Interior Design

Oct 072014

Lots of choices when deciding what to do with your windows.  If you are not constrained by a need for privacy, making it beautiful is at the top of my list with dressing the window itself and the space around the window.  Here are some great examples of dressing windows using cornices, valances, swags.upholstered cornice

I love this design featuring a place for some outrageously gorgeous tassels.

drawing cornice side panels

This is a great combination with the shades, drapery and trim.


tie backs

Not sure about two different patterns on the drapery panels.  The cornice and fringe is fabulous.


Well if you can have this who needs fabric?



Or this….




original (2)

This fabric is gorgeous.  Shiny and billowy.



window seat

Sea Island Georgia_David Guilmet Design


53d8ea8369e59a0bd91e7a7f2b56eab1 drapery treatments

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 October 7, 2014  Posted by at 1:57 pm Interior Design, Windows No Responses »
Sep 222014

Rizzoli has just published a new book  Americans in Paris on the Ecole des Beaux Arts which was responsible for the beautiful architecture of our young country that we refer to as the Gilded Age .   This book presents a comprehensive overview of the seminal early work of a century of American architects who studied at the famous school before going on to design and build many of the nation’s most important buildings and monuments.

Book cover

“The first American to be accepted to the École, in 1846, Richard Morris Hunt (the brain behind the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal and the fabled Breakers estate in Newport, Rhode Island) led a line of students that included Guy Lowell (architect of Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts), Julia Morgan (the school’s first woman and the designer of Hearst Castle), Charles McKim (of legendary firm McKim, Mead & White, whose creations include New York’s original Penn Station and the Morgan Library), and John Russell Pope (best known for the Jefferson Memorial and the National Archives in Washington).”

George Howe Post Office rendering

Here are some of those important buildings along with a collection of mansions from the Gilded Age.

The Breakers, Newport, Rhode Island

The Breakers Exterior

The Breakers interior

breakers interior

The Breakers Dining Room

Boston Museum of Fine Art

Boston Museum of Fine Art exterior

Boston Museum of Fine Art interior

Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Museum of Fine Art interior gallery

Hearst Castle

HEarst Castle

Hearst Castle Entrance

Hearst Castle Tower

Hearst Castle

An iconic pool.

Hearst Castle Pool

Today’s icon Lady Gaga chose the Hearst Castle indoor pool for her video location.

Lady Gaga Hearst Castle Indoor Pool

Love that we have such magnificent places combining architecture, decorative arts and sculpture.

Hearst Castle Roman Indoor Pool

Hearst Castle Great Room

Morgan Library

Morgan Library Rencering

Morgan Library Exterior

Great sculpture.

Morgan Library Lions

Morgan Library

Morgan Library

Morgan Library Ceiling

Morgan Library Ceiling

Morgan Library


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 September 22, 2014  Posted by at 5:41 pm Architecture, Art, Artisan and Craftsman, Interior Design No Responses »
Sep 162014

I just love this look.  Classical wall panels with comfortable upholstered headboard and furnishings.  The walls need nothing else.  They look elegant , have artistry and establish symmetry.  The wall panels are available from Decorators Supply.

decorators supply wall panels

The panel center ornamentation #9894   24″ x 19-3/4″  $367

panel center ornamentation

Love large ornamentation that is beautifully carved as a center feature framed with  large multiple wall panels with decorative corners.

wall panels with ornamentation

Create your own panel design.  Here are some great centers from Decorators Supply and a Link to our Blog about Decorators Supply and Composition Ornament.

#27057  French Cartouche 36″ x 24″ x 3″ $301.79.  Available in Resin.

French Cartouche

#11628  8-1/4″ x 23-1/2″ $138.48.  Composition ornament.

urn #5538 Empire 28″ x 29″ x 1/2″ Relief $442.84.

empire ornament

Trend Alert  Look for lots of inspiration from fashion and design during the 1930′s, ’40s, and  ’50s; particularly the work of George Stacey.  He was a master of blending the old with the cutting edge.

George Stacey

Fireplace Surround

Fireplace surround

George Stacey designed for Grace Kelly, Ava Gardner, Babe Paley, Diana Vreeland and Frances Cheney.  Check out  Maureen Footer’s book,  George Stacey and the Creation of American Chic.

George Stacey

Ava Gardner

Diana Vreeland

Living Room by George Stacey

Babe Paley

Diana VreelandThat American Chic Style included glimmering satin banquettes; pale, painted neoclassical antiques; and bold-hued walls.  Check out today’s chic style setters using pale painted neoclassical antiques, shimmering metallics, yummy pastels and jewel tones.

satin banquettes

pastel chair

painted chest





Scott-Snyder-Waterside-Palm-Beach-FL-7 (1)

Pastel Pink for fashions and interiors.

pastel pink coat

panels-'wren scott paris apt vogue may 2012



19. lighten up

1930s Bed Design



Another great book; Veranda A Passion for Living: Houses of Style and Inspiration.

A Passion For Living Houses of Style and Inspiration

Blush handbags

Kate Spade

kate spade blush handbag

















 September 16, 2014  Posted by at 5:13 pm Inspirations and How To Get The Look, Interior Design 1 Response »
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


Alidad Embossed leather





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







Aug 192014

This month’s issue of  Traditional Home focuses on the influence fashion has on how we decorate our homes.  According to Ann Omvig Maine, Editor in Chief of Traditional Home, “The fabrics, the textures, the colors, the patterns and the intriguing detailing spotted on Fashion Week’s runways have a way of popping up in the home. ”  Fashion design and home design have a symbiotic relationship, each looking to the other for creative inspiration.  Here are some of my observations from Fashion Week Spring and Fall 2014 and interior designs.

Dolce Gabbana

Dolce Gabbana Mosaic inspiration fabric

Dolce Gabbana mosaic fabric fashions

Dolce Gabbana mosaic inspired fabric fashions


Ravenna Mosaic


gold mosaic tile

gold mosaic

gold mosaic



rome mosaic gold cupola



fashion week marco outfit



mosaic shoe-tub



mosaic tile-tub


fireplace sitting area




Oscar de la renta





library of congressLibrary of Congress-14






Martyn Bullard


valentino fashions











living room-













 August 19, 2014  Posted by at 3:17 pm Interior Design 1 Response »
Aug 142014

Richard Hampton Jenrette  a self-proclaimed “house-aholic”, established the Classical American Homes Preservation Trust (CAHPT) and Richard Hampton Jenrette Foundation in 1994.  Mr. Jenrette has spent the last forty five years acquiring and restoring homes.  Some were sold and given away but he kept 6 of the finest.   This not-for-profit organization will eventually own, maintain and manage sharing the homes with the public. In additon to the restoration the next logical step was the collecting of period antiques to furnish the houses. Today, Mr. Jenrette owns hundreds of antiques, almost entirely American and many original to the houses.

map of the locations of the jenrette houses

1.  Ayr Mount

Ayr Mount- Exterior

“Ayr Mount is a Federal-era plantation house built in 1815 in Hillsborough, North Carolina by William Kirkland.   Kirkland, named the house in honor of his birthplace, Ayr, Scotland. Unlike the other houses in the Classical American Homes Preservation Trust collection, Ayr Mount looks deceptively simple, even austere on the outside. There are no soaring columns proclaiming its classicism. On the other hand, Ayr Mount is far grander – especially in the interior – than one might expect from a first look at the exterior. The ceiling height of 14 feet is unusual for this period as is the elaborate Federal period woodwork and plasterwork found throughout the house. Ayr Mount also was the first major residence built of brick in this area of predominantly colonial era wood frame houses. At the time of its construction at the end of the War of 1812, Ayr Mount was considered one of the finest residential structures in Piedmont, North Carolina. 

Ayr Mount - interior

Ayr Mount interior dining room

This home is currently open to the public.  Information for visiting the home and its beautiful grounds are here.  The preservation of the land surrounding Ayr Mount is an important part of Mr. Jenrette’s mission.   Ayr Mount was originally a 503-acre plantation, but today the house is surrounded by approximately 60 remaining acres of gardens, woodlands, pastures, and serene riverside lookouts. These grounds, plus the trails opposite it across the Eno River, total to over 287 acres.  There are three distinct trails that are privately maintained without governmental funding by Classical American Homes Preservation Trust.  Enjoy year round.

Gate to Ayr Mount

Ayr Mount landscape

Video on Poets Walk.  Publication available on this house,  The Kirklands of Ayr Mount chronicles the rise and fall of Kirkland’s fortunes and his descendants’ efforts to retain the family mansion for 150 years after Kirkland’s death. The book also provides a detailed picture of the small but historically important town of Hillsborough.

2.  Millford Plantation

“Millford Plantation, built in 1839-41, is considered by many to be the finest example of Greek Revival residential architecture in America. The grandeur of the house, located in such a remote section of rural South Carolina, seems to come as a surprise to first-time visitors, who must drive over miles of dirt roads and through moss-draped forests to reach the house. Suddenly the house appears out of nowhere, in all its classical glory – six massive fluted Corinthian columns, 16-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, a domed rotunda enclosing a spectacular circular staircase – all the features to impress that are inherent in Greek Revival architecture. Surrounded by live oaks, magnolias and green lawns, Millford seems as though it might be part of a dream.”

Millford Plantation exterior

Millford Plantation interior

How did Millford survive the Civil War? It was a miracle. On what turned out to be the final day of the War before Lee’s surrender, Northern troops, under the command of Brig. General Edward Elmer Potter, arrived at Millford. Gov. Manning met the Yankee General at the front door and observed: “Well, the house was built by a Potter (Nathaniel Potter, the architect) and it looks as though it will be destroyed by a Potter.” General Potter responded: “No, you are protected. Nathaniel Potter was my brother.”

Millford plantation staircase

Although their fortune was destroyed by the Civil War, the Mannings managed to hold on to Millford until 1902 when it was sold to Mary Clark Thompson of New York, who later bequeathed it to her two Clark nephews. The Clarks owned and loved Millford for the next 90 years, enjoying it as a winter residence with ample opportunities for hunting and fishing. The Clarks sold the mansion and 400 acres to Richard Hampton Jenrette in 1992, but they still retain several thousand acres of timberland in the vicinity.  Visit Information.

Millford Plantation - gardens

3.  Roper House

Roper House, was built in 1838 on the recently completed High Battery with a commanding view of the Charleston, South Carolina harbor.  The house is an outstanding example of early 19th Century Greek Revival architecture in a city better known for its 18th Century Georgian-style architecture. Roper House is built on a monumental scale, with massive, two-story-high Ionic columns raised above a first floor, arched loggia pedestal base. Ceiling heights are 18 feet on the piano nobile, with tall windows extending to the floor. The piazza, opening off the double parlors, has the finest view in Charleston.

Roper House exterior

 It is said that Mr. Roper intended his showcase home to be the first residence seen by visitors approaching Charleston from the sea.

Roper House water view

The architect of this imposing house is undocumented, but some architectural historians have attributed its design to Karl Friedrich Reichert, a highly regarded German who was working in Charleston at the time on the new Charleston Hotel.

roper house-interior

roper house furnishing


Richard H. Jenrette’s new book about the Roper House is now available for orderColumns by the Sea: The Roper House takes a closer look at this National Landmark and National Registered Historic Place with full-page images of the house and its collection.

Continue reading »

 August 14, 2014  Posted by at 2:55 pm Architecture, Interior Design, It's A Classic No Responses »
Jul 232014

Beaux-Artes offers online Wall Panel Layout and Design Services.  It is so easy with technology to take pictures of your room and send them to us along with measurements indicating placement of modern intrusions; such as heating and air conditioning, switchplates, speakers and lighting.  Here are some recent projects.

Powder Room

This client sent us pictures of the foyer, foyer hallway leading to the powder room and all the rooms off the foyer and hallway.  The powder room was under construction, so we were provided with measurements to lay out the panels and custom vanity.  She also provided us with a sample of the hallway wallpaper and the paint color for the hallway trim.

entrance foyer

hallway to kitchen

hallway to dining room


The client had selected our Georgian Architectural Wall Panels.  Her Wall Panel Layout.

wall panel layout design


In addition, we also provided her with design options for the inside of the panels.  Grisaille canvas panels were an option which she did not choose.

georgian wall panel layout

Because of the patterned wallcovering  in the hallway we recommended a custom textured faux raw silk in metallic champagne for the panels.  This gives her flexibility to add artwork inside the panels if she chooses to at some point.

textured metallic

Stone Gold Her color palette looked great with our Gold Stone Finish.   Finish samples were provided along with additional paint and glazes for her painter to use on the door trim, chair rail,  carpenter boxes and her vanity.

powder room finish samples

Installation went great following the instructions we provided for installing the canvas panels and wall panels.

powder room vanity wall

powder room vanity wall

powder room corner

powder room panels

Wall Panels for a Hallway

This client contacted us after searching for quite some time for the perfect wall treatment for a hallway between her formal dining room and kitchen.  Our  hand painted Georgian Canvas Panels shown in our Harvest Gold finish were perfect with her decor and color palette.  She provided us with pictures of the dining room and hallway with measurements.

Dining Room and connecting hallway



We also received closeups of her rug and upholstery.



There was no need to do any custom color palette for this project.  The Georgian Canvas Panel in our Harvest Gold finish was indeed perfect for her hallway.  We advised her on the dimensions for the canvas panels at no additional cost.


georgian wall panels and georgian canvas panels

georgian panels

georgian panels

georgian panels

We also customized the crystals  on our Recessed Chandelier  to match the crystals in the dining room.

recessed chandelier


Beaux-Artes on TV

Adding to our list of appearances on TV is Alpha House, a comedy featuring John Goodman.  Amazon Studios, said “Alpha House” will return for a second season, with filming set to start this summer, after it became “the most popular TV season” on Amazon Instant Video.  The set this season for the US Senate will have our Arts and Crafts 24″  x 24″ grille in Bronze.  We have been to the US Senate specifically to tour the Brumidi Corridors and our grille is a perfect choice.  

arts and crafts 24" x 24" decorative grille

Brumidi Corridors

See my Blog about  Constantino Brumidi, The Artist of the Capitol.

Brumidi Corridors

Brumidi Corridors

Alpha House sounds entertaining so I plan on checking it out.  I am interested to see what the set is.  Regardless if it is a hallway or the Senate, industrial louvered grilles would not work.  An industrial grille would definitely stand out in a classical space.

US Senate








Jul 082014

A relatively easy way to achieve the symmetry of adding wall panels is with board and batten panels.  This statement wall uses the existing wall with boards (vertical) and battens (horizontal) only which is called a flat panel design.

board and batten wall panels

Board and Batten Wall Panel Options.

board and batten wall panel options

Board and batten wall panels using a cove molding.  Any decorative molding such as an egg and dart would work well.
board and batten style wall panels

Simple 3/4″ cove was added to this board and batten wall paneling.  I also like the height of this wall panel layout rather than a wainscoting style.

board and batten wall panels

Beaded Panel Wainscoting


I love it when there is a ledge.  This double board and batten design is very nice.

board and batten wall panels

Pictures look great.

board and batten wall panels

The board and batten panels offer flexibility to size your panels to achieve the symmetry necessary for your walls.

board and batten tutorial

board and batten wall panels

board and batten wall panel design

board and batten wall panel design

Board and Batten Wainscoting


board and batten wall panel specifications

Beaux-Artes offers a perfect embellishment to standard board and batten paneling.  This historic Spanish Empire style ornament is a beautiful and easy addition to board and batten style wall panel installations.  It comes in over 20 finishes for $45.  Dimensions:  7-1/2″H x 12-1/8″W

board and batten wall panel ornament in the Spanish Empire style

It is perfect for hallways.

board and batten wainscot hallway panels with Beaux-Artes Spanish Empire ornament

board and batten wainscot panels with Beaux-Artes Spanish Empire ornament

board and batten wainscot paneling with Spanish Empire ornament

Dress up a kitchen island.

board and batten panels on kitchen counter with Beaux-Artes Spanish Empire ornament

board and batten wall panel with Beaux-Artes spanish empire ornament

Borad and Batten Wall Panel Installation Instructions

Lovely hallway wall panel layout done by Phoebe Howard.

board and batten wall panels

Most often the board and batten panels are painted white.  The white panels work well with anything;  but with a dark color the contrast can be a very nice effect providing the color while maintaining a lightness.

board and batten wall panels

This panel layout has quite a narrow batten which repeats the crib.

board and batten wall panels

board and batten wall panels

Kips Bay Show House 2014 room with a decorative molding and custom digital wallcovering on the background wall area.

board and batten wall panels

Board and Batten Panels are also great for stairways.

board and batten stairway panels

board and batten staircase wall

board and batten staircase panels

board and batten stair case panels

board and batten panels

board and batten staircase

Bathrooms with board and batten wall panels

board and batten wall panels

board and batten wall panels

board and batten wall panels

Exterior Board and Batten applications

board and batten exterior

board and batten exterior

board and batten exterior

board and batten exterior

board and batten exterior

Here we eliminated the bead board and replaced it with our Spanish Empire Panel Ornament

board and batten exterior

My inspiration for this blog was a lovely new home in North Carolina featured in Traditional Home this month.  I love the board and batten fireplace mantle and wall design.  Looks like it conceals a TV.

board and batten fireplace

board and batten wall panel design


board and batten wall panel design

They carried the board and batten paneling throughout the home.

board and batten design

Notice the kitchen cabinet door style.

board and batten cabinet doors

Board and Batten Accent Wall

board and batten wall design

board and batten wall panel design








 July 8, 2014  Posted by at 1:44 pm Architecture, Interior Design, Wall Treatments 2 Responses »
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.





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






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.


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.


Salon participants work.



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




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.

recessed light trims with crystals



 June 17, 2014  Posted by at 12:07 pm Architecture, Art, Artisan and Craftsman, Interior Design No Responses »
Jun 092014

My favorite show house was the Mansion in May, at  Blairsden Mansion in Peapack-Gladstone, New Jersey.   It was designed and constructed between 1897 and 1903 for C. Ledyard Blair, a New York financier and grandson of self-made multimillionaire, John Isley Blair, who made his fortune in mining and building much of America’s railroad system.  Hailed as one of the finest examples of Beaux-Arts architecture in the United States.  Yes there was a line.   The reflecting pool was just completed.  You can see the fresh sod.   It is the seventh largest home in the US.

Blairsden Mansion Reflecting Pool

Blairsden Mansion

It is the masterpiece of Carrere and Hastings.  They also designed the iconic New York Public Library and the Frick Mansion.

New  York Public Library

New York Public Library


Frick Atrium

Frick Museum

The Mansion is undergoing massive restoration and rennovation.  There were 52 wonderful  spaces.  Photography was permitted so I have lots of great pictures and trends from some great designers working with architecturally embellished rooms and how they made them work as a fabulous mansion for today.

Blairsden Mansion

A Grand Front Door.


The Entrance with limestone walls throughout the first floor hallways and fabulous marble door surrounds.

entrance foyer

blairsden marble detail


This is the entrance foyer hallway prior to the renovation.

Blairsden Entrance Hallway

The room today.  Looks like the relief over the fireplace is gone.  Is it better?  The relief was quite massive.    Everything in the rooms is for sale, which explains all the accessories.    Otherwise, the mantle has too much stuff on it.


Another view of the hallway before.





The first room, “A Room of Her Own” by Timothy and Associates Interior Design was lovely and had a magnificent peacock embroidered window fabric that was $600 a yard.  Notice the beautiful glaze on the egg and dart moulding.

embroidered fabric

Trend Alert Peacocks.  Peacocks were in several other rooms.  We thought maybe Peapack, New Jersey was known for peacocks??  There was a peacock in the Kips Bay Show House as well.

white peacock

Not many bathrooms were done but this one was my favorite.  The marble floor tile was designed for the mansion by Van Cleef  Tile.  Love it.

powder room

tile closeup


A wall unit which slides to either side revealing a television.


tv cabinet

Almost every room had a beautiful fireplace.




This fireplace was faux finished.  Peacock painting.




Trend Alert - Using Mineral Specimens.




Trend Alert - Mother of Pearl accents


Mother of Pearl Mirror

Trend Alert - Inlaid Bone





Dining Room Before



Dining Room After – The ceiling paintings have been painted over along with the ornament which has been very painstakingly repainted.


I really like the white and gold.




Love the cabinet door finish ‘Blairsden Blue’  just for the Mansion.  The custom leaded mirrored refrigerator door is wonderful.

refrigerator door












 June 9, 2014  Posted by at 6:11 am Interior Design No Responses »