Veranda Mar/Apr 2020

VERANDA is a forum for the very best in living well. Always gracious, and never pretentious, we keep readers abreast of the finest in design, decorating, luxury travel, and more, inspiring them with beauty and elegance. VERANDA is both an ideas showcase and a deeply pleasurable escape, a place where homes feel as good as they look.

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2 min
magnificent farm rescue

WHAT A FARMER DOES IS never wrong.” Such is the premise Connecticut-based landscape architect Janice Parker relied upon in resurrecting an abandoned Christmas tree farm in the Hudson Valley. The more than 40-acre property was in a state of disarray, its gently sloping grounds dotted with derelict farm buildings and runaway irrigation ditches. But Parker and the property’s owners, designer Darren Henault and his husband, attorney Michael Bassett, didn’t simply see the gentleman’s farm it could be, they saw shadows of what had arisen there over half a decade. “This had been a farm for a long time, and in trying to figure out what to do with hundreds of Christmas trees, we began looking more deeply at the survey and trying to imagine what the property would have looked…

6 min
symbolism in bloom

A NEW OLD LEAF KNOWN TODAY AS PAISLEY, this leaf-like motif is one of the textile world’s most enduring designs, with roots stretching back to ancient Persia and India. Miniature paintings from the 17th-century show Moghul royals donning Kashmiri stoles with stylized flowers along the borders. Over time, these delicate stems grew into something resembling a pear-shaped bouquet or flowering plant. By the turn of the 19th century, luxe shawls from the region embellished with boteh (Persian for shrub, flower, or cluster of leaves) made their way west, where they became coveted status symbols for European women who sought to emulate the fashions of style icons such as Empress Josephine. Soon, weavers in Paisley, Scotland, began creating less expensive copies of the Indian textiles, and the town’s name inspired a new…

2 min
luncheon in living color

STEPHANIE BOOTH SHAFRAN was looking for an excuse to gather her girlfriends. Even though (and perhaps because) the entertaining expert is a regular fixture of the Los Angeles social circuit, quality time with close friends has been hard to come by. “I value every minute I can spend with my girlfriends, especially if I can support them in some way,” says Booth Shafran. Because entertaining at home is practically second nature to Booth Shafran (her book, You’re Invited: Classic, Elegant Entertaining [Rizzoli], is out this February), she decided to host a party with a purpose: an intimate spring luncheon on her loggia, where guests could shop for jewelry designed by one friend, Anne Sisteron, in support of Thrive Animal Rescue, which finds forever homes for abandoned and abused dogs and was…

1 min
the judges

Bunny Williams “I always look for a strong design plan, and each of these gardens had a beautiful architecture to it,” says the legendary interior designer, who’s been tending her own Connecticut garden for nearly 40 years. “Some are very formal, some looser, but they all take your breath away.” Peter Lyden “It is so important that a garden embrace the natural characteristics of its environment, and I really admire the way these projects did just that,” says Lyden, president of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA). Their new Bunny Mellon Curricula aims to help young designers approach exterior spaces in a more holistic manner. METHODOLOGY VERANDA editors chose the top 55 entries for blind judging by Williams and Lyden. For information and submission guidelines for the 2021 awards, see…

1 min
escape to the country

1 A GRASSY POOL DECK “Avoid the ‘suburbanization’ of a landscape. For instance, setting a pool in grass keeps it rooted in its surroundings.” 2 GENERATIONAL HARDSCAPE Broad terraced steps built into a gentle slope are deliberately overgrown and give the appearance of having always been there. 3 A RIFF ON A LEGEND Borrow inspiration from garden greats. This urn room was inspired by Beatrix Farrand’s work at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C. 4 COLOR BONANZA Creating a fenced flower garden off-limits to deer means you can have a lot of fun. “We planted everything from sunflowers and zinnias to dahlias.” 5 RESPECT FOR THE ORPHANS Repurpose everything you can. Distinct layers of Douglas firs, Normandy spruces, and concolor firs give this farm a singular beauty. 6 A HISTORIC FARMHOUSE The house is always the starting point. This circa-1800 home is…

3 min
in her element

SHALINI KASLIWAL IS A MODERN-DAY ALCHEMIST. “I consider myself a classic experimenter, mixing elements of different cultures and generations,” says Kasliwal of her jewelry. As the global ambassador of her family’s storied jewelry house The Gem Palace (and CEO of Sanjay Kasliwal USA), Kasliwal, who was raised in Bologna, Italy, and Jaipur, India, by her Italian mother and Indian father, draws from her heritage to concoct bewitching amalgams of gem-studded flora and fauna with gold filigree and pavé techniques. “I’m also inspired by listening to my clients on what keeps them on the hunt.” Here are nine other secrets to her irresistible charm. 1. Visit my home, and you can definitely tell there is India in my blood. I love to decorate with exotic motifs, like Iksel Decorative Arts wallpapers. Their…