Saturday, April 9, 2011

Natural tablescapes

As Heather mentioned HERE in her post on Century Furniture, their showroom at High Point really had the best tabletop displays which rivaled a magazine spread. I loved this tablescape which featured antique books on an beautiful wood table alongside a terranium and a dome filled with even more books topped off by a bird's next. Nature, spring and books -what could be better? Have a great weekend and here's to bringing nature inside!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Vizcaya: the courtyard

The functional center of Vizcaya remains the courtyard. Once open to the elements, as discussed, it now has been enclosed with a glass roof to help protect the house's contents as well as to provide an all-season location for events.The courtyard is bordered on 2 sides by arcades filled with art and furniture, seen here, as well as 2 loggias previously discussed; the Entrance Loggia and the East Loggia facing the bay.These spaces really functioned as hallways linking the primary rooms of the house as well as providing covered access to the upstairs.Here you can begin to see the glass canopy added in the 80s, with heavy concrete supports somewhat masked by the corner planting beds. Just imagine this space when it looked right up into the sky! Despite originally being left open, plans were drafted which had designs for a silk canopy to cover the courtyard. This was never installed due to cost, but accounts exist of parties where the space was actually tented. Therefore, a covered courtyard would not have been completely shocking to Deering or Chalfin.The fountain below blocks the view from the front entry into the courtyard. This not only provides some privacy as the courtyard was the most used 'room' in the house, but saves the magnificent open space as a surprise.The view into the arcades is really beautiful, especially through the plantings. I love this Swedish clock.Despite being enclosed, the courtyard still feels enormous and light filled; the plantings ground you firmly in Florida.The gallery on the 2nd story provides access to the bedrooms as well as views down into the courtyard.The wall along the East Loggia housed both a clock as well as a wind gauge; again more technology!Despite the grandness of the house, the stairs to the 2nd floor were not ostentatious but rather practical (yet still provided a gracious ascent, how many of us have stairs this wide at home?). Join me next week as I continue the tour with the bedrooms as well as more highlights from High Point Market!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Back from Market!

I'm back from my whirlwind adventure to Highpoint Market week which was so incredibly fun but also highly educational (pun intended)!The talk of market seemed to be the new line of Ralph Lauren lighting (which I was sad not to see for myself) as well as the new line of AMAZING furniture for Theodore Alexander designed by the history savvy and passionate Keno brothers of Antiques Roadshow fame; also - the return of claw and ball feet, even on very modern pieces. The Keno line has not officially launched but believe me when I tell you that you will be blown away; not just by the quality but by the incredible design, a reinterpretation of mid century modern. The brothers chose the company for their line because of TA's exceptional quality and old world contruction techniques out of Vietnam. I also fell in love with a few pieces of furniture for myself (oh to have a bigger apartment and larger bank account!). I am having an affair with a chair: the Louis XVI square back chair from Hickory Chair. Most notedly in the weathered mineral gray finish seen above with ivory stripe and a blue ultra-suede upholstery (just in case those fine folks want to send me this sample, hehe). It was probably the most beautiful chair I have ever seen and I felt it could have been inspired by the great Jansen and classic French 40s design. Look forward to a future post on this great company right here.I also loved nearly every piece in the Grand Tour line at Century. The textures and quality really just blew me out of the water; I was even stuck oohing and aawing while the rest of the tour group ran on ahead! I'll definitely be showing you more from Century soon as well.We were able to meet with the adorable Bunny Williams and see her new pieces from BeeLine home. There are a few new pieces I'm sure you'll be seeing EVERYWHERE very soon such as this Swedish cupboard below.In practical applications, we were fascinated by the technology being incorporated into furniture at Sligh. Media centers which look like fine antiques caught my attention. These hide all of your nasty cords and machinery behind fine wood doors and traditional design and operate through smart eye technology. They even ventilate the insides of cabinets much like a CPU so your equipment doesn't fry. They had some great office solutions too: stylish and practical; who says office furniture has to be ugly?The folks at Hooker Furniture are shaking off their traditional image and creating some amazingly cute new pieces at very affordable prices. I think you'll be seeing a lot of them in the future -especially some of the quirkier finds that they feel appeal to a younger demographic like these chairs below. Not everyone was as friendly as the above mentioned companies however. We had a bit of a run-in at one of my favorite furniture companies (where I've encouraged friends and clients to spend a LOT of money in the past) which shall remain nameless but you can probably guess who they are from the photo below. Social media is here to stay and companies need to keep up. Oh and also don't piss off a tired group of design bloggers because you'll hear about it again!Everything you hear about market is true: wear comfortable shoes as it's enormous, book your hotel room months in advance so you're not stuck miles away, the parties are so much fun you'll never want to leave and you'll be seeing old friends as well as make many new ones (compare it to an adult summer camp for designers perhaps?) If you made it to High Point this year, what were your favorites?