Style Court

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


Library Chic

There are some exquisite antique and new magnifying glasses out there, but they tend to be quite pricey. I think Anthropologie's Oceania magnifying glass, $18, would make such a cute gift. Depending on the recipient, either on its own or combined with a new fall release such as Hamish Bowles' book, Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens, People.

Or, for a rare friend, a first edition of David Hicks on Decoration with Fabrics, available through Paris Hotel Boutique.

B.D. Jeffries sells resin tortoise-handled magnifying glasses. $130.

If you look closely you can see a beautiful bamboo-handled magnifying glass on this Domino editor's coffee table. Photo by Jennifer Schlechter, May 2006.


The Tale of Silk

I love the border on this Hermès cashmere and silk shawl.

Art above © Hilton McConnico

Only on view a few more days -- through October 7 -- at the Shanghai Art Museum is an exhibition, “The Tale of Silk,” featuring work by Hilton McConnico. The artist makes connections between Asia, homeland of silk, and Hermès, which has been printing the material for seventy years.

Elephant Jalli Quilt

For the collector with a soft-spot for elephants and a love of Indian textiles: a vintage mid-century Jalli quilt available through Pat McGann. $650.

And here's a round-up of previously posted, small related pieces. J. Crew's new white elephant charm bracelet. I've seen it in person -- very chic. $125.

Two more favorites: Kate Spade's charming letterpressed elephant calling card, available through Crane, and William Arthur's elephant holiday card.

This blue-and-white elephant vase is one of my past Saturday afternoon finds. I'd prefer to find a great all-white one similar to Krista Ewart's below.

Above, Krista Ewart's bedside table, with elephant vase, photographed by Melanie Acevedo for Domino, June/July 2007.

Leather elephant made by the small British company, Omersa. Mecox Gardens stocks these too.

Illustration by Jacqueline Duheme shows Lee Radziwell and Jacqueline Kennedy riding elephant, Jaipur 1962.

Fine Living II

All images above photographed by Ivan Terestchenko for Elle Decor, August 2000. Image below, Vogue Living, fall 2006.

A while back I mentioned that I'm working to bring you more images of Mississippi-born textile designer Lisa Fine's exquisitely embroidered headboards, or other samples of her work. In the meantime, I can tell you that Fine and Carolina Irving will have a big launch of their hand-embroidered blouse collection at Charlotte Moss the week after Thanksgiving. The following week, Nathan Turner will host a similar event in LA. Fine told me their fabrics will include Ikats from Uzbekistan, silk satin, linen, and cotton.

Above, again, are images of Fine's sumptuous 7th-arrondissement Paris flat. Travels to India inspired her lush color choices -- pink with orange, a few hits of pistachio-green. Turkish and Moroccan styles were incorporated too. (Click pictures to better see details.)

Below, on my TV screen, is Fine's Indian-inspired headboard as seen in HGTV's one-hour special, Homes of Paris.


Buddha in Paradise

"Buddha Shakyamuni," Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton, Eastern Tibet, 1800 - 1899, Collection of Rubin Museum of Art.

Coming soon to Atlanta are 16 intricate, centuries-old Tibetan paintings, part of Buddha in Paradise: A Celebration in Himalayan Art, October 13 through November 25 at Emory's Carlos Museum. This exhibition is on loan from the Rubin Museum of Art, to celebrate the upcoming visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Reader Search: Lady de Rothschild Apartment

A reader tells me she has fallen head-over-heels for this Michael Smith-designed kitchen. It's Lady de Rothchild's, seen in the designer's book, Michael Smith Elements of Style, as well as in a past issue of Elle Decor. The question is, which issue?

We need to know because the reader seeks a source for the understated tile not mentioned in the book. Tear sheets of the amazing dining room, top, are all I saved from Elle Decor (kitchen happens to be on the back -- no tile source). As I recall this was a cover story about four years ago.

If you know the scoop, fill us in!

Photography above via Elle Décor. Wallpaper is 18th-century Chinese bought at auction.

Mystery Fabric

Here's a little flashback to a time when pillow fringe was a must. (Actually, like chintz and tassels in small doses, trim seems to be coming back.) In this case, I think multi-colored loop fringe really compliments the pillow fabric -- does anyone recognize the print? I love it. It's like a stylized version of an 18th-century scenic textile. At first glance, the print is vaguely similar to John Robshaw's "Pichhwai," below.

To put the first pillows in context, below is the circa late-1980s-early-'90s living room for which they were chosen. It's Frances Schultz's place, designed by her friend John Oetgen. These photos were taken by Langdon Clay,

Domino Book in the Works

By the time I went to hit "publish," this news was blanketing the blogosphere (I think Jennifer, a.k.a. Bibliostyle, typed the fastest.) But I've been encouraged to help spread the word. And it's staight from the source: innovative Domino, one of Condé Nast’s most successful launches of all time, just signed a deal with Simon & Schuster to publish its first book.

Aptly titled "The Domino Book of Decorating," the volume is being edited by the magazine's Editor in Chief Deborah Needleman, Creative Director Sara Ruffin Costello and Style Director Dara Caponigro. Look for it Fall 2008.

As you well know, the ever popular book-filled room above was decorated by Sara Ruffin Costello and photographed by Paul Costello.


Inspired By Films

Some consider 1991's Raise the Red Lantern to be among the most visually stunning films ever made. Image via Tong Chen.

In March I mentioned Miranda Brooks's bedroom, seen in Bright Young Things, and the inspiration she took from Raise the Red Lantern. Another visual feast, The Last Emperor, (Michael Smith's pick) has been discussed here too. But I wanted to share more weekend viewing ideas, so I asked film buffs Brilliant Asylum and Cote de Texas for suggestions. Here's a list of sumptuous movies filled with rich Asian color:


Empire of the Sun

Farewell My Concubine

In the Mood for Love

Eat, Drink, Man, Woman

The Painted Veil

Memoirs of a Geisha

Lost in Translation

Seven Years in Tibet

Passage to India

A Little Princess

Brilliant Asylum also recommends any of the James Bond series filmed in Asia: You Only Live Twice and Octopussy. She read that Kelly Wearstler is inspired by James Bond movies too.

A reminder: Buddha in Paradise: A Celebration in Himalayan Art, opens October 13 and continues through November 25 at Emory's Carlos Museum. The exhibition honors the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Personal Art

For a while now I've been thinking about this Picasso-esque print done by my aunt in the 1970s, and soon I'll probably have it freshly matted and framed for a grouping in my guest room. It's a cliché I know, but personal art often is what gives a home soul. Southern Accents editor, Frances MacDougall, says that meaningful pieces in a bedroom let us know we aren't in a hotel.

Above, the highly eclectic and personal art collection of writer Frances Schultz speaks adventurous spirit. She and her designer-friend John Oetgen bent the rules a bit by hanging works directly over, and under, her dining room chair-rail. These photos were taken by Langdon Clay, I think in the 90s. Click to see details.

Albert Hadley's iconic New York apartment is filled with smaller works on paper given to him by dear friends (very talented friends.) His collection almost serves as a scrapbook of an incredible life.

The Costello loft, above, is also filled with a mix of interesting photography and drawings. Nearly all appear to be black-and-white or neutral, working so well with the room's palette of sea-foam blue, split-pea green, chocolate and maize yellow. Photo by Paul Costello for Domino, November 2005.

BTW: Small works are very versatile and are a great way to begin a collection. Suzanne Rheinstein recently told Domino she's a fan of student art "framed simply but not cheaply."


Trellis Mania

"From moldy-oldy to smart and snappy. Our favorite fabric (Kelly Wearstler's 'Imperial Trellis,' in natural/coffee) totally updates these 1950s Miami-Mediterranean library wood-frame chairs," explains Christine, the talent behind this transformation and owner of Florida's C. Bell. I couldn't resist sharing this.

Since parrots are a bit of a rage right now, Christine also sent me images of her fun 20th-century piece characterized by a "quilted parrot print centered with such perfection all over this divine white lacquer frame."