Saturday, December 1, 2018

Beauty + Brains: CAROLYNE ROEHM

Carolyne Roehm
Who wouldn't find her inspiring, smart, fun and a beauty?

Friday, November 2, 2018

Tuesday, October 2, 2018


Enjoy this Quintessence video- always a source of inspiration!  DFID *****

Monday, September 3, 2018

SEPTEMBER ISSUE: Decorator Scrapbook


Naples Botanical Gardens 2008

Ned Marshall, NOLA

Sister Parish, NYC

Food for thought...visual inspiration- past and present! DF

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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

DESIGN BOOK: Jennifer Boles

I'm very excited to see the new Jennifer Boles book , "Inspired Design, The 100 Most Important Interior Designers of the Past 100 Years" due out in October- by Vendome Press.  Congratulations to Jennifer!

via Bettie Bearden Pardee, Newport, R.I.

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Sunday, August 5, 2018

DINING: The French/Decorator Scrapbook 2018

The French, Naples



Fabec-Young and Co, Naples


Main Street, Old Salem, NC

Walnut Cove, NC




Windward Way, Naples, FL

Looking forward to dinner tonite, with William (Billy) at fabulous and fun The French !  Bon Appetit !

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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

COOL: Blues for Summer 2018

Dean Farris Interior Design

Chateau de Villette

Dean Farris Interior Design

Chateau de Villette

Chateau de Villette

Enjoy these "cool" images...via my portfolio and Habitually Chic!

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Saturday, July 14, 2018

PROGRESS: Blue and White on Bellflower

(c) Dean Farris Interior Design, 2018

Making fabulous progress on this Naples project- one of my favorite clients and favorite houses- a refresh- in the family quarters, from greens and yellows to blues, whites against a butter yellow background...

(c) Dean Farris Interior Design, 2018

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Sunday, July 8, 2018

PASSION and FIRE: Michael Taylor

Michael Taylor, personal residence, via Architectural Digest

Keeping the fires of passion burning- when I think of what this means, I often turn my thoughts to the late decorator, San Francisco's Michael Taylor …. his Sea Cliff house had a rustic, masculine, elegance not often seen. 
While MT is most often associated with the very glamorous, chic, "California Look" - a modernist pastiche of wicker, stone, and white Glant textures... he was also very much of a classicist and loved the world of fine art and, you can see also how he would almost always incorporate the use of natural plants and trees into his décor- and he was a fore runner of the taste for the high and the low, mixing inexpensive wicker pieces from Cost Plus with the finest French furniture with wild abandon!
Always "hands on" he once used cardboard packing boxes in a Manhattan apartment to create a mock-up of his furniture plan- in three dimensions-!  Needless to say, he landed the job.  Like all good decorators, many of his best clients became great friends- and when I connected with Pat Montandon, a former MT client, she shared with me the time they rode into Napa in a convertible while eating fried chicken!
Rose Tarlow, another dear friend of his, wrote a fabulous background and intro to the book on MT by my friend Stephen Salny- a very revealing portrait of a man who knew what he wanted and usually got it. When she showed him a house she had fallen in love with and bought, he told her to tear it down, and she did!  Read more about this here !
DF *****
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Sunday, July 1, 2018

INSPIRED BY: My Many Brilliant Interior Design Mentors

Dean Farris Interior Design

Over the past forty plus years, I've been most fortunate to have known and been mentored by some of the finest and most talented decorators and designers in the business.

Having been selected to study at the Art Institute of Atlanta, under chairman, Stan Topol , and then later the Fashion Institute of Technology, under chairman, Stanley Barrows  - as well as study abroad in Bath, U.K. at the American Museum in Britain, during the reign of Ian McCallum  - I was exposed to the very best taste and taught a very thorough history of art and design as well as architecture.

In the above image, of my own flat in Naples, Florida , you can see the influence of masters I've known throughout my career, including Mario Buatta, Albert Hadley, Tom Britt, and many others.  Every single day, I think about them and all that I've learned from them as well as the fabulous schools where I studied interior design and art history.

This assemblage is very personal, and includes many furnishings and objects that were given to me over the years.  Slipper chairs, Louis XIV style arm chairs, a chesterfield sofa, a rattan side table, and many other items remind me of dear friends and fond memories.

Dean Farris Interior Design

In the close up of my "collector's table" (above) you can see lamps and blue and white pieces which were gifts from Billy, and a large dragon bowl I purchased from him when he was with Maison Auclair- and a small collection of decorative sea shells too.  In case you think I'm oblivious to minimalism, click here to see a client progress shot...!

(c) DFID 2018

Have a great and memorable Fourth of July! DF

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Sunday, June 24, 2018

VINTAGE LUXE: Revisiting The Pink Door!

The Pink Door, Inc. Greensboro, North Carolina

I'm excited to get to travel back to the Carolinas next month, and to make another visit to a favorite haunt, The Pink Door, in Greensboro. 

While enjoying the south Florida heat, I'll be planning my trip to North Carolina- always a treat, since my family is there.  Read more about The Pink Door here and enjoy! 

The proprietor, Glenn Blair Lavinder, has a flair for using vintage pieces amidst architectural backgrounds.  Brilliant!  Follow along on Instagram !  I love the glamour of this shop and design studio!

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

DECORATION: Using Lilac as a Neutral

(c) Dean Farris Interior Design 2018
Sometimes, we become obsessed with a color, or the idea of a color...and for the last few years I've been thinking about lilac, and the beauty of it as a color for decoration, and to be used in a "neutral" way.  After all, it was none other than the late Albert Livingston Hadley, who was quoted as saying that "lavender was the beige of the nineties" - (see my 2016 post on this topic here ) - something that's stuck in my brain and I can't stop thinking about- perhaps as it is so similar to what Diana Vreeland had famously said about "pink being the navy blue of India".  The Salonniere also posted about this lavender-lilac topic!  And, check out what Alex Papachristidis has to say on this topic (video) here !

Very suitably - this small parsons table had belonged to Albert- and he gave it to me before he almost threw it in the trash-!  When I got it, it was in a gold lacquer- and I could see that underneath it had once been a deep rich Parish-Hadley shade of peacock blue.  I had left it in my garage for awhile, thinking nothing of it- and then one day I slapped some black paint on it with a brush- very brushy- and lived with that for a number of years.  Below, you can see where I had piled it up with books and magazines- since I had grown tired of the bad job I had done of painting it myself- and it was very functional for drinks and even a "tv" dinner!  If you've been following me on this blog, you know by now that I am constantly rearranging my furniture and objects.  It never ends! 

Albert Hadley via Judith Gura (my table shown)

I sometimes think of this room as the transformation of a small, dark, box, into a fin de siècle salon of Proustian memories and nostalgia...or perhaps just a modern "man cave" !

(c) Dean Farris Interior Design 2018

Once I achieved the color selection, which took less than two minutes, (Benjamin Moore) since I already knew what I wanted- I got the bright idea to use the lilac color for a sort of improvised table, where I topped a baroque style table with an unfinished plywood door- so that I'd have a long dreamt of display area for my collection of mostly "junque" porcelains- with a few antique pieces mixed in- which was very exciting and fun to do on a rainy day here in Naples.  But, before I even bought the paint, Billy and I had gone into a place called Z Galerie and found these fun ikat pillows- on sale!  So, as you can see, one thing led to another- the pillows are fabulous, but take up too much room on my small scale chesterfield, so I moved them into my bedroom, which led to totally re-arranging that space!  The small inlaid screen panels were a gift from old friends, Bing and Martin.

I also made a designer sketch of how I was envisioning the table with the porcelains...

(c) Dean Farris Interior Design 2018
Concurrently, I was always planning to use this fabulous, classic, "bali hai" printed linen and cotton, what Isaac Mizrahi calls a "Watteau"print - from China Seas on a pair of Louis XV style open armchairs- the color and pattern of which I was mad for-  and so is Danielle Rollins! -the blue colorway)

China Seas Bali Hai fabric

Here's a shot of the table set up with the porcelain on top- as you can see from this image, the two chairs are screaming for the new fabric- which could be done as slip covers- since I still like the suede as a reminder of Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel and her Rue Cambon suite above the shop- I also want to add some fuchsia and green orchids to the table-

(c) Dean Farris Interior Design 2018
Another option would be to make two toss pillows out of the China Seas fabric- which could then be also used on the leather chesterfield- which still needs a pair of classic swing arm lamps- flanking- also, since I took this shot, I've added some very decorative shells to the mix- (thank you Judith) which add some nice Floribbean flair- much needed as there is a white ceiling fan hanging just above this arrangement!

(c) Dean Farris Interior Design 2018
Thanks again to dear Linda of "Calling It Home" for the gift of the vintage lamps- very Dixie Highway-!  Here, (below image) I experimented with a Mongiardino-John Fowler inspired idea of "slipcovering" the lamp shades- not sure I love it or not- but a very charming and cozy effect!
(c) Dean Farris Interior Design 2018
This whole post is all done in the spirit of good, old fashioned, all American decorating- a byline from the old days of House and Garden, my favorite childhood magazine- but, seriously, I could have had the whole room re-painted in a deep aubergine gloss, or the deep chocolate brown I had in my New York flat- so this was a way to spruce up for late Spring and early Summer without too much fuss and the expense- always a good thing.  Sister Parish would agree, I'm sure, with this very New England approach
via Colefax and Fowler, London
Michael Whaley
Quadrille, Isfahan wallpaper
via Christopher Spitzmiller
Susan Zises Green, Inc.
via Traditional Home on The Glam Pad
(I was also thinking of old houses in Southampton I had seen, with unusual color schemes- and the very beautiful, recently married Countess Tessa Grafin von Walderdorff, a source of endless inspiration and ethereal, youthful beauty.)  DF
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Friday, May 25, 2018


via Madeline Weinrib

Ahhh....a summer idyll - a time to relax, reflect, and enjoy!

Mario Buatta via AD
Dean Farris Interior Design 2018

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Wednesday, May 2, 2018


Patina Collection/Patina Design
What's hot right now, in Naples ? 
The Naples Design District - an exciting destination- which includes many well known architects and designers offices, and showrooms-

Coming soon- The Collective - a stunning new construction edifice which is currently underway- just near the relatively new location of Kravet Naples, another of my preferred sources for interior design projects.  Enjoy! DF ****

PS...and do check out Rose Tarlow's new space coming up soon....
on Robertson.... (via AD)

Friday, April 6, 2018


Elizabeth Taylor with Elizabeth Duquette painting, The Sandpiper

I've always enjoyed this Vincente Minnelli film, from 1965, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.  I totally relate to the character Ms. Taylor played- a rebel on the beach with a paint brush- living there in a shack with her young son... and, interestingly, the painting she is shown with (above) is by the beautiful wife of the late Tony Duquette, Elizabeth "Beegle" Duquette.

Elizabeth Duquette
Here, you can see what an elegant woman Mrs. Duquette was- and so talented, just like her wildly creative husband.  They were at the pinnacle of Southern California society- and he was discovered by the iconic and famous decorator, Elsie de Wolfe, who lived in Beverly Hills in the winter...
I read with interest that the Duquettes loved to serve Mexican food at their fabulous dinner parties.  Imagine the fun they must have had!

Elizabeth Duquette
 Just look at this amazing painting by Elizabeth Duquette- a tour de force of mystical and mysterious magic- allegorical, and totally fabulous... I so admire her and her work, just as I admire my dear friend, Judith Auclair, and her amazing work with shelled objects- known as coquillage- their talent knows no limits, then and now.

Mirror, Judith Auclair, Maison Auclair

Judith Auclair is also an elegant, talented woman- and a wonderful friend of many years.  Her taste level is through the roof- and she loves, like I do, to fantasize about schemes and decorative palettes, fabrics, furniture, gardens and architecture-  and for many years she has sold her shelled creations here by the seashore- and has her work included in prominent homes including the Jeffery Smith designed house here with interiors by David Anthony Easton of New York.  She is a dynamo, and, like Francis Elkins, prefers to be near the sea, the coast- and always surrounded by great beauty.

Vanderbilt Beach, Naples, Florida
This past Easter Sunday, I had the pleasure of attending a casual but fun dinner on the beach- adjacent to the Ritz-Carlton- and took this snap shot, as the sun was setting.  While the sun was sinking into the horizon ever so slowly- our friend Norbert sang a most beautiful aria, in Italian of course- which was very beautiful and very soul enriching.  And I thought of dear Judith, Elizabeth, Beegle, and the beauty of our world.  DF *****