Fab Fridays Part 2: Get Fabulous BKLYN Contessa Style

Today’s Fab Friday features guest Nicole Dufour Durocher, aka the BKLYN contessa, who shares how she finds fabulous in her everyday life. For Part 2 of our Fab Friday feature, the BKLYN contessa shares ideas, tips and shopping resources in her areas of expertese: Art, Food, Travel + Design!

ART

The art I collect focuses on affordable + local + contemporary + vintage works.  For a master class on art collection, I particularly love the Art Style Guide published by Lydia Barry Kutko who is a brilliant art advisor based in New York City.  Below are several fantastic art resources:

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source : affordable

20×200 – limited edition prints for $20
Blanca Gomez – Illustrator based in Madrid
Dimdi – Italian watercolor artist – original art sold via etsy

source : local (NYC)

Wayne Pate – silkscreen prints
Nicole Block – Brooklyn Illustrator
Meredith Rachel – Brooklyn Sculptor

source : contemporary

Michelle Armas – colorful abstract art and prints {shown above}
Samantha French – colorful summertime paintings
Carson Converse – textile artist – modern quilts sold via etsy

source : vintage

auctions
estate sales
flea markets
etsy + ebay + craigslist

 

FOOD

Who could tire of the classic yet elegant Bellini?!  The experience is habitually luxe, the method is simple and the ingredients fresh.  Inspired by the mélange of fresh white peach puree and Italian Prosecco from my beloved Venice, I conceived the BKLYN contessa version:

Redentore
5.0 cl or 1 part plum puree
10.0 cl or 2 parts chilled Prosecco

Method
Purchase fresh blood plums {the fruit should be firm and fragrant when ripe} – remove the skin and stone – place the plums in either a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth – refrigerate until puree is chilled – once chilled pour plum puree into a flute and add the Prosecco.  (The BKLYN contessa Prosecco of choice is Villa Jolanda.)

Enjoy!

 

TRAVEL

Being a professional photographer, I quite appreciate the artistic value of good photography, especially when the subject is more personal by nature but not obviously so. For me, travel photography is ideal to have framed and displayed in a home as it is original, sentimental and appropriate.  I have one of my travel photographs framed and displayed in an odd, but clever place in my home…my bathroom. I snapped the photo from the Vaporetto while I was in Venice for my wedding years ago.

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I recently bought the book “Within the Frame” by David DuChemin which is full of spot on information and beautiful images.  For those who would like to improve their own travel photography here are some of my own tips:

×  Feature the emotion of the place

×  Capture the mundane or common activities in an extraordinary location

× Focus on the minutia

× Do not simply document your travels

× Respect photography as an art form

DESIGN

I believe that your home should be consciously crafted, meticulously edited and a direct reflection of one’s self, family, priorities and ideals.  For me that translates to a real focus on quality, style and thrift.

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My husband, David, found a vintage mid-century chair with walnut legs at the curb near our apartment.  Though a bit haggard with a wonky leg and significant damage to the original upholstery, it was exactly what I had been scouring ebay and craigslist to no avail for months to find.  I plan to have it reupholstered with channel tufts added to the inside of the arms and back … that is once I can decide on the fabric!  Right now I am torn between two linens … one is a vintage Belgian floral I found at an estate sale, the other is from Lee Jofa and is a solid light pewter color.  What do you think?!

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Last summer I found a gagagorgeous vintage mid-century wheat sheaf cocktail table in a country barn Upstate and I purchased it immediately for $20. Best find ever!  I have been in LOVE with wheat sheaf tables since I first saw the one in Coco Chanel’s Paris apartment at 31 Rue Cambon as a child. Recently I learned that Yves Saint Laurent had a wheat sheaf table in his Parisian home at 55 Rue de Babylone that looks to be the same as mine!

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I could not be prouder of the curbside and barn sale finds I have in my home; They are by far some of my favorite items!  Keep your eyes open… You never know what you might find while out and about!