Living in the country, I find myself more than ever poring over the pages of Country Living. In a recent revamp of the magazine, Sarah Gray Miller and her talented team of editors deftly kept that casual country feel we all know and love but updated it with a fresh, more modern look. This month, there's a great story on our good friends Michael Devine and Thomas Burak, two of the sweetest, most talented people we know! It's all about their gorgeous garden in nearby Kinderhook, where Jaithan and I spent an elegant New Year's Eve, wining and dining well into the night. Here's their pretty plot of land leading to a pre-fab shed the two transformed into a fantastic outdoor dining room.


With the addition of a faux-thatched roof, finials, and French doors, a standard issue shed went from bland to grand!


But then again, I'm not surprised. Michael I've known for years,
ever since my House Beautiful days. As a fabric designer, he's always
coming up with a fresh, new take on traditional patterns. Thomas, too,
is an interior designer, so together, they're quite the creative
couple! Just as dreamy as a country lunch in the garden was the belated birthday dinner party the two hosted for fellow blogger Ronda Carman and me at their city apartment on Thursday. We share the same birthday, so Michael and Thomas had been planning the evening for months. From the living room of their Gramercy Park apartment, you can even see the Empire State Building!          


Here's the dining room—opulent, sophisticated, and filled with beautiful things, collected over time. I love the pop of blue on the table, and the arrangement of lilacs is simple and stunning.


 Monogrammed linens and beautiful flatware—two of my favorite things!


Dinner was divine, and afterwards, Thomas surprised us with a decadent spread of desserts, including this sumptuous cake with chocolate mousse and hazelnut dacquoise from Payard, topped with these pretty candles


Ronda of All the Best and her charming husband Chris are both such sweethearts, and I'm thrilled we were finally been able to meet!


All in all, It was a birthday to remember, a New York night in the company of great friends, new and old.