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“No refusal” is written on all the egg yolk-colored cabs of Kolkata, a pledge sometimes kept by the cabdrivers, but always fulfilled by the city itself. From the first time I had a chance to wander the decaying colonial city, Kolkata's been a mysterious yet open city for me, its wide sidewalks like something out of Italo Calvino’s “Invisible Cities.” I’ve always wanted to come back to dig deeper, not to mention savor the spicy Bengali food once again.
Sara Bengur is an Interior Designer who grew up in Washington, DC; Istanbul, Turkey; and Maine, and developed her design aesthetic early. All of her experiences play into the work she has done since 1993 at Sara Bengur Interiors, In 2013, she launched Sara Bengur Shop, her namesake collection of globally inspired home furnishings. Sara works with women artisans who hand stitch every fabric in her collection, and her work and designs have been featured in an array of magazines and popular blogs, including Elle Décor, House Beautiful, New York Magazine, The New York Times, StyleBeat, Architectural Digest, and The Ritz-Carlton Magazine.
John had a few questions to ask her about her style, her work, and what inspires her.Read More
This season I went down to Mysore via Bangalore with my trusted travel companion Gavin, a local expat and professional collector. Just as we were heading down South from Delhi we learned the two states we were travelling through were having water disputes; roads were shut down, trucks were being set on fire. In India one never knows how bad these situations really are—there is always something going on—so we figured we might as well give it a try. In Bangalore the airport was filled with families sitting in relaxed clusters, snacking, chatting, not in the least bit harried despite being stuck at the airport. Taxis would not go into town since goons were blocking the roads.
Sara Bliss is an author whose articles on travel and design have appeared in Travel & Leisure, Town & Country, House Beautiful, Yahoo Travel, and Refinery 29. She is the founder of the weekly travel and design site HotelChicBlog.com, which has a devoted readership in over 180 countries. She’s written seven books, including Exotic Style: Great Ideas for Bringing Global Style Home.
We had the opportunity to talk to her a bit about her latest book, Hotel Chic at Home, and ask her for a few ideas to get some design inspiration in our own homes.
We met with Dorothy Pfeiffer of Cornucopia Flowers for some advice on setting the perfect table for your holiday party. We hope you find her answers as helpful as we do!
Portugal, just a quick jump from New York City, has the same cracking glaze of history as Italy but the shorter distances between regions makes it easier to see more in less time. Fly into Lisbon and take it all in: eat, hunt and see all of the quirky museums. I stayed at the York House, a boutique hotel on the cobblestone streets of Alfama. A block away is the old mansion housing the Museum Nacional Arte Antique, filled with marvellous Anglo Indian Portuguese furniture and porcelains from all over. Take a break in the museum’s leafy garden café overlooking the bay. Also right nearby is the amusing Museum da Marinetti. Grab an espresso and make your way farther along the bay to the Oriente Museum, where you will find a truly incredible collection of crafts from former Portugese colonies, including my favorite, Indonesian Warung puppets. For dinner or lunch hit the Time Out Market, lined with food stalls from Lisbon’s best restaurants. Catch a soccer match on a huge screen as you sample hams and creamy cheeses accompanied by some light Portuguese wines.
In honor of International Coffee Day October 1, we asked Todd from Chilmark Coffee Company a few questions. John met Todd and his wife Jennifer in 1984 while studying at Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania, and they've remained friends ever since. We even get to enjoy his coffee here at the office. He had some great stories to share.
"Better the spear that missed an elephant than the arrow that killed a hare." -Indian proverb
Gavin, my pal in Delhi, tells me about a remote town in the deep South of India with rows and rows of antique shops filled with castoffs of wealthy Indian merchants. I am always on the hunt for new ideas and old markets and I jump at the chance to tag along with him. Every season I hit the road to find new ideas in painted monastaries atop soaring mountains or local bazaars down sweltering warrens. Either way, it usually works.Read More
Creating furniture upholstered in my own fabric has always been a dream of mine. This dream is now a reality in my partnership with Duralee furniture: eighteen upholstered pieces that capture the essence of our brand. Incorporating my admiration for the sumptuous adornment found in palace architecture or traditional tea house seating, the Duralee team and I worked closely in this labor of love to guarantee that each frame is not only beautiful and visually stimulating, but also functional and comfortable.Read More
I’ve just returned from Leh, the Indian town on a perfectly blue, high-altitude desert bordering China and Pakistan. Set at the crossroads of the Punjab and central Asia, Kashmir and Tibet, it was once the hub of 17th century caravan trade. I warn you there is a lot to do here, so plan your trip with a generous amount of time. I wish I had. I was there shooting so only stayed a few days, gorging myself on the ancient Buddhist monasteries and the delights of the town itself. Close by are lakes and other mountains that deserve weeks to explore, such as the Nubra Valley and Pangong Lake, which I will have to hit next time. Watch out for the altitude---a mere 12,000 feet. The first day just rest and hang out at your hotel.