Inspired Styles


 Inspired Styles ***** by Assouline

I’m joining Jain with my Edible Book Review at Food for Thought, where  pages from your book magically mix with the kitchen and your camera.

If you are a fan of interior design or just love admiring beautiful rooms, this book is not to be missed. Full of beautifully photographed and designed rooms from fifteen amazing and well-known designers in the top of their field, this is a great reference book or simply a handsome coffee table book. Each designer shares their knowledge~ their approach to design and philosophy. There also is an interesting Q & A of Inspirations and Passions included with each designer~ that makes for fun insight and was my inspiration for sharing it for Food for Thought.

 From the foreword written by Dominique Browning of House & Garden:

“Inspiration comes at odd moments, and not necessarily (and maybe hardly ever) when you are actually sitting down to do the hard work of designing. That is why creative people make those wonderful boards covered with photographs and postcard and bits of color and pages torn from magazines; they get a feeling when they see something, that will someday be meaningful to them. They just can’t predict how or when. They gather their inspirations, husbanding their resources–hoping to one day make the connection between a thing that moved them, and something that will move others.”

Barbara Barry:

 “Life is meant to be lived fully and enjoyed deeply, and our homes are the great backdrops upon which our lives unfold. They are where we begin and end each day. Any room in which we spend time should feed us, nurture us, and improve the quality of our lives. People are what bring rooms to life.”

Barclay Butera: “One thing I have learned is that good design isn’t something that comes from a store; it is the presentation of your lifestyle. That is when the right furnishings make all the difference.”


love this room on the left with the blue & white mixed with the animal print. You can see more of his drool-worthy work, by clicking on his link/name above.


The above is an example of Diamond & Barata’s work. Their philosophy is below~

David Easton“Accessing visual information, accessing any information is like detective work. You have to think beyond the face of what’s there. I’ve got more than 3,000 books in my library, and I’m constantly adding more.”

 I would love to have a wall for books in my bedroom :-)

  This is part of the Q & A section, following each designer~ not every designer included a favorite food. Noting that David Easton’s favorite food is macaroni & cheese, I went to a recipe that I’ve been wanting to try even though it’s more suited for cooler weather. . .


Truffle Mac & Cheese, recipe courtesy Ina Garten

 This recipe is so rich and full of cheesy-goodness. . .I put servings for two in small oven-to-table bakeware for us to pull out of the freezer from time to time. The recipe says it makes 6 to 8 servings, but like most of her recipes, I find it makes a lot more than that~ probably more around 12 servings.

Candice Olson “My signature is to take serious design pieces and give them a sense of humor and personality by mixing them in an unconventional way.”

Onion, Bacon & Creme Fraiche Pizza, recipe courtesy Epicurious here.

 I carmelized my onions in advance, rather than mixing them raw with the creme fraiche. My bacon was  precooked too, so I just layered the creme fraiche, onions and bacon on top of my pizza dough.

 Vincente Wolf:

“Looking through the lens is like looking through a small window–you have to choose what to focus the camera on. It’s the training of looking at things, and seeing things in isolation, and finding a controlled range of vision. When I pull back, all the views work together, but each is its own composition.”

Green Tea Ice Cream recipe, here.

I found this recipe in my googling from another blog~Cookbook CatchallIt was very informative with great directions and was surprisingly easy & fun ~ a novelty to make~ without an ice cream maker!

Just for fun, I thought I’d include a list of My Inspirations and Passions~

  • Accessory~ Pillows

  • Appetizer~ Sashimi Tuna & Oysters with pineapple wasabi at Cypress in Charleston 

  • Actor~ Morgan Freeman (I couldn’t choose one, so I went the Best Actor with the Best Voice :-)

  • Book~ Outlander/series,  Diana Gabaldon

  • Car~ Mini Cooper Clubman/ “Hot Chocolate”

  • Chair~ Adirondack

  • Chef~ Tyler Florence

  • Chocolate~ Green & Black’s Organic Bittersweet Chocolate with Currant and Hazelnut

  • City~ Charleston, SC

  • Color~ Apple Green

  • Drink~ Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka with lemonade

  • Flower~ Hydrangea

  • Food~ Pesto Brie Fries at  Crepe Cellar (or any Fries, really :-)

  • Guilty Pleasure~ Taking a Nap

  • Hobby~ Books/ Reading

  • Hotel~ St. Regis, Dana Point

  • Movie~ Sherlock Holmes (recently) & Mary Poppins (all time :-)

  • Pet~ Chloe & Gracie, Bichons

  • Restaurant~ Commander’s Palace

  • Room in the house~ Porch

  • Season~ Fall~ blankets, fires & an empty lake!

  • Time of day~ Morning

So with that, I thought I’d make my version of Pesto Brie Fries~the Sweet Potato version. . .

No recipe really needed for these. . .I used a bag of frozen Alexia Sweet Potato Fries, baking til almost done. During last 5 minutes of cooking time, add Brie and drizzle with  your favorite jarred Pesto.


Visit Food for Thought and see what everyone is reading & eating~

I’m also joining Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday, stop in and see what’s being served :-)

  8 comments for “Inspired Styles

  1. May 22, 2010 at 12:15 am

    I can’t wait to buy this book. Great review. I love that Barbara Barry quote, and Barclay Butera is one of my favorite designers. But, oh my, that bedroom with the wall of books from David Easton makes my heart sing!

  2. May 22, 2010 at 7:10 am

    .Girlllllllllll,., this is totally awesome! I loved reading all the different quotes & philosophies & the photos of both the designers rooms & your food choices are DELICIOUS!! That Mac & Cheese has to be my favorite (I have those Portmeirion dishes, too!)

    I tried making Flammkuchen once…couldn’t find creme fraiche around here so had to substitute. Wasn’t my greatest effort & my photos were horrible. I never posted it on my blog, that’s how bad it looked.
    Your’s looks WONDERFUL!!!

  3. May 22, 2010 at 10:51 am

    omg you dazzle me… you have so much style and talent in all you do and share, egads you make me happy! and i am embarrassed to say HUNGRY. that was such a delightful post, all things i love, beauty makes me happy~ again so shallow…

    yesterday i hate to admit that i sat down and sketched a new house, just to busy my mind… i love playing like that, i had an urgent need to create and play, and then to see your post is the icing on the cake. i too love the blue and wht pic, and that fireplace shot… its sad when the new version of a scarecrow dresses better then me… gosh i LOVE that pic!

    and all that food…it looks heavenly to me, you have drawn out all my tastebuds today… each shot is a masterpiece~

    i love reading your inspirations and passions, you are far more cerebral then me, i would sound like a 5 year old… favorite drink, hersheys syrup out of the plastic bottle straight into my mouth doesn’t hold a candle to your firefly sweet tea vodka with lemonade, i am such a hick! a fat one too…

    i am making these fries soon, they look decadent and fast, a lethal combo~

    thank you so much for always sharing the very best, i have said it before and i will keep on saying it, i am SOOOOOOO glad you started a blog and play at food with style, i adore all you do!

  4. May 22, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    I’m drooling over the book *and* the food! The mac and cheese looks wonderful.

  5. May 22, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    A wall of books, mac and cheese, and those sweet potato fries ~ yummy visions indeed! Your posts are sheer delight, Mary. I’m so glad Jain created Food for Thought. This venue has introduced me to the most amazingly creative folks!

  6. May 23, 2010 at 12:01 am

    I fee like a stalker (lol!), but your posts are just incredible! I have this book, too and have spent many happy hours perusing it.

    • May 23, 2010 at 6:35 am

      Stalk away, LOL! Thanks for ALL your comments, I get a little “thrill” when someone likes a pic or a post~

  7. May 28, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Oh do you happen to have an extra plate?

    I hope you’ll stop by and see my video for a French Macaroon video. There are bloopers. :)

    I am also hosting a giveaway for a French Basketeer tote.

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