Style Court

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


Setting the Mood

[Credits follow. Click images to enlarge.]

So here's the fantasy. A safe, sunny pot with such low humidity that Moroccan-style screens can be used in lieu of glass windows and hair remains frizz-free, even without a blowout.  In keeping with Paloma Picasso's memory of childhood, there are no requirements except breathing, eating, sleeping and drawing (or painting, or decoupaging, or stitching -- you get the idea). One or two rooms open to a garden offer plenty of space.

Like every other design junkie, I can't stop thinking about the Moroccan influences in the take-your-breath-away bedroom that set decorator Amy Wells pulled together for Charley (Julianne Moore's character) in A Single Man. (Read a terrific piece about the Oscar-snubbed design here.)

[Still from A Single Man by Eduard Grau / Weinstein Co. via the L.A. Times.]

But I'm after something a little earthier and dressed-down. Befitting Charley, this room is supremely chic with nods to Hollywood Regency. What I want to take away is the idea of the 'bay window' comprised of carved screens flanked by curtains in a terrific Mid-Eastern or Southeast Asian-influenced print.

I love the roughness of Christophe Edwards' late-19th-century pine Moroccan screen and the thought of Lisa Fine's Baroda I linen used for curtains.

Pictures of Matisse and Picasso living and working in the South of France in the 1940s also inspire, and the bird connection is explained here.

This antique Anglo-Indian teak campaign daybed from T.C. Donobedian looks so cool. It even folds, so it could move outside pretty easily. I'm wondering, though, if Ballard's ever-popular daybed custom upholstered in Fine's Kashgar 2 might be better for actually sleeping.

For bolsters and other pillows I'd use Carolina Irving's Andaluz, because it resembles the North African textiles collected by Matisse, and Peter Dunham's Udaipur, also in indigo.

Don't want to get too theme-y with Moroccan elements but I have to add the bronzed metal lantern from Pieces.

Oh and rustic ceramics from Nathan Turner. He's got an 18th-century Spanish work table too. Would be nice for small art projects or dining (below).

For a really tiny space, Downtown has a compact 1930s drafting table.

The second inspiration board is meant to have the same laid-back feeling but the colors are ramped up. Still sun-faded; just a tad cheerier. There's a 1930s Moroccan rug from Keivan Woven Arts and Carolina Irving's Patmos Stripe in parsley is a possibility for curtains.

The other swatches are different coloways of the fabrics already mentioned. To ground the colors with a masculine piece, I mixed in a big vintage metal lamp from Lum Lighting.

More earthiness, and another Picasso nod, comes from Paloma Picasso's hand-hammered necklace.

 The red-crackle-finish Moorish mirror is from Hollywood at Home.

A guitar should have been included in one of the collages.

In the first inspiration board, the detail of the flat-weave Syrian rug was cropped from Hali; in the second collage, the painting is Francoise Gilot's 1959 La Plage via Christie's; and I think everone already knows about the famous Robert Capa photograph.

Now, if this is all too loose for you and you're craving excellent photography of serene, classic rooms, with tips from respected professionals, check out editor Julie Cole Miller's Southern Accents retrospective, The Best Southern Rooms, on newsstands this month. You'll notice favorite interiors from designers including Thomas Jayne,  Suzanne Rheinstein, Amelia Handegan and Phoebe Howard. Julie pulled top picks from the magazine's last five years, covering entry halls, porches, and rooms for rest and rejuvenation, as well as all the standard spaces like living rooms and libraries.

Here's my favorite part of the forward:

...a curious mind, an elegant eye, and a warm disposition go a long way toward bringing graciousness into our homes. (But don't underestimate the power of silver, crystal, and a few blossoms from the garden -- they work wonders too!)

F.Y.I.  Keivan Woven Arts has a big sale coming up in Atlanta.

For more on all of the books used as sources for this post, click on the artists' names below (the labels) and keep scrolling down to see a variety of past posts. Nick Harvill is another great resource for vintage art books.  The photo in the center of the collage above is from David Douglas Duncan's Goodbye Picasso.  

Oops. Hit publish before adding this update: I'm told  North Carolina-based Parlor Textiles' new e-commerce site will launch next week, April 28 or 29. Stay tuned...


Laura Casey Interiors said...

not too loose for me! love, love it all.

Karena said...

Courtney, you have indeed set the mood!! A luxurious, exotic, comfortably relaxing mood!

Art by Karena

Style Court said...

Whew...thanks Laura. After I hit publish I realized it was kind of like interpretive dance with a lot left left to the imagination. At least I've wrapped up the Andaluz/Baroda series, for everyone who has seen enough :) Now I'll just study the swatches on my own time.

Style Court said...

And thanks Karena! Your comment came in as I was typing the reply above.

Emile de Bruijn said...

Great how you are designing/imagining this ideal/virtual room. It is tempting to do something similar in a National Trust context - imagining one's ideal historic house - but then that would be a bit dangerous from a PR point of view, because people sometimes accuse us of making the houses conform too much to a certain 'taste' - not true of course, but we do have to make sure we don't stray too far from what we know was phydically there. But then we can come to your blog for a nice dose of wish-fulfilment :)

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

Can't complain about all the Moroccan style elements! I have used that lacy dowel work you have pictured to make Moroccan banquettes of our Pavilions in Marrakech:-)

My Dog-Eared Pages said...

I love the rhythm of this post and Charley's dressing table from A Single Man makes such a wonderful launch-pad. Great journey through the weave of your thought process Courtney. I really enjoyed this - thank you!

Style Court said...

Emile, well maybe on Treasure Hunt you could play around a bit, being sure everyone knows it's just an experiment :) I know we would all love to see what you come up with.

Style Court said...

Maryam -- I thought of you when I was putting this together!

Style Court said...

Dog-eared -- I love how you said 'rhythm'. That is definitely something I wanted the post to have, so thank you!

Capella Kincheloe Interior Design said...

You have included all my favorite LA sources!