22 October 2017

AT HOME WITH DOGS AND THEIR DESIGNERS

A great new must-have book has just arrived on my desk written by the prolific author Susanna Salk!
It's a topic we all LOVE,
DOGS &
DESIGN.

Design explorer, videographer, and fellow blogger Stacey Bewkes author of Quintessence has photographed most of the images. The photographs were taken on her visits with Susanna and their AT HOME WITH...video series. While exploring the homes of designers it was obvious that dogs rule the roost—a book was an obvious next step.

Designer Robert Couturier writes the foreword and the designers tell their own stories, with a little help from their friends. Charlotte Moss pens a letter to her two dogs, & Schuyler Samperton serenades her Tricky  Some dogs are pampered—well most are—well all are. That's quite alright, my Zetta is much the same. She has the run of the house—my bed is her bed, the two guest beds are her beds too.

It's amusing to see how these dogs live, not to mention how their owners live with them.


at Brian McCarthy's
darling DAISY MCCARTHY-SAGER
POODLE MIX



at Steven Gambrel's
the yar SAILOR ANDERSON GAMBREL
LABRADOODLE



at Bunny Williams'
Classicist ANNABELLE
TERRIER MIX


Windsor Smith's
big SUR
GERMAN SHEPHERD



at Jonathan Alder's
foxy FOXY LADY
MUTT





This is one that will go to the dogs—and certainly every dog lover
& any omission of my Zetta is not taken personally—

at least not by Me, while Zetta, the mountain cur might feel a bit differently.

holding a grudge ZETTA
MOUNTAIN CUR
(photos by her mistress)

this delightful book comes from Rizzoli, with thanks.


13 October 2017

How They Decorated in CA.

The first few days of October took me out to the West Coast—speaking at the Virginia Robinson Gardens and a book signing there, and then off to Montecito to a book signing and a visit with a wonderful fellow blogger friend for years Penelope Bianchi. It was a great week to meet, to catch up with, and to talk about how they decorated.

SCENES FROM BEVERLY HILLS












MONTECITO BOOK SIGNING
AT THE HOME OF PENELOPE BIANCHI








25 September 2017

A PAINTERLY VISION

No architect-interior designer-artist-connoisseur rivaled him.
Today that remains true.
In aesthetic circles, he is known, simply, as MONGIARDINO.


In Milan, a marble-paneled chimneypiece is actually reverse-painted glass.

CABANA, a magazine that appeared a little over two years ago, has seemingly been created within the magical world of Mongiardino.
It's no wonder.
The editor of CABANA, Martine Mondadori Sartogo, grew up in a house that was decorated (that hardly describes it) by Mongiardino. She sat spellbound, no doubt, as he visited and dined at the house—a Mongiardino acolyte of sorts.

My CABANAS


CABANA is an island—a world unto itself in a sea of magazines, not unlike Mongiardino, a connection Mondadori Sartogo acknowledges.

Mondadori Sartogo and the editors of CABANA have opened the doors of Mongiardino created houses, still intact, lived in, and vibrantly alive, in a new book,  RENZO MONGIARDINO A PAINTERLY VISION. Photographer Guido Taroni scans these interiors taking in the whole, then with laser focus zooms in on those details that make a Mongiardino room a MONGIARDINO Room. Roomscapes, Mongiardino's only personally published book, according to the Cabana editor, stands as the ultimate anthology of his work. In her Introduction, she also writes about the lack of acknowledgment of his work and influence today.
RENZO MONGIARDINO A PAINTERLY VISION will change all that.




Mongiardino rooms reverberate. His working over of every surface whether it was with textiles, references to Old Master paintings, or with his trompe l'oeil illusions, makes him the ultimate "master of illusion."


In Milan, Mongiardino, just another wall.


The Dining Room of a Milan Mongiardino work—in layers, a simple Laura Ashley fabric was the ground, over it a stencilled blue and green pattern, and an addition suggested by the master, years later— a collection of Imari. Twenty-five years of scouring markets for the plates resulted in a typical Mongiardino quilt of patterns, textures, and references to exoticism.


These close-up, tangibly tactile photographs, let us see Mongiardino's mastery.  The Grand Hotel, one of the few public spaces Mongiardino decorated teems with Proustian intricacies evoking une recherche du temps perdu.

The Grand Hotel, Rome



In Rome, a Mongiardino masterpiece
detail of the walls in the house's ground floor living room


The editors of RENZO MONGIARDINO A PAINTERLY VISION refer to this house in Rome, as one of his masterpieces. Restoring the ceiling and letting in natural light, allowed Mongiardino to orchestrate a living space below of complexity and refinement. With all its opulence, the designer coupled a floor of simple terracotta tile, notably without carpets, with lavish sofas in silk damasks and velvets. Equally intricate, the walls are carried out from floor to ceiling— with faux marble moldings & wainscoting, blue and white pilasters surrounded by painted floral motifs, faint pale apricot marble, Classical plaques, and finally, terminating into the vaulted ceiling.



With just enough text to set the scene, highlighting the most important aspects of each residence, the editors of the book step back and left Mongiardino's genius speak. In addition to this collection of these fifteen masterpieces, an essay by Francesca Simone about Renzo Mongiardino's friendship with contemporary, Lila De Nobili, noted costume and stage designer, offers insight into the man. He seems a man of reserve, contemplation, a student of history,  all reflected in his work—with its historical references, infinite minutiae (perhaps still unknown subtleties to anyone but Mongiardino, the artist how painted for him, and the families that live in these singular rooms). In addition, Umberto Pasti, Lee Radziwill, and Elsa Peretti add their remembrances of the friendships and professional relationships they shard with Mongiardino. Another treasure, a letter from Jacqueline Onassis to Mongiardino closes the book.

One hopes these divinely inspired rooms, houses, will continue to be maintained and preserved by generations to come, venerating Mongiardino's artistry.
While privately owned, these rooms belong to the world.




all images were provided by the publisher Rizzoli and used with permission






22 September 2017

HAUTE BOHEMIANS~ MIGUEL FLORES VIANNA


I've been anxiously awaiting this book from photographer Miguel Flores Vianna. Appropriately, Vianna named it, Haute Bohemians, as he's divined with his crystal clear lens today's interiors that defy the slightest whip of trend or kitsch.

These rooms, through this wonderful book, will remain long after trends are gone and forgotten.



Miguel could be considered a happy wanderer-the book finds him traversing four continents to find Alexander Twombly's Italian farmhouse, Madison Cox's 1930's Tangier house, Carolina Irving's Paris apartment, & to the Hudson River Valley cottage of Marian McEvoy. There are twenty interiors in all with each one totally unique.

Authentic is a word batted around incessantly these days to the point that we sometimes wonder if it's lost its meaning.
Haute Bohemians renews our belief in the word.



Carolina Irivng~ Paris


Vianna an elegant, yet down to earth man, introduces each of his Haute Bohemians with brief but insightful storytelling, giving us a glimpse of the inhabitants living their bohemian lives. Cleverly, Miguel hasn't photographed any of these haute inhabitants-we see them through his prose, but more importantly through his keen and magical eye.



Madison Cox~ Tangier


Never styled-at least not so that we know-the rooms appear to be captured as if someone just walked through, the faint presence of its creator. That's no coincidence, it's all just part of Miguel's genius.



Alexander Twombly~ Italy


"...It is the geography of a life, that renders them unforgettable because they, like unforgiving mirrors, reflect who their owners are in a most personal way. They are like maps of their desires and like images of how they see themselves. All the houses in these pages are poetry." 
~MFV



Marian McEvoy~ Hudson River Valley

These interiors can be studied, put to a fine tooth comb-but can't be copied.
Inspiring us---Yes!

And should you begin your quest for finding what makes your interiors tick...Haute Bohemians gives hours of inspiration, and pages for study.
Individualism is the underlying message from Vianna. This book might just make you get up and start moving things around, pulling things out, and celebrate your creative mess.
There's an Art to it of course, and that's what makes Haute Bohemians so remarkable.


all photographs are from Miguel Flores Vianna and used with permission



thank you Vendome Press for this wonderful book!






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