Thursday, September 22, 2011

Timeless Rooms of the Past and Present

It has been a long time since I have posted some of my favorite interiors so I thought I would include some of my favorites from the past and the present. Perhaps some of them are familiar to you but hopefully there are many rooms you have yet to see. These rooms represent a small fraction of the many others that have inspired me over the years. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do.


This exquisite sitting room from the thirties is typifies the work of Elsie de Wolfe's glamourous and feminine rooms. It's gleaming mirrors, pale walls and painted furniture with soft blue fabrics reads as fresh as ever.

Another example of a glamourous but not over the top bedroom by Frances Elkins. I have always dreamt of being able to do silver leaf walls in this manner.

The apartment above designed by Jean Michel Frank in 1937 for Nelson Rockefeller in New York represents some of his finest work.

Pink has never been one of my favorite colors. But this shade of the palest pink has made me reconsider. Designed by Harrison Cultra who sadly died from AIDS in 1983. He was one of the greatest and I try to imagine all of the beautiful rooms he would have created if he was still with us.

The London drawing room of Evangeline Bruce designed by John Fowler. The egg yolk yellow walls, Aubusson rug and relaxed comfort of the room are pure John Fowler.

It is impossible for me to pick my favorite room by Albert Hadley, but this one is at the top of my list. The daring green of the lacquered walls, which were clearly inspired by the Kenneth Noland painting exemplify what Mr. Hadley does best. Which is a confident mix of styles including modern art and a variety of furniture from France, Morocco and England. If I lived in this room I wouldn't change a thing except for the flowers.

A room by the dean of design, Van Day Truex. Relaxed and honest elegance is how I would define his work and what makes his rooms some of the most timeless and my personal favorites.

From my early years in San Francisco I have to include one of my favorite rooms by Anthony Hail, who's work and classic style has been such a big influence in my own work. The salmon colored walls are an unusual but quite English. Even though the room is filled with Danish and French pieces.



The three above images are some of the chicest and most beautiful rooms designed by late California designer, Kalef Alaton. All of his rooms can be characterized as restrained opulence. He loved creating spare architectural backdrops to showcase his selections of museum quality furniture and sculpture. Like Michael Taylor, Kalef Alaton loved big scale and occasional grand gestures but his work was not as inspired by nature as much as Michael Taylor's.



Rooms above by Jed Johnson, another incomparable designer, who was taken away from us way too early. Refined elegance describe all of his work whether it was a grand New York apartment or a beach house in the Hampton's. And he was fluent and confident in any style from Art Deco to the craftsmen style.

I can never get this room out of my mind. When I think of Provence I dream of this room by Francois Catroux. I adore the concrete floors inset with a pattern of smooth river rocks. Proof that you can take something so organic and simple as concrete and stone and make it chic and completely appropriate for this house.

A beautiful and rarely seen room by Michael Taylor, which was freshened up in 2008 by the one and only designer who could, Suzanne Tucker of Tucker and Marks, who is another one of my favorites in San Francisco.

Vicente Wolf's work never fails to excite me. His spaces are always filled with fascinating juxtapositions of different forms and periods from all over the globe. The steel canopy bed mixed with a gilded baroque style headboard exemplifies his confident yet approachable style.

For years I have dreamt about living one day in a really amazing barn inspired house. Designer, Nancy Braithwaite, has perfectly combined the rustic barn like wood tray ceiling, with the refined and simple colonial style painted paneling. I love every single element in this room from the linen slipcovered wing chairs, to the stone floors and iron chandelier.

This is my kind of beach house by another favorite, Thad Hayes.

Magical and beguiling are two of the first words that come to mind when I think of rooms by the former dynamic duo of Sills and Huniford. But I am still enchanted by their individual work. The Russian mirror over the mantle is one of the most beautiful and unusual mirrors I've seen.


One of the reasons why I admire the work of Houston's, J. Randall Powers, is that is has clearly been inspired by the work of Kalef Alaton. The architectural foundations of most of his rooms lean towards elegantly spare, which create a beautiful stage for his love of furniture with strong forms.

Designer, Veere Grenney's Victorian apartment in London. Love the dining table, chairs and antiqued mirror.

There is a consistency to all of David Kleinberg's interiors that I am always drawn to. Whether he is creating something formal or relaxed. It is his understanding of quality, history and a natural knack for mixing old and new. His years of training with Parish Hadley shine through in all his work.

Miles Redd is a master colorist in my mind. His brave combinations of colors always work, resulting in fresh, glamourous and exciting rooms that are always rooted in history.

For an LA showcase house designer Windsor Smith captured the far flung exoticism of distant places in this master bedroom. It is a soothing and tranquil bedroom filled with wonderful textures including linen, cowhide, velvet and silk. Her idea of using the brass trays as art is genius and makes a very unique statement.

Clean, strong classicism are the hallmarks of Brian McCarthy's tailored rooms. The cowhide rug brings down the potential seriousness of the room and adds unexpected warmth. And the pop of red brings a jolt of life to an otherwise somber palette.

Who said a gentlemen's dressing room cannot be glamourous. Jeffrey Bilhuber's Manhattan dressing room could go on the feminine side but the rich green and grays of the chinoiserie wallpaper along with the sisal give it a more masculine feel. The splashes of gold resin by artist Nancy Lorenz add an unexpected surprise, which is so typical in Mr. Bilhuber's work and always makes his interiors witty and never too serious.

Sitting room by Jeffrey Bilhuber, another master colorist.

A luxurious and chic living room, also by Bilhuber.

I have been following the work of Steven Gambrel, who's rooms are always fresh, stimulating and comfortable. Like Miles Redd and Jeffrey Bilhuber he is unafraid of interesting combinations of color.








3 comments:

columnist said...

I love all of these too. Thanks for posting.

hong kong property said...

classic rooms are really awesome!<3

HRH The Duchess of State said...

Timeless indeed dahhling! The John Fowler room by far my absolute favorite! Oh the that vibrant yellow...trés magnific!