Sunday, February 27, 2011

Roughing It.....

Don't you just love tents?

Not  Boy Scout versions .....

Really  decorative ones with wooden tassels and painted ornamentation.

I would love to have a tent like this as well!

Melanie Royals made this incredible stenciled tent!

Sir Richard Burton is buried in a tent in the United Kingdom....

Even the guard shack at Versailles is a tent!

My friend Helen Morris beat me to the punch and made this fabulous tent for herself. I really want to make one...this is my kind of "roughing it"!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Tea Time

There was a time when tea was elevated to an art form....not sold in nondescript boxes in grocery stores.

Tea was pressed into intricate molds, dried and sold in brick form.

Designs varied, but they were all ornate... and they smelled wonderful!

Some pressed teas were a little more creative and took on other shapes.

This one is in the shape of a coin and could be hung as a decorative object.

 China did not monopolize the market...this is Russian tea.

You can still buy these today, just usually not in your supermarket. I have had this brick of tea for over ten years and decided to treat it as sculptural art and not becoming wet tea leaves in the bottom of a cup. Let me know if you have seen other designs of tea bricks. I am fascinated with their beauty!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Decorative Wallpaper...

Joseph Dufour from the Musee de Papier et Peint

Well, it just doesn't get any better than this! Just look at those colors. The Hermes orange and cool turquoise pop against the muddied background. This is definitely work by Joseph Dufour.

Sauvages de la Mer Pacifique

Joseph and Pierre Dufour began their company in 1797. Sucess was not immediate and they liquidated soon after. Pierre left the business and when Joseph collaborated with Jean-Gabriel Charvet to create this twenty panel mural based on Captain Cook's voyages to the South Seas, Americans eagerly purchased it!

Joseph Ramee'

Joseph Ramee' was the  French architect and interior designer  that created this fabulous neoclassical motif. I love the stylized tonal design against the small red lined background.

The French seemed to master the hand blocked decorative papers in the 1880's. Using hand carved wood blocks and gouache paints, intricate designs using ribbons, urns and allegorical figures became popular.

Christopher Norman saw the importance of this era and produced a  modern line of papers based on the historic New England collection of 18th and 19th c wallpapers.

Adelphi has reintroduced panels based on Evariste Fragonard (son of Honore') These panels are widely known through their original production in the early 1900's.

Gracie is synonymous with asian influenced decorative papers.  Their choice of colors and intricate designs make Gracie paper distinguishable from other copies.


Dufour also created stunning borders focusing on folds of fabric and floral motifs. He was fascinated with mimicking the sheen of silk and weaving floral trim against the soft fabric.

D. Giannelli was produced in France in the mid 1800's. This sample is from the Musee de Papier et Peints. The museum archives the most ornate papers from the 18th and 19th centuries.
These papers are only a small sampling of the true art that was produced in the 18th and 19th centuries. I hope these images inspired you to look at your walls in a new way!

Friday, February 4, 2011

French Influences...

I just finished a project for a client that wanted a timeless patina with french influences for a bedroom in her home. With touches of gilding, painted canvas and washes of color, the illusion began....

First, I painted panels for the head and footboard on canvas.

Then, the distressing began...washes of color and sanding aged the design giving the illusion of a rescued antique!

The canvas was beaten, crumpled, even abraded with a rasp to get the effect of wear over time.

Soft garlands and ribbon with a touch of lattice gave it a European feel.

Coronas and mirrors were also aged to add to the story.

A palette of french blue, cream and soft pinks with touches of gilding gave the soft look needed.

Small berries and olive leaves were used on the mirrors.....

With the  flick of a brush and attention to detail, any era can be created in a home. There are many qualified artists just waiting to complete your dreams! The only thing limiting you is your imagination!

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