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Friday, January 30, 2009

The Right Balance Between Order And Disorder....

Mr. Brock’s definition of aesthetic beauty made me reflect on how I put together the many pieces of the 'DESIGN PUZZLE,' that I call a beautiful and interesting room.

Horace Wood Brock may be a cutting-edge authority on the economics of uncertainty, but when it comes to art, he’s as traditional as they come.

“Beauty is back,” he said defiantly, discussing his collection, which is now on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. “Political correctness, move over.”

His collection includes a 17th-century Flemish cabinet-on-stand veneered with turtle shell, ebony and bone; an extremely rare Louis XIV Boulle longcase clock commissioned for the palace at Versailles; a Louis XVI fall-front desk by Jean-Henri Riesener; a George II japanned chinoiserie tea table; a garniture of floral Qing dynasty porcelain vases with Louis XV bronze mounts; and a Regency medals cabinet-on-stand veneered with precious woods. (His English Regency antiques have been promised to the Boston museum.)

Go here for the rest of the NYT article:

Mr. Brock’s definition of aesthetic beauty is based on a complex mathematical theory he developed. In the catalog he writes that beauty is present in an object “when the right balance is achieved between order and disorder.”

Go here to see collection:

*you may have to type in the above link and search for 'Splendor And Elegance' ( the name of his exhibit)

( enlarge any picture for more info and a closer look )

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


Monday, January 26, 2009

'Carlton' & Me

On January 21st 2009 , I had the pleassure of meeting with Carlton Varney before he picked up his Lifetime Achievement Award at the DCOTA in Dania Beach Florida.

Carlton Varney and I sat in Brunschwig & Fils for about 40 minutes ( but who's counting ) , and I had the chance to ask him things that I wanted to know about his life and his feelings on design related issues.
I am way behind on getting his interview ready for you. I just started a new job, so I am way behind on 'my life' , if you follow me.....

But, I am working on it.

( enlarge any picture for more info and a closer look )
pink is for CV
Renee Finberg 'TELLS ALL' in her blog of her Adventures in Design


Friday, January 23, 2009

“ Flower Of Louis "

Louis VII (ca. 1120-1180) was king of France from 1137 to 1180. He strengthened the authority of the royal court, went on the Second Crusade, and repelled the aggressions of Henry II of England.

Irises have a long and rich history. The Fleur-DE-Lis, a stylized representation of the iris, has a long history with French monarchy, beginning with Clovis the I a Frankish king whose empire birthed the French state. Legend claims that when Clovis became a Christian he dreamed of an angel who gave him an iris to commemorate the event. After his dream, Clovis adopted the iris as his emblem.
Fleur-De-Lis translates as “flower of Louis” and gained the name when Louis VII, who went on the Second French Crusade in 1147, used the emblem on his banner.

The Fleur-De-Lis is often used symbolically in art and is often seen as the terminal ends of the arms of the cross, which effectively leads us to the importance of the iris in Christian history. The reason the iris connects with Christian history is that the number three is what the iris is all about. It has three standards and three falls. Three is the number of completion according to Pythagoras and three is the number of the Trinity the center of the Christian faith. As a result, Christian art adopted the Fleur-De-Lis as a symbol.

Fleur-De-Lis translates as “flower of Louis” and gained the name when Louis VII, who went on the Second French Crusade in 1147, used the emblem on his banner.

BTW, this is the ceiling that Anne Boleyn gazed upon.

The fashionable Fluer De Lis had made it's trendy little self known in England, where it began to adorn it's castles, and fabrics.

Fleur-De-Lis translates as “flower of Louis” and gained the name when Louis VII, who went on the Second French Crusade in 1147, used the emblem on his banner.

The name, anglicized, means "lily flower", and the symbol is in fact a stylized Iris pseudacorus L.. It was adopted by King Philip I of France in the 11th century.

In case you were wondering; as a garden plant, irises moved quickly around the globe often in the path of conquest. Irises were some of the first ornamental plants that came to the New World. They were found on gardening lists for Virginia as early as the 1600’s and soon became the center of many public and private gardens because of their dependability.

Today The Fleur De Lis has become so common place it is virtually everywhere.
Personally, I do nor care for this counter stool with a Fleur De Lis on it's back.
May I use the word " tacky " ? ....over the top?, or commercial ?
It looks to me like it belongs to Gaston, from ' Beauty & The Beast '.

This is more tasteful.

Suggested reading :

( enlarge any picture for more info and a closer look )

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

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

This Day

Obama Inauguration January 20th 2009

Go here:

The Way It Was

And The Way It Is

This was recently published in Trump Magazine ( winter 2008/09 ).
It sells for about $ 12 K, and is made of fiberglass and has all sorts of bells and whistles for a techno junkie to appreciate.
But for about $ 400-600 , you can have this an original Victrola.

This however, is what I grew up with in the living room of our beautiful home . My mother did an excellent job on all the interior rooms of the home I grew up in. This was always a fun night .... There is nothing that would stop you from converting this antique Victrola into a contemporary CD player , it could house the CD's as well. Think about lacquering it in a great color !
It could be really fabulous, and as I always am saying, a real conversation piece.

Since this living room was in a house on Palm Island in Miami Beach Florida, my dad would crank the air-conditioner up really cold, and he would get the fireplace going. LOL
Then my mom would pull out all these weird records, and sing & dance around the living room.
I would be in charge of changing the needles that went on the arms of the Victrola, which rested on the grooves and played the sounds of the record. They were made of lead and would wear out after 2 records .

huh ?

NO, I am not that OLD!
It is just that my mother made sure I was exposed to antiques and the past.

go here for Victrola's:

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

Monday, January 19, 2009

If You Could, What Would You Ask Carlton Varney ?

If you have a question you would like me to ask him, just leave it in your comment.
I will be meeting with him on Wednesday ,
when he picks up his Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Grand Hotel on Mackinaw Island. One of the many, many landmarks he has worked his magic on.

pictured here :
Carlton Varney, president of Dorothy Draper . He was hired along with architect Richard Bosby Dan and Amelia Musser, owners of Grand Hotel, in 1976 to begin to give the 90-year-old landmark a facelift.

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

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Plaza Makes Me Sentimental ( and makes me laugh out loud ! )

The Plaza, and the area around it, were my first experiences in NYC.
From this post, I think you will see how The Plaza , Central Park, The Horse Drawn Carriages , and all the stimulation of the city would leave a lasting impression .
Here are just a few shots of The Plaza, and Central Park South for you to enjoy.

I know, I know, every body's been there, or seen it in the movies. But , the way business' seem to be failing lately............. I thought what if the places that 'are NYC to me ' disappeared ? NYC was and always be a magical place to me. In ten years of living there, nothing bad ever happened to me ! So much for the some times bad rap it gets.

I know that they are fighting to stop the horse drawn carriages on Central Park South.
Why can't the handlers just be kind and considerate to the horses ?
Does society have to intervene on everything ? Why don't people do the right thing without being told to ?? Why can't they care for these sweet animals. The horses need to work, the carriage drivers need to work, why can't they just be caring ? And Care !
What is up with people ?

Anyway........( deep breath ) this is the original Plaza at the turn of the century.
And now.

What an entrance ! There is a fountain right next to The PLaza, by the 5th Ave entrance. I do not have a picture of that. But I have stories about it.
But, I have the best story about The Oak Room, so keep reading.
I was thinking how nice it would be..... just to walk a few blocks down the street, and meet a friend at the Plaza. We could have Tea at The Palm Court, then maybe go skating or just a walk in the park.
Just A Lazy Sunday.
The Original Palm Court.

The Palm Court Today.
Oh Look, our waiter is here already.
Presentation is everything.
Remember , you never get a second chance to make a first impression !

It looks too crowded for me . How about a ride on a horse drawn carriage instead ? We Can get some hot coffee, and get cozy under a blanket and people watch. We can just enjoy the wonder of Central Park and it's people/families 'playing' on a lazy Sunday.

He is right across the street waiting...........
What an amazing place to have called home. More often than not, I wish I had never left.

This is across the street from The Plaza too.
Central Park.
When I was 19 years old, for some reason on Sundays I always ended up right here on these very benches in Central Park.
Let me tell you, most people have no idea what a gorgeous place Central Park is .

If we are hungry later, there is always The Oak Room. This is a Landmark restaurant, and in The Plaza as well.
A very funny thing happened to me while I was dining there one evening. There are people who are regulars for many years , these people actually have plaques on the walls by the tables that they would normally sit at. The people at the table next to me went out of their way to let me know, which was alright with me .
Well, this place can be seen as and feel very stuffy. Rent the movie 'AUTHUR ' ( with Dudley Moore ) , it there is a very famous and funny scene filmed in The Oak Room.
At any rate, I ordered Banana's Foster for dessert, and my waiter accidentally ignited a huge white cotton candy head of hair. Needless to say, it was one of the regulars, with the plaque on the wall. She looked a bit like ' Baby Jane ' ( as in Baby Jane the movie with Betty Davis ), try and visualize ..... This woman was having a ladies night out ( all four were Baby Jane types- if that is possible) with three other woman.
Once her hair caught fire, no one seemed to notice but me . Initially I was freaking out mildly, her friends were unaware, the waiter continued talking to them and to my party as well like nothing at all was out of the ordinary. And all during this time , there was a tiny trail of smoke streaming straight up from the center of her head.
I was speechless. I couldn't speak, mainly because I was about to burst out laughing.
You know, some of us laugh out of nervousness, and some of us laugh because something is hilarious. I was laughing for both reasons.
I could not believe it, still, no one had noticed. Finally after thinking I was in some sort of weird comedic dream, I signaled to the waiter while making all kinds of hand movements , and pointing to the flame on her head.
He looked at her, then at me with his eyes wide as saucers, and he looked back again at me and smiled, giggled, and then he burst out laughing.
Well, that is all it took, and I completely lost control and had to leave the room to regain my composure.
I ran over here , when I had lost control of myself completely. With tears streaming down my cheeks, I stood here in the bar. It was behind a decorative screen that was hiding an extra coffee station between the bar and The Oak Room, that I stood watching the waiter , the woman and what happened next.
At this point every one of the staff had to leave the restaurant floor and they were hiding and giggling behind this screen as well, even the old professional waiters, the falsely stuffy with fake French accent kind.
It all turned out fine. The flaming cotton candy hair was in the end, only a wig.
She simply snatched it off her head ( which might explain why she felt nothing ) revealing her wrapped head prepared for the wig.
This all made for quite a fond memory, of another lovely Adventure in Design.
enlarge any picture for more info and a closer look

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



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