Open & Notorious Organization

17/08/2012 § Leave a comment

There’s something I love about organization on display, be it a closet, a curio, a bar cart, a gallery wall, whatever — a thoughtful and artistic arrangement of a collection of items will always draw my eye.  I don’t mean to say that one should be a pack-rat, but there is definitely something about spaces where everything is all put away that just seems…sterile.  Vanilla.  Impersonal.  Granted, to pull off some of the scenes in these pictures, you’d need a rather deep assortment of stuff and whatnot….and quite a bit of space to display it all, but why couldn’t you start small?  A few books here, a small grouping of nick-knacks there, and you’re definitely on your way.

For organizational inspiration, a few images from my House & Home board on Pinterest, and a few furniture ideas (yes, I know, pricey indeed — I’ll personally be using them for guidance while I scour eBay and Craigslist for cheaper options).  One of my very favorite spaces is the Manhattan apartment of Michael Haney and Brooke Cundiff, which was shot by Todd Selby last year — definitely check it out.  Aside from getting to take a peek into their envy-inducing home, there are several interesting vignettes and arrangements that are bound to spark an idea or three.

Happy organizing!

From top:
French directoire style ebonized curio cabinet by Jansen (1940s)
Hollywood Regency gilt bamboo etagere (1950s)
Glass sided vitrine (1920s)

From top left:
Belgian metal and glass cabinet (1940s)
Metal cabinet with glass
Industrial steel wire racks on casters

From top left:
English oak barrister bookcase (1890s)
Vintage industrial bar cart
Raw vintage locker (1950s)
Verge cabinet with glass doors

From top:
Pair of steel barrister bookcases (1940s)
Indian metal sideboard with 4 doors
Vintage console

Lastly, if you noticed the adverse possession joke I snuck
into the title of this post, I’d like to salute you, fellow law nerd…

Real Property Lust || Eccentric King George

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.

Real Property Lust || Sweet and High/Lowdown

23/03/2012 § 4 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?

Real Property Lust: Vintage Rose

01/07/2011 § Leave a comment

I came across this great apartment in Sweden courtesy of Adorevintage, and I echo their endorsement of the sparing use of shades of pink to communicate femininity in this wonderfully vintage-feeling home.  I adore how this home — so lovingly filled by an amazing collector — is still full of light and manages to be airy.  Love the mismatched chairs, the gorgeously dense hallway gallery, the stuffed duck and impala, the painted floor in the kitchen and how it echoes the pattern of the bathroom floor, the ornate ceilings, and — of course — that kickass portrait of Mick Jagger.  I definitely want to meet whoever lives here.  I would force them to be my friend.  (Maybe they like Robyn as much as I do…?)

The view.

The building!

In addition, it appears this apartment is either for sale or rent (my Swedish is rather bad, apologies).  Anyone want to go halfsies?

All images via Bolaget.

Wants: Preoccupied with Pachyderms

01/07/2011 § Leave a comment

While we were at Brimfield, Lani pointed out that I had something of an obsession with elephants, and I realized it was true!  My attention was drawn every single time an elephant appeared on the scene, but the only elephants that came home with me that day were the two pictured above, sitting happily on an art deco ashtray (worry not, I am not a smoker, but I do have a definite love for smoking accessories).

Since then I’ve found a few more elephants I wouldn’t mind adding to my petite pachyderm.  You can see them after the jump.

What’s your obsession of the moment?

« Read the rest of this entry »

Quite Continental Recommends: The Diversion Project

23/06/2011 § 5 Comments

My Google Reader is a bit of a bear.  I am subscribed to way too many blogs and the sheer volume of material that accumulates in a single day can be daunting sometimes — but I can’t help it!  So usually, I will flip through everything as quickly as possible and “star” anything I want to come back to, not paying much attention to what site it is.  (For those of you who don’t use Google Reader I realize this may not make sense, but I promise I won’t go on much longer about my beloved RSS feed…)  I recently noticed that I have unwittingly managed to star every single post The Diversion Project has posted in the last three months, which is pretty damn near irrefutable evidence of my blog-crush.

Jules, the lady behind The Diversion Project, has an amazing eye.  Mainly focused on interior design and decor, the blog’s aesthetic is impeccable and coherent, even though I have trouble labeling for you.  It isn’t modern, it isn’t country house, it isn’t traditional, it isn’t regency, it’s somehow all of them at once…and every single image tends to make my head explode (and more than a few end up on my Tumblr).  The Diversion Project hits all the high notes for me: an amazing juxtaposition of surfaces and finishes, luxurious accents mixed with the rustic and vintage, dramatic uses of color, a masterful balance of the feminine and masculine. It is a great source of inspiration for me and because I was so sure you would love it as well, I wanted to pass it along.  Do check it out.

All images via The Diversion Project

Quite Continental Loves: Frédérique Morrel

08/06/2011 § 1 Comment

‘My Dear’ by Frédérique Morrel

This handsome buck has been sitting in my drafts folder since January, patiently waiting for the day I would find him and share him.  Well, today is that day — mainly because the WSJ reminded me of him over the weekend.  Artist Frédérique Morrel and husband Aaron Levin are at the helm of this quirky design firm that deals mainly in tapestries and antique fabric remnants, with an inclination towards faux-taxidermy (of deer, bulls, rabbits, and people) (yes, people), seating and interesting tabletop accents.

Hop over to Frédérique Morrel for more.  She’s also on FacebookIf you decide to pick up this buck, I’ll be very jealous indeed…

La Maison de Quite Continental: Hues to Choose

19/05/2011 § 4 Comments

Cherie, remember I mentioned that I would be undertaking a rather large overhaul of la maison this spring?  Well, I have taken the first steps down that path and have been focusing on the colors I’d like my walls to be.  Currently, they are your average, run of the mill shade of white, which I don’t entirely mind but I am now of the mind to try something entirely new.  After taking some time with books and my favorite decor sites, I narrowed down my preference to three colors: blue, teal or grey.  Next, I had to pick the exact shade I wanted.

Being a complete painting newbie, I was in need of some guidance.  I headed over to Tribeca Paint (217 West Broadway, between Franklin and White), a lovely paint and hardware store in the neighborhood, where I was confronted with color wheels and swatches and diagrams.  I took much too long to decide and asked a million questions, but the store clerks were eternally patient and very happy to help me.  I highly recommend Tribeca Paint!  I was then sent on my way with three Benjamin Moore color samples to play with and teeny tiny rollers to paint with.  I’m now armed and ready to paint small squares of paint in random spots, in order to help guide myself to a color.

Contemplating: clear skies (2054-70), marilyn’s dress (2125-60),
jamaican acqua (2048-60).

Though I love deep colors, I am leery to go too dark, lest I render my apartment some kind of dark cave, so my selections are on the lighter side — which I have been assured will dry darker.  Paint, why must you be so fickle?!  Why can’t you just be the color you say you are going to be?!

A bit of my inspiration below:

via La Dolce Vita.
via Desire to Inspire.
via La Dolce Vita.
via Home & Garden.
via My Paradissi.
via House of Turquoise.
via Desire to Inspire.

This last home — a Milanese palazzo, owned by designers — is simply amazing.  It’s been all over le interwebs so I won’t post all of the images, but if you would like to see more, head here.  These cool grey walls definitely have me leaning in favor of Marilyn’s Dress (2125-60).  What do you think?

{A Few Bold Pretties} Interior Inspiration: 1stdibs Wishlist and Indiscreet (1958)

14/03/2011 § 5 Comments

I have been finding interior inspiration in all sorts of places lately.  I am loving dramatic lines, bright colors, luxurious fabrics and exotic hides, cherie, and I have been thinking about one of my favorite films, Indiscreet (1958), starring Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant.  Indiscreet is a lovely film about a famous actress (Bergman) who has given up on the hope of finding and marrying her true love.  She then completely falls in love with a suave American business man (Grant) who leads her to believe he is married, when he in fact is not.  The truth is discovered and hi-jinks result.  It’s a completely lovely film, but the reason my bold interior inclinations have reminded me of Indiscreet is because of the gorgeous living room of Bergman’s London apartment.

Completely in love with the mixing of modern art, bright colors, classic shapes and obvious luxury.  You can see a wonderful little clip of Grant and Bergman in white tie attire engage in a bit of witty repartee in the darling living room here. (Bergman’s best quote: “I like a man with a glass in his hand, it’s becoming.“)

I’ll also include the following clip, not only because you can see a good deal of the living room, but mainly for the following quotes:  “Oh, shut up!” “How dare he make love to me and not be a married man!” And of course, “Daaaamn!”

My mind is being drawn on a colorful, glamorous safari and I’ve got a bad case of spring fever, most definitely!  I think some bold pretty things are essential for le maison, and I have been stalking the treasures on 1stdibs for ideas.  Yes, the beauties below are definitely spendy — hence I’ve placed them in my inspiration files and not on my shopping list — but I’ve also included some less expensive “real life alternatives” alongside my finds below to help kick start your creative flow.

All images via 1stdibs

Vintage dream: Hollywood Regency chairs in gorgeous striped silk

Real life alternative: Reupholster a Craigslist find

Vintage dream: Bronze sea horse from the front of a Venetian gondola

Real life alternative: Cast iron horse bust


Vintage dream: Billy Haines faux-bamboo mirror

Real life alternative: Vintage faux-bamboo mirror

Vintage dream: Zebra ottoman

Real life alternative: Zebra stenciled cowhide rug

Vintage dream: Pineapple lamps

Real life alternative: Shiny chrome lamp base


Vintage dream: Art Deco clock

Real life alternative: Art Deco clock

Vintage dream: Antique crocodile trunk

Real life alternative: Vintage steamer trunk

Vintage dream: 19th century Chinese porcelain vases

Real life alternative: Hand painted Chinese vase

Do you have a few bold pretties?  Where did you find yours?

Park Avenue Armory: 2011 Winter Antiques Show {also, Inspired: Liz O’Brien}

26/01/2011 § Leave a comment

Park Avenue Armory

I am hunting for interior decor inspiration!  I have pledged to entirely redo my apartment and last weekend, my inspiration quest took me to the 2011 Winter Antiques Show at the Park Avenue Armory on the Upper East Side.  This year, the show is in its 57th year and has 75 exhibitors offering items that hail from antiquity through the 1960s.  Not a flea market with picked-over bins of well-loved bric-a-brac (my, that was quite a few hyphens), the show is a treasure trove of museum quality pieces for only the deepest of pockets.

Aside from the antiques, I was interested in seeing the stately Armory itself.  Not very far from where I used to live on the Upper East Side, I have always wondered what the building might look like on the inside.  Completed in 1881, the Armory is notable for both the construction and size of its soaring hall and its collection of 19th century interiors — but unfortunately the show took up the majority of the hall and the interiors were not on display.  Also unfortunate (but understandable) was the “no photography” policy, but luckily most of the exhibitors can be found online.

I had an excellent time viewing the antique arms and armor exhibited by UK dealer Peter Finer — question: does anyone know why most daggers are left handed? — and the New England and marine antiques of Hyannis Port dealer Hyland Granby Antiques.  There were oil paintings and ornate silver tea sets and eyes from an ancient Egyptian relief and a petrified walrus skull, complete with huge ivory tusks.  I watched darling older ladies try on magnificent jewels as they murmured all of the fabulous places they could wear them.  All interesting and wonderful to look at, but I was not finding the inspiration to feather my own nest.

Until I spied a perfect pair of table lamps…

Image via Liz O’Brien

Gleaming silver in a happy, modern-looking boutique, I knew I had finally found something to love.  These silver palm trees were created in the 1930s – art deco? perhaps Hollywood regency? – and they are fabulous!  I had Liz O’Brien to thank for my decor epiphany.  Her gallery, on the Upper East Side, focuses on design from the 1940s through the 1970s, as evidenced by all of the beautiful pieces she had available – but the lamps stole my heart!  Don’t they look like something Greta Garbo would have?  Can’t you just see her disappearing into the darkness as she turns them off in the dusky evening light?  I’m not confident I will be able to exactly replicate them, but I am definitely feeling more inspired!  If you are able to stop by Liz O’Brien’s exhibit at the Winter Antiques Show, or her gallery on the Upper East Side, you definitely must!  Especially if you are as in love with these darling lamps as I!

Liz O’Brien
306 East 61st Street, between 1st and 2nd Avenues
New York, NY 10065

If you are too far away from New York, she also has a virtual shop on 1stdibs.  Find it here.

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