Summer Solstice is the first day of the summer and the day when we can bask in the sun’s light for the longest time.  Design and entertaining inspired by this radiant day is all about warmth and lightness.

For the first annual Holiday House Hamptons last year, Marshall Watson’s Midsummer Night’s bedroom embodied the warmth of the sun with its deep yellow walls and undulating round mirror.


Midsummer Night bedroom by Marshall Watson of Marshall Watson Interiors
at Holiday House Hamptons 2013
Photography by Mick Hales

 Even for our fall show house in Manhattan, Deborah Martin evoked summer days and nights by pairing a sun like light fixture with a monumental mirror from Christopher Guy that reflected the shimmering gold Maya Romanoff’s “Bedazzled” wallpaper.

HHNYC2013 Deborah Martin

3rd Floor Foyer by Deborah Martin of Deborah Martin Designs
At Holiday House NYC 2013 showcase.
Photography by Paul Domzal at Edge Media

Because Jennifer Duneier loves summer entertaining, she also gave a nod to the sun’s most glorious day in her kitchen and breakfast area for the inaugural Holiday House Hamptons.  The custom light fixtures floating over her table are like vibrant bursts of sunlight, and her use of summery Robert Allen fabrics creates a refreshing feeling.

 Duneier Design_Kitchen_BreakfastArea_PeterDressel_3

Kitchen by Jennifer Duneier of Duneier Design
at Holiday House Hamptons 2013
Photography by Peter Dressel


One of the best parts of summer is getting outdoors and enjoying nature.  When The Design Studio created an outdoor living space last year, they couldn’t help but incorporate natural elements.  As the Design Studio’s Eugenia Kim told Hamptons Cottages & Gardens, “The idea of renewal and the symbolic use of the dogwood flower fuse together to create a serene, supportive, and elegant retreat.  Best of all, this outdoor living space can sustain all elements of nature.”


The Design Studio brought together pieces from Walter’s Wicker, Missoni Home and Tui Lifestyle to create an elegant and nature-inspired outdoor space.

Photography by Anastassios Mentis for Hamptons Cottages & Gardens.


We’ve been talking about evocations of the Summer Solstice in living spaces, but we can’t forget about the food and drink that satiate our guests as they enjoy this day that is both relaxing and inspiring.  Jennifer Duneier suggests a Summer Solstice Mojito Lemonade.  Since celebration of the Summer Solstice is popular in Scandinavian countries, where the sun remains out through the night, we are also including designer Patrik Lonn’s recipe for Toast Skagen, a Swedish hors d’ouevre (recipes below).

While the Gala Opening of the second annual Holiday House Hamptons on June 28 may not officially be the longest day of the year, we will still be celebrating the kick off of summer and partying until the sun goes down, so come drink a toast with us and see the extraordinary spaces our 2014 designers have created for summer living.  If interested in buying tickets to the gala click here.



White Gala from last year’s Holiday House Hamptons showcase


Summer Solstice Mojito Lemonade submitted by DUNEIER DESIGN



1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, plus sprigs for garnish

2 limes, cut into wedges, plus more for garnish

2 cups crushed ice, plus more for serving

1 cup Lime-Mint Syrup, recipe follows

1 liter white rum

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

Club soda

Muddle the mint leaves and lime wedges with 2 cups crushed ice in the bottom of a large pitcher. Add Lime-Mint Syrup, rum, lime juice, and more ice. Top off with club soda, to taste. Pour into glasses over ice and serve. Garnish each glass with a lime wedge and mint sprigs, if desired.



Lime-Mint Syrup:

2 cups sugar

2 cups water

2 limes, zested

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a medium saucepan and cook until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat, stir in the lime zest and mint, and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to infuse the syrup with the flavor of  lime and mint. Strain out the mint and zest and refrigerate the syrup, covered, until cold.


Patrik Lonn’s Swedish hors d’ouevre 

Toast Skagen is an elegant combination of shrimp and other ingredients on a small piece of sautéed bread. It was created by the popular Swedish restaurateur Tore Wretman. More than anyone else, he embraced Swedish culinary traditions during the decades immediately after world war II. At a time when home cooking was starting to fade away and be replaced by foreign fast food, he also elevated classic Swedish dishes into a fancy restaurant repertoire, lending them new status. Named for a fishing port at the northern tip of Denmark, in Sweden, toast Skagen is an appetizer that means “party.” People who really want to celebrate something are extravagantly generous with the whitefish roe. The sprig of dill on the top serves as a fanfare. It’s a dish Patrik Lonn favors as a delightful appetizer or as a snack paired with a glass of Champagne at any occasion.

Ingredients (4 servings)
4 slices of white bread
11 oz peeled shrimps (prawns)
4 tbs mayonnaise
1 tbs dijon mustard
5 oz whitefish roe
2 oz fresh dill
1 lemon

cut off the crusts of the bread slices. Sauté the bread golden brown on both sides in a little butter. place on paper towels. if the shrimps are large, cut them into smaller pieces. save four sprigs of dill for garnishes. finely chop the rest of the dill and mix with the shrimps, mayonnaise and mustard. apportion the mixture on the slices of sautéed bread. shape the whitefish roe like eggs and place on top of each toast. garnish each with a sprig of dill and serve with a slice of lemon.


Time To Get Out Your Summer Whites!

Memorial Day marks the time when you can officially (if you follow traditional fashion etiquette) get out your summer whites. We have the perfect excuse for your to don your best white attire when the second annual Holiday House Hamptons presented by Hamptons Cottages & Gardens celebrates our Opening Night “White Party” at the Watchcase in Sag Harbor on June 28!

Marianne Howatson and Kendell Cronstrom of Hamptons Cottages & Gardens with Holiday House founder Iris Dankner at last year's Opening Night White Party.
Marianne Howatson and Kendell Cronstrom of Hamptons Cottages & Gardens with Holiday House founder Iris Dankner at last year’s Opening Night White Party.

White decor and fashion can seem both glamorous and seemingly effortless at the same time, much like the Hamptons.  Many of the designers for the inaugural Holiday House Hamptons in 2013 incorporated white into their spaces in both crisp and ethereal ways.   They shared their inspirations in Hamptons Cottages & Gardens July 2013 coverage of the event; we’ve shared a few highlights below and the full coverage can be seen here.

Great Room by Mabley Handler Design. Photography by Anastassios Mentis for Hamptons Cottages & Gardens.
Great Room by Mabley Handler Design. Photography by Anastassios Mentis for Hamptons Cottages & Gardens.

“For anyone buying, building and/or renovating in the Hamptons, the mantra is to be ‘in by Memorial Day.’ So our great room is designed as a soothing space to host a summer kick off cocktail party,” said husband and wife design team Jennifer Mabley and Austin Handler of Mabley Handler Interior Design.  They incorporated fabrics by AERIN into their luxurious space where calming whites and blues call for relaxation.

Jennifer Duneier poses in her kitchen for Holiday House Hamptons 2013.
Jennifer Duneier poses in her kitchen for Holiday House Hamptons 2013.

Another designer who was inspired by white and blue last year was Jennifer Duneier of Duneier Design for her kitchen and dining area.  “Summer is the best time of year for hosting friends and family. I love to cook, so creating the space was fun for me, especially when it came to making the modern Arclinea cabinets and custom laser-cut backsplash look seamless with the house’s traditional architecture,” she said.

Screened porch by Hunniford Design Studio. Photograph by Anastassios Mentis for Hamptons Cottages & Gardens.
Screened porch by Hunniford Design Studio. Photograph by Anastassios Mentis for Hamptons Cottages & Gardens.

Huniford Design Studio‘s pale, clean palette for his screened porch gives the feeling of the breeze itself.  “We wanted the room to function differently from a typical sitting area.  Inspired by a tree swing, we hung a daybed from the ceiling, bringing a sense of the outdoors into this transitional space,” said James Huniford.

Ally Coulter Designs' Master Suite.  Photograph by Anastassios Mentis for Hamptons Cottages & Gardens.
Ally Coulter Designs’ Master Suite. Photograph by Anastassios Mentis for Hamptons Cottages & Gardens.

For her Master Suite, Ally Coulter created an “all-white ambiance that pays homage to strong women.”   Highlights were the luxe white bed she designed for Neidermaier with a sparkling Baccarat chandelier floating overhead.

Ally’s ode to women reminds us of the meaning behind Holiday House.  All proceeds from the event benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which does ground breaking work worldwide to fulfill their mission of finding a cure for breast cancer.

Join us on June 28 to see what this year’s extraordinary designers create and to support a worthwhile cause.  Tickets are now available online.

In the meantime, here’s Mabley Handler’s contribution to last year’s recipe book to toast the start of summer … The Southside, the classic Hamptons cocktail!

The Southside

Courtesy of longtime Hamptonite Eric Striffler


1 liter Tanqueray gin

1 full cup freshly squeezed lime juice (Must be fresh…Roughly 10 limes)

2 bunches fresh mint (Roughly 8 sprigs)

1 cup Domino white sugar

1/2 cup raw Coconut (brown) sugar (Preferable Navitas Naturals Coconut Palm Sugar)

2 cups water

1 cup plain seltzer

1 bag ice

Large 1-2 gallon jug or pitcher


First, make simple syrup:

Add 2 cups water into large saucepan.

Add white AND coconut sugar, and then add 4-5 mint sprigs.

Bring to boil for 10 minutes, and then let simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Let stand for 1 hour. When the simple syrup reaches room temperature, remove and discard the mint sprigs/leaves.

Pour entire amount of simple sugar solution into jug or pitcher.

Add 1 pound of ice, and then add the gin, lime juice, and seltzer.

Add leaves of one mint sprig (But save all other leaves for garnishing the cocktail once poured).

Stir and serve over ice and garnish with 2-3 fresh mint leaves.


St. Patrick’s Day

Holiday House had a bit of Irish luck when talented designer and blogger Patrick J. Hamilton agreed to create a room for our 2013 NYC show house.  And we are even luckier that he has written a guest blog here about the inspiration and selections for his elegant St. Patrick’s Day space.

St. Patrick’s Day

It was great fun to create a room for Holiday House 2013 built around St. Patrick’s Day, even though that’s not a calendar moment typically marked by— or known for— high-style design. And like all the holiday-themed rooms at Holiday House, the ideal goal was to create a space inspired by, not slave to, the themes and motifs of the day being honored, to integrate the idea into the room’s design, not merely decorate with it.

But where, O’Where, to begin?

I’m certainly no historian, and I’m only half-Irish. But my ancestral (peat!)fires were re-stoked by an amazing trip to the Emerald Isles a few years back, the details of which worked their way back, big time, into the room.

That trip was an amazing weeklong adventure that took us from the urban-industrial vibe of Dublin to the southwestern-most coast and back again. We went the tourist route in some places, and off the beaten path in others, wildly so during the trip’s highlight: a three-day hike on the Dingle Peninsula, along the staggeringly beautiful, totally untamed coastline. Sheep outnumbered any fellow hikers by about 100 to 1 (we were on the last edge of the area’s hiking season), the wind whipped us along on more than one occasion, and in places we sunk ankle deep in what we told ourselves was mud, as nearby horses and cows looked on, bemused but unbothered.

But nothing could detract from the rugged beauty of seaside pastures, crashing surf, the ever-changing sky, ancient cairns, country roads, tiny towns and the common denominator of the entire trip: the incredible hospitality, charm and warmth of the Irish.

But how did all that factor into a room at the Academy Mansion on Manhattan’s chic Upper East Side? As it turns out, in many more ways than just one.

Layering of the Ages

What struck me most about Dublin is also one of my mantras when assembling an interior: every room needs a mix of both old and new. Dublin is a city of the ancient and the now, and I tried to bring a similar mix in the room, creating a shell that simulated ages of use, traditional shapes and materials on the biggest pieces, then layering on contemporary artwork, lighting and accent furnishings. It’s that tension, in city or sitting room, that creates interest and energy.

Photography by Jody Kivort
Photography by Jody Kivort

Literature and Narrative

From the lore of the Blarney Stone (the upside-down kiss is said to instill the gift of gab), to the pubs and the wonderful Schoolhouse Hotel where every room was named after an Irish author, you’re instantly aware that storytelling is deeply rooted in the Irish culture. So it was only fitting the room started with a story: it’s fictional resident, a young man inheriting his family row home in the family for generations, and starting to imprint his more youthful style. The stacks of books made more literal reference to, well, the literary reference.

Photography by Jody Kivort
Photography by Jody Kivort
Photography by Jody Kivort

Warmth and Hospitality

Warmth was represented a few ways, starting with the showstopper mantle from Chesney’s. Lush, enveloping fabrics, in deep jewel tones from JAB Anstoetz also turned the thermostat up in this room… even if the fireplace was mere illusion, and as the wind rattled the windows on most days of the show house run. The room-spanning upholstered screen from The Workroom, and the geometric grasscloth from Arte Wallcoverings, courtesy Koroseal/Studio K also warmed up the room like an Irish embrace, with horsehair, Celtic knot and library-screen references run though a modern filter.

And nothing says welcome more than a gorgeous and inviting sofa, which the equally hospitable folks at Avery Boardman were so gracious to provide.

Photography by Jody Kivort

Irish antiques—and Brands

To give the room instant O’Connell Street cred, I went to the source: O’Sullivan Antiques, for a pair of quintessential hall chairs, oval bar tray, and the spectacular but diminutive port table.

While there to take my pick of their amazing inventory, I got a mini-education on tradition, wood selection and motifs from the truly Irish and totally informed Trevor. (History class sounds way better when it’s delivered by a handsome fellow with an Irish brogue, just fyi.)

And no Irish tale would be complete without one of its glittering brands: Waterford Crystal, who lent me a sparkling array of barware, both classic and contemporary. That mix gave the narrative some lovely detail, too… a sense of acquired age to the room’s smaller details.

Photography by Jody Kivort

Colors of the Irish Flag… and Other Things

Sure, Ireland’s known for greens (a most deserved reputation, based on our visit), but the Irish flag seemed also a suitable source of inspiration. Orange and white became the room’s strong second-place colors, like that white marble table from Wisteria, the orange roses from NDI, and the Martin Schoeller photo over the mantle, whose subject quickly and affectionately become known as the “hot ginger.” Indeed!

The purple heather that dotted the misty hills and the painted doors and brass hardware of Irish pubs also made their way into the room.

And even the black and white lamp from Currey & Company seemed to strike a color chord as we unpacked it… sure enough, against the green grasscloth, it reminded me of the iconic black and white sheep-herding dogs that energetically crisscross the grass-green countryside.

Natural Beauty

You can’t visit Ireland without the rugged beauty catching your eye and capturing your heart. My nod to that came from the driftwood colored floors (a happy inheritance from show house designers past), a crystal geode, gorgeous woods, the custom sheepskin Modernist Bench from Designlush, and the organic references of the Avram Rusu Studio Confetti chandelier.

Symbols, Lore and legend

There’s incredible lore and legend blurring the lines of the story of Ireland’s patron saint, and they seemed like ways to bring in a little fun into the room, to give it youth, humor and buoyancy… there’s the snakes, chased from the island but still hiding in plain sight on the front of the antique cabinet courtesy Anthony Lawrence Belfair… while architecturally-omnipresent quatrefoils, on the Coleman Taylor hand-painted shades and the custom-painted (by Raj Autencio and Jason Phillips) wainscoting become four leaf clovers in the room’s context. The Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams Demitree side table, and the other glints of gold throughout, were all nods to the mythical leprechauns and little people of Irish lore.

Photography by Jody Kivort
Photography by Jody Kivort

I hope you’ve been inspired to bring home the things you love from your travels… even if it’s just inspiration! Happy St. Patrick’s Day, all!

Learn more about Patrick’s sources HERE  and get more design tips from his St. Patrick’s Day room HERE

Photography by Jody Kivort
Photography by Jody Kivort


“House with a Heart”

Happy Valentine’s Day! Romantic Designs from Holiday House NYC

It’s time to banish those winter blues because something is in the air— and this time, it’s not just a negative degree wind chill. It’s L-O-V-E. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we thought we’d get you in the mood for romance by sharing a few of the reasons why Holiday House has become known as “the house with a heart”.

The 2013 Valentine’s Day library room design by Rachel Laxer Interiors was extraordinary. Rachel states in her blog that the design “is meant to be my sexier, edgier Valentine’s Day”. The space explores the balance between the light and dark aspects of love, which is evident in the photographs of the man (by Dina Goldstein) and the woman (by Raul Higuera via The Vered Gallery). The duo of porcelain vases by Lladró, the black and white floral Peter Dayton coffee table, the blown glass light fixture by CL Sterling, and the burnt orange side chairs by Mattia Bonetti via The Paul Kasmin Gallery all lend themselves in creating an ultra chic, modern feel.

*Room by Rachel Laxer Interiors, at Holiday House 2013.















It is impossible to forget the room by Brett Design, Inc. in Holiday House 2012. The company’s own floral wall covering and lavender rugs (for Doris Leslie Blau), the Murano pendant chandeliers by Baroncelli, and the sleek seating by Niedermaier create the perfect space for a cozy night in with your sweetheart.

05 copy*Room by Brett Design, Inc. at Holiday House NYC 2012. Photo credit, Marco Ricca

In perhaps one of the most romantic moments we’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing at Holiday House, our very own Guillaume Gentet wed his longtime beau David Carpenter in the courtyard café that he designed for Holiday House. On December 8, 2013, with close family and friends as their witnesses, the couple made their ceremonial processions around Gentet’s tripartite, Marie Antoinette sofa and exchanged vows under the twin palms that framed a beautiful canvas by Mario Buatta.


*photography by Christopher Goodneycatering by Marcia Selden Cateringwedding cake by Empire Cake, NYCceremony officiated by Rev. Rosemary Bratt McNatt.


In light of the upcoming holiday, Iris Dankner hosted a V Day soiree for a cause featuring elegant jewelry pieces by DA Lennon Jewelry and stylish scarves from Ash & Dans. The accessories made perfect gifts for your loved ones and a percentage of proceeds benefited none other than our favorite pink organization: The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®.

In closing, we will leave you with a pair of recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth: Claudia Giselle’s favorite love potion cocktail and Brett Beldock’s (Brett Design, Inc.) Heart Tart recipe will have you feeling like you’ve just been struck by Cupid’s arrow. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Jeni’s Love Potion


1 ¼ fl. Oz. Ketel One Citroen Vodka

1/3 fl. Oz. elderflower cordial

1 fl. Oz. cider or apple juice

splash of cranberry juice

2 ½ fl. Oz. Perrier Jouët Champagne, chilled

pink rose petals, to decorate


Combine in order listed, serve in a champagne flute

Heart Tart


For the crust:

1 cup sugar

1 stick butter—sweet and softened

1 egg

1 cup + 1 tbsp sifted flour

pinch of salt

For the custard:

2 cups milk

2 tbsps cornstarch

1/3 cup sugar

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 tsp vanilla

For the topping:

Whole strawberries



Mix softened butter with sugar until absorbed. Add egg—continue to mix until fluffy looking. Then add sifted flour—continuing to mix until all absorbed. Put in a buttered pan with spatula. Used floured fingers to push edges up on sides. Bake at 350 degrees for approx. 45 minutes.


Have eggs ready in a bowl, and set aside where it will be within reach. Using a whisk, combine milk, sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan over medium heat on the stovetop. Allow milk to scald (heat to the point when tiny bubbles form around the edges of pan). Whisk occasionally to prevent cornstarch from clumping on bottom edges of pan. Remove milk mixture from heat, preferably to a burner that is turned off. Mix about 2 tbsps of scalded milk mixture into eggs using a whisk.

Then, introduce eggs into milk mixture in a slow stream, whisking milk mixture constantly. Immediately return pan to heat and whisk gently until custard thickens, another two or three minutes. Do not allow to boil.

Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla. If at all lumpy—pass through a sieve. When cool—pour into cooked tart shell. Refrigerate to set.


Cover top with hulled whole strawberries in concentric circles – point side up. Bake in a heart shaped pan.


Super Bowl Sunday

Every winter Americans gather for a time honored tradition and the nation’s most-watched annual television program: the Super Bowl. Super Bowl Sunday festivities are quintessentially American: good people, good food, football, and the comfort and satisfaction of celebrating at home.

Ally Coulter’s“‘Tis the Season” penthouse football lounge for the 2013 Holiday House NYC was a perfect space for watching the big game.

*photo credit by Barbra Karpf of Decorator's Best
*photo credit by Barbra Karpf of Decorator’s Best
*photo credit by John Lyle
*photo credit by John Lyle
*photo credit John Lyle
*photo credit John Lyle
*photo credit by Paul Domzal at Edge Media, Custom bar artwork by Peter Tunney
*photo credit by Paul Domzal at Edge Media, Custom bar artwork by Peter Tunney


*photo credit Paul Domzal at Edge Media designed by Metamorfaux with authentic NFL footballs from Wilson

The impressive giant screen wall and flat-screen paneled scoreboard by Savant Systems were showhouse highlights for the tech-savvy. Beaded wall covering by Maya Romanoff, custom seating by Christopher Hyland, three-tiered chandelier by Baccarat, and plush décor by Ralph Lauren Home made the space chic and luxurious while still cozy and inviting.

*photo credit John Lyle
*photo credit John Lyle

Ally’s football haven came to life because of the incredible Cindy Citrone, a woman  whose passion for giving back and deep love of football was behind entire project. Cindy brought together a “football team” of extraordinary women who all conquered breast cancer, including our very own Iris Dankner, Founder of Holiday House. Heidi, Maggi, Champagne, Kimberly, Maria, Anne, and Iris’ battle on-and-off the field inspired the third-floor stairwell tribute by Metamorfaux.

*photo credit by Melani Lust Photography
*photo credit by Melani Lust Photography

“I got involved because I could not just stand on the sidelines when so many were fighting the battle of their lives.”

– Cindy Citrone

Cindy and her husband Rob Citrone, partial owners of the Pittsburgh Steelers, facilitated the private Unveiling of Pop Artist Charles Fazzino’s Officially Licensed Commemorative Artwork for Super Bowl XLVIII event in Ally’s room on December 10th. Sponsored by Parade Magazine and the Super Bowl Host Committee, the event benefited The Breast Cancer Research Foundation® and The New York/ New Jersey Snowflake Youth Foundation. Guests included NY Giants Safety Antrel Rolle, NY Jets Outside Linebacker Quinton Coples, Alfred F. Kelly, president and CEO of the Super Bowl Host Committee, Robert Woody Johnson IV, owner of the NY Jets, Laurie Tisch, owner of the NY Giants, Myra Biblowit, president of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®, Iris Dankner, founder of Holiday House and Bruce Beck, Emmy winning sports anchor for WNBC-TV.

Quinton Couples and Antrel Rolle unveil the Fazzino artwork
Quinton Coples and Antrel Rolle unveil the Fazzino artwork. *photo credit
Antrel Rolle, Myra Biblowit, and Leo Kane, senior VP of NFL Marketing *photo credit
Michael Cox, Iris Dankner, and Marcus Harris *photo credit

Holiday House is not only about gorgeous interiors but also entertaining and celebrating life’s special moments. Our designers share their favorite recipes, and this year Ally offered a perfect Super Bowl snack … “Sunday Srirarcha Wings”. Event guru Hilary Pereira, who was instrumental in Holiday House’s football celebrations, created a special “Touchdown” cocktail … so kick back, relax and enjoy your Super Bowl Sunday!


Ally Coulter’s Favorite  Sunday Sriracha Wings


10 pounds chicken wings, split

1/4 cup coriander seeds, crushed

1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 cup Sriracha chile sauce

1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Finely grated zest and juice of 3 limes

3 quarts vegetable oil, for frying



In a very large bowl, toss the wings with the coriander and cumin seeds, cinnamon, kosher salt and olive oil. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 375°. Spread the wings on 3 large rimmed baking sheets and roast for about 30 minutes, until firm but not cooked through. (At this point, if you don’t want to fry the wings, you can roast them for 1 hour longer, until crispy and golden.) Wash out the bowl. Add the Sriracha, butter, cilantro, lime zest and juice.

In a deep fryer or a very large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil to 375°. Fry the wings in 4 or 5 batches until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes per batch; drain, shaking off the excess oil. As each batch is finished, add the wings to the sauce and toss well. Transfer the wings to a platter, leaving the sauce in the bowl for the remaining batches. Serve hot.


The Touchdown from Hilary Pereira

This festive cocktail is perfect to serve during the Big Game.  A libation that will warm you up on a cold Winter’s night and soon have guests cheering loudly for their team Heroes. Because when it comes to the Battle on and off the field, winning is EVERYTHING.


1 oz. Bulleit Bourbon

1 oz. Ketel One Vodka

Ginger Beer



Crushed Ice



Muddle a handful of fresh mint with the juice of two limes

Pour measured vodka and bourbon over crushed ice

Top off with Ginger Beer

Serve in chilled Mason Jars and garnish with a mint sprig


Watch the Seattle Seahawks vs. the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII at 6:30pm on Sunday, February 2, 2014 on FOX.

Halloween Chic

Halloween isn’t all ghouls, ghosts and gourds.  In years past, Holiday House designers have found inspiration for elegant, sometimes edgy, interiors in this theatrical holiday.

Channeling Edgar Allen Poe’s The RavenSuzanne Eason used a Trove wallpaper on the ceiling to create the effect of dark birds spreading their wings and gliding overhead in her elegant sitting room for the 2011 Holiday House NYC.

Suzanne Eason-2

Underfoot was an ikat carpet from Stark that was cleverly woven into the shape of skulls.

Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 10.16.31 PM

Titled “Dark and Stormy: A Cautionary Tale of Halloween,” Eason’s room had the atmospheric feeling of an autumn dusk, mysterious yet warm.   Beginning Evening, the painting by Kathy Buist that hung above the mantel, perfectly captured the  dramatic light of a setting sun.  And a Cristal Saint-Louis chandelier from Hermès provided the last glimmer!

For the 2012 Holiday House, BG Studio International used a high contrast black, white and red palette for their small but dramatic (and surprising) Halloween themed space entitled “The Portal: Deceptive Reality.”


A dark alcove lit up to reveal a mysterious Lladro bust.

Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 10.33.24 PM

Also influenced by literature, this time Dante Alighieri’s “Purgatorio” of The Divine Comedy, the designers encouraged guests to “experience a transition and a transformation into the netherworld” … and a rather chic transition it was surrounded by exquisite pieces by Baccarat, Donghia, Baker Furniture and many other luxury brands.

Have a Happy Halloween, and come visit the 2013 Holiday House NYC from November 21 – December 18 at 2 East 63rd Street in Manhattan to see which holidays have animated this year’s line up of renowned interior designers.


Summer Vacation


By this time of year we are all day dreaming about summer vacation … walks on the beach, ocean swims, afternoon cocktails! Holiday House’s bags are all packed, and we’re ready to move into our summer digs in The Hamptons!

For the first time ever, Holiday House Hamptons presented by Hamptons Cottages & Gardens will take up summer residence in a beautiful boutique home developed by Villadom Corporation at 4 Fair Hills Lane  in Bridgehampton, NY.

house-imageWe’ve invited some of today’s most talented designers to showcase their ideas for chic beach living and entertaining. Our Journal that will go home with each visitor to the showhouse also contains delicious recipes that you will want to return to all season when you host family and friends for lively summer parties. Here’s a sneak peek with Design House of the Hamptons‘ refreshing cocktail that’s perfect for toasting the beautiful memories that will be made this summer!

El Nopalito (Prickly Pear Margarita)
2 oz. white tequila
5 oz. triple sec
5 oz. lime juice
5 oz. agave nectar
1 oz. prickly pear nectar
Jalapeno slices (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and serve over ice. For a spicy twist, garnish with jalapeno slices.

As we are vacationing and celebrating, we can’t forget that the most important aspect of Holiday House Hamptons is the cause it benefits. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation supports groundbreaking work in the fight against breast cancer, a disease that will affect 1 in 8 women in her lifetime.

We’ve asked friends and supporters all over The Hamptons to put up pink flags in order to help promote Holiday House Hamptons and to show their support for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. When you see these pink flags, remember to visit Holiday House Hamptons to celebrate the best in interior design and holiday entertaining while supporting the fight against breast cancer, and remember how important it is to find a cure for this disease that touches too many lives.

Emerald Elegance

Emerald Blog PhotosIn honor of St. Patrick’s Day and Pantone’s 2013 Color of the Year, we are celebrating Emerald this week with a look back at the ways 2012 Holiday House designers used this luscious color to enliven their spaces.  Pantone describes Emerald as “lively, radiant, lush…a color of elegance and beauty that enhances our sense of well being, balance and harmony,” and we saw those attributes cleverly employed throughout Holiday House last fall.

Our designers certainly are trendsetters and several from the 2012 Holiday House – Geoffrey Bradfield, Suzanne Eason, Tobi Fairley, and Lee Robinson – were ahead of the curve, using Emerald evocatively before Pantone bestowed it with the “Color of the Year” accolade.

Geoffrey Bradfield’s “Remembrance of Things Past” room evoked the splendor of a bygone era with a sophisticated black and white color scheme.  A few strategically placed paintings with deep green hues, such as “Green Earth Deep” by Julie Hedrick (Nohra Haime Gallery), really brought the room to life.

The “Spring Forward” room by Tobi Fairley was also full of black and white elements mixed with fresh, pale pinks.  Commanding attention were two stunning vintage Murano emerald and gold lamps (Swank Lighting) that Fairley called the “jewelry” of her space.

Malachite Wallpaper, Cole and Son
Malachite Wallpaper, Cole and Son

Lee Robinson chose “Chinese New Year” as his theme since 2012 was the auspicious Year of the Dragon.  Robinson conveyed the energy of the dragon and nature’s abundance with rich Malachite wallpaper (Cole and Son) paired with chinoiserie and bountiful orchids.

Another 2012 Holiday House designer who took inspiration from earthly delights was Suzanne Eason with her “Origins of Life” Birthday Study.  Radiant emerald pieces included “Coins” table lamps in green glass (Lorin Marsh), a serpent rug (Fornasetti Rug Collection of Roubini Rugs) and inviting pillows (HB Home).

Hopefully these gorgeous greens have gotten you in the spirit for St. Patrick’s Day.  Here’s an idea for toasting both this inspiring color and the patron saint of the Emerald Isle…a Baccarat Vega flute in emerald green!

Wishing you the luck of the Irish!

Spring Forward

We lose an hour of sleep this weekend, but it’s a worthwhile sacrifice to gain lighter evenings for the next half year!  Spring Daylight Savings always feels like a sigh of relief as the winter is coming to an end and the beauty of Spring is upon us.  Tobi Fairley chose this day as inspiration for her 2012 Holiday House room and captured it perfectly.

Entering Fairley’s Holiday House sitting room felt like taking a breath of fresh Spring air.  It was light and feminine but also grounded by deep black elements, such as the Merida Meridian black wool and sisal rug.  One of the finishing touches, a bouquet of pale pink peonies, was so simple but made everyone forget that it was November!

The always clever and fun Fairley didn’t stop at one theme, but also connected the room to the idea of being “Fashion Forward.”  In her own words, “The inspiration is truly Spring Forward and Fashion Forward: the idea of couture details that you would see in Fashion paired with a Spring Palette for a soft, sophisticated and timeless look.”  The black and white design of the Phillip Jeffries wallpaper is reflected on the curtains with custom embroidery by Villa Savoia.  Additional stylish black and white elements include black grograin detailing on a white settee, expressive black and white artwork by Kansas City artist Jane Booth, and lovely black double sconces from Dunes and Duchess.

Tobi Spring Forward_!
In addition to her interior design talent, Fairley is also the consummate hostess.  For our Holiday House Cookbook, she contributed a Kiwi Mango Mint cocktail recipe that “is screaming sunshine and freshness, making it perfect for Spring and Summer parties and patio brunches.”

1 part 42 Below Kiwi Vodka
5 parts mango nectar/juice
8 mint leaves

Fill a highball glass with ice
Add mint leaves and vodka
Top with nectar/juice

Tobi’s tip: releasing the mint into a dash of the nectar via a short muddling is worth a little extra work!

Tobi Fairley was invited to participate in Holiday House by sponsor Traditional Home.  Most of the furniture in her room was from Hickory Chair with fabrics from Schumacher and Duralee.

Photography by Michael Rodenbush

More Birthdays, Less Cancer!


Holiday House is thrilled to celebrate our 5th birthday with an extraordinary showcase of the best in home design to benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®.

In honor of this milestone, we are looking back to last year’s “Happy Birthday!” room by “Bring it to the Table” (BiTTT), an inspirational and forward-thinking networking group for women in the interior design and home furnishings industry. In the great spirit of collaboration, several talented BiTTT members teamed together, each bringing something of her own talents, and the result was a stunning and cohesive space that promoted the work of women in the field. The birthday theme was inspired by the American Cancer Society‘s goal to “make a world with less cancer and more birthdays.”

Caption: BiTTT’s founders Sherri Skov (l) and Lana Lawrence (r) with lead designer Bonnie Steves (m) on a custom Anthony Lawrence Belfair chaise with Laurie Klein photomural in background. Photography: Marisa Pellegrini.

BiTTT’s creation, led by interior designer Bonnie J. Steves of BJS Assoc, was a dressing room and elegant retreat for a strong and beautiful woman—a woman who works hard but also honors each day and each coming year with joy and appreciation. This celebration and love of life is expressed with a luscious palette of chocolate brown and raspberry, sparkling details, decadent furnishings and artwork.

Photography: Jonas Gustavsson.

A focal point of the space was a chic Maison Jansen desk for a sophisticated woman to write to work, read, and be inspired.  She would be seated on a bronze thrown-like chair from Bergdorf Goodman with a regal looking ceremonial head dress from VW Home by Vicente Wolf hovering behind and elegant custom Anthony Lawrence Belfair window treatments draping around her.

Photography: Jonas Gustavsson

The tone for the room was set by three magnificent pieces of artwork: “Contours of a Woman,” a Laurie Klein photomural, celebrating the female form; “Brown Branches,” delicate stenciled pigmented hand-made linen papers by Donald Baechler at Pace Prints; “Cake for Disney,” a birthday cake sculpture by famed artist Will Cotton, who is known for decadent, pleasure-inducing imagery.

For more inspiration, please join us at Holiday House 2012, October 25 – November 18, where we will celebrate interior design, women’s health, breast cancer awareness and, of course, MORE BIRTHDAYS!

“Cake for Disney” by Will Cotton. Photography: Jonas Gustavsson.

And thank you to companies who supported the BiTTT room and helped make last year’s Holiday House a success: Anthony Lawrence BelfairCL Sterling, Carlisle Collection, Nina HelmsS.A. BaxterA/V Consulting, NY Stone Manhattan, Cristol GlassKarl Kemp Antiques1stDibs and many more.