Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Real Estate Roulette

Ardissone, Naples, Florida
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 *****


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Lilly In The Garden

Minnie, Lilly, and Liza, 1963 NYT
 Of course, I've always loved the ultra prep style of Lilly Pulitzer, and so, I was somewhat saddened to hear of her recent death.  Look at this beautiful, charming 1963 image of Lilly with her two daughters.  She also has a son, Peter. 
Years ago, I met and "hung out" with Mac and Zac, the twins that Herbert "Peter" Pulitzer had with Roxanne Pulitzer, here in Naples...they were dressed alike, in jeans, Hermes' belts, and flip flops.  
I would have loved to have met famous Lilly, as I'm sure she was a totally fabulous original person.  I own one LP swimsuit, which is totally faded out, but I still like it and wear it sometimes.  Thanks T and J...

The Orricos
Representing the new Lilly- after she sold out- the ladies above own two LP boutiques in Palm Beach and two in Naples, plus Delray and Hobe Sound...  it's always a lot of fun to visit an LP boutique- an explosion of bright, fun colors...

"That's me, far left, in bright PINK!" 
Here I am, out to dinner, with Billy, Sherry, Maureen, Arnold, Ernie and Becky-one of Billy's clients at Maison Auclair Antiques, was Mrs. W. Clarke Swanson, Jr. (Elizabeth) who was introduced to Mr. Swanson at a lunch on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, by none other than Lilly Pulitzer.  The Swansons have kept a place in Naples for many years, and it was decorated by one of my mentors, the fabulous impresario, Tom Britt... a bit of decorating trivia for you, dear readers... 

Decorator Kevin Stefanni in Lilly
Above, my friend and fellow designer, Kevin, sports a "new" Lilly blazer, from the men's collection-

Here's a pretty, fresh, pink and green image, which I dedicate to the memory of Lilly, I feel as if I did know her- and have always been inspired by her original talent and style.  DF *****



Sunday, April 7, 2013

A Fun Day Along The Shore

Former Winter Home of the late Albert Hadley, Naples
I started today with a wonderful relaxing swim in the pool- highly recommended if you have a bad back- or just need to let go of some stress- my clients bought the former Hadley cottage- after I introduced them to each other- and they added the pool and small addition that AH never had- the house including a guest cottage, has since been resold twice. 

Looking north up the bay, towards Venetian Village
After breakfast by the pool, and catching up with my new neighbor Andrew, who lives in Ft Lauderdale, and weekends in Naples, Billy stopped by, and we went up to the Village for a beautiful lunch- facing south down the bay, shown above.

Danieli boutique, Venetian Village, Naples
After our long luxurious lunch at Bayside, upstairs and outdoors- facing the long bay view- we shopped the Village.  If you visit Bayside - do ask for Kelly, she was at Campiello's for ten years!  I had a trio salad, Billy had a grilled chicken on focaccia, and we shared a split of Prosecco, followed by a luscious chocolate mousse cake and cafe' americain.  I did pick up a couple of end of season sale items at Danieli, a small reverse painted plate with a yellow bird- and a small baroque style photo frame in a pretty Florentine finish.  We also saw old friend, Doug, at the provencal shop-always nice to see dear Doug, who lives in the neighborhood with his French wife.  

Tinsley Mortimer
Later, but not too, I met up with my friend and neighbor, Sherree, who is one of the most attractive and nice women I know.  She is like a cross between a young Catherine Deneuve and the New York socialite, Tinsley Mortimer- very Palm Beach-Naples, and a southerner too, from Knoxville, TN.  We shared Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, tapenade, crab bites, and baked brie- and I saw some old clients from the Lausanne, which is near my building.  M Waterfront Grille is elegant and casual at the same time, and while I was waiting for dear Sherree, an older lady pulled up to the valet parking in her Mercedes 500 convertible- it was interesting because she was a ringer for Vivien Leigh in the film version of the Tennessee Williams play The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone! And the valet was like an Italian gigolo hunk type!- I love these observations of mine- crazy but profound at the same time.  She has the money, he has the youth- and there you have it, the ageless struggle of man to rise above his or her quotidian existence.

Dean Farris Interior Design
I came back to the cabana I call home early- and found this moody and romantic looking room waiting for me- a lovely retreat after a pleasurable day of fresh air and relaxation along the beautiful Gulf of Mexico, in the town known as Naples- lucky moi!  Enjoy! DF *****     

Friday, April 5, 2013

Home of the Month: Starting Over in Bay Colony - Gulfshore Life - March 2013 - Naples, FL

Home of the Month: Starting Over in Bay Colony - Gulfshore Life - March 2013 - Naples, FL

Congrats to Dominique LaManna, Caroline Ficquette, and Edgar Ramirez, Interiors by Design West, Naples for the recent editorial feature in the current issue of Gulf Shore Life...DF*****

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Editor at Large > Ireland debuts fabrics, bold ad campaign for Scalamandré

The Editor at Large > Ireland debuts fabrics, bold ad campaign for Scalamandré

I was most excited to read about the new collection for Scalamandre' by Kathryn Ireland- on The Editor at Large.  The aristocratic English taste has always appealed to me.  Congratulations to Steven Stolman and Ms. Ireland!  DF ***** 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Spring 2013 Inspirations

Flowers and gardens, always inspiring, always a joy to experience! This house and garden is in Naples, Florida- I love the extravagant look of the layering of elements here.

My friend and collaborator, Judith Auclair, makes amazing things in the art of coquillage, and recently made some large chandeliers for a palace project in Russia.

Authenticity is a recurring theme of mine, and is a major inspiration, not just for Spring 2013, but any time of the year.  I like the suggestion of outdoor living here, and the sunny Mediterranean lifestyle always inspires and lifts me up.  The peach wall with the pale green shutter is sensational, and classic.  DF *****