Monday, March 27, 2017

PORTIERE: Victorian Coziness and Elegance


So, this weekend, Billy went out of town for a charity event, and I had a bit of time to think about some Spring cleaning and re-arranging- I decided to remove the overlay of cognac gauffraged cotton velvet (an old bed coverlet!) from my one draped table, to show off the nice bright colors of the silk plaid table skirt- and one thing led to another...

I decided to see how a portiere would look in the small opening between my tiny foyer and the living-dining room...something I had wanted to do for quite some time.

DFID
Here it is! - tied back-, a fun bit of D.I.Y. that I enjoyed working on this weekend- and here are some other images of portiere that I found online - as well as some more of my own creation- this creates a remarkably cozy feeling, particularly at night- and I recall my Mother's decorator, Jonathan Arbuthnot using portiere when he first decorated her house in North Carolina, they were so elegant in ivory moiré cotton with gorgeous gadrooned silk tie backs in avocado!  Rich!

DFID
Above, this is how it looked before the tie back- and I liked it this way also- as it reminded me of an old villa or castello somewhere in Italy or Spain- and I already had the hardware from a previous project on the east coast of Florida!  (see similar in below images)







One can see how not tied back gives a completely different feeling and look- check out these tied back versions below, including my own!

DFID

DFID
Above, you can see where I also played with using a mirror where before I was using some boating pictures I had from a previous (waterfront) apartment.  Here's a few more, hope these inspire you to create your own cozy Victorian revival!  DF *****





DFID

DFID

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

SPRING AHEAD: Fond Memory

Britt Main House
I was just thinking how it's Spring time again- and how glorious the pink tree blossoms will be at the Britt's in Watermill-  Billy and I had the great pleasure of visiting a couple Summers ago- and I had seen the trees in full bloom on Julie's FB page- magnifico!

Britt estate, original main house, via Julie Britt

Julie with the late Eddie Zajac and Richard Callahan 
Look at how gorgeous and glamorous Julie looks here with her old pals from Parsons days!  Tom still has a Zajac and Callahan mirror in his bedroom in the country- plus an old huge one from dear Rose Cumming.

Tom's bed chamber, via Veranda

This is the fabulous bed Tom called me from when I was in my own bed down in the octagonal winged guest house- a place I had dreamt about for years- and finally got to see and to stay in!  He rang as I slept and I awoke as if still in a dream and he wanted me to come up to the house and help him get dressed for dinner- since Marcelo or Rodrigo must have been doing something else- anyway, I hurried up there like a good boy and left Billy behind to his own devices.  You can see the large arched mirror from Rose Cumming in the background of this image behind the bed.

Guest house, Britt estate, via Veranda

The room we stayed in (one night) is on the right- and oh how I loved it!  A magical atmosphere and the genius of Tom in full force!  (I jumped in the pool for about a minute) !!!

Guest house bedroom view, Britt estate

I was looking at a fuchsia and cobalt blue fabric this morning, and it for some reason reminded me of this room- this is the bed I was sleeping in when Tom called me from his tented tester bed- "DEAN - IT'S TOM- CAN YOU PLEEEZE COME UP HERE, I NEED YOU!!!!" (you can see the phone on the right)- and I really did feel so happy and in a dream state- so I guess I was all ready to have dinner with a former CHANEL model by the name of Jackie Rogers- whom I had heard about since the early 80's but never actually met.

Jackie in Chanel

Sometimes things just happen for a reason- and I do think that this all had a beautiful dream like quality- and I loved how Jackie was so animated all through dinner, which started with a fabulous ceviche- Rodrigo is so talented, and Marcelo was serving the apps and drinks before in a way that let you know he'd done it many times before- so charming and warm, so family like and friendly- just the nicest people imaginable.  More like family than anything.

close up of foo dogs in guest house, via my phone

Hoping you enjoyed this fond trip down memory lane of mine- we did that trip in a New York fast whirlwind- probably for the best, since there's nothing worse than a houseguest who doesn't know when to leave!  Thanks again Julie, Tom, Marcelo, and Rodrigo!  DF ***** (see my earlier posts on this subject)

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Saturday, March 18, 2017

LOOK BACK: Muse Baron Nicolas de Gunzburg- FORWARD: Todd Alexander Romano

Baron Nicolas de Gunzburg, Horst

I think the first time I ever met Todd Romano, was in the office of the late decorator Parkin Saunders- and I recall being impressed by his personal style, very 1930's playboy, very Baron de Gunzburg!  (He was wearing an ascot perfectly knotted)  I'm sorry to say, we haven't had a chance to reconnect since that first meeting which must have been about 1995.  

Interesting to note, that the Baron, a stylish figure in European and (North) American society, first settled in Hollywood- and later went to New York. 

Todd is now based in San Antonio, Paris, Los Angeles and New York- Click aqui to find out more about the ultra glamorous and very interesting Nicolas de Gunzburg.  Check out this fabulous portrait of Todd Romano which reminds me so much of the Horst photograph of Nicolas, who was known as "Nicky".  (aka Nikki)

Todd Alexander Romano

In researching the Baron, I learned, not surprisingly, that he had been a muse and inspiration to designers Bill Blass, Oscar de la Renta, and especially Calvin Klein, who considered the Baron to be a style mentor.  When, after his first big fashion show, Calvin approached the Baron to ask his opinion, whether it was a success or a flop- the Baron said "You showed great courage".  Wow!  Can you say "concise" ?

Adding further parallel interest to my story of two gentleman of great style,  Todd has done extensive work for Suzy Hilfiger, a wife of the fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger.  Check out Todd's beautiful site here and you can see for yourself the extent of his talent and fabulous point of view.

I had posted previously about Todd's recent completion in Naples, Fla. of the former cottage of Albert Hadley- which made the cover of House Beautiful, for the second time!  (first time was when Albert was still the owner)  This then reminded me of how my other decorator friend, Mario Buatta, had designed a maisonette previously belonging to Sister Parish - for his client Patricia Altschul.

I recently was riding my bike down the alley where the entrance to Albert's former small guest house is located, and took this snap of it- after I showed it to Mario, he noted  "Very New England" - and indeed there is that quality to this charming property, located in the historic district of Naples.

I-fone photo by Dean

And here's the main house living room when Albert had it- a place where I spent many happy evenings of cocktails and long conversations!

via House Beautiful

And here is the same room from the Todd Romano decoration- some of the renovation had been done by previous owners who were subsequent to Albert's ownership.

Todd Alexander Romano, House Beautiful

What fun for me to have these talented gents in my life, and to have the Baron for inspiration- he makes me want to smoke so badly!  But, I did give up using Tenax in my hair back in the late 70's-
Don't you love how Nicky's hair is slicked back?  Not an easy look to pull offBut in his day it was THE LOOK !  Check out Todd's Instagram too! DF *****

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

COLOR STORY: Beautiful Browns

Billy Baldwin


Armato, Kelly Wearstler for Visual Comfort

William Rankin McLure IV

Alessandra Branca

Dean Farris

Ralph Lauren

Dean Farris Interior Design
Cognac, topaz, whiskey, cocoa, tete de negre, coco, coromandel, mahogany, oh the endless range of rich and elegant browns!  Mid week musings from DFS !

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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

MOOD BOARD: 03.07.17

via Dean Farris Interior Design, Naples, Fla.

via Michael Devine

Louise W. Cronan, via Cottages and Gardens

Capri, via internet

Los Angeles

Classic Mercedes-Benz

Eric Javits

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

ROSE CUMMING: 100 Years of Elegance and Style

Thomas Britt, via Architectural Digest

Kudos must go to Chuck Comeau, of Dessin Fournir , for saving one of the most iconic and fabulous fabric houses of all time- ROSE CUMMING ! 

One hundred years ago , Miss Rose came to the United States, from her native Australia- and the interior design world has never been quite the same since!  Above, you can see my friend and mentor Thomas Britt's work- using the iconic and beautiful pattern known as "banana leaves".   Tom also used this (metallic) gold over taupe colorway in his own New York apartment- where I was first exposed to the grandeur and high style of his work- and the beauty of Rose Cumming's legacy to him, as he had been a personal friend of hers. 

Actually, I had first purchased yardage of banana leaves myself, in 1976, in the taupe colorway (sans the gold) for my Mother's home in Winston-Salem, NC.  She still has some of the pillows we made and loves them!


"Photograph courtesy of Dessin Fournir Companies" 

Ashley Comeau of Dessin Fournir, was kind enough to send these high resolution images of some of the most popular designs from Rose Cumming- and you may be interested in reading some of my previous posts on Miss Rose as well.  This is such a dynamic pattern, and it's been used by many top designers over the years. 

I had also installed the wallpaper version in my design studio bath in Winston-Salem, in the camel on black colorway, which was so striking and dramatic.

Rose Cumming "Photograph courtesy of Dessin Fournir Companies" 

Here's another very chic pattern, called "Sabu" - animal prints being something we never tire of!

Sabu by Rose Cumming, "Photograph courtesy of Dessin Fournir Companies"

Sabu in green, image via google

And here is "Zebrine"- another very popular and exotic but modern and current design, demonstrating how ahead of the times Miss Rose was.

Zebrine by Rose Cumming, "Photograph courtesy of Dessin Fournir Companies"

Zebrine wallcovering, Rose Cumming, via House Beautiful

I want to thank Ashley Comeau for her assistance with providing information for this post.  As you can see, we barely touched on this subject- one can read more about it in the beautiful book on Rose Cumming and Dessin Fournir here !  DF *****

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via Amazon books
 
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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Vizcaya: A Return to Elegance

Vintage postcard, Vizcaya

One of my favorite and very special places to visit, in Miami, is Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, formerly known as Villa Vizcaya, and the winter home of James Deering.  Constructed between 1914 and 1922.  Click here for the site for VMG.  DF *****

Entrance to drive

View from the water

Garden

Garden steps

Garden folly

Garden

Hall

Loggia

Gazebo

Music Room

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