Style Court

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


Inspired by the Masters II

[Shown above, detail view of a Tim Street-Porter photograph from Diane Dorrans Saeks' book, Hollywood Style published by Rizzoli New York, 2004. Interior design by Stamps and Stamps.]

I've always liked the way California-based designer Kate Stamps uses a Soumac flat-weave rug in lieu of a conventional tablecloth.

Very reminiscent of a Vermeer still life.

[Young Woman with a Water Pitcher, Johannes Vermeer, ca. 1662, Marquand Collection, Gift of Henry G. Marquand, 1889, Metropolitan Museum.]

If you have a beautiful old rug (and have time to make sure it's clean), it might be a great change of pace for your holiday table. Gleaming silver looks so striking juxtaposed against a well-worn rug.

And take a look at the loose and natural gathering of flowers below. Talk about bringing the garden inside.

[Simon Upton photographed Courtnay Daniels Haden's house for Elle Decor, January-February 2010. Styling by Anita Sarsidi.]

The flowers would be too tall for a seated dinner, but a mass of camellias like this could be amazing on a winter table set with a holiday buffet or placed in an entryway. Remember the puffy flower controversy? The year a reader wrote to Elle Decor and compared all those pretty peonies scattered throughout the magazine to "old lady hairdos?" Personally, I never saw a connection to anything remotely frumpy. And it looks like the magazine continues to embrace large arrangements; Anita Sarsidi styled San Francisco-based designer Courtnay Daniels Haden's house with an abundance of big, but very organic feeling, branches and flowers. In fact, be on the lookout for tall flora throughout the latest issue.

By the way, I think art lovers will especially enjoy seeing how Haden lives with her collection, which includes a Kara Walker. I'll be curious to know if anyone but me thinks there is a slight connection between Walker's silhouette and the decoration on a Regency mirror placed nearby. (Afraid of being a spoiler, I'm not posting more images yet since the issue is new.)

Related past post: Barley Twist and Shout.


Maureen Sullivan Stemberg, Interiors said...

This post was *a Master* in of itself.
Loved the *new masters*

Style Court said...

Glad you liked it Maureen. The flowers in the Jan.-Feb. Elle Decor are really amazing. Makes me want to bring a whole camellia bush inside!

Ryan said...

So what is the color in the first photo? I've been trying to match it for years, but the perfect shade is elusive...

Style Court said...

Ryan --

Right now all I have is the book's caption which says seven layers of persimmon glaze.

Anonymous said...

Years ago Kate Stamps' house was shown on HGTV - every time that was shown I watched it/taped it - what wonderful design work - and still espousing comfort, family - so delighted to see your posting showing her work - yes, art and decor - a marriage to be celebrated!

thanks for your super blog!

Suzanne on St. Simons

Karena said...

How beautiful Courtney. I love the dining room and the antique carpet I amazing.The glazed walls are superb, and yes I love Vermeer works of art. said...


Indeed carpets on the table are very stylish, and the camellia s also fantastic.

Thanks for sharing.


Janet said...

Thanks for the peek into Courtnay Daniels Haden's house...the grey walls are positively refreshing!

Transformations Home Stylists said...

I remember years ago seeing a kilim rug on Brooke Hayward's table in HG (?) and loving the rich textural look- I recreate it at holiday time by using an old paisley as a tablecloth. Thanks for the Vermeer! Robin

Fashion Photographer said...

wonderful idea to use a flat weave rug instead of a tablecloth! Vermeer is a big inspiration for me as a photographer, love the reference :)

LINDA from Each Little World said...

Haden's house is a textbook in living with books and art. Every room had me mesmerized. I loved the playoff of the Kara Walker/mirror you pointed out and also the red pillow and square red tray linings.

I'm too worried about spilling to use my paisley shawls on the table if there is food anywhere in the vicinity. I think one of the earliest images of rugs on a table may be Holbein's "The Ambassadors," from 1533; 100 years before Vermeer. Of course, they were too valuable and rare to actually walk on. Whereas today, it's walking on them that shows how well-to-do one is!

Laura said...

yes, great idea, only that IS a tablecloth , I have an old one, with Persian origins.