sally caswell millinery fascinator for spring

city chic... the central park conservancy hat luncheon

sally caswell millinery fascinator for spring
sally caswell millinery

the central park conservancy's annual frederick law olmsted awards hat luncheon is an iconic new york city tradition.  this year i'm gearing up to attend! my heart beats for central park, this fabulous city that I live in, and the amazing central park conservancy. it has been such an honor serving on the playground partners group.

i mean really... who wouldn't love this place?

photos from the central park conservancy women's committee.

but one of the most iconic things about the frederick law olmsted awards hat luncheon... is the hats!

hat luncheon 1983 - via town & country
via Town & Country
















i love this photo from the first hat luncheon in 1983—that hat is crazy wonderful! . i don’t know about you but this picture just has me wishing i could have been a fly on the wall to overhear what was sure to be a lively conversation!….. look at that wonderful woman laughing! it looks like a great time!!

while the hat luncheon is one of the most fun tickets in town, it is also a huge fundraising event for the park! the money raised greatly effects the upkeep and maintenance of our beloved public playground for kids of all ages! if you’re not familiar with the history of central park and the central park conservancy i encourage you to check out this amazing short documentary.

back to the hat luncheon…. as soon as i got my ticket to this amazingly fun annual soiree, i knew i needed to get busy finding the perfect hat for my outfit. my first stop was to my incredibly talented friend's millinery studio: sally caswell millinery.


sally caswell millinery

while visiting her studio, i was struck by how incredibly sculptural and detailed hats can be. as a designer, i was in awe of the way they all seem to be lighter than air. hats defy gravity. they're like ornate flower petals floating gracefully over your head. they're magical, but full of so much structural engineering and hours and hours and hours of incredible detail work!

don't believe me? pour yourself a glass of bubbly and take a look at this incredible eye candy:

studio visit at sally caswell millinery - look at all that sinamay!

her kentucky derby hats (left) are dramatic and springy! i'm dying for a sip of that mint julep. and look at all those lovely spring colors on the right! the bolts of sinamay and straw are so full of possibilities... but what's really amazing is what she does with it!

stunning sculptural fascinator by sally caswell milinery - ivory and mustard with white feathers

i'm obsessed with this scuptural little fascinator. the mustard loops are so architectural and bold, especially balanced against the fluttering white feathers.

glitter fascinator and structural silk pleated hat - sally caswell millinery

talk about an evening look! this black sparkly hat on the left makes me swoon. can you imagine it with bright red lipstick and a little black dress? i certainly can... but everyone knows i love a bold red lipstick.

and don't even get me started on the hat on the right. how is that even possible? the crisp pleating and scattered beading make my heart race. and those little feathers! it's such a stunning contrast of structure and airiness. it completely disobeys gravity.

still breathing? maybe top off your glass of bubbly before you scroll further down... or pour yourself something stronger. you'll need it.

swooping hats by sally caswell millinery - organic shapes and forms

what!?!? ok, these two hats had me utterly mesmerized and the swirling organic shapes left me speechless. the hat on the left is structural magic…. and i’m oddly drawn to the soft pink color which, if you know me at all, you know i’m not normally a “pink person”. and what about that stunning yellow silk abaca hat?? it is a shimmery architectural masterpiece! swooning for days! …...

my hat for the central park conservancy hat luncheon in progress at sally caswell's studio! - sally caswell millinery - darci hether new york

oh and drum roll please……. here's a sneak peak at the sweet little bespoke fascinator sally is making for me for the central park hat luncheon. i can't wait! that oversized fuchsia flower is going to compliment my dress perfectly.

are you going to the frederick law olmsted awards central park conservancy hat luncheon? still looking for your perfect hat? be sure to check out more of sally’s incredible creations at the hat shop located at 120 thompson street here in nyc!

central park is such a unique and defining part of living in manhattan.  i love that i get to help support it by attending this exciting luncheon... and even better that we can support it while looking fabulous.

cheers to central park and new york city in the spring! - Darci Hether New York


cheers ~ darci


darci hether gives her top 5 easy interior design tips to make a big impact! - darci hether new york

design secrets... 5 easy interior design tips to make an impact

darci hether gives her top 5 easy interior design tips to make a big impact! - darci hether new york

since it's finally starting to feel like spring, i thought it would be fun to share some quick and easy design tips that anyone can do! these are some simple ways to give your home that professional polish. so pour yourself a glass of rosé and relax—i promise these tips won't hurt!

design tip #1: everyone should have a leg on the island.

designer showhouse bedroom - darci hether new york

actually, make that 2 legs on the island! and what do i mean by island? your area rug! help define your seating area by choosing a rug big enough that your sofa, chairs, and side tables can have at least 2 legs sitting on the rug. this really centers and grounds the space and can help define the conversation area.

that said, i always recommend that side tables with flat bases should rest completely on the rug. don't have them teeter-tottering! you'll spill your wine. and we all know how important wine is...

design tip #1: keep at least two legs on the area rug to define a space. -- silver gold grey yellow designer showhouse bedroom - darci hether new york

take a closer look at my designer showhouse bedroom—the front legs of every furniture piece are on the rug. and that side table? completely flat on the rug.

want to learn more about area rugs? check out last week's blog post about picking the perfect area rug.

design tip #2: hang your artwork at the right height.

fifth avenue chic living room with mixed metals and abstract artwork and ornate marble fireplace - silver gold white grey - darci hether new york

being mindful of your art selections and positioning can really elevate a room. nevertheless, i have found people often make the mistake of hanging their artwork too high. here's an easy rule of thumb when considering how high to hang your art: the center of your artwork should sit between 5 and 5.5 feet off the floor. you'll be surprised at how much this can make a difference!

but with every good rule, there are always exceptions!  oversized art can come down lower, and art hanging over a sofa should be about 6-9" above the sofa.  it's all about proportions and balance. as you can see in my fifth ave living room above, the long narrow painting sits slightly lower because of its size, but the piece over the couch is about 8" above the top of the couch.

design tip #2: most people hang artwork too high! here's what you're doing wrong. - living room artwork - darci hether new york

another thing to keep in mind when hanging artwork is where you are in the room when you look at it. smaller artwork, no matter how big the matte and frame, is better appreciated close up. i like to hang it on smaller walls, or in areas you walk by and can look at it closer up.

to really elevate your space, don't neglect your frames! your frames are like jewelry, and the right necklace can really make an outfit pop! if you're here in nyc, i can't recommend j.pocker enough. they're my go-to for custom framing, and the quality is exquisite.

are you feeling lost about how to curate and hang your artwork? like i said in my 5 myths about interior design blog post, the kind of help a designer can provide is more varied than you might think! one of my favorite services to provide is finishing touches. we can help you select artwork and shop for your finishing touches that will style your home to impress.

design tip #3: white linens only.

design tip #3: choose white linens for the bedroom and bathroom, and here's why. - darci hether new york

i always encourage my clients to go with all white sheets and towels. white linens are elegant and above all practical. they're neutral, they go with everything, they don't fade, they're easy to clean or bleach... and if you ever need to refresh them you only need to replace 1 or 2 pieces instead of struggling to color match a full set. your pillowcases looking a little worse for wear? with white linens, you only need to buy new pillowcases, not a whole new sheet set!

there's nothing quite like the soft embrace of a high-quality sheet... and did you know the average person spends 229,961 hours in their lifetime sleeping?

my go-to for my clients is frette's chic but simple hotel collection sheets, and i love their triplo bourdon towels. their linens are luxurious perfection.

fresh white linens are mandatory! these are my go-to for my clients - darci hether new york

a. hotel collection sheets // b. triplo bourdon towels

these linens will make you feel pampered every day. for more advice about designing a bedroom to help combat insomnia, take a look at my blog post about creating a serene bedroom.

design tip #4: swatch paint colors on masonite.

design tip #4: picking paint colors can be a challenge. here's a life hack to make it better! - darci hether new york

are you thinking it's time to repaint and need to pick a new paint color? here's a trick i adore: instead of turning your life upside down to paint swatches on the walls in your space, paint the color on a 24x24 piece of masonite. it's inexpensive to pick up at the hardware store and you can walk it around the room to really get a feel for the color in the space. try it in front of each wall and in different lighting conditions to be absolutely certain it's the right color for you! this is also great if you're thinking of one color for your entire home—you might find the color looks great in one room and is too dark somewhere else. or that color you thought would be perfect for the kitchen looks even better in the living room!

one thing to consider is that color is all about lighting, and different lighting conditions can really affect the color that you see. the color of your bulbs, the light from your windows, and the time of day can all make the paint color look drastically different.

looking for the perfect paint colors? here are some of my favorites. for more information on how to pick out that perfect color, here are some more of my paint tips! if you're considering painting, take a look at these beautiful swatch book of benjamin moore off-whites & greys.

picking paint colors is simple with this neutral off-white swatch book from benjamin moore - darci hether new york

benjamin moore - white collection paint deck

design tip #5: pick a signature scent

design tip #5: pick a distinctive fragrance for your home for this surprising reason. - darci hether new york

do you remember the way your grandparents' house smelled? our sense of smell is the sense closest connected to memory. pick a signature scent for your space so you can define the memory people will have when they visit! pick scents that are subtle but nuanced, and keep in mind how those scents make you feel. here are some my favorite scents to help define your aesthetic:

pick a signature scent for your home - diptyque candles and room sprays - darci hether new york

a. 34 room spray // b. lavender candle // c. fig candle

want some more design tips and advice?  do you enjoy sipping chardonnay while looking at interior design eye candy? subscribe to the blog for weekly updates, and follow me on instagram!


cheers ~ darci


grey blue patterned area rug - fifth avenue living room - darci hether new york - interior design

get the look... patterned area rugs

how to use a patterned area rug to define a room - grey blue patterned area rug - fifth avenue living room - darci hether new york - interior design

patterned area rugs ground the room

i’m often asked just exactly where i start when i dive into designing a new space for my clients. what is my jumping off point? where do i begin? well, it usually goes a little something like this……

once i am armed with all of the juicy answers we gather from our clients' intake questionnaire — what are your favorite colors and textures? what moods are you hoping to create? how do you want to feel in your space? etc — i hit the ground running. ...and i start by running to some of my favorite area rug vendors!

while my design aesthetic decidedly encompasses crisp lines, clean silhouettes, simple color palettes, yummy textures, and fun touches of glamour, i always want to ground each space with a stunning area rug. for me, beautifully designed area rugs are like works of art that just happen to be on the floor instead of the wall! whether they are bold and dramatic or subtle and soothing, patterned area rugs are just the thing to help create an elegant and chic room!

take, for example, this photo from my fifth ave living room (above), the patterned area rug adds a whisper of soft movement to the floor, like a babbling brook. it's elegant, chic, and adds visual interest and movement.

patterned aera rugs hamptons - bridgehampton - darci hether new york - interior design

in this bridgehampton home, i chose soft grey rugs with subtle linear patterns. they ground the rooms they inhabit and add a touch of visual interest.  did i mention how soft they are to step on? swoon!!


patterned rugs showhouse - showhouse bedroom - transitional - gold accents - darci hether new york

when i designed this showhouse bedroom above, i really wanted the draperies and area rug to steal the show. mission accomplished! the grey wool lavender herringbone pattern is highlighted by the silk champagne yarns.

shopping for the perfect area rug

i have quite a few favorite places to shop for that perfect patterned area rug! below are just a few of my favorite vendors, showcasing some of their rugs in a finished room setting.

fort street studio

picking the right area rug can be a challenge! (interior by Sara Story) - Darci Hether New York

i love, love, love this space designed by sara story using fort street studio’s “twig light” rug to ground this stunning living space! like the description on fort street’s website says, this rug “creates shimmery softness underfoot” and it does so with a beautifully organic chartreuse design.

tai ping
this stunning tai ping area rug makes the room - learn more about how to use patterned area rugs in your space! -darci hether new york

i don’t even have words for this incredibly designed yacht by michele reverberi showcasing a gorgeous tai ping area rug. simply stunning!

holly hunt
holly hunt's rug explorer is a great design tool for picking a patterned area rug for your space! - Darci Hether New York
left: arabesque. right: chain maille

holly hunt has this amazing feature on their website where you can see one of their “beyond borders” area rugs in situation and — the best part — you can change the colors of the pattern to see how it might change the overall look of the room. these are a few of my favorites!

the rug company

the rug company's stunning monarch smoke rug is a patterned area rug that can really complete a room - darci hether new york

the “monarch smoke” area rug shown here from the rug company is a great example of how an amazing patterned area set against chic yet simplistic furnishings can really bring a space together and make the room pop!

picking an area rug

finding the right area rug for your space is a journey. the floor is a room's largest canvas, and i like to approach selecting a rug as one might select a piece of artwork. in the mood boards i create for client presentations, i often start with the drama of the area rug as my foundation, and build up.

mood boards living room dining room - darci hether new york - patterned area rugs

in these three mood boards (master bedroom, dining room, & living room), you can see how the rug creates a foundation for the space, but everything on top of it has a soft, muted, quiet tone. i like to let the rug really sing!


swatching patterned area rugs - darci hether new york

after i've found the perfect rug, i start swatching other textiles and architectural materials to bring it all together. interested in learning more about my design process? check out my behind-the-scenes blog post about my recent florida project, or my post debunking 5 myths about interior design.


process shots - installing patterned area rugs - darci hether new york

on the far left is a custom rug i did for a recent upper west side project. this graphic pattern really comes to life with the soft grey silks playing off the darker grey wool background.

the middle photo is from a recent master bedroom install. here’s another example of using some color and pattern on the floor, while keeping everything else quiet and simple.

on the far right, i had so much fun swooning over the possibilities when revis studio came to visit to show us their latest beautiful samples. i just couldn't stop petting this gorgeous mongolian wool below... 



with so many possibilities and so much eye candy, it can be overwhelming to get started! do you need help pulling your room together or finding the perfect area rug for your space? our finishing touches or designer on-call services might be right for you!


cheers ~ darci


martini-ready for spring! darci hether approved cocktails for a perfect hamptons bar - darci hether new york

cocktail crush... spring spirits

martini-ready for spring! darci hether approved cocktails for a perfect hamptons bar - darci hether new york
cocktails, anyone?


i looooove spring almost as much as i looooooove cocktails — and now i can get a taste of both! a few weeks ago, i blogged about crafting the perfect home bar, and i've swooned over cocktails before, but nothing compares to how excited i am that it's finally time for spring drinks! because you know what that means? summer is around the corner...

bridgehampton wet bar - hamptons home bar - darci hether new york
bridgehampton wet bar

this winter feels like it lasted far, far too long. i mean... we got 12" of snow on the first official day of spring! give me a break!

snowy winter days

if i don't look happy it's because i'm not... (but it was great for snow angels!)

when i started to get fed up with winter, i decided it was time to do a cocktail countdown to spring on instagram. these are the swoonworthy (and sip-worthy!) cocktails that made the cut! (click over to the 2nd image to see the recipes)
















and with that, it was spring!

want some tasty spring cocktail recipes for your home bar? check out this beautiful book:

take a sip of spring with this beautiful book of cocktail recipes
it's essential!


here's a toast to warm weather, fresh flowers, and spring cleaning! because you know what those means? soon it'll be time for sandals, summers in the hamptons, and adventures on the beach... cheers to spring!


is it spring yet? - darci hether new york


cheers ~ darci