Lunch with Carolyne Roehm and Ellen Katz at the Phoenix Art Museum (and the Encanto Home Tour)

The patron saint of blue and white visited the Phoenix Art Museum this week to share her life’s story about being an independent woman. Author and interior designer Carolyne Roehm grew up in the midwestern “boonies” and dreamed of being a big New York fashion designer. She married fabulously, was divorced oh-so-publicly, and still made her dreams come true. I loved listening to her funny, self-deprecating tales and admiring the tablescapes created by local designers in her honor. Ellen Katz always brings illustrious talent to town. Would you like a peek inside?

When Carolyne sets tables at her home(s), they look like this:

No pressure. In Phoenix, her tribute tables looked like this:


Eggs above by Azadi Fine Rugs. Gorgeous white blossom assemblage below by DeCesare Design Group.


My friends at Angelic Grove offered an impressive tower of hydrangea and orchids. They even made seashell napkin rings.

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This global scheme came from Bungalow.

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Michael Ferguson put bananas and cauliflower in his arrangement — such a fun idea.



This swan was the heroine of the ladies who lunched.


Carolyne is below in black and white polka dots, along with Ellen Katz, Sharron Lewis, Jane Jozoff, and Kathy Petsas. Ellen was best dressed, as usual — note the gold leather banding on the bottom of that incredible mint leather jacket.

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Carolyne’s new book is Flowers, featuring photographs of her sprawling gardens.

The shoe prize goes to Nancy Pendleton, in YSL.


P.S. The Encanto Home Tour returns this Sunday and is  always a relished opportunity to peer into the lives of real people and their historic homes and gardens. I like to go, stand in a corner, and observe the crazy things that people say and do. Once, a woman plopped herself on a sofa and spent 20 minutes helping herself to the homeowners’ candy dish.


Photos by myself, Haute Photography courtesy the Phoenix Art Museum, from Carolyne Roehm, and courtesy the Encanto Home Tour.