Wednesday, May 4, 2016


George Baker house, New York, PART OF A COMPLEX BY Delano and Aldrich
Lovely patron party coming up for Richard Jenrette's preservation society ...

Monday, May 2, 2016


Fustic House, via internet
We recently used these colors for an exterior color consultation on a significant residence here in Naples- (due to the privacy concerns of the client, no pictures may be used of the project.)  For the exterior stucco we selected a color called Oyster, by Benjamin Moore, and one called Seedling, also by Benjamin Moore, for the shutters...

Fustic House
Here, you can get more of an idea of the Oliver Messel charm that was executed - love the mellow patina of this property!  DF *****

Thursday, April 21, 2016


(C) Dean Farris Interior Design 2016
When I first laid eyes on this Spanish copy of a painted Louis XV chair, with gilt decorations -I fell in love, it was love at first sight.  There's a long story behind my acquisition of it, let me share it with you. 

The first time I actually met Albert Hadley was when he came to FIT to give a talk to the interior design students.  He had his assistant at the time, Tice Alexander, with him.  Tice and I had been friends when we both studied at FIT- and I just happened to be wearing a bright-ish teal sweater that day- (a purchase I had spent a lot of time agonizing over, from the old Barneys when it was still downtown)...later Tice told me that the only student that Albert thought had style was that guy wearing the teal sweater!  This was around 1982 or so.

Fast forward to 1996 or 97, and lo and behold, Albert had purchased a small cottage in Old Naples!  I was thrilled. (I had moved to Naples from NYC in 1996) One day AH and I were spending some time in the tiny guest house behind the main cottage, and I saw the chair- the chair I fell in love with- it was TEAL !  I died.  I swooned.  Albert saw how much I loved it and agreed to sell it to me.  I was able to convince a client, who had never paid any fees, to buy the chair for me, in lieu of a fee- and she agreed!  I was in heaven!  :)

While this chair still gives me pleasure, and reminds me of the days of wine and roses with Albert- I do realize that it's perhaps a little too grand for how I really live.  Not that it's museum quality, but the fragility and the provenance...I adore it!  It inspired me to pursue more objects of quality and upped my game when it comes to furniture selection.  I see it as a piece of sculpture in a space.  Not really a chair.  An art object.  An object of desire. 

Teal reminds me of my childhood, when I would see this teal Rolls Royce convertible sitting in a carport on my way home from school.  One day when I happened to be walking on Madison Avenue in New York, I saw Mrs. Petrie being driven up the avenue in HER teal Rolls Royce!  It was a fabulous sight- very glam.  I also love this color as seen in 18th century oil paintings, often juxtaposed with a tomato red.  Beautiful!
DF *****

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


(c) DFID
(c) DFID
Design by Tara Bates, Naples
(c) DFID
Just came back from a nice long weekend....

Monday, April 11, 2016

RITZ CARLTON, NAPLES, A Cheeseburger in Paradise

Relaxing at The Ritz, Naples

Billy and I enjoy lunching at the Ritz Carlton, Naples, (the one on the beach) -we have two- and here's yours truly striking a pose in a hall off the main lobby...

Purple petunias, Ritz Carlton, Naples

Potted flowers are everywhere, as well as orchids galore, and a rose garden fronting the spa...

A view from the Gumbo Limbo

Our favorite is the outdoor restaurant, Gumbo Limbo, facing the beach and the gulf....cheeseburgers are fab, and the salads are good too...and of course the specialty cocktails!

A view from the boardwalk out to le plage

My ikat/tie dye shirt is Ralph Lauren, belt and trousers are Banana Republic, and mules are Nike, watch is classic Rolex oyster.
It's Spring, enjoy it!  DF *****

P.S. I saw the new film this weekend, "The Boss" and surprise! Kathy Bates was in it!  Hilarious!

Friday, April 8, 2016


DFID (c) 2016

Pittsburgh native, Charles Fleck, has been a good client and a wonderful friend over the past 17 years or so,  we had some fun last night hanging his new painting by Rick Moore, who used to own a gallery here in Naples...(shown above)

DFID (c) 2016

I took these quick shots with my phone- we also had recently freshened up his bedroom, with new paint, carpet, curtains, and bedcoverings...keeping the mirrored wall and the existing bed, by Kreiss...Enjoy ! DF ***** 

DFID (c) 2016
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Thursday, April 7, 2016


Todd Romano, via House Beautiful

I was excited to hear (from dear friend Mary) that Todd Romano had recently decorated the old Albert Hadley cottage...(Naples) where I spent a lot of time back in the late 90's.

Having always been a huge fan of Todd's, I was relieved to know that he had been involved in this project, and I know that Albert would be very pleased as well.  See the circa 2000 image from House Beautiful below for the Albert version of this room...

Albert Hadley, via House Beautiful

It's a great tribute to Naples to have had not just Albert but also Todd working here, and I was thrilled to see what Todd had done, since the previous owner had used some oversized furniture that seemed to dwarf the diminutive cottage rooms... this house has sold several times since Mr. Hadley owned it, and it finally is coming into it's own now that TAR has put his elegant imprimatur on it...check out more of Todd's beautiful design work here from his interior design site. 

Beautiful, elegant, and suitable- Billy Baldwin would be impressed too!  DF *****

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

A Romantic Ruin in Palm Beach

515 North County Road, Palm Beach

Imagine, where once the estate of Mona and Harrison Williams, and later - Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman ~stood, there is now a "95 million dollar tear-down" (Palm Beach Daily News) - however, with over 400 feet of direct ocean frontage, perhaps the price is reasonable- and no doubt, this property will most likely be sub-divided, pending town approvals...let's wait and  see what happens!  DF*****  

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Saturday, April 2, 2016


Sasha Bikoff Interior Design

I was inspired today, from reading about the young New York based designer, Sasha Bikoff, on New York Social Diary...bravissima! DF *****

Friday, April 1, 2016


Mark D. Sikes
Fantastic news!  One of my favorite gents, designer-writer-inspiration, Mark D. Sikes, has a new book coming out, called simply, "BEAUTIFUL" !

via the MDS blog

This book promises to be a forever inspiration, covering over 16 of his projects as well as his favorite styles and looks...Enjoy!  DF *****

Thursday, March 31, 2016


R. Higgins Interiors, via Traditional Home

Lately, I've been thinking about early inspirations, and this image reminded me of an old acquaintance, the designer Joan Gnasco, who was the sister of my old friend Gail Dewar.  Joan's small house inspired me, with its taupe walls and lemon yellow sofa, placed in the large window, facing a fireplace.  Her house always smelled deliciously of fresh lemon and fresh paint.  It was a house that was loved.

I was also inspired by a shop in town called John Simmons, aka The Shop of John was a home furnishings boutique, and had so many fun things, and it too always had a wonderful fragrance in the air.  I remember they always had copies of Architectural Digest you could buy there.  This was way back in the early 1970's...

Roger Higgins and Ann Shipp, who own the house shown above, love their deep taupe walls with their stunning chartreuse "tabloid" curtains, a style often favored by the late decorator, Mark Hampton.  The chartreuse color reminds me so much of the curtains Tice Alexander had chosen for his New York flat when I was living and working with him at the time.  Tice had been an assistant to the late Albert Hadley, who came to New York originally from Nashville!  I believe that John Simmons was also from Tennessee, and he was known for giving lavish parties.  All of these designers inspire me and bring back fond memories.  Enjoy!  DF *****
(check out the R. Higgins site here )

*image via Traditional Home

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Friday, March 25, 2016


Charleston, Carolyne Roehm (brick pavers)

Watermill, Tom Britt (pea gravel)

Atlanta, (asphalt)

No doubt, some of my favorite gardens and landscapes use pea gravel , which comes in all kinds of colors and stones... the thicker the application the more I like it!  Is it a bit of trouble?  Perhaps, but consider how much more aesthetic this Atlanta groundscape would be with a beige pea gravel drive...the gravel would blend so beautifully with the stucco on the house. 
My second choice would be a brick paver in a herringbone pattern, as the designer Carolyne Roehm used in her Charleston garden.  Love the sound of the crunch or the texture, of gravel or brick!  Enjoy!  DF *****

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