Happy Memorial Day Monday

Memorial Day Monday

Have a wonderful memorial day. Remembering family and friends, also those who have served and are serving this country well. Summer is upon us and this weekend was the jumpstart to many sunny days ahead.
Good day to everyone and Godspeed to those still serving our country at home and abroad.


Memorial Day R & R

Hope this finds you well....

Big weekend, full of fun and feelings of remembrance for all those who we love and know that gave the ultimate sacrifice for God and country, families lost and remebering those loved ones that we have lost, and the feeling of the beginning of a new season full of growth, bounty and all the trimmings that summer has to offer!

Enjoy the weekend;

Fun or sun, surf or sand, and rest and remembrance. Just a series of the same source; many ways of expression.

Flag from Artscan.

An interesting rendition of an overscaled American Flag from NYC based Erik Foss. An overscaled flag made from homeless peoples signs and spraypainted with red, white and blue paint.

Avenue in the rain, Childe Hussam (Feb 1917) Art in the White House.

Michael Crichton's Jasper Johns Flag painting sells for record $ 28.6 million.


Bon Weekend

Bon Weekend / Memorial Day

As the weekend is upon us; many will retreat to lake homes, weekend projects, and mini 3 day weekend trips. This weekend is also a big family time and get together and eat time. Many grills will be burning, kitchens will be a flutter and just relaxing and nibbling will be going on.

To say we will consume a lot of outdoor and fun food is probably an understatement.I found a few funky items when thinking about the upcoming weekend and the summer months ahead.

Everyone have a wonderful weekend;

Mothology pale pieced together printed and patched pillows.
I loved the Union Jack pillows that were faded and muted colors; these are even better though!
These could be fun on a sleeping porch or the weekend chair to catch a few zzzzz'ss.

These interesting bone inspired cutlery are designed from John Gerrard. His inspiration was inspired from the bones of a goat and cast from the actual pieces into interesting bone cutlery.His works often deal with human consumption and it's effects on the environment.You can see more of his and other srtists creations at Artware Editions.

Pure and good soap from Anthropologie. Clean those gardeners hands, peanutbutter fingers and keep the mfresh and smelling great all at the same time!

Fouta cream hand towel from Saveur du Jour.

How about a wicker lounger to sit back and enjoy the weekend from afar? This lounger is from Skyline Design Furniture.

I could not stop at the last picture, so here is a fabulous contemporary seating from B & B Italia.

Anthropologie Jan 09 picture / catalogue




True Religion

If the end of the school year was not around the corner, then there is the rush of projects, end of year activities, and finishing up of all things child involved.

A double billing so to speak. One of two final projects in the end of school year realm.

Picture this;

One evening (several hours) to complete a religion project. (Note the second child and boy, if that is any indication) He will think of a project in his head, and then the delivery of when, where and what is usually sprung upon unbeknown parents hours or minutes before a project is due.
I understand not all boys are like this; mine just happens to be included in the procrastination category. I think my daughter has spoiled me just enough with her way of being independent, organized and prepared. Now, I must confess, all year I have been extremely proud of my son, it is just the end of the line and work is an afterthought this time of year. It is time for a break, he is ready to regroup and realign.

I have uploaded the final project; a handmade cross with Old World color and style.  The theme was "religion" so you can imagine the possibilities. If only there had been more time; I heard ideas a flurry from other parents. Ornamental crowns, sculpted Buddah's made from clay, and lovely prayer beads.The goal was to capture his "Christianity" theme with a large scale rosary, and other elements for the sensory part of the project. Hence; candle&smell, bread & (pomegranate juice, wine would not work at school) & taste, bible& touch and a travel container with "holy water"& touch.

Fun time with dad in the studio making the cross and then time to dye the beads in an aged turquoise dye, add some age and wholla! An "antiqued" looking rosary full scale for the project.
The rest was pretty easy some clear Muji bottles full of Holy water, wine (not real), and bread crumbs.

Ok; here is the rosary... Do it yourself! One down and one more to go. Any idea's out there for transforming a peacock from an old navy blue baseball sock? Ha Ha, that is the challenge for this evening!

A closer view of the rosary cross and beads.

A use of natural materials in the twigs and branches. The overall project was a handmade one with the look and feel of a handmade creation.

I like the Old World feel of the beads and the colors from "antiquing" them. The cool blue color was of course Drew's design. A little raffia and it is finito!

LG Rowlands designs


Carbon Neutral Bloggin....

Blog, Blog, Blog, Blog, Blog

Thanks to Decorology (blog) La Maison Fou is now carbon neutral with all posts and blogging!

You can go here to be carbon neutral too!



Pretty easy, go to the site, one blog = one tree

Carbon neutral bloggin / Decorology post

Ann Carrington

Annie get your ........ art supplies

I have been following the Sixx design company and their 9 by design show on Bravo television. Recently I had the opportunity to research Ann Carrington, the brilliant UK artist with several pieces in the Novogratz's current home (unless it has sold, but surely some will be in the new one). Very 3 dimensional and varied in the media she uses. Some of her media is simple and everyday items. A particular move to making art from everyday objects is extremely intriguing and fun. Just have a look below at some of her pieces in the Sixx design home.

Carrington's use of 3 dimensional notions are epic in this original Queen Mum which hands in the Sixx design home. Irredescent sequins illuminate against the ebony background, all hand sewn and designed by Carrington.

This Union Jack wall hanging is pieced together with vintage denim, palid fabric and transformed into a unique wall hanging.

More rooms and works of Ann's art can be found in the book;
Downtown Chic

Ann's studio as seen by The Independent; House & Home

Unusual and usual pieces that flank the fireplace, and bring warmth and personality to her home. The fireplace screen is a Christmas decoration, Moroccan tiles add a color punch to the hearth, her own creation of horns is made from vintage silver knives. Cabinets house her custom dyed buttons for making her artwork and creations.In the front room her brass bunnies with boxing gloves for ears are displayed for artfull design.

Pic Michael Franke UK

Just a few of Ann's great pieces: You can see more on her website at:

Cocoa Bossanova

Black Jack

Raj Rug

The Shell Ladies


Design by 9, Downtown Chic, and Ann Carrington art.


The beat goes on....


In the next few days a close to one year, marks the middle of the calendar year. While one school year passes by, the annual year seems to be half way through. Always an interesting point of view, definately marking a double calendar in ones mind. An endless array of flora & fauna, wrapping  up those loose ends and gilding the lily (so to speak) for a few months before the cylce begins again. A look toward the fall season not only brings a new beginning to the school year, but I find it ironic as mother nature is tucking her abundance away for another season, our children are beginning a new school year with fresh anticipation.

An interesting thought; as we go forward into summer and everyone gets the chance to recharge and go forth to tread down adventure road, the world keeps spinning and life moves on. Embracing the spirit of summer is not only for those on summer vacation but I think it is imperative to go forth and keep your childlike mindset as another summer season is upon us. Let go of the stress of the day and keep your chin up!
Free thought & a free mind will enable you to step out of the box and release your inner adventure.

I think it was Pablo Picasso that said; "The critics say I draw like a child. When I was a child I drew like Raphael.It took me a whole life to draw like a child.

I would like to see more like a child does, listen without precident, see without judging and feel with more honesty. Simple, yes but definately a new perspective on the way you can react, simplify your action and just do things. I have a few months off from the school schedule, some of you do not adhere to this schedule, but imagine a workday with a little more skip in your step, a piece of bubblegum, or the ability to speak up when you know you should?

Just some thoughts as I was in class this morning and my mind was thinking of summer and the array of endless events which are happening before the school year ends in several days.

A few images for everyone too......

I like this fun punch of color in this kitchen. The range hood is fun and what a color infusion in a neutral setting?

Though neutral in color, this work area is patterned and from artwork to the fabric there is a fun vibe. I also like the bust and it's true to life proportions.

This room feels so comfy to me. The just that right amount of scruff and chip! Imperfections with just enough age to feel comfortable. Gathered, not showroom feeling in this room. I also like the turquoise injection, color can be fun and decorating should be an enjoyable experience.

Simple, sleek and clevah in calculation. If walls were art, I like an unpretentious finish next to a sleeker one.

Just the right mix of texture, old & sleek. Life is not perfect; living with imperfections is ok.
Believe me I know, I think being able to cope with not only decor but life with imperfections can be key to releasing oneself from always having to own all responsibility. Living in a home with casual and simple finishes can be freeing.

Justthe simplicity of this bookshelf is calming to my eyes and the old worn pavers are beautiful in form as well as function. Toss in some wooden warm tones and I am sold!

Cleavahly calculated, ordinary objets' de art can be meaningful. I like this artfull arrangement on a summer coffee table. The leather and chrome director chair is popped with color in the green woven market bag slung casually into the seat.

Living with a casual yet organized look and feel is not for everyone. For me it is key; loose the muss and fuss while keeping a sylish and sophisticated home? I think you can. Use your summer to find new ways to see, explore and have fun with your decor. School's in session pretty soon, there is never enough time but a break from boredom is only a flip flop away, a totebag of material and a drawing in the sand from a year long vacation. Relax, enjoy and set yourself free; have fun design is supposed to be a true reflection of you and fun too!

       James Merrell Photography


French with a capital twist!

French; twisted......

An American home set deep into the northwest, finds Parisian roots. A very classic American pedestrian home finds a grand Patrician pedigree in Washington, DC. The outcome of a well planned collaboration of homeowner, architect, and clients, this home is a well thought out plan!  trick of the eye from the street, where the architect did extend the front of the home to the back of the house, to mazimize views to the sloping majestic forested ravine behind the home. A simple stature with simple, clean lines this home was well written to include atmosphere and injected with visual magic.

Antiqued shutters welcome the homeowners into the outdoors.

I love the addition to the fruitwood table;covered in a gauzey apparition of a table shape. A John Saladino chair. Also, the partition is unique in transluscency and swagging of the rod and pleated panels. I am always a fan of the French inspired fireplace and mantlepiece.

Two Nancy Corzine steamer chairs lend a nod to reading or viewing with large open windows.The coffee table is Modenature from Interieurs in NYC. The travertine floor extends onto the terrace and lengthens the feel of the rambling floor plan.

The long run of diningtable is finished in an acid-washed Botticino marble making an elegant and dramatic dining sopt! An open view into the kitchen appeals to the free flowing floorplan and light airy space of the dining / livingroom.

 A closer view of the dining table and the HBF chairs pulled up to the table.

I like the Old World apperarance, but as you can see the kitchen is filled with modern conveniences. The kitchen table is a vintage base with a glass top, paired with a vintage Swedish candelier. I am also mad for the Chinese stool from David Bell antiques. The feeling of the beams, stucco walls and rough cut stone backsplash is integrated in such a simplistic manner.

Even ending with the outdoor terrace, The metal based and willow ceiling arbor is shadeed and strong to the elements. The patio is a perfect spot to sit and sip! Smith & Hawken patio furniture, and the accompanying stone fountain is from Trelliage. Doors conceal outdoor storage and the pillows bring sun and sky together.

HB 2004 Gordan Beall pics

Zebra, without going on holiday!


Love, love it; check out this really cool giveaway, and you have until the 28th to register for it!

Thanks for the heads up, Chic Geek!


Bon Weekend, Cuban style

Bon Weekend, Finally Friday!

Well, to no dismay, the weekend is upon us all. The end of another work week and the start to a great looking weekend ahead. For everyone here we should expect some rather wonderful sunshine! A rarity the past few weeks. Also, we are looking into the last leg of school. I was very surprised to find a vintage (circw 2004) HB with a great home in Cuba with many, many timeless looks.
A historical island with a connection to the colonial style and elegance of grandieur. A timeless descent to another place and time for Havanan's living and traveling to pre WWII.
I knew a man who had lived there for a time with his mother, she recently passed away, as did he this last year. When he was going through her estate, there were many Cuban treasures that I was lucky enough to see and learn about. The place he described as a child; endless parties, stately homes, and colorful houseguests (foreign and domestic).

So to my surprise (and loss of memory) I stumbled on an old issue of HB which showcased old Havana and all it has to offer today.

This image preceeded the Cuban story, but I wanted to include it as the tall metal windows were pleasing to me and opened another view into the outdoors. The upper tilting is also a great addition to the air flow and cooling off transom window.

This living area is a private collection of 19th - century Cuban furniture and objets d' art in Trinidad. The pale limewashed walls are the perfect backdrop for the richly furnished room. To the left is a crocodile, seen everywhere in Cuba. The indigenous animals are said to be the same shape as the island of Cuba, as told by natives. Once homes of former Spanish merchants, these restored mansions from 1815 Spanish settlers, plantation owners and government officials.

A closer view of the relics and religious symbolism, so evident in design today. The spanish influence is seen and charmingly mixed with French and gilt pieces. The floors are incredible, covered in pattern and aged timeworn hand loomed carpets.

The alcove to the right is carved and cut from aged limestone, faux painted and simply adorned. The mix of richly polished dark woods mixed with silver is so integrated in different styles. The centuries old Spanish, Moorish and African heritage is seen and felt throughout Havana.

A open iron window bar seperates the interiors from the hot Cuban sun. Cuban made Renaissance Revival furniture in the house is played off of brightly patterned tiles. The tiles act as flooring and wall wainscotting, connecting the walls and decor hues into the rooms. The horse seen through the iron is still a stable means of transportation for local Cubans.

A closer view of a wall of drawings featuring Cuban women in traditional dress and form. The walls though blue reflect the sunlight from late afternoon, casting golden glowing shades on the pastel colored facades and interior walls.Though richly colored, a subtle muted tone is soothing and connects sky with earthly colors.

The pattern in the flooring is not only beautiful but intricate without being too busy. The understated richness of the color is evident in pieces and in the rooms. A timeworn look and feel is evident in the furnishings, Cuban works of art carved and made by local craftsmen.

In the private house on the souther coast of Cuba, this Azulejos (Portuguese tiles) is a common decorative element in Cuban architecture. Here the sea colored turquoise is so soft and brought down by the antiqued celedon walls. The Spanish tiles are Moorish in style where many were shipped to Cuba and adorned the walls of many 19th century homes.

This crucifix and mahogany case are 18th century. Colonial life was highly inspired by Catholocism, a daily part of the life of a Cuban. Also to the left is a mahogany prayer bench. The roughly cut tiles are a wonderful shade of terracotta, and the graphic window screen has a circular pattern cutout.

This courtyard remains in the Cuban district of Havana and is surrounded by as gallery of columns made of different kinds of marble. I like the richly polished and roughly cut stones used in this courtyard. Hard to believe this look was achieved many years ago by skilled craftsmen using rough and un powered tools.

A cooler side of Hanava, this reception room houses opulent collections of early 19th century Cuban made furniture. The desk has English influences and French Rococo motifs and carvings. A common characteristic, due to the mahogany being a secondary wood for buliding and bold proportions. The blue is the color of the sea. Stained glass also adds to the color combination.

These stained glass iron doors let filtered light into a small reception room. The room opens into a small courtyard covered with vintage ivy and a carved bust and column.High ceilings add to transom hallways and cool breezes throughout the home.

Black and white marble lines the hallway in the Palacio de los Capitanes in Hvana. The marble busts of Cuban patriots line the sides of the arched hall. Hanging iron lanterns light the way along the transom lit hall. Built in 1770, this outdoor extension was an extension of the home, showcasing the 18th century grandeur of Cuba. I could be transported to another time or place or almost feel as if being in the present looking at the French, English and Spanish influences of this Palacio.

Interstingly, the 19th century moved forward and Cuban elite decorated with Empire style furniture. Leading the way to mass production pieces in the Renaissance, Gothic and Rococo Revival style.As time moved on, post WWII generations saw revolution, political fiascoes and missile crisis that nearlt tore the US and USSR into nuclear havoc the ressurrection of these buildings seems politically correct. A spokesman for Old Havana sees the restoration as a preservation of not only houses but of culture and heritage for Cubans. A richly colored and furnished sense of renewal for life and beauty in the homes of modern Cubans.

Bruce Buck pics / HB Havana home 04