Sunday, April 29, 2012

Can't get it together!

Sooner or later it happens to us all.....

We grow up into adults and life keeps us busier then we ever imagined….

And I’m tired! After a very busy workweek and everything in-between and then yard work and gardening all weekend I have nothing left in me. For those of you who have been following my Fortuny series the silk velvets will be shown next week. Sorry for the delay but I feel like Dylan…dog-tired!

Enjoy your week everyone!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Fortuny: His Vintage Prints, Part 2

L-R: Melagrana a 16th C. Turkish design, no pattern name, Crosoni an 18th C. French Directoire design discontinued, no pattern name, Corone a 17th C. Italian design, all early except the fourth, 1950’s , my photo

After the First World War Fortuny’s name began to attract a much larger public rather then just the elite. In 1919 Fortuny formed a new company called Societa Anonima Fortuny and set up a factory devoted exclusively to the production of his textiles. Up until this time Fortuny was doing all the production himself of designing, producing the dyes, the colors, the machines, and making the stencils for the printing in his private studio.

Countess Elsie Lee Gozzi

Elsie McNeill, later to become Countess Elsie Lee Gozzi, was an American interior decorator that had a flair for business. In 1927 she visited the Carnavalet Museum in Paris where she first saw Fortuny’s fabrics decorating the museum and became entranced by the quality and colors of his fabrics. She then traveled to Venice and persuaded Fortuny to give her the exclusive rights to sell his goods in the United States. This lead to a fruitful and long standing friendship that was to last until Fortuny passed in 1949.

My photo, rare 1920s Fortuny original fabrics used for pillows

After Fortuny’s death it was Elsie who kept the factory going to keep up the production of fabrics. In 1957 Henriette, Fortuny’s wife, offered their home Palazzo Orfei to the city of Venice with the condition that Fortuny’s vast studio be preserved intact with all of his collections. Their home is known as the Palazzo Fortuny and is now, as you all know a museum.  It wasn’t until the 1960’s that Fortuny’s fabrics began to come into their own. Because of Elsie’s hard work his fabrics became better known in America than in Europe.

My photo, Original 1920s fabrics and a rare moorish design border

Thirty years after Fortuny’s death he had become a historical figure in the world of textile design, he had made his own life a work of art.

My photo, more 1920s Fortuny fabric designs, the bottom right pillow is an extremely rare strawberry color, all pillows for sale on my website Oreillers

Fortuny 1920 twill pillows for sale from Kathy Rousset Antiques 

Close up of the twill fabric, look at the saturated color!

Large bold 1950 Fortuny pillows made by Todd Mossman, via Cote de Texas

My photo, 1950 Fortuny fabric

Fortunys’ entrance into the world of fabrics and clothing began with his love affair with the theater. He designed huge patterns for backdrops in order to be seen from a distance. I say huge because if you look at this fabric you won’t see a pattern repeat because the pattern measures over 90” tall! While my image doesn’t show the size that center pomegranate is over two feet tall.  

My Photo, rare 1920s Fortuny fabric

This pattern while busy is also huge. That central stylized flower is bigger then my head. Fortuny still dabbled in the theater while manufacturing his textiles and today I’m happy to say his fabrics have once again entered the theater. Here's my secret....

Jonathan Rhys Meyers & Natalia Vodianova, My photo

Yes that’s right my early Fortuny fabrics and pillows were loaned out for the upcoming movie Belle Du Seigneur starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Natalia Vodianova. It’s an English-language adaptation of Albert Cohen's epic Swiss tale of a tortured love affair between a high-ranking Jewish official and the protestant wife of one of his employees. Natalia’s character Ariane collected vintage Fortuny and they were trying to keep the sets original to the book.
I don’t mind telling you that when I first saw this press release picture I was a little beside myself because the fabric is hanging SIDEWAYS! But you can see how big the pattern is behind their heads.

 My photo
Set design from the filming of the movie with my textiles and pillows.

My photo

Another set view with my pillows and Fortuny hanging in the right direction!


My post here is very basic about Fortuny and his fabrics but if you want to learn more about this very talented man and his achievements I would suggest reading about his life in this book. It’s an amazing read! And if anyone is interested in an early Fortuny pillow I’m always here to see to your needs…;)

Have an amazing week my friends and next and last up in my Fortuny series some of his silk velvets!



Sunday, April 15, 2012

Fortuny: A Master at Work, Part 1

Fortuny painting at his easel

When people think of Fortuny they seem to always mention his fabrics but did you know before the fabrics Mariano Fortuny was already a painter, etcher, sculptor and photographer. He was also a lighting engineer, an inventor, a theatre director, a set designer, an architect and finally a creator of exquisite fabrics and clothes.  He manufactured his own dyes and pigments according to ancient methods of early masters. It was due to his love of the theater that Fortuny went on, in our time, to become one of the best-known textile designers.

 Traditional Home, February/March 2012

It’s hard to pick up a magazine these days and not see Fortuny fabric either covering a piece of furniture or turned into a pillow. A lot of his fabrics have names, named for people or places he had known and visited. The blue, silvery gold fabric covering the chair and pillows is called “Campanelle” a morning glory motif named after a 17th century Italian design.

Traditional Home

Do you notice the flower stalk emerging from an urn, the morning glories emanating around?

Suzanne Kasler's Home, Architectural Digest

Suzanne Kasler uses Fortuny’s fabrics throughout her home, in her living she used Fortuny’s “Serves” pattern in brilliant blue and silvery gold on her sofa pillows. The “Serves” pattern is a tradition 17th century Italian style named after a Rembrandt painting.

Suzanne Kasler's bedroom, Architectural Digest

In her bedroom on the bench and bed pillow she used Fortuny’s “Delfino” pattern, a 17th century French design, in string and silvery gold color.

Charlotte Moss' library, Veranda, November

A pillow in “Impero” design, a formal 19th century French Empire motif, in sienna on parchment sits in Charlotte Moss’ library. (It’s the small middle pillow that looks coppery.)

Design by Michael S. Smith

The chairs that flank the fireplace Michael Smith used “Carnavalet” fabric in brown and gold museum cloth, a 17th century design named for a famous Paris museum.

Design by Michael S. Smith

For this pair of gilt-wood chairs he used “Piumette” pattern, a 15th century Persian design with a small feather motif in pink, aquamarine and gold.

All of these fabrics are available today through the trade or you can scout places like ebay or ruby lane if you’re only looking for enough to make a pillow or two. Keep in mind the cost can vary greatly depending on fabric, age, color and design, Fortuny is not just Fortuny. New Fortuny typically runs around $400 per yard while vintage Fortuny can cost in the thousands and don't get me started on silk velvet Fortuny.

Umbellas at Bergdorf Goodman

If you aren’t a seamstress but like the patterns you can always pick up an umbrella sold through Bergdorf Goodman and are you ready for the price…a mere $450! I’ve seen these and I have to say they’re gorgeous.

L'Objet Fortuny dishes seen in Architectural Digest

Today Fortuny patterns are being recreated on everything including fine dinnerware from L'objet but be forewarned even a simple dessert plate is $250 but wouldn’t you enjoy your sweet more?  

Display at Bergdorf Goodman, Photo by Steve Freihon

For those of you who are trying to find their own pattern name or just want to browse more of Fortuny’s patterns there’s a wonderful Fortuny directory located on my best friends website at Olde World Pillows .

I’ve shown you new Fortuny fabrics, accessories and dinnerware but up next is my Fortuny, old Fortuny, discontinued patterns and silk velvet. And I have a surprise that I’ve been dying to share with everyone so stay tuned…….

Have a fabulous week and don’t forget to stop and smell a few springtime roses for me!


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Lighting the way, new find!

Have you ever found something that was so intriguing that you couldn’t pass by?

Something so compelling that you just had to say it needs to come home with me even if you have no idea where to put it?

I found such a thing and it did just that, it followed me home! It’s an antique altar rack from a church that was being torn down…even churches fall to ruins. I didn’t buy it for a religious reason I just thought it was so cool.

The rack is industrial looking and has an amazing patina on the worn metal. The cross is hand forged iron and the leaves on each of the five tiers will hold twenty votive candles and holders.

Since my rack is very long at 60” I’ve been having a hard time trying to think of where it could go and then restoration Hardware saved the day with their new line of furniture. I’ve been thinking of the deconstructed French Napoleonic ottoman to place the rack on.

Their long ottoman is the right length and they use it as a coffee table so I thought why not and burlap is my new favorite fabric of late, what could be better?
The ottoman is the perfect height to sit under my wall of windows in my studio and once the rack is on the ottoman you’ll be able to see the cross from outside. Wouldn’t that look wonderful for Easter and Christmas?

But then I started leafing through their new catalog and found this gem of a console table and I fell in love.
It would look wonderful draped in an antique textile like this 17th-18th century salmon cut silk velvet with gold metallic crosses and the altar rack on top. (For those of you who like the textiles I’m showing this is in the Byzantine style and I have it in green too.) But I am a little worried that this whole display might look a tad to religious rather then really unique items….what do you all think? And tell me your opinion console or ottoman because I’m torn!

The two pieces above have nothing really to do with this post but I know so many of you seem to like the textiles I show so I’m showing you these amazing 17th century metallic appliqué pieces I have hanging in my bedroom, they go with the Easter holiday.

So which would you choose the console table or the ottoman for my altar rack?

I hope you all had a wonderful and joyous Easter weekend and a very happy Passover!

Enjoy your week!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

TAG...I'm it!

A tidbit of Julie & Danni's design work

Julie and Danni from the blog T&G have such a clean updated traditional design look, a look I would be proud to have in my home and I hope if you get a moment you stop by and say hello. Their blog is classic and stylish and they’re just wonderful gals. Julie and Danni tagged me a couple of weeks ago. This is just like the game of tag from our youth. The rules are as follows: 


You must post the rules
Answer the 11 questions the tagger posted for you and create 11 new questions for people you tag.
Tag 11 people and link them to your blog
Let the people you tag know they’ve been tagged….simple!

So here we go with the questions that were posted to me:

1) Who are your favorite designers?
John Saladino via House Beautiful

Darryl Carter / The New Trational

McAlpine Booth & Ferrier

Eleanor Cummings

Stephen Sills

Pamela Pierce

I could keep listing and showing designers that I love all day but are you starting to see my style? I like clean lines, uncluttered rooms and if possible a hint of European elegance.

2) What is your favorite room to decorate?
Jose Solis Betancourt
The living room, I think you have more design choices and can get more creative.

3) What trend do you love?
Pamela Pierce

I’m not really much of a trendy person but the one item I have fallen for is burlap fabric. I love its relaxed causal look without being cheap looking.

4) What's your biggest pet peeve in design?
Atlanta Lifestyles & Homes

Atlanta Lifestyles & Homes

CLEARANCE! My biggest pet peeve is people not allowing enough clearance around furniture and in kitchens. The first image you don’t have enough clearance to get the oven doors open. There’s another bench on the other side of the island but the picture was too big to show so there’s nowhere to move that bench. The second picture, if people are sitting on the right side of the dining table there’s no way to get out and walk behind the chairs. So clearance is my biggest pet peeve!

5) What have you learned or gained from blogging?

I’ve come to know my personal style more and I’ve made some amazing friendships. I’ve learned how generous people can be not only with their time but also their sources. People truly are the best and blogging seems to bring the best people.

6) How long have you been blogging?

I’ve been blogging two years come June and never did I think I had so much to say or show! It’s been so much fun, thank you everyone!

7) What exciting things or opportunities have happened to you because of blogging?

I haven’t really had any opportunities come my way mainly because I’m not an interior designer I’m an antique textile dealer. I used to be an interior designer and that’s why I love blogging.

8) What do you hope to achieve from blogging?

I hope my blog makes people happy and I come away with a new friend.
9) How long does it take you to do a post?

I think probably two hours but I don’t really sit down and do a post all at once I pick at it as I have time. I usually start with pictures first and do the writing last. I love it when posts come together of their own accord and in less than thirty minutes it’s posted.

10) A little unknown fact about you?
I’m a little bit of a germ-a-phobic, yep it’s true those little unseen things can sometimes send me running straight for my bottle of Clorox bleach!  

11) What do you hope your blog will achieve in the long run?

Nothing really, I hope people leave my blog a new friend and they’ve enjoyed themselves and what I’ve shared.

People I've tagged!

Teresa at Splendid Sass
Debra at 5th & State
Joan at For the Love of a House
Luciance at Home Bunch
Desiree at Decor de Provence
Kristi at Simple Everyday Glamour
Veronica at Tassels and Twigs
Elizabeth at Pretty Pink Tulips
Lisa at A Room with a View
Sharon at My French Country Home
Michele at Hello Lovely

Now it's time for me to share questions for people I tag.

Your 11 Questions to answer
What’s your personal style when it comes to design?
What is your one must have item for a room?
Who is your favorite designer?
What is your favorite room to decorate?
What’s your biggest pet peeve in design?
What is your favorite piece of furniture?
Are you in your dream home and if not what’s your dream home like?
If you could only have two rooms in your home which would they be?
Why did you start blogging?
Do you have any hidden talents we don’t know about?
Do you have a pet and if so tell us about the other person who shares your home?


There you go a little bit more about me and what I love about blogging and designing. I hope you’ve all enjoyed it and for those I’ve tagged I hope you’ll play along.

Enjoy your week everyone and if you have time please send warmth up north…I’m freezing!


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