Friday, November 20, 2015

French Country Antiques

Country French secretary:

The traditional bridal trousseau, or hope chest, originated in France and came from the French.:

Via Belgian pearls ▇  #Home #French #Decor via - Christina Khandan  on IrvineHomeBlog - Irvine, California ༺�� ℭƘ ༻:

Modern decorators and designers - even those who only design within their own homes - incorporate
Country French furniture in the pursuit of "shabby chic" style.

Wonderfully aged and distressed wardrobe with modern mirror insertions. A great addition to any bedroom!:

The Cottage Market: Country French Kitchens A charming collection:

FRENCH COUNTRY COTTAGE: Cottage Bathroom~Inspirations:


Country French design is a patchwork of design styles that encompasses furnishings popular
since the early 18th century. According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Enlightenment brought about French furniture design that was decidedly feminine and ornately carved or hand painted, with curving silhouettes and attention to detail. The pieces feature extravagant extras,
such as lavish veneers, asymmetrical lines, secret compartments and complex moving parts.

After Louis XVI came into power, the discovery of the city of Pomeii brought about a resurgence of
Greco-Roman style in French furnishings, which led to design that was steeped in natural themes
but also featured more powerful motifs from the animal kingdom. Artisans began creating accent
furniture that was purely for design value. Such as decorative seating was was never actually used.

The Directoire Era of French furniture design featured simplified lines, fewer embellishments
and an affinity for geometric shapes or Egyptian accents. With the coronation of Napoleon, the French began to prefer heavier, darker pieces made out of mahogany and ebony, often with
marble tops and traditional brass hardware. Country French furniture also includes pieces from the
Louis Philippe Era of French history, which catered more to the simplistic and functional decorating styles  of bourgeois class, while still including marble accents and traditional French elements of

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Thanksgiving Table Settings

Personalized Pumpkins

Small details can make a big impact on your Thanksgiving table. Try tying handmade place cards to mini pumpkins for a personal touch that will make guests feel special. Design by Holly Mathis.

Candleholder Conversion

Try using items you already own in a creative and unexpected way when designing your Thanksgiving tablescape. Rate My Space user Baubles found that candleholders also make great pedestals for mini pumpkins.

Investing in a versatile set of china makes setting your table for the holidays a cinch.

Dressed-Up Basics

You don't have to buy brand-new dinnerware to create a beautiful Thanksgiving table.

Rustic Elegance

Don't be afraid to mix textures and patterns when setting your Thanksgiving table.

Thanksgiving Glam

For a chic fall table, try combining traditional and trendy pieces.

Soaring Centerpiece

If your table setting is simple, spice it up with a dramatic focal point.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Thanksgiving Table Settings

Add a Touch of Glitz

For a sophisticated but not over-the-top look, balance the sparkle of metallics with natural elements, like fall branches or fresh fruit. Erinn's Tip: "Metallics add a great modern touch to a fall tablescape. Deep copper and bright bronze are a lovely additional to a traditional table. I prefer to bring in natural, textured elements like these seed-beaded placemats so the table doesn't get too glitzy."

Contrast Materials

A humble pinecone adds an organic touch to each place setting. Have fun with materials; contrast ceramic with glass, wood and gleaming metal. Forgo the old standby tablecloth and opt for glamorous, polished silver chargers and chocolate-brown linen napkins.

Bountiful Centerpiece

Set the stage for an unforgettable Thanksgiving feast with a centerpiece that exemplifies bounty. A ghost-white pumpkin, chunky pillar candles and metallic-painted gourds add sparkle.

Simple Sophistication

This place setting layers basic elements to achieve an extraordinary effect.A set of white plates is a great standard to have for your year-round table. You don't have to get something special out just for the season. It's all in the presentation — a crisp linen napkin folded into thirds and laid under a bronze glass plate topped with a miniature pear sets each guests' plate off with style for very little money, time or fuss.


Gleaming Glass Accents

Golds and ambers pair beautifully with the traditional browns and oranges of fall. Glass vases can be found very inexpensively in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes at your local housewares store. They're fantastic for adding a splash of luminescent color to the room. So go wild! Bring a bunch home, try them out and return what you don't use.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Priceless Art Found In Paris Apartment Vacant Since 1939


Priceless Art Found In Paris Apartment Vacant Since 1939

In 1939, a Parisian apartment was locked up and abandoned. Seventy years later, an auctioneer stumbled into a mysterious glimpse of the past and a multi-million dollar work of art.

Leaving her lavish apartment must have been disheartening for 23-year old Madame de Florian. It was the beginning of World War 11, and she probably received word that the German soldiers were marching toward Paris.



Though she continued to pay rent for the rest of her life, this lovely lady would never return to her glamorous apartment again. She died in 2010, at the age of 91. 
It was after Madame de Florian's death that her heirs first learned of the apartment. They hired Olivier Choppin-Janvry, an auctioneer, to inventory the apartment's furnishings. Considering the years that had passed since the last time the apartment was occupied, Olivier and his team probably experienced some apprehension as the last bolt was unlocked, and they entered.    

The furnishings displayed treasures from the early 1900's. The dining area was still fully supplied with dishes, glassware, and other dining essentials. Works of art had been removed from the walls, as if they were being prepared for transport with the owner running short of time.


This intricately designed, ornate vanity table still contained brushes, makeup and perfume bottles, appearing as if it were still waiting for the return of it's elegant owner.

In a corner, original Micky Mouse and Porky Pig dolls were reflective of that historical period. Walt Disney would be pleased.


The most shocking and intriguing discovery was a painting of a beautiful woman in a pink evening gown. Further investigation revealed that the woman was the apartments previous occupant , Marthe de Florian, who just so happened to be Madame de Florian's grandmother. 


The artist was not immediately known. A later discovery concluded the work was painted by a well-known Italian painter from the Belle Epoque period - Giovanni Boldini


Marthe de Florian was a well know Parisian actress, living a very lavish lifestyle as a "high-society" girl in the 1880's. A collection of love letters, tied with various colored ribbons, was found in the apartment and evidence of her many famous suitors, including several Prime Ministers and Presidents of France.

The disarray left in the apartment was understandable - especially with the circumstances of WWII probably being the cause of her hasty departure. However, predominate questions remain. Why would she choose to never return? And, why would she methodically continue to pay rent for the next seventy years?  


Opening such a treasure chest of collectibles after such a lengthy time had passed must have been quite and experience. Hopefully, the family will release more information someday, but until then the answers for the rest of the story will remain a mystery.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Tusculum Residence

Tusculum Residence by Smart Design Studio

Description by Smart Design Studio

This exciting renovation and extension of a turn-of-the-century terrace house in Sydney’s Potts Point focuses on a grand and gracefully spiralling stair that forms the pivotal junction of the old and new parts of the house. The staircase, spanning the width of the building, features delicate fan-like steel treads cantilevered from the central steel post and winding their way past six split levels, offset between the old and new sides of the house. The stair was conceived as the element that grafts the contemporary and new minimal structure to the refined, trimmed and formal older portion of the dwelling.
Spacious living areas and private zones open out from each side of the stair with one area per level alternating between the old and new building. Formal living, dining, kitchen and informal living; master suite, guest suite, study and laundry: each zone maintains a natural sense of privacy from the other through the offset in level yet maintains a sense of interconnection in the openness and movement created by the stair.
Internally, finishes in the old portion of the house are contemporary and elegant in a stripped-classical style with deep flush skirting boards, mannered panelled doors and wide timber floorboards, all in gloss white paint and offset by richly coloured set plaster walls. In contrast, the mainly white extension with the same gloss white floorboards, features a black stained timber-boarded joinery element across three levels. Bronze window frames, ironmongery and trims unite both portions of the three-storey home.
Externally, the connection to the outdoors is accentuated through a 13 metre clear span wall of sliding doors that overlooks a pocket garden. An addition to this, the bi-folding doors are concealed by joinery to provide a seamless connection to the tiered rear garden with mature pepper tree. This house offers extraordinary spaces complemented by confident forms, understated design and exquisite detail.

Monday, August 10, 2015


Beck Residence by Horst Architects

Beck Residence by Horst Architects

Beck Residence by Horst Architects

Beck Residence by Horst Architects

Beck Residence by Horst Architects

Beck Residence by Horst Architects

Beck Residence by Horst Architects

Beck Residence by Horst Architects

Beck Residence by Horst Architects

Beck Residence by Horst Architects

This is totally a design I LOVE!!!!

Description by Horst Architects

Perched atop a rocky seaside promontory, this loft renovation is an efficient response to the problem of limited space with simplicity and restraint being the guiding principles of the design solution. The clients requested a design which would accommodate office work by day and intimate social and familial gatherings by night. The interior spaces have been completely reconfigured into an open plan evolving around a double height entry volume containing the principal stairway. Sliding partitions and fabric behind frameless glass have replaced traditional means of enclosure and spatial transition. A sculptural interplay of material, light and form define spaces, which are both intimate and communal, sheltering yet expansive. Indoor and outdoor living is integrated by frameless, bi-folding doors. Windows are positioned to embrace the view of the harbor, while second skin systems such as wood shutters mediate the late afternoon sun and provide privacy. The changing play of light on surfaces, the breezes that move through and around the structure, the touch and smell of walls and gardens, the play of colors, the sound of spaces all play a part in the reception of architecture as it is lived in, and are important determinants in our well being.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Serenity In Design HGTV Interview

Serenity In Design-Cynthia Phillips

Jacqueline Dowling of multiview media contacted me and asked if I would be interested in interviewing Libby Langdon and David Gregg at HGTV, below are the questions I prepared along with information about Libby and David.

Hello my name is Cynthia Phillips, I received my A.S.I.D. in interior design in 1993 and am now retired. I continue to manage Serenity In Design blog, were I publish articles about Interior Design, Design Products, Art and Artists as well as accomplished designers in the industry. My site can be found at

First of all I want to say thank you to HGTV for inviting me to conduct this interview with Libby Langdon and David Gregg. Both Libby and David's credentials speak for themselves as having achieved such high honors in the design industry.

David Gregg has achieved remarkable success as a New Product Journalist on television, radio, print and the web. David combines his relatable style and easy to follow information while featuring the latest consumer products (electronics, appliances, housewares, leisure) during his television and radio segments. He is a regular in-studio guest on major market television stations across the country, among them: -WPIX-New York, WAGA-Atlanta, WLS-Chicago, WJBK-Detroit, WTTG-Washington D.C. and has been seen nationally on - Fox News Channel's "Fox and Friends", The Daily Buzz, CNN, ABC's "The View" and The Discovery Channel. David is also a frequently featured contributor on CBS News - “The Early Show" and is currently the Senior Editor of

Libby Langdon is an interior designer and an expert commentator on HGTV’s hit show Small Space, Big Style. Libby is also Rachael Ray’s go-to interior design “buddy”, and frequently appears on The Rachel Ray Show doing design makeovers. Libby was the interior designer on the Discovery makeover pilot called Construction Intervention and hosted the FOX makeover TV show, Design Invasion. She is also the author of Libby Langdon’s Small Space Solutions. Libby has appeared on The View, The Early Show, BetterTV, and NBC's Open House NYC. Her designs have been featured on magazine covers of Hamptons Cottages and Gardens, New England Home and Decorating Spaces. She is a regular contributor and small space expert to Woman's Day, Budget Decorating, Better Homes and Gardens, and Glamour as well as a regular contributor to the nation’s top daily newspapers with her design, entertaining and food ideas. Libby is also a regular on WCBS radio as an Interior Design/Lifestyle expert.

I would first like to ask Libby and David the following questions?

Libby, why do you feel moving to be so stressful?

Libby, why are people often unprepared when they arrive in their new space?

Libby and David, what are the biggest design mistakes people make in a new home?

Libby and David, what are the latest home design trends in your opinion?

Libby, how do you approach making the most of small spaces?

David how do you tastefully incorporate technology into your home decor and design around it? What are the top five tips people need to know about relocating their entertainment centers?

David and Libby, please give us ideas for a to-do list for someone moving into a new home?

David and Libby, what was the most stressful thing about your own last moves?

David and Libby, do you have any special considerations for international moves?

David and Libby, what are some of your favorite money-saving tips?

David and Libby, where can my readers find additional information?

Thank you for answering my questions and participating in the interview. I know my readers will be very excited to view this interview and will appreciate your knowledgeable views to my questions, having received informative design tips and ideas you have so eloquently answered for us today.

Cynthia Phillips