Selected by Danielle Steel:
Elegant Accessories for a Novel Life
The Apartment by The Line – New York is familiar territory for author Danielle Steel, and not only because she is a frequent visitor (daughter Vanessa Traina is executive creative director of The Line, and around eight years old in the family photo at left). A light-filled Manhattan loft is also the star of Steel’s latest novel, The Apartment, published on May 3rd by Delacorte Press and already well on its way to bestsellerdom. The book’s titular dwelling, located in Hell’s Kitchen rather than SoHo, brings together four friends as they “embark on new, exhilarating adventures.” Having reached another milestone in her grueling new six-books-a-year publishing schedule, Steel, too, is ready for the next adventure—or at least an afternoon of browsing The Apartment, just in time to inspire some last-minute Mother’s Day shopping.
Shoes are a passion for Steel, and she is instantly charmed by the sleek yet playful styles of Tabitha Simmons. “Comfortable, pretty, fun, and feminine,” she says of the designer’s black suede flats enlivened by broderie anglaise daisies. The streamlined shapes of Proenza Schouler also catch her eye, particularly a pair of clutches in bright white leather. Either bag would slip easily into a carry-on, and Steel is enamored with Steamline Luggage’s Starlet cabin case, which she declares “so chic for my travels between California, New York, and Paris!”
Another favorite destination is the south of France, and the lushly illustrated pages of Assouline’s La Colombe d’Or transport Steel back to a bright and lazy corner of Provence. She is particularly fond of the legendary hotel’s restaurant. “My children and I go there for dinner every summer. It has fabulous food, incredible art, a beautiful garden, and a great atmosphere,” she says with a smile. “Anything that reminds me of it makes me happy and reminds me of summer with my children!”
While working on a book, Steel is ruthlessly efficient, often powering through long days of writing with the help of soft-boiled eggs and the occasional Oreo. The kitchen of The Apartment is prepared. “There is no easier meal than a boiled egg, and no nicer way to eat it than in a pretty egg cup,” she says of a porcelain version from KPM Berlin. Her love of eggs extends to caviar (best savored with a mother-of-pearl spoon, an “always-appreciated gift”) and non-edible varieties, including an ostrich egg that sits on a shelf near the dining table. “Such a chic decorating touch,” she notes, “and the speckles add some zip.”
Steel ends up in The Apartment’s luminous living room. After admiring a vintage Hermès box (“You can never go wrong with Hermès!”), she sits on the sofa and runs a hand over an alpaca throw from Tenfold New York. “I always keep throws in every room,” she says. “They can be a great color accent, and so cozy and elegant if you want to bundle up while chatting with someone on a chilly night.” And they’re best accessorized with a good book.