Thursday, May 31, 2007

Hi-Lo Style

For the times when we want to achieve the look for less, here are some high-end inspired look alikes:

If you're a fan of Clarence House's "Flowering Quince" wallpaper, seen above in the home of Domino editor Sara Ruffin Costello, you can achieve a similar look with Urban Outfitter's "Flowering Branch" bedspread:

This modern Chinoiserie lantern from Mallett is "price upon request". If that's enough to make you click the page, perhaps you might like the Bamboo Chandelier below from Gump's.

We're still having a Baroque moment, and this porcelain mirror from Vivre would make Dorothy Draper proud. For something a little less opulent (and less expensive), the mirror below from Jayson Home is a more subtle nod to this over the top style.

Coffee, Tea, or Sea?...Tiffany & Co.'s "Sea Urchin" teapot and its more ornate counterpart "Reef" teapot at Anthropologie below

Shell chic- Ruzzetti and Gow's version above, and the more affordable ones from Williams Sonoma Home below

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Debo's New Home

Chatsworth, located in Derbyshire, has long been the standard to which British estate owners aspire. When Andrew, the 11th Duke of Devonshire, inherited the property in the 1950s it was drowning in debt, a fate that unfortunately was and still is quite common for these large estates. Andrew's wife Deborah the Duchess of Devonshire (commonly known as Debo) was up to the challenge of running such an estate, and she instituted a variety of businesses such as a farm shop that brought in much needed revenue.

Andrew died recently, and Deborah has in turn become the Dowager Duchess. She has also moved out of the "big house", turning it over to her son and daughter in law, and is now living in a smaller house on the property known as the Old Vicarage. With some help from London decorator David Mlinaric, Deborah has created a comfortable and cozy house, much in contrast to her former grand residence. What I find interesting is that at age 87 she has made some rather daring choices- just look at the silver foil-papered powder room! The living room is a mixture of overstuffed upholstered pieces, so characteristic of the English country look, and sleek brass trim on the walls. Deborah's art collection is just as eclectic, with traditional oil paintings, modern pieces, and photos of Elvis, her idol, displayed. All in all, a slightly eccentric home for a singular personality. After all, she was one of the Mitford sisters.

(The Dowager Duchess has written numerous books on Chatsworth, including: The Duchess of Devonshire's Chatsworth Cookery Book, Round and About Chatsworth, and Counting My Chickens... And Other Home Thoughts )

Photos of her dining room and the stairwell

View of the living room

The silver powder room with Elvis, and Elvis again on the mantle

Photo of Chatsworth, circa 1985, by Derry Moore

(Photos of Old Vicarage from W Magazine, May 2007)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Charlotte Moss Townhouse

Last week I visited the new Charlotte Moss Townhouse (located on E. 63rd St.). I was quite anxious to investigate the store as there has been so much buzz about it. I can now say that the shop is well worth the hype.

The shop is five stories, with the fourth floor devoted to her offices and design business. When I entered the store, a staff member advised that I start on the fifth floor and work my way down. The interior of the townhouse is absolutely gorgeous. Each room is a little jewel box with beautiful wallpapers, curtains, cabinetry, and well, everything! On the fifth floor, there was a front room that was draped in a fantastic striped fabric. There were ikat print pillows, Chinoiserie side tables, and other Asian type accessories. The back room contained stationery and new design books, including Moss' "Winter House" and others. Off of this room, there was a chic little terrace with black treillage. Moss did a great job with the terrace.

The third floor was comprised of the Bedroom and the Library. The bedroom is truly every woman's dream. There is a huge four poster bed that is draped and swathed in Moss' fabric for Brunschwig (the website says that it is "Edith's Reverie"); there was also linen galore, particularly the Valombreause line. For those of us who cannot buy enough vintage design books (and I think that is most of us!), the Library is chocked full of old books on design, etiquette, entertaining, and all of the other "finer" things in life. I remember seeing a book on Diana Vreeland, a "Tiffany Tablesetting" book (the one from the 1960s), and a 1930s (?) book on marriage. The Library is painted dark grey and is rather masculine in a very tailored way. Another interesting room is the Cabinet of Curiosities, which is off of the Library. There are cabinets that contain Wedgwood basalt pieces, creamware, and other antique knick-knacks. The ceiling is papered in a variety of old maps.

The second floor has an interesting room at the front in which vintage couture gowns are displayed (quite magnificent). You can also find jewelry such as some shagreen cuffs in bright colors and Sorab & Roshi jewelry (you can also find luxe bedroom slippers in this room!). The hallway that connects this front room to the back Dining Room is filled with cabinets of William Yeoward crystal and vintage silver table accessories such as salt cellars. There are floor to ceiling cabinets in the Dining Room which display china (unfortunately I can't remember which patterns- my mother and I became distracted by some mirrored Chinoiserie placemats, which fortunately she bought). The ballgown-like green silk taffeta curtains are also to die for.

Finally, on the ground floor is the Conservatory with different types of garden implements, Charlotte Moss candles, and porcelain and ceramic fruits and vegetables. Oh, and Moss' pagoda logo is found throughout the house in both the decor and on various gifts (just look at the door handles above).

So, that's the tour of the Townhouse, and I hope I haven't put anyone to sleep! Something I almost forgot- the entire staff was so helpful and friendly, something that can be rare in some New York shops. It's definitely worth visiting the next time you're in New York.

Illusion Tables

The drapery motif has been used on all types of furnishings: on chairbacks, sconces, and even urns. One of the most striking uses of "faux drapery" is on tables, creating tableaux that look as though they are covered in draped folds. The most celebrated of these types of tables is a galvanized tin table designed by John Dickinson. Here are a few others that have been created from contemporary acrylic as well as natural materials.

Tin and Brass Table with Draped Folds by John Dickinson, at Paul Marra Designs

Acrylic illusion table designed by John Brauer,available at Velocity

"Draped Linen" Table in Rattan by Soane

Cloudy acrylic illusion table at C. Bell Palm Beach

Photo at top: two different vignettes at the offices of Parish-Hadley, both featuring Dickinson's table

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Strong Stationery

I've long been a fan of Mrs. Strong's stationery. Their notecards are so simple, yet so stylish. They hearken back to the days when people actually wrote notes rather then emails. And while I still love their notecard designs, I think that I may like the lined envelopes even more! For the Spring & Summer collection, the envelopes are lined with abstract florals, geometrics, and asian motifs. Which do you prefer- the card, or the envelope???

"Beach" Collection notecards

"Pink Feather"



Image at top: "Days of the Week" cards

Be Back Soon

I'm off to New York for a design field trip. I'll be back at the end of the week and hope to be able to share some new finds with you!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Domino Dish

Last night I attended a party in honor of Domino Magazine which was held at Pieces, one of Atlanta's favorite stores. It's always fun to peek around this shop which is filled with some fabulous, well, pieces. The furniture and accessories, however, were not the only draw- Miles Redd and Rita Konig, amongst others, were there to celebrate the recent Domino article on Atlanta shopping. Here are a few fun photos of the evening:

Conde Nast has also rolled out a new ad campaign called "Point of Passion" that features various artists and tastemakers representing each of their magazines. And guess who is in the ad for Domino? Albert Hadley! Here is an image of the ad, which is great because Hadley is featured in his apartment, a home that I truly love (although I've only seen it in pictures!).

Albert Hadley was photographed for Condé Nast's Point of Passion ad-campaign in his New York City apartment, just off of Central Park.

Outdoor Entertaining

Summer's almost here and with it comes long languorous days that beg for outdoor entertaining. Here are a few stylish items that are sure to make your outdoor parties picture perfect.

"Tropica" bamboo and rattan folding chair from Anthropologie

Plastic Fantastic rubber table from Studio JSPR

"Blue Ditto" pillow by Madeline Weinrib

Crochet votives by Two's Company at Vivre

Kim Seybert patent leather coral placemat and coral branch napkin at Vivre

Nouvel stacking tumblers at Moss

"Raj tent" at Raj Tent

Photo at top by legendary lensman Slim Aarons

Monday, May 21, 2007

WASP Style

For those who want an inside glimpse of the WASP lifestyle, you should read "A Privileged Life: Celebrating WASP Style"by Susanna Salk. Salk, who grew up in Essex, Massachusetts and attended Milton Academy, is obviously quite qualified to write about this unique and iconic strata of society. There are photos galore of everyone's favorite WASP icons: C.Z. Guest, Babe Paley, Katharine Hepburn, and Brooke Astor. In addition, there are photos and commentary regarding WASP fashion, WASP lifestyle, WASP food and drink (including a recipe for a Bloody Bull), and WASP homes. The "Homes" section features a photo of Paley's Round Hill, Jamaica home as well references to Sister Parish and Mario Buatta.

In the spirit of this charming book, I thought I would post a few photos that to me capture this lifestyle.

Living room decorated by "Prince of Chintz" Mario Buatta

Living Room of decorator Libby Cameron

Home of Palm Beach decorator/doyenne Pauline Pitt. The dog-motif paintings and floral print fabric are quintessential WASP.

Library in home of McMillen Inc. designer Betty Sherrill (photo courtesy of New York Social Diary)

Home of the ultimate WASP- C.Z. Guest