Monday, January 31, 2011

The power of style.

I am currently reading The Power of Style by Annette Tapert and Diana Edkins and just cannot put it down. The book details the lives of ten women "who defined the art of living well". Not only does it depict their taste levels, sense of style and iconic fashion statements, it also explains their upbringing, personal and social life, passions and overall personality.

These women were truly fascinating, larger-than-life and great sources of inspiration both from a fashion and entertaining perspective. One of the lovely ladies featured in the book happens to be Elsie de Wolfe, described as the first lady of interior design. Known as The Chintz Lady, her originality and unique sense of style led to ideas such as mirrored walls, leopard print accents and extravagant table settings - things that just simply weren't done before Elsie.

The key takeaway from her designs? Take a risk and try something new! Experiment with bold prints, incorporate some of the design elements you've been reading about or take a stab at refinishing a flea market find you think could have potential. You won't know if it works until you give it a try.

Here are some examples of the stunning rooms she's best known for.

from top to bottom: Elsie (courtesy of, Villa Trianon at Versailles (courtesy of Ray W Clarke), The Jose Iturbi House in Beverly Hills (courtesy of The Peak of Chic), The Colony Club (courtesy of Laguna), my living room with "wall-to-wall" panels made of stenciled canvases also featured here.

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