Thursday, December 1, 2016

BRANDING: Dann Foley Lifestyle

Designer, Dann Foley

I was just browsing the printed copy of the new HOME ACCENTS TODAY, and found this interesting SoCal designer, Dann Foley .  Since I can't resist a pretty face and the fact that we share similar initials- thought I'd feature him for December first!  He's in the midst of growing his business from just interior design to product design.  Good luck Dann!

Amato lamp by Kelly Wearstler for Visual Comfort

  In the same issue of HAT, I read with interest about Visual Comfort lighting.  President Andy Singer mentioned that the Amato lamp, by Los Angeles designer Kelly Wearstler, is a hot item.  It comes in white also and there's a shade option too- (fabric versus metal).  available through MP Interiors ! 

Monday, November 28, 2016

MOOD BOARD: Decorative Inspirations

Mark D. Sikes

via the Glam Pad

Thomas Britt, via Veranda

Andrew Raquet, via Veranda

Countess Brandolini (in Pierre Cardin)


Angelo Donghia, 1971

One of my FIT renderings, "Salon for Cecil Beaton" 1981

What fun- to post images that inspire me right now! (Including one of my very own last-but-not-least design school sketches!)  Enjoy!  DF *****

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Friday, November 25, 2016

Tommy Hilfiger on his memoir ‘American Dreamer’

Tommy Hilfiger on his memoir ‘American Dreamer’: Iconic designer 65 talks about the evolution of his label and why there is such a thing as being too popular

I'm really enjoying the new bio on designer Tommy Hilfiger, called "American Dreamer" - it's a real page turner, and gives fantastic insight into the drive and determination to succeed that took Mr. Hilfiger all the way to the top of the fashion world, a world where the word ruthless takes on a whole other meaning. 

Read more about Tommy here !  A true American success story, and a great inspiration to all of us.  DF *****

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016


Dean Farris Interior Design, 2016

Decisions, decisions...nail head trim, guimpe, welt, tape, fringe, tassels?  Above, you can see my Louis XV style fruitwood open armchairs are trimmed in antique bronze finished nail heads- and the pillow has brush fringe, with tassels...passementerie is something very classic, and not used as much as it was in the roaring 1980's...but is still in the vocabulary of a well-trained decorator or designer.

Dean Farris Interior Design, 2016

Here, in the image above, you can see where Albert Hadley used his signature flat tape, for the edging on this Spanish copy of a Louis XV open armchair, one of the wonderful things I obtained from him when he was wintering in Naples.  I mention this detail, since most of the local upholstery shops have no idea about it, and are not really interested in it- they just want to keep adding that dreaded "double welting" which often obscures part of the frame on a nice chair or canapé'.

Dean Farris Interior Design, 2016

Finally, in this image (above) you can see two slipper chairs with small welting (Leta Austin Foster calls it "blind cord") and one settee with spaced nail head trim.  I look forward to sharing more with you soon on this topic- which could be a book unto itself!  DF *****

DFID, 2016
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Saturday, November 12, 2016


Alberto Pinto
How very fortunate was I, at a young age, to meet the legendary designer and arbiter of taste, Alberto Pinto ? 
As I was a lowly visual merchandising assistant in Furniture and Model Rooms at Bloomingdales' (Manhattan)~ it just so happened that he flew over the big pond, along with Andree' Putman and Jacques Grange- to create some model rooms back when the store still had them. 

These model "rooms" were a huge draw- and Barbara D'Arcy had been the one who came up with the concept- a four times a year proposition!  That certainly kept me and the rest of the furniture visual staff busy!  Mr. Pinto was born in Casablanca, Morocco.  I recall him being in a wheelchair at the time we met, and oozing a kind of charisma not often seen.  At the same period in time, Ivana Trump was often seen shopping in the Manhattan Bloomingdales, and I loved her in a red suit with her bright blonde French twist bouffant.  She oozed 80's glam!  The excitement!  The sizzle!

Alberto Pinto
For more, see the late designers new book, and do check out his site, which I linked above in the first paragraph. 

After work, I would then walk to the Vertical Club for my work out, and there I would see Donald Trump, (with his trainer) - Brooke Shields, Mary McFadden, Fabio, and Dr. Ruth ! All working out together with little old me!  Sometimes, as I was leaving the gym, I'd see Mr. Trump leaving also, and sliding into his long black limo.  Can I tell you- I loved it then and I love it now!  Looking forward to my next trip with Billy to the big apple!  That's all for now, folks!  XXOO DF

Friday, November 4, 2016

Topic: Design Trends 2016

Driftwood Garden Center, Naples, FL
I'm most excited to be giving a talk to an invitation only group of ladies from Naples on Wednesday, November 9th, at the beautiful Miromar Design Center !  The topic of the talk is "Design Trends" - something I know a little bit about.  Here's my short list of bullet points for the presentation.

Color Stories....Less is More...All in the Mix...Classics...Updating the Trad...Fashion accessories...and Making it Personal.  I will also touch on some of my current fave designers, such as Billy Baldwin, Celerie Kemble, William McLure, Mark Sikes, and Summer Thornton. 

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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

BILLY BALDWIN, on my mind

One of my biggest inspirations and favorite decorators of all time, William Williar Baldwin, known as "Billy" - is the subject of todays post, a great look back in order to gain fresh perspective for a new month! 
Way back in 1977, I had the chance to meet the master, but little did I know, I had spent the last two years studying under an early protégé of his- Stan Topol! (1975-77). 
My grand tour chaperone, Robert Morring, placed a call to BB's office from our New York hotel suite, to arrange the meeting- and alas, Billy had already left for Sconset- (Nantucket). 
After a brutal beating by the IRS, the most prominent designer in American decorating was left with very little- and ended his days in a small dependency at the kindness of his friends Michael Gardine and Way Bandy. 
The bookkeepers had not been managing Baldwin's business properly, and it's a minor scandal that dear Billy had to end as he did.  (Albert Hadley was a millionaire at the time of his death, and left substantial bequests to several New York institutions).  Here, a few images to look at and be inspired by- representing the genius of Baldwin!  Enjoy!  DF *****








Chanticleer, one of BB's favorite spots on Nantucket, see here is very high on my bucket list of places to visit NEXT summer!

Chanticleer, Nantucket

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Saturday, October 29, 2016

DFID On My Own...2008

Dean Farris Interior Design 2008

Some of my most fulfilling times, career-wise, have been when I was totally on my own, and just working with private clients- those that I chose to work with.  Every morning, I would wake up and walk from my bedroom across the living room, to the guest room, which I used as an office.  My Porsche Cayman was a short elevator ride down to the garage.  What a life!  A life I designed for myself.

Dean Farris Interior Design 2008
Billy really did a great job of capturing my serene state of mind- and no wonder I looked so good, since I had hair by a former stylist for YSL, skin by Dr. Elizabeth Fox and Dr. Obagi - and wore custom made Holland and Sherry suits with custom shirtings, a Cartier diver's watch and Gucci loafers!  Ha!  You see, I was determined to have the best, and to be the best, and to live the best possible life I could, given what I had to work with.  I worked hard, and I still do.

I do know that my clients were happy with the service I provided, and they still are.   Am I proud? Yes!  And very grateful too!  I'm currently accepting new clients, please call to make an appointment.  (239) 498-9074

(faux rock crystal chandelier by Wilshire Lighting)

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

HADLEYANA, designer sketch

Albert's sketch of my apartment
What fun to post about this small sketch I was given by Albert Hadley!  He made it for me as we discussed an apartment I was thinking of moving into about 15 years ago or so.  My dear friend, Susan Swanson, whose company is called Aldecor , framed it for me.  Here are a few more AH sketches I found on Google images...

Image result for albert hadley nashville
Albert Hadley

Albert Hadley

Albert Hadley

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

CLASSIC: Nancy Reagan Style

via internet
The late Los Angeles Designer, Ted Graber, created this stunning, classic, office for former First Lady, Nancy Reagan.  I was struck by the beauty of the palette as well as the classical elegance of the furnishings.  Compare this 80's creation with the more current one (below).  Click here to read the Wikipedia on Ted Graber.  Enjoy!  DF *****

Summer Thornton Interior Design
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Friday, October 7, 2016

STYLE, DFID, Bonita Beach Condo, Before and After!

Our Gasparilla Inn - Old Key West inspired project, continued...these "before and after" shots should give you an idea of what we went through to achieve the finished product.  With the help of our trusted contractor, new moldings were installed, ceilings were skim coated, and an outdoor lanai was enclosed.  Here's the Living Room before-

Old living room looking towards former outdoor lanai (showing new paint and base/crown)

And here's a nice finished "after" shot of the new Living Room, including the new Safavieh Turkish rug not shown in the previous the shot of blue!  (Billy found it online).

Looking from the new solarium into the new living room

Loving how the new blue area carpet sets off the key lime walls!

North elevation (before new rug)

Ikat pillow, Pottery Barn, rug, Safavieh, framing on art by ALDECOR, NAPLES

via Gasparilla Inn, Boca Grande

I'm very happy with the look of the old mixed with the new, for example the existing sofas, one of which is a sleeper sofa, were simply re-upholstered in Kravet "Soleil" performance fabric, which is highly practical, and not such a glaring white- since we wanted a more genteel mood as opposed to super modern... and here's a "before" shot of the Den-

Showing new bead board wainscot, new crown, and new ceiling color (also to be walls color)

This small room has a fabulous view, facing east- and we gave it some cottage charm with new bead board dadoes, new crown and a bold choice for color, something Bill really loves.  He found the pillow fabric in Ohio, and it looks quite spiffy here.  We retained another one of his mother's beautiful, vintage, paintings for above the sleep sofa, (also re-upholstered in Kravet "Soleil".)  Here's after...

We kept the existing shell lamps and added two pairs of candle sconces

The kitchen received new tile back splash, and a pale blue paint on the tray ceiling- it looks great since it was updated not too long ago, the guest bath got a new vanity and faucet, much better- and the laundry room was updated as well.  All ready for the upcoming "season"!  This condo faces the Gulf of Mexico, and gets beautiful natural light all day long, and one can hear the surf rolling in on the sugar sand beach!  Enjoy!  DF ***** 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

STYLE, DFID, Gasparilla in Bonita Beach

Here's one of my favorite and latest completed projects...all images via Dean Farris Interior Design.  
Our concept was to bring the quaint charm of the Gasparilla Inn at Boca Grande, and some old Key West character, to a classic vintage 1970's era condo on Bonita Beach, just north of Naples.  Enjoy!

DFID sofas in Kravet Soleil 
We decided to keep the conservative, old school styling on the pair of sofas, but added a bit of KW pizzazz with the ikat pillows...and may add a patterned rug here soon.

DFID 1960's oil painting by the client's mother!

Here, you can see the doppelganger effect, left over from the previous decorator's arrangement of sofas across from each other.  I love the lily pad painting we were able to save and re-frame here.  Billy found the floral fabric in Ohio and it works very well for toss pillows.

DFID Vintage Waterford chandelier, existing furniture, re-framed oil painting
I'm partial to this bamboo looking furniture in the dining area, and we kept the chairs in their original celadon texture.  That painting was done in 1968!  Love it!  We flanked it with a pair of highly distressed candle sconces.

DFID custom floral arrangement

Here, (above image) you can see one of those sconces- and this really fun sunflower arrangement we created for the bar.  Notice the new tile back splash which continues into the kitchen.  In an homage to dear Carleton Varney, we had the tray ceiling in the kitchen painted a pale sky blue.

DFID  existing floral print table cloth 
That fabulous blue is picked up again in this lamp, which sits on a draped table that serves to provide a visual "divider" between the dining area and the living room...the fabric on the table was from the previous decoration about ten years ago and it was retained to give some old Gasparilla Inn charm.  (and a nod to dear Billy Baldwin).

DFID  view from newly enclosed lanai, aka the solarium
We also re-upholstered this existing "barrel" chair in a very pretty leaf green "microfiber" material, and are keeping the existing rattan coffee table.  Those are my topsiders peeking out from under it!

DFID solarium, formerly the exterior lanai
We gained some square footage by enclosing the former terrace, and found this charming cottage vintage desk and chair, as well as the card table and chairs in a local consignment shop in downtown Naples.  Billy found the map - a perfect addition! (Old Florida from when it was discovered by the Spanish).

DFID solarium reading nook facing the beach
I love this little moment Billy had the idea for, which he calls the "library" -this is the other end of the new solarium.

DFID den, Kravet Soleil cloth on existing sleep sofa, Benjamin Moore paint

We used a bold punch of color in the small den, which pulls triple duty as a den-guest room-home office.  The ceiling is also in poppy red, and we installed some new bead board wainscoting with the help of the talented Elson, the general contractor for this job.  The painting is also by Bill's mother, circa 1965!  The original frame was simply gessoed white.  Notice the seashell glass lamp, one of a pair.

DFID time for a cocktail!  Dean in Ralph Lauren over J. McLaughlin
I haven't enjoyed a remodel/decoration this much in a long time, and wanted to share it with you.  Hope you enjoyed it.  Stay tuned for future updates on this project! DF *****