Tuesday, December 20

Merry Christmas from Cambridge

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Cambridge has looked so gorgeous since the lights were switched on. I cannot think of a better postcard for Christmas, than this image of St.Johns Street, awash in festive cheer and looking impossibly pretty. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 

Image from Sun Surfer

Thursday, December 15

Daily Art: National Ideas by Alexey Rubanov

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This amusing yet thought provoking piece is by Ukrainian artist Alexey Rubanov who lives and works in Kremenchug City in Ukraine. As his day job he teaches children at the local art school. Alexey is a well established artist, regular participant of the national and international art exhibitions and a member of the National Association of Ukrainian artists.

According to him "Time is the most precious thing in the world", it's always in deficit, every moment of time, every breath you take is important".

Tuesday, December 6

Celebrity Home: Brooke Shields Greenwich Village Townhouse

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Brooke Shields beautiful Brownstone reminds me so much of elegant London townhouses. I am sure the interiors are inspired from the old money confidence of patrician homes in Mayfair or Saint-Germain. The house looks so well lived in, that it is quite impressive to know that this look has been created from scratch – for the house was just a derelict shell when Brooke bought it. “It needed a complete gut,” she says in the Architectural Digest article, “but after a quick walk-through, I could see our future there. My bathtub in a niche by a window, our daughters’ playroom on the top floor. A light-flooded kitchen with a big hearth and a balcony”.

She along with interior designer David Flint Woods and architects MADE, have filled the house with specially selected pieces from her childhood and her mother’s flea market finds. Eccentric buys such as a job lot of vintage hardware was used by MADE to accessorize the cabinetry they designed for the townhouse. A wood tub, crafted by a canoe maker in Idaho, was installed in the guest bathroom and a cast-off marble slab that was scavenged at a county fair was re-cut as a vanity top. 

MADE’s mandate was to salvage as much of the house’s original detail and structural integrity as possible. This has been balanced by infusing a sense of fun and wit in the interiors. Jolts of color and asymmetry give the decor an edgy downtown personality. As Flint Wood says “In my design, as in a British drawing room comedy, there is a subtle tension between propriety and irreverence. He has created an urbane mix of furnishings and materials that includes colonial rattan, Asian porcelain, hand-blocked Zuber wallpaper, neoclassical Italian tables, Chinese lacquer consoles—and art by Keith Haring.

The living room features Louis XVI–style armchairs, a French Empire commode, and a 1970s Lucite-base cocktail table. A Keith Haring painting and portraits of Shields’s two daughters hang on the walls .

Linen cushions are by John Robshaw ; the settee is George III, the curule-form stool is covered in a David Hicks fabric from Lee Jofa, and the jute rug is by Pottery Barn.

In the family room, portraits of Shields and her children are propped alongside 
works by Richard Avedon and Adam Fuss.

Don't miss the Louis Vuitton vintage trunk!
I love how the Chinese porcelain jars are placed under the console, like an afterthought!  
A drawing by Haring, used to wrap a gift for the actress, overlooks a chrome bench from Vermillion in the vestibule.

In the master bedroom, an Anglo-Indian tester bed and John Robshaw block-printed linens.  

Guest Bedroom, don't miss the stack of vintage suitcases in the corner. 

All images and product details courtesy Architectural Digest.

Thursday, November 24

Frigiliana House, Andalucia Spain

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This home is located in one of the most beautiful villages in Andalucía, Spain. Frigiliana, is a town known for its maze of narrow cobbled streets lined by whitewashed houses, wrought-iron balconies and planters filled with brilliant red geraniums. The traditional house has been completely revamped with the use of modern furnishings and contemporary art. 

I adore the red leather Mickey Mouse chair sitting in the foyer, the whole arrangement looks like an art installation

  All images via Stuart Mcintyre

Tuesday, November 15

Celebrity Home: Diane Von Furstenberg's Manhattan Penthouse

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“When I was young, I lived like an old woman and when I got old, I had to live like a young person.”
- Diane Von Furstenberg

Her words neatly sum up the energy and playfulness her home. And although I usually do not like such opulent displays, in this case the sheer exuberance of it is infectious. It has been designed as a space to relax and be happy in, as seen from the positive words painted on the walls - Wisdom, Transformation, Joy. What a lovely idea! I'd like that for the times when I come home, jaded and exhausted. It would be nice to prop my feet up and read the reinforcing words to myself.

What strikes me about the interiors is how intensely alive they feel. Books and photographs crowd every surface of the penthouse. It is crammed with memories from her eventful life. The colour palette may not be to everyone's liking but it's perfect because it's a true reflection of Diane's personality. It is her space and no one else's.

A massive staircase cuts through the double height space; the curtain of steel cables studded with Swarovski crystals reflects light throughout the space.

Surrounded by Franz West chairs, the Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann table in Von Furstenberg’s office/living area often does double duty as a desk and dining table. A Joan Miró etching, a Francesco Clemente painting, and family photographs are displayed on the windowsill.
Diane von Furstenberg Home plates, tumblers, and flatware from Bloomingdale’s set the table for a luncheon in honor of artist Anh Duong

An Andy Warhol portrait of the designer is displayed near vintage chairs and a treelike table

Above a vintage Salvador Dalí sofa is a Duong self-portrait; the sconces are by André Dubreuil, and the tables are by Alexandra von Furstenberg.
A Moroccan patchwork coverlet decorates the bed

In the guest room is a Bert Stern photograph of Elizabeth Taylor; the carpet is a Von Furstenberg design for the Rug Company

The terrace, planted with grasses, sedum, moss, and phlox, is a collaboration between French landscape designer Louis Benech and Town and Gardens
The building has been refurbished by Amale Andraos and Dan Wood—Rem Koolhaas protégés and founders of the architecture firm WORKac. They merged the pair of Victorian redbrick buildings acquired by Diane in 2006 and added the rooftop lair containing a live/work space and, above that, a 900-square-foot master suite with a terrace.
All images and details courtesy Architectural Digest. Read the original article here.

Saturday, November 5

Celebrity Home: Ben Kingsley

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I saw Hugo last night; a beautiful movie by Martin Scorcese in which Ben Kingsley has given one of his most poignant performances. The whole period look of the movie reminded me so much of Kingsley’s residence, Spelsbury House. The large period property is set in its three-acre grounds, surrounded by beautiful Oxfordshire countryside and was featured in Architecture Digest some years back. 

Here have a peep! I know you can’t wait to, but I also know it would surprise you. For unlike the typical over the top celebrity houses, Kingsley’s house is very warm and homely. A place for big family gatherings, for bringing up children and for growing old gracefully. It matches Kingsley’s personality very well, down to earth and completely unpretentious. 

This also comes across when he describes the house for AD, for he mentions all the small domestic details, “In the morning, when the walls of the kitchen glow yellow,” he explains, “it’s like coming into a pot of glowing honey. And the terracotta hallway in the afternoon is breathtaking—pure liquid light.” Kingsley based the house’s dramatic wall colors on the palette Henri Matisse used for his paintings in Morocco.

The entrance hall. Patrick Morrison’s The Accordionist, circa 1996, hangs in the stairwell
A Victorian pine table in the kitchen serves as a gathering place for Kingsley’s extended family. 

The furniture was produced locally in Oxfordshire and influenced by the history and mythology of the area.
Kingsley purchased the rugs in the living room while traveling in Morocco. 
An Oscar, won for the actor’s work in Gandhi, stands in a corner of the living room on a Rococo style console table and near a walnut William Morris armchair and a 19th-century painted Italian mirror
The bedroom features more finds from Ben's travels - a rosewood four-poster bed, a Swiss blanket chest and a Louis XV–style settee.
A couple of views of the house and formally laid out gardens. 
 All images courtesy Architecture Digest.
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