Friday, January 28, 2011


A few weeks ago I was quite taken by the "Super White" interiors of Danish shop owner Tine Kjeldsen that were published on Apartment Therapy.  View them here.  I just love the freshness and light that oozes from this Danish home.  And the contrast between the crisp white and very textural, natural woods and woven sisal carpets.  I was so inspired in fact, that I dug out some Scandinavian home magazines in search of some other Northern white interiors. While these homes must be something of a nightmare to maintain (I find it hard enough with a black&white sofa, let alone a pure white one), I just love the effect.  I imagine no small children or large dogs are allowed.  Enjoy!

A beach house close to Stockholm:

A crisp country kitchen:

A 1938 modernist dream home outside Oslo:

And another Norwegian modernist home from 1937 (I love the palest of pale blue kitchen and all those Danish modern furniture pieces):

Friday, January 21, 2011


Louis Mantin appears to have stepped right out of Against Nature, the wonderfully decadant novel about a Frenchman who desires only to live in solitude with his beautiful things.  This week Mantin's chateau was opened to the public 105 years after his death.  Mantin had no children and in his will, requested the house be sealed for 100 years and then re-opened.  In true French fashion, his wish was granted, just five years late. 

Of course this in not the first French property that has been unearthed after many years, but I do believe this one is distinct in the owner's desire.  A wonderful Parisian apartment was discoved untouched since the 1940s, however, this was left for so long moreso due to the disinterest Parisians show towards their old people than any will or final wish.  No, the woman did not die in the apartment (however I would not put it past the Parisians), she went on vacation, never came home, and her wonderful collection sat for about 70 years.  Apparently no relatives, neighbors or officials wondered about the apartment or any of her things. See more about this here.

But this one is different.  There is something quite romantic about a gentleman considering his collection and arranging everything 'just so' before death.  Very Victorian, very French.  And who can question the taste of someone with such a great hat?  And no, I am not making fun, I do wish men would take up the hat fashion again.  Alas, this seems not be in the cards in the near future.

My only problem, is that no one seems to have good photos of this house turned museum. Where is the website? I want to be enticed enough to put this property on my 'must see' list for my next trip to France. At this point, the dark and unfocused photos are not doing it for me. I want to see some marketing! Anyway, here are the photos that are circulating. And I guess they are just enticing enough... I would go if I had an extra day in France....


Thursday, January 13, 2011


On January 23rd, Sotheby's will be auctioning off the collection of Mr. & Mrs. Hascoe, he was an engineer (with many major semiconductor patents) and she a scientist. They sure had taste in furniture and art, these two left-brainers. A few of my favorite pieces are:

this wonderful pair of Queen Anne chairs for $15,000-$30,000:

A great little klismos chair estimated at $7,000- 9,000:

This lovely Federal serving table:

 And of course I am partial to this fab Duncan Phyfe attributed sofa estimated at $5,000-15,000:

Although I must say I prefer my upholstery, theirs is probably original:

In addition to such classics, they have a great collection of randon items, like the Dali 'La Venus Aux Tiroirs', a wonderfully witty and surreal sculpture for only $800-$1200:

A Norman Rockwell painting:

A collection of 18 silver goblets by Tiffany for only $2,00-3,000, how great would these be for the next cocktail party?:

And while I was diapointed to see no grand guardian lions for sale, they did have this terracotta eagle for $2,000-3,000 which I think would look quite handsome next to my lion:

Sigh, to have $50,000 and a ticket to New York.....

After drooling over these items for far too long, I read the couple's Greenwich, CT home was also up for sale by Sotheby's.  Of course I have much experience with this part of the world, as I did spend my high school years a few towns over.  I was quite hesitant to view a very expensive home in Greenwich, as I know most of these are quite hideous and over-the-top.  However, I had hope since these two had such great taste.  Despite the fact they did pretty much find the best location in all of CT:

The interiors left me severely disapointed. How can you house such beauty in such ugliness?!


How I long to see their wonderful antiques in a quaint New England period manison of this nature....

Or even this:

Both of the above beauties are in Litchfield, CT, a very different type of town.  For more great items in the sale, visit Sotheby's where you can see a video of the home and the one cool feature- an atrium room where the inlaid stone floor sinks down and fills with water to convert a pool.  Sure its excess at its best, but hey, why not?  It's not like the home was built during a finacial crisis. 

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Well, as anyone that reads this blog or has ever employed me knows I love a good gallery wall with a well-arranged collection of artwork.  So why do I not have one of my own, one might ask?  Well, now I do.  While it is still a work in progress, I do enjoy it quite a bit more than the very large blank wall that existing in the spot prior.  My bathroom is pretty much the only drab room still in existence in my condo...and it is time to begin remedying that.  So while I do want to repaint, add a ridiculous mirror decal just for fun, and a new shower curtain, I started with hanging some artwork I have had sitting around for some months. 

The best way to create a gallery wall is to use similar colors but use lots of different shaped and sized mediocre artwork (unless of course you are actually in possession of great artwork, then feel free to use that).  You see, grouping items together makes them read as one entity, and your eye does not truly focus on each piece of work, so it does not matter if each is mediocre.  It is also important to create an overall border which gives the works a unity, but then you must break that constraining box- just barely.  See the lower right piece which sits just below the bottom edge of the others, and the mirror which is just below the top edge?  FYI for those of you on a budget-consignment store art is great for such a gallery wall.  So here you have it:


I will be adding to it as I find appropriately sized and colored items.  It is a mixture of items I have found on my travels, such as the Celtic banner, the Italian piazza postcard, the Red Square watercolor, and the wonderful Russian icon painted onto a cupboard door which I purchased from a little old 'babushka' lady in Moscow.  None are worth anything, but hold fold memories and are great story-starters.  These are mixed with consignment store/estate sale finds of even lesser value (I would LOVE to say they are one-of-a-kind antiques, but I fear that is just not the case).