Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Fresh Beginning 2015 !

Drawing by Stan Topol
I look back in order to go forward... one of my most influential and inspiring mentors has always been 
Mr. Stan Topol~ an Atlanta based designer who taught me back in the 1970's...

Stan Topol with his mentor, Billy Baldwin
Stan counts among many others, Sir Elton John, as a client~and has been published in AD and Veranda.  He gives charisma a whole new meaning! Click here for Veranda...

A recent photograph of Stan
 Anyone who has had the pleasure of knowing Stan, as I have ~knows what a great talent and a wonderful friend he is.  Happy 2015!  DF *****

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

David Adler For Sale

111 Moffett Road Lake Bluff, IL by David Adler
Now that the real estate market is coming back, some of the fortunate owners of Adler designed properties are beginning to list on the open market~
Click here to see the listing for this one !  Enjoy !  DF *****


Monday, December 29, 2014

Meeting Stephen!

Lester Armour House, 1932 David Adler, Architect Frances Elkins, Decorator

Billy and I had such a great time yesterday~meeting the esteemed author, Stephen M. Salny.  We chatted for over two hours about the books he's published with Norton, and all of our mutual friends and acquaintances.  If you've been following this blog, you probably know that SMS has authored some of my favorite books, including the iconic Michael Taylor book.  Now, he has a fourth out, on the former  Parish-Hadley decorator, William Hodgins.  Thanks again to Stephen for a very enjoyable afternoon, and for signing all four of my books!  
As a funny aside, Pat Montandon, (a former client of Michael Taylor's) and I share a birthday in common!  What a trip!  Enjoy!  DF *****

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Brooke Giannetti, Stephen Salny

Imagine my excitement about meeting Stephen M. Salny ~ author of no less than FOUR of my top picks for the best architecture and design books in my library!  Stay tuned for my next post, all about Mr. Salny !

I was also thrilled to see that another California designer-blogger got the cover of Veranda (January-February 2015) Brooke Giannetti of Velvet and here !  Mark Sikes, move over!  Enjoy!  DF ***** 


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Conch House Christmas

A Key West Conch House

One of the most fun Christmas holidays I've ever enjoyed, was back in the gilded 1980's~ when I drove down to Key West, Florida from North Carolina.  Key West still had a hand tinted post card glow then, and I always would stay in the old quarter, known as Old Town Key West~which has been home to luminaries such as Tennessee Williams, Ernest Hemingway, Truman Capote, and many other artists.  Lilly Pulitzer would get her fabrics from Key West for her orange juice making shifts back in the sixties and seventies then.
So, back to my story.  I was playing tennis with a very good, rated player, and as I ran back to make my return shot (this is like Gloria Upson telling her Ping Pong ball story) I very unfortunately turned my ankle and landed on my left wrist! The courts were asphalt, so yes I had a fractured wrist.  Dr. Avery Plowden at the KW hospital put a nice cast on my arm, and gave me a prescription for Tylenol with codeine.  Later, but not too, I was on Duval Street enjoying dinner with a glass of wine, and if you've ever accidentally mixed a beverage with a codeine laced pill, you know that wonderful
naughty  floating sensation!  I just remember feeling so well,  and the little white lights were blurry in a wonderful way, and I wandered into this kind of gazebo, all lined in unfinished plywood.  In the middle of the vaulted ceiling going up up up was a beautiful plain evergreen Christmas tree, and all it had on it was the white lights.The utter beauty and raw simplicity made quite an impression on me, as the familiar thump of the disco-techno beat pounded away in the background. Whenever I think of a memorable Christmas holiday, this image comes to mind.  The breezes were making the palms sway, and rustle in the moonlight, and it was magical.  Merry Christmas, and hope you had a nice Chanukah too! Enjoy!  DF *****

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

More Really Is More

Lilly Pulitzer
While I never had the pleasure of meeting the late Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau, I had always admired her and her beautiful line of clothing~  When I saw this picture of her former living room in Palm Beach, I thought, wow, what a great example of the old adage, "More is More" !  Large rooms certainly demand a great deal of furniture and decoration, and as you can see here, Lilly did not hold back!  The mix of prints and colors is done with a barely controlled sense of wild abandon, and the art makes a big statement as well.  That large pair of covered porcelain jars on the far wall went for something like $47,000.00 at the Leslie Hindman auction of the LP estate.  
Mimi McMakin, also of PB, has recently been here in Naples re-decorating the Royal Poinciana club (known as the RP) and is now doing up the Audubon Country Club as well!   My old pal, Mario Buatta, is just finishing a large house in Palm Beach, and we have Timothy Corrigan coming to visit Naples in February! Owning a chateau in France is certainly a good example of more is more...and TC has one!
Take a tour of it on the Quintessence blog!
Check out his book on the subject, "An Invitation to Chateau du Grand-Luce'" ~and back to Lilly, I did pop in to a Lilly shop here in Naples (we have two) and found out the men's line has been discontinued!  I only have one of her swimsuits, and it's almost rotten from chlorine in the pool!  Vintage shops here I come!  Enjoy!  Merry Christmas!  
DF *****

Monday, December 22, 2014

Foyer Moment

DFID (my personal residence, Naples)
Well, yes, of course I have always wanted to have a real foyer, and the bigger the better!  While I'm not sure this tiny entrance nook could even be called a foyer, you can see here that I made the most of a minimal space, by using the concept of "more is more".  I simply kept adding things, and will continue to do so!  Still need the rug!  Would love a black and white marble floor!  
My dear friend, Judith Auclair, of Maison Auclair recently gave me the pair of "Poseidon" engravings, which really helped to fill in the wall.  The small table was also a gift, as were the pair tassels, the pair blue Bohemian glass vases, the shelled bust, and the small Michael Aram silver box!  Also, the pair bird porcelain candle holders!  I found the pair of tole ware planters in the Chesterdales group shoppes here in Naples.  I did the magnolia arrangements myself.  The small rug and the gilt framed image were also gifts from years ago.  The chair came from Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach.  How personal and comforting!  Enjoy!  DF *****


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Timothy Corrigan Coming to Naples!

Designer Timothy Corrigan AD 100
Exciting !  International interior designer, Timothy Corrigan, is coming to our Miromar Design Center!  He has collections for Schumacher, which we represent, including furniture, textiles, and rugs!  He also has a book, "An Invitation to Grand-Luce'" about his restoration of a Loire valley chateau, which he owns.  TC has offices in Los Angeles and Paris, stay tuned for dates and times!  DF *****


Chateau du Grand Luce'

Friday, December 19, 2014

Inspired by Matisse - Christmas Gift !

Original painting, oil on board, Dean Farris, Photo: Susan Swanson

Couldn't resist sharing this image of my latest work of art, inspired by master Henri Matisse~ My wonderful collaborator and friend, Susan Swanson,  framed it for me and her company is called Aldecor.  I'm giving this to some good friends as a Christmas gift this year~Enjoy!  DF *****


Thursday, December 18, 2014

My Holiday Decor 2014 !


Entry DFID


Entry detail DFID

Table detail DFID





Detail table, DFID


Detail bust shelled, DFID




I had such fun putting some things together for my little old holiday celebrations~ here are some more views of the living room, also known as the petite salon~ which has been decorated for Christmas in a very simple and easy manner. Enjoy!  DF *****

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Home Sweet Home

DFID My Living Room in Naples 2014
All of my friends, clients, and family members have commented on how much they like my new flat, here in Naples.  I love it too, but as usual am probably going to be making some minor changes soon.  For example, I might replace the showy ikat rug with a solid sisal.  I would also like a lower and larger coffee table, and am considering a tall armoire across from the sofa for some added height. Then I can tackle my bedroom~ where I plan to use a Dana Gibson print for a headboard- or get a nice tester bed from OLY STUDIO, which we carry at MP Interiors.  Still deciding! I can be as picky and indecisive as any client!  Enjoy!  DF *****

Monday, December 15, 2014

Godetia Redux

DFID 2010

I created these very charming small bouquets about 4 years ago~ for a send-off to Barcelona dinner I hosted for some old friends.  I had forgotten all about them, (the flowers) and when I found them again, I thought how beautiful, and timely for the holiday season!  They are called Godetia, and come from Ecuador.  Table, Spencer Ott, selenite holders, Stewart Galleries, flowers, Fresh Market.  Enjoy!  DF *****

You have power over your mind -- not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength. -- Marcus Aurelius

Friday, December 12, 2014

Chateau d'Anet

Chateau d'Anet
Love the classical simplicity of this chamber~the use of one beautiful textile is sometimes all a room needs!  Enjoy!  DF *****

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Geronimo Chair - Rat Pack Chic

Bradley Cooper by Sam Jones in VF January 2015 in Andrew Martin chair
What fun to see Bradley Cooper, one of my favorite actors, sitting in one of our Andrew Martin "Geronimo" chairs~check out his great profile by Buzz Bissinger in the new 2015 Vanity Fair! Enjoy! DF *****

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Andrew Martin Wall paper, MP Interiors

We recently installed this new blue and white porcelain inspired wall covering from Andrew Martin~ which also comes in a beige background- the one shown above is called Cargo blue-grey #CG02, 10 meter rolls, made in England.  This is what I used for my lacca povera entry door~ (see recent posts on the transformation of a banal door into something totally fabulous!) And, here I am again looking like a young Gary Cooper~ 22 years ago!

Dean in 1992
How amusing~ that I had completely forgotten about this old (1992) image of moi looking like a Chinese porcelain addict (which I was, and am) in that to die for RL silk shirting~and of course, I'm holding a paper Dixie cup of "sweet tea" since this was from when I was decorating a large-ish house in Greenville, SC for old clients there. Enjoy! DF *****

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Valentino Garavani for Christmas

New Book I want from Santa
Dear Santa, I would like this book  very much~ click here

From Valentino The Emperors Table, by Andre' Leon Talley

Andre' Leon Talley

Valentino, Gwyneth, and Bruce

Here's Valentino with pal Gwyneth Paltrow ~ and (his) boyfriend Bruce Hoeksema~

Valentino and Bruce out on the town
P.S. Santa dear, if you want to throw in five homes and a yacht~ (like Val has) it's ok ! :)
Enjoy!  DF *****

Monday, December 8, 2014

Pelican Bay Condo

Saint Kitts Condo - Pelican Bay - Naples

I thought you might enjoy seeing something I did for clients- back when I was associated with Interiors by Design West, Naples.  Since this picture was taken, some beautiful teal-aqua silk pillows were added to the Kreiss sofa- I designed this unit with Glenn Midnet in the Saint Kitts condominium~ Enjoy!  DF *****


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Lacca Povera as Inspiration for Doors

Lacca Povera
Recently, I posted about my entry door, and a painted treatment for it.  An Andrew Martin wallpaper and the 18th century art of lacca povera (poor mans lacquer) inspired me to further embellish the door, with a chinoiserie motif~

18th century lacca povera 
The Venetians created this style, and it satisfied a desire in the rococo for opulence, without the extravagant expense.

Lacca Povera commode 
Prints were cut out, pasted on, and varnished over to get the look~see here for more on lacca povera from a 2012 piece by John Tackett on The Devoted Classicist ~

The door before
This door was a plain vanilla, before it was done in a trompe l'oeil molded look with faux marbre~

I cut out plates from left over wall paper, shown above~

A quick snap shot gives an idea of the dramatic look of it~

I haven't yet varnished over the plates.  The varnish will give it a more finished look~ and then I would like to have a leopard rug made for the area to give it a very Madeleine Castaing mood~ stay tuned!  Enjoy!  DF *****

Richard Lowell Neas
Bunny Williams

Here I am 1993, shirt by RL
DFID Lacca Povera Door

Couldn't resist adding this last shot of my "lacca" door ! I finally had a reason to buy Mod Podge from Michaels! DF
(notice the three more pieces I added ~)