)

xxj

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Congrats Martha, for winning the R Jabbour Linens Boudoir pillow!

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I love to sleep. Some people may think that this is a lazy quality that one may have, but I beg to differ. I am a severe multi-tasker and there is literally never enough time in a day. So if I have the opportunity to sleep, I will take it in a heartbeat! I have always been extremely, let’s say “particular” about my bedding (and everyone that sleeps under our roof).

A couple of weeks ago we were in NYC at the Waldorf Astoria. This is our hotel of choice when in NYC for many reasons (quality, atmosphere, location-quick walk to Grand Central Station). After a great day of shopping, eating and theatre (and a long soak in the tub) I couldn’t wait to get into that bed! They really do a nice bed in this hotel. They use a system called “triple sheeting”. Many hotels have caught on to the fact that people want incredible beds and have also incorporated this bedding. The first hotel that I remember staying at with this type of bedding was the newly opened Borgata in Atlantic City many years back. Anyway.. so it consists of a thick mattress pad, cotton sheet tucked into the mattress, cotton topsheet on top of that, fluffy duvet (no duvet cover) and a top sheet to finish it off.  This is no revolutionary set-up, but what I love is, you can really appreciate the duvet because it’s not hidden in a cover ( I still love beautiful cotton or linen duvet covers). The look is so inviting because the fluffiness can really be noticed under a mere light sheet.

Of course, the pillows are detrimental as well, so they must be chosen well. Not too soft, not firm. Somewhere in the middle of supportive and sink-down into it.

So last week I was on a mission to revamp my bedding. To my husband’s dismay (we have a lot of good duvets in this house) I bought a new duvet (Pacific Coast, 400 TC, 650 fill power). This is the same brand that was used in our suite at the Waldorf. I already have a really good mattress pad and so I just had to rearrange the sheets. The result was divine! Of course I had to make a big deal about how incredible it was to my husband so that he would forget to care about the new duvet purchase.

So, I know you want to revamp your bed to make it heaven on earth! I am going to start you off with a beautiful giveaway to get it going. I have an amazing giveaway for you that will run for the next 5 weeks.

In 1931, on NYC’s 59th street, Ralph Jabbour opened shop to provide beautiful linens to all. The company is still doing a great service by offering some of the best stuff out there! They carry all the good stuff. Enter now to win a beautiful boudoir sham  from their classic Portofino collection, pictured at the top of this post.

Here is a grande example of how you can give yourself a blissful sleep every night.

Start off with a very good mattress pad, like this one from The Company Store.

Next, you need 1 fitted sheet and 2 flat sheets, like these classic examples by R Jabbour, which are linen.

Sandwich your duvet between the flat sheets (don’t forget to spend some time shaking and fluffing the duvet before you put it on the bed). Be particular about your duvet. Here are the basic requirements: at least 250 TC cover (I prefer closer to 400) and a fill of at least 550 fill power (higher the fill power, higher the fluff- and warmth so you may be cranking up the AC in the summer, but sooo worth it!). White goose down on the feathers. There are a variety of great goose down feathers out there, from Poland, Hungary, The Pyrenees in France.

Pillows, like I said before- very important.

This may all seem like a bit of an investment, but YOU’RE WORTH IT! You will sleep an average of about 200,000 hours in your life. I say, make it count.

Now here is the crème de la crème  in blissful sleeping. I take this from a stay that we had in an amazing castle in France. At my bedside, a tray with silver tumblers, a beautiful carafe, linen napkins and a bottle of mineral water.

This breaker is from a castle collection and the pitcher from Christofle.

PS, my water of choice is San Pelligrino. We drink it by the case in this house, in fact yesterday my 2 year old asked me for it, ” Mommy can I have san pah gee no”..

So please enter to win that beautiful boudoir pillow from http://www.jabbourlinens.com/ by posting a comment to this post or by signing up to my blog on the upper right corner (sign me up).

Sweet dreams, Buona Notte and Bon Huit!

xxj

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I almost fell over when I picked up the latest House Beautiful. Designer Eleanor Cummings has crawled into my dreams and extracted this villa and then recreated it for a Houston family!!!

For the record, my future Italian villa will be inspired by this amazing home. 

Everything from the reclaimed wood, brick and stone to the 1850′s Italian oak doors to the antique French shutters, the exposed wood beams, the decorative grilles, the amazing architectural features, and on and on and on…

I will be away from blogging until next week. We are headed to Virgina Beach for Marc to run the marathon there this weekend, so here is some beauty to keep you inspired while I am away.

Ciao-Ciao

xxj

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We all want it. That perfect private retreat within the retreat. A blissful bedroom. How to achieve? Well, first things first. Color. The right color is the foundation to any successful room. Color is very personal, so it’s important that you choose a color that is relaxing and rejuvenating to you. Think long and hard about what colors make you feel this way. I prefer whites, blues and grays. Here is another area where getting crazy with color is not a good idea. Stay within a limited color scheme, but feel free to add a few accents that break these boundaries for a bit of interest.

The bed is the king here. And “fluff” (aka thick dive-in cottony coziness) is the only thing that says comfort to me. So fluff is the feel and the right colors are the look. Layering is important. What does that mean? Here is an example. Layer 1: Very good mattress. Layer 2: Very high quality mattress pad with a thick cotton or wool top. Layer 3: High thread count cotton fitted sheet (minimum of 400TC of reputable brand). Layer 4: Same for flat sheet. Layer 5: cozy cotton or silk blanket for versatility. Layer 6: White Hungarian Goose Down comforter with a minimum fill power of 55o tucked inside of a cotton duvet cover. This layer can be folded at the bottom or rolled down with the rest of the layers.

Once the color and the bed are right, the rest is easy. Add things that you love and that fall into your chosen color scheme. I like to keep it simple and functioning. Put lighting where it will be the most useful to you, stock night tables with coasters, a water carafe, candles, etc, things that will give you a feeling of luxury and comfort.

 

 More great photos by Country Living.

xxj

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OK. I have always been  “particular” about my bedding. Look, it’s where you spend 1/3 of your life! There are certain things that are really “standard” in my opinion and everyone who sleeps should adhere to these simple rules. Life is so much better when you have a delicious bed to jump into every night. So here are the basics.

#1: White goose down comforter or eco-equivalent with at least a 250 thread count cover. The fill needs to be a minimum of 550. This is critical.  It’s what makes a comforter fluffy and so wonderful to sink into or under. The higher the fill, the fluffier the result. The only thing to consider here, is the weight. The more ounces of down, the warmer. It needs to be baffled or box-stitched to prevent shifting.  

An awesome example is the Legends Premier from The Company Store. http://www.thecompanystore.com/parent/Comforters+Luxury/3103/CY15X/ another awesome brand is Down to Basics.

#2: High thread count cotton sheets and duvet cover.  Anything over 40o is good, if they are made by a reputable brand. There are some new kinds of sheeting that I have not tried, like bamboo and silk blends. They look really good, but I haven’t tested them.

#4: Down or eco-equivalent pillows for shams and decor pillows. The pillow you sleep is a personal choice, but it’s important to have all those awesome pillows to pile up behind you for watching TV and reading (and eating ice cream- which I am trying to give up).

xxj

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Number 7:
Sleep like royalty.
Make sure your mattress is giving you the best nights sleep and update your linens for a luxurious sleep. Sheeting should be high-thread count cotton, at least 400 TC. The pillows should be down, eco-down or a synthetic version. Make sure you have a plush, fluffy duvet that is white goose down and filled with at least 500-fill power. Everyone in the house should enjoy the same luxuries (even the kids)..

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Number 1:
Create a cozy reading nook with a chaise lounge. I love this French antique reproduction. Adding some grandeur that pairs with function is a beautiful statement in your home. I love the neutrality of these  types of linen pieces. Add a beautiful down pillow and your favorite book and there you go.

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