Living with Color in Connecticut Part II

Living with Color in Connecticut Part II

For any who missed Monday’s post, we are continuing our tour of an amazing Diamond Baratta designed house in Connecticut, full of color, collections and masterful coordination of pattern. Here we look down the stairs to the basement, with a hint of what’s to come. The walls are covered in a durable, subtle patterned anaglypta wallpaper, so appropriate for a family of seven!

A great venue for Superbowl or gaming fun, downstairs is a colorful, comfortable, practical space, perfect for the large family or crowd of guests.

  

And of course no room in this house would be complete without the requisite artisanal piece, in this case a fabulous rustic cabinet from Randy Holden.…

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Living with Color in Connecticut

Living with Color in Connecticut

There are some people who live in neutral, some who live in drive and some who live in overdrive. The same can be applied to living with color. Last week I was lucky enough to visit an amazing home belonging to people who definitely live in color overdrive. The owners of this beautiful house purchased it as construction was already underway by a local high end custom home builder. With substantial shingle style architectural and millwork details already in place they were able to customize and change some elements including all the hardware to bring the house up to their level of sophistication.…

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At the Movies + Bonus

At the Movies + Bonus

To be honest, I was going to write about a different movie today to kick off the Oscar season, but a little discovery caused me to change my mind (more on that in a bit). Today’s film is a classic Hitchcock that I’m sure most readers have seen. If by some chance this film has eluded you all these years, please make sure to add it to your Netflix list immediately.

Rear Window showcases Hitchcock’s uncanny ability to focus on our human foibles and make them not only entertaining but suspenseful. Jimmy Stewart plays L.B. Jeffries, a photographer, wheelchair bound from a job related accident.…

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Thank You

Thank You

While some of you already know, I had to take just a brief moment to acknowledge those who nominated me for the inaugural Design Bloggers Conference Hall of Fame award. I am honored to be a finalist with such a great group in the best writing category. A grateful nod also to the judges for including me as one of the final five.

And without risking sounding like a beauty contestant, I do have to send a thank you to all the readers who let me know they have cast their vote. I am really so very appreciative. Congratulations to each nominee.…

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Happy Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese New Year

Today is the beginning of the new lunar year in China. As the most important holiday in the country, people there have already been celebrating Chinese New Year for a couple of weeks. And not just at parties. Here divers dance underwater at an aquarium in Beijing.

photo: China Daily/Reuters

This year we are celebrating the Year of the Dragon, marked by excitement, exhilaration and intensity. To the Chinese, the dragon symbolizes power, ambition, heroism, divinity, success, optimism and nobility which is why they have embraced the dragon in many art forms over thousands of years.

Ming Dynasty red lacquer Sutra box at the Metropolitan Museum

Unlike our western dragons which are frequently associated with negative qualities, eastern dragons are beautiful, wise, and kind, are worshipped and even have shrines devoted to them.…

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At the Movies

At the Movies

Considering my posts this week, you’ve probably guessed the feature today is a British film (even though Dark Shadows is American, the gothic residence had heavy English overtones). And in thinking about interiors, I considered many of the movies shot at grand castles and estates but decided on one with a more modest setting. Alfred Hitchcock’s Suspicion was one of my early introductions to the master. While not considered one of his masterpieces, I still always loved this romantic thriller.

Joan Fontaine, on the heels of her performance in Hitchcock’s spectacular Rebecca, earned an Oscar in 1941 for her portrayal of the shy bookworm Lina McLaidlaw.…

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British Style Bonanza

British Style Bonanza

Between the mania for Downton Abbey and the popularity of Will and Kate, it’s clear British style is making a comeback. It’s true in fashion – think of the 600,000 visitors who saw McQueen at the Met or the fashionistas watching Kate’s every move. I LOVED her here in Brit designer Alice Temperley at the recent War Horse premiere in London.

But it’s the realm of design that I think holds the most fascination. Downton Abbey writer Julian Fellowes had Highclere Castle, where the show is filmed, in mind when he wrote the series. He said he wanted a house “which spectacularly testified to the confidence and soaring optimism of the Edwardian period.” Perhaps with the last few years of economic restraint, people have been looking to their homes for a reassuring sense of comfort and security.…

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Dark Shadows

Dark Shadows

I knew it would happen eventually. With the vampire mania of the last few years, it was just a matter of time until someone resurrected the cult 60’s series Dark Shadows. As much as I have eschewed the current vampire offerings, I must offer full disclosure and admit that I was hooked on the show. I negotiated hard with my mother to let me watch every afternoon for the half hour after school. I think she relented only so that I wouldn’t be a social pariah, since it was the main fodder for daily lunchtime discussions in the cafeteria.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the show, Dark Shadows could best be described as a gothic soap opera.…

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The Invention of the Past

The Invention of the Past

I received many beautiful design and coffee table books for Christmas this year (a few admittedly from me to me). Some I have already reviewed here and others I hope to cover in posts to come. While most had received enough advance press that I knew what to expect, there was one that was a total revelation.

For some unknown reason, The Invention of the Past: Interior Design and Architecture of Studio Peregalli had not been on my radar. I’m not quite sure why since Laura Sartori Rimini and Roberto Peregalli’s work at Studio Peregalli represents everything I love about design and architecture.…

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Road Trip: Peter Fasano

Road Trip: Peter Fasano

I have long been a fan of Peter Fasano‘s appealing fabrics and wallpapers, so when designer friend Mally Skok (below) asked if I’d like to join her, along with Amy Dragoo, at his Great Barrington, MA studio last month, I was thrilled. Peter also prints Mally’s ever expanding delightful fabric lines, available in showrooms in the US, London and Australia.

Peter’s studio is in an unassuming building in this western Massachusetts town, now home to many creative types. In fact it was the Fasanos’ friend, the late textile designer, Alan Campbell, who originally lured them up to the area, nearby in Connecticut, where other design luminaries such as Bunny Williams also have homes.…

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