Made Women

0 comment Thursday, October 23, 2014 |

This past summer, I took an enchanting trip to the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C. This jewel of a museum is tucked back in a residential area near Dupont Circle, away from the hustle and bustle of the Smithsonian. The museum was founded by Duncan Phillips who , with his family accumulated an extraordinary collection of modern art. In 1921 the doors to the Phillips Collection opened and our nation's first modern art museum was born.

The collection is housed in Duncan Phillips´┐Ż 1897 beautiful Georgian Revival home and two architecturally similar adjacent building. As you walk through the spaces you certainly still feel as though you are walking through someone's home. As Duncan Phillips once wrote of the museum, "there is a sense of art lived with, worked with and loved."

The Museum's best know work is Renoir's "Luncheon of the Boating Party." It truly is sensational in person, as the light and colors leap off the canvas from across the room. The painting captures an idlyllic scene of Renoir's friends enjoying food, drink and lively conversation on a balcony over looking the Seine River. To learn more about Renoir's famous work take a look at "Who's Who in the Boating Party" on the museum's website.

Another captivating work housed in the museum is this sculpture by Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti. Giacometti's sculptures are known for their exaggerated forms and intense gazes.

The museum has a significant collection of works by Edgar Degas. I have always loved Degas' subject matter of dance and Parisian life as well as his use of color and graceful forms. The "Dancers at the Bar" painting (see top image) is anchored visually above a mantle in a beautiful well lit sitting room within the museum adding to the intimate atmosphere.

In one of the museum's secondary buildings you can find several paintings by Helen Frankenthaler, an American abstract expressionist painter. While the painting looks like a watercolor, Frankenthaler utilized a technique called "soak staining" in which oil paints are diluted in turpentine so that the color soaks into the canvas.

In 1960 Phillips created a chapel-like Rothko Room to house four paintings by the American abstract painter and printmaker. The room was moved to a new location within the museum in 2006 but remains unchanged from its original size and style.

The Phillips collection includes several works by Piet Mondrian a dutch painter who is known for his "grid" paintings and his use of primary colors.

This piece was created by Gene Davis, an American Painter known for his painting of vertical stripes of color done in acrylic on large canvases. This photograph does not do the painting justice, as many of the stripes seem to jump off the canvas because of their placement amidst the other colors. When sitting in front of the painting you feel a rhythm and repetition within the work.
The museum contains nearly 3,000 works and includes many other wonderful pieces by famous artists such as C├ęzanne, O'Keeffe, Matisse, Gauguin, Picasso, and Van Gogh. Gallery talks are offered with admission but do require advance reservations. If you live in the D.C. area or are planning a trip anytime soon, make sure you put the Phillips Collection on the top of your sightseeing list. I cannot recommend it enough!


0 comment Wednesday, October 22, 2014 |

This year Valentine's Day co-incides with New York's Fashion Week. has compiled a collection of Valentine's cards from some of the most influential and talented desingers who will be showing their fall 2010 collections this week. I am loving this love note from Jason Wu. You can see more from the desinger "love fest" here. Happy weekend!

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0 comment Sunday, October 19, 2014 |

I have a bit of a design crush on Los Angeles based designer Peter Dunham. The designer has an enviable background, growing up in England, France and Spain and working for design legend David Hicks. I love his relaxed glamorous style and his self described "layered English look with ethnicy vibe."
One of my favorite fabrics is Dunham's "Fig Leaf." Dunham says that this print was inspired by a similar fabric Dunham saw as a child in his neighbor, Spanish surrealist painter, Salvador Dali's, home. It has such a summery, fresh, classic look. It would be perfect in the mix with any eclectic, evolved interior.

{images: 1- via peter dunham; 2- design by diane bergeron via vogue living austrailia; 3- via peter dunham; 4- source unknown; 5- via western interiors}

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0 comment Saturday, October 18, 2014 |
I am loving the simplicity and serenity of Danish designer Malene Birger's Copenhagen home. My wardrobe is not quite as stunning as Birger's, but I love the idea of using a rolling rack for your most favorite items when closet space is at a premium. Birger's work and living spaces are as effortlessly chic as her clothing. Filled with inspiring ideas, and impeccable attention to detail, her home is sure to capture the eye and imagination. To see more of this fashionable abode look here.

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0 comment Friday, October 17, 2014 |

No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace
as I have seen in one autumnal faceJohn Donne

{images: 1- gil schafer via town and country courtesy of habitually chic; 2- via deviant art: 3- via carrier and co.; 4- albert hadley via house beautiful; 5- via house and garden 2004 via peak of chic; 5- source unknown; 6- via gil schafer}


0 comment Wednesday, October 15, 2014 |

A few weeks ago I was over at my uber-creative friend, Kayce's home (which is about to be shot for Country Living) and saw this fabulous piece hanging in her boy's room. Not only does the woman have 7 children, design her own line of children's clothing, and bake the most incredible bread from scratch, but she is a talented artist as well. When I asked her about the artwork, she explained that she and her ten year old son had decoupaged pages from old books onto a large canvas and then covered it with shellac. The next day she threw on some navy high gloss paint (which ties in nicely the navy ikat curtains in the room). What I love about this is not only does it look amazing but it adds a personal touch to the bedroom. I plan to attempt to create one myself for my own boy's room (with a little help from Kayce I am sure!)


0 comment Tuesday, October 14, 2014 |
This month's Elle Decor features a spread featuring the fabulous Chicago apartment of the executive director of the Oprah Winfrey Show, Ellen Rankeiten. In reading about her design process I couldn't help but love this woman. What I liked about her most was her honesty about her wide-spread, multifaceted design preferences. When describing her perfect apartment, Rankeiten said it would be "part Hollywood Regency, flea market, mid-century French, modern, granny chic, beach and English club." Most of us have many design styles that we appreciate and find ourselves with "decorating multi-personalities." While some may need some design therapy with a professional, it is possible to achieve a cohesive look without giving up the styles you love.
In order to parlay her eclectic visions into a furnished apartment, Rankeiten turned to two of her favorite desingers: Anne Coyle and Nate Berkus. She wanted the best of what each could offer. Together this dream team created a space that is both girly and masculine, muted and colorful, groovy and elegant.
Coyle and Berkus hit it out of the park and their dynamite combination got me thinking, what other designers would make for an interesting, complimentary, and ground-breaking pair?

Albert Hadley + David Netto = sleek , classically tailored interiors that are streamlined with a mix of mid- century french, modern, easy english, and neo-classical elements. In my mind, close to perfection!
Markham Roberts + Suzanne Kasler = fresh, timeless, and sophisticated. They may seem like an unlikely pair as their styles are quite different but that would make their combination all the more interesting to me. Kasler would bring a continental, southern style with plenty of solid fabrics, furniture with beautiful architectural lines, and upholstery with dress-maker details. Roberts, would add preppy but global feel with patterned prints and chinoiserie accents.
Todd Romano + Charlotte Moss = warm, comfortable, layered spaces with an unexpected flair. I imagine their designs would be filled with french antiques, clean lined upholstery, fresh colorful fabrics, and modern art which would result in timeless but youthful interiors.
Jaques Grange + Kelly Wearstler = a luxe combo that is hard to put into words! Think wildly chic!!

Alexa Hampton + (the late) David Hicks = Gracious but funky interiors that are crisp and comfortably traditional, and unpretentious. Alexa's father, famous American designer Mark Hampton, was mentored by Hicks so the combination would come easy. Together they could create the perfect mix of American and English, traditional and modern.
I'd love to know, who would be your your dream team?

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