Monday, September 16, 2013


Photo by Eric Bohman courtesy of House Beautiful
I find I am captivated by this image of Deeda Blair's desk that was pictured in House Beautiful several years back. There is a sweetness and lightness to the French-inflected vignette. Perhaps one of the reasons I love it is how she displays her porcelain flower collection. Hung on porcelain brackets, the work of artisan Vladimir is beautiful looking, not overly decorative. Or, it could be the blue-grey painted desk with decorative obelisks, painted porcelain plates and propped up paintings. She has a lot of stuff here, but there is enough space for everything to breathe. Choosing pretty, meaningful decorative objects, her workspace reflects her personality. 
I think we are going to see a big return to pretty- with chintz and blowsy florals on the horizon. The small floral oil painting propped up on the Louis chair on the left is exactly the type of floral motif that has been out of favor for some time.  The soon-to-be-released enormous book of Mario Buatta's chintz-festooned interiors will pave the way for the big bloom's return.  There are some classic stalwart floral prints from Colefax and Fowler and Brunschwig that garnered design affections in the 1980's, and depending on how they are used today, still have the same charm as they did when they came to define the English Country House style. Rather then using them in bold strokes, try a more spare application in smaller moments,  like a little upholstered chair or headboard, to give the blooms new life.

Photo courtesy of Vladimir
Beautiful handmade porcelain English roses in a Chinese vessel, created by Vladimir.

Photo courtesy of Colefax and Fowler
Bowood, a spray of white roses from Colefax and Fowler, was brought back in the archives and re-introduced in the 1960's

Colefax and Fowler Tree Poppy on linen

Plumbago Bouquet on linen from Colefax and Fowler

 Photo courtesy of Bennison
A veddy, veddy British chintz,  lilac sprigs on linen from Bennison.

 Photo courtesy of Bennison
I love the monochromatic impact of lipstick pink roses against the crisp solid ground in Bennison's Roses.

 Photo courtesy of Brunschwig and Fils
La Portugaise, the Brunschwig and Fils chintz Mr. Hadley used in Brooke Astor's New York library.

Photo courtesy of Brunschwig and Fils
Athos, a new chintz from Brunschwig and Fils

 Photos courtesy of Schumacher
Alessandra Branca's Elizabeth chintz from Schumacher is a riot of intensely electric colored flowers.

The newer Pyne Hollyhock Chintz in a grey and white colorway, re-created by Schumacher, originally used by Albert Hadley in 1962 for a favorite client.

 Photo courtesy of Lee Jofa
Lee Jofa's Hollyhock hand-blocked print on linen

Floral Bouquet Chintz with blue leaves from Lee Jofa was a Sister Parish favorite.

Photo courtesy of Lee Jofa
Lee Jofa's Blithwold Glazed Chintz

 Photo courtesy of Rose Cumming
Delphinium, a large scale floral with varying shades or purple in a classic from Rose Cummings.

Photo courtesy of Rose Cumming
Twyford, a highly detailed Rose Cumming chintz on maize, a wonderful butter yellow ground.


Jennifer Dengel said...

I too have been enthralled with that image of Deeda Blair's desk for years--I love everything about it!
I have never left the side of pretty, chintz, sentimental and beautiful objects...To those things, I say welcome back--you've been missed!

kayce hughes said...

Boxwood was my first room that mom let me design and still one of my favorites!

cbellfurnishing said...

I love Bennison's lipstick roses.. ready for a little pretty!

MJH Design Arts said...

The return of pretty?? Can't wait. I love great chintz.

Kathleen said...

I never stopped loving chinz, also old brass, which I hear is also coming back. I've never understood why things of beauty should ever be "out" of style. It's like saying a French twist and penny loafers are over. Somethings never need to change.

Linda @ a design snack said...

I'm very glad chintz is coming back. I used Brunschwig and fils New Athos in a bedroom last Fall. Client loves it.

Rachel said...

Thank you for the chintz round-up, Marisa.

I'm using Bowood wallpaper in my powder room remodel and discovered that the grey/green colorway has been discontinued. I got some of the last hundred rolls. Let's implore Colefax & Fowler to keep it in production!

Elegant Ground Homeware said...

Gorgeous floral prints, I love the second one!I have a couple of bed sheet with similar prints, they are lovely especially in fall!