Thursday, July 29, 2010

Italian Chandeliers are In!!!!

Finally they are here! Designed by me and custom made exclusively for disegno Karina Gentinetta, these breathtaking chandeliers are handcrafted in Italy using the finest venetian glass crystals. Each of the hundreds of crystals are handknotted and each of the beautiful macaroni bead swags is individually tied onto the antique gold iron frames. It is at times like these that I so thank my grandmother Aida for not only teaching me about resilience, but also for teaching me Italian! It tooks months of working through emails and drawings and phone calls with my wonderful Italian artisan to arrive at these finished concepts. These are but a few of what's to come and the best part about it, is that they can be custom made to any specification. Hope you enjoy the photos!!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Busy at Work but Loving Every Second

I feel as though I've been gone for years, but in reality, it's been only a few weeks. I have been extremely busy this summer, staying home with the kids and opening the shop by appointment only. Still, I've been having a great time meeting a lot of you out there. Take my new wonderful friend, Jill, from Seattle. She emailed me months ago about a dresser for her daughter on my 1stdibs shop. Surprisingly, we hit it off as if we had been friends forever -- we both had kids around the same age, had the same tastes, our husbands were both from Michigan, and on and on. I cannot tell you how wonderful it was/is to have gotten to know her. While talking about certain pieces she wanted for her beautiful home in Seattle, she told me that her husband's birthday was coming up and she wanted to do something that she had seen a long time ago on a Swedish blog by Lotta Agaton, a Swedish interior stylist. Namely, she wanted to find a beautiful antique mirror and have written on it a poem or portion of a poem that was very special to the two of them. Here is her inspiration:

Of course, if you know anything about me, if you give me a mission, I'm all over it. I guess it's the lawyer in me. But this one was a beautiful mission and I was touched to be a part of it. So I searched for the perfect antique mirror -- one that was not too feminine but still regal enough to make a statement like the ones above.

We found this beautiful antique Louis XVI mirror that was a magnificent 6 ft tall and would be beautiful in her entry way. It still had it's original mercury gilding and beveled mirror. It was stunning!!! Next, I found a local New Orleans artist who hand-painted in dark grey a portion of the poem. The full poem she calligraphied on parchment paper and glued it to the back. We shipped it up to Seattle. I was so pleased to know that Jill's husband loved his gift and I loved the fact that I was a part of it.

Mirror at the artist's studio.

The details on the mirror were fantastic! At first we were afraid to write on it as it was such a magnificent antique but Eve, owner of Mystic Blue Signs is truly an artist and made it even more magnificent.

Next, came the beautiful pale french grey desk that a set designer picked up from my shop to use in an upcoming film Revenge of the Bridesmaids, filmed here in New Orleans. She fell in love with this little treasure and featured it as part of the Bride's parlor room. They used this one and a gorgeous gold leaf desk that is truly one of my favorite pieces for the set. As for the french painted chair covered in muslin which is next to the desk, she and her matching pair were shipped to Anchorage, Alaska, last weekend.

In the meantime, I've been busy repleneshing inventory. I've been so fortunate in having sources all over the world with whom I'm working on interesting projects. In the next few weeks, you will see beautiful hand-made Italian chandeliers (huge ones) with magnificent murano glass crystals listed on 1st dibs along with some stunning rather large sconces like the ones below.

Aren't these stunning?????

I've also been working on some custom pieces like this beautiful french server painted in a belgian cream that is now in Jill's dining room in Seattle...

And a dainty french bench, upholstered in a pale blue velvet and tufted...

And many other wonderful pieces...

I love that little french carved side table in the background. It has a faux marble, hand-painted top that is to die for!

These are but a few of the new inventory coming up on 1stdibs. The summer has been flying by, but I've never felt more invigorated and more alive in what I do in a long time.

For those of you out there who wonder what it would be to follow your bliss, don't wonder any longer. Just do it. It will be the scariest thing you'll ever do, especially if you have no cushion to jump into. But trust me, I am here to tell you that you will love every second of it.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Uruguayan Designer - Laura Ocampo

By chance, I ran accross this wonderful interior designer from my neck of the world. You often don't think of designers as coming from South America but rather Europe or the U.S. But this lovely designer reminds me a lot of my own style and furniture collection -- clean and white and very refreshing. Laura Ocampo's work is absolutely beautiful and minimalistic. Take a look at some of her work below.

First, this beautiful house by the sea, in the countryside of Uruguay, is a great example of Laura Ocampo's simple but stylish work.
"I wished to create a design in which the cool of the sea would be combined with the relaxed atmosphere of the countryside. It became a starting point for the creation of this interior," says Laura.
Walls are painted with a mix of white and blue colors. These two colors are perfectly combined, creating the effect of water, that wonderfully complements the atmosphere.

In addition to these fresh white and blue tones, she is also wonderful at combining modern, bold touches to otherwise dainty antiques. I just love these photos from some of her other work. You can find these and other inspirational photos at her website. And enjoy some background tango while you view them. Her website is wonderful!