we hoped to finish up our top three selections from the stacks of 2008 decorating magazines we have laying around the maison21 atelier before the end of january, but sometimes life gets in the way, ya know? so we stretched into february a bit- there are worse things in life, right? as we've said many times before, punctuality is a trait we greatly admire- in others. for our self? not so much.
to recap, our number 3 pick was the home of monique lhuillier. it stood out out for us not only because it was modern, clean and tailored, but also because it was unusual to see a monochromatic gray color palette that seemed cheerful and fresh as opposed to somber and morose. maison21 thought it was absolutely gorgeous...
our number 2 choice was a new york apartment designed by bill sofield- simply some of the prettiest, most jaw-droppingly opulent, yet entirely restrained decorating we've seen in a long, long time. maison21 thought it was truly sublime...
so how does one top gorgeous and sublime? to become maison21's favorite image (of thousands, probably) culled from the piles of decor magazines m21 was exposed to in 2008? simple. you do it by being different, and serving up something maison21 has never seen before (no easy task, that- we like to think we've seen it all).
the image that caused maison21 sit up and take notice was the following dining room from the late "o at home" magazine designed by darryl carter. to maison21's eye, it was a truly different and fresh approach to decorating- we also loved that it turned some traditional decorating "wisdom" on it's head. the editors at "o at home" titled the project "old + new", but maison21 would have titled it "screw you, pretty view" (and we mean that as compliment- seriously).
decorating wisdom says pretty views are supposed to framed, not obscured- people pay extra for them, right? but mr. carter went against tradition and logic, and made the bold move to put up big, massive, bookshelves in front of what looks to be a spectacular vista. shouldn't work, but it does- a moment of brilliant, throw-away chic: "oh, this old fabulous view? it's not nearly as good as our other views, and we really needed space for all our beloved books, so..."
genius, genius, genius.
the rest of the room ain't bad either- mr. carter correctly surmised that a chandelier would fight with the shelves, so he didn't install one, instead drilling the dining table to accommodate table lamp wires. (yay! the kind of attention to detail that m21 loves). the wing chairs lend a true library vibe to what is essentially a dining room, and the white-on-white floor, walls and ceiling make the whole thing seem to float. (another stroke of decorating genius was the antique carpet turned over to the reverse- who does that?). on the whole, the room is both traditional and new, with classic elements used in a nontraditional and unexpected way. it takes a lot to get jaded maison21 to admit he has seen something new in the world of decorating, but those shelves are truly new and different. maison21 can't wait until he has an opportunity to copy them! ;-)
congrats on a masterful job, mr. carter!