Style Court

Nine Years of Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes


Photographer Paul Costello

You've probably seen Paul Costello's work often in magazines including Domino, House & Garden and Town & Country. I love his photographs of interiors, and I especially like this detail shot -- from his family's own home -- with the shells. In fact, this is my favorite apartment featured in Domino to date (November 2005) but this close-up view was not published, so I was excited to spot it on Costello's website.

The fabric on the table is also a favorite of mine, Lulu DK's Chant, and I love the elegant approach to arranging shells. What a lovely use of reflective objects. This photo is definitely going in my inspiration file :)

Domino Countdown!

Here is the cover of the new July/August Domino. For those of us who subscribe, the magazine should be in our mailboxes in a few days. Looks like a great issue!

Miles Redd: Cozy Glamour

photo credit above, Paul Costello

The terms Modern Glamour and Happy Chic are now part of our design lexicon, but here is another: Cozy Glamour. Miles Redd's interiors have been described as exuding Cozy Glamour, and it's really the perfect description for his style. Redd's rooms are welcoming, often with a traditional foundation and a few family photos around, yet there is no shortage of drama. His interiors are always vibrant (to the max) and sophisticated. Redd advises clients to keep furniture classic (since that is what usually moves with you and can last generations) but be daring with wall finishes, accessories and occasional pieces. On his website you can see his portfolio.

photo credit above, Paul Costello

More Pieces

Fun vintage furnishings just keep coming from the fab boutique Pieces in Atlanta, so I'll keep sharing.


Regency Style: Jane Austen & Jonathan Adler

[Jonathan Adler Fowler chair]

[Jonathan Adler Woodhouse headboard and chair, and the Adler-designed poolside area of The Parker Palm Springs]

It was very clever of Jonathan Adler to dub some of his Hollywood Regency pieces "Woodhouse," giving, in my mind at least, a nod to Emma Woodhouse in Jane Austen's Emma. Being design-obsessed, I can't help but wish the film Clueless (inspired by Austen's Emma) had been made about a decade later, with whimsical, Happy Chic sets designed by Adler to inject a modern Regency feel. I see yellow, acid green, black, and white. Maybe others think that Clueless wouldn't be the same without that slightly vulgar, Beverly Hills McMansion look, but if you've seen a range of Adler's interior projects you might see what I mean. Adler design definitely could have enhanced the irony, wit and humor of Clueless.

My Prescription for Anti-Depressive Living and DVDs available through Amazon.

*Apparently Adler chose the name Woodhouse after watching a different movie, Rosemary's Baby.


'70s Hand-Printed Scalamandre on eBay

photo above from Elle Decor '05

Jonathan Adler used this linen print with wild abandon in Jane Wagman's apartment, pictured in Elle Decor spring 2005 and now on Adler's website under Interior Design. It looks quite groovy. Today I spotted a tiny amount on eBay. The remnant is just 55" by 25", but the perfect amount for a stool, chair seat or pillow. And if the colors were chocolate and cream rather than blue and white, I'd snag it for myself. The auction ends July 5.


The Birds: Always In


stationery, Kate Spade for Crane

Paradiso hand-print on linen/cotton from Lulu de Kwiatkowski

Brunschwig & Fils, Voliere Chinoise, available discounted through Discount Fabrics USA

There has been so much buzz today on design*sponge about an embroidered, red and white, Mexican textile with stylized birds. Caught up a bit in the enthusiasm, I wanted to share a few other bird patterns. The Kate Spade handbag and stationery were inspired by the heavily embroidered Zapotec textiles produced in Oaxaca, Mexico.

The Paradiso hand-printed cotton/linen from Lulu DK, reminds me a little of Matisse. But I suppose it is mainly Lulu's unique vision. The last fabric is a classic interpretation, printed in Italy on cotton for Brunschwig & Fils. While designs with a bird motif are pretty common at the moment and some are saying they are growing tired of it, I think, like zebra stripes, birds will always be in.


Matisse, Textiles and Nature: More For My Library

How does Anthropologie's book buyer know my taste so well? Matisse: His Art and Textiles, highlights the artist's lifelong passion for fabrics and pattern. Included are 190 color illustrations of his works as well as samples from his own textile collection. This book is actually the catalogue for last year's exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Bedside Book of Birds by Graeme Gibson is getting rave reviews as a sumptuous collection of illustrations, poetry and legends, combined to explore our relationship with birds through the ages. Although I spotted both books at Anthropologie, they are available through Amazon and other sellers.

Yurdan Sale has a vibrant selection of contemporary hand-embroidered suzanis, in silk or wool and in a variety of sizes. Right now many of the suzanis are marked down 10%. Also, I noticed Yurdan has revamped its website. Maybe the online store has experienced a big increase in traffic as it was featured in Domino magazine a few months ago. Since Yurdan is based in Istanbul, Turkey, I don't know how tricky the return process could become if you were dissatisfied with a purchase. But nonetheless, if you appreciate suzanis, I think the site is worth a look.


Doris Duke Suzani Collection

Detail of a suzani showing embroidery stitches. 
Photo: Ann Svenson Perlman.

Hanging Suzani, Bukhara region, Uzbekistan, ca. 1900.
 Photo: Ann Svenson Perlman, Doris Duke Foundation.

Doris Duke photographed by Cecil Beaton,
 Sotheby's Picture Library, London.

While honeymooning in 1935, the adventurous globe-trekking heiress, Doris Duke. purchased nine suzanis in India. For the rest of her life she collected decorative pieces that appealed to her -- not necessarily what was prestigious -- and today she is viewed as a woman whose taste was ahead of her time. In fact, many of the Eastern art objects she loved are now highly valued.

If you enjoy decorative arts history, or just want to learn more about suzanis, the website for Shangri La -- the Hawaiian house Duke built and refined over many years -- is excellent. The site is easy to navigate and loaded with images, information and good links.

An interesting commercial site is London-based Suzani Interior.

Designer Schuyler Samperton's suzani bed cover, photographed by Grey Crawford for Elle Decor, November 2003.


White Light at Anthropologie

A new look for a weekend dinner party. These glazed white ceramic candelabra and candlesticks from Anthropologie look so fresh for summer. They have that sort of Modern Baroque -- or maybe it's more Hollywood Regency -- thing going on. Whatever your take on them, to me the pieces would work with minimal, mod or trad decor. There's buzz all around about how crisp white and red look right now for summer -- and that's what I'm in the mood for -- but obviously any other color linens or flowers would look amazing paired with these too. candlesticks, $38 each; candelabra $98.

A little inspiration to dine with candelabra oudoors. Design by KWID. Pictured here the Viceroy Santa Monica


Peter Dunham's Indian Inspired Prints

Most designers say that when they decorate showhouse rooms, they have license to play and go bolder then they might working for a client who expects to live with a look for 10 years or so. But in the case of these two rooms designed by Peter Dunham -- with a liberal use of his own textiles -- for the House Beautiful Celebrity Showhouse (bedroom 2003 and dining room 2005) I could live with either for a long, long time. Granted, I love Indian inspired block-prints. Still, I think that despite all the graphic punch created with the prints, both rooms have a sort of comfortable, well-worn chic about them that would allow any occupant to mix-in or rotate their own art, personal photographs, books, magazines and other collected objects.

By the way, these pictures don't do justice to Dunham's prints. Use the links above and check-out his website to see more, or visit the House Beautiful site to take a virtual tour of the showhouse rooms.


Still Waiting For Lulu

I'm still counting the days until the release of textile designer Lulu de Kwiatkowski's new book. Unfortunately I read today that it may not be released until March 2007. Still, I don't want to totally loose hope before checking with more sources. Has anyone else heard about the publication date?

As I posted at the end of May, Lulu's book -- titled The Notebook -- is expected to show where her inspiration comes from using lavish illustration and photos from her travels to India, Morocco, Paris and other international destinations. highlights Lulu's entire fabric and wallpaper collection, as well as baby bedding.


As Good As The Cover

I'll admit that when I'm looking at interiors done by my favorite designers -- especially spaces filled with books -- I check-out the book titles to perhaps discover a great art or design text that I was unaware of before. In the photo of Kelly Wearstler and son on the cover of House & Garden January 2005, I spotted "The Orchid". Turns out this work is filled with amazing watercolor orchid portraits commissioned for the Royal Horticultural Society of England's prize-winning orchid every year since 1897. There are other lush illustrations too, along with text by Mark Griffiths, Horticultural Correspondent of The Times (London) and an internationally renowned authority on orchids. The publisher is Harry N Abrams.

Emma Jane Pilkington

To me this room epitomizes that oft used phrase "putting a fresh twist on a traditional interior." I love the unexpected blue chandelier and the restrained repeats of the apple green and blues found in the framed vintage Hermes scarf. The intimate scale of the dining area appeals to me as well. Emma Jane Pilkington is the designer. At this point there is no portfolio on her website but if you like her work, you may want to bookmark the site for the future.


Chapman Radcliff Antique Rug

A sorbet colored rug for summer. With its small size and luscious hues, this rug from the Kurd region would look great under a lucite or glass coffee table, as part of an intimate seating group, or at the foot of a bed or in an entry. $1,950.
6 Ft. 3 in. by 2 Ft. 11 in. Chapman Radcliff

Echoes of the Whimsical Tony Duquette: A Little Monday History

Tony Duquette Dawnridge interior

Hollyhock wild coral candelabra $4800, red chandelier in store

Anthropologie red chandelier $8,000

Tony Duquette interiors

Tony Duquette bracelets

Anthropologie abolone and shell encrusted chandeliers $1,400-1,900

Long before Anthropologie had a red branch-coral chandelier in its fanciful window, legendary designer Tony Duquette was using bold, red chandeliers (sometimes shaped like antler, sometimes coral) as focal points in his highly theatrical, over-the-top rooms. Many of Duquette's signatures -- seashell encrusted pieces, exotic motifs, pearlescent abolone, animal figures and colorful jewelry -- are so popular right now. Kelly Wearstler and a slew of other designers say Duquette's work inspires them. If you are unfamiliar with the late Duquette and are curious to learn more about this multifaceted Hollywood set designer, interior decorator and jewelry designer, the website is jam packed with press clippings, as well as pictures of his interiors, stage work, jewelry and museum exhibitions.