Winter Wonderland

After winter storm Juno blanketed New York City this week, we couldn’t help but think about some of our favorite winter inspired rooms from Holiday House in recent years.

Darrin Varden Design’s “Winter Solstice” for Holiday House NYC 2013 is the perfect place to hunker down during a storm with a Manhattan in hand (recipe for Darrin’s Winter Solstice Manhattan is below).

Photo Courtesy: Paul Domzal
Photo Courtesy: Paul Domzal

Varden eschewed classic winter white and instead embraced a deep, rich palette with Benjamin Moore’s Galapagos Blue on the walls and dark custom finishes by Christophe Pourny Ltd.  A large-scale artwork by Angelo Musco captivated visitors with its swirling patterns that, at first glance, looked aquatic but revealed gracefully intertwined human figures at closer look. Topping off the evocative design was a Roll & Hill antler chandelier that brought the outdoors inside this cozy, sexy space perfectly designed for the coldest time of year.

Photo Courtesy: Paul Domzal
Photo Courtesy: Paul Domzal

For Holiday House NYC 2014, Noelia Inbánez of ByNoelia was also inspired by the “Winter Solstice” but went a different direction with her palette of bright whites and sparkling metallic elements that symbolize the fact that days are now getting longer.

Photo Courtesy: Alan Barry
Photo Courtesy: Alan Barry

Her luxurious kitchenette was a secret retreat off the master bedroom with a wine cooler stocked with champagne, a wet bar, an espresso maker and a microwave, making it the perfect haven for a snow day. Decked out with floor-to-ceiling Gaggenau appliances and Scavolini cabinetry and softened by a Patterson, Flynn & Martin furry area rug, this space oozes luxury.

The stunning Élitis wallpaper, cleverly placed on the ceiling, allows you to gaze at the stars without leaving the comfort of your cozy home!

Photo Courtesy: Alan Barry
Photo Courtesy: Alan Barry

Noelia shared a recipe for Socarrat Paella Bar’s famous garlic soup (below) to warm you up while we wait for warmer weather!

Winter Solstice Manhattan

Step 1) Make Vanilla-Infused Bourbon:

Split a whole Tahitian vanilla bean pod and place the split pod into a full bottle of high quality Bourbon. Close the bottle and let steep at least 48 hours but up to a week and remove the pod.

Step 2) For each cocktail, add to a shaker:

  • 2 oz vanilla-infused bourbon
  • ½ oz black cherry bourbon (Jim Beam Red Stag) or vanilla cognac (Navan)
  • 2 dashes cherry bitters
  • Shake over ice and strain into a martini glass or champagne coupe. Garnish with Morello cherries.

Sources for rare Ingredients:

  • Tahitian Vanilla Beans: Euro Vanille Tahitensis via L’Epicerie.
  • Morello Cherries in Kirsch: Griottines via


Sopa de Ajo: Garlic Soup from Socarrat Paella Bar 


  • Extra virgin olive oil – 6 soup spoons
  • Sliced garlic – 4 cloves
  • Old bread or country bread – 6 oz.
  • Chicken Broth – 16 oz.
  • Spanish sweet paprika – 1 tea spoon
  • Sea salt – a pinch
  • Eggs–4


  1. Poor the olive oil in a medium size casserole, sauté the garlic at a medium flame for a minute or two.
  2. Add the Spanish sweet paprika and stir it for a second.
  3. Add the bread.
  4. Add the chicken broth. It has to be already hot.
  5. Let it boil for a minute or two.
  6. Add salt according to taste.
  7. Break the eggs in a separate cup and add them to the casserole one at the time.
  8. Let it simmer for 3 to 4 minutes or until the eggs are done. Be aware of not 
overcooking the eggs or leaving runny yolk.
  9. Serve the soup in 4 different bowls



Festival of Lights

In honor of Hanukkah, the “Festival of Lights,” which began this evening at sundown, we have highlighted some of the stunning light fixtures featured throughout Holiday House NYC on our Instagram account.

Since Hanukkah’s Menorah has nine branches, for the eight days of the holiday and one to light the others, here are nine shining lights from this year’s Holiday House.   There are so many more to see at the showhouse, which runs through this Sunday, December 21, at 2 East 63rd Street in Manhattan.  Don’t miss the opportunity to see the outstanding work of 23 top interior designers while supporting the important work of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  And follow @HolidayHouseNY on Instragram to see more exquisite details!

Midcentury fixture from Eleish van Breems Antiques in the Lillian August room.
Agnes chandelier from Roland Hill of Brooklyn is in Linherr Hollingsworth’s space.
Ingenious installation of Baroncelli light fixtures in Michael Tavano’s room.
Milan chandelier by Fuse Lighting with Farrow & Ball wallpaper.
This glamorous sconce in Taylor Hannah Architects’ room is from ABC Carpet & Home.
Louis Navarrete’s design features the light sculpture “Hello Sailor.”
HH NI photo
Starburst fixture lights up the starry ceiling in Noelia Ibanez’s room.
HH NK photos
CF Modern fixture from 1stdibs lights up Natalie Kraiem Interiors’ space.
Midcentury Italian ceiling fixture from Le Lampade in Kapito Muller’s room.

Sparkle and Spirit of the Season

The grand parlor of Holiday House NYC is glittering with a stunning collaboration between Baccarat and Amy Lau Design inspired by the Galleries de Glaces at Versailles.

Photo Credit: Richard Caden
“It is an honor for Baccarat to be a part of the Holiday House and to support the BreastCancer Research Foundation,” said Michelle Klein, President and CEO for Baccarat Americas, “The extremely talented Amy Lau’s vision and flawless execution of the Baccarat lifestyle in all of its splendor is the culmination of a year filled with celebrations for our historical 250th anniversary.”


The Baccarat flagship showroom in the Decoration & Design Building (D&D) led by Serniqua Dougherty made this fantastical room a reality. While creating the extraordinary space and celebrating their anniversary, Baccarat has not lost sight of the spirit of the holiday season.   They are holding a silent auction of all Baccarat pieces in the space, with 20% of the proceeds benefiting The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF).   With over $1 million worth of exquisite Baccarat pieces in the room, this auction can really help support the groundbreaking work of BCRF.

Final bids must be placed by December 10.

Winners will be announced on December 11.

Below are the auction lots followed by instructions for placing bids.

20 Settings of Mille Nuit/Harcourt/Zenith and Decorative Accessories
RETAIL $91,880
RESERVE: $72,942
Retail $175,000
Reserve 105,000
Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 8.01.24 PM
Retail: $4,720 Each
Reserve $2832
Chairs Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 10.54.12 PM
$63,090 Each
$37,854 Reserve
Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 8.10.57 PM
$30,000 Each
$18,000 Reserve
Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 8.13.08 PM
Reserve $29,820
Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 11.11.27 PM
Reserve $48,660
Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 11.10.00 PM
Bids can be placed by visiting Holiday House NYC.
For Inquiries or Phone Bids please contact:
Serniqua Dougherty, Baccarat

The Art of Holiday House

We have been inspired by the exquisite art that designers incorporate into their Holiday House NYC designs.  As Holiday House alum Ellie Cullman says, “Art is the heart and soul of any interior.”

This year, Holiday House NYC features a Thursday night Art Lecture Series.  It kicked off last Thursday, November 20, with “Art & Design: An Essential Synergy” featuring renowned designers Ellie Cullman, Sandra Nunnerley, Eric Cohler with moderator Kipton Cronkite.

Kipton Cronkite, Sandra Nunnerley, Eric Cohler and Ellie Cullman at Holiday House.

It was standing room only for this first lecture, where Eric Cohler told the audience, “Art informs everything I do. It’s like air and water. It sustains me,” and Sandra Nunnerley advised, “See, see, see. The eye is a muscle and you must constantly train it!”

Visit our events page for details on the upcoming art lectures.

Another exciting edition to this year’s event is a sale of many artworks in the house with a portion of proceeds benefiting The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  This sale includes pieces from masters such as Andy Warhol and Willem de Kooning as well as work from emerging artists with extremely affordable prices points.

Designer Justin Shaulis features several of the notable works in his art themed space, which transports you out of the NYC cold and takes you “Gallery Hopping in Miami.”

Designer Justin Shaulis in his "Gallery Hopping in Miami" space. Photo by Alan Barry.
Designer Justin Shaulis in his “Gallery Hopping in Miami” space. Photo by Alan Barry.

A small selection of art from our sale is below, and the full list can be downloaded here or viewed by scanning this code onto your smart phone:

QRCode Final

Visit us us at Holiday House NYC, 2 East 63rd Street, until December 21 to see these extraordinary pieces in person.

de kooning_dekooning
Willem de Kooning, Untitled, Late 1960s, oil on paper laid down on canvas. Price upon request.
Warhol Mick Jagger
Andy Warhol, “Mick Jagger #142,” 1975, edition 1750/250, signed. $50,000.
Le Sacre Coeur under the Snow
Robert Savary, “Le Sacre Coeur under the Snow, Paris,” oil on canvas. $19,800.
island Carborundum & Silver (Night and Day)
Catherine Howe, “Carborundum and Silver Painting (Night and Day),” 2014, acrylic, encaustic, metal leaf, carborundum, gesso, on canvas. $4,800.
Sidney Guberman, acrylic paint on shaped canvas, 20th Century by HKFA. Price upon request.
Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 10.17.07 PM
Alejandro Diaz, “Future Site of Expensive Painting,” 2012, white neon on clear plexi, edition: 5 + 2TP. $13,000.
holding breast
Robert Farber, “Holding Breasts,” infused dyes into 90% recycled aluminum. Price upon request.
Natsuko Hattori - Last Message (1)
Natsuko Hattori, “Last Message,” fabric and cotton on canvas. $6,000.
Rich-Of Song and Blossom I
Michael Rich (represented by Old Spouter Gallery, Nantucket), “Of Song and Blossom,” 2013, oil and wax on canvas. $17,500.
Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 11.33.38 AM
Nathaniel Galka, Untitled (B), oil & mixed media on canvas. $5,200.
Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 3.20.54 PM
Peter Demos, Untitled 4, 2012, gloss and matte acryclic on dyed canvas. Restoration Hardware Contemporary Art. $8,000.
Dineen Art
Eva Buchmuller. Untitled. 2014. Acrylic and gold leaf on canvas, 89″x 50″approx. $18,000
Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 10.27.13 PM
“ORO blocks,” 7″ x 7″ 9 pieces, wood with 12k gold interior. $5000
Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 10.27.31 PM
Kerri Rosenthal, oil on canvas, $4,500.
Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 10.17.22 PM
Erin Lynn Welsh, “The Light in Your Verse, 2014, $4,800. **All proceeds to BCRF**

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 and have bought great montem trekking poles), 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.


[SlideDeck2 id=1192]*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.


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