Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Living it up in New York!

Last Thursday evening I was honored to be invited to a cocktail party hosted by the French Trade Commission- Ubifrance and Veranda Magazine at Maison France in NY. Considering the fact that I live in Houston TX, and was only in NY because I was teaching the Period Rooms at the Metropolitan Museum the next day, this was a very special treat! I flew in and arrived at La Guardia airport at 5 PM, got to my hotel at 6 PM, dropped off my bags and went directly to 10 West 56th Street to the Felissimo Design House to "see what I could see". The furniture on view was AMAZING! There was a magnificent Louis XVI style "Chest of Drawers Rousel" that could have been made by Louis XVI's Ebenist du Roi Henri Reisner and found in the French Period Rooms! This gorgeous 3 panelled commode/chest has beautiful rosewood, fruitwood, mother of pearl, and ivory inlay displaying an Italian landscape including a styalized version of the Castle of Saint Anne in Rome, a lovely Sarrancolin marble top and finely chiseled gilt bronze mounts that look like jewelry including rosettes, garlands and musical trophies. WOW! Up until now I didn't think we could make furniture to equal that made in the Golden Age of Furniture which is France existing from 1643- 1830, but now I may have to change my mind. What do you think? Isn't it lovely? All I need now is a client who wants to purchase it!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Today many people are replacing their doors and windows with Green Low-E ones. Did you know that Grogan Building Supply Co. in the Heights sells remodelers (to the trade only) Low-E retrofit windows and doors for less money than Lowes - great for the price conscious remodeling client! Retrofit doors have to be a bit smaller ( 34" ) than the standard 36" doors and are hard to find. They often have to be ordered custom and take weeks to arrive. Grogan Building Supply Co. can get them in just 2 weeks and only charges a bit more for them than for standard doors. As an Interior Designer and Remodeler, I just ordered fiberglass French doors - which never rot and have the added advantage that they can be painted on both sides, for a client who is replacing very poor quality aluminum doors with these great "Green ones" and am happy to pass on this information! But is it really "Green" for everyone to replace their windows and doors? Wouldn't that add a lot of windows and doors to our landfills? What do you think?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

This Friday I teach Interior Designers one of my favorite CEU's -Antiquing in NY -studying the Period English and French rooms at the Metropolitan Museum in NY. I adore teaching these rooms, especially the spectacular Louis XV Rococo rooms. This photo of one of French Rococo room at the Metropolitan Museum captures the essence of the Rococo style. The Louis XV Rococo Era is famous for its elaborate gilding, its luscious serpentine curves, and its asymmetry where straight lines were eliminated whenever possible! Look at these magnificent curvaceous gilt chairs, the red lacquer and gilt desk that was owned by Louis XV himself, the huge mirrors that make everything shimmer and shine, the fabulous chandelier, the Savonerie Rug, and the elegant gilt boiserie walls! Though I have taught this class many times before, whenever I teach these Period Rooms, I am always awed to be in the presence of such great design and furniture construction. The ebenists were able to create masterpieces by hand that are so much better than we can ever create today - even with all our machinery, Though I wouldn't want to actually live in this room on a full time basis because it is a bit too formal for me and for most of my clients lifestyle's today - I can't but help marvel at its beauty and magnificence. Don't you agree?

Monday, June 21, 2010

I am so excited! This Thursday I am flying from Houston TX to NY to teach Interior Designers from around the U.S. a CEU entitled Antiquing in NY which I will teach from 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM on Friday June 25th. I will spend 7-8 glorious hours instructing my group on the Period English and French rooms at the Metropolitan Museum in NY. I adore Antiques, especially the Louis XV Rococo furniture by Vanrisamburgh II and the Louis XVI Neoclassical furniture by Reisner. The Louis XV Rococo Era was so amazing with its magnificent, asymmetrical serpentine curves, its red and black lacquered furniture, its handmade paper-thin veneered polychrome marquetry that can't be replicated today despite all the technology that we have, and its elegant gilt boiserie walls - that it was copied all across the rest of Europe for decades! I have taught this class many times before, yet I am always awed to be in the presence of such greatness when I am teaching these Period Rooms. Look at this photo of one of the rooms at the Metropolitan Museum that we study, with the lovely curvaceous Rococo red lacquered table by Vanrisamburgh II juxtaposed against the straight-lined Neoclassical Louis XVI chair - both sitting on the spectacular Savonerie rug from the collection by Charles Le Brun from 17th C Versailles - It is incredible... Don't you agree?