Monday, November 29, 2010

Terrace With A View

I recently had the pleasure of consulting on a large house downtown, very near Governor Rick Scotts place, and thought I'd share this roof top terrace and pool view with you. I look forward to showing some completed interiors and exteriors in the coming year. Wish me luck, as these houses can be quite a challenge. It's all in a days work for a busy Naples decorator ! Enjoy the week, DF *****

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Decorator Grouping

Topiaries from Floral Ecstasy, Miami, Florida

Sunburst mirror, after Line Vautrin, WISTERIA

Room before I hung the grouping...

What on earth, you ask is a "decorator grouping" ? Is it a convention, a meeting or ...? Here, I hung a few things I already had, including a rendering I did for Harry Schule and Ned Marshall, of the Brighton Pavilion inspired Dining Room of Mary Gilbert - on Fifth Avenue in New York City. As well, a small 19th century engraving of a charming red breasted bird, and some playful "putti" that was a gift from good friend Jerry Kraft. I love the instant intimacy and personal look I was able to get here. It is always a good idea to hang your pictures in a group like this if they are not large and important works of art. If you own a major painting, it can certainly stand on its own. I also suggest hanging family photographs in groups and the more there are the better. I prefer them all black and white, and matted and framed in a consistent manner. I usually do this in a hall, or a family room. It warms up the space, and guests love to ogle the pictures, especially viewed through a glass of wine or vodka ! Enjoy the holiday today, as it states in Lisa Birnbaums Preppy Handbook, "Holidays are a great excuse to DRINK" !!! (paraphrase) ENJOY ! DF *****

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul

I dream of visiting Turkey...not so much eating it on Thursday. Here is the beautiful hotel - on the famed Bosphurus... where my late friend Tice had stayed. He was a friend of Mr Omer Koc... a leading citizen of Istanbul. This hotel is amazing. Enjoy these pictures I borrowed from the web. DF *****

Saturday, November 20, 2010

High Drama

photography by Dean Farris

I couldn't resist sharing this shot of my lighting design for night time drama. Without light, there can be no beauty, thus the uplighter a la David Hicks... It's amazing what these small uplights can do, used in a creative fashion, or as a way to emphasize a favorite painting or art object. I also am very partial to portrait lights, and was recently in the former home of a professional athlete, where the primary light source was from picture lights, on dozens of oil paintings in salon style frames. The heavy gilt, carved frames jumped out in high relief, very dramatic ! Enjoy the upcoming holiday week. DF *****

Friday, November 19, 2010

Campion Platt in Naples !

Exciting news ! Star architect/interior designer CAMPION PLATT will be here in Naples on Thursday December 2, to give a talk on his work and projects. (see link to Miromar design center below). His home in Palm Beach was recently featured in the Palm Beach Daily News (see link for PBDN below). Star clients include Al Pacino, Meg Ryan, and Conan O'Brien. I would say that Mr. Platt is a modern day version of Maurice Fatio. Enjoy ! DF*****

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lunch in Punta Gorda

Founders of the Fishermans Village Marina

She's Yar !

This one passes muster

Lovely !

Cruising up Livingston Road to I-75

Today, Billy and I had a great time lunching with an old friend, Charles, at the Captains Table, overlooking beautiful Charlotte harbor... Founded in the mid 1800's, Punta Gorda is a charming and historic fishing village. We lunched at the Fisherman's Village Marina, and had some yummy Grilled Grouper sandwiches with Pinot grigio, while watching the boats come in and go out on this impossibly gorgeous, sunny, breezy and ever so slightly cool day. I wasn't in love with any of the shops at the marina complex, however, I would say that I would be happy to accept a contract to put my stamp of updated good taste on the place ! If you have never sampled the charms of this tiny, sleepy village, you shouldn't underestimate it, particularly if you are a boater. Venice is nearby, (see my earlier post on Venice)(January 2010) and Sarasota and Naples are about an hour (by motorcar) each way. Enjoy ! DF *****

Meubles Pour La Maison

These Louis XV style chairs were in front of the window

I replaced them with these Louis XIV style chairs

I very much enjoy rearranging furniture for clients, and for myself. Here, you can see where I have made a few changes - the interesting thing about using a variety of chairs is that one can so easily move them around, and thus get a fresh look in less than a minute ! Enjoy ! DF *****

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Decorative Lampshades

Bear's Paw Country Club

Bellflower Lane, Grey Oaks Country Club

Here are two examples of silk lamp shades I've used on some fairly recent projects. In the lower image, a trophy room I created for a big game hunter in Naples, I used an Houles' linen fringe on Ralph Lauren shades. We upholstered the walls in Holland and Sherry cashmere. At top, (image) I used some antique italian tole lamps, with pale green pleated silk shades, which blend beautifully with the peridot colored walls and grassy green patterned carpet...Louis XVI style poster bed by Hickory Chair Company. Swing arm wall lights and ceiling fan from Wilson Lighting, Naples. I really cannot overemphasize the importance of proper lighting ! DF *****

Friday, November 12, 2010

Corbett Lighting at Wilson in Naples

We all had a great time last night, enjoying good wine, food, and conversation at Wilson Lighting and Fan Company - learning about new product introductions from CORBETT LIGHTING - Corbett has some AMAZING creations for lighting, and here is one from the Parc Royale collection that I especially admire, similar to a certain french design we all are familiar with... enjoy the weekend. DF *****

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Your Family Decorator: Current designs often draw best of classic elements

Your Family Decorator: Current designs often draw best of classic elements
courtesy Carleton Varney, Palm Beach Daily News

Progress and Patience

Looking from the Master Suite wing towards the Library

Living Room

Dining Room

We started on this remodel/decoration project many months ago, and it is beginning to come together ! I have a wonderful client, very involved in the process, and she is no novice to the work required to pull a house together. We have used a mix of existing furnishings that came with the house, furniture from the Cape house, and new - and are still working out the kinks and adding art, beautiful objects, and custom draperies with motorized woven shades. Here are two shots I took yesterday showing the progress we have made, from many hours of work. This is a challenge, as the floor plan is quite awkward, and one sees too much upon entering the house. Enjoy ! DF *****

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sublime Symmetry

As a decorator, I have a natural proclivity towards symmetry, pairs, neoclassic styles, architecture, and classical arrangements. Here, I used a pair of neoclassic chairs with a very tasteful tufted settee for a timeless look. I never tire of this look, and it gives me great pleasure. Do play around with your furniture and enjoy the results. Sometimes, simply moving an object to another room makes a huge difference. Objects speak to each other is the language of design, and a good designer should have a vocabulary that projects taste, knowledge and historical precedents. As my dear friend and mentor, Albert Hadley has said: "A person becomes a designer because he has an intuitive flair, but he becomes a designer of merit through a long process of evolvement and involvement. The eye is what needs training, through care and constant investigation." Food for thought ! DF *****

Monday, November 8, 2010

French Furniture Fever !

From Todd Romano

A fruitwood model

Personification of charm

This for foot of the bed in Guest Bedroom

This wants to be in my Foyer

Pairs of chairs are CLASSIC !

I must say, I do think a lot about french chairs, french commodes, french boiserie, french EVERYTHING ! I just love it, thats all. Am reading a very interesting book by Wendy Burden called "The Dead End Gene Pool" about her childhood in New York, Maine, New Jersey, and Hobe Sound. It's quite a juicy memoir. Check out Margaret Dunnes new "AD" with Nicky Haslam and Stephen Sills using some luscious Louis XV chairs in London and Connecticut. It's what I adore, and I especially like the flat in London that Mr. Haslam has done up. His color sense is unmatched. One can see the Fowler influence, and his love of comfort and British understatement is quite evident. Having just finished reading "The World Of Gloria Vanderbilt" by Wendy Goodman, I am having a ball following up with Wendy Burdens tome, and can't wait to get ahold of Armistead Maupin's new novel... ENJOY ! DF *****

Friday, November 5, 2010

What To Get Albert For His Birthday ?

Hmmm... dear Albert Hadley has another birthday coming up (thursday) and I just don't know what to get for him... now that he has closed his offices, I can't just send a faxed sketch and I can't call Carol and leave a message ! Perhaps a nice note will be in order. Enjoy your new life dear Alberto ! DF *****

Following Billy Baldwins Advice

Great new book !

Room by Dean Farris

The table was a sample from FP Victoria's warehouse sale

I did read with some interest that the society decorator, Billy Baldwin, loved rooms that looked as if there had just been a party, and the chairs had been moved about to suit the way the guests wanted to converse and be with one another. I finally broke down and tried this in my one room that I have to play around with, and IT WORKS ! Surprise ! it's just that you have to FORCE yourself to make it look that nonchalant, effortless way, so it really is a form of mannerism, or style that has been exaggerated somewhat to get its point across... it also gives me a feeling of fullness, of happiness, and joy, of the possibilities, which are endless in decorating. Enjoy these shots I took - try it yourself... DF *****

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Portrait of a Room

Here is the Imari temple jar sitting in the sun, sparkling and glittering on this Jansen inspired gilt and marble table. In the eighteenth century, there was a mania for porcelain, and whole rooms were devoted to amassing it.... it was known as "porcelainmania" I do think that the palaces in Germany, such as Sans Souci - etc. will show some excellent examples. Enjoy ! DF*****

Monday, November 1, 2010

Imari Style Porcelain - Room Scheme Inspiration

I was irresistibly drawn to this copy of an Imari porcelain covered temple jar. When I was about seventeen, I was taken to one of the most beautiful houses in Charlotte, North Carolina. To give you an idea of how elegant the ladies of Charlotte are, they hired Parish Hadley to decorate the clubhouse at Myers Park Country Club... but I digress, as usual. A friend took me to this house, belonging to Bill Ross, which he had built and had decorated by his partner, one of the then top designers of Charlotte ( this was about 1976). the living room had been designed around a collection of old Imari porcelain, and the colors were used so beautifully in the walls, rug, fabrics... this house had an absolute air of aristocracy about it. The foyer was two stories, with a double staircase, a huge black and white diamond floor, and a huge 19th c portrait hung over a console with a portrait light... they had gone to New York and bought antiques at Christies... it just smelled like money and taste in that house ! It was divine. DF *****