Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Black Elements


I welcome black in my decor. Just as the colonials did in Singapore in their black and white houses. I can see a "planter's chair" somewhere in the bargain.

 And in the kitchen, I went for it. Though there were doubts out there.

 Three days left of work before the condo board shuts the door for the season to all contractors.

Too soon to take a bow. Give me another week.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Last Friday: Down to the Wire


This is the foyer. I'd had no idea that Dorothy Draper had liked and used this color. I'd thought I'd made it up.
I was sure I hadn't "made up" this one. Mauve. "Festival Mauve?"

 The guest bath is nothing more than a "powder room," therefore it can be dark.

 But the living spaces are gray.

Just a week and a half left to completion or the condo board will leave us out on the street for not respecting the November 1st deadline for construction.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

In Progress: A Work


This is how things looked on Monday morning. That's the master bedroom closet. Obviously, we're not living here. Yet.

That's the kitchen, through there.
 It's a workshop.

 In the sky.

That's our refrigerator. We're going to need it. Will we be in by the 2nd as promised?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Decorating Online


We wanted a sense of place in this, our first Palm Beach home. Upon entering, you should know you're in Playa de Palma and not in Sea Island Georgia, say. The PB style, a distinctive one at that, couldn't be more alien to me as it exists well outside my decorative cultural box. The challenge was to enter that mindset of pastels and chinoiserie Hollywood regency and learn to like it, once I'd made it mine. Will I succeed? We've only set foot in the place twice and that was in May. Not only are we rebuilding the kitchen and baths, and redoing everything, but we're decorating it from afar, via email and internet and telephones. The Linwood Chair by Hickory Chair, above, speaks of that PB look to me. I've bought four of these, sight unseen, in medium gray wood with white cotton upholstery, and they'll go around our dining table—two additional seating options are provided by a banquette (see below).

There is no more welcoming an upholstered chair to my mind than this "club" style chair, above, especially when it's made by the likes of Lee Industries. I saw and tried it out in a shop in Palm Beach in the spring; it's massive and soft as a cloud. We've bought four of them in "parrot green." This will be the biggest color statement of the decor—the walls are light gray. I found the vintage chest on 1stdibs, and it will be the center object in the group of chairs—as if it were a fireplace, you could say. The mirror, also from 1stdibs, goes over it, flanked by framed antique photographs of North Africa with picture lights over them.

Forget these colors shown above. I bought the bed, from Lee Industries, in white, king size.

This stunning desk, by Mark Hampton, also from Hickory Chair, is going in the bedroom. I have to say I'm quite taken with these American products created by very fine American designers. Here in Italy we have some of the best designers in the world, but they're all out there on the frontier of innovation. That's fine if you're looking for that sort of thing, but if you want traditional, revisited with flair, you're better off looking in the USA (or perhaps in the UK). I love the tropical/colonial influence here, just what I was looking for. On the desk, to the left, sits this lamp.

This is the banquette for the dining area, also from Hickory Chair. It will be upholstered in this Ziggy fabric in black and white from Dedar (the only Italian element in the scheme).

And the banquette will be flanked by a pair of these fantastic floor lamps, from Circa Lighting (ours are in nickel). This will be the table. It has a butterfly inset to accommodate six, and that was fundamental—not easy to find, and also in black. While it may bring to mind New England, it might also recall that Singapore/tropical/English colonial/Raj/African meets contemporary mid-century with a touch of Palm Beach feeling I'm going for.

I've bought two of these floor lamps to accompany the green club chairs.

We love this Dhuri rug which will be surrounded by our four green club chairs in front of the black chest shown above—a lot of the color burst will be subdued by the presence of a large coffee table, concealing most of it.

In the guest room, which is very much an annex to the living room, we've placed this sleeper sofa from Restoration Hardware, in white linen.

And this diptych of mine will hang above it.

These nickel picture lights will be everywhere, showing mostly my works on paper and black and white photographs.

A pair of these table lamps by Thomas O'Brien will sit on this Darcy desk, below (unless they end up on the chest).

I fell in love with this bench at first sight. It'll go in front of the white sleeper sofa, ready to slide away when called upon to do so. Black wood, with black linen.

In the master bedroom, we have this, the "Hampton Highboy."