Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Todd Alexander Romano

Todd Romano, 40th Anniversary Kips Bay Showhouse
Another favorite designer, whom I did have the pleasure of meeting, when I worked as a shopper for the haute décor firm, Saunders and Walsh, is Todd Romano~ Todd had also worked at S and W before my arrival on the scene.  What a charming and well dressed gent!  He also worked under Tony Ingrao and Mario Buatta, prior to starting his own business.  I adore his sense of style and design.  He has done work for the Hilfiger family, as in Tommy.  Bravo Todd!

Todd Alexander Romano

You can read more about Todd in some of my previous posts.  Enjoy!  DF *****


Monday, June 29, 2015

Yellow is for Ann

The late, great, Ann Downey, Palm Beach, via NYSD
While I never had the special privilege of meeting the talented decorator, Ann Downey, I had always admired her, and her work.  Read Shannon Donnelly's tribute here - she had a definite, clean, crisp, and strong point of view, which is a hallmark of any successful designer.  As well as a fabulous life!  As evidenced by this William Norwich piece here giving one some idea of how Mrs. Downey lived her life.  I also enjoyed the memoir her friend David Patrick Columbia did in his New York Social Diary. 

Does anyone still remember Baby Jane Holzer?  Baby Jane had a little pied a terre at The Volney, on the UES, and so did Ann Downey.  Baby Jane was born in Palm Beach.  All very interesting.   I used to go over to the Volney when I was at FIT, since my friend Scott Lalley was working for Ned Marshall and Harry Schule, and they had a great apartment there, I think it was a penthouse.  Apparently, when Mrs. Downey came back from living in a penthouse in Paris, she took a little place in The Volney.  Fond memories!

I always admired Ann Downey's sense of color- and no wonder, since she worked later for the famous society decorating firm, McMillen.  Also interesting is that she was quoted as saying that Dorothy "Sister" Parish was her favorite decorator.  Demonstrating a very high taste level indeed, and a love of family, and of home.  Rest in peace, dear Ann.  DF *****

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Low table, Part II, James Andrew

Designer James Andrew, via NYSD
Here's another beautiful low table ~ from the Manhattan apartment of interior designer James Andrew.  It's a custom silver leaf design, known as a Parsons table, which is the same style I showed in my flat yesterday. 

The silver boxes look smart on the silver gilt finish, and since this image is not new, James has added a Rothschild looking Aubusson tapestry type rug.  You can see more of his work on his site What Is James Wearing? or his professional design site , JAMES ANDREW INTERIOR DESIGN, INC.  

The small sculpture, in the center, is by artist Bruno Romeda.  I had shown this piece before, when I posted about using sculpture as an accessory.  Loving the antique look of the silver leaf with the nearby zebra upholstered ottoman...(see yesterdays post on DFS where I had appropriated a scrap of zebra hide) and even more books on top of more books!  It's so chic how this silvery finish is referencing other things in the apartment, such as a mylar ceiling in the adjoining dining area, and the Donghia champagne silk embroidered with small round mirrors in the master bedroom chamber.  Shimmer and glimmer, all very in- town sophisticated and forever classic!  Enjoy!  DF *****

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Monday, June 22, 2015

What's on your low table?

DFID via I-phone
Paige Rense, the legendary AD editor, liked to have coffee tables, or cocktail tables, listed as "low tables"...how suitable, since this one I was given (by Albert Hadley) is very low, at about 10 inches. 

If you are what your table is wearing, then I am a remnant of zebra hide, (from when I visited the RL furniture factory years ago), a Maitland Smith blue and white porcelain bowl, (filled with Agraria Bitter Orange potpourri), and a quirky small covered urn in a mottled brown metal, given to me years ago by my old friend Nicholas Cardone.  (Nicky and I have been friends for almost 40 years now!)

I do like the lower height of this small table with the low seat height of my antique chesterfield, which I've shown more than once in previous posts on my Naples living room.  Enjoy!  DF *****

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Saturday, June 20, 2015

N. P. Trent, Kinderhook, NY

via the NP Trent site
I used to haunt the shop of Stuart Peckner, when he was still on Dixie in West Palm Beach. His taste level is exquisite.  Now located in the charming Hudson River town of Kinderhook, his inventory still contains some of those things I absolutely lust after, including a set of signed French chairs in pale grey original paint. 

Now that we represent the Michael Devine line of fabrics to the trade, I think of this NY town often, since Michael is also located there!  This area is a charming, much less glitzy, alternate to the Hamptons, and one can pick up a country house for a song!  One of the things that I like so much about the image (above) is the citrus-y lime-y yellow wall, which I had first experienced in the Boca Grande, FL home of Mrs. Sheila Labrecque, as decorated by Mister Carleton Varney.  Mario also is known to use this color quite a bit.  It does seem to give a nice lift to the classic antique furnishings.  And, of course, we love to add lots of fresh arrangements from the cutting garden, such as these roses I found on the FB page of designer and author Maureen Footer...

Maureen Footer, via Facebook
Enjoy the weekend, wherever you may be!  DF *****

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Leta Austin Foster, New Book !

via Amazon

Of course, I was thrilled when I began to hear stories from Leta about another book coming out, this one featuring her work exclusively! 

It's a long story, but, many years ago, Leta had expressed an interest in possibly hiring me, right out of design school~which meant I would have had to move down to Palm Beach, which at the time I just wasn't quite ready to do.  I do plan however, to attend her talk and book signing, on Monday November 30th, at the Society of the Four Arts...  Congratulations to dear Leta on this wonderful tribute to a true talent in the world of design! 

One can also buy from LAF at her charming small boutique in Via Mizner North~ she has the best of everything in terms of sheets, accessories, children's clothing, china, etc.  Enjoy!  DF *****

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Maureen Footer, NYSD

Maureen Footer, via New York Social Diary

While I had purchased the Maureen Footer book on decorator George Stacey, I then loaned it to a friend, and haven't seen it since!  I had forgotten about this wonderful piece done on her on the NYSD...Maureen has lamps by Chris Spitzmiller in her charming, euro influenced New York flat, which happens to be a studio!  Maureen is a beautiful and elegant woman, and I hope to get a chance to meet her one day. 

Hailing from San Francisco, Ms. Footer represents a certain, smart, type of girl, my kind of girl, with a wonderfully honed eye, based in the classics.  Like I am forever saying, Classics Are Forever.  Not unlike Alicia Silverstone in Clueless!  :)  (see the Vanity Fair write-up on Clueless in the latest issue).  But, I digress.

Wasn't Maureen clever to use that fabulous tapestry as a focal point?  She does not own a television. If you read my blog posts, you may know that I too, wouldn't own one, if they hadn't been given to me over the years.  I still take a perverse kind of pleasure in watching my world's smallest flat screen.  I think the screen itself is no more than 10 x 17 ! Inches.  !

Style is creating a Proustian, elegant ambiance in a Manhattan studio apartment. See more of it on NYSD HOUSE click on Maureen Footer under Decorator Series.  Enjoy!  DF *****

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

July Issue AD

I greatly enjoyed the July 2015 issue of AD -(Architectural Digest) ~and read with interest the feature called "Design Insiders Guide to Venice" ~Brian McCarthy was quoted as considering the Ca Maria Adele as his home away from home, and I had been thinking about Brian lately, since he is coming out with a new book PARISH HADLEY TREE OF LIFE, with Bunny Williams
Isn't the gran canale like a beautiful tree of life growing through the center of Venice?  It's just these kind of associations that send me off on a long gondola ride through many fantasies of life in its richest incarnation!  My, how I do carry on!   
Also, I was thrilled to see Chris Spitzmiller featured in this July issue, his house is a beautiful tribute and homage to the late Albert Hadley, which he spent the last nine years working on along with Harry Heissmann.  As Bunny herself was quoted "Albert would have adored it"...
AND I did want to mention another new book "Columns by the Sea" by Richard Hampton Jenrette, which features his house in Charleston, SC, known as Roper House.  The book is only $20.00 and the monies fund his Classical Architecture program.  All part of the design world "Tree  of Life" !  DF *****
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Saturday, June 13, 2015

Zang Toi Fashion Designer

Zang Toi, New York

Zang Toi, one of the most fashionable of the NYC fashion designers...is someone I was most fortunate to become acquainted with during my time at Bergdorf Goodman.  I love this shot of his salon, the limited palette makes it so chic, and his clothes are featuring all black this past season.  As for Zang, he often wears black and white, which would make sense in the context of the image above!  Enjoy!  DF *****

PS I think that's Kirsten Dunst in the grisaille murals from the Sofia Coppola film...Marie Antoinette.

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Sister of the Island

Mimi McMakin, via Kemble Interiors

Another of my very favorite Palm Beach-New York designers is Mimi McMakin.  There was a wonderful, candid interview with her in Flower magazine~and Mimi trained with famed Polly Jessup after design school...she (Mimi) described Mrs. Jessup, as being like the "Sister Parish of Palm Beach", with a similar clientele.  It's interesting to note that the PB designer, Scott Snyder, lives in Polly Jessup's old house! The last time I visited Scott, his office was on Worth Avenue, in a beautiful upstairs space.  That was years ago.  My friend, Wilcox Cronan, is interning with Scott this summer. 

I recently was taken to the Audubon Country Club, here in Naples, and saw the décor that Mimi created, it's a masterpiece of understated elegance.  I had the best scallops I've ever tasted.  Mimi also did the Royal Poinciana Club here, as well as the Port Royal Beach Club...kudos to Mimi!  I love that she has a dog named Anchovie ! How cute!  Enjoy!  DF *****

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“In life as in design, it is not perfection you should be after. There’s beauty in the faded and worn, the well loved, and the sentimental…After all, life has seams. Your home should be like a loosely woven fabric of desires, memories, practical, notions, and even compromises.” – Celerie Kemble

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Veere Grenney for Schumacher

London designer, Veere Grenney 
Ah, soothing neutrals to contrast with yesterday's PB post!

Veere Grenney for F. Schumacher
Available to the trade, at MP Interiors, 239-498.9074

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Cottage Charm !

via The Glam Pad

Remember when I had recently written about my experience in working on the Fifth Avenue apartment of Mary Gilbert, in New York?  Well, this wall glaze is very similar to what we did for her~bold, and inspired by Russian malachite!  The pretty floral chintz combined with the glazed walls reminds me of our friend Carleton Varney...as well as design maestro, Mario Buatta.  I would most likely add a sea grass or sisal large area rug to this room.  Enjoy!  DF *****

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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Bart Boehlert, Great New Book !

A wonderful memoir
One of my favorite bloggers, Bart Boehlert, has a new book out~"How I Look" and WWD did a great piece on it click here
Bart has a refreshing honesty and candor, and his tales are kind of like mine, we have a lot in common!  Buy now ! 
DF *****

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Belmont 2015

Belmont Stakes 2015
Looking forward to attending a Belmont Stakes cocktail party this weekend...DF *****

Monday, June 1, 2015

Classics are Forever

via Palm Beach Daily News
The former Kennedy estate...

A beautiful image and an inspiring one too!

DF *****