Hunt & Bloom's Summer 2023 Faves
We are excited to share our round up of Spring and Summer Favorites for 2023! Disclaimer: This is an eclectic mix and a little all over the place, but we hope you take away some things that will also become your favorites. We will be launching seasonal favorite lists going forward in addition to our Holiday Gift Guide so be sure to subscribe to our email!
1. Fragrance: Maison Francis Kurkdjian's Grand Soir
If you aren't familiar with Maison Francis Kurkdjian then you should be. This French fragrance house is relatively new compared to the heritage brands. It was founded in 2009 by Francis Kurkdjian and Marc Chaya. If you do know them, you are probably familiar with their new cult classic Baccarat Rouge 540 which is an intoxicating fragrance that drew me to the brand. Recently I've started wearing their Grand Soir (French for Big Night). It's ironic because I rarely have a "Grand Soir" but I do love this scent. Here's how they describe it:
"Majestically displayed against a twilight sky carried by the warm vanilla of benzoin from Siam and tonka beans from Brazil rattled by the deep darkness of cistus resin from Spain. This ambery fragrance dresses the skin with vibrant notes as you lose yourself in the energetic pace and mystery of a meandering night in the City of Light."
It's spicy and a little sweet and incredibly moody, which is how some may describe me (Just kidding! Kind of). Some may think it's more of a wintery fragrance but I think it's absolutely suitable for year round wear.
2. Television: A Small Light (National Geographic Channel + Hulu & Disney Plus)
This is a wonderfully produced and acted biographical drama that tells the story of Hermine Gies, Otto Frank's secretary that helped hide him and his family from the Nazis in Amsterdam. It stars Bel Powley and Liev Shreiber and has gotten rave reviews. Bel Powley is especially fantastic. If you've watched The Morning Show, you'll remember her as intern Claire Conway who has a secret relationship with the show's meteorologist.
3. Book: Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfield
I don't believe I've read a book by Curtis Sittenfield that I haven't liked. I have long been a fan since she released her first book, Prep, back in 2005. Since then she's written several fiction pieces loosely based on real life people and events like American Wife that follows the life of a woman similar to Laura Bush and Rodham - don't think I need to explain this one. Romantic Comedy is set on the television show TNO, a late night sketch comedy show that is aired weekly on Saturday nights. Sound familiar? It follows the life of a female writer on the show and how she navigates an unexpected attraction to a superstar heartthrob guest host (ahem, do Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson come to mind?). It's a quick and easy read that I really enjoyed. I also feel like I learned some behind the scene secrets of the "real" show whether or not they are accurate.
4. Music: Linda Eder's Broadway My Way
You may or may not have heard of Linda Eder. If you haven't, I am doing you a big favor by including this album. This isn't a new album but it's a favorite of mine and it's celebrating its 20th year of release. I love a female singer with a big, soaring voice. Think Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson. (At this point you're probably saying, "Wait! You didn't say Barbra Streisand!" I know that. I don't love Barbra Streisand. I know, sorry. I think she has a fantastic voice, she just has never been one of my favorites).
I was first introduced to Linda Eder by accident one morning when Rosie O'Donnell's 1990s talk show was on in the background while I was doing some other things in my apartment. All of a sudden I heard this voice singing a song that stopped me in my tracks. Eder was the day's musical guest and she was singing one of her most recognizable songs, "Vienna." I was mesmerized. Her voice was perfect. Pure. Big. Effortless. She was discovered in the 1980s as a contestant on Star Search (which she won every single time until she could win no more). She was married to composer Frank Wildhorn and played the role of Lucy in Jekyll and Hyde on Broadway. She has also released several other albums, but this compilation of Broadway hits is like no other. I dare you not to listen and fall in love. Her rendition of "Don't Rain on My Parade" is surreal. Her "Man of La Mancha" perfect. My favorite is "A New Life" from Jekyll and Hyde. It is unbelievable. Once you've listened to this album search for her Star Search performances on YouTube. "I Dreamed A Dream", "Through the Eyes of Love" - a whole repertoire of big ballads is there for all of our enjoyment. You'll thank me later.
5. Fabrics - Jan Showers for Kravet Couture's Charmant Fabric Collection
Now back to new things. Jan Showers is one of my favorite designers and just such a lovely person. Earlier this year her second fabric collection for Kravet Couture, Charmant, was released and I absolutely love it. The gorgeous Fiorella and Passerine prints are offered in stunningly subtle colorways and are perfect for upholstery, drapery or decorative use. New colorways of the now iconic Lynx Dot and Bambu Fret prints from her first collection are intermixed with beautiful textures and velvets. It's a collection that's not to be missed. We are thrilled to offer a capsule collection of pillows from the collection here at Hunt & Bloom.
6. Food: Graffiti Raw, Houston
Apologies if you don't live in Houston, but if you do plan on visiting, this is a must. Graffiti Raw is a new addition to The Big Vibe Group, the masterminds by such favorites as Coppa Osteria and Flora. It opened earlier this year and is phenomenal, in my option. It's got a great, fun vibe and the food is delicious. My favorites are the Caviar & Chips, Stuffed Crab Avocado, Crab & Shrimp Fried Rice, and the burger - you can't go wrong with the burger. Also, for fans like me of the frozen margarita at Flora, you're in luck. Graffiti Raw serves it, too!
7. Easy Updates: Pillows
I've long said one of the easiest and most affordable ways to quickly update your space is to swap our your decorative pillows. Honestly, I do it all the time and it can completely transform your room. Pillows are also the easiest way to add pattern to your room if you're intimidated by committing to a bold pattern on a piece of upholstered furniture. We are so excited to be able to offer such a large selection of accent pillows in a stunning array of fabrics, most of which are in stock and ready to ship!
8. Travel: Laguna Beach
We recently took a quick weekend trip to Laguna Beach. It's strange for me to be able to take quick trips to California because for so long living in New York, traveling to California was a commitment. It basically takes the same amount of time to get to the West Coast as it does to get to London or Paris. I once did a DAY TRIP from New York to Los Angeles. Yes, a DAY TRIP. It was for work and couldn't be avoided, so I took one for the team. I don't suggest it. But since we live in Houston now, it's so easy. I've spent a fair amount of time in Orange County, but only for work. We opened two stores in Newport Beach when I worked for Jonathan Adler so I traveled there a good bit. I was excited to explore the area for pleasure and it was lovely. We stayed at the Montage which I highly suggest. The grounds are stunning and the view is amazing. Laguna Beach is very charming and the weather was perfect. I would definitely go back.
9. Podcast: Witnessed: Devil in the Ditch
This is the fourth season of Sony Music and Campside Media's hit podcast Witnessed. This season, called Devil in the Ditch, explores a two decades old unsolved murder in the Mississippi Delta. This season has been a tremendous success and has reached #1 in podcasts in the United States. But it's a little more personal to me than a normal podcast I might recommend. This murder happened in my hometown, and to a family friend - my grandmother's best friend, to be specific. Journalist Larrison Campbell (who is also the victim's granddaughter AND the very first friend I ever had- we were baptized together at just a few months of age) takes a deep dive into her grandmother's unsolved murder and returns to our hometown to investigate why it's been twenty years with no arrests and no closure Twists and turns abound and some of the revelations will leave you speechless. You definitely won't regret listening to this one.
10. Unique Greens in Floral Arrangements
Gone are the days where leatherleaf, asparagus fern and flat fern are the only foliage options available in the cut flower market. I love that much more unique greens are readily available on the cut market now. I remember when Italian and Israeli Ruscus were new and exotic to us. Now there are limitless options - mint, geranium foliage, tree ivy, jasmine, gardenia, grevillea - just to name a few. These add more texture and even fragrance. I recently incorporated a lot of mint into an arrangement for a party and the smell was amazing. Try something new - whether you're ordering flowers for someone or doing an arrangement yourself. You won't regret it.