Friday, September 28, 2007

Most expensive real estate in Atlanta

I always love to check the real estate listings in Atlanta, and thought it would be interesting to take a look at the one of the most expensive properties on the market in Atlanta proper (not the suburbs). This house has been on and off the market for years, and recently went back on the market at $16,500,000, which makes it the second most expensive listing within the city limits (the most expensive is listed at $19,000,000). When this house was on the market a few years ago, the listing indicated that the interior design was by Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill, the eldest daughter of the 11th Duke of Marlborough.

This home sits on 17+ acres in a prime area in Atlanta, which is very rare for a private property within the city limits. It is described as a 'classic Georgian limestone masterpiece' with over 15,000 square feet of living space. On the property are two small lakes, horse paddocks and a stable. The grounds include a sculpted English garden, two greenhouses and a terrarium.

What is the most expensive listing where you live?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

More ways to use fabric?

Although I am generally an advocate of original art on the wall, I thought that this was a clever idea. Take your favorite fabric, mount it to a board, and frame it! If you use a standard size frame, this is actually a reasonably priced way to make a design statement and enjoy your favorite patterns.

Interior design by Robyn Karp Interiors

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Another inspirational Suzanne Kasler home

Suzanne Kasler is quickly becoming my favorite designer. She is incredibly versatile, and has a wonderful eye for form, function, and beauty. Her work has a lot of classic elements, but also has a modern feel and a touch of the unique and unexpected.

This month, Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles profiled a home that Kasler designed in conjunction with architect Bill Baker (a view of the great room is seen on the cover). The home was a showhouse at Reynolds Plantation at Lake Oconee, an upscale lake community just over an hour from Atlanta. The house is described as 'American Classic', and the goal was to create a house that was fun, yet sophisticated.

The two story entry features an unusual arrangement -two ottomans and an antique Spanish table.

The great room features beams from a 200 year old Georgia barn. Botanicals were used on the walls for their architectural feel, and to keep the mood casual. (This is the other side of the great room - it is a very large room. The sofas on the cover can be seen on the right of this photo).

Waterworks tortoiseshell tiles line the back of the bar, which adds a furniturelike quality to the space (and is echoed in the glasses on the concrete countertop). A Scott Ingram painting is featured (this is the second Kasler designed home I have seen a Scott Ingram in - she must like his style!).

This room is decribed as the family dining room. I love the combination of the traditional bench and the more contemporary styled chairs. The band on the bottom of the chairs is an elegant detail.

A neutral kitchen with a great balance of light and darks. Even the ceramics have light and dark elements to echo the cabinets and countertops.

Interior design by Suzanne Kasler; architecture by William Baker; all photos by Erica George Dines.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Inspirational Artist - Dusty Griffith

Artwork by Dusty Griffith, interior by Suzanne Kasler, 2004 Southern Accents Showhouse

Atlanta artist Dusty Griffith creates art that has a profound appeal to me. He creates beautiful and original works of art, but his paintings also have echoes of some of my favorite artists - Cy Twombly (some of Griffith's pieces have small, subtle graffiti like markings) and Mark Rothko. The soothing colors and layers of pigment, wax, and found objects, create a luminous and interesting surface, but there is something about these paintings that causes the viewer to think about what lies beneath the surface, not just of the art work but of life in general. Perhaps the spiritual titles elicit this response in me personally, but many observers would not necessarily interpret these works as spiritual works. Beauty and interpretation are truly in the eyes and psyche of the beholder when it comes to Griffith's art.

To me, the best and most enduring art is that which looks a little different every time you look at the painting. This is certainly the case with Griffith's work. Of Griffith's work, one reviewer wrote that
" the intrinsic structure of [Griffith's] work is meant to seize the viewer’s attention and make transformation possible". What a wonderful achievement for an artist!

Dusty Griffith is a favorite of many top notch Atlanta designers, including Suzanne Kasler. His work was featured prominently in the Southern Accents Watersound Showhouse in Florida, shown in the top image (I think his art made the room). He is exclusively sold through the Lowe Gallery in Atlanta and Los Angeles.

Dusty Griffith - The Coming, available through the Lowe Gallery
Dusty Griffith - Genesis 8:8, through the Lowe Gallery
Dusty Griffith, I Will Pour Out My Spirit II, through the Lowe Gallery
Dusty Griffith, Sea of Grace, through the Lowe Gallery
Dusty Griffith, At Peace with Nancy II, thought the Lowe Gallery
Dusty Griffith, Green Pastures, through the Lowe Gallery

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

A little sleuth work

Photography by John Gruen.

I love a little sleuth work! After posting the image above, I became obsessed with finding out which magazine it came from. My only clue was the word 'fabric' on the top left corner of the page. This looked like Southern Accents to me; they use this font, and often have the category of the article formatted like this. I looked through years of Southern Accents (so that is why I keep those old issues!), to no avail.

I then turned to my Traditional Home stack. Nothing. It did not look like House Beautiful or Veranda. I knew that I had saved this from a blog, so I looked through quite a few of my favorite blogs. Nothing.

Then, I turned to a blog that I had not read in a while. I am not sure why it had gotten out of my rotation, as it is a great blog: An Eye for an I:nterior, one of my first design blog discoveries. A few months ago, she featured the amazing photographer John Gruen, whose images are featured below. He has an amazing eye and his compositions are beautiful. It turns out that his picture is from a magazine called At Home, which is a Fairfield County Connecticut local publication. Mystery solved!

Coincidentally, a few days ago An Eye for an I:nterior posted about the importance of professional interior photography in the design profession. There is truly an artform to capturing interiors, and John Gruen is a master of his profession.

I have been seeing a lot of branches used as decor lately. It is a beautiful, sculptural look. Love the wallpaper too. Photography by John Gruen.

Light filled room - so hard to photograph well - architectural simplicity. Photography by John Gruen.

These stairs make a statement! I love the runner...usually you see the dark part framing the light part, but this is the reverse. Photography by John Gruen.

This looks like a very elegant artist studio; notice the paintbrushes in jars on the chest. Photography by John Gruen.

A beautiful white room with dark floors- slipcovered sofas, very simple. The skilled photography and angle of the shot really capture its beauty.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Last month, Mrs. Blandings did a nice post on 'First Impressions' - her favorite entries. Given that my entryway has been in a sad unfinished state for so long, I was very interested to see her post, and realized that at least 25% of the pictures in my computer 'design file' were devoted to entries.

I quickly created a folder just for my entry pictures. After posting my favorites on this post, I realize that my favorite look is a beautiful antique bench (perhaps Swedish) with an amazing piece of contempory art (vertically oriented), flanked with sconces. Hmmmm......maybe I should rethink my front hall! I love my mirror, but I could always find a new place for it....

Suzanne Kasler design - entryway

From Traditional Home. I thought this was an interesting front hall arrangement...a bench, a mirror, and two lamps (or are they candles?).

On the left...from Charleston Home Magazine, the entryway of designer Jenny Miller's home.

My absolute favorite. To me, this is perfection - the beautiful love seat, pillows, sconces, and a fabulous piece of contemporary art to balance everything out. I imagine that this seat is antique, but if anyone knows of a company that makes a good reproduction in this scale, please let me know! (Edit: this is from a Connecticut magazine called At Home)

Phillip Sides

Jan Showers. This is so beautiful - a silvery chest with a sunburst mirror on top.

I believe this was designed by Joni at Cote de Texas....it was from her blog

Liz Williams

Do you see a trend here???

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Friday, September 14, 2007

A little help from my friends

I simply cannot make a decision, and would love input from anyone who sees this post....

The dilemma: my foyer/front hall has been barely decorated for two years now. I purchased a beautiful Niermann Weeks mirror, and the chest that I originally had in the front hall was hopelessly wrong (a Hickory Chair French chest). So, the mirror has been hanging ALONE for all of this time! I am tired of not having something there, and am ready to make a purchase.

The mirror stands alone....and measures 57"h x 35"w

I love the look of a mirror in a front hall. It is great to do a quick once over before leaving the house. Also, the mirror reflects two beautiful art pieces (which are directly across from it) and works well in the space. Because of the lightness of the floors (I am not taking on that project right now!) and the mellow gold of the mirror, I feel that something dark would work well.

What I can't decide upon is whether to purchase a chest to go under the mirror - very functional and useful (I have plenty of storage in the house, though, and do not need the storage). But the appeal of a console is definitely there for me. I have also considered a bench, but I have so much seating in the living room and dining room, plus I have an antique French bergere to the left of the front door. There really is not a need for more seating!

So, if you take out space planning (20 foot double height ceiling), and look purely at what would go well with the lines and color of the mirror, what do you think? Should I look at something with straight lines to contrast with the curves of the mirror? Or, should I look for something curvy to repeat the curves of the mirror? Any other piece of furniture come to mind? Any other finish?

Here are some of the candidates:

Murano chest by Hickory Chair. I think that a black or dark piece of furniture would be a nice contrast with the mirror. I have seen this chest in French gray, but I have never seen it in black. The scale of this mirror is similar to the scale of my mirror (but a different shape, of course). Size of chest is 36.25"h x 47.5"w x 20.5"d

A friend recommended this Baker chinoiserie chest, but I am simply not a fan of chinoiserie. I hate it, in fact. So, that's out.

Niermann Weeks Baltic console. I have seen this in person, and it is stunning. Dimensions are 70w x 25d x 34h (also comes in 16d version).

Christine console by Oly. I have also seen this in person, and I love it. The gold accents are really nice. However, the top is mirror - which I love - but I think it would look better with a great piece of contemporary art above it, not another mirror. Size is 71"W x 18"D x 33"H.

Nancy Corzine Svea Demilune - this piece is really gorgeous in person. It is a demilune table, but a large size. The finish is beautiful...I saw it in Tetre Negre, with burnished gold. The size I am considering is 60"W x20"D x 34"H.

This is from Ethan Allen, in their new Modern Glamor collection. I love the lines of the piece, and the mirror above seems to be the same scale. However, I saw it in person, and the 'zebra pattern' veneer did not appeal to me. I really like a smoother finish. I still like the shape...I even thought about buying it and painting it a chocolate-black! It is very reasonably priced.

Many thanks in advance! You can see that my thoughts are all over the place. Generally I have softer style than the Oly piece, and the dining room that opens to the front hall is very traditional (inherited furniture....not what I would have picked, but beautiful quality and style).

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007


When I purchased a beautiful 6 foot ebony grand piano a few years ago, I placed it prominently in my living room. The addition of a grand piano to the living room transformed it from a room that was barely used, to a room filled with life and music.

The addition of the piano called for a redesign of the room. The piano itself had to sit with the lid open to the room, because a lid open to the wall creates poor acoustics (every time I see a piano that is open to the wall or corner, I know that the piano is mainly for show, not for music). The sofa and side chairs had to be repositioned to make way for the new focal point of the room. Before the piano arrived, I made a tracing of the piano and played with it in different locations of the room (any piano store will gladly do this for a serious customer). As a grand piano is so heavy, delicate, and difficult to move, it best to figure out the placement as accurately as possible before the piano is moved in!

Since the piano is such a central part of the life of my family, and such a prominent part of my living room, I always notice when there is a piano involved in a room arrangement. Pianos are certainly not as common as they used to be in American households, but when I see one I always hope that it is as cherished and frequently played as my piano.

O Magazine, September 2007. This piano is the focal point of the room. I can just imagine the little girl taking lessons on this piano in a few years!

Tom Scheerer design, Park Avenue apartment. I love the chair with the piano.

From an old real estate listing. Notice how the piano is way over on the side, almost like a piece of furniture. However, it is well positioned for the entire space to enjoy the music.

This must be a city loft. I image the piano as the divider between the living room and the dining room. Perfect placement for entertaining both areas! (I have no idea where this image is from...please let me know if you recognize it)

I love this idea...a piano in the library. As long as the sound carries to the living room when one is entertaining, it is a nice idea for the piano to have a room of its own. Sometimes you have to make too many design decisions around the piano when it dominates the living room. (I am not sure where this image is from either...)

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