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Posts under ‘Architecture / design’

FRENCH CITY VILLAGE IN FLORIDA

Coral Gables, Fl

Coral Gables, Miami

I do often fantasize about owning a tropical villa, and with so many design opportunities popping up for me in Florida, it’s hard not to want to think of a home there for myself!

I’ve loved Palm Beach Regency style homes for some time—like Maurice Fatio’s “Villa Today” and the houses designed by Clarence Mack—consequently in my Palm Beach and Miami exploration, it seemed natural that I should begin by visiting the fabulous “French City Village” in Coral Gables designed by legendary architect Mott B. Schmidt.

Coral Gables, Fl

Coral Gables, Miami

Built in 1925, “French City Village” became part of George Merrick’s master plan for the development of Coral Gables. Merrick’s stylistically integrated community brought together a really superb selection of architects. Marion Syms Wyeth created the Dutch South African Village, which is terribly chic and rather perfect for Southern Florida, but I have to say I’m more drawn to Schmidt’s Neo-Classical small-villa-like houses, executed in a somewhat 18th century French style with walled courtyards and gardens.

Coral Gables, Fl

Coral Gables, Miami

It should be evident by the images I’m including here that many of these estates are in need of rescue (which of course brings out the romantic in me!).

Coral Gables, Fl

Coral Gables, Miami

I am looking forward to seeing how these thoughts unfold as I continue to explore other enclaves that might be perfect for indulging my tropical villa fantasies. In the meantime I am having so much fun with all of this and I hope you are too.

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MCBEE’S NEW MAISONETTE

James Andrew - Scott McBee's new maisonnette

James Andrew – Scott McBee’s new maisonnette

It’s official! After a great deal of searching, we’ve found Scott McBee a marvelous maisonette to act as home, studio and personal gallery. I have to admit, it was great fun acting as his real estate adviser. His actual realtor was thrilled to be spared the time and effort since I was able to envision what was needed and quickly recognize a space that had the right potential – i.e., an undervalued jewel box, with great space and light. Maisonettes here in town are generally worth looking at — spaces that often feel more like a house than an apartment, and that can have higher than usual ceilings (McBee’s maisonette, for instance, has quite substantial twelve foot ceilings).

The space is in relatively good condition, but you can be sure we’ll be taking it to that James Andrew Interior Design level. For McBee’s space, I’m planning to incorporate many Parish-Hadley style details in a transitional interpretation of pre-war elegance. What a magnificent backdrop this will become to showcase McBee’s fine art.

We have been rather busy with the whole design process and look forward to sharing a few tidbits along the way, while reserving the finished project for our editor friends to publish.

Do stay tuned!

In any case, we’re off to Florida this weekend to see old clients (and meet a few new ones). We’ll be dashing between Palm Beach and Miami, but I’ll be sure and share a few Instagramable moments until we get back and can give you the full WIJW story.

For today’s shot, I’m sporting a Tom Ford era Gucci chartreuse suede safari jacket, purple cashmere turtleneck sweater, Tom Ford slate cashmere flannel pants , Tom Ford era Gucci ” Belgian” style black suede slippers, vintage Rolex, and my fragrance is Tom Ford “London.”

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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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