Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happ New Year!

From my studio window here in California it is a beautiful day dawning. I wish the best of 2010. We believe this year will offer challenges yes but with that unlimited opportunities. May we all have the fortitude to see what those marvelous opportunities will be...Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Lobster Roll California Style!

Being from New England, I adore lobster rolls but in California it is a bit different. Yes, we use Maine Lobsters but the Bella Vista restaurant at the Biltmore Hotel in Santa Barbara adds tomato, finely chopped apple, and thin sliced avocado...a dash of hot sauce and YUM! All on a grilled panini roll.

A day in Santa Barbara

Nothing is more fun than a ride up the coast to visit Santa Barbara and the Biltmore Hotel. Beautiful California architecture. If you have seen the movie "It's Complicated" you'll appreciate this beautiful part of the world. One of my favorite haunts!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas To All!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us here at Joe Ruggiero & Associates. We wish for goodwill to all men and a Peace we can extend to each and everyone we work with every day of the year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Quenelles Lyonnaise

One of my personal favorite dishes: the pike quenelles Lyonnaise from La Grenouille in New York. These delightful little morsels are like pillows of clouds with a subtle taste. This will make any meal merry & bright.New York Times Photo Christopher Smith

Le Cirque Christmas Tree

To inspire your holiday wishes here is the Christmas Tree at the New York restaurant Le Cirque. What a delightful vision of Holiday cheer. Thanks to the New York Social Diary.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas at Macy's!

Don't think I can remember Macy's looking any better than this shot from the New York Social Diary. This is what I call Christmas Decorating. It doesn't get much better than this!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The True Meaning of Christmas!

Given to us by my parents, this has become a Ruggiero family tradition of creating a Creche (Nativity scene) as the center piece of our Christmas decorations. These figures are based on the drawings of a talented Bavarian child, Berta Hummel who later became Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel in a German convent. Born in the early 1900's Berta was encouraged by her father to draw and use her artistic talents. From her drawings molds were created in the 1930's from which these figurines were made. Each year the youngest in our family places the Christ child in the manager. Peace on earth good will to all men!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Holiday Table Setting!

From Tiffany & Co. a holiday setting that works for Christmas or New Year celebrations. Carry out the monotone theme in a festive way. I especially like the Tiffany favors at each place. Remember the idea of Sunbrella drape table cloths. Easy clean-up!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

White Christmas with Red Touches

Beth LeManach likes to use a monotone scheme for Christmas with just the right amount of red touches. Wether it be berries from the garden, cranberry on the table or red fruit. It is such a serene look for the holiday season !

Christmas Table Settings

As reported by the New York Social Diary, here is a very lavish Christmas party setting. Lot's of small presents and English snappers at each setting. How's this for festive!

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Pink Christmas Tree!

The Hotel Beverly Wilshire has created a pink Christmas tree with boquets of pink roses and mirrored boxes. What a refreshing look for the season. Only in Beverly Hills!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

More Easy Christmas Decorations!

At our house I like to keep things simple. I find it very festive to put outdoor ribbon on the top of all our ivy topiaries ( and there are a few!) and evergreen trees. They are easy to wire and easy to remove and can be used from year to year. It makes for a very effective but easy decoration.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Santa Invasion on Rodeo Drive!

There is a lot to see on Rodeo Drive In Beverly Hills California during the holidays or any time of year. This Santa invasion at the Bijan Store I thought was fun and eye catching!

Easy Decorating Idea for Christmas!

So simple. We have been placing greens (laurel,pine, balsam etc.) with a simple red satin ribbon over portraits, mirrors or doorways as long as I can remember. It really is an Early American tradition which came from England. It is easy to assemble and festive inside as well as it gives a delightful natural aroma.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Table Settings At Cosmopolitan Club

Party planner Anthony Todd's festive tables at the Cosmopolitan Club to celebrate the Save Venice Foundation. Certainly is merry & bright!

A Great Gift Idea!

I like framing my grand daughter's art work. Now, I know I am a proud grand father but I like the freedom of children's color choices and layout decisions and I personally think they are decorative if properly framed. Well, this Christmas we are giving her parents one of her pieces of art for a present. It is a great way to mark her third Christmas and one I believe they will cherish. I have several (such as this one) framed in my own home and it gives us great joy to see her creativity and encourage her to continue painting. Make sure you mark the back with the date and age of the child.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sunbrella Table Skirt for the Holidays

For those of you who asked about the table skirt in my studio...that is Sunbrella Venezia in Rosewood. The trim is also Sunbrella. This is an elegant look that is easy care and heavy wear and will be used a lot during the holiday season for serving tables and for dining. It has the look and feel of real silk.

Mix of Greens in My Studio

A like to mix dried hydrangea, fresh pine and laurel in my Christmas arangements. The subtle shades of the hydrangea in dusty pink and grey are the perfect compliment for the dark green evergreens. Here in my studio is an ever changing seasonal theme that brings dried and fresh plant materials together. I also thought a touch of red was right for the season. This is what I am looking at this morning as the sun shines in to my studio/office after a heavy rain.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Finland Log Houses

Can't help but think of the charming log construction of Finnish houses. These structures are beautifully designed and constructed by hand. Reminds me of the toy village I had under my Christmas tree growing up in New Jersey. Pictured here is such a structure at the Seurasaari Open air museum, Helsinki, Seurasaari Island.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Bauhaus Exhibit at MOMA NYC

The Bauhaus has inspired my Sunbrella pattern Chop Block. It was this Josef Albers piece of art that caught my attention when I visited the famed art school in Germany. The exhibit is now at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan. Chop Block pattern is available at Miles Talbott furniture for immediate delivery. You can see the entire JR collection at

Friday, December 11, 2009

Natural History Christmas Tree!

New York's Natural History Museum has beautiful Christmas tree with origami ornaments. What a thoughtful tree of paper treasures. Bravo!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Gift Wrap Idea!

Why not make your package part of the gift. I love this idea of using a gold wire box with packing material as the wrap for whatever is the gift. It is also real easy to get into and useful for "re-gifting" nes pas? This Christmas we will be giving, small, thoughtful and clever gifts!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Lush & Lovely Christmas Tree

What a spectacular setting at Stephanie Krieger's manhattan residence. I especially like the old world and the new and a tree just brimming with delights and lights. Wow. May your dreams be merry and bright!

Inspired Christmas Tree!

This tree is done by a famous designer and it certainly looks like he knows what he is doing! Subtle shades of jewel tones mix and match. Bravo.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Celebrate Elsa Peretti 35 years!

What a treasure this woman is to the design community. She has the same appreciation as I do for found objects. I can remember buying my wife that cuff bracelet and thinking what a beautiful object this is! Elsa Peretti is indeed a classic in this photo by Jill Krementz at Tiffany & Company. She was a great pal of Halston and Joe Eula, the fashion illustrator. What golden memories.

Sneak Peek of Fabric Market Intro!

This week upholstery manufacturers will be going to market (Showtime, High Point, N.C.) to purchase for spring furniture introductions. Sunbrella will introduce over 60 JR fabrics. Here is a peek at my "blue & white" group. From left to right: Trax/Salt, Cara/Marine, Joe's Paisley/Marine, Chevy/Marine. Although there are five other color groups, I am partial to this fresh theme which indeed is a classic look!

Monday, December 7, 2009

It's Begining to Look Like Christmas at Bergdorf!

My favorite store in New York is Bergdorf Goodman's. What a treat to see these spectacular windows as the season gets into full gear. Many happy memories of days of yore...whatever that means.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Talented Mexican Architect

Mexico City architect Claudio Gantous is one of Mexico's most talented visionaries. I met him at Javier Marin's house which he designed. What an impressive space.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Javier Marin Mexico City Designer

These "Queen Anne" inspired tables in violet resin, take on a different twist in the mind of Mexico City Designer Javier Marin. His take on design is certainly refreshing and gives the old world a new attitude!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sintra,Portugal A Treat!

There is a special feeling when you visit Sintra, Portugal. Many say "spiritual vibes" and spectacular history. It is where the Portuguese kings would vacation and here at the Palace of the Seven Sighs you will know why. The Palace is now open to visitors and has become a five star hotel. The topiary gardens are very special and overlook the countryside, only ten miles from the ocean. This is one of those jewels that is kept a secret, but now you know!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Swedish Christmas!

I am a big fan of a Swedish Christmas. The Simplicity of fresh greens, clean, crisp surroundings and candle light fill the rooms with joy! Ann Milang of Swedish Blonde company produces products for Swedish country decorating. I visited her home in Sweden and was totally charmed. Ann, an American is married to a Swede and spends time here in California and Sweden. When decorating this year think Swedish! I especially like the over-sized idea.