Fanning The Flame

via Mogfrugal

I love a good flame stitch pattern, It's retro and modern simultaneously.   It's bright or bold or notice me neutral.   The pattern is seeped in history.  The Bargello motif or flame stitch, got its name from a needlepoint design laid out in a zig zag pattern, that was found on a chair in the Bargello Museum originating from the Bargello Palace in the 16th century.

Chastleton House

Parham Park

It's a confident pattern that has come on strong again over the past several years, after it fell out a favor.  It's not your grandmother's flame stitch any more.   It's surprisingly flexible in its use.  I can't think of anything it doesn't coordinated with!

The Jeffery Design Group

Sherrill Canet Interiors

Mary McDonald

M Design

Richard Mishaan

Kelly Wearstler

If you like it, make a skirt out of it.  Oh, that Kelly!

 What do you think ~ hot or not?

Tony Duquette ~ More Is More

"Beauty, not luxury is what I value"

More is More was the fantastical, iconic, extravagant Tony Duquette motto and book title.  The set, jewelry and fashion designer as well as all around bon vivant who died in 1999 left a treasure trove of riches in the trusty hands of his protege and partner Hutton Wilkinson, with Tony since 1972, who himself has a fascinating background.  As the creative director and CEO of Tony Duquette Inc., Hutton has kept the dream alive and flourishing.

Images from the book More is More, Courtesy of Abrams

Tony established himself as one of the leading designers in LA, and later worldwide.  He was the only American designer to garner a one-man show at The Louvre.  He and his wife opened a studio in West Hollywood where Tony and Beegle (his wife's nickname) threw elaborate costumed parties and decorated to the nines.  

You know you're about to enter a very special place with an entrance like this:  "The Empire", Tony's Malibu home that burnt to the ground in the 1990's

Everything was an illusion and a study in layering, and Tony was a master at it!   The Tea House was no exception, with the handmade pagoda-like chandelier and silk blankets between the red ceiling beams to resemble tiles.

Welcome to "Dawnridge", Tony and Beegle's beloved home, built in 1949.  Hutton and his wife Ruth  now reside there and have made it their own.

This drawing room was redecorated in 2000 by Hutton and Ruth as much for themselves as well as a tribute to their dear friends.

Hutton bought back the chandeliers that Tony installed in a bridal salon at Buffums Department Store in California when it went out of business and had them installed in his living room.

No room went "under decorated"

A  stuffed alligator from New Guinea watches over company in the guestroom at Dawnridge, decorated in the '80's.  Its tea paper ceiling and coromandel screens keep it timeless.

There's a lot to study in the study.

Houses were decorated, events were orchestrated, outfits were coordinated.  I don't know where he/they found the time!

The Brandolino Palazzo in Venice

In Dodie Rosenkrans' Paris apartment, long banquettes covered in moss velvet are complemented by a pair of 18th century Venetian armchairs with a red lacquer finish. Tony Duquette's lighted sculpture "Phoenix Rising" has a place of prominence in the corner. Duquette and Wilkinson paneled the walls with antique Moghul embroideries set with precious and semiprecious stones. The designers were able to mix contrasting colors such as red and green with confidence, adding accent pillows in violet and animal prints that made the room even more sumptuous.
 Socialite Dodie Rosenkrans' Paris apartment

I am thrilled we can all have a little piece of Tony Duquette, Inc.  Hutton has licensed products thru a number of fine companies, so we can experience the "more is more" lifestyle.  Even if we have to edit, ALOT!

Furniture Through Baker.  I have been dying to use the biomorphic table somewhere

Sumptuous silks so saturated with color and bold design; fabrics through Jim Thompson.  That malachite fabric is too die for and many a decorator's dream.

Lighting through Remains Lighting and carpets through Roubini Rugs.
Tony was a big fan of Abolone shells and malachite and gold and starbursts and coral and color and animal prints get the picture.

Now comes a jewelry collection through Coach.  It is a magnificent tightly edited and in some cases limited edition collection based on Tony's precious jewelry designs.  Tony was way ahead of his time.  Any number of these pieces look like they were designed for today.

$125,000.00 on 1st Dibs or  Coach's version for $498.00 ~ you decide.

Reed Krakoff  was a huge fan of Tony Duquette's and bought many pieces that came up for sale at an estate auction thru Christie's.  Reed( and his wife) have impeccable taste!  The Coach team did a remarkable job sifting thru everything at Dawnridge:  jewelry, old news articles; they studied his interiors, and even his wife's paintings in an effort to create a realistically stylized collection that any minimalist OR maximalist would die over.

Hutton is hoping to inspire a new generation of fans.  He has more pieces waiting in the wings and I for one cannot wait to see what's next.  Sometimes less is more, but sometimes more is more.  The genius is knowing which to apply when.

Thank you Hutton, the barer of the torch, for keeping the flame alive.  Oh, and next time you have a party ~ I'd love to attend!

Photo credits:( Eliot Elisofon Photography Collection/Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas, Austin ),( Fernando Bengoechea ), ( Tim Street-Porter ), Coach, Vanity Fair

Spotlight On: Rafael Viñoly

I won something ~ a book.  I never win anything!  Once, I won a Ralph Lauren blanket, then left it on the train.  I didn't have it in my possession for 3 hours!  That kind of  s**t  always happens to me!  So imagine my surprise and delight.

I received this beautiful signed book by famed architect Rafael Viñoly.  RV is a world-renowned architect and classical pianist originally from Uruguay.
What makes architecture so fulfilling for RV is the ability to satisfy his clients' needs while creating iconic works that take on a most unique form of artistic commitment.

While Rafael claims not to have a visual style, I think of more of his work than not as curvaceous, but also linier with a lot of symmetry and flooded with light; conforming harmoniously with the environment in which it sits~the buildings are a matter of proportion and relationships of form and space.
I knew RV built  The Kimmel Center , which is quite a showpiece here in Philadelphia.  It is like a building within a building and a rooftop deck, all under a dome. 

I wondered what else in the area, if anything, RV designed.  I was surprised to find out he designed one of the most spectacular estates (that happens to be for sale) this side of the Keystone State: Arbor Hill.

Arbor Hill is really a masterpiece, as are many of Mr. Viñoly's commissions.  Rafael's residential projects are warm and fairly clean in design, but you feel connected to the space, not unlike his large commercial buildings.  An artist (architect), like a musician, understands not only the image or song, but the note, and it's intrinsic relationship to the whole.

ph: Kimmel Center, G. Widman, Christies 

One Spot, Two Spot...

 Red Spot, Blue Spot

What is it about these brightly colored dots that speak to me?  Is it the simplicity, the memory of the excitement I felt opening a fresh box of Crayola crayons when I was young and innocent? 

 The Complete Spot paintings by Damien Hirst will be on view at all 11 Gogosian Galleries around the world thru February.  This is the first time a single artist has taken over ALL the galleries.

via Hot Dog decor

I was always a colorist, I’ve always had a phenomenal love of color… I mean, I just move color around on its own. So that’s where the spot paintings came from—to create that structure to do those colors, and do nothing. I suddenly got what I wanted. It was just a way of pinning down the joy of color.
—Damien Hirst

via Post and Grant

via Escapade

Apparently the spot paintings represent the randomness in this world.  The colors are chosen arbitrarily.  If the painting comes off as successful; then it is unsuccessful.  Endless multiplicity should give us reason to pause and consider each as part of a whole ~ going on into infinity.  This might be the only time that is really possible, given his paintings sell for millions and it's rare to see so many in one place.

ph: Jonathan Becker

Whatever meaning is ascribed to them, I just find them visually exciting, just like Damien's spin art collection.
I can't speak about the dots without mentioning the spin art paintings.  I love them too!  The effectiveness of the design on a round canvas also has me swooning every time I see one.

Can you imagine walking in to your home every day and being greeted by that?  It's like a giant smile.

via Edtya & Co.

Johnson Hartig, designer of Libertine  didn't have to choose one over the other!

Johnson Hartig

via Laura Day

What are your thought's on Mr. Hirst's exuberant work?