Spring Design Books Round Up

Spring Design Books Round Up

While it’s usually the fall season that brings out the blockbuster line up of design books, this spring, a strong selection rivals tradition. With a particularly crazy year of events to date, I am rather late in my reviews. Many of these books have already been circling in the blogosphere but I wanted to add a few thoughts and recommendations in this, a first of several round ups of recent titles.

You will want to move into the incredibly charming home of Furlow Gatewood. With evocative text by follower southerner Julia Reed, there are few more irresistible volumes around than One Man’s Folly.…

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From Sea to Shining Sea

From Sea to Shining Sea

Wishing all you readers a wonderful long Memorial Day weekend. As we enjoy what here in Connecticut is a glorious sunny start to the summer season,

photo via Ralph Lauren

let’s take a moment to remember why we celebrate and recognize all those who have made sacrifices serving our country, which includes both my parents. My father was a reconnaissance pilot and officer in the WWII Army Air Corps (taken before his many decorations).

and my mother was, during the war, an art therapist in the Red Cross.

In a very greatest generation story, they met while my father was recuperating at Walter Reed (for three years) from a mortar shell attack at Battle of the Bulge.…

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Pierre Soulages Returns to New York

Pierre Soulages Returns to New York

According to art critic Brooks Adams, who spoke several weeks ago at the preview of the Pierre Soulages show being held jointly by Dominique Lévy and Galerie Perrotin, below, the key date was October 1950.

That was when Leo Castelli organized a show for Sidney Janis juxtaposing young French and American artists. In the exhibit, an early Pierre Soulages hung next to an Yves Klein and de Kooning was hanging next to Dubuffet, setting up a tense dialogue between the New York and European artists. James Johnson Sweeney, the second director of the Guggenheim, subsequently did an important show in 1953 called the Younger European Painters, including Solages, which was very influential in promoting the European artists across America, adding fuel to the fire.…

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Thank You Taigan for Sharing my Chateau Life Picks

Thank You Taigan for Sharing my Chateau Life Picks

How can you not love a site that offers everything from the best ice cream sandwiches to luxury travel. For those always on the hunt for that certain something special, Taigan is an endless temptation of carefully curated products from around the globe.  I’ve been a fan for years and in fact one of my very earliest posts was about the site and its online magazine, Fetch.

So when they kindly asked several months ago if I would make some selections, I of course agreed. After my visit to Timothy Corrigan’s Chateau du Grand-Lucé in January, I was inspired to find ways of bringing his particular brand of chic and comfortable chateau life back home.…

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Designers’ Picks From the Christie’s 20th Century Decorative Art & Design Auction

Designers’ Picks From the Christie’s 20th Century Decorative Art & Design Auction

Auctions, especially at distinguished houses, can be intimidating. And yet they are some of the best sources for great buys. So in anticipation of the upcoming Christie’s 20th Century Decorative Art & Design Auction next month, the house decided to collaborate with three young design firms to show budding collectors the type of pieces these stylish interior designers might choose for their clients, or themselves. Each was instructed to pick eight to ten of their favorites from the sale within a given theme. Suysel Cunningham and Anne Foster of Tilton Fenwick demonstrated how bold neutrals can enliven a room in new and unexpected ways in “Make Some Noise with Neutrals.” French deco and American mid century come together for a highly collectible mix.…

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A Fountainhead Fantasy by Doug Meyer at Legends

A Fountainhead Fantasy by Doug Meyer at Legends

The best gathering at Legends was no doubt in Doug Meyer’s brilliant window installation for Dragonette, sponsored by the Palos Verdes Art Center, where Meyer is working on a major design overhaul. Howard Roark’s Enright House of The Fountainhead, as envisioned by the multifaceted designer, was the chic epicenter for legendary luminaries of the 20’s, 30’s and beyond. Long fascinated by little worlds, Meyer created an incredibly intricate and creative universe where “many of the world’s most revered architects, designers and artists of the 20th century worked.”

Where else could Alfred Barr, Arshile Gorky, George Stacey, Gio Ponti, Piero Fornaseti and more congregate to collaborate on “one of the most important buildings of the 20th century, designed by one of the biggest architects of our time.” Thanks to mutual friend Susanna Salk, I met Doug for drinks in LA to discuss my obsession with his mind bender of a creation.…

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Thank You Domino Magazine

Thank You Domino Magazine

Those of you on social media may have seen the article Domino Magazine published yesterday.

They put out their first ever list of their 26 favorite design blogs and I was thrilled to see Quintessence included, along with several blogging friends. Stop by to see the wide range of inspiring sites that Domino loves. And speaking of inspiration, I am currently in St. Louis for a couple days and loved taking a stroll to see the charms of this mid west city. From the stately residential architecture

to the impressive public spaces.

The Saint Louis Art Museum, above, designed by celebrated American architect Cass Gilbert in 1904 for the World’s Fair stands majestically at the top of “art hill,” overlooking the basin in Forest Park, below.…

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The Art of Vintage and Modern at Dragonette

The Art of Vintage and Modern at Dragonette

What do resourceful designers do when they can’t find what they want? Why they make it themselves of course. Befitting the emphasis on the unique and bespoke at Legends, that’s exactly what Patrick Dragonette has done at his eponymous La Cienega showroom. Known for his über stylish mix of predominantly mid 20th century furniture, accessories and jewelry, he has been producing an expanding collection of pieces under his private label as well. Patrick’s shop is always a dangerous stop for me. With his chic vignettes, echoing a time of high style in fashion and decor, I had visions of Cary Grant bringing me a martini at a poolside pavilion. …

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Making the Rounds at La Cienega Legends 2014

Making the Rounds at La Cienega Legends 2014

Every year the word spreads wider. La Cienega Legends 2014 was hopping with packed standing-room-only venues for all three days. And with good reason. There is definitely something special about the design community in Los Angeles. The charming indoor/outdoor setting enhanced by the Southern California climate is certainly alluring. But it’s also the fact that it feels like a community. And this event, with its focus on education, creativity and camaraderie, brings design aficionados from both coasts, and some in between, out in force. Following opening night at the elegant Thieren showroom, we were treated to a plein air blogger breakfast on the sunny terrace of the Sherle Wagner showroom.

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La Cienega Design Quarter Legends

La Cienega Design Quarter Legends

It’s been a whirlwind few days here at the La Cienega Design Quarter Legends 2014 edition. In the beautiful California weather, we have been whisked from one beautiful showroom to another for interesting talks, delicious meals, convivial networking, a bevy of book signings and of course festive partying. There have definitely been some consistent themes throughout and wonderful connections both made and reinforced. I look forward to sharing more from this “legendary” event but for now wanted to leave you with a quick peek.

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