Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year 2010

Tonight, Billy and I will be celebrating at the home of Ellen and Johnny Harris...Albert Hadley has referred to their home as "his favorite in Florida" - and it is a wonderful house located in Aqualane Shores. It's always a pleasure to see this charming couple, whom I met through Albert. (Johnny remodeled Albert's cottage on 11th Avenue South in Old Naples). The neighborhood is a mix of old and new, but because it is all waterfront lots, steps from the beach and shops, it is pricey. The new house across the street from the Harris home is listed for sale at 5.5 million. Yours truly once lived nearby at "Petit Square" the Walter Keller designed building containing Maus & Hoffman and other shops, with apartments above. My apartment sold for around $800,000.00...I later bought a smaller place at Bayfront and lived there for almost three years. Bayfront is a mixed use community, with its own marina and views facing Naples Bay and Port Royal. When I lived at Petit Square it was owned by the aunt of my friend Diane Uihlein...this old auntie donated 65 million to the city of Milwaukee for a new sports stadium ! Diane's grandparents lived in a palatial Naples house during the winter that the Kennedys considered purchasing before they bought in Palm Beach. It's all very interesting, and I still remember the Christmas party Diane threw where she had a "female impersonator" come out as Evita Peron/Donna Summer...her voice was amplified as he/she belted out "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" and of course, neighbors summoned the police to quiet her down ! Oh, what a treat that was.

Here is another shot I took of my living room sporting the new "Nantucket Red" curtains... Here's to another great year ! DF *****

1stdibs Introspective - Style Compass - Charlotte Moss

1stdibs Introspective - Style Compass - Charlotte Moss

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Project for 2010

Some existing furnishings...
West terrace view...

Yesterday, William and I visited with our new client here in lovely Naples, and toured the condominium we will be remodeling and decorating for her. Located in the prestigious Park Shore neighborhood, this unusual building is sited on pilings built directly over the bay, across from the gulf of mexico beachfront. Here are some random shots of the project I chose to share. Enjoy ! DF *****Copyright Dean Farris 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Le Marais in Napoli

Progress shot during installation...

I had a great time visiting family in Winston-Salem, but it's always a pleasure to return to Naples, and beautiful sunny weather. We saw "The Blind Side" with Sandra Bullock, and I particularly enjoyed "It's Complicated" with my fave Meryl Streep. Santa didn't bring me a small house in Santa Barbara, but I did get to live vicariously through Meryl's character and totally enjoyed the experience, viewing in luxury at the new SilverSpot Cinema here in Naples, with extra large and wide leather seating...what a treat ! Hunter Parrish plays one of the kids, and he is such a beautiful young man.

Here is the long awaited view of my new very simple curtains in my small living room here in Naples...I really am pleased with how they turned out, and improvised some left over Houles' fringe for the tiebacks. The fabric was also leftover from when William and I had a condo in Pompano, at PalmAire Country Club, where Truman Capote once stayed for a while. We rented that unit out for the season to Mrs. Barbara Mandel, the former first lady of Maryland ! I enjoy the memories associated with this material, and the color is definitely a soft "Nantucket Red", which looks great with the olive suede on the pair of provincial Louis XV armchairs. Fabric, P. Kaufmann, Trim, Houles', bamboo pole, Pier One Imports. DF*****

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Wonderland

I'm flying off to North Carolina tomorrow, to inches of lovely SNOW ! I'll check back in on Monday the 28th... Happy Holidays To All ! Dean

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Holiday Wish List

Dear Santa,
Could I please have: a vintage mercedes convertible, restored. A small house in Santa Barbara, California, also vintage. A case of Roederer Cristal champagne. A vintage Cartier tank watch, and some new suits from Savile Row, London...
Thanks so much !


Friday, December 18, 2009

Holiday Madness !

Let's all try to count our blessings... the only things I want for Christmas are peace, love, and happiness. Ok, maybe a few material things... stay tuned ! DF *****

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dean's Draperies !

Stay tuned for the exciting post coming up, hopefully tonight, showing my gorgeous new curtains which were installed yesterday, just in time for Santa Claus ! Too exciting for words. This is the designers version of having a baby !

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Interior Views

Elevator or Stairs ?

Casual Dining

De Rigeur Orchid...

Cocktails and Conversation !

Today, I chose a few random images that I like from my portfolio. Enjoy ! DF *****

copyright Dean Farris 2009

All interiors by Dean Farris Interior Design

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Interiors for Today

Dining Room

Her Home Office

Third Floor Landing

Master Bedroom

His Home Office

Family Room

Breakfast Room

Music Room

I'm especially proud of the work I did on this house, which was two years in the making. Here are views of the Music Room, Family Room, Dining Room, Breakfast Room, and the top floor owner's suite. This wonderful casa has gulf access , pool, summer kitchen, guest house, and extensive landscaped grounds, very close to the beach. Enjoy ! DF*****

copyright Dean Farris 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

Salon de Musique

I really like this view of the Music Room I created for clients last year. Looking down on the room from the third floor landing creates a very interesting perspective. All fabrics from Robert Allen. Rug, Designer's Rug Center, Naples. DF *****
copyright Dean Farris Interior Design 2009

Here I am again posing for some publicity shots, wearing a bespoke suit from Tom James Clothier, bespoke shirt with french cuffs, links by Mario Villa, Brooks Brothers silk tie, Gucci loafers.
photography by William R. Rain 2008

Friday, December 11, 2009

Post Number 100 !

Happy Birthday Jerry !

Living Room in progress

Today, I'm writing for Dean Farris Style, post number one hundred...also, today is the birthday of my old friend Jerry, (shown here at right) and I wish him many more. He and Albert have similar birthdates; AH is 11-11 and Jer's is 12-11...easy to remember.

Also, I found this shot from the archives of the install for the wonderful Darien clients and just wanted to include it in today's posting. For all of us, it was truly a labor of love. Peace, Love, and Happiness ! DF *****

copyright Dean Farris 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Merry Chanelmas !

I had thought of using a shot of Coco Chanel's Living Room (salon) for my Christmas card this year...instead I purchased some nice schmaltzy cards... but I do think that this rich teal color looks fresh for the season. Think outside the box as they say. Auntie Mame stole the show when she appropriated an ornament from the tree for her brooch, and Patrick made a wonderful "Picasso" to hang above the mantel (with scotch tape) !

Enjoy the holiday season any way you can ! DF *****

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Dean's Favorite Rooms II

Dining Room

Wet Bar

Here are a few random shots from the project I had done in Naples, which has been featured in "Gulfshore Life", "Naples Illustrated", and "N magazine"... I always enjoy sharing images of rooms I have done, which gives me a feeling of completion. The bar had been a laundry room. The study originally had a fitted carpet on the floor.

This wonderfully atmospheric shot of the Salle a' Manger
(Dining Room) shows the interesting silk taffeta drapery treatment we used to great effect over shutters. DF *****

copyright Dean Farris 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Magnum Lounge Miami

Tonight, William is treating me to a dinner at one of our favorite Miami hot spots, Magnum. Jeffrey, the owner, always takes such good care of us there, and Kurt the chef is a miracle worker. Our friend Terry Hammond plays the piano and sings wonderful old songs; while we bask in the decadent Paris in the thirties atmosphere. Terry is a very interesting fellow, he once brought Kitty Carlisle (Mrs. Moss Hart) to the club he played in Ft Lauderdale, which was called Chardee's...we always had a ton of fun there. I look forward to our time together. DF *****

copyright Dean Farris 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

Breakfast With A View

I love this shot of a breakfast area I designed a few years ago. The view reminds me of my beloved southern California desert. I used a Travers italian printed cotton, and some inexpensive wicker chairs a la Michael Taylor. The lantern was found by my creative client. The banquette seating is something I often suggest for a slightly different look in an area such as this one. DF *****

copyright Dean Farris 2009 As featured in "N the magazine of Naples"

Friday, December 4, 2009

Art Basel

Every year for the past eight, the international art fair, Art Basel, is held in Miami. While William and I did not attend this year, we did meet some fun and interesting men headed that way, while enjoying a brief sojourn at the chic guest house called Flamingo, in Fort Lauderdale. Today we visited Pocock Fine Art, and met Stuart Pocock, the owner. I admired a late 19th c "portrait of a gentleman" and a beautiful black lacquer chinoiserie secretaire a abattant...
We then ventured up to Pompano for our usual delicious lunch at Rotelli, and then headed down to Dania to the Design Center of the Americas, where we met with Bill Nessen to review some Jack Larsen and Manuel Canovas fabrics. We also popped in to Brunschwig to see our friend Odette, and review wallcoverings for another client. Nessen has just launched a new website, and totally revamped their second floor showroom, which looked fantastic. The jaunt was made all the more fun cruising in our new 2010 VW Jetta turbo diesel wagon ! We were green all the way at average 40 miles per gallon. Great excursion ! DF *****

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Saint Barth's Christmas

I want to share with you my experience working for the late designer Robert Metzger. Every year, for the holidays, Robert and his business partner, architect Michael Christiano, would leave New York for two glorious weeks on Saint Bartheleme'. I always thought what a great way to celebrate this season so geared to children, when one is not really involved with children in any way ! This is definitely what I prefer to do. Every year for the past five years, William and I have gone to the fabulous desert resort of Palm Springs, California. It is such a beautiful place, and I really enjoy the dry desert air.
Robert Metzger was featured many times in "Architectural Digest" and I enjoyed meeting some of his celebrity clients, including John and Tatum McEnroe, Carolina and Reinaldo Herrera, James Robinson III of American Express, Claudia Cohen, and many others in the glitterati set. Robert was a wonderful man, a native New Yorker, and I learned a lot from him. He used antiques in a very fresh and irreverent way, and he made everything look effortless. His swank offices on East 58th Street, adjacent to the D & D building were always buzzing with activity. It was a great time in my life. The Christmas party he threw for us at his Central Park West home was always wonderfully gracious, with a staff of uniformed servants, fresh flowers, and good food. He inherited this apartment, and before I came on board, he had operated his business from it as well. I remember him fondly, and remember the day that I ran into George Markarian, and he told me of Robert's untimely demise. Thanks for a great time Robert, you were the best ! DF *****

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Decorative Painted Furniture

Spanish Louis XV Style

I have to admit, even though I see the beauty of mahogany, satinwood, cherry, and other fruitwoods, I just love painted furniture. I have always liked it, ever since I was a boy looking through the many issues of "House & Garden" my mother kept in the house. Here is a commode from Italy that I am fond of, and a chair from Spain - which I purchased from Albert Hadley. Notice how the teal colored paint is used on both. I am inspired to create a room using a palette of tomato red, teal, and cream, based on paintings I've seen from the eighteenth century, which often incorporate these rich and elegant hues. DF *****

copyright Dean Farris 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Dean's Favorite Rooms

Gated estate facade
Music Room

Family Room

Dining Room

I wanted to share with you some rooms I 've designed over the past few years for various clients. I very much enjoy residential work, and have made it my focus since I started professionally over thirty years ago as a designer.

Meeting Michele Oka Doner last night was a real treat, and it turned out that my good friend and client, Nancy White, went to the same school in Miami Beach that Ms. Oka Doner went to ! What a small world. Check out Ms. Oka Doners soho loft under "House" on David Columbia's blog : DF *****

copyright Dean Farris 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

Michele Oka Doner

Tonight, I'm attending a champagne reception and book signing for the New York artist, Michele Oka Doner, at the Waterside Shops. I always enjoy shopping there, as they have Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Saks, Tiffany, Hermes', Ferragamo, and Ralph Lauren. On Thursday, I was scheduled to meet top lighting designer Robert Sonneman at the ASID Christmas party, but Bill and I will be on the east coast that night for a mini vacation, and also to visit Pocock Fine Art, in Fort Lauderdale. Pocock, on Las Olas Boulevard, carries an excellent selection of fine 19th century art and furnishings, and I look forward to shopping there when on the east coast. We decided to skip Palm Springs this year, so, Fort Lauderdale it is ! DF *****
Dean is wearing Costa Del Mar sunglasses, J. McLaughlin shirt, J. Crew poplin trousers, loafers by Gucci. Belt by Ralph Lauren. Hair by Ilenocos.

copyright Dean Farris 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009

Stan Topol

A clear, sunny day after in Naples...

Another mentor of mine, from my days at Art Institute of Atlanta, whom I am so very thankful for, is Stan Topol. Stan was the chairman of the interior design department at AIA when I showed up, age 17, ready to take over the design world...he was sitting in his Billy Baldwin brown office, with framed photographs on the walls of Joseph Braswell and Billy B.
I had never met such a charismatic, exotic personality ! Stan exudes atmosphere, went to school in New Orleans, and hails from the Mississippi Delta. I learned so much from him, not just about how to design a very high-style interior, but how to live, write a charming letter, dress, table manners, knowledge of french language, food, and all the things that make life worth living. Today, Stan is considered to be one of the top designers in the U.S. and has been featured in "AD" and has designed extensively for Sir Elton John. He also has done major work here in Naples for one of the founding families, the Lutgerts. I would go so far as to say that not only has he mentored me, and many others, but that the day we met was the official beginning of my career as a decorator ! DF *****

copyright Dean Farris 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Felliniesque Thanksgiving

The Naples restaurant "St George and the Dragon" is an institution, and Mary, Susan and I enjoyed a nine course meal there today. I especially enjoyed my shrimp and scallop coquille (served in a large scallop shell) and my pre- dinner manhattan on the rocks. After dinner, we took Susan home, and I got a tour of her palatial residence on Crayton Road. The golf course view was spectacular ! Then, we went to Mary's sons house and checked out their festive goodies, with a very yummy looking turkey (23 pounds) fresh from the oven. Fresh rosemary had been installed under the skin prior to cooking. Now, I just want to recover from all the fabulous food and drink ! The clientele at St George and the Dragon is very interesting. Lots of very tall stately looking gents and very wonderfully eccentric ladies...with nice jewelry, big bouffants, and Pucci type clothes...the atmosphere is VERY DARK and there are those great green glass globes on all the lamps. It feels like the galley of an old ship from the early nineteenth century, and Mary, our server was a ringer for Ina Garten, the barefoot contessa. We enjoyed each and every bite ! DF *****

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hicksian Tablescape

David Hicks, iconic designer - used the word "tablescape" in his design books, and I was inspired to create one of my own. I used a rattan table, and a neoclassic roman bust - reminding me of Michael Taylor. Then I created a kind of "bonsai" tree from dried eucalyptus in a bronze neoclassic urn. The cloisonne' vase, and Tiffany paperweight were gifts. Then, in another very Hicksian mood, I added an uplight on the floor to bring out the details. When my new curtains are installed, this will all come together. Please excuse the blinds, they came with the apartment ! Functional, but not really my taste. I had a lot of fun creating this arrangement. DF*****

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Michael Taylor

I'm very much inspired by the work of iconic designers from the past. Just as Michael Taylor was by Frances Elkins. There is a fabulous continuity between the classic designs of yesterday and the present. When I was in the salon at McMillen in New York, I witnessed the timelessness of classic design. There is a definite structure, and Otto Zenke in North Carolina and Palm Beach was another of my inspirations. Michael Taylor worked hard, and built up a society clientele, as well as being credited with creating what is known today as the "California Look". The book "Michael Taylor Interior Design" by Stephen M. Salny, is a favorite resource. Mr. Taylor left behind a significant body of work, and a whole style of design. What an amazing icon of style ! DF *****

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Dear readers and friends, I hope you all are able to enjoy a bountiful, healthy and happy holiday this week. Thank you for your continued support and friendship.
DF *****

Friday, November 20, 2009

Winter sunsets II

I enjoy experimenting with what my digital camera can and cannot do. Here, I tried to capture a bit of the sunset from my apartment, just before darkness falls. Tonight, the fountain was not illuminated for some reason, when it is I feel like I am in a park outside too is another dusky shot of my "salon" which I never tire of photographing, since I seem to be obsessed with the idea of rooms devoted to the lost art of conversation. Please check out my pal Miles Redd's new spread in "Elle Decor" the blue lacquered foyer is amazing and so chic I could die. It reminds me of a house Ruben de Saavedra had done back in the eighties. Funny, I have a client here who used Ruben for his house in Pittsburgh, as well as Michael Greer. Life just gets more and more interesting with each passing day ! DF ***** (copyright Dean Farris 2009)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Petite Salon Deux

courtesy Dean Farris Interior Design 2009

As a boy, I read so many copies of "House & Garden" and "House Beautiful" that I became sort of a camera, retaining thousands of images in my memory bank. When I discovered the venerable firm of Parish-Hadley through these magazines, I was totally hooked, and later, I worked with a former PH designer (Tice) and got to know Albert quite well. This image of my Living Room in Naples shows a heavy influence from my studying and constantly reading shelter magazines. You can practically see the words house beautiful as a banner across the top of this picture ! My choice of a white tufted banquette was influenced by a picture I had seen of the couture salon of Yves St Laurent in Paris, now a museum, and the green velvet on the Louis XIV chairs was inspired by another iconic image showing Hubert de Givenchy's salon in Paris...the chandelier was inspired by Coco Chanel's apartment in Paris... as you can see I have gone totally mad for a kind of 18th century revival style favored by french fashion designers. Ooh la la ! DF ***** (image copyright Dean Farris 2009)

sidenote: the apartment of interior designer Jacques Garcia on the Place des Voges in Paris is my idea of heaven ! See "Architectural Digest" archives...