Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Don't it make my brown eyes blue

To continue my theme this week of blue in decoration, and also to continue the occasional series of favorites begun in June last year, here are photos of a room Chester Jones designed in the mid-nineties in London. Jones is definitely a decorator able to blend traditional furniture, tribal forms, contemporary art, color, space and light (see here and here) into rooms with a completely modern point of view. This interior is twenty years old, has not to my eyes dated, and could have been created either side of the pond. In other hands such a mix would drift into being a hodgepodge.

In most of the rooms I choose to write about, even the historic ones from the 1980s and 1990s, I see a similarity - not of style, necessarily, but a regard for architecture, history, affability and idiosyncrasy. Some are grand, some apparently simpler, some more tailored and polished than others, but all are courteous, approachable and urbane. I could look forward to coming home to any of them.

I don't know if anyone else would say the same, and maybe it's my imagination but there are so few birds. I sit now at my dining table looking out to the tops of trees and see hardly a bird. A hawk wheeled by and there are a couple of swallows swooping around. I don't want to give the impression that the sky has exactly been a maelstrom of wings, but what I don't see is worrisome enough to make me wonder if it's just this city, a wider manifestation or, as I say, I'm fantasizing.

Photos by Andreas von Einsiedel for an article written by Elfreda Pownall in The World of Interiors, October 1996.


  1. these are blutiful.You have me thinking Blue too.pgt

  2. So nice - definitely not for the birds.

  3. i remember traveling across country by car, my dad had been assigned duty and along the roads we took,birds lots of birds sitting on the phone lines. rows of birds. it hasn't been that way for years and years. when you kill bugs you kill birds.

  4. Blue
    Hours well spent - reading through your archives! Which I did last evening.
    I have a love/hate affair with blue. Love it in clothing, loathe it in interiors. Or at least I did. I now find myself strongly drawn to blue interiors but have no idea how to set about introducing blue to my largely white/brown/black (think Frederic Mechiche, sort of) home. I may be very fortunate to have discovered your site the very week you dedicate to blue!

  5. little augury - thank you. That I was not seeing as many birds as I thought I should really came home to me a few weeks ago when sitting on a cafe terrace he remarked that in Europe there would be sparrows hovering around the table waiting to get at crumbs after we leave. Here there were none.

    le style et la matiere - thank you.

    Anonymous - I fear you are right about the pesticides and the herbicides. It is not quite Rachel Carson's Silent Spring but the dearth of birds does make me wonder ....

    Denise - welcome. I read your comment on the other post but have yet to reply so my apologies. I'm trying to catch up. I know exactly what you mean when you describe your place as a Frederic Mechiche home - the darling of The World of Interiors during the 1980s and the 1990s. I looked at one of his rooms only two days ago and had thought of posting about him - and I probably will but I will first have to have a theme into which he fits.

    As you read more, as I hope you might, you will see what annoys me in decorating is the lack of color and the reliance on neutrals and so-called earth tones. If there's a color in decorating I don't like, I've yet to discover it, but we all have our preferences. Basically, I like the sober colour of mens' clothing enlivened with the flash of ties or waistcoats. On the other hand, throw me in a room palpitating with color and I'll love it. If there's a color I might not like to see in decorating it's maroon, though that might be a clothing prejudice.

  6. The Chester Jones room is the perfect blend of color and style...yes, I would definitely look forward to opening a door to this room every day.

    and for the birds...The Audubon Society could probably give you information on the National annual backyard bird count. Volunteers from all over the country count the number of birds in their backyards for an hour or so. This year's date may have already come and gone....

    Sadly, people's cherished household cats are responsible for killing 50,000 song birds a year. Ok, I know, I'm a dog person!

  7. Maroon! A truly, truly unpleasant color in clothing....although the occasional maroon cushion in a gilded palace interior is okay sometimes

  8. thank you, smilla4blogs. I shall check with the Audubon Society and I hope I am wrong in what I don't see. If I am then it's really frightening.

    Dilettante, good morning. An occasional cushion perhaps and surely only in the very occasional gilded palace interior. I've never liked maroon but call it burgundy and pour it in a glass then I'm all for it.