Art

Sep 022014
 

My last Blog on Best Dressed Walls focused on period walls. Ever since I have had an eye out for beautiful walls created for today’s classical lifestyle.  I would love to credit this magnificent work.  If anyone knows please send it to me.

wall mural

Timothy Corrigan

Tented room with colorful fabric

classical library designed by timothy corrigan

Classical walls have so many possibilities.  Using molding to create a grid, panels and symmetrical designs are the beginning of turning the modern intrusion,  drywall, into beautiful walls.  

Mr. Corrigan used mirrors with a lovely patina, great moulding in this elegant hallway.

patina mirror paneled hallway

This is so special.

fretwork panels

Vintage Best Dressed Walls – Villa Perosa, The Chinese Gallery, Architectural Digest September 2014

Chinese Gallery - Villar Perosa

Majolica Plaques ornament the walls of the Dining Room in the Villar Perosa Estate

majolica plaques ornament dining room walls

painted panels

coffered effect on the walls

Plain drywall with a lovely collection of framed images.  I would go further and add panels which I would then organize the collection in.

drywall with framed prints

panels with artwork

wall grid with panel moulding

wallcovering

Alidad Embossed leather

alidad-stamped-leather-handpainted-walls

alidad

alidadalidad

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Venice Luxury Hotel, Gritti Palace

Gritti Palace Panels

Gritti Palace Panels

gritti palace paneled guest room

Love the color palette.

Gritti Palace wall panels

The Gritti Palace used very similar styles for the panels in the guest rooms with different color palettes.

Gritti Palace

wall panels and mirror

wall panels with lovely faux finish

blue and white porcelain

signature

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 012014
 

Grilles  the beautiful decorative solution to filling spaces such as holes, for heating and air conditioning, speakers, gates, railings, security protection, privacy and separation and decoration.  When form and function combine a decorative grille is a thing of beauty.  Please visit us on Pinterest to see our entire collection of magnificent decorative grilles, investment castings and iron work.

Petit Palais, Paris

The Petit Palais was built for the 1900 Universal Exhibition.   It became a museum in 1902. Designed by Charles Girault, it is based on a trapezium shape and is made up of four wings around a semi-circular garden bordered by a richly decorated peristyle. The architect achieved a successful blend of traditional and modern architecture which is evident in the natural flow of visitors around the building and in the bold openings he created onto the Champs-Elysées gardens and inner courtyard garden.  The main entrance gate, designed by Girault himself, was immediately praised for its elegance and the virtuosity of its craftsmanship. He also created the banisters for the staircases in rotundas and the garlands and swags of wrought iron decorating the peristyle and balconies.

A Bold Opening

petit palais
Petit Palais Paris

Through September 14 there is an exhibition,  Paris 1900, City show as an opportunity for the Petit Palais to honor its architect, Charles Girault (1851-1932) . The Petit Palais, is recognized as one of the architectural jewels of the Universal Exhibition.   In 2012 the Petit Palais received a significant donation from the descendants of the architect . 

petit palais exterior

petit palais exterior

There is beautiful iron work on the interior as well.

petit palais interior iron work

petit Palais stairway

Petit Palais detail iron work

petit palais stairway

stairway detail Petit Palais

Gates are so grand. If you closely examine the railings above as well as the gates below, you can see that it is a combination of wrought iron and lost wax castings. The wrought iron is welded together from iron bars

which are mostly painted black in the gate below. The finer decorative parts shown in gold leaf, was made from molds cast in the lost wax method, which produces much superior details.

pc-gates 1

 

 

gate drawing

iron banister

grille room divider

grille walls

iron work porches

 

National Cathedral

Grille National Cathedral

Palmer Grille

Palmer Grille

Here are some of my collection from traveling in Charleston, South Carolina and New Orleans, Louisiana. These grilles and railings are generally made of cast iron in sand castings. They have a rough surface, due to the nature of cast iron and the grainy nature of sand which is used as a temporary mold.

iron railing

iron work railing

iron work

ironwork

 

The top of the line when it comes to fabulous grilles is Investment Casting.   These are from Stuart’s Dream Grille file. At the top of my list is this second Empire grille (Napoleon III of France, 1863).  Eighteen of these grilles were used in Grand Central Station, New York City. They were apparently removed when air conditioning was installed in the late 1950′s.

Notice the fine details, which could only be achieved through the labor intensive lost wax method in combination with a fine casting metal like brass or bronze. The original had to be carved in wax, then it was coated in a plaster of Paris type mixture.  Next the wax is melted out of the plaster mold and bronze poured in it’s place  at a temperature of 2200 degrees.   Once the bronze cooled, the plaster mold had to be broken off with a hammer. This method makes a near perfect casting, but was expensive, even in the 1800′s.  That is why it is referred to as investment casting, because it takes a major investment to create one.

Second Empire Grille

Second Empire Grille closeup

Second Empire Grille Grand Central Station

The grille below is one of the few good Art Deco Grilles I have seen. Maybe because Art Deco came of age just before the Great Depression.   The money wasn’t as available for expensive investment casting in expensive metals. Never the less, it is a very fine grille indeed.

art deco grille

Art Deco  Grille from Marshall Fields store in Chicago

art deco marshall fields store

roman arch

For those that have radiators,  Antique Radiator Covers are an inspiration.  The three radiator cabinets below are all from England. They all have the investment casting look. The top one looks like four investment cast grilles were attached to a cabinet made from a different material.

 

antique radiator

Antique Brass Radiator Cabinet with a marble top.  Splendid!

brass radiator cabinet with marble top

English design radiator cabinet in polished pewter.

English Radiator Cabinet

A client sent us this picture of their radiator cabinet using our Arts and Crafts grilles.

radiator cabinet with arts and crafts decorative grille

radiator cabinet with decorative grilles

radiator cabinet with Louis XIV decorative grille

Here are some more beautiful examples of Beaux-Artes‘ grilles that we manufacture. For years we have tried to find a foundry in the USA to cast our wonderful grilles in iron, brass and bronze. Unfortunately,  the iron ones are just too grainy and cannot be sold to a high end clientele. Using Brass or Bronze in investment casts places them out of most consumers price range. Having to break apart each mold after just one use, slows down production too much for profit margins.

In order to replicate the fine details Beaux-Artes developed a stream-lined method of investment casting using a high quality and expensive thermal resin. Our method of manufacturing gives the finely detailed look that we desired, without the outrageous cost of investment cast bronze.  In may respects,  the urethane resin we use is superior to metal since it will not rust, corrode or grow mold like metal grilles do. Rather than just making one grille per mold, we produce 50 to 100 grilles per mold. Our grilles can even have a bronze, brass or pewter face since we dust our molds with metallic powders prior to pouring the resin. The resin bonds or fuses to the metallic powder to form a thin brass,  bronze or pewter surface on the front of our grilles. Times change, manufacturing improves and new materials are introduced. Today Beaux-Artes grilles are as finely detailed as the best grilles made in the lost wax method of the 1800′s.

Here are just a few of our grilles in two of our styles. Visit Beaux-Artes  to see  28 different sizes of our Louis XIV grilles and 47 different sizes of our Arts and Crafts Grille, plus 26 different size of our Venetian Rope grilles.

Louis XIV 14″ x 14″ $159

decorative grille louis xiv style

Louis XIV 18″ x 28″ grille $599

Louis XIV 18 x 48 decorative grille

Arts and Crafts 20″ x 30″ $369

decorative grille 24 x 30 arts and crafts

Arts and Crafts 6″ x 30″ $159

decorative -grille arts and crafts style 6x30

melanie-classical-addiction-sm

 

 

 

 

Jun 172014
 

Gods and Heroes There is an amazing exhibit at the Oklahoma Museum of Art, “Gods and Heroes” which offers masterpieces from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, with approximately 140 paintings, sculptures and works on paper dating from the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries.  The part of the exhibition I consider so relevant is the focus on the legacy of one of the finest institutions for the instruction of art, the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. According to Art Curator Jennifer Klos, “(It’s) not just for Francophiles. This is really a look at almost the history of Western art.”  The exhibition offers insight into the development of an aesthetic ideology that fostered some of western art’s most magnificent achievements.

Auguste-Dominque Ingres, 1801  Achilles Receiving the Ambassadors of Agamemnon

“The legacy of the École des Beaux-Arts cannot be overstated,” said Oklahoma City Museum of Art President and CEO E. Michael Whittington in an email. “Until World War II, Paris was the center of the art world, and generations of American artists made their pilgrimage to study at the École. To have this great collection with its star-studded cast of artists now coming to the United States is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the people of Oklahoma.”

Jean Honore Fragonard Jeroboam Sacrificing to the Idols

Fragonard’s Jeroboam Sacrificing to the Idols (1752)

The Exhibition’s focus will be on epic themes such as courage, sacrifice, and death, as well as the ways that changing political and philosophical systems affected the choice and execution of these subjects.  Their ideology was rooted in the study of the idealized human form as envisioned in classical art.

The Exhibition features artists such as Jacques-Louis David, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, François Boucher, Nicolas Poussin, Albrecht Dürer, and Rembrandt van Rijn. Most of the works have never been shown outside of the school, which continues to train artists. While the earliest painting dates from 1648 and the exhibit spans two centuries, it also includes two classical Greek sculptures used as a teaching tools. The show’s title, Gods and Heroes, comes from the epic stories in the Bible, Homer and other classical sources that the student artists were assigned to depict in their paintings. “It’s not only the epic nature of the stories, but it’s also how really the school itself became epic, with its influence on the history of Western art. In a way, all the artists at the Ecole become gods and heroes themselves. They become these sort of figures that represent and reflect the prestige and the genius of the school,” Art Director Jennifer Klos said. “France was so influential and set such a high standard for this rigorous academic training that it really established the profession of being an artist.” “There will be a wide variety of art, but we’re not only looking at the art. We’re looking at this idea of what was it really like to be a student at the Ecole.”
There are some great photographs of the school itself and artists, and you get to see this camaraderie and you get to understand a little bit more about the architecture and the surroundings of the school. We really want our visitors to be able to kind of put themselves in the shoes of the artists.” “With this exhibition, there will be an emphasis on the academic curriculum of the Ecole … and drawing truly was the cornerstone of their academic study at the school. To master drawing, you really had to master the human body, particularly the nude male body,” Klos said. “You will be able to tell how they studied movement, how they studied musculature, the body in different settings, to master not only these parts of the curriculum but elements that also became competitions.” By the 19th century, École students were competing in various contests like the painted torso and expressive head competitions, which pushed the aspiring artists to master aspects of anatomy, perspective and landscape compositions. The contests prepared them for the most prestigious of all: the Prix de Rome, whose winners were awarded a scholarship to study the ancient and Renaissance masters in the Villa Medici in Rome for as long as five years.

Exhibition itinerary: Oklahoma City Museum of Art (June 19-September 14, 2014); Albuquerque Museum of Art and History (October 12, 2014–January 4, 2015); Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum (February 19–May 17, 2015); Portland Art Museum, (June 13–September 13, 2015).

Pierre-Charles Jombert’s (French, 1748-1825) 1772 oil painting “Apollo and Diana Killing the Children of Niobe” is among the more than 140 paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings featured in the traveling exhibition “Gods and Heroes: Masterpieces From the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris,” opening Saturday at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Photo provided by the American Federation of Arts

Pierre-Charles Jombert’s (French, 1748-1825) 1772 oil painting “Apollo and Diana Killing the Children of Niobe” is among the more than 140 paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings featured in the traveling exhibition “Gods and Heroes: Masterpieces From the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris,” opening Saturday at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Photo provided by the American Federation of Arts

Putting yourself in the shoes of the artist is a great idea for this exhibition and it’s legacy for today’s artists.

The Ecole des Beaux-Arts

Ecole des  Beaux-Arts

Ecole des Beaux-Arts

The Ecole des Beaux-Arts was founded in 1648 by Cardinal Mazarin with studies in architecture, drawing, painting, sculpture, engraving, modeling, and gem cutting. The school was born out of the legendary Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, founded in 1648 under King Louis XIV.   The École des Beaux-Arts was a competitive, government-run school that trained artists to meet the needs of royal, state, and church patrons from the late 17th through the mid-19th centuries,  to guarantee a pool of artists available to decorate the palaces and paint the Royalty.   It was made independent by Napoléon III in 1863. At the École, learning how to construct persuasive and powerful paintings from carefully delineated anatomy, expressive faces, and convincing architectural and landscape settings was understood by aspiring artists to be the route to success and recognition.

At that time the Paris art-world was made up of a triangle:

  • The Ecole des Beaux-Arts
  • The Independent Ateliers
  • The Annual Paris Salon

and in the middle was always the Cafe life.

 

 

 

Today

The second point in this triangle was the small independent ateliers where students learned directly under the tutelage of an established “Master” who were not part of the Ecole. Students not in the Ecole trained in these ateliers with the hopes of passing the entrance exam, as well as students already in the Ecole wanting to get recognized by their association with a known “practicing Master”. 

Today’s artists train at Ateliers as well.  The International Decorative Artists League is an umbrella organization for many of the independent ateliers and practicing artists.

A very fine example of today’s atelier of talented craftsmen is Grand Illusions Decorative Painting.  Creating masterpieces and educating the next generation of artists.  Pierre Finkelstein is the owner and creative force behind this excellent atelier.  He has written a bible for decorative finishes.

door header

 

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pierre-finklestein-09-getty18

 

pierre-finklestein-10-getty19

The third point in the triangle was the annual Paris Salon, the show everyone wanted to succeed at, and from which the public often commissioned their favorite artists.  It was the place to be seen, and get known.  Paintings shown at the Salon often posted not only the artist who did the work, but what atelier they came from and whom they studied under. It was the Paris Salon that was the culmination of a full years worth of work, both at the Ecole and the ateliers.  Not every painting was accepted. You had to submit to a jury to get the paintings shown. Over the summer break, the Masters, teachers, and students were almost all expected to leave the city, travel and paint in plein air. Every year they gather at Salon to share skills and paint together.

Charles X Distributing Awards to Artists Exhibiting at the Salon of 1824 at the Louvre Heim, Francois-Joseph (French Painter, 1787-1865) 1827

Charles X Distributing Awards to Artists Exhibiting at the Salon of 1824 at the Louvre Heim, Francois-Joseph (French Painter, 1787-1865) 1827

 

Artists still gather together at the annual Salon, which is hosted by a different sponsor each year in a different location.    Here is a wonderful blog about this years Salon in Seattle by Pierre Finkelstein.

Salon-Seattle-1

The painting Pierre completed at Salon.

Pierre Finklestein artwork

He is the master of faux marble.  Recognize the pilaster from the Helmsley.  Pierre can reproduce that gorgeous agate.

marble

Salon participants work.

Salon-Seattle-4

 

Wholly aside from the discipline of painting, was the discipline of Architecture and was one of the most important studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and would  influence a whole school of thought. From America came some of the best students to study and it would the Beaux-Arts that buildings such as the Boston Public Library, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Grand Central Station, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and many of the Great public buildings in America of the late 1800′s through the 1930′s were built.

Today, the Ecole still exists although the Architectural school was split off after the student riots of 1968. 

Boston Public Library

Boston Public Library

boston-public-library-2

 

boston-public-library-19boi1x

A fabulous Beaux-Arts architectural firm, Robertson Partners is committed to excellence in architecture and design and has executed a host of projects in various historic revival styles. Most projects are high-end and range from private estate residences and other residential building types to master-planned towns and urban village centers. The firm’s motivation is to create a sense of place by responding to the site so that, by using specific architectural icons that are timeless in their meaning, the newly built environment will become a cherished part of the heritage of the community.

robertson partners-aviarad

Our company name Beaux-Artesreflects that classical style, philosophy and legacy.  We love offering classically designed solutions to modern intrusions such as the industrial louvered grilles for heating and air conditioning and recessed lights.  Why not make them as attractive as all the other details of the space.
vents-assorted

recessed light trims with crystals

melanie-classical-addiction-sm

 

 June 17, 2014  Posted by at 12:07 pm Architecture, Art, Artisan and Craftsman, Interior Design No Responses »
May 202014
 

This years Kips Bay Show House is in the Villard Mansion at 457 Madison Avenue.  When I  visited in 1987 it was The Helmsley Palace Hotel.  A lot has changed since then.

villard mansion

 

In 1882, Henry Villard, a well-known railroad financier, hired McKim, Mead, and White to create six private brownstone townhouses surrounding a courtyard on Madison Avenue. The prominent architectural firm created the houses in the neo-Italian Renaissance tradition, after the Palazzo della Cancellaria in Rome.

villard mansion

In the spring of 1974, the developer Harry Helmsley proposed a 55-story hotel for the site of the Villard Houses called The Helmsley Palace Hotel. To construct his hotel tower, Helmsley hired Emery Roth & Sons, who created its design of dark bronze reflective glass and anodized aluminum to blend with the Villard Houses and Manhattan’s surrounding skyline. The Helmsley Palace Hotel opened in 1981 and was operated by Helmsley until 1992, when the hotel came under the management of a private New York limited partnership, changing its name to The New York Palace.

During Helmsley’s ownership his wife,  Leona Helmsley,  maintained a strict and intolerant management style which involved her firing staff members for trivial mistakes, an act which gave her the nickname, “Queen of Mean.” The hotel reverted to its bond holders from Leona Helmsley and was ultimately purchased by The Sultan of Brunei with the concurrence of the US Bankruptcy Court. The Sultan of Brunei, through its development company, Amedeo Limited, hired Lee Jablin of Harman Jablin Architects for the complete renovation of the hotel and Villard Houses.

Northwood Investors bought the hotel from the Sultan of Brunei in 2011.

The Kips Bay Show House is in the townhouse on the left of the courtyard.  I was disappointed with the townhouse and the interior decoration with the exception of a few rooms.  No photography was permitted, but I had seen two of the rooms in Habitually Chic, which I loved.  They were the best rooms.

Love this paneled sitting room by Carrier and Company with custom gilt wallpaper.  It is quite a small room, but the furnishings and design gave it a spacious while intimate feeling.

gilt marblelized custom paper

Sitting Room

Alexa Hampton’s Sitting Room also had fabulous panels and custom printed wallcovering from Duggal.  The large tile pattern is wonderful.  The smaller version below the chair rail not so much.  Duggal is a wonderful source for digitized media.  Trend alert - Utilize digital images for unique patterns, large format photography and lenticular holographic imagery.

panels with tile pattern wall paper

The kitchen done by Matthew Quinn was excellent.  The Dacor refrigerator doors in stainless and brass were amazing.  The Helix Silestone countertops in a suede finish were perfect with the stainless and gray color palette.  The designer said the view of St. Patricks through the kitchen window was his inspiration for the lights (incense burners) and window treatment (organ pipes).

kitchen by Matthew Quinn

kitchen Matthew Quinn

St. Patricks

I had really chosen to see this years Kips Bay Show House because of the location.  I fell in love with the Gold Tea Room in the Helmsley, the grand lobby with beautiful marble and all the architectural features.  The show house rooms really did not have a backdrop of grand features I expected to see.  Some designers even chose to cover some grand features.  Over the years, the changes that have been made to the Villard in my view are not all improvements.

Lobby Before.

Villard Lobby Before

  Architectural features and columns were eliminated. Marble panels were painted. The lighting updated.  Getting rid of the yellow gold on the walls was a good idea. New floors look great.  The marble panels could have remained since they repeated the stone for the focal point fireplace.  Not all bad but……
Villard Lobby today

The New York Palace Hotel Michel Richard Bistro.  Amazing room with fabulous stone columns, pilasters, niches and crown.

Villard Michel Richard Bistro

marble

villard-20

villard restaurant

Today the restaurant has this huge wine display.

villard restaurant with wine display

villard restaurant

 

 

The Tea Room which I looked forward to seeing again is now a restaurant with huge images propped against the walls covering really beautiful artistry.  The ceiling is still beautiful.

gold room ceiling

The common areas are still original.    Check out the marble balustrades.  There are several different designs.

marble balustrades

villard-14

villard stairway

marble walls

 

Banquet Room

New York Palace Hotel Banquet Room

Ceiling Detail

Ceiling Corner

Strapwork ceiling design

More to follow.  Next we visited the Mansion in May Show House,  The Blairsden Mansion,  in Peapack, New Jersey.  The seventh largest home in the US.  An impressive Beaux Arts style home.

 

Reminder to submit your ugly grille image to Beaux-Artes’ Second Annual Ugliest Grille Contest.  All you have to do is send a picture of the grille you would like to replace with one of Beaux-Artes decorative grilles, to [email protected]  Deadline for submissions is May 30th, 2014.  The winners will be announced June 4th, 2014.   Visit here for contest details.

melanie-classical-addiction-sm

 

 

Apr 302014
 

I love this quote from Questroyal Fine Art, “Very few things are purchased for a lifetime.  Art is.”  Rooms as art are investments for a lifetime as well.

One component of creating a remarkable room as an art investment, are wall panel installations.  An inspiration for this post on artistically valuable rooms came from Veranda’s March-April 2014 issue, “Life of the Party”  piece on Susan Gutfreund.  She used 18th Century hand painted wallpaper installed in panels.  The room is fabulous.

hand painted wallpaper-panels

Love the door panels in her home as well.

susan-gutfreund-veranda-march-april-2014-life-of-the-party

18th Century Wallpaper Designs

Love the background color for this classic paper from the UK decorative arts company, Iksel.    I wouldn’t cover up this paper with other artwork in my room.  I would paint the walls in the background color for the paper and hang the paper in large white ornamented panels.

What do you think?  An entire room papered or the paper in wall panels.

wall art

 

Like this Louis XIV Double Head Set Panel for $299.

louis xiv wall panel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

de Gournay Wallpaper 

The entire room papered.   The wallpaper seams are very noticeable behind the sconces.

wallpaper

 

Beaux-Artes Classical Wall Panel Set is $199 for 4 corners and 16′ of molding framing the de Gournay paper.  Picture the above walls with a center panel at least 36″ w x 72″H  and narrow panels for the sconces 24″ W x 72″H.  With the ceiling height double panel frames would look great.classical-wall-panel-paper-art
beaux-artes-garland-french-ren-panel-set-de-gourney-paperThis fabulous paper from de Gournay,  is framed with a Garland Panel Set in an Aged Gold finish $199.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another great wallpaper from de Gournay.

de gourney wallpaper

Antique wallpaper which is limited in quantity would be perfect.  Here are some offerings from 1st Dibs.

dsc01939_1-1st-dibs

18th-century-wallpaper-panels-1st-dibs

Wallpaper is a great choice for the inside of panels.  How about some very contemporary handpainted wallpaper with classical panels like this design from Timorous Beasties?

louis XIV panel timorous-beastie wallpaper

Here is that same paper installed as wallpaper.

timorous-beasties-221954

I think I prefer the large scale contemporary patterns in wall panels.  Timorous Beasties is based in Glasgow.  Very interesting take on Toile.

timorous-beasties-london-toile-229914

 

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holiday-house-easter

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Panel Art

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The work of Iksel

Iksel-007

The Chinese Bedroom with one of the mid c18th Chinese mirror paintings with a Rococo style at Saltram, Devon

b70c00930b9d4967e7d49e5d4de4e15a

Musee Camondo

musee camondo paris habituallychic 402

musee camondo paris habituallychic 408

neoclassical still life

Alan Carroll

panel-art-alan-carroll

 

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The work of Feau & Cie is to preserve truly important rooms.  Here is a wonderful blog post from one of my favorite artist blogs Surface Fragments on this one of a kind company.

feau-et-cie-17

melanie-classical-addiction-sm

 April 30, 2014  Posted by at 3:18 pm Art, Interior Design, Wall Treatments No Responses »
Mar 312014
 

Designing with ornamentation seems to be a lost art, but we at Beaux-Artes believe there is a revival occurring.  Some of the most beautiful published rooms have architectural details and ornamentation.  Rooms that are beautiful without any furnishings.

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5. lonny hotel du marc france

A trend we see is adding ornamentation to the ‘room’.  To transform a fireplace by adding ornamentation.

7928b8bb82b078f5032bb062da8fa6a6

 

To transform large expanses of drywall with wall panels.

A 2208

 

To create one of a kind doors.

5420a534dd1b57b6bc03de5147fe45b8

 

A client has asked me to create a door design which will be used on her bedroom doors.  It has been an interesting design process which I thought would benefit our readers.  When we began, our design inspiration was this gorgeous door.  I researched ornament possibilities on the Decorators Supply website.  Note the relief of the ornament on this door.  By the time I did a number of designs my client realized she wanted heavy ornament.

foyer-inspiration-doors

The website has pictures for most of their ornament which can be saved and used to layout your ornamentation design.  You do not need CAD software to create a scaled design layout.  For a quick idea how the ornament will look in your design,  Publisher has easy tools to create a scaled drawing.

Step 1.  Do a scaled drawing of the door in Publisher.   I use a scale of 1/16″ = 1″.   I am using the dimensions of the door closed to determine my ornamentation design since the door opens into the room.  I have added very simple molding around my door design which I will add ornament to.  The ceiling is 8′; but there is a 12″ crown molding which leaves me with 3-1/2″ over the door for my door header ornamentation.  I am also putting rosettes on the blocks.

Door-Publisher Drawing

This picture shows the door header with the old paneled door still in place.  The ornamentation will be added to a new flat panel door.  Rebecca is gold leafing the crown molding and door molding.  The small header over the door is also being gilded.

gilding-5

Step 2.  Draw in the basic size of your door design.  My inspiration picture requires a border of running ornament around a 2-panel design.  I have not found the ornament which appears in the inspiration but I thought this ornament would work for the repeating S-curve that is in the outer border.  It also gives me a small rosette to cover the ends.

Decorators Supply 890F - 8-1/4″ x 4-3/4″ You can crop, rotate and copy the image in Publisher.  890f

Instead of a running floral design I chose this running ornament 2928F.  This ornament was not online so I scanned it and used Publisher to remove the dark background.

running-ornament-2928f

Here is a screen shot of the ornament showing the scaled ornament in the upper left corner using the 1/16″=1″ scale.

french-door-design

During the research and development of this design it became clear that the time involved in applying all of this individual composition ornament to six doors was going to be labor intensive and the design just wasn’t developing into a great design.  So, I began researching other design possibilities.

This Design is based on using most  of the inside panel of Decorators Supply Wall Panel 9894.

9894_XL

My client did not want a shell as the center feature so I used this beautiful floral center 11627.  Now I had to figure out a C curve that would compliment the curve of the inner panel.  My client also wants a different feature on each door to represent whose room it is.

11627_XL

Publication5

This single panel design did not have enough beautiful ornament and the molding for the panel was not interesting enough.  Here is my design for a two panel door.  We decided the corners on the top panel with S curves to form an arch would be a good design.  For this design I chose this beautiful Rococo Rose corner 9804.

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The Center 11564 for the bottom panel

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doors-Christina

This design lacks beauty on the bottom of the panels.  Here is yet another design adding corners to the bottom of the panels.  With each design I record the ornament style, size and cost with a picture of the ornament.

Rococo Corners 9800

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This design is still not there.  The next design I am going to work on will be a 3-panel layout with heavy molding.

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Feb 032014
 

It has been awhile since I have blogged.  We have been working on our new E-store which I am happy to announce is now online .   We are still tweaking things, but overall we are very happy with our new look.   It is  a rather gray day and time of year for those of us who live in the East.  So here are just some beautiful images.   Beauty is a big inspiration and  focus for this blog and as stated by Oscar Wilde,  “All Beautiful  things belong to the same age.” Beauty is a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, esp. the sight.

palace-of-fine-arts-san-francisco

Palace of Fine Arts
San Francisco

There are some things of beauty that appeal universally, such as a gorgeous sunrise or sunset.   Here is one of my sky paintings.

sunset

 

 

The Beauty of Nature.

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Queen-Red-Lime-Zinnia

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The Beauty created by humans  is a never ending source of  joy, pleasure and inspiration.  Enjoy….

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tumblr_mknuqovaMB1qk9hrqo1_1280Building Before

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Building After

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 February 3, 2014  Posted by at 2:41 pm Architecture, Art, Interior Design 2 Responses »
Jan 082014
 

Happy New Year.  After a much needed vacation and wonderful holiday I am excited to be back with this blog showcasing the work of some of the top architects and designers at the forefront of global design today that are in Architectural Digest’s AD100.

Their work  is based on classically inspired details, proportions and principles of scale and harmony with 21st century comfort and style.  You will see a lot of bold colors, eye catching art, beautiful wall panels, craftsmanship and artistry.  Enjoy.

Alberto Pinto

_albeto-pinto-510The Lanesborough Suites (21)

alberto-oppinto-HotelParticulierparis2

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This firm specializes in Orientalism.

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alberto-pinto-AppartementParis1

alberto-pinto-HotelParticulierNY1

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alberto-pinto-HotelParticulierparis1

alberto-pinto-HotelParticulierparis4

alberto-pinto-MaisonGeneve1

alberto-pinto-MaisonGeneve3

alberto-pinto-PalaisMarrakech1

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Brian McCarthy

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Bunny Williams

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gottwald, richmond, virginia

gottwald, richmond, virginia

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gottwald, richmond, virginia

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David Kleinberg Design Associates

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dkda-dean library

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dkda-dean-living-room

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dkda-dk-at-home-foyer

dkda-dk-at-home-living-room

dkda-grubman-townhouse-entry

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dkda-kiam-foyer

dkda-kiam-living-room

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Dec 092013
 

Just bought a great book on the Empire Period Empire by Madeleine Deschamps. Here is some food for thought from the Introduction.   “The end of the eighteenth century was a tumultuous and remarkably rich period that laid the foundations of modern times.”  This can be said of our times,  the end of the twentieth century laying the foundations of the new age.   “In the course of the century the philosophy of Enlightenment had opened minds to realities veiled until then, and it had awakened hopes of social and political change in many lands.”  Once again, this can be said of our times with the expansion of knowledge, technology and physics all contributing to powers we could not have imagined just 30 years ago.  “In France this new consciousness culminated in a major cultural rupture, the Revolution.  The fall of the Bastille in 1789 and the death of Louis XVI in 1793 marked the end of a monarchy that had shaped France, its society, and its economy for ten centuries.”

It goes on to establish that the Revolution did not immediately find a language to express the social order they were striving to establish.  So there was no real break in the styles and art forms that characterized the reign of Louis XVI and the subsequent Directoire, Consulat and Empire Styles. The Empire style was a natural development of the neoclassical art born in the preceding decades, which explains why Empire also includes styles that predate the coronation of Napoleon.  “Despite a strong connection to its stylistic preedecessors, the Empire style was highly influenced by the personality of one man, Napoleon Bonaparte.napoleon Once in power he not only wished to dominate European countries but also to control their trade. “He also wished to give grandeur and splendor to his reign, a purpose best served by the arts. Thus the short years of his rule were a period of extraordinary development for arts and crafts in France and in the countries he controlled.”

What will be said of this time in terms of the development of the arts and crafts.  The decorative arts business had products and technologies which will enable today’s artists, artisans, architects and designers to surpass anything that has been created.  Hopefully there will always be patrons to support today’s masterpieces and with the advantage of technology the middle class will be able to create interiors rich with artistry.

“When Napoleon came to power he found a country that had been torn apart by civil war and lay in partial ruin. He also inherited royal residences that had been stripped bare by the Revolution.  Today’s interiors are in a sense are stripped bare with large expanses of drywall.  In his ten years as emperor he not only refurbished palaces and chateaux throughout France and Europe but also gave France one of its most superb collections of decorative arts. To accomplish this he provided massive help to workshops and nascent industries, encouraged and publicized technical inventions, and instituted schools, competitions and prizes. No one since Louis XIV’s minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert had been so concerned with the economic status of France and the international image of its arts and crafts.  Just as Napoleon knew how to surround himself with the best political and military counselors, so too did he call some of the best artists in Europe to his service.”

Let’s look at the glory of the Empire Period and dream about our expression of the decorative arts in the 21st Century.

The Chateau de Malmaison, Paris is a country house in the city of Rueil-Malmaison about 12 km from Paris. It was formerly the residence of Joséphine de Beauharnais, and with the Tuileries, was from 1800 to 1802 the headquarters of the French government.

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Mythological Frieze, Chateau de Malmaison

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Josephine’s  Bedroom

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Chateau de Malmaison-Josephine's bedroom--3787628155_4595c69647_z

Today’s Mansion - The Enchanted Home

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Hotel de Beauharnais, Paris

Beauharnais

Salon of the Four Seasons – The paintings of the four seasons were formerly attributed to Pierre-Paul Prud’hon and now to Anne-Louis Girodet, who painted works on the same theme for the Platinum Study in the Casa del Labrador in Aranjuez, Spain.

Salon of The Four Seasons

Salon of The Four Seasons

 

Hôtel-de-Beauharnais

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Bathroom at Hotel de Beauharmais

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The Turkish bath in the Hotel de Beauharnais

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Beaux-Artes designed and executed this Powder Room using technology to create the pietre dure design on the vanity and reproduce it below the chair rail with venetian plaster.

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Inspiration vanity.

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Empire has a section on wallpaper since it was becoming a convenient and attractive way to decorate an interior.  Manufacturers as Jacquemart et Benard, Dufour and Zuber made papers of great artistic and technical quality in lavish colors.  It was a young industry when the Revolution broke out.  Wallpaper answered the demand of a clientele that could not afford expensive silks for decorating the home.  The extension of the Empire opened Europe to their production.

Great article by Barbara Clark in Artisphere Online showcasing the work of Alan Carroll

“My old business partner, Mark Kusek, really opened my eyes to the digital world. Without him I never would have embraced computers as a tool for decorative artists in the same way. More importantly, he taught me that you can be true to the same creative spirit that flowed through the old guys while at the same time embracing new technology.

You don’t have to be mired in the past, trying to copy stuff that was done way better hundreds of years ago. ”

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“Imagine you have a piece of artwork on your computer. You’ve either painted and scanned it, or created it directly on the computer. Want to make fabric? Wallpaper? Flooring? ceiling murals? Area rugs? verre eglomisé? You can do all those and tons more from the same piece of artwork now by combining the power of digital printing with traditional skills. We are only beginning to touch on the possibilities.”

“We even developed a way to print gold size. You could get a sheet of ebony veneer for example, and literally print from any design you have on your computer screen in gold size right onto the wood – no masking/stencilling necessary – then gild it. The computer is used just to expedite the hand-done finish, not to supplant it. It’s still a hand-gilded product.

Or forget about printing the size. What about printing the ‘painted’ image on the reverse of glass before you gild it? Mark is now in the middle of printing verre eglomisé polychrome designs right onto glass from ornamental panels that I painted using a Wacom tablet and some computer software. This is groundbreaking stuff. Print the image onto the reverse of the glass, and then gild it. He even printed the patina onto the sheet of glass before gilding it. Time savings are huge, and that’s just with this one thing!

“I think that’ll be my theme for the future: exploring how to expand and truly incorporate digital technology into the decorative artist’s toolkit. I don’t mean simply painting something by hand, then selling prints. But how about this other experiment we did with the Glass department of OSU in Ohio: We printed our gold size directly onto paper in super-detailed ornate designs. then we simply applied leaf, and dusted off the design. The gold only sticks to the areas we printed. Then we took these gold leaf designs on paper to the glass furnace. The guy blows a vase out of molten glass, then rolls it carefully across our design. The paper burns off completely, and the gold design is instantly transferred to the glass. Never been done before, but we just came up with it by experimenting.

It’s not just about coming up with ways that save time over traditional methods. It’s also about creating new hybrid techniques that could not be conceived of any other way. That’s the future.”

Josephine and her Entourage at Lake Garda, 1805-6 by Hippolyte Lecomte.  Available as a 12″ x 15″ print for $181.

empire-Empress-Josephine-xx-Hippolyte-Lecomte

Chateau de Compiegne

 

Chateau de Compiegne

Chateau de Compiegne

 

The Ballroom

chateau-de-compiegne-Ballroom

Empress Marie-Louise’s Second Salon later called the Salon of Flowers.  Would love to do a variation of the panel art in this room.  The Book Empire has a wonderful closeup of the panels.

chateau-de-compiegne-salon-of-flowers

Hotel de Charost

Hotel de Charost

Hotel de Charost

hotel-de-charost-ceiling

Hôtel_de_Charost_JP2010,_Dorure_salle_à_manger

The Sala di Marte near Naples

Sala di Marte

Sala di Marte

Beaux-Artes Arabesque Panel

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Casita del Principe, El Escorial, Spain

Casita del Principe-El Escorial-Spain

Platinum study in the Casa del Labrador, Aranjuez, Spain

casa-del-labrador-platinum study

Charlottenburg Castle, Berlin

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Queen Luise’s Bedroomcharlottenburg-castle-queen-luise-bedroom

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