Last week, after the shopping trips in D.C., we drove west through Virginia, antiquing along Lee Highway, not too far from our friends Barry Dixon and Michael Schmidt's house in Warrenton. Remember the Halloween shoot I did at their beautiful stone house? From there, we headed home, but not without a quick stop in the city for a party celebrating twenty years of Elle Décor, together with editor-in-chief Margaret Russell's fantastic new book Style and Substance.


Here we are at the book party on the third floor of Bergdorf's.


As you might remember, Margaret was a judge on Bravo's Top Design, believing in me, sometimes insistently, when others didn't. For that, I'm truly thankful. And what's more, as the second person hired at Elle Décor back in 1989, Margaret knows first-hand the tenacity and faith it takes to build something from the ground up. She's a hard worker and her talents as a writer, editor and style maker are an inspiration to us both. 


Speaking of inspiration, here's just a few images from Style and Substance I'm adding to my files. The first is journalist Jim Lehrer's sparse but charming study in West Virginia. I love the clean lines of the moldings, together with the graceful detailing of the Hepplewhite-style desk.


The bathroom Eric Hughes designed for actor Hank Azaria has a cool, modern country feel, smack dab in the middle of Manhattan! I love the symmetry of the twin porcelain farm sinks, together with the striking collection of vintage apothecary jars. They're just the kind of thing once stored in our pharmaceutical cabinet years ago.


On the subject of collections, I'm finding myself, more than ever, obsessed with copper. For years, I've kept it all in storage, but now that we're in the country, I'm predicting a comeback, especially for fall! This kitchen in Eugénie-les-Bains, France feels very old school Elle Décor to me. It's Julia Child meets Chateau Chic.  


At the moment, however, my collection of copper is not at home but in the city. Last week, I used it to transform a kitchen in the Grange showroom at the New York Design Center (complete with working Aga stove!) into a Chateau Chic kitchen for What's New, What's Next at 200 Lex. More on that to come…