Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Glorious Gilt at Carlton Hobbs

Pair open armchairs, Carlton Hobbs, New York

Object of Desire

Room designed by Dean Farris Interior Design, Naples

Imagine my pleasure at seeing my name linked with the famous Carlton Hobbs, dealer extraordinaire, on the super chic fashion/design blog WHAT IS JAMES WEARING? - here is a chair from Carlton that I fell for... don't you just love it ? And yet another shot of my "salon" glowing in the sunshine of South Florida. I had fun shopping at the Miromar Design Center with William today, we saw the amazing work of our friend Judith Auclair at Peter Webster, I located an Adriana Hoyos piece for the new client, and Deb Hamilton invited moi to design a fashion ensemble for the upcoming event, Fashion Obsession 2011, where I'll use a Brunschwig fabric as a dress on a chic model ! Stay tuned ! All in fun ! Enjoy ! DF *****

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fabulous Facade

The Royal Crescent, Bath.

Who wouldn't admire this handsome, classical building in PARIS, home of legendary dealer J. KUGEL ? I shall always hold dear to my heart the beautiful stones of Parisian buildings... in my adored city of light, PARIS !

Saturday, September 25, 2010

chez Marie Antoinette

Ah, once again, I have missed the Paris bienalle... however, the Florence bienalle des Antiquaires starts TOMORROW. Imagine owning a signed desk by ROENTGEN, probably made for Catherine the Great... offered by J. Kugel, PARIS. Truly the history of the decorative arts is awe inspiring, and we love Europe as it reminds us of that other, rare world, where the most exquisite and important objects are part of daily life or le quotidien as the french would say... DF *****

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dean Farris Interior Design

photograph by Christopher Holzbaur 1986

photograph by William R. Rain 2009 (click to enlarge)

I couldn't resist sharing these pictures, showing the contrast from 1986 to 2010... lets see, that's 24 years ! How that time has flown ! When you love your work as much as I do, it really doesn't often feel like "work", but more like a passion that you have a burning desire to fulfill.

When I was a teenager, there was a wonderful boutique in our town, called The Shop Of John Simmons. This wacky and chic shop made quite an impression on me. It was filled with things that would add a kind of rich hippie chic to your house, such as huge fake sunflowers, dried flowers, fun dishes and glassware, and interesting furniture items. They also had a design studio... I remember now that Fitz and Floyd was big then, and they had yellow cachepots trimmed in white bamboo... it all seemed exotic at the time. I loved going there and just soaking up the atmosphere.

So, now you know how I came up with the name The Shop of Dean Farris Interior Design ! Never in my life have I enjoyed something so much, as when I owned this small decorating shop... it was like the shops I had seen in England and France, where a consumer could purchase fabrics and other items related to decorating a home (or an office, several of which I designed during that time). I've concluded that I need to open another small decorating shop, here in Naples. The utter excitement of planning it and executing it is hard to explain, but you know, once you've been bitten by the decorating bug, its all over ! You just LOVE it, and you work like a fiend, but never seem to mind. We all have this in us, it just takes some time to discover whatever it is. Seek your passion, follow the light, and burn like a torch ! DF*****

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Book: Rooms To Remember

Sitting Room by Dean Farris Interior Design

My favorite new book by Suzanne Tucker

I really love these painted chairs from Palm Beach !

I just purchased and received my copy of the new book, "Rooms To Remember, The Classic Interiors of Suzanne Tucker" (Monacelli Press) and am thrilled to own it. I have corresponded briefly with the author, and that was a thrill too - since her mentor, Michael Taylor was so brilliant, and at the top of my list of favorite designers of the past. Suzanne Tucker is a very beautiful and talented woman, and she and I also share a love of antiques, color, architecture, entertaining, fashion, and art... I urge you dear reader to purchase this inspiring and visually stunning work, especially as a follow up companion to "Michael Taylor Interior Design" by Stephen Salny, (with a foreword by Rose Tarlow). Suzanne also worked for a John Fowler disciple, Peter Hood, in London - and years ago, I had the distinct pleasure of lunching with the Hoods in Bath, and taking a lovely drive through the country with them to look at some stately old piles...ah, the memories ! So sweet. I do hope to visit San Francisco and pay a visit to Suzanne Tucker in the near future. Enjoy ! DF *****

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mad for Brad

Brad Goreski, courtesy StyleList

Elsie would have had a flat screen here tuned to Rachel Zoe !

I removed the small flat screen from this room, deferring to Elsie

I really get a kick out of the Bravo Network "reality" show, The Rachel Zoe Project, with her charming and talented style director, Brad Goreski. Even if you never watch television, this one you MUST see... its very addictive, and the interesting thing to me about this show is that the "reality" seems very "real". I enjoyed reading about Brads exploits at Fashion Week recently in todays New York Times. I attended F.I.T. for three years, and during that wonderful period, I hung out with people like Anna Sui, Mary McFadden, Norma Kamali, and others you may have heard about in the fashion world. Carrie Donovan and Elsa Klensch LOVED my room sketches, and Elsa used some on her show "Style With Elsa Klensch" (CNN) - I believe that fashion is like heroin, once it gets into your veins, the sensation is one you want more and more of, as it takes you to a different plane of existence, a place where good things can happen in a magical, spontaneous way. So, werk that lewk baby ! Enjoy ! DF *****

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Scalamandre' Umbrellas !

I just saw these zebra umbrellas from Scalamandre' ! What a chic gift for the clients this year... and here are some of those nitty gritty progress shots to remind the design students that decorating is definitely not all about glamour and picking pretty fabrics... Enjoy ! DF *****

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Armistead Maupin and More

Found the mirror at

Rose Cumming fabric on vintage chairs

Pair oval back chairs, Elephants Foot, West Palm Beach

Louis XVI style chair, JLD Designs, Naples
Small Louis XV style table, F.P. Victoria & Son

I'm very excited to look forward to the new Armistead Maupin novel "MaryAnn in Autumn" coming out in November. Also, I just found out that George Clarksons son, Charles, died - and I was sad to hear this news. He was such a charming man, and only a few years my senior. On a more positive note, I'm thrilled that Leta Austin Foster (also of Palm Beach) has taken a liking to my blog, and I enjoyed seeing Carleton Varneys new PB digs in the new Palm Beach Life. Here are some more fun shots of my Michael Greer revival sitting room. Enjoy ! DF*****

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Dealer Profile: James Sansum

James Sansum

One of my favorite dealers in New York is James Sansum. He keeps some fabulous pieces from Maison Jansen in stock, as well as other esoteric and refined objects of great interest. I'm especially partial to these lounge chairs in satin. James previously worked with Helen Fioratti at L'Antiquaire, and is also associated with the decorator Markham Roberts. Of course, I'm mad for this Louis XV bergere, and the Bagues' chandelier... James attended Harvard University, and his expertise and flair are quite apparent when reviewing his website: Enjoy ! DF *****

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Finest Rooms and Marian Hall

Marian Hall is featured in this classic book

This 1950 room by Marian reminds me of a favorite house in Atlanta

My living room in Naples - waiting for boiserie and a bigger rug

Close up of the gorgeous silk side chopped pillows

I am so totally in love with this image of a room that Marian Hall did back in 1950. I found it on the super blog called COTE TEXAS... and it reminded me of one of my all time fave books, The Finest Rooms, by Katherine Tweed. My pal Albert in New York had the idea for this book, and I vividly recall discussing it with him not too long ago when he was wintering in Naples. Imagine my intense excitement ! I had to drink more and more bourbon to calm myself down a bit. I love classic rooms full of fine french furniture, with paneled walls, and timeless appointments. I also love the colors Ms. Hall used. And I also adore her use of luxury textiles, and the fresh flowers artfully placed throughout. I would have loved to have known her. Compare this room to my own, more modest room, where I played with some pillows of Cowtan Tout silk trimmed in Scalamandre' fringe, which I recently had remade for a good client. How delicious these pillows are ! They remind me of Michael Taylor as they are quite large and plump. I like them very much, and can't wait to return them back to their rightful place on his silk sofa... Enjoy ! DF *****

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Designer Profile: Leta Austin Foster

Room by Leta Austin Foster

I'm a huge fan of Leta Austin Foster. This morning, while checking my emails (from Fort Lauderdale) - I was thrilled and tickled pink to see that Leta had posted a comment on this blog (DEAN FARRIS STYLE) ! She liked my post about mood lighting. I just went on her blog - DECORATING WITH SHEETS, and was completely bowled over by how practical and fun it is at the same time. Of course, I've always known that Leta doesn't miss much, and she is pretty much at the top of her game. I often regret that I didn't take her up on her offer of a job in glamorous Palm Beach - however, I still feel that she and I are somehow being drawn together ! Her shop there in PB is wonderful, very practical and useful, and she is a most knowledgeable and talented decorator. Plus a fab wife, mother, and grandmere... Leta is simply THE BEST ! Go Leta ! DF *****