• Happy Labor Day

    by  • 1 Sep ’14 • profile • 0 Comments

    00660911.JPGIn early September 1946, LIFE magazine published a cover story that, in words and especially in pictures, perfectly captured the unique, sweet, melancholy feel of summer vacation’s end. That the article focused, as LIFE put it, on “the first postwar summer vacation” of the 1940s somehow added—if only in retrospect—a quiet intensity to the story. All these years later, the pictures and the story itself remind us of just how fleeting the peaceful, hot days and long, cool nights of late summer really are.

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    Soup on Sunday: Partan Bree (Scottish Crab Bisque)

    by  • 31 Aug ’14 • profile • 0 Comments

    crabs3Inspired by a bushel of crabs on our outing yesterday, I was reminded of Partan Bree (Scottish Crab Bisque). Roasted crab shells and sherry lend sweet depth to this luscious version from chef Michael Smith of The Three Chimneys restaurant on Scotland’s Isle of Skye.
    The-Three-Chimneys-Isle-of-Skye-Scotland-UK-19-One of the most acclaimed restaurants in Scotland, there is nowhere in the Highlands and Islands quite like The Three Chimneys. Set in the north west Isle of Skye, and housed in an old stone home by the sea, the original island croft house dates back over 100 years. Well-known on the island for serving the best fish, locally reared lamb, beef and game, Head Chef Michael Smith is a passionate ambassador for Scottish food and cooking. Perhaps this will be a stop on our 2015 Scottish Excursion. (more…)

    Soup on Sunday: Zucchini Soup with Crème Fraîche

    by  • 27 Jul ’14 • profile • 5 Comments

    HDThe hot Houston weather, Food & Wine and winemaker Jeremy Seysses inspired my soup selection today. Jeremy Seysses has developed a wide repertoire of dishes to use up the zucchini from his half-acre garden: ratatouille, sautéed zucchini, zucchini fritters, stuffed zucchini, zucchini cake. But this ultra-simple soup is the family favorite. “We have nothing from the garden for an eternity, then all of a sudden, we have to eat zucchini every day for two months just to keep up,” he says. His soup can be served warm, or chilled for a sunny evening. “Yes, we actually do get occasional sunny evenings in Burgundy,” he reports.

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    Legends of La Cienega 2014

    by  • 15 Jul ’14 • profile • 3 Comments

    20140511- LCDQ Legends Ambience - 038-X2While this post is long overdue, I hope that the beautiful photos from JL Photographers will make up for the wait. In May I traveled to Los Angeles as a social media ambassador for Legends of La Cienega (LCDQ) 2014.  I was very honored to have been invited, and was in the company of some fabulous social media gurus (pictured below). The highly anticipated event is one of my very favorite in the industry.  Legends of La Cienega is a 3-day celebration of design that brings together VIPs and tastemakers from the worlds of interior design, decor, art, fashion and architecture. Receptions, keynote panel discussions, cocktail parties and book signings are just the icing on the cake. What I love most is that the event feels like one big block party…you see friends and those you know at every turn. And who doesn’t love walking from store to store while being inspired and soaking up the LA sunshine?! LA1 (more…)

    La Cienega LEGENDS

    by  • 30 Apr ’14 • profile • 0 Comments

    Ambassadors_Square_update_4_9The La Cienega Design Quarter is one of my favorite places and their annual LEGENDS event is one of my very favorites in the industry. One of the most anticipated design events in the United States, LEGENDS is a 3-day celebration of design in May that brings together VIPs and tastemakers from the worlds of interior design, decor, art, fashion and architecture for receptions, keynote panel discussions, cocktail parties, exhibitions, book signings, personal appearances and special events. The dates for LEGENDS this year are May 7-9, 2014.

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    Thrift Studio Preview Party & Pop-Up Store

    by  • 9 Apr ’14 • profile • 0 Comments

    Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 2.38.56 PMI am honored and thrilled to be the Honorary Chair for the spring 2014 Thrift Studio. Thrift Studio is a not-like-any-other-thrift-store THRIFT STORE. Tomorrow, April 10th, we kick off with our preview party. Thrift Studio is a bi-annual 30 day pop-up shop created to provide financial viability and fundraising for Dwell with Dignity through selling donated furniture, housewares, accessories and high end designer finds to the public. All proceeds  benefit the future work, growth, organization and structure of Dwell with Dignity.

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    Spaghetti on Sunday: Remembering Nan Kempner

    by  • 31 Mar ’14 • profile • 7 Comments

    nan4Nan Kempner has been on my mind lately. It started last month when I commented to my friend Danielle Rollins that her book Soirée (one of my favorite books) reminded me of another favorite book, RSVP by the late Nan Kempner. As it turns out, RSVP inspired Danielle’s beautiful book. Then, over the weekend, Dallas designer Pam Kelley commented on a Facebook post. Pam wrote, “Sundays are the hardest for me. Not Sunday morning, but Sunday evening. I never liked it as a child, and still do not as an adult.”

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    The Details: RONDA CARMAN FINE FABRICS

    by  • 24 Mar ’14 • profile • 5 Comments

    RCFF_1A HUGE thank you for all of the emails, messages and Facebook feedback yesterday! I am overwhelmed by the positive responses and reactions. ‘Fresh’ is the one recurring word I keep hearing about the fabrics (which makes me very happy). I am really very excited about this venture.

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    RONDA CARMAN FINE FABRICS

    by  • 22 Mar ’14 • profile • 15 Comments

    Carman_Invitation2014 has started with a big bang….a move back to Houston, reconnecting with old friends, meeting new ones and resurrecting Soup on Sunday (being back in the kitchen makes me happy).  It’s hard to believe that next month marks the one-year anniversary of my book Designers at Home. And while I thought my second book would be well underway, a different (and amazing) opportunity has come my way.  I am now weeks away from the biggest (and most exciting) venture to date.

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    Soup on Sunday: Seafood Chowder

    by  • 10 Mar ’14 • profile • 3 Comments

    IMG_6277Yesterday was a cold and rainy Sunday in Houston. I would venture to say it’s a rare occasion, but with the strange weather patterns as of late (and polar vortices), it seems to be more commonplace these days. Originally I was going to make Salmon Chowder (my favorite standby) until I was inspired by the clam, mussel and sausage Étouffée at brunch. So, after leisurely lunch, we made our way to Central Market to pick up clams for our chowder…which lead to the addition of scallops as well. The result was delicious! Enjoy.

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