Infusing grandeur into otherwise drab Mondays with five things/ideas/events for the week:

I.  This piece titled Space Surfer by famed photographer Jorgen Reimer perfectly captures today’s exciting revelation that Mars has flowing water. NASA announced this morning that its satellite MRO (Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter) found signs of liquid water, a requisite for the persistence of life on the planet. Until now, the possibility of anything living in the dusty terrain seemed bleak because the only sign of water was consistently frozen in polar ice caps. While many questions remain to be answered (like where this water coming from), the scientific community (and really all of us here on planet earth) should be incredibly excited about the future of the red planet!

II.  I’m a huge fan of an unusual accessory. Pairing something strange or slightly naughty with traditional is a look that I do both sartorially and in my interior design. I was reminded of this at the San Francisco Symphony Opening Night Gala last week, when a pair of lithe alligator earrings caught my eye. The somewhat frightening, yet utterly exquisite, earrings were the perfect addition to a minimalist hunter green gown. Luckily, after scouring the internet, I was able to locate the baubles on Shopbop. For a less handcrafted and more affordable option, this gilded version is perfect for holiday parties

III.  Over the weekend, I had the privilege of catering a large wedding for an old family friend. The dinner was held inside of an old chapel in the hills of the peninsula. The pews and other relics were removed, leaving a blank canvas of dark wood paneled walls and an outrageously high a-frame ceiling. The couple decorated the space with hundreds of candles, wild floral arrangements, and potted succulents, which created a beautiful sense of rustic intimacy. The aesthetic is perfect for autumn, and easily reproduced chez-toi by pairing your favorite floral with lots of filler greens in mason jars or vintage vases, pulling out every candle in your stash, and hanging foliage (my go-to is silver dollar eucalyptus) from chandeliers or lighting pendants.

IV.  Little else pleases quite like the scents associated with fall. Walking home after meetings with the faint smell of fireplace embers and wafts of mulling spices from Williams-Sonoma on Chestnut Street filling the air somehow gives me the feeling that everything is as it should be. To up the autumnal ante, I’m making a French Apple Tart this evening. Much less time-consuming than a traditional pie, and more delicious due to the caramelization of the apricot jam, bourbon, lemon zest, and cinnamon glaze, this decadent dessert is a must-make for the season.

V.  As you may have noticed, I’ve chosen to completely ignore the stipulation in my rental agreement requiring permission to paint my apartment… (Every wall is either matte black, hi-gloss black, or some shade of gray). For those of you who are less prone to rule-breaking, hanging a chic curtain wall can be life changing. Whether you want a bold pattern, dark hue, or something slightly less conspicuous, a curtain wall allows you to alter the appearance of your home without doing major damage to your security deposit. I adore the dark brown velvet in this photograph, because it’s luxe without feeling overtly feminine. For something sexier, a sheer charcoal Belgian linen would work wonders. And for the more girlish among you, this striking bird print drape would be to die for.

Have a wonderful week!  xx tt