Friday, September 30, 2011


I always find British design to be totally directional and inspiring. This is the case for a fabric foray from an established English furniture brand, Soane. Handmade in an old Victorian mill without the help of machinery, Soane's brand new fabrics merge old world craftsmanship and pattern with a palette and scale suited for today. Introducing just eight carefully thought out designs, the creative process had a longer than usual incubation period for the prolific furniture designer. Created by Soane's co-founder Lulu Lytle, the print collection is inspired by travels to exotic places, document prints, and archival collections. With a varied palette, this nod to historically important classics and playful new one's are an introduction worth noticing.

Stripes on stripes- love it!

Based on a 19th century Syrian document, Damascus Stripe in 100% silk is a rich, jewel toned narrow stripe

Climbing large scale vines bring the natural word in. I could also see this on upholstered walls.

Bright green and deep pink are fresh colors for a traditional pattern derived from an early 19th century original.

A scalloped wrap around tester, headboard and lampshade make this bed a cozy place to retire to.

Ripple Stripe, a cotton poplin, was born out of an Indonesian Batik. The sketchy hand drawn quality makes the repeat varied and interesting.

The diminutive charm of their slipper chair is enhanced with this small scale print on it.

Paw Print, an adorable mini print promises to lure dog owners. It comes in an electric blue that looks like the color of a blue M&M.

The soft palette and medallion flower works well in window treatments and would work nicely as upholstery.

Turkish Blossom, a floral on a linen ground, was found at the Chatsworth House sale.

Taking on a completely different look depending on whether the base is dark or light, this ethnic print is highly versatile.

Printed on linen, Symi is based on an antique embroidery found on the Portobello Road. It could be Greek or Italian, the colorways evoke different looks.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Last night, LA based friends Brian Ferrick and Alex Mason of Ferrick Mason fabrics had a wonderful party to welcome fall and kick off some new print designs. Hosted by Blair Voltz Clarke, an artists representative for international contemporary artists, her art filled home provided the perfect back drop for Ferrick Mason's jubilant prints. Artist Alex Mason's framed original works on paper were also on display, as Blair represents her work. I loved seeing the artwork next to the FM Fabrics, it showed the progression of her artistic range on paper and textiles. Back in their hometown, Joe Lucas and Parrish Chilcoat of Lucas Studio were having a party to celebrate the opening of their new Harbinger Showroom in West Hollywood, too bad I could not be on both coasts simultaneously!

Ferrick Mason prints from left to right: Criss Cross, Calliandra, Lucas Check, Warfield

left: Willow, Criss Cross, Warfield, Crown Derby, Tropicana. Right: Tropicana, Lucas Check, Bizzy Bloom, Jack Stripe, Warfield

Brian Ferrick with Alex Mason and interior designer Lindsey Harper. Ralph Lauren's William Li, designers Alexandra Angle, Jesse Carrier, Arden Stephenson, the group from Studio 4 Ferrick Mason's New York showroom, and many more came out to toast the duo.

Host Blair Voltz Clarke with Alex Mason

Fabrics at the ready to show guests

Blair has a fantastic tablescape on her lucite coffee table that includes a commemorative William and Kate wedding cookie.

Alex's paintings were on display

The paintings happened to coordinate nicely with the color palette of the interiors

Against the night sky the graphic elements of her work really stood out

Another fantastic grouping of objets sit alongside a Spitzmiller lamp with a modern blue painting by Sara Genn on the wall

Blair is an art dealer, so incredible paintings and installation pieces were on display. A vivid, circular piece by Dan Bennett hangs between the windows.

Alex specially designed the hand painted fabric tablecloth for the event. Jessica Young created delicious passed creations, like BLT Bites.

A pillow with simple flange in their Brier print is available on their website

A classic mantelpiece with a pop of color

I couldn't resist a shot of Blair's office, with art and books galore. A creative haven!

A scribble in bursts of pulsating color by Lucy Soni

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Some artists design such magical furnishings it is amazing they don't just go straight into a museum to be appreciated by millions. This is the case with an artist exhibition at Michael S. Smith's LA gallery. With craftsmanship and mastery of materials similar to that of iconic French designers Jean Royere and Pierre Chareau, artist Christopher Come forges a new path. Currently on display at Michael S. Smith's furniture gallery, Duke & Duke, in association with Cristina Grajales, the show reveals his exquisite glass and iron creations.
Smith, along with collaborator Maya McLaughlin, has created a haven for showcasing fantastical creations from European and American artistic furniture makers. Just think, you don't have to use your passport to appreciate these luxuries. Come's designs have a unique lightness and airiness to them, which is difficult to achieve when working in metal and glass. Strong linear patterns that form graphic repeats have a mesmerizing quality to them. Much in the same way Herve Van Der Straeten transforms metal, Come elevates it to a totally new, elegant place. These museum - quality pieces are alluring and visually arresting, so stop by and check them out when in LA at 8527 Melrose Avenue.

Photos courtesy of Christopher Come and Duke and Duke Gallery

Oblique Screen, 2003 in iron and glass

Round Coffee Table in iron, rock crystal and glass

Bench 2007 with a velvet seat and varied circles

Mirror, 2007 in brushed hand hammered iron and glass with silver leaf is a showstopper

Fire Tools, 2007 can go modern or minimal

Firescreen in iron and glass has a fabulous dynamic quality

Monday, September 26, 2011


When my mother, Nancy Marcantonio, an interior designer living and working in Southport, Connecticut of NHM Interiors, wanted to build her own home, she turned to the Classical American architecture firm of Fairfax and Sammons, a New York and Palm Beach-based husband and wife team who design homes in the classical style with a nod to the needs of how we live today.

My mother has, over the years of working in design, developed a passion for Jeffersonian architecture and Georgian antiques. When the opportunity arose to design her own home, she took the time and did her research to find the right person to execute her vision. It became a wonderful journey. Her priorities included just six requests made to Richard: the living room must be central to the house and should be designed for living in. All the major rooms must have access to the garden; the master bedroom should be on the ground floor; the dining room must be an octagon (a pure bow to Jefferson), and the house should have a walled and private garden. And finally, the garages should not be seen when observing the facade or the garden (they were finally placed entirely underneath the house). For the exterior, a walled garden was designed with a 10 foot high battered wall, which, for the uninitiated means that, as in the old days, no mortar was used.

The creative dialog between architect and interior designer was alive and well from foundation to roof line, where proportion and symmetry were the key elements. Jeffersonian concepts and modern day living were fused, and it was a learning process for me, as I was privy to much of the process. From visiting the job site, to spending time with the amazingly knowledgeable Anne and Richard, to reading the exquisite hand-drawn plans and observing the various phases of construction, the house became a project my sister, Amanda Reynal, an interior designer with her firm Reynal Interiors, and I were a part of. The home took 6 months to plan and design on paper, and 18 months to build. The comfortable scale found at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and Edgemont, a house my mother had discovered before her project began -- was inspiration. For materials, clapboard and flat board with wood quoining made the home look like a Jeffersonian house, built in wood not brick, to work within the Connecticut vernacular. The house turned out to be everything my mother had hoped for and more.

Fairfax and Sammons drawings define precise scale and symmetry. The layout and roof line of Lillifields was based loosely on Villa Malcontenta by Palladio.

The back of the house faces the road and sits behind a 10 foot battered wall, to keep the entrance private. The design for the garden is Italianate and rather more formal than the traditional English cottage garden. The house is turned around and the sunken garden creates privacy. The bay windows that flank the loggia have a 1930's Swedish classical feel.

In keeping with a New England vernacular, Lillifields is constructed of clapboard and wooden quoins. The steep roof functions well to throw off the snow of a New England winter. Tall chimneys give the house a strong presence.

The entry foyer with spiraling staircase flanked by columns define the rectangular space.

The living room is defined by an entablature, a cornice with medillions identical to the cornices on the exterior of the house, here rising to a barrel vaulted ceiling of 22 feet in height.

The octagonal dining room/library, a Jefferson favorite, is defined by a round dining table.

The kitchen with breakfast room and garden beyond, create a pastoral view. My mom wanted a chef's kitchen with tons of counter space and storage.

Elegant cabinetry and sky blue marble defined the master bath with classical detailing and made good use of the space.

A soaking tub was set in below floor level and the shower and water closet flanked the tub behind closed mirrored doors.

The loggia with barrel vaulted ceiling painted sky blue reflects light by diffusing it. The herringbone patterned brick of Boston Pavers provide an aged patina.

Friday, September 23, 2011


The hare is everywhere! For some reason, adorable rabbits have emerged as a micro trend. I saw them at the Gift Show, their darling faces begging me to take them home. Is the rabbit poised to overtake the monkey, frog, or bird as the animal du jour?

Photo courtesy of Hugo Guiness
Providing character galore, the block printed Rabbit from the Hedgerow Series by Hugo Guiness at John Derian would be great in a nursery.

Photo courtesy of Dandelion
Highly detailed cast iron rabbits from Dandelion are so sweet perched on a side table or bookshelf. They have a wonderful aged quality to them but are actually reproductions.

A cache of vases in a variety of sizes and shapes from Oly capture a large hare rendered in blue against blanc de chine.

Caskata tabletop also featured rabbits. This duo is highly detailed in the spirit of Albrecht Durer drawings.

Photo courtesy of John Derian
A freely frolicking rabbit jumps across tall grasses on John Derian's decoupage plate.