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 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.

St. Charles at Sotheby’s Designer Showhouse

The art world is intrigued and enlightened by the Sotheby’s Designer Showhouse, an interactive auction that displays the best of interior and architectural design trends while simultaneously showcasing fine furniture and home accessories.

Illustration of St. Charles kitchen at the Sotheby’s designer show house by Joel Galang

The internationally acclaimed auction house tapped thirteen premier designers to construct a state-of-the-art home experience on their fifth floor. The idea behind the showhouse is to provide a backdrop worthy of Sotheby’s finest home furnishing items. The showhouse is an enlightening experience for art collectors who struggle with product placement. Too much art can often make you feel like you’re living in a museum. As a featured showhouse designer, we are using this opportunity to provide insight in creating a comfortable living space and work with the grain of great art and antiques.

At St. Charles, we are using the showhouse to convey one of our core messages- that art can and should be displayed in the kitchen.

We’ll be posting behind the scenes videos and more. Follow our blog for exclusive access into the making of  the first ever Sotheby’s Kitchen!

For more information about the Sotheby’s show house, go to



Sotheby’s Designer Show House

The team at St. Charles is delighted to officially announce our dual participation in the 2015 Annual Sotheby’s Designer Show House!


Karen Williams  and Robert Schwartz of St. Charles of New York will be working alongside a powerhouse line-up of industry leaders to transform the fifth floor of Sotheby’s landmark Upper East Side location into a fully functioning living space. The show, spanning from the 11th to the 19th of April, will serve as an interactive auction of fine art, furniture, and home decor.

We are also thrilled to inform you that St. Charles styling division CURATED will be a featured participant of the show! Working directly with Sotheby’s silver and porcelain departments, Lindsey Schwartz of CURATED is the youngest participant involved in the show.

CURATED in the New York Times

CURATED in the news again! Since the launch of our in-home styling service in October, CURATED by St. Charles has been making headlines in the decorating and design industry.

Check out our Holiday shopping feature with New York Times editor Tim McKeough below. 


Creative Director, Lindsey Lauren Schwartz goes holiday shopping with the New York Times in Dripping With Charm 

Beyond Crystal: Baccarat x THG Kick off DDB Fall Market 2014

Decorators and designers alike occupied Baccarat’s showroom in the D&D building for one of the more noteworthy events of the DDB 2014 Fall Market launch. The combined forces of THG, Baccarat, and LUXE magazine fashioned a crowd of both established jewel-adorned socialites and fresh-faced industry newcomers.  Upon introduction by LUXE’s Arlyn Hernandez, keynote speaker Matthew Frederick sang praises to the harmonious marriage of two iconic French brands in the form of a new line of crystal bathroom fixtures.


One of the many grandiose chandeliers with which guests shared the space.

The layout of the Baccarat showroom mandated that guests mingle warily around a host of crystal presentations. “Hold your purse tightly to your body so that you don’t break anything in here”, one experienced partygoer explained to her plus one. Breathtaking chandeliers were suspended at eye level, commanding the attention of the audience and designating the flow of traffic. Guests sipped from Baccarat’s chateau crystal collection of flutes and tumblers– a refreshing contrast to the budget stemware we are most often treated to at similar events.

The reception opened to a grand (the grandest) chandelier that occupied a considerable portion of the main entrance. A myriad of melting blush colored candles decorated the floor space and complemented the colored crystal of the overhanging chandelier. I think that they were trying to be ironic with the juxtaposition of the two illuminating sources. I liked it.