Sunday, July 28, 2013

Summer Inspirations 2013

The Royal Crescent, Bath, Avon, U.K.
Above, the royal crescent,by John Wood the Younger, this was my home for nearly a year -when I was finishing my decorative arts education, and where I was entertained by Lord Fry, and Peter Hood, who was the last assistant to John Fowler.

The Royal Crescent Hotel, Bath
Every freezing, damp morning, before dawn, I would be brought an English breakfast, on a tray, in bed...and then be off to catch a bus to Claverton Manor, still before dawn, where I was apprenticing in museum studies with the American Museum in Britain.  It was very cold when I first arrived, and I only mention this since, it's such a HOT Summer this year...DF*****


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Brunch at 66 Rue Pigalle

From Bricktops, Naples
Dear Mary and I had a most enjoyable time today, chez "Bricktops" a charming bistro in the Waterside Shops...which originated in Paris, and was a favorite of F. Scott Fitzgerald's... I enjoyed a champagne cocktail, called the french 75, which was french champagne, gin, lemon juice, and a a fabulous made on the premises veggie burger with pomme frites...darling Mary enjoyed crab cake, cole slaw, and devilled oeufs...Andrew, was our inscrutable and personable server- then the manager stopped by to say hello too...

When we left the lovely place, which is decorated with paintings of monkeys, Christopher Spitzmiller double gourd lamps, and Isamu Noguchi lanterns, we saw at the valet parking a beautiful, vintage black Rolls Royce Silver Shadow II, which of course I admired and loved.  Do try Bricktops, it's a real treat, and they also have on the menu shrimp and grits ($19.00) DELICIOUS... ENJOY!  DF ***** 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Summer Idyll

Naples, Florida, a town founded in the late 19th century, is an ideal place for a Summer idyll...we have many European visitors in the Summer, including from Germany, Great Britain, and Canada, as well as France, Russia, and South America.

I still remember, when I was very young, how inspired I was by a place called the Idyllwyld House - (not a re-hab, tee hee) it was a very charming and fresh design studio and retail shop located in an old Victorian style house near downtown Winston-Salem.  I loved to visit there, and chat with the owner, Bruce Anderson, a talented designer who had relocated to town from San Francisco...

Of course, no Summer idyll would be complete, without what southerners call "libations" -delicious and refreshing cocktails, it's always five o'clock somewhere Ducky...!  Above, a sazerac, inspired by the revival of  the town of Marseilles as an artistic community (not just sailors and hookers anymore).

Funny, the other morning, I walked over to the beach, and spied a couple wading in, they were most likely European, since the man was wearing a thong (small white thingie) and the woman, had on a thong, with no top! Ooh la la...then I looked the other way, and saw a fully clothed young man, who apparently, had spent the night on the beach- all part of the Summer idyll mood right now...the delicate and smoky mystery of the Summer season-ageless in spirit and timeless in beauty...forever Summer!  Enjoy!  DF ***** 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

What Is Dean Reading?

Dean Farris 2010

Summer!  A great time to grab a few books and magazines, and READ!  Here's what I'm into right now...1.  REVENGE WEARS PRADA, Lauren Weisbergers new sequel to her #1 bestselling DEVIL WEARS PRADA... I also saw the film and loved it too..
2.  BARE BLASS, by Cathy Horyn, Harper Collins dear friend Mary gave this one to me, and I was thrilled, since Bill Blass was the commencement speaker at my graduation from famous F.I.T. (one of the top five fashion schools in the world).  The voice of BB in this book is heard as if he's in the room with you...and great photos too.  As Diana Vreeland said- "This is a big rich country, and Bill Blass looks it right in the face."
3.  BAG OF TOYS, by David France, Warner Books 1992...the titillating and scandal ridden tale of art dealer Andrew Crispo- the partner of the late Arthur Smith.  Hide this one from the children- for adults only!
4.  HOUSE BEAUTIFUL, July-August 2013...I'm in love with the Mimi McMakin project - in the Major Alley enclave of Palm Beach, a very charming place near Worth Avenue that I once discovered while visiting the island years ago.  Charm does not begin to describe the enchantment that Mimi has created here.  Her talent knows no bounds, she's a favorite decorator of mine, along with Leta Austin Foster, also of PB.  Enjoy!  DF***** 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


STYLEBEAT: DESIGNER BRITTON SMITH REFLECTS ON WORKING WITH AL...: It is not everyday that someone gets to work beside an interior design icon like Mr. Hadley, "The Dean of American Design." Britto...

Dear readers, a very happy 4th, and here, for some added fireworks, one of my latest obsessions, Mr. Britt Smith...