Thursday, March 31, 2011

Runway to Room | J. Crew + Nate Berkus

Those who know me personally know that despite the bright, patterned and girlish content of this here blog, my own personal style is far more tailored and subdued.  Over the years, I’ve wasted more money than I’d like to admit on trendy patterned pieces only to wear them once then ban them to the “someday” bins under my bed.  Take a look at my closet and apartment today and the only patterns you’re likely to see are stripes, ethnic prints and those of the animal variety (they’re classic and go with anything!).  My bedding – white.  My sofa – grayish.  My throw – fur.  My rugs – sisal.  I stick with saturated, textured solids that I can mix and match to create a cozy, layered feel. Was I tempted to hop on the Imperial Trellis train? Yes sir! Am I glad I didn’t? You bet!  I'm a girl on a budget so I leave patterns for pillows and other small accessories.  For this reason the colorful yet tailored pieces from J. Crew’s fall line and Nate Berkus’ always scrumptious layered interiors have me weak in the knees. Who can resist unexpected combinations of rich saturated colors and luxe-looking designs that are sure to stand the test of time? Not me....
images: fabsugar, nate berkus and roger davies for elle decor

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Smitten | Lacquered Folding Screens

Isn't this a lovely idea? Simple wood panels lacquered in the most utterly breathtaking shade of blue instantly make traditional elements such as ticking stripes, tasseled pillows and vintage garden chairs feel fresh and new. The lively folding screen adds just the right dose of color to this sophisticated beach house, designed by John Stedila.  It conjures up memories of my trip to Greece and swimming in the deep teal-blue water...
image: photography by simon upton for elle decor

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Design Hunter | Albert Hadley at Sotheby's

At the legendary decorator's auction tomorrow, you can score a piece of design history for next to nothing!  Included in Sotheby's Fine English and European Decorative Arts sale on March 30th and 31st are 38 lots from the inventory of the greatest American decorating office of our time, Albert Hadley, Inc.  Above are a few of my favorite pieces from the catalog – what do you think?  I might have a go at lot 651, the plaster and glass circular table, for $200-$300 or lot 650, the French moderne style two-tier table, for $100-$150.  I'm partial to anything with brass.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tradition with a Twist | Skirted Table

I always love a modern spin on an old classic, so I was excited to see these ‘skirted’ drink tables in Bunny William’s office.  The lovely little Danish tables, made from beechwood and carved to mimic flowing fabric, have a mysteriously whimsical quality that add just the right amount of humor to the space.  There's something about skirted tables that hold a special place in my heart and this genius interpretation has me smitten!
Wicker Skirted Console, Liz O'Brien | Galvinized Metal Table by John Dickinson | Tovaglia coffee table by Studio Tetrarch
Image: Patrick Cline for Lonny January 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bigger is Better

My name is Kristin and I’m a design bookaholic.  There's nothing like stacks and stacks of books perched on a coffee table just waiting to be read.  The Borders liquidation sale has left me with five new design books and the feeling that my forty-two inch ottoman just isn’t big enough to accommodate my addiction.   The coffee table above would be nice – it’s six feet of Albrizzi floating coffee table goodness.  I'm pretty sure a table that size would take up my entire living room but a girl can dream, right? Where do you store your books? 
image: William Waldron for Elle Decor

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Art of Fashion

I’ve had the minimal color-block paintings of Günther Förg on my mind for quite some time.  Specifically, since they graced the cover the December 2006 issue of Elle Décor.  I Love how his paintings are so simple, and use limited color and shapes to create subliminal panels of heavenly hues. His pieces remind me how intertwined art and fashion are. One look at the spring runway and you’ll see what I mean….
Jil Sanders + Günther Förg
Diane von Furstenber + Günther Förg
Images: style artnet

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Design Hunter | Chrome Bed at Leslie Hindman

I'm browsing through the catalog for the Leslie Hindman Marketplace auction, set to start at 10 AM tomorrow, and tracking items as if I really have the money to pay for them.  The chrome canopy bed, pictured below, has me lusting after Herbert Kasper's bedroom, featured in the April issue of Architectural Digest.  I love that it skews a little more on the masculine side and that he incorporated so many traditional elements like the blue and white lamp, wool blanket and schweitzer linens with the modern chrome bed.  Isn't it fabulous?  For the full list of items on the auction block, go to Leslie Hindman.
Image: Architectural Digest via Splendid Sass

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Spruce-Up | The Bathroom

Spring is here!!  In the spirit of new beginnings and the inevitable spring-cleaning I've decided to share a few of the ways I plan to refresh my home for spring.  No major demolition required - just a good cleaning and organizing sweep that will leave you feeling great.  First up, the bathroom.

Why not wake up to a bathroom full of lovely details!  Whether you're looking to hide your bathroom necessities in your medicine cabinet or you want to display them on a shelf, there is no reason bathroom storage and accessories can't be beautiful.  Things like embroidered hand towels, scented candles, small trays, woven baskets and beautiful soaps will instantly and easily spruce-up your bathroom's style. Take this fresh powder room featured in Lonny...I love the floral wallpaper and the how the green Molton Brown soap coordinates with it. But it's the monogrammed hand towels by Leontine Linens that really add character and sophistication to the décor!  This spring, I'm all about lovely details...what are you doing to refresh your home for spring?
Hope you have a beautiful day!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

French Favorite: Jacques Grange

Last weekend's Wall Street Journal  ran a terriffic article on the "dressed down" style made famous by French interior designer Jacques Grange.  The poetic profile, written by David Netto, conjured up visions of Paris and everything I love about French design.  Today’s post is the first in a series of French Favorites - from architecture to art and everything in between.  I begin the journey with the master of eclectic-informal style, Jacques Grange. The recipient of France’s greatest tribute, the Légion d’honneur, he is without doubt France’s most famous designer. Four decades of work for high profile clients such as Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino and the Lauder family has shaped his aesthetic and earned him a reputation as one of the greats. But it's Mr. Grange's apartment in the Palais-Royal, the 18th-century house-and-garden complex near the Louvre, that truly showcases his ability to artfully engage the old with the new.  The space, pictured here, is a cultural pileup of paintings, sculpture, and furnishings from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.  It's the house of a collector - a place for him to live with the things he loves. C’est magnifique!
Grange's large living room serves several functions but is designed for conversation.  The diverse chairs and stools scattered around add a layer to the room and are functional since you can move them around or tuck them under a table.  There is just the right amount of tension between the architecture - 18th-century-style cornices and Versailles parquet floor - and Grange's diverse collection.
All of Mr. Grange's textiles and accessories have a global influence that give his apartment a well-traveled look.
The traditional sofa paired with a modern spin painting by Damien Hirst creates a unique mix.
I would pay to get my paws on Jacques' china cabinet - the collection feels assembled over time.
The gilt fern fronds chandelier in the bath once graced the bedroom of Madeleine Castaing. 
The March issue of Architectural Digest featured Jacques' second home. And while his tastes have evolved, the colors, fabrics, textures, and materials he uses to create interiors seem to remain timeless – timelessness, of course, being a quality shared by all great designers.
Images: The Selby and François Halard for Architectural Digest

A Hint of {Frosty} Mint

March is one of my favorite months solely for the fact that I could eat a McDonald's Shamrock Shake for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Unfortunately, come April first the frosty treat will disappear and I'll need a hint of mint to satisfy my appetite until next year. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Porthault Perfection

Mario Buatta, the legendary designer long known as the Prince of Chintz, is the latest profile in the always inspirational NYSD House series. The Buatta designed house featured is exquisite, packed with quirky details, but it’s the D. Porthault filled bedroom that really made my heart flutter. The interview says the linens are Pratesi but if I'm not mistaken, they're actually D. Porthault Bouquet Éclaté
The design of the canopy bed was inspired by the Brighton Pavillion
Photographs by Jeffrey Hirsch

Monday, March 14, 2011

Currently Coveting | Madeline Weinrib Stationary

I was so please to learn that textile designer Madeline Weinrib has teamed up with Dempsey & Carroll for a line of opulently patterned stationary.  The design above is just one of her ridiculously chic creations for the company.  The pink is absolutely divine!

Orange You Glad....'s daylight savings time? And one step closer to spring? I'm ready to tuck away my winter clothes and fur throw and add a little orange to my life!  It's such a lively, fresh color that can wake up even the cloudiest of days.  The spring 2011 runways were filled with the bright hue but as you can see, it also works for interiors. It brings energy to a room and can be dramatic against crisp white.  While I probably would not paint an entire room bright orange, Nate Berkus got it just right by adding a pop of color to the inside of the bookshelves, pictured above.  But it's the tropical feel of the orange and green paired together that totally has me smitten!
Lela Rose Spring 2011 I Nate Berkus I Sydney Harbour Paints in Blood Orange I Bungalow 5 Orange Lamp via Tonic Home I Ikat Sunburst Luce pillow by Madeliene Weinrib I Casbah rug by CB2

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Big + Beautiful

Even though gallery walls seem to be grabbing all the headlines lately, I've been noticing a lot large scale photographs showing up on the pages of my favorite design magazines.  I absolutely love Timothy Whealon's design that was featured in the October issue of Veranda with its pops of blue and green .  But it’s the photograph over the blue velvet bench that really got my attention.  The photograph of The Museum of Archeology in Venice is by the German artist Candid Höfer.  There is something so striking about its scale and clarity.  So as much as I love a gallery wall full of tiny artwork, this space has me feeling the need to move in a new direction, toward something on a larger scale.  This weekend mission must find reasonably priced, large architectural photograph devoid of people begins.  So far it's turning out to be harder than I expected.  I've combed through Etsy, 20x200 and Zatista but nothing really seems to compare to these large, clear, expensive beauties...
Candida Höfer, Masonic Temple Philadelphia I, 2007. Sonnabed Gallery
Massimo Listri, For Gallery
Massimo Listri
Jonathan Ball, Zatista

Thursday, March 10, 2011

This + That: Feeling Frilly

wishing I could...wear this  Jason Wu "truffle skirt" and decorate with that  French 1960s capiz-shell chandelier from Alan Moss...
...with a price of "contact dealer"...I'll keep wishing.

The King of Curtains

See that photo above? A little grand, right? And perhaps not the way I would decorate. But what amazes me is the imagination and artistry that went into the eye-catching window treatments.  Those swags…stunning. The ruffles…radiant. The emerald green-and white-striped, polished chintz curtains are as fanciful as René Gruau’s illustration for Christian Dior (pictured left). The designer’s attention to nuances is evident throughout, the perfectly constructed curtains have box-pleated trim and blue taffeta backing with a black silk cord edge. All of the above took an amazing amount of skill and talent. Never mind the fact that you probably won’t be decorating your living room with those pagoda-like swags. I understand that – my home certainly does not have any of it either. But lets give credit where credit is due, and in this case it goes to Miles Redd. Only a deeply talented, creative decorator could execute curtains like that, and I think most of us agree that Redd is one of the best. In lesser hands this room could have easily ended up looking like a circus. Instead, it’s as glamorous as the Ascot race-day sequence in My Fair Lady. A reminder that interiors can be fun...maximalist feasts for the eyes!
images: rene gruau 1949 via art fashion and photos by fritz von der schulenburg via veranda december 2010

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Gorgeous Gwyneth

I'll admit, I love anything to do with Gwyneth Paltrow but it's a bit hard to focus on the leading lady when she's placed in an interior this stunning!  The combination of green and yellow creates a decidedly dreamy atmosphere that feels more Palm Beach than English manor. And don't think I missed the chinoiserie commode — if that's not dreamy, I don't know what is!
Mario Testino for Vanity Fair September 2000

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Fashionable Interior

Tina Barney is one of my favorite photographers because, like me, she is greatly inspired by the interaction between fashion and interiors.  When I caught a glimpse of Tory Burch's Spring 2010 collection, shot by the famed photographer, it was obvious that the sophisticated set was meant to be an important part of the images.  The series of photographs, which tell a story of a fictional family, were shot in Tory's Upper East Side apartment.  Everything about them perfect - especially the parallel between the décor and apparel.  Coincidence?  I think not.  When Tory started the collection she was working on her apartment and lot of what she picked up for the apartment end up translating into the inspiration for the clothing. During a behind-the-scenes talk with Tory during the shoot, Barney spoke about her book, Players, and her enthusiasm for decorating:
If you follow my blog you know I love to look at how fashion and furnishings influence one another, so what do you think? Is there a correlation between the two in your home?
The décor in this shot is so captivating, and the wallpaper-esque apparel blends seamlessly into the room.
This is one of my favorite rooms in Tory's home - I love the purple skirted table.
Tory's entry is soft and sophisticated, with a shiny black floor and hand-painted Gracie chinoiserie wallpaper.  Her dining room, on the other hand, is much more striking with Ravishing Red lacquered walls and mouldings painted to look like tortoise shell.
photographs by tina barney via brynn johnson