I’ve been suffering from an acute case of clutteritis, mood that pushed me to a hard appraisal of what I need and what needs to go. At one stage earlier this year I found little comfort in anything but Minimal Furniture. But after a huge house sale and a highly successful week selling the first of my vintage clothing and fashion accessories on eBay, I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy about fussy rooms. That means I’m once again able to look at layered rooms with warm walls and myriad details and decoration — the kind with Christmas-weight décor but no holiday imagery.
A symphony of chintz plays out in an ultra-femme Long Island sitting room [top] which is the work of Alberto Pinto, the great designer who has no set “look.” We’ve seen grand, luxe, modern and hints of North Africa in Pinto’s portfolio but there’s something incredibly satisfying about this chintz-y room. I’m particularly mad for the striped chintz draperies with plissé edges that looked like someone did a Scarlett O’Hara and cut up an Issey Miyake dress for the curtain edging. The tufted chair and ottoman is equally embellished with triple rows of fringe plus elaborate gimp. Even the brass floor lamp is dressed to kill with a pleated, ruffled-edge shade.
“The aesthetic of those wonderful European houses is past,” David Easton said in an issue of Architectural Design. “We’re headed toward simpler lifestyles, toward prefabricated construction methods intended to reduce the cost of housing.” All the same, I love the English-style use of brackets, china and the hyper-accessorization of the sitting room in Easton’s former suburban estate. He unloaded the contents several years ago with an auction at Doyle New York and I had the pleasure of poking through the pieces of this room at the pre-sale viewing. I’d find it hard to move in a room with so much on every surface but like one of those otherworldly historic homes in England, it belongs to a different time.
We took a look at carpet- and Fabric-Draped Tables in designer Andrew Gn’s very grand Paris apartment, which got extensive coverage in Elle Décor. The flat showcases Asian textiles and, in an über-formal oxblood-color “Porcelain Room,” the owner’s display of Chinese blue-and-white porcelain and faïence together with an 18th Swedish blue-and-white decorated tea table. While for me this is more of a hallway than a room, I’m always a fan of blue and white ceramics, a Swedish painted antiques and the to-die-for Italian painted corner chest. Just hope I wouldn’t break one of those ballroom chairs by sitting down.
Diane Burn does what I’d describe as suburban “old world,” another aspect of the elaborate European style David Easton was discussing. Word may not have reached certain areas of the country yet and I don’t expect Burn would care anyway. Consider this room: amazingly detailed slipcovers on the chairs around a pietra dura (marble inlay) table in an elaborately faux-painted dining room with a baroque chandelier, mirror and sconces. It’s clear that no matter how green we need to go, how much we talk about simplicity as luxury, or whether all our dearest treasures are destined to go on public sale when we die, “stuff” is the comfort food of home décor.
(Source: albertopinto.com, Architectural Digest, doylenewyork.com, elledecor.com)
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