Thursday, January 31, 2008


I've been tagged. are seven interesting (or not-so-interesting) things about me:

1) My husband and I have the same birthday. We were born just a few hours apart in the same hospital. Of course, we did not meet until we were adults, since he grew up in New York and I grew up in Atlanta. Sharing a birthday was fun when we first started dating, but I am starting to understand how twins feel.

2) I find most things from the Victorian era to be somewhat sinister.

3) I never had any real intention to start blogging (hence the totally ridiculous title of my blog). One day I was bored at work and did a few practice posts which I sent to my husband. By the end of the day he had emailed it to our friends and sent me flowers. I figured I couldn't stop after that.

4) Every day at least 4 people visit this site from "Mariah Carey" related Google searches.

5) I have never had a cavity or a broken bone (knock on wood).

6) Several years ago, I grew tired of the flakiness of the design world and took a break which ended up lasting much longer than it should have. Blogging finally kicked down the wall in my head that was holding my creative side back. In the past few months I have filled a sketchbook full of drawings and reinstated my interior design business license. Bring on the flakiness!

7) On our honeymoon, My husband and I were able to take a private tour the Sistine Chapel while it was closed to the public. It was a wedding gift from his grandparents and one of the highlights of my life.

Thank you for the tag:
My Designing Life
Pink Wallpaper
Design for Mankind
Vie Chaotique

Sorry it took so long.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Art Papers Auction

A large work by Carolyn Carr in PaperCity.

Thanks to the lady bloggers over at the Pecanne Log for reminding me about the upcoming Art Papers Auction this weekend. This is one of my favorite art events of the year as it boasts an impressive roster of artists. Among the participants will be works from Carolyn Carr (above) and Scott Ingram (below).

An interior by Suzanne Kasler features a drip painting by Scott Ingram

The silent auction event is held Saturday, February 2nd at Mason Murer Fine Art. In case you are not in Atlanta, you can participate in the online auction which ends Friday at noon.

Hotel Sweet

The Godiva Chocolate Suite at the Bryant Park Hotel.

I have no choice but to respond positively to a creative advertising stunt that combines three of my favorite things: hotels, chocolate and design.

For more photos of the Larry Abel designed suite, complete with a chocolate Klimt and Pollock, visit the New York Daily News.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Doris, Bernard and Balaban

Susan Sarandon and Bob Balaban on the set of Bernard and Doris

If you are a Doris Duke enthusiast, then the upcoming HBO film, Bernard and Doris may be the cable movie for you. With an A-list cast (Susan Sarandon and Ralph Fiennes) in the title roles as the tobacco heiress and the loyal, but creepy butler who gained control of her fortune, we know the acting will be good. That said, I am more excited about the directorial vision of Bob Balaban, who was also the major creative force behind one of my all-time favorite films, Gosford Park.

"Balaban is a subtle director, able to sketch a believably grand world on a miniscule budget and give dramatic shading to the privacy inside." -Joan Juliet Buck, Vogue.

Doris Duke's personal story is just as wild and fascinating as her global sense of style. While this particular film focuses on her later years, spent tending her gardens and changing her will, Balaban is the man to bring her world of beauty to life. With Long Island's Old Westbury Gardens standing in as Duke's estate, we know the setting will be spectacular as well.

The former Phipps estate was not one of Duke's real homes, but it plays one on TV.

Show times begin on HBO, February 9th. For more on Duke's legendary style be sure to visit Style Court's Doris Duke Archives.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Quantum of Solace

Villa La Gaeta in San Siro, Italy

As a lifelong James Bond fan, I couldn't be more excited about the newly released details of the upcoming movie, Quantum of Solace. The script of the 22nd Bond installment will pick up one hour after 2006's Casino Royale ends. Hopefully, this means we will be seeing more breathtaking views of Lake Como, Italy and the 1920's Villa la Gaeta, where the last scene was filmed.

Other shooting locations will include Austria, Panama, Peru and Chile. I think I can confidently blame Bond set locations for my early and insatiable wanderlust.

Daniel Craig will reprise his role as the second-best Bond ever, while French actor, Mathieu Amalric of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly fame comes on board as the new villain.

The scheduled release date is November 2008. Less than a year to wait...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Thin Mints

Now is the time. Have you ordered yours yet?

These varnished steel bistro chairs originated in 1930's France, photograph via coco+kelly.

Spring greens and chocolate browns on the runway from Milly.

Betsy Brown's office with Moorish stencil photographed for House Beautiful, via Girl Meets Glamour.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sleepy Time Down South

Photograph via DB King/Flickr

I am back from another whirlwind weekend in beautiful Charleston. Of course, I have none of my own photos to share from this most recent trip because:
a) I forgot my camera.
b) It was raining too hard on Saturday to see much of anything.

However, we did discover a charming place to stay, The Middleton Family Bed and Breakfast. Yes, I know the website makes this place look like an apartment where I might have lived in college, but for the price of your average hotel room you get a quaint 1783 carriage house with two bedrooms, 1 1/2 baths, kitchen, living room, private courtyard and free parking in the middle of the Charleston's beautiful historic district. Never mind that the eyes in the portraits tend to follow you around the parlor. Just kidding.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Eva Lorenzotti

Our favorite purveyor of lavish accessories, Eva Lorenzotti, shows off her home in this month's Global Guide. (Click on any photo to see the details).

Reflected in the mirrored doors of her famed dressing room are some of her global finds. What a life.

For many more photos, I recommend picking up a Global Guide. (This one came from Borders). I have never read this magazine before, but it is definitely worthy of it's $7.00 price tag--and it has the thick, glossy paper.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Snowing in Atlanta

Ansel Adams, Branches in Snow, 1932

It only happens once every few years, but you know what it means--mass hysteria. My office emptied out hours before any flakes began falling and everyone on the roads is acting like they just got their license.

The good news: I get to sleep in tomorrow morning. (Why show up early if no one else is going to? ) The bad news: our version of snow is more like frozen rain, which turns tree limbs into missiles and knocks down perfectly good power lines. I am enjoying electricity while we still have it, but I have a book and a lantern at the ready.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Outside In

Even though the focus of this Domino feature was to showcase an updated daisy arrangement, I could not help but notice the style similarities between this 2008 vignette and the 1949 House and Garden photo below.

Scrolled outdoor furniture pops off of sunny hues and potted greenery bring the garden inside--a look clearly ahead of it's time. (Photographed by Horst P. Horst for House and Garden).

By the way, I officially recant anything I may have previously said about disliking daisies.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Masterpiece Theater

Set your Tivos! Starting today, Masterpiece Theater kicks off their new four-month series, The Complete Jane Austen with Persuasion. The best part: no Hollywood hotshots to upstage the source material, unless you count Colin Firth in the BBC's superior version of Pride and Prejudice (airing February 10th). I knew 2008 was going to be great!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Tina Barney

The other day, this photo arrived in the mail. A late Christmas card from a distant family friend? Not quite. Flipping it over, I realized it was a postcard from the Fay Gold Gallery announcing this month's show of Tina Barney's photographs.

Barney began photographing friends and family in the 1980's in well-to-do enclaves of the East Coast. While her settings are staged, the resulting photograph captures the spontaneous movement and split-second thoughts that may flicker across the mind of her subjects. An artistic precursor to reality television, perhaps?

Each photograph is a little mystery, and fans of Barney's work spend hours trying to unravel the story provided by clues in the details. Faces may be tense or indifferent--challenging the notion that material wealth yields smiling happiness.

If you are in Atlanta this month, I highly recommend the show at Fay Gold which combines early American work with her more recent photographs taken in Europe.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Love Bugs

Dark chocolate ladybug truffles

I know Valentine's Day is a month away (and a generally stupid holiday). However, the Williams-Sonoma catalog is putting me in the early spirit with their clever confections.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Sex, Drugs and Textile Design

Fashion designer Ossie Clark and wife Celia Birtwell photographed in London, 1971.

Celia Birtwell first became famous in late 60's London after her lending her hand-printed fabrics to husband Ossie Clark's fashion designs. What resulted was the birth of the modern catwalk show and an impressive rock star following. Clients of the partnership included the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Mick and Bianca Jagger, Paloma Picasso and David Hockney, to whom she would serve as a muse for years following.

The swinging, hedonistic lifestyle eventually caught up with pair and they divorced in the mid-seventies. After the tumultuous marriage ended, Birtwell turned away from fashion and focused on the "less manic" world of interior fabrics, opening her home design shop in Notting Hill in 1984. This past fall, the Celia Birtwell's line of 60's inspired textiles and home furnishings became available at the L.A. showroom of Suzan Fellman.

An older and wiser Celia Birtwell at the the Suzan Fellman Showroom in Los Angeles. Wingback chairs upholstered in Birtwell's "Howard" linen. (Photographed for Vanity Fair).

Pillows in Celia Birtwell's "Imagine" pattern

David Hockney poses with his muse in front of his 1971 painting, "Mr. and Mrs. Clark and Percy", a portrait of Celia Birtwell with her former husband Ossie Clark. The painting, rich with symbolism, is one of the most visited at the Tate Gallery in London.

As Beach Bungalow 8 posted back in September, Birtwell designed a line of vintage garments for Topshop. The collection of roughly 1,000 pieces sold out of the English chain store in a record 6 minutes.

To view Celia Birtwell's complete home textile collection, visit her website.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

A Virtual Home

Entrance Hall by Robyn Karp. (via Life Abundant).

On New Years Day, Things That Inspire created a "virtual home" as a way to pinpoint her current taste in decor in an ever-changing sea of blogger influence. I thought it was a great idea, so here I attempt to assemble and preserve my own set, based on my Thursday decorating whims.

The living room was the hardest to choose as I generally play it safe in real life, but I loved this October '07 cover of Elle Decor featuring Milly designer, Michelle Smith's living room. (via Habitually Chic). It's simultaneously young and sophisticated, wild and subdued.

My dream dining room would be modeled after that of Temple St. Clair Carr, as photographed for Elle Decor So Chic. Unfortunately, I have not yet been able to talk my husband into a Saarinen table, but the mix of mid-century modern and properly traditional is worth emulating.

Windsor Smith's industrial-strength kitchen (photograph via Cote de Texas) was my screen saver for a month. Loving the robin's-egg blue floors.

A pretty bedroom by Barrie Benson featured in Domino is feminine without being frilly. (via Stylecourt).

Maybe it's the cabinetry, maybe it's the clothes, but either way, Eva Jeanbart-Lorenzotti's Closet is the one to beat. (Photographed for Domino Magazine).

A cozy living room in Aerin Lauder's Hamptons home would be the perfect library with it's David Hicks rug and lacquered walls. (Photographed for House and Garden, December 2007).

So, thank you magazines, designers and bloggers for introducing me to these lust-worthy rooms this past year. You have provided me with enough inspiration and house envy to keep me busy in 2008!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

In the Stars

Celestial Chart (Christianized zodiac), circa 1661.

Feeling much better today--even more so after checking out what my 2008 horoscope has in store. (Taureans, this is our year)! To see all the rest, click here.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year

A 2007 sunset taken in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

I usually have a laundry list of very specific resolutions, but this year I am focusing in on one thing. No kickboxing classes to take, no pies to bake, no latitude lines to cross. All I want to do is make my career life more like this...

The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both.

-James Michener

Happy 2008 to all! I hope your hangover is not is bad as mine today.