Category Archives: Interior Design

The Layered Appeal Of The “Skirted Table”: Stylish Textile Delight

Draped Fabric With Limitless Style Possibilities:  The "Skirted Table"

Draped Fabric With Limitless Style Possibilities: The “Skirted Table”

The “skirted table”. A timeless adornment in fabric within the interior. Perhaps our interior rooms crave layers of fabric as the seasons change and temperatures seem to bring a crispness in the air within our spaces. Textural bliss with textiles, the “Skirted Table” certainly provides interior personality with the lengths of fabric that fall to the floor

A “Table Skirt” is described as a “Fabric drape which covers the front and sides of a table from the surface down nearly to the floor” and “Occasionally, a skirt covers also the back of a table”. Of additional interest, typically what is referred to as a “Table Skirt” commonly does not cover the table top, which must be draped first with a tablecloth. Alas, the banquet-style skirting. With the purpose of shielding all the legs under the table from view, the “Table Skirt” that I focus upon softly drapes or covers the entire surface upon which it is layered. Whether flowing or streamlined and tailored, the “Table Skirt” seems to provide a commanding presence in a room. For certain, the well-dressed table is an asset to any interior.

Whether a solid or patterned fabric layering a rectangular or round table, the “Table Skirt” provides instant warmth with its texture while softening a room’s appearance. A visual alternative to the sharp lines of ‘legged’ furniture. A contrast of interest, perhaps. The additional layer of fabric that skirts a table adds balance to a room. Regarding the fabrics that cover the surfaces of sturdy table tops, it is said that the heavier the fabric, the more luxurious the drape. In fact, the preferred fabric is a heavy weight linen or silk. For certain, the weight of a fabric adds to the visual richness that the textiles of choice brings. The luxurious folds of fabric that cascade to the floor in a graceful manner presents a visually softening yet grounding effect within the interior.

And of the history of the layers of textile delight? History states that in 1762, Thomas Chippendale designed a fabric skirt that concealed the legs of a dressing table. Acknowledged as a style that became relegated to feminine settings, the “Skirted Table” certainly moved beyond this realm within interior history. An appreciation, perhaps, of the continuous flow of design that a table with skirting provides. Of additional historical interest, speculation exists that Victorian England’s “near obsessive” desire to preserve modesty provides clues to its importance within interiors. Who knew that a “Skirted Table” would be suggested as part of the devotion to modesty in which interior embellishments with fabric would shield not only the legs of the furniture, but those of the guests seated at the table, from view? Covered in style, indeed. But alas, the “Table Skirt” that gains my focus is not specifically the draping, floor length fabric that layers a dining table, per say, but the table that stands alone as a functional piece of decoration. A “stand alone” table layered in personal style

Interior Designer, Mario Buatta, "Prince Of Chintz"

Interior Designer, Mario Buatta, “Prince Of Chintz”

Of course, one cannot dwell on the topic of the “Skirted Table” without mentioning the fabrics that not only graced interiors during the 1970’s, but also those that took on new levels of style during the 1980’s. Yes, the layered ruffles of flowered fabric and billowy taffeta onto round tables. Mario Buatta, credited as the “Prince of Chintz” during the Eighties, famously draped tables with such stylistic folds and flowering botanical prints. The interior design world would follow his lead. Of course, styles change, and although the “Skirted Table” may have been banished and hidden from view as it fell out of favor with modern designers, perhaps its return is not a surprise. Alas, it never left. It has only been reinvented. The reinvention of a classic. Textiles of crisp, tailored elegance with pattern, color and warmth with texture have once again layered our surfaces. Modern details have perhaps even furthered the reinvention of the concept. Layers of fabric we will never tire of. To quote Coco Chanel, “Fashion changes, style remains”. Indeed, as with fashion, the design may change, but style remains…

Versatility In Styling:  The Textile Delight Of "Skirted Tables"

Versatility In Styling: The Textile Delight Of “Skirted Tables”

And of the custom made skirt at the hand of an upholsterer? The luxury of a hand-tailored skirt to one’s specifications is certainly appealing. Timeless appeal, when chosen with personal flair. A statement in style, for certain. And what of the benefits of hidden storage? For certain, the added benefit to those that dwell in a space with limited storage, the skirting of a table allows for the concealment of a bevy of items beneath the folds of textile fabric in layers that surround the table. Versatility in form and function paired with decorative possibilities. And of the objects that are gathered in a personal montage on display? The decoration on a skirted table certainly deems it a personal and impactful table of style. Limitless options of personal display…

Embellishments With Textiles:  The "Skirted Table"

Embellishments With Textiles: The “Skirted Table”

Layers Of  Elegance:  The "Skirted Table"

Layers Of Elegance: The “Skirted Table”

Impactful Presence Within The Interior:   "Skirted" Table Delight

Impactful Presence Within The Interior: “Skirted” Table Delight

Versatile & Personal Statements Of Style: "Skirted Tables"

Versatile & Personal Statements Of Style: “Skirted Tables”

Consider the “Skirted Table”. Whether tailored and modern, layered with embellishments worthy of couture detailing or simple layers of folds that create a visual voluminous effect, the “Skirted Table” is a decorative addition of stylistic versatility within the interior world. A classic “Skirted Table” with billowing layers or more modern, tailored panels is a beautiful, functional addition within the interior. Even with the addition of an overlay over the fabric of choice. Your choice. Choosing a simple, solid or patterned layered skirt in unadorned simplicity or a box pleat layer with sophisticated banded trims, the style choice is personal. Textile layers with contemporary sensibilities or traditional layers of textile bliss. Choices. Choices of stylish layers of textile delight, indeed…

Kristin

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Interior Color Inspirations: The Subtle Elegance of Neutral Beige

Warm Shades With  Distinction:  Beige Within The Interior

Warm Shades With Distinction: Beige Within The Interior

Beige. That creamy and soothing color that emulates nature. A neutral shade commonly used as a “default” color within interiors, “Beige” certainly deserves our full attention with it’s natural and calming appeal. Perhaps with the pending arrival of the Fall season, the neutral palette becomes even more appealing. A season that perhaps calls for a toned down, neutral palette before the arrival of the rich, deep hues that Autumn brings. Beige bliss. The neutral shades of beige cover many variations and depths of subdued hues which can blanket our interiors. A fresh change in which a myriad of tones and textures can be brought in to our interior world…

Beige can be described as a pale cream color, an off-tan color or an extremely pale yellowish brown color. Quite a vast expanse the term “Beige” does cover! The term itself originates from ‘beige cloth’, a cotton fabric left un-dyed in its natural color. “unbleached silk” refers to one of the Japanese traditional colors in use since 660 BC. Aged and timeless! Beginning in the 1920′s, the meaning of the term beige expanded to the point where it is also used for pale yellow colors and a wide range of pale brown shades while also referring to a range of light, neutral tints of a pale, warm appearance. The tones and variations that this earthy hue have been given throughout history include: Cream, Unbleached Silk, Tuscan, Buff, Desert Sand, Ecru, Khaki, French Beige and Mode Beige and “Cosmic Latte” (I adore that one!). The power of color and its variations of hues!!

History stands behind each of these variations of this subtle, natural color
The color Cream was first recorded in 1590 and referred to the color of the cream produced by grazing cattle on natural pasture with plants which included a yellow pigment. Real cream, indeed! Desert sand (a very dark shade of beige also referred to as drab and sand dune) has been in use since 1686. Tuscan was first recorded as a color name in English in 1887. Buff, a pale yellow brown color, took its name from buffed leather. Again, who knew? The first recorded English use of Khaki as a color occurred in 1948, French Beige in 1927, and Mode Beige in 1928. Interestingly, originally in the 19th century and up until 1930, it is said that the color “ecru” and “beige” where interchangeable. Ecru comes from the French word Ecru, which means ‘raw’ or ‘unbleached’. Since the 1950′s, perhaps to provide interior designers with a wider palette of colors to select from, the color ecru has been regarded as its own hue. In 2002 the term “Cosmic Latte” was assigned by a team of American astronomers to describe the average color of the universe. Yet again, who knew? The color beige certainly encompasses many shades of pure, natural pigments of classic and timeless color. Beige bliss, indeed.

Subtle & Luxurious Beige

Subtle & Luxurious Beige

The Natural Hue Of Beige:  Understated Style

The Natural Hue Of Beige: Understated Style

Earth tones and various shades of the hue that is referred to as “Beige” are certain to be appreciated by all. The glory of beige is perhaps in its ability to pay homage to the decor that surrounds it. Rich and warm, the color beige beautifully coats traditional and modern spaces. With its elegance and richness, the layers upon layers of beige are certainly a calming visual delight. Without doubt, the neutral palette brings the focus onto the lines of the furniture as well as the decoration and details of embellishment within a space.

Consider Beige to create a neutral retreat within the interior. Especially in between seasons, it seems so appropriate to add a neutral coating as nature begins to change the world around us. Whether muted shades of Cream or French Beige or deeper shades of Khaki or Desert Sand, there is certainly a hue within the tonal variations that will find us covering our world in interior style. A classic shade that adheres to embellishments and textures. A seasonless hue, for certain. And if there remains a need for a “Pop” of color? Beige is a perfect backdrop. Alas, beige is never common. Rather, personal style creates a stylish ability to successfully and favorably use these neutral shades within the interior. A personal statement of style against a backdrop of natural and soothing beige. Tone on tone of deep rich neutrals are simple, yet so sharp. Consider basking in the purely straightforward, uncomplicated and natural shades of beige. Saturated style of natural appeal. Whether paired with contrasting embellishments of striking style or monochromatic saturation in beige bliss, there is a shade of beige tone of personal choice. Distinction of a natural and subtly elegant hue, indeed…

Kristin

“It’s my color-beige!” – Elise De Wolfe

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The Brass étagère: Distinctive “Open Shelving” Of Form & Function

The  Distinctive Brass étagère

The Distinctive Brass étagère

An étagère is termed as a piece of “lightweight furniture consisting of a series of stages or open shelves for the reception of ornaments and other small articles”. A “stage” for elements of personal style and decoration, for certain. Extensively made in France during the late 18th century, the word étagère was taken from the Middle French word, estagiere, referring to “estage floor of a building or station”. Of interest, the first known use of this word of French style was in 1840. These graceful and elegant open shelves are perhaps best known in the brass construction. Yet the history of the étagère, that even Louis XVI adored, began in exotic woods. Who knew? Elaborately carved or molded spindles interlaced between the shelves create a towering effect of lightweight visual style. Holding perhaps the “frippery” and collected articles of elegance, refinement of aristocratic style, these dainty, yet substantial shelves provided visual pleasure within the interior. Collected groupings of coveted objects on display. And of our collected “frippery”? Objects of personal style, for certain. Beyond the wood that formed the early étagères, often, metals such as brass and pewter would be interspersed throughout the structures of distinctive style. In fact, some even were embellished with jewels. Again, who knew?

Vintage Structures Of Form & Function:   Étagères

Vintage Structures Of Form & Function: Étagères

Popular once again during the Victorian era, the excess of details would additionally adorn the shelves of style. Gilded carvings, marble shelves and mirrors would perhaps add a weighty appearance. Yet this decorative piece crafted by artisan cabinetmakers would eventually evolve into the stylistic elegance and simplicity of the brass étagère. In fact, it is said that the brass étagère originated as a collaboration of the venerable furniture studio, Frederick P. Victoria & Son and American interior design legend, Billy Baldwin. Known as a classicist and a modernist, it is no wonder that the open shelving would acquire gleaming brass and towering height at the helm of Baldwin’s design lead paired with the craftsmanship and artistry of a furniture studio of timeless design. Of additional interest, Baldwin’s designs for Cole Porter’s Waldorf Towers Apartment has eternally linked them to be referred to as “Porter étagères”. Again, who knew? The timeless triumph in design within Porter’s library of tubular brass floor to ceiling étagères lined against lacquered walls has certainly gained iconic appeal. Enduring design, for certain…

Design Legend:  Billy Baldwin & His étagères

Design Legend: Billy Baldwin & His étagères

Of course, the design inspiration is also said to have originated from the lines of the English Regency rosewood rolling cart which was also known as a ‘dumbwaiter’. Function with design. With resemblances in design, Baldwin’s étagères certainly became a design of a much larger scale than the English Regency shelf unit. Great design evolves, indeed.

An English Regency dumbwaiter:  A Rolling étagères

An English Regency dumbwaiter: A Rolling étagères

Etagere:  A Vintage Variation Paired With Height

Etagere: A Vintage Variation Paired With Height

Of additional interest, the original Baldwin-Porter étagères were adorned with domed finials with “Gadrooning” (a decorative motif consisting of convex curves in a series). Alas, as time moved onward and the étagère became widely made, the halt of production during the mid 1960’s allowed for a gap in design. Perhaps a “forgotten detail” of the finials that once graced the towering structures was a result that would change the future design. With or without these finial caps of style, the resurgence and evolution in design of the étagère would certainly experience a revival in the decades following. Earning it a timeless addition to an interior, for certain.

étagère:  Graceful Shelves Of Styled  Possibilities

étagère: Graceful Shelves Of Styled Possibilities

And of the reference to the excessive brass and metallic trend that swelled during the 1970’s? Indeed, the brass étagère was included in the excess of metallic display of the Seventies. Alas, when brass is used in moderation with sophistication and elegance the metallic addition will shine in style within the interior. The étagère will complement and provide a stylish backdrop of your collected and decorative whims. A changing backdrop, for certain. Stylish possibilities. The étagère is certainly not a “book shelf” but rather a “Stage” of decorative style. With the brassy glow that exudes visual interest as well as warmth in its tone, the brass étagère is an element that will endure in lightweight, visual style…

Lightweight Style:  The Open Shelved  étagère

Lightweight Style: The Open Shelved étagère

Brass has certainly remained an enduring classic metal for centuries. Clean lines and simple form, the minimalism in a brassy metal would rise in popularity in time. Of course, there are those étagères that are in graduated sizes, spiraling upwards in vertical style, but it is the simplistic and elegant gracefulness of the open and repeating brass shelf that earns focus of its timeless appeal. Horizontal style options in a vertical bliss of decorative function, indeed.

"Victorian Brass" Étagère: Details In Design

“Victorian Brass” Étagère: Details In Design

Consider the étagère. A decorative piece of furniture that provides a distinctive and unique backdrop to adorn any space. With its bright, yellow gold warmth, the appearance of this styled open-shelf of distinction will provide you with enduring appeal. Of course, beyond the glow of brass construction, there are certainly other materials that earn praise. That said, I return to the focus of brass. A metal that deserves our focus and appreciation, especially when styled so distinctively with sharp lines of vertical and horizontal interest and style. Distinctive “open shelving” of style. Form and function, indeed…

Kristin

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Distinctive Architectural Elements: Exposed Beams & Trusses

Beams  Of Visual Distinction Within The Interior

Beams Of Visual Distinction Within The Interior

The refined and rustic appeal of exposed beams and trusses. Architectural interest paired with lofty and airy style. Strength and beauty in a visual vertical and horizontal display of exposed wood within the interior. Rustic sophistication, for certain…

“Post and Beam” construction is a process referred to as “Timber Framing” (the “process of framing a structure using heavy timber jointed together with pegged mortise and tenon joints”). The diagonal supports in timber framing provide the visual allure of these elevated, exposed beams. Posts are generally visible on the exterior of the home whereas beams can be seen within the interior in a ceiling display of distinctive style.

History states that the concept of“Post and Beam” framing originated in Egypt around 2,000BC. Early “Post and Beam” construction historically can be found as a key architectural method and style prevalent in Europe, specifically in such countries as England, Holland and Norway. On American soil, the first settlers used a primitive form of “Post and Beam” construction using white oak that was used in Europe as well as the workable, abundant soft woods found in America’s forests. With the use of slats and woven twigs paired with mud between the posts, a method of ‘infill’ called “Wattle and Daub”, the tradition of building with “Post and Beam” construction continued in the Colonies until the 1800’s. With the arrival of brick layers to America, the addition of brick between the posts transformed the primitive method of construction. Bricks were added to the openings in the beam frame walls furthering a solid structure of architecture. Of additional interest, it is said that at that time American native Pine came into use it would lead to the abandonment of the “Post and Beam” construction due to extremes in temperature that caused failure in construction. Who knew? Or perhaps, it was the stated arrival of the Clapboard exterior construction of 2-story homes that set a new standard for strength and security against the climate and environmental changes? Either way, the timeless appeal of the post and beam would certainly regain appeal in architecture beyond its crude, initial construction of purpose as an element of distinction within interior design.

And of the trusses that connect the exposed beams of architectural interest and strength? Another element of structural design that adds interest and visual delight. In architecture, a Truss is a structure comprising of one or more triangular units constructed with straight members whose ends are connected at joints referred to as nodes. Strength in function paired with distinction of interior style…

Rustic Elegance:  Exposed Beams

Rustic Elegance: Exposed Beams

Strength & Style: Beams  In The Interior

Strength & Style: Beams In The Interior

Natural Appeal With Visual Interest:  Architectural Beams

Natural Appeal With Visual Interest: Architectural Beams

Of course the glory of the natural wood meets another dimension when coated with paint. White washed or painted beams of lofty, light and airy style are also a visually appealing delight. For certain, beams that are finished with a clear finish, stained or even a painted surface provide a textural and visually interesting architectural element of distinctive style to any interior they rise within…

Light & Airy Style Of Distinction:  Painted Beams & Trusses

Light & Airy Style Of Distinction: Painted Beams & Trusses

Consider the solid wood beams of distinctive style within the interior. Whether the beams are of Antique Rough Sawn origin (holding teeth marks from the saw blades from when it was milled) or Antique Hand Hewn (which have retained the artisans axe marks), refined Antique Re-Sawn wood beams that are planed smooth, providing a modern, clean appeal or those that retain the teeth marks from a band saw for added character) or even if the beams are of a high quality faux alternative “Box Beam”, (constructed to resemble solid wood) there is character, warmth and strength added to any interior.

The addition of these 3-dimensional wood beams provide a sturdy and almost luxurious elegance that dominates with strength within the interiors it towers above. Structural delight and added architectural interest, indeed. The beauty and strength of the timbers than span across an interior is a longstanding feature of architecture and interior design that will certainly endure as a timeless element of distinctive style. Exposed, natural elements. Elements of distinctive architectural style, indeed…

Kristin

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Function, Texture & Style: Baskets Within The Interior

Double Duty Of Style & Function:  Baskets

Double Duty Of Style & Function: Baskets

The art of the basket. Woven by hand, the stylish basket has certainly evolved into an art form. Constructed from a wide range of plant materials, including wood splints and cane, the twisting and braiding of stylistic function can certainly be appreciated, if not incorporated, into our interiors. For certain, the artistic freedom of basket making allows for a wide choice of colors, materials, sizes, patterns and details. Form and function paired with stylistic options.

The history of the woven form of the basket is believed to date back to 8000BCE. Archaeological sites in the Middle East provide further evidence of a weaving technique that was used to make baskets. Of additional interest, twined baskets date back to 7000 BCE in Oasisamerica (referring to a broad cultural area defining pre-Columbian southwestern North America). Again, longstanding history of form and function. Representations of carrying baskets on the top of the head are found in Ancient Greek art and sculpture, known as Canephorae or Kanephoros. Translated in English as “Basket Bearer”, the Greeks bestowed the privilege to unmarried young women of the aristocratic Athenian families the honor of leading the procession to the altar of the Acropolis during the Panathenaic Festival. Carrying a basket (known as kanoun) of offerings on their head, the contents which included barley, fresh fruits and decorations for a bull along and other elements of importance, was among the highest honor bestowed. Who knew the basket held such honorable status in history? Onward in history, the basket would prove its importance, with its function and practicality. Function within history, indeed…

Baskets In History:  Time Honored Function

Baskets In History: Time Honored Function

And of the style of these woven objects? The rustic charm and natural element of decorative purpose within our interior spaces? Beyond the “Country” charm it is relegated to holding, baskets move beyond into a universal element of versatile use and decorative style. For certain, baskets provide a “rustic” element within the interior, yet baskets work within a wide range of interior styles, including more streamlined spaces. Attractive functionality with style…

Baskets:  Stylish Purpose Of Rustic Texture

Baskets: Stylish Purpose Of Rustic Texture

Textural Interest Within The Interior:  Baskets Of Style

Textural Interest Within The Interior: Baskets Of Style

Neutral Texture Of Handwoven Style:  The Beauty Of Baskets

Neutral Texture Of Handwoven Style: The Beauty Of Baskets

Elements Of Purpose:  Baskets Within The Interior

Elements Of Purpose: Baskets Within The Interior

Consider incorporating the stylish and decorative basket within your interior world. The options for containment and storage of the basket hold vast possibilities. A plethora of choices of braided or woven style with sizes, shapes, textures and style provide textural interest paired with purpose. The advantage of additional storage hidden within the hand-woven element of style can certainly be praised. As I hold to the creed that everything that fills our spaces should earn its place within our interiors, baskets earn praise with the ability to stow and store with style. Hidden delight. Stiff fibers of purpose. Function of purpose paired with stylistic choices, indeed…

Kristin

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The Glory Of Succulents: Ornamentals Of Distinction

Texture & Color:  The Distinction Of Succulents

Texture & Color: The Distinction Of Succulents

Succulents. Distinctive desert plants that are grown as ornamentals due to their striking and unusual appearance. Distinctive, indeed…

The definition of the Succulent plant is one that has “Fleshy tissues that conserve moisture”. In botany, plants known as Succulents or “Fat Plants” refer to having parts that are “thick”, “Fleshy” and “swollen”. Unique, thick and plump leaves of style. Nature’s answer to a plant life that requires the need to retain water in arid climates or soil conditions. Of interest, these low maintenance succulents can also store water within various parts of their structure, including the leaves, stems and roots. There are four categories of Succulents which refer to the location of water storage: Leaf Succulents, Stem Succulents, Root Succulents and lastly, Caudiciform Succulents (which store water at soil level in stems or roots). Of additional interest, in horticultural use, the term “Succulent” often excludes “Cacti”. However, in botanical terminology, cacti are considered succulents. Interesting. Perhaps it is best stated that “virtually all cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti”. Who knew? Certainly, beyond what is presented here, there is a great saturation of information linked to these horticultural plants of interest.

The history of the succulent is said to date back over 25 million years. Within the last 5,000 years, additional succulents of great style have appeared at the surface of our world. Ancient history stated, there are over 10,000 species of succulents that have adapted to varied weather and growing conditions. Again, who knew? For certain, these old-world plants that thrive in full sun and arid conditions provide us with beauty and distinction to grace our world with.

Clusters of deep mauve, magenta, green, blue, taupe and gray succulents are an absolute delight for our visual senses. Restrained beauty in rock gardens, borders and containers, succulents are a hardy “bloom” that adds color and dramatic texture with a seeming exotic flair. Scale, texture, color and interest. The glory of the succulent, revealed

Desert Plants Of Distinctive Appearance:  Succulents

Desert Plants Of Distinctive Appearance: Succulents

And of the incorporation as a decorative element within the interior? Again, delight. When tastefully arranged, the rosettes of the succulent world are of long lasting stature, indeed. Vibrant and muted color with a luscious appeal.

Ornamentals Of Delight:  The Allure Of Succulents Within The Interior

Ornamentals Of Delight: The Allure Of Succulents Within The Interior

And of its perhaps unexpected appearance at celebrations and events? A memorable moment paired with nature, incorporated into a moment of a lifetime. Life’s joys of nature, indeed…

Wedding Bliss With Succulent Style

Wedding Bliss With Succulent Style

Celebrations WIth The Beauty Of Succulents

Celebrations WIth The Beauty Of Succulents

Succulent Style:  The Adornment Within The Interior

Succulent Style: The Adornment Within The Interior

Consider with appreciation the simplicity of nature that the succulent offers to our exterior and interiors. Survival strategies paired with unique ranges of shapes, colors and textures that enhance our interior and exterior spaces, the beauty of the succulent is certainly long lasting. Distinction with long lasting glory, indeed…
Kristin

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Architectural Embellishments Of Elegant Distinction: The French “Oeil-de-bouef” Window

Grand Details In Architecture:  Oiel-de-bouef  Windows

Grand Details In Architecture: Oiel-de-bouef Windows

Oeil-de-bouef. A common French architectural element, Oeil-de-bouef windows are circular or oval shaped windows historically found across France. The round or oval openings within the frieze or roof not only allows the admittance of daylight but provides beauty and distinction. A grand embellishment from the outside as well as the inside. French for “Bull’s Eye” and also referred to as “Eye of the Steer” and “Ox Eye”, the majestic and distinctive window graces the facades of France’s beautiful buildings with an enduring allure

Oculus windows (circular openings in a dome or wall) have been a feature of French Classical architecture since the 16th century. These circular or oval windows, set in dormers, typically hinge to open outward. Function paired with beauty and elegance in architectural details. Of note, these circular windows are also found as portholes of ships. Function paired with structure. But of the glorious zinc or carved wooden Oiel-de-boeuf windows of grandeur that embellish the facades of historical architecture? Iconic embellishments to be appreciated, for certain. Architecturally, the window is described as “Usually resembling a wheel, with glazing bars (bars framing the panes of glass) as spokes radiating outward from an empty hub, or circular centre”. Circular style with elaborate details and distinctive form. The glory of the circular window…

Historical Architectural Renderings: The Oeil-de-boeuf Window

Historical Architectural Renderings: The Oeil-de-boeuf Window

French Grandeur:  Oeil-de-boeuf

French Grandeur: Oeil-de-boeuf

French Elegance:  The Salon de l'Oeil-de-boeuf" (1701) Palace of Versailles

French Elegance: The Salon de l’Oeil-de-boeuf” (1701) Palace of Versailles

And of the French history that is encased within these glorious windows of decorative function? Alas, at the helm of Louis XIV, the round window of distinction and grandeur decorated the room known as the “Salon de l’Oeil-de-boeuf” (Room of the Bull’s Eye) within the grand French Chateau, the Palace of Versailles. Timeless distinction of French origin, once again.

Of course, the appeal and distinction of these windows would soon travel beyond France’s borders. During the 17th century in Britain, Oeil-de-boeuf windows embellished the manor houses of the Jacobean period. Known as the British Renaissance, the Jacobean era refers to the period in English and Scottish history that coincides with the reign of King James VI (1567-1625) of Scotland (who would also inherit the crown of England). “Jacobean”, derived from Jacobus, the latin form of the English name James, was a period that included the visual arts and decorative arts. It is no surprise that the Oeil-de-boeuf window would become an element of architecture within this period. Adorning the Stately homes built as a celebration and demonstration of wealth, the Oeil-de-bouef windows grace the visual landscape of the architecture not only in France but also the architecture found along the moors and dales of the British terrain. An enduring embellishment, indeed…

Oiel-de-bouef: Elaborate Elegance

Oiel-de-bouef: Elaborate Elegance

Historic French Style:  The Decorative Oeil-de-bouef Window

Historic French Style: The Decorative Oeil-de-bouef Window

Distinction & Appreciation Of  The Architectural Jewel:  Oiel-de-bouef

Distinction & Appreciation Of The Architectural Jewel: Oiel-de-bouef

And of the decoration within the interior of the Oiel-de-bouef window? An architectural salvage element that provides interest and visual allure. A timeless focal point that will endure in appreciation no matter where you reside. Adding an element of timeless French flair of distinction within the interior is an embellishment worthy of its place within our homes for those of us fortunate to acquire an emblem of historic distinction…

Oiel-De-Bouef As Decoration

Oiel-de-bouef As Decoration

Architectural Elements Within The Interior:  Oeil-de-boeuf

Architectural Elements Within The Interior: Oeil-de-boeuf

Oiel-de-bouef:  "Bulls Eye" Of Delight

Oiel-de-bouef: “Bulls Eye” Of Delight

Consider with appreciation the sophisticated symmetry paired with the elaborate formation of design of the Oeil-de-boef window. Whether elaborate carvings of wood or stone or formations and structures made from zinc or copper or other metals of complex decoration, the distinction and elegance that the window provides from the exterior as well as the interior cannot be refuted. Design of distinction. An embellishment that will endure in appreciation of its beauty and form. From a time of grandeur, the grandness of the Oeil-de-boef window will endure as a timeless embellishment of architectural distinction. Elegant distinction, indeed…

Kristin

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Interior Color Inspirations: The Bold Confidence Of “Red”

Crimson Desire:  The Bold Statement Of Red

Crimson Desire: The Bold Statement Of Red

The bold and deep color of red. Impact of bold style. A statement in decoration, for certain. Red is a strong color that draws us with its intensity…

The color red is said to represent energy, passion and action. Possessing richness and brightness, red is an energizing and warm color that seems to excite the emotions and perhaps motivate one into action. Certainly a color that emits a sense of sensuality as well as strength, perhaps it is no surprise that the color red is also said to “exude a strong and powerful masculine energy”. And of its bold statement, like a tube of red lipstick? A confident statement, indeed. Perhaps it can also be said that red is not a shy color but an assertive color that relays visual determination and strength in personal style. And, perhaps “tempered with a degree of defiance”. Bold, courageous and strong is the color red.

The Old English word “red” is traced to the Proto-Germanic word “rauthaz” and the Proto-Indo root “reudh”. In the language of Ancient Mesopotamia and in the modern intuit language of the Eskimos, the word for red held the meaning of “Like blood”. In history the word referred to as red has carried many meanings and connotations . In the Russian language, the word for red “Krasniy”, comes from the old Slavic root as the words for “Beautiful” and “Prekrasniy”, meaning “excellent”. Who knew? Indeed, Red is certainly a beautiful and excellent color. Stunning when styled in simplicity or when drenching an interior space. The color of rubies, in the ancient world, the pigment of red dates back to the stone age. In ancient Egypt, the color was associated with life, health and victory and the ancient Romans continued the desire for the color red and lavishly decorated their interiors with its bright color. Timeless and enduring confidence in a color.

The range of red is certainly varied. Whether the hint of blue in the hue of “crimson red” or the hint of orange in “scarlet red” or the boldness of a “true red”, no matter if the choice is a muted and less intense or a blazing choice of boldness, red can certainly hold a tasteful elegance with drama. The bold, dark shade of red is a warm accent color that demands our attention and certainly enlivens any space

Interior Statements:  The Infusion Of Red

Interior Statements: The Infusion Of Red

Scarlet Love:  The Allure Of  "Red"

Scarlet Love: The Allure Of “Red”

The Energizing Distinction Of Red

The Energizing Distinction Of Red

The Red  Hue Of Delight

The Red Hue Of Delight

The saturation of red within the interior is a matter of intent. Bold intent. Yet even in less saturated spaces, this “pop” of color holds intense appeal. Seasonless appeal. Consider the embellishment within your interiors of the brilliant and bold red. It’s boldness and confidence is grand throughout the year. Style with attitude, for certain. “Red” as an interior color will never fade out of style, but rather will endure as a color that adds excitement, interest and perhaps, the unexpected. With a bold, confidence, indeed…

Kristin

“Red is a great clarifier-bright, cleansing, revealing. It makes all colors beautiful. I can’t imagine being bored with it-it would be like becoming tired of the person you love.” – Diana Vreeland

Diana Vreeland:  Embellished In Red

Diana Vreeland: Embellished In Red

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In Appreciation Of The Artful “Botanicals” Of William Morris

illiam Morris:  Artistry Of "The Beauty Of Life"

illiam Morris: Artistry Of “The Beauty Of Life”

“There is no excuse for doing anything which is not strikingly beautiful”- William Morris

William Morris (1834-1896) was an English artist, a craftsman of broad skills of artistic mediums and a pioneer of designs. Morris is also described as a prolific writer of poetry, fiction, essays and translations of ancient and medieval texts. That said, Morris created a legacy all his own.

And of his diverse creative skills that produced a range of decorative art including textiles, furniture, stained glass windows, book design, wallcoverings and tapestries? It is the embellishment of the interior walls with distinctive botanical wonder and the adorning of the interior with lush textiles and fabrics of botanical delight that beckons my attention. In appreciation of his distinctive botanical patterns, it is evident that Morris valued rich, depth of color paired with abundant, free-form and diverse details. Artistry of nature within the Victorian era.

Aside from Victorian influences, it is believed that his appreciation and admiration of Medievalism inspired his work. In addition, devoted to the preservation of architecture, ancient buildings and the natural world, it is not surprising with his botanical focus and craftsmanship that Morris would not be pleased with the lower quality of mass production of Industrialism, which resulted in pollution and its effects on the natural world. Certainly, Morris was committed to create an impact in the interior world. Craftsmanship paired with beauty at its best.

Born in Walthamstow, England, Morris would later earn a degree from Exeter College in Oxford in 1852. Morris’s education is said to have provided him with a lifelong friendship with a fellow student and aspiring artist Edward Burne-Jones. Morris and Burne-Jones are said to have been influenced by the pre-Raphaelite movement, the poetry of Alfred, Lord Tennyson and the essays of John Ruskin. Of interest, it is Ruskin who is credited with the “Rejection of the industrial manufacture of decorative arts and architecture in favor of a return to hand-crafted, affordable art where artisans are elevated to fine artists”. Perhaps a longterm inspiration to Morris?

In 1856, Morris began working for one of England’s leading Gothic revival architects in Oxford. During this time, Morris embarked upon another lifelong friendship with pre-Raphaelite painter, Dante Gabriel Rossetti. It was Rosetti who would bring the striking and beautiful artist’s model into the focus of Morris. The beautiful Jane Burden. In 1859 William and Jane were married. History hints that their happiness would not continue although they remained married until Morris’s death. Of note, a long affair is stated to have swirled between Rossetti and Burden. A love triangle, indeed. Yet at the beginning of their marriage it is thought that in the joy of decorating of their own home in Kent, England, inspired the beginnings of the focus on the interior that William Morris would bestow upon the world of interior design…..

"La Belle Iseult", 1858  (Jane Burden), Oil On Canvas, William Morris

“La Belle Iseult”, 1858 (Jane Burden), Oil On Canvas/William Morris

In 1861, the decorative arts firm of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. was established. Morris, Rossetti, Burne-Jones, Ford Maddox Brown, Philip Webb, Charles Faulkner and Peter Marshall as partners. The firm would undertake carving, stained glass, metal work, chintzes, printed fabrics and carpets. Of interest, the initial intent was for the decoration of churches. Who knew? In time, the firm would expand to include a myriad of craftsman skills, such as murals, furniture, glass wares, cloth, paper wall hangings, embroideries, jewelry, silk damasks, tapestries and tiles. A wide array of skilled arts, for certain. In 1874 Morris would become principal owner and design director of the firm and in 1875 the company name became “Morris and Co.”. A history of design that has endured.

And of his timeless wallpaper designs? Morris’s pattern work is unique from the machine produced wallpaper of the period. Creative uniqueness, for certain. The “flat” patterns of his botanical designs are considered opposite of the three-dimensional quality, excessive floral and precision of the wallpaper designs of the mid-Victorian interiors. It is said that “Many of Morris’s designs utilize the flowing, meandering lines, the idea of which stems from the meandering of the River Thames and all of its tributaries. In Morris’s work these lines become the stems of plants, flowers and foliage that wander through his repetitive designs”. Beautifully stated in regards to his flowing artistry of botanical wonder. Perhaps while relishing life within his own English garden of his beloved country house at Kelmscott Manor, observing plant nature and the delights of the natural world, his attentions would shift his energy and focus to designing botanical wallpaper and textiles. Perhaps it can be linked to his own words: “My work is the embodiment of dreams in one form or another”. That said, wherever his inspiration in originating his art form of the natural world, his patterns certainly emulate the natural world and remain timeless and iconic statements within the interior. Works of art to be appreciated, for certain…

“The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life”- William Morris

The Embellishment Of Artful Botanicals:  William Morris

The Embellishment Of Artful Botanicals: William Morris

The Natural World Of William Morris:  Interior Embellishment

The Natural World Of William Morris: Interior Embellishment

Decorative Art With Medieval Influence:  William Morris Botanicals

Decorative Art With Medieval Influence: William Morris Botanicals

William Morris:  Observations From Nature In Art Form

William Morris: Observations From Nature In Art Form

Considered a genius pattern designer, the work of William Morris has an enduring appeal beyond the Arts and Crafts Revival of the 20th and 21st centuries. Unlike other English decorative artisans of the time who are credited with art of more formal, perhaps rigid and symmetrical style, Morris’s “Visual poetry and passion for the natural world” would become and iconic, stylized classic within interior design. Bold and patterned botanical bliss of which he colored and infused interiors with. Timeless.

Perhaps it can be said that Morris altered the way the home was viewed. The inner world. Perhaps Morris even altered the way the world was viewed. Either way, his botanicals of nature’s beauty expressed in definitive fashion endure. Lasting emblems that continue to endure in appreciation in the world of interior design. Beyond what is shared here, the world or William Morris and his originality, quality, craftsmanship and mastery of techniques expressed through his wide range of artistic mediums is vast. Merely an appreciation presented here, consider the sensory delight of the natural world of William Morris. For certain, the creative character and legend of William Morris as a designer lives onward. The patterns of botanical bliss will forever create a statement. One of enduring appreciation, indeed…

Kristin

“If there is a reason for keeping the wall very quiet, choose a pattern that works all over without pronounced lines…Put very succinctly, architectural effect depends upon a nice balance of horizontal, vertical and oblique. No rules can say how much of each; so nothing can really take the place of feeling and good judgement.”- William Morris

“No pattern should be without some sort of meaning”- William Morris

“If I were asked to say what is at once the most important production of art and the thing most to be longed for, I should answer, a beautiful house.”-William Morris

and lastly, my personal favorite…

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”- William Morris

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Interior Color Inspirations: The Refreshing Infusion Of “Coral”

Brilliance Of Visual Intensity In Coral Hues

Brilliance Of Visual Intensity In Coral Hues

Coral. The color that infuses a warm, bright and almost tropical feel. Undersea coral reefs, the seaside and tranquil places swirl around in our thoughts…delightful.

Coral is described as having four parts: Red, peach, pink and orange. The various hues and tones of coral can even include a persimmon, tangerine and blood orange tones which adds visual intensity and creates wonderful color hues and variations. The inviting color coral dwells within the red family between lighter shades of pink and mixed hue with deeper shades of orange. Orange-red bliss. Of interest, the first recorded use in English of coral as a color name was in 1513. Quite a history. That said, the color coral has never faded in its appeal. Complementing a range of interiors, spaces imbued with soft or bold variations of coral hue are a delight to dwell within, for certain. The bold edge and strong undertones of vibrant orange or reddish-pink infused coral provides a striking contrast that energizes a room. And of the addition of the soft femininity of rosiness of the color hue? Delightful tranquility

Refreshing Infusions Of Coral Hues

Refreshing Infusions Of Coral Hues

Dwelling In Coral Bliss:  The Delightful Shades Of Coral

Dwelling In Coral Bliss: The Delightful Shades Of Coral

Rethink the varied hues of coral. As with any color, it matters not whether you add touches or drench and saturate your spaces with color. Simply adding color is the key. That said, infusing the coral hue into our spaces is a fresh, bright revision. There is absolutely a place for this color hue throughout the year in our interiors. The coral hue can certainly filter into our lives with easy admission. However you choose to to integrate this color the possibilities of its stylish impact will refresh the interior. And of its seeming Summertime indulgence? A delight in recalling warm weather seasons throughout the year, indeed…

Kristin

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