Year of the Monkey

Year of the Monkey

Monday marks Chinese New Year with the Year of the Monkey, the ninth animal in the Chinese zodiac cycle. For centuries, people’s fascination with these simian creatures has been documented in both fine and decorative art, often depicting them dressed up and aping human behavior. If you have studied art history you probably know that the term for such scenes is singerie, from the French meaning monkey trick. Monkeys have been used by artists for mocking, mirroring and expressing man’s foibles for centuries. From the Greeks and Egyptians who, in general, held a less than favorable opinion of the creature to the Middle Ages when monkeys were often placed in Eden, symbolizing a human who has given into sin, to the Flemish masters of the 16th century.…

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Boutet de Monvel at Sotheby’s

Boutet de Monvel at Sotheby’s

Today continues the story of Paris and Art Deco with the work of fascinating artist Bernard Boutet de Monvel, whose art is the subject of a Sotheby’s Auction in Paris on April 5th and 6th. I first became acquainted with the work of Boutet de Monvel from the portrait of Le Maharadjah d’Indore which graces the cover of a favorite book, Made for Maharajas. It is a marvelous depiction of Raj life and the Indian royals’ love of Western luxury. Dangling from the Maharajah’s Chaumet pearl necklace are the “Indore Pears,” diamonds weighing approximately 47 carats each that were attached specifically for this portrait.…

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In Paris Black and White est Toujours Right

In Paris Black and White est Toujours Right

Among the surging sea of colors at Paris Deco Off was also a strong undercurrent of black and white. From exuberant prints to handsome wovens, it proved the graphic and enduring power of the most basic color combination. At Pierre Frey their new Jungle collection of wallpapers tells the story of a yet unexplored South American country. Pampa, also available in a fabric, is a fresh interpretation of a classic toile. Printed only in black and white, it recalls engravings documenting voyages from another time to exotic lands.

Another paper in Jungle, Amazon, is  a completely hand drawn pattern expressing the secrets of the jungle.…

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New Collections at Paris Deco Off 2016

New Collections at Paris Deco Off 2016

It’s wonderful that more and more companies are choosing to do pop ups in the city during the shows but it also makes seeing all the new collections at Paris Deco Off a bit challenging, especially this year as I was busy at the pop up as well. One stop I always make time for is Jim Thompson.

The latest collection, cleverly titled Bonsai of the Vanities, is inspired by the archives and the private collection of the Royal Palace. Creative Director Ou Baholoyodhin does such a beautiful job art directing the room sets, I thought I’d share his vision for the collection.…

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2016 Young Collectors Night at the Winter Antiques Show

2016 Young Collectors Night at the Winter Antiques Show

The 2016 Young Collectors Night last Thursday at the Winter Antiques Show, was, as always, a festive evening celebrating what is widely considered the most prestigious show for the best of the best in fine and decorative arts. More than 800 fashionable folks came for a private viewing of the show and to mingle with top interior designers and a social crowd of New York’s design aficionados, all to benefit the East Side House Settlement. As tomorrow is the last day, I wanted to share some of my favorite finds. On arriving, I ran into designer Jesse Carrier and we made a beeline to friend Liz O’Brien‘s booth, who always has an incredibly chic mix.…

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Paris Deco Off Favorites

Paris Deco Off Favorites

While I organize my thoughts and photos, I thought I’d share a few Deco Off favorites. Ancien et Moderne was such a fantastic experience for all of us involved. Beth Dempsey‘s brilliant concept brought together a group of people passionate about design, their products and the power of creative collaboration. With an eclectic mix of old and new and a focus on timeless style, the space spoke to the enduring quality of the handmade and fine craftsmanship.

Pierre Frey, who contributed the beautiful Braquenié rug to the pop up, presented several stunning new collections. Charleston looks back to Art Deco with a contemporary eye as can be seen in the namesake fabric, a jacquard (shown in two colorways) based on a design in the archives.…

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Welcoming McAlpine Home

Welcoming McAlpine Home

Thirty years ago, McAlpine Tankersley Architecture was born in Montgomery, Alabama. Since then, the firm has grown into a national powerhouse, encompassing both architecture and interiors, with four offices including a recently updated outpost in New York. I had the pleasure of visiting with four of the seven partners there before the holidays to see their elegant new Flatiron digs and discuss the evolving nature of this talented multi-faceted firm.

left to right: Greg Tankersley, Susan Ferrier, Bobby McAlpine & Ray Booth

Designing from the inside out. That mantra is what led Bobby McAlpine, in 1997, to open a related but separate interior design firm, McAlpine Booth & Ferrier Interiors, with partners Ray Booth and Susan Ferrier.…

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Paris Update

Paris Update

It’s been a whirlwind 48 hours. Deco Off officially opened today and so did the Pop Up. Our small salon at 16 rue Guénégaud was hopping and even we couldn’t believe that it all came together so quickly. Many media friends and designers stopped by as well as new acquaintances it was a pleasure to meet. I will hopefully have a closer look for you to see very soon. In the meantime, please enjoy this little Paris update, with glimpses of Ancien et Moderne as well as a bit out and about. This afternoon at 4 we are looking forward to hosting a book signing and talk with Alexandre de Vogüé, co-author of A Day at Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte, fifth generation Chateau resident and manger of the estate with his two brothers!…

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First Peek at Paris

First Peek at Paris

Je suis arrivée! While it may have been gray for my arrival, it is already feeling festive for the start of Déco Off on Thursday. I thought I would post a first peek at Paris through my lens. Since time will be tight on this trip, I will try to share shorter glimpses of the activities as we go along. Of course you can always follow along on Instagram for even more timely updates.

The iconic lanterns of the show are are looking festive in the charming place de Furstenberg above.

Pierre Frey‘s windows at their  left bank outposts feature old and new from their various lines above and below.…

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A Day at Château de Fontainebleau

A Day at Château de Fontainebleau

Whereas many chateaux are associated primarily with a particular resident or royal, Chateau de Fontainebleau represents almost 1,000 years of French ruling dynasties. A Day at Château de Fontainebleau offers not only insights into the history, art and culture of France throughout the centuries, but also the lives of those who inhabited this magnificent French landmark. While the château welcomes over 500,000 visitors a year, many of the images in the book are of rooms and galleries not open to the public

With over 1,500 rooms on 130 acres of park and gardens, it was one of the few royal residences left intact after the ravages of the French Revolution.  

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