The Art of Fine Living Tours Presents, Italian Design in the Heart of Tuscany, Nov. 8 to 16, 2019

Join our expertly tailored tour of Tuscany's best kept design secrets. Our team will introduce you to artisans, designers, chefs, antiquaries, chocolatiers, curators, artists, and historians.  We'll address fashion, textiles, leather artistry, stained glass, paper-making, gilding, fragrance design, furniture fabrication, pietra-dura, and antiques. We'll spend a day cooking with a leading chef and tour exceptional Villas, Palazzos, and Gardens.  You'll have plenty of time to shop and explore your own passions.  To learn more about The Art of Fine Living Tours contact Leslie Tishman at 804-358-8749 or by email at Leslie.Tishman3215@gmail.com   Our Italian Design Tour is limited to just 14 travelers so book your space now. Deadline for registration is May 1, 2019. 

A view of the Duomo of Santa Maria del Fiore from our luxury boutique hotel, Antica Torre de Via Tornabuoni, next to Ferragamo' and on the Arno River.

A view of the Duomo of Santa Maria del Fiore from our luxury boutique hotel, Antica Torre de Via Tornabuoni, next to Ferragamo' and on the Arno River.

The Birth of Venus by Botticelli is one of the masterpieces we'll see on our private tour of the Uffizi Museum.

The Birth of Venus by Botticelli is one of the masterpieces we'll see on our private tour of the Uffizi Museum.

Four Seasons Hotel Atrium in the historic Palazzo Scala Della Gherardesca. Our exclusive tour group will share a luxury brunch followed by a tour of the house and gardens with the hotels general manager. 

Four Seasons Hotel Atrium in the historic Palazzo Scala Della Gherardesca. Our exclusive tour group will share a luxury brunch followed by a tour of the house and gardens with the hotels general manager. 

Perugia is famous for its chocolate. We'll tour La Casa del Cioccolato and taste the wonderful chocolates that have brought them global acclaim.

Perugia is famous for its chocolate. We'll tour La Casa del Cioccolato and taste the wonderful chocolates that have brought them global acclaim.

Our day in Perugia will include a special studio tour at Moretti Caselli Stained Glass Studio. We'll learn the foundations of this ancient art form.

Our day in Perugia will include a special studio tour at Moretti Caselli Stained Glass Studio. We'll learn the foundations of this ancient art form.

Sartori Rossi, the celebrated Bespoke Menswear Company has invited us to visit their master tailors in their Chiani workroom. We'll learn about the process of measuring, cutting, and assembling their exception Italian suits and formal wear.

Sartori Rossi, the celebrated Bespoke Menswear Company has invited us to visit their master tailors in their Chiani workroom. We'll learn about the process of measuring, cutting, and assembling their exception Italian suits and formal wear.

Our visit to Villa Gamberaia includes a delicious Tuscan lunch as well as a private tour of the villa and its celebrated gardens. One can't imagine a more beautiful place to spend an afternoon in Tuscany. 

Our visit to Villa Gamberaia includes a delicious Tuscan lunch as well as a private tour of the villa and its celebrated gardens. One can't imagine a more beautiful place to spend an afternoon in Tuscany. 

The Sumptuous Villa Pandolfini is the setting for our cooking class with Chef Luciano of Good Taste of Tuscany. We'll begin our day at the Mercato Centrale where Chef will instruct us regarding how to select the very best products.

The Sumptuous Villa Pandolfini is the setting for our cooking class with Chef Luciano of Good Taste of Tuscany. We'll begin our day at the Mercato Centrale where Chef will instruct us regarding how to select the very best products.

Our day in the Oltrarno Artisan District will include a stop at one of the best pottery shops, where you can shop for a colorful addition to your kitchen. 

Our day in the Oltrarno Artisan District will include a stop at one of the best pottery shops, where you can shop for a colorful addition to your kitchen. 

Another stop in the Oltrarno will be the spectacular shop of Angela Capoti Giuggiu, known the world over for her dramatic costume jewelry. 

Another stop in the Oltrarno will be the spectacular shop of Angela Capoti Giuggiu, known the world over for her dramatic costume jewelry. 

Our final day in Florence will focus on High Fashion with stops at the Gucci and Ferragamo Museums, the leather school of Santa Croce, AquaFlor Parfumery, and shopping at the top luxury stores in the world. 

Our final day in Florence will focus on High Fashion with stops at the Gucci and Ferragamo Museums, the leather school of Santa Croce, AquaFlor Parfumery, and shopping at the top luxury stores in the world. 

A Fresh Take for a Historic Art Deco Hotel

One of the great joys of my career is the privilege of breathing new life into a historic structure that has stood the test of time, but that has perhaps suffered from neglect. I recently had the chance to develop concepts for a building dating to 1913 that is destined to become a luxury hotel. Here is the initial materials palette and three renderings showing the future guest rooms.

The bathroom is all about the story of the building. The stylistic elements draw upon the host city and state.

The bathroom is all about the story of the building. The stylistic elements draw upon the host city and state.

A palette of greys, peacock,  and citron for a historic art deco hotel.

A palette of greys, peacock,  and citron for a historic art deco hotel.

An early concept for a corridor carpet.

An early concept for a corridor carpet.

Concept for a glass installation over the grand staircase. This installation is by Lasvit Glass in the Peninsula Hotel in Paris.

Concept for a glass installation over the grand staircase. This installation is by Lasvit Glass in the Peninsula Hotel in Paris.

Emerald green velvet and mid-century modern chair for the lounge.

Emerald green velvet and mid-century modern chair for the lounge.

In love with the David Hicks inspired wallpaper.

In love with the David Hicks inspired wallpaper.

Utility becomes ornament in this design, drawing inspiration for the coffee shop in the deco hotel.

Utility becomes ornament in this design, drawing inspiration for the coffee shop in the deco hotel.

Initial concept for the guest room. Herringbone carpet from Shaw Carpets, Bar based on antique deco bar, fabrics by Kravet, lamps by FlowDecor, mirror by Made Goods, seating by Mitchell Gold.

Initial concept for the guest room. Herringbone carpet from Shaw Carpets, Bar based on antique deco bar, fabrics by Kravet, lamps by FlowDecor, mirror by Made Goods, seating by Mitchell Gold.

Window treatment fabric is embroidered by Taffard, chair is Windsor Smith for Kravet, painting is by Leah Barksdale.

Window treatment fabric is embroidered by Taffard, chair is Windsor Smith for Kravet, painting is by Leah Barksdale.

The Cypress Room

Cypress is one of the species that always imparts a special character to a room. In this case we selected a richly hued honey cypress than envelops guests in a cocoon of warmth.  This is a dining space I did a few years ago for a lovely couple in the New York area. The cypress was located in South Carolina near one of their vacation homes. I intentionally designed the room in a strong English flavor to compliment the architecture of the dwelling. Hand-craftsmanship was critical to the simplicity of the room. It remains one of my favorite spaces. 

Designed when I was Principal of Hotel & Home at Glave & Holmes Architecture, a small regional firm in Virginia. Photography by Ansel Olson.  

This dining room became the cypress room for clients who also owned a house in the low country of south Carolina. the fret work design is from a 16th century English house. The rug is by Stark Carpets, the chandelier is by Ironwork International. Colfax & Fowler is at the windows and completes the look. 

This dining room became the cypress room for clients who also owned a house in the low country of south Carolina. the fret work design is from a 16th century English house. The rug is by Stark Carpets, the chandelier is by Ironwork International. Colfax & Fowler is at the windows and completes the look. 

the inglenook during the install. Accessories not yet unpacked. sconces are by David Iatesta. Chairs are by Hickory Chair. the honey cypress truly glows in this image. 

the inglenook during the install. Accessories not yet unpacked. sconces are by David Iatesta. Chairs are by Hickory Chair. the honey cypress truly glows in this image. 

There is a great joy in putting the final pieces in place! Firescreen is by Brad Robinson, one of my favorite blacksmiths. A collection of pewter tea pots became a passion of the owner.  

There is a great joy in putting the final pieces in place! Firescreen is by Brad Robinson, one of my favorite blacksmiths. A collection of pewter tea pots became a passion of the owner.  

Jan Tishman: A Tribute to A Great Lady

The Art of Fine Living is normally focused on beauty, travel, design, and the arts, but today I wish to share a deeply personal story. This past Sunday, March 19, 2017, Jan Tishman, my second mother and one of the most remarkable women I've ever known, said her goodbyes to this world. Over the past year she had slipped from our lives as she fought dementia with nobility and grace. Her life was so inspiring to those of us who knew and loved her, that our lives will never again feel quite as magical.

Jan's vibrant personality, her ability to transfix an audience with the stories of her travels, the great parties she hosted and attended, the "Golden Age" of New York Society, her Vermont "country summers", and the privileged lifestyle she had been fortunate to live at the epicenter of the real estate world, were always humorous, and never ever dull! But Jan was never just a society wife, rather she was a fierce advocate for children working with the Citizens Committee for Children to create opportunities for under-privileged youth and chairing programs that truly impacted the community. She was a passionate member of the founders committee for the New York Pops, never missing a concert, and was ever the gracious hostess to visiting artists who joined us in the family box at center mezzanine at Carnegie Hall. An avid equestrian, an amateur pilot, a fashion devotee, a woman who could dance the night away, and still host the perfect brunch the following morning.

For the past 30 years I have had the great honor of being her son by marriage and truly enjoyed the thousands of hours we spent together. Whether dining at the best restaurants in New York, attending the opera or ballet at Lincoln Center, shopping Madison and Fifth Avenues, decorating her pre-war apartment in a grand fashion for Christmas (in spite of the Jewish heritage of the family) or simply watching a movie together in the study while dining on Chinese takeout on her Spode Fox Hunt china. Even during the most casual of times there was always an element of charm and style.

Jan Tishman was a beautiful woman who radiated joy and love and an endless passion for life. I learned so much from her. We will never forget you our dear mother. May you find joy in the next world, but please know that your legacy will live on in each of our hearts forever.

No mother ever loved her daughter more than Jan Tishman and her beloved daughter, Leslie. Shown here in a photo for the New York Times featuring their exquisite mid-century modern apartment on Park Avenue. They would remain fierce friends for 59 years.

No mother ever loved her daughter more than Jan Tishman and her beloved daughter, Leslie. Shown here in a photo for the New York Times featuring their exquisite mid-century modern apartment on Park Avenue. They would remain fierce friends for 59 years.

Jan's fascination with Fashion began early! One of my favorite stories Jan shared was her first meeting with Givenchy. While in Spain she wired the couturier and requested a fitting for a gown when she arrived in Paris. As destiny would have it she was in his atelier when the staff rushed to the windows to watch Jackie and John Kennedy passing through the streets of Paris. She recalled a great sense of pride at being an America at that moment in history.

Jan's fascination with Fashion began early! One of my favorite stories Jan shared was her first meeting with Givenchy. While in Spain she wired the couturier and requested a fitting for a gown when she arrived in Paris. As destiny would have it she was in his atelier when the staff rushed to the windows to watch Jackie and John Kennedy passing through the streets of Paris. She recalled a great sense of pride at being an America at that moment in history.

One of my favorite images of Jan, looking elegant and so beautiful aboard the SS United States en route to Africa.

One of my favorite images of Jan, looking elegant and so beautiful aboard the SS United States en route to Africa.

Jan was a fashion plate when party bells rang, but she was also an adventurous sportswoman, playing tennis, flying planes, skiing, and always pursuing her love of all things equestrian. Shown here with her husband of 70 years, Edward Tishman.

Jan was a fashion plate when party bells rang, but she was also an adventurous sportswoman, playing tennis, flying planes, skiing, and always pursuing her love of all things equestrian. Shown here with her husband of 70 years, Edward Tishman.

Even a concussion does not stop the party! Shown here in a humorous moment with her dear friend, Skitch Henderson, conductor of the New York Pops. Both are sporting Tishman hardhats for a company sponsored event.

Even a concussion does not stop the party! Shown here in a humorous moment with her dear friend, Skitch Henderson, conductor of the New York Pops. Both are sporting Tishman hardhats for a company sponsored event.

Jan found her wanderlust early in life and traveled the world from Africa to Europe, Russia, South America, Japan, and most of the United States. Shown here, third from the left, she and Edward are on their way to Europe.

Jan found her wanderlust early in life and traveled the world from Africa to Europe, Russia, South America, Japan, and most of the United States. Shown here, third from the left, she and Edward are on their way to Europe.

A picture that truly says it all! Mother and daughter, a bond that will never be broken.

A picture that truly says it all! Mother and daughter, a bond that will never be broken.

Jeanette "Jan" Napp Tishman, 1928 - 2017, A Phenomenal Woman!

Jeanette "Jan" Napp Tishman, 1928 - 2017, A Phenomenal Woman!