Build the Petit Trianon

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I came across this graphic recently to build your own model of the Petit Trianon. Simply click on the image above to enlarge and save to your computer. Print out on cardstock and voila -a few minutes of fun crafting! You may remember the postcard models I built of various house styles which I keep on my desk at work-this is soon to join them. Enjoy!
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San Simeon: Doges Suite

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If someone were to ask me what my favorite room was at San Simeon, I would have to answer the sitting room in the Doges suite.The suite is so named as the balcony, seen above, is a replica of one at the Doge's palace in Venice - again with that view! Of the many show-stoppers in this room, the most important is the ceiling, 18th century Italian. The ceiling was acquired from the estate sale of architect Stanford White, folllowing his death, where he had had it installed as his townhouse living room ceiling.The image above shows the ceiling in its' entirety. White purchased the ceiling from an Italian Palazzo and had it shipped to one of his many warehouses outside of New York, where his clients would pick and choose bits and pieces from his European travels for installation in their own projects - an early example of an upscale salvage store!This was similar to the approach Hearst took with his building of San Simeon, in fact much of what he purchased was not even used. The above 2 photos are of White's living and dining rooms.I think I prefer this room because it's not a heavy Spanish style but rather more baroque Italian: light, colorful and fun. A close up of the restored Standford White ceiling. Now on with the tour!Every single item in the room is both useful but also strikingly gorgeous, my mantra!Two nearly identical bedrooms with private baths flank the sitting room in enfilade style.The bedroom ceilings are identical but, as we were told, one is an antique and the other is a replica to match. The lamp above on the right above is an antique Venetian gondalier's lantern.I think these rooms are much more pleasant than other guest rooms at the estate due to the vibrant colors and worn wood finishes: a softer feeling.
The lamps throughout are all exquisite: some people have chair fetishes, mine is lamps. These little alabaster lamps were just adorable with the bell shades -also notice the silver sconces.Again the rooms are finished with suitcases and clothing from the 30s, a nice touch. I love the antique vestment above the bed.So tell me, would you prefer the Doge's suite or the tower bedroom?Images of Standford White's townhouse and ceiling image from "Gilded Mansions: Grand architecture & high society" by Wayne Craven.
As with all of my San Simeon posts, written permission was kindly granted to post my interior photos of the estate on this blog only. Please respect that and do not copy. Thanks!
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San Simeon: Tower bedroom

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Located high above the Casa Grande is one of the favorite guest rooms at the ranch: the tower bedroom (just one of 58 in the main house). Located in one of the 2 bell towers, the bedroom is like a disney movie's princess bedroom and many of Hearst's most famous guests requested this room when visiting the ranch.Getting there isn't easy and includes a lot of steps up winding stairways. While the outside is clad in white stone, the interior is left with the bare poured concrete walls which I think look amazing, especially with antique lanterns to light the way!Here we are at our destination, fit for a princess (or a harem!). Of course, the ceiling is a gorgeous antique and the main feature of the room.
Romance is the theme, shown by....ahem...the mirror over the bed.
Be careful what you wish for however, as a saint stands guard in one of the many windows!
This jumble of rooms at the top of the mansion is a maze; without a guide you would surely be lost. I wonder how Hearst's guests managed? I've heard that wandering around the estate past curfew wasn't encouraged (in fact was discouraged with dogs let loose throughout the house) so getting lost wasn't an option in the evenings.
Each room hidden away in these attics hold as many treasures as the rooms below, with the benefit of a marvelous view.
As with all of my San Simeon posts, written permission was kindly granted to post my interior photos of the estate on this blog only. Please respect that and do not copy. Thanks!
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Mirror, Chrome, and Gin Fizz: Art Deco in Britain

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On March 1st, Emily Eerdmans will be in DC to talk for the National Institute for Classical Architecture. Cohosted by the prestigous Royal Oak Foundation, the lecture will take place at the National Trust for Historic Preservation at 1785 Massachusetts Ave, NW. Emily is a natural choice to speak on art deco as she wrote the excellent book Regency Redux. More recently, she wrote the book on Madeleine Castaing that I got for Christmas and was unable to put down!
Specifically, Emily will be discussing art deco design in Britain. While not as prevalent there as elsewhere, she will cite and talk on examples such as the Cunard ship, The Queen Mary, Claridges hotel in London, Coleton Fishacre and Eltham Palace (seen above).
Tickets are $35 ($25 for members) and are available by emailing
Hope to see you there!
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San Simeon: Casa Del Sol

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San Simeon was built as a hilltop village, not as a single mansion. While the main house, Casa Grande (which I've been featuring), is surely one of the largest houses in California, 3 other main guest houses dot the hilltop compound.The main guest house with the most spectacular views (none of them are anything to scoff at) is the Casa Del Sol (or Cottage 'C'), so named because it faced the sunset. These cottages were constructed and finished first as the main house took years to near completion. Hearst and his family chose this guesthouse as their first hilltop residence. I love these metal screens at the front doors.
The details rival that of the main house. The design is Spanish Revival, concentrating on architecture in southern Spain from the Renaissance and baroque periods; It's a glorious mish-mash.
The plan of all of the cottages is a U shape with a courtyard entry so that the views are out towards the mountains and ocean. This ancient 'sculpture' (the polite word for it) lies between the 2 doors into the entryway. Similar statuary dots the estate. Some of the guest rooms had private entries. I love these fretwork doors!
The main sitting room is definitely grand, if not comfortable and filled with Spanish antiques.The tile floors were probably great on a hot day. Now the buildings all have air conditioning.The decorative and reclaimed ceilings continue from the main house in all of the rooms of the guest cottages; they really steal the show!Julia ingeniusly selected uplight chandliers to draw attention to the ceilings. I love the way the light reflects off the gilding.
The rooms are decorated as if inhabited by guests with suitcases and clothing.I thought the fabric curtaining behind the bed was a nice soft touch in these relatively cold rooms.The main guest bedroom deviates from the yellow color scheme and is much cosier. The brilliant views and windows make up for the dark color. I loved these recessed light fixtures, much prettier than a boring,typical can.
Of course, we can't forget that the emphasis here is really on the views. You can't beat them!
As with all of my San Simeon posts, written permission was kindly granted to post my interior photos of the estate on this blog only. Please respect that and do not copy. Thanks!
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In honor of the B52's concert I attended tonight (and because I'm too tired for a design post), attached here are 2 of their hit songs which were the last 2 they performed tonight at the 930 club. Enjoy!

Back to our regularly scheduled programing tomorrow!
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Finally a semblance of tech savviness....

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For months I've been receiving emails from people asking 'How do I follow you'? Well, I'll admit I never looked into it but now have FINALLY figured out the system! To follow ArchitectDesign, you can now click on the networked blogs link seen right here on my sidebar.
Happy Reading!
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DCOTA winter market

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I'm back from my whirlwind adventure to speak on the Elle Decor panel 'Redesigning Design' at the DCOTA winter market. First, I just have to say that DCOTA is the most beautiful design center I have ever seen; spacious and light filled, it's a pleasure to spend time there.
Jennifer and I with Empress of the Eye
Unfortunately due to the weather, the moderator, Allison Mezzafonte and 2 of the panelists, Habitually Chic & Little Augury were unable to attend. We soldiered on however and Ellen Rubin, executive director of brand development for Elle Decor, took on the role of moderator. The Peak of Chic, Velvet & Linen and I had a great time discussing how we feel the internet has impacted the design world and how our blogs have impacted our lives and careers. I think the biggest impact for us all are the friendships our blogs have made. As Brooke said in the discussion, it had traditionally been so hard to make friends as passionate about design before our blogs; sentiments echoed by both Jennifer and myself. Nearly everytime one of us has met a fellow blogger the first thing we say is "I feel like I already know you!".
with Jennifer and Lynda Quintero-Davids
Other subjects we hit upon included different social media outlets (facebook, twitter, blogger), their pros and cons and how we utilize them. Of the three of us, we don't utilize twitter but do have a presence on facebook. We felt there was only so much time in the day and we try to concentrate on our blogs.
Advertising was another subject we hit upon and our conclusion was that blogs maybe can't make one much money, but the opportunities they have provided the 3 of us outweigh any financial incentives ( I mean, Elle Decor asked us to speak at a conference; hello, thats amazing!). It was so great to meet fellow bloggers (Hello Empress of the eye and Focal Point!) and to help contribute to the design dialogue that Elle Decor continues to foster by continually reaching out to the blogging community. Thank you so much for including me and keep up the good work Elle Decor!
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San Simeon: Library

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Located above the assembly room is the main guest library of the estate. Here guests could borrow a book or spread out and work during their free days visiting Hearst.This was not Hearst's private library, but rather another public space for his guests. He chose this wood paneled room to display his collection of ancient Greek pottery, housed along the top of the shelves. Before entering the library ( #1-3 on the map above) you first enter the hall or lobby.
Again paneled in wood, this area is reached by the winding staircases on either side of the Refectory.
After the grand spaces on the first floor, this large room feels positively cozy with lower ceilings and all of the wood paneling.
Below you can better see how some of Hearst's extensive Greek pottery collection was displayed. The view out the windows is onto the main 'square' of the hilltop estate and was a great meeting spot for guests.

As with all of my San Simeon posts, written permission was kindly granted to post my interior photos of the state on this blog only. Please respect that and do not copy. Thanks!
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