Update: Designing Women Lecture Series


Dear All,

I am pleased to invite you all to attend the 2012-13 Decorators Club lecture series Modern Women: Visionaries of Design.  With this series, we celebrate five pioneering talents of the 20th century that continue to influence and inspire.  We tried to select women who were undersung, worked in different areas of design and represented the entire century.  Our biggest challenge wasn't finding women to illuminate but in editing down a list that went for miles and miles.

Our first and earliest visionary is Vanessa Bell.  Dr. Alexandra Gerstein from the Courtauld Gallery and who organized the recent Omega Workshops exhibition will be speaking on Wednesday, October 3 at the New York School of Interior Design.  For more information about the series and to purchase tickets (which benefit interior design scholarships), please click here.


Zoomorphia at The Spring Show


If you are in the mood to be dazzled by the endless variety and infinite beauty of centuries of civilization then you must stop by the AADLA (Art and Antique Dealers League of America) Spring Show at the Park Avenue Armory taking place this weekend.  

As someone who prefers a Capability Brown approximation of a natural landscape to the real thing, I was in pure heaven.  For those of you who might say the same for animals, this post is for you.

The mid-15th century Italian stone creature (crocodile perhaps?) pictured above at L'Antiquaire and The Connoisseur  mesmerized me with its jagged teeth even before I saw it was doubly sublime with two heads.  The 18th century Piedmontese hand-painted screen behind it is one of the owner Helen Fioratti's favorite things on the stand, and used to be in her own house in Italy.  The palette is soft pinks and blues which haven't faded due to it being painted in tempera.


A 17th century cast iron shop sign of a lion passant (within a 19th century wreath) was an unexpected find at Kentshire.  It was even more fun to discover that it had once belonged to starchitect Stanford White...


... and can be seen pictured here in his Gramercy Park townhouse, courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York.


This spectacular French late 17th/early 18th century sleigh pulled by griffins may seem out of a fairy tale but it was designed by Jean Berain for the Dauphin.  It is in Dalva Brothers' stand which is dedicated to French royal pieces including a fire screen made for Marie Antoinette.



Three beautifully carved carousel animals - a zebra, stag, and a bejeweled polar bear - at Yew Tree House prove one can collect anything.  They all come out of an enormous European collection that was housed in an airplane hangar.  I learned that the more ornate animals, such as the polar bear, would be placed in the outer-ring where they were more visible.

This snazzy Murano glass tropical fish, c. 1970, from Mark Helliar, doesn't require a complicated state-of-the-art aquarium or food... 



and who needs to eat anyway with this pair of devastatingly chic whippet candlesticks from Clinton Howell - the quintessence of the Regency period.  Make sure to step back to enjoy the massive lady slipper...


painted by Anne Harris.  Click over here to view her portfolio and be even more wowed.


A pair of massive Ming dynasty porcelain lions from Vallin bade me farewell and are waiting to greet you.


The Spring Show at the Park Avenue Armory continues through Sunday, May 6


Visit http://www.springshownyc.com/ for more information.

And for a finale, my personal favorite of the show from Hyde Park Antiques: a pair of Chinese export verre eglomise portraits of two European lovelies, c. 1780 - or could one be a man, as one person believes?








Events

CHICAGO, IL: Saturday, April 28, 2012, 1 pm
The Merchandise Mart International Antiques Fair
EEE Lecture:"The World of Madeleine Castaing"


Click here for more information.


NEW YORK, NY: Saturday, May 5th, 11:30am
Art and Antiques Dealer Leaugue of America Spring Show
EEE lecture: "Legendary Designing Women: Inventing a profession"
Eerdmans discusses the history of interior decorating in America in in the early 20th century and how it evolved into a billion-dollar profession thanks to the seminal efforts of astute women like Elsie de Wolfe, Dorothy Draper and Madeleine Castaing.
Click here for more information.

Leading Ladies of Design


Seriously though.

I have the exciting privilege to be co-chairing a lecture series* dedicated to championing 20th century pioneering women of design.

We are pulling a list of six together and have our own ideas... but would love to hear yours.  Who was a trail-blazer in the applied arts (furniture, textiles, jewelry, silver, etc) AND is still a source of inspiration?

* In 1914 The Decorators Club was organized by 38 charter members who met in the home of Gertrude Gheen Robinson.   The Decorators Club lecture series, which is open to the public, was started in 1991 and benefits the Decorators Club Education Fund which provides scholarships to interior design students.

M is for...


Milly, the soignee with a twist ready-to-wear line... M is for Madison Avenue, home of the first Milly store... which is exactly where Blair Waldorf and her preppy chic minions were on last night's episode of Gossip Girl.


M is also for Martell-Donagher, the fearsomely talented designer-architect duo who have stirred up a tasty cocktail of French '40s neoclassicism and the louche glamour of the '70s for the store's design.


Beth Martell and Enda Donagher are no strangers to retail design - they worked previously with the late designer Randall A. Ridless who was responsible for the Burberry stores as well as a place very dear to my feet, the Bergdorf Goodman shoe salon.



The first step in defining a design direction is to distill the essence of the brand.  Michelle Smith, the designer and creator of Milly, has a strong affinity for French style and, upon graduating from FIT, interned with several notable French maisons de couture, including Hermes and Christian Dior.  Martell-Donagher referenced her Paris training with classic paneled walls and moldings all painted a chalky grey color, a wink to the Dior grey.  The overscaled basketweave parquetry floor stained a deep espresso riffs on parquet de Versailles.


Playing with proportion and scale is a time-honored design trick of the trade, and Martell-Donagher pay homage to a few of its masters: Dorothy Draper, whose pagoda bookcase was adapted for the display cabinet above; William Pahlmann with the leopard-upholstered counter above and the original below...


... and Andre Arbus whose iconic 1937 La Maison d'une Famille Francaise was drawn upon for this attenuated door with three paneled circles.  The polished and brushed brass knob was extrapolated from a signature Milly handbag closure.



Bold flashes of the 70s, such as a Milo Baughmann brass etagere and sofa and an exploding faceted mirror in the style of Neal Evans-cum-Paul Evans add edge to this proper polished M'amselle.


 The cherry on top are the dressing rooms.  Each one is wallpapered in a different pattern, including Cecil Beaton's "Beauties in rouge dresses", prompting me to vow once again to paint the inside of my closets as something is somehow more delightful and luxurious when it's private and for your enjoyment exclusively.


And if on this Black Friday, M is also for Mastercard... take a minute on your shopping odyssey to enjoy the design around you. Whether it's Milly or the Mall of America - there is inspiration everywhere...



The Secrets of Florentine Women

 Photo by Brian Duffy for Vogue, Florence 1964

It was one of those days when my hair was everything one doesn't want: lank, frizzy, too many lengths and no style whatsoever.  Nothing would do but to get it cut THIS MINUTE.  With the utterance "It's as if you have a tail" (as in the NKOTB's Jordan in the '90s) echoing in my ears, I knew it was time to find a new stylist and after dialing frantically, I finally got an appointment - yes, I can be there in 5 minutes! -at Garren.

 It could only have been kismet that I was seated in the chair of Lazarus Douvos, an Aussie  Martyn Lawrence-Bullard look-a-like with just as much charm.  Besides sharing an overzealous enthusiam for The World of Interiors, our ideas of style were hugely influenced by living in Europe in our twenties.  For me it was the classic BCBG style of Paris, for Lazarus it was Florence's bella figura.

 View from the Palazzo Ginori

While working at a fashionable salon, he encountered a clientele of soignee Florentine ladies who were always impeccable, always chic.  Instead of following the vagaries of trends, their hair was inevitably sleekly coiffed and lacquered so that it  looked like one piece.  The only departure was during summer when they let it grow long allowing them to pull it back but also reflecting the more relaxed spirit of the season. 


Ascending to the attic...

After a day of clipping away, he repaired to his studio romantically nestled in the attic of the storied Renaissance Palazzo Ginori (yes, that Ginori, my porcelain-obsessed friends...) 

Lazarus' Florence studio

Terra cotta tile floors, white cotton slipcovers, and a soaring view of the cities' Renaissance towers and roof tops put my sixth floor walk-up chambre de bonne to shame...


the studio's seating area

It also demonstrates - to my mind - when you have good bones, one needs very little else to make a room.  Well, maybe good hair...

 Lazarus and Waldo in his current Murray Hill studio

Lazarus, whose styling work can be seen on Hamish Bowles in this October's Vogue, has recently gone out on his own.  Book him on 347.982.4894 or lazarusdouvos@gmail.com - I'll think of ways you can thank me.

High Style, Small Space


This month's issue of House Beautiful is dedicated to stylish small spaces and it was a thrill to be asked to interview interior designer Maureen Footer on her very own studio.  As you can see from the glimpses above, Maureen hasn't let a lack of square footage impinge on living with her favorite things, like fine French furniture and Fortuny.  Click here to read the entire article and hurry to your local newstand to see all of the inspiring interiors that will convince anyone that less can be more.

Below, an outtake from our conversation...

EEE: I always thought in a small space, you had to keep to one color so it flows…

Maureen: I learned years ago from the architect Billy Tsien to demarcate everything. She changed the rise on stairs so that you were aware that you were passing through space. She dropped ceiling heights as you were progressing through a space, she created door jambs just so there was an awareness that space was moving. I think I’ve always taken that message to heart – that if you create a sense of everything in a space, it feels larger. And if you turn it into a monotone surrounding, it’s going to feel like one indistinct space. If you create distinctions, you create an awareness of the possibilities of that space.

Did you feel constrained designing a small space?

Not at all. We have these great templates of living stylishly in small spaces. Stanley Barrows, Van Day Truex, Billy Baldwin – they made it an art form. They had these jewel boxes which they redecorated every three or four years, and they became a laboratory for their ideas.

The restrictions we put on where we can use antiques, where we can put damask and Fortuny are pretty arbitrary, and in fact there aren’t that many restrictions. And of course Grace Kelly’s designer George Stacey broke the barrier when he put French furniture in his squash court!

Make mine a Double...


...Gourd that is.

Don't miss this limited opportunity to scoop up one of Chris' candy-colored ceramic confections at over half off.  Serious shoppers' strategy: go over the above photo with a magnifying glass and have the phone on speed dial Wednesday 10am...


(And before you ask: it's Benjamin Moore Maritime Blue.  Chris loved it so much at his previous studio that it came with him to 35th Street)

The French Neo-Classicist: Michael Simon

A boudoir by Michael Simon at the Kip's Bay Showhouse

America's Dean of Decorating Billy Baldwin famously wrote about FFF and FFV: Fine French Furniture and the First Families of Virginia - both of which summed up the high style many aspired to in the 1950's and '60's.  Whether it was Jansen for Jayne Wrightsman or McMillen for the Fords, a formal French salon was de rigueur for society's luminaries. 

 This Louis XVI room is from the Hotel Cabris and currently installed in the Metropolitan Museum's Wrightsman Galleries.  The two armchairs against the wall are part of the same suite as the canape seen in the next photo.

Today,  FFF and FFV have largely been supplanted by "eclectic" and hedge fund managers.  However, there are those who still crave a correct boiseried room, and whether they are a Russian oligarch or a Saudi sheik, they know to turn to New York interior designer Michael Simon

 The canape was formerly owned by Enid Haupt whose legendary Park Avenue penthouse was decorated by Parish Hadley.  Simon recovered it in this canary yellow Adam document silk that features ostriches.  In the same room, he covered a chair in ostrich-skin - just one example of Simon's thoughtful relationships.

 From a millimeter of a molding's profile to the gimp on a veilleuse, Simon is a master.

To properly appreciate Simon's keen eye and impeccable taste, click over to the June 7 Christie's New York 500 Years sale  which features over 30 items from his collection.  Just yesterday, Michael gave me a personal tour and, as with all lovers of objects, made each come alive for me with personal stories.

One of my favorites was about this canape a la turque which he purchased from the Antenor Patino sale.  While bidding, he was sitting next to House and Garden editor Cynthia Frank and opined that he would have to have it hoisted up into his building.  Frank called him up the next day to see if H&G could shoot this asap, and Simon said sure, but they would have to wait for it to be re-upholstered.  Await they couldn't, and they had the sofa hoisted and hoisted down all in the same day for this iconic shot below:


Only in New York!


I asked why he had chosen the milk chocolate velvet for recovering, and he replied that the form of the piece was so expressive and sculptural, he wanted something quiet to let it speak.  Michael pointed out that the original iron strap used to support the back, as seen above, was still intact.

 Lot 227: A pair of 19th century French ormolu candlesticks mounted as lamps

Another quiet detail was the anthracite grey (Simon's signature color) silk velvet lampshades (lined in gold foil, natch) on a pair of ormolu candlesticks he converted into lamps.  He had the finial made to complement the base.


 Lot 228: A PAIR OF FRENCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED GREEN CRACKLE-GLAZED PORCELAIN DOUBLE-GOURD VASES

I was drawn to this pair of quirky ormolu-mounted porcelain vases.  While the craquelure and double-gourd shape would suggest Chinese manufacture, they were actually made in France to imitate Chinese wares.  The mounts also are surprising - while the goats are more typical of le gout grec, they are in the rococo style.

  
 Lot 220: A RUSSIAN ORMOLU, CLEAR AND AMETHYST CUT-GLASS LANTERN,CIRCA 1790

I've never gotten that excited over chandeliers - until now!  The centerpiece of Simon's collection is a magnificent Louis XVI rock-crystal  chandelier, which you will have to go to Christie's to see for yourself.  Instead, I'm showing you this little Russian jewel - I love the diamond-shaped ormolu chains cascading down haphazardly and the pendants' tiny amethyst cut glass beads alternating with clear ones. 

All of these items are a pleasure to behold.  Run to Christie's while you can and also catch the preview of the contents of a Mark Hampton Park Avenue project - it's pure '80s opulence.

And just in case Mr. EEE is reading... I'd be very happy with these tole cache-pots.  Just think of all the money we'd save not having to replace real flowers!


Classicism and the City: Chez Fairfax and Sammons



This Spring a house very dear to my heart is celebrating its 75th year anniversary as a museum.  The Merchant's House Museum is New York City's only historic residence with its interiors preserved and landmarked.  What is even more astonishing is how many people don't know about this Greek Revival beauty nestled in the East Village - luckily, those who do are passionate about it, not least of all Anne Fairfax and Richard Sammons.

Anne and Richard are ardent champions of Classical architecture, and as their 2006 monograph attests, elegant and expert practitioners as well.  It is no surprise that their own space is as delightful and unusual as any to be found in the city.  They purchased the red brick carriage house-studio in 2000 from the estate of business tycoon Armand Hammer, who had owned it ever since his university days.

One enters the house through a small entry way lacquered in a pulse-racing crimson hung with a myriad of small convex mirrors a la John Soane.


Directly onwards is the beadboard-paneled kitchen-cum-sitting room complete with a cosy Delft-tiled fireplace. 


Richard is a sailing enthusiast, and the ingenious built-in storage seems reminiscent of a ship (although apparently this passion unfolded after the kitchen was designed).


A staircase takes one up to the bedroom...


...which was made smaller by the addition of a walk-in closet. 


Richard and Anne definitely have their priorities right, as far as I'm concerned!

While the outside facade is perfectly proportioned, the double-height studio, complete with skylight, was a tricky wedge shape, a design challenge that the couple solved with elan.

Just as their coral silk velvet sofa inspired me to recover mine similarly, I will be taking another page out their upholstery book with these summer slipcovers of white duck piped in black...


One corner of the room was carved out for this deeply chic black bar.  The space cries out for parties, and the bar is regularly pressed into service.

 Anne in black velvet in her swell-egant bar

A mezzanine catwalk was built around the perimeter of the room and to give the room a more regular shape, an exedra was created on the facade wall opposed by this open arch leading out to the back terrace.

A snappy striped awning covers the outdoor space so that it is bone-dry all year round.  Another bar is often set up here when Anne and Richard throw larger bashes.  Today, a craftsman was using it to make a dinghy.


A bust of Diane presides over the Lutyens-influenced mantel and serves as muse to the many artists and architects who continue to gather here, and, undoubtedly, find inspiration. 


Many thanks to Anne and Richard for letting me share this glimpse.  Click here to see more courtesy of New York Social Diary.

Patriotism and Patina at the Spring Show NYC

 Potted orchids and flags at Robert Simon Fine Art

Yesterday was the final day of the first-ever Spring Show NYC.  If you missed it, don't worry - it will definitely be back next year.  While there are many antiques shows already crowding up the calendar, this one stands out as fresh, eclectic, and, importantly, as it is a vetted show, everything is exactly what it is supposed to be.

Swedish design dynamo Lars Bolander was called in to apply his flair to the show's floor, which included yellow and white zebra-cotton slip-covered banquettes and 6' tall painted obelisks parading down the aisles.

Bolander's carnelian red center table and over-scaled Gothic style armchair greeted entrants to the show.

As much inspiration could be found in the dealers' display of objects as in the objects themselves.

Collier Gwin of Foster-Gwin earned raves from New York Times' art critic Roberta Smith for his coupling of abstract art with his stock of fine Continental antiques...

as seen in this dynamic pairing of "The Houston Scene" painted by Hassel Smith in 1959 hung over 18th century Italian Neoclassical painted console tables with fanciful trompe-l'oeil porphyry tops.


Smith also gave a best in show to Yew Tree House Antiques' stand.  Kevin and Ahna apply a curatorial eye to their Folk Art treasures, both antique and contemporary.  The dramatic 10' wide woodblock print of a pilot whale on the back wall got people buzzing.  It is a recent work by British artist Julian Meredith whose work is already in major museum collections.


Alexander Cohane (whose mother Heather founded Park Avenue-acclaimed Quest magazine) brought Britannia Cool to the floor with an eclectic collection of periods and styles. 


Traditional with a twist came in the form of a birch and naugahyde Swedish modernist cabinet-on-stand in Tribeca dealer Hostler Burrows's booth...

...but for those who prefer their traditional straight up with a side of peonies, there were many wonderful options, including Gary Sergeant, above.


Exhibitor Jeff Bridgman American Antiques' proud display of antique American flags reflected the patriotic mood of the floor and the country the day after President Obama's astonishing news.
Click here for information on the Spring Show NYC 2011 and here for the Art and Antique Dealers Leaugue of America.

A Top Ten Design Legend List

It's no secret that when it comes to the twentieth century, most design schools focus on modernism.  While students learn all about the Bauhaus to Post-Modernism, traditionalism doesn't get a look in.  Elsie de who?

So when I was asked recently to lecture to F.I.T.'s interior design club on the subject of my choosing, I thought why not take to opportunity to fill this gap as best as possible.  I only had 40 minutes, so I set the parameters of:
10 designers
only American
only traditionalists (i.e. reference historical styles)
active in the 20th century.


1.  Elsie de Wolfe - my starting point as arguably the first professional lady decorator


de Wolfe transformed a stuffy formal ballroom into a trellised indoor fantasy for Bess Marbury

2.  Mrs. Eleanor Brown, McMillen, Inc.  

As an early graduate of the new Parsons School of Design, Eleanor Stockstrom McMillen Brown approached her firm with a head for business.  That it is still thriving almost a century later is testament to its excellent foundation.  McMillen, Inc.'s style was heavily influenced by the fine neoclassical furniture sourced by Parsons' Paris Atelier founder William Odom.


 Mrs. Brown's own dining room - timeless elegance.

3.  Dorothy Draper

Draper made her reputation during the Depression as the one to call to give a project an overhaul on time and within budget.  She not only delivered, she delivered BIG - literally blowing up proportion and scale to exuberant effect.


The Greenbrier, Draper's masterpiece, called "Brigadoon" by one guest and that's exactly right.

4.  Billy Baldwin

From here on, men dominate the list.  Baldwin in many ways was the Bonnie Cashin of interiors bringing an American sportswear attitude to high style.  Cotton upholstery, humble materials such as rattan wrapped tables, and the like all brought everything but the chic factor down a notch.


A client's Matisse inspires the custom print of the upholstery.

5.  William Pahlmann

In his day, Pahlmann was considered the most influential decorator of the 20th century along with Elsie de Wolfe.  Eclectic decor?  He invented it.  His contributions to retailing are equally important.  He began his career on Lord & Taylor's fifth floor of home furnishings and was the first to set up themed vignettes.  As Charlotte Moss says, it's all about giving ideas and did he ever.




6.  Tony Duquette

Duquette never forgot the magic of fantasy and bedazzled his rooms with as much whimsy as trompe l'oeil.  "More is more" is definitely more in my book and if life should be a musical, then a Duquette room is the perfect soundstage.




7.   Parish Hadley

The perfect combination of cozy and curatorial, Sister Parish and Albert Hadley complemented each other beautifully like a chocolate covered pretzel.



8.  Michael Taylor
Taylor was a complete original and proved it with his California look.  Oh what an eye (and the extravagant ego to match)!




9.  Mario Buatta

The Prince of Chintz brought the English Country House style to Manhattan penthouses and how.  Buatta is also a king of color and comfort.




10.  Michael Smith
What better way to round out the list with the Obama's designer.  Architectural Digest EIC Peggy Russell certainly agrees - Smith graced the cover of her first completely new issue.  While Smith knows his way around Fine French Furniture, he trades in brocades for cool Indian-inspired prints.


What do you think?  Who made or didn't make your list?

An Afternoon with Suzanne Tucker


I have long been an admirer of interior designer Suzanne Tucker.  While the rooms created by her and her firm Tucker & Marks have always struck me as effortlessly elegant and comfortable, it recently occurred to me how confident they are in their timelessness.  After all, not depending on the latest trend or gimmick to make a splash takes a certain chutzpah.


 
 Two classic Tucker and Mark's rooms

I then discovered that Suzanne, with her husband Tim Marks, had taken over the business of her late mentor Michael Taylor who famously has been dubbed the inventor of the California look.  If you read Rose Tarlow's introduction to the Taylor monograph, it is clear that while Taylor was spectacularly talented, he was also spectacularly difficult.  Ever since, I have been dying to sit down with Suzanne and find out everything about her experience with this design legend.

Tucker on Taylor

A classic California Look room, complete with ball pillows, in Palm Springs by Michael Taylor, courtesy of Architectural Digest.  Click here for more.

While the interior design profession was founded by "lady decorators" in the early twentieth century, it seems that the majority of the top designers heralded today are men.  I wondered what Suzanne thought about that, and she said this was something that was certainly true when she started out.  She had just moved to San Francisco in the early '80s and even though she had impressive credentials, nothing was panning out.  In fact, at her interview with Michael Taylor's office, she was told there was only a secretary position available.  She took a pause, enquired what it entailed exactly, and then accepted.  It didn't take long to discover that people didn't stay for long - 6 months tops.  When Taylor flew into a rage for the first time at her, Suzanne stunned me with her response: she told him it was unacceptable to talk to her that way and she didn't appreciate it.  Wow!  She drew her boundaries, and what do you know, he respected her the more for it and they had a fabulous working relationship.

(Incidentally, if you ever have the chance to work in her office, take it!  Suzanne is a huge believer in mentoring, and regularly has wine and cheese evenings for her staff where she shares photos of her latest voyage, be it Turkey, Paris or Belgium.  Travel is a huge inspiration for her and she wants her team to see what she's seen. )

 A Tucker and Marks version of the California Look

What about this California look?  I asked her.  Well, Taylor certainly didn't invent the all white look - Syrie Maugham was doing it decades before -  but it certainly was  something that he became known for.  The look was more a way to get people to notice him and to get the phones to ring rather than completely defining his work.



Scale and proportion were one of the most important things she learned from him.  Get the eye to go up and come down - it's a rhythm you create.  It was a Taylor trademark to use trees in this way which Suzanne does occasionally.  He was also masterful at editing.  He would remove one item from an installation and instantly it would make the whole room look right.

Tucker on Tucker, Inc.

 Fleur de Plume, a brocade by Suzanne Tucker Home

In preparation for our lunch date, I clicked over to the Suzanne Tucker Home site.  After drooling over Suzanne's own textile line, I saw that she also has candles and chocolates in her eponymous home line.  Girlfriend's got it going on!  I'll never forget the example of Josiah Wedgwood who knew that the key to a successful business was cultivating the bon ton who made him fashionable as well as  producing an accessible line that everyone can enjoy.

And if you are tempted to groan, "Not another fabric line", think again.

 Hatley in azure was named after Suzanne's daughter;  it was an exciting moment when Albert Hadley's office placed an order for the print

Suzanne's is an instant classic.  Like Geoffrey Bennison or Robert Kime, Suzanne's fabrics have an aura of patina about them.  Her color sensibility is finely honed.  Just as in her rooms, she layers tones and hues subtly resulting in a warm glow.  The quality is also tops -  Suzanne assumed complete control over every element to make sure the result lived up to her vision.  "If I knew everything then that I do now, I might have had second thoughts!" she laughed. Luckily she didn't and her new spring collection has just launched.  (Click here to see more.)

In a warm glow was how I left our afternoon.  What I find particularly inspiring, as much as pure talent itself, is the ability to be successful while keeping one's sense of humor and courteousness intact.  Suzanne Tucker is such a rara avis.


For more inspiration, pick up a copy of Suzanne's book Rooms to Remember.  All photos courtesy of Tucker & Marks

The Carleton Draper Touch, Take Two


The North Parlour at the Greenbrier as decorated by Dorothy Draper.  The fabulous Dr. Conte, the resort's historian, told us that the walls were a pale pink, and that DD brought in the antique mantel and designed the rococo style mirrors and consoles.  We love the white sheepskin rug in front of the fireplace.  The other rug was apparently very old, rare, and cher.  It was eventually removed and put in storage after being traversed by too many stilettoes.

 

Carleton Varney refreshed the room in a deep coral color which he took from a DD commode in the room....
 

which was then subsequently repainted in scarlet. 


Bookending the fireplace are two landscape scenes which were formerly one.  DD couldn't find a space to hang the painting so she cut it in two.  As you can see, what is normally a quiet lounge is now hopping: a shoe store has temporarily relocated to the room while undergoing renovations.