Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Star Struck

I've been stuck on stars as of late, and it's not the Hollywood variety that appeals to me (quite frankly, I tend to find many of those stars big bores.) No, it's the star motif that I find positively brilliant. Think Albert Hadley's "Trixie" wallpaper which, by the way, covers my study's walls and ceiling. Or those classic Moravian star chandeliers. But what's really got me starry eyed are doors with, well, stars on them. Sound peculiar? Perhaps, but you'd be surprised how many doors have been decorated with stars on them.

Take the door above, for example, one replete with bronze stars. It was designed by my parents' late decorator, David Byers, when he was a young man. I think this flourish was the result of youthful exuberance because I don't believe that he repeated this as an older, more established decorator. What I might like even more than the door, though, is the Regency clock framed in a plaster swag.

I do realize that there is a lot going on here for such a small entrance hall. There are striped walls, patterned floors, doors with stars painted on them, and vertical strips of lighting along the side walls and ceiling. And, I wouldn't recommend copying this room. These doors do not earn a gold star because they look a little cheap to me. Still, they do support today's theme of starred doors, so for that reason alone they're part of the mix.

A little difficult to see, but actor Eddie "Rochester" Anderson stands before a pair of over the top paneled doors with star insets. The doors led to a boudoir fit for a star in the 1941 film "Kiss the Boys Goodbye".

Is this room decorated within an inch of its life? Absolutely. The door frame is a bit fantastical, and the stars are repeated on the fireplace mantel.

If I were to give the star treatment to one of my home's doors, I'd probably go the easy route and use stencils for a discreet, Empire kind of look. I might even do something similar to this door, above.

And speaking of doors, here is my latest project that was just completed:

I decided to upholster the swinging door that hangs between my dining room and kitchen. What do you think? I wanted to go for a 1930s look which is why I chose the design that I did. The leather, Moore & Giles' Vienna in Deep Sea, is a gorgeous, deep blue that works well with my Farrow & Ball Powder Blue walls. The nail head trim is antiqued nickel. Thank goodness that my fantastic upholsterer, Craig Swenson, knew what he was doing. It was a leap of faith and I think he did a bang-up job.

I'm just hoping that Alfie doesn't decide to 1) slobber or 2) scratch at the door. If that happens, we're going to have a real come to Jesus quite soon!

(Image at top: House and Gardens Complete Guide to Interior Decoration; #2 from House & Garden, February, 1960; movie still from Forties Screen Style: A Celebration of High Pastiche in Hollywood ) ; #4 and #5 from House & Garden's Complete Guide to Interior Decoration)


  1. Excellent door!

    A lot of the old houses here, especially the rowhouses, have stars on their fronts. Basically, they are iron rods anchored with stars, that stabilize the old houses.

  2. Jennifer, it's beautiful! I love the design and that the upholstery makes it soft to the touch!

  3. I love the way your door turned out ! It can take a little slobber, just hope he doesn't scratch it.

  4. So much to talk over today!
    Stars designs, for some reason, always look smarter when the stars have 6 or 8 points rather than 5 (which calls to mind the gold stick on stars from grade school). I remember seeing a rococo gothick cabinet displayed in the famous Yellow Room at Colefax and Fowler, it's interiors lined in the original blue paper on which gold stars were printed or stenciled. Delightful.

    As for your upholstered leather door with nail head
    outlining~ I could not be more impressed. And envious.

  5. Love the door. Hope Alfie doesn't.

  6. It looks fantastic! I love the color. How about an electric doggie fence around the door?

  7. The door is stellar, love the deep blue (even in paint it is a wonderful door color. The sets of old Hollywood are indeed worth getting caught up in-not as much today, it is location. There is wonderful theatre in the oldies -lacking much today. I don't think that door will come between you and your beloved. pgt

  8. The door looks great. You were going for a 30's look, but that design is timeless eighteenth century; it's the leather that makes it 30's. Is it real leather; I can't see any seaming in the photo. Whatever, it looks spectacular.

  9. Wow, it looks great. You may be starting a trend...

  10. Jennifer --

    The door is stunning! So excited for you. I know you've been researching and brainstorming this idea for a while. What a perfect addition to your uber-chic digs :)

  11. You're indeed the *Peak of Chic!* The adds as
    an element that sets this dining room to a whole
    different...Fantistic!! Applause to you for having the
    courage and faith in your decision making. In addtion
    great upholstery... The man is a true artisian.

  12. Well, good luck with Alfie and the door.(Which is way beyond fabulous--your upholsterer is amazing) Jones usually does no scratch; but my poor ol' Buddy destroyed every closed door that confronted him. Have a great week.

  13. That door is FAB-U-LOUSSSS!!!!!! Great job!

    I want to do the same treatment in a few areas of my home too :)


  14. Love when people include doors, floors, ceilings in a design scheme. What a super chic door!!

  15. Wonderful! Thanks for the Peak peek - I always enjoy seeing your projects.

  16. Love your new door. You must smile every time you catch a glimpse of it.

  17. do it.
    upholster the doors just like that.
    it comes out fantastic.
    i have used that pattern many times.
    it will be smashing.

  18. That door might be one of the nicest looking things that I have seen in a LONG time. WOW!
    The color- the detail. AMAZING! Art!

  19. Your new door just made my day. I'm sure you spend hours drooling over it-haha. Love it, especially in the blue. How I would love to see the whole room *hint*. ha!

  20. Michele from Boston4:21 PM

    That leather door came out wonderfully! 'Reminded me of so many movies of the past but also the present when thinking of Miles Redd's zebra doors. It's just a wonderful touch of luxury and sophistication. Congrats!

  21. Thank you for your nod to Trixie it's a favorite of mine to.

    I have worked for the past few years for Hinson & Company (who produces this paper)and this paper is still a big seller

    Also Mr. Hadley's Firework -still fresh--Joe Probus

  22. Brad Anderson11:36 PM

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the door!!!!!!!!

  23. love what you did with the door! we have an old door that makes me cringe every time i go to open it. instead of replacing it, i may take inspiration from you, provided i'm lucky enough to find an upholsterer as wonderful as yours!