Sunday, January 31, 2010

Evening Inspiration

After the huge full moon on Friday, I felt inspired to look at some things in a different light. Naples is certainly a very powerful place, especially this weekend as the annual Winter Wine Festival is going on, and beaucoup private jets are descending from the sky, while tout le monde spins around town in Mercedes 500's, Bentleys and Rolls Royce's a very Angelo Donghia inspired shot of that bust I love so much. Angelo loved using white plaster busts, uplit, for drama. I seem to be thinking about him a lot lately, sort of a post seventies revival thing. I did have so much fun in the seventies ! Here it is... a bit spooky, but interesting. DF*****

Friday, January 29, 2010

Small Victories

Bollywood silk pillows, Sean Johnson Atelier

Realism show at Trudy LaBell

D. Steiner photograph, Sean Johnson Atelier

This blog is becoming a sort of "decorator's scrapbook", and I think that might have been a better name for it...small victories from big work is a recurring theme of mine, and I think that having a new client call and congratulate you on the progress to date is one to celebrate ! Having a colleague like Judith Auclair is another, and I commend her on her recent success with her vernissage at Bay Design in Naples. Old friend Trudy LaBell is having her first group show, after thirty years as a dealer, and I look forward to attending the opening February 4 - and I love these pillows and this photograph by David Steiner which I obtained from my pal Jerry when he was with Sean Johnson Atelier, here in Naples. Jerry is helping out at the Winter Wine Festival again this year. Sean is a fabulous designer, and I always enjoyed seeing him when he was in town. I feel that having friends such as Jerry, and Sean, after so many years, is another quiet, personal victory that makes life very much worth living. Jerry also gave me a beautiful Limoges cup by Marie Dage, from the atelier (not shown) which I adore, and use daily. Enjoy the small things in life, they are our true richness. DF *****

Thursday, January 28, 2010

More New Orleans

Cistern for water at Hermann-Grima house

Beautiful old wall at Cangelosi restoration project

I just wanted to share some more images from our Louisiana trip...I never tire of looking at them, and always have fun in the crescent city (New Orleans). Enjoy ! DF***** PS there is a wonderful show coming up at Harmon Meek Gallery of new Hunt Slonem paintings showing his Louisiana plantation this artist !

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Venice, Florida

A 1920's residence...

Vintage in Venice...

1925 building on the market...

Always a good sign...

Beautiful Epiphany Cathedral, 1955

Venice Yacht Club

West Venice Avenue towards the sea

Historic 1920's downtown

Over the bridge into historic district

On the bridge...

Today was a fun filled trip from Naples up to the quaint town of Venice, just south of Sarasota... We toured the old town, and Bill treated me to a simple lunch at the Venice Cafe' on West Venice Avenue... I found the town to be very quiet and peaceful. We visited the Epiphany cathedral (1955) and the center where the Archdiocese of Venice has an office. I enjoyed the day trip, and Bill's company is always a pleasure. Here are some day tripper images I caught today I wanted to share with you. Enjoy ! DF*****

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hand Written Notes

A former assistant wrote this before heading to Parsons

Ah... the joy of actually receiving a HAND WRITTEN THANK YOU NOTE !!! These little jewels are becoming increasingly rare, as email has invaded our lives, and I for one want to share my opinion that nothing is more important in this crass age of commercialism than the personal - and old fashioned good manners. Here are a few I have received recently, which I stuffed into a scrapbook - I enjoy using my Crane's cards shown here in a periwinkle color with chic brown ink and lining. In New York, Mrs. John L. Strong is famous for her stationery, sold at Barney's. Bergdorf Goodman carries Pineider and other wonderful lines not found elsewhere in the U.S. - just remember, when in doubt, send a note ! It has a special resonance in these modern times. You can express your personal style in countless ways ! DF *****

Monday, January 25, 2010

Fifth Avenue Design Gallery

Dean, William, Sherry, Maureen, Arnold, Becky, Ernie

Holland's Baker chair from JLD Designs

I'm very excited to hear about the upcoming opening of the new Fifth Avenue Design Gallery here in Naples. Christopher Smith and Dirk Anderson are former design associates of mine from when we worked at Norris Interiors together, and they are going to carry some of my favorite lines, such as Baker and Hickory Chair, among others. Maureen Hastings will be there too, and she is a super sales and design person I have enjoyed working with. I wish them luck ! Holland Salley was on Fifth Avenue over fifty years ago, and was the premier designer of Naples, before the town was on the map. He came over from Palm Beach, and never left. The louis XVI style chair shown here belonged to Holland when he lived in Port Royal at "Salley's Alley" his home there, since torn down. I got it from Judith Liegeois at her shop JLD Designs...Here too is a shot of a shot of me and William with Maureen Hastings celebrating our success with a dinner at Roy's in Bonita Springs. Look for the Fifth Avenue Design Gallery to open early next month, and check out their beautiful ad in the new "Home and Design".

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday Brunch

Dear Clients now also friends, Mary and Chuck

Our gorgeous server took this one...

Mary's bling, inspired by Madame Coco

Audrey, Mary, or Jackie ?

Bricktops before the herds arrived, molto bene !

This morning I had the utmost pleasure sharing a delicious "brunch" with my dear clients (who turned into dear friends) at this local place (actually it's a chain) called Bricktops...It was a lot of fun, and we discussed a broad range of topics briskly while sipping bellinis and bloody marys, and noshing on smoked salmon flatbread, eggs benedict and other goodies. Here we are having the time of our lives... I look forward to our next get together soon. If only Billy could have joined us ! My other client/friend also called Mary, has a brother who is the CEO of Design Within Reach, and his company is donating 25,000 dollars to the Haitian Relief Fund through Unicef...We can only hope and pray that this disaster is somewhat mitigated by all of the effort and monies headed in that direction. I remember my dear housekeeper, Marie Rosie Claire, from Haiti, and what a sweet and loving woman she was. She was like a song that Eartha Kitt sang at the Cafe' Carlyle called "Push The Button" about a maid who learned that the way to get things done was simply by pushing different buttons on machines, appliances, and elevators...Billy and I were so fortunate to see Eartha perform here in Naples just before she died. What a fabulous chanteuse she was ! DF*****

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Shopping with Mary Wilson

Spotted at East Indies Home, Naples

Discovered at Surroundings, Naples

My wonderful new client and I went shopping this week. I placed orders for Edelman leather, Restoration Hardware, and Wilson Lighting, and we are focusing on the new cabinetry for the Kitchen. We like a style called "Sedona Pistachio"...Mary introduced me to a fabulous consignment shop called Surroundings and I found this console there. We also made it to East Indies Home, where we purchased a very cool Noguchi/Gehry like fixture for the breakfast room, and also found a great etagere to put in the niche where the wet bar was. AND we found a divine very interesting fixture at Light Bulbs Unlimited, where I discovered my old friend Gavin Oihus had relocated to, after closing his shop, which was called La Luce'.. This one also has an organic Gehry vibe to it... like petals of glass all hanging down in a sort of flower shape, but elongated...It has a certain Auntie Mame quality to it. Stay tuned for upcoming posts showing the completed project. DF *****

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Nature in Decoration II

Masland carpet

Chess by the golf course in the Solarium...

We chose the green granite to go with the scheme...

Prior to installation...

I always try to use a round mirror somewhere...

I was just perusing this photo file and came across these images from the Darien, CT project in Naples. Here we used some vintage chairs in a verdant tapestry material, very Biltmore House, with a good quality repro game table from Theodore and Alexander through Traditions here in Naples. We had some trial and error to find the right chairs for this table, but as usual William from Maison Auclair came through. Also, through Maison Auclair, I commissioned this one of a kind shell mirror for the guest bath, see - and used it against a beautiful wallcovering from Scalamandre' - "Mikonos" in green and eggshell. . Judith Auclair's beautiful shell creations are now available through Bay Design Store in downtown Naples, and I feel proud to have helped her market her works over the years, as well as finding suitable homes for her pieces. The nature theme never seems to become dated, and I enjoy sharing these thoughts with you ! DF *****

Sartorial Style Pour Homme

You are what you wear ...

I really like this check shirt and cuff link combination...inspired by the blog "What Is James Wearing?", this summer I composed this shot for a possible blog entry on DFS...My dear friend and client Mary gave me these wonderful links which she got from Rue Toulouse...the artist/designer Mario Villa made them in New Orleans. The shirt is from Tom James, and the silk tie is a Charvet. I would wear this ensemble with a blue blazer and some off white gabardine trousers (need to buy these) and I do like french cuffs very much. The purple color is always fun to wear when wanting to be slightly original. DF *****

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Angelo Donghia

The Richard Peacon House, built 1885

We had a great time last night enjoying a nice Italian dinner at Cafe' Italia...owner Adriano Pucci took good care of us, and Pasquale our server was a gem. Beef Carpaccio, Cheese Torteloni, Valpolicella, and Tiramisu... yum. This "great house" in Key West, FL once belonged to Calvin Klein, who bought it from another of my all time fave designers, Mr. Angelo Donghia. I'll always remember being taken on a private tour of Angelo's home in the east seventies of manhattan, and being just totally overwhelmed by the high glamour he had created there. I was only maybe 18 years old, so you can imagine how impressed I was. The sight of cream satin upholstery against teal lacquered walls was a really exciting revelation. As well as the downstairs drawing room, all in white lacquer with black and white stripe satin banquettes, looking out to a city garden. I swooned ! Angelo and Tom Britt shared an apartment while attending Parsons, and according to legend, Angelo was all set to return to Pittsburgh after graduation, but then, something just clicked, and he stayed on in the city to pursue a fabulous career as one of the top designers of his day. DF *****

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Nature in Decoration

At Maison Auclair

Oly Studio

I found some things I like which further the notion of nature inspiring decor and decorative objects. These wonderful brackets from Oly Studio are great for displaying porcelains, and I would love to see them in a water gilded finish. Here too are textiles and furnishings inspired by, and incorporating found objects from the natural world. Enjoy ! DF *****

Monday, January 18, 2010

Jungle Road

In Palm Beach

Palmetto Hammock

Royal Palm trunk w/ lichen

Yesterday morning, I went for a walk in my neighborhood, and it was a beautiful cool, partly sunny day, with morning fog. Here are some things I noticed along the way, which I find inspiration in for my design work. Nature is always a great source for interior designers and decorators, and I also found this vintage Ford convertible...I couldn't resist including a page from the book "Palm Beach Houses" which was put together by Shirley Johnston, a former George Clarkson client I had the pleasure of working with in Southport, CT. Her home there, called Bellavista, was a magnificent georgian style gem perched high above the Long Island Sound. At the end of Sasco Hill Road, I'll always remember it with great fondness, and pulling through the gates in George's Rolls Royce was always a thrill. DF *****