Thursday, June 2, 2016

SUMMER, taking off

Summer dahlias

Taking the summer off...enjoy, and see you in September!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

SUMMER, re-arrangement!

DFID (c) 2016

In yet another incarnation of my personal living space, I wanted to switch out some furniture and accessories to give a more "Summer" look...

DFID (c) 2016

I simply switched the placement of the chesterfield sofa with the white matelassé' covered settee....then I decided to center the bust in the window, between the two topiary you can see I'm still using things I've had for years now.  The chesterfield now functions as a chaise, which I like for watching television or reading, and creates an asymmetric look...and in a nod to Sister Parish, I used my grandmother's quilt as a throw.

DFID (c) 2016

Looking west, towards the small dining area, still pretty much the same as it was...

DFID (c) 2016

All pictures were taken with my phone.  In this shot, to the left of the floor lamp, you can see a collage I made way back in 1978 !   DF *****

My concept sketch DFID (c) 2016

Credits: Walls - Benjamin Moore, mirror-, settee- Jessica Charles,  jute rug- Feizy.  Garden seat- Naples Lamp Shop, parsons table- Albert Hadley.  Chandelier- Wilshire Lighting.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

SIXTIES CHIC: Howard Perry Rothberg, II

Howard Perry Rothberg's personal residence, House and Garden, 1966

So, my blogging friend, Andrea (The Glam Pad) and I were recently conversing about designers of the past, who became iconic, and I started wondering who some of the old guard decorators of Miami (where Andrea lives) might be...and recalled my friend and one time mentor, Maurice Bernstein, (see AD) mentioning Howard Perry Rothberg, II.  I think I even recall seeing a stunning yacht interior in AD by HPR...

Click here  to see a fascinating 1966 story on his personal Coconut Grove residence, a charming small cottage, done in a classic modern style, that still looks fresh, 50 years later! DF
See here for how this house has been restored and updated! 

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Monday, May 23, 2016


Tilda Swinton stars in A Bigger Splash

Every once in a while, you catch a film that you knew nothing about...and get completely blown away by it.  
This was my experience of A Bigger Splash...and with an Italian director, a superb cast, and a setting on an island off of Sicily, it would be hard to go wrong.  I was reminded of an obscure old novel "The Grotto" - by Grace Zaring Stone, and also of "The Talented Mr. Ripley" (Patricia Highsmith)...but I would urge you to see this film as it transports you into another world, beautifully shot (think A Single Man by Tom Ford) - just stunning and so inspiring.  

The next day I treated myself to some new Eau Sauvage by Christian Dior (I had drenched myself in it when I was in Nice years ago) and an herbal shower gel from L'Occitane, with my favorite eucalyptus oil.  Enjoy!  DF *****   

Thursday, May 19, 2016


Image via Bo-Ty florist, Winston-Salem, NC

Detail of a vintage chandelier in the residence of my client Charles Fleck, Naples, FL

One of my favorite rooms by mentor Thomas Britt, Napa, CA

An Andrew Martin fabric, Fitzroy, I favor

My friend, the designer, Kevin Steffanni, (L) Cleveland, OH

One of my pet projects, Fair Play, SC (c) DFID
While we all have endless things that resonate with us, as designers, we must always remember that people are more important than the rooms they occupy.   Am I known for stating the obvious? Yes.  Was Albert Einstein considered a genius? Yes. 

Sometimes the simple things in life are the most profound...but we do love to be mesmerized by an unusual arrangement of objects on a table, or a fabulously eclectic interior, exhibiting taste, a high level of imagination, and a wonderful sense of fantasy.  These are my thoughts for the day. Enjoy! DF *****

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016



If one picture is worth a thousand words, then this one is worth a million!  The history, the excitement of old New York is summed up here.  The new film and the new book are fabulous too!  I gave the book to my own mother for Mother's Day this year.


Above, the famous Rose Cumming chintz was used called "Carisbrooke" in the Beekman Place flat of Ms. Vanderbilt.  I love the accoutrement displayed on the table, especially the silver flask!  Michael Taylor placed a large order for Carisbrooke, at a time when the Rose Cumming firm was underperforming, and as the story goes, saved the day for them...
The decorator Billy Baldwin also used this chintz - similar to another one from Brunschwig and Fils...the brass "pharmacy" lamps aimed at the screen remind me of his studio apartment in the east 60's with the lacquered brown walls.  Enjoy!  DF *****   

Monday, May 9, 2016


Winton Noah, Steve and Brooke Gianetti, Hal Ainsworth

Forty years ago, I met the wonderful team of Hal Ainsworth and Winton Noah...who back then, had a small shop on Peachtree Street, with housewares and table top linens...a boutique if you will, with le bon gout ...and while all these years later, the dynamic duo has now sold the ADAC showrooms they created, after closing the little shop~ they're still forging ahead and enjoying life. 
Not long after they moved into the decorative arts center, my mother and I ventured there to buy some things for our house in North Carolina.  My old friend, Nicholas, also worked there at that time, around 1976 or so.   
Here they are posing with Brooke and Steve, of Velvet and Linen (blog) and Patina Farm.  Enjoy!  DF *****

Patina Farm, Ojai, CA

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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!