Sunday, July 31, 2011

Jon Vaccari - New Orleans Style

Many people tend to think of New Orleans as a place of decadent interiors, full of old world antiques and heavy drapes. I guess for many, New Orleans still conjures up images of red velvet bordellos and perhaps one doesn't think that we have any designers that can think outside the red velvet.

But nothing can be farther from the truth. New Orleans has always had a love affair with french and italian antiques, but New Orleans designers have found a unique way to blend the old world with the new world, creating a spaces that are absolutely one of a kind.

One such designer is Jon Vaccari. Jon's work has served as an inspiration to me and more and more I am drawn to throwing mid-century pieces with my own delicate french and italian pieces.

Jon's St. Charles Avenue Showroom exudes New Orleans elegance and crisp contemporary charm. A newly restored historical building, 1912 St. Charles Avenue offers a view into a beautiful world of design and detail. Hollywood glamour, mid-century modern, and refined style all mingle together, creating a tableaux that is uniquely Jon's style.

Come, let us go in, shall we?

Enter 1912 St. Charles Avenue. The Greek revival style house of Jon Vaccari is typical of New Orleans' beautiful architecture. In a space that was once a Chinese restaurant, Jon Vaccari has opened the most elegant showroom, with extraordinary pieces.

The large plaster sconce takes my breath away, as does the pale blue painted french commode.

Neutral colors makes Jon's designs so open and refreshing.

That chandelier! You can find a strikingly similar one in my inventory and on my 1stdibs showroom in New York. Click here.

White palettes are underscored by the stunning black fireplace and gilded mirror.

I've always loved that ram table of his!

Clean, crisp, elegant. Undeniably, Jon Vaccari. Undeniably, New Orleans.

Have a wonderful evening, wherever this post finds you.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Splash of Color

I am known for my white interiors. Perhaps it's the year-round hot weather in New Orleans that makes me crave an all white palette in my home. It's the only way to refresh oneself mentally. But although whites are soothing and relaxing, it can also be bland and boring and say nothing at all. Unless.....Unless, of course, you throw in a bit of a splash. A surprise element to awaken the senses and make that white become a beautiful canvas that celebrates the color inside.

Take a look at these interiors (images from

The softness of the room is amplified by the dark ladder.

The boldness of the yellow cushions showcase the otherwise simple yet elegant sofas and chairs.

The dark pedestals and artwork in the background play up and add contrast to this beautiful palette of whites and creams.

Notice how your eye focuses to the painting, making it the focal point of this room.

Even a small touch of purple makes this otherwise non-color room go "wow!"

So don't be afraid of adding a splash of color here and there to liven up your senses. These can change with the seasons (imagine this same room above with copper or chocolate brown silk pillows in the fall). It is a simple way of changing a room and making it feel new again.

I found these gorgeous turquoise, handmade tapestry pillows when my home was shot for the recent New York Times feature. Together with a pair of persimmon colored fortuny-like pillows, these cushions added the "wow" factor that was missing in my sitting room.

These heavy, handmade tapestry pillows are in the most beautiful hues of turquoise, gold, cream with a hint of peach. The scene depicts two music jesters. Raw silk back and zipper closure with silk gold and turquoise tassels. Down insert included. For additional information or to puchase, click here or simply visit my 1stdibs store at

Go ahead, have fun with color!

And have a wonderful weekend, wherever this post finds you.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Long Hot Summer

First, my apologies for not writing in such a long, long time. It seems like summer is busier than the work year. For me, at least, I find myself busier than ever trying to manage my work, my New York showroom, new pieces, wonderful opportunities that are coming my way (and which I can't wait to tell you all about) and my children, both of whom seem to have more energy in the summer than during the entire year combined! At least for now, while they are 6 and 7, I have opted for keeping them at home doing crafts and activities, playing board games, riding bikes, fighting, bickering, making up, playing together some more, and just being bored from time to time.

We also just got back from two weeks of visiting my inlaws in South Haven, Michigan, a stunning beachfront town.

A century old lighthouse is still a striking site guiding the sailboats in and out of the town.

Liam and Roma on a mission for something apparently very important.

For those of you not familiar with this beautiful part of the country, it is absolutely gorgeous! The Pure Michigan campaign is really true and worth looking into. Mackinac Island in the Upper Peninsula is one of our favorite stops and the Grand Hotel, where one of my all time favorite movies "Somewhere in Time" was filmed, still draws visitors there.

The Grand Hotel at night. It is truly spectacular to sit on that veranda looking out into the water. During the day, guests can lounge around in resort wear but come 6 p.m., a bell tolls and everyone runs to their room to change as is required. Men are required to wear jackets and ties and ladies must dress in their finest. AJ and I had a wonderful time there when we were first dating and I felt like I was on the Titanic itself. Very old world.

Other hotels on Mackinac Island include the Inn at Stonecliffe.

If you haven't yet discovered this part of the country, do yourself the favor. We are truly blessed in this country with such diverse scenery and cultures. The U.S. is definitely worth exploring from coast to coast and everywhere in between.

Of course, before leaving for two weeks of cooler weather up north, I was busy, busy, busy getting all my ducks in a row down here in New Orleans where the days are scorching and humid and the nights are, well, scorching and humid too. But I digress....

So here are some of the pieces that I managed to finish before my hiatus up north.

This gorgeous Louis XV writing desk turned out beautiful and soft in a swedish gustavian finish.

So did this rather rare 19th c. French Empire Sofa or Settee, upholstered in a rich chocolate brown velvet damask.

And one of my favorite pieces is this decadent Louis XVI Wingback Bergere in an iridescent silk taffeta.
An almost matching giltwood settee is being upholstered in the same fabric as we speak. The two would be a handsome pair in any living room.

And right before I left, I had to say goodbye to these beautiful pieces of mine.

This sweet Louis XV painted chair with silk velvet upholstery is on its way to Jakarta, Indonesia to a gorgeous home.

And this bed which I designed, had made, and finished personally, found a most fitting home right here in New Orleans' own Garden District, linens and all.

And now, back to work, to find and restore more beautiful pieces that may find their way to other remote and beautiful places in the world.

Have a beautiful weekend wherever this post finds you.