Friday, July 30, 2010

Miss Rose meets Louis XV Style

I found these charming Louis XV style chairs recently, and stole them for almost nothing ($117) - and then, had some old leftover Rose Cumming Banana leaves fabric that I'd been dragging around - so, can't wait to show you the new chairs - with outside backs in a silk fleur de lis ... I noticed in one of my design books that Mrs. Parish and Mrs. Sherrill both have had similar chairs in their drawing rooms. The banana leaves pattern will add a fun touch of old tropical flair to these possibly dowdy chairs... I had thought of using an elaborate lampas or damask, but I already am drowning in that look, so I used what I had, and I think it will be interesting, although certainly not original. Mrs. Parish and Albert Hadley most likely started the fashion of using modern looking prints on french style chairs, beginning with the Tillets and Alan Campbell. It's a look they still love in Atlanta at Travis & Company, where my friend Dennis Schuhart does the showroom design. Stay tuned ! DF *****

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Villa Fever

The beautiful and serene Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc is one of my favorite hotels in the world. Located in Cap d'antibes, France it sits on a bluff overlooking the sea, on a 22 acre park... During the recent two year renovation, this elegant villa was added, The Villa Eleana, and its part of the hotel, available for $9.500.00 per night. My good friend Robert and I had lunch on the terrace a few years ago, and I greatly enjoyed it. Visit this one if you get the chance ! DF *****

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Decorator Scrapbook IV

I love sharing my random thoughts with you , and here are a few things I have on my mind. Enjoy the day, enjoy your life ! DF *****

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bleu Provence

Very much looking forward to the wines of the Rhone tasting at Bleu Provence on Thursday. Madame and Monsieur Cariot are the consummate hosts, and we always enjoy our time there at the enchanting and charming BLEU PROVENCE, Naples... DF *****

Monday, July 26, 2010

Family Trip: Beverly Hills, California

Luxury suite at the Four Seasons, Beverly Hills

Our lifeguard at the pool

This is so L.A. !

My client/friend Charles Fleck kept a place in Palm Springs for years

When my brother Andrew and I were just young boys, our parents tooks us on a trip to Beverly Hills. Of course, I LOVED it ! I was ready to move on out ! We stayed at the luxurious but not ostentatious Beverly Hilton... as in PARIS HILTON... and I can still smell the chlorine in the pool mixed with the Cali sunshine and the sound of motor traffic from the street. It was just delicious. I read recently that the Four Seasons BH just reopened after a 33 million dollar reno, here is a picture of one of the suites, courtesy of ROBB REPORT. On a later trip I took solo to Los Angeles, I accidentally stumbled across the WeHo studio of Tony Duquette ! At the time, I had no idea who he was, but I was entranced and mystified by what I saw through the iron gate. I truly do love L.A., and all that it represents... I even coined a phrase for how I feel about two of my fave American cities (USA) : "New York is diamonds; L.A. is rhinestones" Well, Nancy, what do you think ? Am I witty or WHAT ? My good friend Joe Ruggiero lives in L.A. and I often see him when he visits Naples (Florida)...I wanted to share my love of California with you, dear reader. Enjoy ! DF *****

Coco Chanels Rolls Royce

An early chapeau by Chanel

I had the pleasure of seeing "Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky" this weekend, and enjoyed it very much. Madds Mikkelsen and Anna Mouglalis played Igor and Coco, and what a romance they had ! The way Anna portrayed Madame Coco was fabulous ! Her sultry and chic WALK was to die for ! She wore black and cream throughout, and smoked constantly. Chanel started out making hats, as the mistress of textile heir Etienne Balsan... here is an early example. In this new film, there are several scenes of Coco coming and going in her magnificent Rolls Royce motorcar... all circa 1913 up until her death in 1971. Do see this film if you enjoy the style of Chanel. You will enjoy it as I did, and the critics gave it four stars. DF *****

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Home: Think Tanks

I still remember the incredible aquariums in the beautiful home of decorator Joan Gnasco in Winston-Salem. Joan's husband built them into the walls, and the walls were all faced in old barn siding, making for a very interesting contrast... Joan's home was one of the first designers homes I had ever seen, and it was a real eye opener. She was always repainting walls and recovering her furniture... I loved her lemon yellow Chippendale sofa sitting in the bay window of her living room, painted a medium flat shade of taupe, with the sun coming in and making everything absolutely sparkle. Her rooms always had the most divine scent. She made her own clothes and used heavy make up and accessories... Joan was, in a word, CHIC ! DF*****

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sanibel and Captiva Islands

I took this one going over the causeway...

A steal on Sanibel for about $800,000 through John R. Wood

What could be more delightful than an island ? I love the name "Captiva", said to derive from captives held there by pirates... perhaps a fishermans tale ? Yesterday, William and I drove out to these islands, once only accessible by boat, and lunched at one of my favorite beachfront spots called the Mucky Duck... It's always a pleasure to drive over the causeway leading to the islands, and we saw lots of tourists as well as many people enjoying the pristine beaches and waters. Most of the restaurants were full as well. Robert Rauschenberg, the artist, was a big Captiva property owner, and lived there for many years. One of the big activities on these islands is shelling, and they have an expression for it called "doing the Sanibel stoop ". Captiva also features a luxury resort called South Seas Plantation... here are a few images to fire your imagination. Enjoy ! DF *****

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Piece of Work

I saw the new film about Joan Rivers, "A Piece of Work" last night and very much enjoyed it. Joan is a workaholic, and she trailblazed the way for talents like Kathy Griffin, Wanda Sykes, and Ellen DeGeneres... Joan lives life to the hilt at 75, and loves to work - she considers herself an actress and works like nobody could believe. I especially enjoyed the glimpses of her palatial apartment, very French. I once attended her show as an audience member when she was on television, and the energy she brings to a stage is incredible. Phyllis Diller started her career late in life, and kept going into her nineties, and that is what dear Joan is hoping to do as well. Good for her, work is what keeps her forever young... Joan is a real New Yorker, and work equals glamour in the city that never sleeps ! DF *****

Friday, July 16, 2010

The List: Leather, Seashells, and Veranda

My small copy of a Louis XVI armchair in leather

Designer Charles Faudree using shells in Jamaica

The latest issue of VERANDA

Chocolate suede leather on Louis XV bergere

I do have such fun executing my thoughts for this post, Monday through Friday. My idea for "The Deans List" has not gotten much comment, so, I am altering the format slightly to create more interest ! Similar to my "Decorators Scrapbook" it is a feature revealing items pertaining to decorating and design that I currently am enthralled with, or simply incorporating into various projects in varying stages of completion. Today, I focus on leather upholstery, shell encrusted mirrors, and the divine shelter magazine "VERANDA" - a lush and gorgeous visual feast of a book with a very definite point of view. If you haven't seen the latest issue, do get a hold of it, I want you to see the dining room in Provence with the leather chairs... ever since I was living in New York, when I spied a pair of Louis XVI chairs upholstered in a taupe leather sitting in the window of a shop on lower Broadway, I've loved leather on french chairs. Cole Porter had some in his library by Billy Baldwin, and I just adore the Falotico leather favored by Albert Hadley. It's often glazed in a high gloss finish... and his colors are amazing. Here are a few images to pique your imagination ! DF *****

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Designer Boutiques

Dean in Ralph Lauren polo with vintage silk jacket by TOM JAMES

Billy and I enjoyed our time last night at the progressive wine tasting, beginning at Anne Fontaine with Lisa and Stephanie, then to Christofle with Sandra, Jerry and friends, then Hermes' to see Susan, and finally to Cartier where we enjoyed champagne and chatting with Sofia, Justin, and Sandrine...leaving Cartier we ran into dear Donna Egdes, from Naples Illustrated, and she had some good news for me about an upcoming opportunity... I was sorry to miss seeing Steven Fachada at Hermes' as he spends most of the Summer at his flat in London. It was a nice evening, and we also saw our good friend John Benzing, director of visual merchandising for Saks Fifth Avenue. Cheers ! DF *****

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Decorator: A Portrait

Here I am, all framed up and looking like a cowboy, according to Billy, who saw it for the first time yesterday. I like it, and I look very reflective here. I'm wearing a pink and white Ike Behar shirt, over a white Ralph Lauren polo... both were gifts from friends.... Ted caught my boyish good looks, and he even supplied the frame, a Mexican hand carved one, which he painted in ebony with touches of gold (for the golden boy) ! I placed myself in this small arched niche off the foyer, with some 1901 books called "Motley's Works" and some Chinese figures in glazed terra cotta... which do you prefer, the with figures or sans figures ? I like with them. Eventually, I'll be hung on either a damask upholstered wall or some old boiserie in my new library (to be built) -until then, I sit in this niche waiting for my proper background. Looking forward to "French Wine Tasting" with friends tonight at Waterside Shops... Cheers ! DF *****

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ravishing Room Schemes

Scheme for Study

Living Room scheme

These are but some of the ones who didn't make the cut

I'm greatly enjoying working with my new client on the schemes for her villa here in Naples. We are going with a very subtle palette of soft seaglass and cream colors, with lots of textural interest. Using some existing furniture as well as some new pieces... One can see the pool from this room, so it will be very pretty to see the colors we are using in that context. Here are the things I'm sending up to Cape Cod for her approval... DF *****

Monday, July 12, 2010

Modernist Counterpoints

FLOS italian lighting over antique farm table, Monique Shay

Vintage iron chandelier found by the client

When I have the pleasure of working with a client with modernist leanings, here in Florida, I always strive for the use of counterpoints, or contrast in period/style. Here are two examples in the recently installed Edelman residence here in Naples. DF*****

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Dean's List 07-09-10

The Dean's List for Friday, July 9th, 2010

Russian Malachite

Tony and Beegle Duquette

Spanish Marcona Almonds

Andre' Derain

Cranberry Pomegranate Martini

The color chartreuse

Mille fiori paperweights

Pink Peonies

Blue and White Porcelain

Enamel Guilloche cufflinks

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Zanzibar Zebras and Ginos

Does anyone remember Ginos, the italian restaurant across from Bloomingdales on Lexington Avenue ? I always loved the black and white zebra on red ground walls... it was just a cool funky place with good food and good service, and I used to love to go to Fioruccis to see all the trendy clothes... Scalamandre' has this wonderful paper called "Zebras - Zanzibar Gold" I'd like to use for a client. Since she is not fond of wallpaper, I'll use a venetian plaster technique instead. I also found for her these beautiful hand made tiles for her new kitchen, where we're installing a new WOLF gas range... molto bene ! Ciao ! DF *****

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Dorian in the Jewel Box

I did have the great pleasure of meeting Hurd Hatfield, the actor who played Dorian Gray in Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray" while working on the Fifth Avenue "jewel box" apartment of Mary Gilbert ( a Rockefeller) - he was very pleasant, and made light of his role, as he felt that it had typecast him, and he regretted accepting the assignment. His quiet charm exuded into the elegant apartment, where each room was done in magnificent Cecil Beaton jewel tones, including a salon sporting walls the color of wet emeralds... Elsa Klensch featured this flat on her show "Style with Elsa Klensch"... and so many years later I am sharing with you my own portrait, still drying in the studio, not yet framed. The artist, Ted de Clercq, has become a friend, and he found a hand carved frame which is to be installed this week... here's a glimpse of the (almost) finished work. I love that I look twenty years younger ! Perhaps that's why we are friends ? Enjoy ! DF *****

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

In Memoriam : Dominick Dunne

I just finished reading "Too Much Money" by Dominick Dunne. I once met Mr Dunne while working in New York. He was a very quiet and gentle man - I wish I had asked him for an autograph, as he was and still is one of my fave celebrity authors. And I loved his show, "Power, Privilege and Justice" on television. The characters in this last novel, a sort of roman a clef - are so real they jump off the page... and Ruby Renthal would love this type of rich looking french chair for her dining room ! A good book in the Summer is a wonderful thing, I highly recommend it. I have also enjoyed "People Like Us" , "An Inconvenient Woman" and "The Two Mrs Grenvilles" so, now you can't say you don't have anything to read this Summer ! Enjoy ! DF*****

Monday, July 5, 2010

Portrait of a Gentleman

Count Robert de Montesquiou 1897

Marchesa Luisa Casati 1908

Portrait of Madame Juillard

Portrait of Countess Zichy

Lady Colin Campbell 1897

I've always admired the work of artist Giovanni Boldini, ever since I first saw one in a museum as a young boy. I'm in the process of having my portrait done, and will show it to you when it's finished. While not as grand and aristocratic as a Boldini - it will be a record of my person for all to see ! Many years ago I had my mothers portrait done, by Joseph Wallace King - at that time he was the only American to have ever painted Queen Elizabeth ! Here are some Boldini favorites... aren't they just so beautiful and romantic ? I'm crazy for them ! DF *****