Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Mirror, Mirror...

Dean Farris Interior Design

DFID
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I had fallen in love with the beauty of antique, gilt framed mirrors, probably beginning when I was working in New York~ for some of the top interior designers of the 1980's and into the 1990's...there were many times when, perhaps at Kentshire Galleries, or H.M. Luther, I would find myself staring into a fabulously elegant and decorative mirror, wondering who that terribly good looking young man was staring back at me!  It was beyond glamorous, having just stepped out of a dark green Rolls, or a long black Mercedes limousine, to find myself shopping for things that often were in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

18th century Chippendale
For example, the mirror shown above, might be delivered to a clients home on approval~ George Clarkson would have liked this one, and most likely had it installed above a mantel in a beautiful, huge, living room in a 1920's Tudor high on a hill in Bronxville.  These investment pieces can sometimes even be used as collateral at the bank...I remember a funny thing, the client saying that she had "tried to work with Mario Buatta, but found him intimidating"...it seemed like an odd thing to say given that we had pulled up to her house in a chauffeur driven Silver Shadow!  

18th century baroque (French)

What I admire and appreciate on an old mirror is de-silvering~ as seen in the above example. Hand carving, water gilding, and ancient looking glass is a very seductive combination.  Imagine this one played off of a highly lacquered wall finish, perhaps an aubergine...I'm forever suggesting antiqued mirrored glass to my clients as an architectural element.  These shapely frames look splendid above a marble or old limestone mantel. They also look very nice above console tables and sideboards.  I like to flank them with porcelain jars, as shown in my first image, at the top.  You can find these mirrors online, but I really do believe you need to see it in a shop or via your designer before making a purchase.  Think of it as a work of art, decorative art. To see some good examples, go here (Sotheby's online). Or, a Milanese palace here also on the Sotheby's site.

The former Mellon townhouse, East 70th Street, New York
Even someone as fabulous as the late Bunny Mellon ~ who had a huge art collection, used a mirror as a focal point in her elegant Manhattan townhouse. Notice the proportion of her mirror to the mantel beneath it.  The hand painted floors were one of her trademarks~ and they are something that I love as well.  Mirror, mirror, whose the fairest of them all? Mirrors add mystery and elegance, use them whenever you can.  They can help fill out walls for those of us who don't have an art collection, such as paintings and drawings.  Enjoy!  DF *****    

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Dara Caponigro for F. Schumacher

F. Schumacher Zanzibar Trellis Matte Jade

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F Schumacher 125th Anniversary !
F Schumacher Zanzibar Trellis Matte Canary

Dara Caponigro, the former editor-in-chief of VERANDA~ about a year ago now left for the design director position of F Schumacher, now in it's 125th year!  
Founded in 1889, here are some old classics which have been subtly updated by DC for the anniversary collection.  
Your designer or decorator can find them at MP Interiors, in the Miromar Design Center, Estero, Florida.
(239) 498-9074  MP Interiors !!!
Enjoy the weekend wherever you are~ !
DF ***** 
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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Inspiring Bedroom by Todd Alexander Romano

ROOM BY TODD ALEXANDER ROMANO, ELLE DECOR

I first saw this wall color back in the 1980's ~ when I was visiting friends at the Parish-Hadley offices in New York.  How stunning is it ?  PH used it with a leopard carpet in the entrance area of their offices.
I met Todd years ago, through the late Parkin Saunders, when I worked with Parkin at Saunders and Walsh, Inc.  
To me, the very French combination of the chartreuse velvet with the peacock lacquered walls is inspiring!  I also adore the white gesso on the Federal style mirror...you can see the rest of Todd's NY apartment on the Love Is Speed blog~ (it was published first in Elle Decor)~ Enjoy!  DF *****
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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

That Soothing Spa Color

DEAN FARRIS INTERIOR DESIGN

A few years ago, DFID completed this remodel and decoration for a very nice couple from Boston~  We
did incorporate many of the existing furnishings, and worked closely with the lady of the house to get the paint colors exactly right ~ in addition to refurbishing furniture, and adding some new pieces, such as the woven wicker large sofa by Tommy Bahama.  That new sofa faces the pool area, which is contained in a kind of courtyard enclosure.
Enjoy!  DF *****
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Color by Mother Nature
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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Oscar de la Renta

Farewell to Oscar, In Memoriam

Fabulous Oscar de la Renta ! We were saddened today to hear of his passing, he was such a huge inspiration~ (see earlier posts) and for some more of his divine inspiration click here

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Oscar de la Renta for Lee Jofa

Oscar de la Renta for Century

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Seasonal Arrangements - Magnolia

DEAN FARRIS INTERIOR DESIGN

I had found these very decorative copies of tole "planters" at Box Woods in Naples recently, and had a lot of fun deciding what to do with them~you can find Box Woods in the Chesterdales Antiques Market in Naples.

DEAN FARRIS INTERIOR DESIGN
Well, as you can see here, I was inspired to dress up my small foyer with some fresh magnolia, and dried palm, plus artificial (but oh so real looking) pears !

DFID
The little mahogany console ~ which is shown above in the foyer, was replaced (in the small living room) with this fabulous, one- of- a- kind, very Angelo Donghia-John Dickinson metal table, made by David Edelman, the brother of my wonderful client Mary Edelman Wilson.  I like the way it virtually disappears in the space!  We have these in stock if anyone would like to purchase ~ also in a coffee table size!

Naples
Yesterday was a gorgeous beach day~ and I made a very nice Sunday dinner for the two of us~ the recipe I discovered last week on James Farmers blog ! Pork with rosemary, red onion, and apples~ DELICIOUS!  Served with fresh organic baby kale sauteed in bacon, and a sauvignon blanc from California....thanks James!

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Monday Is For Mario

Mario Buatta, The Prince of Chintz, via NYSD

Mario Buatta, New York Magazine

There's only ONE Mario~ and what a great guy he is!  Monday is his birthday, so we thought of posting a tribute to the master on today's DFS...
Mario creates magic for his fortunate clients, and his talent and energy knows no boundaries.  
Lucky me !  I get to call him a friend~ !  Happy Birthday MB you devil !  What a great guy!  DF *****
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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Old Charleston Elegance, DFID

DEAN FARRIS INTERIOR DESIGN

One of my favorite clients, and projects~ located in an old carriage house on Saint Michaels' Alley, in Charleston, South Carolina is shown above.  

The clients, who are also old friends, collected American antiques for many years, including portrait miniatures, some of which are displayed in the small vitrine ~ notice the handsome portrait of Lord Byron.  All fabrics and trimmings, Scalamandre'.  The floor is original to the house. Circa 1750 ~
Enjoy!  DF ***** 
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Monday, October 13, 2014

Naples Trophy Room

DEAN FARRIS INTERIOR DESIGN

This large room was done to house half of a collection of over 150 big game trophies.  It's part of a new wing that was added on to the existing structure.  This shot only shows a corner of the 40 x 35' room~lamps are Ralph Lauren Home, with Houles' fringe on shades.  Boussac of France linen for the curtains.  Builder was Tony Palladino, Naples.  DF*****(images from Deyrolle, Paris)
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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Basque Inspired Dining Room, Naples

DEAN FARRIS INTERIOR DESIGN

This project~ which I've shown before, was great fun to work on, since it was a whole house, newly constructed~ and I had a very simpatico client.  The table and console are custom pieces.  We chose a Fabricut print for the chair backs, which reminded us of the Cartier panther.
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DEAN FARRIS INTERIOR DESIGN

Later on, after a few seasons~ we decided to enclose a portion of the outdoor loggia, and make a new card room-breakfast room.  The builder, Glen Jenkins, did a great job~ and I had the ceiling coffers painted a deep bronze-coffee colour.  The chairs are from Hickory White Furniture.  Fabric on settee, Kravet.  The client found the sculpture in Venice, Italy.  Table is custom.  Enjoy!  DF *****
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DEAN FARRIS INTERIOR DESIGN
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Friday, October 10, 2014

Modern Baroque Redux

DEAN FARRIS INTERIOR DESIGN

A few years ago, I created this swept away, clean look for my former living room at Positano Place~
Am still loving the look~ what I call "modern baroque" ~ and I also took the photograph!  Inspired by palaces and old villas by the sea, it's a classic point of view.  The white on white sofa and walls were an homage to Albino Cimonetti (one of the four founders of the firm Quadrille, along with Jay Hyde Crawford, Anthony Tortora, and Harry Hinson) AND Michael Taylor~ the famed society decorator of California.  Albino taught at Parsons and FIT when I was there, and preached brown sofas on brown walls and white on white, etc....the floor here reminded me of Marie- Laure de Noailles and Jean Michel Frank.  
My old pal Tice Alexander once had a spectacular apartment with a very high ceiling in the living room, and he had Weidl glaze the walls to resemble the parchment squares that Jean Michel had used in Paris.  His chandelier was a Venetian baroque one in old teal and gilt, that Billy Baldwin found ~ and told Albert Hadley to buy!  Albert then loaned the fabulous piece to Tice, which, combined with a pair of Venetian blackamoors from Philippe Farley, made a sensational modern baroque statement! Inspiring! DF *****  
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