Saturday, September 17, 2011

Birds of a Feather Part III of III (My Inner Gypsy)

I have an inner gypsy . . .

From nowhere through a caravan
Around the campfire light
A lovely woman in motion
With hair as dark as night
Her eyes were like that of a cat in the dark
That hypnotized me with love

She was a gypsy woman
She was a gypsy woman . . .

Gypsy Woman
Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions


Gypsy by Thomas Sully

My dear friend, client, and  "Bird of my Feather" LWR often refers to me as her "Gypsy Designer", because I do have a yen for the edgy, exotic, elemental, eclectic, and unexpected popping up  in my design work. 

 I also tend to dress like a gypsy, layering accessories, and generally always have on a scarf, somewhere.

Oh yes, I do love to layer my jewels and baubles!

I am very, very rarely without a scarf on my person somewhere, usually around my waist or tied to my belt.  Scarves inspire outfits!

AND my vehicle is aways full of many interesting and disparate design elements that I am working on for my clients. 

For example,  among other things, these items were rolling along with me in my caravan, aka Expedition (it is NOT pink though), yesterday:

Gypsy Wagon Decor

 1.  A handmade wooden
shield 2' by 3', which I designed for a client's study, and that is emblazoned with a lion's head similar to the door knocker in this post's first photo.

Gypsy Wagon Decor

2.  A French bed corona that we are refinishing, retooling, and repurposing to use over the hand marbleized console in LWR's dining room. (Finished photos will be coming later!)
3.  A small antique Chiavari chair that needs to have the seat recovered.

Gypsy Wagon Decor

4.  Seven dozen preserved roses in different shades of pink and a huge box of preserved sheet moss for a client's French topiaries. 

5.  Four bolts and 13 sample books of fabric . . .

You get the picture!

Gypsy Wagon Decor

I think I come by LWR's "Gypsy Designer" moniker honestly.  My mother tells me that from the age of six months on, I insisted on having a kerchief tied around my head.

Baby Gypsy Marilyn (Me) wearing her kerchief
Taken exactly 50 years ago today, September, 17, 1961
(Okay, I am showing my age and what a fluke on the timing, incidentally also the same year that "Gypsy Woman" debuted.!) 

She was a gypsy woman
She was a gypsy woman . . .

Decorating with pink is a lot like me. It can be sweet, calm, soothing, traditional, and even girly. 
 AND pink has that inner gypsy that can interject the rustic, deep, edgy, bold, burnished and surprising. . .

Edgy and Raspberry Pink . . .

The colorful  abstract painting sets a playful, yet edgy tone here.  I love the movement in the form of the pink chairs and the bold contrast they provide against the pale blue painted chest.

Pale blue and a vibrant abstract painting again provide the foil for bold raspberry pink. I always LOVE a daybed functioning as a sofa.

Vintage Herman Miller Pink Sofa, ca. 1950.  I love  how crisp and fresh this still looks.  I am not quite as old as the sofa!

Here and below raspberry becomes very graphic and sophisticated with black and metallic.

Daring, Bold and Burnished Pink with a world wandering Gypsy Vibe . . .

Kelly Wearstler, Bird of  My Feather

Known for her use of dramatic and daring color, and artsy mixes of fabrics and design elements my "bird of a feather" Kelly Wearstler is THE MASTER of elegant, sophisticated, well-edited, yet "revealing her inner gypsy" interior and fashion design. 


"The power of color!  Color evokes emotion.  Color is strong, sensual, luxurious, and dramatic.  Color is everything!", exclaims Kelly.

 She explores pinks with  "Camellia, Wisteria and Vermilion" in her book Hue. 

I love the photos in her book and on her blog that capture her creative thought process. 

“I love how diverse pink can be,” says Los Angeles designer Kelly Wearstler. “Pale pink can be calming to the senses while a bolder shade can be energizing.”

Hillcrest Estate

Brentwood Estate

Doheny Estate

Kelly's ready to wear line has recently launched at Bergdorf Goodman and several other stores. It is interesting to see how her interior design aesthetic is incorporated in her clothing and accessories, as you can see in the above small photos.

Home Office

“Everyone looks good in a pink room,” says Wearstler, who used the hue in her own home office. “The contrast of the Pedro Friedeberg hand chair with the pink Bengal bazaar fabric of the desk chair is whimsical and vibrant.”

Kelly Wearstler for the Rug Company

I could study the details in Kelly's rooms for days.

She was a gypsy woman
She was a gypsy woman . . .

I am hoping that since you joined us for champagne on our first, and hopefully second posts, not long ago, that you have stayed for cake and another drink to celebrate PINK and your INNER GYPSY in our rustic, eclectic tent and kitchen . . . 


Or do you prefer the more daring Gypsy Stew for refreshment?

For must have party favors, handmade birds and nests from our bird of a feather  Zhenne Wood

"Rustic Kitchen" by North Carolina artist Denise Landi
4 feet by 4 feet oil over acrylic on canvas
The colors here are muted, yet still vibrant
Debuted at High Point Market

She was a gypsy woman
She was a gypsy woman . . .

Thank you for joining MS Design Maven for our first series of posts.  I hope you will join us often and become one of my BIRDS OF A FEATHER!

Don't forget to subscribe to MS Design Maven and 'like' MS Design Maven and Per Design Studio on Facebook to win one of our Birds of a Feather Blog Launch Giveaways, including a copy of Barry Dixon's new book Inspirations.  

Winners will be announced on
 September 19, 2011 via Facebook. 

Other giveaways include . . .

Fantastic handmade lavender sachets in pinks and shoe sachets from our bird of a feather designer Kevin McLaughlin at Mae Downs & Co in Philadelphia, PA

I LOVE these little strawberries.  What gems they are! Kevin adds so many special details to every piece.

mini color chip notepads in shades of pink

 Special thanks to birds of my feather LWR,  Kevin McLaughlin of Mae Downs & Co., Zhenne Wood, and Denise Landi 

Photo Credits:  Kelly Wearstler Hue, Kelly Wearstler My Vibe My Life, Elle Decor, Marilyn Storey, birdhouses -- 1st Dibs, others -- unknown found sources


  1. Hi Marilyn,

    I have really enjoyed reading your series of "birds of a feather". It has been very entertaining and has made me re-think the color pink.

    My favorite of the three is this last one. I love all of the colors and how they look so perfect together. They are such happy colors, bright and vivid, and I also love the design style, eclectic and bohemian.

    That picture of you in the scarf is so cute!

    Thanks for sharing. This was a fun series.

  2. What a fun, unusual post! I loved the modern raspberry and black entry picture especially!

  3. Marilyn I just came from FB and saw your new picture there, it is gorgeous, I love your inner Gypsy with the way you layer your jewelry!! You were one little cutie pie, Happy belated Bday,


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