Interior Design

Kitchen Floor Tile Pattern

This plaid/checkered pattern was the chosen option. The diagonal version, seen in the foreground, is the chosen direction the tiles are to be laid. The tile is Tarkett Azrock VCT.
This plaid/checkered pattern was the chosen option. The diagonal version, seen in the foreground, is the chosen direction the tiles are to be laid. The tile is Tarkett Azrock VCT.

After six years, my kitchen’s original floor tiles had started to shift and pop up. Two years ago my contractor had pulled up many of the tiles and new adhesive was applied, but this fix did not work. Before long the tiles began to shift again, and the gaps between tiles started to widen. The main problem is the wooden sub-floor with occasional dampness under the house (pier beam) causing the wood to expand. If the tiles had been laid on smooth level concrete, I wouldn’t have this problem. And if a super thick wax sealer had been applied after the first installation, the tiles would have had a much better chance on staying put longer.

Interior Design

Illuminating the Recesses

This is one of four Barovier glass sconces produced in Murano, Italy, circa 1940.
This is one of four Barovier glass sconces produced in Murano, Italy, circa 1940.

These four new, but old, sconces will add some much needed light to my north-facing dining room. For some time now, I’ve been aware that my library/dining room needed more sparkle or illumination after dark. I can always use candles for dining, but what about those other evenings when there’s company for cocktails and such? Guests would arrive through the front door into a well lit living room and then cross through the dark dining room on their way to the kitchen and back areas of the house. Relying on the overhead ceiling fixture as the only light source was less than optimal, because the space has been too well designed to consign the book cabinets to the shadows. Charley McKenney, my architect, came up with the sconce concept which is something I originally didn’t think was feasible. We did consider other sconces, including a custom design, before he found these fixtures at John Gregory Studio in Dallas’ Design District.

Fine Art

What’s Hanging (part 3)

Except for me and the house, she’s the only antique in this setting.
Except for me and the house, she’s the only antique in this setting.

This portrait of an unknown lady is a lucky find for me. Ever since Elle Decor published designer Jean Louis Denoit’s Paris apartment, I have been fascinated with his way of mixing eighteenth-century portraits with rich contemporary settings. So I decided to be unoriginal and copy this concept. My painting is by François Joseph Heim, and going by the style of her attire and accessories, it was most likely painted between 1805 and 1810. Since he was born in 1787, this would have been created very early in his career. To see a closer view of her, click on the link below.

Interior Design

Peekaboo (part 11)

Two new but old side chairs have been added. Next week a large-scale painting will be hung behind the sofa.
Two new but old side chairs have been added. Next week a large-scale painting will be hung behind the sofa.

With these two chairs added to my dining seating arrangement, I can now accommodate six dinner guests comfortably. When not needed for dining, they make great additional seating in the living room. Charley McKenney discovered this French (c. 1960) pair at Mecox’s Dallas location. Their small scale and copper linen upholstery compliment both rooms perfectly while adding a much needed vibrancy. The furnishing of the living and dining rooms may be complete, but I still need to add more floor lamps, accent pillows for the dining chairs, and accessories for the table tops. What’s a home without some knick-knacks?

Interior Design

What Is This?

Still don’t know what it is? Then click on the photo for a larger version. Does that help? By the way, I’m not referring to the artwork by Scott Barber. But just in case you want to know, this piece is called 'Swell,' a Giclée print on Lysonic paper, first edition, October, 2004, limited to 500.
Still don’t know what it is? Then click on the photo for a larger version. Does that help? By the way, I’m not referring to the artwork by Scott Barber. But just in case you want to know, this piece is called ‘Swell,’ a Giclée print on Lysonic paper, first edition, October, 2004, limited to 500.

Designed by Charley McKenney and built by my contractor, Bert Watford, this contraption is not intended to cover up a giant hole or a bad plaster job, but is meant to conceal what most folks take great pride in displaying.

Interior Design

Ornamental Orange

This glass bowl most likely dates from the 1960s.
This glass bowl most likely dates from the 1960s.

A new but old centerpiece adds a lively contrast to the green and blue tones of my library/dining room. With its northern exposure the room needed some color punch, and orange was the perfect choice to serve as a complimentary color. Now that most of my new furniture has arrived, I’m slowly adding thoughtful details. And each object must pass the color, shape, purpose, timeless, and quality tests.

Interior Design

Peekaboo (part 8)

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Meet the new dining/library table. It arrived last week, but because of the dingy weather, the natural light wasn’t right until yesterday for taking a photograph. Both the top and base were purchased through Culp Associates. This ingenious combination of a top by Gregorius | Pineo with a base designed by Ironies was Charley McKenney’s idea. Sometime in the next couple of weeks, I plan to play around with various table settings. And of course, I will photograph and share the arrangements with you. To see the top surface of the table click on the link below.

Interior Design

Peekaboo (part 7)

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Four brand new and custom designed dining chairs have arrived. And I can thank Charley McKenney for their beautiful design. I’m still waiting on the table, which will be here sometime the first part of March. Since my dining room—which also serves as a library—is basically square, a round dining table was the best option for the space. With a 48 inch diameter, the number of guests that can be seated comfortably at this table is four, hence the reason for ordering only four chairs. Once the table arrives, I will then determine if I can fit two additional smaller chairs for a total of six guests. All in good time. If your curious to see some leg, click on the link below.

Contemporary Art

Peekaboo (part 6)

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An alternate title could be “what’s hanging (part three)”. This little marble shelf and bracket were installed today. Their purpose was to be a drop-off for my purse and sunglasses, but I’m now unsure about this. They’re just too precious to spoil with my scruffy everyday stuff. You can’t tell from this photo, but the marble top curves out in the front. In order to add depth—the antique bracket was too shallow to be useful as is—Charley McKenney, my architect, designed a way to push the bracket further out by mounting it to a thick wall-mounted board. Because the entrance to my bedroom is through that doorway on the right and the return vent is under the shelf, placing a piece of furniture larger than this shelf would not have worked. I’m thinking that this shelf needs a small sculpture. All in good time.

The two works of art above are by Lorraine Tady purchased through Barry Whistler Gallery back in 1995. They are both drypoint monotypes. The one on the left is Untitled, No. 117, and the one on the right is Untitled, No. 133. Hopefully someday I can get a better photo of these two. There’s just too much reflective glare during the afternoon, and the morning light would not have provided enough to show off this corner.

I forgot to mention that the table lamp on the right is one of a pair that were once my maternal grandmother’s. I love their art deco vibe.

Interior Design

Peekaboo (part 3)

For some reason this photo looks too red in this jpeg format which WASN’T the case in Photoshop. But if you click on it for the larger version the red diminishes. Go figure.
For some reason this photo looks too red in this jpeg format which WASN’T the case in Photoshop. But if you click on it for the larger version the red diminishes. Go figure.

Today my custom fireplace screen was delivered, and I can’t wait to build a fire. But first the average temperature needs to drop.

For the last two years, I had been doing copious online searches for semi-custom screens. I had originally just wanted a mesh insert within a dark bronze frame and somewhere have an attached circular brass monogram, but when I started talking to my architect, Charley McKenney, he suggested designing it from scratch. And it grew from there. It grew from a simple rectangle to an art deco style, from no details to scroll details, and from a circular disk monogram to a single ornate script initial. Many drawings later, Jim Cinquemani, a local metal artist that Charley had worked with on previous jobs, created this work of art that you now see in the above photo. Gorgeous craftsmanship!

Forgot to mention: The two contemporary pieces above the mantel are by Monica Vidal, created in 2001 on printed rice paper. I purchased these two from Dunn and Brown Contemporary (now called Talley Dunn Gallery).