Linens by Jane Scott Hodges and An Invitation to the Garden by Michael Devine
I have always said, "setting the table is everyday decorating" and lucky for me two of my friends are old hands at it. I am pleased to introduce two books for Spring by my friends Jane Scott Hodges and Michael Devine. Linens and An Invitation to the Garden both represent what we all love, hospitality and gracious living. I am particularly pleased to write about them here as I had the honor and distinction of writing the foreword for each of them.
Jane Scott, owner of Leontine Linens has given us the 'new BIBLE' on linens. From how to design and personalize everything from your sheets to your cocktail napkins, combine your delicate heirlooms with the bold and modern, a myriad ways to set the table with verve and personal style and, naturally, how to store and care for them so they are pristine at a moments notice and for years to come.
A good hostess is always prepared whether it's the boss, family or friends 'dropping by' or the pleasure of a tall iced tea alone on the porch.
Making a beautiful bed with embroidered, monogrammed or printed sheets is not just about having something pretty to look at or have your bed complete your decorating scheme, it is to ensure that you have the dreamiest of dreams enveloped in crisp, fresh, luxurious sheets.
One of Jane Scott's many talents, but one that I have relied on for years is her wise advice when it comes to how many towels make a set?, where should the monogram be placed on a napkin?, wedding gifts and making a linen master plan for an entire house. What always accompanies these meetings is plenty of fun and laughter. If you know her, you know what I mean. If you don't...then you are missing something, and THAT really needs correcting.
Linens by Jane Scott Hodges is published by Rizzoli.
Michael Devine brings several special skill sets together in his first book, An Invitation to the Garden. First, Michael grows what he cooks. Whether he is nursing his old fashioned roses or fertilizing and nourishing his tomatoes and herbs, rest assured Michael already has the recipe, menu and guest list in his head.
Having studied l'art de cuisine in Paris and once a student at the Sorbonne, Michael immersed himself in the arts of living and brought it all home stirring and whisking to the delight of all of his friends. In the summers I have gotten the occasional early morning email with photo announcing how he sees the tomato tartare being served for dinner, or how a certain chicken recipe will be divine with his crop of kale being made into a pesto. Yum.
Nowhere have I seen so much produced from a backyard plot. Raised beds, climbing vines and pots all producing the bounty of summer that inspires his entertaining. Setting the table is what sets the stage for the scrumptious meals that Michael prepares for friends. From simple brunch buffets to the luxurious tented candlelight dinners in his garden bagatelle all are prepared with equal flair and attention to detail with fabrics and china of his own design. Not a detail over looked.
Divine…Devine...Divine...C'est la meme chose!
I think if I were to ask Jane Scott and Michael for one piece of advice for summer entertaining, somehow I think they would both say, "open up your cupboards, invite your friends, set the table and LET THE PARTY BEGIN."
An Invitation to the Garden is published by Rizzoli.
New Orleans Flagship:
3806 Magazine Street
New Orleans, LA 70115
For information on ordering Michael's book or to browse his hand printed fabrics go to www.MichaelDevineHome.com