Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Kelly Klein in the Hamptons (and Elsewhere)

One of my sons keeps telling me I have to get out of the Hamptons because summer is so over.  Frequently, I remind him this blog is not meant to be seasonal, though it may be someday; rather it is meant to mirror my journey through interior design from its inception until today.  The images I choose reflect my changes in taste; they do not reflect the seasons. (If he doesn't like it, I continue to remind son #2 he can write his own blog!!) Come with me today as we revisit Kelly Klein way back in 1992 with Calvin in the Hamptons.  Then we'll follow her to 2008 in NYC and to today in Palm Beach with her son Lukas.  I've admired her style wherever she has been.

 1992's Vogue Decoration,

and the very happy and talented couple. 

In the Hamptons, zoning laws often restrict the building of new homes, but older ones can be torn down, and an entirely new house could "fit within the old house while respecting the laws governing modifications and additions."  A tough assignment!  Thierry Despont rose to the challenge and designed the house below for Kelly and Calvin.
Thierry Despont Architects
"A wide porch runs around the house entirely and links the structures together."
Thierry Despont Architects
Returning to the Vogue Decoration article, we see the shorefront boat house on the pond where Kelly and Calvin canoed.

Simple pleasures of the summer house.

But inside the main house are these clean, uncluttered beautiful spaces accented with Georgia O'Keeffe paintings and glimpses of the unifying porch.

A view of the sea through the French doors.  Isn't the home reminiscent of Atelier AM design or is it just me? (If you don't own Atelier AM's new book, it's a must.  More about their design in the furture.)  

View from living room through to the dining room.  I always loved all the white, cotton slipcovers mixed with antiques and dark floors.  Very today.  All the old floor boards were found in Vermont and Maine.

Favorite items gathered on coffee table.

Roman sculpture and sunflowers atop a Japanese tea table.  Perfect.

Another painting by Georgia O"Keeffe.

Like the rest of the house, the bedroom is all white.

View from the bedroom to the porch to the ocean.

Calvin's bathroom with English tub and seascape through windows,

Kelly's dressing table with portrait of Calvin.
I always loved this house, its shingles, its whiteness, and its spare beauty.  Quite a departure from the 1974 home I first posted about in January, but my tastes were changing slightly, as it seems Kelly's were not.  Let's take a look at her New York apartment as it appeared in October, 2008 in Town and Country's special home issue.

In her apartment which she has had for 25 years, she appears with her son, Lukas.  How cute are those toes??

Love the living room's "cool, crisply tailored" look.  This time the slipcovers are not cotton, but Belgian  linen, and the Roman sculpture appears to be female instead of the male version in the Hamptons.  She returned to this apartment after her separation from Calvin.

Foyer lined with images of horses by Steven Klein.  Dark floors similar to those in the beach house.  The sculpture at the end appears to be another Roman antique.  (I think I may need some Roman sculptures.  Should have thought of that when in Italy instead of boots and cashmere.)

A made-to-order steel case to hold firewood.  Photos are from her rotating collection.  Many of her picture frames are black with white matting adding great unity to the apartment.

Antique armoire holding more photos and books.

Very spare and beautiful dining room with a concrete table and Joseph Hoffman chairs.

Loft style master bed room.

Master bed with Olatz linens.

Lukas's room.

View of Kelly in living room.

Other half of double-paged image from above.  Even her foot looks elegant and love the pot next to the sofa.

So chic in her jeans and bare feet.

How to be as chic?  At the end of the article, Kelly lists some of her favorite products and stores.

 A sampling of items from her recommended stores and websites.  From Olatz, this Italian linen tablecloth.

Takashimaya unfortunately closed in NYC, but these images were fortunately taken before it did.

I've never been to the Hamptons, but when I do go, I'm hotfooting it to Bloom immediately.  I know I would love it.

Love everything on the table below and especially the table itself.

Fast forwarding to today, let's take a peek into Kelly's home in Palm Beach.  Look how big Lukas has grown.

Love her kitchen, of course.  The open shelving, the stainless hood and refrigerator, the stools, the branches in the clear vase, the spareness - everything.

And it looks right out to the water and over the pool.

Pool with disappearing edges.

Master bedroom with linen accessories.

Kelly Klein has such great taste - guess that's how she came to work for both Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein.  What do you think, my friends?  Do you love all her homes, like me?  Or do you have a favorite?  And to which of her favorite stores would you beat a path?

Till next time,

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Grazi, prego, si, ciao - my few Italian words learned while on a tour of this beautiful country.  In case you may have been wondering where I've been for so long, Italy is where I have been.  So today's post is devoted to the photos I took (with my iphone) while there.  It's a little far afield from the Hamptons, but will continue there next time.

I had such a great visit and probably took way too many pictures, but promise to bore you with only 54 (I took over 150). Please feel free to scan through them quickly since photography seems not to be my forte.  Our tour started in Montecatini, a charming little town in Tuscany.  The scene below is what we saw as we approached what was to be our home-away-from-home for several days - the Grand Hotel Plaza.

We decided to take a little nap before exploring Montecatini, and this is the view we saw when opening our room's shutters.  "OMG," I cried, "we're in Room with a View," one of my favorite films.

After our two hour recuperation-from-overseas-travel nap, we explored Montecatini a bit.  "This is so Italian," I kept saying.  What did I think it would be - so Belgian??  Though maybe thinking these words, my friend never said them.  She is so tactful.

Naturally, we found a small cafe where we enjoyed much needed refreshment.

Pat had an espresso sunday and I had the strawberry gelatto.  I dislike coffee anything but love the way it looks and smells.  Seems so sophisticated, those little cups and all; still I'll stick to gelato.  We sat here and watched the Italians go by deciding Italian men are very, very attractive and so well groomed.  Italian women are very chic.  We felt so American.

Grand Hotel's terrace where we met Mickayla, our tour guide, and fellow tour members.

A photo taken from the bus as we head toward Cinque Terre in the rain the next day.

Notice the hillsides.  Because the land is so steep, grape-growers must terrace the land.  It takes them many hours and small carts to harvest their yield from their very narrow vineyards.

Cinque Terre is a group of five small towns in nothern Italy.  We visited only those most accessible by coach. Because of the rain, we were all happy not to hike between towns. I believe this one is Monterossa.  Again, isn't it just so Italian?  Don't you just love it?  We did.

More terracing, more buildings built into the hillside.  Pat and I had visited Rome while in college years ago.  This time we longed to see small town Italy, and we did.

We vowed not to visit cathedral after cathedral since we had done that, but I could not resist this small church by the sea, where so many Italian fisherman worshiped.

Loved the stone interior.  So plain and pure.

View upon exiting the church - part of what Rick Steves calls the Italian Riviera.  Rained a bit while we were here - very un-Riviera-like with umbrellas in the distance fastened down, but still beautiful.

More fishing boats.

Walking up from the sea.  Note the terraced vineyards atop the town.

A pretty window along the narrow street.

Roadside entrance to a stone house.

 View of the coast from Monterossa to Vernazza.


Love these narrow spaces between buildings.  "Until the advent of tourism, the towns were poor and remote.  Today tourism stokes their economies.... There's not a chain store anywhere, and each of the five villages comes with a distinct dialect and its own proud heritage," writes Rick Steves.  Our guide for Cinque Terre actually met Steves and attributes these towns' prosperity to him and his books.

Next day, even more rain in Florence.  We first went to the Academy Museum where we viewed Michelangelo's "David."  We could take no photos here, but take it from me Michelangelo is a genius.  I was awestruck.  (On a personal side note, here in the Academy Museum, I happened upon two hometown, longtime friends.  Who knew such a coincidence could occur!   Such a small world.)

Pat and I broke our vow about cathedrals here, but the Domo in Florence is spectacular.

Domo's interior.

View toward the rear of the Domo.  Looking to the left is Bonnie, one half of a very fun couple we met on the trip.

Avery wet day in Florence as you can see, but we tourists were undaunted.

Famous golden doors of the Bapistry of San Giovanni and more rain.  Infants were not admitted into the Domo until baptized; the sacrament first took place behind these doors which is across from the Domo.

As we were leaving Florence after a time out for lunch and shopping, the group stopped to take pictures of the Ponte Vecchio.   Weather cleared a bit as we were leaving.

Outside of Florence, we stopped to take pictures of a "David" copy.

A view of Florence from afar and near the statue above.  Ciao Florence.

Next day, Pat and I decided to sign up to see Siena, not something we had originally planned.  Funny, in spite of the continual downpour, it turned out to be my favorite city.  Our guide here (with pink umbrella) explained the rivalry existing between Florence and Siena, Florence being the more masculine, industrial city, Siena being the more feminine city whose economy is based on banking, the very bank below - the Monte dei Paschi, oldest surviving bank in the world.  Our guide explained that everyone in Siena is employed by the bank, retired from the bank, or is hoping to work for the bank.

The city is so pretty, and the shops which we had no time to explore, nor which we could afford, looked very lovely and very expensive.

The narrow, hilly streets of Siena spoke to me.

Siena's own more petite Domo, which we could not enter on Sunday.

Birds-eye view of Siena.  Everywhere I looked was a picture.

Toward lunch time, Pat and I were very wet and very cold.  We knew this restaurant was going to be expensive, but we threw caution to the wind and enjoyed its elegant warmth,

 its warming wine,

its cheese plate, its delicious mushroom souffle

and dessert plate.

The next day, we traveled south from Tuscany and Montecatini to Sorrento, its Europa Palace Hotel and the Amalfi Coast.  Our first stop along the way was Pompeii and its ruins from Mount Vesuvius.  Our guide here said it had poured just before we arrived, but for us the sun came out and shone on the glistening paths and stones.

See, blue sky!

Here, archeologists determined is where the gladiator events took place.  The doors in the rear were where the gladiators and/or horses awaited their fate - sort of akin to our football stadiums.

Here is where the more civilized events took place - plays and operas.  By the by, the woman in black aiming carefully is my friend her very self - Pat.

When it rained, water would rush down the stone streets.  The citizens of Pompeii used these huge stones to remain dry-footed as they crossed.

A wonderful, sunny view of Vesuvius which looks so innocent now hovering over ceremonial grounds it once ruined.

The road to Sorrento and Amalfi is very beautiful but very treacherous.  Mickayla said on the ride to Amalfi, everyone says, "Mama mia!"  On the return trip, everyone prays, "Oh, my God!"  I'm just glad we had an experienced driver who had grown up in the area.

There are three islands off the Amalfi coast and one in particular was purchased by Rudolph Nureyev.  I kept trying to get his island, but think I missed.


And its wonderful streets.

The gardens of Capri and some of its views.

Am continually amazed how vegetation can root itself into rock, as seen from this beautiful garden above the sea.

One of our last meals in Italy - minestrone and pizza (which arrived later).  Another wet, chilly day prompted this menu choice - everything was delicious.

If I had visited any Italian kitchens (which I did not), I imagine them to resemble the ones below.  (See - always trying to remain true to my blog's title.)

And the food that would be prepared in these kitchens would look something like this. (Actually, much of our food did look like this, but we ate too fast for photos.)

And this is where we would eat the tasty bruschetta, soup and cheese if it had not been raining so much of the  time.

Have you been bored to death?  Buck up, little campers, next post I will be on task - two more posts about the Hamptons, then onto cozy New England and England, with all their kitchens and interior decor just in time for the holidays and chilly winter.  Stay tuned.