Thursday, July 23, 2009

Beds, Block Prints and Cocktails

This is currently my favorite photo. What's to love? Let me count the ways: India, dapper gent in turban and natty red shirt, gorgeous block-printed textiles, lady in saffron shawl walking by and that divine dusty blue color on the train in the background.
I see this image quite frequently because it's on John Robshaw's website and more often than not, I can be found there trolling for textiles. In fact, it's become my "go-to" activity on these crazy hot days of summer after I've run my errands, done my sit-ups and eaten my daily allotment of sweets. (Confession: Today I fast-forwarded past the errands and the sit-ups.)

After that photo, I click over to this one and stare at all those heavenly pillows inside that classic old Hindustan Ambassador, the hands-down coolest car in India. Love that driver, too.

Then I click over to here and spend way too much time envisioning which quilt, sham, duvet, etc. I am going to purchase for my bedroom someday. I'm particularly besotted with the Etruscan Red print (right stack, second from top, not counting that strewn-open one).

So last week when I visited one of my favorite local shops, Living Room, I took my camera along because I've always felt the owner, Steve, does a great job of mixing that globetrotting chic vibe I'm partial to with uniquely traditional pieces and interesting fabrics. 

I'm a big fan of this couch. The fabric is an organic cotton damask print in a perfect faded indigo blue that can pretty much go with everything.

It reminds me of the ones in Chloe Sevigny's apartment from House and Garden magazine's January 2007 issue.

This Edwardian-style nightstand appealed to me, too. It's elegant and slightly playful, especially in that great Vreeland red.

If I owned this couch, I'd never leave it. It would be a serious problem. You would find me here holding audiences during the day and at night I would change into some fabulous dressing gown, surround myself with stacks of books and sip St. Germain elderflower cordial from a teeny crystal glass. 

The broad confident brushstrokes of this mini-painting of the Griffith Park Observatory grabbed me, especially since I live just beneath it and look up at it every day.

My tour concluded, I was turning to go...WHEN. I. SAW. IT. What's more, my son...WAS. LEANING. ON. IT.  A glorious homage to John Robshaw with Etruscan Red in a starring role. 

People, I bit the bullet.

Here it is at its new resting place, The Kenmore Arms. Yes, I am aware that the photo is tightly cropped. That's because the rest of the room is unfit to be seen (to put it kindly). Everything is John Robshaw except the two pillows which are from Dwell. I love them because they provide a visual link to the headboard, which I just had reupholstered in $4/yard hessian burlap.  

And those two heraldic crests are my babies. I found them at Wurtz Brothers Antique Mart. They're super old (as evidenced by the state of the wood on the back), although whether they were rescued from some crumbling manor or are merely props from an old Hollywood film, I have no idea. (Update: They're Spanish. See comment from "Rocio.")
Placing those gilded sculptures near the humble, peasant-like qualities of the burlap creates a strong visual tension that totally does it for me. I am very, very into the high/low mix. To me, a great room is like a great cocktail party: the ones you remember are always a collection of all different kinds of personalities. 

No sooner had I finished arranging everything than someone came home tired from camp and took it for a test-drive. 


Courtney said...

I've had that top photo saved on my desktop for about 2 weeks and I have clicked on it DAILY just admiring! I think we're planning a trip to India this March (for the Holi Festival) and these photos make me so very excited. And while I'm pretty positive I won't see men fully clad it Robshaw with a back seat full of batik and wood blocks, a girl can dream. (though I'm also fully aware I will see so. much.more!)

I LOVE your new bedding and it's one of those things you will love forever. Not trendy, not "so 2009ish," just perfect. And looks like it holds up well to last minute pillow dives, sheet angels and tired campers.

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Courtney: How exciting that you're going to India! You will be entranced by it, I'm sure. So funny about the photo...we're definitely on the same wavelength, although oceans apart!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Fabric. Ah, fabric. My love and my passion!
And I love the that driver's outfit. The pattern repeats even matches.

Simply Mel {Reverie} said...

Your words always capture my attention from beginning to end! So happy you bit the bullet - the stunning ensemble was destined for a young lad's comfort!

Rocio said...

Hi, greetings from Spain.
What you have over your bed is the coat of arms of the Spanish city of Toledo. The Castles are the symbols of the old kingdom of Castille, the lions of the kingdom of Leon, and at the bottom, you have the symbol of the city of Granada (hence the pomegranate!!)
Your bedroom is a beautiful setting, perfect for a siesta...maybe you could dream about the melange of cultures that Toledo was centuries ago!!!
Love your blog, by the way !!!

Debra said...

Glad that you bit the bullet-it's important to grab these things when we see them...for alas...they may not be there next time. Gorgeous fabric and fabulous blog. Those crests are wonderful!

JMW said...

That fabric is beautiful and looks wonderful in your bedroom. How perfect!

pve design said...

besotted and weary and ready for a nap, right there!
love it!

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Rocio: Wow. Seriously? You have solved the puzzle! Thank you so so much for your comment...I'll sleep even easier now without constantly wondering what those symbols mean!

Kalee said...

Fabulous post! I love that image.

Mary said...

Love the post and fabrics - where else but in our wonderful world of blog could you get and instant answer - from Spain, no less - telling you the meanings of your crests ? Have to love that !

Still in the garden - just checking in....

ArchitectDesign™ said...

what a cozy bedroom -LOVE IT! But i'm not surprised with your exquisite taste!

Laura said...

I share your adoration for John Robshaw, and am quite inspired by your bold move to make the purchase! I tend to admire from afar and rarely purchase, but clearly I need to get in the game, especially if it would mean such an inviting resting place as yours.

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...

Hi Lisa-

This is a fantastic multi-layered much to know.

I loved the Robshaw images--such a clever way to show his designs. They have such wit and energy.

I am going to be in Rajasthan later this year. I think ROBSHAW has his prints made just outside Jaipur in a town that traditionally is a center for hand blockprinting. The key to his designs is that they use traditional color, craft and design--but he softens the tones and imagery to make it not at all 'my trip to India' and not folkloric. It reads 'India' and handcrafted, but is at home in Western interiors.
How great that you learned about your handsome crests! Wow...Rocio's detailed information is brilliant.
Happy days,

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Diane: Re: your explanation of John Robshaw's textiles, you are EXACTLY right. The patterns feel so traditional India, but the hues are slightly tailored more to look at home in a muted interior. Lovely insight, thank you!


I do love that top photo. And the crest...ahh..perfection.

Gruvkitty said...

Your bed is to-die-for, and now I'm lusting after that red night stand, than you very much.

Here's my question: how on earth did you ever get your son to go shopping with you?! You have trained him well. Wanna take on Elijah? I'm lucky to get 5 minutes in a pharmacy.

Jen West Design said...

Gorgeous. You are a woman after my own heart. John Robshaw...Peter Dunham...they lend that ethnic element with staying power. That says "I'm going to be around here for awhile". JR's dogbeds are perfection, too.

elizabeth avedon said...

I share your love of Indian Tibetan Ladahk Mongolian fabric designs and colors with a store room of boxes to prove it! Wonderful W Magazine profile. I look forward to future posts!

Unknown said...

I'm a little behing her but I just wanted to tell you that I'm so happy you bought the John Robshaw Etruscan Red, it's beautiful and looks so lovely on your bed. The Spanish Heraldic Crests are divine and look completely at home over your bed. You have an amazing eye!

And your son is adorable!

style chronicle said...

The bedding is divine. Your rooms never disappoint.

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when i read the word bed my imagination flies to another place.I love the cozy and big bed and enjoy the soft mattress with a boy. All of this after to buy viagra to get the bet performance.


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