Last week, we seized the opportunity to celebrate summer with a small dinner party. I was inspired by this little nook in the garden which beckoned for us to entertain outdoors. 


The below photo was our design inspiration. 


 We decided to just use white lanterns to keep the focus on the pops of color on the table.

photo 1

For the tablescape inspiration, we loved this look from a luncheon hosted by the perennially chic Aerin Lauder.


photo 2

 For more entertaining tips and fabulous recipes, check out one of our favorites – Lulu Powers. We love her book “Lulu Powers – Food to Flowers”.

picture-61 Lulu_Cheat_Sheet_1024x10241



NLD Amepersand Flyer

Last Thursday, I was invited t0 participate in Audrey Sterk‘s Ampersand Event Series at her studio on Broad Street. I was so happy to see many familiar faces as well as some new ones! Here are some photos from the event.

photo 5

photo 4

photo 2

{Thank you Ambrosia for the delicious chocolate!}

I opened up the discussion with a fun quiz entitled, “Understanding Your Personal Style” – from the book Dwellings by Stephen Sills & James Huniford. Understanding your own style and being able to communicate that to a decorator is one of the most important steps in the undertaking of a new project.

Understanding Your Personal Style

Here is a simple quiz that might help you begin to understand your personal style. Try to answer the questions honestly but also impulsively. Trust your instincts, a process that will become more important as you refine your understanding of your tastes. Be sure to answer all questions, even those that you think don’t immediately apply.


1.)    If hosting a dinner party, you would serve:

  1. Beef Wellington
  2. Tandoori chicken
  3. Sushi


2.)    If you could take a free trip anywhere in the world for a week, you would choose:

  1. Paris
  2. Marrakesh
  3. Montana


3.)    To fill a vase, you would choose a bouquet of:

  1. Peonies
  2. Daisies
  3. Tulips


4.)    For a special evening out, you would select:

  1. The Opera
  2. A Broadway play
  3. A rock concert


5.)    Your preferred postwar artist is:

  1. Francis Bacon
  2. Roy Lichtenstein
  3. Brice Marsden


6.)    When choosing a new suit or dress you would first look at:

  1. Ralph Lauren
  2. Christian Dior
  3. Marc Jacobs


7.)    If given $2,000 in mad money, you would purchase:

  1. A Chinese porcelain bowl
  2. A pre-Columbian artifact
  3. A print or drawing by a young artist


8.)    When renting a classic movie, you would most likely to choose:

  1. Gone with the Wind
  2. Some Like It Hot
  3. 2001: A Space Odyssey


9.)    Your dream dog (one you’d never have to care for) would be:

  1. Beagle
  2. Dalmatian
  3. Greyhound


10.)  Your favorite sport to watch is:

  1. Tennis
  2. Basketball
  3. Skiing



If the majority of your answers were:


a.)    You are a traditionalist. This does not necessarily mean that you prefer only Queen Anne furniture or Chinese porcelains, but that for you, the classic and elegant take precedence. Whether you like a Chippendale or Jean-Michel Frank, you want to be surrounded by the best, and lots of it. You are seeking a sense of permanence in your home and don’t worry about showing off or impressing others. Any object that you love takes on value for you, and nothing shouts for attention. You are at ease with yourself and your home but need to be careful not to shut yourself off from new ideas and influences.


b.)    You are eclectic in your tastes and are open to new influences. You value comfort in your home and like to entertain casually but don’t want to become predictable. You might enliven a basic white room with vivid shots of color, or mix neo-Gothic chairs with overstuffed upholstery. For you, surprise is important, and you like to keep people guessing. But because your tastes are so wide and encompassing, it will be hardest for you to edit them to create the sense of a cohesive whole in your home. You have to realize that you can’t express all your tastes in one room.


c.)    You are a purist. For you, only the newest, most pared-down, and even futuristic style will do. You prefer monochromatic and subtle color schemes and clean lines, wither in ancient Chinese furniture or Philippe Starck plastic. Roman antiquities and high-tech minimalism are both pleasing to your eye. You have a passion for what is new and for what comes next. But you shouldn’t let this dominate your design process. Remember, a home is more than a showcase for what is new or unusual; it is almost as important that it be functional and comfortable for you, your family, and your friends.



Thank you again to Audrey for hosting me in her beautiful space! Don’t forget to follow NLD on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with our latest news, projects, and inspirations. 

photo 1



As a decorator, one question that I get quite frequently is – “what are you favorite paint colors?” Generally, I tend to use Benjamin Moore paints in colors from a fairly neutral palate. Here are some of my favorites — shown with photos of rooms that I have used them in.

Benjamin Moore – HORIZON – OC-53



Benjamin Moore – SAIL CLOTH – PM 21

 a0b5e4e6986f96fb0ef0a7ec78b2f51d KNP_2805

Benjamin Moore – Gray Cashmere – 2138-60

186136f7d2494e638ab79dc63e69a7f7 Regatta-30

Benjamin Moore – Elmira – HC-84

497eaa3a573914150a822c1490a834f6 Centerboard-34


Anna Spiro, the Brisbane-based Interior Designer and owner of the boutique “Black & Spiro” is one woman who knows how to use color in a major way. She is not afraid to make things bold and punchy, which leads to some fabulous results.





As you would assume, her wallpaper collection with Porters Paints is full of colorful options — we can’t wait use one for a future project!

porters-annaspiro-party1 387ff372a51a1bf149e7e40599f2d2f5

Visit her website here: or follow Anna on Instagram – where she shares snaps of her latest store displays, projects, and inspiration.

blog - shop -september 2013