Monday, May 31, 2010

In Honor of Memorial Day

War and Peace (Ack-Ack Fire near a Russian Aleut Grave), Wm F Draper, 1942

Memorial Day is one of the bookends of summer. It's easy to forget what Memorial Day honors - which is all of the men and women who have died in military service to our country.

From the US Memorial Day webpage:

"Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 - 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis' birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country."

Aleutians Campaign, Wm F. Draper

Boxing Match, Wm F. Draper, 1944

The paintings here are by my great uncle, painter William F. Draper (1912-2003).

William F. Draper
Lieutenant Commander, USNR

"Born in Hopedale, Massachusetts, Draper attended the National Academy of Design and the Cope Art School in Massachusetts and also studied in France and Spain. Commissioned early in 1942, he created a series of paintings during his coverage of the Aleutians, Bougainville and the Marianas campaigns, many of which later appeared in color reproductions in the National Geographic Magazine. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his meritorious work as a combat artist in the Aleutians and under enemy attack in the South Pacific.

After returning to civilian life, William F. Draper earned an international reputation as a portraitist. His subjects have included John F. Kennedy (1962), the Shah of Iran (1967), James Michener (1979) and Richard M. Nixon (1981), as well as numerous other political, social, and corporate leaders. His work is included in the collections of a number of major museums, including the Metropolitan Museum and the National Portrait Gallery."

from the Naval Historical Center Website

Inferno, Wm F. Draper, 1944

Bill Draper was commissioned by the US Navy as one of five official WWII combat artists. He painted 69 descriptive wartime scenes between 1942-1945, many of them were featured in National Geographic magazine. It wasn't easy being a combat artist - conditions were difficult and often dangerous. Bill landed with the second wave of marines at Bougainville and while assigned to the USS Yorktown he "painted a series of paintings on the first air attack on Palau. He covered the landings at Hollandia and the air strike on Truk.

Draper covered the invasion of Saipan and Guam aboard the USS Tennessee depicting the powerful destruction that hit this island. While he was aboard, the Tennessee was hit three times. He landed and remained on the island for eighteen days recording the bitter struggle and eventual success of this action. At Guam he landed with the assault troops under heavy enemy fire."
- Naval Historical Center website

Hangar Deck of Carrier, Wm F Draper, 1944

Uncle Bill in his NYC Studio, image via Portrait Society of America website

A Warrior Homeward Bound, Wm F Draper, 1944

all images via the Naval Historical Center website

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Alys Beach Stunner

Summer is here and I have an urge to go to Alys Beach. Who wouldn't want to stay in this stunning house? Okay it looks a little like a hotel, but wait until you see the inside. It is described as a villa.

You can rent this gorgeous house! Go here to see more about Alys Beach.

Here's the description from the rental page:

11,250 sq. ft. compound with 32' saltwater pool in courtyard; 6,500 sq.ft. heated & cooled living area plus decks & loggias.

"Aspri Villa redefines luxury, a 5-Star villa resting in the ultimate emerald coast community of Alys Beach. This unique and amazing sanctuary invites you to stretch out and enjoy the spacious estate home accomodations.

Renown Florida architect Tom Christ and interior Atlanta Designer Christa Renfroe Hurley have teamed up to create a true one of a kind masterpiece that embodies the epitome of style and design. The generous 9,500 square feet of living space surrounds a private saltwater pool with underwater music features, a sheer decent waterfall, and a separate roof top Jacuzzi. Evening entertainment is made perfect with an outdoor fireplace, wet bar, gas grill and dining loggia for romantic dinners alfresco.

Aspri Villa has a total of 5 bedrooms plus a 4-bed bunk room; inclusive of two master suites with private porches, steam showers and fireplaces; a two bedroom pool suite with separate fireplace, mini-kitchen and two full baths; Maximum capacity is 12 adults 2 children/total 14.

The bunk room is an eclectic environment with a media center just for the kids; all very colorful and fun with softly padded fabric walls!

The media room has a wood burning fireplace and huge wall mounted 52" HD-TV; a formal living room and an elegant formal dining room with seating for 12. An expansive kitchen plus an outside cooking grill and dining loggia for meals with a poolside ambiance.

You won't want to leave Aspri Villa once you arrive and enjoyed its majestic beauty, intimate, inviting charm and fine accoutrements. Perfect for reunions of families and friends of discriminating taste, and the perfect escape for quite time with the family or corporate getaways; where hospitality in an intimate environment is a must!"

Are you drooling yet? I am....

all images via Alys Beach website

p.s. This Photographer's Life has a beautiful post on Alys Beach here.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Brookwood Hills Brad Heppner Renovation

We swim at Brookwood Hills pool. So for three glorious months every summer I get to drive around this beautiful intown neighborhood that was developed in the 1920's by Benjamin Franklin Burdett and his son, Arthur. Besides my own neighborhood (Peachtree Heights East also known as the Duck Pond neighborhood), Brookwood Hills and Ansley Park are my favorite Atlanta neighborhoods. I like the dense urban feel and the lack of yard work!

All of last summer I watched the progress of a Brad Heppner renovation in Brookwood Hills. The house has special meaning to me because my aunt and uncle lived in the house most of my childhood. The best wedding party we had was at this house after our wedding (if you're planning a wedding I highly recommend this idea - which is to keep entertaining the out of town guests). Everyone is so relaxed and all of the pressure is gone.

Anyway, back to Brookwood Hills. Yesterday, I drove past the renovation and it was complete. I couldn't resist taking photos. The house began it's life as a modest four over four with a center hall. When my aunt and uncle lived there it had an addition on the back with a kitchen, family room and master bedroom. Today, there is actually more usable outdoor space than before the renovation. There is a grassy courtyard that you can see in the pictures below and also another courtyard behind the new garage. The kitchen, keeping room and new family room open onto it. Despite the fact that the house takes up a good bit of the lot, I think it is well situated and blends in nicely. (Full disclosure, they have more green space than I do now).

Thursday, May 27, 2010


We had the cushion made for this chair on the right, and it was delivered yesterday (with some cafe curtains that I don't have pics for yet, but they are really pretty).

We are about to put a chair like the one below with a skirt in brown linen in a client's house.

chair from Martha Stewart for Bernhardt

I have been pondering this parsons armchair below for my own living room. I could get it made with a skirt - or not. Can't decide...

chair from Ballard Designs

Chair as art...

This chair in my bedroom was painted by Atlanta artist Helen Durant

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Atlanta Design Blogger Lunch at Hankook Taqueria

Yesterday we met some fellow Atlanta bloggers for lunch at Hankook Taqueria on Collier Rd. This is the Korean Barbeque joint we posted about here. We had great food, scintillating conversation, and an all around delightful time. We talked about everything from Glenwood Park to the current issue of Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles (in which several of us are featured in the What's Modern Now piece). At lunch were bloggers Terry Kearns of Architecture Tourist, Capella Kincheloe of A Curated Lifestyle, Claire Watkins of High Gloss Blue, Jane Douglas and myself.

left, Claire Watkins and Helen Young

below, Terry Kearns, Capella Kincheloe, Jane Douglas Reynolds

All photos courtesy of Architecture Tourist

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Morgan Creek Cabinetry

Yesterday I learned about this cabinetry shop in Acworth. They do a lot of work for Summerour and Associates. The cabinetry is beautiful, with great attention to detail. The website address is

Here are some of my favorite kitchens from their website:

Above four images - Kitchen Design: Sean McNeish--MCC; Architect: Summerour & Associates; Interior Design: Liza Bryan; Builder: Pease Construction.

above four images - Kitchen design: Cynthia Ziegler; Architecture: Summerour & Associates; Interior Design: Carter Kay; Builder: Noah & Associates; Range Hood: Charles Calhoun.

above five images - Kitchen Design: Sean McNeish--MCC; Architect: Edwards Architecture; Builder: Robbie Hendricks

All images via Morgan Creek Cabinetry website

Monday, May 24, 2010

I can see clearly now....ghost chairs

We delivered three of these last week. Our client is using them with a traditional drop leaf table in the kitchen. These ghost chairs work in so many spaces - transitional, useful and pretty - what more could you ask of a chair?

image via decor pad

From Utility:
"The Louis Ghost Chair really is baroque revisited. Designed by Philippe Starck for Kartell the Louis Ghost Chair has now become something of a must have. Indeed, the Louis Ghost Chair has become one of the first design classics of the 21st century - and rightly so. As a Louis XV style armchair this is a design which adds elegance and irony to any interior or exterior.

The manufacture of Louis Ghost represents a daring example of injection moulded polycarbonate in a single mould and is highly durable - being shock, scratch and weather resistant - making it suitable for indoor and outdoor use.

Following its launch in 2003 Louis Ghost has been a huge worldwide success for Kartell - so much so in fact that in 2008 Louis was joined by the baby Lou Lou Ghost Chair, a miniature Louis Ghost for children/decorative use.

Louis Ghost comes in a variety of colours. There are six clear colours (clear, smoke, yellow, orange (a pinky tone), green and blue) and two solid colours - black and white. Louis can also be be stacked up to six chairs high, making it ideal for storing."

image via house to home blog

ghost chairs for a wedding, image via manolobrides

ghost chairs for an event, via furniturehire blog

image via kaboodle

images above and below via decor pad