Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hand Painted Wallpapers

Interior designers who have clients with big budgets may know of a few hand-painted wallpaper manufacturers, such as Gracie, Paul Montgomery and deGournay.  While definitely not cheap, these beautifully crafted wallpapers bring an elegance and refinement to any space that it inhabits.  I particularly like the application in an entranceway and dining room, but as you will see from the following pictures, anywhere is nice.


This collection is from deGournay.  The panels above the fireplace are my favorite of this grouping.  They add so much character to the space.


More from deGournay.  The sepia tones of the panels with the elephant draws my eye.  I like that they placed this in a bathroom.


Even closet doors get a special treatment from deGournay here.


Available in almost every color palette, deGournay does not disappoint.


More deGournay…. The muted tones of the middle scene have such a rich and classical quality about them.



Paul Montgomery's Chinoiserie Collection, Hemmerling


Paul Montgomery's Chinoiserie Collection, Rose


Paul Montgomery's European Panoramic Collection


Gracie hand-painted Chinese scenic panel


Gracie hand-painted Chinese scenic panel


Gracie hand-painted Chinese silver leaf panel


All very beautiful!  My current house does not lend itself to this type of wallpaper panel, but if I had a classically structured house, you can bet I would have one of these panels on my wish list for my dining room.

Thanks for viewing this week and I hope you have an incredible week!


"Strength is not measured by how tightly you hold on to something,
but by how well you let it go."
- Author Unknown

Friday, March 12, 2010

Harmon and Harmon

I’ve discovered a store in Melbourne, Australia called Harmon & Harmon.  Established their brand 40 years ago, John and Barbara Hermon have put together a shop that offers homeware, furniture, lighting and interior design services.   I haven’t been there, but their product line is extremely enticing! 


The first thing you will probably notice about their products is that there is a heavy use of organic materials.  Right up my alley!


They have clean lines on most of their furniture, which I also love.  This pair of chairs is perfect!


This coffee table and stool set is beyond cool! now!!!! 



An organic chair is saddled up to a modern desk.  I like the juxtaposition.


Ok.  I don’t know about you.  But, the minute my son would see this ad, he would be running to this bed to try this neat little gymnastics move!  And, since he is 15 now, it makes me wonder if an investment in this bed would be all for nothing!  Fun little cave though!


More clean, modern lines typify their dining sets.


Again, organic chairs are coupled with a table that has an Asian inspired legs.


The homewares look so cozy and wonderful.  The selection of the textured grey pillows on the steel grey couch is perfect!


Now for the fun stuff.  This anemone candle is beautiful.  A table full of these would be such a conversation piece!


Here are the anemone shapes, but in floor lamps!  OMG!  Love them!  These would be beautiful on a patio as well.


Their outdoor collection has some interesting pieces, such as these tables which have shapes within shapes.


And finally, their lighting collection is spectacular!  The above pieces are just a glimpse of their product line.  I’m in love with them all! 

You can visit Hermon & Hermon here.

Let me know what you think!

Have a wonderful weekend!!!


“Honor is the inner garment of the Soul;

the first thing put on by it with the flesh,

and the last it layeth down at its separation from it.”

Akhenaton, King of Egypt, 14th century BC

Monday, March 8, 2010

Lovely Bathroom Products

What a few weeks it's been! Between all the rain that California has received and my laptop that has crashed, I'm ready to move forward into a fun, happy, problem-free Spring! :)

I’m reorganizing all of my resource binders as well and as I came to the bathroom resource binder, I ran across the most lovely products and photographs. I want to share them with you here. If you need inspiration for your bathroom, there are some very unique products for you to consider.

The Water Monopoly Copper Bath with Thick Roll

This original French double-ended copper bath is so romantic and such a statement in this bathroom. Did I just say bathroom? Does anyone have a bathroom like this in their house? This is more the size of my living room!

The Water Monopoly's Bateau Bath

A reproduction of a late 19th century French double-ended bath, individually cast in iron from recycled brake discs. I love this even more than the copper bath above. All that is missing are some French Fauteuil chairs, a glass of red wine and 100 votive candles.


Sherle Wagner's Marble Tub with Claw Feet

This tub is amazing!! I thought I loved marble countertops, but this is over the top, don’t you think? How luxurious, how grand, how incredibly ostentatious! I want one!


THG Paris' Papillon Lav Set

As part of their Lalique line, these beautiful butterfly faucet handles are more like delicate perfume bottle toppers than what they are really are. Not for the little boys room!


Ann Sack's Poly Stone Mosaic

This white and pearl stone mosaic is so beautiful. It would make a beautiful floor or backsplash tile. It would be beautiful in a shower or framing a mirror. Check out Ann Sack’s entire stone mosaic line. They are all incredible.

Short and sweet for this one folks! I’ll be back soon with more goodies now that I’ve got my computer back! (yea!)
Have an incredible week!


My life is like a sailing ship
depending on the winds
to take me where I want to go,
sometimes the winds
are in my favor.
Other times they're not.
And when the gales
of adversity blow
the winds I can't control,
but the set of the sails I can –
for that, and not the
direction of the wind,
is what takes me where
I dream and plan to go.

– Dick Innes

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mr. Smith - Classy, Timeless and Iconic

I've been having some terrible issues with my laptop and as a result, have not been able to access Windows Live Writer, which is where I create my blog. So, while I am still trying to get it fixed, I am going to republish my very first post I ever did on my blog, which was about Michael S. Smith, the interior designer, whom most of you probably already know, is the person that was selected to design the White House for the Obama family. Enjoy (again!)
I would like to focus my first blog on my favorite interior designer..... Michael S. Smith. He is one of Architectural Digest's 100 Top Designers, has had his work published in too many publications to count, is frequently hired by the wealthy and by celebrities and does a lot of hotel designs and renovations. The man is a genius! Everything he touches looks like it has been there for 100 years, but he has a way of making it look new, fresh and classic. You want to stare at his designs for hours, yet nothing jumps out at you and says, "I've been decorated". His designs are very unassuming.
He isn't afraid to combine different styles, periods and colors, which a lot of designers have a hard time doing. He exemplifies what I hope to achieve with my interior design. I appreciate his deference to classical design, but I also admire his willingness to mix modern elements ingenuously into the palette.

Michael S. Smith

Photo courtesy of his website

He has a new book coming out that I can't wait to read! It's called Michael S. Smith Houses. Together with Christine Pittel, he has created another book that walks the reader through his design process. His first book, Elements of Style is my favorite design book to reach for. It has a permanent place on my coffee table.

Michael S. Smith Houses, Photo courtesy of

Michael S. Smith Elements of Style, Photo courtesy of

If it is anywhere near as good as his first book, I'm in for an afternoon of lovely reading (and daydreaming!) at my patio table with a tall glass of iced tea!

Photo from (Sunset Magazine)

This isn't my patio, but mine is similar to this. I love the feel of the open fireplace with the seating group around it. It's very cozy, very welcoming and wonderful for long, lazy summer evenings!

Private Homes Designed By Michael S. Smith
(from his

Malibu Home designed by Michael Smith

Cindy Crawford's Malibu home...Note the Bali influence in the dark wooden table, chandelier and stool with the fretwork. Michael Smith uses pieces that blend with the environment and the architecture, rather than competing against it. Wouldn't you just love to have this space to relax in and overlook the ocean? Ahhhhhh....

Dining room from the same Malibu home. Love the dining room table and chairs. And check out that ultra-cool chandelier.

Another room from the Malibu Beach House. Although simplistic in nature, the monochromatic design scheme is perfect for this home which has dark panelling, flooring and a crisp marble fireplace surround. The tufted chaise lounge is classic. It's a perfect place to curl up with a good book in front of a warm fire in the Fall. Notice how Michael added a dark wood mirror above the fireplace to tie in the dark panelling of the room. It's the details that make the room.

Palisades Home designed by Michael Smith. The fauteuil chair stands out as a "head of the table" effect in this sitting room. It's effective because all other seating in this view is basically at the same height and is more traditional in nature. To add a classic piece like this adds interest to the room and completes the seating group. Keeping the coffee table simple and with open iron legs is perfect. I want this coffee table to display more of my design books (including Michael Smith's new book shortly!).

Michael's Product Lines

Photo courtesy of Michael's website

This is Michael Smith's bathroom line for Kallista. Again, his classic detailing comes through loud and clear.

Photo courtesy of

Ann Sacks Tile Collection by Michael Smith

A "relaxed but polished look". Love it!

Photo courtesy of

Refined yet casual rug collection for Mansour Modern.

Photo courtesy of

Home Fragrance Collection for Agraria by Michael Smith

Photo courtesy Visual Comfort and Co.

Lighting Collection for Visual Comfort and Co.

Hotel Designs by Michael S. Smith

Shutters on the Beach Hotel

Michael remodeled the interior (I believe) in 2006, keeping the fresh, beach aesthetic.

One Pico Restaurant at Shutters On the Beach in Santa Monica, California. Michael Smith renovated this restaurant, which re-opened in April this year. The picture on the left is the old room, the rendering on the right is Michael's design.

Shutters On The Beach Guest Suite. Very beachy and there is that standing floor lamp that Michael loves.

Shutters On The Beach Bathroom. I love the cool grey tone on the walls. I can't tell what flooring material is used, but the dark floors make the grey walls and white tub and sink look fresh and crisp - just as a beach bathroom should be. Note that Michael used dark wood on his mirror again to tie in the flooring. The shutters looking onto the bedroom area and the louvered closet door to the left of the sink are a slight nod to the hotel's name.

Rendering of The Canary Hotel, Santa Barbara, California

Canary Hotel in Santa Barbara, California. Patio area and pool. Very beachy and very California. Outdoor fireplaces are popular here in California because of our climate. With the prices of homes here, it gives us another "room" in which to spread out!

Canary Hotel Guest Suite. Fresh bedding and draperies gives this room the light and airy feel. It would seem that Michael likes the turnstile design of the bedposts, as he echoes that in other designs.

Canary Hotel Bathroom

Canary Hotel Outdoor Fountain. Note how the light fixture has the same design motif as the plant holders.

I believe this is the Canary Hotel Lobby. I love the tapestry on the wall, as well as the wooden side table used next to the chair and ottoman.

Canary Hotel Patio.

(all Canary Hotel photos courtesy of Yahoo Travel website)

The Lowell, New York, Deluxe Room

I like the striping on the headboard canopy and table skirt which juxtaposes the toile-like effect on the pillows and bedskirt.

The Lowell, Garden Suite

The wallcovering, mirror and metallic fabric on the throw pillow really make this room fabulous.

The Lowell, One Bedroom Suite

Check out the symmetry!

The Lowell, The Painted Room

LOVE the mural and the carpeting. Again, the metallic fabric on the throw pillow adds just that bit of sparkle to the room.

The Lowell Penthouse

Set up a bit like the one bedroom suite with the symmetry, but none-the-less, it's classical design that best fits a conversation area.

If you have more Michael S. Smith photos you would like to add to my compilation, please email them to me! I'd love to add them to my blog!

I hope to be up and running soon with a new blog post for you all! In the meantime, have a wonderful week everyone!

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