Celebrating My Life of Living Well. Domestic and Otherwise.

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My Wheat Sheaf Weakness

I have been a little obsessed. And when I am obsessed you know how I can be. In the past month I have purchased three items for my home with a wheat sheaf motif.
It may be time for rehab.

Shafts of wheat are symbols of abundance , prosperity and bounty and are used metaphorically as emblems of a good harvest, fertility and a closeness to mother earth .

I can't remember exactly when this table first made its appearance in abundance in my shelter design glossies and more importantly when my subconscious took notice, but I would have to say it must have been at least two to three years ago when I decided that I would indulge my Coco Chanel- like fetish for all things wheat !

Images above and below from Chanel's famed apartment
at 31 Rue Cambon.

The wheat sheaf became Coco's personal emblem that marked her incessant creativity . Her repeated use of the sheaf in both her own home and her designs is evidence to the fact of how personally significant the wheat sheaf was to her.

Below another photo from her Rue Cambon salon.

In his Spring /Summer Collection for 2010, Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, paid homage to Coco's infatuation . The elaborate show at the Palais Royal was set in a magnificently fabricated barn . Models trampled over hay in their haute couture carrying sheaves of wheat.

Lily Allen, one of Lagerfeld's muses of the moment , with an exquisite wheat sheaf hair piece.

It was not only Coco Chanel, however, that had a penchant for sheaves of wheat, Yves Saint Laurent was also known to have embraced its charm .

Although Italian in origin, the golden classic wheat sheaf table was the epitome of Parisian chic. A similar table is seen at YSL's 55 Rue de Babylone duplex on the left bank.

His private rooms were said to have constantly been festooned with bouquets of wheat .

At his funeral, Catherine Deneuve carried a simple sheaf to honor her dear friend.

Sheaves were also used to decorate his casket as a symbol of the long and fruitful life that this 20th century fashion icon had led.

I have gathered a few more images so that you too may hopefully arrive at the same level of appreciation ( and preoccupation!) for this much used and celebrated article of nature.

Frequently seen as a side table, I enjoyed coming across this photo of one of Nate Berkus' right hand women with her glitzy sheaf dining table.

The golden sheaves also work incredibly well as lighting fixtures.

Sconces from Candace Bushnell's apartment seen at Elle Decor ,

or as lamp like this one from Assemblage at 1st Dibs .
How chic is that?

This chandelier from Downtown also shown at 1st Dibs has me swooning.
If I had a big tree in my yard I would hang this beauty from a low branch and serve dinner beneath it while substituting low lit candles for the bulbs!

But wait, there is more! Check out how Mexican designer Arturo Pani does wheat sheaf. No other word to describe his interpretation... its just fabulous!

Gilt Sheaf of Wheat Cocktail Table over at Downtown via 1stdibs
Simply gorgeous!

Have any wheat sheaves adorning your home? I'll show you mine if you show me yours!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Life & Style : Cafe Society: Socialites, Patrons and Artists 1920-1960

I am completely rapt in my new not so coffee table, coffee table book.
Hmmm. How best to describe?

A glamourous and visual compendium of the lives of the vastly wealthy and avant garde during the heydey of the international jet set.

Do I have your attention now?

Thierry Coudert shares his own archival photos "from a time that was" in Cafe Society: Socialites, Patrons and Artists 1920-1960 from Flammarion . And what sumptuous photographs they are! Gracing the pages are images by the legendary Cecil Beaton, Horst and Richard Avedon.

Who made up this ultra chic vanguard you ask? Coudert explains that it "extended beyond matters of rank or birth". Here we have an eclectic mix of millionaires and socialites fused with the world of those they encouraged, intellectuals and creatives - artists, musicians, designers and dancers. Their position legitimized of course with members of aristocratic pedigree.

Modest and unassuming were not words they chose to live by. Their lavish living defined not only where, but how to spend one's money . As arbiters of taste, their behavior determined where it was vogue to dress, shop, live and travel.

Interesting to note was the domination of influential and fascinating women in this circle of " everyone who's anyone" such as Gertrude Stein, Elsie Wolf, Mona Bismark, Peggy Guggenheim Diana Vreeland and the undisputed queen of Cafe Society, Wallis Simpson.

For more, check Galleries on The Daily Beast .

Available at Power Books, 2nd level Greenbelt 4, Ayala Center

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

As we usher in a new decade full of possibility, I share this with all of you.
Make everyday count.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

We decided not to do a tree this year and celebrate the holiday season on the second floor of our home instead...

Many thanks for all your presents. Where do we begin?

Chris Everard

Came across these pictures earlier this year and fell in love. I have been waiting a full year now to share them with you. They are all from uber talented photographer Chris Everard.

Hope they bring you some joy and holiday cheer this season.

Drool over Chris Everard's portfolio listed on his agent's website, Sarah Kaye Representation. A blessed holiday season to you and yours.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Penguin Clothbound Classics for Children

At last, Penguin has published clothbound classics for kids and just in time for Christmas too!

For those with a voracious appetite for the literary accompanied by a strong sense of aesthetic, I know that I need not urge you to add these beautiful books to your own collection, but may I also suggest you bestow a few upon your favorite children this holiday season?!

Find them now at Anthropologie.

Ever since I discovered the Coralie Bickford -Smith clothbound collection of Penguin classics, I knew it was just a matter of time until this design direction made it's way into children's literature. I can't help but just marvel at all the beautiful linen embossed covers.

My favorite read and cover would have to be The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgsons Burnett . I can't help but think that somehow the artist was inspired by the sublime colors of India, where the story begins. Marigold yellow ,saffron and shades of red and pink all somehow allude to an adventure the reader will soon encounter.

Having said that, all of the covers are exceptional and I can't find one that I don't love!

I haven't quite figured out why any information on the books themselves is not available from the Penguin UK website. Even less has been written about the cover designer so for now I won't assume that Ms. Bickford Smith designed these beautiful brightly colored covers since even her own website mentions nothing about these latest editions to the Penguin Clothbound collection.

What I have discovered over at Penguin Australia is that two more titles were simultaneously published but are not currently available in the United States.

I can't wait to get my hands on the full lot!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Happy 10th Birthday Love.

We are celebrating another milestone in our home today.
My eldest daughter, our original baby is now 10 years old!

No fancy Martha Stewart planned party. Just an intimate dinner with family over the weekend, Sunday Brunch with friends who might as well be family, and today, on the birthday proper, we have a fun filled day planned out that begins this morning with pancakes made by Little Sister to be followed by an afternoon of pampering with some of her closest friends.

My Style Goddess. My Fashion Guru. Our Queen of Culinary Cool.

Happy Birthday Love... I Love You Forever.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A Vanity Parade

From the time our tots are born, we parents are besieged with comments on how our little ones are miniature versions of ourselves. Rightly or wrongly, we decide that those observations are in fact compliments. We relish knowing that out there exists someone so familiar , somebody that resembles us in so many ways, that we hold onto the idea of the "mini me" for as long as we can.

And then one day, BAM!

That same little person, the so-called extension of ourself, says or does something completely out of character, (well out of your character at least) that you are left stunned by the sudden realization at how different they really are. You look at them in bewilderment , and as if meeting them for the first time, pause for a moment and find yourself muttering "whose child are you anyway?!" In a split second they become strangers to ourselves.

As was the case when both my daughters requested that they each be allowed to have vanities in their room to primp and preen.

"Primp and preen", where the hell did they get that one?
This coming from the offspring of a woman who barely looks at herself in the mirror before she walks out of the house and puts what little makeup she does standing over the bathroom sink! Oh, and did I mention they were both under the age of 10? My BAM was louder than most people's I assume.

After the initial shock, and a quick consultation with my extremely talented Interior Designer, we opted to have mirrored vanities made in true hollywood glamour girl fashion for both of them.

My starting point of course was the internet. Here are some of the images I found.

Instantly my favorite of the bunch but possibly too mature and elaborate for my daughter's rooms. This would be just fabulous for me if ever I found the time to actually sit down and fix myself!

Or maybe if I looked a bit more like her to begin with, my personality would warrant one of its very own.

This was one of the nicer vanities I thought , but as much as I like it , I think I love that chair a wee bit more. And the billowing rose colored silk drapes- yum!

How lovely to be able to look out the window, especially when what you see in the mirror is less inspiring -haha! The shape of the apron is different, but will it allow for drawers?
Hmmm... still not sure.

Cabriole legs? Perhaps. Am not sure about this bench/stool though. Proportions are off and am thinking it is missing it's Elton John mirrored piano. But I think I must get them one of those white furry rugs to complete the ultra-glam look!

Not sure about this one either, although I do like those lamps. I think it's having an identity crisis. The table looks more like a fabulous place to sit down and write a check then a delicate area to pamper and perm. The pouf seat, on the other hand , might work nicely. Let's see.

Now this is a great simple silhouette. Just need to add a little more oomph- it needs embellishments and detail that will make it truly fab.I love the matte gilded gold accents on this one. And the rope trim is very appealing as well.

I really like the slats (those tiny pieces of mirror stuck to each other side by side) is the single detail I love the most about mirrored pieces. A gold frame on the tapered legs is a must as well. Some simple etching might be nice too.

And I have always been partial to the kidney shape for a vanity.


And I know just the place to have them made! Will share photos of the finished products soon.

Click here for a great mirrored furniture resource!