Friday, September 26, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
The Corinthian order was adopted by the Romans from the Greeks and was bestowed with the association of beauty and love. It is the most popular of the Greek Orders. Detail has been taken from the Temple of Zeus Olympia, Athena, BC174. The temple was built from designs by Cossutius, a Roman architect. This temple was important as parts of it were taken to Rome where its presence resulted in many copies and the popularising of the Corinthian order.
THE ROYAL HOSPITAL FOR SEAMEN, GREENWICH, LONDON - Queen Mary & King William Buildings. The Royal Hospital for Seamen was the realisation of the wishes of Queen Mary. Sir Christopher Wren originated the design for these domed sections of the buildings, in collaboration with Nicholas Hawksmoor.The building of the hospital took place in four phases over fifty-five years, commencing around 1691. Dimensions 9.5"w x 9"d x 18"h each. Weight: 20lbs each.
THE TEMPLE OF THE FOUR WINDS Castle Howard, England 1728 (limited edition model). This small Temple was built within the grounds of the 17th century house of Castle Howard, Yorkshire. It is one of the finest Palladian buildings in Europe and is based on the Villa Capra near Vicenza, Italy. In 1995 the Honourable Simon and Mrs. Howard commissioned this model and each is accompanied by a certificate signed by Howard who is the descendant of the Earl of Carlisle who originally commissioned the Temple from the architect Sir John Vanbrugh. Each model has a title plate of brass attached to the lead covered plinth. This plaque is hand engraved using copperplate lettering. Weight: approximately 15 kg - Dimensions: diameter of base plinth is 20".
I just happened to like these more than many because they all have an abundance of Corinthian columns.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
These vintage kimono, (ki - wearing, mono - something), were recently sold at auction. Apart from their obvious use, they do also make interesting decorative objects, which can be enhanced if they are framed in perspex.
As the national costume of Japan they are still worn on special occasions, such as weddings, but by traditionalists, (both men and women) on a daily basis.
Monday, September 22, 2008
The interior of the entrance hall of this hillside cabin by Bobby McAlpine with its brownish greens works well with the sanded floor and the gold frames of the pictures. (The top sepia photograph to the right of the mirror needs to be straightened and would drive me insane until it was; but that's only a minor pet peeve, that most will probably ignore. Well, probably not now.)
Friday, September 19, 2008
Annigoni painted the portrait at about the same time (1954-55) as the one he did of the Queen (centre), which in my view is the best ever produced during her reign, and which was used extensively on stamps and banknotes of countries where she is head of state, or which are the remnants of the empire.
I have a print of the Queen's portrait, signed by Annigoni which I like for its stark simplicity, compared to the glorious and romantic colours of the oil, which evokes the hopes and aspirations of the British people for their young monarch, (in her twenties), at the beginning of her reign, the new "Elizabethan Age", recovering from the debilitation of the war which had virtually bankrupted the country and saw the divestment of the empire.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
The importance of a room's layout cannot be underestimated. In this sitting room designed by Jacques Grange, emphasis was placed on the stunning pieces of art, and the arrangement of furniture to view them effectively, without creating a gallery atmosphere. To achieve this two sofas are paired back-to-back, with Louis XIV-style gilt chairs as an accompaniment.
Classical and modern works of art are displayed together: (top) Picasso's Man with a Yellow Hat (1967) with a C4th Greek urn, centre another Picasso and bottom an Italian gilt mirror. The white walls and green marble floor create the perfect backdrop to the art and the lighter coloured fabrics on the furniture.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
These images are from the apartment of Parisian designer Francois Catroux, depicting in the top one, a sculptural stairway, (to nowhere, like a mythical bridge in Alaska), and a Bauhaus chair, overlooked by a Buddha statue. The central picture reveals nineteenth century models of architectural Corinthian columns, and the final dining room vignette, turtle back chairs, all of this revealing a masterful class in eclecticism.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
"Taste," the Queen is supposed to have said, "doesn't always help." It's a brilliant thought. Taste – she obviously meant advanced visual discrimination, not finer feelings – doesn't always help. I've known people with perfect pitch in clothes, houses and food whose manic quests were so obsessional they brutalised everyone around them in the search for the perfect bleu marin or knocked-back green Connemara marble.
(Read the rest of this article from "The Independent" here:http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/house-and-home/interiors/buckingham-palace-a-right-royal-makeover-926740.html)
Illustration by Noma Bar
Friday, September 12, 2008
These two images are a tear out from House & Garden and demonstrate the finer points of David Hicks's symmetry, and the modern twist he put on classical elements, including mixing in new and unexpected pieces. To my mind they are quintessentially Hicksian and remind me of why I became and remain such a fan.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
If this room looks like a showroom that's because it partly is. The owner is a dealer in essentially neoclassical pieces, displayed enticingly on the Mies van der Rohe table, which is paired with Le Corbusier armchairs. Bathed in the light afforded by the loft's large windows is a Biedermeier daybed, which mixes so easily with the modernity of the armchairs. And then another favourite, the architectural prints hanging above the dark lacquered Chinese screen, with its gold painting, capturing the golden hues of the entire room.
My only complaint, (and yes, I do have one), is that it would all come together much better with a rug of some description, which would define the sitting area and the dining area, (the latter with its Knoll 'Saarinen" table and Hoffman dining chairs).
Oh, and I would hang the blinds in a linear row, because I like things to be symmetrical. Of course.
Monday, September 8, 2008
The foyer opens up into a Moroccan-style courtyard.
Stairs leading to the first floor, from the courtyard.
The first floor balcony looking towards to courtyard.
This type of beautiful old house is rare in Bangkok, but they do exist. Because the city is so well spread out, and there are no particular zones for high-end residential properties, they are indeed hidden treasures. This one is more especially so because it has been decorated with impeccable taste and style by a young Thai man with royal connections, who has lived abroad and brought back with him the essence of a bygone era, with obvious Chinese, Thai and European influences. (Photos courtesy of Thailand Tatler.)
Friday, September 5, 2008
In my time I've gone from the extreme of not having guest bedrooms, to making them almost too comfortable, (so that some never want to leave). I think these luggage racks however (by Philippe Hurel) are a very thoughtful piece of kit for a guest bedroom, (and subtly they are not designed to take an enormous piece of luggage, ensuring one hopes that guests follow the "fish theory" about their length of stay).