April 30, 2010

Billy Baldwin Fabric

In a few weeks, an exhibit will open at Evergreen House in Baltimore about native son, Billy Baldwin. In conjunction with this, there will be a selection of furniture, textiles, fine art and photographs which illustrate the professional life of Billy Baldwin.Baldwin 011Throughout a career spanning five decades, the so-called dean of American decorators introduced a more relaxed and practical interior design sensibility whose guiding principles could be followed by anyone, and which still are today. The exhibition focuses attention on Baldwin's life-long pride in his Monument City origins, and includes vignettes representing three of his Maryland-based commissions that show the development of his now-iconic design vocabulary.billy baldwin roundup design spongeHere are my questions to you:

What fabrics and textiles do you consider to be indicative of Baldwin’s taste? Of course, the Arbre de Matisse, featured on the cover of Billy Baldwin Decorates and on the end-papers. bbaldwinWhat pieces of furniture do you consider icons of Baldwin’s style? The slipper chair is the first that comes to my mind.baldwin roundup design sponge The group at Evergreen is still looking for some of the Arbre de Matisse, so if you’ve got a swatch of it, or know someone who has used it, please contact Jim Abbott, the Curator at Evergreen. They would love to borrow it!

April 29, 2010

In The House!

There are some great things in the house that I’ve seen in the last few days.

First up, some of the new line of Lilly Pulitzer fabrics by Lee Jofa. This is a brand new line of Lilly by the yard and will be available soon. For all of the Lilly lovers out there, this is something to look forward to! I remember very fondly the Lilly Shop near where I grew up – it was always fun to pick out Lilly’s name in the pattern.Dirty ShirleyAs they have been for 50+ years, these are wonderful patterns, and you can see the trademark “lilly” in the Dirty Shirley pattern above.

I was in Marshall’s today and saw these great watering cans from perennial favourite, the Victoria & Albert Museum. Love the patterns, and they reminded me a lot of some of the Liberty for Target pieces.

04-29 002 04-29 003

I was at Gore-Dean the other day with my sister-in-law and one of her friends, and I saw this book:04-25 012 It’s no secret that I would KILL for this book! I spent a few minutes looking through it and the book is every bit as wonderful as I expected it would be. Fleur Cowles was a genius and way ahead of her time.

We also saw this amazing Moroccan table at Gore-Dean. It was really incredibly made with so many inset pieces of coral, silver and mother-of-pearl. Just spectacular.04-25 009

Finally, these are at DeBois Textiles – they’re gay hooker shoes. I think that someone needs to put a guppy or two in the soles! Someone has put some lollipops in the sole, but that’s just wrong!04-25 004 I managed to leave these at the store!

Elephants on Parade – In London

Several years ago, I wrote about the Elephant Family charity in the UK. They are dedicated to raising awareness about wild and captive Asian elephants. At that point, they had a parade of topiary elephants around the UK.



From May to July 2010, Elephant Family will be placing 250 life-size baby elephants around London. elephant1 Each elephant has been painted by an artist and reflect each artists’ sensibility and vision. elephant2 For more information on the Elephant Parade 2010, click here.elephant3 Designer, Diane von Furstenburg shows a model of her elephant.elephant4 I wish I could be in London to see this elephant parade!

April 28, 2010

Upcoming Events

This is a super-busy time of year and there are a number of events for the next few weeks.

This evening is the second in a series of lectures at Evergreen House in Baltimore. The topic is “Discovering Evergreen: One Degree of Separation”, and the speaker is the first curator of the house after it became a museum. If you live in Baltimore, you know that the one degree of separation is completely true! Tickets and information here. Evergreen_052

Saturday is the second annual Ladew Garden Fest. I was given two tickets by the great people at Ladew, so if you’re interested in coming as my guest, please e-mail me here and come along. First to respond gets the ticket! Ladew Garden FestSaturday is supposed to be a gorgeous day, and everything is sure to be in bloom. We’ve had an early and spectacular spring here in the Mid-Atlantic.Hunt_Scene_Rider[1]

Even though it’s not in Baltimore, the Kentucky Derby takes place on Saturday. For the first time in years, I have enough mint in my garden to make a couple of decent mint juleps. I am polishing my julep cups and scouting out a single barrel bourbon in preparation.mintjulep1

On May 20th, the exhibition about Billy Baldwin opens at Evergreen. I am so looking forward to this. Anything I can learn about Billy Baldwin is of great interest to me.baldwin Here’s what the exhibition description says:

Throughout a career spanning five decades, Baldwin introduced a more relaxed and practical interior design sensibility whose guiding principles could be followed by anyone, and which still are today. Focusing on the designer’s life-long pride in his “Monument City” origins, the exhibition features furniture, textiles, fine art, and photographs that illustrate his professional evolution.

The first Saturday in June is the date we’ve scheduled for the Pigtown Pop-Up @ Housewerks. If you’re in Baltimore and you’ve got interesting things that are either hand-made, remade or vintage, get in touch with me for the details.Pigtown_Pop-Up_@_Housewerks_thumb[4] Hope to see you at any one, or all of these great events.

April 27, 2010

More Pretty Houses… and Some Others

This is the best time of year to walk around gorgeous old neighbourhoods and look at houses, either ones on the market, or not. Here are a couple that I spotted after the house tour on Sunday.

I have a hard time with this house, which could be very handsome… but someone put the wrong windows in it, and took off the shutters. The windows are totally incongruent with the formal front door.

guilford 4-10 001 These two are essentially the same house, but the right one looks more finished with its dark shutters.

guilford 4-10 005 guilford 4-10 019

Here’s what you can’t see very well on the house on the right…guilford 4-10 020 A little Westie barking at me taking pictures. The home-owners need to do something about their shutters. Also, I am wondering if that’s a staircase bisecting the window. What do you think?

After a year, I am still undecided about the colour of this house. I am inclined to think that a more subtle colour would suit the house and neighbourhood a bit better. guilford 4-10 006 This house is vaguely L-shaped, but what really makes it special is the view from the front door out to the back garden.

 guilford 4-10 008
guilford 4-10 009

This house has recently had a lot of work done to it, including all new Pella windows. Very Tudor-style and a massive place.

guilford 4-10 010 guilford 4-10 011

And the detail of the front door.guilford 4-10 012

Another Tudor-style pile, this time in stone.guilford 4-10 013 I really liked this brick Georgian-style house, guilford 4-10 016but what really caught my eye was the funny stone/cement hippo on the front.guilford 4-10 016x I think that this is one of my favourites. Love the colour, loved the details, love the round sun room on the south side of the house.guilford 4-10 022 Which do you like best? Why?

April 26, 2010

The Stone House, Redux

About this time last year, I wrote about an amazing stone house that I’d seen while walking around the Baltimore neighbourhood of Guilford.  It really ticked a lot of my boxes with its stone walls, French front doors, slightly unkempt gardens and massive size.

4004 4004 front2

But it’s really the three French doors in the Palladian style that just tug at me.4004 3 french doorsYesterday, I realized that the house was on the market, so I did a bit of sleuthing and found some interior images of it. Now I love it even more! Although, I must admit, it’s a bit large for just Connor and me, at nine bedrooms and six baths.

4401 rear 4004 rear

The main floor features a marble floor in a black and white diamond pattern, and loads and loads of gorgeous wood paneling.  I am guessing that the front doors are possibly at your back in this image. 4004 foyerThis view looks like it’s from the left side of the image above, looking through the arched door. 4004 hallNaturally, this house has a library… or the “den” as they real estate website refers to it. I think that’s a little casual for this room! 4004 library Here are two views of the main living room in all its wood-paneled glory… and glass pocket doors. 4004 living room 2 4004 living room The dining room’s wood paneling has been painted white, which brightens the room enormously! 4004 dining room There’s a window seat, but there needs to be another solution for the curtains. I wonder if the radiators were a later addition? 4004 dining room and window seatEven though there are six bathrooms, this is the only picture. But what a great shower! 4004 shower And although there are nine bedrooms, there isn’t one single picture of those. I think that is something anyone who is interested in the house would want to see. There are two images of the stairs. One is the main staircase, here leading from the second to the third floor, 4004 stairs and these, from the ground floor to the second floor.4004 stairs to 3 Since there are also no pictures of the kitchen, save this one of the modern ice box,4004 fridge I am assuming the kitchen was not fit to be shown! 

I would KILL to see the inside of this house and was greatly disappointed that it wasn’t open yesterday during a major house and garden tour of the neighbourhood where it’s located.  Although the family who owned this house lived there for 30+ years, it’s a short sale for $1.2 million. Details here.

Some images from MLIS. Others by moi!