Friday, October 25, 2013

Fifth Avenue Style: Book review

If God is in the details Howard Slatkin, interior designer and author of Fifth Avenue Style, is surely a saint. Reading his book is a glimpse into a wonderful fantasy achieved in only 3 years in his New York Pied-a-terre. At first glance I assumed the renovation took place over 20 years.
Approach-ably written the interior photography by Tria Giovan is also breathtaking beautiful. In each scene the room is set as if for a party to which you were lucky enough to be invited. While this over the top maximalism isn't for everyone granted, even the most ardent minimalist can learn something from Slatkin's approach to detail.
No detail is overlooked, both in the apartment and in his daily life it would seem. My favorite image is a lunch for two at a small table set up overlooking the park, similar to the lunch HabituallyChic was lucky enough to have in this same spot! Don't miss her post on her visit. Also don't miss the video tour of Slatkin's apartment at Quintessence.
Slatkin charmingly walks you through the process of finding the apartment and the entire gut renovation and planning stage. I always appreciate a floorplan and the book includes them at different stages of work.
Notice above the wallpaper wrapping the door and even the interesting but different door knobs on each side. Nothing was left to chance. Really, isn't that how the best interiors succeed?
The most talked about space in the whole apartment, oddly enough, is Slatkin's closet. I suppose one might call it a dressing room given its grandness. Custom designed door pulls,  marquetry paneling, antiques - would you even want to leave after getting dressed?
Don't miss Fifth Avenue Style printed by Vendome Press no matter your stylistic leanings. And be sure to remove the dust jacket to see the beautiful cover (first image).
All images courtesy of Vendome Press and Tria Giovan

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Halloween or Fall decorating

To get you into the 'holiday' spirit here are 2 townhouses in Georgetown featuring some festive decor. The house above has a collection of unusual pumpkins decorating their front stoop (notice the gas lantern!). Discreet and charming, these gourds will last as decorations all fall.
This rather spooky house features some cackling Jack o'lanterns to get passersby into the spirit! Have you decorated your house for Halloween or will you be hiding in the basement away from trick-or-treaters like me?!

Monday, October 21, 2013

My latest finds!

This past weekend was terribly busy with lots of events including the 2 fun neighborhood House Tours I wrote about last week. Was nice to see some of you there! However, I still managed to get in an amazing estate sale in my own neighborhood of Cleveland Park. I hope I'm not boring you with my weekly posts of my found treasures for my still relatively 'new' condo but they're really fun for me!
My apartment is quickly becoming a wayward home for stray chairs and tables. I can't turn a good one down! I found this interesting vintage Baker furniture tea-height side table with Queen Anne styled legs but also some art deco influences that I placed in my dining room window. The floorlamp to the right was another find and one that came together nicely. The John Robshaw lampshade was found at an estate sale LAST week and the lamp finial from a 3rd estate sale last month (for a grand total of $35 in its entirety)!  I love how the floorlamp matches the antique tablelamp I got on Thomas Jaynes OneKingLane's sale seen on the table. The floorlamp will live in my bedroom next to last week's chair find!
These intriguing floral pieces stand about 4" tall each and are carved entirely out of antique ivory which was then stained and painted. They aren't something I would ordinarily be drawn to but the craftsmanship is so amazing!
I love collecting small finds like hotel ashtrays (no I don't smoke!) and they can normally be had for under a dollar. They come in handy for lots of other things after a good scrub.
These miniature brass candlesticks were really a fun find -you can see here where I had already polished the stick on the right. They're sized for birthday candles (give or take).  I debated polishing them but thought it would be a good way to clean them up. This summer I had a conversation with my good friend JCB about antique brass and how originally they were MEANT to shine and be rather 'bling'y on a tabletop to reflect the light.
One can always use another picture frame. This 8x10 wood frame with tiny gilt detailing cleaned up nicely after getting off years of smoke and grime!
This last piece took me awhile to figure out what it was but the lady running the estate sale filled me in - it's a strawberry dessert basket. Made of white porcelain for Tiffany & Co - the basket holds strawberries with cream in the small pitcher and sugar in the bowl. What fun finds; you never know what you'll find at an estate sale!