Saturday, August 31, 2019

GARDENS: Penny Bianchi

Penny Bianchi in Montecito, CA

This article about the restoration of the house and garden belonging to designer Penny Bianchi in Montecito
after the second largest wildfire in California history damaged her gardens, garage and guest house- inspired me!  

I was intrigued by this image above, as it has so many elements I like in a house- a touch of age, decadence even, a bit of classical whimsy, a la her friends, the late Tony and Beegle Duquette... it's amazing, inspiring and even, yes, magical- that she (Penny) was able to overcome the devastation and destruction of her charming european inspired property... Kudos to the Bianchis !  DF

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Tuesday, August 27, 2019

STYLE: Michael Taylor

Michael Taylor

What could be more soothing and beautiful than this timeless and dramatic bedroom by the late Michael Taylor ? This chamber could just as easily be the work of the late William Hodgins, I consulted with dear Stephen Salny, author of the book, "Michael Taylor Interior Design", and he confirmed that this room was designed by Mr. Taylor, for his client Eileen Michael.  Thanks Stephen!

Notice the big, heavy travertine cocktail table in foreground...the Giacometti slipper chairs, the gilt "frog" chair- and the Dodie Thayer cabbage tureen... the quilting on the bed hangings seems especially luxurious in this setting, speaking eloquently to the raised knot carpet in oyster...a place for sweet dreams...DF

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Saturday, August 24, 2019

Floral Inspirations, LILIES/PALM: Naples/Charleston

Dean Farris Interior Design 2019

I always love receiving fresh flowers, and to me, they're a great luxury ... it's also a lot of fun to source greenery from local gardens, such as the owners of this house in Charleston did, (32 Legare)... enjoy!  DF

32 Legare, Charleston, SC
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Wednesday, August 21, 2019


Dean Farris Interior Design 2019

I always watch the morning light as it changes...from one season to the next- here in Naples ...

Dean Farris Interior Design 2019

Something about the morning sun hitting these topiary trees on my terrace intrigued and almost hypnotized me... DF

Friday, August 16, 2019

MOUNT AIRY: Circa 1758

The John Tayloe Emery family at Mount Airy

I discovered this amazing family house, called Mount Airy , in Virginia- near Warsaw- it was the first Neo Palladian Villa to be built in the pre Civil War colonies- sitting on 1,600 acres- and amazingly still owned by the 10th generation of Tayloe descendants!

Dining Room, Mount Airy
 This view above, shows one of the Tayloe ancestors in the portrait above mantel-

Orangery ruins, Mount Airy

This Orangery- "in ruins", is what inspired me the most from looking at various images of Mount Airy- the romantic nature of an old orangery cannot be overstated.  I recall reading how (decorator) Billy Baldwin was entranced by one of these at Wye House- an old plantation owned by relatives of Pauline Potter - later the Baroness de Rothschild-.

Mount Airy facade (flanking wings not shown)

Tayloe Emery, who now lives in Mount Airy with his young family, has an interesting background working with non profits to direct celebrities towards helping impoverished Africans- an interesting note since these old farms were sustained by slaves prior to the War Between The States-. Similar to owners of Stately Homes in Britain and Europe, the family resides here while also making the house and grounds available for tours, events, and weddings- portending a most promising future for this important piece of our nations history.  DF

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Thursday, August 15, 2019


Dean Farris Interior Design 2018

My Naples Living Room - before with carpet, and after with travertine floor- ! DF

Dean Farris Interior Design 2019

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

HOUSE: Painted White

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

I've always been drawn to a white painted house- like so many of us- the crisp look of the white painted brick against the background of bright green lawns and even brighter blue skies is a sight to behold... this "Monterrey" style house is facing the intracoastal, just off of Las Olas Boulevard, and is probably my favorite in a neighborhood where it would be hard to decide which one is the prettiest-

I also found this one (below) on Acacia, in the same neighborhood- it reminded me of the one belonging to my friend Louise in West Palm Beach- the awnings are something I'm very partial to- like a tuxedo!  DF

Thursday, August 8, 2019

BOOK: Henri Samuel

Henri Samuel via AD

More Henri Samuel, so enjoying my copy of "Henri Samuel, Master of the French Interior" Emily Evans Eerdmans-
Enjoy this article by Emily on 1stdibs.... DF

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Monday, August 5, 2019

DUNMORE: Pineapple Folly

The DUNMORE Pineapple

Our good friends Jerry and Chris will be visiting this historic 18th century folly this summer -
One can if they so wish, stay in the folly-as it rents out!
A fabulous summer destination !  DF

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PARIS: Henri Samuel

Henri Samuel for Susan Gutfreund

More inspiration from the famous French decorator Monsieur Henri Samuel- for more of his work refer to the 2018 book by Emily Evans Eerdmans -
Enjoy!  DF

Friday, August 2, 2019

RICH READING: Elegant Emily Evans Eerdmans

Mario Buatta, AD

Summer reads from E.E.E... and to quote this fabulous connoisseur of decorative arts: "I don't know about you, but it feels as if summer has just arrived this very moment.  Could there be anything better to fill the long, languorous days than a delicious book -"

What could be better than learning from past and present authorities on design and decoration?

Emily Evans Eerdmans has a prolific portfolio:







E.E.E. has also written and writes for AD and House Beautiful... teaches at NYSID,  has a youtube on her Hillwood talk - and one can follow her on Instagram: @emily_evans_eerdmans -Impressive! 

ENJOY-!  (all books available on Amazon) DF

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“One of the lessons I’ve learned from Mario as a designer and friend is that life is for living. This extended to his rooms, which were pure joy. He was a magician pairing aubergine with cornflower blue, lemon yellow with watermelon pink. He also understood the importance of comfort, something he often lamented that many of today’s 'curated' interiors are missing. But what I will most miss is his sense of humor—another one of his secret weapons, which earned him legions of friends, fans and clients.” — Emily Evans Eerdmans, co-author of Mario Buatta: Fifty Years of American Interior Decoration