Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Jewel Box

Dean Farris Interior Design (c) 2015

What fun to live in a little jewel box by the sea!  This image resonates with me, it's my Naples living room, inspired by many different things~ but it does remind me somewhat of the Fifth Avenue apartment of Mary Gilbert, in New York, where I met her friend, Hurd Hatfield.  Hurd had played Dorian Gray in the movie version of the Oscar Wilde novel.

Mary's flat- decorated by the firm of Marshall-Schule, was an over the top confection, inspired by the Brighton pavilion, and Russian palaces.  It was elegant and beautiful.  Just like Mary.  Ned Marshall is a superbly talented decorator and colorist, and is living in New Orleans.  A fellow native of the great state of Georgia, he's a true Southern gent.  Happy Memorial Day weekend, and Happy Summer! Enjoy! DF *****
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Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Young Designer in New York

My small flat in NYC,  DFID
My dear Mother found these old pictures recently, and shared them with me.  I was 27 or so when they were taken, by the now very well respected photographer, Stewart O'Shields.  Stew and I attended FIT at the same time.  I was working as an assistant to the society decorator, George Clarkson, and learning the ropes from him, a fantastic gentleman and mentor.  Most of George's clients were from old line Wall Street firms, and so, I was exposed to the finest English antiques and the highest level of taste and quality.  The gilt sunburst had been one of dozens, from the old Waldorf-Astoria ballroom, which we found one day in the basement of antiquaire Paul Martini~ the table was draped in a sheet, and my sofas doubled as beds, which I had custom upholstered in the Brunschwig chintz "faux bois".  My mother gave me the beige wool rug, and I painted the walls myself with a Benjamin Moore deck paint in high gloss.  I also added the mirrored wall, in squares.  Lamps, Hansen, toss pillows, Rose Cumming.  

1980's glamour in Manhattan  DFID

That fabulous black lacquer desk I'm standing next to, was attributed to James Mont*, and I discovered it at a wonderful downtown dealer called Robert Gingold...he would go to Paris and find things.  I think the small low table was from Macy's.  Notice the cigarettes!  I used to play Alberta Hunter songs and smoke away...one time Tice was there, and he accused me of copying the apartment that Albert (Hadley) had helped him with, which was even smaller than this one!  Then he re-arranged the furniture and left! Parkin Saunders brought my chandelier, which I never hung...it was an old gilded brass late Victorian number.  And, I never quite got around to ordering the red taffeta festoon shade for my one window.  But, I always saw it as if it was there.  Imagination is a very powerful thing, and I still use it today as part of my way of living and dealing with daily life. Enjoy! DF *****

*Read more about James Mont here
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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Passion for Fashion

Iris Barrel Apfel via Bing Images

OK ! I saw the new film "Iris" last night, and haven't enjoyed anything so much since I saw the play about Diana Vreeland years ago, at the Manhattan Theater Club...(Full Gallop)...

This is what I saw when I came out of the cinema !
When one has a strong point of view, one has STYLE ! The fire of passion burns eternally for the shrines of fashion~and Iris certainly has the passion, the grand passion - she and her husband Carl, founded and ran the iconic textile house, OLD WORLD WEAVERS, for over forty years, then sold it to STARK...we represent both OWW and Stark in our showrooms, MP Interiors, at the fabulous Miromar Design Center.  This morning I reviewed some of Madame Apfels fabrics with a fresh eye, after having seen her in "Iris"~and I still vividly recall the Venetian elegance of her showroom at the D and D building.  It had the most sublime hushed and calm atmosphere...Enjoy! DF *****

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Charming Cashiers, NC

Lunch at Cornucopia, Cashiers, NC 
In the late 1800's wealthy planters from the low country of South Carolina would escape the Summer heat by going to quaint and charming Cashiers, North Carolina.  Over 3,500 feet above sea level, it's a small village surrounded by luxury homes and condominiums, as well as country clubs...the New York Times described the difference between the "sister cities" of Cashiers and Highlands (10 miles away) as "Cashiers is a little bit country, and Highlands is a little bit country club..."my family and I recently enjoyed a visit to this mountain retreat.

A Summer Place, design shop, Cashiers
I adored the rustic elegance of this small shop, up on a hill, called A Summer Place.  The town of Cashiers is chock full of antiques and design businesses, catering to the resort patrons.  Our lunch on Saturday was a fabulous crab cakes on salad greens with bloody mary's...

Interior Enhancements design shop, Cashiers

Rhododendron
  
Patio behind Cornucopia, Cashiers
The mountain air was so fresh and clean, and the beautiful Summer flowers such as poppies were everywhere, plus the magnificent rhododendron ~which I believe are related to mountain laurel...I also picked up this cute book in the Cornucopia gift shop...

Enjoy! DF *****
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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Musee' Nissim de Camondo

Musee' Nissim de Camondo, PARIS

The superb quality of everything in this salon inspires me with the authenticity of the 18th century~Monsieur de Camondo was a collector with a fabulous eye!  Fortunately his home was saved from pillaging by the Nazis, since it had already been formally declared as a decorative arts museum by the French government.

Le Salon Bleu, Musee' Nissim de Camondo
What really appeals to me is the way these colour palettes are not coordinated! In the sense of how modern decoration is so often created with a paint by numbers approach...And of course the excellent quality of everything contained within is so extraordinary~did you know that in France, there are laws protecting companies such as Chanel, and that if you were caught buying a counterfeit hand bag you could be fined 300,000 euros or go to jail for years?  I just learned this from reading my latest copy of "Hue" the magazine of FIT, which I attended in the early 1980's...Vive La France !  Enjoy!  
DF *****
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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

"A Kick of French"

Bernard Steinintz, 2014 Biennale des Antiquaires, PARIS
The late, great John Fowler was quoted as saying that "every room needs a kick of French"~a decidedly English point of view, no doubt.  Perhaps this theatrical looking vignette from Benjamin Steinitz, via the Bernard Steinitz website, could illustrate Mr. Fowlers' point? 
Diane  Dorrans Saeks recently posted about the late Myra Hoefer, the California decorator known for her french apartments for Chez Vous, and I found it interesting that she made the comment that the French have a way of living, and decorating, that manages to be modern and antique at the same time.  (see below image)

Myra Hoefer, Healdsburg, CA
Myra loved to use shades of white in her work. and was a darling of the magazine editors.  I chose this image from the post that Diane did, to give an idea of what her style was like. Inspiring, and forever fresh!  Enjoy!!! DF*****

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Monday, May 11, 2015

May Outdoor Life, LEE

LEE setting by Kevin Steffanni
LEE Industries through MP Interiors, Estero, FL

A favorite go-to source for the best outdoor upholstery...LEE, available through MP Interiors, Naples, if you are in the area please visit our new display of outdoor furnishings by LEE, or check the site here

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MP Interiors (239) 498-9074

Friday, May 8, 2015

What's Hot Now: Schumacher Chiang Mai Dragon

Chiang Mai Dragon, Aquamarine, F Schumacher
This charming and highly decorative design, by F. Schumacher, reminds me of when, years ago, I worked as an assistant to the Washington DC decorator, Bob Waldron~ Mr. Waldron sent me on an errand to the Japanese Embassy (It may have been the ambassador's residence) and I saw the most amazing gardens there.

Beautiful Marine Linard, MP Interiors

Above, my wonderful and talented friend and co-worker, Marine Linard, and her new wing chairs in the Chiang Mai Dragon...she paired these chairs with a lemon yellow settee, and I can't wait to see them in situ .  If you haven't done so recently, please visit the newly updated Schumacher site here and enjoy!  DF *****

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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Albert Maysles' film illuminates Iris Apfel's extraordinary life

Albert Maysles' film illuminates Iris Apfel's extraordinary life


Iris Apfel ! Inspiring at 93 !  Creator of Old World Weavers! (OWW is available through MP Interiors...239-498-9074)  Enjoy!  DF *****
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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Gift: Tea for Two, or More!

Palm Beach Tea, from Leta Austin Foster Boutique

What fun to give Mummy or anyone these beautifully presented teas~ named after some of the charming streets of Palm Beach?  I chose the Via de Lago, since the green colour of the tin container should look great with the Tory Burch-Dodie Thayer lettuce ware I plan to give some good friends soon~it's a blend of Lychee and Oolong.  Available through my friend, Leta Foster, in Via Mizner, Palm Beach.  Enjoy!  DF *****

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Seminar, Miromar : "Florida Luxury"

The Atrium, Miromar Design Center, Estero, FL

Find me today, at 10800 Corkscrew Road, Suite 149, where I'm giving a presentation, with designer Ruth Condit, entitled "Florida Luxury - The Pampered Guest" at 11:00 in the atrium !  DF *****

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