Lately: Milan, London, Chicago and the AH&L Holiday Home

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Hi, friends, how have you been? My travel schedule has been crazier than usual lately and I’m not done yet so I wanted to pop in to say hello while I’m home for a hot minute. The past month has been so, so inspiring. Here’s some of what I saw and did…..

First, it was Chicago for a little work, visit with friends and inspiration at the Art Institute…..

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Kinetic art fascinates me so along with some of my favorite paintings, I loved getting the chance to experience Jesús Rafael Soto’s Pénétrable de Chicago.

After that, I tagged along on a business trip with the hubby to Milan….. It was my first time there and whoa, the shopping was as good as I had heard. But that wasn’t the best part.

Knowing that seeing an opera at La Scala was on my bucket list and being the good husband that he is, he got us tickets for a performance. And as if that weren’t enough, the lead role of Simon Boccanegra was performed by Placido Domingo! Beautifully, I might add. (This was the view from our box before the show started.) I’m a lucky, lucky woman.

Still in Milan, I saw a very special exhibit of Yves Klein and Lucio Fontana at the Museo del Novecento…..

Fontana’s neon sculpture hanging above Klein’s blue pigment installed on the floor was the centerpiece and I couldn’t tear myself away.

But tear myself away I did – for a quick stop in London to see friends and get my fix of some of my favorite things in that fabulous city…..

1. Favorite artist. I tell you the stars really aligned for me the past month as far as art is concerned. First Soto, then Klein and then, it was Anselm Kiefer at the Royal Academy……

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He’s probably my favorite contemporary artist so I couldn’t believe my luck with the timing of my visit. Photos weren’t allowed so here’s a stock photo and you’ll just have to take my word for how moving the exhibit was.

2. Favorite restaurant. Ever since my first visit earlier this year, Restaurant Story has been my favorite…..

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It was as good as I remembered.

3. Favorite hotel and space. I stayed at my favorite London hotel, the Connaught, where this space has been my favorite spot in the entire city for years…..

One morning when I came out of my room, there were beautiful scenes like this all over the hotel…..

It was almost as if fairies had come in the middle of the night and quietly decorated the entire hotel. It was magical and really got me excited to start on Christmas decorating at home…..

as did the Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Holiday Home which I went to see as soon as I got back into town…..

It has become an annual tradition and I swear it gets better every year. This is just a little peek…..

The Holiday Home is open until December 7th so if you are in the area, I highly recommend it. You can find all the details here. All the proceeds go to support the Southeastern Horticultural Society’s Children’s Learning Gardens and Farms, a very good cause.

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And speaking of good causes, Mr. FTRB and I leave for Nepal next week to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. (Like I said, insane travel schedule lately.) I’m so happy to be getting more involved with such a great organization and in Nepal, too. This is a photo I took on our first trip to Nepal more than 15 years ago – on film! (Remember film?) Would you believe we trekked and slept(!) on all that snow you see there? I won’t be doing that on this trip but I’m so looking forward to being back there again!

Before I take off, I’ve got some work to catch up on and to get the house Christmas ready. So excited for that! I’ll be on Instagram (@FromTheRightBank) with all the madness and then back here in a few weeks. So until then, be well and happy Thanksgiving!

(All photos except the Anselm Kiefer by FTRB)

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Favorite Black and White Wallpapers

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I decided a while back that I wanted to re-wallpaper this wall in my dressing room with something black and white:

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It’s part of my overhaul of that room. (I think I finally found the dresser but more on that later.)

So I’ve narrowed it down to my top five. As you look at them, see if you can guess which one I ultimately chose.

First, Nuvolette (Cole & Son) …..

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Next, Queen of Spain (Schumacher)…..

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Then, Zebra Palm (Schumacher)…..

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Then, Feather Fan (Cole & Son)…..

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And last but not least, Malachite (Cole & Son)…..

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So can you guess which one I picked? One hint: I actually chose the last one for a client. I’m hoping they’ll go with it for their powder room because when I tried out a sample in there, it looked ike this…..

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I mean come on, it doesn’t get better than this!

As for me, I’m going with…..

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Queen of Spain! I’m so excited, I can hardly contain myself. The reveal may be a while between the ordering, travels and holidays but stay tuned. It’s going to be a good one!

(All photos as linked except 1 & 2 by FTRB.)

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Fall Books: Markham Roberts, New York Mid-Century and Haute Couture Ateliers.

I have three wonderful new books to tell you about today, covering three of my favorite topics: interior design, New York and haute couture.

Decorating: the Way I see It by Markham Roberts, Principal Photography by Nelson Hancock

Markham Roberts, who trained with Mark Hampton, has decorated some of the chicest interiors of our time so his first book is long overdue.

He has been bringing his sophisticated style to a diverse range of homes for over two decades and Decorating: The Way I See It takes a look at 40 of them.

They range from city apartments to ski retreats to Southern houses and are filled with pattern, color, custom designs and beautiful works of art.

Each are distinct but all have in common an elegant and timeless air. In addition to the 350+ photographs, Decorating: The Way I See It guides the reader through Roberts’ design process making a visually stunning book highly informative as well.

For more details and links to all purchasing options, please see this page.

New York Mid-Century, 1945–1965 by Annie Cohen-Solal, Paul Goldberger and Robert Gottlieb

New York, New York. You already know it is my favorite city in the entire world. I love everything about it so New York Mid-Century, 1945–1965, which tells the story of how it came to be the capital of art, architecture, design and the performing arts, is my favorite read of the moment. It will be yours too if you have an interest in the history of American arts.

Best-selling author Annie Cohen-Solal writes about the critics and artists (Pollock, Rothko, de Kooning, Kline, Frankenthaler, Johns, Rauschenberg, Judd, Lichtenstein, Warhol…..) and the places they gathered.

Pulitzer Prize–winning architecture critic Paul Goldberger guides us through Modernist landmarks such as the Seagram Building, the New York State Pavilion at the 1964 World’s Fair, the Guggenheim Museum and the TWA Terminal at Idlewild Airport as well as shops, offices, and apartments. He also touches on furnishings, advertisements and photography.

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Lastly, Robert Gottlieb, former editor of The New Yorker and current dance critic of The New York Observer, takes us to Broadway and off-Broadway for musicals and dramas, to the jazz clubs of Harlem, to dance studios, to the ballet and to cabarets and nightclubs.

This fascinating history is illustrated with over 450 paintings, photographs, plans and ephemera from public and private collections, galleries and artists’ archives.

For more details and links to all purchasing options, please see this page.

 

Haute Couture Ateliers: The Artisans of Fashion by Hélène Farnault, Photographs by Alexis Lecomte

In many ways, haute couture remains a mysterious world even in this day and age. So for anyone interested in the artistry of fashion, Haute Couture Ateliers: The Artisans of Fashion is a real treat.

It is a behind-the-scenes look at the world of couture where a small group of artisans (lace makers, weavers, textile designers, jewelers, embroiderers, and more) use ancient techniques and expertise to realize the dream-like creations of the couture houses. All of the greats are here: Chanel, Dior, Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent…..

Close-up photographs were specially commissioned for the book and takes readers from sketchbook designs to the runway and make Haute Couture Ateliers one you will want to browse again and again.

For more details and links to all purchasing options, please see this page.

*Review copies were provided by Vendome Press.

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FTRB on HLN Project Home

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It’s time! My segment for HLN’s Project Home is live!

In a nutshell, we made over an entry/hall area and the centerpiece was this mirror which got a little DIY action.

It aired in two parts over the past two weeks but for you, my dear readers, here is the entire piece. (Keep in mind it’s my first tv appearance so there’s definitely room for improvement!)

What happened to my hair at the end??? I don’t remember a tornado blowing through the apartment! Anyway….. if you’re interested in more details about the DIY project itself, there is a slideshow here.

Happy Monday and happy fall, everyone! I just love this time of year! #pumpkinspicedeverything

(Video: Headline News)

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Lately: Mongolia, Oprah and Some Randomness (Or, Things You May Not Have Known About Me)

(Our yurt camp on White Lake.)

Hi, friends, it’s been a while and that’s because the past few weeks have been a whirlwind. Here’s some of where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing.

First, I was on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure in Mongolia. (Did that throw you for a loop?) I’m nothing if not complex. Ha! I’m most definitely a city person and I admit I’m partial to the finer things in life but I’ve also always had an Indiana Jones/Marco Polo/adventurer side that likes to explore remote corners of the world every now and then. I think it’s partly genetics (my entire family seems to have this gene) and partly the books I read as a child, all about faraway places. Whatever the reason, my curiosity has taken me to the likes of Timbuktu, the Himalayas, the Okavango Delta, Angkor Wat……. and now, Mongolia.

I got to live out my fantasies of living in a real yurt (their construction is genius!), seeing Karakorum (Genghis Khan’s capital), boating on Lake Khovsgol, seeing how real nomads live and riding camels in the Gobi Desert. We traveled over 1,000 miles in a Russian van on unpaved roads, flew in tiny planes and rode horses. We petted reindeer (so soft!), picnicked in a gorge, saw 80 million year-old dinosaur bones in the very spot where they were found(!), soaked in hot springs, tasted camel milk cheese and fermented mare’s milk, and climbed a 1,000 ft. sand dune. As you do. (That’s me lying at the top of the dunes, watching the sun come up over the Gobi. Unreal.)

(Lake Khovsgol)

And everywhere we went, the Land of Blue Skies lived up to its name. I’ve never seen such wide open skies and so many stars at night. I think that’s what I’ll remember most. There are more photos on Instagram if you’re interested (@FromTheRightBank).

(Rob Bell, Iyanla Vanzant and Elizabeth Gilbert with Oprah)

Then almost as soon as I got home it was the Live the Life You Want weekend with Oprah! (Did that throw you for another loop?) I don’t really talk about spirituality here but it’s an important part of my life and I credit Oprah with starting me on this path. I’m not running off to an ashram or anything but I’m striving to learn things like how to be more present, to live my purpose and to deal (graciously) with whatever life throws at me. You know, the usge. ;)  There was so much wisdom shared during the weekend and I’m only just starting to digest it all.

I also have a lot of new reading inspired by Oprah and my trip…..

One of my dearest friends who is also really into this type of thing flew into town for the event and we had quite the few days leading up to the weekend. After schlepping around Mongolia in my trekking clothes and generally roughing it (it’s all relative), it was nice to get dressed, put on some makeup and paint the town.

I generally like to take out-of-town visitors to tried and true places and One Eared Stag is my favorite Atlanta restaurant…..

Afternoon tea at the St. Regis usually doesn’t disappoint either…..

And we took in some art at Whitespace Gallery. It’s my favorite gallery setting in the city, especially the garden…..

I bet you’re thinking Now you sound more like yourself……  There was a lot more gallivanting but you get the idea.

So, it’s been a crazy, full and wonderful few weeks, to say the least. I’m exhausted but grateful and happy to be home so I can catch up and get myself together for the fall. It’s my favorite season of the year, hands down. Now if we can just get the weather to cooperate…..

(Photos: FROM THE RIGHT BANK)

*No part of this post is sponsored.*

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