Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Buy Me a Milking-Pail

Buy me a milking-pail, O mother, O mother!
Buy me a milking-pail, O dearest mother of mine!

Sounds like an odd thing for me to request, but I wish that someone would buy me a milking-pail. A Sèvres style milk pail, that is. I never really thought much about them until I was looking through my copy of the Jayne Wrightsman auction catalogue over the weekend. The 2010 Sotheby's auction featured the contents of Wrightsman's London residence. And in that residence was a Samson Sèvres-style porcelain milk pail from the late 19th century. (That's it at the top.) Somehow, I missed seeing this lot when I first read the catalogue almost two years ago.

It was Marie Antoinette who first used a Sèvres milk pail while she and her courtiers played milk maids at the Dairy at Rambouillet. According to what I've read, Marie Antoinette's pail was decorated in a faux bois design, meant to emulate real wood grain. Later models, though, are more often decorated with a floral motif. It's the rams heads handles that I find most interesting, though.

If I had a milk pail, I would use it as a cachepot or maybe even as a waste paper basket. But if the milk pail look is a little too pastoral for you, you might be interested in the two jardinières that I included below. They're not milk pails, but they have those great gilt rams heads on them.

*The excerpt at top is from an old nursery rhyme.

A Sèvres style (Samson) milk pail, late 19th c. Sold at Christie's in 2006; price realized $2800.

Pair of Sèvres style milk pails

Sèvres porcelain cachepot with gilded rams heads. Available from Vintage Views Consignment & Consulting.

A Dresden porcelain ram head jardiniere. 20th c. Sold by Neal Auction Company.

Pair of Louis XVI style blue and white Sevres porcelain jardinières, 19th c. From the estate of Evelyn Walsh McLean. Available from Newel.

Also from Vintage Views, a Louis XVI style bisque porcelain jardinière.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Paolo Moschino At Home

My dining room is currently a work in progress. It's not quite pulled together yet. There is the Madeleine Castaing fabric that I just purchased for my dining room chairs; it's currently rolled around a tube, propped up in the corner of the room. Then there's the unresolved issue of where to display my collection of porcelain and ceramicware. I was standing in the room the other night, peppering myself with questions. "Is it going to look too traditional?" "What's the 'Wow' moment going to be in the room?" "What can I include that will be hip and cool?"

But then I got honest with myself. Cool and wow are not only not me, they've become tired and trite. I'm over hip. I want to see pretty interiors. Rooms that look cohesive. Rooms where you don't see one crazy, show-off piece that screams "OMG! Look at me!" After having this conservation with myself, I started to think about designer Paolo Moschino's London home. I first saw photos of it in the October 2004 issue of House & Garden, and two rooms really struck me. First, that dining room. It's such a lovely and elegant room, one that must look so romantic when awash in candlelight. And then there's the rich, rather dramatic looking bedroom with those Chinese Red walls. I couldn't find my tear sheets of the home, so I visited
Moschino's website where I found the photos seen here.

After looking at the photos of Moschino's dining room again, I think that I've made the decision to stick with my original plans for my dining room. Nothing trendy, only lovely and elegant.

The two photos above show one end of Moschino's double drawing room.

The other end of the drawing room feels very different. This side is light and airy, while the paneled side feels more cozy and warm. The 1940s era pieces seen here provide an interesting contrast to the more traditional and formal furniture of the paneled side.

Two views of the dining room. To me, it feels more French than English.

A vignette in Moschino's kitchen.

Two views of the master bedroom.

The gorgeous guest bedroom.

All photos from House & Garden, October 2004 and Architectural Digest Russia, February 2009. Simon Upton, photographer.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Inspiration House

The other evening, I had the opportunity to attend a press preview of the 2012 Inspiration House, just one of the many events related to the Cathedral Antiques Show. Located at The Deanery of the Cathedral of St. Philip, the show house features some of Atlanta's top design talent plus one New York designer as well. I could tell that each designer put a great deal of time and effort into his or her room, and the results are really quite impressive. The show house opens to the public this Sunday, January 29 and runs through Sunday, February 12. If you purchase general Antiques Show tickets, admission to the Inspiration House is included. If you prefer to only visit the Inspiration House, tickets are $10.

Also, don't forget that Richard Keith Langham, Jeffrey Bilhuber, and Deborah Sanders will be guest lecturers at the Antiques Show. For more information on this and other Antiques Show events, visit the official website by clicking

The Keeping Room by Laura Walker Baird

The Library by Lindsey Coral Harper

The Dining Room by Amy Morris

The Living Room by Rick Anthony Bonner

Guest Bedroom by Elizabeth Jordan

A detail of the Gentleman's Lounge by Tom Williams & Jason Bailey

The Nursery by Allison Harper & Nancy Duffey

Bathroom by Brooke Merrill

All photos by Jennifer Boles, with the exception of the first photo taken by Emily Followill.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Harrods Cookery Book

I love Harrods Food Halls. A stroll amongst the counters and shelves filled with meats, cheeses, confections, and other delectables certainly can cause one to fall victim to the "eyes bigger than your stomach" syndrome. And the food isn't the only draw. I remember back in 1990 when a friend and I were there, we saw this very tall, big, mustachioed man walking quickly past us. It was Tom Selleck! The older British women standing near me were apoplectic. And well, okay, I admit that I might have been in a dither too.

Anyway, a friend recently gave me a 1985 copy of
Harrods Cookery Book. I haven't had time to test any of the recipes, but I'm anxious to do so. There are so many dishes that look perfect for entertaining. But it's not only the recipes that are enticing. The photos are as well. So, to whet your appetite, take a look below.

PS- Click here to visit Harrods' website to see a few fashion illustrations from the store's archives.

Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding

Veal Meatballs with Caper and Cream Sauce

Smoked Salmon Pate with Melba Toast

Raised Game Pie

Tomato Water-Ice with a Julienne of Smoked Salmon

Summer Terrine

Port Wine Jelly with Frosted Grapes

Fruits Dipped in Fondant

A Garden Party table set with Vanilla Souffles with Pistachio Nuts, Celebration Trifle, and Strawberry Tart with Praline Cream.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Work of Paolo Genta

When I'm in San Francisco, I oftentimes visit Smoke Signals, one of the best newsstands that I've ever seen. (I learned about it from Diane Dorrans Saeks.) Perusing their shelves of international newspapers and magazines is like taking a brief trip around the world. How I wish that Atlanta had something similar. The newsstand at my local Barnes & Noble just doesn't cut it in terms of international shelter magazines. If I lived near Smoke Signals, not only would I spend a fortune on foreign magazines, but I would also be much more familiar with the work of interior designers based in Italy, Spain, South Africa, and other countries far and wide.

While hopping around the internet recently, I discovered the work of Italian designer Paolo Genta of Studio Genta. Some (or perhaps many) of you are probably familiar with his work. I was not. Unfortunately, I can't glean much information about Genta from his website. However, a lengthy bio really isn't necessary after taking a look through his online portfolio of projects. His interiors are really quite stunning thanks to rich color, sumptuous fabrics, and serious furniture. It's a layered, rich look, one that I liken to a boeuf bourguignon or a pot au feu (or whatever the equivalent is in Italian cuisine.) All of the elements in the rooms seem to meld together to create a look that is hearty and flavorful.

I'm showing one of my favorite projects here, but there are many others on his website that are equally as striking. To visit Genta's website, click here.

All photos from the website of Studio Genta.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Golden Era of Georgia's Golden Isle

I know that there are many of you who, like me, have fond memories of summers spent at Sea Island, Georgia. Although my family usually rented houses there, the old Cloister hotel is what I remember most vividly. It was my first exposure to the work of Addison Mizner, architect of The Cloister. As a child, I had no idea who Mizner was. I just liked the Spanish style architecture of the hotel. I remember the hotel's Spanish Lounge where there was always a table set up in the corner with a jigsaw puzzle at the ready. The Dining Room at The Cloister makes me think of Baked Alaska (which I had there for the first time on my 10th birthday), finger bowls and doilies, and Kadota figs. Kadota figs were always on the menu for breakfast as was prune juice. I never indulged in either one. And of course, there were The Cloister's legendary Bingo games. Bingo was what you did at night after dinner.

The old Cloister was torn down back in 2003, and a new, fancy version replaced it. It's sad, really, as I miss that great old building. I came across these c. 1941 photos of The Cloister, part of the Gottscho-Schleisner Collection of photographs, over the weekend and wanted to share them with you. The interiors that you see here are credited to Francis Abreu, the noted architect. Although Mizner was responsible for The Cloister's architecture when it was built in the late 1920s, Abreu was the architect behind the adjacent buildings as well as later additions and renovations. The photo captions make note of the "new" dining room, so I'm assuming that the dining room seen here must have been an addition to The Cloister around 1940.

So, for all of us who remember Sea Island for what it used to be, here is a trip down memory lane:

Large club room

Blue club room

Passage to new Dining Room

New Dining Room

New Dining Room

New Dining Room