Feeling Blue: Chinoiserie Chic

Blue Chin 1

posted by:  Beth Connolly Labels:  Fireplace, styling

In the best possible way.  In the clean, fresh, bright, and brilliant blue that comes from this gorgeous china.

Blue Chin 2

posted by:  Beth Connolly Labels: fireplace, styling

I met a gal that recently found her way to the states – and more specifically the South End, where she bought her first condo – via Hong Kong.  She carted back a boat load of blue vases, urns, and dishes in the signature hue and asked if it was possible to create a design that incorporate her extensive art collection and her prized china.  I said yes of course.

The addition of orange brings a fresh pop of contrasting color to the scene.

While I love chinoiserie I do believe there is a line you can cross.  I think of it as the Mason Dixon Line.  A Boston city apartment shouldn’t feel like a Southern mansion dripping in excess – the challenge then is to use it to inform the design palette and theme, while keeping it sophisticated and chic.  Think pastel Paris with pops of blue and gold accents or a more muted backdrop of neutrals with orange accents.

Left:  Mark D. Sikes Loves blue and brings a sophistication with these muted tones.  Right:  French Country Cottage balances warm and cool for a cluster of cherubic perfection.

I adore white and blue but think that it feels more coastal than city. Softening the tones and introducing creams, warm violets, dusty greens, and gray blues will help give it a cozy chicness that will welcome and calm after a long day composing art schemes.

Top Left:  Gold Puddle Trays – One Kings Lane.  Top Right:  Spiked Accent Table – One Kings Lane.  Bottom Center:  Caracole Lena Accent Chair – One Kings Lane.

Galbraith + Paul Wallcoverings and Fabric.  Left:  Bellflower in Dolphin.  Right:  Southern Shades via Etsy.

Blue Chin 2

posted by Beth Connolly Labeled: fireplace, styling

What’s particularly great about this design challenge is that there is NO furniture that one must work into the equation.  Just artwork, and blue chin.  Awesome.

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Go a little bolder with Cole and Sons Hex Wallcovering and a high gloss painted door or vanity.

This post represents my preliminary picks.  I hope I’ve headed the ship from the China Seas to the Atlantic in the right direction.

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Galbraith + Paul . Reverse Monarch in Ruby.

 

 

ACKting Coy

 

Harry Benson . Berlin Kiss

Harry Benson (Scottish b. 1929)  Berlin Kiss. 40 x 50 – $16,000.

This modest little island – Nantucket – may not have the glamorous storied past of its sister island Martha’s Vineyard with its Presidential visits and star sitings galore, but it sure knows how to flirt.  From your first step off the boat or onto the tarmac she draws you into her alluring embrace.  The wink and glint of the sun off the water, the salty perfumed air, mingled with the sweet smell of Rosa Ragusa, and so begins the indelible impression she will leave.

Centre  Point . 28 Centre Street, Nantucket

Cape Cod may have my heart, but Nantucket has my soul.  Wandering the cobblestone streets, narrow, uneven, meandering – you bare witness to the island’s whaling history, to  its architectural simplicity, and its secret gardens.  The trellised roses, the hydrangea, the daisies, between the fragrant breeze and the swaying of the sea grass – its downright hypnotic.

ACK8

Starburst Mirror . John Rugge Antiques

Now you all that have been following along for some time now, know that I am a shopper.  I am an addict.  I have a deep and shamefully, uncontrolled desire to acquire beautiful things.  It’s true.  I thought in the past that by coming clean I would being a process of recovery — NO!  That hasn’t worked.  They may need to try shock therapy on me next.

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Malachite Lamp.  John Rugge Antiques 

I have worked to restrain myself, but the baubles and benches, and brass mirrors, the brushed cotton covered slipper chairs, and bent wood mid-century tables – the unending array of beautiful things – ah, they lure me back in, whittle their way into my dreams, and no amount of resisting will work once that happens.  It’s destiny.  See how deep seated this problem of mine is.

Ack 1

Garden Bench at Bodega – $250.

I am working on it, and have decided that if you all help me by snapping up some of the amazing things I find along the way, I can console myself with the knowledge that your home will be made more special with something I helped you discover.

ACK10

Happy Saturday.

Miles To Go Before He Sleeps

mr 1Redd gets it right for Ballard.  Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Miles Redd found his way to NYC where he studied Interior Design at NYU.  Though some call his style quirky and theatrical, I think it rather sophisticated.  Sophisticated need not be stuffy, and with Miles love of shiny objects and surfaces, and high gloss paint in bold poppy colors, he’s a far cry from boring.

I once had occasion to meet Jonathan Adler, and I asked him if he knew Miles because their design styles seem to share an ability to coax a smile out of even the most steadfastly serious individuals.  Jonathan reported that they were good friends.  Smile I did at that.  I told him that I drew much inspiration from his furnishings and accessories, and I hope to be able to tell Miles the same one day.

mr2

Diamond Coffee Table.

When my Ballard Designs catalog arrived the other day, I spotted a canary yellow, ribbed and upholstered, with a long tassel fringe chair on it’s cover.  I saw it and said, that’s new, and I wonder who they have designing for them now.  If only I’d REDD on I would have discovered.

mr4

Channeled Slipper Chair $599.

I paged through trying to find something – anything that perhaps I didn’t love so that I might narrow down the topic of discussion, but this Bunny Williams trained talent really gets it right.  His acid green diamond coffee table $599. , also available in navy with chrome, is a stunner.  The diamond dining chair with the fretwork detailed seat in chalky white or high gloss black and an a bright selection of leather fabrics to choose from, making it both edgy and glamorous all at the same time. $649.  The glass deco fireplace screen for $299. is a yes!  The Alberta Button Headboard, $699. (queen) and the Tuxedo Chest $2299. in black lacquer are just a few of the stand out pieces in this collection.

mr3

Tuxedo Chest.

Miles style can sometimes look buttoned up in its perfection – as is often customary among Southern designers, but it takes the edge of with a bit of the playful in the form of a polka dot, or a gingham fabric, and you are reminded of how and why he rose to the top of the design world so quickly since opening his own studio in 1998….he’s good.

mr5

Diamond Dining Chair. 

While the pieces are a little pricier than Ballard’s typical pp, I’ll be one of the first to say I think it’s worth it.  I better get moving with number 5.

Coup de Foudre: Paris awaits

Even though this French expression suggests the sudden striking of emotion – a thunderbolt of love – I struck anew by its power, every time I visit Paris.  Wednesday I get to sneak away in the night and awake in the warm embrace of the City of Lights.

paris flee

Marche aux Puce . Paris

It’s been three years since my last visit.  I’ve been warned by my friends and family NOT to visit Marche aux Puce again.  For those of you that have just started following, this is the flee market at which I purchased the infamous Italian, Mid-Century-Modern, Chandelier.  There were a number of indignities associated with this purchase, not the least of which was the fact that the vendor sent me a chandelier – but not the chandelier that I bought when I was at the market.  It was close, but a little worse for the wear.  I paid a fortune to have it rewired, have my ceiling reinforced, and hung, not once, but three times.  A story for another day.

Paris 1st

I submit here in advance my apologies to all – I will be going to Marche aux, and I make no promises that I won’t return with another monumental light fixture.  What fun would a trip to Paris be without the dream of a magical find at the market?  A trip that I wouldn’t be interested in taking – that’s the kind.

Paris 1

Frank Gehry designed Foundation Louis Vuitton

I’ll be staying in the 1st – which I haven’t stayed in before.  I’ve stayed in the 3rd, the 6th, 7th and 8th.  I love La Belle Juliette in the 8th Arrondissement, on Rue Cherche Midi, but I like to try new things, and the hot, hip boutique style hotels that have been popping up in the 1st caught my attention.  Hotel Therese is where I will be for my super fast 3 day trip.

Paris dior

1948 Couture Dior . need I say more?

Here’s what I plan to do because its what I love almost more than anything else…eat, drink, and shop – for clothing and furnishing, fixtures, and materials.  Les Arts Decoratifs has an exhibit, that for me, is a must see.  The House of Dior opened its doors 70 years ago – that’s 1947, I know because my company, Elaine Construction is also celebrating its 70th anniversary.  How cool is that.  Over 300 couture dresses are on display, so it goes without saying – I have purchased the tickets to this exhibit already.

grand coeur

Grand Coeur . 41 Rue du Temple . Paris

Foundation Louis Vuitton, designed by Frank Gehry is an architectural wonder.  It has been on my list, and this trip I will get to see it in person.  The texture and the light, pattern, and materials are amazing sources of inspiration and awe for me.  I can’t wait to see this building, and by the way, I hear the exhibits aren’t bad either.

I can’t wait to tell you all about it.  Happy Saturday.

Coastal Cane Brings the Cool

Cane 1

Bungalow5 . Bay Arm Chair . Zinc Door $976.

Have images of dark wood, and stodgy interiors when you think about cane in any iteration.  Banish the dodgy, and slide into the cool washed out, contemporary, and fresh takes that cane has to offer.  From seating to sideboards, canes breezy take on the traditional is all it took to turn this Cape Cod girls head.  For those of you that have been following the saga of the Manse, you know I am preparing to furnish this place the moment the construction is done, and I want to do it right.  Sometimes the things that have been around for the longest, survive because they adapt.  Cane could just be one of those things.

Cane 2

CB2 . Tayabas Cane Side Chair . $499.

Derived from the the Rattan Plant, and indigenous to Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia, this vine grows in the rain forest.  It’s thorny bark attaches to trees and leaves as it seeks the sun – so appropriate – growing between 100 and 300 feet. It’s incredibly flexible, and stripped from the bark, in long lengths it makes for a wonderfully strong material that can be woven into intricate patterns.  Perfect for hot climates as the screen lets the cool breeze whistle through its openings, keeping you cool.

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Horne . Air Sideboard. $1150.

Brought to prominence in the height of the Victorian Era – if that doesn’t sound a little old school to you, it should, it dates back much farther than that.  Tibetan Warriors, Peruvian Princesses, and though I can’t validate it, I would bet that the Romans and the Greeks played a role in its prominence.  They always do…..  Cane has stood the test of time.

Left:  1stDibs . Desk Chair by Pierre Jeanneret Punjab University $4800.  Right:  Serena & Lily . Cayman Pendant $498.

This latest pairing with contemporary frames, and white washed finishes is coastal perfection.  It’s so hip, I’m inclined to consider it for the city.  Here are my picks.

cane 6

Serena & Lily . Harbour Cane Bed . $1598.

 

Happy Summer.

Iced Tea, Tennis and Tag Sales

There’s something about summer that awakens an urge to clean out the garage, de-clutter, and make room for kids returning from college or summer guests.  As a habitual thrower awayer, I do not need a special time of year to engage in this activity.  I find immense pleasure in ridding myself of things – I suppose it’s a condition that sits entirely on the opposite side of the spectrum to a hoarder.  Of course it should be said that I typically replace the items I get rid of with something new.

Charles Eames was one cool cat – look for his stamp on the underside of the chair for authenticity if you find it at a yard sale, snap it up!  Similar available on Viyet.

I love a treasure hunt, and am not terribly disappointed when I come up empty handed.  I console myself with the knowledge that if I did indeed find an Eames Chair, or a fabulous mid-century modern sideboard I would need to give up something in order to make room for my purchase.  Having said that, don’t think for one hot second I would leave either behind, I wouldn’t think you knew me at all if you thought that I would even entertain such an outrageous idea.

eames 3

Eloise was Rather messy . I am not.

I am no Eloise of the famed Park Plaza Hotel.  I don’t think lampshades make good hats, and broken or chipped china cup does not make a good planter – in my opinion.  Eloise and I will just have to agree to disagree on this point.

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Knoll by Warren Platner Coffee Table.  Viyet $800. 

Mixing new and old pieces makes a home that much more interesting.  I surf sites like Chairish – which, by the way you can find my MOM Sputnik Chandelier posted for sale, and Viyet, and trust me when I tell you they have crush worthy consignment pieces, but they can be pricey.  For the committed bargain hunter, many of the pieces can be found at a yard or estate sale.  One must simply be prepared to dig through a lot of clutter to find it.

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Chairish – $3500.

If clutter isn’t on your agenda this weekend.  These are my Viyet and Chairish holiday weekend picks. 

Left:  Outdoor High Back Chair . $540.  Right Top:  Eero Saarinen for Knoll Tulip Table, $1699. Right Bottom:  Faux Bamboo Side Table $350.  all on Chairish.

HIGH POINT: design inspiration

NP . Abbey

Nancy Price Interiors . Abby Price Art

Design is a high point in my day.  I’m inspired by beautiful settings.  It’s always a bit surprising to me when people aren’t.  And there are people that are NOT inspired by beautiful settings.  It’s as if they can’t see it at all.  They are foreigners to me.  I recently had to take a personality test.  It said I liked aesthetically pleasing work environments.  This doesn’t shock any that knows me.  Though if you were to take a gander at the state that my office is often in, you might wonder.  A story for another time.

High Point, South Carolina is a place I’ve never been and were it not for the International Interiors Market that takes place there twice annually, I probably would never have known of it’s existence.  More than 100 countries are represented, more than 75,000 people attend to peruse 1.5M Square feet of show space.  I get dizzy just thinking about it.    It occurred to me that it could be this cold that seems to have lasted 3 months, and has a tenacity that is getting the better of me.   Silly right?  It’s definitely the idea of having access to so many amazing designers, products and furnishings all in one place.  I’d just load up on cough medicine and Red Bull, and be on my way.

HP Made Goods Arla

Made Good . Area Chair

Though I wasn’t able to attend, and I am currently on a buying hiatus – also a story for another time.  I have been watching Instagram blow up with jaw dropping photos of all the new finds, and lines that the showcase had to offer.

Maggie Cruz Home_Habanera desk

Maggie Cruz Home . maggiecruzdesign.com Habanera Console and Cleo Stool

I feel a pang that has nothing to do with the cold, and everything to do with jealousy.  I’m consoling myself with the reality that so many of the offerings are never going to be in my budget, and that’s ok.  They can still provide inspiration, and that is just what they have done.  I hope that you feel the same way.

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SHO Modern Verge Pendant Shomodern.com

Take a look.  Next showcase is in October in the event High Point is destined to become….well the “high point” of your Fall.

AM_WoodsonRummerfield_RadfordHome-46

Woodson & Rummerfield . wonderdesign.com