Claiborne Swanson Frank’s French Country Home

 

Hi dear readers! Lately I have been searching for inspiration and focusing on enjoying simple pleasures of the season, be it a cheerful bouquet of sunflowers, gentle afternoon breeze, or taste of a ripe and juicy peach. With June upon us, summer has arrived and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I love the relaxed pace of June, July and August and everything sweet summertime has to offer.

Speaking of inspiration, Architectural Digest recently made everyone’s interior design dreams come true with their feature of Claiborne Swanson Frank’s incredible Greenwich home. I have admired Claiborne for years, from her amazing book and photography in Mother & Child, to her effortless elegance and style, and looked forward to the day when she would showcase where she lived.

Designed by Asia Baker Stokes, the French country style home’s serene palate of blue and white with pops of cheerful bright pink in the sunroom and tomato red in her children’s rooms is pure perfection. Tastemaker Bunny Mellon’s New York City town house inspired the project, and the exterior is painted white brick with pale grey shutters giving it a light and airy feel. I absolutely adore this color combination! As you go through the images, the crisp Schumacher stripes, iconic Pierre Frey Toile, and blue and white Braquenié fabrics all show how thoughtful and intentional Baker Stokes and Swanson Frank were in the selection of each piece in the home. Its details such as these that make a house truly special and are such a testament to how talented both ladies are!

The property embodies the meaning of country living and looks magical, nestled among 200-year-old trees, endless grassy lawns and a winding creek. What an idyllic place to raise her precious boys! And so, here are pictures from the article that I hope will inspire you as much as they have inspired me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quick Tips
Etiquette

No. 1

“WHEN ATTENDING A WEDDING, IT’S ALWAYS BETTER TO BE OVERDRESSED.”

Wedding Guest Attire Etiquette

Starry Night New Year’s Eve Celebration at Home

  1. Slip into these sparkle slippers 
  2. A PJ party made fabulous with this starry set 
  3. Metallic confetti – a must!
  4. A star headband will add a touch of glamour to your evening at home
  5. These star tumblers would be as fabulous for NYE as they would a summertime dinner party
  6. A neutral scalloped white and gold placemat is the perfect backdrop for decorative dinnerware
  7. A pop of color in the form of navy candles
  8. Charming embroidered cocktail napkins 
  9. Glass candlesticks  filled with tapered candles create soft, beautiful lighting
  10. Coordinating scalloped napkins, because it’s fun to match
  11. Blue and white plates, part traditional and part

 

A bright new year ahead calls for sparkle and celebration, and this year is no exception. Traditionally on New Year’s Eve, we enjoy meeting friends at one of our favorite restaurants in Dallas. The children join too, and it’s a festive evening filled with cocktails and Shirley Temples, incredible Mexican food, and lots of laughter. Given this year is a bit different, we’ve decided to celebrate the end of 2020 at home with a special dinner, games, movies, Champagne and sparkling cider for the boys. Confetti, noisemakers, and dazzling hats and glasses will make it a night to remember!

For those of you also staying home, I wanted to share a dreamy starry night inspired evening made for this occasion. Complete with glittery slippers, embroidered cocktail napkins and even whimsical blue and white plates, this is a cozy New Year’s Eve celebration of my dreams. Whether you will be with family, friends, or solo this holiday, I wish you healthy, happiness and everything wonderful in 2021!

Advice
HOSTESS WITH THE MOSTESS

No. 2

“IT’S ALL ABOUT THE THOUGHTFUL DETAILS WHEN ENTERTAINING, SO CONSIDER LITTLE EXTRAS SUCH AS CUSTOM NAPKINS OR UNIQUE PARTY FAVORS.”

MORE SOCIAL ETIQUETTE TIPS

Everything You Need to Know about Being a Houseguest

 

Hi dear readers! We recently traveled to California to visit our family, and words can’t describe how wonderful it was to be reunited after seven months. We built sandcastles at the beach, enjoyed late afternoon lunches overlooking the ocean, and even had an early birthday celebration (complete with confetti and the ultimate vegan chocolate cake) for my husband, son and stepdad. It was a magical week!

My brother graciously hosted us in California, and so as we packed our bags to leave for our trip, I started thinking about what it means to be a good houseguest, and what tips I could share with you. We’ve stayed with him before of course as well as with other friends and family, and yet I think it’s always a good idea to have an etiquette refresher on being a houseguest. You want to strike that ideal balance of being comfortable and relaxed during your stay, yet still on your best behavior. Staying in someone’s home or their vacation home is such an honor, and so it’s important to follow a few tips to shine as your best and most gracious self, and ensure the visit runs smoothly. Also, if you have ever hosted house guests, you have a host’s perspective, which is so helpful as well!

And so, here is everything you need to know about being a gracious houseguest:

Never show up empty handed: Bring a host gift to show your appreciation for the visit. It can be a basket of gourmet breads and jams (check for food allergies before bringing this!), personalized cups and their favorite cocktail makings, monogramed hand towels, chic beach tote, coffee table book, or a gorgeous pitcher filled with fresh flowers. Remember, it doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant. Instead, aim for thoughtful.

Make your bed everyday: Just as you would at home, strive to make the bed every day so your room is neat and tidy. Keep your bathroom clean as well.

Clean up after yourself: Whether you take folding chairs and towels down to the beach or decide to curl up in the den with a blanket and book or puzzle, be sure to clean up after yourself and put everything back in its place.

Help prepare meals, do dishes (unless the host objects): Pitch in with cooking, setting the table and washing dishes. It’s respectful, helpful and gracious – all qualities of an outstanding houseguest :).

Contribute to meals out and/or groceries (unless the host objects): If your host arranges for you to eat out during your visit (brunch, lunch, dinner, etc.), offer to pay for the meal. The same goes for groceries if you are staying for more than a long weekend and cooking meals at home. Your host will be touched and it’s yet another fabulous way to let the host know how much you appreciate their hospitality.

Show that you are having a great time: Be cheerful, engaging, helpful and fun to be around! And be open to whatever the host has planned, be it a low key morning or action packed afternoon.

Write a thank you note or send thank you flowers: After your visit, send a hand written thank you note sharing some of your favorite memories from the visit, and thanking your host for having you. You could also send a gorgeous arrangement and thank you enclosure card as another option.

Quick Tips

Houseguest Quick Tips

•••

Confirm how long you will stay prior to your visit and make it short and sweet (unless the host has invited you for an extended visit)

Follow house rules

Bring your own toiletries

Be present – phones and devices away!

At the end of your visit, ask the host if they would like you to strip the bed (remove the sheets and pillow cases). If so, be sure to spread out the duvet or blanket and place the pillows on the bed so it still looks “made.”

On the last day, leave your room tidy, just as it was the day you arrived.