SUPPORTING CAST: 10 STARK WHITE PLASTER PIECES

by Marisa Marcantonio

Plaster, and a supporting cast of look-alike materials are everywhere these days. The crisp look of a matte white finish is appealing, for it puts the spotlight on the clean silhouette of the object, be it cast or carved, resin, alabaster or plaster. Bringing a classic art form from the past into the present, the results are stunning.  A diverse array of pieces exist out there,  here are several standouts.

Photo courtesy of Oly

With whimsical hoof feet, the dramatic Faline four poster bed from Oly can enhance a winter woodlands or lodge locale interior.

Photo courtesy of Cuff Home

The Stacked Entry Table from Cuff Home is giant slabs stacked at angles for dramatic effect. Very raw, very pre-masterpiece-Michelangelo-goes-to-the-quarry.

Photo courtesy of Porta Romana

A composite material covering a metal frame makes up the branch-like legs of Porta Romana's Twig Console with a stained wood top.

Photo courtesy of David Sutherland

One of my favorite pieces of all time, the re-editioned small tables designed by John Dickenson from David Sutherland. With a middle cinched with a rope, this tiny wonder is made of glass fiber mixed with concrete, providing a more durable material than the originals.

Photo courtesy of Stephen Antonson

Brooklyn-based artist Stephen Antonson creates amazing plaster pieces inspired by French masters Giacometti and Jean-Michel Frank. His Hex Table, with interlocking legs is a work of art. You can find it at Dessin Fournir showrooms.

Photo courtesy of Baker

With a round base and sweeping lines, Baker's Linea Table Light designed by the Pagani's is a pared-down beauty.

Photo courtesy of Karen Robertson

With retro flair, Karen Robertson's Clamshell Sconce of cast resin is perfect for seaside homes. A lot of designers have asked me where to find this, and voila!

Photo courtesy of Made Goods

A reinterpreted sunburst made of spiky, milk-white resin, Made Goods Serrat Mirror.

Photo courtesy of Stephen Antonson

Overlapping spheres of white plaster make for a curvaceous dimensional above a console or dresser. Another ethereal piece designed by artisan Stephen Antonson, through Dessin Fournir.

Photo courtesy of Made Goods

With the flair of a Serge Roche piece, Made Goods captures the essence of a French Palm circa 1930's Baroque Torchere.

THE SUBTLE SOPHISTICATION OF SHAGREEN

by Marisa Marcantonio

Shagreen, stingray and shark skin, known in French as Galuchat (everything sounds better in French, don't you agree?) after a French master craftsman who worked with the material,  is recognizable by its tell-tale circular pattern of calcified scales on the surface and slight sheen. You can find beautiful antique shagreen pieces, often Art Deco period,  in a pale green coloration. But more recently, shagreen, both faux and real have made a comeback as a surface material. The appeal lies in the textural interest and subtle luxurious look of the varied skin.  It can be found in a wide variety of colors, on large and small pieces, making it a wonderful accent to both modern and traditional interiors. 

Photo courtesy of Garrison Rousseau 

A plethora of pastel-hued shagreen telephone tables made by Garrison Rousseau crafted in the Philippines make me swoon.  His assortment of beautiful furniture covered in shagreen is endless.

Photo courtesy of Century 

A classic Gueridon table gets the glam treatment with an inlaid shagreen top at Century Furniture. Note the charming hoof feet.

Photo courtesy of Hickory Chair 

Mixing a rich Mahogany and Rosewood alongside a faux shagreen, Thomas O'Brien for Hickory Chair channels Art Deco simplicity of form in the Margaux Table.

Photo courtesy of Walker Zabriskie 

Clean lines and plinth simple design provide a minimalist style in Walker Zabriskie's shagreen coffee table

 Photo courtesy of Kemble Interiors 

Based on a vintage design, this curvilinear custom coffee table by Kemble Interiors

through Dering Hall is covered in pale pink shagreen with a lacquer overlay. it is a great option for larger spaces. 

Photo courtesy of Gabby 

Soft curves covered in charcoal faux-shagreen on Gabby's Sutton Coffee Table through Candelabra.

Photo courtesy of DwellStudio

A sexy round low cocktail table, The Milo from DwellStudio from Zinc Door, is topped with grey faux shagreen and sits on a triangle-shaped black iron base.

 Photo courtesy of Made Goods 

Streamlined and covered in ecru faux shagreen, the versatile Sorin Nightstand from Made Goods can work double-duty as a nightstand or small dresser. 

Photo courtesy of Regina Andrews

 The Prism Mirror by Regina Andrews through Zinc Door covers all the right angles with a Deco feel. I am crazy about this piece.

 Photo courtesy of Two's Company

I cannot get enough of these trinket trays from Two's Company. Each season they come up with new designs, and I especially like the faux shagreen pale hues they do. These come in handy on every table.

Photo courtesy of Monc 13

 Beautifully quilted pieces of purple shagreen are like a puzzle on De Nacre et D'Orient's stunning inlaid jewelry box from Monc 13. The purple is jazzy.

 Photo courtesy of AERIN 

Providing a luxe spot to store baubles, AERIN'S sky blue embossed shagreen jewelry box trimmed with gold has a pretty closure detail. It would make a special gift anyone serious about pretty storage.

STYLISH TRAVEL: ON MY WAY TO LYFORD CAY

by Marisa Marcantonio

In a few days I am headed to the Bahamas and the trip is sure to be a beautiful escape.  With the palest hue of pink as it's signature shade, Lyford Cay, located in Nassau, is a pristine spot frequented by New Yorkers and Brits seeking all-things leisure: sun, sand, sailing and play.  The enclave, founded in 1963 by E.P Taylor, recently received a design overhaul by New York-based interior designer and architect, Tom Scheerer. A long-time Bahamian resident, Scheerer understands the Bahamian lifestyle, sense of tradition and tropical temperament of island life. The result is something I have been eager to see, so having the opportunity to visit is a terrific way to start the new year.  Looking forward to sharing some island style with you upon my return!

Photos Peter Estersohn for Town and Country

The pink and white new tented area houses The Little Club, surrounded by Palms.

The Living Room at The Lyford Cay Club is surrounded with brown and cream painted palms on grass cloth. Seating areas include cozy sofas upholstered in Quadrille fabrics and wicker chairs. Every spot seems intimate in this large room.

The view of the other side of the room, that leads out into the entry. Touches of pale green dot the room to play off the palest pink in the print.

 The dining area in The Yacht Club has a rich royal blue painted floor, and a sailfish as a focal point. Clean and crisp, like a freshly pressed dress shirt, the room is simple and comfortable.

A covered seating area is curtained to let the breezes pass through. A plantation table in the center of the room creates a gathering spot.

An seating area of the  bar with cane-covered walls and coral colored touches.

THE DETAILS: 

Tole Agave potted in an antique urn by artist Tommy Mitchell reads dry heat. 

Photo courtesy of Serena and Lilly

Durable teak and delicate bone inlay in Serena and Lilly's Starburst Tray makes a nice addition on an ottoman or can serve as a makeshift bar in a pinch.

Photo courtesy of Made Goods

The Bruni Chandelier from Made Goods resembles spiny coral, and it's round shape is perfect for illuminating center halls.

Photo courtesy of Soane

Nothing says tropics like pineapples. Soane's stunning Pineapple Lamp in antique nickel is on my short list.

Noir's canopied Gigi Chair in woven rattan has island appeal.

In a cerused light finish, Century's curvy backed dining chair adds a light presence.

Diminutive little Jenna slipper chairs from E.J. Victor are a favorite of mine.

With a lattice back and cushion seat, Global Views light wood armchair has an elegant air. 

Photo courtesy of C. Bell

Fretwork sides and round nickel pulls on the new C. Bell Collection Sarge Desk makes it a winner for it's Chippendale interest and substantial size.

Photo courtesy of Bungalow 5

A simple silhouette with classical lines, the white lacquered Porto Dining Table from Bungalow 5 is sleek and chic.

 X-based bunching tables from the newest Bernhardt collection are simple and functional.

 Always have a place to set a drink with Emissary's ceramic octagonal garden seat with lattice detailing.

Global Views does it again, with a laser-cut fretwork detailed marble coffee table with plenty of surface area for stacks of books and hurricanes.

Photo courtesy of Oomph

Backgammon is a frequent past time that is best paired with rum drinks. I hear the Rum Dum is the thing to swill. Oomph's table has room for each player's glass.

Photo courtesy of Circa Who

A foyer could benefit from the addition of breezy natural bamboo, like this vintage console and mirror from Circa Who.

A nightstand that actually has space to put things is key. This two-tiered version, the Rennie, from Mr. and Mrs. Howard for Sherrill does the job well.

A great pediment and column detail on Mr. Brown's vast bookcase brings a touch of English to the islands.

Cut-out doors and a light limed finish on Studio A's cabinet provides storage and surface area for  a dining room or living room.

 Photo courtesy of Haymarket Designs

Monogrammed beach towels from Haymarket Designs come in a zillion bright and cheery patterns and colors. They make great thank you gifts. I was going to get them for my mom in Florida, but she beat me to it.

Photo courtesy of Helen Kaminski

When you would rather go incognito, Helen Kaminski's wide-brimmed raffia hat does the trick.

Photo courtesy of Quadrille/Taigan

For the beach and lunch under an umbrella, Quadrille Shorts in their Aquarius print.  I will be taking along my Quadrille tote bag as my carry on, a job it has performed well for years.

Photo courtesy of Jack Rogers

I'm not advocating wearing these with the coordinating shorts above (!), try pairing these Quadrille for Jack Rogers with all white for a polished look.

Photo courtesy of Della Terasi

Light up the night in a Della Terasi silk Mandarin Tunic made of Fortuny fabric.

Photo courtesy of Shellkare

Keep cool in a versatile Kate linen Kaftan by Shellkare with beautiful embroidery and beading.

Photo courtesy of Sail to Sable Sail to Sable's linen Flirty Dress is in the perfect shade of shell pink Bahamas homes are often painted in.

Photo courtesy of Chance

Updated classics, like Chance's striped sailor shirt in aqua and white stripes broadens the Breton 's match-ability.

Photo courtesy of Trina Turk

With a singular shining sun charm, Trina Turk's chain link bracelet is simple and elegant on the wrist. It would work well with the striped boatneck shirt above.

Photo courtesy of J. Crew

A nautical Knot bracelet from J. Crew adds a glimmer of gold with classic knots.

Photo courtesy of Julie Vos

A clear aqua Chalcedony hangs from a chunky gold chain on Julie Vos's long Robi necklace that adds a bit of color to a tunic for evening. It is the same necklace pictured above with Della Terasi's silk top.

Photo courtesy of Kotur

Ombred silk on Kotur's blue stried straw bag with silk tassel has charm, with just enough space for the basics.

 Photo courtesy of Annabell Ingalls

Mixing raffia and leather, Annabell Ingall's Sunny Bag is a good carryall tote bag for lugging beach stuff.

SLEEP ON IT PART II: A PLACE TO REST YOUR HEAD

by Marisa Marcantonio

Looking for a new bed to freshen your bedroom? Look no further. To round out my post of recent bedding additions, here are some beds to make you want a new place to rest your head for 8 hours a night. Or, if you are the president, a new mom or Martha Stewart, four.

UPHOLSTERED:

Oomph recently launched a squiggle - backed headboard that is very unique, and a nice addition to the market

Century's graduated curvy Temple King headboard is very now

 Lee Industries does upholstery so well and their headboards are no exception. The camel curved Queen bed was upholstered in a bold black and white ikatesque fabric at market.

Photo courtesy of Drexel Heritage Drexel Heritage has this cool cut - out silhouette in a fun bug and butterfly print at market

Photo courtesy of Horchow

With ethnic flair, the Vanessa headboard from Horchow has Moroccan flourishes

Photo courtesy of World Market

Add global glam to your enclave with World Market's Ninda headboard. Boy, is it a great deal, too.

Photo courtesy of Serena and Lilly

The Octavia bed with nailhead trim in a Greek key motif from Serena and Lily for a fresh upholstered look with a little glimmer.

 This past market also saw the launch of Phoebe Howard's Mr. and Mrs. Howard collection at Sherrill Furniture that had this great curved tufted headboard.

 Photo courtesy of Dwell

With a stepped - up silhouette, this Deco upholstered headboard from Dwell Studio is not too femme and super comfortable.

Photo courtesy of Drexel Heritage

Clean corners, an inset border and linear tufting for the neatniks from Drexel Heritage.

Photo courtesy of Century Furniture

Charlotte Moss's new Atlanta bed from Century Furniture, a showroom exclusive, is an instant classic.

UNIQUE MATERIALS:

Photo courtesy of Made Goods

Covered with Penn Shell, the Gavin headboard from Made Goods adds an exotic touch to a classic cut corner shape. 

Photo courtesy of Ballard Designs

Clipped corners and caning on Ballard's Averill Headboard is just the thing for warm weather locales.

HIGH AND MIGHTY:

Another goodie from Mr and Mrs. Howard in grey turned wood and curved headboard.

Photo courtesy of Noir

Big on style, the Ferret Bed from Noir has turned detailing and high posts.

 Photo courtesy of The Well Appointed House

The Summerland Key Bed from The Well Appointed House is a classic bamboo canopy bed with a twist. The all-white finish keeps it fresh while the added detail above the headboard provides additional visual interest.

Photo courtesy of Lilly

The Paramount metal king bed from Lilly Pulitzer Home has presence galore with four posters and a swish canopy in a brushed gold finish

 Photo courtesy of Restoration Hardware

Keep romance alive with Restoration Hardware's iron Campaign Canopy Bed.

Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn

With stature and four posters, the Antonia Canopy Bed, a metal bed from Pottery Barn, has old world charm and comfort with an upholstered headboard

GREAT PAIRS OF TWINS:

Lexington Home Brands West Indies twin headboard with lattice and bamboo detailing would make any guest room cozier.

Lilly keeps it preppy with bamboo detailing on their Tangiers Bed.

Suzanne Kasler added a femme tented canopy to her Simone Upholstered Headboards for Hickory Chair at market. Perfect for teen aged girls.

 Photo courtesy of Schoolhouse Electric

A little bit dorm room a little bit old-school, Schoolhouse Electric gets it right with the boldly colored Hamilton  Bed

THE MATRESS:

Photo courtesy of Hastens

Handmade in Sweden, Hastens frame-based beds and mattresses are known by their distinctive check available in many colors. Filled with horsehair, cotton, flax and wool, they start at $4000 and take over 100 hours to create. Their showroom at 75 Grand Street will be easily recognizable with the crisp signature blue and white checked beds waiting for nap trials.

 Photo courtesy of Savoir Beds

Initially created for The Savoy in London, Savoir Beds have been gracing royal and luxurious bedrooms in England since 1905.  Wool, horsehair and hand-tied springs make up their natural beds that breathe well. Their pillow tops add an additional layer of coziness. Check out their showroom at 28 Wooster Street to take one for a test drive.