Romance for me is all about atmosphere. It’s not necessarily defined by luxury and indulgence (although that works too). It’s more about a warmth that is at once alluring and thoughtful. And it can be found anywhere … Listening to a sexy mix on Pandora; alone on a cold night next to a roaring fire; at a breathtaking art exhibit; overlooking a misty river; in a tiny shop tucked away in a gritty part of London; or, of course, cozied up with your loved one in a hotel suite for the weekend. The misconception about romance is that it’s exclusive to those with a black Amex or a wedding band. It may smack a bit of “personal growth”, but romance is everywhere. We just have to recognize it when it’s in front of us.
Happy Valentine’s Day from Luxe & Lucid, XO
* All photos c/o T. Huntley save row 3, image 3. Thank you Paola Kudacki & husband James Penfold for being the sexiest, most inspiring couple on the planet.
Shopping for Christmas (Hanukkah, etc.) can be a blast when you find just the right gift for your special someone. I’m sharing some of my “finds” for those of you who are still on the hunt. Happy holidays!
* S c r o l l t o t h e b o t t o m f o r L u x e & L u c i d g i f t s t h a t g i v e b a c k *
| FOR THE AESTHETE |
Male or female, the key to buying a gift for this type is finding a functional object that is executed beautifully.
(L) Shagreen matchstriker (C) custom knife from Rockin’ One Knives (R) UrbanEars headphones
| FOR YOUR MAN |
Aquascutum checked weekender bag.
| FOR THE FEMALE FREQUENT FLYER |
Add something special to the carry-on of the woman who often finds herself on planes and in airports.
(L) Tocca perfume travel trio (R) silk earring cases
(B) Handmade and customized leather luggage tag
| FOR THE COOL CROWD |
(L) Big Lick spoon rest (C) Barbara Kruger sunglasses (R) Breaking Bad tee
| FOR THE PERSON WHO HAS EVERYTHING |
‘Not Another Bill’
A gift subscription service customized to your or your giftees preferences.
Download interesting and original fonts onto your partner’s/parent’s/colleague’s computer.
| GIVE A GIFT THAT SAVES LIVES |
Donate to a local shelter or national animal rescue organization in the name of a loved one.
(L) Washington Humane Society (C) PETA (R) ASPCA
** Leave a COMMENT ONLINE and Luxe & Lucid will make a DONATION in your name to one of the organizations listed here. **
I mentioned in my last post that I like a little “rock-n-roll with my ladylike”. That statement describes more than just my fashion sense – it’s a personal credo, a balancing act and the foundation for how I design. Contrasting modern with traditional, sexy with conventional and subtle with provocative allows me to enjoy all the world has to offer. More importantly, it’s the incongruity and tension that makes a room or collection [and even a relationship] sing.
Huntley & Co. interiors.
Mixing pieces that seem incompatible gives an ensemble just the right edge.
(L) Dries Van Noten, (M) unknown (R) Christopher Kane
It’s not easy to find a car when one’s style is epitomized by dichotomy. But this weekend, I actually spotted my dream ride.
I had never seen the Volvo 1800ES; it’s from the early 70s. Part roadster, part wagon. Stylized yet practical. Sexy and a little weird. I AM IN LOVE!
Dynamic duos – Opposites attract and are, truthfully, more interesting.
(L) “Portland, Oregon” blends Jack White’s tinny, rockabilly melody with Loretta Lynn’s old-school country style.
(M) Even more intriguing than Jesse and Walt’s differences on Breaking Bad are their internal dichotomies – troubled yet innocent heroine addict and conservative yet calculating high school teacher.
(R) Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller – the love story of a fragile seductress and brilliant playwright.
Food may be the most tangible way to enjoy nature’s complex and complementary offerings.
(L) Apricot stuffed pork shoulder with soy/honey glaze. (M) Figs and blue cheese wrapped in prosciutto. (R) Cannelini bean, salmon and caviar canapes.
Another one of nature’s delicious offerings – MEN!
Polished/scruffy, strong/approachable, sexy/odd, clever/intelligent. Mmmmm, one of each please.
* You can find these photos and links on my Pinterest page *
I made a long overdue trip to the nail salon this weekend for a mani/pedi. And while scanning the assortment of possible nail colors from which to choose, I stumbled upon a stunning shade of peacock blue. It’s one of my favorite colors in general – rich, complex, almost regal – so the thought of it on my fingertips was titillating. Sure enough, I love it. Not only do I think the shade of blue is absolutely stunning, but in a strange way, I think it complements my skin tone. It’s funny then that some of the conservative loved ones in my life don’t share my enthusiasm. Don’t they see what I see? What’s not to like? Some people think pretty is synonymous with conventional. But I think some of the prettiest things are those that are actually unconventional. I’m not talking about anything bizarre or distasteful. I mean looking beyond labels and stereotypes and thinking about what makes something beautiful … the confidence with which a man carries himself, the complex ideas behind an abstract painting, the texture of an unusual plant. Of course, what’s stunning will always catch our eye, but sometimes beauty and substance wear an unexpected guise.
My peacock blue manicure.
A study for “Woman Pulling Up Her Stocking” and “Salon in the Rue Des Moulins”.
Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec found inspiration in bars and brothels. Unseemly venues perhaps, but the artist found warmth and vivid color in these unlikely spectacles.
Felicity Brown’s 2010 collection was inspired by Toulouse-Lautrec’s work.
Tilda Swinton is a chameleon on and off-screen. She can look ethereal, severe or aristocratic.
Some people don’t like modern art or furniture. It’s hard to understand with gorgeous, sculptural shapes likes these.
Who needs gold or diamonds? Dahlia Kloss’ necklace is a showstopper without precious metals or stones.
Although two of the world’s deadliest snakes, the Rosy Boa and Malayan Coral Snake are also two of the most beautiful.
John Hawkes, Mick Jagger & Adrian Brody.
The talent and swagger of these men makes their unconventional looks incredibly sexy.
My mother always told me, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”
Does that maternal wisdom apply to blogs? It probably should, but I just can’t help
myself. We have a folder in the Huntley & Co. files labeled “UHOF”. The [yoo-hawf]
folder contains images of designs we find to be, ahem, aesthetically challenging. I’ll
admit it’s a little snarky. What can I say – my staff and I simply believe it’s irresponsible
not to document design work that dares to go beyond good taste to, um well, the …
– Ugly Hall of Fame –
1. hollywood mcmansion | columns do not a mansion make!
2. 80s bedroom | even the decade of decadence can’t excuse this decor
3. one-of-a-kind stag chair | perfect if your house is on the island of Dr. Moreau
4. Celine Dion wedding attire | “I said more crystals!”
5. satin bedroom ensemble | the love child of paris hilton and cotton candy
6. Dutch sculpture, 1972 | terrifying – yet sold for 13,000 EUR at auction
7. flatscreen tv lift | only in America
8. dc dressing room | the ceiling from hell
9. shower tile mural | who needs coffee when your morning starts with this?
10. album cover | career killer, web favorite and my new screensaver
If any of the above comments offend you, lighten up.
If you can’t get enough, click on these websites for more snarky fun:
Tricia ; )
I am fortunate – especially this time of year – to have the two words above feature prominently in
my life. But it wasn’t always the case. I know how lackluster single life can be regardless of how
much one relishes his or her freedom. Love and happiness do, no doubt, go hand in hand. But that
doesn’t mean you can’t imbue your reality with some of the magic of romance sans sig-other. It comes
down to simple things like finding beauty and stirring the senses. As a designer, I do this for a living,
so I found alternate avenues to joy when I was on my own. Below are some options for all the
fabulous “independents” out there. Neither a significant amount of funds nor effort are required.
Love when it comes to you, but live well in the meantime.
– SEE –
Whistler’s Peacock Room at the Freer Gallery of Art.
“I am Love” featuring Tilda Swinton and the backdrop of Milan and the Villa Necchi Campiglio.
photo courtesy of Mikado Film/Magnolia Pictures
– HEAR –
Jazz at the Kennedy Center. Toots Thielemans & Kenny Werner play April 2.
photo courtesy of Eddy Westveer
Before she was the first lady of France and after she was a supermodel, Carla Bruni
released an album called Quelqu’un M’a Dit on which she sings and plays guitar.
The music is sweet but throaty – whispery and detached romanticism.
– TASTE –
No prep required, but the perfect indulgent meal.
Charcuterie, truffle cheese, a baguette, fruit and a bar of Swiss chocolate.
– TOUCH –
A massage may be the only acceptable substitute for you-know-what. I’m headed to
the Lorien Spa in Old Town Alexandra with one of my best girlfriends in a few weeks.
Or bundle yourself in one of may favorite textiles – alpaca.
I received the dreamiest wrap from Villa de Alpacas for Christmas.
– SMELL –
Luxe Custom Perfume Creation is the perfect “I’m treating myself” type of indulgence.
– PS … AND LAUGH! –
Whether or not you are a parent or a dog-lover, I guarantee this video will bring
you an infinite amount of joy when you watch it. Happy Valentine’s Day!
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I am saluting one of my favorite colors – pink.
This lovely hue often gets a bad rap. People think it’s a saccharine shade that should be
reserved for little girls’ bedrooms and bubble gum. But pink can be as versatile and sophisticated
as any color in the spectrum. I’ve used it in dining rooms, bathrooms and living rooms. And it’s
always warm, sexy, feminine and inviting. Now before all you modernists and men poo-poo this idea,
I’ll let you in on a little secret. Whenever I use pink in a room, the crew on site (plumbers, electricians,
millworkers, etc.) always love it. I”m talking about macho, physical, hardworking guys. But believe
it or not, if you envelop them in pink, they suddenly feel calm, comforted and completely at home.
I’m not kidding. It happens without fail. Maybe pink isn’t just for girls after all?
A pink gown – in the right color, the right cut and with the right complexion – can be an absolute stunner.
L to R: Diane Kruger in Christian Lacroix, Naomi Watts in Stella McCartney and Natalie Portman in Rodarte.
My girl Gwen rocked a custom John Galliano pink and white ombre silk faille dress on her wedding day.
I keep these heart-shaped “Make Out Mints” at the ready in case of an intimate chat or smooch.
A rose quartz cabochon ring by Arunashi Jewelry.
Pink, polished and modern.
Leigh Viner’s work is utterly feminine but with a sexy edge. Find this freelance artist
and photographer’s collection of prints and original works through JKL Design on Etsy.
Miles Redd is never one to shy away from color and his New York living room is no exception.
A lipstick red sofa against bubblegum pink walls. Yes, I actually love this combo. Granted, I
would probably tweak the saturation and tone of each of these hues (case in point – the
Huntley & Co. dining and living rooms below), but I do think Mr. Redd is on to something.
Another “Redd” room – these pink walls have a base that’s more salmon, less blue.
This shade of pink is a beautiful foil for the graphic black and white of the chair and artwork.
I spotted this delicate chandelier with pale pink crystals on Friday at the
Ebanista showroom in DC. It’s elegant, charming and not too sweet.
And I stumbled upon this GORGEOUS light fixture while trolling online.
It speaks to the “bubble” chandelier look that’s been popular the past few
years, but is a warmer, more organic version … like candy-coated jellyfish.
I recently purchased this Modern Alchemy candle from And Beige in Adams Morgan.
I can’t get enough of the scent and am equally amused by the company’s description …
“When unbridled lust is confined within a single sexually charged location, the perfume is unmistakable.
This torrid fragrance is of sultry orris root, musk, ancient civet, peru balsam and rarest plai.”
I always go to Saipua – floral designers in Brooklyn – for color inspiration.
Their arrangements are so lush and gorgeous with an effortlessness about them.
This is how you arrange pink flowers.
A painting by the 19th century portrait artist Giovanni Boldini. Portraits as beautiful
and seductive as this one of Marthe deFlorian are, unfortunately, remnants of the past.
The Boldini painting above reminds me of this study I designed for a client. She requested a pink and
blue color scheme for the space and I was notably doubtful at first. I’m not really a pastel kind of girl
(unless you counteract it with something dark or edgy), so this was new territory for me. But it turned out
beautifully. The soft colors were the key to creating a peaceful work environment for a busy woman.
A year or so later, the same client wanted her dining room reinvented. Again she was
drawn to pink. This time I didn’t hesitate. Soft rose-colored walls and coral/brick red
mouldings and trim throughout. It’s an unusual color scheme that has a magical glow
during candlelit dinner parties. I love trying new things and clients who takes risks.
Indeed, 2009 was the year of pink for Huntley & Co. Probably because we were fortunate
enough to have independent, savvy female clients who wanted to bring fashion and glamour
into their homes [and lives]. This metallic, faux bois wallcovering is one of my all-time
favorites. It comes in several incredible colors including this blush one. I had it cut into
squares and hung in contrasting directions to highlight the pattern and luminosity of the paper.
I carried this pink tote around all summer and was sad to retire it for the season.
To all the women, including my late Grammy P, who have waged the war against breast
cancer with courage and dignity. We honor you this October and all year long.
As of September 2010, Luxe & Lucid is one-year-old. And what a year it’s been!
To celebrate, I’m recapping some of my favorite posting moments and sending a shout-out to
all those who’ve tuned in during my inaugural year online. Life in the blogoshpere has been an
unexpected joy and labor of love (with equal emphasis on "labor" and "love"). Stay tuned for
more interiors, more fashion and more adventures in year two. Anything could happen!
– SEPTEMBER 28, 2009 –
The Gold Standard
My first post is still one of my favorites. And my love affair with gold is still going strong.
– NOVEMBER 6, 2009 –
Mirror Mirror on the Wall
It’s pretty exciting to see one of my interiors make the rounds on the internet. This photo from
last year showed up on dozens of sites and seemed to incite a “mirror-on-mirror” craze.
And I couldn’t get enough of the comments like those below …
"That Tricia Huntley Venetian mirror over a normal mirror is my fave bathroom ever!!!"
– Sarah (Matters of Style) c/o Little Green Notebook
"I have had my eye on this design feature for awhile [and} looking for a place to incorporate it. I absolutely love the [first] picture."
– sillybee c/o Apartment Therapy
– DECEMBER 4, 2009 –
L.A. = Love Affair
My trip to LA last November was fabulous. Inspiring and fruitful. I incorporated
several of my finds into Huntley & Co. projects, including the apartment in Switzerland.
– JANUARY 1, 2010 –
Find Your Anthem
My favorite Luxe & Lucid entry from the past year.
A personal and cathartic statement delivered via a hip, irreverent post.
– JANUARY 19, 2010 –
The obvious fun of this post was celebrating my own zodiac sign. But I stumbled upon a
lot of other interesting and unexpected tidbits while researching as well. And who knew I
would be able to incorporate one of my favorite artists – Kris Kristofferson – into a blog about
horoscopes? That’s the secret joy of blogging; you never know where it will take you.
– MARCH 5, 2010 –
A Day in the Life
As many of my readers may now realize, I try to find the humor in my job and the precarious situations I
so often find myself in. This was one of those days. I know we sometimes accomplish the impossible,
but it’s all in a day’s work. Still, it was nice to pull the curtain back for once, so everyone else could see the
reality of my glamorous (ha!) life. And comments like the one below help me smile through the madness.
“Holy Crap, pardon me, but y’all are amazing. Love that your client was right there.
Tricia, you have nerves of steel and fabulous style to boot”
– Claire / High Gloss Blue
– MAY 11, 2010 –
Scents & Sensibility
This post pulled me deeper into my romance with fragrances. Intoxicating, sensuous, glamorous.
And a key player in the battlefield of love and passion for millennia. I can’t get enough.
– JULY 1, 2010 –
I loved that fellow designers and fashionistas were able to find inspiration in my digital storyboards.
"Fabulous idea. I think I fit into board #2 myself. Delicious.”
– Stefan / ArchitectDesign
- AUGUST 26, 2010 –
Heavens to Etsy
Blogging about Etsy turned out to be a slightly dangerous undertaking. One, because
it led to shopping. Shocker. And two, because it elicited my first negative comment from
a reader [who called me a snob]. Ugh. Seriously people, I work 7 days a week and write
this blog in my after hours – i.e. between 7PM and 4AM – cut me a little slack please.
Whatever. I still got me some gorgeous earrings (above) and a sick vintage brooch. Snap!
– SEPTEMBER 12, 2010 –
25 Signs You May Be Working Too Much
It’s good to know from suffering comes so much joy. I think everyone who read this
post – including me – got a big kick out of it. Every time I look back at that painful and
delirious list, I laugh. Like they say, truth is stranger than fiction. Yes, this is my life.
A big thank you to all my readers and subscribers. I love your feedback, so keep it coming. And a
shout-out to my international fans. Your attention to my fledgling blog is really exciting. Here’s a list of some
of the countries who’ve checked in with Luxe & Lucid from around the globe this year. Love, love, love it!
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
I spent this past weekend on Martha’s Vineyard.
Apart from several trips to Newport for hotel work a decade ago, I haven't spent any
time in New England. I tend to migrate west for family get-togethers and downtime.
And being the contrarian-enthusiast that I am, I was tentative about a preppy endemic.
I.e., an island saturated with bobbed hair, lockjaws and Lily Pulitzer ad nauseam. Oh
ye of little faith (and so much paranoia)! I didn't know what I was missing. Pristine
architecture, majestic beaches and charming shops abound. Add world-class
seafood to the mix and you have the perfect destination for a weekend getaway.
* FRIDAY *
Since our destination – Chappaquiddick – was east of Martha’s Vineyard,
we decided to take a driving tour of the island’s west side upon arrival.
First stop – The views of Gay Head.
To know me is to understand that I am a HUGE Jaws fan. It’s one of my favorite
movies of all time (see the October Luxe & Lucid post “Mad About Macabre”). Several
key scenes were shot in Menemsha (above) as well as on other parts of the island.
Aprés dinner and before hopping on the Chappy ferry, we stopped for a nightcap at Atlantic.
The Mike Benjamin Band was headlining – they’ve played for Mary Steenburgen and
President Bill Clinton – and absolutely rocked the house. We danced until we were soaked
through and closed down the bar. Haven’t done that in a few years and loved every minute of it.
* SATURDAY *
I woke up at 6AM ready to tackle the day’s itinerary and
enjoy the small window of sunshine forecasted for the weekend.
To make the most of it, we started the day with a little exploration and a walk on the beach.
Followed by shopping for groceries at the famous (and newly renovated) Morning
Glory farmer’s market. I brought their blackberry/strawberry jam home to DC. Yum!
But the real highlight of the day (well, for me) was a visit to Island Alpaca.
I fell in love with these animals when Sandra Jordan made a visit to Huntley & Co. this
spring. Sandra’s eponymous company manufactures and imports incredibly beautiful
textiles from Peru. She has a true passion for her fabrics and the Alpaca breed itself.
How could she not? Just look at those faces!
Two babies and several “colorways” from Island Alpaca’s herd.
This little fella’ had a passion for grooming. So cute!
After all that excitement, we continued onto Vineyard Haven to do a little
sightseeing and shopping. Below are a few of our stops.
A charming children’s book store owned by the very knowledgeable Zoë
Pechter. Check out her blog for new releases and recommendations.
BRAMHALL & DUNN
Great linens and tabletop items with [you guessed it] a slightly preppy
theme. I did, in fact, find several sheet sets and coverlets from
Pamela Kline and Le Jacquard Français that were quite lovely.
A vast assortment of gifts, paper goods and tableware
that range from sweet to sophisticated to amusing.
An eclectic mix of modern and vintage accessories. I left with a darling
pair of sunglasses. You can also find classic Golden books, antique
typeface letters and colorful dinnerware. And the staff couldn’t be friendlier.
A. E. KIRKPATRICK
A slightly kooky jewelry store tucked away off of Main Street. I found
a chic, bendable gold-plated snake bracelet/necklace for a song.
I'm using it as a sculpture on my living room coffee table.
A great accessory that will change up my tablescape in a snap.
Our long and active day required a nap and a nice dinner in Edgartown.
We dined at Restaurant Détente, an unassuming spot in Nevin Square.
Casual décor, excellent wine list, award-winning fare.
* SUNDAY *
It’s hard to believe we had already packed all the activities above into 30 hours.
We didn’t slow our pace much on Sunday.
Morning is a great time to view Chappaquiddick’s wildlife in its natural habitat. Besides
the incredible sea creatures (horseshoe crabs are freaks!), the bird-watching on
the island is pretty incredible. We saw all of the species below during our visit.
clockwise from top left: Osprey, Oyster Catcher, Snowy Egret and Cormorant.
Later we headed to East beach across infamous Dike Bridge.
I’ve never been the beachy-type, but I found all sorts of design inspiration
in the sand – a collection of shells and other organic materials that will
make great samples for custom furniture finishes. I know …
Could I be any more entrenched in my profession?!
On our way back to the house we stopped for a stroll through Mytoi Gardens.
A Japanese-style garden and cultural treasure protected by the The Trustees of Reservations.
Still beautiful in the rain, I would like to go back when the gardens are lit by sunshine.
Despite the inclement weather, we went for a sail on Cape Poge.
The increasing winds turned a casual cruise into an exhilarating 2 hours.
Can you say “exhausted”?! Only 3 things left to do …
Eat, cocktail, and relax.
And that’s how you do a fabulous weekend.
LUXE & LUCID RECOMMENDATIONS FOR YOUR VISIT TO MARTHA’S VINEYARD
– The Vineyard’s official site is www.mvol.com and has a lot of useful info.
– Design Sponge’s December post featuring MV is Grace Bonney’s extensive, personal guide.
– I also like the New York Times Travel Guide because it includes reader recommendations.
– The island has an excellent radio station. Tune into mvyradio and you’ll be set for the weekend.
– If you’re an architecture and/or design buff, bring your camera and do a walking tour of Edgartown.
– Pack layers for travel before July. The weather can turn on a dime and become quite chilly when the winds pick up.
– With that said, a first time visit before the crush of July 4 is a great idea. You can enjoy the island sans mob.
– Most important? Make sure you travel with the right partner in crime!
P.S. Final cool moment of the weekend? Bill Murray on our flight from MVA to LGA.
I’m a January baby and a proud Capricorn.
I can’t say that I’m an astrology advocate, but I do get a kick out of reading my horoscope this
time of year. Besides the fact that I often find my cosmic description to be dead-on accurate,
I love the idea of my life and character being written in the stars. A very anti-Capricorn concept
to say the least which is why this is a once a year indulgence. Luxe & Lucid is a platform for
celebrating what makes us unique as individuals – whatever the context. Sign me up!
Famous Capricorns … I’m in pretty good company.
This pair of ram’s head bookends from Sjae Alexandre is so good-looking, it almost makes me want to be an Aries.
A candle from Soular Therapy’s Astrological Aromatherapy collection.
Cancer’s keynotes are Jasmine and White Rose.
Astrology has even inspired a company as traditional as Wedgwood to produce a zodiac collection.
All 12 signs including Pisces shown here are available through replacements.com.
Russian Vogue’s take on Aries, Capricorn and Gemini respectively.
Silver Zodiac Cufflinks by artist Michele Delville.
A mid-century mirrored zodiac clock from Flessas Design in New York.
And a large-scale wall sculpture also from Sjae Alexandre in Los Angeles.
Asha by ADM’s gold and mother of pearl Sagittarius ring.
Kris Kristofferson would probably cringe knowing I've included him in a blog about horoscopes.
How could I resist when he has an album titled Jesus was a Capricorn? Mr. Kristofferson is one of
my heroes. And it's a short list. He is a true renaissance man with, in my opinion, the coolest resumé
of the 20th century: Rhodes Scholar, Oxford graduate, helicopter pilot, Nashville legend, movie star.
If you don't know anything about this über-brilliant and eternally cool Everyman, it's time to find out.
A feature on Capricorn from the blog Love Smacked & Starstruck. So accurate it’s scary!
Check out what’s in store for your sign in the months to come.
Happy birthday to all my fellow January babes!