Setting the Table for Fall

My ideal fall tablescape setting has lots of hunter green! A heavy-handed application of seasonal themes can make a table look too contrived, so I avoid browns and oranges. Rather, I like to evoke one or two elements of the season and then let the food do the talking.

The table will be naked (read: no tablecloth) with Sferra’s Festival napkins and a gorgeous runner. Robust Baccarat crystalware will align the border of each place setting, except for my own. That is, of course, until December, when my expected baby girl’s high chair will be another delightful decorative accent.

To quickly and easily alter an interior for fall, try supplementing all your glass and crystal pieces with bronze accessories in the dining room. You could invest in an oversized bronze bowl to adorn the center of your dining room table all year round. I tell all my clients, that bronze is the new glass.

The transition is even easier in the kitchen. Nutritionally speaking, I recommend adhering to a seasonal diet in general—so when you replace your summer bowl of strawberries with apples and pears, you’re already making moves in the right direction.

The five items at the top of my fall home-decor shopping list are:

Villeroy & Boch Artesano Provencal dinner plates

Designed by the Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave, the Artesano Provencal collection reflects the colors and style of Provence and showcases wild roses and geraniums along with green tendrils of rosemary, which add a lovely, whimsical touch.

villeroy-boch-artesano-verdure-kuchenKim Seybert Embroidered Runner

Kim Seybert designs her elaborate handmade linens and tableware as fashion for the table, and it shows in her gorgeous designs. This hand-beaded overlapping leave runner coordinate well with the Sferra napkins.

Kim Seybert Runner1
Arte Italica pewter trays

I love the antique finish on these fine, handmade Italian pewter trays, which add a lovely touch of artisanal goodness to any table.

Pewter TrayPuiforcat tea set with wood accents

Splurge and enjoy a lifetime to treasure this lovely French Art Deco Tea and Coffee Silver Service by master craftsman Jean E. Puiforcat. Handcrafted in sterling silver and Brazilian rosewood.

Puifprcat tea SeaAlain Saint-Joanis Olivewood Flatware

Alain Saint-Joanis has been designing and crafting exceptional cutlery since 1876. This olivewood flatware is handcrafted in France and forged in 18/10 stainless steel fittings, with a silver plated bolster, carbon steel knife blade, and an olivewood handle.ambiance

I hope your fall table is filled with great design, wonderful food and lovely memories.


Kitchen Art: Hamptons Edition

Art hunting, a popular spectator sport in the Hamptons comes with one minor drawback; parking lot traffic. The medley of Hampton’s annual art and design fairs have drawn so many visitors that parking lot coordination can set you back a good hour on opening nights. But, for this unperturbed art lover, the traffic is a small price to pay. Why? Because I know what now seems like common news; the art fairs are getting good again.

Weekend events such as Art Southampton (located in Bridge, but who’s paying attention) and ArtHamptons are notable rivals for Basel, Frieze and the like. Art Southampton, for example, boasts 70 art galleries showcasing affable, conversation-provoking pieces. What’s more, they cater to the “on the spot” buyer. Sure, you can find an over-appreciated Warhol in booth 203, but most of the art is not extortionately priced. Many galleries display items that are in the sweet spot where you can literally take it home with you that night – for Hamptonites anyway.

As a proprietor of luxury goods for kitchen design firm St. Charles of New York, I’m always on the hunt for pieces you can place in and around the kitchen space. This year, the art fairs seem to have gotten my memo. Here are my top picks for kitchen-friendly art.

Christian Voigt: Fruit Market | Courtesy of UNIX Gallery
Christian Voigt: Fruit Market | Courtesy of UNIX Gallery

Exotic fruits take center stage in a vividly captured Cambodian marketplace. Not only is this a colorful addition to a white kitchen, but it’s a constant reminder to eat healthy. Bring on the rambutan, please!

Gan Daofu: Porcelain collection |
Gan Daofu: Porcelain collection |

Daofu’s modern porcelain structures can be seen an homage to the traditional blue and white chinoiserie. Display these in groups of threes on a dining room or coffee table.

Peter Anton: Ice Cream Sandwich and Red, White, and Blue Rocket Bar | Courtesy of UNIX Gallery
Peter Anton: Ice Cream Sandwich and Red, White, and Blue Rocket Bar | Courtesy of UNIX Gallery

You would be hard pressed to find an appropriate venue outside of the kitchen space for these frozen delights. Anton’s playful food-based illustrations allow for our favorite summer indulgences to populate those smaller, purposeless walls of empty space often found betwixt shelves, cabinets and appliances.

Sarah Bahbah: Sex and Take Out |
Sarah Bahbah: Sex and Take Out |

Most people see bachelor pad art.  I see a subtle criticism of our present eating habits that needs to be captured and readjusted.

Gemstones and the Design World: An interview with Zicana

Zicana owner and founder Frank Marasco knows gemstones. Ask him about their porousness, heat sensitivity, or place of origin and he’ll tell you that and so much more. His knowledge always transcends the scope of the question. His passion is evident and enjoyable. And there is nothing we love more at St. Charles than working with people who are passionate about their craft. I sat down with Frank to discuss the various applications of semi-precious stones in design and their influence on his newer endeavors.

Framed and underlit Tiger Eye and Blue Tiger Eye slabs grace the walls of the Zicana showroom in Westbury, NY.
Framed and underlit Tiger Eye and Blue Tiger Eye slabs grace the walls of the Zicana showroom in Westbury, NY.

Lindsey Katalan: Tell me a little bit about Zicana.

Frank Marasco,  Zicana is a designer and leading artisan of fine crafted made-to-measure gemstone surfaces and original signature pieces. Inspired by the organic beauty of natural elements, the label offers a series of collections consisting of jewelry, home décor and accessories.  Zicana was derived from an epiphany I had while running the family’s custom stone boutique. I came to explore gemstones and in 2011 had several revelations about using these exclusive jewels in new mediums and applications. It was from these concepts that the brand emerged.

The St. Charles of New York showroom famous "Man Cave" features a dazzling Blue Tiger Eye bar.
The St. Charles of New York showroom famous "Man Cave" features a dazzling Blue Tiger Eye bar.

LK: Your collection of gemstone surfaces are extraordinary. I have personally seen them used in kitchens and wet bars. Have you had designers work them into other rooms? If so, where and how?

FM: Since its inception, Zicana has been commissioned by interior designers, companies and private individuals alike.  We work on several types of projects at all times. We actually have one happening now that is probably our largest yet; a restaurant in Massapequa, Long Island that will boast a spectacular grand bar comprised of our gray agate stone, sculpted and finished in a very unique fashion.

Dumortierite covers the surface and floors of this Miami powder room designed by Karen Williams of St. Charles of New York
Dumortierite covers the surface and floors of this Miami powder room designed by Karen Williams of St. Charles of New York

LK: What is your most popular stone right now? Where, in your opinion, do you anticipate the trends will be going in the future?

FM: Because of the trend in the world of design, our most popular materials are white and gray. I see the trend staying here for a while, due to their neutrality when applied to kitchen and bathroom applications. I believe that once more colorful materials are discovered, they will be used and appreciated as home accents in an area where clients are willing to be more daring.

LK: I hear that you are going to be delving into lighting. Can you tell me a little bit about this particular project?

FM: We have been working on a small lighting collection that involves incorporating the gems with different kinds of mediums. I hope that using exotic stones for lighting will showcase some of the possibilities and things you can actually do with this particular product and just how special it is.

Detail of Zicana's famous Amethyst stone
Detail of Zicana's famous Amethyst stone

FAUCET FOCUS: An Interview with Fantini by Lindsey Katalan

In anticipation of the upcoming Salone Mobile Fair in Milan, we sat down with our friends at luxury Italian faucet company Fantini. At St. Charles of New York, we partner with connoisseurs of both cutting edge trends and timeless designs. Fantini is a brand whose repertoire includes both.

Founded in 1946 by brothers Giovanni and Ersilio, Fantini has always been a force of creative intensity that combines hand-craftsmanship with industrial technology. Fantini has been producing innovative products with a deep concern for ethics in manufacturing and production methods, and inspired by the form, qualities, and applications of water. Consequently, their designs have become an international benchmark in the evolution of kitchen and bathroom design, emphasized by their collaborations with the best design minds and creative forces.

72_01_5904SLK: What are people picking out for their kitchens these days? What has changed in the past few years? Where are the trends going?

Fantini: We have noticed that customers want a pull-out spray with their kitchen faucet. Two of our kitchen faucets feature a pull-out spray, the latest was designed by Naoto Fukasawa. We will be introducing another version of that faucet that features a pull-out spout with a secondary spray. We will have this at the Salone del Mobile.


LK: Do you notice a particular metal or finish that everyone is suddenly gravitating toward?

Fantini: We are getting a lot of requests for Brass, especially un-lacquered. We started offering it as a custom finish, available polished or brushed. Since it is un-lacquered it will tarnish, which is very trendy right now.batterialavabo_3fori-oro

LK: What about color? At St. Charles, we’re big advocates of using color in kitchens and bathroom, however that may be. Are people        trying out the colored knobs or are they staying within the confines of their comfort zone and sticking to metal finishes?

Fantini: We were one of the first manufacturers to introduce color to plumbing fixtures. We launched our iconic Balocchi collection in the late 70’s in a variety of colors and a couple years after introduced the Calibro collection, which later became part of the permanent collection at MoMA. We currently offer the Balocchi collection in a number of standard colors and can produce it in any RAL color (over 200 colors available). Clients are very interested in customizing their faucets and shower systems in fun colors, we have seen a huge increase in requests for fun colors, and not just for children’s bathroom’s.

colorati copy SING


LK: Is there any difference between the bestselling styles in Europe and the bestsellers in the states?

Fantini: There isn’t much different in popularity between the US and Europe. Our most successful collections are popular in the US and Europe.


Thank you to our friends at Fantini for this exclusive interview. Visit their website for more looks and products at

Kitchen Trends: In & Out for 2016

Lead kitchen designers Karen Williams and Robert Schwartz share their predictions for popular trends in 2016. Joining us in conversation is Lindsey Katalan who discusses her observations on the accessories side of things.

What’s In?

KW: I’ve been working with my clients to pick out statement light fixtures for the kitchen space. The more exquisite the piece, the more inclined homeowners are to put it over their island counter top instead of tucking it away in the dining room”

Tananbaum IMG_0012A (C)201 4 Eric van den Brulle

The highlight of this kitchen is the custom designed statement chandelier over the island.

RS: Clients are becoming increasingly more receptive to kitchen technology. Whether it’s electronic lift mechanisms, movable islands, or self diagnostic appliances, the kitchen culture is embracing technological products that alleviate “old world problems”, if you will.

Horowitz - Copy (1024x252)

Three visuals of a movable marble backsplash that serves as a second, shallower wall.

LK: Bid adieu to the silver tray and start serving your guests on literal works of art. Porcelain is becoming the new medium for artists such as Marina Abramovic, Jeff Koons and David Lynch. Bernardaud encourages these artists to channel their artistic flare right onto the plate. Talk about a palate cleanser!

David Lynch’s limited edition porcelain artwork available through CURATED

David Lynch’s limited edition porcelain artwork available through our CURATED division.

What’s Out?

KW- I’m glad to see that heavy and over sized hardware is fading out. People are finally realizing that meat locker hinges are disproportionate to the cabinet size. Beautiful cabinetry should be showcased and not hidden behind bulky pulls and handles. I’m excited to see clients choosing more refined hardware in 2016.

RS: Built in coffee makers are being supplemented for small professional countertop models. People are becoming more discerning about every square inch of their kitchen space and ultimately realizing that coffee machines are too bulky for a single function that can be performed by a counter top appliance.

LK- The Sputnik light, my friends, used to be out of this world. Now let’s get it out of this world! Or at least back to Russia.

A Guide to Designing Your Holiday Tabletop by Lindsey Katalan

Regardless of their genesis, holiday traditions have been altered by each and every one of us through the years to fit the likes and styles of our own family, ultimately resulting into ones very own take on the commercial conception of “the holidays”. But some parts of the traditional elements are simply interminable, and rightfully so. When it comes to tabletop decor, it’s important to balance the new and the old, the traditional and the modern, and general with the personal. Which leads me into the discussion of tablecloths.

I rarely advocate the use of tablecloths. I prefer my tables to be a template for modern twists and rarities, and the idea of a crisp white tablecloth is by definition, not that. Rather, it evokes a feeling of an outdated table that intimidates the young and the messy (read me). However, the holidays are a time for exceptions. It’s the one time when you absolutely can’t hold out on a stark white tablecloth. Traditional for the sake of tradition, if you will.

Select a Statement Charger

The first step in outfitting a white tablecloth is finding a statement charger. It is the foundation on which the tablescape will be built. I recommend using a Mottahedeh red charger with gold trim or something equally as vibrant like this Tulips plate by Jeff Koons. It adheres to the color spectrum of the holiday, but remains useful on other occasions. In other words, it’s a better investment than porcelain with reindeer illustrations.


Never Underestimate the Napkin ring

A napkin ring is the pinnacle of the plate ensemble – the last item you place, and the first item your guests will see. This is the strongest and soundest explanation for investing in a great napkin ring. I suggest matching the color of the ring to at least one other element on the table. Pictured below, the green napkin ring pulls the matching green crystal into a prominent focal point on the table.


Photo: Alexandra Wolf

Pay attention to Serving Platters

One of the most common oversights in tabletop design is paying meticulous attention to the coordination of your place settings and completely ignoring the platters, bowls, and serving paraphernalia that will be taking up the most space on your table. Even the most aesthetically pleasing dinnerware will get lost in the sea of mix-and-matched serving platters. If you are using family style plating for the holidays, coordinate your platter and bowl options well in advance.


Arte italica large bowl for a white winterland motif available here.

Bring back the Candelabra

If you’re choosing to have a plated service (formal dinner), focus your attention on centerpiece decor. Candelabra are timeless. Villeroy & Boch makes contemporary candelabras to combat their inherently antiquated feel. To further the informal approach supplement traditional white wax for neon candlesticks. It’s all the rage, and I’m not just saying that because I am in my twenties.



Villeroy and Boch candelabra available for purchase here.

Designing a Jewel Box Kitchen

St. Charles designer Ron Krieb joined forces with architect Greg Melitonov of Taller KEN to transform every square inch of a passageway in a small West Village apartment into a radiant galley kitchen.

The client required a multi-functional kitchen that was to be used often, so practicality was as pertinent as aesthetic design.


“To give the illusion of more space, like a pass-through kitchen, we used uninterrupted clear mirror for the back splash and mirrored backs for the upper glass cabinetry. Almost all the surfaces are dark and reflective so you never perceive the limits of the space and the logistical gymnastics are concealed behind the paneling.” Melitonov says about harmonizing the space-planning with the design.


The combination of textures and patterns – the grain of the Eucalyptus with the blue Tiger eye stone countertops – provides a lot of character and creates a sense of drama. The use of nickel trim in combination with many small points of light gives the surfaces a kind of glow.

The range was strategically placed by the window to allow for proper ventilation of the kitchen space.


When sunlight hits the black splash, the whole kitchen sparkles.



It should come as no surprise that Robb Report chose an iconic St. Charles kitchen to grace the cover of their 2015 summer feature.


Karen Williams with her copy of Robb Report magazine, which boasts her kitchen design on it’s cover.

The kitchen, boasting a state of the art La Cornue amongst other top tier appliances, elegantly transformed the space into a multifunctional kitchen with two prep areas and cleverly disguised pantry storage.

IMG_0002 g2014 Eric van den Brulle

La Cornue Chateau Range

Read the full article online here.