Love is in the Air

Love is in the Air

We are touched by the inspiration and warmth that fills Holiday House each year, and it was so special to have two of our remarkable designers celebrate their love for their partners at the showhouse.

Gentet Carpenter Wedding
Guillaume Gentet and David Carpenter at their 2013 Wedding Ceremony. Photo credit: Christopher Goodney

There wasn’t a dry eye when Guillaume Gentet and David Carpenter held their wedding ceremony in the courtyard their firm Decor by Guillaume Gentet designed for Holiday House NYC 2013.

To make it even sweeter, they returned in 2014 to create a “Honeymoon in Paris” suite that celebrated their anniversary and paid homage to their holiday in the City of Love.

Their inspiration was Paris’ famed Hotel de Crillon, and the centerpiece for the room was a romantic bed enveloped in luxurious Robert Allen fabrics and embroidered sheets of Gentet’s own design. The exquisite, hand-painted Farrow & Ball wallpaper that graced the walls was a replica of historic wallpaper found at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and artwork by Chesley McLaren punctuated the space with whimsy and a nod to fashion.

Décor by Guillaume Gentet's "Honeymoon in Paris" design for Holiday House NYC 2014. Photo credit:
Décor by Guillaume Gentet’s “Honeymoon in Paris” design for Holiday House NYC 2014. Photo credit: Alan Barry Photography.

In yet another romantic Holiday House story, our loyal designer and supporter Ally Coulter met her now husband Eric Vincent in her room at Holiday House 2012.

Eric Vincent and Ally Coulter at Holiday House NYC 2014. Photo credit:
Eric Vincent and Ally Coulter at Holiday House NYC 2014. Photo credit: Annie Watt Photography.

They celebrated their recent nuptials with a chic party in Ally Coulter Designs’ “Roman Holiday” space at the 2014 Holiday House NYC. Sexy furnishings by FENDI Casa and an stunning mix of artwork, from Italian Baroque masters to Robert Farber’s evocative contemporary work, made a perfect setting for the festivities.

Ally Coulter Designs’ “Roman Holiday” space for Holiday House NYC 2014. Photo credit: Alan Barry Photography.
Photo credit: Miguel Dominquez
Photo credit: Miguel Dominquez

Of course, there was also the red Vespa and Pallini limoncello for all!

On this Valentine’s Day, we wish Guillaume and David, Ally and Eric, and all of our supporters much love and happiness.

We can’t wait to see who will be hit by Cupid’s arrow next at Holiday House 2015!

To get you in the mood for love, below are some spicy and sweet recipes that Ally and Guillaume have shared with us.


Penne Arrabiata, provided by Ally Coulter


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, in sauce
  • 1 teaspoon crushed dried red chili
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil, more if using fresh
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1 lb dry penne pasta
  • 1/2 cup finely grated pecorino romano cheese, plus
  • extra finely grated pecorino romano cheese, for serving


  1. Put oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add garlic and cook for 5 minutes until beginning to turn golden, careful not to burn.
  3. Reduce heat to medium low.
  4. Add chili and stir.
  5. Add tomatoes and sauce and stir.
  6. Bring salted water to boil in a large saucepan.
  7. Cook sauce for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Add penne to boiling water and cook until al dente.
  9. Strain pasta.
  10. Push sauce through moulie or meshed strainer into saucepan with the back of a spoon getting as much through as you can.
  11. Heat and add 1/2 cup of pecorino cheese.
  12. Taste for seasoning, add basil and pepper.
  13. Add cooked penne and toss.
  14. Serve hot with extra pecorino cheese at the table.


Strawberry & White Chocolate Mille Feuille (c/o Gordon Ramsey) – provided by Decor by Guillaume Gentet


  • plain flour for dusting
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar, plus extra for serving
  • 350g puff pastry
  • 300 ml double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 600g strawberries
  • small bunch of basil, leaves picked, with a few of the smaller leaves left whole for the salad
  • zest ½ lemon
  • 50g good-quality white chocolate


Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. On a lightly floured surface scattered with a little sugar, roll out the pastry to a rectangle slightly larger than 28 x 30cm. Line a large baking sheet with baking parchment and scatter with more sugar. Use the rolling pin to lift the pastry onto the baking parchment.

Scatter more caster sugar over the pastry and cover with another sheet of baking parchment. Lay another heavy baking sheet (or a baking sheet weighed down with an empty ceramic oven dish if yours aren’t heavy) on top and bake for 25-30 mins until the pastry is golden and crisp, then set aside to cool.

To make the filling, tip the cream into a bowl with 3 tbsp of sugar, and the vanilla seeds. Lightly whisk until the cream just hold its shape and set aside. Hull and quarter the strawberries and set a few aside for the salad, then cut the rest into 3 or 4 chunks. Finely shred the basil, then fold through the cream with the chopped strawberries and lemon zest, then chill until needed.

When the pastry has cooled completely trim the edges to form a neat 28 x 30cm rectangle. Cut into 3 equal rectangles – to get them precisely the same size, cut one then lay it on the rest of the pastry and use it as a guide to the next rectangle, then repeat.

To assemble the mille feuille, lay down one rectangle of pastry, add half of the cream and strawberry mix and flatten with the back of a spoon. Place the second pastry layer on top and gently press down. Finely grate over half the white chocolate and top with the remaining cream mix. Place the final layer of pastry on and press down gently so that the filling just starts to bulge over the edges.

Use a palette knife to smooth the filling along the sides so that it is level with the edges of pastry and fills any gaps. Add a smear of filling across cut pastry edges to help the grated chocolate to stick. Grate chocolate on top. The easiest way to get grated chocolate to stick to the sides is to help it on with a palette knife. Mix the reserved strawberries and the small basil leaves to make a simple salad.

To serve, carefully slice the mille feuille into 6 equal pieces. As you slice, hold the mille feuille together by placing a finger at either side of the blade. Place a piece of mille feuille to the side of each plate. Spoon a small pile of strawberry salad on the opposite side of the plate and serve.