Friday, September 28, 2007

Courtney Giles

Photos by Erica George Dines

The Atlanta townhouse of Courtney Giles is an updated version of the usual edited, neutral interior style. Featured in Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles, Giles mixes inherited antiques, small doses of color and contemporary art to keep her home feeling young. Black walls in the bedroom with Greek-inspired window treatments add a bit of graphic appeal. The work in the den is by Ben Kay, the artist son of interior designer Carter Kay, for whom Giles has been an assistant.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Darjeeling Limited

The Darjeeling Limited opens this weekend, introducing us to another fantastic world created by Wes Anderson, and promising to be a movie with style.

The story is of three brothers (played by Adrien Brody, Owen Wilson and Jason Schwartzman) traveling through India by train.
The film's arguable fourth character is the custom designed, Louis Vuitton luggage once belonging to their father.

Known for an obsessive attention to detail, Anderson commissioned Marc Jacobs to design the velvet lined, monogrammed suitcases. The jungle motif is based on drawings by Anderson's brother Eric, who illustrates many details in these films--including the wallpaper design for Richie's room in The Royal Tenenbaums.

From a recent article in New York Magazine, David Amsden says, "You need only watch a few frames of one of his movies to spot it as an Anderson production. Though he is originally from Texas, there is something distinctively European in his obsession with aesthetics: a belief that the way something looks is what dictates how it will make you feel."

The travel ensemble, which is currently on display at the Louis Vuitton store in New York, will be auctioned with proceeds benefitting UNICEF and the Rawal Mallinathji Foundation, a medical charity in India.

(Photos from Elle).

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Inspired Red & Leopard

Charlotte Moss finds inspiration in Elsie de Wolfe's personal photo album, which she owns. I am inspired by the way she houses this treasure with red leather binding, lined in leopard print. More specifically, I am inspired to go shopping for accessories...

Brown Leopard patent leather Christian Louboutin heels with trademark red sole.

"Malawi Carla" handbag from Kate Spade.

Top photo from Design Inspirations, Vol. 1.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Lust, Caution

Director Ang Lee (Sense and Sensibility and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) has a new film opening this weekend. Winner of Best Picture at the Venice Film Festival, Lust, Caution is an espionage story set in 1940's Shanghai, and curiously rated NC-17.

Click here to view the (PG) trailer.

Update: I loved the music so much from the trailer, I decided to investigate further. The Lust, Caution is composed by Alexandre Desplat, who also did the original score for The Painted Veil.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Barbara Westbrook

And the color pendulum swings to the other end...Here is a sample of the work of Barbara Westbrook, one of the three featured designers of the upcoming, aforementioned Woodstock Showhouse. I often pass this house on my evening walk and it was fun to finally see the beautifully muted interiors published in Southern Accents last year. (Photography by Pieter Estersohn).

Westbrook is obviously as skilled at the art of picture hanging as she is with extraneous color removal (note the bound books in the living room). The framed sketches are by architect Keith Summerour who owns the 1930's Hentz, Reid and Adler home. If symmetry is the calling card of the classicist architect, Westbrook has followed the cue nicely.

Fun fact: Lee Boren, owner of Pieces, spent the early part of career as a design assistant to Westbrook.

Showhouse Showdown

Since Kendall Wilkinson's Dressing Room was such a hit, I thought I would post her attached bedroom for a San Francisco Showhouse. I am not sure if I could live in a room this bright, but I found the complimentary color scheme and chinoiserie elements intriguing. Notice the Lucite headboard? The practically invisible nature allows the hand painted wall to be the focal point behind the bed. Some items from the room, including the custom headboard are available now from 1st Dibs. (Photo from Traditional Home).

In other news, Traditional Home will unveil three versions of the 2007 Showhouse in Woodstock, Georgia on November 2nd (through the 16th). Designers involved are Barbara Westbrook, Laslie-Williams and Robert Brown, an impressive group with Buckhead cache. I have never been to the exurb of Woodstock, but the town has been garnering praise for it's "new urbanism" community, designed for live, work, and play within walking distance (a foreign concept to most Atlantans). I am curious to see how the project turns out.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Closet Lust III

And dressing rooms too...

Kendall Wilkinson designed this dressing area for a San Francisco showhouse. The chair is from the shop she created and owns, Threshold. Teal edging on the cabinetry matches the Alan Campbell for Quadrille fabrics. (Image from Traditional Home).

Cote de Texas posted this sophisticated dressing room by James Radin (photo for House Beautiful). If you have not yet seen her brilliant post on the set design for the movie, Something's Gotta Give, go now.

Have a wardrobe of solid, neutral clothes like I do? A block-print wallpaper by Farrow & Ball could add some color and pattern. (Image from Domino).

Swimwear designer Sylvie Cachay has a NYC dressing area which is home to a mirrored vanity and her collection of Christian Louboutins. (Photo from Elle Magazine).

Inspired by ballgowns and parties, designer Jamie Drake used silk moire to line the wall of this girlish dressing room for the 2007 Kips Bay Showhouse. Benjamin Moore "Lavender Mist" paint is used for the built-ins and fabrics are from his own line for F. Schumacher. (Photo from Traditional Home).

For more closet specific obsession, see Closet Lust I and Closet Lust II.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Travel Write

A 1962 Vogue Magazine jet-setter (photographed for Domino).

If it is possible, I am probably more obsessed with reading about travel than I am with art and design. Although I can't get away as much as I would like, I am constantly attempting to educate myself as to where I would go next, if I could. Here are a couple of new travel resources hitting the scene:

In October, Conde Nast is set to release Unforgettable Journeys: Great Writers on Great Places, a collection of travel essays by both fiction and non-fiction writers.

I am a big fan of The Hotel Book series. Available soon from the same group at Taschen is the lushly photographed, Great Escapes Around the World, which has a coordinating website when you are ready to make a reservation.

Town and Country Magazine added the Travel Issues in 2003, but they have also recently launched a new Travel Site which combines the magazine's quality with a broader spectrum.

And here is a photo from my own travels: Ravello, Italy 2005. I do my own "travel writing" of sorts on Trip Advisor. It is one of the best resources for unbiased reviews and candid hotel photographs.

I am curious, what are your favorite travel resources and sources of inspiration?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Room Revisited

The "lounge" above would normally be a bit bold for my taste, but I love the emerald walls with black, white and gold accents that designer, Sherrill Canet chose for the Kips Bay Showhouse.

The saturated wall color with white, piped drapes reminded me of this room by George Stacey that The Peak of Chic discovered in a 1948 issue of House and Garden. Elements of this space still look fresh almost 60 years later.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Monogram, Inc.

(Image from Town and Country Weddings)

Not so long ago, I was a bit monogram crazy. Lampshades, cell phone covers--in my mind, no surface should go unpersonalized. Now that the monogram-everything-you-can-order-from-a-catalog craze has died down a bit, we can get back to the real deal.

The beautiful linens above are by Caroline Brackenridge of Monogram, Inc.. She gathers information about each client's particular style and can weave together any number of letters or symbols. Her artwork can then be transferred to linens, glass, stationary or whatever else you may desire.

One thing I never realized, is the monogram was originally created for utilitarian purposes rather than decorative. Initials were sewn or printed on the valuable linens of wealthy households to keep them identifiable when sent in to town for washday. 19th century French Royals were the first to add elaborate embroidered crests to their linens which furthered the evolution of the monogram as a symbol of affluence.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Crafty Devil

Just when we think we have Martha's Halloween game plan all figured out (hand-dipped candy apples, intricately carved pumpkins, etc.), she warps our fragile little minds with an offering of "glittered skeletal parts".

Thankfully she stays true to her brand by using "vintage glass glitter" for this project. (Careful kids--it's made of real glass shards). For more traditional decorations and recipes visit Martha Stewart Living.

In other Martha Stewart news, it has been announced that her team is joining E. & J. Gallo Wineries in a new venture, "Martha Stewart Vintage". Good thing? MSNBC has the details.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Lauren Library

The master of WASPy living shows us how it is done in Town and Country's preview of his upcoming book, Ralph Lauren. (Click on photo to enlarge).

Of his New Bedford library he says, "It's my refuge of old-world heritage and elegance, my dream of England but filled with American energy. English style grew out of an attitude about everyday living. Their houses, whether cottage or grand estate, were the same, filled with old polished furniture, faded textiles, old plaid blankets, books and family photographs. It is not a constant race for what is next but rather an appreciation of what has come before. These are the feelings I would like my work to inspire. This is the quality of life that I believe in."

For a clip of the Ralph Lauren Spring 2008 runway show, click here.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Friday Flair

In a 2006 issue of Domino, Julia-Carr Bayler of Belvedere listed vintage Flair Magazine as one of the "10 Things That Make Me Happy".

The brainchild of Fleur Cowles, Flair was dedicated to covering all the things the "style blogs" love: design, fashion, travel, art, literature and film. Produced between February 1950 and January 1951, the glossy mag was considered to be years ahead of its time due to innovative layouts, including novelties like fabric swatches, fold outs and removable booklets. Flair also hosted a vast array of contributing writers such as Gypsy Rose Lee, Tallulah Bankhead and the Duchess of Windsor.

Die-cut covers which opened to reaveal another scene inside are still a model of discussion for graphic design classes today.

Even though Flair was widely acclaimed as the peephole into the life of the jet set, the magazine's production costs ran at almost three times the cover price, resulting in an untimely demise. Vintage copies of the original 12 issues can occasionally be found on ebay and in 1996, Rizzoli published The Best of Flair, an exquisite (and pricey) compilation of the magazine's highlights.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Stable 1897

A piece by Michael Gibson hangs behind a Duncan Phyfe dining table. The inlaid commode is 17th century.

Artist Carolyn Carr in her home/studio, Stable 1897. (From Paper City, May 2006. Article "From Horse Stable, to Art Stable; The Evolution of a Loft" by Brooke Hortenstine)

Layers of contemporary art and family heirlooms make up the loft residence of artists Carolyn Carr and Michael Gibson in the Castleberry Hill neighborhood of Atlanta. Built in 1897 as a stable and feed supply, the 16,000 square foot building has had many lives in the 100 years previous to Carr and Gibson's inhabitance, one of which as a brothel and speakeasy.

Initially overwhelmed with the empty space, Carr dialed up designer Vincente Wolf (whom she had never met) for some decorating advice. Graciously, Wolfe took the call and told her to hang curtains and paint the walls with Benjamin Moore.

10 years later, Carr and Gibson's purchase of the building has given a lot back to the historic neighborhood, as well as the Atlanta art scene. Approximately half of their two story building is rented out to other artists while the street level exhibition space "Garage Projects" raises the doors during the monthly Castleberry Hill Art Stroll.