Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Taking a break

Just a quick note to say that I am taking a short break from blogging. My dear Daddy had a heart attack and is in the hospital, so it's all about family time right now. We're hanging in and so is he. If you can, give your parents a call and tell them you love them!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Dorothy Draper does Oscar!

Okay, sorry for that headline! In reality, Carleton Varney, president of Dorothy Draper & Company, has been tapped to create the Architectural Digest Academy Awards Green Room. This is the space where the winners and presenters go to relax after their big moment. I saw a quick piece on television - I can't event remember what show - about the design of the green room by Mr. Varney. His plan is very Dorothy Draper Old Hollywood. How else could one go, really?

Mr. Varney's design inspiration comes from the Arrowhead Springs Resort in southern California--designed by Dorothy Draper, it was the playground of movie stars and film industry tycoons in the 1940's--as well as from her sketches for the Beverly Hills Hotel. This year's Architectural Digest Greenroom will feature flat-panel LCD HDTVs combining style and technology from LG Electronics, plush New Zealand wool rugs from Nourison and fabric and furnishings from Kravet, including sofas and slipper chairs upholstered in vibrant splashes of red and white satin.

In creating this year's Architectural Digest Greenroom, Carleton Varney says that, "I wanted to recall the 'Golden Age' of Hollywood, where the mix of white satin, fringes, mirrors, leather tufting and crystal were the components of the design." Staying true to Dorothy Draper fashion, Mr. Varney has employed her trademark use of black and white on floors and doors against glazed aubergine walls to create stunning contrast.

Mark Hopkins Hotel, San Francisco

Hampshire House, New York

Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco, 1940s

Click here to view a short video of Carleton Varney talking about Dorothy Draper.

The Academy Awards will air on Sunday the 24th. Hopefully we see some photos of the finished room!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Meet the Artist: Allison Malinksy

I received an email today from artist Allison Malinsky sharing with me her amazing work - a group of four works titled "Grand Hotels, Quite the Circus". She is currently profiled on Phillips Art Expert as an Emerging Artist. Click here to read "Quite the Ringmaster" which showcases these pieces inspired by the amazing lobbies of New York hotels The Palace, The Warwick, The Pierre and The Carlyle. Looking for a break from her studio, Allison started hanging out in these fabulous venues taking in the scene and the scenery. Taking it in, turning it around and this is what came out:

The Warwick Hotel

Pretty amazing, no? Thanks Allison for sharing!!

Thanks District Lounge!

As I've mentioned before, I'm co-director of the Boston chapter of the Downtown Women's Club. We had a very fun event this evening - a Shop & Spa - at the fabulously decorated District Restaurant & Lounge near South Station in Boston.

White tufted patent leather banquets and real birch tree wall treatments created a perfect mix of glitz and nature. I didn't get a chance to eat anything, but the food looked pretty fabulous too!

On a side note - as I was driving around looking for a parking space, I noticed two things. One was that several parking meters had signs on them saying that they were "reserved for filming". And then on a nearby street, I noticed that there were a lot of Christmas decorations up. While we do like our holiday decor here, it's a little past its time. Come to find out - Matthew McCaughney and Jennifer Garner are filming Ghosts of Girlfriends Past here in Boston. So, I didn't see the stars, but next year when the film comes out, I'll have seen the decoration!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Honoring Presidents Day: A Tour of Our House, Pt 1.

The March Architectural Digest has an excellent spread of photos and an article on First Lady Laura Bush's renovation to some of the rooms in the White House. I thought it would be fun to honor President's Day by looking into how some of these famous rooms - in our house - have been decorated over the years. One thing I find very comforting is the constant nature of the care and tending of this historic home. Each family who has lived there has clearly cared about our history and honoring our past. No matter what we think about their politics, these images show that they all care about their country and this, the symbol of our nation.


President's office (before remade into Lincoln Bedroom). 1856.

The Lincoln Bedroom 1904 when it was first turned into a bedroom in 1903.

The Lincoln Bedroom from Truman renovation. 1947

Lincoln Bedroom after Kennedy renovation, 1963. Kennedy Library

The Lincoln Bedroom 2001.

The Lincoln Bedroom 2007, Bush Renovation. Courtesy The White House
The Lincoln Bedroom Bush renovation 2001-2007. Architectural Digest.


The Green Room (hand tinted photo) ca. 1904. Library of Congress.
The Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt Green Room, ca. 1945. Courtesy Library of Congress

The Green Room 1948 (reversed). Courtesy Conde Nast.

The Green Room 1963, Kennedy Restoration. Courtesy National Geographic

The Green Room 1977

The Green Room 1999. Courtesy The White House
The Green Room. Bush Renovation 2001-2007. Architectural Digest.


The Red Room illustration ca. 1870

The Red Room ca. 1893

The Red Room, ca. 1924

The Red Room, 1948. Courtesy Library of Congress

The Red Room, 1962. Kennedy Library
The Nixon Red Room ca. 1972. Courtesy of the White House

The Red Room, 1981. Reagan Library

The Red Room, 2006. Courtesy cdhopk


The Blue Room ca. 1885 (computer reconstruction) Courtesy Nast.

Chester Arthur's Blue Room ca. 1882. Courtesy Library of Congress

Blue Room. T. Roosevelt reconstruction. 1904. Courtesy The White House

The Blue Room ca. 1940 while Abbie Row was installing the silk wallcovering.
Courtesy of the National Park Service

The Blue Room ca. 1952. Courtesy Truman Library.

Jackie Kennedy's restored Blue Room, 1963 (photo: Robert Knudsen ©Kennedy Library)

The Blue Room ca. 1972 Nixon Renovation. Courtesy White House Historical Association

The Blue Room 1995. Courtesy of The White House

The Blue Room 2006. Courtesy of Ejconkey

Honoring Presidents Day: A Tour of Our House, Pt. 2


The Yellow Oval Room ca. 1890. Courtesy Library of Congress.

The Yellow Oval Room ca. 1930. Courtesy NARA

Yellow Oval Room, decorated by Sister Parish for Jackie Kennedy, 1962 Courtesy White House Historical Association
The Yellow Oval Room AD's book Private Views: President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan’s White House. Architectural Digest


The State Dining Room ca. 1902 (Teddy Roosevelt). Courtesy The White House

The State Dining Room ca. 1904. Courtesy of Library of Congress

William Howard and Helen Taft's State Dining Room, 1909-1913. Courtesy Library of Congress

State Dining Room, 1948 before Truman reconstruction. Courtesy Library of Congress

The State Dining Room, Kennedy renovation, 1962. Courtesy Kennedy Library

State Dining Room, 1996, Courtesy Clinton Library

State Dining Room, 2006. Courtesy The White House


The East Room etching, around 1858. Courtesy The White House
The East Room ca. 1890. Courtesy Library of Congress

The East Room, ca. 1900. Courtesy of New York Public Libary

Theodore and Edith's East Room ca. 1902. Courtesy of Library of Congress

The East Room, 1909. Courtesy Library of Congress

The East Room, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1957. Courtesy Eisenhower Museum. Note, this was done during the Truman Renovation.

The East Room, Richard Nixon, 1972. Courtesy The White House

The East Room, President Bill Clinton, 2001. Courtesy The White House


Master Bedroom - The Hayes' - 1877

Jackie Kennedy's Bedroom (master bedroom) 1963
Master Bedroom - The Fords - 1975

Master Bedroom - The Carters - ca. 1977

Master Bedroom - The Reagans - 1985. Architectural Digest

And some additional photos from the Architectural Digest March 2008 issue. I also wanted to note that Laura Bush used Texas interior designer Kenneth Blasingame on this project. He's also worked with Mrs. Bush on Camp David and the Bushes Texas Ranch.

The Vermeil room - Laura Bush Renovation - 2001-2007. Architectural Digest.

The Library - Laura Bush renovation - 2001-2007. Architectural Digest.

The Queens Bedroom. Bush renovation 2001-2007. Architectural Digest.