Booked Up For Summer

This is it. The week that signals that summer is in full swing. Memorial Day weekend is coming upon us, which means it is time for my annual summer reading recommendations. This week is absolutely jammed pack with events for me, so I am going to leave you with my favorite beach side reads, because nothing says “welcome to summer” like a plush towel, a full glass of rose, and a hot summer read. I’ll see you next week!! Until then, see me on instagram!

Let the summer begin!!

Fun Reads

First Comes Love by Emily Giffin   The Nest by Cynthia Sweeney

First Comes Love: Best Selling Author Emily Giffin graces us with new novel about love and friendship.

The Nest: A novel with lots of accolades about family dysfunction, which is profoundly entertaining… unless it’s your family.

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriaty

Eligible: A new novel from one of my favorite authors (Prep, The American Wife). This time she presents a modern-day take on Pride and Prejudice, this time set in Cincinnati.

Truly Madly Guilty: Very excited for this late July debut. Moriarty is a magical storyteller, and her novels are beautifully set in Australia, yet full of the everyday drama that consumes our lives.

 

The After Party by Anton DiSclafaniThe Expatriates by Janice Y K Lee

The After Party: (Cue Ignition Remix) A novel about the 1950’s Houston social scene. Can’t wait to dig in.

The Expatriates: A novel that explores the intertwined relationships of women living in the expat community of Hong Kong. To my friend Julia: yes “expat” is a real word.

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub Homegoing Yaa Guasi

Modern Lovers: A novel about a close group of college friends, and the realities that hit them once adulthood has sunk in.

Homegoing:  The book with all the buzz. A historical novel about two twin sisters separated at birth in Ghana.

The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews  Alice and Oliver by Charles Bock

The Weekenders: A summer escape read on the banks of North Carolina.

Alice & Oliver:  On a deeper note, here is a novel about a young family’s brutal fight against cancer and the insurance maze.

True Story

The Sound of Gravel Where The Lights Get In

The Sound of Gravel: A memoir of a young girl’s love and unwavering devotion to her siblings and mother, despite her abusive polygamist step father. My mom said a start to finish page turner.

Where The Light Gets In: Actress Kimberly Williams- Paisley writes about the onset of her mother’s early dementia and the profound effects it has on family. As my family has personally come to know, there aren’t many books on this topic so it was incredibly insightful.

The Confessions of Congressman X by Congressman X   First Women by Kate Andersen Brower

The Confessions of Congressman X: A tell-all by an anonymous congressman that is causing major D.C. speculation in year of political upheaval. I am sure this will confirm what we already suspected, and then some.

First Women: A behind the door look at the succession of first ladies from the sixties onward.

Recently Read and Really LOVED

Me Before You by Jojo MoyesThe Nightigale by Kristin Hannah

Me Before You: Once you start, it is almost impossible to put down. You definitely want to read this semi-love story that will have you laughing out loud with all the witty writing. Also, a movie coming to you too (read it before you see it).

The Nightingale: One of the most well written, descriptive books I have ever read centered around France in WWII. An incredible story of hardship, bravery, and love. A must read.

Totes Fabulous- because everyone judges books by their covers.

Trina Turk Sunkissed Tote

Trina Turk 

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Indego Africa tote

India Hicks Tote

India Hicks

and if you want to read inside….

all you need is a little bronzer (the safest kind)

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Beautycounter bronzer– they select all their ingredients for safety. Be sure to enter my name at checkout (Christina Dandar)

 

Wonderfully Wolf

I had the opportunity to hear and meet renowned designer, Vicente Wolf, speak at a showroom here in Dallas this past Tuesday evening (hence my absence of post yesterday). It was so refreshing to hear a designer speak so candidly about the changes within the industry, his personal mantras, and his approach to design. An avid traveler to far corners of the world, Wolf spoke of how he draws his inspirations from objects he finds from Thailand to Hong Kong. He passionately spoke of his creative process. Wolf builds a space, scales the space, and then fills it with color and texture.

His visual mind is reflected in the way speaks so fluidly about the industry. He was such a genuinely kind person. He wanted to be asked questions and all relished in his thoughtful answers. Wolf knows good taste. He takes the reigns and creates spaces that only his mind can envision, and in turn everyone loves.

His fourth book is available on amazon here. Below, have a glimpse into the chic NYC apartment of Vicente Wolf. Photos via One Kings Lane.

Vicente Wolf via One Kings Lane 4

The first thing I notice about his home is all of the green!! He really brings a great amount of texture indoors with this array of succulents and greenery.

Vicente Wolf via One Kings Lane 5

A chic canopied daybed makes for a perfect focal point for a sitting area. Wolf has his furniture floating, which is much more daring than the safe desire to keep things against a wall.

Vicente Wolf via One Kings Lane

I love a white canvas with a sea of contrasts…grays, camels. browns, and blacks. Wolf really knows how to display quality furniture and objects.Vicente Wolf via One Kings Lane 6

Shades of wood.

Vicente Wolf via One Kings Lane 7

Wolf loves photography, and the white walls are the ideal way to display.

Vicente Wolf via One Kings Lane 2

This room is so refreshing. There is nothing better than displaying what you love, and living in a room full of natural light.

Vicente Wolf via One Kings Lane 3

Shades of gray and white.

 

 

Southeastern Showstopper

My great friend Sara Bernhardt relocated to Atlanta recently and every now and then will taunt me with amazing design showhouses that she visits on a causal weekend with her equally chic mother. The great thing about friends, is that they know “sharing is caring.” This past weekend she visited (twice) the Southeastern Showhouse put on by Atlanta House & Lifestyles Magazine.  Sara knows I would have been there in a second to see some of my favorite designers in the industry create spaces that are over the top, without being overdone. This year was truly remarkable with talent and taste.

Thanks to Sara, I got to be there in spirit. Thanks to The Potted Boxwood, so do you. Happy Tuesday!

All photos by Sara Bernhardt.

 

Southeastern Showcase in Atlanta

The Showhouse. Architect and Builder: Dietrich T. Logan of Logan Design Group International and built by Bill Preston, president of Atlanta-based Paradise Builders Inc.

Southeastern Showcase in Atlanta 18

Believe it or not…this is the pool house. If this is how Tristan Harstan & Co. does a pool house, I could only imagine how well they execute an actual home. Perfection.

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The ladies lounge by Amy Morris. An incredible talent that I am sure we will hear more about again and again!

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I am obsessed with this wallpaper in the guest bath of Melanie Milner. Well done!

Southeastern Showcase in Atlanta 4

Look at that ceiling!!

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Beautiful dining room with classic and sophisticated hues by Suzanne Kassler. Southeastern Showcase in Atlanta 6

What an amazing alfresco dining room by Beth Webb. Such a sensible and charming style as seen by the transparent greens against the whites and patterns.

Southeastern Showcase in Atlanta 7

Look at that long pillow pattern…..ahhh!! Love it!

Southeastern Showcase in Atlanta 10

Guest Bedroom by my favorites (I do not take that term lightly) Parker Kennedy Living. Their designs will always have color, vibrancy, trellis, bamboo, and and a bug punch of personality!Southeastern Showcase in Atlanta 11

Another viewing. Is that white piece for purchase?!?!?!?!?!?!? Please- more buffet than dresser, but I will take it (imagine that against some blue and white gracie?). I die.

Southeastern Showcase in Atlanta 12

Gramercy Interiors designed this magnificent powder room. In fact, forget the rest of the house. I could live in this space alone.

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The master bedroom by the always talented Phoebe Howard. The light was much softer than this photo.Southeastern Showcase in Atlanta 14

Another shot of the master.

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Men’s closet by Michael Boyd. Throw in a few Barbour jackets and you have every man’s dream. Every preppy, hunting-loving, southern New Englander’s dream :)

Southeastern Showcase in Atlanta 9

Gordon Dunning masters the pool side loggia. Who doesn’t love shades of blue and white!?

Southeastern Showcase in Atlanta 8

Up close. This area can’t help but make you feel happy and smile. That is a good sign for design!

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An amazing poolside area by Gordon Dunning. I couldn’t love this area any more! The umbrellas and the blue chinoiserie garden stools are beyond refreshing.

Glorious Gloria

I watched and fell in love with Anderson Cooper’s documentary of his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt. I was mesmerized by her grand life and her artistic talent. Like with most everything I observe, I was even more fascinated by her surroundings. Her ability to collect, curate, and add to her environment with a tasteful, yet an apparent overabundance of enchanting objects. I find people that have a “more is more” approach are especially fascinating. While some may be repulsed by too many objects in a room, I love the decadence of it all. Some things may have a rich history, while others were purchased just for the mere fact that they were beautiful.

Being minimal may be a breath of fresh air and it also shows restraint. But like with diets, love, and good shoes— who really has fun holding back?!

Here is a collection of images I found of Gloria’s apartments (past and present..or maybe all in the same?). All I know is that they are glorious.

Corner of Gloria Vanderbilts home via Dwell Studio

A corner of Gloria’s home. So much to observe, from the large paintings, to the screen, to the collections. Via Dwell Studio

Gloria Vanderbilt Cooper relaxing with her family in her NYC apartment, she is wearing a sailor collar and tie by Adolfo *** Local Caption *** Gloria Vanderbilt;

A more preppy take on pastels, gingham, bold checks, and lettuce ware. Via W Magazine

Glorida Vanderbilts dining room with chinese screens via New York Magazine

Hand-painted Chinese chinoiserie screens make up this intimate dining area. Via New York Magazine

Gloria Vanderbilts bedroom via New York magazine

Darker hues and detailed patterns take over this nook in her bedroom via New York Magazine.

Gloria Vanderbilts foyer in the 70s via Vogue

Her apartment foyer adorned in the seventies. Patchwork and fur are the name of the game. Via Vogue

Gloria Vanderbilt posing in her NY apartment for Bloomcraft. AD May/June 1974

Another shot of that living room with a different cover on the sofa. I personally like the large check better! Via Vogue

Gloria Vanderbuilt in her living room via Vogue

Look at that green dress! Her surroundings are just as fabulous, colorful, and collected.

Gloria Vanerbilts apartment via New York Magazine

A great glimpse of just how exquisite and ornate her home really is. Via New York Magazine

Gloria Vanderbuilt living room via The NYT

Such a wonderful collection that seamlessly blends together. Art, pattern, and beautiful objects. Via The New York Times

Glorida Vanderbily pirched in manhattan via Vogue

Why not live glamorously and with a little bit of pattern panache. Via Vogue

 

Summer Down Under

Maybe this title wasn’t the best, but I am a sucker for a good rhyme…  I have many Australian readers and I follow a lot of talent that comes from the land of kangaroos. While they are prepping for colder weather and we are heading into warmer days, I thought I would share a Sydney home that has the perfect balance by bringing the outdoors inside. The home has an airy and refreshing ambience that leaves me relaxed while just looking at the photos. Isn’t that a great way to start your Tuesday…relaxed, refreshed, and already ready for the weekend.

Photos from Australian Home and Garden, Architecture by Phil Abram

 

Australian Home via Australian House and Garden 2

Just put me in one of those wicker chairs in a Kyle Richards inspired “mumu” and a really nice cold glass of lemonade (or rose). Australian Home via Australian House and Garden 3

I love the ease in which the living room is arranged. Colorful while maintaining the always fresh neutrality of white.

Australian Home via Australian House and Garden

The whole house centers around a central courtyard. The outdoors is simply a transition from room to room.  Australian Home via Australian House and Garden 5

Love all the espalier in the courtyard, it is the only dash of color that the house needs. It’s like your own textured wallpaper out of nature.

Australian Home via Australian House and Garden 6

What a stunning visual.

Australian Home via Australian House and Garden 8

I find the tub to very spa-like (minus the artwork). Natural contrast and simplicity.

Australian Home via Australian House and Garden 4

Casual and eclectic bedroom.

Australian Home via Australian House and Garden 7

A close planting of trees creates a green canopy over this lanai area.