Michele Varian, NY

BlogTourNYC: Day 1

BlogTourNYC came and went in a flash, but not without a heaps of memories, experiences, new found knowledge, and not to mention new friendships and a WHOLE lot of laughs. Many thank to Veronika Miller and the Modenus team for making these adventures and experiences possible. Right off the plane and in the middle of prime rush hour traffic, I braved Lincoln Tunnel traffic and made it to our host hotel, The Sanctuary Hotel, just in time to miss my ride to our first stop, Michele Varian in Soho.  Lucky for me I know the city pretty well, so I jumped on the downtown F train and made it just in time to down a couple of cocktails and snap up some great shots at Michele Varian’s Downtown Soho shop before we headed to our next destination.

Michele Varian

Michele Varian has a little something for everyone – a lot of monochrome greys, blacks, porcelain white but also splashes of fun and kitschy color thrown in to mix things up.  Think  “Vintage floral boho chic  meets Industrial Minimalism”, if that makes any sense.  Really – a store that I could get lost in for a while, because at every turn there is something different and unexpected.  When shopping, I always enjoy a certain element of surprise – wondering what I’ll find at each turn,  as it keeps me interested and on my toes.  With the sea of monotony that is retail these days, it is refreshing to come across a store that has such a unique array of items that complement each other in such an unexpected way that only Michele Varian can do.

Michele Varian, NYC

As you all know from what I’ve written in the past, copper is the metal du jour.  Most think of metal as cold, but there is something about copper , that emits a warm, soft glow and automatically makes a space feel familiar and cozy. I especially love these copper candlesticks grouped together in varying heights. They are just as home in a traditional space as they are in a modern one.

Michele Varian, NY

When I laid eyes on these fused pieces of dinnerware, I instantly fell in love.   I normally wouldn’t do any of these patterns on their own, but when fused together, they are beyond brilliant.  If you take notice, not only is this a fusion of pattern, but it is also a fusion of two distinct styles and cultures.  Each dinner plate, platter, bowl and tea cup fuses together European patterns with its Asian counterpart, and in doing so, these items serve as  a representation of today’s convergence of the two cultures.  Pretty philosophical, eh?

Michele Varian, NY

If anyone knows how to do wallpaper, pillows, and wall decor, it’s Michele Varian.  A unique mix of vintage, kitschy, and fashion forward finds.  I especially love the white porcelain glazed trophy heads –  a modern take on the hunting trophy.

Michele Varian porcelain glazed hunting trophy


Calypso Home

From Michel Varian we strolled up Lafayette until we reached Calypso Home, our next stop.  There, we were again showered with more cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and lots of pretty textured things that were not only longing to be looked at, but were also begging to be touched.  For the most part, Calypso Home is what one would envision the interior of a  chic , sun-drenched St. Barth’s beach house would look like.  Textured neutrals that consisted of weathered wood floors, sun bleached driftwood table bases, gold rimmed agate slices, various fur textures (real and faux), toned down metallics, and a few colorful accents sprinkled throughout. Calypso HomeIt was all about the juxtaposition in materials and textures – and lots of it!

Calypso HomeMixed metals and metallics in general have been trending lately, but oftentimes can come off quite strong, so instead of going full-on metallic, Calypso Home picked up on the trend by opting for selections that show restraint: metallic yarns that are woven into the rug (above), gold rimmed agate slices (below),

Calypso Home…or metallic leather strips woven into a neutral woven leather chair,

Calypso Home, NY …or a woven silver metallic rope occasional or coffee table,

Calypso Home, NY sports the metallic trend in their Soho shop.…or a metallic cowhide ottoman with just the right amount of shine (I’ve had this metallic cowhide rug in my family room for the last couple of years and I love it!)

Calypso Home sports the metallic trend in their Soho shop

BlogtourNYC Group pic at Calypso Home

The first of many BlogTourNYC group shots. Image via Deborah Main, the “Pillow Goddess”

After collecting our goodies at Calypso Home (BTW- I LOVE the chamomile lavender candle!) we headed over to our next stop – Peasant, for our “Get to Know You Dinner”.  When we approached our destination, we descended down a candlelit lined set of stairs  and upon prying open the heavy wooden door, we were pleasantly welcomed by a dim, candlelit Prohibition era tavern, complete with low ceiling (which made for a cozy space), that was bustling with patrons escaping the stress of everyday life in the city. We had another agenda – we were there to eat… family style, even though more than one of us didn’t know that was the case at first (yes, this is the best icebreaker) and many jokes were made during the trip referring to the many dinner faux-pas that occurred during our first meal together. BlogtourNYC Dinner at Peasant

BlogTourNYC at Peasant After what we all thought was 2 glasses of wine (not realizing that our server made sure to it that our glasses were never less than half full, so we probably drank at least 2.5X what we though we did) we all loosened up and learned a thing or two about each other.  Unfortunately, what happens on BlogTour STAYS on BlogTour, so I cannot divulge anything I learned, but I can be bribed…

BlogTourNYC at Peasant

And what do designers who blog do when they’re at the dinner table?  The blue glow around the dinner table tells it all – they manage their social media!  Yes, as much as I harp on my boys about their table manners, I too am guilty of poor table manners but only when they’re not around.  As the saying goes, when in Rome…

My trip to BlogTourNYC for the New York for the Architectural Digest Home Design Show was sponsored by Modenus, DXV by American Standard, Blanco, Rutt Cabinetry, Miele, Prizer Hoods.  All travel and expenses were paid for by these generous sponsors, but all opinions expressed are my own.

Stay tuned for more on our BlogTourNYC adventures, as there’s a lot more to come! Jeanne signature