Archive for September, 2011

ocean drive

For whatever we lost (like a you or a me),

It’s always our self we find in the sea.

~ e.e. cummings

photos by me ~ ocean drive, newport rhode island, 9/25/11

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My recent visit to Rosecliff stirred up memories of the 1974 film The Great Gatsby starring Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby, Mia Farrow as Daisy Buchanan and Sam Waterston as Nick Carraway…the film, based on the 1925 novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is set on Long Island’s North Shore and in New York City from spring to autumn of 1922…the Rosecliff and Marble House mansions in Newport Rhode Island were used for Gatsby’s home while scenes at the Buchanans’ home were filmed in Buckinghamshire England…other scenes were filmed in New York City and Uxbridge Massachusetts…directed by Jack Clayton and produced by David Merrick from a screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola, it won two Academy Awards for Best Costume Design and Best Music…while researching the 1974 classic, I was surprised to discover that filming began this month (September 2011) for a new version of The Great Gatsby…directed by Baz Luhrmann and starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, it is slated to hit theaters in 2012…I’m looking forward to seeing what Baz Luhrmann has up his sleeve (no doubt it will feature his trademark vibrant colors and fast paced-editing) but my heart will always belong to Redford at Rosecliff…

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In 1890, silver heiress Theresa Fair Oelrichs and her husband Hermann Oelrichs purchased the Newport property known as Rosecliff from the estate of historian and diplomat George Bancroft…the couple later bought additional property along Bellvue Avenue and commissioned architect Stanford White to build them a palatial home modeled after the Grand Trianon, the garden retreat of French kings at Versailles…completed in 1902, at an estimated cost of 2.5 million dollars, Mrs. Oelrichs hosted some of Newport’s most lavish dinner parties…in 1971, Rosecliff was given to the Preservation Society of Newport County by its last private owners, Mr. and Mrs. J. Edgar Monroe of New Orleans…

Our visit was accompanied by a warm hazy day…the perfect atmosphere and expressive backdrop for one of the grandest homes I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing…

photos by me ~ 9/24/11

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the breakers

In 1893, Cornelius Vanderbilt II commissioned architect Richard Morris Hunt to design The Breakers, a 70 room Italian Renaissance-style palazzo inspired by the 16th century palaces of Genoa and Turin…this summer “cottage” is the grandest of all the Newport Mansions and is a symbol of the Vanderbilt family’s social and financial preeminence at the turn of the century…purchased in 1972 by the Preservation Society of Newport County, The Breakers is designated a National Historic Landmark and is open to the public for tours…this past Saturday, I had the privilege of touring The Breakers with my family…from the moment we stepped through the front gate, it was clear we were in for a visual adventure filled with artistic and architectural details beyond our wildest imagination…I hope you enjoy this look at The Breakers through my eyes…

photos by me ~ 9/24/11

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One year ago today, I published my first post for a thoughtful eye! Amazing how time flies! Looking back, I could have never predicted the impact it would have on my life…yes, it is a personal tool for learning and growth but what sets it apart is you…thank you for reading, commenting, sharing and most of all, for making a thoughtful eye part of your daily routine…this journey is all the richer for having you by my side

In celebration of this landmark day, I’d like to share with you some photographs I took this past weekend in Newport Rhode Island…for three days, my family united in Newport for a whirlwind vacation…15 in all (including mimi and bella!), we wined and dined, toured the mansions and drank in the ocean air…it was a glorious trip filled with laughter, singing and beauty…as with the blog, it was all the richer for having my family by my side…

above and below ~ garden statuary from the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, RI

photos by me ~ 9/24/11

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tara shaw

My apologies for not getting a post out yesterday…word press/computer issues! Grrrrrrrr…thankfully everything is resolved now so onward and upward!

Today’s post features the multifacted Tara Shaw ~ antiques dealer, interior designer, creative mastermind of her own furniture collection and most importantly, the proud owner of two whippets! I love that her print ads include Jack…so sweet and elegant…who knows, maybe mimi and bella will be in a print ad with me someday!

The images I’ve selected are from her gorgeous line of reproduction furniture aptly named, Tara Shaw Maison…founded in 2004, she began building a reproduction line inspired by her European antiques and one of a kind treasures…authentic details such as hand carving and time worn finishes set her collection apart…it’s hard to believe these are not antiques!

Please enjoy some lovely vignettes! (my favorite is the photo above…imagine hosting a dinner party in that romantic setting…simply divine!)

Wishing you and yours a wonderful weekend!

photos from Tara Shaw

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If you liked yesterday’s post and thought to yourself, “wow, I’d love to own that Venetian canopy bed or those linen wingback chairs,” then now’s your time to shop! Starting today, One Kings Lane is selling pieces from Veranda’s House of Windsor! What an opportunity! Take for example the gorgeous Belgian Canape that Windsor Smith used in her design for the entry hall…imagine owning a piece that graced the cover of Veranda!

For those of you unfamiliar with One Kings Lane, it is an online home and lifestyle shopping destination offering spectacular designer decor, furniture, accessories, antiques and vintage finds, in a curated setting, at prices up to 70% off retail…founded in 2009 by Susan Feldman and Alison Pincus, the company has grown to over 2 million registered users, with a staff of almost 200 employees…clearly, consumers are drawn to the convenience and quality their products!

So today, I thought I would feature my 5 favorite finds from the House of Windsor as photographed and described by One Kings Lane…who knows, maybe you will be the proud owner of one of these coveted pieces!

above and below ~ Windsor Smith (entry hall), Grand scale Belgian canape with bronze relief, upholstered in Kravet fabric, $17,999

“The gray tones and varied textures in the entry hall subtly awaken the senses and quietly lure you further into the house.” ~ Windsor Smith

below ~ Tara Shaw (bedroom), Pair of small 18th century Venetian mirrors with original gilding, $2,245

below ~ Tara Shaw (bedroom), queen-size Venetian canopy bed with gilded crown, upholstered headboard in Dedar Acanthus fabric, $4,725

“Anchoring the bedroom with the Venetian Canopy bed made designing around it effortless. The bed’s soaring height only accentuated the height of the room. And because the headboard is upholstered, this bed has the added bonus of also being comfortable.” ~ Tara Shaw

below ~ Windsor Smith (kitchen), Pair of Clive wingback chairs from Giannetti Home, upholstered in Mark Alexander/Thomas Lanvin Retro linen in Moonshine, $4,199

below ~ Candace Barnes (master dressing room), Niermann Weeks Primavera Statue, reproduction of an 18th century French terracotta sculpture, $4,655

photos from Veranda and One Kings Lane

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My October 2011 issue of Veranda arrived the other day and much to my delight, they featured their summer showhouse on the cover! I have been waiting patiently for more pictures of this masterful concept home and let me tell you, it was worth the wait! I would highly recommend picking up a copy as there is a wonderful article and some additional photos…for me, I still enjoy seeing the images on the pages of a magazine…somehow there is an intimacy to the printed page that I lose with the computer…my heart still beats a bit faster when I see a magazine arrive in the mail!

Aptly nicknamed The House of Windsor, it takes its name after Windsor Smith, lead designer for the 8,000 square foot project situated in Los Angeles’ Mandeville Canyon…joining her, an all star cast of fellow designers ~ Candace Barnes, Stephen Block (patios), Peter Dunham, Richard Hallberg, Kathryn Ireland, Martyn Lawrence-Bullard, Paul Robbins (landscape design), Richard Shapiro and Tara Shaw…what makes this project unique is Windsor Smith’s vision for the home…she wanted the architecture and interior design to reflect the needs and wants of today’s family…a return to tradition and intimacy…what a wonderful collaboration and stimulating challenge for this talented group of designers…I believe the images speak for themselves…enjoy!

below ~ entry hall designed by Windsor Smith

below ~ family room designed by Windsor Smith

below ~ great room designed by Richard Shapiro

below ~ dining room designed by Richard Hallberg

below ~ kitchen designed by Windsor Smith

below ~ study designed by Peter Dunham

below ~ media room designed by Martyn Lawrence-Bullard

below ~ master bedroom, bath and dressing room designed by Candace Barnes

below ~ bedroom designed by Tara Shaw

below ~ guest suite designed by Peter Dunham

below ~ the stable designed by Kathryn M. Ireland

photos from Veranda, Los Angeles Times, Coco Cozy

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the goats

Yesterday afternoon, my husband and I walked down to the farm to meet our new neighbors, a family of nigerian dwarf goats! They are as sweet as can be and seem very happy in their new home…as you can see in the photo above, they were getting plenty of food and attention from their expert care-givers!

It was a peaceful visit…something very zen about the whole experience…to simply watch these beautiful creatures living in harmony with their surroundings…it was a timeless moment, void of cell phones and 21st century technology…I could get use to that…

photos by me, 9/18/11

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“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” ~ John Muir

photo by me ~ provincetown, summer 2011

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