Monday, April 20, 2009

Michael Taylor Interior Design

Patricia Gray Michael Taylor Interior Design

I recently received Michael Taylor's new book, Michael Taylor Interior Design. As most of you who read my Blog know, I was greatly influenced my Michael in my formative years in Design School. Not much has been published on his work outside of a few articles in Architectural Digest, so this has been a highly awaited book for me. Michael Taylor was dubbed the "James Dean of Interior Design" by Diana Vreeland and "the best decorator in the United States " by society and fashion photographer Cecil Beaton. Michael Taylor revolutionized interior design in the 1970's and 1980's with the "California Look". Taylor brought the outdoors inside with neutral palettes, natural light, large-scale furniture, and organic elements, especially stone, slate, wicker, and plants. His interiors expressed his love and appreciation of California and the outdoors. They were casual, comfortable, uncomplicated, and free of clutter. So much of what he created, we now take for granted, but he started it all.

Michael Taylor Interior Design

Taylor believed that nature was man's best friend. His first shop was located in San Francisco and a notable neighbour on the same 500 block of Sutter Street was Williams-Sonoma (circa 1956). Taylor was particularly taken with the imported oyster baskets that were originally used to transport oysters from the coast of France to Paris. Their heavy natural weave appealed to Taylor. They had a profound effect on him. He began to use them as vessels for towering plants and trees - fishtail palms, ficus, and Zimmer linden - creating a look that became fundamental to his interiors. He believed that plants prevent "a room from feeling over-decorated", "soften the light" and "help a room breathe and feel alive" and thus initiated "the plant in a basket craze" with these baskets that he purchased from his neighbour - Williams-Sonoma back in 1956.

Michael Taylor Interior Design

Above: The San Francisco penthouse Taylor designed for Al Wilsey and Pat Montondon, circa early 1980s. Michael Taylor Designs archives

Taylor was a proponent of white walls and ceilings. His interiors glowed with a specially formulated "Michael Taylor White". (Never pure white "Michael Taylor White" was a mixture of warm colors with a beige tone.) Although Taylor's rooms were known for their neutral palette, he always "advocated a strong secondary color and repetitive use of printed fabrics for a 'certain purity' and bold unified effect." He also clarified that "There is a tremendous amount of color in my rooms, but there are not many colors."

In his formative years of his career he came to idolize the renowned decorator Francis Elkins (1888-1953), who has been quoted as being "one of the guiding forces in the whole development of what is the American style today". Taylor saw himself as Elkin's greatest disciple, and he believed completely in her genius.
Michael Taylor died at the young age of 59 at the prime of his career. His work and the "California Look" that he invented continue to influence interior design today. The forward in this book is written by his good friend Rose Tarlow, herself a Design Icon in her own lifetime.

Francis Elkins Michael Taylors MentorRose Tarlow The Private House

Michael Taylor was known for his extravagant shopping marathons which are legendary. When Taylor entered a shop, he always paused at its threshold and scanned the entire showroom. He had the reputation of being able to home in quickly and precisely on the finest pieces of inventory. He "never forgot beautiful things. He constantly absorbed everything he saw and banked it as a source of reference." He imparted his depth of sensitivity to his clients, and made them aware that "it's got to sing and talk back to you, and be A plus, plus if it crosses the threshold" of your house. At Taylor's death in 1987 he had amassed an enormous trove of beautiful objects. Their was an auction of 1355 lots, including his clothes, books and orchids. The following is the official auction catalogue with several color photographs of the furniture and objects in their rooms and in place in the garden with a nice foreword by Paige Rense, Editor-in-Chief of Architectural Digest. I got my copy from the Bill Hall at High Valley Books.

The Estate of Michael Taylor

Interesting Statistic: House and Garden magazine devoted a record eighteen covers and more than one hundred articles to his work over a period of thirty years.

Previous posts on Michael Taylor: Michael Taylor - Good Design is Timeless
David Ward Artist for Michael Taylor
Top photo Patricia Gray

Patricia Gray writes about 'WHAT'S HOT 'in the world of Interior Design, new and emerging trends, modern design,
architecture, and travel, as well as how your surroundings can influence the world around you.
© 2007-2009 Patricia Gray Interior Design Blog

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

A favourite picture and a favourite poem of mine that I am linking together
to wish you all a Happy Weekend.

A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever
From John Keats' epic poem, Endymion, 1818:
Picture from Makanyane Safari Lodge, South Africa

Patricia Gray writes about 'WHAT'S HOT 'in the world of Interior Design, new and emerging trends, modern design,
architecture, and travel, as well as how your surroundings can influence the world around you.
© 2007-2009 Patricia Gray Interior Design Blog

Black and White Conservatory

I stumbled across this image from the Milestone Hotel in London. The hotel's conservatory is done in this striking black and white scheme. The striped draperies and black furnishings have an interesting balance to the all white room.

This pulled together style could be easily recreated for a conservatory, sun room or room with a white on white theme of woodwork and built in cabinetry. Painted or upholstered black furniture and the striped window treatments are the core design elements.

Something that makes the draperies really excel is the combination all done in the same fabric. There are roman shades, regular draperies and a double valance.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Janus et Cie - The Ultimate Teak Umbrellas

Janus et Cie Teak Octagonal Umbrellas

Janus et Cie makes the ultimate in teak umbrellas. I am fascinated by the attention to detail and craftsmanship they put into their umbrellas. The brass pulley assembly and the leather strapping is what makes this teak umbrella a work of art. I like to refer to it as the 'Hermes' of umbrellas. How wonderful to sit under this umbrella and gaze up into the beautiful design of the interior. Janus et Cie's teak is plantation harvested and is truly an investment that will give years of pleasure.

Janue et Cie Teak Octagonal Umbrellas /  Care and Maintenacne of Teak
Janus et Cie Teak Octagonal Umbrellas

Care and Maintenance for Teak:
Teak
is a wood that has traditionally been used on ships because it is strong and durable, and because of it's ability to stand up under humid conditions. Teak is one of the best woods for outdoor furniture and umbrellas because it requires little or low maintenance depending on the look you want. If teak is left untreated it will weather to a beautiful silvery gray patina, while retaining its strength and durability for many years. Weathering can be accelerated by washing the teak with a mild soap solution and the addition of a teaspoon of bleach to a gallon of water. Rinse with clean clear water. If you want to keep the natural beauty of teak, treating it with good quality teak wood care products will enable it to keeps it's characteristic golden honey golden color. If oil is applied to teak, it must be done to a perfectly clean and dry surface. Proper care and maintenance of your teak umbrella and teak furniture will enhance its beauty for years to come.

Other related posts you might be interested in:
How to CLEAN and CARE for LUCITE
Patio Furniture Deluxe
Lucite Patio Bench
Summer Inspiration

Teak Umbrellas Photos from Janus et Cie Web-site
Teak Care and maintenance instructions from
Janus et Cie


Patricia Gray writes about 'WHAT'S HOT 'in the world of Interior Design, new and emerging trends, modern design,
architecture, and travel, as well as how your surroundings can influence the world around you.
© 2007-2009 Patricia Gray Interior Design Blog

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Furniture: Victorian Balloon Chair

Design Toscano is carrying this unique reproduction Victorian Balloon chair. This is one reproduction you don't see every day. It is also currently on sale.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Welcome to my Townhouse

Last weekend was my Birthday and I was presented with this exterior rendering of my Townhouse by the talented Michelle Morelan. Apparently she was busy out front of my place the week prior taking photos to get her rendering just perfect for me, and was concerned that I would see her through the window and ruin her surprise.

Patricia Gray - Michelle Morelan Rendering


Thank-you Michelle, I was totally surprised and I love it!!!
PS It was a good thing that the leaves were not out on the tree in front or else it would be hard
to see the facade. Meanwhile, we're still patiently waiting for Spring here in Vancouver.


Michelle Morelan graduated from Kwantlen University College in 2006, after receivng her Bachelor's Degree in Applied Design in Interior Design. While at Kwantlen, Michelle earned the Daryl McConnell Award for her design philosophy of looking to nature. She also received the Don Adams Award for design excellence. She grew up in Ucluelet BC on Vancouver Island, where much of her natural design asthetic developed. Michelle has also lived in Key West, and Amsterdam. She writes a very popular Blog: A Schematic Life

Patricia Gray writes about 'WHAT'S HOT 'in the world of Interior Design, new and emerging trends, modern design,
architecture, and travel, as well as how your surroundings can influence the world around you.
© 2007-2009 Patricia Gray Interior Design Blog

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Poll Your Favourite Four Poster Canopy Bed


A canopy bed is a decorative bed similar to a four poster bed but with a top to it. A typical canopy bed usually features posts at each of the four corners extending four feet high or more above the mattress. Ornate or decorative fabric is often draped across the upper space between the posts of the bed and a solid swath of cloth may create a ceiling, or canopy directly over the bed. The modern version of the four poster canopy bed is often left undraped. Canopy four poster beds make a dramatic design statement for the Bedroom.

The canopy four poster bed came into existence more from practical purposes than that of extravagance or decadence. The the earliest incarnations were probably beds of common people seeking an additional layer of shelter and warmth beyond that of a less-than-impenetrable thatched roof. Canopy beds with curtains that could completely enclose the bed were used by lords and noblemen in medieval Europe for warmth and privacy, as their attendants often slept in the same room.

Please take the poll in the right hand column and let us know which is your favourite Four Poster Canopy Bed.

1. Top Picture - An antique four poster canopy bed by Stephen Sills Associates.

Four Poster Canopy Bed


2. Viceroy Mayakoba features this distinctive four poster canopy bed with a canopy of woven reed textile.


Four Poster Canopy Bed Four Poster Canopy Bed Anthropologie


3. 'Loire' Four Poster Canopy Bed by Niermann Weeks
One hundred years ago you would find four poster canopy beds like this in colonial
hotels and residences in the four corners of the world. The distinctive "bell or
square top" was originally conceived for attachment of mosquito netting.

Four Poster Canopy Bed bodie and fou


4. Bodie and Frau Four Poster Canopy Bed is Perfect for draping or leaving open & fresh.


Four Poster Canopy Bed


5. 'Turner' Four Poster Canopy Bed in Natural Cherry by Restoration Hardware.


Four Poster Canopy Bed Oly


6. 'Willa' Four Poster Canopy Bed Oly Studio.


Four Poster Canopy Bed Dedon
Four Poster Canopy Bed

7. One of my favourites is the ultimate 'Daydream' Four Poster Canopy Bed from Dedon. It is
designed for outdoor use, but I think that it could make the transition to indoors quite nicely.


Four Poster Canopy Bed


8. 'Valois' Four Poster Canopy Bed from Niermann Weeks
in Venetian silver leaf with antiqued mirrored panels.


Four Poster Canopy Bed Christies Images


9. A Huanghuali Six-Poster Canopy Bed with Latticework Railings, Jiazichuang.
17th Century
Christies Images Corbus


Four Poster Canopy Bed Niermann Weeks


10. 'Arezzo' Four Poster Canopy Bed Richelieu Mahogany by Niermann Weeks.


Other posts you might be interested in:
DIY Canopy Beds
Turquoise Aquamarine
What's Hot - Leather Slipcovers
8 Great Ceiling Treatments
White Bedrooms


Patricia Gray writes about 'WHAT'S HOT 'in the world of Interior Design, new and emerging trends, modern design,
architecture, and travel, as well as how your surroundings can influence the world around you.
© 2007-2009 Patricia Gray Interior Design Blog

Friday, April 10, 2009

Old House Tours, Loch Aerie Victorian Mansion

Old House Tours has a huge photo and video tour of Lockwood Mansion aka: Loch Aerie in Chester County PA. This unique property is a rather rare combination of Italianate and Victorian Gothic on a sprawling estate.

The home has numerous porches, small conservatory areas, ornate plasterwork and a grand central staircase. There are some other oddities in the photo tour. What looks like some sort of wood burning central heating system or a complex wood fired kitchen store. A large wood barrel of some sort installed by one of the spiral staircases makes one wonder about the origins. If your interested it is on the market for $2.2mil and is zoned for commercial.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Gardening Anyone?

This is what I am longing to do this weekend, weather permitting.

My girlfriend Ann is leaving for a Trans Atlantic crossing on the Queen Mary 2,
girlfriend Linda is off to Paris to celebrate her daughter's 21st Birthday,
and my Aunti Anne is off to Hawaii.

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I wish you a Safe and Happy Easter!!

This wonderful photo is by Hotze Eisma Amsterdam

Patricia Gray writes about 'WHAT'S HOT 'in the world of Interior Design, new and emerging trends, modern design,
architecture, and travel, as well as how your surroundings can influence the world around you.
© 2007-2009 Patricia Gray Interior Design Blog

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Turquoise Aquamarine

Turquoise Aquamarine

These are some of my favourite pictures I have been collecting
throughout the year of this beautiful color: Turquoise Aquamarine
Enjoy and have a wonderful Easter!


Turquoise Aquamarine Dominio

Turquoise Aquamarine Dominio

Turquoise Aquamarine Dominio

Turquoise Aquamarine Metropolitan Home

Turquoise Aquamarine Dominio


The color family of Turquoise and Aquamarine has more to do with feeling and creative expression than with rational thought. These colors between green and blue the shades of turquoise, blue green and aquamarine relate to transformation, evolution, change.
Aquamarine: stimulates the intellect and stabilizes the emotions, improves confidence, and the ability to stand fast, helps communication.
Turquoise: supportive and protective, heals the spirit, soothing, increases contentment.

Patricia Gray writes about 'WHAT'S HOT 'in the world of Interior Design, new and emerging trends, modern design,
architecture, and travel, as well as how your surroundings can influence the world around you.
© 2007-2009 Patricia Gray Interior Design Blog

Monday, April 6, 2009

Whats Hot - Leather Slipcovers

What's Hot - Leather Slipcovers

John Saladino Leather Slipcovers

What a great way to update the look of upholstered leather chairs by using leather slipcovers instead of the more traditional tight leather upholstery technique. It adds a whole new dimension to the "leather" look. Slipcovers are a great alternative and they give a more casual feel to furniture. You can change the look of your room by having an extra set of slipcovers and changing the slipcovers seasonally you have a brand new decor. Leather slipcovers may be all that your existing chairs need to update them. The new faux leather on the market has the advantage of being easy to clean. And for higher end products, it is hard to tell the difference from real leather, unless you give it the leather 'sniff test'.

slip·cov·ers noun Date:1856

Slipcovers (also called loose cover) is a fitted protective cover that may be slipped off and on a piece of upholstered furniture. Slipcovers are usually made of cloth. Slipcovers slip on and off, they come fresh, and may be removed for seasonal change, cleaning, moving, or storage.

Slipcovers are sometimes defined as "clothing for furniture." Indeed, they are tailored just as clothing is, and are fitted loosely or snugly to the taste of the owner or tailor. Some people order furniture upholstered in plain muslin slipcovers with the intention of using slipcovers only.

Leather Slipcovers Leather Slipcovers John SaladinoLeather Slipcovers John Saladino
Lane Industries Leather Slipcovers left
John Saladino Leather Slipcovers 'Harley Chair' center
John Saladino Leather Slipcovers 'Cassandra Chair' right

Food for thought: John Saladino is the designer of the Harley and Cassandra Leather slipcovered chairs above. He has several meticulously designed and detailed chairs with leather slipcovers in his exclusive 'Saladino Style' line which he has carried for years. As a matter of fact, John Saladino is 'known' for leather slipcovers in the world of design by professional designers. Interior Designers/Decorators are usually the first to create a design that is fresh and new and then it eventually filters down to the mass market like the current "What's Hot" fad for Leather Slipcovers, which is now being seen in mass production in the example of the chair on the left above by Lane Furniture. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with mass produced furniture, but what I lament is that the original designer of the concept is often forgotten and not recognized in the wake of the new trend. In Italy they have an award that is given out each year called the Compasso d'Oro. It publicly acknowledges the contribution by designers of outstanding products made in Italy. Many of the designs that have won awards are now so fully encompassed into our every day lives that we take them for granted. Last year a Compasso d'Oro award in Italy was presented to the American designer Karim Rashid for a dresser he designed for an Italian Company. I admire the Italians for honoring their designers and giving them the acknowledgment that they deserve. Unfortunately we do not have a national award such as this in North America to foster pride in the great designers that contribute so much to the quality of our lives.

Leather Slipcover John Saladino
Leather Slipcovers
Leather Slipcover John Saladino
Leather Slipcovers
Leather Slipcover John Saladino
Leather Slipcover Photos from John Saladino web-site

Books by John Saladino
Leather Slipcovers John Saladino Leather Slipcovers John Saladino
Villa by John Saladino Style by John Saladino

For further reading on John Saladino you might be interested in these posts:
John Saladino / Today I am Loving / Inspirational Quotes

Photos from John Saladino web-site Leather Slipcovers on Cassandra Chair / Photo from Lee Industries web-site Leather Slipcovers
Leather Resources: Holly Hunt Leather/Great Plains Leather/
Edelman Leather/CC Leather/Kravet Leather/Barbara Barry Leather/Robert Allen Leather/ Beacon Hill Leather/Maxwell Fabrics Leather/Joanne Fabrics Leather/J Ennis Leather/Tritex Leather/Dragonfly Surfaces Leather/Montauk Leather/Stylus Leather

Patricia Gray writes about 'WHAT'S HOT 'in the world of Interior Design, new and emerging trends, modern design, architecture, and travel, as well as how your surroundings can influence the world around you.
© 2007-2009 Patricia Gray Interior Design Blog

Modern Interior Design in the Home Idea

Modern Interior Design in the Home Idea Modern Interior Design in the Home Idea

clasic interior home design in traditional japanese house

clasic interior home design in traditional japanese houseclasic interior home design in traditional japanese house

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Cool Canopy Bed

A Cool Canopy Bed

This picture of this interesting canopy bed was sent to me by Ivan Meade, and is designed by
Asli Tunca, who is a designer in Turkey. She does beautiful minimalist work using stunning antiques.
Ivan recently did an interview with her -In Conversation with Asli Tunca & Carl Vercauteren

Other posts on this subject you might be interested in:
DIY Canopy Beds
White Bedrooms
Chic White Bedrooms
Another White Bedroom

Patricia Gray writes about 'WHAT'S HOT 'in the world of Interior Design, new and emerging trends, modern design, architecture, and travel,
as well as how your surroundings can influence the world around you.
© 2007-2009 Patricia Gray Interior Design Blog

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

8 Top Ceiling Treatments

Top Ceiling Treatments

Ceilings left untreated are one of my pet peeves. Walls and floors get all the attention. Why are ceilings neglected, when they are one of the largest surfaces in a room and are a perfect opportunity for adding an extra dimension to the room.
1. Faux Finish Ceiling Treatment - Add interest to your ceiling treatment by painting on a pattern or a Faux Finish.
Ceiling Treatment ceiling medallin
2. Medallion Ceiling Treatment - A ceiling medallion treatment is usually in the form of an ornate rosette. Most are round, but for something unique they are also available square or oval. It can be an interesting feature to add to a contemporary setting.
 
 Ceiling Treatment Design Inc Ceiling Treatment Ginger Barber House Beautiful
3. Tudor Style Ceiling Treatment - This ceiling treatment can look equally good in a modern setting or a traditional setting.
 
Ceiling Treatment Parlor Steakhouse in NYC
4. Honeycomb Ceiling Treatment - A contrasting honeycomb pattern adds drama and focus to this ceiling treatment.
 
Ceiling Treatments Budapest www suto hu
5. Contemporary Dropped Ceiling Treatment - This home from Budapest uses a contemporary ceiling treatment by varying heights & geometric patterns. Notice the square recessed pot lights.
 
 Ceiling Treatments Jenna Lyons Domino
6. Painted Ceiling Treatment - Painted stripes on this ceiling treatment. This is fun and creates visual interest on the ceiling.

Ceiling Treatments  
ceiling treatments Ceiling Treatments
7.  Coffered Ceiling Treatment - Coffered ceiling treatments are an great way to add architectural focus to your ceiling.
 
Pressed Tin Ceiling Treatmemt
8. Pressed Tin Ceiling Treatment - See Architectural Depot for some great Tin Ceiling Tiles
 
 
Photo credits:
1. Stephen Sills 2. unknown 3. Design Inc / House Beautiful Ginger Barber
4. Parlor Steakhouse NYC 5.
www.suto.hu 6. Domino Jenna Lyons
7. Unknown top, Windsor Smith bottom two photos 8. House Beautiful

Patricia Gray writes about 'WHAT'S HOT 'in the world of Interior Design, new and emerging trends, modern design,
architecture, and travel, as well as how your surroundings can influence the world around you.
© 2007-2009 Patricia Gray Interior Design Blog