Tuesday, September 27, 2011

And We're Back!

I'm back from Texas, and although the trip truly was too short, I got to see old friends, my brother and most importantly my mother, and got some much needed relaxation. I did some shopping, well, actually lots of shopping and lots of reading - my two very favorite things!

I took a few of my design books, including Suzanne Rheinstein's AT HOME, and came back with a fresh perspective on my dining room. Something much needed, as I've been fighting with idea after idea ending up with nothing but a tired ticker. Suzanne's own Los Angeles Home is featured in the book and the living room has me thinking ...

Gorgeous right. Stunning traditional furniture, much of it antique, slipcovered for summer with these beautiful ballet tie striped slips. Now, although the slips are amazing, perfectly tailored to the unique lines of the furniture, I was and am inspired by the many gilded finishes on the chairs.

The same room - without slips for winter. Can you see the finish on those french bergere chairs? Beautiful antique gold gilding, probably with applied gold leaf and wax, gives those chairs such a beautiful and almost magical quality.

Our dining room is small, and I finally got a new round table to play off the very square room. The table, draped with a beautiful burlap floor length skirt with jute fringe from Ballard Designs  in a rich chocolate brown, coordinates perfectly with my floor to ceiling silk taffeta chocolate drapery. But with the antique sideboard, and the original unpainted woodwork, it was too much brown. So, I've been toying with the idea of chairs of a different color. I thought gray initially - and tried it, but it didn't look good. Now I'm thinking gold, or perhaps, a rougher finish - copper, or antique brass.

Most of the furniture in Rheinstein's Hancock Park living room belonged to her husband's parents. Even here, in the 1980's living room when they first moved into the house, the gilded furniture is present but a little harder to discern.

But she must love the look, because when she and her husband decided to buy a Manhattan apartment, she used antique gilded chairs in the sitting room:

Beautiful, right? Now I'm off to figure out how to recreate these stunning finishes inside of my budget ... and after this trip, that's a lot smaller than usual!


  1. Suzanne has such style, and I love the way she changes her fabulous pieces for the seasons!!


    Art by Karena

  2. When searching for inspiration, Suzanne Rheinstein's home is the perfect place to start. Accent chairs gilded in gold or antique brass are stunning.
    Good luck with your dining room!
    ~ Wendi ~

  3. Welcome Home Artie! So happy to hear that you had a wonderful time in Texas. Hope you ate lots of Mexican food :)
    Love the hint of gold on the chairs! I always come home from holiday (whether a day trip or two weeks away) with new inspiration. Travel is so important!!


  4. I have been a big fan of Suzanne Rheinstein for many years and often visit her shop Hollyhock. Two years ago she hosted a tour of her garden for the Garden Conservancy, and it was lovely. Unlike many of the home owners who are absent, she greeted guests and answered questions all day (even with her arm in a cast). Naturally we peeked in the house as we toured (sorry about the window smudges, Suzanne). It is a real family home that she has owned for many, many years. After the tour, I went back to my design books to see how it has evolved over the years. She has had many of the basic pieces, they are just moved around and recovered. Just thought I would share my encounter with a design rock star! Madeline

  5. Thank you for sharing Madeline! I'm insanely jealous - as I would have been one of the first to sign up for that tour!!!

  6. I've been wondering if it would damage the pile on velvet to slipcover it. I see she has some velvet peices that she covers. I wonder if they get actual family use?

  7. What wonderful style she has! Love all the freshness of the stripes! Glad you are back from Texas and had a good trip~

  8. Welcome home, Artie! It sounds like you had a wonderful time away! Thanks for introducing me to this lady, her rooms are beautiful! I know you will come up with something as beautiful too! I leave in the morning for a short time away and am so looking forward to it! XO, Pinky

  9. My current post is on Suzanne and also Charlotte Moss... both of whom were just in Omaha for an Antique Show! They were both amazing!
    Thanks for reminding me how awesome these images are!!

  10. Hi Artie! It's the French frames I love, the gilding is secondary. Let me ask you something -- if I recall, you have stained woodwork in your home. If that is still the case (and I remember correctly), how much do you consider the color of it when you do all of your painting and redecorating? I am so burnt out trying to work around it, and it's never going to change (husband). Just wondering...