It’s All In The Lamp…

There are few things more important to a finished interior than good lighting.  And there are few lamps more beautiful than those made by my good friend Christopher Spitzmiller and the talented artists with whom he works.

The studio is a visual delight! There are hundreds of different lamps in the most vibrant, saturated colors.

I went down to Christopher Spitzmiller yesterday afternoon for what I thought would be a quick visit, to look for some lamps for a big project we’re doing.  I ended up staying for over an hour, admiring the stock, touring the studio, and even looking at a few new designs, a couple of which I’m not yet allowed to show you!

The Three Ball, Cameron and Ming Lamps

One of my favorite artists in the studio is Roy Hamilton.  He layers different glazes to create lamps with extremely tactile, lace-like surfaces.

Roy Hamilton Lamps on display

On my visit, Chris gave me a behind-the-scenes tour.  I feel so lucky to have been able to see where everything is made!

Chris in one of the workrooms. On the wall behind him you can see all of the different lamp bases, ready to be gold or silver-leafed.


Chris in front of the pots of colored glazes for which his lamps are justly famous. Behind him to the left you can see some of his flower plates. We have a set of six at our house in Southampton. They are great for serving hors d'oeuvres!

The highlight of my tour by far was seeing a new prototype that Chris is working on…and he gave me permission to show it to you!  I think these pieces are extremely elegant, and I cannot wait to see how they look after glazing!

The new pieces.

Christopher Spitzmiller lamps are available to the public through Mecox Gardens and HB Home; and to the trade through their showroom at 248 West 35th Street.




We Love a Good Party

A tablescape for a themed seated dinner-dance is the perfect occasion to do something over-the-top! We can put all our energy into designs that are purely fun and indulgent. The most whimsical and creative ideas go beyond the confines of practicality. Nobody actually needs a 1,000-tulip centerpiece (or do they…) but the WOW factor is undeniable.

Our table for the 2011 Lenox Hill Neighborhood House Spring Gala.

This Missoni-for-Stark fabric was meant to embody the Cole Porter song “You’re the Top” and convey a 30s-style deco glow.

This peachy pink metallic in candlelight made every complexion flawless!

The base of the centerpiece was a ceramic stool from Mecox Gardens that we had copper-leafed by our florist, Botanica. (They also dyed the tulips to better match the fabric!) The crowning glory of 1,000 tulips weighed no less than 80 pounds. As party favors to our guests, we made CDs featuring Cole Porter and other hits from the 1930s.

We like to think this table landed Elizabeth and Ann in Bill Cunningham’s NY Times article the following Sunday.

courtesy of the New York Times

Our inaugural Lenox Hill table was in 2010. The theme was “Shall We Dance?” and, as Penelope Green of the NY Times put it, we used a mirrored disk with crystals and flowers to create an upside-down dance floor.

We used an inexpensive purple Dupioni silk from Stark with an overlay of silver lace from Schumacher.

For a party at the Metropolitan Club honoring Mario Buatta, McMillen was asked to do two tables and we gladly accepted!

Mary Beth Donohue chose this bright pink chintz in honor of the Prince of Chintz.

Elizabeth puts on the finishing touches.

Look at how Belfair designed this tiny green border to complement the greens of the plates and chintz. Could this be any cuter? The answer is no.

Inevitably, every good party has to come to an end. But we’re always looking forward to the next one!

Elizabeth's turban was the party favor/place setting from Christopher Spitzmiller's amazing table. Chris is the Design Chair of the Lenox Hill Neighborhood Spring Gala.

Mary Beth at Old Westbury Gardens

Check out the incredible bedroom by our colleague Mary Beth Donohue from her showroom at Old Westbury Gardens on Long Island. We just got the photos (literally not ten minutes ago) and are very excited. For those of you who couldn’t make it out there, these photos should give you a good sense of the space. And let’s be honest, a good photograph is everything.

Doesn’t this space look so cozy and happy? We love the blues and off-whites; it’s plush comfort with a hint of glamour. Blue is notoriously difficult to work with, but Mary Beth has made this bedroom so dreamy and feminine. She achieves a beautiful balance between traditional and contemporary. It’s soft, but little touches like the sconces and the silver bed make the room glimmer.

The wallpaper is by Brunschwig & Fils, and the wonderful table lamps are courtesy of Christopher Spitzmiller (could they really be by anyone else?).


This is making us jealous! We wish Mary Beth had done our bedrooms.