EVERYTHING'S COMING UP ROSES

by Marisa Marcantonio

Photo courtesy of Designer's Guild
A digitally printed panel Bosquet, is oversized and breathtaking

From the minute I saw these new fabrics and wallpaper panels from Designer's Guild's Zepherine Collection at the D and D Building's Osborne and Little last spring, reminiscent of stage sets and English country manors, I was taken by their old world, British brooding yet charming impact.

Ornamental Garden, a fabric panel of gigantic urns against a glamorous dark grey background is like nothing else out there. Yes, more is more.

The design is also available in a wallpaper, the hyper realistic flowers and urns set against a background with classic molding. It is fantastic in that Cecil Beaton's English country house way.

The drop repeat of flower filled urns in Rugosa has an unparalleled wow factor to it.

The pastiche collage effect of this Orangerie fabric makes me love it. I could envision it on a chair, in pillows or covering every surface in a small guest bedroom to create an indoor garden.

Palmieri, a grisaille drawing of flower and frond filled classical urns against a bright pop of color is pretty eye catching.


Photo courtesy of Rizzoli
If Tricia Guild's inventive designs and verve for explosive patterns and color intrigues you, then take a look at her newest visual feast,
Colors Patterns and Space from Rizzoli. As Tricia's largest design book, with over 400 photos, the hardbound tome has a vibrant silk binding with woven ribbon details. If you are familiar with her vast King's Road emporium, then you know she has a mesmerizing way with color pairings and design.

ADD A TOUCH OF GRAY

by Marisa Marcantonio

A grey and red interior designed by Mary McDonald

Everything looks better with a hint of grey. As an accent or dominant color, all shades of gray are being used in unique and inspiring ways. From charcoal to dove, no grey is outre.

Oval platters painted with pewter botanical motifs from Caskata.

Photo courtesy of Julian Chichester
The Kelso Loveseat covered in grey velvet from Julian Chichester.

Photo courtesy of Chelsea Textiles
Chelsea Textiles new Lounge Chair in grey.

Photo courtesy of Lee Jofa
For Lee Jofa, Eric Cohler's Mille Fleur Animal Insect print.

Photo courtesy of West Elm
A grey Tall Drum Pendant Light from West Elm in Platinum

Photo courtesy of Schumacher
Ric Rac in dove from Studio Bon through Schumacher

Photo courtesy of CB2
Add a touch of haberdashery with a Bold Grey Stripe Pillow of wool flannel from CB2.


, Photo courtesy of Julia B
Need napkins? A rich charcoal linen with hemstitch border and two letter hemstitch from Julia B.

Photo courtesy of Juliska
The Pewter Square Baker from Juliska is a chic shape and goes from oven to table. Have you even started to think about your Thanksgiving table yet? This will get you there.

Photo courtesy of Dwell Studio
Dwell Studio's new Facet Rug in charcoal and cream

Photo courtesy of Dransfield and Ross
Hidcote Placemat from Dransfield and Ross

Photo courtesy of Tritter Feeder
Tritter Feefer's Madame X Desk

Photo courtesy of Made goods
Made Goods Cara Side Table with a faux shagreen surface.

Photo courtesy of Osborne and Little
New from Osborne and Little, the Maharani Collection's print Balyan channels MC Escher optical illusions.


A charming tufted chair from Zentique upholstered in grey linen.

Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn
Add a warm glow with the Park Hill Lantern from Pottery Barn for the rustic, worn look.

A new pattern in cool greys from Ferran Bedding

YOUNG TRADITIONAL AT MCMILLEN PLUS

by Marisa Marcantonio

"Taste is relative, but to be positive and vital it must respect the past, accept the present and look forward with enthusiasm to the future."
-Eleanor McMillen Brown, from Sixty Years of Interior Design

Christine Grace and Elizabeth Pyne head up McMillen Plus. Together, they take a younger clientele through the design experience, guiding them to stylish and fresh fabrics and furniture replete with the service and attention to detail McMillen is so known for. Established in 1924, McMillen is one of the oldest American design firms still operating today. By combining great style with business acumen, Eleanor was one of the first ladies of her generation to study interior design, and became a force in the industry. After three years at Parsons in New York and Paris she put out her shingle in a townhouse on 55th Street. One of her great strengths was the way she arranged furniture in a welcoming way. Albert Hadley, Mark Hampton, and Kevin McNamara worked there, and she allowed them to get credit for the work they did. With this history and service, McMillen has a way to attract the sort of client they always have. But now they are speaking to a new generation, the client that wants great design and ideas while leading a less formal lifestyle. You may have seen the House Beautiful article about the firm, explaining their important historical influence.
When I heard about the new division, I instantly wanted to learn more about it. Elizabeth is the third generation of “Sherrill” women – her grandmother, mother, and now she works at McMillen, which is a corporation, and owned by the partners of the firm. Elizabeth and I had both majored in art history and attended Trinity College, and her mother Ann went to my high school, so I reached out to her to get the story.

You recently joined McMillen, where your mother and grandmother are designers.

I joined McMillen seven months ago in November.

What did your grandmother teach you about design growing up? What is the best advice she ever gave you about design?

My grandmother has never sat me down to “teach” me. (That has been my mother’s role. And she is a fantastic teacher!) However I have learned by observing my grandmother in action:
My grandmother is always dreaming up new schemes. Ever since I was little, I remember her making additions to her houses and coming up with new projects. And she is always acquiring new objects for her houses (and all of ours), and building onto existing rooms. She changes her mind quickly and even at her age, she embraces new ideas that I never thought she would.

My grandmother (and mother) instilled in me the importance of longevity in design: One of my earliest memories is of choosing my bed (lace canopy) for my room at 580 Park Avenue. I was dying to have a bed where the canopy was gathered into a huge gold crown. And I remember my mother saying to me, “You can have it if you really want, but I think that you will tire of that gold crown in a few years, and then you will be stuck with something that you don’t like.” It seems very simple, and obvious, but I never forgot it. Whenever I buy something for myself, or I am looking for a client, I really try and think of the long term: is this a fabric that will get tiring after a while, is this a rug that can be reused in another space? And this type of thinking is most important, I think, for my clients, some of who are in rentals or are in smaller apartments. I encourage them to invest in things now that they can see themselves with for a long time and that could be transferred to other spaces.

How did growing up in and around beautiful, well designed interiors affect your sense of style and eye?

It spoiled my eye! I can’t help liking things that are well crafted. I used to lie in my bed in the mornings and run my fingers up and down my wallpaper, feeling the raised pigments. Today, I am so disappointed with wallpapers that are flat-feeling. Now that I’ve learned something about textiles and wallpaper, I realize that my old wallpaper was made with something like 28 screens. I think that I am more able to think of things in terms of schemes. Whenever I see an object that I love I immediately think: but how could I fit this into the scheme that I am working on? I am fascinated by the way things are made. When I was a little girl, I used to unravel the bullion fringe of our living room ottoman because I was so curious to see how the threads were twisted and woven together.

Your tastes run classic with a penchant for French 30's and 40's accents. Where do you think that came from?

I like those pieces because they are modern in feel, but they are also whimsical, with little hand-made details.

You studied abroad and traveled a great deal in Europe. What inspired and influenced you most?

What fascinates me about Europe – Italy especially – is the way that masterpieces are a part of the fabric of everyday life. And in Europe I get a sense that there are layers: civilizations and generations building upon one another. In Venice for example, the church of Madonna dell’ Orto is a 14th and 15th century structure; inside of it there are these huge canvasses painted by Tintoretto in the 16th century; the organ over the entrance of the church was built in the late 19th century; and now, in the 21st century, they continue to hold services there. And I love interiors that incorporate works of art and that have that sense of layering.

Studying art, especially old masters, was your passion. What made you switch tracks?

Art was, and still is, my passion. I love beautiful things. But I don’t think that my passion was just for old masters, or even paintings. Art for me is anything that is beautiful and moving: whether it’s the brilliant hues in a masterpiece by Bellini or the deep purple of a Manuel Canovas linen. I was drawn to interior design because now I have a chance to create beauty in interiors, instead of just studying it, or selling it.

With the starting of a younger division McMillen Plus, what are the goals of the new team and what is your focus?

The goal of McMillen Plus is to capture a younger client. One of our problems is that people, especially my age (29), think that McMillen is a little too “venerable” for them, and we are trying to counter that reputation.

However, we also think that we can offer young clients a lot of expertise that a lot of young decorators cannot offer their clients, i.e., I am working with, and having my ideas vetted by, designers and architects who have been doing this for thirty years.

McMillen offers a white glove experience. How do you think people's lifestyles have changed from when your grandmother began?

We still aim to offer a white glove experience, as I think all decorators should. Our job is to make decorating as smooth and as painless as possible for our clients. I think that is a major reason for someone to hire an interior designer: to have someone else chase vendors, supervise an installation, etc. And I don’t think that that will ever change.

One thing that I think has probably changed is that people are more comfortable with casual and simple looks, as opposed to overly formal and elaborate. This is even apparent when you look at what I wear to work: when my grandmother first started the older ladies of the firm would actually wear white gloves to work, whereas now I wear blue jeans all the time. But that’s not to say people want sloppy. I think people will always want an elegant and coherent look, and that is something that McMillen has always excelled at.

What does home mean to you?

Home is a place where I am surrounded by things that I love.

I went to visit her at home, in the apartment she designed. I love all the femme elements, cream and rose colors, and beautiful art placed thoughtfully in the space. I caught her on a night she was going out, hence the dressy dress!

An entryway leads into the sitting room, where glam upholstered Hinson chairs flank the fireplace and plush sheepskin rugs add a dash of old Hollywood. Black and white elements tie the rooms together and colorful vases with family mementos fill the bookshelves.

In her sitting room, she used coordinating fabric at the windows to match the Osborne and Little wallpaper. Floral and feminine with butterflies, the feeling is light and fun. A great set of antique metal furniture form a sitting area and an trefoil ottoman floats next to it.

Her living room has ottomans and places to perch during a cocktail party. Amassed over years, art collection extends to every wall in her home, even her bathroom has a wonderful Wyoming landscape.


The Osborne and Little window treatment fabric ties the room together. To find accessories and other special things, she spends time hunting for great vintage pieces, including her new Parzinger benches, upholstered in the original yellow leather.


She wallpapered her kitchen and powder room off the back of the kitchen in a small black and white pattern.

Her girly pink and white bedroom where she has combined mid-century modern pieces with traditional elements is cozy.

A classic Rose Cummings coral wallpaper creates a fresh palette for her white accented bedroom. As an avid collector of paintings and drawings, botanical prints hang above Elizabeth's modern desk. After working in the Old Masters Department at Sotheby's, she made the change to design.

By adding built in cabinets she has storage galore. A fold-up vanity from Conran's takes up a small amount of space. A piece like this makes getting ready for a night out a treat.