Beauty Cult

Feb 132014

Classical Addiction has showcased many blogs on the great beauty that is in Russia; from the Amber Room, Alexander Palace Catherine Palace  and  The Hermitage.  I was unfamiliar with Sochi and am really enjoying all aspects of this beautiful location for the Winter Olympics in Sochi.


View of  Sochi with its 90 miles of waterfront on the Black Sea.  It is geographically located entirely within European Russia with the Caucasus Mountains falling on the Asian side.


Sochi has a humid subtropical climate with mild winter temperatures of 52 degrees in the day and 39 degrees at night from December through March.  It is a beautiful location for the Winter Olympics.





Luge - Winter Olympics Day 5

The Opening Ceremony was very impressive.  Here are some memorable pictures.





The scale was enormous.  It must have been quite an experience to be in this venue which was created just for the opening and closing ceremonies.


Like the Chinese Opening Ceremony they had images projected on the floor and the latest technology using a computer operated gantry system to move these huge light sculptures through the space.  Multi-Dimensional painting is most certainly the theater experience of the future.


They have the fabulous onion domes which added a surreal portrayal to the unfolding of Russian history.








Their Peace Dove was my absolute favorite.





Beautiful Sochi

Sochi National Park Waterfall


Sochi Arboretum



St. Vladimir Church



Soichi Russia 1

Summer Theater















 February 13, 2014  Posted by at 12:20 pm Architecture, Beauty Cult, Travel No Responses »
Apr 012013

Flowers are nature’s fleeting works of art, whether captured by the camera or an artist they look so beautiful as a collection framed within a wall panel.

I love botanical prints and found a great selection of  antique botanical prints.  Here are some by Ellen Wilmott which were done in 1910.  They are $95.

Photographers today are doing amazing work with flowers.  I love when they zoom in on blossoms.  Joyce Tenneson has a beautiful collection in her book Intimacy.  Her compositions are lovely and would be fabulous framed in a series.

Some fleeting beauties captured.

Real or painted??

A Beautiful book Flowers by Carolyn Roehm.  Amazing photography.  You can flip through this book on Amazon to see the contents.  I am happy it is Spring and gathering these images has been so much fun.

 April 1, 2013  Posted by at 5:31 pm Beauty Cult, Gardens, Fountains, Sculpture No Responses »
Mar 282013

Sculpture has been an important part of our culture since ancient times.  It endures through the ages and gives us a direct communication from the culture that created it.

Three dimensional art offers different angles, views and the play of light giving more emotive power to the piece.

Sculpture interacts with nature and the environment where it is placed.

Art helps us define who we are and what we find beautiful.  It can be used to enhance an otherwise uninteresting niche in our home or be a constant source of encouragement or comfort to us.

“A sculptor is a person obsessed with the form and shape of things, and it’s not just the shape of one thing, but the shape of anything and everything; the hard, tense strength, although delicate form of a bone; the strong, solid fleshiness of a beech tree trunk.”  Henry Moore

Sculpture is on my dream list.  A white marble female body and a bronze male by Richard MacDonald.


Feb 282013

Nature provides us with the most beautiful creations.  I don’t know why the Mineral Kingdom is not present in all our homes.  Mineral specimens are valuable investments.  I have used them in commercial projects as well, placing  large specimens on  pedestals.  They move beyond personal taste therefore appealing to everyone.  This beauty is gold and quartz from Arkenstone Fine Minerals.

Quartz is an excellent choice to begin with.

These specimens are amazing and so is the price tag.  This one is beryl, emerald and calcite.

How about this for aquamarine.

From my collection a quartz sphere.

Nature is a source of inspiration to create objects of beauty.  Furniture makers incorporating the beauty of wood, bone and mother-of-pearl into intricate inlays are one of my absolute favorites.  They deserve a place of honor to be appreciated for their artistry, craftsmanship and materials.  The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has a new furniture gallery where the focus is on materials and techniques used by furnituremakers from the 15th century to the present.  This eye-popping Mexican bureau veneered with mother-of-pearl required an artisan to saw shells for 5,000 hours.

Just received a catalogue from Wisteria with this Moorish chest with bone inlays for $2,999.

Wunderley offers the most beautiful selection of Middle Eastern inlaid furniture.  This mother-of-pearl chest is $10,500.

Mexican furniture maker Alfonso Marina’s beautiful craftmanship.

A magnificent  stone tub from Elegant Additions.

A Marble sculpture from Marble Statues.

What are your objects of beauty?





Feb 202013

Not sure I agree with this list, but here it is with pictures for your enjoyment.

  1. Catherine Palace, Russia
  2. Sleeper-McCann House, Massachusetts, US
  3. Castle Howard, York
  4. Powerscourt, Ireland
  5. Marble Palace Mansion, Kolkata, India
  6. Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, Malaysia
  7. Werribee Mansion, Australia
  8. Villa d’Este, Italy
  9. Falling Water, PA
  10. Chateau de Chambord, France

Catherine Palace

At the top of my list as well.

Exquisite floor, ceiling, walls and doors.

The amazing Amber Room.  In a class all by itself.

Love this wall of individual panels for the artwork.

Sleeper-McCann House

I disagree with this choice.  Not in my top 10.


Castle Howard









Marble Palace Mansion

Because this is a private residence no photography is permitted.

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Nov 092012

Last month Architectural Digest showcased the latest resort Selman Marrakech, a sprawling Moorish-style hotel minutes from medina. Developers Saida and Abdeslam Bennani Smires and decorator Jacques Garcia the creative force on the project. The exteriors are pure redbrick grandeur.

Love Moorish designs with all the intricate patterns.

There are 56 guest rooms and five riads. The interiors are Second Empire elegance with Napoleon III-inspired chairs, ebony-stained plasterwork, and antique carpets.
The ebony stained plasterwork is amazing.

I so enjoyed researching the other resorts mentioned in the Architectural Digest article. I know you will enjoy seeing them and want to add a trip to any one of them to your bucket list.
The Royal Mansour – Magnificent!

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Oct 312012

Milanese architects and decorators Roberto Peregalli and Laura Sartori Rimini of Studio Peregalli create breathtaking environments that capture the classic elegance of the past. They work in every historical style from Renaissance to Victorian to create interiors that are atmospheric and magical, conjuring up a real or imagined past. Both were proteges of legendary decorator Renzo Mongiardino.

Patinated finishes, salvaged materials, and accidental imperfections are their touchstones. Key to their work is the imprint of the artisan. Which is why I love classical design. “You can immediately feel the difference between something that’s industrial and something that’s handmade. We want our spaces to have a soul,” says Rimini.

“With the right elements, you only need a few ingredients to emphasize the volume of a room,” says Rimini. “It’s about the quality of the things. We strive for the atmosphere of a Vermeer painting.”

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 October 31, 2012  Posted by at 2:14 pm Art, Artisan and Craftsman, Beauty Cult, Interior Design No Responses »
Aug 292012

I am seeing fashions inspired by the rich patterns, fabrics and bejeweled works of art from the past.  It is referred to as Going Baroque which Sharon of the Fashion-Isha Blog is asking for feedback on.  My interest comes from the convergence of fashion and interiors. Trends which reflect an appreciation for extreme beauty and workmanship.  Feast your eyes upon these amazing fashions and interiors.

Love the gold fireplace surround.

Fabulous headboard!

The Baroque trend fabrics are amazing.
Dolce Gabbana Milan Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week Backstage

Inspiration for a wall panel. What do you think??

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 August 29, 2012  Posted by at 1:47 pm Art, Beauty Cult, Wall Treatments 1 Response »
Aug 072012

Castle Howard is one of the world’s top ten greatest mansions and grand houses.

It was designed in the 18th Century by Sir John Vanbrugh for the 3rd Earl of Carlisle and has been home to the Howard families for 300 years.  Today Honorable Simon and Mrs. Howard reside there with their two children, Merlin and Octavia.

Castle Howard is located in Yorkshire and set within 1,000 acres of the breathtaking landscape of the Howardian Hills.

The estate has 200 listed buildings and monuments.

The Temple of the Four Winds is one of my favorites. Michael Hampton has captured it in his wonderful watercolor.

It is a thriving rural estate with farming and forestry and has buildings to let!!

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Jun 012012

A friend of mine has shared her pictures from Russia, which I can’t wait to share with you. At the top of my list is the Hermitage . When it comes to extremely beautiful places like Verseilles and Catherine Palace they are all incredible, but the Hermitage has a beauty which is much more refined. Yes, there is a lot of gold leaf but the application is more delicate and pleasing to my tastes.
Today’s room is Pavilion Hall in the Small Hermitage. Please note the panels with the gold leaf background and white ornament.  We are designing a foyer for a client with this look.

Mosaic Floor

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