Jan’s Notebook

MY FAVORITE ROOMS AND WHY

David Hicks for Lord and Lady Londonderry
I was going to write a Notebook entry on BEST AND WORST of 2011, but it seemed redundant---too many of the same things going on that I am not fond of (politicians and reality tv), and many of the same things that always delight me (places, people). I also thought about TRENDS in design----as those of you who read my Notebook may realize---I really don’t like trends.
So, what to write about? I love rooms so much more than I love trends. Here are 10 of my favorites and why. They were created by designers whose work I admire and respect because they all have a unique point of view.
They are listed in no particular order.
AMANDA NISBET
Amanda Nisbet's Manhattan living room
I would love this room even if I didn’t know and love Amanda! It so expresses her bright and sunny outlook on life. You can’t be with Amanda and not be happy. Just look at the color of the walls. Is there any happier color than yellow? I think the coral accents are wonderful, especially for a New York apartment. It is chic, yet warm, intimate and cozy. And, it looks like a room that is used and enjoyed by her family and friends.
AERIN LAUDER
Aerin Lauder's dressing room
The custom Gracie wall covering is fabulous with the bronze dressing table. Ms. Lauder has great style and taste, and, it is always timeless, never trendy. And, I love the combination of the cool tones of the drapery and wall covering with the warmth of the dressing table and chair.
CELERIE KEMBLE
Celerie Kemble living room at Kips Bay Showhouse
Celerie is another wonderful designer who is super talented and passionate about design. I was amazed at the detail and layering of this room at last year’s Kip’s Bay Showhouse. The ceiling was absolutely phenomenal -mirror with eglomise. It was unique without being over done. The room would not be as striking without the hot pink chaise.
ERIC PROKESH
Eric Prokesh designed living room
I remember when I turned to this page in Southern Accents several years ago---I loved the freshness of a very traditional look because of the combination of colors. Eric has a great eye and his sense of color is divine.
MARY MCDONALD
Mary McDonald white bedroom
Mary is a master when it comes to dressmaking details. I have always been crazy for pleats, and this bed is so perfectly pleated! Her rooms are always very controlled yet whimsical at the same time. I love the pair of mirrors flanking the bed. The lines of the chaise are well defined and keep the room anchored.
BUNNY WILLIAMS
Bunny Williams designed dining room
The drama of this dining room is wonderful. It is full of truly good antiques. I especially love the Maison Jansen dining table base and the amazing convex eglomise mirror. There is an art to putting fine pieces together in this way. This is the difference between buying furniture and antiques and having the know-howto put them together---a great reason to hire a good designer!
FRANCES ELKINS
Frances Elkins library in the Wheeler House
Mrs. Elkins has long been one of my favorite designersfrom the past. The library in the Wheeler House is one of the most timeless rooms I’ve ever seen. This is a room that always comes into my head when I think of timelessness.
FRANCES BOWES
Fraces and John Bowes' Hill House in St. Barth's
Frances and John Bowes designed and built one of my favorite houses ever. It’s in St. Barth’s with the most amazing viewsimaginable, and is wonderful daytime or nightime. These photos don’t do it justice, but I simply had to include it as one of my favorite rooms--- it’s magical.
NANCY LANCASTER
Nancy Lancaster's Avery Row flat
I suppose this one is one of my favorites because it was a major inspiration for the living room in our country house. It is a large, yet warm and elegant room. It took Mrs. Lancaster to teach the British about comfort, and how to mix English and continental furniture in a relaxed environment. You will rarely see "brown" furniture in rooms, and the patina of the finishes and fabrics are ever so slightly worn. When my clients worry about their new pieces becoming slightly soiled or worn, I remind them of Mrs. Lancaster.
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