Thursday, March 31, 2016


R. Higgins Interiors, via Traditional Home

Lately, I've been thinking about early inspirations, and this image reminded me of an old acquaintance, the designer Joan Gnasco, who was the sister of my old friend Gail Dewar.  Joan's small house inspired me, with its taupe walls and lemon yellow sofa, placed in the large window, facing a fireplace.  Her house always smelled deliciously of fresh lemon and fresh paint.  It was a house that was loved.

I was also inspired by a shop in town called John Simmons, aka The Shop of John was a home furnishings boutique, and had so many fun things, and it too always had a wonderful fragrance in the air.  I remember they always had copies of Architectural Digest you could buy there.  This was way back in the early 1970's...

Roger Higgins and Ann Shipp, who own the house shown above, love their deep taupe walls with their stunning chartreuse "tabloid" curtains, a style often favored by the late decorator, Mark Hampton.  The chartreuse color reminds me so much of the curtains Tice Alexander had chosen for his New York flat when I was living and working with him at the time.  Tice had been an assistant to the late Albert Hadley, who came to New York originally from Nashville!  I believe that John Simmons was also from Tennessee, and he was known for giving lavish parties.  All of these designers inspire me and bring back fond memories.  Enjoy!  DF *****
(check out the R. Higgins site here )

*image via Traditional Home

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  1. Dean, I also love reminiscing about the people and places that have inspired and influenced me. The dining room above is so graceful and timeless!

    Featuring Artist Scott McBee

    1. Hi K !
      Was just reading your beautiful post on our friend Scott McBee.
      Beautifully done!

  2. John Simmons is from Memphis. Now retired and living in Mexico, his original shops -- before being franchised -- were well ahead of their time, full of the most chic and interesting items of the day. Many items were handmade especially for the store, or vintage pieces, all creatively displayed.

    1. John,
      Thanks very much for this comment on JS. I suppose the JS I was exposed to must have been a franchise- (it was in Winston-Salem, NC) but even if it was, it was such a beacon light for me as a starving teenager- and my dear Mother used to buy things there, I had a brass Parsons table from JS next to my was a crazy, fun, and as you said, very chic atmosphere. Just fabulous! Thanks again and hope we can meet up sometime soon!

    2. Hi John,
      I just wanted to thank you for putting me in touch with Mr. Simmons.
      He's a real charmer and a very interesting man!


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