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TAKING TIME TO REGROUP AND REEVALUATE

James Andrew, Interior Designer

James Andrew, Interior Designer


As many of you know, I’m certainly not one to settle for little dreams or fantasies. But that is not to say I don’t think it’s a good idea to occasionally regroup and reevaluate. While knowing that delays don’t necessarily mean denials, it still makes good sense to have a close look at what might not be working, and to also see what strengths one might be underutilizing — networks one might not be using to their best advantage, etc., etc..

At its inception some years ago, WIJW was founded as a platform for me to promote my interior design business in a fun, interesting, and novel way…the idea of a New York City based interior designer traveling the world and sharing his musings on style and taste. To be sure, my travels provide inspiration for the interiors I am creating for clients, as do the many diverse artists that I meet and the many wonderful people and things I see along the way. Since its inception, we have evolved quite a bit, and in some instances, have strayed a bit from our original intent. My brilliant friend, interior designer/entrepreneur Howard Slatkin observed recently that perhaps I wasn’t sharing enough of my life as interior designer and might use this forum as well as Instagram and Facebook to better advantage by focusing more on my interior design work. The truth is, he may have a point; I’ve been approached by quite a few people who know WIJW but who weren’t aware of what I actually do for a living! It seems many consider me something more along the lines of a modern day dandy, a bon vivant, a self styled 70s flâneur, not so much the hard working interior designer that I actually am!

I do intend to take my friend’s advice to heart, and look forward to sharing a bit more interior design and decoration which is, after all, where I first cut my teeth as a young man in NYC, applying the talent I developed working with such greats as Ralph Lauren and Albert Hadley to my own commissioned projects both here and abroad. Of course as one striving to be a well-rounded aesthete, I’ll continue to share many forms of the arts as well as other fascinating topics in service to the ideals of elevated living we champion here on WIJW—but with a little shift of emphasis back to our primary vocation: that of fine decoration and design.

Stay tuned!

I’m sporting a Tom Ford “Country Jacket” in amethyst wool silk tri-color windowpane plaid (click to see another shot of this jacket) and white cotton French cuff shirt, black pearl cuff links, Hermes grey silk pocket square, Tom Ford era Gucci lavender silk tie, Ralph Lauren purple alligator belt with sterling buckle, Paul Smith grey wool pants, vintage Rolex, Tom Ford era Gucci black leather tasseled loafers, Tom Ford Bronzing gel for a bit of mid winter glow, and my fragrance is Creed Himalaya.

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Lotusland and Beyond

James Andrew, Lotusland - photo Scott McBee

James Andrew, Lotusland – photo Scott McBee

When our dear friend, Philip Bewley, strongly suggested we go to the botanical garden Lotusland designed by the somewhat infamous Ganna Walska 1887-1984 in Montecito, I set about doing some research. After stumbling upon Walska’s proclamation, “I’m an enemy of the average,” I added Lotusland to our itinerary without need for further deliberation. As you might imagine, this sounded like a woman after my heart…and boy, were we glad we went!

Ganna Walska's Lotusland

Ganna Walska’s Lotusland

In case you might not know Lotusland, it’s a thirty-seven acre botanical wonderland – the dream child of Ganna Walska, a Polish opera singer and socialite whose passion for landscape design was only rivaled it seems by her penchant for collecting ever-richer husbands.

Ganna Walska's Lotusland

Ganna Walska’s Lotusland

Forty years in the making, Lotusland was where Walska indulged her passion for gardening. Here, she set about creating the most fantastical landscapes with often theatrical proportions, much of it planted with rare and unusual species. The place is indeed a must-see, but do book a reservation well in advance as space is quite limited and tour groups are rather small due to Lotusland’s residential location.

Ganna Walska's Lotusland

Ganna Walska’s Lotusland

Ganna Walska's Lotusland

Ganna Walska’s Lotusland

Famished after our dreamy tour, we made a trek to one of Julia Child’s favorite little restaurants, La Super-Rica Taqueria in Santa Barbara — which is more of a taco stand really — and lunched on some truly marvelous Mexican food. We returned to the Baccara Resort where we lounged poolside, sipping Rosé, and reflecting on our fabulous journey in sun soaked California. Well tanned, we set off for a lovely dinner at Restaurant Bouchon, a fabulous place serving up the most delicious wine and country cuisine. We were particularly taken by the entrance to the restaurant, which is formed by a massive hedge — sensational!

Photographed at the main entryway of the Lotusland estate, I’m sporting a Tom Ford pink silk basket weave “Spencer” jacket, grey and white gingham cotton voile shirt and saddle leather loafers, white uniqlo slim jean, Gucci python belt with silver double horse head buckle, Hermes grey silk pocket square, Rolex watch and my fragrance is Tom Ford -Lavender Palm.

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Trends in Decorating – Antique and Vintage Rugs

James Andrew at the Doris Leslie Blau gallery - photo by Nick Turner

James Andrew at the Doris Leslie Blau gallery - photo by Nick Turner

I’m certainly not one to follow interior design fads and trends, however I’m very happy to see that the use of antique and vintage rugs has become popular again. In my own interior work, I’ve always used fine rugs—not only can they be seen as art for the floor, they also create the foundation upon which the rest of a room can be built. I do love the richness and history they can add to a room, especially in new or modern buildings.

One of my favorite go-to resources for antique and vintage rugs is the highly esteemed Doris Leslie Blau known for rugs of the highest quality and exceptional beauty. I’m currently decorating an apartment in a legendary Art Deco building, and the Doris Leslie Blau gallery is the perfect place to search for sublime rugs.

The following images are a couple that I think will help to create some spectacular rooms!

I’m sure you’ll agree this Chinese Deco with a mink ground and amber border, with accents of lavender and purple is simply divine.

At Doris Leslie Blau

At Doris Leslie Blau

This round French Deco Carpet celebrating the signs of the horoscope will certainly be a WOW element in my client’s circular entrance hall.

French Deco Carpet by Paul Follot at Doris Leslie Blau

French Deco Carpet by Paul Follot at Doris Leslie Blau

Luxuriating amidst Doris Leslie Blau’s large and quite diverse selection, I’m sporting a Tom Ford lilac rose silk wool linen melange twill Snowdon suit, white cotton shirt with French cuffs, grey and Ivory silk wool check tie, brown leather belt with faux tortoise and gold buckle and brown leather tasseled loafers, black pearl cuff links, vintage Rolex watch, Hermes grey silk pocket square and my fragrance is Creed Royal Water.