Happy New Year!

headed for Times Square by pedicab

It doesn't matter where I am on New Year's Eve, I always manage to watch the countdown/crystal ball drop in Times Square. If you are in New York, you can still visit the Duracell Smart Power Lab and pedal on one of their six power rovers to help generate the 32000 watt hours needed to light up the 2010 numbers for the countdown.

A new design for the Waterford crystal ball was unveiled yesterday and approximately 288 triangles were replaced and arranged in a Celtic knot to represent the 2010 theme "Let There Be Courage". This ribbon pattern represents courage and hope with the yellow ribbons that welcome home soldiers and the red ribbons for AIDS awareness. A beautiful addition to last year's “Let There Be Joy” and 2008 “Let There Be Light” designs.

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year filled with courage, joy and light.


Knob Candy

I was in Anthropologie the other day and was captivated by all of their new knobs and hooks...an array of colorful eye candy. Tempted to buy them all...here are a few of my favorites. An easy and affordable way to add a touch of whimsy to 2010. Transform a desk, a kitchen cabinet, or a nursery armoire...the possibilities are endless.


These are a few of my favorite things...

It has been a crazy week but I thought I would share a few of my all time favorite things... For more personal favorites, visit CLB. Wishing you all Happy Holidays from our home to yours....

Holiday truffles with plum pudding and peppermint canes...
by Vosges includes a Jonathan Adler peace sign keepsake ornament. Vosges Chocolates has a green mission. 90% of their ingredients are organic and they have a certified organic manufacturing facility powered by renewable energy.

All natural glosses and a snap on key chain ......

Porcelain ornaments by JA to enjoy year long or on a tree....

Calypso-Celle Mimosa is divine for party or play....
(15% of the sale will be donated to the American Breast Cancer Foundation.)

I love Lilly. A little bit goes a long way....

The zippity-do make up bag is part of Lilly Pulitzer's new originals collection with attention towards green. Made from vintage slub and printed with an eco friendly process. Lilly has always been coveted on ebay and at flea markets, so it will be no surprise that this chic little must have will last a lifetime.
These are a few of my favorite things....


Eco Chic Bags For The Girl On The Go

You are running errands, catching a plane, meeting an old friend. You look great, but how do your travel pieces look? Finally, a garment bag ensamble that is light weight, chic and worthy of our own style and favorite fashions. Here it is! The eco luxe gift for the organized (and the hopeful) girl on the go.... now available at City Living Baby!

I absolutely fell in love with these eco friendly, organic cotton ikats and vintage prints. Not to mention the designer details like recycled leather tassel pulls and contrasting trim. In 2008, Designer Jennifer Bennett of California, locally set out to design this highly fashionable, eco responsible Jendarling collection. Each set includes a coordinating shoe bag, and travel pouches are also available. Now where is that matching shift dress?


Holiday Chic Table Settings

Here are a few of my favorite table settings that I think would be stunning for the holidays. And fairly easy to recreate. Here are a few tips. Forgo the table cloth. Dress up your table with an unexpected, colorful fabric. Love this Madeline Weinrib ikat with the gold accents. Almost anything you pull out of the oven will look great now.

Jewel tones are so seasonal and rich. The pairings of color with rustic textures, sizes & shapes exude sophistication.


Add charming, whimsical vignettes, with items you may even have at home, for great conversation starters and a lighter touch. I think the key here is to make sure the smaller elements don't get lost on the table. The height of the glass bell jar is the perfect showcase.


Oversized natural foliage & fruit with candle pillars will create drama. All candles should be unscented so not to compete with the aromas of dinner.

There is nothing more beautiful than the simplicity of classic white.

Rachel Ashwell for House Beautiful

Layer vintage trays, heirloom tea cups & traditional linens with your other pieces. Knowing that you will create an eclectic and inviting table like this is sure to lessen the pressures of the day.

Share your resolutions or what you are thankful for on a gilded branch. Love how this stylish centerpiece will also engage your guests.


Barclay Butera & the Design Process

I am often asked by people who are thinking about decorating, how to begin. I always recommend looking at design magazines to become inspired and create a wish list. By adding your favorite images to a design folder it will be easier for you to stay on track.

Designer, Barclay Butera has simplified it even more. Recently, he designed four lifestyle collections of fabrics (many are 100% linen) and new zealand wool rugs for Kravet based on, Beach; Town & Country; Mountain; Desert & City. His book, Barclay Butera Living In Style attests to his winning formula while highlighting his beautiful work.

It was a real treat to meet Butera at DCOTA last week. And I was really pleased to learn that all of his custom furnishings are hand crafted, hand finished and hand upholstered in the United States. And all waste is returned to his providers for recycling.

His designs are so cohesive, inviting and well styled. I absolutely love his blue & white vignettes and can find ways to mix and match them all day long. Love the classic toile with an unexpected animal print....

When it comes to decorating in these economic times, he recommends, and I totally agree, investing in timeless furniture and pieces that you will have for a lifetime. Here you can see how accessorizing then can make all the difference and transform a space with designer lamp shades, throw pillows and coordinating porcelain objects.....

While he uses tropical elements like sisal, rattan and plants in his Beach vignette, his designs are more sophisticated than beachy or theme like and can really work in most situations. He describes this linen sofa as the little black dress of the room from which he can then accessorize. Love that!


Meeting Claudia at The Paris Apartment

Last Thursday was Fall Market at the Design Center of the Americas ( DCOTA) in South Florida. At the end of the day, I had the great opportunity to meet Claudia from The Paris Apartment. She had a book signing at Pierre Deux, and shared her thoughts and love for Parisian flea markets and french collecting. It was so lovely to meet her. She was gracious, fun and light. If you would like her book or are not familiar with her blog, definitely check out her charming site. Thank you Claudia for a wonderful ending to a fabulous day.

I love Pierre Deux for their classic Provencal toiles, charming country pillows.... But some times you may not be looking for country. Now they have a new site FCL Style that offers all of us who love anything French, everything and in between from classique to bohemian style. So if you can't make it to the French flea markets, I think you'll love what you'll find here.


Metropolitan Home Closes

Hachette Filipacchi Media announced yesterday that Metropolitan Home and its counterpart site www.pointclickhome.com will be closing with the December 2009 issue. Energies will now be focused on their Elle Decor Magazine. Metropolitan Home had a modern flair and was one of the first to successfully compare and contrast the high and lows of design.

Too many magazines have closed this year and yet I am still shocked. I love Elle Decor and the newly refreshed House Beautiful, and keep my fingers crossed for them. Nothing takes the place of flipping through a fine, glossy shelter magazine for inspiration, resources and pure joy.


Happy Anniversary City Living Girl

It's our 1st! City Living Girl was meant and continues to be for all us girls who love the chic-ness of the City whether in New York, Miami , L.A. or Paris. The design, architecture, food, art and fashion is addicting and for me inspires stylish living at home.

If you have been reading my posts you know this City Living Girl continues her quest to find the sustainability in style, what I like to call the eco chic. We are in a very exciting, enlightening, and creative time that will help define the future. I look forward to sharing more favorite finds, pretty things and new ways to live in style with an eco chic twist.

Blogging has also allowed me to shed light on Miami chic. If you will be in South Florida this winter, enjoy a few of my local Miami faves right here on the sidebar. As well as a few of my new blogging and designer friends who I am so happy to have met along the way.

Thank you so much for joining me and taking the time to stop by and comment. For events and more meet us on Facebook and always feel free to email me. Here's to another great year. Cheers!


Last Minute Eco Chic Tips, Tricks & Treats

Comforting, healthy, delicious...I love pumpkin. If you just decided to have a Halloween party, here are a few ways to turn this veg into an eco friendly, less than scary soiree in minutes. Happy Halloween.

  1. Select your color scheme: black & orange; chocolate & white, orange & green. Coordinate your linens & china and use whatever you have at home.

  2. Pick up an assortment of pumpkins or squashes in interesting varieties and sizes and create a natural tablescape.

  3. Low on squashes, fill in with apples, oranges and pine cones. Set a place for each guest with a reusable leaf or baby pumpkin.

  4. For extra elegance add a bouquet of poppy flowers and dine by soy candle light.

  5. For a kids table, fill colorful containers, mugs, reusable totes with treats of all kinds like licorice and lolly pops and sprinkle wrapped candies between them. Add crayons & paper at each place setting and let their imaginations run wild...before their big night out.

  6. Steep mulling spices or cinnamon sticks in red wine or cider for a sweet but spicy holiday aroma and drink.

  7. Keep the menu simple with a green salad and a delicious ravioli dish like this fave. I use the 365 frozen butternut squash ravioli from Whole Foods. For dessert, melt chocolate chips in a double boiler and have everyone dip and roll their own organic apples into their favorite chocolate and chopped nuts or candies.
Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage by Giada De Laurentiis...
1/2 cup peeled hazelnuts
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 pound fresh pumpkin ravioli
1 stick unsalted butter
6 fresh sage leaves
Large pinch grated nutmeg
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 amaretti cookies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread hazelnuts onto a baking tray. Toast hazelnuts in oven until light golden brown and fragrant, about 5 to 7 minutes. Allow to cool completely. Coarsely chop the cooled hazelnuts and set aside.
In a 10 or 12-inch saute pan with high sides, bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add the vegetable oil to prevent the ravioli from sticking to one another. Add ravioli and cook for 4 minutes or until they float to the top. Using a spider strainer, carefully remove ravioli to a large platter and tent with foil to keep warm.
In a small saute pan, melt the butter. When butter is sizzling and starts to brown, tear sage leaves into the pan and fry for about 20 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in nutmeg. Pour butter sauce over ravioli and sprinkle with toasted hazelnuts. Grate amaretti cookies over the dish and serve immediately.


Architecture for Humanity & Sustainability

The Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami is now showcasing local artists and designers during their 5 Minutes of Fame & Time For Design Wednesday night forums. This past Wednesday night was a phenomenal discussion on sustainable architecture & design. Jennifer Siqueira, founder of Architecture for Humanity Miami spoke about their new local chapter and their goals for a more sustainable Miami. Architecture for Humanity promotes sustainable communities through the power of design. Their first local project in Miami was a community vegetable garden in Coconut Grove.

Another Architect, Hugo Mijares of Modulaire also showcased his designs. His team won 2nd place in the Live The Box competition for their mixed use development. His passion is to maximize design by minimizing the impact on the environment. How? By recycling self supporting, infinitely indestructible cargo containers. They are fascinating and you may have seen other very cool prototypes like those above by Adam Kalkin. But this is the only firm I know of in Miami who is looking to reuse them for residential, commercial and high density mixed use spaces. Four to seven of these 8 x 20 ft shipping containers, 8000 lbs of corrugated steel, may be attached for one single family home. Simple marine grade plywood, plantings and pools are all designed within this very affordable, eco friendly and functioning structure. Word is that you may spot one in Miami during Art Basel.


Meeting Rachel Ashwell

I had no idea that when I was writing about the new Shabby Chic Couture boutiques last week I would be meeting Rachel Ashwell in Coral Gables last night at Books and Books. What a coincidence! It was quite wonderful and pleasant to see such a turn out in Miami. I am still inspired this morning.

Rachel Ashwell was so lovely, personable and inspiring....
She shared highlights from her brand new and most beautiful book; She shared a bit of her personal story, inspirations, comforts and values. She brought cameos, pins and a few of her favorite tea stained fabrics. And spoke of authenticity and quality. Rachel was acquainted with the world of design by her parents. She spent her childhood antiquing in England with her mom, a doll restorer and her dad, an antique books dealer. I also spent childhood weekends antiquing with my parents who are American Antiques dealers. We shared a moment reflecting on a similar experience and a love for beautiful things.

I am inclined sometime today to revisit the heirlooms and collectibles most dear to me. Declutter my office a bit... And enjoy my renewed appreciation for the muted colors, florals, texture and beauty around me.


DCOTA Event: The Art of Entertaining

Yesterday, as the rain finally brought cooler weather to South Florida, my husband and I headed to the DCOTA (Design Center of The Americas) for the Art of Entertaining. A debut lifestyle event sponsored by Florida International Magazine. South Beach Florist Pistils & Petals, Jo Malone Fragrance Bar and rare showroom openings were available for some good shopping. But the real highlight of the event were the cooking demonstrations, wine tips and delicious treats by South Florida shining Chefs.

My favorites included Chef Tim Andriola of Timo in Sunny Isles Beach. He demonstrated an extraordinary handmade truffled ricotta ravolini with chanterelle mushrooms in a marsala sauce. For true italian flavor, he suggested cooking the boiled pasta together with the sauce. Chef Sam Gorenstein of BLT Steak, located at the newly renovated Betsey Hotel in South Beach provided samplings of their famous and deliciously oversized gruyere popovers. While a basic recipe, for extra height and loft, his secret is to pre heat the popover pan first at 350 and make sure the milk is warm. And Chef Didier Lailheugue of Paris' legendary Au Pied de Cochon now located too on Washington Avenue in South Beach tempted us with tuna tartar, a trio of French cheeses & house wines

The DCOTA is celebrating it's twenty first year in South Florida. It is the largest design destination for the trade in the world with over 150 showrooms specializing in kitchen, bath, fine furniture, decorative fabrics, accessories, lighting & materials etc. Please feel free to contact me for more information or to schedule your own shopping tour or service.


Shabby Chic Returns

Rachel Ashwell is reinventing Shabby Chic into a Couture Collection with two newly opened stores in Santa Monica (her original space) and New York with London to follow next year. I just read a tweet this morning referencing yesterday's New York Times article. And I am thrilled to update my last post from March regarding her store closings. It is amazing to me that in just a short time and 20 years since her mere beginnings in 1989, Rachel Ashwell is bringing Shabby Chic back.

In my last post, I provided some eco chic tips that to me Rachel Ashwell has inspired. Well, when reading more about Rachel's new projects on her blog, I was happy to learn that her slipcovered furniture, tables and bedding are all made in the USA. The vintage pieces are recycled from another era, and none of the bedding is packaged in plastic. She seems to be more deliberate and purposeful, concentrating on "authentic workmanship" by local craftsmanship that I am so excited to see. And while the Shabby Chic concept is iconic in decorating, I agree times are fitting for Rachel to bring back an affordable, accessible and comfortably chic revival, with a new and fresh approach.
Also available is her new book, Shabby Chic Interiors.


Miami Art & Design: Artist, Ricardo Pelaez

Op Pop Hibiscus, 2009

Every month, Art & Design Night is held on the 2nd Saturday in the Miami Design District from 7-10 pm. It is an opportunity to gallery hop, meet local artists, enjoy cocktails and music. As we approach our winter season, the crowds get larger and the events get bigger. One of my favorite galleries is Etra Fine Art and this past Saturday night, my gallery opening pick went to Art in Context, work by Ricardo Pelaez, Colombian Artist and Naples Florida resident.

A native of Medellin, Colombia, Pelaez studied architecture and art in Colombia and Florence Italy. I read that his background is in graphic design and that his earlier work included etchings which is evident in the multi media and layers of texture and pattern used in his current work. Each piece is actually an installation and a dialogue between iconic imagery and contemporary design like Frank Gehry's signature cardboard chair above.

Fritza, Bitte Sitz, please sit!

Here he references Gustav Klimt's "Fritza von Riedler" of 1907, art nouveau motifs, decorative pattern and color. Pelaez intends to blur the line between art and design as he transforms Master Paintings and repurposes contemporary Design and fabrication into a three dimensional artful and interactive experience.

If you haven't yet been to the Miami Design District, it is worth a visit. Home to some of our best art galleries, trendiest design boutiques and now great fashion and food too. A few of my favorite design shops include Jalan, Jalan, Kartell, NiBa, Marimekko Miami and the phenomenal Senora Martinez, owned by Chef Michelle Bernstein and her husband. The Design District is located between N.E.39th and 41th Street and N.E. Miami Avenue and N.E. 2nd Avenue.


Meet Lonny

She is...

a new online friend

eco friendly

design inspired...

check out her debut at http://www.lonnymag.com/.

Michelle Adams, Creator and Editor in Chief of Lonny Magazine is also owner of one of our favorite organic textile companies, Rubie Green . As you'll see from the first read, she fills the void for all of us missing Domino magazine. In fact there is a feature story on Deborah Needleman, Editor in Chief of Domino plus Top Design's Eddie Ross and much more.