Sunday, May 23, 2010

Turtles & Tortoises…..Relics Revealed

                       May 24th 2010  “Save the Turtles Day”imageKelly Wearstler at The Tides La Marea  restaurant used 100’s of resin tortoise shells line the walls.

Love,  ardor, admire yet all things from nature and life’s creatures.  Another natural element in decor that is loved for it’s beautiful texture, interest, color, depth and all it’s markings that tortoise shells bring to a space.  With that said, let it be known/stated/factual, that I do not in anyway condone/accept/advocate/believe in the ruthless killings of these protected animals!  In fact, May 24th 2010 is “Save the Turtles Day”.  THAT, I do whole heartily agree and support.    The good news is, there are stunning resin replicas available, such as the ones that Kelly Wearstler used The Tides restaurant (photos above & below).  But, if you are interested in the purchase of a (genuine) shell,  please (I beg) you know for sure that you are dealing with a reliable source that can document it’s antiquity of a naturally shed shell.

These personal treasures, should be that….a special treasure loved for their gracefulness and elegance that they will add when used as a decorative accessory, yet observed and respected as if they were in a museum.   imageimage Famed designer Kelly Wearstler at The Tides La Marea  restaurant, an icon of Art Deco architecture of the 1930s, "The Diva of Ocean Drive" occupies an ideal niche across from Lummus Park along Miami's most upscale Atlantic oceanfront stretch.  Kelly created an enchanting environment by adding layers of organic materials, luxurious textures and vintage inspired accents to create this fabulous space.

image Seems like no post is complete unless sharing yet another fabulous space created by the super talented Barry Dixon, who uses both resin shells and antique (documented 100+ years) naturally shed shells in his interiors.  Barry views and has a deference for these shells, as well as collections of sea shells from around the world, crustaceans, and butterflies – which are all under museum glass at his personal residence viewed as “museum-like animal studies”.  image Barry Dixon, displays a grouping of shells which take center stage in a custom built in bookcase.

imageBunny Williams and John Rosselli at their three acres house, named La Colina on Punta Cana.  photo via Cote De Texas  The massive tortoise shell is spectacular & for their exotic beauty they have the ability to enhance a room is undeniable.

imageSusan Chevalier  Country Living
Quirky mementos from Susan's travels include a tortoise shell given to her by a fisherman on Mustique that rests on an antique director's chair outside the sunroom with vintage cigarette ads from London hanging above.

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Around The House the blog posted regarding her gorgeous personal turtle shell that spent 50 years in the attic. Her grandfather wrote Kap Verde 1936 on it, helping to date it back to at least that far. 

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Bleached turtle shells from Texas ranches House Beautiful            World of Interiors-Photo by Simon Upton (from Nibs
 image Annie McClurePhoto Steven Randazzo Country LivingCollector and stylist Annie McClure likes to use everything that is either functional or natural, displays an abundant collection of turtle shells on a wall shelf.


photo from: Joni Cote de Texas’s post on Belgian Design. 
With it’s large tortoise shell, the natural texture of Belgian linen on a club chair, wood in a weathered basket & stone floors all add up to what a stylish Belgium look.






 A particular passion for the unexpected and elusive keeps us wanting to create & search for those unlikely objects that both intrigues and inspires.

image Phoebe Howard recently shared a Before & After of South Florida client’s home office. In the small space, Phoebe used the client's antique table for the desk, a comfortable antique leather wing chair, an oushak rug in shades of brown grounds the space along with the client's collection of antique tortoises and tortoise shells on the wall create a pleasant space.

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Brooke from Velvet & Linen stumbles across the best finds, and we are so lucky as to have her take artistic, fantastic photos to share. (left photo)  One of her visits to Bobo Intriguing Objects she came across this stunning bleached tortoise shells. (right photo) from Dan Marty's showroom, who unfortunately is no longer in business :( . 
What inspiration!  The white luggage pieces add sophistication to the natural elements of the tortoise shell and framed coral that rest above.

Tortoise shells and the inspiration they convey can be found in many options, such as: image  image
left Photo: Indonesia  20th Century Hand carved Tortoise Shell Sumba comb on a stand. Hand-carved.  1st Dibs VW
right photo: Phoebe Howard  Vintage tortoise boxes, card holders, combs and numerous other items.

image Red River Supply  Stunning 14" Turtleback copper sink

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(Left Photo) Mecox  Resin Faux Kempsridley Turtle Shell,  faux Hawksbill turtle shells. 
(Right Photo)  Ballard Designs (no longer available) :(  Resin Sea Turtle Shells on Stand was a great way to bring the natural world in without harming precious sea life. 


American Tortoise Rescue To Celebrate World Turtle Day    May 23, 2010
California Sanctuary Sponsors Day To Honor One of the World’s Oldest Creatures

Malibu, Calif. – American Tortoise Rescue (ATR) (, a nonprofit organization established 20 years ago for the protection of all species of tortoise and turtle, is sponsoring International World Turtle Day on May 23rd, 2010. The observance was created as an annual day to bring awareness of the protection of turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world. It’s also designated as a day to celebrate these special creatures.

The earliest use of tortoiseshell dates back to decorative uses in China and Japan. Often, a whole turtle shell was lacquered and used as a bowl. The Ancient Greeks and early Romans also used tortoise shell in jewelry, to back hairbrushes and in hair ornaments.

Unfortunately, trade in true tortoiseshell had a devastating effect on the hawksbill turtle population. Though the hawksbill exists worldwide, primarily living in coral reefs, it is considered to be severely endangered. Concern for the possible extinction of the hawksbill, and also relative difficulty in harvesting tortoiseshell led in the early 20th century to celluloid (an early version of plastic) exhibiting the desirable tortoiseshell design. By the 1920s and 1930s, tortoiseshell frames for eyeglasses were primarily made of celluloid and not the actual turtle shell. Today, few areas export true tortoiseshell, in hopes the species will survive if it is not hunted.

It was widely used in the 1960s and 1970s in the manufacture of items such as combs, sunglasses, guitar picks and knitting needles. In 1973, the trade of tortoise-shell worldwide was banned under CITES ( the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. )  ( Text and images directly from Wikipedia )

Terrapin Diamondback Terrapin, small turtle ( about 6 inches ) is found only in salt marsh environments. The Diamondback Terrapin was well on it's way to extinction in the early part of the 20th century owing to it's popularity as a gourmet item. Oddly enough, it was saved by Prohibition in the 1930s, since the recipe for terrapin required wine, which was no longer available. Fortunately for the Diamondbacks, the taste for them did not redevelop after Prohibition was repealed, and they have made a strong recovery.

Please protect our environment and animals/reptiles/natural elements by doing your part of recycling and purchasing only valid antiquities and/or replicas of nature’s creatures.  Thank you. 


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Inspirations from Nature Come to Life

Inspiration & beauty is all around us, we just need to have our eyes open so as not to miss it.  The passion of photography enables me to keep my eyes open just a little wider than they normally might be.  I started a series with some of my photographs, how I see them through my eyes & in my mind how I imagine them them being created into something fabulous.  It is a relation of an inspiration to me to a stunning space created by others.  This concept was stimulated through the wonderful series that Anne @ The City Sage does with her fabulous Outfit to Room posts. 

BD to Zoo Photosby JPEG Room Photo Edward Addeo (Traditional Home) 
The gorgeous living space is by: Barry Dixon   "I never tire of the helios gamut of colors. Glowing ember golds, blood oranges, and muted, winey clarets fold into one another when used together. A room in these colors is warm even before we turn up the thermostat."  The extremely talented Mr. Barry Dixon is one of the most charming and eloquent men I have had the pleasure of meeting.  Some of his inspirations come from childhood memories, his farm or his exquisite travels around the world and many other fabulous places and things he sees along the way.  Whatever might move him it’s all fabulous.

The images may mean one thing to me, another to you – the meaning isn't important, how it makes us feel and what we choose to do with it……is. peacock brooks and FaloticoBrooks & Falotico designed this refreshing beach style home in Nantucket (one I could certainly find myself residing in without any problems :)).  Introduced in the living space are "peacock" Blue Porcelain Lamps from Robert Abbey, making the relation between peacock and the space even more convincing (if there was a need to make it so) :)

purple spring Spring time, love it and purple is a color that I associate with this warm, pleasant exciting (everything budding & blooming) time of year.  Purple is a color that is connected with wealth, power, intellect & magical abilities (what's not to love about that? :))  Purple is also the color of passion, it's complex, mysterious, tranquil, sophisticated & relaxing all at the same time. 
Room Photo from House Beautiful Designed by Jill Brinson (her website is chock full of amazing eye candy)  

Liz Williams Bdrm Moss2 Moss is definitely one of my favorite things to see, touch & be inspired by that can be found in natural setting. For it's velvety spongy texture, the depth, deep and dark, light and bright colors and beauty that I see in this natural element.  Liz Forsyth Williams inviting bedroom is an example of how I am inspired by the fun fuzzy stuff called moss and how it can translate to a beautiful space.
If you haven't checked out the super talented amazing Liz Williams Portfolio, I HIGHLY recommend you do. Her style is classic, clean with many natural elements introduced in her beautiful spaces.

If you like the concept/idea/inspirations and how they are envisioned, please consider to follow like me at Interior View on Facebook to see more.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Relaxing in Sunrooms & Porches

 Spring Summer (early May and it’s already 90 degrees in Virginia) is in the air, and what better place to celebrate it then from a sunny sunroom (for now with the windows closed till all that icky green pollen goes away) this lovely time of year. 

Sunrooms should have a feeling of openness and be bathed in light, they are a great place to relax, unwind and enjoy the sun’s sunshine and warmth without the harmful UVA exposure. A place to sit back, relax, read a book, a cool drink or enjoy a savory meal.  It would be a treat in this sunroom, with it’s light pouring through the gorgeous arched windows,  layers of linens, soft muslin window treatments, sumptuous leather, natural textures, stone floors & cool neutral color palette. imageTraditional Home  Kandis Wrigley of San Juan Ventures

In this sunroom with soaring white-washed ceilings, simple two-color scheme with crisp lime green give the room life which blends naturally with the outside surroundings, making it hard to even want to venture outdoors.  Long and lean tall giraffe patterned drapery panels, arched windows, stone floor & tables, mixed patterns, contrast piping, stunning fireplace all grounded by a lime shag rug draws the space together.  image image Lawrence Boeder  Traditional Home Lake Forest Illinois Show House 2007

Bathed in lots of light, accented with refreshing colors found outdoors, like sunshine yellow, along with accents of leafy greens & natural elements make these cheery sunrooms indeed. 
imageTH Carithers sunroom 11 foot ceilings
Left photo: Verdigris Vie; Allison Caccoma featured in House Beautiful.         Right photo: Traditional Home Dan Carithers.

In this New England 1800s farm house the desire was to make the interior of the home brighter and more modern than the original farm house, to achieve this a bright sun room was added to an 1800s farm house.
With multi-paned French doors, high ceiling and clean lines, antique stone fireplace surround imported from France gives the feeling of permanence and grace.

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Crisp Architects, NY

Classic cottage on the Bay, this sunroom has a cleansing palette of sea-foam gray/green walls and slate floors, mix of classic and contemporary wicker, rattan and teak furniture, an antique "find or two" and striking contemporary art.  This is a room about ease. The "slipper chairs", rustic iron and glass tables, and lamps of wrapped rattan and terracotta, all speak to the sophistication of the owners as well as to their confident sense of style. This room was designed to be a beautiful backdrop for the perfect view. James Beebe Hawes
image image  Caldwell-Beebe from Things that Inspire 

With summer and the heat quickly here, there is nothing like the comfort and coolness of a summer porch with the ceiling fan twirling and the breezes blowing (off the water if you are so lucky) to kick back and enjoy a cold glass of refreshing lemonade on a hot afternoon. image Coastal Living   Photo by Jean Allsopp River Dunes

With it’s rich wood floors, dark wicker, framed and contrasted with the soft white architectural details make this a perfect porch for, well, just about everything.
image Liz Williams

High up with an amazing view, rustic comfortable seating arrangement, color tones that are woodsy popped with greens and white make this fabulous porch.  The feeling of being up in a fantastic relaxing tree house (did I mention the view?).Tobi Fairley  LakeviewEstate porch2

image  Tobi Fairley  LakeviewEstate porch Tobi Fairley

Where might you find yourself escaping to enjoy, cool off, catch up on the reading and relax this time of year?