Jun. 19


NOW AND THEN: Dreamy English Country Cottages by Colefax and Fowler

by Lynn Byrne

Main bedroom at Hunting Lodge

Wendy Nicholls' back hall

Anyone who takes a serious interest in design has heard of Colefax & Fowler and can recollect their charming look: chintz, botanical prints, nuanced layers and plenty of real life plants and flowers.  Out in the English countryside it oozes romance and serenity.

But today, it is rare to see a home done by the firm in publication.  Colefax & Fowler clients tend to place a high value on privacy.

In fact, while all design afficiandos know the firm’s founders Sibyl Colefax, John Fowler and Nancy Lancaster, even today’s current managing director Wendy Nicholls  keeps a very low profile.  She has been at it for 40 years, yet you may have never heard of her.

Read more . . .

Apr. 04


NOW AND THEN: Propaganda Posters

by Lynn Byrne

twitter propaganda

Available on Etsy, graphic designer Aaron Wood’s social media rift on classic war propaganda posters are quite witty.  Are you ready to win the social media war?

Propaganda posters were serious business during World War I and World War II.  The posters were used  to justify  a nation’s  involvement in the war and to recruit soldiers and other resources from the general populace. Propaganda poosters also were used to encourage war time thrift and to maintain morale.  During World War I, each nation that participated in the war issued posters,  but it is the USA that produced the most.

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Mar. 05


NOW AND THEN: Florence Broadhurst

by Lynn Byrne


Kate Spade reissues Florence Broadhurst’s japanese floral

Designer Florence Broadhurst’s life is a vortex of controversy, starting with the premise that she may not even have been a designer at all. 

It is well known that she had poor eyesight and that she hired out artists to draw all of the wallpaper designs issued in her name. The following photos with her drawing at a light-box and with an easel in her hand were staged for the press.

Plus she regularly fibbed about her past, including the most simple of facts: where and when she was born. Florence claimed to be 48 when she was in her 70s and that she was from England, not Australia.

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Feb. 17


NOW AND THEN: Country Life at Candace Wheeler’s Onteora Club

by Lynn Byrne

Image 14

Porch at Candace Wheeler's Home, Pennyroyal

When most people hear of a club in the Catskills, the so-called Borscht Belt immortalized in the film Dirty Dancing comes to mind.  But back in 1887, interior designer Candace Wheeler (subject of yesterday’s post) established an artists’ colony she named Onteora, which seems more akin to Charleston, the country base for the Bloomsbury Group.

Early visitors to Onteora, in addition to Candace Wheeler and her family,  included Mark Twain, the conservationist John Burroughs,  painters  George Bellows and Caroll Beckwith and the writers of  Elizabeth Custer (General Custer’s widow) and Mary Mapes Dodge.

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Feb. 03


NOW AND THEN: Jewelry by Tony Duquette

by Lynn Byrne


I don’t usually blog about fashion–you can head over to my tumblr to see some snaps of outfits that inspire me. But I simply can’t resist anything to do with creative genius, Tony Duquette.

By now you might have heard that Coach has launched a limited edition of jewelry in collaboration with his estate. The motifs in the collection are classic Duquette. It’s splashy, sparkly and fun, with a big style bang for the buck.

Let’s look at new and old, while I tell you how Duquette came to design jewelry in the first place. First some goodies from the Coach collection, seen above and below:

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