Fred Astaire

Hello! Hope you had a great, long Memorial Day weekend. After my trip down to Raleigh, I returned just in time for a Game of Thrones party Sunday night and a date with my guy on Monday (dinner and we saw the new Wes Anderson movie Moonrise Kingdom.) What a terrific weekend! Now to start this short week off right…

The muse: Fred Astaire
The background: actor, dancer, dandy
The inspiration: When I think of Fred, I imagine a sunny day. It seems like the guy was always kicking up his heels and embracing life. This is my little ode to Fred, punchy colors and graphic fabrics, a room with a lot going on.
The feeling: a little larger than life and oh so bright and happy
The elements: grand staircase, dancing shoes, horses (he was married to a jockey), top hats and a photograph of the Fred and Ginger dancing building in Prague by Frank Gehry.

Sofa via Lotus, Black Chairs via Comer and Co, Photograph via Fine Art America, Victorian frame via ThousandsOPrints, Horse Painting via The Englishman, Jockey trophy via Uncommon Eye, Dancing shoes via Nemres, Coffee Table via Matt Murphy Studio, Brass vases via For the Common Good, Side Table via Jean-Marc Fray, Top hat pendants via MrKate, Staircase via room-galleries, Wallpaper via Kelly Wearstler

Edna St. Vincent Millay

The muse: Edna St. Vincent Millay
The background: poet, playwright, feminist,
The inspiration: I read Edna St. Vincent Millay’s biography a few years ago and was so inspired by her will and her work. From what I learned, Millay had a way about her that transfixed both men and women. The critic Floyd Dell wrote that the red-haired and beautiful Millay was “a frivolous young woman, with a brand-new pair of dancing slippers and a mouth like a valentine.” Perhaps, but she also had some serious writing chops:
My candle burns at both ends
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends –
It gives a lovely light.

Millay was a part of the bohemian set of the roaring twenties in Greenwich Village. She lived in what may be “the narrowest townhouse in NY” and described life in New York as “very, very poor and very, very merry.” Edna gallivanted about town, stood for what she believed in and made history with her moving words and rich poetry.
The feeling: one part bohemian, one part feminine, all beauty
The elements: pine (for Millay’s homestate of Maine), deconstructed furniture, brass, daybed, art deco, remnant of Steepletop and hints of Millay’s poem subjects

All vintage, nothing to scale. Daybed via Alhambra, Chair via Obsolete, Garden stool via RT Facts, Coffee Table via Galerie Andre Hayat, Flowers via Amy Merrick, Buck via Revival Home, Flower frog via Bluebell, Prints via TFTM, Fat Chance, Chelsea Marketeers, Carpet via Woven Accents, Books via Violas Vintages, Candelabra via Habit Schabit, Heart via Gertrudes Vintage, Chest via State Street Signage.


Kerri Strug

The muse: Kerri Strug
The background: ’96 Olympic gold medal gymnast
The inspiration: Truthfully, it started with this ABC Family show, Make It or Break It that I’ve been obsessed with lately. In one episode one the gymnasts pulls a Kerri Strug and lands a vault run on one leg. I sought out the actual footage from the 1996 Olympics and watching it was as inspirational as it was in 1996.  In her book, Landing On My Feet,  Kerri writes of that moment “Our USA team had only one chance to clinch the gold. I had one vault and one moment to score high enough to win, but there was so much pain in my ankle…. I knew something definitely was wrong, but I had only seconds to either try the final vault or walk off the podium and leave the gold medal up for grabs. For me, that decision had been made years before I made the walk to the top of the runway.”
The feeling: Americana, traditional, touch of Arizona (Kerri’s homestate), pride and bravery
The elements:  framed gold medal, red white and blue, gymastics mat covered coffee table,  flags and eagles.

Images via Arizona Painting via Vintage Zen, Oriental Rug via Antique Helper, Couch via The Shop at Maison, Southwestern Pendleton Pillow via Indian vs Indian, Flag Pillow via LovVintageFinds, Mat Coffee Table via Ma(i)sonry, Side Table via ModishVintage, Lamp via OlsenVintageMarket, American Circle Frames via The Art of Flozy

Hans Christian Andersen

The muse: Hans Christian Andersen
The background: Danish poet and writer, author of Thumbelina, The Ugly Duckling and The Little Mermaid (among other classic fairy tales)
The inspiration: The story of Hans Christian Andersen, at least what I know, is somewhat sad. But years of unrequited love and an abusive childhood somehow resulted some of the best children’s fairy tales. He was also an artist, well known for the paper cuts he sometimes made while storytelling. Andersen was a devoted Scandinavian enthusiast and designed a poem to describe “the beauty of the Nordic spirit…”
The feeling: traditional scandinavian, classic with a touch of whimsy
The elements: Josef Frank fabric, mora clock, framed paper cuts, a magical tree trunk, relics representing Andersen’s work

Clock via Scandinavian Antiques, Paper cuts via Up Your Alley, Chair via Alanna Cavanagh, Hans Christian Andersen book via Time for Memories, Wood flooring via Nordic Bliss, Side table via Just Scandinavian, Lamp via 1001 Vintage, Duck via Monki Vintage, Small Wood Girl via Jacklom3, Tree Trunk via Scandinavian Antiques, Puppet via Vintage Zen

Wild Bill Hickock

The muse: Wild Bill Hickock
The background: gunfighter, scout and lawman of the 1860’s American Wild West
The inspiration: BC and I are currently working our way through the Deadwood series. Early in Season 1, Wild Bill suffers his inevitable fate (it’s in the history books) and BC was so devastated I worried he wouldn’t finish the series. And so, for my Valentine, I offer this little homage to his favorite gunslinger. Note that we see the back of the chair. Wild Bill was shot from behind while playing a hand of poker – not cool, man. 
The feeling: raw, western, simple
The elements: wood, metal, signage

Railroad sign via Kocian DePasqua, Chicken sign via Vs. Out of… , Windsor Chair via Daily Memorandum, Table via Galerie Half, Dollar and Cents via Scott Estepp Gallery, Poker Chips via It’s Still Life, Pointing Finger via Urban Country, Arrow via Urban Country, Trunk Stool via VintMod, Navaho Rug via Ebay, Items NOT shown to scale

Veronica’s Lounge

Room muse: Veronica Franco
The background: 16th century Italian poet and courtesan
The inspiration: A few weeks ago I was telling my friend Darcy about our plans to honeymoon in Venice and Florence, Italy. She exclaimed that I must see the film “Dangerous Beauty” (streaming on Netflix!) and described it as a “love letter to Venice.” It’s based on the true story of Veronica Franco and is one of those guilty pleasure movies – I completely ate it up. I also became an admirer of this incredible woman who wrote two volumes of poetry, founded a charity, and defended herself (successfully) against witchcraft charges.

“We danced our youth in a dreamed of city, Venice, paradise, proud and pretty, We lived for love and lust and beauty, Pleasure then our only duty. Floating them twixt heaven and Earth And drank on plenties blessed mirth We thought ourselves eternal then, Our glory sealed by God’s own pen. But paradise, we found is always frail, Against man’s fear will always fail. ” – Veronica Franco 

The feeling: Venetian overload
The elements: anything gilded or handpainted (with gold)


All vintage and Italian… Striped Rug via American Textile History Museum, Gondola Chaise via Hudson SuperMarket,  Handpainted Venetian Stool via John Jay Gredler, Vanity via Joseph Anfuso, Vanity Mirror via Verruno Antiques, Literary Classics via VandM, Screen via Lamberty

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Ernest’s Writing Den

I’m bringing back the Room Muse series in 2012 and here’s the first installment. Happy weekend all!

The muse: Ernest Hemingway
The background: writer, hunter, manly man, husband (4x)
The inspiration: I’m reading The Paris Wife: “He was such an enigma, really – fierce and strong and weak and cruel. An incomparable friend and a son of a bitch. In the end, there wasn’t one thing about him that was truer than the rest. It was all true.” Completely absorbing.
The feeling: global, classic, masculine, warm, strong
The elements: animals, wood, glass, typewriter

All vintage… Table via VandM, Chair via Pariscope Design, Rug via Peter Pap, Gold Frame via Encore Prints, Chandelier via Buck House, Bear Trophy via Moonula ,Liquor Bottles via Hobart Collectables, Globe liquor bottle via FishboneDeco, Typewriter via Me Sew Juicy, Task Lamp via Hartong International, Ernest photo via The Hemingway Project.

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