16/07/2012 § 1 Comment
Quite taken by this West Hollywood home by California interior designer Schuyler Samperton. The eclectic mix of the old with the new, the feminine and the masculine, the west with the east, strikes a stately balance that seems arty, intelligent and worldly. Some of my favorite bits include the inlaid box above, and the zebra skin rug and bamboo bookshelf below — lovely touches, indeed. And that library!
29/04/2012 § 3 Comments
Most homes of a certain age in Los Angeles usually come with old Hollywood stories of former residents. This Spanish beauty in Westwood, owned by good friends of mine, is no different. Home to Spencer Tracy and his wife for a time, and host to an intimate concert by Louis Armstrong, this estate has a charmingly eccentric layout, complete with original tile work, exposed beams, hardwood floors, interesting built-ins and one of the only SoCal basements I am personally aware of.
A relatively recent purchase, the owners are still hard at work with renovations but I twisted some arms and was allowed to take a few photos of their progress thus far. I can’t wait to see the finished product.
02/04/2012 § 1 Comment
“Harriet’s projects stitch together restoration and classic modern design; the 20’s hang out with the Edwardians, everyone is invited, just as long as you are well turned out. Her confidence and her playful nature with design allows rooms to be fun without the ridiculous, smart without dullness and most importantly a place you would want to be.” [via]
When the past is engaged in an active dialogue with the present, you already know my interest is piqued. Here, the mid-19th century late Georgian home of designer Harriet Anstruther in London successfully honors its architectural origins without a slavish adherence to Georgian decor, creating a statement home that feels fresh, yet nostalgic — and is completely personal. What I love about this space is its successful and seamless blending of so many different sources of inspiration without the sacrifice of comfort or personality. Neither a stuffy museum nor a stark exercise in modernism, its soaring white walls immediately call to mind a gallery space, a context helped along by the family’s art collection. Some of my favorite touches include the Penguin watercolor, the crystal chandeliers, the black stripes of the upholstery, the magenta skylight in the shower and — above all — the fire bucket sink and the Fornasetti wallpaper in the bathroom. Hello, lover.
Whereas our last discussion on interiors encouraged me to mix up my sources (IKEA vs. antique finds), I really like how this home illustrates a successful mingling of very different aesthetics. It’s got me inspired…and eying the Harper sofa by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. Thoughts?
All images via T Magazine.
23/03/2012 § 3 Comments
While it remains one of my absolute favorite pastimes to meander through the rich imagery of high-end design magazines and websites (for which my House & Home board on Pinterest has become an essential accompaniment), I personally am not yet a member of that rarefied club that can actually purchase such luxury items. Please note the “yet”! That said, I still think there is plenty of inspiration to be had by looking at gorgeous places (like the East Village apartment of Ralph Lauren Executive VP Alfredo Parades that I found over on Habitually Chic today — swoon!) for lower-budget households like my own. But what is absolute tops, is finding a home that is decorated not only in an aesthetic that I appreciate, but also with furnishings within the reach of my own pocketbook.
Whilst my head did explode upon my initial view of this lovely home, featured on Skona Hem, with its empire touches and rustic feel, it exploded a second time after I translated the text and discovered that this home had been furnished with a combination of antique treasures and new purchases from Ikea. Ikea, people! Does this not give you hope that with a little eBay stalking, flea market wandering and a trip to your local Ikea, you too could have such an amazing nest?
Big items from Ikea include the canopied bed and the couch. Really love the restrained palette here, which calls to my mind sepia photographs, and the open storage of the china, in varying shades of off-white. The space is a hodge podge, but one with continuity.
In fact, I’m rather ashamed to admit that I thought Ikea didn’t really have anything to offer me, other than picture frames and Swedish meatballs. Obviously, I need to take the water taxi to Red Hook and put my creative hat on. I also must mention another source I’ve recently come across that is oriented toward affordable decor: Copy Cat Chic. Best part? When founder Reichel chooses a high-end home item (rug, chair, lamp, etc.) and then finds a virtually identical, more affordable item.
What about you?
Got any secret decor sources you’d be willing to share with me?
31/01/2012 § Leave a Comment
The 16th-century Italian palazzo of Antonello Radi, in the Umbrian city of Foligno. I adore the way he has decorated his home, the old with the new, completely color drenched and magnificently luxurious. The bathroom is my absolute favorite room. I could soak in that tub forever.
Decorating mastery aside, one must really give Antonello’s bio a brief look:
Antonello was fortunate to be born into a wealthy and prominent family in Foligno, a commercial center surrounded by vineyards, olive groves, and rolling hills. Radi, a bachelor, studied jurisprudence, found he didn’t like the life of a lawyer, and now works in the family business, finance, when he isn’t traveling.
Didn’t like the life of a lawyer, so he works in finance…when he isn’t traveling. Must be very nice indeed.
Images via Elle Decor.
08/01/2012 § Leave a Comment
I attribute the fact that I feel an irresistible pull toward Spanish Colonial Revival style homes to my childhood in California and to a beautiful hacienda a very special former Mister of mine owned. There is just something about the dark wooden floors, gleaming white walls, hidden spots of beautiful tile work, wide open windows, wrought iron and streaming light that sings to me.
This home in Los Feliz, California, was gorgeous even before Commune Design (the design firm also behind several commercial projects such as the hotel design for the Ace Hotel and Swim Club in Palm Springs) got their hands on it, but the finished product is quite amazing. The multitude of styles, colors and textures on display is the type of inclusive approach to decor that I find most interesting.
04/01/2012 § 2 Comments
London-based interior designer Broosk Saib may originally hail from Baghdad, but his style is quintessentially British, with a bit of an irreverent twist. At once masculine and luxurious, Saib’s apartment immediately gives me the impression of a well-travelled and good-humored gentleman who I earnestly hope will allow me to move in…and give me an invite to his next dinner party:
But it’s at night that the rooms truly come to life. Sometimes the entry hall’s hanging light fixture is taken down and the peripatetic table is moved to make way for as many as 70 guests; the walls of the drawing room reflect the warm, clubby glow given off by lamps with red-silk shades. An exotic Vietnamese incense fills the rooms, while the aroma of roast lamb escapes from the kitchen. “I love to entertain at home,” says Saib, “to cook and feed my friends. My doors are always open.” (via Elle Decor)
I especially love the Union Jack upholstered chairs and this gorgeous entry way shown below. I like how Saib manages to accent what is obviously an amazing collection without turning his apartment into some kind of jumbled antiques roadshow nick-knackery. The restraint really allows the pieces he has chosen to shine.
23/12/2011 § 5 Comments
After finding photos of the Beaufort Hunt in 1949, I immediately wanted to see the sprawling estate that I noticed was peeking around the edges. The Duke and Duchess of Beaufort live at the Badminton Estate in Gloucestershire, England, two hours west of London. One look at the Great Hall (pictured above) and I knew I was in love…and in urgent need of a hop across the pond to visit Gloucestershire.
Thus, Gloucestershire is my first Desired Destination feature.
It turns out the Duke lets some of the Estate’s cottages periodically.
If I moved, would you come and visit me?
And yes, the Badminton Estate is where the sport takes its name, although it isn’t known why, as the sport actually traces its roots back to mid-18th century India and the bored British officers stationed there. The present-day Badminton is open for special events, garden tours, and The Badminton Shoot, but is probably best known now for hosting the annual Badminton Horse Trials in May. I would love to be there for the prestigious three-day event.
The Badminton Estate
Tel: +44 (0) 1454 218 203
After a long day knocking about Badminton, I would check into Calcot Manor, a 35-room country house hotel set on 220 acres of meadowland that was established in the 1300s. Thoroughly modernized while remaining true to the storied heritage of the home, Calcot Manor also boasts one of the best spas in the UK, the Calcot Spa. It is simply gorgeous and would be a perfect home base for my relaxing minibreak in the British countryside.
Tel: +44 (0) 1666 890 391
I’d also make a point to visit Sudeley Castle, best known as the final resting place of Queen Katherine Parr, Henry VIII’s last and surviving wife. With a long history that dates back to the tenth century, the Castle fell into disrepair after the Civil War and remained that way until its rescue in 1837 by brothers John and William Dent — of the fine accessories and glovemaking Dents, from Worcester — and its subsequent restoration. The Castle has remained a Dent family home since that time, and was opened up to the public in 1969. During this year’s season (1 April through 28 October, 2012) visitors can wander on their own through the gardens and inside the Castle’s original 15th century west wing, as well as take in a number of exhibitions. Offered on a more limited basis are guided tours through the Castle apartments where the family currently resides. Also of note this year at the Castle is the Queen Katherine Parr Quincentenary, marking 500 years since her birth.
Tel: +44 (0) 1242 602 308
Images via Badminton House and Calcot Manor.
14/12/2011 § Leave a Comment
Built in 1925, this farmhouse in Österlen, Sweden sat quietly rotting until it was bought in 2000 by its current owner. Initial plans called for a serious overhaul, but as the new owner took stock of the little house, she realized all it needed was a good scrubbing and some fresh air. I love how it turned out, especially the surfaces of the walls and floors — gorgeous. I also love the old Range Rover, and if you added a horse or two, I’d be apt to lose my head.
If you’d like to read more about this darling house, hop over to Skona Hem.
26/10/2011 § Leave a Comment
There were plenty of things to love about this Spanish-style California ranch home belonging to supermodel Tatjana Patitz: the endless light, the double high living room ceiling (Patitz actually knocked out a floor to make way for it), dark wood and white walls, gleaming concrete floors, the horse stables that are on the two acres of land that surround the house, the ocean views, the jumble of mismatched furnishings…
All images via House to Home.