Style Court

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


Fig Leaf

Some of you wanted to see more of Peter Dunham's "Fig Leaf." Here it is in three subtly different colorways. For details on Dunham's textiles, contact his new shop, Hollywood at Home.

A few years ago, Peter Dunham used "Fig Leaf" in a House Beautiful showhouse bathroom. (The bath joined the guest bedroom shown above.)

More Wild Things

Even though I didn't choose Brunschwig & Fils' "Le Zebre" for an ottoman project, (still love the animal print and hope to use it one day) wild things currently have a strong presence around my house. In the spring I'll be putting together a safari-themed child's party.

You probably are well-acquainted with the big cuddly lion sold at Anthropologie, but the old fashioned wooden push toys are less common I think. They were discontinued at my original source, so I tracked down the little animals at an obscure UK-based shop, The Blue Sun. I took a chance and was very pleased with the customer service. Battery free, these animals "dance" when a small button at their base is pushed.

(BTW: Due to tiny parts they could pose a choking hazzard for the youngest children.)

Image top, Carolina Herrera, Jr.'s ottoman covered in "Le Zebre," photographed by Eric Cahan for Domino, spring/summer 2005.

Another Option

A reader has been searching for an Asian (or Asian-inspired) stool in red. Wisteria offers a hand-painted reproduction in oxblood red with some gilding and Chinese details. $219.

Feminine, Not Girlie

I'm in the middle of an upholstery project (when the fabric finally arrives I'll share more) and I've been pouring over those bedroom tear sheets again, observing the balance of "soft" furnishings with harder, leggy pieces. Among rooms that appeal, one common denominator I've noticed is a decidedly feminine -- yet absolutely not girlie -- quality. Below are bedrooms you've seen many times before. To me these are all graceful but never cloying.

Bedroom of domino's Creative Director, Sara Ruffin Costello.

Three bedrooms above designed by Ruthie Sommers.

Design above, Michael Smith.

Above, a dressing room by Schuyler Samperton. Below, a bedroom by Miles Redd, as seen in Elle Decor, November 2006, photograph by Simon Upton.

Interior design above by Southerner Barrie Benson, as seen at Domino online, photo by Justin Bernhaut.

An island escape by Nicholas Haslam, as seen in The Bedroom, published by Abbeville Publishing Group, 1995.

Top image of Aerin Lauder in her New York bedroom is from Bright Young Things, published by Assouline 2000. Photography copyright Jonathan Becker.


Strange Bedfellows

[Ignore the wall color above.]

What's up with my attraction to the disparate work of both Suzanne Rheinstein and Kelly Wearstler? Who knows. One thing is clear: I like this pairing of Rheinstein's "Palace Garden" floral with Wearstler's geometric "Imperial Trellis."

[Photo above by Gemma Comas for domino, January/February 2006.]

For a long time now, I've wanted an old-school headboard like domino's, above, to use in a guest room. This may not be an option in 2008. But if I do continue using the "Trellis" chair in a bedroom, I think the Rheinstein floral would one day be a timeless compliment to it.

Hope this inspires you to put together a few unexpected pairings of your own.


Palace Garden

Recently I had in my hands a memo sample of Suzanne Rheinstein's "Palace Garden," a large-scale linen-cotton floral with the most beautiful blue background. To me it's sort of a toned-down Tiffany-blue. Prettier than the preview on my computer.

Fans of Rheinstein are well acquainted with the framed chinoiserie panels hanging in her L.A. house (I believe the wallpaper came from her husband's childhood home.) "Palace Garden" definitely seems inspired by these panels.

Top image of Suzanne Rheinstein is from Inspired Styles, published by Assouline 2007.


Botanical Studies

Over the weekend I was revisiting my Chloe Warner tear sheets, thinking about how Warner successfully covered a swap-meet sofa with Lee Jofa's stately hand-blocked linen,"Eldon." Along the way, I uncovered other examples of lush florals.

Images one through four are from a March 2006 House & Garden story, produced by Carolina Irving, about venerable G.P & J. Baker's archive of printed fabrics. (Click pictures to enlarge and read text.)

Images five and six represent a page ripped from Southern Accents. I think in the 90s. To me, the pouf shown is just an iconic flower-laden piece. Maybe chintz. The room is sort of like a de-constructed Southern classic. Lighter than the '80s but still a bit grand.

Last of course is Warner's library as seen in domino, November 2007.

Furniture in Film

Friendly reader Gail tells me that the clean-lined rush chair used in the 1953 film, How to Marry a Millionaire, also appeared one year later in the movie Three Coins In the Fountain. Jean Negulesco directed both pictures. I haven't seen either yet, but Gail says "the girls' charming Roman apartment (in Three Coins) is to die for."

As mentioned in the previous post, Peter Dunham now sells a "How to Marry a Millionaire" chair in his new store, Hollywood at Home, seen top in Elle Decor, March 2008.


Simple Millionare Chairs

I first became aware of Peter Dunham's "How to Marry a Millionaire" chair when Jennifer Garner's lovely garden was featured in Vogue Living. It's a striking rush side chair inspired by one seen in the 1950s film, How to Marry a Millionaire. For those of you lucky enough to be shopping in L.A. this weekend, Dunham sells it in his new store, Hollywood at Home.

Top image is from Elle Decor, March 2008; Second photo by Patrick Demarchelier

Blossoming Trend

In the March issue, Elle Decor gives its nod of approval to the return of lush garden florals. Exquisite cottons and linens covered with magnolias and peonies are highlighted.

Also featured in a Katie Ridder-designed residence, an embroidered headboard by one of my idols, Lisa Fine.

And the Elle Decor reader who wrote in to complain about the magazine's abundance of poufy "old lady hair-do" flower arrangements won't be pleased. Another one graces the cover. (I love it.)

BTW: The shop of another design hero, Peter Dunham's Hollywood at Home, made the March issue too.

Photography by William Waldron