Nearly every shelter magazine does some variation on "things we love" (features with iconic furnishings or accessories) and of course Martha Stewart has her Good Things. So, I won't pretend this blog post is completely original; this run-down no doubt includes elements you are very familiar with. But that's sort of the point.
Last week Mrs. Blandings shared a striking image of her classic chair. With one strong vignette she captured multiple good things: tall black boots, animal print carpets, chic leather foot stools, timeless red-and-white prints, and gutsy sinuous wing chairs. Her picture promptly made its way to my mirror.
Mrs. Blandings' aesthetic, like her idol Steven Gambrel's, is quintessentially American but the layers shown at top also remind me of the Herrera women and their Old World passion for toile. In particular, Mrs. Blandings' mix of the feminine red-and-white fabric with more masculine animal-related elements reminds me of Carolina Jr.'s estancia as seen in the 2008 fall/winter issue of Vogue Living.
And this brings me to another great thing: inspiration boards. I would buy a book filled only with inspiration boards put together by my favorite tastemakers. Let's take a closer look at Carolina Jr.'s.
Tufted leather sofas also make the list of domestic icons. I love Hollister Hovey's below.
Simple, old fashioned children's toys, globes and oxford cloth shirts are more good things. Here a Ralph Lauren display from a department store.
The world of Hermes is an endless source of inspiration. Below, a 1997 Paris vignette followed by last year's ad campaign.
A wonderful way to bring a touch of Hermes into a room is to use one of their chic, colorful ashtrays for keys or other loose ends.
These, unfortunately, are not inexpensive. An alternative is to copy Rubie Green founder, Michelle Adams, and use a small plate or saucer with the Hermes pattern Balcon du Guadalquivir. (Click here or here to see the pattern used elsewhere.) When it comes to styling a room with layers of meaning, Michelle is an ace.
Anthropologie sells small bowls, just $14 each, with a different pattern but similar graphic appeal.
One of the first library-dining rooms I posted back in the summer of 2006 was Eliza Reed Bolen's via HB, March 2004. Note the contrast of the turquoise chair seats with the jewel-tone walls. (Clearly I did not own a scanner then.)
Library-dining or library-breakfast rooms are definitely good things. Below is Kaki Daniels', decorated by Suzanne Rheinstein, followed by Suzanne's own L.A. breakfast room. Note the black chinoiserie lantern, another icon, and more wing chairs.
Illustrated children's books with crossover appeal for adults must be included too. Meg did a great post on artist Miroslav Sasek and his "This Is..." series. Right now the title This is Hong Kong, originally released in the mid-1960s, looks intriguing.
And a silver candelabra used outside. Tailgating season is just around the corner after all. Image courtesy Southern Accents.
One more Blandings' item has to be here too: chunky Chinese turquoise beads.