Saturday, February 27, 2010

Oscars Greenroom

Are you looking forward to this year's Oscars, anxious to know who will win? Precious, Meryl Streep, Sandra Bullock? Well, one person who is winning is Architectural Digest. Each year they do the greenroom for the presenters to relax in and this year they are outdoing themselves with a room by Roger Thomas. He was inspired by Hollywood movies from the 1930s (an era I love) but there are a lot of items that hit current trends as well, such as the Chinese screen backdrop.

The floors will have a polished black base with speckled paint to look like the backlot of a movie studio, or as Thomas says “a contemporary version of those that Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers would glide across in the 1930s.”

I can't wait to see the finished product in the magazine. Also of note, the design drawing is by noted illustrator Jeffrey Schneider and is really a piece of art!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Chicago Beauty

As promised yesterday, today we are having a house tour of Mark Coy's previous apartment on Lakeshore drive. Located in a grand old building, the apartment has great bones but needed a LOT of work when he first moved in. Lets see the results!
The living room contains the same aesthetic as his new apartment, but in a traditional environment. Recognize the French armchair? The grass blinds are used here again to great affect.
Another view looking back at the living room. Notice the beautiful black fireplace with unusual overmantel on the left. You see the entry through the arched opening on the left and the dining room through the cased opening on the right. I love that Mark chose a cohesive color scheme to tie all the spaces together. The apartment has a great flow to it and the color unites the rooms.The dining room has beautiful moldings, a window bench and original sconces. I love the white painted trimwork throughout the apartment and dark stained floors! Another seagrass carpet is used here and recognize the fabric on the pillows on the window seat? Tying the rooms together through fabrics and color brings a modern flow to a traditional compartmentalized apartment.I was crazy for this gorgeous chandelier and guess's from the HOME DEPOT! Yes, such style for only $495 plus the added black shades which were used again on the sconces. The high and low real world decorating is used here to full affect: using what he had to work with (sconces), adding a 'low' touch from home depot (the candelier) and hanging it above a Milo Baughman dining table (the 'high' statement piece).The master bedroom continues the same color palette but in a much more soft and subtle environment. It looks like it could be a room at a spa hotel, doesn't it? So relaxing. The bathroom is probably my favorite room in the entire apartment. I instantly recognized the Ann Sacks Bellarita Travertine flooring in a herringbone pattern: I've used it in projects before and hope to use it someday in my own house! I'm all on board with white subway tiles, befitting the apartment's age and the glam sink and ebonized doors make me so happy. No seagrass blinds in here but the wallpaper (continued onto the ceiling I might add) tie in that aspect from the rest of the apartment.
The 2nd bedroom, used as a den, uses the same color palette in a darker tone: A perfect room to curl up with a good book and cup of tea. I love the blocky lamp in the background and again the seagrass shades.
The one room that does not follow rest of the apartment's color scheme is the kitchen. The wood floors were ebonized in here as well and it looks like an original built-in to the right was painted the same white as the trimwork. I love this cheerful paint, who wouldn't smile having their morning tea (or coffee!) in here? I always tend to prefer black over stainless appliances (yes I know i'm in the minority) - I think they tend to blend better into a room and not become the 'star' attraction. They also tie in nicely with the black granite countertops.
I hope you enjoyed this tour of Mark's beautiful old apartment, I know I could happily move in tomorrow! Hopefully he'll share photos of his new space once it's completed!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

a work in progress

One of the best parts of blogging is making new friends with common interests. I have been corresponding with Mark Coy, a party planner at the Palmer House in Chicago, and he was kind enough to share some pictures of the transformation of his new living room in a Mies van der Rohe high rise. At the top you see the 'after' shot.The huge windows let in tons of daylight and expansive views (as I can testify to in my own apartment) but the natural grass shades really offer great texture and help moderate the harsh daylight; this is especially important with the hot summer sun! The placement of the couch in front of the windows might seem a bit counter-intuitive, but helps the room feel cozy and also blocks the unattractive window mechanical unit. The room remains open and airy with 'leggy' furniture and an bent glass coffee table. The seagrass carpet compliments the room nicely, much better than the wall to wall carpeting that was here previously!Look for the tour of his magnificent old apartment in a classic beaux arts building on Lakeshore drive here tomorrow, you won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Petit Trianon: Master bedroom

Marie Antoinette's bedroom at the Petit Trianon is a perfect reflection of the young queen. Recently restored, the bedroom is one of the most elegant rooms in the house. You can see it located below on the plan in blue.The placement of the bedroom would become important even with the planning of the Petit Trianon's gardens: the Temple of Love is on direct axis from the daybed out the window, seen below. Who says Marie Antoinette wasn't a romantic? Below you see the Petit Trianon from the Temple of Love, the bedroom highlighted in blue.The room features an exquisite bedroom suite by Georges Jacob made for Marie Antoinette that is probably the most famous furniture in the small palace. The furniture and embroidered upholstery all display her love of flowers.The bedroom breaks from the pale green color scheme found throughout the main floor of the Petit Trianon and is instead an icy blue. Seen below to the right is a clock featuring 2 eagles which represent the house of Austria. Marie Antoinette always discretely remained loyal to her roots. She must have felt at home at the Petit Trianon surrounded by the things which were important to her: a love of nature and her Austrian roots.Even the boiseries are adorned with flowers. Below is a sketch from the 1913 Petit Trianon book that shows the carving in detail.
The hardware, which I have been admiring throughout the tour, is extremely organic in form: again harking back to nature and details of flowers.I can't discuss Marie Antoinette's bedroom without including a picture of her as played so excellently by Kirsten Dunst in Sofia Coppola's movie.

Monday, February 22, 2010

movie sets

This past weekend I watched A star is born from 1954 starring Judy Garland. The sets, in particular her house, are shockingly 'au courant'. I loved the cerused oak front doors with 3 panels and modern sidelight. Notice also the Mies van der Rohe Barcelona chair in white leather.
In the living room, this card table and chairs would be welcome in my own home, maybe minus the pink cushions. The barcelona stools in the living room were covered with a yellow nubbly looking fabric, you see the top of one here.
Excuse the poor picture quality, but here is a better view of the white leather barcelona chair up on the entry level while down in the living room the corresponding Barcelona stool has the yellow upholstery. Even the sofa looks as if it came from Room and Board last week, not 55 years ago!
However, the main reason to watch this movie is the superb acting and even MORE excellent singing. This scene is heart-wrenching and with fantastic sets - meant to show the Oscars of the time. Notice - eating and dancing: Who needs an after party?

And here as a special treat is 'The man that got away' sung by Judy Garland: You can see why she was such a star!

Definitely check out this excellent movie if you get a chance: nominated for 6 oscars. My only complaint would be that it is rather long at 3 hours, but nothing a remote control can't fix!