Monday, August 31, 2009

Chateau Gabriel

How many homes did Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge own and how many auctions will result from them? Seems Christies will hold a second auction of artwork this November, half of which will be from Chateau Gabriel, their coastal retreat near Deauville, France. The chateau was of course restored with the help of their interior designer Jacques Grange whose opulent interiors were inspired by Marcel Proust and Claude Monet. The property also consists of many out buildings including a Russian dacha which should appeal to it's new Russian owners. And of course what would a chateau be without it's own helipad and hanger. Maybe Jacques was also inspired by the Hamptons! Enjoy!








Photos from Luxury Culture

Sunday, August 30, 2009

More Orange

One of the rooms I was most excited to see at The Hampton Designer Showhouse this year was the den by Carrier and Company. I had seen a few photos online at Vogue.com and of course the burnt orange walls were right up my alley! The room with sitting area and pool table is in the basement and the husband and wife team of Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller did a great job with it. You don't even notice that there are no windows!

Jesse Carrier used to work for Jeffrey Bilhuber and when he left to start his own firm, uber chic client Anna Wintour went with him. Carrier & Company have designed the lobby of the Vogue office at 4 Times Square and have also decorated the apartments some of the Voguettes.

I think we're going to be hearing a lot from this dazzling design duo and I can't wait to see what they do with a room in a future showhouse with windows! I think they deserve to be front and center next time! Oh, and if you haven't had a chance to see the Hampton Designer Showhouse presented by Traditional Home in person yet, you still have until September 6th to check it out!

Photos from Heather Clawson and Carrier and Company

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Orange You Glad It's Friday?!

Orange is my favorite color and it happens to be the favorite color of a lot of designers. I've always wondered why so many of us gravitate toward this color and in the September 2009 color issue of House Beautiful there is a clue. According to their color chart, orange represents creativity. It expands your thinking and is the color of laughter and celebrations. Sounds about right. To me, orange is a unisex color that is cheerful yet sophisticated. It also coordinates well with a lot of other colors. But mostly, it just makes me happy! Hopefully these orange images will brighten your day too! Bon Weekend!

















Wednesday, August 26, 2009

One More Week!

Next Thursday morning I will step off the plane in Paree! Hooray! It can't come soon enough either! I've been busy trying to get lots of work done before I go which is why you are getting just a small post with one photo! But at least it's a good one!

If you want to establish an international presence, you can't do so from New York. You need the consecration of Paris. - Oscar de la Renta

Photo by Matt George

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Interior Design Career Advice

I get a lot of emails from readers asking for advice about a career in interior design and also if they should go to design school. Since I just received three such messages I thought I would put together a little post on the topic. I always ask my friends who went to design school what they learned and a few of them were gracious enough to share their experiences with me. I usually never steer anyone who is thinking about going to design school out of it. You will learn the fundamentals of interior design from which you can then add practical experience through internships and work experience. One of the most important things they teach in school is drafting and AutoCAD. Most of the jobs that do become available in New York require the applicants to be proficient. I have a degree in art history which helps me because I studied not only art but also architectural art history and decorative arts. I'm not as proficient in AutoCAD as I would like so I might take a class.

My biggest piece of advice is to work. If you have to take an unpaid internship, just do it. It could lead to a paid position and the things you will learn on the job are priceless! A lot of interns have to start by sorting and organizing the samples which doesn't seem glamorous but teaches you all the fabric showrooms and also serves as an overview of what fabrics they carry and what you like. You should also go into any interior design job with the attitude that no job is too big or too small. I've written before that during installations, I've been vacuuming and cleaning. I've had to move things and gotten dirty. You're running around and it's exhausting but one of the best learning experience because they almost always involve problems like furniture that either doesn't arrive, arrives damaged or doesn't fit. And then you need to figure out how to fix it...now!

It's always good to work for another designer because then you can not only learn about design but also about business. Some offices are very organized and very well run and some are not. You will learn what to and what not to do if you ever decide to go out on your own. That's a whole other can of worms though so we'll have to save that for a separate post!

Then there are vendor relations. Obviously, you should be nice to everyone but you should really be nice to your vendors and anyone who does the heavy lifting, and I mean that literally! If you are nice to everyone they will be more likely to help you when you need a rush job or if a crisis erupts. But you should also be strong enough to stand up for yourself when they try to blame said crisis on you. That brings us to measure twice, cut once and get everything in writing! There is a lot of paperwork that goes along with the design word and you will be responsible to gather quotes and type up the purchase orders. It's time consuming and boring but it's part of paying your dues and you don't want to be the one who typed in the wrong measurements that led to an incorrect order. The designer will definitely not like you if you cost him money.

I also think it's important to read design magazines and books and to have a real passion for interior design. I've worked with people who had no idea what was going on in the world of design. If your boss knows you are knowledgeable and a go-getter, they will be more likely to give you more responsibilities and take you out of the office to meetings. This is important. They don't trust just anyone around the clients and you never know when this will happen so I advise that you always dress client ready. I've noticed a lot of bosses respond well if you look nice and dress well. And that doesn't always involve a lot of money. A fun necklace from the flea market could do wonders. It's about creativity and presentation just like interior design itself.

Design school can only take some people so far. While there are certain people who have innate sense of style and can scheme fabrics in their sleep, others may have to work a little harder. As my friends and I have discussed at length lately, those who are willing to hustle and work hard will make it in this economy and those who can't adapt or don't want to get dirty, will not. Design school and work experience will be what you make it. You'll get out of it what you put in and those who make the effort go the extra mile will go far!

I also get a lot of readers asking if I know about any job openings. Since I'm not looking and all my friends just got laid off and are working for themselves now, I suggest you try the job listings section of The Editor at Large. You can also find a designer whose style you love and write them a letter telling them so and that you are willing to work even one day a week. You might get lucky. There are jobs still out there. I'm sure I've left out a million things and others will have even more advice but this is a start. Oh, and a sense of humor is essential! It's decorating after all not brain surgery! Good luck!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Color Me Happy!

I forgot to ask owner Stephen Saunders why his store is called The End of History. A more appropriate name would be The End of the Rainbow or maybe Died and Gone to Glassware Heaven! The shop is a treasure trove of vintage glass, ceramics and furniture from the 1950's and 60's. Much of the glass and decorative pieces are arranged by color which makes it easy for interior designers to come in and buy an instant collection for their clients. One of their best customers is Steven Gambrel who lives in the area and often stops by on his way home from work. The store is also popular with Jonathan Adler who often buys pieces that he reworks for his own line of pottery. Everything old is new again. I also think that The End of History is going to be the beginning of a very beautiful friendship!

The End of History
548 1/2 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
212-647-7598







Sunday, August 23, 2009

Quirky Quadrille!

When I was searching for fabrics for my current big project, one of showrooms I visited was Quadrille. Turns out nothing was right for that particular apartment but now I can spot one of their fabrics a mile away! The showroom includes collections by Quadrille, Alan Campbell, China Seas, and Home Couture but are often all called just referred to as from Quadrille. Some of the fabrics look very similar so it's often a little confusing but worth the hunt. They always look cheerful and it's fun to see how different designers use them in their work. Enjoy!

The outdoor vignette above was one of my favorites from Domino and the Aga Reverse fabric from China Seas seemed like one of their favorites!

Domino used Aga Reverse in brown for the chairs in Katie Lee Joel's chairs that made the cover. I think these were brought in for the shoot and not her regular dining chairs.

Probably the most well known of the China Seas fabric is Arbre de Matisse Reverse that was used in the room designed by Billy Baldwin for Woodson Taulbee. The print was inspired from the Matisse above the sofa. This photo was also used for the cover of Billy Baldwin Decorates and a print of it was used for the end papers .

Jonathan Berger also used Arbre de Matisse Reverse in brown for this Brooklyn townhouse.

Tory Burch is seen in the September 2009 issue of Elle magazine in her breakfast room that has been swathed in blue Arbre de Matisse Reverse.

Designer Meg Braff upholstered a pair of chairs in green Arbre de Matisse Reverse.

Alexis Beard's decorators, Chiqui and Nena Woolworth, used a lot of Quadrille fabrics in her home including Nairobi in leaf on the sofas in the living room.

Amanda Cutter Brooks home was featured in the premier issue of Vogue Living and her living room features Java Grande by China Seas upholstery.

I love the graphic quality of the colorful Cap Ferrat fabric by Alan Campbell in Meg Braff's son's bedroom. There is a story in the Albert Hadley book about how he and Sister Parish were one of the first firms to use Alan Campbell's fabrics. They were modern then and still look modern today!

Aerin Lauder had a custom color Deauville fabric by Alan Campbell created for her kitchen in her East Hampton home.

One of my favorite fabrics at Quadrille is Paradise Background and here Meg Braff creates a beautiful bedroom with it.

I've seen this fabric that Ruthie Sommers attributed to different sources but I'm pretty sure it's Lyford Background by China Seas. I told you that sometimes the patterns get confusing!

Tom Sheerer also creates a pretty in pink bedroom using Lafayette Toile.

Jonathan Berger used another fabric from China Seas, Lysette in magenta, for a powder room in the Brooklyn townhouse.

Carleton Varney, the king of color, also used Lysette in magenta but this time the reverse version. The pillows are also in Lysette in magenta and green.

Although you can't really tell in this photo, interior designer John Wiley used Lysette Reverse in orange for bedroom draperies.

Another one of my favorites is Macao II by China Seas in Jungle Green which designer Palmer Weiss used for a client's chairs.

Here Macao II is used for a sofa and chair cushions by Brockschmidt & Coleman.

Ashley Whittaker created a beautiful dining room with Veneto by Quadrille.

Also in Alexis Beard's home is Este Reverse wallpaper by Quadrille.

In Alexis Beard's master bedroom, the wallpaper is Bali II while the headboard is upholstered in Bali Isle.

Meg Braff upholstered another set of chairs in Bali II in blue which looks great at the beach.

I love how the green Island Ikat looks on the roman shades in this bedroom designed by John Wiley.

Domino really did seem to love Quadrille fabrics and used Bali Isle by China Seas for this sofa.

Once designers fall in love with fabrics at Quadrille, they tend to use the fabrics in various rooms of a project. Here Carleton Varney upholsters a sofa in Potalla Background by China Seas.

Meg Braff wallpapered a powder room in green Potalla Background by China Seas.

Aerin Lauder also seems to love the Quadrille showroom. Her son's room is wallpaper ed in Zig Zag from Alan Campbell in green. She also had her outdoor furniture upholstered in Ferns by Alan Campbell when it appeared in Vogue Living but seems to be gone in the photos in the July/August 2009 issue of Elle Decor.

Carleton Varney also used Ziggurat by China Seas for this bedroom.

Then there is the most memorable use of a fabric from Quadrille. In The Devil Wears Prada, Miranda sits on a sofa upholstered in Melinda by Alan Campbell. That's all.
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