Category: Architecture & Interiors

I am love…

The timeless elegance of Tilda Swinton & a magnificent 1930’s mansion.


“Io sono l’amore” is the title of the 2009 Italian film starring Tilda Swinton as a “haute bourgeoise” in Milan who lives with her wealthy husband and family in a grand modernist mansion.

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The Zen of Bamboo

Don’t pooh-pooh bamboo! Versatile and simple, it crops up in many guises

HokusaiBamboo copyHokusai – bamboo

A miracle of nature, bamboo is a multi talented material not only strong and practical but also beautiful in its simplicity and grace. I have a deep attraction for anything “bamboo” themed. It is the form and “vibe” of bamboo that I am most interested in. That is what the Italian fashion brand Gucci and some of the more exotic objects and jewelry I describe have in common. I also found some surprising and unexpected ways bamboo can be used! More will be revealed at the end of this post.

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Herculaneum on the Pacific

A rich man’s dream: The Getty Villa on the California Coast

getty2 2The Portico of the Getty Villa

After a grueling road trip in morning rush hour (see yesterday’s post) I managed to revisit the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades after its massive restoration. Initially built by the oil tycoon J. Paul Getty, its design was inspired by the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum.  The Getty Villa opened in 1974 to the public as a museum, housing the entire original Getty Collection but was never seen by Getty, who died in 1976. The Villa now houses just the Antiquities Collection.


Busts of Alexander the Great and his close friend Hephaestion

My obsession with all things Roman (and Greek) was greatly satisfied, the Villa houses an astounding collection of objects and also a beautiful collection of Antique jewelry. It was hard not to contemplate a heist…

ringRoman Ring

The Villa dei Papiri that served as the inspiration for the Getty Villa was buried by the ashes of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii in A.D. 79 as well as nearby Herculaneum. Shortly after its rediscovery in the 1730s, the richest finds were from a villa that came to be called the Villa dei Papiri, because it also yielded upward of a thousand papyrus rolls–the only library ever to have been recovered from the classical world. To the great excitement of contemporaries, the papyri held out the tantalizing possibility of the rediscovery of lost masterpieces by classical writers.

FrescoVilladeiPapiriFresco from the Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum

You might find the whole thing a tad too “Nouveau”, but I think it is a triumph, the Romans themselves were “Nouveau” compared to the Ancient Greeks and Egyptians, but they brought living standards up to a level, not seen again until the Renaissance.

Getty3The Peristyle of the Getty Villa

The Call of Liberty

The Lure of all things Liberty of London!

On a recent visit to London I made my “pilgrimage” to Liberty, the iconic department store. Part “sentimental journey”, part “thrill of discovery”, I came across this charming Liberty print in the famous “Tana Lawn” crisp cotton that responded to my love for all things “wild”:

liberty10“Queue For The Zoo”

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Fantastical Fornasetti

The whimsical world of eclectic Italian designer & artist Piero Fornasetti

“I don’t limit myself, and nothing is too esoteric to be used as inspiration. I want to free my inspiration from the limitations of the usual”.

UmbrellaStand“Greek Busts” Umbrella Stand

To the proverbial question: “what object would you save if your house caught fire?”, the answer without a doubt would be: this umbrella stand! It adorns my hallway and is one of my most prized possesions, a present from a very special person, who understands my love for all things Fornasetti…

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