Maybe it's because 1970s boho style represents a vital strand of my design tastes, but I've recently found my eye drawn to design elements that incorporate or find inspiration from agate, geodes and other minerals. I received an agate cheese plate for Christmas (which I love despite the fact that I'm vegan) and I've since been paying more attention to other pieces I might add to what I hope will become a small collection. Agate is essentially quartz and it occurs in bands of various colors. I'm drawn to plum and eggplant shades but there are plenty of neutral options for those who prefer a muted palette. Our senses are engaged by contrasts so an element of agate is the perfect addition to an otherwise soft, feminine space. When used as a wall slab or art, it centers a space and needs no embellishment.
12 February 2017
17 October 2016
Based on the above display that I created at ABC Carpet & Home in the Bronx recently, I thought I'd explore the silver, gold, mercury, copper and rose gold offerings that are currently on the interiors market. A hint of any of these metallics adds glamour to a space. But the truly daring know it's all about the mix.
11 June 2016
I was recently looking over photos of some of the pieces I carried in my vintage shop RevivalSmith and I was reminded of this poster of a painting by Jules Breton, The Song of the Lark. I was already a fan of Jean Francois Millet's The Gleaners when I came upon this poster and it struck the same chord in me that Millet's famous painting had -- appreciation for the beauty of hard work, community and closeness with the land. In researching some of his other works, I realized that I connect with a lot of Breton's pieces. His subjects are often women -- farm workers -- and he clearly has reverence for them and the simple but dignified lives they lead.
Jules Breton (1827-1906) was born in a small village in the Pas-de-Calais and his paintings were deeply influenced by the rural life he experienced and witnessed as a boy. He began painting in the Realist style but his later works are more representative of Symbolism. More information about the Symbolist movement can be found here. We live in a complicated time where women are expected to conform to a very specific aesthetic ideal that excludes much of the female population, so seeing depictions of women with strong arms and sturdy feet who are nevertheless feminine and beautiful does my soul good.
Returning from the Fields
Paysanne au Repos
Young Women Going to a Procession
Calling in the Gleaners
08 April 2016
The last time I wrote a post about dressing rooms was 5 years ago and it makes me laugh to see that I had a good sense of what New York living would entail. At the time, I wasn't even considering a move to Manhattan. But when I closed my vintage furniture store in 2013, I began considering all options and New York quickly became the best one. I've lived in a couple of apartments now and clothing storage has proven challenging. So the dream of a big closet that can hold not only my clothes but an armchair and vanity table continues to be elusive. While these versions are practical and elegant, mine would be a little less formal. I would need boho and industrial touches to feel at home -- maybe a mudcloth armchair and a copper pipe wall-mounted fixture. But chances are that when I finally realize my dream of a big dressing room, my design scheme will have been revised several times over.