Share This

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Monkey Bar at Boca Raton Resort

Like all good Mizner Loyalist , we love Johnnie Brown. Johnny Brown was Addison Mizner's pet spider monkey. He is burried down a little Via off Worth Avenue in Palm Beach.

There used to be a great shop on Worth Ave called ' Johnny Brown', it is probably still there.

Renee Finberg 'TELLS ALL' in her blog of her Adventures in Design

Monday, September 29, 2008

Mizner's Boca Raton Resort

This is a promotional map from Addison Mizner ( Boca Raton Historical Society )
Mizner really did put Boca Raton on the map when he put The Boca Raton Resort on the map !
This is last October's cover, and it is soooooo Boca ! ( this October's cover might be very different )
It is just up the road from Boca raton, so you should ....
Take a drive and see how the other half lives, from Donald Trump’s fabulous Mar-a-Lago (1100 South Ocean), once the palatial estate of Marjorie Merriweather Post, past John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s former house (720 North Ocean ) and the Estee Lauder estate (126 South Ocean) to lovely Worth Avenue, one of the most famous shopping streets in the world. While you are there. make sure you pop into Via Mizner and visit the grave of Johnnie Brown, the pet monkey of Palm Beach/Boca Raton society architect Addison Mizner. It was eccentric Mizner, complete with a monkey on his shoulder, who, in the 1920s, brought the “Old World Mediterranean” look to Palm Beach and points south. If you decide to explore the north end of the island, you can find the former Kennedy compound at 1095 North Ocean, the family’s winter estate until 1995 and site of where William Kennedy Smith was infamously accused of rape in 1991 ( Boca Raton Mag. )
This is the Historical Society's Building, they took over the Original Town Hall Building.
It is a wonderful organization of which I have been involved with. I will post about that later.

( Click on pics to enlarge )
This is promotional literature from Mr. Mizners Company, he had a dream for Boca Raton and designed The Boca Raton Resort which really is The Centerpiece of Boca.

The Boca Raton Resort's entrance. ( click to enlarge )

How about a swim at this pool ? Yes, This is The Boca Raton Resort and yes more people watching, sometimes bordering on a freak show. But that is just through my eyes, what do I know ? ( if you come down and run into me at Mizner's, I'll tell you what I know, and you won't believe it !!! Truth really is stranger that fiction. ( click to enlarge )
The Boca Raton Resort Golf Course
I do not play golf, but I would drive the cart.
And then have a yummy lunch at Chauncy's.
This is Red Reef Park in Boca Raton.
More of Red Reef Park. Everyone comes to sun bathe and snorkel here.

This is what we refer to as 'Mizner'. It is an open air city center with apartments above the stores and restaurants below all inspired by the Mizner design style. You do not want to miss this !!! It has many great restaurants and good shopping as well. And the 'Starbucks' here is a hot spot.
If indeed you like people watching, come to 'Mizner' at night.
Now this....really can be a Freak Show Extrordinaire.

click on pics to enlarge
pics from Boca Raton Historical Society, The Boca Raton Resort and City Data

Renee Finberg 'TELLS ALL' in her blog of her Adventures in Design

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Raleigh Hotel in MIAMI BEACH

When I first moved to Miami Beach as a small child we spent our summers at
The Raleigh Hotel, it was a happy , happy time. The beaches in Miami Beach were still real sand beaches. What they have on the beach where sand should be is something that they litterally 'dug up someplace', and called it sand.

Since it is NO FUN walking on the sand barefoot, you can will me here, ( please DON'T)
I am isolating. After the debate last night,
My Head is Killing Me and I am Cranky.

more useless info : Chanel ( Karl Lagerfield ) just introduced their new collection at The Raleigh Swimming Pool
Renee Finberg 'TELLS ALL' in her blog of her Adventures in Design

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hooverville or Bushville

Oh look, The beginning of fall......

Central Park has always been a very special place to me. It is so very beautiful all year !!

I love to be in it, walk through it , or just walk by it along 5th Ave ( I am an EastSider).

When I first moved to Manhattan in 1975 I danced the nights away at places like; Studio 54, Xenon's, Hippopotamus , The Library, and I would end up eating breakfast just before dawn at The Brasserie on east 53rd Street . The Brasserie was well known and great for people watching, there were many drunk & stoned Movies Star's along with the Famous Clothing Designers. 'The Lush Life' in more than one way.

Right outside the windows of cafes all over Manhattan you would see people sleeping in doorways , hallways, over subway grates covered with newspaper to keep warm. By the rivers , and under bridges you would see people living in boxes and burning fires in coffee cans to cook and keep warm. The city of Manhattan was bankrupt, there was no help or place for these poor people.

But thankfully, I never saw a policeman chase a cold sleeping man off a subway grate -

You know, It was a difficult time for me (and it certainly could have gotten worse for me) as well, because I was young, stupid, spending everything I got my hands on, and I was so afraid that I might miss something. I was burning at both ends. It was all so sophisticated and beautiful I thought.
I believe today that I was just luckier than the men on the grates, or the ladies pushing everything they owned in a shopping cart, while dressed in soiled evening gowns , with pale dirty faces wearing false eyelashes and ruby red lips at 8:00 am in the morning.
You know, we just need to force ourselves to look to the left and the right, up and down....or we will miss 'something' or 'everything'.
pics from BBC

Renee Finberg 'TELLS ALL' in her blog of her Adventures in Design

Monday, September 22, 2008

San Simeon's BEAUTIFUL EXCESS - William Randolph Hearst, Millicent Hearst and Marion Davies

The definition of EXCESS : The state of surpassing or going beyond limits; the being of a measure beyond sufficiency, necessity, or duty; that which exceeds what is usual or proper; immoderateness; superfluity; superabundance; extravagance; as, an excess of provisions.

To gild refined gold, to paint the lily, To throw a perfume on the violet, ….

This post started while researching swimming pools, one thing led to another and I was at San Simeon. This pool room must have been a magical place to experience. Upon further investigation I was reminded of the Stock Market Crash of 1929....


(W.R.H. was originally a DEMOCRAT but became a Republican)
The Hearst news empire reached a circulation and revenue peak about 1928, but the economic collapse of the Great Depression (triggered by the Wall Street Crash of 1929) and the vast over-extension of his empire cost him control of his holdings. It is unlikely that the newspapers ever paid their own way; mining, ranching and forestry provided whatever dividends the Hearst Corporation paid out. When the collapse came, all Hearst properties were hit hard, but none more so than the papers; adding to the burden were the Chief's now-conservative politics, increasingly at odds with those of his readers. the. Unable to service its existing debts, Hearst Corporation faced a court-mandated reorganization in 1937.


From this point, Hearst was just another employee, subject to the directives of an outside manager. Newspapers and other properties were liquidated, the film company ( guess who starred in movies there ? )shut down; there was even a well-publicized sale of art and antiquities.
The Hearst Corporation continues to this day as a large, privately held media conglomerate based in New York City.


Regarding Marion Davies, Hearst became involved in an affair with popular film actress and Comedienne named Marion Davies (1897–1961), and from about 1919, he lived openly with her in California. The affair ruled over Davies' life, leaving her reputation chained with Hearst's
Regarding Millicent Hearst, she started the free milk fund in 1921, you would think that if people were struggling to that degree, and several years before the CRASH and the GREAT DEPRESSION, that the government might begin to listen to citizens of the United States when they begin to say we are struggling, the economy is not good. We can't pay our bills , and everything is too expensive.

I mean since the whole theory is "it is a trickle down economy", if it stinks at the bottom, won't that TRICKLE RIGHT BACK UP ?
It seems obvious to me that it has, there is no longer any way to hide , deny or try to camouflage it with campaign slogans like,"We Have a Strong Economy". LOL I wish I could Laugh Out Loud !

On a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, was donated by the Hearst Corporation to the state of California in 1957, and is now a State Historical Monument and a National Historic Landmark, open for public tours. Hearst formally named the estate 'La Cuesta Encantada' ('The Enchanted Hill'), but he called it 'the ranch'.

His palatial estate, Hearst Castle, near San Simeon, California, on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, was donated by the Hearst Corporation to the state of California in 1957, and is now a State Historical Monument and a National Historic Landmark, open for public tours. Hearst formally named the estate 'La Cuesta Encantada' ('The Enchanted Hill'), but he called it 'the ranch'.

Hearst and Davies spent much of their time entertaining, holding lavish parties, the guests for which included Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and the young J.F.K .
San Simeon was never completed.

Renee Finberg 'TELLS ALL' in her blog of her Adventures in Design

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Renee Finberg Will Use A Rocking Horse !

( Click to enlarge )
This is a home I did in Woodfield Country Club in Boca Raton, Florida.
A multiple page article was written , photographed and published in a Palm Beach Design Magazine featuring my work and the rest of the home.( You can click on this pic to enlarge )
-You will see the detail on the cushion on the wicker chair, the pillows , the draperies are made with F.S. Schumacher Fabric, the carpet I designed and chose the carpet tufts ( color of the yarns used in the carpet ) to match the draperies, and was made by Stark Carpet.

You will see the Rocking Horse on the floor to the left of the wicker chair.
The post under this shows you more examples of Horse Rockers/Tricycles used as accessories in your home.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Unique Antique Velocipede or Tricycle - Horses

This Velocipede or Tricycle is in the French museum:
Union des Arts Decoratifs Musee in Paris
BOO !!! Since Halloween is near I thought I might just startle you a bit......
(Scary little man on a Velocipede or Tricycle !!!)

Some of you ( too many to count) have spaces above your cabinets in the kitchen / family room from the top of the cabinet to the ceiling. Sometimes that space is up to 12 feet.
You need something there, and enough with the fake plants already!

Or other elevated areas that need large accessories. Or even next to a chair in a corner-
Something that is interesting, and I particularly like things that move/function.
One that I find interesting and have used are these little tricycles.

I found this gorgeous piece at an antiques store in Austin Texas. Click on the pic and it will take you to the site. It is a costly piece , but you get the idea and you can pic up little fakes at

'T.J. Max', 'Home Place' etc, etc.
Just Look – you will find it.

This is the type of thing you can find in the discount stores that I mentioned above.

This was in the paper in 1933

Some pics from:Rocking Horse & Art Design Holland

Renee Finberg 'TELLS ALL' in her blog of her Adventures in Design

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Some Old, Some New Mercury Glass

( New - Ballard Design )

( 1920 Quilted Mercury Glass $1400.00 )

In the late 17th century, the first blown glass orbs coated on the inside with mysterious liquid silver solutions appeared.

Silvered mercury glass describes glass that was blown double-walled, then silvered between the layers with a solution containing silver nitrate in a liquid formula and sealed.
Mercury Glass is distinct among the many types of Art glass.

The mirrored surface and sleek silvery shine, makes it is easy to identify.
Silvered or Mirrored glass has nothing to do with mercury and was never used in the formula that made the mercury glass tableware.

( c. 1880 )

The decorative vases, beakers, goblets and tableware known today as mercury glass were first made around 1840 in the forests of Bohemia, which is now the Czech Republic. At almost the same time it began to appear in the United States & England.

( New Crackle Mercury Glass )

Mercury Glass can be colorful as well, jewel tones to be exact. Many pieces have etching, engraving, and even jewels applied.

( New - Ballard Design )
The differences in decorating techniques will help to establish the country of origin, sometimes the maker clue is found in the seal. If you are collecting, this is important.
The value depends on it’s rarity, type of design and condition. Not unlike any other arena you might collect in.

But the good news is this, if you look, it is there. I think it adds glamour to a table or any surface you place it on. The holidays are a great time to use it.

Just think….You never Polish it. Although my mother would, she would polish my daughter with silver polish if she would stay still long enough.
Click on PIC's to go to sites
Renee Finberg 'TELLS ALL' in her blog of her Adventures in Design

Monday, September 15, 2008

Fairy Tale Fridges and Antique Appliances

It is about time !
Sure , I have seen the 1950' appliances but these are 'TO DIE FOR'.

Can't you see this floating in the middle of the perfectly put together traditional kitchen with all the bells and whistles ? On top of a stone floor ?

It is hard for me to choose, this one is a beautiful APPLIANCE as well.
Like a monkey....I would be opening and closing the doors, looking at every little detail.

I would be sure to gain 10 lbs the first month, I am sure the food inside would look more beautiful too.
I would probably start working from my kitchen to be near my Fairy Tale Fridge.

From their site it seems they have Oxblood, Hunter Green, Black & Antique White or Cream for colors. The Metals are Brass, Burnished Brass ( I think that is what looks like Copper ) and Nickel Finishes for those with stainless steel.
This is my dream cook top and oven. I could slap it right against the wall in my kitchen ( after I change out the dishwasher and fridge - LOL ) and it would look as if it had been there forever.
The best part of all is that the outsides are all built around many US brand Appliances such as Amana, and General Electric.
Restart Srl Please click on any pics and they will take you to the site.

Renee Finberg 'TELLS ALL' in her blog of her Adventures in Design

About Renée Finberg

I have been in this business since the age of 22.

I love what I do and cannot imagine my life without Design.

Design Challenges are great.

And because of those challenges

I have imported fine antique pieces from Paris,

Designed and Manufactured Furniture,

Created Fantastic Window Treatments,

And solved all kinds of spatial & architectural issues

With my unique style.

If I can't find it, I create it.

My rooms would make excellent movie sets.

I am a visual, tactile and audio sensitive individual.

Creating is what I live for, not math, not spelling, not science.

Just Great Design.

Just imagine how it would be if each of us,

If only for a few hours of everyday,We could be in a space that is our very own.A place that is exactly the way we want it to be

Surrounded by all the things we wanted to see,

The atmosphere we wanted feel, smell and the sound we wanted to listen to.

Private Paradise



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
Renee Finberg 'TELLS ALL' in her Adventures in Design by Renee Finberg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at reneefinberg@gmail.ocm.

Protected Journalist