Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Who Is André Le Notre?

Since his recent return from Paris, one of my favorite bloggers, Stefan of Architect Design has been sharing his wonderful explorations with his readers which has had me daydreaming about visiting Paris and the Versailles again soon. For now, I can only experience it through his eyes as well as some of my other favorite bloggers such as French Essence, Paris Parfait and The Paris Apartment. Stefan's last post on the Temple Of Love inspired me to google more images of the Versailles grounds which introduced me to a landscape architect named Andre Le Notre.

When he died in 1700, at the remarkable age of 87, French landscape architect Andre Le Notre left a legacy as the finest designer of French baroque gardens. Perhaps, his most famous was the park at the Palace of Versailles. However, his portfolio went well beyond that single example of jardin à la française.

Le Notre's talents can still be seen at the gardens and parks at Château de Chantilly, Fontainebleau, Saint-Cloud, and Saint-Germain. At the Tuileries he extended the westward vista, which would later become the avenue of the Champs-Elysees and comprise the Axe historique

(garden at Versailles)

Le Notre made use of compartmentalization by having numerous separate garden space and pools separated by paths and terraces. He famously channeled water from terrace to terrace as it passes through cascades and fountains. Royals throughout Europe clamored to emulate and surpass the Versailles gardens. When I think of my visit to the dramatic parks at the Peterhof (another personal favorite) in 2007, I now recognize the influence of Le Notre's style. As I remember walking from the Peterhof Palace down the terraces and through the park out to the Baltic I can see jardin a la fracaise style. Clearly, the Russian royals were impressed by Le Notre.

(garden at Versailles)

(another angle of the same garden )

(A view of the garden looking toward Versailles)

(gardens at the Petit Trianon)

(Chateau de Chantilly garden)

(garden on the Tuileries grounds)

(garden at Chateau de Saint Cloud)

(A garden at the Chateau de Saint Germain)


(The Peterhof palace gardens inspired by Le Notre.)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Chicago's Primitive Fashion

(Japanese wood block prints "Kuchi-e" 1890-1915)

This Sunday, my two year old toddled off with his aunt to a Greek Festival and I had some free time! Out came my growing pile of unread periodicals. I started with a months worth of the New Yorker . Then, after reading the article entitled "Chicago Style" in the September 14th issue by columnist contributor Patricia Marx, I was compelled to put down the magazines and hit the world wide web. She mentions many highlights of the city, but it was her use of a quote by another writer to describe Primitive that got me out of my chair and to the computer to learn more. She relied on Julian Street's 1941 description of Marshall Field & Company as "a phantasmagoria of things with which civilizaiton has encumbered the human race" as an apt pictorial of Primitive. The owners, Glen Joffe and Claudia Morgan have traveled the world and sell items they have acquired from the one hundred and fifty cultures they have visited.
From Tantric crowns(shown left) to Kuchi-e wood block prints, the inventory is mind boggling. So, while my little one went to a Greek Festival, I followed Glen and Claudia's footprints across the globe as I browsed their merchandise. While I enjoyed seeing a bed(shown right) from the Senufo people of the Ivory Coast, I am happy to retire to my traditional four poster with a mattress and box spring rather than on that piece. I truly admire the owners' travels and their stated mission of presenting the items they found "meritorious and meaningful".

East side on the second floor

Alcove sculpture to Ante room.

Buddha room located on the second floor.

Buddha room

The Buddha "events" room which is available for private parties.

For more information about the store and its amazing collection, visit

Friday, September 25, 2009

Media-Family Room

Happy Friday everyone! These are photos of the room where our family spends time together before heading up to bed. I posted these on HGTV's Rate My Space last month and received both good and not so good comments from the visitors.

I was honored(and a little surprised) to have made the top 3 highest rated spaces for a couple of weeks. I've since removed the photos of my spaces from the popular site as (in my opinion) most of its visitors preferred younger and more modern surroundings. I felt out of place.

In fact, modern seems to be the network's main focus as oppose to the traditional styles it showcased with its debut shows that included Chris Madden & Joe Ruggiero. Those were my favorites because of their appreciation for classic traditional designs.

Oh well, such is life. As always, thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful and stress free weekend.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

TableScape Thursday "The Round Table Book & Supper Club"

Happy Tablescape Thursday! For more tablescapes, please visit Between Naps On The Porch hosted by the lovely and talented Susan.

Welcome to the Round Table Book & Supper Club

Table for 4 by the bay window in the study/library area of our home.

Dinnerware: Excel China (3 piece(dinner,salad & soup) set for 7 for $82.00 on Ebay)
Flatware: Cassetti by Godinger (
Ruby wine hocks: Waterford (William Glenn)
Water stem: Mikasa (Macys)
Cordial stem: Purchased at a crystal shop on the Nevsky Prospekt in Saint Petersburg, Russia
Soup tureen: Naples by Royal Doulton
Chargers: Z-Gallerie(ruby) Godinger(Silver)
Florals by Fisher Price

Thank you for visiting my tablescape. I hope you enjoyed it. Again, for more creative and unique table settings, please visit Between Naps On The Porch or click on the image below.