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THE DRAWING ROOM

Drawing-room-cover

I have a rather modest living room but I often cheekily refer to it as my gracious drawing room. It’s not too much of a stretch to say though really — the space is actually quite a pleasing room for hosting honored guests — an attractive place for drinks and treats before and/or after dinner which is, after all, what any gracious drawing room should be! Wherever you yourselves might formally entertain, I have no doubt that you’ll be inspired by Rizzoli’s rich new tome, The Drawing Room: English Country House Decoration, by Jeremy Musson (former Architectural Editor of the super chic Country Life magazine among other things). Julian Fellowes (you’ll know him as the creator of Downton Abbey) aptly describes it as “…a ravishing study of more than thirty drawing rooms from many of our greatest houses, which shows us just what important chambers they have been and still are.” The book is a thoroughly enjoyable history lesson in English decorating from the 16th century to the present day, and many of these rooms were created by design legends like David Hicks, Nancy Lancaster, John Fowler, and David Mlinaric to name just a few.

The Yellow Room, Nancy Lancaster

The Yellow Room, Nancy Lancaster

The Temple

The Temple

The Grove, David Hicks

The Grove, David Hicks

Stanway House

Stanway House

Althorp

Althorp

Aynhoe Park

Aynhoe Park

Sure to be useful in planning and creating your own perfect drawing room, The Drawing Room: English Country House Decoration is another must-have addition to any well appointed library!

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METRO CURATES

James Andrew at Metro Curates

James Andrew at Metro Curates

As an interior designer, I’m always searching for versatile, elegant, unusual and one-of-a-kind pieces that take an interior to the level of the sublime — and with so many cookie cutter designers out there these days, it is especially important to me that my objects, and thus my interiors, stand out as truly exceptional.

300 year old pancho Metro Curates

300 year old pancho Metro Curates

Thankfully there is the Metro Curates fair — it’s one of those not-to-be missed events showcasing unique folk, contemporary and ethnographic offerings from all over the world (I often liken the uptown Winter Antiques Show to a Broadway show, whereas the Metro Show is a bit more off Broadway — always guaranteed to feature the unique and unexpected!). I’m sharing a few highlights from this year’s show which sadly ends today, but I strongly encourage everyone to attend the next one!

Stephanie Wilde painting at Angela Usrey, Metro Curates

Stephanie Wilde painting at Angela Usrey, Metro Curates

Folk art bust, Metro Curates

Folk art bust, Metro Curates

I’m sporting (top) a Tom Ford era Gucci black cashmere top coat over a Paul Stuart teal cashmere sweater coat, a Gucci vintage Russian print silk shirt, purple foulard silk scarf, Tom Ford era Gucci purple cashmere turtleneck sweater, Uniqlo jeans, Ralph Lauren purple alligator belt with silver buckle, Tom Ford era Yves Saint Laurent aubergine suede “Eton” boots, vintage Rolex, tom Ford Marco sunglasses, my fragrance is Creed Himalaya, and I’m using a bit of Tom Ford Bronzing Gel for a sun-kissed glow.

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: THE BESPOKE ROOM

James Andrew at A. Schneller and Sons - photo by Justin Williams - click to enlarge.

James Andrew at A. Schneller and Sons – photo by Justin Williams – click to enlarge.

Since we’ve been on the subject of interior design, I though we might revisit a WIJW piece from several years ago that describes my creative process well — a flashback Friday piece — as true then as it is now!

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As many of you may have gathered by now, I approach interior design in very much the same way a Savile Row tailor would construct a fine bespoke suit. Everything I do is highly considered, with each client’s comfort and delight being my ultimate aim.

Comfort for me is one of the greatest luxuries – a room must be inviting, and well laid out for its intended purpose. Once we’ve established function and point of view, we lay out a floor plan that will in turn determine the scale and proportion for the room’s furnishings, and one of the most important parts of this equation is the selection of the upholstered pieces – often these become the most utilized furnishings in a room, so comfort and livability are paramount.

I turn to my friends at A. Schneller to create the most comfortable and magnificent chairs, sofas, curtains, and other “soft furnishings” – Schneller truly is the interior designer’s equivalent of a Savile Row tailor I mentioned earlier. Every piece can be adjusted to my clients’ specifications for comfort and to the precise scale needed to fit within a particular floor plan.

The A. Schneller workroom and furniture gallery is filled with some of the most iconic models of chairs and sofas ever, with many designs having originating in their families workroom – of course their quiver includes a long list of modern takes on many other classics as well.

I recently created a mock room setting at A. Schneller for a client to help them visualize a grouping, pulling together a super chic collection of pieces for a small sitting room. The results I think are a rather stunning and a sophisticated mix of styles (see this enlarged image) – The Fort William sofa covered in brown satin sets the tone for this glamorous room and was originally designed by my mentor, Albert Hadley, and we’re using the “Hadley slipper chair as well. Across from the slipper chair is the “Ellis” chair and instead of a coffee table, I’m using the “Dogbone” ottoman – my client can then hold court while sitting on the very elegant “St Regis” chair.

Enjoying this lovely setting, I’m reclining on the “Dogbone” ottoman wearing a pieced cognac colored suede jacket, purple feather weight cashmere turtleneck sweater, wool check pants in browns and purple, python belt with silver double horse head buckle all by Gucci, Tom Ford saddle leather loafers and sunglasses, Valfrid leather tote by Hildestahl, and my fragrance is Creed Bois du Portugal.

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