Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Anthony Minghella (1954-2008)

Anthony Minghella makes art out of art in a beautifully shot scene from The English Patient.

I was extremely sad to hear today's news that British director, Anthony Minghella passed away at the young age of 54. As the director of two of the most stylishly filmed movies of the previous decade, The English Patient and The Talented Mr. Ripley, Minghella possessed that rare ability to turn dark source material into a work of poetry and beauty. War and murder aside, the exotic set locations, music, period costumes and complex stories in each of his films combined to form some of the most engaging movie scenes in my memory.

From top: Scenes from The English Patient and The Talented Mr. Ripley, Anthony Minghella on set. Photos courtesy of Miramax/The Weinstein Company.

The Director's comments that accompany the DVD versions of these two films are truly engrossing for the design and film fan. I own both and watch them over and over again. We will miss the talented Mr. Minghella.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I Saarinen-der

In honor of the ongoing Eero Saarinen exhibit at Atlanta's modern design museum, aka MODA, I began to prepare what was going to my personal ode to the Tulip Table. Then I stumbled upon the Turkish design blog, A Mad Tea Party with Alis, and realized there was no way I could do it better than this.

The Furniture of Eero Saarinen: Designs for Everyday Living at MODA through May 5th.

Photograph of Saarinen Tulip Table with Norman Cherner Armchairs from Design Within Reach.

In other "Current Exhibition News", one of my favorite Atlanta artists, Carolyn Carr is now showing at the Spanierman Modern in New York City through April 5th. I promise this is the last time I show this photo, but don't the two look great in the same room? 

Photograph via PaperCity.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Style in the American South

Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana.

Despite our sometimes regrettable past, the South lays claim to it's own unique brand of style. Courtney graciously asked my thoughts on what makes decor in this part of the world special, and has posted them with lovely illustrations here.

Friday, March 7, 2008

An Early Spring

Ashley from Decor Amor was kind enough to leave a comment this week and I am so glad she did. Ever since, I have been trolling her blog filled with seriously beautiful floral photography and more.

In addition to the flowering inspiration, Decor Amor introduced me to Fab India, an exporter of hand-printed Indian textiles at very affordable prices. (Above is the Gulmarg tablecloth in green). I am already imagining an alfresco table set for Spring cookouts.

Perhaps an updated version of this vignette, which I believe was torn from a Martha Stewart Living (and obviously folded up) at least ten years ago.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Real Housewives

Real Housewife Bethenny, just hanging out with the girls

Even though last night's The Real Housewives of New York City premiere did not leave me bowled over with style inspiration, I did spot one pretty thing amongst the coffee talk.  

I don't know if it was the blue chain embroidery on Bethenny's bed linens or the Greek-key hem of her dress, but either way I am suddenly yearning for a crisp new duvet cover for Spring. (If anyone knows the manufacturer of the pattern, please share). In the meantime I have found some tempting options.

"Fiorentina" from Matouk is a simplified, graphic chain.

At a slightly lower thread-count, Williams Sonoma Home's Greek Key duvet is the more affordable option.

For a witty recap of the show we love to hate (to love) be sure to check out the Scented Glossy Magazines unofficial "Real Housewives" fansite.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Miss Pettigrew, Chapter Two

It appears the connection between Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day and interior design continues. While I would not pass up the opportunity to see such a thoughtfully decorated movie as the aforementioned title, there is another option for the bibliophile.

Clockwise from left: The classic Persephone Book jacket, a collection of works with their corresponding end papers, the "fabric" lining for Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.

Persephone Books, known for republishing forgotten books by mostly women authors, has released their stylishly bound version of Winifred Watson's 1938 work, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. Lined inside the signature gray jacket is a pattern originally used as a linen print for interiors by textile designer Marion Dorn.

Marion Dorn in 1947 with her fabric patterns. She was also well-known for her rug designs with high profile commissions for Claridges, the Queen Mary ocean liner and Syrie Maugham's famous all-white drawing room. Photograph by Horst P. Horst.

"Fabrics are as much a part of our daily lives as furnishing and dress materials, yet we rarely see them used in any other context. However, fabric design should be celebrated for its own sake; and because it is a field in which women designers have been particularly prominent we would like to use their work whenever possible." -Persephone Books

Like the seventy-five titles in the Persephone library, the fabric patterns chosen as end-papers are largely rediscovered works from the early to mid-20th century, which coordinate with the style and year of the story.

Kudos to Persephone for keeping female artists from fading into obscurity!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Mrs. Joel Lives for a Day

Katie Lee Joel's dressing room in March's Town and Country reads like a jewelry box from the Deco era.  Designer Nate Berkus and architect Ahmad Sardar-Afkhami used $25,000 worth of gold-leaf transform a 105 sq. ft. vestibule between the master bedroom and bath into a glimmering, 1930's style boudoir. (Photographs by Miki Duisterhof).

"We wanted it to be a place where the act of dressing would be heightened to an exquisite ritual." -Ahmad Sardar-Afkhmi

To that I say, "mission accomplished".  The soft blue-greens and golds remind me of another glamorous interior that has been in the press lately.

Scene still from Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.

It seems that Berkus, Sardar-Afkhami and Sarah Greenwood, production-designer for the upcoming Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, had similar sources of inspiration.  (Habitually Chic has more on that subject).

Saturday, March 1, 2008