Tuesday, November 3, 2009
When I first moved to Atlanta twelve years ago, I hired an interior design firm and was assigned to a young designer. Although I can't remember her name, I am still grateful to her for pushing me to be more tailored, and convincing me to focus on using high quality fabrics that will last for many years. The designer had recommended a beautiful fabric for my living room curtains, a soft delicate green silk with an abstract subtle floral pattern silk screened onto the fabric, and the most luxurious silk velvet for my sofa. Both of these fabrics were made by Nancy Corzine. As someone just becoming exposed to fine design, this was a new name for me, but it is a name I did not forget. Alas, my budget ran out and I did not order these beautiful fabrics, and I can honestly tell you that not a month goes by when I do not feel a small pang of regret, especially for the silk that would have been used for the curtains. I have never seen another fabric that is that exact shade of green, a shade I still love just as much today. I sometimes go to the showroom at the design center that carries Nancy Corzine fabrics, just to marvel at their beauty and texture, and think about how they would have looked so lovely in my living room.
Since my experience 12 years ago, Nancy Corzine is a name that I am always looking for in the magazines. Although Nancy is primarily known for her beautiful furniture, fabric, and lighting lines, she also creates exquisite rooms. This dining room, in her own Hamptons home, is truly one of my all time favorite dining rooms. The chinoiserie wallpaper, combined with the antique Italian starburst mirror, the beautiful sconces, the slipcovered chairs mixed with the wood chairs, the turned wood chandelier - sheer perfection. Image via First Dibs, photo credit Peter Vitale.
This room was in the August 2007 Veranda, from a Veranda showhouse in Florida. Nancy designed the living room, and its feminine beauty is truly a feast for the eyes. Most of the beautiful fabrics and furniture in the room are from Nancy's furniture line; the sconce is so beautiful with its elegant proportions in the sconce and shade. I love the mora clock that gives the room just the right touch. Image from Veranda, photography by Tria Giovan.
When I heard that Nancy had just published a book, I was thrilled. As much as I admire her furniture and her design work, I feel as if I have not seen much of her body of work. Nancy's book has page after page of beautiful rooms that are designed by Nancy, many of which feature her refined furniture designs, and it was a pleasure to read. Nancy organized the book into rooms, and I learned so much about her approach and philosophy on rooms in a home, both interior rooms and outdoor rooms. Sprinkled throughout the book are Nancy's recommendations on key decisions in a home, such as choosing lighting; choosing fabrics; living with art; choosing a sofa; choosing a bed; and how to entertain outdoors. It is the words of wisdom and recommendations from Nancy that are the lasting impressions of this book; believe it or not, I have only just started to collect design books, and it is so gratifying to read the design philosophies of my favorite talents. For example, Nancy prefers clear glass in a mirror, because she thinks that it reflects the room and the person so much more beautifully.
Lest you think that Nancy's style is traditional based on the pictures above, nothing could be further from the truth. She is one of those rare designers whose taste and style seems to transcend description; the common denominator is elegant and luxurious simplicity, no matter what the style. In fact, on her web site, she has four different classifications, so broad is her range: contemporary, transitional, traditional, and casual. Her furniture, fabric, and her design represent all of these design aesthetics. What is fascinating is that she lives with all of these elements in her own life. Her Bridgehampton home is featured in the traditional section; the dining room I admire is from this house.
Her New York City apartment is very glamorous, and is quite contemporary in some areas, transitional in others (it was featured in the New York Social Diary). The master bedroom is featured in her book, and is lovely with the Nancy Corzine Prism bed (inspired by the Chrysler building) and exquisite Chagall hanging above the bed.
And her Los Angeles home, which is her base, is quite definitely contemporary. Nancy acknowledges that her taste generally leans towards contemporary design, although she is known for mixing the modern and the traditional.
One of my favorite images from the book is from a home that Nancy designed in the Hamptons.
A charming blue and white scene that contrasts antique porcelain with a contemporary chandelier, interior design by Nancy Corzine. Photo credit Ken Hayden.
A guest room from a Hamptons home, designed by Nancy. Photo credit Ken Hayden.
A glimpse into a more contemporary styled space from Nancy's portfolio.
In my first month of blogging, I did a post on Nancy Corzine's beautiful Balthazar chandelier. Image via Veranda, photo credit Peter Vitale and Peter Murdock.
Another one of my favorite designers, Suzanne Kasler, frequently uses Nancy Corzine furniture in her designs. I recall reading an article where Suzanne declared that Nancy Corzine benches are her favorites (in this picture, Suzanne used a Nancy Corzine Louis XVI headboard and Louis XVI bench in a beautiful bedroom).
Another home in which Kasler used the Nancy Corzine Louis XVI headboard in another beautiful bedroom.
Suzanne Kasler has the Nancy Corzine serpentine chests as her bedside tables in her own home.
Suzanne Kasler's famous pink dining room features the most elegant Nancy Corzine chairs, upholstered in a Manuel Canovas fabric.
Nancy Corzine's new book 'Glamour at Home', is available right now. This post has just been a tiny glimpse into the vast variety of images in the book, and the interesting story of Nancy's design philosophy as it pertains to her furniture, fabric, and lighting lines, as well as her interior design approach. It is a wonderful addition to any collection of fine design books, and a book with real heart; Nancy, who lost her mother to Alzheimer's Disease several years ago, believes that in order to live a fulfilling life, it is important to give back. To that end, she devotes much of her time and financial resources to organizations such as the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation.
Nancy will be in Atlanta on November 5th for a special appearance and book signing at the Atlanta Design Center, as part of Veranda Magazine's 'The Art of Design' series. The book signing will take place in the Ainsworth Noah showroom, which represents her line. Normally ADAC is open only to the trade, but it is open to the public on this day with advance RSVP. For more information, please see the events page of ADAC by clicking here.
Nancy will be in Washington, DC next week on November 12 at the Washington Design Center. At 11 am she is speaking in the conference center; reservations are required. From 12-2 pm she will be in the Niermann Weeks showroom for a book signing. The Niermann Weeks DC showroom represents Nancy's furniture and fabrics line, and is on the 7th floor. For more information, visit the Washington Design Center website, or call 202-646-6100.