Do you remember the window we did for Carleton V, the boutique fabric house from designer Dorothy Draper's protégé Carleton Varney? A jewel box studio, we called it, for the jet-set decorator. 


Here's one last look, because it's going…






From that modern herringbone in the fall, we turn now to a more wintry textile, a beautiful block printed linen dubbed Benaki in Mulberry Blue.


When Carleton's son Sebastian showed us a cutting at the D&D in New York, I thought immediately of some fantastic woman in fur, serving drinks by the fire in her gorgeous, old mansion in the mountains, Aspen maybe, with luxuriously upholstered walls, eccentric art and incredible taxidermy. 


Diane's her name; friends call her DeDe. She's either your best friend or your worst enemy. Love her or hate her, she knows what she wants—and she gets it every time.


No fireplace, you say? To this, Dede replies defiantly: "Tear down that bitch of a bearing wall and put a fireplace where it ought to be!"  


This little vignette you might recall from our Hell's Kitchen apartment after a simple redo of these side chairs from the New York City Flea Market. We're shopping it again on the 27th, by the way, and we'd love to see you! Email Jaithan ( for a spot.


That old mantle in our apartment is one of my favorite finds from Elephant's Trunk, but to bring a more modern edge to the window, we decided to paint it a glossy blue, inspired by the fabric.  Here's the talented Lindsey Lane—she once interned for Celerie Kemble!—working her magic. 


Those side chairs got yet another new lease on life painted a pretty neutral and covered in a white velvet from Carleton V, Bordeaux in Snow.    


For a hint of the country, I loved these antlers mounted to crests reminiscent of Benaki's playful pattern. To update them, Jaithan painted everything but the antlers the same pretty neutral as the chairs.


So while Lindsey and Jaithan tackled their projects, I decided to embellish the mirror over the fireplace with fabric. I've always loved the look of velvet-covered mirrors I used to see at Barneys Chelsea Passage and other high-end stores, but they were a little too rich for my blood. Here's a DIY version high on style for a fraction of the price.


Garages, attics and other such places have a curious way of hiding treasure. This mirror actually hung in the basement of Jaithan's parents house for years before I painted it white. It's not particularly valuable, but the deep frame would make for a great piece covered in Carleton V's velvet, Bordeaux in Red. 


In a well-ventilated area nothing at all like this one, spray a single side of a wood frame with adhesive, cover and smooth with fabric, then trim with a razor blade to fit. As you progress, be sure to cover adjacent sides you've already done with craft paper to prevent any adhesive from soiling the fabric.  


Check out the final result!


With our makeover projects complete, the team and I moved back downstairs to continue the installation. I loved how the painted mantle lent a modern edge to the fabric, but to give the window a more authentic feel, as though truly a vignette in DeDe's grand mansion in the country, I painted baseboards the same glossy blue as the mantle, sawed them to fit and installed them in place.   


Three back-of-the-door mirrors from Lowe's, cut to size, does wonders to a non-working fireplace, though I was definitely feeling some Domino déjà vu


Day one complete, a quick night's sleep and it was off to the flea market to prop! This Chinoiserie brass box for 20 bucks would be fantastic on the mantle. 


It may not be good art, but I loved the colors and the traditional vibe paired nicely with…


…the more modern landscape we scored just ten minutes later—seriously.   


DeDe's mink may not be PC, but neither is her penchant for gin martinis and cigarettes.  


Friday night and she's just arrived from the city after another week on the battlefield. Toss the fur and the gloves are off. 


Those boys might think they're getting the job, steamrolling her every chance they get, but she's not letting up.


She's worked hard—damn hard—for everything she has. Did it all herself, she thinks, uncapping the gin. Even this house.   


No detail left undone. 


That's how she works.


 How she lives. 


Perpetually in motion, always on display.