In the mood for bright treats...
Thursday, January 21, 2010
I *knew* that looked familiar!
Which instantly brought to mind my "ISO: Beautiful Things" post from March 2009 of a Mrs. Howard interior:
Of late, I've been obsessing over the show Giuliana and Bill because, well, I think they're hilarious, their lives fun and privileged yet somehow normal, and Jacobi is just about the most ridiculous and easy-to-love sidekick ever (for example, he agrees to do fertility yoga with Giuliana when she's trying to concieve). The other week, during no particular episode, I noticed a familiar piece of art hanging in their apartment....
Sure enough, a Google search tells me I'm not the only one who's noticed the preponderance of octupus triptychs. I guess the blog and design worlds are very, very small.Image1 - My Blue Hydrangea Image 2 - Mrs. Howard
I love this photo, which sits on a shelf at the end of my bed (my bed sitting snugly between three walls with no gaps). I snuck a shot of the chandeliers in the Opera House of the Kennedy Center last winter and am so glad I risked being escorted out by the nice old lady in the red blazer. The blurriness is dreamy and the haphazard jumble of constellations negates all earthly man made symmetry.
I'm eager to return to the Jefferson Hotel for another stellar tea this weekend. The day after the blizzard was blissfully refined and hushed in the newly refurbished hotel. Aside from all the other subdued luxuries my friends and I discovered (beautiful marble vanities and a collection of silhouettes in the ladies room; golden yellow walls in the stairwell; railcar-style pocket doors enclosing tiny alcoves; thick, illuminated amber bar), the stemware used for water was magnificently thin and graceful. I shall seek the purveyor during my next visit.
Thanks to Google Reader's spot-on blog suggestions, today I stumbled upon/fell in love with the below project by Jenny from Little Green Notebook. The lacquered Chinese-tomato-fire engine red is so bright it needs multiple descriptors. This particular example of refinishing potentially ugly, cheap, used furniture is rather inspiring since I'm usually only able to see the downsides of vintage goods and have a hard time envisioning makeovers. If only I had room in my own room, perhaps I could attempt such a project.
The pop of color and mix of patterns in this teensy weensy room are great. The rug looks like the folksy kilim I purchased in Turkey (except Jenny's is from Ikea...). I also love the pretty light in this picture. Jenny seems like the type of mom who would let her girls redecorate their rooms for fun, and, being her children, they would come out fun and playful and effortless, too.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
I shared a lovely workday afternoon (thanks, boss) one day before Christmas with my mom, sister, aunt, cousin, and cousin-in-law/friend taking tea and a tour of Marjorie Merriweather Post's divine Hillwood Estate. I'd always thought it was buried in Georgetown somewhere but in fact it's set on a hill (go figure) just northeast of the Uptown, surrounded by some pretty large, expensive homes--all of which pale in comparison to Hillwood.
The house more than satiated my thirst for vicarious, grandiose living. Filled with priceless Russian artifacts collected during one of Marjorie's husband's diplomatic tour (a great loss for Russia), the house is over-the-top luxury in every sense of the word. Not an inch is left unadorned.
The single deepest impression left in my memory is of the pale, pale lavender velvet that covers several little setees (and upholsters the walls, no less) in the "Pavilion" room. The color is almost overwhelmed by the busy wood inlay and decoration throughout the rest of the room but it remains a steady, dignified force. I'd love to use that fabric for a duvet cover, or a pillbox hat, or a little pair of gloves, or an opera cloke. The room served as a theater of sorts, where Lady Marjorie would host film screenings and dances. As soon as I walked in, I was reminded of the scene in The Sound of Music in which the children and Maria stage an operetta with marionettes. I didn't realize theaters in the homes of the wealthy pre-existed La-Z-Boy (I'm making a direct reference to MTV Cribs episodes, here).
Pavilion at Hillwood
I'll have to return to see the gardens in bloom as they were covered under a blanket of residue snow from the blizzard the day we had our tea. This is why I love private homes-cum-museums, though, because the experience is enjoying the whole space, as opposed to limiting your vision to items hung on the wall. The temporary immersion into another's life is not limited to finishing the walk-through of the house. I imagine Marjorie sitting down mid-morning to her writing desk situated in front of the pretty bay window just outside her collection of pink closets, taking a pen to her gold-trimmed stationery complete with seal (note to self: get a seal), inviting guests for a theatrical performance in the Pavilion or a garden party on the Lunar Lawn. Ah, to be rich and leisurely.
The Dacha at Hillwood - A replica of a small Russian summer house