Monday, November 28, 2016

MOOD BOARD: Decorative Inspirations

Mark D. Sikes

via the Glam Pad

Thomas Britt, via Veranda

Andrew Raquet, via Veranda

Countess Brandolini (in Pierre Cardin)


Angelo Donghia, 1971

One of my FIT renderings, "Salon for Cecil Beaton" 1981

What fun- to post images that inspire me right now! (Including one of my very own last-but-not-least design school sketches!)  Enjoy!  DF *****

* * * * *

Friday, November 25, 2016

Tommy Hilfiger on his memoir ‘American Dreamer’

Tommy Hilfiger on his memoir ‘American Dreamer’: Iconic designer 65 talks about the evolution of his label and why there is such a thing as being too popular

I'm really enjoying the new bio on designer Tommy Hilfiger, called "American Dreamer" - it's a real page turner, and gives fantastic insight into the drive and determination to succeed that took Mr. Hilfiger all the way to the top of the fashion world, a world where the word ruthless takes on a whole other meaning. 

Read more about Tommy here !  A true American success story, and a great inspiration to all of us.  DF *****

* * * * *

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


Dean Farris Interior Design, 2016

Decisions, decisions...nail head trim, guimpe, welt, tape, fringe, tassels?  Above, you can see my Louis XV style fruitwood open armchairs are trimmed in antique bronze finished nail heads- and the pillow has brush fringe, with tassels...passementerie is something very classic, and not used as much as it was in the roaring 1980's...but is still in the vocabulary of a well-trained decorator or designer.

Dean Farris Interior Design, 2016

Here, in the image above, you can see where Albert Hadley used his signature flat tape, for the edging on this Spanish copy of a Louis XV open armchair, one of the wonderful things I obtained from him when he was wintering in Naples.  I mention this detail, since most of the local upholstery shops have no idea about it, and are not really interested in it- they just want to keep adding that dreaded "double welting" which often obscures part of the frame on a nice chair or canapé'.

Dean Farris Interior Design, 2016

Finally, in this image (above) you can see two slipper chairs with small welting (Leta Austin Foster calls it "blind cord") and one settee with spaced nail head trim.  I look forward to sharing more with you soon on this topic- which could be a book unto itself!  DF *****

DFID, 2016
* * * * * * * * * *

Saturday, November 12, 2016


Alberto Pinto
How very fortunate was I, at a young age, to meet the legendary designer and arbiter of taste, Alberto Pinto ? 
As I was a lowly visual merchandising assistant in Furniture and Model Rooms at Bloomingdales' (Manhattan)~ it just so happened that he flew over the big pond, along with Andree' Putman and Jacques Grange- to create some model rooms back when the store still had them. 

These model "rooms" were a huge draw- and Barbara D'Arcy had been the one who came up with the concept- a four times a year proposition!  That certainly kept me and the rest of the furniture visual staff busy!  Mr. Pinto was born in Casablanca, Morocco.  I recall him being in a wheelchair at the time we met, and oozing a kind of charisma not often seen.  At the same period in time, Ivana Trump was often seen shopping in the Manhattan Bloomingdales, and I loved her in a red suit with her bright blonde French twist bouffant.  She oozed 80's glam!  The excitement!  The sizzle!

Alberto Pinto
For more, see the late designers new book, and do check out his site, which I linked above in the first paragraph. 

After work, I would then walk to the Vertical Club for my work out, and there I would see Donald Trump, (with his trainer) - Brooke Shields, Mary McFadden, Fabio, and Dr. Ruth ! All working out together with little old me!  Sometimes, as I was leaving the gym, I'd see Mr. Trump leaving also, and sliding into his long black limo.  Can I tell you- I loved it then and I love it now!  Looking forward to my next trip with Billy to the big apple!  That's all for now, folks!  XXOO DF

Friday, November 4, 2016

Topic: Design Trends 2016

Driftwood Garden Center, Naples, FL
I'm most excited to be giving a talk to an invitation only group of ladies from Naples on Wednesday, November 9th, at the beautiful Miromar Design Center !  The topic of the talk is "Design Trends" - something I know a little bit about.  Here's my short list of bullet points for the presentation.

Color Stories....Less is More...All in the Mix...Classics...Updating the Trad...Fashion accessories...and Making it Personal.  I will also touch on some of my current fave designers, such as Billy Baldwin, Celerie Kemble, William McLure, Mark Sikes, and Summer Thornton. 

* * * * *  

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

BILLY BALDWIN, on my mind

One of my biggest inspirations and favorite decorators of all time, William Williar Baldwin, known as "Billy" - is the subject of todays post, a great look back in order to gain fresh perspective for a new month! 
Way back in 1977, I had the chance to meet the master, but little did I know, I had spent the last two years studying under an early protégé of his- Stan Topol! (1975-77). 
My grand tour chaperone, Robert Morring, placed a call to BB's office from our New York hotel suite, to arrange the meeting- and alas, Billy had already left for Sconset- (Nantucket). 
After a brutal beating by the IRS, the most prominent designer in American decorating was left with very little- and ended his days in a small dependency at the kindness of his friends Michael Gardine and Way Bandy. 
The bookkeepers had not been managing Baldwin's business properly, and it's a minor scandal that dear Billy had to end as he did.  (Albert Hadley was a millionaire at the time of his death, and left substantial bequests to several New York institutions).  Here, a few images to look at and be inspired by- representing the genius of Baldwin!  Enjoy!  DF *****








Chanticleer, one of BB's favorite spots on Nantucket, see here is very high on my bucket list of places to visit NEXT summer!

Chanticleer, Nantucket

* * * * *