Our affection for Lisa Borgnes Giramonti’s blog, A Bloomsbury Life, is no secret. (Check out this past post for all the details.) While Borgnes Girmaonti often writes about high-minded subjects like early 20th century literature, historic houses and art, it’s her chic, whimsical taste in interiors, decorative doodads and all manner of accoutrements that really keeps us clicking back for more. For the next few weeks, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the LA-based blogger will be sharing her current favorites—from glam travel destinations to eccentric accessories— here, on our Editors’ Blog. First up, the little details lighting up her Hollywood home.
After eight years in Los Angeles, I have come to accept the fact that the phrase “Fall is in the air” is not one that readily rolls off lips come September. Just the other day, it was in the 90’s. And it doesn’t help matters that having seen Bright Star last week, I am now itching to don long dresses, beribboned jackets and ruffled collars. (If you haven’t seen the movie yet, make haste. It’s Romeo and Juliet meets Project Runway.) The absence of a cold snap, however, does not dampen my excitement for all that autumn brings. Here’s what has my heart palpitating on the home front:
Sophie Dahl’s new cookbook, Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights (available in the UK) has me longing to cook up healthy soups, lentil stews and luscious sweets like roast cinnamon peaches and pear and ginger muffins. Plus, the bewitching personal essays which preface each season’s recipes are a great read. amazon.co.uk
For table linens, I am seriously captivated with Belgian brand Libeco Home. Yes, I know that Flemish is all the rage right now (witness Restoration Hardware’s new Axel Vervoordt-inspired catalog) but Libeco has been in business since practically the Battle of Waterloo. Their “Bastide” collection of linens, with the traditional red stripe running down those flaxen weaves, conjures up visions of an artfully draped table piled high with crusty homemade bread, carafes of wine and hearty autumnal fare. didriks.com
For everyday dining, I’m still smitten with my Johnson Brothers “Old Britain Castles” blue and white transferware. To my mind, it adds a wee note of poshness to even the most humble meal. Plus, it’s affordable enough that I’m not sent into an emotional spiral when my seven year old accidentally miscalculates the kitchen counter. wedgwood.com
For elegant evenings, I love, love, love my brass flatware that I bought two years ago via that big-box store I’ll dub “Ceramic Shed.” They discontinued it immediately—probably because it was too avant-garde for their customers—and I wasted no time in snapping up fourteen sets. Check Ebay for similar designs. I use it with my Sascha Brastoff 1956 “Gold Coin” china (available on replacements.com.) And for vintage flatware that will have you reminiscing about Gosford Park, check out these at Boston’s Koo de Kir: koodekirboston.stores.yahoo.net
I am indulging my taste for oddities with these bird-clawed brass candle holders. The feet are so exquisitely detailed you can almost make out the blood coursing through their veins. I will perch them on my writing desk to lend late night work sessions an air of Gothic glamour. jaysonhomeandgarden.com
My husband is a lover of libations and takes an especial interest in making sure that our glassware is up to his standards. I think he’ll be satisfied with these lovely red grappa glasses. grahamandgreen.co.uk
However, I will be forgoing the grappa (a fiery throat is not my notion of a postprandial tipple). Instead, my glass will be filled with iced St. Germain, the delicious French liqueur that’s made from handpicked elderflower blossoms. It’s harvested in the Alps by skilled artisans who then carefully transport it to market via bicycle. And don’t even get me started about the insanely beautiful bottle it comes in. It would give a flaçon of Chanel No. 5 a serious inferiority complex. stgermain.fr
Fabienne Jouvin makes incredible enameled cloisonné bowls and tea jars which are a perfect fusion of French style and Asian craftsmanship. I own three pieces from her “Suzani” collection which is inspired by exotic textiles from Uzbekhistan, and this beautiful one from her new “Retro” collection has me dreaming of Missoni. plantationdesign.com
I’m going to Marrakech over Christmas and will be on a hunt for the perfect tea tray, among other things. If I get sidetracked at the newly-reopened Mamounia hotel, this antique one from John Derian hits all the right notes. johnderian.com
Bringing a bottle of wine is always welcome when you go to someone’s house for a party, but I’ve opted for a more original host gift this fall. Remember the movie Six Degrees of Separation? Will Smith’s character, a con artist, says, “Do you know what impresses rich people? A pot of jam.” He’s right, especially if that jam from Fortnum & Mason, the ne plus ultra of London purveyors since 1789. A pot of their not-to-be-believed rose petal jam wrapped in one of their handsome tea towels (F&M’s distinctive eau de nil blue is as recognizable as Hermes orange) will ensure you a permanent place on any guest list. fortnumandmason.com
Lastly, should your frame of mind this season run more toward paring down than acquiring, toss all of your flotsam and jetsam into one of these stunning wastebaskets from Marye Kelly. Decluttering never looked so good. marye-kelley.com
Check back next Tuesday for Lisa’s next installment.