Thursday, December 6, 2012

Virtual showhouse

Make sure to check out Kerry Steele at her blog Design du Monde this week as she's hosting a virtual showhouse.  Today is the master bedroom I designed above; visit and find out my inspiration for the space. Thanks for including me, Kerry!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Spoils of war

Perhaps not literal war but estate sales can at times feel terribly hostile. I've witnessed fist fights over who saw what first! I wanted to follow up on a previous post on estate sales and share with you some of my new treasures. There have been a lot of great sales lately and my nest is quickly becoming 'feathered'!
 My biggest find this past weekend was a cookie jar which I instantly recognized as the Renwick Gallery here in DC. I was particularly interested as it's my favorite museum in the city. You may remember I have a cookie jar of the Villa Rotunda which has been one of my favorite objects for years!  The Renwick had been relegated to the basement in a rear corner of the sale and I scored it for only $10! I always poke around in back corners at these sales where things get missed. I also found a beautiful wool 19th century persian runner in an upstairs back closet which I'm going to use in my kitchen that I got for a steal (currently at the cleaners or else I'd share it as well).
 A set of fine crystal cordial glasses with this beautiful monogram also came home with me from the same sale. After reading THIS article in the NYT, my New Year's Resolution will be to hold monthly dinner parties and I have to be prepared.
This cute little framed photo of "Aunt Joan golfing in the 20s" caught my eye and makes me laugh every time I see it - seen propped up here on my living room mantel.
 I rarely leave a sale without a bag full of books. I really don't know what I'll do with them all!
You may remember my haunted chairs. I still haven't treated the wood (thanks so much for the advice on that!) but I didn't follow the majority vote on fabric and used the wood plaid I had from Ralph Lauren. I like the colors in my apartment and even if the pattern isn't perfect for the chairs, they add the right dose of color to my still neutral space and I just love plaid!
Everyone kindly keeps asking to see my apartment and in dribbles it will start to appear; it has a long way to go still.  Here are 2 of the haunted chairs flanking my bar in the corner of the living room.  As you can see I need more art (or sconces?) to flank the mirror but I have my Grandma's Christmas tree set to go for the holiday season!

Monday, December 3, 2012

VMFA collections

The collections of the VMFA are broad, they have definitely benefited from some generous and high profile patrons. To be honest, I was astonished at the quality of the collections given the moderate size of the city.
These diverse collections included a lot of my favorite genres such as decorative arts and a room of beautiful 18th century paintings like the Guardi above.
I loved this mantel clock designed by Scottish designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1917.
 These enormous andirons were sculpted by Edgar Brandt in 1926 -they speak to the time period.
 I also loved this sculptural chaise longue by noted designer Eileen Gray.
One of the large collections is based on the collection of Sydney and Frances Lewis from 1971 of Art Nouveau objects and furnishings. The Gruber desk and chair above date from 1898.
I loved the fluid lines of these lamps of Loie Fuller from the same time period by Raoul Francois Larche.
 Bulbs are cleverly hidden in the flowing tresses of the statue.
 This magnificent bedroom suite must have been designed for an extremely large bedroom.
 They were designed by Louis Majorelle.
And of course the art deco master, EJ Ruhlmann, was well represented.
I loved this Ruhlmann desk from 1926 and the framed grouping of Barbier prints.
This set of 4 silver gilt salts by Paul Storr date to 1813 but would be right at home on my dining room table!
And as I mentioned in my previous posting, the Roman mosaic of the 4 seasons is one of the highlights in the museum.
 So many little pieces of stone and glass and all done by hand over 1700 years ago!
This magnolia and apple blossom stained glass window was made by Tiffany Glass for the Dimock residence study in Elizabeth, NJ in 1900. Sadly, I think it's not shown to its' best effect as what you see as white is actually clear glass. They need a mural or scene painted behind.
Following the fashion, a large exhibit has been mounted on Dale Chihuly through Feb 10th and this dramatic chandelier was hung in the modern entrance lobby.  I will bring you some stunning pictures from that exhibit in my next post.