Now that the trees have leafed outside my windows, and all the roses are blooming, all I can think of every day is how much I want to be outdoors! Luckily, Katie Rosenfeld always makes me think of summer indoors.
Everything in this space feels light and breezy - even the coffered ceilings are floating!
Somewhere in this room is a stereo system playing the Beach Boys (probably the latest album, That's Why God Made the Radio, but I'm just guessing).
Mediterranean blues, and butterflies.
Color, color, everywhere, beach pink walls, and mirrored surfaces keep things bright.
And my favorite: coral and green, and chinoiserie all in-between.
This is where I want to spend my weekend - Villa Dorata. I miss the plenty of Italy; ample sun, food, and sea. There is nowhere to rush to here, and nothing to run away from.... It must turn cloudy sometimes, but can you imagine rain staining these walls?
Yes, I will take my lunch on the terrace. Yes.
With those views, it's easy to forget you'll be staying inside the Villa (did I mention it's for rent) - never fear, the interiors are just as charming. This is either a pool with a balcony, or, a hallway with a pool - either way, a little swim near the living room would certainly be relaxing.
I may have been the last person in the DC metro region to visit the new Jonathan Adler store in Georgetown (and no, I never got around to posting the pics, either). I'm also, apparently, the last person to hear about Adler's new line of accessories - but of course, it was only a matter of time until those greek keys and hexagons started showing up sartorial. The line includes scarves, hats, key fobs, and of course: bags.
This would be darling all summer long - especially at the beach.
And it has witty interior pockets...
Orange is my crush, and I know this bag would never blend in.
This week: dining pagodas. The Lenox Hill Neighborhood House Spring Gala, held annually in New York, always features an array of breathtaking table decor. As you can see from the tables in the background, this mint green pagoda isn't the only centerpiece dwarfing the guests.
Designed by Dennis Rolland, and entitled "Imperial Garden Fete," the place setting included plates by Bernardaud.
Spring is the best time to find Chinese garden stools at great prices! So many stores have the mistaken idea that these versatile little beauties actually go in a garden, thus prompting the seasonal rush. Well, they can, but the uses inside are infinitely more exciting. Recently, I found a number of garden stools at Home Goods and World Market - priced between $40 and $90. Here's what I discovered - and how some great designers have used them.
Gold barrel garden stools - a matched set brightens the hall, and continues the glossy theme in Christina Murphy's design.
Home Goods! It's virtually identical to the example above.
Another barrel stool, in white. I love the idea of using this in a shower - so much more stylish than those awful silver or plastic racks!
A really lovely cloud-style stool in a space by Melissa Warner. Hard to find?
Nope. World Market was sporting this lovely example.
A lattice style stool keeps the eye moving in this House Beautiful cover room by Ashley Whittaker.
Home Goods had several great options - I particularly like the bubbly, almost beachy feel of this one.
Feeling square? Miles Redd, as always, dares to be different.
Home Goods also had this little number. I almost brought it home! But I already have more garden stools than I have floor space.
Chinese garden stools don't have to be in solid shades, as this blue and white stool proves, as used by Mark D. Sikes.
This red and black pattern stool is equally unusual, for $89 at World Market.
Recently, I decided to do a post on decorating with pagodas (I LOVE pagodas). Unfortunately, I began collected images of pagodas in decorative settings the same way I collect anything else: in total ignorance of moderation. There are now more pictures than I could ever possibly share in a post, so I've decided to spread them out, one a week.
So here it is: the first pagoda pic of the week. Naturally, this space is by Mary McDonald, featured in her beautiful book, Mary McDonald Interiors: The Allure of Style. Mary says, "It's not just the sea-grass carpet that makes you want to walk barefoot through this house. The bohemian vibe has been carefully curated. The baskets and birdcage under the nineteenth-century mahogany claw-footed pedestal table topped with not-so-perfectly stacked piles of books create an improvised aura."
/Image/ Original source: Mary McDonald Interiors: The Allure of Style/ Online source: via Pinterest, via Flickr/. Original photo by Victoria Pearson.
This small apartment (600 square feet) featured in The Washington Examiner is the par excellence example of streamlined elegance. The svelte color palette and architectural furniture, not to mention the columns outside the window, have an Architectural Digest vibe (although, frankly, I doubt AD has ever featured a bathroom as small as this apartment). The space was designed by Michael Franck, of DC firm Franck and Lohsen Architects, with many decorative pieces chosen by the owner.
Check out the view! That's the masonic temple outside the windows. The owner collected the architectural drawings displayed on the left prior to moving into the apartment, but it's a fabulous combination. Design note: coordinate your art with your view!
The kitchen. Notice we haven't moved very far - the couch/window view are still visible on the left. This is the perfect compact kitchen; it looks like a million bucks, and has fridge, dishwasher, sink, and stove/microwave in one unified piece of cabinetry. (Note the wonderful greek key detailing on the back of that chair.)
The dining table/library area (as seen from near the front window). Wonderful - simple doesn't mean simplistic. Both architect and resident must have incredible self-restraint! Bonus: can you find the TV?
A fuller view of the kitchen, dining, living room area, and front entry way. There's a lot going on under those low ceilings, but the effect is one of strength and calm.
/All images/ Washington Examiner/
To see the full tour, and read the article, visit The Washington Examiner story here.
Thanks for all the kind notes and reminders to get back to posting on Sanity Fair! It's been a crazy month (March), followed by a crazy few weeks (April), and this poor blog has been the victim of oh so much scheduling insanity. But, I'm finally back, with some fun spring things in store.
First up: it hasn't been allll work in recent weeks. I did have time to do a little redecorating around the S.F. pad.
I picked up this large urn, jade tassels, and beads on a trip to Asia. I haven't figured out where I'll put them yet, but for now, it's been inspirational having them all piled on my desk. There were ropes and ropes of these giant ceramic beads in the market stalls - I wish I'd bought more! As you know, green and blue is one of my favorite color combinations.
Coral knobs and green greek key...
I bargained hard for a set of four bronze pagodas - it's so hard to find large ones! The tall pagodas are over a foot high, and I was thrilled to find them.
I set up this brass quartet flanking the TV. Excuse the bad lighting and total lack of styling.... In real life, the golden color of the pagodas picks up the brass hardware of the credenza, the sunburst mirror behind, and a number of other brass elements sprinkled through the living room.
Outside, this is what my sidewalk looks like. I'm so relieved it's spring!
This weekend I stopped by Whistler's Peacock Room in the Freer Gallery (a space I am quite sure Flannery O'Conner would approve). The room, transported whole from England via Freer's own home (where he stocked it with his personal collection of porcelain), was added to the Freer in 1919.
Whistler's warring peacocks crown one end of the room.
An Englishman named Frederick Leyland had acquired a work of Whistler's, The Princess in the Land of Porcelain to display in the new dining room, which architect Thomas Jeckyll was outfitting with an elaborate series of suspended shelves, intended to display Leyland's Qing-dynasty porcelain. While owner and architect were away, Whistler came to the conclusion that the color on the walls "clashed" with his painting, and rather boldly decided to assist Leyland and Jeckyll by correcting the problem.
The Princess in the Land of Porcelain, or La Princesse du Pays de la Porcelaine
Whistler gilded the shelves...
He painted the shutters...
He "decorated" some rather expensive leather...
And then he noticed the ceiling, and improved its many deficiencies.
Whistler left no surface untouched - in fact, the entire room had become his signature, and rather than a showpiece for his painting, the painting had become part of a larger design.
While the Freer did not obtain Leyland's porcelain collection, the museum's own stores have provided ample choices.
Thomas Jeckyll's elaborately carved shelves.
Detail of the beautiful gilt fretwork door.
Unfortunately, Whistler's "contributions" were not duly appreciated, and when Leyland refused to pay adequately for Whistler's work, Whistler commemorated his parsimoniousness in paint, scattering golden guineas at the victorious peacock's feet. Ultimately, Whistler chose a more fitting theme than he realized: the room is a tribute to the peacock's famous pride, and the nature of both its painter and its owner.
/Images/ Sanity Fair/
To learn more about the Freer Gallery visit the Smithsonian's page HERE.