Monday, November 30, 2009

Faux Eiffel Tower

The view from out the window in front of my desk is a smokestack way in the distance. I pretend it is the Eiffel Tower - I know it is a stretch but I do what I can...


French chef Daniel Boulud is one of the leaders in the culinary world, and I am obsessed with the interior design as well as the concept of one of his newest spots - DBGB - located in Manhattan. It was designed by Thomas Schlesser who also designed a few of my absolute favorite spots here in Chicago (The Publican, Violet Hour, and Avec). It is beautifully rustic and industrial rolled into one. Apparently many of the pots and pans and items lining the floor to ceiling shelves were donated by various world famous chefs such as Thomas Keller (of the famed French Laundry in California). So gorgeous! The menu primarily focuses on house-made sausages and unique craft beers. The goel of this restaurant is to be part French brasserie part American tavern. I think this power-house of a team pulled it off beautifully. I can't wait to visit!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Dahlia Food

Here is a collection of photos from my underground supperclub hosted last week. It was a such a fun evening, and the food was delish!

All Photos by David Elliott

Friday, November 27, 2009


I will take a moment to point out how interesting it is that two of my all-time favorite male celebrities are hysterically opposite of each other. The more I find out about them, the more different that they are:

Anthony Bourdain - The urban, I'll-Try-Anything / I-Love-Animal-Flesh of the food world who has practically built a career on ranting about the toxins he puts in his body (the guy loves his cigarettes and alcohol).

Woody Harrelson - a righteous hippie vegan beach-bum who speaks publically about his strong beliefs about a raw diet.

I think what is so attractive about these two is their complete insistence on being exactly who they are - and proud of it. They both exude a confidence that could easily be interpreted as cocky and reckless, but they both pull it off when at their best. Yup...I love these guys (or at least my imaginary view of them).

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Dahlia Decor

I hosted my first underground dinner party this past Friday (The Dahlia). It was a great success. I wanted to share the pictures of the decor I designed for the evening. Thank you to Brian Sorg for the use of his amazing studio!

Guests were greeted by a burst of natural branches studded with tufts of fluffy apricot garden stock blossoms designed in an oversized square glass vase anchored at the bottom with a layer of polished river rocks. A mass of precisely placed votive candles around the base completed the look.

The dining table was a single long rectangle covered in soft dove gray linens and surrounded by charming white wooden chairs. Impressive blocks of sqyare glass candles were lined down the entire length of the center of the table. Each placesetting was set with a crisp white napkin finished with a single soft peachy pink spray rose bloom and gorgeous creme toned French Laguoile flatware.

Photos graciously taken by photographer, David Elliott.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Real Wedding: Andrea and John

This is a gorgeaous wedding designed by Jesse Deckard of Botanicals, a branch of HM Designs that took place last week at the newly renovated Blackstone Hotel here in Chicago. I am so in love with this hotel. Every corner of it is the perfect balace of modern (and quirky) mixed with uber traditional (you can't see the tounge and cheek floral patterned carpeting in this ornate ballroom in these pictures, but it certainly adds an unexpected punch of color to the space).

The centerpieces for this wedding blended so nicely with the existing decor. Jesse used silver gilded garden urns topped with precise pav├ęs of open white roses as the central point of the design. Surrounding the arrangement was a trio of unique crystal globe candleholders elevated on shiny silver risers. Additionally flickering votive candles on the table top completed the look!

Real Wedding: Gemma and Stephen

I worked on the design of this wedding with Jesse Deckard of Botanicals, a branch of HM Designs. This gorgeous event happened this past July at the historic University Club here in Chicago.

The ceremony and reception took place in the stunning Cathedral Hall, and the cocktail hour was held in the intimate and warm library. I love the gothic details that this venue provides as the backdrop. I mean, look at those stained glass windows, chandeliers, etc...yum!
Jesse enchanced this already beautiful space with loads of candles (down the aisle, on the existing fireplace mantle, and across the place card table.)

Each guest table was piled full of lush arrangements presented in elegant curved glass vases. Featured flowers included open purple iris, lush purple delphinium, and fluffy Dutch hydrangea. The addition of flickering candlelight and unexpected custom mirrored tabletops completed the look.

This is a perfectly unique look for an traditional yet urban wedding!

Monday, November 23, 2009

I Scream

If I had to pick just one thing to eat for the rest of my life, it would be without a doubt...Ice Cream. I love it, I love it, I love it. Mmm.