While I love every season of the year for different reasons, my favorites are definitely the transitional ones: spring and fall. I think this is because, despite all of my impatience, I really love anticipation and the excitement that comes with it. In spring, I love the ability to shed the layers of clothing I’ve been wearing for months throughout winter and in fall, I relish the opportunity to begin layering again!
Throughout the summer, my fiancé and I have been renovating our new home in Kingston, New York and, while the entire experience has been quite the adventure thus far, I have to say that my biggest dissatisfaction with the entire process has been the heat. Stripping wall paper when it’s 90 degrees inside? No fun. The hot, humid days of summer seem to have finally broken, however, and sweater weather seems to be finally (blissfully) upon us! The season has only just begun, so my current obsessions are all about autumnal anticipation— the accouterments of a lovely upstate weekend, from fall reading to my favorite items for cooking. Let’s hear it for fall! —Max
1. Hudson Made Worker’s Soap — One of the first things I do to celebrate fall is to surround myself with richer, spicier smells and flavors. This hearty soap, handmade in the Western Adirondacks, features the scents of tobacco, cedar, and patchouli—a warm combination that is reminiscent of a walk in the woods.
2. Washington Irving — Like any good Hudson Valley resident, I went and picked up an old copy of Washington Irving’s Sketchbook as soon as I could. With classics like Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, the stories set the tone for the season and no fall bookshelf or coffee table is complete without it!
3. Billy Balls — Craspedia, or “Billy Balls” as they are more commonly called, are bright yellow, ball-shaped flowers that dry beautifully. For those looking to add some nature to the home during the year’s colder months, these offer a delightful, long-lasting alternative to fresh cut flowers. Put just a few stems into a bud vase and they’ll add color and personality to your space for months. I’ve had mine for over a year and they’re still going strong!
4. Glass Butter Dish — I’ve become a little obsessed with using our house’s new kitchen— mostly in the form of cooking wildly extravagant breakfasts. I love to have a dressed-up table, even if it’s just for a casual meal. I picked up this beautiful butter dish at Light House in Saugerties, NY recently and I love it. Emblazoned with the word “Beurre,” it strikes the perfect balance between practical and beautiful. Light House doesn’t have an online shop, but you can purchase the dish here.
5. Honey — Did you know that September is national honey month? I recently purchased some honey from Kingston’s farmer’s market and I’ve been using it for everything— from a sweetener in cocktails to a spread on top of toast.
6. Warby Parker Glasses — I’ve grown a little tired of my glasses recently, so I sent out for one of Warby Parker’s fabulous at-home try-on kits. The company’s glasses are beautiful and ridiculously affordable. For around $90, you get frames, a prescription, and Warby Parker will donate another pair to someone in need.
7. Vogue on my iPad — I love getting magazines, but I’ve become a little overwhelmed with the amount of paper stuff in my apartment. I still receive my shelter magazines in print form, because I like to keep an archive of them, but all other publications with shorter shelf lives (like fashion magazines) have been swapped out for digital versions. I’ve been reading my Vogue subscription exclusively on my tablet and I am loving it. With a bright backlight and vivid color, it seems that this is how fashion was meant to be viewed.
8. Schmidt Brothers Knives — We recently picked up a ton of stuff from West Elm Market for our new upstate kitchen, including these beautiful Schmidt Brothers Knives. They cut amazingly well, have attractive wooden handles, and an astonishing price tag: $50 for a basic set of three!