Tag Archives: Interior Design

‘The New Guard’

Jon Call of Mr. Call Designs


“For today’s interior designers, antiques in Europe are as easy to access as those in New Jersey.  As this ‘global access’ trend continues to evolve, interior designers are going to have to adjust their business models and skill sets in response.”


While attending last months press preview for Holiday House (Iris Danker’s annual fundraising gala benefiting breast cancer research) I had the pleasure of meeting Jon Call of Mr. Call Designs.  He was given a challenging space to decorate, and did a masterful job creating restrained glamour and architectural reference on a staircase landing with J Pocker frames.  This week he was named to House Beautiful’s list of 10 up-and-coming designers to watch, so I invited him to coffee – to learn about his background, his aesthetic, and his thoughts for the future of interior design.  Here’s what I learned.

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Tissus Français Modernes

a visit with Patrick and Pierre Frey


“Designers today are discovering that Pierre Frey is not as traditional as they might have thought.  Of course we have Toile du Jouy – but we have so much more.”

-Pierre Frey


Last week I had the great pleasure of meeting Patrick and Pierre Frey in their company’s New York showroom.  Patrick, the family patriarch, is the second generation President and Creative Director, while his son Pierre (named after his Grandfather who established the firm in 1935) is the head of International Relations.  Matthieu and Vincent Frey – pictured above in the family portrait – are Patrick’s other sons.  They are also company executives.

During my visit Patrick and Pierre shared some of their storied history, and walked me though their collection of fabrics.  I’d like to share some of what I consider to be the standouts.

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Plain Velvet 101

a shopping guide for the best in silk, cotton, linen and mohair


Velvet is presumed to have been developed on the shuttle loom by the Chinese more than 4500 years ago, and was constructed of pure silk.  It was woven by the Persians about 2000 B.C., and by the Italians during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries – and was coveted by royalty and nobility.  When weavers began experimenting with mohair fiber from angora goats in the 16th century, velvet became less precious. In 1785 the mechanized loom was invented by Edmund Cartwright, which with the introduction of cotton and linen fiber versions, made velvet much more accessible.

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Holiday House 2012

Benefiting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Photo credit The New York Times


New York’s Design Showhouses are among my favorite events to attend.  They’re an opportunity to meet both the well established and the new-to-the-scene designers, and to see spacial creativity at it’s best.  This years Holiday House opens to the public today, and I’d like to share a few of the rooms I had the pleasure of seeing at the press preview.

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Cross Dressing

Rose Brand theatrical fabrics adapted for interior design


I’d be the first to admit that I’m a huge fan of ‘high-low’ interiors.  I’d also fess-up to being a bit cautious when it comes to lesser priced fabrics for interior design (mostly because cheap fabrics tend to look, for the lack of a better word, cheap.)  That’s why I’m a big fan of Rose Brand Fabrics.  They’re a theatrical fabric resource that has an amazing number of great textiles for times when stretching the budget doesn’t need to mean things end up looking shabby.

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Veiled Influence

gossamer runway and the return of sheers

Carolina Herrara

Gone are the days of de rigueur voile curtains behind interlined panels, and most of us are glad of it.  The truth is curtains as we know them have changed radically in the last quarter century – due in part to mass marketed hard treatments, the popularity of roman shades, and window films that control UV.   I also have a theory that the way we live in the Google age of the 21st century, with the world ever more transparent, is changing the way we dress (women more than men) and decorate. Doesn’t it make sense that fashions fascination with over-exposure rages on?

During my days as a curtain workroom owner, I had occasion to work with many interior design creatives who culled inspiration from the boutiques of Madison Ave.   Last night while joyously clicking through the Fashion Week collections on Style.com I began to think about how the many peek-a-boo frocks might be re-envisioned as window decoration.

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“POV” ~ Jim Fairfax

a guest post by the celebrated designer regarding his muse Gertrude Stein

The grand dame of style Diana Vreeland once said Most people haven’t got a point of view; they need to have it given to them.”


Do I have a point of view?  Absolutely.  Is there an aspect of my point of view that makes my design work different or unique?  Absolutely.  Do I have an aesthetic angle?  Absolutely.

As an interior designer, I define function, I re-imagine space, I create and commission custom furnishings, I select materials, I select objects and works of art and I provide the organization necessary to secure all the moving parts.  I’m creating a physical world in which the people that commission my work will live their lives.

Is there one person I hold close to me each day as I do what I do?   One person who – by virtue of their choices – lives in both my work and daily routine?  Absolutely.  Gertrude Stein.

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Master Class: David Easton

Anglo-American Exchange

David Easton and I were introduced 15 years ago.  I’d been asked to make the curtains for the advertising campaign of his collection for Lee Jofa.  At the time I thought his particularly zany sense of humor was at odds with his restrained talent.  We had coffee in his conference room last week, and I’m here to luckily report he hasn’t changed a bit.

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