Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


In The Navy: Wenlan Chia

Another designer embraces deep navy with white for a look that is somehow crisp and lush at the same time. Bedding and throw pillows from Wenlan Chia's Twinkle Living line.

Whenever I see a zig-zag pattern similar to Chia's pillow above, I flashback to this oh so lovely bedroom by Miles Redd. Such a skillful mix of blues here.

Handloomed Throws

Look at the fab fringe on these handloomed wool throws made in Bolivia. Auto offers them in five different color combinations, but unfortunately does not show images of each style.


Iznik Ceramics and Mood Indigo

Turkish jars below from

On Saturday as I browsed Anthropologie for new arrivals, I spotted a truly splendid book, Iznik: The Artistry of Ottoman Ceramics mixed in with a display of deep blue and white tabletop items. Indigos, navys and other rich dark blues seem more prevalent these days. Maybe there's a connection to the 1980s revival happening in design. Whatever it is, I find myself gravitating to navy combined with aqua or turquoise, and crisp white, in stylized Eastern inspired patterns.

BTW: look for Anthropologie's take on the blue and white plate to appear soon online.

Lulu DK Isis in navy

John Robshaw's linens

Anthropologie's ikat cushion in indigo

Tory Burch likes navy

new website graphics for Chapman Radcliff Home


More de Gournay: Bergdorf Goodman Restaurant By KWID

Yes, I realize you've probably seen numerous photos of BG, Bergdorf Goodman's in-store restaurant designed by Kelly Wearstler. But since I'm currently fixated on hand-painted de Gournay chinoiserie wallpaper, I thought I'd point out that Wearstler used de Gournay for BG. On the KWID site there are much better images that show how incredibly chic the space is with this exquisite paper, as well as sumptuous leather upholstery in pale blue, chartreuse and a golden caramel tone.

Find of the Week

It was love at first sight when I found this pair of Robin's egg blue mirrored end tables from Pieces.

Paper to the Max

image above from Jonathan Adler's My Prescription for Anti-Depressive Living

Gracie wallpaper, SY-210, in Maggie Rizer's home as seen in Domino April 2006

For some reason when I was little, I thought a big white ceramic dog would be the most elegant home accessory. Now that these are in vogue again and I could buy one for myself, I'm kind of over them -- although I think Adler's use of this dog by the door is adorable. What I do currently covet is wallpaper.

In a small windowless apartment entry, I love to see every inch of wall surface papered including the backs of doors. This really creates that jewel box feeling and says "Ah, home at last."


Chinoiserie Wallpaper

de Gournay handpainted wallpaper as seen in Elle Decoration August 2004

Kudos to the stylist of the photo above. Oh my, there are so many beautiful elements working together here. The major player in the background is de Gournay's wallpaper Badminton on lead grey dyed silk ground.

Since I'm crazy about Chinoiserie wallpaper, I enjoy browsing both the de Gournay and Gracie websites. Each offers plenty to savor but
Gracie's site is really brimming with images and information. To fully appreciate Gracie's sphere of influence, check-out their press clippings and client list.

pictures below from de Gournay


Engraved Peacock Feathers

Refined and worldly, Crane's limited edition notes feature a peacock feather intricately engraved in shades of turquoise, burnished copper, and peacock blue on ecru paper. But before the recipient of your note even removes the card from the envelope, he or she will see the oh so sumptuous copper lining.

To me these notes are seasonless, but I especially love them for late summer through November. What shade of ink would you select for writing? Dark chocolate, deepest blue or jet black?


Suzani Mania

If you secretly think all suzanis look alike, visit Uzbek Craft and think again. Owner Juraeva Mayram has the most exquisite collection of modern and antique suzanis, for the retail customer, that I've seen online to date. is a good resource if you want to learn more about the traditional process of making suzanis. This site, which highlights ikat textiles too, is mentioned in Jonathan Adler's My Prescription for Anti-Depressive Living.

Another nice site based in London, just uploaded a new selection of gorgeous embroideries but it seems online shopping isn't available yet. Hopefully later this month. In the meantime, as I've posted before, has a large selection of suzanis for sale, and, based in the U.S., has a small but beautiful collection including the piece below.

Bold White Mirrors

above, a landing in India Hicks' island home as seen in Vogue, late 1990s

large scale mirror from Pieces

In the late 90s there was a beautiful spread in Vogue featuring the island home of India Hicks, daughter of legendary decorator David Hicks. I still have the magazine pages in my inspiration notebook, and I'm drawn more than ever to the various white mirrors used around her house. The Georgian-style mirror shown above looks so crisp and upbeat against the deep berry colored wall.

This week when I saw Pieces' ornate white resin mirror above, I immediately thought of Hicks' island home. If you're interested in seeing more of India Hicks' style check-out Island Life: Inspirational Interiors


Bird of Paradise Pillows

The mix of greens and blues, with a hint of orangey-reds on cream, is especially nice in these natural linen bird print pillows from French General. The pillows are available in square sizes, 16", 18", 20", or custom sizes and range in price from $95 - $150. Coming in October, look for The French-Inspired Home, with French General by shop owner, Kaari Meng.

China Style

China Style (Icons), the latest in Taschen's little paperback series looks intriguing. For those of us who are compulsive design book buyers, these editions are very budget friendly at $9.99 and usually loaded with beautiful photographs.

On a loosely related note, I love these party table designs from Elle Decor's editor, Margaret Russell, for Dining By Design 2006. Check-out the crisp modern takes on traditional Asian-inspired styles that have long been popular in the West, like the bright lacquered tables and After Willow china, Wedgwood's new interpretation of the classic Blue Willow pattern.

Robert Dawson for Wedgwood After Willow plates


La Dolce Vita

Today Giada made the ultimate summer drink: a Nutella gelato cooler spiked with Kahlua. In short, all of my favorite ingredients combined in a milkshake -- chocolate, hazelnut and coffee-flavored liqueur.

I'd love to enjoy the cooler relaxing on this rooftop terrace designed by Tim Clarke and Art Luna

or sitting on this porch, or in the poolhouse, both designed by Steven Gambrel (photos from Elle Decor)

or maybe in this intimate pavilion designed by Mary McDonald

Here's the cooler recipe. Enjoy!
2 cups Chocolate-Hazelnut Gelato
1/2 cup coffee-flavored liqueur (recommended: Kahlua), or coffee
4 cups crushed ice
1/4 cup chopped chocolate-covered coffee beans, plus more for garnish, optional
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into glasses, sprinkle with chocolate covered coffee beans, and serve with a straw.


Timeless Prints

pillow from Pieces

It is amazing how some patterns endure for decades or even centuries. At the end of June I posted the pillow above because I loved the modern interpretation of the age-old Tree of Life pattern done in chocolate and white. Then last night, while I was looking at this vintage design book, Billy Baldwin Decorates circa 1976, I realized the fabric originates with the legendary decorator. I'll be researching it, but in the meantime if anyone knows the pattern name or manufacturer I would love to hear from you. Initially dubbed Foliage, Baldwin and Woodson Taulbee created the Matisse-inspired print in the mid-1960s for Taulbee's apartment (pictured on the book's cover). Today the fabric is available through Quadrille as Arbre de Matisse.

BTW, the book Billy Baldwin Decorates is supposed to be reissued next month by Rizzoli

This handblocked fabric below from Lee Jofa is based on 18th century Indian palampores, which featured the Tree of Life. English designer Harry Wearne created it in the 1920's, and 316 blocks are used to print the pattern with an enormous repeat of 99 inches.

Above Anna Sui designs inspired by 18th century style and the Victoria & Albert Museum’s collections of 18th-century Indian palampores. Sui's clothes featured the pleats, ruffles and embroideries of the Rococo period, mixed with touches of Jimi Hendrix and Brian Jones for rock star glamour.