Bring Paris Home

What could be more romantic than springtime in Paris? If you’re not able to hop a flight to the City of Lights, bring a bit of France home to your own dining room.

Interior designer Jeffrey Brooks of Long Valley ( gathered inspiration from a recent Paris trip to create a tablescape for the annual Design Industries Foundation Fighting Aids (DIFFA) DINING BY DESIGN event at the 2011 Architectural Digest Home Design Show. The result was his “Hope Is the Thing with Feathers” dining space, a favorite among guests at the show.

Suspended atop an eight-foot silk banquette, a pair of backlit angel wings were flanked by shagreen side tables and hammered silver table lamps. Ivory lacquered armchairs updated in Kravet silk were complemented by a tablescape of opalescent crystal hearts from Lalique, Bernardaud’s limited-edition dinner plates, Ralph Lauren Home flatware (Horchow Collection) and beaded linen napkins from D. Porthault Paris.

Brooks added Parisian punch with tall glass cloches filled with fresh vegetable topiaries. At each place setting was an overturned goblet festooned with a ribbon and feather. Inside was a tiny gift—a framed watercolor, hand painted by the designer himself. “I wanted art on the table, something for the guests to enjoy,” says Brooks.

Brooks is also known for his multiple Mansion in May showhouse projects as well as spaces he designed for the Gladstone-based New Jersey Equestrian Team’s gala events.

Fun Find: Custom Shoes and Handbags

Looking for the perfect handbag or pair of shoes but can’t find exactly what you envision? Design your own accessories at The site, run by seasoned Manhattan shoe gurus, invites anyone to dream up designs for shoes, boots or handbags.

Just upload your inspiration images to the site and order precisely the color, texture, heel style and height you crave. Voila! For about $100 to $150, your custom shoes will arrive in three weeks. Best of all, if other shoppers order the shoe you designed, will send you 20 bucks as a thank-you. How cool is that?

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