Wednesday, November 16, 2011

John Lyle and My Trip to New York, It's a Black and White THING

It's a Black and White THING --

John Lyle
My Trip to New York

I have been missing you my friends. 

Mary Douglas Drysdale Black and White


Early, I mean really, really early, at a quarter until 3 in the AM, on Friday, October 28th I hopped, well actually dragged myself out of bed, to catch a flight to New York.  My good friend and client Pam was already there waiting for me to arrive.

At the airport, I picked up a copy of the November Elle Decor for the plane ride. 
 I am a total magazine hound,
as you might surmise.

Thumbing through it, I was very pleased to make the acquaintance of

a chair designed by John Lyle.
What a coincidence!
I was looking forward to a visit
with John in New York.

I connected in Charlotte and arrived at Laguardia around noon.  I had arranged for my car to take me by Pam's where I could run UPSTAIRS to drop off my bags and pick her up, and we could head straight to the D and D Building where we would only have a few hours to visit our long list of must visit showrooms.

The D and D (Decoration and Design) Building in New York
Sorry about the construction!

Elevator doors on one of the upper floors of
New York's D and D Building

Kravet and Lee Jofa were on our list of stops. 
I found a great black and white rug and lots of black and white
 fabrics, which I have sprinkled
 throughout this blog.

Kravet Rug

Lee Jofa Meander in Granite 

Pam and I enjoyed all the black and white at Ralph Lauren too.

Ralph Lauren's new One Fifth Collection

David Hicks for Lee Jofa Fiorentina in Domino

Ralph Lauren Showroom

Ralph Lauren Showroom

But of course, the piece de resistance of our visit to to the D and D building was
the Holly Hunt showroom
where my friend from high school the very
artistic, outspoken, slightly irreverent
(well a bit more than slightly!),
designer John Lyle is represented.

His andirons and fireplace equipment are the best I have ever seen.

John Lyle's Starburst fireplace screen is a showstopper!

Making an andiron decision is too hard.  We loved them all. 
 I do think I am just a bit partial to the Gates ones on top.

Pam and I looked, discussed, and planned until time was running short on our
abbreviated business day.
We had just enough time to grab a quick glass of champagne before it was time to hail a ride to our next stop in a yellow,
 NOT a black and white cab.

I would have given anything to show up at John's studio in a black and white
 VW THING just like the one John and his brother Bobby drove when I first met them.  The car was cute and one-of-a kind
and so were they!

John Lyle

As John would say,
 "How can you be content to
blend in with the crowd?"

I say, "Exactly!"

Of course, the Frederik chair greeted me in person as soon as I walked in the studio. 
 John was a bit surprised that we already knew each other.

John's studio, just across the river from the city with absolutely spectacular views of the city, was a breath of black and white fresh air. 
John and his precious, bubbly assistant Heather showered us with southern hospitality New York style and served us more bubbly and showed us around. 

John's associate Heather Moran and John in front of John's custom cabinet

In addition to all the perfect andirons and fireplace equipment at Holly Hunt, John also designs lots of great furniture, lighting, mirrors, and outdoor pieces that are


Just like John!

   His Inox New York line of stainless steel furniture is at Donghia in
 the D and D building.

John's Tobey desk with inlaid black and white marble

John's Edward Table

John's Michael Bench

My client Pam Walton and John
We have used black and white in her home.

John's Icon II Mirror

Matthew Desk in onyx shagreen with bone trim

Lee Jofa Palmavera Silk in Noir

John's Butler Console, Parchment with Ebony Trim

John's Christofi Outdoor Bench

John's Scroll Table

At the end of our studio visit and a great dinner, John agreed to meet us for a Sunday outing.


Pam and I wasted no time on our trip!  We were up early and ensconced at
ABC Carpet and Home when it opened Saturday morning.

Just a bit of the tons of great industrial elements on the
 first floor of ABC Carpet and Home.

One of the very delicious courses that Pam and I devoured was the Roasted carrot and avocado salad with seeds.
This salad is highly recommended by Martha Stewart.
And I highly recommend the cookbook "Home Cooking with Jean-Georges."

While we were having a truly delicious, organic, several course lunch at the James Beard award winning ABCkitchen there, I received a text from John
asking how we liked the snow. 
It had just been drizzling rain when we arrived. 

 Luckily we had our umbrellas for the blizzard when we finally struck out
 for the Metropolitan Museum.

Steps of the Metropolitan Museum during the Saturday snow

Pam and  I loved seeing Georgia O'Keefe's "Black Iris"
 in the ongoing Stieglitz exhibit.
We have used an art print of this painting and
several other O'Keefe's in Pam's Media Room.

I loved "Odalisque in Grisaille" by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres ca 1824-34



Up bright and early, AGAIN!  I am NOT a morning person!
But I am determined, with Pam's help,
to make the most of every minute in New York.
We head off to meet John, and for the first time my Facebook friends
Connie Lee of Doris Leslie Blau
and Kevin McLaughlin of
Mae Downs & Company at the special
Fortuny event at Bergdorf's
that I blogged about several weeks ago.

It was fun and very exciting to meet Connie Coco and Kevin Tru for the first time. 
 John arrived in Halloween attire,
Andy Warhol OR was it Carol Channing?

John Lyle, Kevin McLaughlin, Connie Lee. Marilyn Storey, and Pam Walton at Bergdorf's

 Kelly Wearstler for Lee Jofa Groundworks Flair in Noir

I also checked out Kelly Wearstler's accessories while we were there. 

Kelly Wearstler for Lee Jofa Groundworks Sea Urchin in Noir

Like me, I think Kelly also has a hand fetish.

Then we were all off across the street for brunch/tea at the Plaza's Palm Court. 
 It was rather surreal and fabulous.

Lee Jofa Felci Linen in Black
Could any fabric be more frondily appropriate for our visit to the Plaza's famed Palm Court?

Andy/Carol aka John Lyle at the Plaza's Palm Court

Of course tea included black and white cookies!

Lee Jofa Mulberry Family Silver Linen in Black and Creme
Well, just perhaps this one, since several of us had High Tea Service at the Palm Court.

Then, alas it was time for me to jump in another
NOT black and white cab
 and head back to the airport,
but not before we all said our goodbyes and promised to make it an annual and
 expanded design event!

Won't you join us next time?
Perhaps we shall make it a
 black and white ball . . .

But then again, we ALWAYS have a ball!

I have been loving all these black and white rooms since I got home . . .

And I can't wait to pour over Celerie Kemble's new book that is just out since my trip 
"Black and White, (and a bit in between)"

When I got home from New York, I had to complete an unscheduled but very exciting project that kept we away all last week.  I can't wait for a blog show and tell very soon. . . 

In the meantime, I am getting ready for a Thanksgiving Harvest Feast,
or should I say
 Thanksgiving Harvest Pheasant?

Tell me what you think of black and white design.  Do you like just graphic black and white, or do you like to soften it a bit by adding a few pops of another color(s)?
The first two photos are rooms designed by John Lyle in Jackson, MS.

Interior Design by John Lyle
I DO love the yellow!

Interior Design by John Lyle

This one if for you Coco!

 See you soon, John, my friend!

SEE more of John Lyle Design at

Photo Credits:   Mary Douglas Drysdale, Marilyn Storey, Kravet/Lee Jofa, Ralph Lauren, John Lyle, Metropolitan Home, Kelly Wearstler, Elle Decor

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