Monday, September 22, 2014

Space to Fill - Vol 2. Issue 4

Today is a difficult day for me. Lots of decisions, life-altering decisions, are and have been piling up waiting for me to make a choice, and in some instances, just to make a leap - for a choice isn't clear. I've been waiting, hoping that it will get easier but, unfortunately it only seems to get harder and harder the more I procrastinate.
Not every first path is the right path. If you've lost your way, turn around.
All images sourced from Pinterest.
Hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Friday, September 19, 2014

That Kitchen ...

Mixed into the fold of photos in yesterday's Space to Fill post, was this kitchen:

It struck a chord with me, and with a lot of you. I got 31 emails, (so far) asking me if I knew who was responsible for designing the space. At the time, I didn't. The joy and fault of sourcing things from Pinterest is that while you're exposed to millions of images, the origin of the image may not exist. In fact, in the case of this kitchen, it was a veritable rabbit hole of pin after pin after pin - none of them leading me back to the person responsible for such beauty.
In fact, I wasn't able to find the designer's site until I came across the image in a completely different search, and then walked almost backward into their other rooms. The company, Twist Interior Design, is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Owner of Twist, Sandy LaMendola decorated the home that architect Jeff Tritch designed, and builders L.Cramer built in Edina, Minnesota.
In this expanded view you can see more of the kitchen, including the limestone counters on the distressed cherry cabinets, the two cabinetry faced sub zero refrigerators that flank the beautiful custom cabinetry in that gorgeous green. The beams and ceiling timbers are all reclaimed in Minnesota.
These two photos are by Susan Gilmore and were featured in a magazine spread in June/July of 2010 in the Minnesota local, Midwest Home.
Now that I feel like I have credited all involved, I have to say that I am only sorry there aren't more photos of this lovely kitchen out there. Vignette shots, different angles, etc.. While I've looked at each of the designer, builder, photographer, and architect pages for more of this room, it seems to be a bust. There are, however, more photos of the 11,000 square foot house on Sandy's HOUZZ page, here.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Space to Fill - Vol 2. Issue 3

The following pictures really spoke to me today. Each one of them is a snapshot into the life of fall and autumn, some are literal, others just a wink or nod. There are interiors, exteriors, gardens, and clothing - all lumped together into what I call a warm welcome to fall, which at least in our neck of the woods, is getting closer and closer every day.

Enjoy the photos - I'm off to find a pair of riding boots.


All photos sourced from Pinterest
Hope you enjoyed them as much as I did!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Rich Hippie

What do you think of when you hear those words together? Rich Hippie? Honestly, if it's conjuring up images anything like mine, I don't blame you if you can't formulate the words. I wasn't sure what to think, and I wasn't even really sure how I came to know that the two words were being used together to identify a particular style, not only in interior design, but in fashion, jewelry, and more.

I had always loved the look of the multi-layered and eclectic "old school" Ralph Lauren Bohemian rooms. You know the ones, where beautiful things mixed symbiotically with the aged and decrepit? One of those collections from Ralph Lauren was called New Bohemian, and had rooms so layered and collected it boarded on hoarding:

I've always called this style Bohemian. That crazy mix of rough and refined, old and new, and a collection of genres and periods, from French and Victorian to antique books and vintage posters. It's an acquired taste, I assure you - but one that I think never quite leaves your palette once you either perfected it, or seen it perfected.

Personally, I love it, and a room like this makes me smile - not cringe. So, when I realized that the style formerly referred to as Bohemian, was now being coined Rich Hippie, I had to do a pinterest search to see what came up.

The first thing to come up was this gorgeous room by Furlow Gatewood. An eclectic mix of fabrics and furniture, ikat with stripes and other ethnic or tribal motifs, Asian porcelain mixed with Victorian birdhouses and steeple studies ... French upholstered furniture and Hollywood regency side tables. If this is rich hippie, count me in!

Here a gorgeous Flemish tapestry hangs above a chintz sofa, which clearly has seen better days. Fortuny throw pillows, mixed with pottery barn feed sack ones ... it's captivating. Wrong and right all at the same time, and certainly a room you either love or hate. There are some, I being one of them, who would say, switch out the sofa and the ottoman for something new (or at least in good shape) and it'd be magazine ready. But, the ideology behind the Rich Hippie look is about comfort, artistic expression, and creative composition. The ability to afford is not a question here. It's the ability to define a personality. One that says "screw convention!"; one that embraces the things we love - whether they be new, old, worn, or pristine.
Color is also not something the Rich Hippie is shy to use as a method of expression. The rooms are bold and vividly patterned. Prints on prints on prints, with seemingly no worry of their pairing are used without abandon. It's gypsy meets Marrakesh meets Pottery Barn meets flea market, and yet it all seems to work.
If I had to pick a decorator who I thought embodied the Rich Hippie look, I'd point you immediately to the work of Tony Duquette. I did a review of his book, More is More here. His home in Beverly Hills is exactly what you'd expect of the Rich Hippie:

and his partner and protégé, Hutton Wilkinson is carrying on his legacy in his own rooms ...

The style is enigmatic, isn't it? Fresh and classic all at the same time. It's the wild use of color, the crazy display of bold and uninhibited style that I find so alluring about all of these spaces, but namely Wilkinson's. He's not copying anyone, he's not looking at a magazine - any magazine - and saying, I want to recreate that look. He's not found a blog to emulate, or a blogger or designer to shadow. He's bought the things that he loves, and he's used them - together, unsparingly.

Another designer that comes to mind, is the great Sid Bergamin, who also has a love for color and an eye for pattern pairing:


His approach, like most of the other designers and rooms above, is about mixing without fear. A 1970's mesh chair pairs up with a French daybed, and vintage folding iron garden chair. A roman statue towers atop a 70's table and boldly colored Kilim rug plays off the other handblocked and ikat fabrics used on the chair and daybed. It's clever and magnificent, and totally unique.

Other designers have pulled off similarly unique rooms, like this parlor in Jonathan Berger's home:

And this living room in John Robshaw's Manhattan apartment:

This glorious living room by Martyn Lawrence Bullard, the penultimate of his work for me:


The mirrored living room of Lindsey Coral Harper:
And last, but not least, the beautiful prior Ojai home of designer, Kathryn M. Ireland:
So while there is no Webster's definition for Rich Hippie, this look book is as close as you'll come to a Vanderpool definition. So what do you think? Are you bold enough to make a statement in your home, and let a little of that hippie out? Make you sure you give them access to your checkbook - you'll need it! As I finish up this post - I have ebay open to a gallery of global and ethnic fabrics. Just you wait - Artie's got a few ideas! 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Designer on the Move - Alex Papachristidis

I love a good story, don't you? Especially when it requires a move of a fabulously talented interior designer from the apartment he designed and lived in for 20-years, to a new place. There's something you learn from living in a place for so long, I think. You learn what you can and can not get away with, what you love and what you don't, what you need and what you simply are holding onto for nostalgia. So, when given the chance to design a new, larger space for himself and his partner, Alex Papachristidis did just that, and gutted a 3-bedroom apartment in New York City, and set in moving the pieces he loved over - freshly recovered and/or renewed, into spaces he'd wanted to create for the last quarter century.
First, his old apartment. You remember it, I'm sure, if not from the many magazines it was published in, but for the bloggers who posted it all over the internet. Thankfully, I was able to find a whole home tour online at New York Social Diary.

This large space, covered in wall to wall seagrass, with seating areas layered with rugs to create a foundation for "separate" space, was filled with beautiful pieces corner to corner. Papachristidis has been described as an eclectic traditionalist with a modern eye, and I have to say that's incredibly accurate, in my opinion.
The main room of this New York City apartment is part living room, part dining room, part office, part lounge, part bar, part library ... with a little more thrown in for good measure. The fabrics are loud and gregarious, they are bold and unique - but they all fit into this space, feeling both bohemian and luxurious at the same time. The rest of the apartment is equally as collected and colorful.


The walls of the library are/were covered in David Hicks fabric by Clarence House, something reproduced not too long ago by Charlotte Moss for Fabricut for much, much less. The rest of the room is furnished with fine furniture, covered in beautiful Fonthill, Scalamandre, and antique silk ikats. Clearly, there is no high/low here. It's all the best money can buy.

Covered in Billy Baldwin wallpaper, the bedroom, with its custom bed, and eclectic array of furniture, including sample size chairs (something I presume Alex loves - as they're scattered among every room of the old apartment, and the new one) should be enough evidence alone that pattern pairing isn't something that Papachristidis concerns himself with. If you love it - it should be there.
The new place, however, is all the space and formality that this apartment lacked, thanks to the full gut and renovation of the space to make all of the rooms that Alex and his partner desired. He finally had the opportunity to have a room wrapped in velvet walls, and they had a proper guest room, that didn't serve double duty as a library. The finishes are still TOP NOTCH, and very fine, and the rooms are still all about more is more, but it's the clever reuse that really made me smile. Here we go, the new place, featured in Elle Décor 2012:
The walls of the parlor, now separated from the dining room and office, are covered in the most gorgeous Gracie Chinoiserie wallpaper I think I've ever seen. Things moved from the old apartment include the Chinese Chippendale high backed chair, formerly in the library, now newly cushioned with a plum colored silk. The Gueridon side tables, a gift from his mother, which formerly flanked the Bennison covered sofa in the main living room, along with many of the accessories on the tables.

The sofa is new, custom made to fit the space and tuck nicely into the corner. But there are other things that were moved from the old apartment, including the antique bergere chair, now reupholstered in Claremont fabric, that once flanked the sofa in the main living space, the turtle foot stool, which once lived in the main reception area of the living space in the old apartment, the Lucite and brass table, with the adored ceramic monkey "Samson". Even the garden stool is from the old living room.

The sconces were moved from the old apartment living room, and used here, along with the chest, which used to double as a bar in the old dining room area of the main room of the prior apartment. The chair also used to flank the chest, but has been reupholstered to fit the new color scheme. 

Here again, the Chinese Chippendale chair with its new silk tufted seat. The sofa, gorgeous in its shape and gilded exposed wood, along with the Luigi Bevilacqua cotton, is custom made. The rococo table was found at an auction. I love everything about this room, including the hand painted floor.
New York Social Diary went into the newly finished space for another story after Papachristidis moved, and consequently, after the Elle Décor feature ran. The pictures they took show more of the apartment's flow, such as the entrance to the new library.
The new library is remarkable with all that pattern and color, isn't it? The book étagères and carpet are custom, of course, and the whole room is covered in Stroheim velvet. Of course, we again can see that a lot of the furniture in this space came from the old apartment. The sofa, one in the main living room, and formerly covered with Bennison, is now covered in Schumacher cotton ikat. The wicker chair was once a side chair in the old library, the coffee table brought over from the old living room, the Rob Wynne art also came over, this time flanked by sconces that once hung in the old dining room topped with mustard foo dogs. Even the sample chair is reused, this time covered in ikat. 

While I am certainly in love with the room as seen in Elle Décor, I feel like the photos taken for NYSD showcase the rooms as Papachristidis had intended, beautiful filled, that more is more perspective he's known for and does so well!
The Spitzmiller lamps are from the old Master Bedroom, but work here seamlessly, as they are nearly the same color as that beautiful Stroheim velvet. The French chairs in this photo once lived behind the two club chairs in the old space, making convenient seating by the double sided book shelf. Speaking of, remember that piece? How it so beautiful broke up the dining room and living room in the old place?
Well, look at it now ...
Standing at attention in the Lee Jofa linen tented entrance hall, I think it's perfect here, don't you? The new apartment is larger, and allows for a proper guest room, which Alex covered in Manuel Canovas cotton:

The desk and chair are from the old apartment, and look to be untouched, simply moved to the new room. The daybed the same as the one from the old library, simply recovered in the same Canovas fabric used on the walls and curtains.


The room serves as a dressing room for Alex's partner, Scott. So the armoire, formerly in the main room, flanked by chairs that remained as-is. I loved some of the NYSD pictures of this space, too:

Never economize on luxuries. Easier said than done, right? Moving on to the master bedroom:

The bed is the same, but is now covered in gorgeous Schumacher velvet. The carpet was designed by Papachristidis, just as the library carpet was. The walls are wallpapered in a Sandberg wallpaper. A couple of things made the move in here too, including the bamboo plant stand which used to be home to Samson, and the bamboo chair from the old bedroom.

The NYSD images however, show that much more made the move into the room and was removed for the photoshoot, including:

The sample size chair, now covered in Scalamadre silk velvet, and the side table (left of chair) once used in the dining room of the old apartment. 

They also brought over their Cole Porter brass étagères, for books and the requisite television. I also largely prefer the bed made so loosely, don't you?

We'll finish up back in the dining room:

So much is the same here, including the chandelier, the chairs (newly covered Fortuny), and the bust covered in shells on it's lacquered stand. The table may also have been the existing table, now void of it's Suzani cover.
This photo as seen in NYSD, shows the Alex I love - all about more is more. The chest, vintage from Doyle, formerly in the library, is such a gorgeous piece, and fits beautiful here against those plum colored wool felt walls finished with brass nailheads. What a way to finish out this tiny jewelry box of a room.
Suffice it to say, that Alex Papachristidis could have likely afforded to completely redecorate his new apartment in furniture from the finest of antiquarians and custom builders. He could have chosen the most expensive fabrics in the world ... but he started out buying the things that he loved, and this is proof that if you do the same, even on a much more modest budget, you can move from house to house, as easily as he did with the help of a little paint and fabric!