Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Post Holiday Decor

Happy New Year! I hope everyone enjoyed the Winter Holidays. Now here we are, temperatures hovering around zero, removing all the cheery decorations from our homes when we need them most.  Do not dismay, there are plenty of ways to add a little sparkle & cheer without appearing too lazy to pack up the holiday gear. Indoors and out there are many great ways to brighten up a corner or add excitement to a table setting by embracing the charms of Winter.

Starting with your front door you can express your welcoming spirit.
A mantle's main purpose is to be a decorative focal point.
Display any collection you have and integrate apropos 
seasonal items, they do not have to be a perfect match!

Liven things up in a table arrangement by integrating 
fresh flowers or plants.

Here are some other charming ideas I came across. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 8, 2013


This Fall we are offering a very special
Paris Trip. We have secured an expansive, glamorous apartment in a prime location,
and to top it all off it is Fashion Week!
The city will be buzzing with excitement and
the people watching will never be better.

 Experience Paris from the inside during a
week-long private tour. Our small group will be staying in a luxurious apartment in the center of the city, 1st Arrondissement, where you will truly feel like you are a part of it all. 

Take a stroll on the Ile Saint-Louis or if you'd like we will pack a gourmet lunch and head over to the Place des Vosges for an afternoon picnic.  
During the day we will go behind the scenes visiting the kitchen of one of the oldest bakeries in Paris, be guided through the flea market stalls at Clingancourt, enjoy a private tour of the Louvre, stop into the workroom of Coco Chanel's fabric creator....  In the evening we will dine in a chic cafe, visit an underground jazz club, take a late-night cruise on the Seine, enjoy a cooking class and wine tasting in our own kitchen....  
The city is at your fingertips, and you will be guided
through it in a way you have never experienced.

September 23rd-29th or
September 29th-October 5th
$2895 per person, based on double occupancy.
Does not include airfare.
Space is limited for the best experience.
For more information please contact Madeleine at m@madeleinechicago.com 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Color of the Year

Pantone 17-1463 Tangerine Tango

If you have not already heard, maybe you have noticed the deluge of orange popping up in home and fashion design. My understanding is they make this decision based on whatever new color seems to be already trending, then they put a marketing machine behind it and voila! Coral has come in and out of style for decades, but now this vibrant hue is everywhere.

Orange is undeniably a "happy color", but I have never been drawn to it (with exception to an Hermès box). Originally skeptical about this choice, I have warmed up to it. It's also possible that I have just become desensitized. It is literally everywhere.

While looking for photos to share with you, I came across one of my friend
Christan Leone's living room from Lonny Magazine.
I apreciate that he did not add accent pieces with the exact color match to try to "pull it together". The orange has become a neutral ground for his eclectic collection of accessories.

Tangerine Tango looks great as an accent in a neutral setting,
or paired up with other bold colors.

 The color has taken hold of the fashion world as well, with its fiery hue captivating even the most iconic designers at Alexander McQueen and Christian Louboutin.

Men are not left out either.

 With its versatility, cheerful attitude, and singsong moniker,
Tangerine Tango is sure to stick around for a while!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Restaurant Style

With my upcoming Paris trip I am doing hours of research on the ever-changing restaurant scene. Wine bars are still sprouting up left and right, with small shared plates being very popular. Of course the famous places are right where they have been for longer than anyone can remember, and the premier chefs are extending their reach putting their mark on a galaxy of establishments in an array of neighborhoods and styles.

My first night ever in Paris was spent following my Mother and sister all over St. Germain reading the menus posted in front to be sure that we were going to have the best meal possible within what seemed like 5 square miles. Even though it was 25 years & many visits to Paris ago, I still remember that restaurant and the feeling I had dining there. It is only appropriate that I have in my kitchen an antique standing menu holder, similar to the ones I wanted to never see again that first night. Whatever the dining format there is a consistent feel to a Parisian restaurant that exudes charm rarely found anywhere else.

Following are examples of some of my favorite elements along with some ideas of how you can bring them into your own kitchen or dining area.

The Handwritten Menu
Usually found on a chalkboard or storefront.

 Cafe Chairs

Antique or Vintage Signage

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Make Cooking An Elegant Affair

I am a sucker for white porcelain, so I have to admit that when the new Pillivuyt catalog arrived in the mail on Saturday it made my weekend. For anyone who enjoys cooking the wares used in the kitchen need to be efficient and durable, and if you want to bring it to the next level you can outfit your workspace with things that are clever and beautiful at the same time.

Everyone who comes to my house is used to preparations going on during an event. The party always ends up in the kitchen anyway, so you may as well make it a busy, lively place. Just be sure to have nibbles on the counter and a bar nearby.

I fell in love with Pillivuyt when I first laid eyes on Collection Brasserie.

It was designed in the 1920's for restaurants & cafes 
who wanted their menus printed on their tableware.

Their glaze on all of their pieces is exceptionally hard making them easy to clean and also allowing them to be used in extremely hot ovens. More importantly (to me at least) is the look. Attention was obviously paid to the details. Delicate handles and lovely pleats abound, creating a very fragile and elegant look to these workhorses. 
 Louis XVIII Chocolate Pot

 Milk Jugs

 Egg Dishes


 Oval Eared Gratin Dishes

Of course for every respectable French kitchen:
 Lion's Head Tureens

 and last, but surely not least, the famous Cow Creamer.

Bon apetit!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Raise the Roof

I am currently working on a project with eight foot ceilings, which can be very claustrophobic. It is the norm for most American mid/highrises and single family homes. The first misconception is that you cannot use color for fear of making the room feel even more closed in. You can definitely use color but paint the ceiling the same color as the walls. Try to stick with soft colors. This will make the transition from wall to ceiling virtually disappear.

Large-scale wallpaper & vertical stripes are other options.

Hang drapes all the way at the ceiling to elongate the windows.
 Here is a gratuitous photo of the Delano drapes 
(only because this client and I enjoyed them so much while in Miami 
working on his condo there)

Lay a bold rug on the floor to pull the eye down, away from the ceiling.

Modern furniture looks great with low ceilings because it is commonly designed with a low profile. Leaving space open is also a good way to open up the room. Try to stick with only the necessary pieces.

Another gratuitous photo, this time from Mad Men 
where the low ceiling is celebrated!