Thursday, June 18, 2009


Ok, not everyone would want or could live the lifestyle that Emilio Pucci's headboard requires. It.. is... a bit over the top with all the gilding and damask....

Dusty pink velvets and floating cherubs overhead might not be the last thing you want to see either as you close your eyes at night. This headboard from the Palazzo Sagredo in Venice is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Am I still too over the top for your taste?

Inspired by the Palazzo Sagredo bed, U.S. decorators Bray, Schaible and Mitchell had it duplicated for a showcase home in the 70's.

Take a closer look.....the entire headboard is ..trompe l'oeil!!!!! Be still my heart! What a concept! Decorative artists collectively will skip a heart beat over this idea. Imagine what could be created by a skilled artisan.

This headboard was on display in Paris at Maison et Objet. I love the monochromatic scheme and soft palette the artist used. This is another example that anything can be a blank canvas to an artist!

If all the gilding and rococo architecture doesn't interest you, maybe this is your style.
Here is a fabulous designer acrylic headboard from Sheerhome in the U.K. This one is appropriately named the "Sir Elton"....(you can get an electrified version as well)

This "Escher-esque" design is printed on reclaimed cork and can stand alone as framed art or make an artistic statement as a headboard. Source is Better Living Through Design.

Wanting to go green? This headboard utilizes reclaimed wood. What a great statement it makes! Once again, Better Living Through Design is the source.
Whether you are counting sheep or dreaming in the land of Nod, make it in a bed with a headboard that fits your personality! An old door, iron gate or drapery panel will never be looked at again in the same way!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thanks Helen!

You never know where life will take you! For years, I have bookmarked Stencil-Library , considerably the most comprehensive source for historical stencils.   Stencil-Library has been priceless for research on many of my murals and other decorative art jobs. Recently, life brought Helen Morris,co- owner of Stencil-Library  and I together! She has a wonderful blog on all things inspired by stenciling. Helen currently is featuring a post about ME! If you haven't seen her as one of my favorite blogs to watch, be sure to check out her blog now and learn about decorating through the eyes of a stenciler! Thanks Helen.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Everything is beautiful in Europe....I have taken thousands of photos of beautiful doors, beautiful frescoes, beautiful architecture.  Craftsmanship and quality seem more important to Europeans than budgets and deadlines.

Even the food is beautiful! Just look at this bread in a restaurant window in Venice.  Who wouldn't want to go in and see what else they offer?

Desserts are almost impossible to pass up with these kind of displays!

These are parma hams in the Mercato Centrale in Florence.  Even the bone is wrapped in gold foil at the bottom of the cut. My grocery store has a cold bin full of shrink wrapped pork, no bay leaf garlands or foil adornments!

Paris is the center of civility and beauty. This is the interior of  Ladure'e, a tea room where time slows down and people gather to talk and eat beautiful food!

Nothing is overlooked, even  hardware can be an elegant statement in beauty. 

Look at the detail in this hand made lace curtain. 

Here is a empire influenced sconce mounted on the arabesque panel.  Belle Epoch at it's best!

Who wouldn't be happy walking down the street when the covered sidewalks look like this? The city of Bologna, Italy is known for its' arched porticoes and has more covered sidewalks than any other city in the world.

And then there is the sidewalk itself, this is in front of the post office in Florence.

 Detail over a door in Florence 

 Doors are architectural delights. This one is in Paris, typical with its' bright blue color and street number in the stone pediment over the door.

I love looking at mailboxes. These are both in Italy, this one in Florence and the next is in Venice. 

What a lovely architectural  mailbox! I would kill for it! I always come home from a trip with new eyes to look at my old world. Try looking at your world in a new way and find something that needs to made beautiful in your world! Let me know what you change from a mundane object to a thing of beauty!

Monday, June 1, 2009


("Yunnan" Brunschwig & Fils. Inc.)

I have always had a love affair with all things chinoise. Leaning  towards the blue and white palette of asian motifs, I was attracted to the "Yunnan" fabric on first sight....  Pagoda by Royal Limoges, Asian Toile by American Atelier, antique tiles of blue and white all live in my home and make me happy.

With that said, red is the more traditional hue associated with chinoiserie. For years , as I would enter the city of Paris from Charles de Gaulle airport, I would  pass this marvelous pagoda. A pagoda in Paris ! Even in my jet lagged mind, I made mental notes to find my way back to it.

The (Gallery C.T. Loo & Cie )Pagoda is a marvelous example of the traditional red hue associated with chinoiserie. To Buddhists,  red was associated with dieties  and  celebrations  and was used on pagodas as a religious reference. This structure was built in 1926 by architect Fernand Bloch. 
This post is dedicated to many of my favorite artist's and interior decorator's infatuation with all things any color!

This interior was created by Gerald Vann Underwood for a showcase home in Atlanta, Georgia. I love the delicate bamboo border at the bottom of the wall . The top border has moorish influence and would not be uncommon to mix with the asian theme. 

This incredible entry is from the New York home of Howard Slatkin. These photos  were taken by Pieter Estersohn  and are from the article  by Cynthia Frank - House & Garden  Sept. 1999. 

The entry is a combination of the mural View of Hindoustan and newer work on the opposite wall to mimic the original work.

This is such a wonderful example of what chinoiserie should look like! Done by the fabulous Michael J. Dute'.  To quote him, his work is like "entering a dream world, It's like living inside a painting". 

Influenced by Michael and the work of Graham Rust, I was hired to create a traditional red chinoiserie environment for a powder room this past year.  This was a dream job! I actually got paid for this!

Each wall is a different scene using traditional elements such as cherry trees, pagodas and bamboo.

This mural was done by Marty Joseph for clients in Dallas, Texas.  The scale of the mural is perfect for this powder room.

You can't say chinoiserie without thinking of Tony Duquette. This is just one example from the wonderful book by the same title. Pagodas were prominent in many projects by Duquette.   Tony had a wonderful garden with pagodas of wood, antlers, and other found objects. 
Hopefully, this post will make you consider your environment. Consider mixing styles , things that make you happy, souvenirs from trips. Your home should be your life story!
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