SoHoliday 2016

It’s time to ring in the New Year and recap the hottest downtown designs and ideas of the holiday season-brought to you by the designers, artists, and visionaries of HH Soho!

In keeping up with the ever-changing style of Soho, Holiday House is honored to debut the rebranding of timeless, elegant Geoffrey Bradfield, Inc. into the ultra-chic Bradfield & Tobin. Their downtown living room celebrates International Artist Day and embraces both the “Contemporary and the Classical”. With magnificent pieces such as a pair of vibrant red and blue Jean-Marie Fiori Parrot Sculptures by Galerie Dumonteil and a Francesca Pasquali “Iceberg” sculpture from Leila Heller Gallery, the space is dramatic yet tranquil. Juan Carretero‘s bold display of Ran Ortner’s Element #34 is yet another vibrant example of the impact of Fine Art in design.

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One of the artists we are particularly thankful for is Jaime Walters, the designer of the“Friendsgiving” kitchen! The mixture of wood and vibrant gold metals produce a rustic and festive atmosphere. All of the pieces in the room are locally sourced. By keeping it “local”, Jaime was able to re-create the feeling of a cozy group of friends gathering together to celebrate. Gilt Home‘s holiday table scape is the perfect place to hang around and sip on some drinks before the big turkey is fully cooked. If hanging around and enjoying a cocktail is your thing, it is always Happy Hour in the Master Lounge designed by Tina Ramchandani Creative. Kick back and relax on the ultra-luxe sofa by DesignLush while the finishing touches on your thanksgiving meal is being prepared.

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As you enjoy the last bites of your favorite Thanksgiving pie, it is time to mentally prepare for the madness that is Black Friday. Campion Platt‘s stunning formal dining room serves as an homage to the infamous day of shopping. His design captures the abundance, decadence, dark, consumerism of the holiday as he describes his take as “a rawness, which speaks to the darker side of Black Friday.” The Kimora Dining Table from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams serves not only as the place to feast, but also as a magnificent centerpiece. Platt’s design is sure to inspire your own.


One thing that New Yorkers are not-so-thankful for is the Winter Solstice. Tori Golub is able to shed some light on that dark day for us with creative design and exquisite pieces from our presenting sponsor, Incollect. Bask in the “dusky glow” of the parlor– a perfect spot to have a cup of hot chocolate while snuggled up in the Marco Zanuso club chair. This cozy room is essential as you prepare for yet another winter season.


Now that you’ve made it through the Winter Solstice, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” begins. Harry Heissmann‘s Christmas themed room can bring joy to even those on the naughty list! The ‘‘Star of Bethlehem” over the bed is a quintessential Christmas decoration that everyone will recognize. According to Harry, this space creates “magic, wonder and the fantasy of Christmas” This wonderland is the idyllic spot to wake up on Christmas morning! Don’t forget to add a little glitz with Charles Nafie Architect’s sparkling light. As we all know, nothing screams Christmas quite like evergreen! Vert Gardens and Unlimited Earth Care did some fabulous landscaping with winter-friendly greenery such as junipers.

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Nothing rings in the new year quite like RC STUDIO’s fresh, sexy guest bedroom. “After the Ball Drops” is the perfect place to sit and reflect on this fabulous year. You can draw the chic Alison Lew ombre drapes and lay on Kate Shoen’s Bespoke Alpaca daybed while pondering your new year resolutions. Afterwards, a nice hot shower in the beautiful “botanical bathroom” by Judy Ross Textiles own “Fauna” Collection for Garnet Hill (available in stores and online on Feb. 17) will be the cherry on top of your holiday season!

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Summer by the Sea

We couldn’t be more excited about our summer plans because Holiday House is back to the Hamptons in 2016 at this stunning estate at 100 Crescent Avenue on Mecox Bay in Watermill!

100 Crescent Avenue in Watermill, NY is the home of Holiday House Hamptons 2016.
100 Crescent Avenue in Watermill, NY is the home of Holiday House Hamptons 2016.

The contemporary home, designed by PRDG architecture + design, is the epitome of Hamptons living with a rooftop tennis court, infinity pool, wine cellar, movie theater and extraordinary views. Every detail is exquisite, and the beauty of the land calls to us. They have been meticulous in their choice of appliances as well. They have definitely looked at the portable air conditioner reviews and the kitchen appliance reviews available because everything matches and works amazingly together.

View from a terrace.
View of Mecox Bay from a terrace.

Twenty-one cutting edge designers will bring to life their visions for inspired seaside living. As the design duo 2Michaels said, “What is so special about the Hamptons is the purity of air and light. The water provides a spiritual element. Our room is an appreciation of these simple but essential ingredients. It’s what life should be about.”

Sunset from the infinity pool.
Sunset from the infinity pool.

Venus Williams and her interior design company V-Starr are designing a sitting area adjacent to the home’s rooftop tennis court. “The roof deck is such a unique space, with both a tennis court and the incredible views of the water. Our vision was to design a space that reflected this while staying true to the Hamptons spirit,” said Williams.

For five weeks we will bask in the beauty that all of the designers create and we invite you to join us. All visitor information is on our website.

Now that summer is here, you can get your best white attire together because we will celebrate our designers’ gorgeous work with an Opening Night White Party on June 18 to benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Thanks to Hamptons Cottages & Gardens, Corcoran, Douglas Elliman, 456 Development Group and McCall Wines for their support of this festive evening. Get your tickets before they sell out.

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Designers for Holiday House Hamptons 2016: 2Michaels, Anne Tarasoff Interiors, Baltimore Design Group, Barbara Ostrom & Associates, Carmiña Roth Interiors, Chad James Group, DORFMAN+ Sag Harbor/NYC, Elizabeth Dow Home, HB Home, Jolie Korek & Co., KARA MANN, LIAIGRE, Mabley Handler Interior Design, Maddux Creative, Melanie Roy Design, Sasha Bikoff Interior Design, TIMOTHY BROWN STUDIO, Unlimited Earth Care by Frederico Azevedo, V-Starr by Venus Williams, Wesley Moon, and West Chin Architects & Interior Designers, materials provided by Cut My Plastic and others.

Travel, Explore!

With Memorial Day weekend upon us, we are ready for summer adventures of all kinds. For Holiday House NYC 2015, Vicente Wolf reminded us that getting back to nature doesn’t mean giving up creature comforts with his clever “Glamping” design.

Photo credit: Alan Barry
Photo credit: Alan Barry

The top floor of the Academy Mansion in NYC was transformed into a woodland scene, complete with the sounds of nature played by a Savant sound system. A custom geodesic tent provided cover for the sumptuous outdoor bedroom outfitted with a Calvin Klein bed and luxury bedding. There was even a DXV tub for bathing under the stars.

The room was inspired by sponsor Ford Explorer‘s message that “It’s one thing to travel, another to explore!”

Traditional Home, our media partner for the 2015 NYC showhouse, and Ford created a map of road trips in the vicinity of NYC to inspire you to get out and have your own summer adventures.

Traditional Home and Ford’s map of road trips from NYC. Illustration: Michael Mullan,


Winding Down Winter

On this snowy day, the bitter winds and extra layers under our coats kindly remind us that March “comes in like a lion and out like a lamb”. So, don’t put away those snow boots just yet and let’s remember what makes this brutal season, beautiful!

The white-washed city skyline resembles Björn Björnsson’s “Snow Day” themed living room in our Holiday House NYC 2015. Björn’s inspiration for the space was drawn from his winter wonderland childhood in Iceland. Björn masterfully brightened the mahogany wrapped walls with contrasting selections of white-lacquered, mirrored, and crystal pieces. The room was flooded with light. Playful accessories and vivid blue colors on canvas transformed the space into the perfect place to curl up on everyone’s favorite day, a Snow Day.


photo courtesy of Alan Barry
photo courtesy of Alan Barry

The large contributor and sponsor of this blizzard- like atmosphere is Christopher Guy. Björn anchors the space with a custom Martigny Sofa wrapped around a Harper Coffee Table. The Kravet crystal logs tucked away in the fireplace sparked Björn’s vision for the room. Mimicking snowballs, illuminated Vedere globes scattered the floor as twinkling tree lights shined through the ice dusted windows.

photo courtesy of Decorators Best Blog
photo courtesy of Decorators Best Blog

Although Winter seems never-ending, it is just the beginning of a new season at Holiday House! So in the meantime, how do we cure our end-of-the-season blues when we are caught off guard by a snowy Winter’s day?

Wrap yourself in a fur throw with a loved one and indulge in something warm and delicious like designer Robert Passal’s favorite hearty soup!


Carmalized Onion and Portobello Mushroom Soup with Goat Cheese Crostini, by Ronda Carman. 



3 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 pounds onions, halved, thinly sliced (about 5 cups)

4-6 fresh thyme sprigs

1 1/2 pounds portobello mushrooms, stemmed, cut crosswise into 1/4 inch-thick strips

3 tablespoons Cognac

3 garlic cloves, minced

8 cups of beef broth

1 cup dry white wine

18 1-inch-thick slices French bread baguette, toasted

8 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, room temperature



Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large pot over high heat. Add onions and thyme; saute until onions begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Reduce heat to low; cook until onions are carmalized, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Transfer onion mixture to medium bowl.

Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in same pot over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; saute until soft, about 12 minutes. Add Cognac and garlic; stir 20 seconds. Stir in onion mixture, then broth and wine. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer until onions are very tender, about 45 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs.

Preheat boiler. Place baguette slices on large baking sheet. Spread goat cheese on baguette slices, diving equally. Broil goat cheese croutons until cheese begins to brown in spots, about 30 seconds. Divide soup among 6 bowls. Top with croutons and serve.


In the mood for something sweet? Snuggle up with Björn Björnsson’s favorite boozy Winter treat:


Holiday Rum Snowballs 



2 cups Vanilla Wafers

1 Cup Sweetened Coconut

2 Tablespoon Light Corn Syrup

1/2 Cup Rum



Food Process or use a blender to crush waders very fine.

Combine 2 cups wafers crushed, coconut, 1 cup confection sugar, light syrup and rum.

Roll into 3/4 inch balls and place on wax paper. Sift remaining confections sugar on them so they are totally covered.



Stay warm!

The Holiday House Team

Bidding a Sweet Farewell to Summer

Over the long Labor Day weekend we relish the last lingering moments of summer and prepare for fall’s work ahead.

In 2014, when Holiday House Hamptons took place at Watchcase, the extraordinary building complex in Sag Harbor that has been converted from a historic factory into unique residences, designer James Huniford paid tribute to Labor Day with a loft design that reflected the building’s history. He said, “Taking inspiration from early 20th century factory buildings, our room shows a modern perspective on industrial living with clean lines, textured fabrics, large-scale art and a touch of luxury.”

Huniford_2 Rikki Snyder
Photo courtesy of Rikki Snyder.

His living room was the perfect mix of elegance and laid back summer living, even including a custom designed, hanging, blue leather chair for indoor swinging.

Huniford_3 Rikki Snyder
Photo courtesy of Rikki Snyder.

A monumental Louise Nevelson wood sculpture, on loan from Pace Gallery, was the perfect scale for the space as well as an apt metaphor for its transformation given how the artist reappropriated found objects to create soaring works of art. Huniford told The New York Times, “We wanted to use pieces that highlight the great light, high ceilings and architecture of the space.”

It’s always hard to say good-bye to summer, but we will bid a sweet farewell with a Blueberry Smash, a drink that takes advantage of late summer’s bounty.  The recipe is below and on

The fact that we are looking forward to an exciting Holiday House NYC 2105 also makes the transition to fall a little easier!   Sponsor Calvin Klein will host our kick off party in October and the showhouse, in partnership with Traditional Home, will be back at the Academy Mansion, 2 East 63rd Street, from November 11 to December 2. Mark your calendars for our Opening Night Gala on November 10. Once again, all proceeds will benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

In the meantime, enjoy the last moments of summer!

Blueberry Smash (from Bon Appétit) 

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  • 2 lemons, sliced into rounds
  • 2 limes, sliced into rounds
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup (loosely packed) fresh mint leaves plus sprigs for garnish
  • 1 1/2 cups vodka
  • 3/4 cup St-Germain (elderflower liqueur)


  • Using a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon, coarsely mash lemon and lime slices, blueberries, and mint leaves in a large pitcher. Stir in vodka, St-Germain, and 2 cups of ice cubes.
  • Divide drink among coupe or highball glasses; top with more ice cubes. Garnish each drink with a mint sprig.

Summer Weddings

Summer is high wedding season and we are thinking about everything from gift registry trends and setting up a newlywed home to the design of a glamorous dressing room for the bride…

Inspired by her daughter Danielle’s upcoming nuptials, Holiday House founder Iris Dankner created a Bridal Suite for the 2014 Holiday House NYC. The centerpiece of the space – a stunning bridal dress by Isabelle Armstrong illuminated by the elegant “Arctic Pear” Chandelier from Ochre, had everyone hearing wedding bells. The walls and ceiling were outfitted in fabulous coverings by Maya Romanoff and the “Brigitte” Swivel Lounge from Lewis-Mittman provided a comfortably chic cushion to sit and ponder whether or not to say yes to the dress. The bride and her party could enjoy champagne out of crystal flutes from Baccarat all while being tempted by delicious sweets from LaDuree. Glittering accessories from Michael C. Fina added the finishing touch.

Photographed by Alan Barry

Before tying the knot, one of the most important (and fun) aspects of the planning process is the Gift Registry. Our friends at Michael C. Fina and Katherine’s Bridal Boutique have shared with us the trends they are seeing for registries this season. These elegant pieces will be part of family celebrations and memories for many years to come.

Registry Trends:

1. Platinum patterns rather than the traditional gold patterns
Some popular registered patterns:
Vintage by Bernardaud
Mosaique Au 24 Platine by Hermes
Arcades Grey & Platinum by Philippe Deshouliers

2. Moroccan inspired designs
Some popular registered patterns:
Venise by Bernardaud
Voyage en Ikat by Hermes

3. Natural stone
Some popular registered patterns:
Carrara by Dibbern
Malachite by L’Objet

Voyage en Ikat by Hermes, Courtesy of the Michael C. Fina Website

Finally, lets talk flowers. With so many beautiful blooms in season, choosing the right florals for the wedding can be a daunting task. We can’t help but be reminded of the vibrant, beautiful table arrangements created by the wonderful ladies at Lilee Fell Flowers for last year’s Holiday House Hamptons White Gala. The light pink, fuschia, and bright green hues played beautifully against the all-white crowd. These gorgeous arrangements would add a fresh, breezy touch of romance to any summer wedding!

Photographed by Richard Lewin
Photographed by Richard Lewin

In honor of Danielle Dankner and her Groom-to-Be Sam, we leave you with Iris’s Recipe for “A Happy Marriage”. Congratulations, you two!

“A Happy Marriage”


Combine two caring hearts. Melt into one. Add a lot of love. Mix well with respect and trust. Add gentleness, laughter, faith, hope, and joy. Pour in much understanding. Sprinkle with kisses and, a dash of hugs. Bake for a lifetime. 

Yields: One Happy Couple. For a little excitement, add Champagne! 



Vive La France!

As the French celebrate Bastille Day today, we are paying tribute to the French (and Francophile) companies and designers who have brought their je ne sais quoi to Holiday House.

Le Quatorze Juillet was Michael Tavano‘s ode to French style for Holiday House NYC 2014.  With a color palette inspired by the French flag, sumptuous pieces by French furnishings house Roche Bobois and couture details throughout, Tavano conjured up a Parisian pied-a-terre that is the embodiment of chic.

Roche Bobois furnishings in Michael Tavano’s “Le Quatorze Julliet” room. Photo by Rick Lew.

The woven rope window treatment he created with his workroom Marks & Tavano based on Olivier Rousteing’s fall 2014 runway collection for the house of Balmain was one of the most talked about details from the showhouse.

Balmain inspired window treatment by Marks & Tavano. Photo by Rick Lew.

Another shows stopper at the 2014 Holiday House NYC was Amy Lau Design’s dining room that celebrated 250 years of exquisite design by legendary French company Baccarat. Galerie des Glaces was inspired by Versailles’ Hall of Mirrors and was glittering with a Baccarat chandelier, table settings, vases, candelabras and more. Even the carpet by Kyle Bunting was inspired by the design of Baccarat cut glass.

Photo by Alan Barry.
Detail of custom carpet by Kyle Bunting inspired by Baccarat.
Detail of custom carpet by Kyle Bunting.

And we can’t forget the first time that Bastille Day was officially celebrated at Holiday House with Décor by Guillaume Gentet’s French infused room for the inaugural Holiday House Hamptons in 2013.

Photo from
Photo from

Go Design Go perfectly described the room when they said it “celebrated a regal tradition of elegance with specific gestures toward modern creature comforts.”  Contemporary Roche Bobois furnishings and period inspired pieces elegantly played off of one another with Chesley McLaren‘s whimsical painting of Place de Vendome as a backdrop. Other French brands that were featured include Verel de Belval and Créations Métaphores.

Guillaume Gentet and Chesley McLaren with her mural.
Guillaume Gentet and Chesley McLaren with her mural.

Santé with French martinis and Ladurée confections.  Vive la France!

Photo from
Photo from




Mother’s Day Design Diary

Alyssa Kapito and Vivian Muller of Kapito Muller Interiors took on a challenging, small space at Holiday House NYC 2014 and turned it into an elegant office retreat for a worldly mother. In honor of Mother’s Day, they’ve shared with us their experience on creating the soothing, feminine space:

When we first laid eyes on our room at Holiday House we were struck by two things, it’s stunning fourteen foot ceilings, and its challenging composition. The modest space, which was to become a luxe ladies office in celebration of Mother’s Day, had a door on three of its four walls, and a slightly off centered window that was begging to be refurbished.

Photography by Nick Johnson
Photography by Nick Johnson
Photography by Nick Johnson
Photography by Nick Johnson

Our first decision was to open up the space by using a much softer palette. We opted for light shades of olive, pink, and ivory and we shied away from any overwhelming patterns that might close in the room. When dealing with solids, we always tell our clients that its important to focus on texture to keep things interesting, so we chose a gorgeous linen weave for the wallpaper by Innovations and silks for the sofa and rug (Stark Carpet) to add sheen. We also turned the room’s awkward window into a fabulous focal point by hanging paneled curtains (fabric by Holly Hunt) with a greek key trim detail (by Samuel & Sons). We tossed the wood blinds for sheers that would let more light in, and used the window sill like you would a piece of furniture, piling it with books, trays and accents to attract the eye.

Photography by Nick Johnson
Photography by Nick Johnson

After we lightened the space, we still had a surplus of doors, which didn’t allow for any sort of cohesive furniture arrangement. Luckily for us, one of the doors wasn’t all that functional, as the room adjacent to it already had multiple entrances. So, after much debating, we came up with the idea to cover it with a folding screen covered in wallpaper from Ralph Lauren and voila, we now had a whole wall to work with! We placed a small settee (Custom by Artistic Frame, upholstered in Duralee fabric) in front of the screen to create a layered reading nook, and anchored the desk against whatever wall space we had left on the other side of the room for balance. Lastly we custom built a tiny metal bookcase that could fit next to the window to store books and nicknacks.

Photography by Nick Johnson
Photography by Nick Johnson
Photography by Nick Johnson
Photography by Nick Johnson










We absolutely loved creating an office that could be both beautiful and functional for our imaginary lady. We wish all the moms out there a very happy and restful mothers day! You deserve it!



Spoil Mom with Vivian and Alyssa’s favorite sweet treat-

Chocolate Chip Sticks



½ cup vegetable or canola oil

½ cup sugar

½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 large egg beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 ½ cups all purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat baking sheets with cooking spray.

Combine oil, sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl, mixing it well. Stir in egg and vanilla.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt tossing with a fork. Stir in egg mixture, blending well. Fold in chocolate chips.

Form dough into two 3-4- inch wide logs. Place on prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, checking after 20 minute, or until edges are golden brown.

Cool 10 minutes; cut when it is slightly warm into sticks.

Derby Day: The Run for the Roses

It might have been November on the calendar when Holiday House opened for its seventh year, to benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, but it was the first Saturday in May on the third floor.

For his second room at the Academy Mansion, designer Patrick J. Hamilton channeled Kentucky Derby Day, bringing the pageantry and festive spirit of the venerable southern tradition to the Upper East Side.

Photographed by Alan Berry

I’ve always really loved the idea that Holiday House was built on: creating sort of a living calendar you could walk through,” said Patrick. “I really love the challenge of themed decorating, and it’s been done brilliantly in the past by a stellar roster of designers. But for some reason, no one had every tackled Kentucky Derby Day! It just seemed ripe with possibility!

But this was a different kind of derby: Patrick took the colors, themes, rituals and patterns long associated with the Derby and used them in a surprisingly non-equestrian way.  “I like to think of it as ‘Derby Deconstructed’,” says Hamilton, “and plus, there are great designers who do equestrian style really well… I didn’t want to end up with a room that would be compared to that kind of take.”

Jockey’s “racing silks” provided great inspiration, showing up in color-blocked upholstery and artwork. The day’s nickname, “The Run for the Roses” inspired the brilliant fuchsia that enlivened the room (artistic license, and a nod to the charity’s pink ribbon, turned classic rose-red into that amped up color, on silk satin chairs and rose floral arrangements.)

Photographed by Jody Kivort
Photographed by Jody Kivort
Photographed by Alan Berry

Even the signature cocktail of the day, the mint julep (see the recipe for Patrick’s twist on the classic below), was evoked in an unexpected way: the entire room started with a cool mint green. “I also wanted to see if I could make a mint green room fresh again,” said Hamilton, “and the minute that grasscloth went up, and the molding got that coat of fresh Farrow & Ball white, the vibe got very southern, very fast!

Grasscloth also went up on the ceiling, a nod to the more humble side of the day, meant to evoke the straw in the stables. “I really love mixing fine and rougher textures in any room, but it felt especially appropriate when representing the Derby. It’s a glamorous day, but it also has a real earthiness to it.

Photographed by Jody Kivort
Photographed by Rikki Snyder
Photographed by Rikki Snyder







A handful of literal horse references got the ball rolling, and once visitors to the room were in on the joke, of sorts, about the room’s theme, it became a “Where’s Waldo?” of equestrian references. Diamond patterns, frequently found in jockey silks and stable coats-of-arms, showed up on the fireplace surround, tete-a-tete upholstery, and quilted velvet. Racetrack ovals joined in on the pattern play, and horseshoes made frequent appearance, both actual and evoked in the turquoise lamps and custom embroidered pillows. Stirrup-inspired lamps, and drapery tie-back that looked like brightly colored reins helped keep the theme hiding in plain sight. And you can’t have Derby Day without a hat… the room’s main light fixture (the feathered “Egret” Chandelier by ABYU Lighting)  finished off the room with a playful, light-hearted spin on the millinery creations that help make the Derby such a stylish event.

Photographed by Rikki Snyder
Photographed by Rikki Snyder

Hamilton also tweaked the bones of the room to make it more southern, and to give the room a fresh look for any repeat visitors to the show house: two recessed book cases flanking the fireplace were covered with plantation shutters and treated like windows. “I love those grand first-floor rooms in southern mansions, with those great walk-out windows to wide verandas. This was my way of creating that kind of room.

The subtle nods to the long-running tradition got the seal of approval from a few Kentuckians touring the house, and more than a few horse-loving visitors also approved. “I had such a great time turning the elements of the day into a room that anyone might love. But I did really breathe a sigh of relief when I heard compliments delivered in an actual southern drawl!

Head over to Patrick’s blog to read more specifics about the room including tips on how this Derby Day room can inspire more of your own theme decorating.

Mint Julep Gelées


 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin

2 cups cold water

1/2 cup firmly packed fresh mint leaves

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup bourbon

Garnishes: fresh mint sprigs, coarse sparkling sugar, candied rose petals (recipe follows)


Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in a medium saucepan. Let stand 5 minutes. Add mint leaves and sugar. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, 3 to 5 minutes or until steaming. Let stand 15 minutes. Remove and discard mint leaves. Stir in bourbon. Pour mixture into a lightly greased 9- x 5-inch loaf pan. Chill 4 hours to 1 week. Cut into squares. Garnish each with a candied rose petal, fresh mint sprig and coarse sparkling sugar.

Candied Rose Petals:

Edible rose petals

1 egg white

1 teaspoon water

1 cup bourbon smoked sugar


In a food processor, add smoked sugar and process until superfine. Set aside. In a small bowl, mix together water and egg white. Lay rose petals on a wire rack and use a brush to paint each one with egg wash. Use a sifter to sprinkle sugar over petals. Turn over petals and repeat. Do not shake off excess sugar. Let petals dry on rack for 24 hours. Store in air-tight container until ready to use.

Adapted from Southern Living and Nashville Lifestyles

Tropical Getaway

For those traveling over Spring break, may you bask in the sun somewhere breathtaking.  And for those staying at home, we bring you tropical inspiration from past Holiday Houses to warm your thoughts and help you say a definitive good-bye to winter!

In November 2014, Gary McBournie transported us to a Caribbean isle with his vibrant room for Holiday House NYC, which was entirely tented in striped fabric from Gary’s own resort-inspired line for Antilles Designs.

Design: Gary McBournie Inc. Photo: Alan Barry Photography.

Bamboo furnishings, tropical plants, coral and even a fireplace full of conch shells made the NYC winter seem thousands of miles away.

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Gary McBournie’s clever fireplace styling. Photo: Decor Arts Now blog.

For Leslie Banker of Pamela Banker Associates‘ room in Holiday House NYC 2014, the theme may have been New Year’s Eve but the Clarence House “Lyford Key” wallpaper screamed island vacation!

Design: Pamela Banker Associates. Photo: Alan Barry Photography.

At Holiday House Hamptons in 2014, Scott Formby created an “Poolhouse Lounge” inspired by Europeans’ relaxing August holidays.  An evocative, large-scale painting of palm trees brought a little of the tropics to the Hamptons.

Design: Scott Formby. Photo: Rikki Snyder.

Wherever you may be, enjoy the Spring holidays and toast the tropics with a favorite of Gary McBournie’s:

“Pants Off Punch”

Gary’s friend entertainologist Lulu Powers shared this drink recipe that captures the free-spirited fun of a Carribean holiday.


  • 3 cups pineapple juice
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 bottle dry champagne
  • 3 cups Malibu rum


Combine and away you go ….