laV Restaurant and Wine Bar, Austin, TX

Located in Austin, Texas, laV Restaurant and Wine Bar is a beautiful place.

Located in Austin, Texas, laV Restaurant and Wine Bar is a beautiful place.  Designed by McAlpine Tankersley Architecture and interior designer Susan Ferrier, laV epitomizes the concept of sophisticated dining.

laV Austin TX 8Owners Ralph and Lisa Eads had a vision for laV centered around the idea of creating distinct rooms within the restaurant — casual outdoor dining, energetic wine bar, sophisticated lounge, welcoming dining room, and an elegant private wine room.  The overall atmosphere is warm and captivating.

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The architecture and the grand scale of LaV are beautiful but intimate, like a home.  I love the tufting and the height of the banquettes.  The haziness to murals creates a European flair, but mixed with an industrial vibe.  The atmosphere is so sultry — I feel like I could stay there for hours.  I love how they mix traditional lanterns with clusters of glass globes for a kind of yin and yang effect that works so well.   There’s such a calming palette with tones of moss and taupe.  It reminds me of wanting to be home.

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You can learn more about laV on their website or find them on Facebook.

CTC&G: Gorgeous Georgian

I’m so pleased to have one of my designs featured in the January 2016 issue of Connecticut Cottages and Gardens!

I’m so pleased to have one of my designs featured in the January 2016 issue of Connecticut Cottages and Gardens!  This Greenwich home belongs to a family who relocated from UK.  They wanted a complete remodel of the home to make it suitable for their lifestyle.  The design is formal enough to respect the architecture of the home but with an ease to accommodate a young family and their dog.  I hope you’ll pick up a copy of the magazine to read more about the details of this project!

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Golden View Firenze

I recently visited a new restaurant in Greenwich called Golden View Firenze and was really impressed with everything from the food to the decor.

I recently visited a new restaurant in Greenwich called Golden View Firenze and was really impressed with everything from the food to the decor.  From the start of my visit to Golden View Firenze, I loved the fresh, exciting atmosphere of this very chic restaurant.

Golden View Firenze Greenwich CT
Golden View Firenze

Owner Tommaso Grasso also has a restaurant in Florence, Italy.  He decided to open a second restaurant in Connecticut after a visit to the area.  Tommaso brought chef Francesco Casu with him from Florence, ensuring the food at Golden View Firenze would be a true representation of authentic Tuscan cuisine.

The decor at Golden View Firenze is intimate and based in a clean white palette.  The view to the kitchen is open, letting diners watch the chefs prepare fresh dishes, including hand-made pastas.  Shelves of wine are a prominent feature of the restaurant’s interior, but it isn’t all for show.  The staff are very knowledgeable about the wine and well prepared to offer suggestions.

Golden View Firenze Greenwich
View into the kitchen.
Golden View Firenze
Simple, elegant decor.
Golden View Firenze Connecticut
The impressive wine display.

Just like in any really good restaurant, the food must be the star of the show.  Everything we tasted was excellent!  I started with a wine mojito, which was delicious.  We had a cheese plate and I tried the veal dish as well as an incredible four cheese pasta.  My husband had the filet with an amazing dipping sauce.  Even the bread was perfect.  It really was like eating in Italy.  The menu is very well done and I look forward to going back soon!

Golden View Firenze CT
Hand-made pasta.
Golden View Restaurant CT
Seafood pasta. Image courtesy of Connecticut Mag.
Golden View Firenze Restaurant CT
Fresh fish with roasted tomatoes. Image via Connecticut Mag.

A review on by Mary Kate Hogan mirrors the fantastic experience we had at Gold View Firenze and describes some of the other perfect dishes.  You can learn more about Golden View Firenze by finding them on Facebook.


Tod’s Point Beach

My inspirational place to decompress is Tod’s Point Beach in Greenwich.

I think everyone has a special place they go to when they need a haven.  My inspirational place to decompress is Tod’s Point Beach in Greenwich.  Also known as Greenwich Point, this beach is a popular spot for locals to swim, sunbathe, picnic, enjoy water sports, and simply be with family and friends.

Tod's Point
Tod’s Point
A truly relaxing place!
A truly relaxing place!

I grew up going to this beach with my family, so it is tied to many special emotions.  It’s my place for reflection and healing, as well as a place of salvation.  Spending time at Tod’s Point is about more than just relaxing or playing with my kids; it’s a reminder of what really matters in life and helps me to keep my priorities in focus.  When I’m at the beach, I can completely unwind.

Great for a fun gathering or a morning run.
Great for a fun gathering or a morning run.

When I was younger, we’d sometimes anchor the boat off Tod’s Point.  Other times we’d go directly to the beach to spend the day in the sun.  I became so intimately acquainted with every part of the beach that it is truly special for me to now bring my own children there.  I also like go running at Tod’s Point,which gives me extra time for reflection and to embrace everything around me.  Depending on the time of day or time of year, the beach takes on completely different aspects.   There is always something new to see and experience.  It really is my favorite place on Earth!

An egret at Tod's Point.
An egret at Tod’s Point.
Early morning low tide, with millions of snails dotting the sand.
Early morning low tide, with millions of snails dotting the sand.

If you’re in the area and would like to visit Tod’s Point, keep in mind you’ll need a beach pass from May 1 to Oct 31.  Visit the Town of Greenwich website for more information.  To learn how to help continuing efforts to restore and preserve the beach and its structures, contact Friends of Greenwich Point.

Greenwich Shopping

Here in Greenwich, we are fortunate to have some really amazing places to shop.

One of the things I love about having my office in Greenwich is the great shopping.  Greenwich has become something of a shopping mecca for designers with some fantastic storefronts.  It’s so nice to have the option of shopping right here and supporting the community that supports my own business.  Along the center of town and down a couple of side streets, you can find these places that aren’t always your typical, mainstream store.  Here are some of my favorites:

Greenwich Tile:  This is my go-to source for tile in any size.  Vita, the owner, is creative and innovative.  Greenwich Tile isn’t just a supply house; they love design and will mix materials to create an energizing, unique palette.  You can visit them at 402 W Putnam Ave  or call (203) 869-4773.

One of my favorite designs from Greenwich Tile.
For a bathroom project.
For a master bathroom in progress.

Mark Inc.:  I’ve known Mark for a while now and he is such a great guy.  He does custom mohair rugs in hundreds of designs.  The level of capability that goes into his products in unbelievable!  The classical thinking behind his rugs is evident.  I love that you can even see progress photos of your rugs on the loom!  Mark Inc. is located at 34 E Putnam Ave.

Mark Inc hand knotted wool rug.
Hand knotted hemp rug from Mark Inc.

Exquisite Surfaces:  Amazing source for flooring, including salvaged and reclaimed options.  Visit them at 11 E Putnam Ave.

I love these strong graphic tiles from Exquisite Surfaces.
Antique Petit Granite flooring.

C. Parker Gallery:  The gallery’s storefront opens  at 17 E Putnam Ave with the holiday season, but this year has remained open.  With an extensive collection of impressionist paintings, the gallery is a wonderful source of art close to home.  I love the concept of C. Parker Gallery; they host events, are available for private consultations, and install purchased artwork.

Painting by Charles Levier
A client’s home with a painting from C. Parker Gallery.
Another painting from C. Parker Gallery in a living room I designed.

Trovare Home:  They have a great knack for mixing vintage items and reproductions with modern pieces.  The accessories are great, and you can really tell the owner has a clever eye.  Trovare Home, at 245 E Putnam Ave, also has good sized abstract art that’s well priced.  The store consists of such charming vignettes that you want to scoop them up and install them just the way they are.

From Trovare Home
One of the many unique finds at Trovare Home.

Room:  With a showroom in NYC as well, Room is a great addition to Greenwich shopping.  They feature custom crafted pieces by a variety of artisans and designers, but what I really like is their lighting.  I was once working on a project here in Greenwich with a short lead time.  Their bocce lamps were perfect — like jewelry for a room.  Everything is customizable too, making their pieces suitable for almost any decor.  You can find Room at 36 E. Putnam Ave.

Hanging bocce lighting from Room.
Great table lamp.

What kind of local shopping do you like to do?