Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Chairish Challenge

Long time, no blogging!  Chairish has brought me back into the game by asking me to participate in a challenge to design a room based around one of their fabulous rugs!  

Chairish, if you're not familiar, is an an online marketplace for designers and design lovers to buy and sell vintage furniture, art, lighting, decor, accessories and a number of other items.  It's an especially wonderful resource for those who appreciate midcentury and vintage pieces.

The specific challenge from Chairish is to help those of us out there who struggle with incorporating color into a space by building a room around a rug from their new collection.  Rugs are one of my very favorite ways to infuse color into a room and you'll hear many designers say they start with the rug and build from there, so it was a no-brainer to accept the challenge. 

Chairish has many rugs and other items to choose from, but I quickly felt drawn to this rug.  It's traditional but mixes well with contemporary pieces and it's extremely versatile.  This rug will never go out of style. 

If you're not sure about committing to a large, colorful area rug in your home, which can also be expensive, a great way to add color is layering a small, boldly colored rug over a natural fiber rug. I chose to layer the Baluch rug over this sisal rug.

I selected this clear, acrylic coffeetable so that the Baluch rug can take center stage in my room.  

I kept the furniture neutral with a navy velvet sofa and two cream linen solids chairs with an amazing trim accent.  A few colorful accent pillows and accessories - including palms plants and blue and white porcelain - and the room was done! 

Without further ado, here it is! 

Chairish Challenge Space

I know I designed it, but I have to say I am really loving this room!  

It's important to me that rooms feel curated and not overly decorated or "matchy matchy," so I like to pull pieces from a number of different sources. There is nothing worse to me than a space that looks like everything was recently purchased from one store or like a decorator threw up all over it. That's another reason Chairish and other curated online marketplaces are such a great resource - you can find pieces from different periods and in different styles to create a layered look without the effort of visiting different shops.

I hope you like the room as much as I do! You can find links to all the pieces - some from Chairish and some from other sites - above. Thanks for reading!!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Chic Spaces: Woody Allen's Magic in the Moonlight Film Set

Last week I saw the latest Woody Allen film, Magic in the Moonlight. I'm a huge fan of his films, especially those that are set in the past. He has a nostalgic sensibility that I greatly enjoy. 

Magic in the Moonlight was filmed in the south of France and is set in the 1920s. It's no surprise that the geography of this region and attire of the time period are captivating. However, I was most entranced by the luxurious gardens and interiors of the character's homes. I immediately came home and researched the set. I was lucky to find a great deal of information from an Architectural Digest (AD) interview with the film's designers, who did a wonderful job recreating the historic interiors from this time period.  I've pulled my favorite images and facts, but you can read the whole article here

I won't spoil the outcome, but for background, the film centers on a famous magician, played by Colin Firth, and a young psychic, played by Emma Stone. The great Wei Ling Su (Firth) is called in by a friend to reveal Sophie (Stone) as a fraud before she marries into the wealthy American Catledge family.

Colin Firth and Emma Stone

Images credited to Jack English, 2014 Gravier Productions, Sony Pictures Classic as printed in Architectural Digest unless otherwise noted. 

For the Catledge family estate, Allen chose Villa La Renardière in Mouans-Sartoux. The design team filled the gardens with wisteria and blue hydrangea. Set decorator Jille Azis noted to AD, “The exterior shots in the gardens were a crucial element in the film to portray the charm and beauty of the South of France in the 1920s.”

Emma Stone and Hamish Linklater

Sophie the psychic and her suitor, Brice Catledge (Hamish Linklater) are shown in the living room of the villa. I found this room especially stunning. According to AD, this is the only interior of the estate that was used for filming. Production designer Anne Seibel said, "Woody and I liked the walls covered with a hand-painted wallpaper representing battleships at sea." This is Seibel's third collaboration with Allen. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Production Design for Midnight in Paris (2011). That wallpaper is truly breathtaking on a large screen!

Marcia Gay Harden and Jacki Weaver

Seibel researched the period magazine Riviera when designing the set's interiors. The design team used it as inspiration when creating a copy of the publication Côte d’Azur, as read by Sophie’s mother (Marcia Gay Harden) to Mrs. Catledge (Jacki Weaver).

Hamish Linklater and Jacki Weaver (l. to r.)

Lush gardens surround the incredible Catledge estate.

Emma Stone and Hamish Linklater

Sophie conducts a séance in this scene. Seibel told AD she “wanted to give the actors the feeling that this room was mysterious and to make them believe that ghosts and witches were around.” She chose dark, rich tapestries in burgundy, red, silk and velvet. 

Colin Firth in character as "Wei Ling Soo"

Colin Firth in stage character as the great magician Wei Ling Su. As an aside, I have been a big fan of Colin Firth ever since his days as Mr. Darcy in the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice, so I just had to throw this one in there!  

Living Room Set

The designers chose a mix of European styles for the home of Firth's Aunt Vanessa (played by Eileen Atkins), as she is an Englishwoman living in Provence. Seibel told AD, “Ceilings were hand-painted in the beginning of the 20th century by Italian painters passing by.”

Guest Room Set

A bedroom in the Catledge estate is filled with Parisian furniture and flea market finds. “The guest rooms in the mansion were dressed to reflect the charm and elegance of a wealthy American family at the time. We used blues and creams inspired by the sea and sky of a South of France summer,” said Seibel.  

Party Scene

A party scene was filmed outside the Eilenroc Villa in Antibes. Set designers hung 150 Chinese lanterns on dimmers in the trees. I would very much like to attend this party! Looks like it could be at Jay Gatsby's home. 

Villa Eilenroc

Villa Eilenroc

Villa Eilenroc

According the local Tourism and Convention Bureau, the Eilenroc Villa is known as the jewel of the Côte d’Azur: 

"Built at the end of the 19th Century on the plans of the famous architect Charles Garnier, the architect who designed Paris and Monte-Carlo’s opera houses, the Eilenroc Villa is surrounded by a sumptuous eleven hectares park. Since its creation, it has received many celebrities, such as Leopold of Belgium, Greta Garbo, Rudolf Valentino, the great Duke Nicholas of Russia, and most recently the president François Mitterrand. In 1982, the property was bequeathed to the City of Antibes Juan-les-Pins by its last owner, Mrs L.-D. Beaumont, so that it would welcome guests and prestigious events. During events at Antibes Juan-les-Pins’ Convention center, the Eilenroc Villa can be let to the organizers for galas in collaboration with the services of the Tourism and Convention Office."

I hope you found these images as breathtaking and inspiring as I did. If you can't take your own trip the Côte d’Azur right now, you can at least see the film!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Light Fixture Fail

I was a bad blogger last week!!  I had a super busy week at my day job and didn't have time to post anything...Anyway, last week the light fixture that I ordered for my foyer finally arrived.  I was so excited to tear into the box and I opened it right away, only to find that the company had sent the wrong color to me!!! I ordered gold leaf and received silver leaf.  In hindsight, this was a blessing in disguise because I also realized that the light fixture is entirely too small for the space and would have looked silly. If they had sent the correct color I likely would have kept it and been unhappy. So I've shipped it back and I'm contemplating my options. I specifically have my eyes on these numbers...

 Extra Large Olive Leaf Ceiling Chandelier

Extra Large Olive Leaf Ceiling Chandelier

(larger version of the one I ordered)

 Small Modern Fretwork Frame Lantern

Small Modern Fretwork Frame Lantern

 Clear Smokebell Lantern

Of course, with a more substantial light fixture comes a more substantial price tag, and I'm not excited about that part. I love the look of the lanterns, but we have a short ceiling so I worry about the light hanging too low for walking.  

I finally located a cabinetmaker to start building a kitchen island for us! Now I have kitchen decisions to make, like countertop material, barstools, and pendant lighting.  I'm going for a marble look but I know people have nightmares about marble in kitchens. 

More on that later....if you have any suggestions for me, sound off below!  

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