Monday, June 27, 2016


This month's window display at the Boutique features Astier de Villatte ceramics (a blog about this company was posted earlier this month), Sabre flatware, Biot goblets, and a vintage D. Porthault tablecloth. A Francophile's delight !!

We found a vintage D. Porthault tablecloth that was very loved (it had several small holes) and had Galante Studios (yes, they are back!!) repurpose it for us into jewelry rolls, round jewelry cases and trinket trays. Only in stock for 1 day and sold a set already.......better hurry and get yours ! (3 sets left)

Our fully stocked secretary is a paper addict's delight ! Too many cute items to mention, but you need to come in and see for yourself. Grosvenors, The Printery, Mrs. John L. Strong and Bernard Maisner to name a few.

We who still love to write letters and most assuredly receive so called "snail mail", don't need this list. However, we would like to remind all of you who have let your social letter-writing skills lapse, that there are MANY good reasons to sit down and pen a note to a friend, a family member or even someone you may know just a little. It will make their day !

While in New York, Leta had a wonderful time with her client at Claremont Furnishing. Well, looking at all these goodies.....who wouldn't have fun ? 

Have I lured any of you onto Instagram? I hope so, but if not, look for your weekly tidbits in my weekly Instagram 5 postings.


Saturday, June 25, 2016


I love my fragrances and I am very discriminating when it comes to home scents. I naturally gravitate toward aromas that you might find around the house and garden.....say a nice jasmine or rose bouquet wafting in from the yard, or a fresh squeezed lemon scent from the kitchen sneaking its way through the rest of the house.

Japanese Black Current

I have discovered that, as a rule, these very refined and subtle fragrance attributes are what I expect from our European lines whose famous "noses" have had generations of experience crafting just the right formulas to tempt our olfactory senses. However, rules are made to be broken and I have found that I just adore the fragrances created by Nest.

Lemongrass and Ginger

Laura Slatkin founded Nest in 2005 after she and hubby, Harry, sold their acclaimed candle company (Slatkin and Co.) to Limited Brands, Inc. However, their expertise in creating new and fabulous candles and perfumes continued as they developed Private Label fragrances for 80 luxury brands including Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Jonathan Adler and Tory Burch.

Cedar Leaf and Lavender

A few years later, Laura took the company a step further by developing Nest's own line of candles, reed diffusers, soaps, lotions and perfumes.

Sicilian Tangerine

My secret Nest addiction is the Grapefruit scent. I always love this tangy and fresh fragrance when a company gets it right and Nest has indeed gotten it right !


We just restocked our shelves with six Nest fragrance beloved Grapefruit, Sicilian Tangerine (which may be my new is superb!!), Bamboo (our #1 seller), Cedar Leaf and Lavender, Japanese Black Current and Lemongrass and Ginger. I must say, I do like them all.


There are Standard Candles, Votive Tea Candles, Reed Diffusers, Hand Lotions and Liquid Soaps in each of the scents. You will find testers for all but the soap (we are hoping you don't need to test this, although you never know as we have had customers "test" the Santa Maria Novella toothpaste !)  Why not stop in to the Boutique for a whiff? You'll find that these fragrances are just perfect aromas for our wonderfully balmy (bloody hot) summer days.

Classic Candle $40.

Votive Tea Candle $16.

Reed Diffusers $42.

Hand Lotion $24.

Liquid Soap $22.

We are birds of a feather, you and I, so I know you will enjoy these classically crisp, clean scents from Nest in your home just as I enjoy them everyday in my store.


Sunday, June 19, 2016


One of our favorite pictures from Farrow and Ball's "The Art of Color". The serenity of the room leads your eye right out the window to that idyllic ocean view.

People we love ! "Vreeland" floral fabric from Sister Parish, "Diamond Dot" from Lewis and Wood, Zebra rug from Stark carpet and tile from Paris Ceramics.

House Beautiful published this "family tree" of American designers. See if you can spot a familiar name. (hint....initials are L A F)

We recently had one of our lines pictured in Architectural Digest.  This gold-trimmed Herend china which is distributed exclusively by Au Bain Marie, Paris, is one of the most beautiful designs I've ever seen.

What little girl (or big girl for that matter) would not want to have a Pink Coeur Porthault 
bed ?  It looks idyllic in this garden setting.....that is, until the mosquitoes come calling !

Don't forget to check out the rest of our posts on Instagram.  Until next time.....


Wednesday, June 15, 2016


A few years ago, we found this inventive, artsy yet traditional-looking ceramic ware in the heart of Paris. We fell for the scalloped edges, the whimsically-shaped bowls and the white patina finish on all their pieces.

There are so many styles and shapes that I can only put a dent in their offerings here on this blog. We were drawn to the simple, classic styles first and later were lured by the popcorn dotted bowl edges and the daisy and star-shaped plates.

If you are a person, as I am, that has a hard time choosing just one bonbon from a counter filled with overstuffed candy jars, then you are in for a real treat with Astier de Villatte. Since the milk-wash finish is the same on all pieces, you are at totally liberty of choosing pieces from several different collections and they will all work together happily.

There are teeny tiny bowl at one end of the size spectrum and giant service platters at the other. 

The thin, yet very durable ceramics, are almost weightless. They stack well and withstand a very rough handling despite their delicate appearance.

Astier de Villatte crafts their ceramics by hand from black terracotta clay.   They use a special technique which leaves deliberate imperfections on the surface so each piece is unique.  All of their pieces are created in a Bastille workshop that used to house Napolean's silversmith.

Surprisingly, this collection is microwave and dishwasher (I'd use the top rack) safe. It really is meant to be used every day. 

We chose four different collections to stock in the Boutique. The Dinner, Salad and Dessert Plates are from Bac. The bowl on top is a Daisy pattern. The other bowl in the foreground is Creuse. The bowl in the back, on the right, is Marguerite as are the teeny tiny bowls center back.

 Our service bowls are all from the RĂ©gence collection.

We are enamoured by this collection as you too will be once you hold it in your hands. Please take a peek the next time you come in to the Boutique. If you would like us to send you a piece on approval, please contact Betty. Once you fall for this line, you will exclaim "mon Dieu !! How did I live so long without owning a piece (or 200)?"


Sunday, June 12, 2016


Back again with little snippets of info from the world of Leta Austin Foster. Leta was traveling this week, so the Design Office posts are missing. We will be back on track with insights into Upstairs & Downstairs (Design Office & Boutique) next week. For now, I have some fabulous things to show you all.

We wrote about this company, Il Prato, before. We (and our customers) are in love with all their whimsical paper designs...especially the Elephant and Ugo y Bepi. Ugo and Bepi happen to be two dachshunds (one short hair and one long) that belong to the owners of Il Prato. This tiny shop is tucked away in one of the many adorable vias of Venice, Italy. Leta's grandson discovered the line on a trip to the seaside port with his Nonni, Leta, about 10 years ago. It has been a super seller in the Boutique ever since.

I wanted to show you how marvelously all the D. Porthault designs work with each other. No need to pick just one when you can mix two or three ! Shown here are Tigre, Matisse and Coeurs all in blue....It is actually an aqua color if you want to get technical. All three designs come in sheeting fabric for your bed and terrycloth for your bath.

We all fell in love with this new stationery line from London, Grosvenors. Here is a picture of enclosure cards... Daisies have color-coordinated envelopes and Bug Love has a sparkly envelope liner.....too cute !! AND they come in the most adorable little boxes which would look so perfect sitting atop your desk as a reminder to include a spiffy note with your presents.

Once again, our beloved D. Porthault. Sheets and towels in lovely Violette Pink design. Not a day goes by that someone doesn't swoon over these charming furnishings. Come see for yourself.....there are SO many designs you will love.

We wanted to remind all our Palio lovers that we are filling in our stock for the Boutique, so now is a prime time to have us sneak in a few things for you. Maybe you would like to add a Biscotti Jar or two to your collection. They also make very sweet pitchers, oil and vinegar cruets, salt and pepper sets and a teapot. The service plates are to die for !! Give us a jingle if you'd like to add to our order.

Check out our Instagram account for more daily updates. Ciao, Betty :)


Tuesday, June 7, 2016


We have been very conscious of how discarded plastic harms wildlife and generally makes our beautiful planet ugly !! This week Leta saw a black plastic bag rolling across a bridge and just insisted on chasing it down. Hooray, Leta ! You may have saved a life and you definitely helped to keep Florida clean :)

We are filling in stock and reorganizing our shelves. If you need some of your favorite fragrance during the summer, don't hesitate to email or call the boutique. We ship world-wide !

Now is the time to think about ordering your Christmas cards. Photo cards are the easiest to plan ahead. You can have the cards printed and return-address envelopes all set to go. Just add your photo when you are ready to stamp and mail. One less last minute holiday chore !


A fun visit from Holland and Sherry Interiors and CC Milano. They had so many new things to show us !

Just a reminder of our children's sale. 50% off lots of clothing and shoes. Call or email for particulars on items you might be interested in purchasing.



Monday, June 6, 2016


Our Summers are spent shopping for the store. We are designing clothing and bed linens, looking for unique China patterns and sourcing and curating a very special blend of hard-to-find ( yet highly sought after ) lamps, desk items, stationery, fragrant soaps and colognes, toys, books and all sorts of other accessories for your home.

Yes, Bug Bags have been a hit !!

This past week, we have been on the lookout for special wrapping papers and the ribbons, tags and bags that go with them.

Bugs, Alligators and Sealife have been Super popular.

Alligators are always big in Florida !

How cute would these be with Puppy Dog ribbon ?

We already have THE cutest collection of wrapping paper I've seen anywhere. We have them separated into color palettes to make it a bit easier to read.

Aquas and Yellows (Love the Birds !)

Black and White....these look super with Hot PInk satin ribbon !

Orange, Pinks and Reds

Brown, yellow, gold and Faux Boix wraps

We have baskets of ribbons, also in color stories, so you have a lot of choices to tie up your prize.

Pinks and Golds

Mints, Whites and Corals

Blues and Silvers

Some of our papers are a solid color or a geometric print, so our French ribbons by-the-yard are just the accoutrements for these wraps !

Ribbons vary from $2. to $5. a yard

"Oranges" French ribbon

"Pea Pods" French ribbon

"Puppy Dogs" French ribbon

"Gator" French ribbon

"Piggies" French ribbon

"Waves", "Veggies" and "Squares" French ribbons

If a whole roll of wrapping paper is more than you want, we also sell single sheets. These lips and floral design sheets by Midori are hand blocked and the designs are printed on recycled, handmade paper. They are true works of art and would be perfect to cover a hatbox or file box that you will have on display.......they are THAT pretty !

 More cute handmade printed papers by Midori. Wait until you see the new ones that we have ordered ! They should be in stock in 2 weeks. I'll post them on Instagram 5 post when they come in.

The most unique wrapping paper we have is one you'll have to order . It takes about 2 weeks to order, but no one will have the same wrapping paper as you. Just choose a design from a library of choices, choose a color to print it in......and, if that weren't may add a monogram if you choose.

Animal Themes

Sport Themes

Florida Themes

Can you think of a more perfect present for the friend who has everything, or the daughter who MUST have her initials on everything ?

Choose a monogram to add.

Choose a color for your print and monogram !

Don't forget, the beautifully wrapped package is almost as important as the present inside. If you're like me , you'll even save a pretty paper and ribbon to reuse on someone else's present and hopefully the recipient will do the same !