The Rest Of The Story

I've been studying the September 2008 issue of Veranda ever since I posted the photo of Laura Montablan's office last week. It's a jam-packed issue with interiors to suit every taste.  The variety of interiors reminds me of the dessert trolley at restaurants from a bygone era.  Remember those? There were so many choices--Boston Cream Pie and Baked Alaska flambĂ©, to name a few.  Or how about traditional New York Cheesecake?  I would have liked a taste of each, but could only choose one. 

And if I could only choose one interior from that magazine, it would be Laura Montalban's apartment. If you read the interview about Ms. Montalban at the New York Social Diary, you'll know that she was the design director for the late Bill Blass for over thirty years. If you've seen photos of Bill Blass's Sutton Place apartment, you'll know that like Blass, Laura Montalban has great taste.

Her apartment is filled with Beidermeier and English furniture, classical prints, Billy Baldwin slipper chairs and even a Jonathan Adler Greek key rug. Silver boxes and an iron coffee table with a black glass top contrast with the wood furniture (see the NYSD website for more).  The walls are soft gray.

 And I can't take my eyes off the leopard print fabric (by Clarence House) on the benches.  Now I'm wondering if it's time to bring some leopard into my living room. 

All photos by Bruce Buck for Veranda, September 2008.

Modern Times

The home of interior designer Laura Montalban via New York Social Diary
Here's something I never thought I'd say:  More and more often these days, I'm drawn to interiors that include contemporary furniture and lighting.   My taste is evolving and although I'll never go all contemporary, a room with a mix of modern furnishings and antiques catches my attention more than a room full of one or the other.
The home office of Laura Montalban seems mostly contemporary with the sleek white desk and book shelves until you see the ebonized cabinet, which cleverly hides the television. The black accents in the room are appealing, I believe, because they are the same color, but from different eras.  I've been thinking about that Tizio desk lamp for awhile and need to find a place for one in my house.

The vertical bookcase is interesting and not something I've seen before.  It's a great idea for a small space.

I also like the black-framed abstract collages.  Although it's not visible in these photos there is also a graphic black and white rug in the room.  It's a New York apartment not to be missed so click the New York Social Diary link above for the full tour.

What appeals to you--contemporary style, antiques or a mix of both?

Share the Fantasy

Erba Cycles of Boston
The last great bicycle I owned was an orange ten-speed Peugeot that my parents got me for my thirteenth birthday.  I felt very sophisticated riding a French bicycle (actually, I'm not sure it was really made in France).  That bike had style and I'm ashamed to admit that I flaunted it, which is not my style.  Other kids admired it and I enjoyed telling them that it was a Peugeot.  You know, a Peugeot, I'd say.  Peugeot  makes cars in France, you know (maybe they did know).  It's a wonder that I had any friends at the time. 

When I went to college, the bike sat unused in the shed until my mother gave it to Jeffrey, one of the younger neighborhood kids.  My mouth fell open with surprise when she told me. What?  That bike is too big for Jeffrey, I protested.  It's not his kind of bike.  I got over it though, knowing that the bike would be well used, if not well cared for.  The orange Peugeot would often be parked in front of Jeffrey's house, unattended and ripe for the picking by a thief with a penchant for European (perhaps) bicycles.  I considered having a talk with Jeffrey about responsibility, but didn't.   

That was 27 years ago and I hadn't thought of the Peugeot until I saw the Erba bike.  Made of bamboo, it has the mellow glow of a fine antique and the zest appeal of a racy sports car.  And look at that basket.  Can't you imagine peddling home from the farmers market on a warm summer day, the wind in your hair, not a car around for miles, no iPhone, no Blackberry, just the basket loaded with ripe blackberries and freshly baked bread?  I certainly can.