Oct. 30

 

NOW AND THEN: Highlights from Scalamandre’s New Fall Collection

by Lynn Byrne

Scalamandre's Tableau fabric developed for the curtain at the Metropolitan Opera House

Scalamandre’s Tableau fabric developed for the curtain at the Metropolitan Opera House

I always want to know the back story.  If that is a gossip gene, then I must admit guilt.  I prefer to think I am a design Curious George.

A week or so ago, I attended a presentation of Scalamandre’s new fall collection by their vice president of design, Albert Sardelli  at their showroom at the D&D.  It’s always fun to go Scalamandre’s showroom, if only to revel in their classic and fabulous Zebras wallpaper.

With Albert Sardelli at Scalamandre

With Albert Sardelli at Scalamandre

Frankly, however, I find everything about Scalamandre to be fabulous.  Their legendary history can’t be beat.  Some of our nation’s most important landmarks, such as the White House, the U.S. Capitol, United States Treasury, Monticello, Mount Vernon, Colonial Williamsburg, The Morgan Library, Wrightsman Galleries at Metropolitan Museum of Art, Isabelle Stewart Gardner Museum, Winterthur, the Mansions of Newport, and the Metropolitan Opera House–have turned to Scalamandre to supply wallcovering and fabrics for their restorations.

But the company does not rest on its laurels.  Sure they mine their rich archives for inspiration. Why not. It is one of the best.  But each fabric and wallpaper is looked at in a fresh light, often rescaled, restyled and recolored in beautiful new hues for today’s interiors.

Many of the fabrics in Scalamandre’s new fall collection,  named “Ovation,” have an illustrious story behind them. I thought it would be fun to compare past and present for some highlights in the new collection.   For example, a centerpiece of the new collection is the fabric “Tableau” which back in 1989 was created for the curtain at the Metropolitan Opera House.  Look closely at the first picture. The raised motifs in the fabric were derived from  the architectural details flanking the stage.

Tableau comes in 9 jewel-toned color ways.  Here are four of my favorites.

Tableau fabric by Scalamandre

Tableau fabric by Scalamandre

Scalamandre also is introducing a lush cut velvet, silk pile zebra pattern inspired by, and named after,  the celebrated Manhattan nightclub, El Morocco.

Scalamandre's El Morocco fabric

Scalamandre’s El Morocco fabric and the famous nightclub

A Billy Baldwin favorite , Pitti, has been updated with some new colorways and a subtle pinstripe in the fabric’s cotton ground. Baldwin used the fabric in the iconic La Fiorentina villa in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat for his client Mary Wells Lawrence.

Scalamandre Pitti fabric and  the room at La Fiorentina designed by Billy Baldwin where it was used as pillows

Scalamandre Pitti fabric and
the room at La Fiorentina designed by Billy Baldwin where it is used as pillows

Scalamandre’s Tigre fabric has long been popular with legendary decorators such as Madeleine Castaing, Jacques Grange and Yves St. Laurent.   Here it is seen on the chairs of  a  dining room by Renzo Mongiardino  for Lee Radziwill.  This fall Scalamandre has added two new colorways, a silver and black and a blue and black.

Scalamandre's  Tigre fabric

Scalamandre’s Tigre fabric and Lee Radziwill’s dining room where it is used on the chairs.

For Scalmandre’s Focal Point fabric, Op Art, initially popular in the 1960′s, is the inspiration.  I received a wonderful accent pillow in the fabric in my goody bag from Scalamandre which happens to look great in my front parlor.  Take a peek at my pillow and some additional colorways next to works by  Victor Vasarely, a leading artist in the Op Art genre.  The top image is a detail from a Vaserely tapestry that I saw at the dealer Keshishian at the International Fine Art and Antiques Dealers Show last week.

Scalamandre's Focal Point fabric with Op Art by Victor Vaserely

Scalamandre’s Focal Point fabric with Op Art by Victor Vasarely

No post about Scalamandre would be complete without sharing what’s new in their iconic Zebras pattern.  They have introduced an all-weather Zebras fabric in their classic Masai red–I envision one fine porch!  In addition there are three new colorways for the wallpaper —silver, gold and an Hermes orange (fabu!).  And while I like classic red, I always have adored the green colorway seen here in Kate Spade’s home.

Scalamandre Zebras wallpaper; bathroom from Kate Spade's New York Apartment

Scalamandre Zebras wallpaper; bathroom from Kate Spade’s New York Apartment

Visit the Scalamandre website to see the entire collection.

Photo credits:  Product photos from Scalamandre.  Metropolitan Opera House photo also from them.  El Morocco photo from The Rock Hudson Project  and logo from nochelatina.com.  La Fiorentina from Great Home Design.  Lee Radziwell’s dining room from Agent of Style.  Kate Spade apartment via the Glam Pad

Oct. 08

 

NOW INSIDE: Kelly Wearstler’s Design Studio

by Lynn Byrne

The orange conference room at Kelly Wearstler's design studio. Photo by Lynn Byrne

The orange conference room at Kelly Wearstler’s design studio. Photo by Lynn Byrne.

Cheeky objects on the conference table at Kelly Wearstler's design studio. Photo by Lynn Byrne.

Cheeky objects on the conference table at Kelly Wearstler’s design studio. Photo by Lynn Byrne.

As soon as my blogger friend Lisa Mende reminded me that Kelly Wearstler was a Southern gal, it all became crystal clear.  Kelly Wearstler couldn’t have been more gracious when the BlogTour LA team descended on her very glamorous offices.  Look at that warm face (sorry it is a  blurry candid–Kelly is animated and often smiling).  Kelly proved to be beautiful both inside and out (with zero makeup girls!).  I even got a sweet tweet.

Kelly wearstler

Kelly spoke about what inspires her (more on that coming), showed us current projects (still under wraps), was infinitely patient with our questions and photographs, and even gave all us 20% off at her flagship store (you know I did damage).

For now, just take a look at the stunning space. Here is what you see as you step off the elevator.

The foyer at Kelly Wearstler's design studio. Photo by Lynn Byrne

The foyer at Kelly Wearstler’s design studio. Photo by Lynn Byrne

The foyer at Kelly Wearstler's design studio. Photo by Lynn Byrne

The foyer at Kelly Wearstler’s design studio. Photo by Lynn Byrne

The foyer at Kelly Wearstler's design studio. Photo by Lynn Byrne.

The foyer at Kelly Wearstler’s design studio. Photo by Lynn Byrne.

The foyer at Kelly Wearstler's design studio. Photo by Lynn Byrne.

The foyer at Kelly Wearstler’s design studio. Photo by Lynn Byrne.

The day-to-day work happens in this room.

The main workroom in Kelly Wearstler's design studio. Photo by Lynn Byrne.

The main workroom in Kelly Wearstler’s design studio. Photo by Lynn Byrne.

Kelly Wearstler at work with her team.

Kelly Wearstler at work with her team. Photo by Lynn Byrne.

Mood Board at Kelly Wearstler's design studio. Photo by Lynn Byrne

A mood board at Kelly Wearstler’s design studio. Photo by Lynn Byrne

Even though it is a workspace, everything about it is beautiful.  The lighting is stunning, the cabinets are a gorgeous limed wood and I have never seen such interesting bar stools.

Chandelier at Kelly Wearstler's design studio. Photo by Lynn Byrne.

Chandelier at Kelly Wearstler’s design studio. Photo by Lynn Byrne.

black and white pendant lighting at Kelly Wearstler's design studio

Black and white pendant lighting in Kelly Wearstler’s design studio. Photo by Lynn Byrne.

Limed cabinets and bar stools at Kelly Wearstler's design studio.

Limed cabinets and python bar stools at Kelly Wearstler’s design studio.  Photo by Lynn Byrne.

In the main workroom,  there are series of tables with trays on top for the materials and fabrics for each project that Kelly and her team are working on. We couldn’t photograph the trays for client privacy reasons, but I can share some of the extraordinarily cool objects that also populated the space.

Interesting objects in Kelly Wearstler's Design Studio. Photos by Lynn Byrne

Interesting objects in Kelly Wearstler’s Design Studio. Photos by Lynn Byrne

Although she has a large staff, Kelly explained that she sources 80% of each project herself.  She added that she derives a lot of inspiration from books, both vintage and new.  (Of course, I loved that, since I am a complete bookworm myself).  When I asked how she comes up with such interesting materials, she said she picks up objects where ever she goes.  We were given a peek inside the drawers of one of the work tables. It was filled with bits and bobs of metal hinges, chains and nails. Next, one of her staff members pulled open this drawer packed with color-organized stones and our jaws dropped.

Color-coded gemstones collected by Kelly Wearstler in her design studio.  Photo by Lynn Byrne.

Color-coded gemstones collected by Kelly Wearstler in her design studio. Photo by Lynn Byrne.

I couldn’t leave the studio without a trip to the ladies room. Now, now–quiet your “Eeews.”  I know you want to see it too!  The tile is amazing.

The ladies lounge at Kelly Wearstler's design studio. Photos by Lynn Byrne.

The ladies lounge at Kelly Wearstler’s design studio. Photos by Lynn Byrne.

Before we left the studio, Kelly put up with a load of photographs.  Her big staff came in handy as almost the entire BlogTour LA team handed over their phones (wink).

The BlogTour LA team with Kelly Wearstler

The BlogTour LA team with Kelly Wearstler

The fun was not over yet. Kelly sent us off to visit her flagship store with a 20% discount.  The store also is gorgeous and the ladies of BlogTour LA went wild.  My cuff purchase is the black and white checkerboard one.

Kelly Wearstler's flagship store in West Hollywood.  Photo by Lynn Byrne

Kelly Wearstler’s flagship store in West Hollywood. Photo by Lynn Byrne

Note the sign--Kelly Wearstler's curated library for sale at her flagship store. Photo by Lynn Byrne.

Note the small sign.  It says it is Kelly Wearstler’s curated library for sale at her flagship store. Photo by Lynn Byrne.

 

I got the black and white checkerboard cuff at Kelly Wearstler's flagship store in West Hollywood.

I got the black and white checkerboard cuff at Kelly Wearstler’s flagship store in West Hollywood.

Later that night when I tweeted out a thank you to Kelly, she sent me a sweet reply.  Lisa Mende was so very right–she has the lovely manners of a true Southern woman.  #Starstruck.

kelly wearstler tweet

What a BlogTour LA highlight, but I have much more to share, including more studio tours, so stayed tuned.  BlogTour LA coverage is just getting started.

 

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