Oct 222013

Thirty years ago I had a black living room.   At the time, it was quite a statement, so much so that I had to paint everything before the house would sell.  Everyone loved it but couldn’t picture their furnishings in it.  Here is an wonderful collection of basic black today.


Black is dramatic and elegant when paired with white.







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black and white




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34. black and white


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Sep 122013

I love this new category.  It will be fun to explore and pick the classics to share with you  in the Arts, Design, Architecture, and Beauty.  These classic furniture pieces work in any decor.  They add style, sophistication and classical beauty.

19th Century French Settee, Loveseat, Sofa











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The iconic Bergere

“Other than baguettes, berets, and Brigitte Bardot, few things are more classically French than bergères. Popularized in Louis XV–era salons, these cushy armchairs survived the revolution, adapting easily to the changing fashions of the Directoire and Empire periods. Today they remain as in vogue as ever. And for good reason—with their plush upholstery and regal frames, bergères blend comfort and style seamlessly.”  Elle Decor

What sets them apart from other stately seats are their characteristic closed arms, loose seat cushions, and exposed-wood frames.

“Bergères were really designed for palaces,” notes interior architect Beata Galdi. Still, she finds their elegant form fits into even the most contemporary rooms, whether grouped in a formal seating area or standing alone in a bedroom. “Excellent design is timeless,” Galdi says.

Louis XVI







Club Chair

Sargent Architectural Photography



This is a recliner from LazyBoy



Timeless English Leather Chesterfield





A favorite classic of mine.   Had my first kiss with my life partner and business partner next to a Morgan+4 he was rebuilding, which he still has.

Morgan Roadster



Morgan +8



 September 12, 2013  Posted by at 1:36 pm Furnishings, Interior Design, It's A Classic No Responses »
Aug 202013

Traditional Home, Editor in Chief,  Ann Omvig Maine’s editorial begins with “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only”   and quotes Coco Chanel, “Fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live.”   The September issue explores the synchronicity between fashion and home design featuring the Boston home of Joseph Abboud.  A Richardsonian Romanesque structure which is part of the city’s old Waterworks Building and has  a five-story tower.

abboud-richardsonian romanesque home tower

Joseph Abboud’s menswear is known for his neutral color palette and mix of sumptuous textures.  He collaborated with the recently rebranded RH (Restoration Hardware) newly opened Boston store to furnish his home.  The prevailing style is neoclassical, which is Joseph’s favorite.  “I love pieces with substance and heritage.  If you told me I had to live with mid-century modern, I would rather live in a tent. I like richness and romance,” he insists.


Love the RH Versailles Chairs in Natural Belgian Linen.


The Foyer with Iris Lee Marcus’ hand-painted acanthus leaves on canvas coffered ceiling  are “an ode to all the beautiful things I’ve seen on my travels in Italy,” says Joseph Abboud.  florentine-recessed light trim

Beaux-Artes Florentine recessed light trims would look perfect on this handsome ceiling.  Abboud-coffered-ceiling

Here is a wonderful use of large scale photography (see my blog for more examples).


Great idea the corinthian capital as a shower seat.

abboud bath

RH Game Table

Love the Chesterfield from RH.  I appreciate Abboud’s collection of sculpture.

tower RH chesterfield

Apparently his most prized piece is this bust of Napoleon.  If you like using sculpture also, some of the pieces are from RH.


Great space, great view, love the columns, but the furniture not quite right.  What do you think?

Tower deck

The Wine Room is Joseph’s favorite.

abboud wine room

Abboud joined Ralph Lauren there in 1981, becoming associate director of menswear design. In 1988, his own label, JA Apparel, was launched; in 1990, he became the first to be named Menswear Designer of the Year for two consecutive years by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).

Another great issue of Traditional Home.  It is one of my favorite magazines.  They emphasize throughout the magazine the way fashion and interiors play off of each other.  I love to share with my readers ads which use fabulous interiors for the setting.  Here are some fabulous places shown in Vogue’s big 902-page September issue.

This one is my favorite.  The gown and the wall are exquisite.


The windows, narrow panel and ornament over the door make this a corner worth capturing for this gown.  Painted drywall would not do.

gown and windows

Fabulous ceiling.


I think this shade of pink is a color we will be seeing a lot of.


Love this fabric of Venice.


You can have the wall panel in this add by Ralph Lauren.


Love this panel with the black center.







 August 20, 2013  Posted by at 2:13 pm Furnishings, Interior Design 3 Responses »
Jun 182013


It is my pleasure to devote this post to Leslie Sinclair.  Her beautiful book Segreto Secrets to Finishing Beautiful Interiors is my current favorite.  I was prepared to just give a sampling of great plaster, faux, trompe l’oeil, color palettes, interior design, art and architecture from the book until I discovered even more amazing work from the premier finish design firm in Houston, Texas Segreto Finishes.  Leslie’s talents along with the work of the  20 amazing artists she has brought together are responsible for this  most impressive body of work.  The Segreto style is the result of what they do with paint, plaster and color on the  walls, ceiling, doors and cabinets.

The architects, designers and builders that came together to create these spaces are all to be complemented.   Excellent.  I give the book 5 stars.

Selections from Segreto Secrets to Finishing Beautiful Interiors.

Book Tip  “When plastering the walls and ceilings of a newly constructed home, the sheetrock should be taped, floated and lightly sanded.  There is no need to fix imperfections in the sheetrock or to texture, prime or paint the walls.  This savings can offset the overall cost of applying plaster.”  Leslie Sinclair


The plaster on the walls, cabinetry finishes and beams achieves the feel of Provence.

Designer – Cindy Witmer, Architectural Consultant – Sarah West, Building Design – Robert Dame Designs, Builder – Parker House, Inc.

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French Chateau

Love the panels and plaster.  Love it.

Designers – Margie Slovack and Sarah Herndon, Architect – Sullivan, Henry, Oggero & Associates, Inc., Builder – Memorial Builders, Inc.

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European Farmhouse

The plaster walls for this master bath achieve a feeling of  serenity along with the neutral and warm color palette.  Very flattering.  Rustic, elegant and classic.

Design – Eleanor Cummings

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Louis XV Revisited

It was very difficult to choose what pictures to show you because they are all so wonderful, but this one is very special.  “Changing the background color of this cove creates the illusion that the antique columns are integral parts of the design.  Evoking a celestial sky, friezes that decorate these ceilings enhance its architecturally interesting details.”

Antiques and Furnishings – Joyce Horn Antiques

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Ranch Style Chateau

“Bringing artful touches to the walls and ceilings of this large 21st century construction transforms its newness into the richness of a home with history.”

Designer – Talbot Cooley, Building Design – Colby Design & Brandon Breaux, Builder – Darryl Dieciedue


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Fabulous design for this ceiling which would look great with one of Beaux-Artes decorative grilles or recessed light trims painted in the same color palette to replace the standard industrial features.

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Wonderful wall treatment – tinted artist’s gesso troweled through a stencil over a silver metallic paint and then tea stained, giving the appearance of dimensional wallpaper.

Designer – Sheila Lyon

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May 202013

Using antiques is a green activity in my book.  Finding treasures and using them as is or refinishing,  giving them new life.








I love beautiful boxes.  This is a lovely collection.  My everyday cosmetics would fit beautifully in the large one.



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This inspires me to get out my son’s uniform and see if I would want it displayed.  It is quite wonderful in this room.






Lots of white.  Loving the white spaces that people are creating.


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If you want to see more white interiors,  check out my other blog post on White Interiors – Clean-Perfect-Neutral.



May 062013

My blog got hacked last week and set me back a bit, but all is well now and I am happy that I didn’t loose all my content.  A little bit of this and that, some great products from this month’s Veranda.

A beautiful new fixture from Corbett ‘Chimera’.  It has nickel and crystal tassels.  The frame is a silver leaf finish.


My past favorite the  ‘Dolcetti’.


Another  gorgeous and exotic fixture from Corbett, ‘Nirvana’.  Fabulous with  Moorish. It is brass.


Some great mural and  panel art from the incredibly talented Paul Montgomery Studio.



New Moon Rugs a classic look that is not an oriental.


Another beauty from New Moon, Corinth in Cerulean Blue.


Antigua Del Mar Tile – Beautiful mosaic reproduction tiles handmade in Spain.


All these products share a color palette that really works for me.  The inspiration for this Zimmer & Rohde fabric came on a design trip to India and the photography of Norman Parkinson called “Pink is the Navy Blue of India”.  You can’t see the texture of this fabric in the picture, but it is felt. Felt found its origin in one of Parkinson’s infamous photos where he juxtaposes architecture with fashion. The contemporary design was developed with hand-guided machine, Aari embroidery on a felted ground. It simulated the crewel stitch technique. Suitable for drapery and bedding.  I think a two-story window wall in a great room would look fabulous with full length panels.



Restoration Hardware now RH has introduced Objects of Curiosity and architectural plaster fragments.










 May 6, 2013  Posted by at 3:18 pm Art, Furnishings, Interior Design 3 Responses »
Apr 292013


Fabulous isn’t it!!

I love the use of damask on the headboard surrounded by beautiful gold ornamentation.  If it is upholstered it does not look padded.  You could purchase damask yardage and stretch it to your pre-cut template, or do the entire wall in a stenciled or fabric damask and then attach the composition ornament directly to the wall or just add the ornament to the template you have prepared.    I used our hand painted damask canvas we offer for our wall panels.  It is $185 for a custom 2-color application 32″ x 60″.  The color is Gold Stone.  A gold background with biege pattern which coordinates with our Gold Stone Finish.  Painting the damask on canvas you can get canvas large enough to cover the headboard without any seams.  Excuse my seams from my stock size of that canvas panel.


Decorators Supply List of ornament

#9864      54″ x 11″  $237.02

I rearranged the ornament to create the shape of our inspiration piece.

#9583  5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″  right and left pair $69.97

#5390  8-1/2″ x 4-1/4″ right and left pair $50.53

This is one of my choices for the floral swag beneath the centerpiece.

#1751F  9-3/4″ x 6-3/4″   $29.14

This design can be refined.  If you purchased two additional C curves the shape could resemble the inspiration more closely and there are other options for the center feature.  It’s a good start though on this great look.



Apr 242013

Upholstered beds are my preference.  Since bedrooms are all about the bed it makes sense that a statement bed means a fabulous bedroom.



This is one of my favorites.  I would change the chandelier and add the headboard I will be showing in in my next blog,  Inspiration Headboard and How To Get The Look.  I can’t wait to do the research for the ornament.  It probably will not adapt to an upholstered headboard but it is fabulous.  So until next week.





 April 24, 2013  Posted by at 1:03 pm Furnishings, Interior Design, Wall Treatments, Windows 1 Response »
Apr 182013

Some classics that have a place in any interior.

The Bergere Chair

Ballard Designs

Wing Chair

Love this chair from Ralph Lauren

The ‘Louis’ Collection of Chairs.

Louis XVI Upholstered Side Chair

Love these colorful stripes on this classic.

Louis XVI Chair from the Hoentschel Collection at the Metropolitan Museum


Beautiful version from Restoration Hardware

Fun take on a classic.

Rooms with these classic pieces.

 April 18, 2013  Posted by at 12:36 pm Furnishings, Interior Design No Responses »
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?