Madame Muse Design

Monday, April 18, 2011

IT items: Rhodia Notebooks

There's something so smart about these notebooks with their sopohisticated simplicity, signature orange pop, and crisp graphic.  Ultimate functionality for office or as a field notebook (cool, even if you're never planning to be in the "field").  Rhodia has been around for 75 years, although no one at my office has one...YET (I'm planning to be the first)!  I think it's even more fabulous when paired with the circa notebook system.

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Friday, August 6, 2010

Kate Spade - Mot June Bon Shopper

Another addition to my collection! Kate Spade's Mot June Bon Shopper, a monument to my favorite Scalamandre wallpaper!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Gino's and the Scalamandre Zebra

Remembering Gino's Italian Restaurant
780 Lexington Avenue, New York City
There's something charming about about including pieces in your decor that have a story and heritage behind them.  I can't be sure which came first in my case, seeing the wallpaper or hearing the story {perhaps it's appearance in the restroom of Kate Spade, one of my favorite muses}.  I fell in love with it's whimsy and panache at once and have been following it's appearances ever since.

The story begins as Gino Circiello leaves his home in Capri and immagrates to New York.  Franco Scalamandre, founder of Scalamandre textiles, becomes a patron and enables the creation of Gino Restaurant.  At the request of Gino a hunting inspired wallpaper was designed by Franco's wife, Flora Scalamandre.  Gino's was a sensation! The likes of Frank Sinatra, Ed Sullivan, Gregory Peck, Jackie O, and Ralph Lauren were regulars.  The place had a bit of a "Cheers" feeling to it, the long time staff knew their frequent diners by name.

My one and only time at Gino's with my cousin Chris 

As a devotee to this magnificent work of art I made a special trip to New York expressly to eat with my beloved wallpaper at Gino.  As if my fate wasn't sealed before, now it was a certainty.  I must have the wallpaper!!!
Scalamandre - wallpaper in works

My Scalamandre zebra stalking continued when they re-released the wallpaper in 2007 as part of the Cabinet de Curiosities collection.  The original, or should I say "re-original" wallpaper's smaller zebra was missing a noticeable stripe on his derriere {look just left of Chris's head and you'll see it}.  The 2007 release had the stripe corrected, I can't quite decide if I think that was a good decision or not.  There's something enticing about the imperfect, quaint, and time honored.  Additionally the new release is available in 4 colorways.  

Scalamandre Zebra Wallpaper

From top left clockwise: Liz BanfieldKate Spade,
Lindsay Coral HarperMiles Redd, Massucco Warner Miller

I love the wallpaper used in in small nooks, hallways, and bathrooms. Droves of key designers have used this venerable paper in their work, if you have examples of any others please let me know so I can keep on stalking!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Life aloft - making the most of your attic space

I bought my charming petite cottage 3 years ago - it was love at first sight! Its architecture was so inviting, lots of old true-divided-light windows, antique brick, a rounded top front door, and a steeply pitched roof line. I've been daydreaming about how I was going to finish out the glorious attic space created by the steep roof from the moment I moved in...

Above the gloss white paint really bounces the light from the skylights around the room and gets its feeling of warmth from the rich leather and wood hues from the furnishings. I'm a big believer in playing up exposed beams to give a room depth and interest.

With the generous roof style of the dutch colonial above the approaches become more plentiful. I adore the nook that the window dormer creates for the bed - how cozy!

Using an end wall as an accent is fun and gives the above room an anchoring focal point. I love the vertical movement in the wallpaper, it plays up the room's height nicely.

How you get there is as important to me as the final destination. Thom Filicia created a stunning stairway that is the perfect segue into the attic space (my favorite attic inspiration space!).

Supposing we have too many children for our 1200 sq. ft house then our attic may have to closely resemble the layout of the above... let's hope that's not the case!