A shrinking world expands the way we live.
The new international style reflects the growing global influences on our daily lives, from the fusion foods we eat to the cross-cultural clothes we wear. China has a new Ethan Allen gallery; Dubai has its own Rodeo Drive. Europeans fearlessly decorate ancient homes with modern furniture. And Americans mix the best of English, French, Italian and Asian design for a cultured, well-traveled look. But don’t travel far; we found all the right ingredients right here in Sarasota, where sophisticates from around the world are bringing international style home.
Burke & Company’s circa 1800s painted American trunk ($5,500) contrasts with modern portrait Girl with Cat ($3,800) by Rong Ycai of Chongqing. Deco-inspired Italian spun lamp ($350) at Light Up Your Life; Donegal Carpet of Ireland’s Carrick mohair rug ($7,400) at Art to Walk On.
Photographed at Burke & Company, 527 S. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota (941) 952-0042.
A World of Style
Great finds from a league of nations
Out of Africa Explore an entire continent in a single visit to Inspiration Africa, a new boutique brimming with fine art and tribal handicrafts, from artist-painted South African ostrich eggs ($88) to an Ivory Coast Baule door ($2,600). Gallery 53, 53 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota (941) 365-4442.
Rainforest Chic Miami-hot, cutting-edge style is achieved with clean lines and exotic Brazilian woods from Ebano to Santos Palisandro by designer Pam Anast in this Peruvian-made custom buffet (price on request). Sarasota Collection Home Store, 622 Central Ave., Sarasota (941) 955-8313.
Canterbury Tails The hottest tux in town is bodacious, British and designed by Ben Sherman for a Carnaby Street approach to nights on the town. Rock stars wear the jacket ($255) without matching pants ($145); formal shirts, optional. Beau Monde, 1529 State St., Sarasota (941) 953-5111.
Vive La Difference! The straight lines of this Louis XVI gilt wood 19th-century sofa ($9,500) are more visually democratic than rococo-styled Louis XV designs or the Sun King’s excesses, and blend beautifully in today’s interiors. Burke & Company, 527 S. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota (941) 952-0042.
BFF Buddha The venerable prophet is now a hot decorating accessory worldwide for the chi, happiness and prosperity he brings to the home. An awesome collection (in myriad heights and materials) includes a 300-year-old Buddha ($5,500) at Coco Palm Gallery, 1255 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota (941) 955-1122.
Spaghetti Western San Marco’s newest jeweler offers Italy’s newest designer watch brand, Gio Monaco, in the utterly Italian-styled Hollywood ($6,615), with three carats of white diamonds and white gator band. Lakewood Design Jewelry, 8205 Nature’s Way, Suite 115, Lakewood Ranch (941) 907-3700.
Star of India This flawless gem ($3,250) replicates a palace chest in Northern India, with water buffalo horn inlay and mother of pearl skillfully patterned by a family who has passed down the art since the Moghul period. Envie Home Decor, 1411 First St., Sarasota (941) 366-7027.
Country Swedish Named for King Gustav III, Gustavian style mixes seamlessly with any décor with classic proportions, simple silhouettes and painted surfaces like the gray-blue of this charming circa 1800s clock ($5,500). Current, 83 Cocoanut Ave., Sarasota (941) 365-5323.
Venetian Class Venice’s glass artistry reaches new levels of cool with these contemporary stacking tables ($1,485 a set of three), in your choice of custom tones. Venetian-designed and made in the U.S.A. for i-tesori, 8215 Nature’s Way, San Marco Plaza, Lakewood Ranch (941) 907-9296.
Gold Standard New York couturier Charles Nolan tells us new classics like this metallic faille coat ($628) are ideal over an evening dress or jeans in Sarasota, and he expects it to sell equally well at Saks in Dubai. Saks Fifth Avenue, 100 Southgate Plaza, Sarasota (941) 364-5300.
Don’t Forget To…
– Join the collectors who travel from faraway places for pedigreed Biedermeier (1815-1848) armoires, chests, chairs and more at Elizabeth Rice, Inc., 1467 Main St., Sarasota (941) 954-8575.
- Drool over the high-tech innovative designs and museum-quality finishes in Cucine Lube’s Italian-made kitchens at Lube of Sarasota, 2628 17th St., Sarasota (941) 954-0200.
- Order an incredibly priced authentic Moroccan tile and iron table to enhance your décor indoors or out. $795 for a 48-inch square at Via Mediterranee, 1564 Main St., Sarasota (941) 955-8985.
- Sing in the rain while stomping in the most exquisite rubber rain boots ever, gorgeously embellished with Pucci prints ($175). Addison Craig, 28 S. Boulevard of Presidents, St. Armands Circle, (941) 388-3400.
- Check out Sarasota’s newest Parisian import, the Van Cleef & Arpels boutique replete with the iconic Alhambra collection at Mayors, 119 Southgate Plaza, Sarasota (941) 952-1945.
Who’s In Store
Under the radar no more, Tatyana Sharoubim and partner Joe Seidensticker have come out in style. Their über-elegant new T. Georgiano’s shoe salon has instantly become a go-to haven of the best of Italy’s most coveted names, a brick-and-mortar complement to their stunningly successful online boutique.
“Joe and I are partners in business and in life,” Sharoubim says when pressed about the partnership (we had to ask). The 20-something pair, who met while attending Rollins College in Winter Park, took over her father Makram’s upscale Raleigh, N.C.-based Georgiano’s Shoe Salon when he died in 2005. Within months the cyber store www.tgeorgianos.com was born.
“We figured if we built an online business based on my dad’s passion for great shoe design and customer service, we could live wherever we chose,” Sharoubim says. They chose Sarasota. Two years later, with customers clamoring for more than appointment-only shopping in their Fourth Street showroom, they’ve come full circle with a nouveau-Venetian store complete with Dad’s signature chandelier.
T. Georgiano’s, Whole Foods Market Centre, 1409-B First St., Sarasota (941) 870-3727
Well-Heeled “I love boots, and wear high heels every day,” Sharoubim exclaims. “Five inches is as high as I go, but I’m giving my feet a rest today [in three-inch sandals].” Mario Bologna satin floral appliqué sandals ($1,500) with Swarovski crystals.
Can’t Live Without “Boutiques like Stitch, Beau Monde and Jane. Now instead of us going to Tampa to shop, people from Tampa come here for fashion and style.” Exotic skin bags by Ema G.G. Firenze are exclusive to the store in the U.S.; the blue silk alligator model goes for $2,000.
What This Town Needs “We need to keep the old stores we love along with new ones like Brooks Brothers that are energizing downtown. Little shops like Toy Lab make Sarasota unique; we don’t want to become an overgrown Naples,” Seidensticker says.
Cafe Society Riedel of Germany puts a new spin on the European café tradition of serving wine in tumblers with Tyrol, a series of six varietal-specific glasses from chardonnay to syrah. The first no-stem glasses with a solid base to reflect light and provide a comfortable handhold, each is shaped to elicit the wine’s best flavor ($32 in sets of two) at www.williams-sonoma.com and The Tabletop, 205 West Venice Ave., Venice, (941) 485-0319
Green Tea Who wouldn’t lust after this contemporary jade tea set made in Yixing, the Chinese pottery capital known for exquisite teapots since the Ming Dynasty? Modern sculptural teapot and two cups ($300 for the set) are carved from Xu jade, one of China’s finest varieties. (Tray, $250, is from the Chonggin Zheng jade collection). Envie Home Decor, 1411 First St., Sarasota (941) 366-7027.
Global Views Abstract expressionist Michael Judge has lived and worked in Poland, Spain, California, D.C. and more. His new 12,000-square-foot gallery (“it’s more like Andy Warhol’s Factory”) exudes international élan with art from giclées printed on site ($500 and up) to Mark Chew sculptures, Sir Joshua Reynolds paintings (circa 1740) and works of his own. Modern Times Gallery, 1962 Main St., Sarasota (third and fourth floors), (941) 365-2800.
Euro-style sofas that will knock you off your feet.
French Connection Pas Si Classique by Ligne Roset is “not so classic” but definitively contemporary and elegant, with pieces connected in myriad ways to form architecture in the home. $4,875 at Ligne Roset, Miami Design District, 160 NE 40th St., Miami (305) 576-4662.
Great Danes The late Danish design legend Erik Jorgensen’s studio lives on with fresh young talent creating new icons like Rotor (from $4,099), which morphs from loveseat to tête-à-tête sofa or chaise longue as you reposition its backrests. dkVogue, 1549 State St., Sarasota (941) 955-2600.
United Nations Natuzzi’s new modular Fashion sectional ($7,500) hasn’t hit Sarasota yet, but its chic Italian-made leather furniture is sold in 123 countries on five continents in select showrooms like Florida Leather Gallery, 5259 S. Tamiami Trail, (941) 924-1404
Melting Pot American-made but Euro-chic in spirit, the Artek sectional by Lazar Industries (from $5,050) expresses the multinational flavor of furniture design and a one-world approach to contemporary decorating. Living Walls, 1311 Main St., Sarasota (941) 957-4411.