I’ve joked in the past about wishing I could hibernate when the temperatures drop below 70, but I wouldn’t want to miss out on cozy social gatherings. If you warm up your winter by dining and celebrating with friends and family, you will definitely find helpful advice and inspiration from our feature, “A Season to Celebrate,” pg. 38, by Valorie Hart. In this, Hart teamed up with Chef Ryan Hughes of Purloo to share tidbits, recipes and drink ideas – and of course, some great decorating tips.

For those of you who like to stay home and maximize relaxation during the winter, make sure you check out Vesta Fort’s Trendwatch, pg. 29, to see what kinds of stylish and snuggly throws, blankets and pillows are available this season from our bountiful local shops. You’ll find some great holiday gift ideas there, too.

In “Best Spots in the House,” pg. 56, Lee Cutrone gets the scoop on three kitchens and three bathrooms that will provoke your inspiration.

In “Light and Day,” pg. 48, my always-fashionable colleague, (and “Bon Vivant” blogger and editor of New Orleans Bride) Melanie Warner Spencer steps inside an Uptown gem to reveal its brand-new winter makeover. The result of the transformation is a sunny, elegant space with clean design and minimalist pops of color throughout the house.

You may notice we have a new look – creative director Tiffani Reding Amedeo has worked on this elegant design for the past few months and now we are ready to debut it for you, just in time for the holidays. We hope you enjoy it – along with our expanded coverage of homes – in the years to come.

On the Cover

Valorie Hart teams up with Chef Ryan Hughes of Purloo to show our readers how to throw a festive winter gathering full of style and substance. p. 38 
Photographed by Sara Essex Bradley

Editor’s Pick

This contemporary star sculpture, available in silver and gold, is made from aluminum with plated metallic finishes and is a sophisticated yet lighthearted decorative piece for any coffee table or bookshelf.
Courtesy of West Elm.