Blakes Hotel, London

The Cardinal Suite at Blakes Hotel in London, as seen on www.CourtneyPrice.com

Blakes, which just celebrated a 40-year milestone, is well known for opulent interiors and famous guests.

Former Bond girl Anouska Hempel converted a set of South Kensington Victorian townhouses into Blakes Hotel in 1978.  Everything about this five-star London boutique destination is exotic and luxurious.  The rooms are each unique in theme. They are furnished with fine antiques, thoughtfully curated by Hempel (Lady Weinberg) over the course of eight years. Private spaces and courtyards invite you to cocoon in style.

Throughout the hotel, modern conveniences artfully juxtapose fine Biedermeier antiques and art. Sensual colors meet opulent textures and architectural details. There is a signature scent throughout. The room keys are antique keys. Service is unbelievable. The feel is old world yet very now. I have always wanted to experience this place and I am thrilled that I did.

45 individually designed rooms include 5 signature suites, 5 luxury suites, 14 Directors Doubles, 14 Luxury Doubles, and 7 Parisian Rooms. Let’s take a look at the details of some of these rooms and you will quickly see why Anouska Hempel is my design hero.

[Read more…]

Holiday Book Recommendations

Style your coffee table in a way to show care for yourself and care for others before your company arrives this holiday season. That way, if your annoying Uncle Freddy drones on about politics or religion, you can grab one of these books to virtually transport yourself to a beautiful peaceful place elsewhere. Suggestions and links on the blog: www.CourtneyPrice.com

Forget about what is on your holiday menu or what you are going to wear. What’s on your holiday reading list?  As you get your interiors together before the holiday season kicks off, keep in mind that beautiful books multi-task as inspiration AND decor. Besides, it is always good to have a virtual escape within reach in case your opinionated Uncle Freddy starts up on religion or politics. Today I am previewing some of my favorite new releases that will make it easy to maintain your holiday merry- and bonus, they also make great gifts… [Read more…]

Dior & His Decorators: Victor Grandpierre, Georges Geffroy, and The New Look

Dior & His Decorators: the first work on the two interior designers most closely associated with Christian Dior. Review on www.CourtneyPrice.com

© Association Willy Maywald

Dior & His Decorators: Victor Grandpierre, Georges Geffroy, and The New Look

by Maureen Footer, Interior Design Historian

Author Maureen Footer, a former interior designer and expert in French decorative arts, gives us the first in-depth account of the two Parisian interior designers associated with Christian Dior. Victor Grandpierre and Georges Geffroy were much more than the interior designers for his home; they were personal friends and professional colleges of Dior.  It was Geffroy who introduced Dior to the world of couture. Grandpierre masterminded the look of Dior’s couture house- and was the one to “brand” Dior with the stylistic details that define the brand to this day, [Read more…]

Chateau de Villette- The Splendor of French Decor

facade of Chateau de Villette as seen on www.CourtneyPrice.com

Chateau de Villette- The Splendor of French Decor

You are not going to believe your eyes when you see the breathtaking mid-seventeenth-century chateau outside of Paris that I am about to show you…. 

Chateau de Villette- The Splendor of French Decor, written by Guillaume Picon and photographed by Bruno Ehrs, is one of the most beautiful books on French decorative arts and design that I have ever seen. The history of both the chateau and its owners is fascinating, and its thoughtful restorations have ensured a consistent place en vogue.

Original construction took place from 1663–69, with architecture attributed to Francois Mansart and his great-nephew, chief architect of Louis XV, Jules Hardouin-Mansart. At this time, new chateau styles were developing as practical or strategic military elements were no longer necessary- opening the way for Le Notre to design elaborate gardens and outdoor vistas.

The extravagant interiors reflect the then-new mindset of the Rococo era – designed with more permanence and elegance.  Bedchambers, previously ceremonial, were designed be private spaces of comfort in the eighteenth century. Tables were no longer brought to the bedchambers for dining. Stand-alone dining rooms were an eighteenth-century innovation, and in Chateau de Villette is the first formal dining room in a French chateau. [Read more…]

Artist Spotlight: Mark McDowell

Mark McDowell lighing and furniture as seen on www.CourtneyPrice.com

Every surface of the room is McDowell’s canvas, and he’ll even provide the lighting.

Mark McDowell’s case good pieces are sculptural, his choice of materials inspired, and his style always evolving. This award-winning designer is surprisingly modest for his level of talent. He is not one to look back on his breathtaking accomplishments in a self-congratulatory way; his focus is always about eighteen months into the future, onto the next collection. As he designed this latest collection and considered how his pieces will play out in a room, he visualized and then actualized paintings to complement the pieces. Five of his paintings graced the walls of the John-Richard showroom during April High Point market, and those very five paintings sold immediately.  Giclee reproductions are available for purchase.

Mark McDowell’s latest collection ushers in a new wave of luxury penthouse style with warm woods, textural finishes, Moroccan patterns and Asian influences (which are a nod to his Japanese heritage). Seduced by the beauty in the details, his innovative style respectfully pushes traditional and contemporary boundaries. His handsome collection appeals to a discerning collector –  with form that graces function using metals and sensuous finishes which include antique brass, pebble shagreen, stunning woods. His latest collection for John-Richard includes over 75 floor and table lamps, 50 furniture items, and 15 chandeliers and sconces.

Let’s take a look at some of my favorites:  [Read more…]

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