August 21, 2013

The Decorator


I've been lucky to spend many happy days in several of Tom Scheerer's houses since his sister, Jane is my best friend from art school days. Tom knows better than anyone how to create a house as Mimi Read so aptly describes in Tom's new book, Tom Scheerer Decorates ~ "He's the decorator for the long haul, the one who can compose a great-looking room that you never want to leave."


Tom learned a lot from forebears Billy Baldwin and David Hicks ~ "he's always maintained that their frank, generous books {including Billy Baldwin Decorates} taught him most of what he knows." Now it's our turn to learn from Tom in this gracious book from Vendome Press. In my opinion, Tom is the best. In fact, I'm sure that everyone who knows Tom well considers what Tom would think when buying fabric, wallpaper, or even napkins for a summer lunch. I know I do! It's the Tom Scheerer aesthetic—and this book beautifully envelopes it all—from the famous coral steps in the Scheerer family's East Hampton house to Tom's "splashiest" project at Lyford Cay Club {a Pinterest favorite}.
A surprise, textured pattern graces the hardcover of Tom Scheerer Decorates and his Lyford Trellis delights as well—with impeccable photography by Francesco Lagnese, generous resources, and pitch-perfect text from Mimi Read. The book consists of three sections: City | Country | Tropics.


You will stop and return to the images again and again to study the Scheerer sensibility—teaming with life—both refined and friendly, all with Tom's unique brand of chic to "underdecorate."

"It's my general philosophy to accept what's given and make it work without going to too much trouble," he says. "It's what makes one house different from the next. Why rip out a bathroom to spend $20,000 on designer tile just to have a bathroom that looks exactly like everyone else's? Why not bleach the sink, put a new scalloped shade on the sconce, and get on with life? That's what we did in our summer houses in the old days—it's why they had charm."

Tom Scheerer Decorates is a treat for all to learn about living well from one of the most gracious hosts of all. I do hope a cookbook is next. Tom is also the best cook. Ever. Do run to get a copy here.

See an earlier interview with Tom here.
Another post mentioning Tom's work here.

Thank you to Vendome Press for the early copy.

June 8, 2013

Beauport | GREEN

Detail "The Golden Step Room" at Beauport | Sleeper-McCann House
Lately, I've been attracted to the color GREEN. No, not the Pantone color of the year green, but this green. Beauport Green. Set against this pale aqua, even better. Add a touch of opaque white and a dash of black, divine! All in a décor of simple American style... Henry David Sleeper style. Sleeper (1878-1934), collector, decorator, Boston bachelor, and interpreter of American style. "The Golden Step Room" was one of many dining rooms in Sleeper's summer house "Beauport" in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Beauport evolved over a period of twenty seven years. Though a serious curator, Sleeper had a flair for color and arrangement. From Beauport's museum book ~ "Daring color harmonies and the playful interaction of repeating forms are as important to his compositions as allusion and narrative."

See a lot more of "Beauport" on my Pinterest Board here.

February 12, 2013

New Look | DIOR 1947


 

"It was the twelfth of February 1947. The people of Paris were shivering with cold as the temperature fell to thirteen degrees of frost. Coal was in short supply, and the newspapers were out on an indefinite strike. And so it came about that the French were the last to learn of the momentous event that had just taken place in a private mansion in the Avenue Montaigne: the event in question was the birth of a couturier. More than that, it was the birth of a fashion—perhaps even the birth of Fashion itself—a fashion from that day forward was to be word of law from South America to the Australian subcontinent.

Sales assistants on the day of the opening.
In a pearl-grey room a middle-aged man stood besieged by a throng of people, his chubby features scarred by lipstick, while an exceedingly ugly American lady, Carmel Snow, editor-in-chief of Harper's Bazaar, was heard to proclaim the historic words, 'It's quite a revolution, dear Christian. Your dresses have such a new look. They are wonderful, you know!'

Right to Left, Carmel Snow, Harper's Bazaar, Richard Avedon, and Marie-Louise Bousquet, The Eyes of America.
NEW LOOK, the first collection to bear the name of Christian Dior, was thus baptized. It was an expression that was to catch on in every one of the world's countless languages.




Most American buyers had already left Paris, having bought all they wanted from Jacques Fath, Lelong, Piguet, Rochas, Balmain and Balenciaga... 'The poor things,' Carmel Snow remarked with her usual discernment. 'They'll have to come back.' And come back they did. So began a venture that was as brief as it was brilliant, a venture without equal in the whole history of fashion. There were other stars in the firmament, but Dior's star shone brightest." excerpted from DIOR by Francoise Giroud 

Dior in his garden at the Moulin. He had a green thumb. Photo by Ostier

Happy 66 NEW LOOK.
photos: Dior book