Posts tagged ‘Architecture & Design’

December 1, 2012

The Democratization of Interior Design

by Teréza Eliasz-Solomon (HeiressMommy™)

DecoratingItemsIt is comforting that the least among us can aspire to pleasant surroundings. A truly American blessing that those of very humble beginnings can, as adults, “decorate’ their still humble homes as if  they REALLY had good taste – well, maybe not “good taste” but still a pretense of something approximating  good taste. Yes, no matter the status or lack thereof, all can and should seek to make their [however limited the square footage] abode attractive – indeed, even if it is a faux style or mere pretense at hand. One must remember that there is REAL refined design even in those homes with limited funds – creativity has no $$$ denotation but those of us able to acquire finer things of REALLY intrinsic value find it vulgar that pretenders aspire to that which rich and poor alike with REALLY sophisticated taste see as offensive and trite. In her book, Roots of Style, the amazing fashion designer Isabel Toledo who is well known for and learned in “architectonic design”, suggest that style might be an inherent factor, among other sources she expounds on as to why some of us are or not stylish. Toldeo and I agree that one can morph into a person of exceptional style but both of us are convinced, as are many other experts of her caliber, that it must be based on REALNESS. Among the many gifts I received from my husband for Holidays 2010 was Barbra Streisand’s book, My Passion for Design [which I also gifted to my dear friend/very talented goddess decorator DB] – in this, her first book, Streisand shares her REAL passion for design and beauty and shows how only REAL style can create value. Converse to these two REALLY stylish women, it becomes evident to me that the vacuous types remain just that – empty inside – no matter what bogus make pretend “style-light” things they surround themselves with at home. A question comes to mind … having including Feng Shui expert advise in all my homes, I must wonder about evil people’s home interiors in that no matter how correctly placed each item, can peace dwell within considering how distasteful the occupants REALLY are? Oh well, I shall leave that to others – just know I never want to step foot into evil doer types places of residences nor have my children there – far to frightening a prospect to even contemplate. Surely you – my darling readers/followers – know intuitively that at least some of what I reference here has to do with The Miscreants ™, for who else fits so easily into the category of “poseur”? Still, there is a certain confusion as to why these obvious pretenders would in their delusional state exert effort in their middle of middle home décor only to jeopardize it all by exposing themselves to the slander, defamation, libel, harassment, trademark infringement lawsuits we are now organizing/filing against them – equally bewildering is why they would have chanced possible civil criminal charges now being investigated by law enforcement authorities. Most probably the simple answer is as with all among the loathsome multitudes … driven by inadequacies, jealously and near imbecile mentalities is reason for their present plight as we defend ourselves in Court and public arenas against their predatory actions these past few years; one sign/example of their limited mental capacity and lack of intellect is that one of their ringleaders – the short insecure 50+ Michigan male has Facebook profile photo with paper bag over his head and he insists on referring to himself as “Big Al” despite being REALLY short. You ask my darlings, what the hell does this have to do with democracy or interior design of ones home? I shall explain and expand – on how it relates to the disgusting creatures I write about so often, as well as sharing some REAL issues on interior style and décor. Please remember that when I reference “middle class” – it is not pejorative in a general sense nor denoting of income level but singularly as a description of the narrowness and what I and others see as unhealthy, common and insulting level of lifestyle, mentality and even dangerous attitudes by some of  those in our world so delusional and hell bent on defiling REALLY worthy individuals … I have been blessed with REAL friends from every walk of life – from all over the world but NEVER have I experienced such loathsome bottom dwelling creatures as those my husband and I have been forced to deal with recently. You must believe me – no insult to any REALLY good people is intended by my words. Now – go fluff up a tufted or sweetly embroidered pillow, put you feet on a leather nail studded ottoman, pour yourself a cup of tea into a fine china cup and enjoy my take on REAL value and that which is not in interior design.

Weekend after Thanksgiving this year my REAL “internet ninja” shared a Facebook timeline photo with  me – she was near hysterical with laughter as we chatted about what was found on a loser Michigan female page. To say the least this home was not, in any REAL sense, an example of a impressive “soigné interior. The picture according to my husband  – on account of knowing and explaining that this woman who he knows since early 20’s is “fake phony manic type” – may or may not be this couple’s REAL home [I personally do not doubt it is their small (approximately) 1800 square foot middle class home as I never present falsehoods on my social media pages and so do not see others as doing that either – I  never question others veracity – well that is at least not until these bottom dwellers appeared to falsify so often and so many things;  my dear hubby says that is only one thing he adores about me – my innocence at not understanding that some folks, like those he had known in Michigan, his ex-wife and her children lie all the time]. When we told my husband that loser woman pretentiously described it as her “dining room and sitting area” – my clever hubby explained that back in that area of Michigan that means everything that is not a bedroom, bathroom or kitchen. The photo shared with me was of a home with furnishings right off the floor of a mid-priced furniture store … you know the type – where the wall hangings/pictures match color of sofa or bric brac the design of pressed wood chairs, etc.. My own REAL decorators/interior design team guffaw at such attempts to be stylish in a home – at the same time embracing others that strive honestly to include items REALLY well crafted and carefully chosen no matter their income level. Oh my, never in my life did I think moi would be exposed to such pretense from the classless … I was in near shock when seeing photos and later visiting the home of THE REAL Devil’s Daughter ™ [my hubby’s ex-wife] messy and almost white trailer trash [deer head on wall, velvet looking Elvis paintings and fake everything included] looking home. Neither must I forget how REALLY disturbing was seeing photos of the chubby legally disowned/disinherited Michigan nurse sister-in-law overflowing juvenile Disney statuary curio cabinet. Once again, I am reminded of the irony of how my cultured, art appreciating, REAL quality loving husband, Chester Michael Eliasz-Solomon, was a product of the same middle of middle lifestyle in Michigan as these disgusting members of THE REAL Evil Doers Club ™. I have taken to calling this quandary the “red carpet OMG moment” – you know – it is when you see a very attractive or/and erudite and stylish star on red carpet and then see their family/childhood friends nearby … one usually says something like, “OMG – that is her/his family/friends?”

So my dear readers – here again, we find those bottom dweller miscreant types have led me to a more important issue. That being how throughout history and through modernity, design and décor of ones home has been a democratizing issue. As Isabel Toldeo so aptly expresses in her book, “Style is content. A person with true style is displaying a fertile and thinking mind.”  – obviously by now you all realize that my nemesis could not possibly have REAL style as they have no REAL content of character nor a fertile thinking mind of any sort. Yes, it is true that the “ugly American” syndrome that showcases so well that similar to the loser Michigan, Chicago and Pennsylvania evil doers taste is what REAL designers chafe at … their middle of the middle priced furniture store look belies that theirs is only a pretense at good taste; whereas, the more REAL lovingly selected and well placed, no matter how little or much in cost, is that which REALLY thoughtful people combine in their dwellings. Quality, quality, quality is the tone that all must and can easily be aspired to – that is, of course, by those only who have REALLY refined taste. I want to share a bit of my and my husband’s personal [soon to be multi residential] quality driven décor quest and that which the tomes of design describe as REALLY worthwhile. As a young bride in the 1980’s I decided that I absolutely must have red lacquered Chippendale reproduction dining room chairs – that was accomplished with great effort and much expense but after my late husband passed away in 2000 and I remarried my darling Chester Michael Eliasz-Solomon in 2003, I decided new shared furnishings were the thing most important. The meaning of this lesson is that it is REALLY the experience and not only the thing that gives joy. Each day I pass the Tzedakah box that my dear husband had designed and created for my Chanukah last year – not being Jewish himself, Chester Michael sought out artisan importer Reuven Masel  [in Miami] to produce this precious item in the form of the historical Philadelphia Synagogue, Rodef Shalom. I adore this beautiful addition to our home because it is something added on account of the great love and respect my husband has for me and my faith. It is the same with the Marc Chagall Rabbi print that I inherited from my beloved Father – my husband had it reframed and perfectly hung above the mantel, where the gold Menorah he bought our first shared December holiday season was placed, in the first home we shared together after marrying in 2003. As bon vivant, the clever Vogue writer and international editor at large, Hamish Bowles, states about his recent decision to auction at the iconic Bonhams his “objets”, the term possession itself represents both that material and erotic. Bowles is astute in this observation – for does not the small child’s marble collection or my many Limoges items, among other collectibles in my homes or his own 30’s Syrie Maugham and Dorothy Draper pieces all equal a REAL visceral reaction to those in receipt of such affectionately held acquisitions? The answer is a definitely YES and so we must stand vigilant in allowing the enjoyment of  things in our life while never overvaluing them above what REALLY matters – REAL love, REAL family, REAL friends and G-d.

In other blog posts I have written about how important home and other building designs are … both interior and exterior building décor affects each of us in many important ways. In my post Le Petit Trianon and Why Architecture DOES Matter! [28 July 2012] the emphasis I wanted was on how both private and public spaces are to be taken quite seriously – the importance of how REAL style can change a life is given great detail. The senses of time and place often defined by structure and interior furnishings have proven to change outcomes in learning, health and overall happiness for us humans. Décor can promote a social cause or make a political statement – Stalinist Arcitecture in the Soviet Union was an attempt to control a population through his own imagined ideals of design. There is empirical evidence that low income housing when well designed can minimize crime levels and including well designed public green areas in disenfranchised neighborhoods create huge social and personal benefits. What is included in ones home or office is equal in importance as to that which is absent; surely my post Why The Library Is The Most Important Room In Any HomeNo Matter Size or Location!!! [7 July 2012] stresses how very important I feel books are in a home – never trust anyone where books are not part of their chosen home design. Any faux setting should be suspect – a staged presentation without REAL artifacts always a denotation of unscrupulous personalities [in my not so humble “opinion”]. Genuineness is an absolute requirement – one can not cloak a lesser self or a reality defiled by misdeeds in fashion or furnishings … this is as true a fact as a movie set not REALLY being a home – for pretense is only subterfuge in the end, no matter how entertaining.

My husband and I have both Sotheby’s and Christie’s, as well as MoMA online accounts – together grouping and marking choices from auctions we plan to attend, as well as purchases we are hoping to complete soon. Just this week I contacted a Christie’s Chinese art sales associate in New York for a gentleman who was a guest at home where we celebrated Thanksgiving  – what fun I had chatting with this knowledgeable individual despite having to admit that none of hubby and my new homes would include much in way of Asian artifacts. Working with decorators and interior designers does not mean we will not be heavily involved in both the outside and inside of our home’s designs – comforting for me is that my husband shares my taste and we two REALLY trust each other in such choices. There is a thrill in deciding on a well placed Stickley or Edward J. Wormley chair, a chic updated 18th century designed piece by French furniture maker Micheline Taillardat to set off other more contemporary pieces in one of our rooms or custom designed carpets from the marvelous The RUG Company, chandeliers, creative lighting choices, something from the New York century old mirror atelier, Mirror Fair and such – a REALLY shared couple experience in our life these days and, G-d willing, for many years to come. I am so happy that my darling husband looks forward, as much as I do, to our New York Times Style Magazine – a periodic home style extra magazine that comes with our NYT Sunday paper a few times each year. Hubby and I both are appreciating having decided on Poliform to do our individual closets/dressing rooms in soon to be NYC and other homes. Never will I forget the excitement my husband and I felt when decorating our first time home (twins) nursery a few years ago – we are both sports enthusiast and so that theme was easily chosen. Costs are not the defining attribute of REAL style – instead a REAL sense of self and respect for craftsmanship should rule the nest. Setting out to so-called flea market sales can prove successful in filling ones home – all that is needed is a REAL sense of honest style and intuition. Equally enjoyable to organized acquisitions is gathering items through REAL travel [not that mid-west budget tourist travel stuff]… no status requirement necessary for one to bring home a well chosen accessory from a trip or day excursion. So you see that I am not being a “snob” or elitist in my statements about home décor here but only a bit righteous toward the falsehoods and nearly pathological pretense of certain unsavory types. I am a committed egalitarian but will never accept the reverse snobbery of those lesser. Oh I assure you that these bottom dwellers I write about are so psychologically unstable as to see this blog post as signs of jealousy – professionals will tell you that it is specifically that delusional idea that denotes a personality disorder … you know the type – no matter how insignificant or obviously unsuccessful/unattractive they REALLY are, they think everyone envies them. Sad to think how potentially destructive these people are to themselves and others – as in previous posts, I tell you that 100% of this situation was caused and perpetrated by The Miscreants ™ [hubby, I, legal team, etc. keep detailed timelines and REAL records of everything]. Now on a funnier note – the crazed looking Michigan (mother/mother-in-law of one couple we are suing and possible her as well) old lady in this scenario seemed to confuse or lie about reading Architectural Digest, Town & Country, Hampton Magazine with People and US type periodicals: when I mentioned in a post that an adviser shared with my assistant and I that my new homes would probably be featured in former three after my book was published and that he was excited at how jealous bottom dwellers would be, we gals immediately assured him those types never read such classy publications  – in response to my words, this ridiculous senior wrote on Facebook that she just donated hers to a public library or some similar venue… trust me – this creature meant the latter, lol. All this brings us back to what being REAL means – no cheap paint or fake pressed wood furnishings nor even copying a favorite Good Housekeeping type magazine photo will provide a classless person REAL style – where no intrinsic qualities exist there can be nothing of REAL value. Posed pretense is just that – a sad and pathetic attempt to be other than is REAL.

In my memoir, Heiress Mommy … A Modern Super Woman Life! a very few chapters will reference the troublesome individuals you read about in my blog posts or discuss with me if we know each other personally but rest assured everything that is written about myself and them will be REAL – just like my REALLY well decorated homes!!!

P.S. I promise – as long as publisher’s attorney agree – ALL REAL names and some photos will be included in my REAL story … mine and The Miscreants ™ and certainly THE REAL Devil’s Daughter ™ +++ all their cohorts!!!

Note: We are still considering adding a country NY home to raise our growing family in and to be a get away from our NYC place, as well as affording me space where I can finally have my much desired Orangery and hubby can work with a landscape designer on his much desired intricate garden ideas. The one we like most is near to both Martha Stewart and the Ralph Lauren family … my hubby seems to think RL will drop by to toss some pillows strategically for us and that, being Polish like my husband, Martha will help us bake babka – surely neither is likely but one never knows – as my REAL life never fails to present the most fabulous situations and REALLY great opportunities!!!

UPDATE: The above referenced nemesis did many more crimes and egregious acts against myself, husband and family since this essay was first published 2012 … after my first & second books, a third will be published after the lawsuits and hoped for prosecutions are complete in our determination to help others who have suffered the same as us but do not have the resources we had to fight back. Additionally beginning Spring 2015 the Eliasz-Solomon family will be bi-coastal … Our life always exciting but now WOW. Oh yes, my hubby still obsessed with him ex-wife [divorced 20 years March 2015] who fled to California from East Coast [more on that in my book] need not worry for we are living in the better neighborhood – best California Real Estate where her kind can neither afford or are welcomed … sorry dear readers to sound snobbish but trust me it is not at all that but only REAL facts and yes I admit a wee bit of pride!!!

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July 28, 2012

Le Petit Trianon And Why Architecture DOES Matter!

by Teréza Eliasz-Solomon (HeiressMommy™)

Un endroit tres special … toi seul –  For Queen Marie Antoinette that was Le Petit Trianon and for others no more than a small room or alcove. No matter the style, location or size a special place that one can call their own seems as important to happiness as love. It seems that the French Queen was in that sense very much the same as anyone else in needing and seeking that sort of  joy and security. In that pursuit she embraced and redesigned extensively the Versailles addition that was originally designed as a gift for Louis XV’s maitresse-en-titre, Madame de Pompadour, who died before its completion and so it was subsequently given to her successor, the most famous French mistress, Madame du Barry. It was the  following French King, Louis XVI who gave Le Petit Trianon to his teenage Queen whose legacy has been defined by both truths and misrepresentations. In fact, Le Petit Trianon was criticized by her French peers as being too foreign – often being called “Little Vienna” or “Little Schonbrunn” – a reference to her powerful mother, the only female ruler of the Hapsburg dynasty, Maria Theresia‘s palace – where Marie Antoinette herself was born. As history informs us, Marie Antoinette was both loved and despised during her life – thus finding both a place for celebration and solace in her beloved  Petit Trianon. [By the way, during my visits to France I visited all of Versailles – including Petit Trianon and more … I will detail this and more of my travels, including photos,  in upcoming blog posts and my now REALLY soon book: Heiress Mommy … A Modern Super Woman Life!].  There are American Castles – places of grandeur designed as testimony to great wealth achieved mostly during America’s Gilded Age – I have visited many, including Newport’s famed The Breakers and Vizcaya in Miami. For myself, it began with my own childhood playroom and later a study that was my singular separate space and then of course as an adult my own homes provided more special areas I considered important – a gym, a garden or private dressing area. My husband and I recently have become able to look forward to being multi residential  – both of us are thrilled and full of wonderful anticipation at the prospect of working with architects and designers to create special unique spaces for each of us and our children. In each life – no matter where in this world – there is a necessitous impetus to create or find that area where comfort,  security and peace can be experienced. The task at hand has been and is ever more to make public and private places that every citizen has access to in order to achieve a balanced life to whatever extent possible.

I often reference all my parents taught and gave me in my blog posts – again, I must acknowledge their teaching that one should take full advantage of public spaces – making an effort to see and experience museums, parks, public libraries and all venues available wherever one lives or visits. I too want my children to make a conscious effort to seek out places of both grandeur and simplicity. For some there is no personal directive toward this lesson but it none the less should be, if not intrinsically known, then taught via public service outreach and/or through education [in schools, etc.]. We must provide public spaces – which serve as social gathering places. Throughout history into current modernity there have been parks, town centers and squares that afforded populations a place to congregate and more – often serving as markets, meeting venues and places of both worship and justice [or lack there of] and  punishment. The suburbs, unlike cities have not provided many gathering public or communal spaces … grant it quite a few are near parks but the very act of needing to drive for access denies the basic intent – that is to dwell freely in a shared area with neighbors or simply to easily seek solitary refuge. Rural areas provide, while not as plentiful as cities, meeting places on account of the basic need to join with others in common spaces – living far apart almost demands a town hall, a fairground or place of worship to gather. Of course, city, suburb or farm/ranch the new town square is social media – while to some extent a place of shared experience or reprieve from others, the internet is not architecture and therefore provides nothing to soothe the soul or attend to our other senses. Of course, I would be remiss if I did not mention that my husband and I take great advantage of the internet in pursuit of homes, vacations, design, etc. – there is without a doubt the most amazing access to all the world’s beauty, art and architecture via the internet. The problem lies in that being the only and singular outlet for some – whether by choice or circumstance. To never walk through a museum, sit in a public park, stroll around a town square or trek through a national preserve is to be denied a human basic experience – the outdoors and the interior places created by joined human effort are equally important venues that are almost a biological imperative to sustain life. We have seen people flock to common spaces for triumph celebrations like national holidays and also to share in tragedies like 9/11 – this need appears to be intrinsic and almost part of our DNA. Vigilance must be maintained to how and why and where architecture can make a difference in all lives.

For some time it has been an accepted fact that hospital design affects a patient’s health – not just the obvious cleanliness and well placed equipment/safety consideration but also the colors, furniture styles and art placement can contribute to or detract from the overall outcome of an individual’s hospital stay. There are also the staff and families and friends visiting that can benefit from the architecture of a medical center. Another important  architecture issue is schools – studies have shown that learning is more easily done in well designed areas and less strife and disruption among students is noted when a school is not only efficiently laid out but is attractive and in tune with all the senses. Teachers are equally affected and have expressed an ability to demonstrate more patience and energy in their dealings with students when the building/their work place is attractive and healthy.  Sadly, public schools are falling victim, like most municipality financed venues, to budget cuts these days – penny wise and dollar foolish for sure as how and where our children learn is paramount to a successful future., Why should only those of us whose children can financially afford private school have a learning atmosphere that promotes achievement? Yes, it is true – as I am so often reminded by skeptics – that in the “old days” many of our most prominent U.S. and world citizens schooled in less than attractive buildings [to say the least]. As my wise Mother was fond of stating – there were no really “good old days” just old days gone by … those much championed and incorrectly remembered halcyon days were also full of segregated and bland places of public education. Granted some students rose above and achieved greatness – most probably [as is often cited in memoirs and biographies] on account of family, clergy or a special teacher or maybe even something uniquely internal gave that person an advantage despite the surroundings where they went to school. Today is different and it is imperative that everything possible be done to architecturally design places of learning that are stimulating, healthy and attractive.

Major cities in the Unites States and other countries are now creating well designed and attractive affordable public and subsidized housing  … major architects are getting involved in the effort to create better and healthy single living spaces for the financial disadvantaged citizenry among us. One plan has produced integrated and various  level income housing communities, while other initiatives have created buildings with the single goal of affordable small but well designed living units … all geared toward a better quality of life. The outcome has demonstrated not only a better result for inhabitants of these well designed  low income units but for the community in general –  legal, medical and sociology experts have studied and agreed that living in a better environment produces individuals more physically and mentally healthy and there is decreased crime and as such less cost/expense to others. Even public transportation throughout the world has been addressed by architects – the stations are now multiple purposed in many places, offering amenities and services, as well as a safer environment. There really is no part of human existence that can not be made better by design and that is why architecture really DOES matter – in many ways and for many reasons!!!

P.S. A previous blog about our Labarador, Princess Java Argus surely expressed how much we consider her family – as such the plan for our new residence is that she & the second Labrador we are planning to add to the Eliasz-Solomon family, Princess Kava Pompeii have their own separate home [not dog house] with full amenities for times when parties or chaos make it uncomfortable or unsafe for pooches to be in main house …so, it goes without saying, we take architecture seriously!!!

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