Shakespeare in the Garden

Step into a garden of French fantasy and romantic tendrils of foliage. I have been mainly obsessing this week on gardens & statuary. I also received the nicest email from a lady who not only has a blog but a wonderful on line store for garden's and decorative accents. This little image is of a French garden entrance; the elements of the pea gravel pathway, the arched entrance complete with foliage and lush flowers, and I have to admit I am a sucker for a beautiful front door. ( More on that subject, to come..... if anyone is keeping track I am replacing my front door ).

The facade of this door is extremely cute and quaint. It is so welcoming and is just screaming (at least to me ) "come on in" ........ friendliness in awaiting you inside! The added touch of the personalized gate is the icing on the cake for decor eye candy as interiors go. This reminds me of a storybook setting or something you would find in a Grimm's fairytale. So, lovely should we stop by?

I love this relaxed and "just there" type of garden. It looks as if it has been there forever and is well tended too. The picked fence is also a wonderful touch. Isn't there something about picked fences? I think I owe mt love for these kinds of gardens to my artistic side of my brain, pure perfection!

Now, the orderly, symmetrical part of my brain that demands some well planning and a feeling of control, perfection & carefully followed through planning. This French garden, it a completely different take on a restful space. The hedges more neatly trimmed and evenly spaced, this one relates to my orderly side and need for a symmetrical vision. Yet, even though it seems more controlled I am drawn to it's peaceful and restful feel.

Again, the pea gravel is contained but relaxed in feel, the box wood hedges are lush and green, the shaded pathway seems as if it is begging for a beautiful hoop skirted, silk laden, petite trimmed lady with parasol to stroll up & down & around the garden pathways. Then you have a bent kneed angel to the right, as if he is so moved by the natural beauty of this restful place that he has surrendered to the solitude of the moment. I am completely drawn to both of these styles, and like so many parallels in interiors..... there is a true mix of different ingredients that make the custom piece "De resistance"!

When I was thinking Green this morning, I wanted to share a new web page and blog with you. Please meet Aimee, from Garden Adornments. Her blog, web page and even Etsy shop is dedicated to garden, accessories and beautiful things. I have showcased just a few items with a garden theme. Aimee is adding a blogger bonus to save 10% off entire orders thru July 4th. Take a moment to look at her blog, she also has many beautiful things on her site, I did not even mention the French pillows!

Her website is http://www.agardentoremember.com/

and her blog is http://www.agardentoremember.blogspot.com/

Pair of English Ivy small rings topiary , I just love these! Alas, my green thumb has a life expectancy of about 2 weeks!

Roman urn in aged patina finish, this could be filled with the most gorgeous bouquet or fruits. I even like a totally different use for holding items or filled with candles for romantic dinners.

Small ceramic rectangular pot with filler of moss balls, just makes me want to get out in the garden! I love these mossy covered balls and guess what? No watering required!

Petite Iron urn filled with green moss balls all on Aimee's site, to just show a few. There are some incredible tags and paper goods for those ( like me ) who are obsessed with paper products & signage. Enjoy her site and blog.

To end our morning in the garden lets go for a walk,

Let's take a walk in the Shakespeare garden in NY. This is the entrance to the gardens, a beautiful climb up the stacked stone pathway. I am a huge fan of stacked stone especially used in a more evolved looking landscape.

The portion of the rock garden c. 1916 and is the only one in NY. The orange day lillies are so lush and creeping over on to the pathway. What a beautiful way to start the day. I think a walk to work through this path would bring an entirely different feel to your day!

This section of the garden is home to the flowers and trees of varieties that were mentioned in Bard's many plays and poems.

Here, white Mulberry is a direct descendant from a graft of a tree planted by Shakespeare himself at his New Place, Stratford-on-Avon, in 1602. I wonder will my great grand children ever see the two large oak trees in our front yard? Despite a horrible ice storm a year ago, they survived where so many others were lost and perished to the hand of Mother Nature.

A pathway leading to a popular bird watching spot. Just a wonderful thing to have within a city that is comprised of so much concrete and hard scape materials. Central Park is definitely a welcoming oasis for New Yorkers and admirer's from the world.

NY Shakespeare Graden

Let sleeping Dogs lie ....

I was going through Atlanta magazine, an indulgent 80% of Atlantans allow pets to sleep in their beds, and 81% let animal family members sleep on the sofa. A recent survey revealing the Fuzzy statistics of pets and their owners in the Atlanta area. Which has me asking from where you the readers live, what is your take on this? If you would like to comment below, I am interested in how many people feel the same?

Either way, it does not have an impact on love for your pet, my friend & sis has two "huge" labs. They were sleeping buddies but in her family area, when winter comes or someone is not feeling well. They have the perfect pit area with sectional & over scale ottomans. I can understand why they do not slumber with the "babies" in their own human bed. There is not a thing that she would not do for her "children", and I am sure of that!

Sleeping Cupid & Dog c. 1860 Ge Dagnini * The Museum of The City of New York A beautifully carved statue of Cupid and his loyal companion.

The piece as it looks on display in New York. Also, ( and not surprising to animal lovers ) when it comes to taking care of their pets, a full 60% have said that there is "no limit" to what they'd spend to save a pets life. Some other interesting facts; 72% admit to referring to themselves as daddy or mommy when talking to their pets. A full 77% give birthday or holiday gifts to their pets. And 53% give gifts "from" their pets!

I must say, that I am guilty of the crime! Once upon a time I swore that I would never, ever, have a dog who sleeps with me, in my bed! But after coaxing by my hubby, our Derby thinks his rightful spot is at the foot of the bed. When Tom leaves for work, Derby moves up and lays curled up in a ball between my calves! Mind you he only weighs 18-20 lbs.....


I have been known to "wake up" in the early morning and find Derby sleeping in the family room. I have no doubt that my daughter has stayed up again, and he will stay in that room until everyone is fast asleep. I scoop him up and put him in his spot!

Where do you lie?

Atlanta magazine for results of survey


Swinging Statues....

I love summertime; the time of year when my world slows down. Appointments are rearranged and fun is at the top of the "To Do" list. Playing is a work of art and squeezing enough into a full day is a challenge. Reminiscing and reconnecting with childhood memories are also at an all time high.

Which brings one back to the childhood days of their youth. Summers spent playing in the yard, swimming at my cousins house; playing Marco Polo, and having a chilled treat from the ice cream truck. It was also a wonderful time to play swinging statues. Being pounds lighter as a child, grabbing arms, & swinging in circles only to "freeze" when you are released to become a frozen statue.

These images are from the Nouri gallery, a new company which features old and ancient pieces. The carved marble bathtub would trump a pool in my opinion or at least when you were unable to swim! This tub is fabulous, integrated into the marble wall and the candlelight, .......

Do I need to say more? All the while resting on two intricately carved lions paws.

This beautiful one of a kind bath tub is soooo unique and decorative. I have never seen a tub carved from marble like this before. Tres chic!

Not only does the tub look fabulous, but the stain glass window and the hand painted ceiling mural is so sensational. Definitely a very unique carved piece. Just a beautiful bathroom, dripping with ornately carved reliefs and luxurious touches. I suppose I could use a bathroom like this to wake up to every morning, what am I kidding? I have friends that would just love to have a look at this tub!!

This brings me to the statues, I adore the Caryatid (a figure used as a carved column usually of a woman) underneath the arches in this covered walkway. What a beautiful setting for a outdoor retreat. To the right, the bust of the ivory woman, who is sitting on top of the carved column.

A different view of the entry into the home, with another couple of Caryatid's, just a lovely complement to the exterior of this house. Also, paired with the antique bricked walkway which leads up to the doorway.

I had to post this picture as we were talking about the definite Roman influence from some very infamous French historical figures. Here, the Roman influence is defiantly seen in this pool with rough cut stone and lighted areas of the pool. The palms are also very large and focal points in this outdoor swimming area.

Nouri Gallery

Fabulous French Friday (Monday)

Fabulous French Friday ( Monday ).......

It's time for Fabulous French Friday on Monday. I was gone longer than planned, so my post is a bit delayed as promised. This post is a look at some beautiful Swedish Interiors, some French influenced design as well as a look into the found object / and where it came from and why? It has been a wonderful way of looking into French design on Friday's and learning more about the current look of French design and how closely the past & present are influenced by one another.

A simple table with beautiful green French wired ribbon, ivory tea cup and metal tea pot. A simple way of French living which focus's on the beauty of everyday items as well as living. The painted cabinet behind the table is a celedon piece with a timeworn aged quality. Painted French blue on the back of the cabinet and filled with cream iron stone table ware. An ingenious table cover crafted from bleached linen in a wired frame to keep flying insects away.

This table is a simple pedestal design topped with a hand painted table top in a circular leaf pattern. The feet are lions paws and are not gilt, but painted in the all over white color.

Swedish Interior Design Co Uk

A series of French inspired chairs with painted frames, and wonderfully stuffed seats with natural fabrics.

Swedish Interior Design Co Uk

An antique chair, candle stick, and bureau with antique French busts sitting a top the carved chest. Pattern, style and color all enhance the French design of periods in a different way. The basis for the French layered look is more or so a look into the past design influence, the presence of design style and ultimately the future as well for a new injection of wit and the unexpected objet de art.

A teacup with a magical motif and tureen topped with a carved lid, a pitcher of design and color sitting on an antique pine scrubbed table top. A muted and colored background of stenciled pattern and design behind the still life.

The French found accessories with a color palette of blue, gray, and timeworn color behind these adorned plates, architecturally inspired bird / orb statue and bust of woman.

A view of the room, so adorned and with painted murals inside the paneled areas with angels and wings. A large area used so carefully in different area's and zones in the room.

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A beautiful bedroom, just begging for an overnight visitor to fall captive and rest peacefully overnight. The nosegay at the top of the headboard is a welcoming sight and smell. The ornately carved chairs and simple gray end tables seem effortless in contrast to the fresh clean linens on the paneled & carved bed frame.

A dining room with a whiter palette and hand painted chairs on the backs of the chairs and bench's. A table scape's accented with purple regal flowers against the pale, cool whites and softly colored blues. Many architectural accents are present here.

Swedish Interior Design Co Uk

The dining room in this Swedish room. The table setting is a lovely simple one with fresh greenery sprigs of green. Plain simple white table ware is accented with gilded rings around the place settings.

Another wonderful example of a clock / chest.

A beautiful piano in this living room, a French gilt chair and panels with ornate decorative carvings and sconces. The two lanterns and bust are complimentary accessories here.

Swedish Interior Design Co Uk

Another piece of a top of a Mora clock attached to a table base and a wooden carved decorative piece with initials. The different shades of white offer a subtle contrast in color as well as the carved textures in the piece.

A more intimate kitchen colored in muted hues and a time worn look in the cabinetry. Custom hand painted cabinetry is just beautiful and warmly inviting. Notice the ever popular farm sink here? This kitchen is not new by any standards, and is probably a generational home.
Swedish Interior Design Co Uk

A beautiful living area furnished in Swedish design. The wonderful pieces are French as well in style and gilt, covered in natural fibers.

Swedish Interior Design Co Uk

The lightly worn and painted finish for these pieces are a Swedish influence to the lack of daylight and need for a lighter furnished home.

Swedish Interior Design Co UK

A worn finish on a blue grayish leg of a French chair.

The white muslin skirted cushions on these chairs are so wonderfully Swedish / French inspired for a room. The painted chairs are also finished in a warm, worn finish.

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A Mora long case clock, here in the French Bleu, becoming ever so popular today.

A French dining room with a twist on the lighter painted and furnished rooms of today's popularity. This room being more rooted in natural colors from the landscapes; cinnamon's, greens, worn woods and oil paintings. A more loosely decorated room, with an evolved look.
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A Swedish inspired French living room with creamy furniture, light flooring and blue walls with accented framed paintings.

Swedish Interior Design Co UK

Curiosity ........ A tension felt in French design between respect for tradition and a constant curiosity in search of innovation. A struggle that still applies today. A 1990 designer and antique dealer Denise Orsoni, was the "at moment" designer for taste-making interiors.
In her early career she specialized in French faience, being known for the source for wonderfully unique soup tureens and antique cake plates by designers of such as Dieulefit, Bonnefoy, and St-Jean-du-Desert. Then as quickly as she had appeared she had had enough with matching tea-sets,jam jars, and matching blue and white. She had embarked on the 1940's wicker boxes, elegant plaster busts, and decor of Andre Arbus and creations by Mario Fourtny.
As well received by the who's who in Paris, plaster, gilt, and wrought iron previously banished as "bad taste"; were suddenly in vogue. As quickly as this look was received Orsoni went underground ...... shifting gears of her home, showroom, and life to a 17th century cellar underground & next to the Palais Royal. A near laboratory of flea marketing, experimenting with style and periods; commissioning pieces from the young German cabinetmaker Toby Schumann. With Orsoni, all her fabulous finds were perfectly placed together with a sense of tension with a feel of the edge in design. A feeling that brings the experimental and the crazy edgy feel that gives Paris it's unique sense of style.

A tulipere made by Orsoni, reproduced from a 1940 original.

The tented dining room which lays below street level made from 1940's fabrics found at the Paris flea markets. The dining chairs are covered in Fortuny fabrics, the table top in inlaid mosaic one copied from a third-century Syrian villa. The 18th century buffet displays a faience tureen from Dieulefit and candlesticks made by Orsoni from hat stands. Tented tables and dining spaces were at the height of fashion during the time of Napoleon's campaigns into Egypt and Italy. The beauty and romantic feeling captivated the French who had the vision of their heroic general waging war while living in a tent. As a result not long, no important home in Paris was without a tented room.

The spiral staircase that once led from the restaurant above the kitchen / living area where Orsoni lived below street level. It is interesting how the same materials are so in style in French decor and building of today. The contrast of the rough cut stone, neutral plaster walls and creamy colors, lit by wrought iron sconces.

A 1930's sofa covered in jute with gilded feet. On two plinths beside the sofa, are antique fishing buoys looking like artistically created spheres. The red & white striped screen is put behind the sofa and dtailed with nailhead trim. To the floor an antique muted carpet keeps the stone smooth floor soft underfoot.

These arched alcoves were the perfect place for bedrooms to be placed beneath the comfy spaces of the curved ceilings. The wooden bed is a French antique, a jewel toned red robe and beaded & adorned slippers rest at the foot of the bed. The bed cover is an antique linen feed sack with red stripes running doen the bed from head to toe. to the right, a skirted roundtable and wrought iron candles and candlelight everywhere.

In the kitchen, it is amazing how this could be so modern day as a bedroom. The massive water jugs, wine baskets, antique packing crates used for storage and the smooth ceiling vs rough stone. The furniture is accented with 1940's fabrics, an Orsoni trademark.

The style of these rooms fills every niche and uses each architectiral space in a new form or fills each with the unexpected. Like this tureen placed in an old laundry chute.

I love her front door, almost vault like in it's style. The upholstery is done in her signature jute fabric, a style reminescent of the 1940's designer Jean-Michael Frank's love for luxurious tactile natural fibers.

An illuminated 1940's plaster light fixture, a found object looking over a marble trough sitting a top of two stone collumns. A wonderfully errected planter, used in a windowless home. Interesting that she chose this in a room without sunlight, bringing the outside look indoors for this designer.

A closer view of the planter, seems like drought tolerant plantings & shade loving plants.

The next few photos re examine the found object found throughout French history as a particular loved theme in re inventing, or sometimes simply recreating, the past, particularly in the decorative arts.

Interestingly enough, it seems to have begun with Marie Antoinette, her husband Louis XVI and Napoleon himself who had a taste for the style of ancient Rome. The reinvention of French style has often run the risk of reviving itself to death. It was, an American artist Man Ray who known as a rebel was an injection of new and radical into a somewhat unstable or pivoting atmosphere.
He was not against the skilled & highly crafted piece but the focus upon a new and beauty of the everyday object.
He was a master of finding the beauty in everyday objects mush like Magritte, Duchamp, and Picasso were masters of turning "worthless items" into wit & beautiful pieces.

One of Man Ray's famous still lifes which lined along a wall in the apartment he shared with his wife, Juliet. A bust, surrounded by newspaper is a self-portrait from 1932.His objects were designed to amuse, bewilder, annoy or inspire reflection - but never to arouse admiration for any technical excellence - a sharp dig at the obsession of traditional "French taste" with quality, precision and grandeur.

Another piece in the apartment, a full plaster model of a sculpture "Hermaphrodite", in 1919. Many of his pieces were loved for their value of an idea and not the time it was created in. As a result he was known to redo and redo a piece when the original was lost or destroyed. He did not appreciate the art world's obsession with dates: "Im not a wine", he would remark.

The portrait of Juliet, a former dancer Celeste est a l Est de l Quest. One of many contents in the apartment of Man Ray's.

The bust entitles Marquis de Sade a figure who Man Ray strongly identified as an example of the ultimate libertarian.

Known for his photography, better known as the French artist wholegitamized the notion of the found object in art. It is interesting how the years have passed and the love of found objects among freely thinking homeowners as well as artists embraces the basis for his creating of styles and objects. There are many cases where it is the unexpected find or piece of an object or relic that is so highly prized and coveted. In today's society is could never be as true. The love for a chipped fragment, a handmade item, gilded decorative item or found architectural element tend to get my heart pumping!

The base of his still life, a cigar box. Man Ray would paste a portrait of Picasso to a box, filled with paper clips, arrange some matress springs, balance a timber manequin, or glue a shoe sole to a cheap frame. In 1994, at a Southerby's auction following the death of his widow Juliet, the prices paid for these objects were, in many instances, far more than those brought in for the most beautifully made antique. It was a triumph of intellect over convention.
It seemed okay again to slip a postcard of a Spanish dancer next to a little Rubens, or to surround a prescious "Bronze" with shiny green apples. ( Empire period discussed in FFF #1)

A patinated faux paneled bedframe with a beaded encrusted chandelier made from cardboard paper, hanging from the wall. A Dillemann creation, made from cardboard. These pieces remind me of the Creole Styled French look of Angele Parlange with the way she hand painted the picture of a mirror as she was unable to remove the mirror from the historical house which it was placed. A parallel way of using an alternative, creative means to re create something she desires in a new artform.

Yes, the Louis XVI chair is made from cardboard and sits with a simple bag atop the seat. A Carton Kelly lookalike.

Another view of the chandelier, and the cardboard inspired bed frame and paneling in this bedroom.

A gilt cardboard frame. Her eighteenth century inspired frames could fool even the most educated Parisian eye, with a view as a fine antique.

When paired with a leather Chesterfield sofa, the frames are as wonderful in a white, shabby finish yet still as appealing as the gilded partners.

Upon closer inspection of her creations, Dillemann's carved and painted pieces are a reveal of wit, charm and originality. A claim for pieces resulting from a sudden desire for objects she could not afford, but a more valid reason. In the great French tradition, she is living out a consuming desire for a folie a la francaise.

To the follower of Dillemann's work, it is these modern pieces that reveal another reinvention of Parisian ingenuity as a winning creation in decorative objects. Her pieces are clever abstractions of reality, and subtle parodies of the prescious objects that people take so seriously. Her work has had a dramatic effect on Paris Musees,
only in Paris!

Unless otherwise noted photographs via copyright and credit from Swedish Interior Design...@ www.swedishinteriordesign.co.uk