Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Venice by Visconti, 1971

One of my all time favorite films, Death in Venice, 1971, Luchino Visconti, features actors Dirk Bogarde and Bjorn Andresen, with music by Gustav Mahler...If you've never seen it, YOU MUST! Here is a pastiche of stills from the iconic cult film, based on the novella by Thomas Mann. ENJOY! DF *****

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Just for Kicks: Gucci Python Loafers

I found these GUCCI loafers, in riviera blue, made of unusual! They are not allowed to be shipped to California... I wonder why? $980 may seem like a lot, but you certainly won't see yourself coming and going in these babies. These would be great to decorate the shoe section of your closet...just for fun. I don't think I'd actually wear them. Unless I had a fun gallery opening or something like that. But they are unique, and I do like them, even though they have a slightly sinister vibe, as we have thousands of pythons now in our Everglades National Park here in south Florida. These would look great with a pair of white jeans, a pink shirt, and a blue blazer. Just my sartorial thoughts... ENJOY! DF *****

Monday, February 27, 2012

YSL Fragrance Pour Homme

Dean Farris Int. Design

I thought I'd show you this beautiful package design, for YSL men's fragrance, following yesterday's post about my friend Sashy and how he used to do all the hair for the late Yves Saint Laurent. Check out this YSL ad on the fragrance Billy and I had a blast at the Academy Awards party our friends Charles and Gene threw last night in Chuck's 18th century French style apartment here in Naples. The food was sublime, all variations of seafood mousselines, shaped in molds in classic french cuisine style! We started with a dry french champagne (is there any other kind?) and ended with exquisite mini cherry cheesecakes from Baby Watson. Today, Billy and I went to see "Iron Lady" with Meryl Streep, at the SilverSpot Cinema and enjoyed it very much. I have always been a huge fan of La Streep. ENJOY! DF *****

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hair by YSL

Sashy, my hair stylist, came to Naples from Nuremberg, Germany, and lived in Paris, working for L'Oreal and he was chosen by the late Yves Saint Laurent to design all hair for the YSL runway shows! His salon is a trip, done in high camp Sacha Baron Cohen style, like a caricature of a european hair salon in Beverly Hills. Here I am, shot by Billy, showing off my new Sashy hair cut. Cashmere sweater, Ralph Lauren, shirt, bespoke, mini dog tag, David Yurman. Enjoy! DF *****

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Model Perfect in Naples

Our firm, Interiors by Design West, here in Naples, recently completed this amazing new home in Aqualane Shores (between Old Naples and Port Royal) for Stiles-Sowers - located at 790 18th Avenue South. Here's a shot of the Living Room... Have a great weekend! DF *****

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Chair for Miss Rose

I found this interesting HICKORY CHAIR model today, from the James River Collection, called the Kit exudes a kind of belle epoque vibe, which I adore. I would use this Rose Cumming chintz on it, called is a picture from 1960 of Miss Rose's drawing room, which I love for its iconic glamour and old school decorative mystery. I think that this whole airport lounge look is a bit boring, and that we need to find the lost romance in beautiful rooms, created by talented and creative decorators, for discerning and cooperative clients! Please do remember, your designer (decorator) is NOT A PURCHASING AGENT! We are not here to beat internet pricing, and we are not to be abused by clients! A designer is a person who is 100% committed to his or her profession, and they should not be underestimated, nor taken lightly. As Ruby Ross Wood once said, "Don't forget, we make the beds" (paraphrase) and we do know where all the skeletons are hidden. Just a little note of advice from someone who knows. See the work of Zajac and Callahan for more exotic Belle Epoque influenced looks.

ENJOY! DF *****

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Focus on Lighting: Lanterns

I love lanterns! Lately, there's been a huge trend toward overscaled lanterns, among the designers in the know. This post is about a sub-cat of lanterns, the English bell jar, also known as a hundi - Price Glover in New York has the best selections of reproduction lanterns of this type, and I also found a sort of modern interpretation from a source called Murray Feiss, which has a collection called Salon Maison, which I am specifying for a condominium residence here in Naples. I have always loved the 19th century elegance of these lanterns. I am not sure whether they originated in the 19th or the 18th, however, they are the epitome of understated classic elegance, and I would like to see a revival of their use, somewhat like the huge popularity of swing arm lamps fostered by design icons like Billy Baldwin, Arthur Smith, and Mica Ertegun -Don't you just love this amethyst colored model from Price Glover? I certainly do. DF *****

Price Glover 59 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10021 (212) 772-1740

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fragrance For The Home

Fragrant rooms are like a kiss, and you feel special as if someone had prepared the very air just for you. I especially like Agraria, Nest, Votivo, Diptyque, Creed, and the classic Rigaud, which Diana Vreeland always had burning away. Yesterday, I visited a new home fashion boutique here in Naples, called SAINT-TROPEZ HOME, and fell in love with the chic of it, and did make a very small purchase of one small bunch of dried lavender. The divine fragrance reminded me of being in the office of the late Mrs. Henry Parish II, where I discovered an elegant small bowl of potpourri nestled in a beautiful linen cloth. I found this fabulous image of "Sister" on one of my favorite blogs, The Devoted Classicist. ENJOY! DF *****

Saint-Tropez Home, 1300 Third Street So. Naples, Florida 34102 Tel. 239.234.4458

Monday, February 20, 2012

I Remember: H. Parkin Saunders

Parkin Saunders and I met through my old dear friend, Louise Wilcox Cronan, many years ago. Just like the movie with Bette Davis, "All About Eve" - I got PS a job with the fabulous George Clarkson, the society decorator from Saint Louis, and then you know what happened if you saw the movie. Parkin went on to become a Michael Greer like decorator, (he always preferred decorator over designer) and had a truly A list clientele, with billions of disposable dollars...he lived on Fifth Avenue, and was driven about Manhattan in a Mercedes 500. He even had a place in Southampton for a while. After learning the ropes from George, he and his partner the late Chris Walsh went on to create a WASP masterpiece, the guest cottage at the Hamptons showhouse, all done in the old now discontinued Zinnia chintz by Brunschwig. Perhaps those zinnias were really dahlias? Anyway, it was a sensation, and it landed him Anne Ford, Garrick Stephenson, Amanda Burden, Teddy Forstmann, and David clients...I got to soak it all up, and always considered dear PS a good friend, although he was sometimes difficult and not always so easy to be with. But he was a fun person, and he enjoyed being social in a place where that is not an avocation, it's a full time 24/7 job. I just today learned that dear Parkin died this Summer. Parkin, you were a good friend, and you are missed. May you rest in peace dear fellow. I am happy that I was able to contribute to your success. Honis soi qui mal y pens. DF *****

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Just for Fun: Phyllis Diller

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about Phyllis Diller. She makes me laugh, and her act is fun with a kind of baroque sensibility, not unlike Liberace's, and you can see them performing together on this u-tube, here. As well, I do remember watching her TV show called The Pruitts of Southampton, (based on the 1954 novel "House Party", by Patrick Dennis, the creator of Auntie Mame) when I was a child, and my mother would admonish me to not sit too close to the screen... What a riot...the plot was based on the idea that the Pruitts had lost their fortune to the IRS, and had to live in reduced circumstances, see it on u-tube. ENJOY! DF *****

Friday, February 17, 2012

Passion: Louis XV Open Arm Chairs

I suppose I am obsessed by them as they represent fantasy, quality, history, design, fashion, and incredible beauty... yes, you can have copies, and there are very good ones, such as the ones from F.P. Victoria, NEW YORK, but in my heart of hearts, I long for the best, most authentic, signed originals from France... and everything else that goes along with having such things sitting in rooms of one's home, such as good housekeeping, good food, wines, beautiful clothes, travel, just la dolce vita in general, or la vie en rose. These are sitting in Stuart Peckner's shop , N.P. TRENT - in West Palm Beach - and I truly love them! DF ******

Thursday, February 16, 2012

German Rococo Style

My friend Helen Fioratti has this pair of circa 1740 trumeaux listed on first dibs. I saw them and thought they were sensational, and a relative bargain at $178,000.00 as they are the sort of blue chip items that either hold their value or go up. Plus, they would be such a pleasure to live with.

I would hang them in the foyer of Astor Courts, in Rhinebeck, NY, which is also on the market, and a house I would love to own some day, designed by Stanford White and completed in 1906.

Truly magnificent! DF *****

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Highway to Heaven

We had to have this sofa, the Panama, by Kreiss, in Portofino Cream, HOISTED up nineteen floors to the roof, then dropped back down to the 16th floor today. I just need to add some beautiful fat down filled pillows....this reminded me of when I worked with the late Parkin Saunders on the late Theodore Forstmann Fifth Avenue penthouse, and was responsible for having an eight million dollar painting by Georges Bracque HOISTED up and brought in through the opening where a window had been removed expressly to admit the paintings' passage, and THEN, I had to supervise having an antiqued mirrored wall in the library DRILLED so that this magnificent museum quality work of art could be hung there...all of which was done in under two hours! It was FABULOUS! DF *****

Monday, February 13, 2012

Book: Maurice Fatio, Palm Beach Architect

I was in the Ralph Lauren boutique the other day, and spied this relatively new book, by Fort Lauderdale designer/historian Kim Mockler. Actually, the book JUMPED OFF THE SHELF AND CAME FLYING AT ME!!! I had posted earlier about my obsession with this famous society architect of the past, and his daughter Alexandra Fatio Taylor sent me a lovely thank you note, postmarked from Geneva, Switzerland. GET THIS BOOK! Amazon has seven new copies as of this posting. (It) has some juicy tidbits, including information on one of my favorite of all the Estate Section houses he did, called CASA ELEDA. Strangely, Eleda is derived from the lady of the house, her name was Adele! (Adele spelled backwards). Pop singer Adele took the cake last night at the Grammy Awards!

Anyway, one Casa Eleda owner was so greedy that he had his wife murdered, to prevent her from getting any of his filthy dirty money...the house is currently on the market. The book is very useful and full of amazing photography and history of old P.B., one of my favorite places to visit here in Florida. Enjoy! DF *****

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Penthouse Party Manhattan

I once attended a lovely party, at the Park Avenue penthouse of designers Stephen Sills and Ford Huniford. I loved the mellow ambience, and the elegance of the marble lobby contrasted with the elevator opening onto THE ROOF, which was a garden very elegantly paved in pea gravel, leading to the double sash door entry and entry foyer... Stephen Sills is one of the most talented designers in the world, and I think of him often. His talent is quite cerebral, and I would urge you to visit his beautiful site, where you can see his stunning Bedford, New York country house, shown here. ENJOY! DF *****

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Designer Profile: Haynes Roberts

I recently discovered, via the web, the firm of HAYNES ROBERTS, a New York City based design team, consisting of Timothy Haynes, a Harvard trained architect, and Kevin Roberts, a designer who has worked in Geneva, Switzerland. I was very taken with this dining room, which is shown on their website as well. I love the mood of the room, and the photography is by one of the better known camera-istes, adding a certain gravitas to the image. The sophisticated mix of furnishings, the controlled palette, the art, I love the whole as well as the parts. I admire also the contrast between the dark covers on the painted frames of the chairs, foiling the ethereal washed blue walls. Congrats to HR on a job well done! DF *****

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Decorator Scrapbook XVI

Digital photograph by Dean Farris

Random (visual) musings... ENJOY! DF *****

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Room of the Week, Gloria Vanderbilt

Room of the Week is BACK! I had been waiting for something like a catalyst to inspire a DFS post, and while reading one of my favorite new designer blogs, belonging to MARK SIKES, I got a nice lift from his recent BILL BLASS post, featuring this astonishing FRANCESCO SCAVULLO portrait of the ever fabulous, always young, GLORIA VANDERBILT. While I have never had the privilege of being in the same room or even seeing GV, I did know the late Ron Grimaldi, who helped GV with some of her decorating. I was told that she once paid something like $16,000.00 for one antique textile pillow. I also have never managed to meet her son, Anderson, who is always on television. However, my old friend Marcy has a sister who married into the Cecil family, who still own the Biltmore estate in Asheville, NC. Marcy was recently featured in HOUSE, on New York Social Diary. She is a fab lady and we attended classes together back in the good old eighties, under the tutelage of luminaries such as the late STANLEY BARROWS, who was the chairman of our interior design department at FIT. Also, BILL BLASS was our speaker at our graduation ceremony, and oh my what an inspiring speech he gave. May he rest in peace. The classical opulence displayed in this room, where GV stands, dressed by BLASS, is so beautiful and so classic, it will always be in style. I hope it will inspire you as it did me! DF *****

Thursday, February 2, 2012

189 River Rd., Rhinebeck, NY 12572 | | ID: 3122214

This gorgeous 1906 estate is still on the market. Astor Courts, or The Casino, part of the old famous Astor Estate known as Ferncliff, at Rhinebeck, did not make its minimum at auction, so Houlihan Lawrence now has it listed for 8.5 million. What a steal! It's already had systems upgrades from the current owners, and could be used for a corporate meeting center or possibly a boutique hotel. I would want it for my "country house" as a retreat from the city, and as it sits on 50 acres, it could be just the ticket. Indoor pool AND tennis! Wow! Those Astors really knew how to live! Oh, and Chelsea Clinton was married here!

Did you know that Stanford White designed it, and that Sam White restored it (great grandson)! What more credentials do you need? This is THE ONE! DF ******