Tuesday, March 1, 2011

TUESDAY: Inspiring Spaces by Craig Wright

Ok, so remember the post I did on Santa Barbara's laid back California style last week? Well imagine my surprise when Blog Goddess Joni Webb from Cote de Texas found the house that all exterior shots were taken for the movie "It's Complicated" and blogged about it here: http://cotedetexas.blogspot.com/2011/02/found-real-its-complicated-house.html

Heaven, really.

Speaking of Heaven, let's take a look at the portfolio of Mr. Craig Wright, famed designer and antiques dealer, named one of Architectural Digests Top 100. One of Los Angeles' most prominent interior designers for sure, Wright's antique store, Quatrain has a collection of fine antiques dating back to the 17th- century, along with beautiful reproductions. If you look back at the house I featured last week, designed by Wright for Michael Douglas and now ex-wife, (twice!) you can see that he's a fan of the Spanish Colonial Revival architecture for which California is known for, and champions the design aesthetic with a genteel touch better than almost any other designer today.

Now how many of you have seen this picture floating around blog land and not known who was responsible? I know I personally saw it on more than 10, and I think it's inspired 10x that ... all thanks to the curatorial eye of Mr. Wright and the vision of Diandra Douglas.

Lifted from an earlier blog post by my personal bloggy mentor Joni, at Cote de Texas, she pulled together beautiful images from both Diane Dorrans Saeks book: "Santa Barbara Living", absolutely rare photos from an AD photo spread on the house in the 80's, and real estate photos like the ones I showed you last week. To read more on the house, and her findings click here: http://cotedetexas.blogspot.com/2009/12/la-quinta.html

The two photos above, from Wrights personal residence as featured in Architectural Digest 2003. I love the mix of Neo-classical, French, Swedish, and American antiques. No doubt luxurious in every way, these rooms can inspire anyone at any budget.

Still here, in another one of his personal homes featured in AD 2 years prior to the first two images, you can see Mr. Wrights affinity for opulence, and his masterful way of paring the odd and unique with the every day. I'm in love with the framed art in the reading room (2 photos up). My best guess is that these are some sort of archaic antique money framed in shadow on white matte. But I may be wrong. Still, easy to replicate today and get that great custom and high end look with a visit or two to eBay searching for antique coin. I might have just given myself ... and a few of you a great idea! (South African coins are gorgeous and cheap, FYI!)

Here, in the Santa Barbara home of a client, I love how the vignettes are simple, clean. I know that I am totally guilty of over doing it. I layer, layer, and then layer some more, and unfortunately at times, the piece that I really love gets shadowed by the $1 strand of wooden beads covering 1/2 of the frame. It takes a certain confidence in a designer to leave a vignette like the one above as is. It isn't decoration ... it's art. And that's the difference Mr. Wright brings to his houses. Each and every room is like a perfect museum quality piece of livable art.

Though I've not been able to find a professional portfolio of Mr. Wright's work, (all of these photos are courtesy of AD), you can visit his store site at http://www.quatrain.net/ where there are some absolutely lovely staged vignettes that are sure to provide you with loads of inspiration. My favorite:

Does the table look familiar? Take a glimpse at the first picture of the post! Yep ... same one! But gorgeous in this setting as well. The juxtaposition of rough and refined is really spectacular.


  1. Artie, simply elegant, stunning beyond!!

    I have an Artful Offering and great interview on my site.You will love it!

    Art by Karena

  2. Loving Wright's bedroom (especially the antique LV valise). Also LOVE the sunfilled breakfast room toward the bottom with the roses in the table center. The pic that looks like a hallway/entry with the mirror reminds me of pics you've posted of your entry...but I like yours better.:-)
    Take care!
    PS...Looking forward to Bouckville this year...only about 5 months or so.:-)

  3. Could the framed "coins" be intaglios? They're very interesting whatever they are. Love all these images & recognized some from AD (I saved the AD issue featuring Michael & Deandra's home years ago). I'll be saving this post to. Thanks for sharing.

    Karen T.

  4. Thanks for the great post, and beautiful things, so inspiring, Château like but at the same time very warm and lived in.

    All the best to you