26 August 2017


In celebration of How They Decorated's third printing I am giving away three books through Amazon.

Here is the Link if you'd like to enter! The giveaway ends Aug 28, 2017 11:59 PDT 
Good Luck!

18 August 2017

Quintessence & How They Decorated...

I read Stacey Bewkes' great blog religiously.
If you love design you already know about Quintessence and Behind the Q.
Stacey put together a video montage of How They Decorated narrated by yours truly.

I hope you enjoy it!

Special thanks to Stacey at Quintessence here, and Barbara at My Dog-Eared Pages here

12 August 2017

She played her part...

“From the moment I read [it], I was fascinated by the lovely wayward, tempestuous Scarlett, “I felt that I loved and understood her, almost as though I had known her in the flesh. When I heard that the book was to filmed in Hollywood early in 1939, I longed to play the part.” ~VL

 The Vivien Leigh Collection is a lot of 250 pieces of fine art, memorabilia, personal photos and clothing belonging to the consummate actor being sold at Sotheby’s in London September 26, 2017.  

"Life’s pattern pricked with a scarlet thread / where once we were with a gray / 
To remind us all how we played our parts / In the shock of an epic day” 
~ Margaret Mitchell's inscription to Vivien Leigh inside  her leather bound copy of GWTW

Among the collection, is Leigh’s personal copy of Gone With The Wind, presented to her by the author  ( auction estimate $6,548 to $9,166), and her leather bound copy of the script (seen above) given to her by the film’s cast (estimate approximately $3,274 to $4,583). Apparently, Leigh kept a copy of the novel with her on set in order to assure the script remained true to Mitchell's words.

read more at Sotheby's here

03 August 2017

The Gardens of Peter Marino

Over the span of 20 years Peter Marino, the black leather-clad architect, has created a garden at his Southampton home only he could create. He recounts in the book's introduction a friend's reaction to the garden, 'This could only be the garden of an architect- and an American one at that.'
& As I say- only Marino.

An 18th-century sculpture of Diana guards The Great Lawn–an all green space, standing in a reflecting pool. Beyond the pool, The Forest. 
Jason Schmidt photographer

Marino's work for DIOR retail stores across the world is proof of his genius- an undefinable sparse elegance and, historical modernity.
It's a tightrope that only masters can balance.
His expansive gardens are of equal importance in his work, and The Garden of Peter Marino, an oversize book, indicates that.

Le Minotaure, an almost 7 foot bronze by Francois-Xavier Lalanne stands at the head of the lotus filled frog fountain in The Rose Garden. 176 Flower Power roses surround the pool.
Jason Schmidt

The garden's structure is logical-a guiding principle any good architect adheres to. Marino's "'rooms,' squares and rectangles, with everything organized on a single axis," hold Marino's remarkable fantasy garden & fantasy is what animates the grand garden.

The Rose Garden
Jason Schmidt

Along with the surprising abandon of the plantings within each "garden room," striking blocks of color play a prominent role-purples, reds, pinks, and yellows.  Four of the 'rooms' are planted by color. and three gardens by species-hydrangea, rose, and azalea.  In addition, there is a great lawn, a forest, an allee, and an orchard.

a close-up of a lemon tree in Marino's Orchard- his own Garden of Eden
Jason Schmidt photographer

Vache Attentive-the attentive cow, a Lalanne sculpture, grazes in The Red Garden
Extending from the kitchen door, the garden is planted with herbs, monarda, Astilbe, lobelia, verbena, hibiscus, poppy, rose, and Dahlia- all in red. 

The triumph of the Marino twelve acre garden is the architect's inclusion of forty-two Claude and Francois-Xavier Lalanne sculptures. Claude Lalanne writes the book's  foreword, brief, its sincerity and genuine appreciation of Peter Marino is obvious. "He was our fairy godfather." Known as "Les Lalannes," the couple created their Surrealist sculptures drawn from the natural world to be a part of daily life.  Married for forty-one years, the couple inspired each other's work, with Francois-Xavier sculpting animals and Claude the botanical. Their collaboration was in fact, a meeting of the minds, with the pair united in their love for the surreal, context in their work, and whimsicality.

Grand Oiseau de Nuit in bronze by Francois-Xavier Lalanne
Jason Schmidt

In a hot and humid summer down South, the sui generis garden of Peter Marino is timely and enticing. At the garden's gate, Francois-Xavier's Grand Wapiti, eight-foot long elk is an augury of the magic that lies within.

The book's cover by Jason Schmidt features The Hydrangea Garden with Claude Lalanne's Banbiloba settee in gilt bronze providing beauty and a respite from The Garden of Peter Marino.

By Peter Marino
Principal Photography by Jason Schmidt and Manolo Yilera
available at Rizzoli here


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