Thursday, July 31, 2008

Art and design

I was in the library recently, and saw Michael Smith's Elements of Style. I had heard a lot of good things about this book, so I decided to check it out. On one of the first pages I came across this beautiful image (above) - a truly outstanding piece of contemporary art by Brice Marden.

Brice Marden, Vine, 1992-93. Museum of Modern Art, New York.

I do not profess to be an expert on contemporary art by any stretch, but how is it that I have never heard of or seen the work of this artist? He is considered to be one of the most important American artists of the contemporary period. Brice Marden was born in 1938, and is known for general abstraction and a highly individualized palette of muted colors.

Brice Marden, Study for the Muses, Hydra Version, 1997. Matthew Marks Gallery, NYC.

Brice Marden, Attendant 5, 1996-99.

Brice Marden, Epitaph Painting 5, 2001. Matthew Marks Gallery, NYC

The styles depicted above are just a part of Marden's portfolio, but are the ones that had the most appeal to me. The calligraphic-like swirls of these pieces are so beautiful. I am not surprised that one of Marden's influences is Chinese calligraphy.

I picked up Michael Smith's book hoping to learn a bit about interior design, which I did; however, the greatest discovery from the book is a new artist whose work truly inspires me. Now that is a good thing.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Reader's Question

After seeing my last post on William Hefner, a reader e-mailed about the coffee table in the living room of the home I featured. She has been looking for a metal base coffee table with a glass top, and likes the combination of straight lines and curves on the coffee table pictured above. She also likes a silver or nickel finish.

I remembered seeing a coffee table very similar to this one in the Niermann Weeks showroom in Washington D.C. It is made by La Forge Francais, a New York based furniture company that specializes in metal furniture. Although they primarily sell to the trade, their website says that their items are also available to the general public. All of their items can be custom sized and a variety of finishes are available.

Here is the Neuilly coffee table, which is the most similar to the table in the William Hefner home.

My personal favorite is the Saturne coffee table. I have seen this in many design magazines. Although it does not have the curved lines that my reader likes, I love the proportions and the details on the legs.

The Chantilly is also a beautiful coffee table. It too combines the straight lines with the curves.

For something with a little more weight, the Gaby might work well.

(All of the above coffee tables are from La Forge Francais)

Worlds Away also has a coffee table with similar lines. This is the Sabor coffee table.

The Sabor coffee table is also available with two rounded end pieces - the table is three separate pieces, which makes it very versatile.

Worlds Away also makes this lovely nickle coffee table (it also comes in gold) that has a nice combination of curves and straight lines.
Global Views makes a nice French coffee table in nickel that has the look my reader admires.

Finally, no discussion of metal coffee tables can be complete without mentioning the Julian Chichester Larson coffee table. This table is modeled on the designs of 1940s designer Rene Drouet, and is beautiful in person. It has a an antiqued eglomise top (mirrored).
If you ever see a picture of a piece of furniture in a magazine, and would like to know the source, feel free to email me. For some reason I have a photographic memory for furniture. It is not a very useful skill, but it comes in handy sometimes!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Inspirational architecture

One of my favorite architects, William Hefner, has recently revamped his website. Many of the projects in his portfolio are now organized by house. It turns out, some of my favorite pictures of his work are all from the same home (presumably in Los Angeles).

Overall, the exterior of the house is French in style. I love the doors that flank the front of the house, but I am not such a fan of the front door itself. It has an art deco vibe to it, which normally I like, but I can't help but wish that the owner had stayed with the feel of the rest f the house.

To me, this is a beautiful room architecturally. I love the floor to ceiling doors (which are part of the front of the house), the high ceilings, the placement of the fireplace. If I ever build a house some day, I am going to use this picture as an example of one of my favorite rooms!

Same room, different view, and styled differently...notice the photograph above the fireplace instead of a mirror, and the bench. Different flower arrangement and pillows too. I much prefer a mirror above the fireplace.

I have seen a wall of windows in some homes in California, and it has quite a contemporary feel to it. It is a bit contemporary for my taste, but I love the effect, and find it quite striking. Can you imagine entertaining in this room? On a nice night, you could have quite the indoor/outdoor party (the backyard looks huge).

I love the simplicity and colors of the kitchen. I wonder what that countertop is made out of?

Different view of the kitchen. The kitchen is set on the interior, and the casual dining area is set by the window. I wish there were a picture of the window by the table. I imagine it faces the back yard, and is to the left of the room with all the windows.

The stairs have an art deco vibe to them, similar to the front door.

The powder room has that art deco feeling too. I love the mirrored wall behind the sink.

The master bedroom. Again, wonderful architectural details - high ceilings, lovely molding and trim. The sunlight streams in the windows. I love a house that is filled with light, just as this one is. Since I am fixated with bed pillows now, I immediately noticed the pillow arrangement; they are suprisingly low given the height of the headboard, but I like how simple and uncluttered they look.

Two French doors with full shutters let even more light into the room, and step out onto a private balcony.

A simple sitting area for the master bedroom. I love the streamlined decor in this room.

I don't really have a good feel for the flow of this house from the pictures, but it is fun to imagine how the rooms all fit together. Check out William Hefner's website for more amazing architectural and interior design.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Monogrammed Pillows

Thank you to the Washington Post for including this post in your Blog Watch, July 24th, 2008!

My wholesale source for monogrammed pillows (available to all): Quatrefoil Design

When I lived in Boston, I volunteered at the Junior League Decorator Showhouse one year. I was lucky enough to be staffed in a lovely bedroom that influenced my taste in bedrooms from that day forward. It was decorated in shades of blue and gray, and had the most beautiful bed linens I had ever seen. They were by Pratesi, and were a crisp white with a blue chain stitch on the sides of the blanket cover and on the pillows.

Now that I am living in Atlanta, I have not forgotten those Pratesi sheets, but we do not have a Pratesi store in Atlanta. We do have some amazing linen stores, though, that carry lines of similar quality and style to those linens that I remember from Boston. To add a Southern twist to the linens, I love the look of a monogram on the pillows.

Matouk linens, classic chain pattern. These definitely have the look and feel of the linens I remember from Boston.

Leontine Linens, started in New Orleans, is a wonderful company that differentiates itself with heirloom quality bed, bath and table linens. I think their monograms are incredibly beautiful., particularly on their bed pillows. We are fortunate to have a Leontine Linens store in Atlanta.

Leontine linens.

From Leontine Linens spring collection.

Hard to see in this picture, but the two square pillows have a monogram that is the exact shade as the fabric on the headboard. From New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles (via Bayou Contessa), January 2008. Bedding is from Leontine Linens.

Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles, July 2008. Bedding by Leontine Linens.

House Beautiful, February 2008. Design by Ashley Whittaker, linens by Leontine. This is my favorite monogram style from Leontine.

A more streamlined way to have a monogram, one bold initial. Design by Barclay Butera.

Two euro shams with a monogram. Interior design by Phoebe Howard.

From an Atlanta real estate listing. Note the tiny initial on the boudoir pillows.

From an Atlanta real estate listing. It is hard to see because of the distortion of the wide angle of the lens, but there are three pillows across the bed, all with a monogram in the shade of blue on the walls.

Southern Accents, May/June 2008. Note the small monogram on the top of these euro shams. Bedding by Leontine Linens.

Atlanta real estate listing. One decorative pillow with a monogram. Note that the pillow in the settee to the left also has a monogram. I thought I saw a tone on tone monogram on the linen shams on the bed, but my picture is not high enough resolution to tell for sure.

As always, the variety of choices has me paralyzed, and I can't quite decide which linens and which configuration of sheets and pillows I should get for my king size bed. I think I am going to wait until my headboard is finished, and take it from there! Stay tuned.

For more inspiring images of custom embroidered pillows, please visit Quatrefoil Design.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

I purchased an antique sunburst mirror years ago; I like to think it was before the current rage for sunburst mirrors became so pervasive. I am thinking about buying another sunburst mirror to put above my new headboard (being made right now). Perhaps this is trendy, but I love the look of a round mirror above the bed. After going through my bedroom inspiration files, I found so many pictures of this look that I can't imagine doing anything else!

Here is a picture from my favorite store in Atlanta, Mrs. Howard. The whole store is set up like a home - each room has its own vignette - and everything is available for purchase. Photography is not allowed, but this picture was on an e-mail from the store.

Although not a sunburst mirror, a round mirror has the same effect. Interior design by Kelley Proxmire.

Another round mirror above a bed, in the home of Pieces owner Lee Kleinhelter.

I think this mirror is a bit small, but I still like the look. From an Atlanta real estate listing.

Suzanne Kasler has a sunburst mirror above her own bed. From Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles.

Jan Showers used an antique sunburst mirror above this bed, from Western Interiors Magazine.

A small sunburst mirror abve a four poster bed, from an Atlanta real estate listing.

This room, designed by Phoebe and Jim Howard, was in a showhouse last year. An all glass sunburst mirror was used in this design.

Another room by Phoebe Howard - clearly she likes the sunburst above the bed motif! I like the scale of this mirror.

Carole Weaks did the interiors of the master bedroom in the Atlanta Symphony Showhouse 2008. She used a large round mirror and artwork above the bed.

One of my all time favorite bedrooms, from an Atlanta real estate listing. The sunburst mirror is part of the charm!

The cover of Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles, from an issue last year. I love the blue and white bed, and although the mirror is a bit spiky for my taste, I still like to overall look.

Another room by Phoebe Howard. This looks like the Julian Chichester sunburst to me.

Here is mirror is placed between two twin beds.

Yet another Phoebe Howard design.

After I did this post, the Material Girls found another beautiful image from Phoebe Howard's portfolio. How did I miss this one? It is beautiful. Phoebe Howard creates the most magnificent bedrooms.

This is the sunburst mirror that has caught my eye. This is from a room done by David Netto (found via My Notting Hill).

Last night, while looking through mirrors on Decorati, I found it! This mirror is by Aesthetic,
a custom furniture company out of Los Angeles. I think this is such a beautiful variation of a sunburst mirror, very soft and feminine.

Please visit Quatrefoil Design for more inspirational images.

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