Tuesday, August 31, 2010
This July, while visiting New York my daughter suggested I peruse the remnants of the Albert Hadley interior renderings at the Gerald Bland Gallery, so I braved the record temperature, with great anticipation. He apologized to little me for the mess, as they were rearranging, I was captured at every turn, by the amazing eye of this patient, congenial man. After all, I was photographing his art, not buying it! I was thrilled to see the original, energetic renderings of Albert Hadley, the kindly monarch of American decor.
Who can resist, the frisson of joy he brought to this project, with star and sun bursts, bold eclectic style mixes, neatly tied up with a ribbon of earthly branches and shells. Interior renderings marry two passions of mine, Art with interior design. I love to see the loose scrawl, the concept behind a finished living space and the personality of the person this room was to reflect. I can literally hear this room rocking!
Design history was launched with this famous library. It is worthy of being donated to a museum. Ten rich gleaming layers of oxblood lacquer were expertly applied with handsome brass trim, to transform a "Park Avenue French" room to a sleek 20th century space.
The dressy balloon shades are brought down to earth with a comfortable Chintz with strong lines, emphasizing the brass trim. As Gerald and I toured around his jaw dropping gallery, he was very generous with his intellect, sharing not only details, but opinion. I was delighted to turn a corner and see the beautiful interiors by his wife, Mita Corsini Bland,
The way Mita Corsini Bland draws us into the room, evokes the feeling that we are actual guests of Mrs. Astor's. This amazing series of watercolors, was commissioned for The collaborative design book: Sister Parish Design On Decorating, written by Susan Bartlett Crater, Mrs. Parish's granddaughter and Libby Cameron, Sister's last protege. These cultured yet practical designers, engage conversation, on the tradition of truly livable homes, with the illuminati of interiors. They are completely to blame for the lateness of our post!
Again, Mita Corsini Bland resists the temptation to record sweeping room views. I feel like we are just about to sit down on that comfortable green sofa with Miles Redd, visual genius and creator of this comfortable space. I love his quote in the living room discussion:
"There is perfection in imperfection. You want some things to be a little off. When things are perfect it feels like Disney World, in a way."
It is fun to see the whole room at a glance, and the warmth of perspective, in Mrs. Bland's art, conveys the soul of spaces within a room. We feel the fleeting moment. There is a rich tradition of interior renderings, that I've picked up since my happy (albeit boiling) journey to Gerald Bland's gallery.
Jeffrey Bilhuber demonstrates the art of mixing high and low with multiple era's. MCB does a beautiful vignette of this disparate, yet harmonious look showing luminous color combinations with raw woven textures.
Mark Hampton: The Art of Friendship, by Duane Hampton, Harper Collins, 2001
In my next life, I am determined to marry the fabulous Mark Hampton or.... Jacques Pepin. This popular book is a cherished gift from my next door neighbor Margaret. I read it often with a smile on my face. This is Lee Radziwill's bedroom in England, decorated by the fabulous Renzo Mongiardino. I love the painted wood floor, a Sister Parish trademark.
Alexandre Serebryakov (1907-1994) painted this charming watercolor titled: Intérieur à Dytchey in 1948. Isn't that chair amazing, so coifed!
Here we have another Alexandre Serebryakov, via ArtNet. It commemorates the dining room of Mr. Lundberg. It was painted in 1944, and reminds me of the story of Sister Parish, boldly painting her in-laws ebony furniture, for her first house, to their complete astonishment--white! She decorated homes with confidence because of her travels and educated eye.
In our little corner of the interior design blogosphere, we are all great fans of all scribbles of Patricia Van Essche, aka PVE. She is an another encouraging big Sister to the new girls and boys, even though she is a member of the "in crowd." While she does wonderful renderings for J. McLaughlin clothing's historic and charming shops, she does energetic and charming drawings for numerous interior design, lifestyle blog banners. This is a tribute to Mrs. Blandings passion for yellow.
Here is a painting of a friend's stylish terrace, done as a party invitation. Speaking of parties, the picture below is my favorite.
I love an interior with the human element!
Thanks for coming to our party, we appreciate your visits, following, and comments!
All the Best, from our coterie,
Liz, Viive, Benji
Sunday, August 15, 2010
All my blog friends have been talking about outdoor spaces and ways we can stylishly and comfortably commune with the beautiful summer Earth and Skies. There have been so many ideas and creative posts to enjoy, so Benji suggested we talk about his friend, Anne Girault of Boutique Tents, whom he met in design school. Her bespoke tents are as stunning as the guests attire, inspired by couture, event invitations, and of course, the hosts style. Forget Omar...
And think impossibly chic
Detailed creations, that are simultaneously exotic and urban.
Anne names this creation for Tara Guerard of Soiree: "The Waldron." Her designs are so personal and alive for her, that her creations become intimate friends:
"This gent is the essence of restraint and tailored perfection. Mind you, not for a loss of detail, but only the most sensibly executed ones. While to some he cuts a formal figure, we praise his pedigree and provenance as rare in this age."
Tents within a tent, create intimate architectural spaces around a central dance floor, with lounge areas echoing an era of sophisticated night clubs. With a large tent like this, Anne creates the smaller perimeter tents, valences, decorative roof liners and draperies. She likes to hide all of the construction elements. Combined with the geometric dance floor, we are transported to a middle world of time and space suspended.
The tent party reminds us of that we are invited to a unique and special moment in our lives. In Anne's incomparable prose, she describes her favorite handiwork:
"This little gem is a match for the wandering soul, the weary traveler who seeks shaded solace, repose and a kind aperitif. "
Tomorrow, it will all be gone, and reconfigured in a completely different way.
Unforgettable sophistication, with contemporary lounging and dramatic lighting takes us back to elegant Hollywood or Palm Beach eras, that spark the imagination. We are transported to the days, when people smoked with flair, and used martini shakers. I am looking for Sean Connery, Clark Gable and Gregory Peck!
This elegant pavilion would be perfect at the edge of a terrace, in the garden, or by my imaginary swimming pool, and tennis court. Dinner for 8?
After collaborating with the event planner, often Tara Guerard, Anne goes to work in her Charleston atelier. She has three "really bad ass" sewing machines that she personally uses to piece together Sunbrella fabrics.
Anne is a completely self taught seamstress--note the stenciling applied to the ceiling cloth. The traditional vernacular becomes instantly fresh with a Matisse-like applique to the valence. She is inspired by myriad sources and periods from campaign tent styles, made famous in the Napoleonic era, Medieval variations, or Indian and Eastern themes.
The Maharaja Tent company has some wonderful historic photos and descriptions of luxurious tent settings, or what bloggers currently dub as "glamping." Many other designers have created tent inspired rooms.
A Turkish tent exhibited in a Swedish museum inspired the great Italian designer, Renzo Mongiardino, whose clientele was described in his obituary: "to resemble a kidnapper's wish-list. "
Roomscapes: The Decorative Architecture of Renzo Mongiardino
The council room at Malmaison, reminiscent of the great campaign tents, inaugurated this opulent Empire style.
Elegant tents, are also designed for the four legged crowd.
Anne's animal friends entertain in style!
The Thomas A. Gray Auction featured this fantastic tent door hanging, which I did not win. I was going to hang it over my dining room door. Stitched in Farci, the words: "With God's help, we will soon be winning," sounded encouraging to me.
This is Boutique Tents latest creation. It is packing for Denver, you are the first to see it! Tell us your romantic, tented, dreamscape fantasies--canopies, valences, dressing tables...
As, always, I leave you with a quote...
“I got in an argument with a girlfriend inside of a tent. That's a bad place for an argument, because I tried to walk out, and had to slam the flap.”
Mitch Hedberg quotes (American Comedian, 1968-2005)
Monday, August 9, 2010
We all have special, "Thoughtful Spots," like Pooh, where we like to go...and...sit....and...think....and humm...and tiddley.. Thoughtful gardeners provide such refuges amongst their "bits of earth." As my friend, Margaret, from Envie Recipes was departing for the Midwest, I asked her to record all the "spots" she found during her garden tour. She is a wonderful photographer, a spectacular cook, not to mention--friend. So, she went on a bench stalk, instead of a heffalump hunt. Follow her footsteps through her expedition and on her blog, as well!
If I was a little girl again, I would make a fort here. I would invite my girl friends in, and kick my 4 little brothers out! After various entreaties, I would make a grand show of letting them in, but they would have to do Everything I asked, for the rest of the day and let me watch whatever I wanted on T.V.! This bench by John Makepeace, is a magic circle at the edge of a wonderful allee. It takes me back in time, as I regress and digress...maybe, if we sat there on the Solstice....
Following Margaret...Who is not a Wozzle or a heffalump!!
Going even farther back in time.
“Poetry and Hums aren't things which you get, they're things which get you. And all you can do is go where they can find you.”
A. A. Milne
This sacred niche in Margaret's hunt, is far away from our mental Woozles. A perfect spot for poetry and hums to whisper in your ear. The creation of "thoughtful spots" within and around your home is the gift of love, memories, and growth for all those who surround your family. It is not personal statement. It is more of a series of fall-our shelters and chapels.
Margaret is a moody cook--she cooks what captures her mood. Another book has tumbled out of her moody, photo essay. She has found the rusty key, and unlocked the vast forest of English literary imagination, beyond the 100 Acre Wood--"The Secret Garden." Here is where Mary and Dickon rescue the occupants of Misselthwaite Manor.
"To speak robin to a robin is like speaking French to a Frenchman"
Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Secret Garden)
Perusing our English imaginary landscapes and shores. Margaret has taken us down this garden path, where Elizabeth Bennet tells Mr. Darcy:
"No! No. You may only call me "Mrs. Darcy"... when you are completely, and perfectly, and incandescently happy."
-Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
Following moody Margaret, we've discovered a willow, wattle bench, perfect for the moody Badger.
"Badger hates Society, and invitations, and dinner, and all that sort of thing."
- Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 3
A little hidey hole bench behind a fence is perfect for craving solitude.
“Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering.”
-Winnie the Pooh (A. A. Milne)
Milne's rediscovery of childhood, through his son, joyfully reminded him of the imaginary, thoughtful and thoughtless world.
"Wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.”
-A. A. Milne
Margaret brings us back to the magic circle. We can always arrive where we began.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
I was a peripatetic guest this weekend, in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The hot summer has risen to the mountain tops, so I am sending you a meandering through my friend's gardens before they fall over.
I have watched this garden patch evolve over the last 20 years. The beauty of this artist's style is her ability to let go. She fights the weeds, but the flowers reseed themselves, where they may, to striking effect.
Lillies and roses mingle democratically with Queen Anne's Lace and daisies.
"Gardening is civil and social, but it wants the vigor and freedom of the forest and the outlaw. " ~Henry David Thoreau
The "morning's catch" waiting to be arranged.
Gardens are a form of autobiography. ~Sydney Eddison, Horticulture magazine, August/September 1993
My friend's grandchildren call her bossy, but I would say her garden vibrates with her great love of beauty. She also uses words like "behoove" and her southernisms delight me.
A meander is good for the soul.
"Why try to explain miracles to your kids when you can just have them plant a garden." ~Robert Brault
My guest room opens to this tidy little space.
While visiting gardens and my friends is good for my soul.....
I can always find a good place to shop!
Randy McManus is a floral designer extraordinaire. His adorable little shop in a friend's old playhouse is an honor system establishment!! Visit his website to see some of his amazing floral designs and accessories. He is my favorite!
Garlic Jelly!! Who knew. Thanks for walking with me. My new blog friends have been, decidedly, a great addition to my life!