Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Read Between the Lines. Or Read the Lines.

Here we are passed Black Friday and Cyber Monday and everything in between and I have yet to buy one gift.

If you are in a similar spot, Out of Print may provide a snappy stocking stuffer.  Journals, featuring the covers of some literary favorites, use the opening sentences of famous novels as "lines."

They're clever for coming up with them, you're clever for ordering them.  Here.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Line Drawing

Not in the budget to hang a Mondrian above the mantle?  Perhaps it would suffice to have a little line and dash before the sofa.

Try a new sound and give the greatest hits of Adnet, Probber and Wormley the night off.

The Right Angles coffee table is a new design by Jason Phillips.  It is available through the Phillips Collection here and you can see more of his work here.  Also, it reminds me of my new dress.  If only I had shoes with a little gold capped heel.

Images courtesy of Jason Phillips; the table measures 48 x 34 x 17 and will be limited to twenty pieces.

Winning Mr. Gili

More than once in the last week someone has mentioned to me the experience of sitting down with a design book - cozy chair, good light and hot tea - to read and to dream.  These books offer us both concrete inspiration and magical escape.

I am happy to give, in conjunction with Rizzoli, a copy of Oberto Gili, Home Sweet Home, to Karen, whom I have contacted already.

Image courtesy of Rizzoli New York by Oberto Gili from his book Home Sweet Home.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

I originally ran this post for Thanksgiving 2009, but these images are worth repeating and are by Oberto Gili so we are quite on topic.  The sentiment remains the same.

Whether your Thanksgiving is filled with sterling and squab

or Cornell and carry-out,

we are wishing you

a very happy Thanksgiving.

All images House and Garden, November 1986; consistently, perpetually delicious photography by Oberto Gili. The silver pieces are French, commissioned for the Portuguese court in the 18th century.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

More of Less is More (and a Give Away)

Yesterday's images from Oberto Gili's new book were delicious and dense.

Today I am giving you a little taste to cleanse your palette before the feast.

Still Gili, still distinct, but with more air.

I know you may have been shopping or cooking or traveling to someone who is shopping and cooking on your behalf, so to soothe the strain I am offering up a copy of Oberto Gili's Home Sweet Home.

Leave a comment here by Sunday, November 27th and I will announce the winner Monday morning.  Now, think this through.  I must, must, be able to get in touch with you if you win, so you might need to leave your email address in the comment section.  There's no way around it.

All images courtesy of Rizzoli New York, photography by Oberto Gili.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sumptuous and Bohemian

There are people for whom the images of memory are not just things they have experienced themselves, but also the pictures they have seen.  In galleries.  In museums.  And in magazines.

Pictures that are so close, so clearly remembered, that they feel they were in those spaces.  That they experienced them in a very personal way.

Many images by photographer Oberto Gili are in my files, both paper and mental.

"I try not to change anything and not to style," Mr. Gili told me.  He has shot the homes of friends and strangers and says neither is better or easier, but "The difference is if they are interesting or not.  An uninteresting person will for sure live in a dull house."

He has favorites, as I have favorites (the pool, the flag, the cows), but will he click and tell?  "I could name many, but I go down to two - Richard Meier and Isabella Rossellini."  I remember them well.

If you are an Oberto Gili fan, you will be thrilled with his new book Oberto Gili, Home Sweet Home: Sumptuous and Bohemian Interiors.  Bill was shaking his head and smiling as I kept saying, "Oh, it's so beautiful."  All images courtesy of Rizzoli New York and are, of course, by Mr. Gili.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

PJ Party

I went to stay with friends about a month ago and unthinkingly tossed my favorite pajamas in my bag.

When I pulled them out, now in sumptuous surroundings instead of my master bedroom that is reminiscent of a large dog bed, I was shocked by their shabbiness.

I think it is time for Marigot to the rescue.
Men's-style pajamas tailored for women in high count cotton with snappy trim is just the answer.  There are nightshirts, too and coming for spring these really jazzy prints.

Long cashmere sweaters on top create a cozy cocoon.  Oprah likes them, too.  Marigot made the gift guide, so if you enter "OPRAH" at check out you will receive 10% off through December 1st and a chance to win a full set including the sweater.

Patina Style

I missed meeting Brooke Giannetti when I was in Los Angeles a while back.  My schedule was hectic and she was busy with business and children and our paths did not cross.

But I have read her blog, Velvet and Linen, for a long time and I liked her already.

Brooke and her husband, Steve, own Giannetti Home where they offer up interesting antiques and beautiful (and sensible) architecture and design services.  I've always enjoyed their aesthetic as it seems so genuine.

I've watched Brooke spiff her kitchen, build a chicken coop and become friends with Penelope Biachi (which brings about a little envy.)  And, now she's written a book, Patina Style.

There is no doubt that the interiors are beautiful, but the bonus is the amount of really helpful advice that you will find here.  Her thoughts on paint are worth the price of admission alone, but there are also great sections on using architectural salvage, furniture placement and display.

If you like things that show a little bit of the life they've lived, you'll love Patina Style.

Images, courtesy of Brooke Giannetti, photography by Lisa Romerein except the last which is Steve Giannetti.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Catching Up

It's always a treat to see a new Suzanne Rheinstein project and there is a particularly lovely one in December's Architectural Digest.  You may remember the beautiful mural in Rheinstein's New York apartment painted by Bob Christian; he struts his stuff again here with great results.  That Rheinstein used a Pottery Barn sisal in this room confirms my impression that she is both charming and down-to-earth.  Knowing where to put the low in high-low is quite a knack.

Image Architectural Digest, December 2010, design by Suzanne Rheinstein, produced by Robert Rufino; photography by Francesco Lagnese.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Out and About - Pear Tree

If you would rather stand barefooted on the cool, textured tile and admire a crisp collection

than empty your purse for a pair of matching shoes

then you are in luck.  Pear Tree Design and Antiques has received their shipment, including the most delightful blue and white porcelain.

Call or stop in:

Pear Tree Design and Antiques
313 East 55th Street

Images, top, Oliver Messel: In the Theatre of Design, edited by Thomas Messel, Rizzoli New York, 2011, photography Derry Moore. The two images bottom are my own; click on them to see them larger.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

If the Shoe Fits

Recently I asked a friend if $700 shoes (and $800 shoes and $1200 shoes) really feel different than $300 shoes.  We had a brief, yet believable, exchange about quality and longevity.  A few days later, pouring over Oliver Messel's design of Rayne's Shoe Shop I thought, "This was a place that girl would dig."

Shelves and pedistals, mirror and silk, this was a shrine to shoes cloaked by a "Shop" with no "pe."  This was one side of one room.  There were rooms.  This is the sort of spot, like the couture section at Hall's, where my foot would never cross the threshold.

Later that day I received an email from a friend who sends me pictures of houses he likes with subject lines like, "Yes. This," and no other text.  The latest contained a link to a post at The Selby with a brown-that-was-supposed-to-be-red chair and this.  A modern day version of Rayne's for one's very own.  A cabinet so lovely that she just might become vain, but who keeps her head as she has such a serious job to do.

This jazzy cabinet belongs to Brooke Cundiff (Director of Merchandise at Park and Bond) and her husband, Michael Hainey (who is just about everything - writer, artist and deputy editor of GQ.)  And the chic grosgrain ribbon on this convoluted shoe box?  This pithy quote at the end of the post that I just might treasure more than a pair of Louboutins:

Image, top, from Oliver Messel: In the Theatre of Design, edited by Thomas Messel, Rizzoli, New York from the Victoria and Albert Museum, Theatre and Performance Collection.  Image, next, via the Selby.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Act II

Obviously, there is set design and decoration.  Pages of sketches of costumes and stage.

There are also examples of decoration of both rooms and painted walls.

Don't forget tales of British aristocracy and politics and life-long friendships.

But the best parts of Oliver Messel: The Theatre of Design for me are the houses he designed in Barbados and Mustique.  Those chalky walls, bare floors, porcelain and chintz.  My copy's spine is already cracked to Chapter Five.  For the design?  Yes.  But also for the reassurance that one can shift focus, try something new and succeed.

This book truly has it all - great design, a rollicking story, a great romance and best of all a dashing leading man.  And wonderful pictures to boot.  All images courtesy of Rizzoli for Oliver Messel: In the Theatre of Design edited by Thomas Messel.  Photography for all photos but the third by Derry Moore, the other is by Dale Curtis.  Rizzoli provided the book for review.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Light of My Life

"Is Halloween on a full moon?"


"Then I'm going to be a werewolf, because since it is not a full moon I can just be a regular kid."

"If you don't wear a costume, you can't go trick-or-treating.  House rules."

"Then I'll be a lamp."

With a pause I looked up over the top of my glasses, "I can totally make you a lamp."

Do not double-dog-dare me.  Not to make you a lamp or take the tequila shot or drive to Dallas to see The Who.  Because I will.  When I suggested he tuck the end of an extension cord into the cuff of his pants and carry the plug over his elbow he said, "You have to stop now."

This is my way of explaining why posts have been spotty.  Picking paint colors and working and managing the boys all take a little energy and some creative juju.  Sometimes there is not enough left over for a blog post.  I'm not quitting, just getting things together.  A woman who I worked with a million years ago, one of my favorite women ever, used to say, "I need to get my shit in one sock."  That is, indeed, what I am trying to do.