February 7, 2010

8 Days Till Valentine’s! Are you Ready?

Filed under: Gifts, Holidays, Interior Design, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — michaeldelicio @ 1:45 PM

A fun and funky, yet sexy Valentine’s Day Gift:

Having trouble expressing how you feel toward that special someone? Trixie Delicious, (also known as the Vintage Vandal) can help.  This oh-so-sweet  cup and saucer, becomes really quite saucy in Trixie’s hands. Your intentions will be made very clear!

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Wishing you a  HOT Valentine’s Day!

February 4, 2010

10 Days Till Valentines! Are You Ready?

Filed under: Holidays, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — michaeldelicio @ 11:03 AM

Valentine’s Gift Idea of the Day:

Valentine’s Day falls in the the heart of the coldest winter. Give someone that “warm fuzzy” feeling…literally. Very sexy, sensual, and chic.

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This Faux Chinchilla Throw is from www.decorinnovation.com

The larger one (60″ x 86″) would be great on a bed!  Now we’re talking!

February 2, 2010

12 Days Till Valentine’s!

Filed under: Art and Culture, Gifts, Holidays, Uncategorized — Tags: , — michaeldelicio @ 4:07 PM

Gift Idea of the Day:

I find art to be a very romantic gift. These charming upbeat prints by Romero  Britto, (allposters.com) are sweet, but not sticky!  I would LOVE to receive all four of these, framed,to hang in a grouping.

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February 1, 2010

13 Days Till Valentine’s Day

Filed under: Holidays, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — michaeldelicio @ 4:41 PM

Valentine’s Day is less than two weeks away…ARE YOU READY?

I’m going to put up one chic, romantic  item for the home every day, for the next 13 days leading up to the sexiest, most romantic holiday on the calendar.

Here we go:

urban outfitters $38.00

Don’t you love the Red O ? ( O, baby!)  This is from Urban Outfitters, $38.00.

January 25, 2010

Adding a Hearth to Your Home

This winter has been a rude awakening! After several warmer-than-usual winters in the northeast, we’re having a good old fashioned, deep-freeze of a winter, like we used to have!   Instead of global warming, let’s just call it global weirdness!

One way to ward off the winter blues, and maybe even cut down on the heating bills, is to add a hearth,via a wood or gas burning stove.  If your house doesn’t happen to have a wood burning fireplace, there are more ways than ever to get some of that snap, crackle and heat into your  home, without the upheaval (and expense) of a major renovation.

Starting with the most traditional look, an old fashioned wood burning (or gas) stove adds so much coziness and cheer, without the undertaking of building a brick chimney and flu.  A gas or wood stove, does need venting, but it can usually be handled with a pipe vent, or chimney sleeve insert.  The traditional country look is surprisingly versatile fitting in and enhancing all kinds of living spaces, from a rustic cabin, to the most sophisticated contemporary home.

I really love  this modern rustic look.  Here a niche is turned into a warm focal point with a small stove. This stove is from Yeoman Stoves

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This classic, but simple stove blends well with the upscale surroundings.  It looks to me as if the hearth box was built especially to house the stove. The stove is from www.wendronstoves.com

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In this case, tradition has been followed to the letter, and to very good effect.  The Hearth and stove are diminutive in scale, and both up plenty of warmth, in the style of the room, and the temperature! The stove is from www.livingstone.ie

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I don’t think of myself as a “country gal”, but this is country style I could live in, and happily.  A warm fire, big comfy chairs, white washed walls, good reading in reach.  I wouldn’t move till spring! Best Accessories: Pitcher of flowers, friendly pooch. Image via  Country Living.

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The stove below is from Jotul.

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Wouldn’t it be great to have a nice hearth in the kitchen? A gas stove in particular, doesn’t take up much space.  That’s because it may be placed closer to a wall, because the gas fire doesn’t radiate heat as much as a wood fire. The stove is from Morso

Morso stove via housetohome

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Moving on to a more transitional look, this Jotul model, with it’s racetrack oval shape has a hint of Art Deco, and comes in a brilliant collection of colors, as in these two photos below.   The quality is top notch! This room with a blue stove shows that you don’t need much, as long everything is JUST SO. Minimalism with a little rustic warmth. The blue and red stoves are from Piazzetta

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Robey's piazzetta-e905-wood-stove

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“To infinity, and beyond!” (as Buzz Lightyear would say…) Just because wood is an old fashioned energy source, doesn’t mean a wood stove has to LOOK old fashioned!  Here are some modern and even futuristic styles for the hard core modernist.

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The stove above is the Bocaccio by Koppe

Oooh, my favorite show is on! Not much of a plot…

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The stove above is the Dadoo from Wodtke.   The one below is the Piko from Austroflam.

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Really quite elegant: This stream lined stove is the K6 Steel from Meunkel Design.

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If this is all too much for you: too expensive, space consuming or just too much trouble, there are gel fuel burning fireplaces that you can literally, buy, bring home, and start up, no venting, no nothing!

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Don’t expect a roaring fire, and you won’t be roasting any wieners either.  But they’re very decorative, highly available in a variety of looks, and visually warming. And when you move, you can pack it and take it along!

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This is the Cube gel fuel fireplace from EcoSmart.

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I like the way the flame is reflected in the metal surround, increasing the warm glowing effect. This is the Zeta Fireplace from EcoSmart.

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The Vidro Stainless Steel Ventless Fireplace from Blomus (below) hangs on the wall, just like a mirror or framed art.

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This is as traditional as you could ever wish.  But shop carefully: Beware of cheesy looking fake logs.  Some can be really well done, very beautiful and real looking.  Others, not so much.  This is the Glendora from Southern Enterprises.

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Here’s a sophisticated concrete look, very transitional. The Zephyre from www.sunjelfireplaces.com

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The Fire Feature:   Some artist/designers have completely left behind the “fireplace” concept, and are creating “fire features”  Most often used in public spaces, I’d  love to some of these ideas adapted for residential use.

Anne Colombo, of Colombo Construction, Brooklyn, NY is a leader in this  design form.   Some of her designs are poetry in fire.

by anne colombo
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Here’s to the pleasures of the indoor life!

Good food and friends, a warm fire to gather around…You  may even  stop wishing for spring.

November 19, 2009

Italy: I Came, I Saw, I Snapped Photos

Filed under: Art and Culture, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — michaeldelicio @ 3:30 PM

 On my recent trip to Italy I took over 300 pictures. Out of those, most of them could be substituted for my neighbor’s pictures, from THEIR trip to Italy, or my own from the trip I took six years ago! I saw all of the usual breathtaking sights that have been drawing people to Italy from all over the planet, for hundreds of years.
I had a “Room With a View” overlooking the Arno in Florence. I saw the Pantheon in Rome, I threw a coin into the Trevi Fountain, I toured The Doge’s Palace in Venice. I saw hundreds of unforgettable works of art, and all of it thrilled me. Some of it brought tears to my eyes!

WELL, I’M NOT GOING TO SHOW YOU ANY OF THOSE PICTURES!!

Here’s why. My pictures, while a precious memento for ME, are not the best photos of these gorgeous works and places.  Also, they’re full of goofey pictures of myself and my family IN FRONT OF and often BLOCKING these magnificent sights.

Instead, here are some quirkey shots of things that caught my strange eye.  As a shop keeper, I seem to be facinated with little shops.  Of  course they all have that something special that makes them so Italian!

 Isn’t this antique shop elegant? And so very Italian!

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A working boat making it’s way down The Grand Canal in Venice.  The island city struggles to remain a living city, and not just a Disney Land for grown ups.  The cost of living there is extremely high, pushing residents out, who come from generations of Venetians.   Ahh, but it sure is gorgeous!!

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A tiny display window, for a little fabric store.  I’m guessing the fabric is from Zoffany. These tiny jewel box display windows are very common in Florence.

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Even a meat store has class!  Don’t you love the marble floors and walls?  And especially the detailed marble corbells.

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A traditional Gondola glides past a working boat, on a minor canal.  The boat is bearing cobblestones for the constant repair work and upkeep that takes place in Venice.

 

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Isn’t the food pretty? It tastes EVEN BETTER! This is at the big food market in Florence. We bought , we cooked, we ate!!   Lucky us!

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Another charming antique shop.  No Shabby Chic here!

I think everyone should have curtains on the OUTSIDE, as well as the inside.  That would be good for the economy…MY economy!  I guess this makes sense in the Roman climate.  Beautiful!

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In Rome ,the Museum of the Ara Pacis is very controversial.  The Ara Pacis is an ancient altar, built by Augustus (for self glorification, like most of the great art that survives from the ancient world)  It spent the last 2000 years exposed to the elements.  About 10 years ago, it was decided that it should be housed.  The design was selected, building began.  The design is contemporary.  Some have called it a travertine shoe box.  In my usual way, I love dramatic contrast, and so I give it a “thumbs up” (Hey, the Romans started that thumbs up and down stuff, didn’t they?)  The modern building allows for lots of light, and never competes with its treasure’s classic beauty.  The current mayor of Rome has threatened to tear it down, and put it back up in the suburbs.  I guess he’s trying to punish suburbanites!!

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Above is a detail from the altar of the Ara Pacis.  The main point of the propganda promoted by the altar, was to draw a family relationship between Augustus and the gods themselves. Augustus was the first Roman emperor, and the first to claim divinity.

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Girlfriends, if you’re gong to Italy, don’t even THINK about leaving the hotel room without tall shiny boots, and a long mane of well groomed hair!  OK, I gave in and wore comfy flats during the day.  But then for dinner, I put on my cool black boots and tried to “make like an Italian”  I had to manage without the long mane.

I took this picture, because I liked the modern design.  This contemporary cafeteria is about a block from the Piazza Navona, the original site of chariot races, re-built in the Baroque period, filled with magnificent Baroque fountains by Bernini,  topped with an ancient Egytian obelisk (those ancient Romans had such sticky fingers!) This is what makes Rome a great city!

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This contemporary home furnishings shop is also in the neighborhood.

This grocery store is about as close to a Stop and Shop as you’regoing to get.  But everything, even pre packaged stuff, is SO FRESH and TASTY!

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Surrounded by traditional red tile roofs, we found the modern roof lounge at our hotel, The Visconte Palace in Rome, to be the ideal spot to take a little siesta before dinner. Nicely designed, very comfortable.  Great napping sofas!

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A  SUPER FUNKY interiors shop.

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 Shopping for a princess?  Here’s the spot. 

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Old headboards with tile detail on a cobblestone street, in Florence.

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OK, just one goofey photo for good luck! There goes my coin into the Trevi Fountain. Hey,that means I’ll be going back…Soon, I hope!

ARRIVEDERCI, ITALIA!

November 10, 2009

Italy Now: The Classic and the Contemporary Juxtaposed

Filed under: Art and Culture, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — michaeldelicio @ 3:59 PM

Italians love and cherish the countless art and architecture treasures of their classical and ancient heritage. Every where one looks, the eyes are dazzled by the beauty of the Ancient, the Renaissance and the Baroque. The good news is, the traditional reverence for art and architecture on the cutting edge, did not end with the Baroque. In fact the line remains unbroken right up to the present with a demonstrated love of all things MODERN, and a playful, provoking tendency to put the modern and the classical right up against one another for contrast and comparison.

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I was KNOCKED OUT when I showed up for my tour of the ROMAN FORUM and COLOSSEUM, to see these stunning modern sculptures by the brilliant Costa Rican sculptor Jimenez Deredia, installed throughout the grounds. Deredia brings a haunting Central American Pre-Columbian mysticism to this place already inhabited with so many shadows of the past. Aesthetically the contrast is stunning. Deredia’s ovular females, giving birth to themselves and the world stare far off into the horizon, seemingly quite undisturbed by the mere rising and falling of empires.

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In Florence, the Galleria dell’ Accademia houses what is perhaps the most famous and admired (and parodied) sculptures in all the world, Michaelangelo’s David. This year, they have done something unprecedented on several counts. For one, the introduction of a major body of work that is contemporary in this traditional and storied venue. And shockingly, delightfully, thrillingly!!…they have paired that said work, the photography of Robert Mapplethorpe with The David, this most beloved and revered acheivement in Renaissance art.

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I hardly need to name the comparisons evoked by looking at these two artists together. The eternal beauty of the human form comes immediately before you. The David itself is so stunning, and so beautifully presented, that it really takes your breath away. The Mapplethorpe photographs are viewed in a small dark narrow hallway, which then stunningly opens up into the wide brightly lit rotunda that holds the David. There are several Mapplethorpes on view in that area, directly surrounding the David. The message is clear.

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CARAVAGGIO and BACON  at the gorgeous Villa Borghese Museum in Rome, is a revelation. The pairing of these two geniuses is brilliant. The effect is highly provocative on a visceral level. The beauty of shadows. The sacred and the profane. Space and reality. Darkness, life and death.  For me, this exhibit threw real light onto the work of two artists that I already greatly admired, but now will never think of in quite the same way.

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I came to Italy to see the Classics. I did throw my coin into the Trevi Fountain, so that means I’ll return! When I do, I look forward witnessing the continuing innovations in art and design, alongside the timeless classics that continue to inspire the world!

October 27, 2009

To My Dear Blog Fans,

Filed under: Uncategorized — michaeldelicio @ 10:35 AM

I am off to Florence to see the Duomo and so many other Tuscan things, but sadly this means I will not be posting for the next three weeks. However, in my stead my trusted friend Caitlin – who is not a professional but whose opinions on style and taste always keep me guessing! – will be filling in. She’ll weigh in on design matters philosophical (Why Don’t We Like Matchy Matchy?) and economical (Finding Bargains on eBay) while I’m pouring over antique silks at Antico Setificio Fiorentino and sipping cappucino outside the Uffizi!

I’ll write soon, and in the meantime, remember, living beautifully is definitely the best revenge!

Yours,
Leona

October 19, 2009

GOING GREY…silver, white and black

Lately the elegant trend toward greys and silvers, mixed with black and white, has been picking up speed in the market place. There’s a new wealth of available  fabrics, furniture, rugs and lighting in this color family, and at every price point.

Furthermore, this is a trend that is versatile, and has lasting power. Since grey is the “new neutral”, I can happily recommend jumping aboard, if the look appeals to you. You’ll never regret buying a grey sofa, or a classic Carrara marble table. Such pieces are timeless, and can easily translate into new looks, and work with new color palettes in years to come.

by Jennie Abbott for Monique Lhuillier

When you bring greys and silvers into your home, you introduce a sense of calm, cool tranquility, and order. Soft greys lend a subtle femininity, while deep greys indicate a masculine presence.

This beautiful room, by interior designer Jennie Abbott, is the epitome of glamour, with deep rich grey upholstered pieces, against pale wall and floor treatments. The strong black and white art and black fireplace surround, bring some weightiness up to the walls. Without those touches, the strong furniture pieces would appear to float in their cloud-like surroundings. Here the feminine and masculine are expertly balanced. The results are DREAMY!!

This is one of the few situations where I can recommend plain white walls. (OMG!)  This silvery pale grey palette gives white walls a reason to exist!  In fact it’s the ideal backdrop for it.  Here are a few things I put together to help you create this look:

Items below: Surya Fallon Grey Rug from www.RugStudio, Laszlo Pendant  Light and Larabie Clear Table Lamp are from Kravet Lighting (available through Gaita Interiors), Seville Chair from Room and Board, Avec Sofa from CB2

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Duralee 20954-248duralee14994-18Duralee 20897-362
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Every one of the gorgeous fabrics in this post is from Duralee.  The coffee table is the Smart Round Marble Table from CB2.  The Silver Cheetah Faux Fur Throw is from Fur-Throws.com.
SmartMarbleRndCoffeTbl3QS9

Throw Silver Cheetah Large
MARBLETABLEANDCHEETAHTHROWlskeuirosljnvapoerufsdkvhpa;ofa;lmclsihfsvhoejccis;vlsvsjfwpofjslkjeopf9jfi
pjatteryd Ikea $79.99
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ikea 79.99

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The art: Both the piece above, and the Audrey Hepburn piece are prints on stretched canvas from Ikea, each $79.99

duralee 32038-562duralee 180855H-296duralee 15102-562

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roomandboard hubbard rocker
isabella chandelier kravet

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FrostPillow CB2ShaggyPillowGreyCB2
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ZigZagPillow CB2pillowsuperstore.com pebbles
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The pieces above are: The Hubbard Rocker from Room and Board, and the Isabella Chandelier from Kravet Lighting (available through Gaita Interiors) The grey silk pebble pillow (lower right) is from www.pillowsuperstore.com. The other three pillows are all from Cb2

Greys also mix well with warm neutrals.  So if you already have some of the “old neutral” (beige, tan, taupe)you don’t have to start from scratch to go ahead and add some of the “new neutral”

GET COOL WITH SOME SOFT,GLAMOROUS,TRANQUIL,FEMININE, MASCULINE,CLASSIC, TIMELESS GREY.

October 12, 2009

Autumn in Vermont: Interior Inspiration

Filed under: Color usage, Fabric Usage, Interior Design, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — michaeldelicio @ 4:44 PM

In my work, I spend many hours looking at, and thinking about the work of other designers, artists, textile designers, furniture makers and craft people of every ilk. But whenever I can, I turn my focus to NATURE, the original, fundamental, and primary source of all inspiration!

October in Vermont is perfect for this kind of creative refreshment.  It’s no wonder Vermont is known for it’s crafts and artists! I just spent a couple of days there taking pictures. Here’s a very small example of what I saw, and the direct inspiration for interior design that I took from it.

Copy of DSC_0273

This incredible fuchsia foliage is the aptly named Flame Bush.  I love it at this stage, half green, half fuchsia.

…And, I love it as a color scheme.  Green and pink are natural companions.  At this depth of saturation, they bring  earthiness, glamour and passion. The combination amps up the exotic feel of these Moroccan inspired patterns.

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marmag_180933H-298marmag_180939H-298marmag_180944H-338
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27148_430  kravet

marmag_180949H-299W3080_630  karvet
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marmag_180934H-298W3093_640 kravetmarmag_180954H-298

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Fabrics: Top row-  All three are from HIGHLAND COURT 180933H-298, 180939-298 and 180944H-338.   Second Row- KRAVET 27148-430, Highland Court 180949H-299, Kravet (wallcovering) W3080-630.   Third Row-Highland Court 180934H-298,  Kravet (wallcovering) W3093-640, Highland Court 180954H-298  All fabrics are available through Gaita Interiors (914)834-8282.

madeline weinrib hot pink songcentralglassworks.net

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Carpet- Hot Pink Song from Madeline Weinrib,  hand blown vase from www.glassworkscentral.net , green Moroccan Pouf from http://moroccanprestige.com/leather_poufs.html, Moroccan Lantern from www.gifts.freemarkits.com Fuchsia Moroccan Pouf from www.tazidesigns.com

The Real Vermont, Why I Keep Going Back: I took this shot on the edge of a quiet country road, on a cloudy afternoon in Ludlow, Vermont.  To me in exemplifies all that is lovely about Vermont in the Autumn.  The shady old tree, the stone wall, the mix of reds, greens, and yellows.  Too bad you can’t smell the pines!  Pines smell best in Vermont, in the crisp air of Fall.

DSC_0208

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We can call this the Harvest Palette,and for many it is the only color scheme necessary…EVER!! (Blue need not apply!)  It offers a generous helping of warmth and cheer to carry you through the coldest winter.

I like my Harvest Palette on the light side, with lots of orangy reds and yellows,  and low notes of clean, deep greens.  This  combination lends itself to a range of settings from a casual  farm house kitchen, to the most formal Manhattan townhouse, and everything in between.  It works beautifully with classic chinoiserie details.

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FENTON!D_430 kravet27772=640holpla_31786-21
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alasun_180664H-26822302_24 kravetHOLISTIC_16 kravet
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alathy_180607H-184
atlas peak citrus mango robalalder dmask wallpaper green thib
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Fabrics: Top row- KRAVET Fendton D-420, Kravet 27772-640, Kravet 31786-21  Second Row- HIGHLAND COURT 180664H-268,  Kravet 22302-24. Kravet Holistic-16  Third row- ROBERT ALLEN Atlas Peak citrus mango, THIBAUT Alder Damask green wallcovering.  All fabrics are available through Gaita Interiors (914)834-8282

safavieh heirloom collectionmacys lighting enterprises antique red clay claudia table lamphand painted lotus vase gumps
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openwork square garden stoolgumps handpainted chrysanthemum screenshanghai lacquer storage boxes gumps
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Rug from Safavieh Heirloom Collection, the following items are all from Gump’s- Hand Painted Lotus Vase, Open Work Green Garden Stool, Hand Painted Chrysanthemum Screen, Shanghai Red Lacquer Boxes.

I recommend photography as a way of developing a deeper enjoyment of the outdoors. When you decide to photograph something, you’re forced to REALLY look at it, with a concentration you may never have used for JUST LOOKING.  You don’t have to be a great photographer (eg:  ME!)  Any old camera will do. The photographs are not the point.  They’re just a means to an end; a new way to see.

I hope you find:

CREATIVE REPLENISHMENT, IN THIS AND EVERY SEASON.

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