Picnic in the City (by Swank Designer Colin Whitfield)

I love to make a production out of picnics – if you’ve got five people, and each carries one extra item, the added aesthetic richness turns a picnic into a regal luncheon ‘sur l’herbe’ (on the grass).  Bring a couple of oriental rugs instead of blankets (or in addition to), bring a couple of those kentia palms gathering dust in the foyer, a smattering of hurricane lanterns with candles, and richly patterned throw pillows, and your little space of grass will be transformed into a full on Victorian parlor – a cushy encampment of old world splendor.  And don’t forget the fruit bowl for added color and painterly aestheticism.

Leave the watermelon for red grapes and plums, nectarines and figs, even a vase of cut flowers – peonies I think – can elevate an otherwise beer-soaked loiter-fest into a vivant tableau worthy of the great still life painters of the turn of the last century. Edith Wharton eat your heart out!

It may not be couth, but no phones please… bring an old book – and turn the outdoors into a lushly appointed living room for the day. All that visual richness will draw a crowd – so be sure to make extra watercress sandwiches – I love mine with Vermont white cheddar, roasted pear and lingonberry aioli – Fabulous!!

Picnic in the city, moroccan inspired

Picnic in the City Inspiration/Creative Board

Summer Color Trends

If you haven’t heard yet, this years Pantone ‘Color of the Year’ is Tango Tangerine which we really love!  Check out my ORANGE PINTEREST BOARD!!!

Here are some of our favorite uses of this color so far:



But Orange or Tangerine aren’t the ONLY colors of the season!  In addition to that bright citrus flavor,  we are also LOVING these color on their own and TOGETHER!

And, just FYI……. I am OBSESSED with this Pucci inspired satin linen!  Cannot wait to show you how we used it this summer to transform a dinner cruise yacht into an tropical urban oasis!

(You’ll see it on MTV’s Made featuring SWANK’s wedding on June 19th at 4PM)


Whats your favorite 2012 color of the season?  And how are you using it?  Let us know!