Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sam's Mural, Paper or Paint?, Part II

It is funny how one thing always leads to another, isn't it?

Connectivity NEVER ceases to amaze me.

Early the morning after I first photographed Don Jacobs on a ladder painting a chinoiserie mural at one client's home, another client PGW and I left Jackson heading for Oxford and her antique club meeting and luncheon, no cute suitcases this time, just a day trip!

Mural artist Don Jacobs in my client's foyer outside Jackson

Our precise destination was "Magnolia Hill", 
a stately Georgian Colonial Revival 
situated on twenty beautiful 
acres right in the heart of Oxford, Mississippi,
and the home of 
Sam and Mary Donnelly Haskell. 

Sam and Mary have recently returned to Mississippi from Los Angeles where Sam rose from the mail room to Vice President and Worldwide Head of Television for 
the William Morris Agency.

(You may have read Sam's recent 
and highly acclaimed book
Promises I Made My Mother.
If not, I highly recommend it!)

When we arrived at "Magnolia Hill" 
and walked through the front door,
we were welcomed by Sam 

Oil portrait of Sam over the mantle in his study.
There are photos of his friends and former clients all over the house.

and a soaring and beautiful 
sepia toned mural in the foyer. 

Sam greeted us with the warmest of Mississippi hospitality (indeed his mother taught him well and would be very proud) and a lovely tray of mimosas, and he began telling us his enthralling stories and how his home incorporates those stories in both big and small ways.

The vast and unbelievably 
detailed mural combines
meaningful locations from the Haskells' lives including Amory where Sam grew up and 
Pride Station, Alabama, from where Mary's family hails, along with buildings at Ole Miss and trees and scenery from the 
piney woods of Mississippi.

This part of the mural features Sam's hometown of Amory, MS, including the movie theater where Sam honed his early knowledge of movie stars.
The recess in this wall was especially designed for the ballroom pier mirror, one of the few pieces rescued from a fire at Mary's grandmother's home. 

Mary's grandmother's home in Pride Station, AL, with its adjoining cotton fields,
 is depicted going up the stairwell. 

  And guess who painted Sam's special mural?  Why none other than my friend and artist
 Don Jacobs whom I had left behind 
working on a mural in Jackson!

Don worked on this masterpiece at
 "Magnolia Hill" for four months, ten hours a day, with artist's brushes.

As I mentioned in my last post, I first met Don when he painted a powder room mural for a designer showhouse that we were both working on quite a few years ago.  

Another designer who was working at the Mississippi Governor's Mansion saw Don's powder room mural at the showhouse and recommended Don to then
 Governor Hailey Barbour
for a project at the Governor's Mansion. 

It's funny how one thing always leads
to another, isn't it?

Mississippi Governor's Mansion, one of the oldest in the country

Don painted a wonderful sepia toned, room sized mural, featuring scenes and foliage from all areas of the state, covering all the walls in a meeting room at the Governor's mansion.

He worked on it seven hours a day, 
for four months with artists brushes.

Then in a meeting with then
 Governor Hailey Barbour, Sam Haskell mentioned that he wanted a special mural painted by a Mississippi artist in the foyer of "Magnolia Hill."

And of course Don Jacobs was the recommended artist!

It's funny how one thing always leads
to another, isn't it?

A view of Pride Station, AL, from the second floor of "Magnolia Hill"

After a tour and many wonderful stories, we were treated to beautiful and delicious buffet luncheon on the back terrace.

A view of the back of the property from the terrace

I adore the inclusion of the fresh okra in the luncheon tablescape.

Thank you, Sam and Mary, for your wonderful Mississippi hospitality, 
and you PGW for a lovely day.

Sam signed copies of Promises I made My Mother for us.
Here my friend Cathy White!

It is funny how one thing always leads to another and how everything is connected,
 isn't it?

Speaking of that, stay tuned for Part III of
"Paper or Paint" and where the road does lead!

What do you think of the painted murals?

Do you like the monochromatic sepia toned murals or more colorful ones?

To see more of Don Jacobs' 
fabulous artwork, murals, 
and decorative finishes
CLICK HERE or contact me for 
more information.

Don Jacobs
Artist, Muralist, Decorative Painter, and MORE!
Thanks, Don!

photo credits:  Labougle, Marilyn Storey, Don Jacobs

Friday, April 13, 2012

Thank You So, Portico!, Welcome to My Home

Welcome to My Home!
Please come in . . .

This table in my foyer and the sofa table under the stairs
 both belonged to my grandmother Nanny.
I designed the Gothic chairs for a showhouse.  

I recently had the great pleasure of welcoming
Amelia Patterson of
who was photographing for
into my living room for 
a photo shoot for the magazine.

Let me show you around just a bit.

In my Gothic chair, the small pillow needlepoint crown pillow is an English antique
WITH a touch of eclectic leopard of course!
The Goofus Glass bowls on the table are from the early 20th century
 and part of my collection.  The colors of the Goofus Glass are perfect in the house.

My home is an extension of my studio, a place where I experiment and try out new ideas and combinations.

The house has two staircases, here the front stairs.
My mother's collection of mostly antique walking canes is in an antique Turkish vessel.
The European nude oil painting, framed in a hand made and custom gilded frame,
 is one of my favorites and
 contains the entire color palette of the house.

The antique chandelier, one of four identical ones in the halls, 
was rescued from a bank in Clarksdale.

Of course lots of things, 
in fact most of them, are old, vintage or antique, and some are a bit worn, but to me REAL, kind of like the Velveteen Rabbit.

Excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
 "Weeks passed, and the little Rabbit grew very old and shabby, but the Boy loved him just as much. He loved him so hard that he loved all his whiskers off, and the pink lining to his ears turned grey, and his brown spots faded. He even began to lose his shape, and he scarcely looked like a rabbit any more, except to the Boy. To him he was always beautiful, and that was all that the little Rabbit cared about. He didn't mind how he looked to other people, because the nursery magic had made him Real, and when you are Real shabbiness doesn't matter. "
I could not resist putting this in!  I cry every time I read it.

I am not sure I ever thought about it before, 
but REAL kind of sums 
up my design philosophy in one word.

Lots of REAL here:  More Goofus Glass, an antique plaster medallion, framed antique lace, antique Shakespeare books, antique green corbels,
and one of a pair of antique French tassels.

I tend to move things in and out, 
and often have overflow from my storage temporarily in the house, like this 
Scottish Courting Chair from a designer showhouse that I did.

I do love the Scottish Courting chair, also from a show house, in kind of a grasscloth fabric which is temporarily in my living room.  The bird pillow is an antique needlepoint.
The oriental rug was also Nanny's, as was the French coffee table.
  I love to use touches of shell like the box, also Victorian.
The preserved Mississippi Magnolia has lasted for nearly 40 years.

My color scheme throughout the house is a take off on Victorian colors.  I started with true Victorian colors since my house was built late in that era, completed ca. 1904, although the style of the house is Greek Revival.
But of course, I tweaked the colors to my own taste, brightening them a bit . . .


Of course I couldn't resist putting kumquats and long stemmed, 

spring Louisiana strawberries, in my colors of course,
 on an antique plate with metallic copper lustre trim.

I have been a collector my whole life and I love to use my collections in my design,
 like my Goofus Glass which is also late Victorian.

More goofus glass on my glass topped Chinese Chippendale oversized coffee table.
  I will save its story for another day.
I am planning to gild it soon.

And of course, I MUST have a few feathers tucked in!

Sorry about the lighting in some of these!
I was having camera issues.  I, unlike Amelia, am NOT a professional photographer.
Did you notice I elected not to put drapes in the living room?
I love to sit in here and just relax and enjoy the light in the afternoon,

 having a cup of tea or a glass of wine.
The house faces east, so the light is lovely and not too bright then, 

just warm and soothing.

This coal burning fireplace, now with gas logs,
in the living room is one of seven in the house.
I added the marble surround.

I love a velvet sofa.  This camelback one is in bottle green velvet that my father chose.
The urn pillows are vintage Fortuny. The center pillow is made from a rug.
I designed the others.  I love the linen scalloped ones.
The piece behind the center pillow is a full sample yard of vintage Fortuny, marked 1962.

The orange Fortuny is perfect in my living room where the walls
are a custom blended color which combines
terra cotta and melon.

More Goofus Glass!
And one of a pair of Nanny's lamps, one of a set of antique tiles,
and my (another!) 
collection of Limoges boxes, some displayed in  a gilded
  antique clock case.

I showed Amelia around just a bit, 
and we HAD to eat a few of those long stemmed, luscious Louisiana strawberries.

Then she and her cute, young, male assistant got to work making pictures.

Amelia Patterson, photographer for Portico jackson Magazine,
and her precious baby boy Keller

It didn't take Amelia long to make her photographs for Portico.

AND NOW . . .

I am so thrilled to be included in the Perspectives section of the new April issue. 

My good friend and designer Nancy Price's house was used for the color block fashion shoot in the same issue of
 Portico jackson Magazine where I was featured in the Perspectives section.

And the cross I recently gilded for the new Chapel at St. Dominic's made the cover of the March issue of the magazine,

The beautiful new Chapel at St. Dominic's will be dedicated next month.
I am so proud to have gilded the orb and cross on the top.

and is shown up close in the featured article.

Click HERE  to read about my gilding project for this orb and cross.

Thank you so, Portico!
Thank you Karen Gilder.
Thank you, Richelle Putnam.
Thank you, Amelia Patterson.

What do you decorate with that is REAL?

* Amelia explains the interesting name
 of her business
 Studio Milly Jean Weakleg:

"My family and friends from home (Memphis) call me Milly and my husband tacked on the Jean just being silly. And my maiden name is Armstrong so hence the Weakleg. And I refer to the business as Studio MJW and those just happen to be my grandmother's initials."

photo credits: Marilyn Storey, The Velveteen Rabbit, Portico Magazine, Amelia Patterson, Warren Husband

Sunday, April 1, 2012

ALWAYS Chic Chinoiserie, Paper or Paint?, Part I

 Of course I took many scarves and accessories on my trip!
via Couture Allure

I am finally back and unpacked!

I have been working on several big projects and travelling a bit, so I have lots of stories to tell, which somehow miraculously and without planning seem to link in various ways, and of course I MUST SHARE.

Elizabeth Dinkel Design

So to start at the beginning right here in Jackson . . .

Several months ago, my good friend and client asked me to help her with several projects in the new home she was building.

One of the things at the top of her list was the perfect wallpaper for her entry with its wonderful barrel ceiling.

We both agreed that she really needed the "oomph factor" in her entry.

Entry via Chinoiserie Chic, Paper Mural

Celerie Kemble Design, via Elle Decor, Paper Mural

Miles Redd Design via House Beautiful, Paper Mural

My client is a super organized person
(I am wishing that 
I was as organized as she is!)
 and had a notebook full of great ideas for wallpapers. 
We decided to look at 
hand painted chinoiserie papers like these.

Bedroom by Miles Redd

I have always had a fondness for them. 

When I was in high school we had one in our dining room almost just like this one.
(Perhaps another reason from my past that makes me so fond of birds!) 

My dining room had a chinoiserie silk paper with a metallic gold background.

The look is perpetuated since my mother had my portrait made in the room.

My client's color palette is a fun one
 (kind of Florida colors, which gives you a hint of where I headed first on my big 
road trip) 

so we looked at this paper
 from de Gournay.

de Gournay Panel

We actually looked at lots of papers from
 de Gournay, Griffin and Wong, 
and Gracie.

Detail from Griffin and Wong Paper

Griffin and Wong Panels

Gracie Wallpaper

We could just never quite find exactly the one we both thought was perfect and I admit we were a little worried the papers are TOO popular at the moment, although they are indeed a classic, popular since the 1700's.

So what to do?
We decided to paint!
We wanted a hand painted version of 
a hand painted chinoiserie paper.

Award winning painted mural by Kaveri Singh for designer Grady Cooley 
on twenty-two foot glazed walls

And I had just the right artist in mind  . . .

my longtime friend and artist Don Jacobs.

I have known Don for what seems like eons.
We first met working on a designer showhouse, and I have always 
admired Don's work.
 He is multi-talented and has an 
extensive portfolio, including portraits, decorative painting and murals.
His work is even in the 
Mississippi Governor's Mansion.

My client, and Don, and I met and worked out colors and details for every inch of her entry wall and ceiling, birds, branches that flowed up the walls onto the ceiling to create an "entry bower" of sorts, a neutral but pearlescent background, and the fun colors from the room but slightly muted.

And Don did NOT disappoint!

Don accentuated the pearlescent basecoat and silvered it just a bit, then he painted in the branches first.

Foliage and flowers followed.

Then he added the birds and butterflies.

And of course we added a few more 
at the end!

To be continued . . .

Next stop, Oxford!

What do you prefer, paper or paint for a chinoiserie mural?

photo credits: via Couture Allure, Elizabeth Dinkel Design, Marilyn Storey, Domino, via Chinoiserie Chic, Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Kaveri Singh, de Gournay, Griffin and Wong, Gracie