Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Romantic Chinoiserie in Paris

Andrew Gn, Elle Décor, Paris
I first saw this image of fashion designer Andrew Gn's Paris flat, on the Chinoiserie Chic site~although it's actually via Elle Décor magazine, I wanted to put my two cents worth in about this particular look, the idea of a "romantic" apartment in Paris, filled with fabulous French and chinoiserie inspired objects, porcelains, and Louis XV style... a perennial favorite of mine. 
Our friend and client, Jane, mentioned that she loves chinoiserie, and she's a fashion diva too, she had her own boutique in Mountain Brook, Alabama.  The last time I saw her, she was wearing a chartreuse yellow green Loro Piana with a Jimmy Choo minaudiere, and beige fishnet stockings with gold lame' sandals... with dripping gold bracelets.  She's so chic, and fun too!
Read more about Andrew Gn here on his site...enjoy!  DF *****

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Bethany O'Neil: Naples Style

From the Bethany O'Neil site

Let me just say this, if you really wanted to work with a talented, experienced, interior designer, based in Naples~ you could do no better than my friend, BETHANY O'NEIL...

Not only does Bethany have a home in Naples worthy of being published in VERANDA,
she also has a beautiful and very sweet family, and they all really know how to live and to enjoy life.

Click here to explore the amazingly beautiful world of Bethany O'Neil.... a talent to keep your eyes on, and a very established one here in Naples!  DF *****

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Friday, July 17, 2015

The Pink Elephant

The Shackelford House, in Albany, Georgia, was designed by the self-taught architect, Edward Vason Jones...and when I was very young, we lived in a less grand house near this one.  I would always notice it when my mother drove by- in her  cream colored Bel Air.  Albany was a very charming place to live~ huge azaleas, and camellias, and always the pecan pies from the groves my grandmother owned.  We always referred to this house as "The Pink Elephant".  (see my post on same under Boca Grande).

One night, when I was visiting my maternal grandparents, we were awakened and told to leave the house tout was on fire!  We sat in a big circle on chairs and watched it burn to the ground.  After that, all I knew was that my grandmother had built a "house of the week" ~ found in the local newspaper, to replace the old frame farmhouse.

Recently, as luck would have it, I re-connected with an old Atlanta friend, who grew up in Albany, Carol Martin, via Facebook.  She also lived near the Shackelford Home, although we didn't know each other then.  But my mother knew her father, who was a dentist in town. 

Albany is in a part of Georgia known as "the plantation belt" - and has many historic neighbors, including Thomasville, Georgia.  The Flint River winds through the town, (Albany) founded in the early 1800's.  Previously, I had posted about the Pebble Hill plantation, another fabulous old estate.  Click here for more on Pebble Hill.  The Whitney family of New York also had quail plantations in the area.  My uncles used to hunt quail too.  These are some of my fond memories of life in the south.  Enjoy!  DF *****

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

San Francisco Chic, Tom Britt

                                              Thomas Britt, Napa Valley for the Swanson's

Alexis Swanson Traina , Napa Valley

AD Tom Britt for the Swanson's

Check out the real estate listing for the Britt designed pied a terre click here !!

                                                       Three generations of elegance!

Where fashion, art, wine, and design intersect, you'll find the collaboration between Elizabeth Swanson, and her designer and friend, Thomas Britt...talent and style !  DF

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Home Away From Home Hotel

The Blue Bar, Algonquin Hotel, New York

Looking forward to our upcoming New York trip...and seeing Fun Home at the Circle In The Square...and the Chinese Show at the Met...martinis anyone? DF *****

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Monday, July 13, 2015

Valentino Haute Couture 2015

Valentino 2006
My sweet friend, Julie Britt, sent me the link here for the recent Valentino Haute Couture show in Rome...enjoy!  DF

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Friday, July 10, 2015

Tony, Hutton, and Maison Objet Americas

Tony Duquette Los Angeles

Did you know that the Maison Objet show has now arrived in Miami?  If you missed it, don't worry, the second annual show will be held in May 2016 !  

Can I tell you how much I like the idea of using a blue malachite fabric with a green malachite bureau plat?

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Do you think More is More, or Less is More?  DF *****

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Thomas B. Britt

Tom Britt, New York salon, via Love Is Speed

Another of the fabulous New York designers I was most fortunate to be mentored by was Tom Britt.  Originally from Kansas City, Tom is a dynamo of a designer, and a true man of the world.  One summer, I worked in his office, making drawings, and going on trips to the job sites- it was a bit of a shock to see how those apartments were totally demolished, and the furniture in them would be piled in the middle of the rooms and covered with tarps...the reality of what decorators do was beginning to register! 

In order to fully appreciate the immersive experience I had, under Tom's guidance, you need to know, as I did, that Tom and Angelo (Donghia) attended Parsons together.  They even shared an apartment!  So, it was so interesting to me, having already seen Angelo's very glam east side duplex, with its two drawing rooms, one up and one down- and both in satin and then be overwhelmed by the high drama of Tom's two drawing rooms - both in boiserie~ and the upstairs one entirely in a Rose Cumming shade of blue satin...  with the famous Rose Cumming "banana leaves" fabric in the metallic gold colorway in the downstairs drawing room.  Now, add to all of this the maestro (Tom) with his booming, unique baritone voice being broadcast throughout.  Oh, and the Baron Nicholas de Gunzberg had also kept a place in Tom's building, on East 63rd Street. 

I was fascinated and a little intimidated by Tom's powerful and exotic personality, although he was a good friend to me and always treated me with great kindness.  After all, the eminence grise himself, Prof. Stanley Barrows, had said of me that I reminded him of Tom, when he taught Tom at Parsons!  (Stanley Barrows also taught me at FIT).  And now, Julie Britt (Tom's wife) and I are friends on Facebook!  Who knew?  I had only met her briefly when I worked for Tom, as they were no longer together.  A very nice lady.

What happened to sort of derail what I think would have been a brilliant career (for me) was that almost all of my friends and colleagues succumbed to the AIDS crisis.  I was left with Tom and Albert for a while, but this was all after I had moved out of NY and settled for good, in affluent and conservative Naples.  Los Angeles had called out to me, like a siren, and I did almost go out there- but strangely ended up in a town known as the Palm Beach of the west coast!  I call Naples a little town with a big ego.  Armistead Maupin mentioned it in one of his later works, and not in a kind way.  I wrote about it in my sketchy little potboiler called "Diamonds In The Sun" (available on Amazon books)...and so, here I am, after all these years, I'm still here.  DF ***** click here for a great Plum TV video on Tom, and his Hamptons estate....

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Sabrina Monte Carlo

Somewhere in Provence...
I was reading the Martha blog, and found this refreshing site, click here featuring the work of her friend, Sabrina of Monte Carlo...enjoy!  DF *****

Monday, July 6, 2015

Mark D. Sikes

Mark D. Sikes Interior Design

Loving this cool blues image from Los Angeles tastemaker, Mark Sikes.  A similar bed is available through MP Interiors, Naples, Florida...MP also represents De Gournay chinoiserie style wall papers....for your total interior design requirements. 
Mark also recently completed an interior design project "Up in the Villa" for the Kips Bay decorator show house, in New York.  Kudos to Mark !  DF *****

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Friday, July 3, 2015

My Red, White, and Blue ! Celebrating!

1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL

The red...

The White House, Washington, D.C.
The white...

And the blue !

Enjoy the weekend, be safe, and have fun!  DF *****

Thursday, July 2, 2015

J McLaughlin

J McLaughlin, Third Street South, Naples
Another of my very favorite boutiques in Naples, is called J. McLaughlin.  With two shops in town, it's always fun to pop in and see what's new...

J McLaughlin, Venetian Village, Naples
Check out this gorgeous, classic interior design at the Village location~ Elsie de Wolfe would have adored it !  The husbands can hang out in here while the wives shop...or the husbands ! :)  And speaking of interior design, (below) here I am in a funny candid shot in Troy Cardwell's apartment in Park Shore, where his furniture is matching my J. McLaughlin "Dean" shorts in ikat printed linen and cotton.  Shirt, also linen, by Ralph Lauren.

Dean wearing his new "Dean" shorts, J. McLaughlin

Looking forward to the Fourth of July weekend!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Ralph's Paris

I was excited to see that Veranda this month had featured the new "cote d'azur" china pattern...along with some other RL accoutrement since the firm I'm associated with, MP Interiors ~is also showing it prominently displayed in our suite 149...with complete interior design services available.

Click here to visit the Ralph Lauren Paris and see the fabulous new Ralph's restaurant there...both the exterior and the interior design of this amazing hotel particulier on Boulevard Saint Germain are waiting for you to explore and to enjoy!  DF ***** Ralph Lauren, 173 Boulevard Saint Germain, Paris