Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I Remember: Bella Vista, Fairfield, CT

I'll always remember, and cherish, my memories of the time I spent at Bella Vista, a beautiful estate in Connecticut. Built in 1929 for Mrs. Hugh D. Auchincloss, Bella Vista has six bedrooms in 10,000 square feet, plus a separate staff or guest house. I was working for the distinguished New York designer, George Clarkson, who designed the house interiors and grounds with Jimmy Hollingsworth, for Mr. and Mrs. David Johnston. You may know of or know Shirley, she did the book "Palm Beach Houses" and is the most charming and beautiful person imaginable. It was such fun to complete the job, and be invited to stay for the weekend, sleeping in the guest rooms, and indulging in fabulous meals, Leron linens, and fresh flowers from the garden all over the house. I drove Jacqueline Gonnet from House & Garden up and she featured Bella Vista in an understated story of wealth and privilege. Currently on the market through Bill Raveis, it is listed for $12.500,000.00. Candy and Bill have a place here in Naples, and Raveis has the best listings in Connecticut. Check out these pics from lovely, aristocratic Bella Vista. DF *****

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Ridgeway's for Christmas Dinner!

For quality, service, and atmosphere, one simply can't beat Ridgeway's in Old Naples. Sukie and Tony are celebrating their FORTIETH YEAR in business, and Adolfo was the best server ever. In fact, inscrutable comes to mind - and the Hanah Chardonnay was so creamy and smooth. We had the prix fixe - and it was most satisfying. While Third Street South was absolutely barren, Tony and Sukie took over 700 reservations today. Visit Naples, and try Ridgeway's, you won't regret it. DF *****

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ikat Madness, in Christmas Rouge

I love this textile from F. SCHUMACHER, called Tiraz Cotton Ikat, in Rouge. While I haven't actually seen it in person, I like the pattern, the color, and I believe the design is woven in, not printed,but I will have to investigate. Imagine this on a pair of gilded or painted chairs, flanking your Christmas tree...beautiful! I would also like to see it used for a headboard and hangings in a bedroom, or as wall upholstery in a sitting room, or for some nice pillows on a beautiful down filled sofa. I have never seen an ikat pattern that I didn't respond to. Ikats are chic, modern, fun, and up to date, all at the same time! ENJOY! DF *****

Monday, December 19, 2011

Global Views, Designer Cathy Triant Buxton

New York Social Diary recently featured the home of designer CATHY TRIANT BUXTON. Her father, Theodore, known as Ted, worked for DAVID HICKS, and they have the most amazing apartments in the city. I chose to focus on this bedroom Cathy designed, as it looks so similar to the work we are doing at Design West, and she used a GLOBAL VIEWS table. We feature quite a few accessory pieces from global in our new showroom, and response has been overwhelmingly positive. Visit our showroom, in Naples, at the Mercato. 9118 Strada Place, Suite 8130. We are open seven days a week, and have a staff of six designers plus an AIA architect. We're ready to make your dreams come true! Enjoy! DF *****

Monday, December 12, 2011

Designer Heaven, Decorator Paradise

Billy and I had a productive day, visiting the design center, seeing friends MARK FANTA, and SCOTT MOSER at Webster & Company, checking out our friend JUDITH AUCLAIR'S display of objet... then to see PHILIP ROWE at Roche Bobois. and also AMY JIMENEZ at Kravet/Lee Jofa/ too is a fab new guest bath we created for clients through Interiors by Design West. Check out these shots I took today on our jaunt through the Naples world of design...Oh and did I forget to mention RYAN at the Design Center bistro? Lunch was delicious! And designer KIRA KRUMM, just back from China, looked smashing in black chiffon! DF *****

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Naples, Italy, Naples, Florida Mercato, Mercato

Imagine this strada in Italy... as opposed to the one I work in, here in Naples, Florida.

There is a Mercato, or market, in Napoli, just as the new one here in Florida. I love the contrast between the two. The former is over two thousand years old, ours here is about three years old... Enjoy! DF *****

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Exciting December!

Judith Liegeois, Mark Sikes, Kitty LaRocco, Robert Couturier, House Beautiful, and Mummy's Oyster Stew! What could be more exciting than that? Judith has a fabulous new space - on 12th Avenue South, here in town, you MUST see it! It's a sexy and divine place of inspiring design. Mark Sikes got the cover of this month's (and next) House Beautiful, and I LOVE his style, it reminds me of mine, if only I lived in Los Angeles! Check out his blog and see his charming house in this aforementioned issue. Sadly, a good source and wonderful fabulous woman in Naples - Kitty LaRocco - has died. I loved her, and she allowed me to purchase a stunning 1950's Italian sconce from her shop, before she closed it and moved into her warehouse. (See picture of it above). Finally, Robert Couturier, an old friend of my late mentor's Tice Alexander, has a spread in the new HB also, and its a chic house here in Naples. Many of the top designers in the world have been flown in to Naples for years to do up the homes of the top executives from industry throughout the U.S. so I was not surprised to see this. I loved his quote about living in paradise: "You can get very tired of living in paradise. That's why we only go to paradise when we're dead". Ha! It is true in a way, and no doubt the owners of the house featured most definitely are not in town in the off season. As for that oyster stew: Heat milk and butter, cook the raw oysters in it until done. Add some black or white pepper and a few dashes of Garners Texas Pete hot sauce, serve with plain saltine crackers, Delicious! That's all for now folks! XXOO DF *****