04 July 2007
Online shopping at a lovely French antique store in Houston, Maison Maison, I thought these items could be the start of a beautiful bedroom. I adore all the pale blues together with beautiful white linens trimmed in a pale blue scallop. The screen could be a headboard, but it's probably too delicate, so put it a corner with the chair in front of it. Gorgeous taffeta silk drapes, seagrass rug, flatscreen in the cabinet - I just need the client!
My design book library is exploding along with the trend. For years, I had a few books on interior design: ones I had from college, some early youth book-of-the-month club books, a few others collected here and there. But for the past five years it seems, new, glorious and hard-to-resist design books come out every week. The months leading up to Christmas are particularly hard on the pocketbook. My favorite books seem to be those about one house: Bunny Williams' An Affair with a House, Rose Tarlow's, The Private House, and Charlotte Moss' Winter House immediately come to mind. I also love the series on French Design by Betty Lou Phillips and Charles Faudree. I'm trying to collect all of Beta-Plus' gorgeous catalogue and am almost there. Then there are the series from the magazines owned by Better Home and Gardens - they seem to put out new books daily! Even Pottery Barn has a nice series, believe it or not.
John Saladino's only design book is a bible to me. When will Dan Carither's write one? I want that book! Henrietta Churchill has a great series of English design. Anything put out by Rizzoli House is worth reading. The same goes for British House and Garden. I'll buy any book that has the word Provence or French or Antique in the title.
Why all the books? Interior design seems to be the rage. Witness all the national chain home stores in business today: Crate and Barrel, Restoration Hardware, Ikea, and Z Gallerie. The furniture business used to be only local with maybe a Pier I thrown in the mix. HGTV helps the trend, but it's bad for designers - we can't all redo a home, or a room for the matter, in 24 hours. Here are a few pictures of my design books and where I'm stashing them. My French home (hopefully!) is beginning to take on the look of an English country home (I wish) where books lay around for generations. Où devrait je mettre mes livres?
Magazine Street was blessedly spared Katrina's wrath and the antique stores there are open for business, many never having closed for very long at all. Ann Koerner features beautiful Swedish and French designs, all displayed in a quiet and elegant manner as these pictures reveal. When I go to New Orleans, I skip shopping for antiques in the French Quarter and head straight for Magazine Street. If you've never been and you love French antiques, book a flight as soon as you can. But don't forget your wallet, things are pricey on Magazine Street.
Beautiful images from Lucullus, epicurean antique stores in New Orleans and Breaux Bridge Louisiana (second store opened when New Orleans was clinging for dear life after Katrina.) Lucullus has everything French for the stomach = furniture on which to sit while you eat, plates for your food, glasses for your wine, pots to cook in and much more. Heure pour le dîner!