Tuesday, June 28, 2011

for the love of: HIDDEN DOORS

WHY  are  doors  built  to  fade  into  the  woodwork  so  much  fun  ?!?

They definitely convey a sense of mystery and childish fun.  
You feel that one of these might lead you into a "secret passageway."  
(But what happens once you've reached this hidden corridor?  I suppose my childish imagination didn't bother to extend much beyond the passageway itself!)  

This door hides a tiny yet functional powder
room just behind a bookcase - charming!

A door hidden inside a de Gournay-papered wall
- it doesn't get much more elegant than this!

Unless, of course, you count the above hidden door in a 
Parisian, Juan Pablo Molyneux-decorated apartment!

I love the colors here;  via Museé Nissim de Camondo, Paris.

This must be the most elaborate hidden door! 
It encompasses several types of moldings in several different colors 
and finishes as well as books! (They appear to have begun as real books 
which were cut down to fit into the door.)  I hope it's hiding something good!

I often associate hidden doors with English, French and other European structures, or American historic homes.  Perhaps more and more are being built into today's (smaller and smaller) domestic spaces.  The lack of a framed door - usually a different color from the walls - makes a room feel less busy, especially a small one.  Hidden doors also create space for additional furniture or artwork which otherwise may not be placed in front of or on an interior door.    

The color alone here says "British" to me...I do love the way this 
otherwise elegant alcove-bookcase combination hides an entire room!

And yet another bookcase!  This too says "English,"
(if for no other reason than the darkness of the space alone!)

The closed door, likely a closet, behind the left chair is difficult to recognize if you aren't looking for it.  The wallpaper, furniture and accessories on and above the console are of greatest interest to the eye.

James Andrew’s (“What is James Wearing?”) beautiful Dining Room appears to have at least one hidden door, if not two, behind the beautifully lacquered walls and Oscar de la Renta side chairs.  Hidden Doors are great for concealing china and other similar storage, especially in relatively small spaces.

It doesn't get much lovelier than this...renowned photo of Pauline de Rothschild peeking around the edge of her own hidden door into her celebrated Paris apartment Bedroom.

You'll need a wallpaper hanger specializing in the details of perfection for this job!

The door to the right is not hidden in terms of a flush surface - notice the door casings - but the dark color + the bright upholstery and artwork above make the door all but hidden!

One looks first, as in the above photo above, at the white painted frames and chair rail moldings.  They fool the eye into first focusing on their lines as opposed to those of the door.

Why is this hidden door be less convincing than others?  It's likely a result of age.

No place on earth must hold as many hidden doors as the château of Versailles!

This is my favorite.  Doesn't it just have "Secret Playhouse" written all over it!?!

Have you ever wished for one of these?  I am still looking for a way to incorporate one into my home.  Here's to your OWN hidden door! :)

PHOTOS: 1. species barocus, versailles: photo by robert polidori, and 5., musée nissim de camondo,
2., 3. unknown  4. elle decor,  6.  roberto polidori, 7. house of turquoise,  8. carpettheworld, 9. tryphena,  
via new york social diary 12. Pauline de Rothschild in her Paris apartment Bedroom, 
16. unknown, 17. paris atelier 18. heidi claire

Friday, June 24, 2011

color combos: always classic, BLACK and WHITE

Do you like your white with a little black, or the other way around?

With the summer heat already in full swing, these crisp, cool 
black-and-white combinations look very tempting!  

And whether you're decorating with patterns or solids,

this combination is easy to work with.

More and more black-and-white spaces

are popping up these days.

It's a classic, no-fail combination

and it always delivers the drama.

Black and white is clean and fresh.

It never gets tired.

And if you're a fan of simplicity,

this is the combination for you!

There's a lot of beauty and elegance 

to be found in black and white.

PHOTOS: 1. everything fab,  2. unknown,  3.  gingerella,   4. chambre noire,   5.  alkemie,   6.  pretty space,   5. eli-sabeth,   6. amuse bouche,  7. elements of style,   8. mary mcdonald,  9. living etc.,  10. tiny white daisies,  11. haven and home, 12. french knot, 13.  belle vivir, 14.  don't call me betty

Monday, June 20, 2011

Man walks into a Bar....2

I shall always maintain some level of bad (bar) karma 
for a faux-pas from junior high babysitting days.

Even in the midst of my late-blooming, goofy-teen years, I recognized the understated chic of the neighbors whose child I babysat.  The father was an architect, the mother a former model, and they were really nice people with a sweet kid to boot!

I always enjoyed being picked up (conveyed to my post!) in their bottle-green, early 1970's BMW (a 2002 tii?).  Their white kitchen was a series of high, flat, planes for cabinets (maybe 10-ft. ceilings) with no visible hardware and was definitely cooler than anything I'd seen at the time.

Babysitting for their child was an essentially effortless job, and that suited me just fine.  It usually involved some interval of PLAYMOBIL* ("The Cavalry," c. 1976, being the most popular) and perhaps a bedtime story.  

One night after the child had gone to bed, there was nothing on TV and the parents seemed to be out later than usual.  With nothing else to do, I began wandering through the house.

I’d never spent any time in their Living Room so my interest was piqued when I came across an elegant bar in there.  It consisted of the traditional tray, bottles and glasses, and was set up on a table behind the sofa.

Of greatest interest was a vintage seltzer dispenser, wire mesh cover and all!  I stopped to examine it for a few minutes then moved on.

Boredom eventually brought me back to the seltzer dispenser.  I’d decided this was the time to find out exactly how it worked.  It seemed harmless enough.

 I’d barely touched the dispenser lever when a blast of water shot through the nozzle.  It was mortifying!  I wiped up every bit of liquid I possibly could and headed back to the TV room.

Although I was probably about 14 at the time, I really wasn't a kid who got into trouble...But even today I'm certain some of that seltzer water ended up between the bottom of the tray and the table top. 

I'd cleaned the area enough that, barring close inspection, the "accident" wasn't noticeable.  I've always had a sinking feeling imagining them picking up that tray to discover a water mark underneath that ruined the table.

Of course nothing about it was ever mentioned.  And with babysitting days well behind me and my chic patrons having moved, you'd think I'd have forgotten about it.  But every now and then I still wonder: 'When did they finally discover it?'  'Was the table badly damaged?'  and 'Did they know it was me?!?'

If the victim is out there, may I repay you in some belated manner??! 

PHOTOS: 1. domino  2.  lonny magazine  3.  ralph lauren  4., 7. joe nye  5. miles redd  6., 9. christy ford via and george  8. note to sarah  10.  everything fab  11. we are oh so pretty  12. angèle parlange via lonny 

*Would you believe there was actually a Playmobil Exhibit last year at Paris' Musée des Arts Décoratifs?!?  I wouldn't have believed it until I was face-to-face with ten-foot-tall Playmobil figures everywhere and dozens of elementary-aged French school children and their mothers shouting above their heads (the most memorable of these being a lengthy: "OHH--GOOse--tahN!"  Later, on the phone, my French friend and I laughed about it.  She said that French women were naming their kids such "old" names nowadays...like "Augustin" or "Gustave," which she did not particularly care for either).  What Playmobil was doing in a Museum of Interior Design is still a mystery to me.


Man  walks  into  a  Bar