If I call it le marché it is because 10% of the residents are French in our small town. A lot of them go to the farmers' market here, happy to experience again a familiar shopping experience.
What I love about framer's markets is the quality of the foods you find there. Vegetables come in shapes and colors I have never seen before, they taste fantastic, they challenge you to try new recipes, they make you thankful they exist.
Every Saturday until November the framers' market comes to town and I find treasures every time I go. 

Difficult to cook these, they look so good on the counter.

Had you ever seen ochra this color?
and what a treat to find my favorite potatoes, the rate- fingerling potatoes- I love to steam them and serve them with just olive oil, salt and pepper. So simple. Delicious.

This merchants has bread that passes our "France-makes-the-best-breads" test with flying colors.

If you want perfect croissants and mouth watering cookies, stylish French baker Valérie Wetterhahn is your gal.


Larchmont is called Little France  for a reason...

au revoir.



The town where I live sits on the Long Island sound, the body of water between the coast of Westchester County NY and the "island" of Long Island where you find Brooklyn, Queens, the Hamptons and J.F.Kennedy and La Guardia airports among other landmarks.
On our side of the sound, Larchmont Manor Park was created when the owners of an enormous piece of property set it aside as a park in the late 1800's  thus allowing residents and visitors alike to access the breathtaking rocky waterfront.

I am always delighted by how much the view resembles that of the coast of Brittany in France, where I spent many summers and even a few winters.

An adorable beach club reserved for the residents of Larchmont, delights the littlest ones and their parents alike.

Some magnificent properties sit on the water's edge.

Delightful yacht and beach clubs allow members to enjoy summers in the sun. 

From this quaint clubhouse owners are taken by launch to their waiting boats.

Alas, much too soon, the park will look like this.
Pretty, but not as appealing to me as it's summer version. 
I am a warm sun and greenery kind of person. 
A LOT of sun and lush greenery.
images:larchmont manor park society, andrew cusak, panoramio

au revoir.



I am regularly approached for "a word" of design advice. What would YOU do in this and that case?
This is not a rare occurrence and as flattering as it is to be asked, giving advice for a space you usually have not seen is at best tricky.
Hence, this column: 
I will post  general advice in answer to non site-specific questions I have been asked. 
You may participate, of course. 
That would be so much fun. 
Just keep it relatively general, if you could. 


Brooke: I have a very limited space to devote to an eating area. What can I do to maximize it in terms of size and style?

One of the best solutions for fitting an eating area in a small space is a banquette. The word comes from the French for a small bench, un petit banc.
 banquette's great advantage lies in the fact that it stays stationary and thus does not need the footage necessary for, say, a chair to be pulled out to sit. You slide along to find your place and the table is at the right distance automatically. Of course, once there if you have someone on each side of you, you are stuck for the duration of the meal, which is the bad and the good news depending on your wish... to get up to help. Or not.

The configuration of the space available to you is also a factor in your choice. There are a few possibilities. You have a corner, a long wall, a small space between 2 cabinets.I'll illustrate the options.
Beforehand, remember that you must have a chair height banquette if you choose to have your meals there at a normal height table.(~ 17/19". ~50/55cm) The same applies to a sofa used for that purpose. 

The "booth"
the most compact, no chairs required

The L shape
the most common, the most flexible

The straight banquette
the most versatile,  tucks almost in anywhere

The dining sofa
the most formal, the utmost comfort guaranteed
images: rol.vn, coreasotropa, decorpad, houzz, kitchen and bath ideas, belle maison, my best friend craig

If you have a topic you may want me to analyze or any design question you would like answered, let me know at un petit commentaire below. It would be so much fun for me to put my 2 cents in. 

au revoir.



Those of you who read my blog regularly may remember this image from my post earlier this month. I was going to do something with this piece of very bland vintage furniture. 
Today is the "reveal", as they annoyingly call it with fake nail biting anticipation and a needlessly long drum roll on "makeover" shows when someone or something is to be presented totally transformed.
No need for all of that hullabaloo here. Let me just show you the finished product and explain why you are being blessed with this post...

from that

to this

Because a number of designers were asked by the Furniture Sharehouse in Weschester County NY, to transform donated pieces of furniture to be auctioned at their first annual Furnish a Family Benefit on October 22nd.
I approached this challenge with 2 questions in mind:

1) How to use only what I already had: 

-a piece of silk taffeta  left over from a design project 
-a length of pleated ribbon from my treasure box (I love ribbons), 
-a cast bronze detail bought years ago at an antique show (loved it/bought it, just in case, maybe, one day...), 
-2 orphaned nicely weathered solid brass cabinet knobs.

I did buy the small can of flat Benjamin Moore paint. 
Fabulous Jose of Exclusive Workroom, my favorite upholsterer, did the rest. He is a gem.

2) How to dress a very plain vintage chair to make it stand out in the crowd of surely fabulous pieces that will be "redesigned" for the benefit by the very talented list of designers taking part. 
The point is, of course, to sell the pieces to generous donors in order to raise funds for the organisation, so the pieces have to please and strike at the same time.
I decided to make it look French something (no, I cannot pin down a style either, in case you are wondering...) Let's call it Modern-Vintage-Louis something-Baroque. It is, in any case, French in spirit. My French spirit.
I can see it in an entrance hall or the corner of a bedroom or dressing room. A chair not necessarily there for sitting. Though it is very comfortable.

I hope it sells. For a fortune.
It is for such a great cause!

To donate, please go to their website. Thank you.

au revoir.




Today was another glorious day here in New York City. 
My daughter suggested we have lunch in Bryant Park, the exquisite green haven behind the New York Library on 42nd. Street. When I say lunch, I mean more a picnic lunch than a formal lunch; we bought fabulous club sandwiches and sat at one of the small round tables on what is commonly referred to as "Luxembourg" chairs. The world of parks is very small indeed...

We took in the scenery, watched the passers-by, and had a relaxing hour basking in the sun, commenting on the divine weather allowing these few moments of serenity, feeding the increasing crowd of birds (the tiny swallows were the fiercest, giving the fat pigeon ten times their size a good fight!).
We admired the Bryant Park Grill's luxurious ivy covered facade and the generous mass of leafy maroon plants cascading from large stone urns. 

It was all extremely peaceful considering the surrounding city din; Bryant Park is a small piece of heaven ensconced amid the tall buildings of Mid-town.

I of course noticed a stunning design element. The park is constantly being swept and cleaned so one great detail caught my eye: the very beautifully designed garbage cans.  

au revoir et bon weekend.



The ladies
I did not notice it at first, taking in the colors and cute attitudes, but when I started looking a little closer at these images, I was amused by some of the details: wouldn't you wear your scarf exactly that way on a cold day? can you spot platform shoes? and what a great way to mix fabrics.To say nothing of the colors- granted, they might not have been that way before, just a very successful choice from the "colorizer".

 I also realised that these women from Japan in the 1920's were quite like we might be now: 
They put on make up together, probably to compare cosmetics and suggest favorite makers;

they posed in their caps and gowns

they had tea a each other's houses( love the screen);

we might use different tools but don't you think the thatch coat could well be included in a future winter collection?

the farewells had a tad more formality than our usual au revoirs 
(note those very stylish platforms again);

but all in all, like a lot of women these days, they really made sure they looked really good when socializing...

The tradespeople
I think a tea shop like this beats Starbucks any day;

I am not sure how many of us need someone to water down the dirt streets in our neighborhood;

and taxis are less quaint (though the bike cabs of New York City are very similar) but very much more practical in terms of speed and safety.

On the other hand, if you check out this post from the very amusing blog legiterally,
nothing much has changed in the "delivery" business in some parts of the world.
images t-inami