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A Secret Touch

Getting a little professional design help from Lillian August



Photos by Rana Faure

I love decorating for the holiday season—bringing out festive linens, creating seasonal sparkle, and adding fresh greens throughout my home. But these last few years, I’ve been in a holiday decor rut. It’s the same-old, same-old. It occurred to me that I routinely add new pieces to my wardrobe and my home accessories. So why not my holiday style? 

Fashionable salvation arrived when I attended Holiday Design 101, at Lillian August Design Center in Norwalk. In-store designers Marla Turner (pictured at the bottom of the page on the right) and Terrance Rhodes (pictured at the bottom of the page on the ) transformed a corner of the store into stunning dining room, living room, and conversation alcove tableaus. They walked attendees through their design choices, providing creative tips on how to add extra “bling and zing” to our entertaining style. “I like to think of everyone as a celebrity,” says Turner with a smile. “So our overall goal was to evoke a glitzy, fun, holiday vibe that could work for Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s Eve, even an Oscar party.” 

“We chose a primary palette of white because it’s clean, crisp, and pure,” adds Rhodes, also a talented floral and landscape designer, “and then added accents of black, grey, and gold. The inspiration was a blending of interior design and the fashion world. Kind of Alexander McQueen meets Hollywood.”

The design duo begins their presentation in the dining room, explaining how various elements were strategically layered to create a striking and glamorous look. The shimmering, over-the-top gold-and-crystal chandelier evokes a super-luxe disco ball and serves as both the focal point and jewelry for the room. The rectangular dark walnut dining table showcases brushed brass legs, echoed in the similarly styled brass legs of the dining chairs, which are chicly upholstered in a neutral buff linen.

Instead of place mats, open-weave metallic gold runners travel the length of the table on both sides. Delicate white china place settings with gold rim detail are accented with modern, gold-hued flatware and gold-rimmed stemware. Starched white linen napkins are tightly rolled and tied with a gold ribbon, and then adorned with an aromatic sprig of cedar. “Anyone can do this,” says Rhodes. “Boxwood, pine, cedar, and holly all add a nice holiday touch.”

Four towering gold candlesticks heighten the sense of drama and serve as a counterpoint to the two all-white flower arrangements. Amaryllis, roses, spray roses, hydrangeas, variegated cedar, and magnolia leaves are gathered in low profile, textured white ceramic vases. Two small orbs covered with white carnations sit in the center of the table. “Carnations are often viewed as the poor relation of showier, more expensive flowers,” says Rhodes, “but used creatively they can add a modern touch.”

Clear-bubbled glass paperweights of varying sizes are positioned between the flowers and candlesticks, adding visual interest and another reflective surface. A nine-by-twelve-foot rug in hues of silver, grey, beige, and cream subtly threaded with gold in an understated Art Deco pattern ties it all together. Connecting the dining room to the conversation area is a tall gold-and-black lacquer étagère displaying various objets d’art including a gold Buddha head, design books, a piece of gypsum on a Lucite base, and a delicate white bowl with a gilded interior. A large pop art print in black, gold and white, fronted by a vintage Louis Vuitton bench with Lucite legs, adds a fun rock ‘n roll note. 

Next is an inviting conversation/bar area that brings old Hollywood to mind. Depth is added by the use of a four-paneled black-and-mirrored screen in a geometric pattern as a backdrop. The inviting setting includes a three-tiered, wheeled bar cart in brass and Lucite that holds holiday stemware along with decanters and gold bound fashion design books (Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hermès). Flanking the cart are two chairs upholstered in white cowhide with faux elk horn frames and large gilded Ikat throw pillows. The overall effect is so glamorous, one can easily imagine Marlene Dietrich slinking in, clad in a 1940s Jean Louis gown. 

The living area is equally glamorous, with a sophisticated 1970s Halston-era feeling. “We incorporated different textures to add dimension to the living room design,” says Turner. “We used lacquer, fur, hides, stone, sequins, velvet, gold and silver lamé, and charcoal gray shearling with pops of white.”

A pale gray linen-upholstered sectional gets a style upgrade with the addition of throw pillows in various fabrics andtextures. Above the sofa hangs an exquisite black and gold child’s ceremonial kimono framed in a black shadowbox.

Triangular black-and-gold floor lamps with square ivory shades heighten the room’s drama, and a charcoal gray leather bench and dark cowhide club chair provide a masculine balance for the more feminine touches. A gold and green malachite accent table contributes a welcome pop of color. 

The effect of the overall design was dazzling. I found myself fantasizing about being invited to a swanky soiree in those fabulous rooms. I left the workshop feeling energized and inspired, excited to add new textures, accessories, and yes, even a bit of upscale bling to my own holiday décor. And guess what? You can, too.

 

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April 2018

Saturday, April 21 through Tuesday, April 24 Wilton Library’s Annual Gigantic Spring Book Sale Fundraiser Wilton Library’s largest book sale features more than 70,000 items sorted in...

Cost: free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

The Theatre Artists Workshop (TAW) will present a reading of Norwalk writer Jim Gordon's new comedy "The Incident” President Durak's approval rating has crashed. He needs...

Cost: ​A donation of $15 is suggested

Where:
The Theatre Artists Workshop
5 Gregory Blvd
Norwalk, CT
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Telephone: 203-854-6830
Website »

More information

By donating your perennials, pots and planters to the library to be resold, you will be minimizing waste and giving your unwanted perennials, pots and planters a second life. When spring arrives...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-274-7206
Contact Name: Cynthia
Website »

More information

Mondays, April 2 through May 21 @6pm Caring for a loved one who is ill is stressful and exhausting. It can be a profoundly isolating and lonely experience. Visiting Nurse &...

Cost: Free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Wednesdays, April 4 through May 23 @1pm ​Grief is invisible and often misunderstood. It can be a profoundly isolating and lonely experience. Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield...

Cost: Free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

“We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination,” Leatrice Eiseman, PANTONE Color Institute. Zeitgeist is descending to downtown New Canaan this season with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

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Saturday, April 21 through Tuesday, April 24 Wilton Library’s Annual Gigantic Spring Book Sale Fundraiser Wilton Library’s largest book sale features more than 70,000 items sorted in...

Cost: free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

By donating your perennials, pots and planters to the library to be resold, you will be minimizing waste and giving your unwanted perennials, pots and planters a second life. When spring arrives...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-274-7206
Contact Name: Cynthia
Website »

More information

Mondays, April 2 through May 21 @6pm Caring for a loved one who is ill is stressful and exhausting. It can be a profoundly isolating and lonely experience. Visiting Nurse &...

Cost: Free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Wednesdays, April 4 through May 23 @1pm ​Grief is invisible and often misunderstood. It can be a profoundly isolating and lonely experience. Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield...

Cost: Free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

The winter exhibit at the City of Norwalk Parking Authority’s Maritime Garage Gallery entitled, “Worth a Thousand Words" features artists’ renderings that convey...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

“We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination,” Leatrice Eiseman, PANTONE Color Institute. Zeitgeist is descending to downtown New Canaan this season with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Saturday, April 21 through Tuesday, April 24 Wilton Library’s Annual Gigantic Spring Book Sale Fundraiser Wilton Library’s largest book sale features more than 70,000 items sorted in...

Cost: free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

Learn about building structures resistant to earthquakes with toothpicks and marshmallows Tuesday, April 24th from 4-5 PM For kids in grade 1-3 Registration is required To register,...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

By donating your perennials, pots and planters to the library to be resold, you will be minimizing waste and giving your unwanted perennials, pots and planters a second life. When spring arrives...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-274-7206
Contact Name: Cynthia
Website »

More information

Mondays, April 2 through May 21 @6pm Caring for a loved one who is ill is stressful and exhausting. It can be a profoundly isolating and lonely experience. Visiting Nurse &...

Cost: Free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Wednesdays, April 4 through May 23 @1pm ​Grief is invisible and often misunderstood. It can be a profoundly isolating and lonely experience. Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield...

Cost: Free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

The winter exhibit at the City of Norwalk Parking Authority’s Maritime Garage Gallery entitled, “Worth a Thousand Words" features artists’ renderings that convey...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

“We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination,” Leatrice Eiseman, PANTONE Color Institute. Zeitgeist is descending to downtown New Canaan this season with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
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On Wednesday April 25 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. join us for a leisurely stroll down our stream-side trail in memory of one of our founding Board members, Helen Hermes, to discover some of her...

Cost: FREE

Where:
New Pond Farm Education Center
101 Marchant Road
Redding, CT  06896
View map »


Telephone: (203) 938-2117
Website »

More information

Come see Edith+Eddie, a 2018 Academy Award® nominated best documentary short film, followed by a panel discussion of esteemed experts in the fields of estate...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Ferguson Library
One Public Library Plaza
Stamford, CT  06902
View map »


Sponsor: SilverSource, Inc.
Telephone: 203-324-6584
Contact Name: Kathleen Bordelon
Website »

More information

By donating your perennials, pots and planters to the library to be resold, you will be minimizing waste and giving your unwanted perennials, pots and planters a second life. When spring arrives...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-274-7206
Contact Name: Cynthia
Website »

More information

Mondays, April 2 through May 21 @6pm Caring for a loved one who is ill is stressful and exhausting. It can be a profoundly isolating and lonely experience. Visiting Nurse &...

Cost: Free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Wednesdays, April 4 through May 23 @1pm ​Grief is invisible and often misunderstood. It can be a profoundly isolating and lonely experience. Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield...

Cost: Free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Join Grace Farms Foundation and New Canaan Library for an insightful conversation about global policy and America’s potential for growth and leadership with retired United States Army General...

Cost: Free

Where:
Grace Farms
365 Lukes Wood Road
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Grace Farms Foundation & New Canaan Library
Telephone: 203-920-1720
Contact Name: Regan Hayes
Website »

More information

The winter exhibit at the City of Norwalk Parking Authority’s Maritime Garage Gallery entitled, “Worth a Thousand Words" features artists’ renderings that convey...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

“We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination,” Leatrice Eiseman, PANTONE Color Institute. Zeitgeist is descending to downtown New Canaan this season with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

By donating your perennials, pots and planters to the library to be resold, you will be minimizing waste and giving your unwanted perennials, pots and planters a second life. When spring arrives...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-274-7206
Contact Name: Cynthia
Website »

More information

Mondays, April 2 through May 21 @6pm Caring for a loved one who is ill is stressful and exhausting. It can be a profoundly isolating and lonely experience. Visiting Nurse &...

Cost: Free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Wednesdays, April 4 through May 23 @1pm ​Grief is invisible and often misunderstood. It can be a profoundly isolating and lonely experience. Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield...

Cost: Free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

The winter exhibit at the City of Norwalk Parking Authority’s Maritime Garage Gallery entitled, “Worth a Thousand Words" features artists’ renderings that convey...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

“We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination,” Leatrice Eiseman, PANTONE Color Institute. Zeitgeist is descending to downtown New Canaan this season with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

By donating your perennials, pots and planters to the library to be resold, you will be minimizing waste and giving your unwanted perennials, pots and planters a second life. When spring arrives...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-274-7206
Contact Name: Cynthia
Website »

More information

Mondays, April 2 through May 21 @6pm Caring for a loved one who is ill is stressful and exhausting. It can be a profoundly isolating and lonely experience. Visiting Nurse &...

Cost: Free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Wednesdays, April 4 through May 23 @1pm ​Grief is invisible and often misunderstood. It can be a profoundly isolating and lonely experience. Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield...

Cost: Free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Join us Friday, April 27 from 8pm – 10pm for a Live Jazz Night at the Carriage Barn Arts Center. Performing jazz musicians are Rob Duguay’s “Songevity Trio” featuring Noah...

Cost: Advance tickets $15 / $20 at the door

Where:
Carriage Barn Arts Center
681 South Ave.
Waveny Park
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

Music on the Hill  celebrates "Music of Scandinavia" in a concert combining the Festival Chorus and professional Chamber Chorus, led by Artistic Director David H. Connell....

Cost: free

Where:
Wilton Presbyterian Church
48 New Canaan Road
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Music on the Hill
Telephone: 203-529-3133
Contact Name: Music on the Hill
Website »

More information

The winter exhibit at the City of Norwalk Parking Authority’s Maritime Garage Gallery entitled, “Worth a Thousand Words" features artists’ renderings that convey...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

“We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination,” Leatrice Eiseman, PANTONE Color Institute. Zeitgeist is descending to downtown New Canaan this season with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

On Saturday April 28 from 10 – 11 a.m. veteran fly-tier New Pond Farm Program Director Tim Laughlin, would like to introduce you to the art of fly tying. Learn to tie a “Woolly...

Cost: $15 per New Pond Farm member child, $20 per non-member child

Where:
New Pond Farm Education Center
101 Marchant Road
Redding, CT  06896
View map »


Telephone: (203) 938-2117
Website »

More information

Take Part in this Entertaining and Interactive Afternoon of Clues, Challenges, and a Race to the Finish Line and After Party! Saturday, April 28, Meet-up 10:30 AM, Hunt 11 AM-1 PM,...

Cost: $40

Where:
??? :-)
Norwalk, CT


Website »

More information

Norwalk Now Presents a City-Wide Adventure NORWALK CITY HUNT Saturday, April 28, Meet-up 10:30 AM, Hunt 11 AM-1 PM, After Party 1-3 PM Norwalk Now presents Norwalk City Hunt, an...

Cost: $40

Where:
93 N Main St
norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Now
Telephone: 203-561-9878
Contact Name: Linda Kavanagh
Website »

More information

Saturday, April 28th at 3:00 Rated PG Open to everyone, no registration required For questions, please call the library at 914-669-5161 or email at keelerlibrary@wlsmail.org To learn...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

By donating your perennials, pots and planters to the library to be resold, you will be minimizing waste and giving your unwanted perennials, pots and planters a second life. When spring arrives...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-274-7206
Contact Name: Cynthia
Website »

More information

Mondays, April 2 through May 21 @6pm Caring for a loved one who is ill is stressful and exhausting. It can be a profoundly isolating and lonely experience. Visiting Nurse &...

Cost: Free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Wednesdays, April 4 through May 23 @1pm ​Grief is invisible and often misunderstood. It can be a profoundly isolating and lonely experience. Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield...

Cost: Free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

In this coming of age documentary, four friends on the Autism spectrum whom have bonded through humor and performed as the comedy troupe 'Asperger's Are Us' will prepare for one final,...

Cost: free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

Children’s Learning Centers of Fairfield County to Honor Margaret Keane at Benefit Concert Children’s Learning Centers of Fairfield County (CLC) will honor Synchrony Financial CEO...

Cost: $55

Where:
Palace Theatre
61 Atlantic Street
Stamford, CT  06901
View map »


Sponsor: Children's Learning Centers of Fairfield County
Telephone: 203-653-1369
Contact Name: Mike
Website »

More information

“We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination,” Leatrice Eiseman, PANTONE Color Institute. Zeitgeist is descending to downtown New Canaan this season with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

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