31 March, 2013

"Happy Easter . . . "


Happy Easter all.  from your favourite pastel-vested interior designer . . . circa 1981.


26 March, 2013

"Woodside Showcase - Sneak Peek . . . "


It's been a productive couple of weeks at the Peninsula Volunteers Showcase House - and we've finished up all the 'hard construction' this last week - painting is complete - the new carpet's installed - hardware has been updated - and the construction and lighting is ready to go . . . so I thought I might share just a tiniest little glimpse of what we've been up to.  Besides everything else - we've an got an amazing trellis wallpaper from Cole & Sons (through Lee Jofa) spanning across the ceiling of the entire space.

The house opens to the public on May 4th - and runs through May 24th.  If you're in the area - make plans to come by.


20 March, 2013

"The Library - Before and After . . . "


I'm always fascinated by the analytics that accompany writing this blog.  Sometimes my business degree gets the best of me - and I can spend hours digging through number and analyzing data.   Seeing which country has the largest readership.  Knowing which images on my Pinterest page send the most traffic to the blog.  What time of day I tend to have the most readers.  To know that y'all like it when I use images from Downton Abbey.  And I also love seeing which of my numerous posts get the most readership . . .

So . . . though I don't quite consider this as pandering . . . I DO know, for a fact, that y'all like a good ole "before and after" story . . . lol.

So.  Here is some fairly serious 'before.'  Just after the beginning of construction. Mocking up some trim options - and finalizing the shelving layout for the new library.  The wooden mantel was not going to be re-used, but because everyone involved liked the proportions - we were using it just as a place-holder until the limestone one was delivered.  We were also working with the shelving layout - and I was measuring all the books and artifacts that were going to end up being used along this wall.

And now . . . a beautiful, rich paint colour for the woodwork.  We had toyed with the idea of a stained finish on the woodwork - but, there were also a great many other details for the room (custom upholstered tartan walls, a large collection of antique books, and so forth) and decided that the painted woodwork would be less of a 'design element' - and thus would function more as a supportive detail than a 'marquee' one.   It's always important to keep the entire project balanced.  The painted finish also gave the space a slight 'modern' element - to contrast with its eventual furnishings.

Because, now things are getting serious.   Almost 100 yards of a custom plaid were being milled in Scotland - a mixture of rich olive greens, russet browns, but with just a hint of soft lavender to keep things interesting.  The entire room was measured and graphed out - with all the seams and welting calculated.  So that . . . over the course of several weeks . . . we could do this . . .

All dressed for a classic gentleman . . . and his retreat from the busy, modern world.  The painted panelling recedes - and the furnishings and collections leap to life in the space.


17 March, 2013

"Sunday Runway. From the Knees Down . . . "

My newest Stubbs & Wootton - paired with
simple grey worsted wool trousers. 


I thought I might share something a bit more personal as part of our continuing series of posts here about men's (and sometimes women's) fashion.

If you are a follower of mine on Instagram, you'll have noticed a series of images that I've been posting over the last several months of my unending delight with my own footwear.  

So, yes.  I collect shoes.  But, as vices go . . . it really could be much, much worse. 

So, now without any further ado . . . I give you . . . my feet.  

My very first pair of Stubbs & Wootton - from about 20 years ago . . .  paired
with a classic pair of "Nantucket Red" pants.

One of my newer obsessions - Belgian Loafer . . . in navy denim. 

Needlepoint Stubbs & Wootton - purchased last summer in New York after a
particularly tough day on a client's installation.  

Needlepoint "Bees" from Stubbs & Wootton.  Including a
shot of the needlepoint botanical rug in my study.

going 'old school' with some LL Bean rain shoes.  

One of my favourite pairs of Stubbs & Wootton - a Christmas
present from my Mom a few years ago.

A little more from the 'old school' department - vintage Tretorns while
working on a project in Pebble Beach this last winter. 

Sturdy 'double monk straps' from Crockett & Jones in
London.  A regular stop when I'm traveling in England. 

Something a little subversive . . . also from Stubbs & Wootton

Some of the family.  Crockett and Jones.  Ralph Lauren.  Stubbs & Wootton.  

And a quick shot from showcase house this Spring.  There's nothing quite like construction booties to keep you grounded.  lol.  

12 March, 2013

"2013 Decorator Show House . . . "


We're just delighted to announce that we will be taking part in the 2013 Peninsula Volunteers Decorator Show House - in Woodside - opening on May 4th.  Our room is already starting to come together - but, I thought I'd let y'all in on a bit of the preliminary work on the space.

When 'shopping' through a showcase house for a room - one always has several difficult decisions to make right from the beginning.  Do you pitch a concept for one of the big, sexy rooms - along with practically *everyone* else . . . weighing the visibility of the room against the amount of competition for the space?  Or does one go a bit more convertly down to one of the smaller, 'harder' rooms - and try to create some magic where little to none may exist already?

As you can see from the 'before' images posted below - I've gone for the second category.  We're WAY downstairs . . . but, in a lovely little space just off the tennis court and near the pool.  If nothing else - maybe I can get in some laps at the pool while I'm waiting for the contractor to arrive . . . lol.

Here's what we're plotting . . .

"Inspired by the glamour and style of the late 60's in Palm Beach, this jewel-box space imagines itself ready for an afternoon of light gambling and heavy gossiping.  Though the only thing at stake is one's reputation as a masterful bridge player.  Bright saturated colours, classic European and Asian antiques, and gracious, feminine details combine to create a room that is as much at home in the present . . . while it revives memories of the past."

And away we go,

10 March, 2013

"Best Picture . . . "

Miles Redd for Elle Decor
(photography by William Waldron)


After a busy couple of days at the office last weekend - I ended up being about to jaunt down to LA on Monday for  a small part of the Design Bloggers Conference.  It was great seeing friends like Tobi Fairley, Susanna Salk, Bradley Clifford, Charlotte Moss, and Stacy Kunstel in attendance.  The speakers were numerous . . . but, as per usual . . . the topic of 'publication' came up several times from the podium.  Each editor spoke of - "that picture" - the one that inspires the reader.  The one that ends up on everyone's blog.  The one that ends up being posted to most often on Pinterest.  The 'magic' image that conveys all the passion and style of the entire residence in one picture. 

So I began to think about which images that I keep returning to.  The ones that have ended up on my blog and pinterest pages.  The images from magazines that I still possess in their original paper format.  That I can't seem to recycle.  

So here . . . in no particular order are a few of my favourites . . . 

Roger Banks-Pye

Michael S. Smith for Elle Decor
(photography by Simon Upton)
David Linley for House Beautiful
(photography by Christopher Simon Sykes)
Michael Bastian's Apartment
(from Domino Magazine)

Ruthie Sommers
(from Lonny Magazine) 
Tom Bezucha and Sam Hamilton for Elle Decor
(photography by Henry Bourne)
Joe Nye for House Beautiful
(photography by Roger Davies)
Ward Denton Design
(photography by Pieter Estersohn)
Charlotte Moss from Elle Decor
(photography by Pieter Estersohn)
What are some of your favourites?


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