Saturday, November 20, 2010

Back in Black............Black Walls in Design

Would you ever paint your bedroom black?  How about your living room?  There is something so automatically chic about a black room. Or even a black wall in a neutral space.  
What do you think?  

Don't you LOVE the Flokati Rug?  My fave.......
It's settled.....
black walls  = clean, sophisticated elegance.  Where do I start?  The hallway to my bedroom is similar to this one..... Hallway first, master bedroom second?  Time to bribe the painter (aka adorable hubs)..........  

Friday, November 19, 2010

"If it looks right, it is right".

Designer Dorothy Draper

Regency Redux High Style Interiors Hollywood Regency by Emily Evans Eerdmans and Kelly WearstlerDD

Born into wealth, Dorothy Draper was the first woman to establish an interior design firm in 1923, when a woman going to business by herself was considered risky as well as socially uncommon.
Drapers confidence, and unique style gave her an ability to step out of the common historical designs of her time, and run ahead of designers of her time because she didn't feel pressured to conform. Her confidence allowed her to make the right decisions every time- “if it looks right, it is right”.
Draper designed for the very wealthy society figures. But that was not all, she had commercial business knocking on her door as well. She often custom designed for hotels, restaurants, theaters, department stores, commercial establishments, corporate offices. She designed furniture for Ficks Reed, Heritage, as well as a many fabric lines for Schumacher. 
(credit to Hollywood Regency Furniture...)


 History's First True Interior Designer

The actual profession of interior designer is credited to Ms. Draper, who was commissioned to decorate all thirty-seven floors of the Hampshire House hotel in 1937 Manhattan. Even though renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright called her an "inferior desecrator," Ms. Draper had decorated scores of offices, restaurants, hospitals, and even a car for Packard (in 1952) and an airplane interior for Convair (the 880) before she died in 1969.
Ms. Draper also left a legacy through a number of books, as well, including a string of books on entertaining etiquette, some of which have recently been reprinted to help modern socialites entertain guests and be the life of their parties. In a way, Dorothy Draper was the Martha Stewart of her day, offering tips on a wide variety of issues to her eager readers.

Although Dorothy Draper is no longer a household name, she had an enormous effect on American interior design ideas in her day, and though she had her detractors (like Frank Lloyd Wright and others), there's no denying that she was the one who made the profession of interior designer possible for all those who came after her.
Much of Ms. Draper's work hasn't survived to the current day, but you can still see some of Ms. Draper’s work in various places around the country. For instance, there are still Dorothy Draper chandeliers hanging in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. For a less prosaic look into Ms. Draper’s influence, just look for the blue-and-orange facades of the many Howard Johnson restaurants that still dot the countryside from coast to coast. Their color scheme was first suggested by Dorothy Draper.
The science of interior design has come a long way over the past seventy years. Today, it's a multimillion dollar industry, and incorporates aspects of environmental psychology, and architecture, as well as product and furniture design to create spaces that work well and are esthetically pleasing to their owners.
Copyright © 2006 Jeanette J. Fisher
America's "Dream Home" Maker Jeanette Fisher, author of best-selling real estate investing and interior design books, has researched the effects of the environment on emotions for over 15 years. She is the author of over ten books, including university textbooks, and encyclopedia articles on color psychology. For more information on interior design psychology, free ebooks and newsletters, please visit  Design Psychology
Permission granted to publish this article as long as the bio remains intact with a live link to

Check out these images from Dorothy Draper design:

A buffet of Hollywood Regency.......................

Thank you Dorothy Draper - 

....................................................................more to come............................

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Show Me Your STRIPES!

Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel on the Cote D'Azur, 1930's.

FOREVER our goddess of chic.  How did she know?  Ms. Chanel had this crazy, natural instinct for what "worked".  Not even that simple..... her style was and remains genius. One of my favorite looks made famous by Coco is (are?) the simple, nautical stripes...........  If I remember right, she actually started this look with an actual sailor's shirt,  and her male friend's pants & belt.  I love it.  The simple construction and ease putting this look together will always reign in my top 3.  

Check out a sampling of striped fashion for 2010.  Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel is definitely keeping it alive!
STRIPES in the home are screaming hot right now.  We've been seeing this trend since last year in the design world and it just keeps on keepin' on. 

The above rooms designed by one of our faves, Jonathon Adler, showcase such a simple way to grab this trend.  I've seen this herringbone (or Chevron)  patterned rug in several versions from around $200 (IKEA) to $2,600 (Jonathon Adler rug above), for example.  Add this piece to any room and it will beam your space into luxe-ville for sure.

Stunning stripes for Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady, 1964.

Even Barbie had the look in 1959 (then again in 2008 when Mattel - relaunched the original).

OKAY, so now, I am for sure rambling, but, just one more striped fascination.  Drapes, curtains, window coverings.......... any of these (especially in black and white) will take that space of yours and give it the simply chic - graphic simplicity that will make any design aficianado proud.  

Bye for now............