Friday, July 31, 2009

Whimsical Lighting from Pal + Smith

Pal + Smith design principal Melissa Palazzo lends a hand of whimsy and casual elegance to their newest round of lighting designs. I really admire her ability to instill such creativity and bravado into a standard lighting form. The Ming and Chinois lamps above feature dramatic Chinese ginger jar bases in shades of citrus or orange, while the Lola and Lotus designs below showcase original carved white resin bases. I always enjoy a lamp that does not take itself too seriously, and Pal + Smith has created fun, dynamic lighting designs that could work in a multitude of settings.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Patterns In the Sand from York Wallcoverings

York Wallcoverings' new collection Patterns in the Sand offers an stunning array of eco-friendly wall coverings infused with varying consistencies of sand — from coarse to fine grain. Adding sand to wallpaper is an effect pioneered by York with their own handcrafted machine designed to achieve this innovation. The process is reminiscent of the glitter-and-glue projects we use to do as kids but the results are unequivocally stunning and sophisticated. Of course, you can see that for yourself...

Seabury Royal Blue non-woven with White Sand

Boxwood in Off-White non-woven with Sand

Eva on Pearl non-woven with Sand

Lattice on Charcoal non-woven with White Sand

Cobble on Champagne non-woven with Natural Sand

Ironwork on Turquoise non-woven with Sand

Fantastical ~ Exuberant ~ Legendary

Just a few of the adjectives used to describe both Tony Duquette and his over-the-top interiors. First "discovered" by the celebrated interior designer, Elsie de Wolfe, he became the darling of the Hollywood glitterati, even designing sets for lavish films and operas. In a nod harkening back to the exotic excess of the Duquette style, Baker and Jim Thompson have recently released collections of furnishings and fabrics that conjure the dazzle of his signature interiors. And if one is lucky enough, there are original treasures to be had.
A pair of Chambered Nautilus Lamps with cast coral bases by Tony Duquette, available at Dragonette, Ltd. through

The sublime Paris Snowflake Screen in 14k Gold Leaf or Silver Leaf, each snowflake tipped in coral, by Baker.

Baker's Organic Baroque Chair in Verdigris or Pearl Paint, looks like it came straight from the Pagoda Garden at Duquette's Dawnridge.

Sunbursts, coral and Moorish motifs are de riqueur in Duquette's interiors - celebrating the patterns and colors are the perfectly realized fabrics designed by Hutton Wilkinson for Jim Thompson. Wilkinson is the owner and creative director of Tony Duquette, Inc. and worked with the icon for 30 years preceding his death in 1999.

Golden Sunburst in 6 colorways.

Tibetan Sun in 3 colorways.

Octavian in 4 colorways.

Fireworks in 5 colorways.

"Decorating is not a surface performance, it's a spiritual impulse, inborn and primordial." ~ Tony Duquette

Friday, July 24, 2009

CLD Pure from York Wallcoverings

York Wallcoverings has redefined commercial wall coverings once again with their latest collection, CLD Pure by Carey Lind Designs. With this new collection, York earns bragging rights as the first wall covering manufacturer to introduce 34 breathable, mold-resistant non-woven wall coverings — fabricated from natural fibers harvested from managed forests, as well as synthetic fibers found in tea bags and coffee filters.

Now if that's not intriguing enough, brace yourself for another unexpected detail about this collection... all 69 designs are offered in 54" and 27" widths! These unique screen-printed designs add a whole new wealth of possibilities to commercial design. These non-PVC wall coverings are printed with low VOC water based inks, without lead or cadmium. All CLD Pure patterns bear the Eco-Décor label used to recognize products that meet York Wallcoverings' high standards of sustainability.

The collection includes such designs as Intaglio Damask (shown in the top photo in blue metallic on brown), Inlay (shown in the middle photo in silver and green) and Zen (shown above in gold metallic on red).

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Baker's New Additions

Baker Furniture, founded in 1891 by Dutch immigrant and craftsman Siebe Baker, has been a hallmark of design excellence and uncompromising quality for more than a century. This year, Baker has introduced new pieces in five of its collections, from the ornately carved and gilded pieces of The Stately Homes Collection to the uniquely diverse collection of classic 17th, 18th and 19th century European and Asian designs that make up the Collector's Edition.

Here are a few of my favorite new additions from Baker:

Irish Puca Table from The Stately Homes Collection: Hailing from Moore Abbey, this Irish Rococo carved mahogany Puca Table features a superb demi-lune shaped top laid with a hand-painted faux black marble top veined in gold and random scattered bronze patterning. An elaborate frieze pierced with scrolls rests above three shaped cabriole legs finished in figured maple veneers. The legs are carved on the knees with grimacing leprechaun masks and terminate to distinctive claw and ball feet.

Asian-inspired Occasional Table from Collector's Edition: The slight scale of this table contrasts its bold design elements. The black gesso top is decorated in a cherry blossom and bird chinoiserie design finished in gilt. The table is supported by four faux bamboo legs.

Upholstered Bed from The Milling Road Collection: This collection, which spans more than 50 years, built its reputation on bringing the marketplace relaxed alternatives to classic traditional forms. The French-inspired bed, crafted from mindi wood — an abundant, sustainable resource that when expertly cut reveals a fiery veneer — features a deeply tufted upholstered headboard surrounded by a scalloped wood frame with matching footboard. Wood side rails join the head and footboards. The bed is available in queen and king sizes.

English Arm Sofa from Ease Into Comfort: These pieces, designed with an increased seat height and shallower back depth, offer ergonomically supportive design without sacrificing style. The English Arm Sofa features three seat cushions, three back cushions and two 16-inch square throw pillows, with a choice of three fills. Any of Baker's 22 standard wood finishes can be selected for the feet and customers can choose from more than 1,600 Baker fabrics or provide their own material.

Sectional from the Simply Baker Upholstery Program: Baker's Simply Baker upholstery program brings simplicity, availability and affordability to the marketplace with a selection of upholstered pieces available at three levels of customization. This sectional, designed for level two, is scaled for urban settings and adds a modern component to the program. All pieces in this program are crafted with hardwood frames, eight way hand-tied springs, Baker Comfort Down cushions and available with a shortened lead time.

A Scandinavian Getaway

How fortunate are we that textile designer Sina Pearson, founder of Sina Pearson Textiles, took a trip to Sweden, Finland and Denmark to explore her ancestry and her affinity for Scandinavian design and culture! It was this getaway that inspired her new collection, Scandinavia 101, debuting this September. Pearson's fresh approach to traditional Scandinavian textiles is at once luxurious and comforting while maintaining a nostalgic quality reminiscent of an era of sturdy, hand-woven textiles.

The colors are comprised of natural, vegetable dyed yarns that Pearson has collected through the years. The palette pays homage to the region that inspired the collection. Iron ore red is Sweden's most popular house color, warm gold provides a stark contrast to the long winter nights, soft blues lend a tribute to the Baltic sea and the thousands of rivers and lakes and the natural gray hues are symbolic of the tundra regions.

Scandinavia 101 includes four distinct, yet coordinating patterns. Spun is a woven wool with an irregular slub cotton yarn. Lina was named for a Swedish cousin and consists of a sturdy lines in a polished satin weave. Woods is a modern take on a classic Scandinavian geometric design. The fourth pattern, Comfort, is a blended fabric similar to the handmade blankets that once kept Pearson's ancestors warm. The four patterns combine to create a total of 25 brilliant colorways for a range of applications.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Louis, Louis, Louis

Thought I might share a couple of words and examples to highlight the differences of the fabulous French periods known as Louis XIV, XV, and XVI.

Though it was originally brought to France by Catherine de Medici, the Italian bride of King Henri II, it was Louis XIV (reign 1643-1715), the Sun King, that made the Baroque style blossom into the first of the great court styles, with the Palace of Versailles being the greatest example. Exemplified by magnificence, majesty, monumental scale, gilding and over-the-top opulence. The colors were lush and saturated, the textiles richly patterned and sumptuous. This period was the first true expression of French decorative style.
Carved and gilded Center Table, offered by East & Orient Company through

Exposed wood Arm Chair by Taylor King.

The young Louis XV (reign 1715-1774) moved the court from Versailles to Paris, and the Rococo period began with a flourish of curves, cabrioles and a more intimate scale. As Baroque was a style of the court, Rococo belonged to the nobility, and the royal mistress, Madame Pompadour, was the gracious and elegant leading lady. Charm, luxury, the naturalistic motifs of shells, fish and foliage, and a more restrained color palette of warm pastels marked this period. The textiles were luxurious, but light.
Louis XV Sofa by Louis J. Solomon

Rosewood Writing Desk with brass ormolus and leather top by David Michael

Marking a return to classic traditions and styles, Neoclassicism coincided with the reign of Louis XVI (1774-1793) and his queen, Marie Antoinette. Gracious elegance, symmetry, straight lines, classical motifs and generous scale were the hallmarks. Case pieces saw intricate marquetry and reeded or fluted legs. The colors were a livelier version of the ice-cream palette of the Rococo, with beautiful silks, damasks and velvets providing lush formality.
Parcel Gilt Dining Table by DessinFournir

Celine Medallion Back Chair by French Heritage

There is really nothing quite like French style, no matter what century!

John Hutton's Collection Pierre

John Hutton is known for his ability to bridge the gap between modern forms and classic structures, a skill he displays proudly with the newest collection from Hutton Home. Collection Pierre is a stunning set of reproductions from the classic Versailles era of French furniture design. "Pierre is the creative spirit of this youthful concept of a world with a new beginning. It takes the good, fun, excitement and intelligence learned from a life long study of 18th century French society and rolls them into a fresh and hip collection of luxury furnishings faithful to the rhythms of the age," says Hutton. The collection includes such pieces as the Low and Exotic (top) and Nymphe (below), hand-carved from French White Oak sourced from the original forests where it was harvested 250 years ago, and Beech Wood especially selected for those pieces that feature light, dark or metallic finishes. Hutton has taken the treasures of Versailles and created a hip new collection that features many of the traits that have made this time-period of furniture production timeless.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Denis Chair from J. Robert Scott

Sally Sirkin Lewis has proven her knack for innovative design once again with The Denis Chair, her latest design for J. Robert Scott. Inspired by contemporary Art Deco silhouettes, the chair also maintains a plush, comforting allure. The chair features a stainless steel base and upholstered seat, showcasing the luxurious quality that J. Robert Scott is known for. The Denis Chair is suitable for use in residential, commercial and hospitality projects.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Ultimate in Bath Luxury

Acryline Spa Baths has announced the introduction of their newest bath "The Acryline." The bath does several things to separate it from the rest of the luxury baths on the market, both stylistically and functionally. The bath itself uses an air-massage system to soothe even the most stressed out bather. I also like the steps leading into the bath itself, it is a nice touch that makes it seem like you are walking into a hot-spring, not a bath tub. You need a 6 x 6 space available for the bath to be installed, and it is well worth it. The bath/shower combo is the perfect addition to a your master bathroom renovation, and is designed to be safe for all ages. The Acryline provides a nice getaway for the weary 9-5 warrior, and is now available for purchase.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

To sleep, perchance to dream...

We may not all relate to these words spoken by Shakespeare's Hamlet in his most famous soliloquy, but we can certainly find a comfy place to lay our heads in these beautiful canopy beds.
Hamlet himself would have been very much at home in the Tudor Poster Bed from Elijah Slocum with its hand-carved English Oak bulbous and gadrooned posts, paneled ceiling and arcaded headboard.

Beautifully simple Shaker style, the Farmhouse Canopy Bed in mahogany from Pottery Barn.

The Portica Canopy Bed by Room & Board is sleek and contemporary in brushed stainless steel.

Exquisite detailing in the hand-painted gold leaf vine trailing up the posts and the luxury of the button-tufted headboard make this Julia Gray Regency Four Poster a spectacular focal point.

Looking like it grew in Sherwood Forest is the Bard's Bed from Ironies.
Striking crotch mahogany is used to glorious effect in the headboard on the Barley Twist Four Poster Bed designed by Kerry Joyce and available through Dessin Fournir.

"To all, to each, a fair good-night, and pleasing dreams, and slumbers light" ~ Sir Walter Scott

Introducing Reagan Hayes!

Designer Reagan Hayes has launched her first collection of upholstered home furnishings, each of which embody her inspiration of youthful elegance. These pieces offer unique silhouettes and timeless elegance. In fact, this premier collection of sofas, lounge chairs and dining chairs is so stunning I had a hard time narrowing down my favorite pieces to share with you here.

The Sylvia Sofa won me over with its clean lines and tailored style. Bolster cushions and a high-back silhouette add to its sophisticated look. The sofa measures 82"w x 30"d x 40"h with custom sizes available, as well as 13 standard finish options and a selection of fabrics.

Who doesn't like the look of diamond tufting? The Wendy Sofa also features a skirted base adding to its sense of relaxed comfort. Measuring 86"w x 32"d x 38"h, the sofa is available in custom sizes with 13 standard finish options and a selection of fabrics.

The Duncan Lounge features a double-row nail head trim and a tapered seat resting on scalloped legs. The distinct silhouette adds to the uniqueness of the chair. The piece measures 28"w x 28"d x 36"h and is available in 12 standard finishes and a selection of fabrics.

The architectural lines and unique wing design add distinction to the Morgan Lounge. The curved, upholstered back is accented with nail head detail and an exposed wood frame. The chair measures 32"w x 30"d x 38"h and is available in 12 standard finishes and a selection of fabrics.

The Stanley Lounge exudes sophistication with graduating wings stretching the length of the upholstered back. The single button tuft adds to the stylish charm of the piece. This chair is measures 32"w x 29"d x 44"h and is available in 13 standard finishes and a selection of fabrics.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Fine Antique Silver from Nelson & Nelson

Luxury comes in many shapes and sizes, but one can't help but be floored by the antique silver from Nelson & Nelson. Above we have a pair of Victorian sterling mounted decanters, circa 1889 and an Art Deco Tiffany & Co. vase, circa 1911. Nothing really says high society like fine antique silver, and Nelson & Nelson continue to be the best suppliers for these stunning antiques. Nelson & Nelson have a showroom in the D&D building in New York, where they offer designers luxurious silver to complement their style. Items are available as a single purchase for the discerning collector, or as entire sets to feature in a dining room makeover.