Wednesday, April 16, 2014
The Spring book release season is in full swing, and two recent publications have captured my attention: One Man's Folly: The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood by Julia Reed and Linens by Jane Scott Hodges. I am sure that most of you are at the very least familiar with these two books, but for those who might not be aware of them, let me give you an introduction to both.
One Man's Folly is a photographic tour of the Americus, Georgia compound of designer Furlow Gatewood. I use the word "compound" as Gatewood has peppered his spacious property with houses and outbuildings that are decorated in Gatewood's inimitable style. Each room is filled with comfortable fabrics and furnishings mixed with interesting objects and inherited treasures. The result are interiors that are well-mannered and genteel yet carefree and easy-going, all attributes which speak to Gatewood's Southern upbringing as well as the property's South Georgia location. With text written by Julia Reed, one of my favorite Southern writers, One Man's Folly is a worthy addition to one's library.
Then there is Linens by Jane Scott Hodges, who is the founder and owner of Leontine Linens. Hodges's book is also a photographic tour, one that captures Leontine's famous linens in use in some very swell interiors. Alongside copious interior photos are designer tips on decorating and living with linen as well as information on linen basics. If you have a passion for linen, then this book should be right up your alley.
*To purchase a copy of One Man's Folly, visit Amazon or Barnes & Noble. For Linens, visit Barnes & Noble or Amazon.
One Man's Folly:
All photos used with permission of Rizzoli. One Man's Folly by Julia Reed, Rizzoli publisher; Linens by Jane Scott Hodges, Rizzoli publisher.
Monday, April 14, 2014
A few weeks ago, I visited one of my favorite shops, Hollyhock, where Suzanne Rheinstein and the Hollyhock gang hosted a book signing party for me. It was such a treat to see old friends, meet new ones, and peruse- no, make that swoon over- all of Hollyhock's treasures. The work of Vladimir, Christopher Spitzmiller, Frances Palmer, Livia Cetti, and Scanlon Apparati caught my eye, as did all of the beautiful antiques that look anything but old-fashioned. (Stay tuned for a future blog post about Scanlon Apparti, a line with which I'm currently obsessed.) To say that Hollyhock carries the best of the best is an understatement.
I took a few photos to show you what is currently in stock at Hollyhock. To see more of what Hollyhock carries, or to inquire about anything you see here, please visit its website.
Book signing party invitations displayed amongst pieces made by Frances Palmer.
A bookcase filled with decorative paper objects made by the talented Beth Scanlon of Scanlon Apparati
A Scanlon Apparati diorama letter holder with notepads by The Printery
I marveled over these diorama wall hangings by Scanlon Apparti.
Porcelain flowers by the famous Vladimir
A shell pot with mussel lid, one of a pair
This piece has a very interesting provenance. Frances Elkins refashioned a George III japanned dressing mirror (c. 1770) by adding a silvered, carved wood stand and crest to it. The addition dates to the 1930s. This piece once resided in the Ladies Powder Room at the Kersey Coates Reed house, which was one of David Adler's best known houses.
A bevy of blue and white ceramicware
Detail of a charming trompe l'oeil-style table
Yet another charming vignette
A black paper Hollyhock planted in a vintage pot, which was made by artist Livia Cetti
Photos are the copyright of Jennifer Boles for The Peak of Chic
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Actually, make that one night at ADAC, although it certainly felt like Bangkok. Jim Thompson recently celebrated the grand opening of their fabulous new Atlanta showroom, which is their first in North America. And in keeping with the company's Thai roots, the folks of Jim Thompson made sure to give the party Thai flair. There was Thai silk, Thai food, and even a Thai tuk-tuk, into which my friend Barry and I crammed our too-tall bodies.
I had hoped to take some photos of the showroom, but it was jam-packed with guests having a really good time. So instead, I'll show you official images of Jim Thompson's new Spring collections. The Temple of Dawn collection, which is named for a Bangkok landmark, includes some beautiful silks and breezy cottons and linens. Their new outdoor collection, aptly named Singing in the Rain, is made up of acrylic fabrics that can withstand the rigors of outdoor living.
If you're planning a trip to ADAC anytime soon, please stop by the new Jim Thompson showroom. The tuk-tuk may no longer be there, but beautiful fabrics await you.
Temple of Dawn collection:
Ampawan- linen, cotton, viscose
Singing in the Rain Collection:
Fabric photos courtesy of Jim Thompson Fabrics
Wednesday, April 09, 2014
In my cache of 1950s and 60s-era French design books, there is a designer whose work crops up again and again: Gérard Mille. In the mid-twentieth century, Mille was one of France's most prominent designers, something that I attribute not just to his high-profile clients but to his elegant and rarefied style as well. I guess that it's appropriate that two French phrases come to my mind when I see photos of a Mille-designed interior: recherché and comme il faut, the latter because Mille's style is what one might expect of a French sophisticate of the day.
Photographer-turned-antiquaire Roger Prigent was also impressed by Mille, having photographed Dior-clad models for French Vogue in Mille's Paris apartment. As Prigent told the New York Observer in 2002, "It was a beautiful apartment. I didn't even know that people could live that way." But live that way Gérard did, alongside his brother, Hervé, who was the editor of Paris Match. The Mille brothers often held court in their rue de Varennes apartment, entertaining friends like Coco Chanel and Louise de Vilmorin.
The photos that you see here, which were published in L'ŒIL magazine and later in The Best in European Decoration, show Mille's apartment circa early 1960s. Whether this is the same apartment that made such an impression on Prigent, I'm not sure. But the photos do convey Mille's preference for fine antiques (which included a Boulle desk and a Jacob console) and formal fabrics. The title that accompanied these photos seems to sum up the home quite well: "Small appartment [sic], great taste". How's that for being concise? Too bad only one of the photos is in color.
An aside: while researching Mille, I discovered a very chic, early-1930s smoking room that was credited to both Jean Dunand and Gérard Mille. The room, which was originally installed in the Paris apartment of Colette Aboucaya, was a collaboration between Dunand and Mille, who was Aboucaya's decorator. Could this be the same Gérard Mille whose apartment is seen here? I'm assuming so, but I'm still trying to confirm this. Regardless, I included a photo of the Dunand-Mille smoking room, which was called "Les Palmiers", at the end of this post because it is so incredibly fabulous. The room's walls and doors were lined in Dunand-designed lacquered-wood panels, which were embellished with Cubist-style palm tree motifs that gave the room its name. After Aboucaya's death in 1997, the room was dismantled and sold through Drouot. The new owners then installed it at Château de Gourdon. In 2011, the room was auctioned off yet again, this time by Christie's, on whose website the smoking room photo appeared.
In case you're interested in buying a copy of the out-of-print The Best in European Decoration, there seem to be a few copies available on Amazon as well as well as Abebooks.
The Smoking Room:
Mille apartment photos from The Best in European Decoration; the smoking room photo from Christie's
I do hope that some of you will be able to join me on Sunday, April 27 at The Philadelphia Antiques Show. I will be speaking about classic design and antiques starting at 11:30, with a book signing event to follow. The show's organizers are determined to prevent me from feeling any homesickness for the South by serving Mint Juleps and Southern snacks at the event. I'd say that antiques and Mint Juleps are a match made in heaven.
For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit The Philadelphia Antiques Show website. The show is considered to be one of the best in the nation, and I am honored to be a part of it.
Wednesday, April 02, 2014
About a month ago, I was searching for something on the internet- for what I can't remember- when I stumbled upon the website of architectural sculptor Geoffrey Preston. Based in the U.K., Preston's specialty is decorative plasterwork and stucco. Having previously founded two different conservation practices (it was Preston who restored much of the masterpiece plasterwork at Uppark House,) Preston now runs his own workshop, where he and his band of artists create new plaster and stucco masterpieces for some of England's leading architects and decorators.
Looking through Preston's online portfolio, I was understandably struck by the large examples of his work, such as intricate ceilings and massive wall panels. But I was equally as taken with his smaller projects, which, despite the fact that they are scaled-down flourishes, make just as much of an impression as their large-scaled brethren do. A stucco overmantle or a small wall panel doesn't require a large house, only a homeowner who thinks big.
So, for more big inspiration, please visit Preston's website. His work is truly magnificent.
All photos courtesy of Geoffrey Preston