designers i admire: jeffrey bilhuber

You guys! I'm back and I'm so appalled to see that it has been officially more than a month since my last post. I think that might be a neglect record. More on me and my blog another day. But for now I must share the reason I've been compelled back to this space: Jeffrey Bilhuber. That's him sitting on the awesomesauce rope stool above. Mr. B is a superstar designer as I'm sure you know. I have all three of his books and love them all for different reasons. Defining Luxury is like a decorating masterclass. The details, the details, the details - not a one missed. His latest, The Way Home, is all about high-style places looking all loose and louche - such inspiration for my styling eye. In a nutshell, here are the things I love about Jeffrey Bilhuber and his design work.

Mr. B never met a wood floor that he didn't want to paint. I so agree. 

In this room I adore the upholstered walls -- always covet upholstered walls. To me they are ultimate decorator luxury. I also love how the sofa is custom made to fill the entire length of this room and how it's layered in front of packed bookshelves. This rooms conjures thoughts of Sunday afternoon napping en famille - one of my favourite pastimes.

Jeffrey Bilhuber uses curtain rods that turn a corner back to the wall. I so much prefer this look. I find finials entirely too fussy and I love the finished look of the drapes wrapping around to meet the wall. 

He uses wicker and rattan furniture in any room in the house. It's such an old school gesture. Love.

He is the owner of a charming little cottage in an East Coast seaside town...just like someone else I know.

He's known for his sophisticated chock-full of decorating urban spaces, but he does country in such a pared down unpretentious way. Just perfect.

There are so many more things I like about his work. These are the biggies. Check him out at or see the slide show of his adorable Nantucket cottage at

designers i admire: ilse crawford


seating for eating by ilse crawford for de la espadaI have long admired the career and work of Ilse Crawford. She designs the most extraordinary rooms that look like nothing else you've seen. She does that magic mix of country and Scandinavian and traditional that turns my head every time. She's a scholar and a former magazine editor. I formed my opinion about her long before I had ever heard her speak. Well, tonight I heard her speak. What I am here to say is: move over Ben Pentreath, I have a new mentor. 

"If you've got a broken heart, if you've had a terrible day, your environment's not going to make that much difference, but it can change a lot...I try to think of the human spirit first of all as my starting point."

Babs goes country

You might think glamour girl design maven Barbara Barry would be as ill at ease in the country as Ava Gabor in Green Acres. You'd be mistaken. She designed this interior in the wilds of Wyoming. It ran in an issue of Veranda mag and I've been returning to it time and again for inspiration. I love the way she embraces the country vernacular and breathes fresh new life into it. I think she has achieved something like "Luxe elegant country minmalism. " Have a look and see what you think.

PS I have a big beef with the Veranda web site coverage -- couldn't find the photographer credit! Such a shame because the photos - lighting and composition - are spectacular.


rustic beauties













Love this stuff! It's from hubs' shop. People always assume that since he has a shop that we must have fabulous stuff. Now, I'm not complaining, we certainly have some nice things, but more often than not, the best stuff goes to the shop. It's a living. He can appreciate without coveting. In fact, his favourite sales are not mere business transactions but are meetings of the minds. When the shopper "gets it". If you were a shopper who had heard of Axel Vervoordt or Darryl Carter you would "get" these things. And maybe you might even buy one. Find out more about Kevin's shop here.