Saturday, December 10, 2011

Bolection mantel

Located in the decorative arts collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art is this mantel from a London townhouse. Bolection surround mantels like this are still common today; in fact one thinks of them as modern! However when paired with the fascinating wood swags and Ionic columns the entire character changes; this assemblage becomes a focal point rather than simply recedes. Yet another option in our Hearth and Home series.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The World of Department Stores

Just in time for the holidays, Vendome Press released "the World of Department Stores" by Jan Whitaker for every die-hard shopper on your list!Not just pretty pictures (although it contains MANY of those), the book is a fascinating look at the rise of our consumer based society and our new house of worship, the Department Store.

The photos of the old department stores entralled me most, such as the reading room of the Bon Marche (2nd photo above) or an ad for the Palacio de Hierro in Mexico City: such glamour! The book covers the rise of the genre in the 19th century through the changes department stores have made into the 21st century to remain viable. Technology has always been a big part of the business (see the life-like models at Printemps in 1924 above) but on the other hand, nostalgia plays to many as well (see Harrod's food hall today below).

Geared towards the holiday season are the many window displays we all love. What child in us can't appreciate the Christmas windows of Lord & Taylor?

And who can forget Simon Doonan's windows for Barneys (my personal favorite!)

Be sure to add the World of Department Stores to your Christmas wishlist!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ally Coulter for the Holiday House

I wasn't able to attend this year's Holiday House in NYC (open until December 11!), but my friend Todd from Ralph Lauren Home sent me some great photos of the Living Room designed by Ally Coulter, which featured some of RL's furniture line.

Beautiful Ally is seen seated above in front of her room wearing a Ralph Lauren Collection dress, naturally. The Modern Penthouse Sectional is upholstered in a creamy taupe while the room shimmers in shades of white with a lot of glass for sparkle, like the Carlysle Cocktail table.

Ally used the RL Luxe Console as a bar set in the corner beneath the RL Conservatory Garden Wall Sconce. Isn't that Venetian mirror just so incredibly beautiful!

The RL "Runway Chandelier" fits right in with the architecture of the room; check out this gorgeous door surround with Corinthian columns and a broken pediment.

Not only does the furniture have prominence, the band you see playing is none other than Chris Gillespie from Bemelman’s Bar! It looks like I missed a fantastic party!

The wall paneling has beautiful lilac applique details, which is why Ally also refered to the room as the Mother's Day Room. Beautiful all year round!

Be sure to visit the Holiday House soon before it closes until next year!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Painted Mantel

For the next installment in the "Hearth and Home" holiday series, I bring you this pretty painted mantelpiece from the decorative arts collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The chimneypiece was painted by George Brookshaw (also known as G. Brown) in 1793 in the neo-classical style. Originally created for Piercefield House in Wales being remodeled at the time by Sir John Soane (of the eponymous museum), the mantel was later sold from the house when it was stripped and left to ruins in 1926. Wood plaster and painted copper panels; not all grand mantels need to be of stone!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Balsam Hill

This past weekend I cohosted a Holiday Party and Balsam Hill was kind enough to supply me with 2 pre-lit topiaries.
The 2 artificial baby cypress trees came pre-lit and in fabulous classical urns. While I normally prefer real trees (naturally) these were great as they're low maintenance and great for temporary use like a party.They provided a welcome entrance to the party and literally marked the occasion! Thanks to Balsam Hill!