Tuesday, December 27, 2016


The French architect-decorator, Robert Couturier, whom my old dear friend and mentor Tice Alexander jokingly called "Bob Taylor" said something about paradise being a place where you go when you are dead- and we all know what he meant- he had a Naples client when he was quoted as making this very Gallic acerbic remark- and it is funny. 

These snap shots capture a tiny glimpse of Christmas in Naples- where opulence is making a huge comeback- it's only just beginning. 

I so enjoyed the visit from my family this year, and we made the rounds from the Ritz Carlton, to Tarpon Lodge, to Third Street South.  I saw many, many old friends and acquaintances and was so happy to see them.  One's true wealth is measured in health and friends and family. 

Trusting that all of my readers and followers had an enjoyable holiday and will have an even better New Years Eve and New Year!  Here comes 2017!  Ready or not!  DF *****

Monday, December 19, 2016

TROPICAL Holiday: Naples

Fun places to shop downtown: Paper Merchant (for wacky cards, gifts and wrapping paper) A Mano (higher end gifts) J. McLaughlin (tropical colored clothing) and my personal fave, since they have a bar with complimentary rum runners- ISLAND COMPANY, (fun clothing items for men and women and cute tropical themed gifts) (Palm Beach, Nantucket, Naples, Martha's Vineyard, Grand Cayman) Check out their site- ! XOXO Dean. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

KRAVET, Candice Olson

Designer Candice Olson, was the celebrity guest for the 2016 Kravet Naples holiday party- she was kind enough to let me appear with her in this image- and Candice has partnered with Kravet for new lines - exciting! 

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

PATINA, Naples

Patina, Naples

Inspired and pleased to see this gorgeous new space in Naples- Patina, with Karen and Wanda- click here !

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

THINK GREEN: Holiday Color Inspiration

MP Interiors
December has me thinking about, and seeing, GREEN everywhere!  One can see it, touch it, and smell it- and it sums up a lot about the holiday season for me.  Green, in all of its many incarnations, is a fabulous and uplifting color!  Think Green!  Happy Holidays! 

Kevin McNamara

Kevin McNamara

Mark Sikes

Mark Sikes

Angelo Donghia

Dean Farris


Mario Buatta
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Thursday, December 1, 2016

BRANDING: Dann Foley Lifestyle

Designer, Dann Foley

I was just browsing the printed copy of the new HOME ACCENTS TODAY, and found this interesting SoCal designer, Dann Foley .  Since I can't resist a pretty face and the fact that we share similar initials- thought I'd feature him for December first!  He's in the midst of growing his business from just interior design to product design.  Good luck Dann!

Amato lamp by Kelly Wearstler for Visual Comfort

  In the same issue of HAT, I read with interest about Visual Comfort lighting.  President Andy Singer mentioned that the Amato lamp, by Los Angeles designer Kelly Wearstler, is a hot item.  It comes in white also and there's a shade option too- (fabric versus metal).  available through MP Interiors ! 

Monday, November 28, 2016

MOOD BOARD: Decorative Inspirations

Mark D. Sikes

via the Glam Pad

Thomas Britt, via Veranda

Andrew Raquet, via Veranda

Countess Brandolini (in Pierre Cardin)


Angelo Donghia, 1971

One of my FIT renderings, "Salon for Cecil Beaton" 1981

What fun- to post images that inspire me right now! (Including one of my very own last-but-not-least design school sketches!)  Enjoy!  DF *****

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Friday, November 25, 2016

Tommy Hilfiger on his memoir ‘American Dreamer’

Tommy Hilfiger on his memoir ‘American Dreamer’: Iconic designer 65 talks about the evolution of his label and why there is such a thing as being too popular

I'm really enjoying the new bio on designer Tommy Hilfiger, called "American Dreamer" - it's a real page turner, and gives fantastic insight into the drive and determination to succeed that took Mr. Hilfiger all the way to the top of the fashion world, a world where the word ruthless takes on a whole other meaning. 

Read more about Tommy here !  A true American success story, and a great inspiration to all of us.  DF *****

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016


Dean Farris Interior Design, 2016

Decisions, decisions...nail head trim, guimpe, welt, tape, fringe, tassels?  Above, you can see my Louis XV style fruitwood open armchairs are trimmed in antique bronze finished nail heads- and the pillow has brush fringe, with tassels...passementerie is something very classic, and not used as much as it was in the roaring 1980's...but is still in the vocabulary of a well-trained decorator or designer.

Dean Farris Interior Design, 2016

Here, in the image above, you can see where Albert Hadley used his signature flat tape, for the edging on this Spanish copy of a Louis XV open armchair, one of the wonderful things I obtained from him when he was wintering in Naples.  I mention this detail, since most of the local upholstery shops have no idea about it, and are not really interested in it- they just want to keep adding that dreaded "double welting" which often obscures part of the frame on a nice chair or canapé'.

Dean Farris Interior Design, 2016

Finally, in this image (above) you can see two slipper chairs with small welting (Leta Austin Foster calls it "blind cord") and one settee with spaced nail head trim.  I look forward to sharing more with you soon on this topic- which could be a book unto itself!  DF *****

DFID, 2016
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Saturday, November 12, 2016


Alberto Pinto
How very fortunate was I, at a young age, to meet the legendary designer and arbiter of taste, Alberto Pinto ? 
As I was a lowly visual merchandising assistant in Furniture and Model Rooms at Bloomingdales' (Manhattan)~ it just so happened that he flew over the big pond, along with Andree' Putman and Jacques Grange- to create some model rooms back when the store still had them. 

These model "rooms" were a huge draw- and Barbara D'Arcy had been the one who came up with the concept- a four times a year proposition!  That certainly kept me and the rest of the furniture visual staff busy!  Mr. Pinto was born in Casablanca, Morocco.  I recall him being in a wheelchair at the time we met, and oozing a kind of charisma not often seen.  At the same period in time, Ivana Trump was often seen shopping in the Manhattan Bloomingdales, and I loved her in a red suit with her bright blonde French twist bouffant.  She oozed 80's glam!  The excitement!  The sizzle!

Alberto Pinto
For more, see the late designers new book, and do check out his site, which I linked above in the first paragraph. 

After work, I would then walk to the Vertical Club for my work out, and there I would see Donald Trump, (with his trainer) - Brooke Shields, Mary McFadden, Fabio, and Dr. Ruth ! All working out together with little old me!  Sometimes, as I was leaving the gym, I'd see Mr. Trump leaving also, and sliding into his long black limo.  Can I tell you- I loved it then and I love it now!  Looking forward to my next trip with Billy to the big apple!  That's all for now, folks!  XXOO DF

Friday, November 4, 2016

Topic: Design Trends 2016

Driftwood Garden Center, Naples, FL
I'm most excited to be giving a talk to an invitation only group of ladies from Naples on Wednesday, November 9th, at the beautiful Miromar Design Center !  The topic of the talk is "Design Trends" - something I know a little bit about.  Here's my short list of bullet points for the presentation.

Color Stories....Less is More...All in the Mix...Classics...Updating the Trad...Fashion accessories...and Making it Personal.  I will also touch on some of my current fave designers, such as Billy Baldwin, Celerie Kemble, William McLure, Mark Sikes, and Summer Thornton. 

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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

BILLY BALDWIN, on my mind

One of my biggest inspirations and favorite decorators of all time, William Williar Baldwin, known as "Billy" - is the subject of todays post, a great look back in order to gain fresh perspective for a new month! 
Way back in 1977, I had the chance to meet the master, but little did I know, I had spent the last two years studying under an early protégé of his- Stan Topol! (1975-77). 
My grand tour chaperone, Robert Morring, placed a call to BB's office from our New York hotel suite, to arrange the meeting- and alas, Billy had already left for Sconset- (Nantucket). 
After a brutal beating by the IRS, the most prominent designer in American decorating was left with very little- and ended his days in a small dependency at the kindness of his friends Michael Gardine and Way Bandy. 
The bookkeepers had not been managing Baldwin's business properly, and it's a minor scandal that dear Billy had to end as he did.  (Albert Hadley was a millionaire at the time of his death, and left substantial bequests to several New York institutions).  Here, a few images to look at and be inspired by- representing the genius of Baldwin!  Enjoy!  DF *****








Chanticleer, one of BB's favorite spots on Nantucket, see here is very high on my bucket list of places to visit NEXT summer!

Chanticleer, Nantucket

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