One of my all time favorite chairs, the Barroux model, from trade source F.P. Victoria, New York- is shown here. As readers of Dean Farris Style may recall, I was fortunate to work with the late Tice Alexander, a good friend and classmate- from FIT days, who later became a decorator at the famed Parish-Hadley Associates...without any digression, I could probably talk about this chair, and how it relates to a certain period of my life, for HOURS! But I don't think I have the time right now! If you want more info on the Barroux chair, go on the site www.fpvictoria.com and click on bespoke, then chairs, then scroll down... the above image is from a 2005 Stephen Henderson article called "Rising From The Ashes" - which was produced by Senga Mortimer, with stunning photography by Don Freeman. (March 2005) After this important estate was damaged in a fire, designers Albert Hadley and Harry Heissman accepted the challenge of re-designing the house- reconfiguring some major rooms, changing fenestration, and it was also decided to switch from wood frame construction to stone. The re-built house is now built to commercial codes, and should last forever. Sited on 300 acres in Litchfield- the fabulous grounds were also featured in the January 2005 House Beautiful! When Tice and I designed another estate, in Houston, Texas, we again used the barroux model- flanking the fireplace in the grand living room- where I recall windows were bricked in to allow for furniture placement on that elevation. We also took out a stone floor and replaced it with wood. I wish I had a picture of that room-to share with you- it was all done in the classic Parish Hadley mode, with a Russian chandelier over a center table- and hundreds of yards of Cowtan Tout chintz. The silk velvet sofas were from DeAngelis- with custom embroidered skirts. The carpet was an Aubusson. The Barroux model is very luxe comfort- it is 30.5 wide, 42.5 deep, and 34 high, and has down cushions. Think of it as a sort of easy chair for moguls- and do visit the FPV site, it has a great modern look and feel- the essence of old New York! ENJOY! DF *****
Many years ago, I was given a copy of this book, and now, F.P. Victoria is celebrating it's 80th anniversary. With forewords by Olivier Bernier, Mark Hampton, and Anthony Victoria- it's a fantastic reference for those interested in the art and history of the chair. The late Tice Alexander and I often sourced this company for our projects- and I was very glad to hear that they are still going strong. Enjoy! DF *****
Lately, I've been lusting after a classic Mercedes, known as the 280 SL...when you google this particular model, certain words come up, such as "classic", "Beverly Hills, Southampton, Palm Beach" and "John Travolta, John Lennon, Audrey Hepburn, and Sophia Loren".
Since these cars have become very collectible, the price has doubled in recent years, and I could have bought one in good condition for $22,000.00 but it now appears that they are much higher- (depending on the condition)- but I did test drive the baby, and I loved it. I also recently bid on one on ebay- but the reserve was probably $45K. You see a LOT of these in Naples- we have relatively flat roads here, and they are the perfect car for tooling around a small resort town such as Naples. My friend, Stephen, has one, but then, he has other modes of transport, and you really don't want this for a daily driver- the parts are hideously expensive. Of course, Stephen is the sort of guy who spends his Summers in a flat in Mayfair, London. Having owned in the past two BMW's, three Mercedes, and one Porsche, I'm not so sure I want the headaches attached to owning something so undeniably precious- since the love affair can be so terribly emotional- but if the right one comes along...my heart may win! Now, if I can just decide what colour I want... DF*****
Recently, several of my more major clients have been having the urge to either downsize, relocate, or just move for a change of scenery- Above, this condominium building in Naples, I've worked on for the last three years- and just as we were completing the very slow renovation phase, the client decided to list the unit and purchase another in the same building! These apartments are most interesting, as they are built ON the water- on pilings- on a small "island" off of the island in Park Shore- the unit we had worked on just sold, and included a deeded boat dock. Below, an aerial view of the complex, which is comprised of six buildings, and was built in 1987.
View facing northeast
If you follow this little ol' blog, you may know that I've also had an important client in Charleston, SC for the last 14 years- and they too have recently sold their charming, historic house at number 6, Saint Michael's Alley. We worked on remodeling this small house for about two years, installing a new kitchen, and two and a half bathrooms. The whole house was done in elegant Scalamandre' silks, to go along with the collection of very good quality 18th-19th c. antiques collected by my client- and after the house sold, the new owner had an offer from Mr. and Mrs. Mark Bitter -(family who founded Scalamandre')! I found this slightly weird, and amusing at the same time. Below is a shot of the front facade- built somewhere in the early part of the 1800's, with earlier history going back to the 18th century.
6 Saint Michael's Alley
I'm happy and pleased to report, my clients, who are also good friends, are staying in the neighborhood- just moving further east- to a nice modern apartment house facing the river- on a high floor- with magnificent views of the bridge and the coast. Below shot gives a good idea of the charm of the area- just south of Broad- and tucked behind Saint Michael's Church. We bought the paint for the door and shutters on a trip to France.
View facing east
Back down to Florida- this house I worked on with Billy and many others, for about two years, including Chris Busk, the landscape architect, who is the Mario Nievera of Naples- (below) and these clients have listed this one on the market as well. It's a tough sell- as it's perhaps slightly overbuilt for the street- although the beach is very nearby, and it has two boat docks with gulf access. There is also a guest house, which was converted from a small existing house on the property. This home would be great for an active young family, as either a primary or a secondary home-
Imperial River Road, Bonita Springs, FL
We really enjoyed working on the property, and the interiors were done concurrently with the completion of the house- every room installed- almost the day we got the C.O. (certificate of occupancy) and I also designed the owners new corporate offices, in Estero, Florida. Below is a real estate listing shot of the music room facing towards the raised front entry- the house is vertically oriented. Completed in 2009. Anyone would be most fortunate to acquire this beautiful property for just under two million, it's surely worth much more. I've always referred to it as "Casa Rioja" - as we used a bright red standing seam metal roof. You can catch a glimpse of it in the image above.
Music Room, Casa Rioja, Bonita Springs, Florida
I do have more exciting real estate news to share, so stay tuned to Dean Farris Style, and may all of your wishes come true! Enjoy! DF *****