Rediscovering Space in Summer

Photography by Nicole Franzen
Clothing by Club Monaco
Design by Athena Calderone
Prop Styling by April Valencia

Whenever I’m in nature and away from the urban hustle, I’m more in tune with myself—my body feels more alive, my mind is more vibrant and my connections with family and friends deepen. For the past five years, my Amagansett home has been my sanctuary. Not only is it a place where I can disconnect, fully engulfed by the greenery, but it’s a place where I feel my most creative, my truest self. I’m very proud of the environment I’ve created—every square inch of it. Yet lately, I’ve struggled to find space for myself even here.

Before I was a wife, mama, cook, interior designer and swooner, I was a yogini. Yoga dominated my 20s and 30s, it made me aware of my choices and quieted my mind. After a very extensive hiatus from yoga, I took a class today and within five minutes my body was euphoric. Joy flooded every inch of being and my muscle memory went right back to where it was years ago: my body did exactly what it knows, recalling poses without question and moving with confidence. The thing that struck me the most was the space I managed to carve out for myself. I left feeling inspired, with old and new thoughts filling my consciousness—I had rediscovered that space within myself.

When Club Monaco asked me to host a dinner party in the home that is my haven, the partnership felt perfectly aligned (just how my body feels post-yoga). I was already swooning the restrained palette of their summer collection, as it reflects the design choices in my home. The whites and neutrals had a blissful simplicity at their core—they were a moment of stillness all on their own—a stillness I longed to recapture.

When you’re caught up in the day-to-day mayhem of work and endless barrage of social media, it can be impossible to find stillness. Things fall out of balance. Perhaps the reason why I have always felt so capable of escape in my Amagansett home is because of the balance I worked so hard to create in it. In some ways, the process of designing that home became my yoga—a time when I was moving forward, trusting my decisions (and eye), and creating a visual language that leads from one choice to another. When I set out to design this home I knew exactly what I wanted to create: a beach-y, layered and relaxed environment. I yearned to balance the modern architecture with the texture of natural elements and rich history of vintage finds. In class this morning, I asked myself how could I get back to that dreamy, creative place when I designed this home? What brings me the most bliss? It was clear: design, cooking, entertaining and setting a beautiful table all bring about a clarity that puts me pretty damn close to pure bliss.

For this dinner, I loved dressing the table in a serene palette of creams. I used Belgian linen napkins and my new Speck and Stone hand-thrown plates, complimented by white peonies and just a touch of green from eucalyptus I placed directly on the vintage homespun linen runner. The clothes, the palette, the decor, the vision of summer—it was all light and bright, simple and elegant. As I set the table for an epic summer soirée, I found myself slipping into a soothing, almost meditative place, doing what I do best—finding joy and creativity, beauty and space, without even searching for it. I suppose all I needed was a little reminder to see the space that we can create for ourselves.


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Necessary Objects

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