The days are getting longer, the weather warmer and I'm in the mood for spring!


How couldn't I be when such a splashy floral takes center stage in our newest window for fabric house Carleton V? Growing Wild, it's called, a colorful hand-screen print from 1975 so wildly popular in its day, it was just reissued for the spring! Carleton Varney designed it himself with a nod, of course, to the vibrant, lager-than-life prints for which his mentor Dorothy Draper was known. Here it is in the lobby bar of the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs, Arkansas that Draper designed and Varney later refurbished.     


As much as I love the print for upholstery, I knew I wanted to put my own, more modern spin on it for the window by covering all the walls with it, refurbishing a few flea market finds, then adding a great mix of new and vintage objects and accessories. But first, as warm and boozy cozy as Miss DeDe was in her winter chalet, this is the brutal, here-then-gone world of window dressing, and so what goes up… 


…must come down.

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If a hard-edged DeDe in her grand mansion in the country had been the inspiration for our winter window, this one would be for a different woman altogether, a younger but no less ambitious publicist for an Italian fashion house in New York. She's Hampton, named for that storied stretch of Long Island where her parents met so many summers ago. Now here's a woman who's not afraid of bold patterns and vibrant hues, dressing her house in Palm Beach as she would herself—with color and confidence at every step. So with a spirited young Hampton in mind and the window yet another blank canvas…


…up went the fabric and trim for the walls…


…along with a boldly striped linen in hot pink, pinch-pleated for a peek into her world. 


For the furniture, I found two inexpensive pieces at thrift shops, along with a mirror in our own attic, that my team and I simply freshened up with paint (Valspar's Berry Red through Lowe's). First, there was this 1980s parsons table with peeling faux marble contact paper…  


…next, a carved wood shield mirror that once hung over our fireplace in the city…


…and finally the 1960s faux bamboo chair I spray painted yellow, then fashioned a seat cushion in the same exuberant print as the walls.  


This pair of antique French oil lamps with turquoise porcelain bases we borrowed from our good friend, antiques dealer David Duncan. I loved the unexpected pop of color they'd bring to the space! So with a cart full of props and shimmery baubles from our friend Cara Hotchkiss of Oliphant Design, we headed to the window to finish the installation.    


As you can see, all the major pieces for Hampton's fairytale dressing room were in place, along with a remnant of plush carpeting from ABC Carpet & Home in a vivid, lipstick red. 


While our trusted assistant Lindsey placed crystals on a vintage brass chandelier I'd scored just days earlier at a Goodwill, and Jaithan hung a pair Chinoiserie needlepoint prints he'd found at an antique mall upstate, I styled the look for Hampton's impending afternoon event, a polo match in West Palm. 


Half-past three and she's just returned from lunch at the club. She takes off her hat, tosses her bag. 


This dress will be perfect, she thinks, smoothing her hand over the soft fabric of its neck. It was her mother's.


Dressed now, Hampton's just about dash before she glances at her phone.


A wave of hope washes over her…he remembered. 


Quickly, Hampton reaches for her favorite bracelet, dabs on the Chanel and goes. 


As happy as she is on her own, with a life awash in color, she couldn't help but think there's more…


Whatever lies ahead, she thinks—tonight, tomorrow and always—be fearless.



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