Wednesday, November 10, 2021

FINALLY! Bunny Mellon Style is here.

I am pleased to announce the book so many of us have been waiting on has arrived: Bunny Mellon Style by Linda Jane Holden, Thomas Lloyd, and Bryan Huffman with forward by Tory Burch. Just in time for gift season with a drop date of December 7, 2021 from publisher Gibbs Smith,  this book finally shares with us the personal homes of style icon, Bunny Mellon.  

While books released in the past few years have been great, they left me wanting more, even the stunning Sothebys auction catalogs. This book answers that need. I remember thinking "Wait, what about their Paris apartment?" -now there is a chapter and personal photos devoted to the spaces.  

The book is an intimate look at Bunny told by those who knew her best. Through interviews and letters you get a look inside her family homes as well as her closet.  Above, Bunny is in her Sunday kitchen at Oak Spring in a photo by her grandson, Thomas Lloyd.  The perfect painted floor and white kitchen!

We all have become acquainted with Bunny's gardens through previous books and while briefly discussed in this book, it focuses more on the houses and collections themselves. 
I love this shot from Thomas Lloyd of Bunny giving a tour of her Basket House (now part of the Oak Spring Garden Foundation). 
A close up shot of the sink in her famous garden room by designer Bryan Huffman gives a close up look of the trompe l'oeil work of artist Fernand Renard. 
One of the many personal photographs from Thomas Lloyd of Bunny at home at Oak Spring Farm above. Tory Burch, now a style-setter herself,  writes a fascinating foreword about what she's learned about style from Bunny as the now owner and steward of the Mellon's Antiqua estate.  See more about that from Vogue in 2018 HERE

I cannot stress how much I enjoyed this book, I nickname it the Bunny Bible!  With everything you could possibly want to know about her secrets on home and entertaining, Bunny Mellon Style is truly the gift of the season and a must for any design library. Pre-order your copy today!

Cover image courtesy Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.  Used with permission of Isabelle Rey.  All other images from the book by Thomas Lloyd with the exception of  the image of the garden room by Bryan Huffman, and the Antiqua garden structure by Daniel Sutherland.  

Monday, September 20, 2021

Thomas Proctor: Classical Houses book signing this week!


Live events are back! This Thursday, 9/23/2021, the WMA_ICAA is hosting Thomas Proctor from Los Angeles for the release of his new book: Thomas Proctor, Classical Houses from Rizzoli.  

Copies of the book will be available for sale from Politics and Prose.   Proctor will be signing them following a brief presentation and refreshments will be served. Given the central location stop by for a drink and a copy of Proctor's excellent new book prior to dinner out on the town! 

Tickets for this FREE event are available HERE -hope to see you there! 

Many thanks to Compass Realty for hosting this event!

Thursday, May 6, 2021

The Porcelain Flowers of Vladimir Kanevsky at Hillwood

I'm back here at the blog to let you know about an amazing exhibit that has recently opened in Washington at Hillwood, the Marjorie Merriweather Post mansion turned museum.  I've written about Hillwood on numerous occasions and also about the artist whose amazing work they are currently featuring: Vladimir Kanevsky
I last wrote about Kanevsky in conjunction with Hillwood 3 years ago HERE when he did a lilac centerpiece on the table of designer Alex Papachristidis, similar to the lilac to be found in the library today.    These are no ordinary blooms however.  They are the most convincing and charming FAUX flowers you have ever seen, created out of copper, porcelain, and paint. 
The nice thing about these faux flowers, other than their lack of maintenance, is that they can be displayed throughout the mansion without a lot of fuss: no drips.  See the Amaryllis in the living room above naked without a drip plate!
I would like to think if Post were still living she would be a collector of Kanevsky's work.  
Part of the charm of these flowers are their imperfections similar to real flowers - holes in leaves, etc.  
The only thing missing is the scent: the lily of the valley seen below would be most fragrant!
Other than the lilac, I think my favorite piece may be the dandelion, warts and all. Weed as art!
This humble thistle may be a close second. 
The fun thing about creating these flowers is one gets to play with scale - the tulips shown on the breakfast room table below are simply ENORMOUS. 
The piece de resistance of the whole exhibit is to be seen in the dining room where about 1/2 of the collection is displayed. 
Cheek by Jowl, they are almost hard to study individually...
Though the morning glory does its best to reach out to the viewer! 
Given how difficult dahlia are to grow I think a Kanevsky version is a sound investment. 
And Washington's famous but short-lived cherry blossoms are no match for these stems.
Ordinarily Hillwood is full of fresh flowers from the garden, much as during Post's time at the house. The lack of real blooms allows one to focus on the details where you realize, flowers are depicted everywhere, even on the curtains!
Even the dining room sconces feature fruit.
The breakfast room still does sport a large collection of orchids in the bay window, no fear. 
Spring is a glorious time to visit Hillwood for the gardens, but please do visit and enjoy the magic of Vladimir Kanevsky as well.
The Porcelain Flowers of Vladimir Kanevsky is on view NOW through September 5th, 2021 throughout the mansion at Hillwood.  
Reservations are required so don't plan on stopping by without one!

All photos used throughout this post are my own.