One look at my own jumpseat and I see my days in miniature: jewelry pulled off the day before, my phone, laptop, chargers…not to mention the designer’s usual stash of fabric bolts, blueprints and finish samples. In my car I can pivot from one role to the next. I can think and recharge or go at full speed. Why wouldn’t we want our homes to do the same? My goal for elegant rooms is so much more than a refuge at the end of the day. I want to create rooms that help us navigate modern life’s constant push-and-pull for our attention. Rooms that don’t just accommodate us, but drive us. Rooms that frame who we want to be.
And what better place to start than the front door? Welcome to the House of Windsor! Like my own foyer, this newsletter is a space created to linger. A place to explore big ideas and rest in the small pleasures that make homes worth sharing. My own homefront has always been a laboratory for new designs and my friends and family its fellow inventers. So buckle up. You’re on board and we’ve got new trails to blaze! I’ve got some bold ideas for how we can live more beautifully and more succinctly in our homes and solutions won’t come without a shared portal to think, watch, listen, question and digest.
That round settee in my foyer? Or my new squared ’œtete-a-tete’? I drew up both imagining decades of glamorous types perched on similar seating I’d seen dressing the lobbies of vintage French Riviera resorts. In our foyer, however, it’s an interrupter. Like the two-sided sofa at the center of our living room, it places itself inside everyday traffic to redirect life as we want to live it. Yes, it’s still the place where my friends drop their handbags. But unlike a bench in the corner that’s no longer a quick, unthinking gesture. It’s a decision. Drop and rush on? Or linger a little longer…
No one likes to be corraled. But who doesn’t love to be lured? House Of Windsor won’t blast daily emails. Instead, we’ll reach out monthly to question everything that’s routine in the search for how home design can be more purposeful, more supportive and a more active force in the lives we want to live. If you liked my book, Homefront, join us in the trenches! Jump in! Click on!
Wanna make romance stay? Build it in! When it came to my own kitchen, I wanted that mix of hardworking and elegant. A place where we could cook up a storm, run around barefoot, and still feel inclined to pop a cork! Whether Valentine’s Day, birthdays, anniversaries or a dang special Tuesday night, this room had to say, ’œMemories are made here…and…how about right now!.’ So over the arch that leads from our kitchen to living spaces I inset this little shadowbox niche, where we keep every cork from every milestone bottle of bubbly. Always a sucker for beautiful packaging, I also keep the pink lacquered boxes special bottles arrive in shelved alongside cookbooks above.
Sit together? Sit across? Favorite reply: curved sofas! Adding the gentlest of arcs to our new Pavlova sofa invites a body to play coy. Instead of sitting side by side, you find yourself ever so slightly eying each other…. For even more swerve, try two back to back!
Does every sofa really need another floor or table lamp?
Not if you can dangle some gold chainz to the task!
Behind the scenes planning new lighting designs, some days I couldn’t decide whether to wear a chain necklace or hang it on the wall to study…
Chain links and a man’s octagonal watch bezel inspired our handsome Atlas wall light (above, left) for Arteriors. Buy
Adding a litte feminine mystique to the Athena sconce (above, middle), also for Arteriors we opted for a glowing crystal sphere’” lit from above’” in place of the usual bulb. Because ambient light should have all the romance of a caged diamond! Buy
Finally, thank you Tom Ford! Your gold chain heels (middle, left) got me thinking about the possibilities of stacking…and stacking…
The result? Our new Solas lamp for Boyd Lighting! She’s the result of imagining stacks of bangles lit from above, as well as from inside! Light inside its column peers through every chain link for a sexy, hard-to-define glow. Available in a range of finshes from dapper blackened brass to, of course, gossamer gold! Buy
Ã‰tagÃ¨re. In French, it means ’œgrand tower’ and what’s more grand than stacked treasures? One of my go-to table types, I use these everywhere. Not just in living spaces but bedside…or tubside! Elegant silvered galleys keep objects from falling, whether you’re grabbing for a scrub brush or a martini glass!
Back to that car idea… Maybe a better model for today’s rooms is yesterday’s drive-in movie? A destination that holds a sense of shared ritual, but that allows us to park ourselves where we feel best. We can tune in or out, some of us watching the show while others snuggle in corners and a few more come in and out for popcorn. That’s how I’d script the perfect gathering space. Full of choices, but with one big gesture that says “together.”