Tag Archives: Art Noveau


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Occupying some 16,000 acres beneath the snowcapped San Juan Mountains is the Double RL Ranch, the Colorado getaway of fashion designer Ralph Lauren and his wife, Ricky.

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The ranch includes a main lodge, three guest tepees and several outbuildings.

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The living room of the four bedroom primary structure. Pieces from the Ralph Lauren Home collection, such as the suede sofa and club chair, fill the compound’s interiors. A work by Fritz Scholder is above the fireplace. The cowboy hat on the table in the foreground once belonged to John Wayne.

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In the master bedroom, concho belts and an Indian chief blanket with an American flag motif, both 1880s, hang on a ledge holding an Apache olla basket, at right. The 19th-century breastplate with mirror, at left, is believed to have come from the Blackfoot Indian tribe.

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Art Nouveau-style lamps illuminate a living area that lies alongside a bar and dining area. On the mantel is a photogravure, left, by Edward S. Curtis, a chronicler of Native American culture. The canoe hanging above is a Canadian birchbark. Stickley wood chairs.

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Leather armchairs provide comfortable seating when the couple and their guests watch movies. “Although the ranch is a work in progress, there’s a real feeling of heritage here,” says Ralph Lauren. “Everything is authentic to me—and pleasing to my eye.”

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The couple often use the space to serve breakfast to family, including their three children, and the cowboys working at the ranch.

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The terrace faces the tack house. “After 20 years here, I still notice new things, depending on the time of day,” says Ralph Lauren.

Little Brown Cabin

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“The cabin is named after Billy Brown, who lived in it when he homesteaded part of the ranch in the 1880s,” says Ralph Lauren. “It was moved from its original site.”

Little Bear Cabin

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The interior of the cabin, which is named after two curious bear cubs that frequented the area during construction, is lined with logs from an 1880s Montana barn. An Edward S. Curtis photogravure rests on the rock fireplace’s wood mantel.

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The mudroom serves as a storage area for leather chaps, riatas, stirrups, early snowshoes from Taos and Native American-made fishing accessories.

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Like most of the dwellings on the property, the space is equipped with accommodations for as many as eight visitors. Before the rock wall is a 19th-century painted stepback cupboard that was found in the South. On the table is a Santo Domingo dough bowl.

Little Blues Pony Cabin

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Near a pasture where the horses often graze, the cabin is partly constructed from a dismantled barn from Montana. Blue accents, such as the small wood chair, are displayed throughout. The photograph is by Karl Moon. The bed was acquired in Pennsylvania.

Elkmeadow Cabin

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A rebuilt clawfoot tub, a Shaker-style basket and a New Mexican Navajo rug are in the bath. Ralph Lauren Home multicolored towels; red Polo towels.

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The pool, which reflects the faraway mountainscape, is located just off the main lodge and is accompanied by a gym.

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The barn was built by the homesteading Vance family. “My family and I ride out to it on horseback for dinner,” says the designer.

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A place setting includes Ralph Lauren Home placemats, napkins and flatware. The Double RL Ranch logo is on the plate.

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Sun streams in through an American flag to the dining area, which is decorated for a Christmas meal. Sage and willow branches from the ranch grounds adorn the tree. The tablecloth is French lace.


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A pair of 1960s-style butterfly chairs flank the entrance to the 1960s silver Airstream trailer the couple offer to their guests. “The interiors are redesigned in an Army-surplus style,” the designer says. A canopy over the wood-plank platform protects visitors from the elements.


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A collection of Indian blankets warms the inside of one of three guest tepees, which measures 28 feet in diameter. Since they have no heating or cooling systems, the structures are used in the milder months.

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The exterior was handpainted by Native American artists.

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Tom Harrington on a cattle drive. “There’s such a sense of space at the ranch,” says Ralph Lauren. “Whether Ricky and I are riding horses or driving, we’re at ease, surrounded by the mountains. It’s completely restful and inspiring.”





Behind the façade of the art – deco – influenced exterior, lies a perfectly preserved and ultra – luxurious piece of Chanel history. The apartment, situated above the flagship boutique on Rue Cambon, remains exactly as Chanel left it. Today, just a restricted number of  VIP with a badge are permitted into the building.


In contrast to Coco’s personal space, the staircase had a heavy art- deco influence. It is still covered with cream carpet, while the walls are lined with panels of mirrors. During the fashion shows, which took place downstairs, Gabrielle Chanel would sit on the staircase. Thanks to the mirrors she could see everything taking place, but no one could see her. She wanted to know the immediate reaction, if the journalists and clients were pleased with the collection.


She had this chandelier custom made. Can you see the iconic 5’s?


The clear table in the picture below was the first piece of merchandising furniture for Chanel. Coco asked the designer to do something very clean and very simple to have all the costume jewelry, make-up, skincare, and perfume merchandised. It was to enhance the beauty of the product. At the time, it was very clever as she was one of the first to do this.

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“An Interior is the natural projection of the soul and Balzac was right to give as much importance to it, as to the way people dress…”, she once confided to biographer Paul Morland.


The entrance to Coco’s apartment where an original work-chair is still where she left it. Lower chairs were used for fittings as it was easier to sew and work with the fabric closer  to the ground.

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The octagonal shape of the mirror on the wall was the inspiration for the cap of CHANEL No.5. It is also the same shape of the iconic Place Vendome, which Coco could see out of her window of her residence at the Ritz Hotel.


The gold boxes on the coffee table were a gift from the Duke of Westminster.


A small herd of carved wood deer silently occupy the space...

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The scale of the chandeliers, the coromandel screens, the mirrors: all reflected her intrepid personality. Coco had an eclectic mix of decor. French classic furniture, antiquities, Italian influences and Japanese deers. At the time, it was really exceptional to mix Orient and Occident- when East meets West.


Above and below: a Greek statue over the fireplace’s mantle.


The desk where Coco sketched her creations on paper.


All of Coco’s books have deep red tones. Just like the iconic lipstick and the inside lining of the bags she created.


Coco was very superstitious. Elements of this can be seen all over her apartment with sculptures of different animals and religious artifacts. She wanted to feel protected at all times. Chanel was a Leo and she incorporated its symbol, the Lion, into her personal space.


The pig keeper of silver and gems may have been found by Chanel at a flea market.



Chanel considered wheat to be her lucky charm…..here it glints in gold on the book bindings of the Old Testament.


This tiny birdcage was a present from a retiring employee and was the inspiration  for the 1992 Coco perfume campaign, starring Vanessa Paradis, that was set in the Chanel apartment on Rue Cambon.

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The ornate Chinese screens and wall panels feature coromandel birds and camelia flowers, which came to be a signature for the Chanel fashion house that continues to be used to this day. It symbolized purity and longevity in Asia and was very prevalent in her designs.


The Salon where Chanel entertained her guests including Elizabeth Taylor, Pablo Picasso, Igor Stravinsky and Salvador Dali. She is said to have hated doors and obscured them with Chinese screens.

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Chanel herself designed this long, sensuous sofa in the salon at 31 Rue Cambon. It was important to her that it was comfortable, and she took the unusual decision to have it made in suede, rather than silk or velvet. It was very cutting edge. An entire wall of leather bound books. Beige, brown and fawn colors are accented with black and crystal.


The open mouth of a frog brings love, luck, money and health. If you look closely you can see a crystal placed in its mouth. Once, while Givenchy sat in the drawing room, a piece of crystal fell from the chandelier. He placed it in the mouth of the frog and it was never removed.


Coco was photographed many times in this iconic white chair.


A French trumeau over the fireplace, flanked on either side by Spanish vestry mirrors, crystal laden table lamps, and large rock crystal chandelier bejewel the main salon


Mirrors were designed to be octagonal in shape. The top of the two tables below are black lacquer but were originally marble. Gabrielle Chanel wanted to take off the marble and have the black lacquer. It may remind you of CHANEL’s make-up-black lacquer with the logo on top.


This hand sculpture was made for Chanel by the Italian artist Alberto Giacometti.


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Coco’s trademark black-and-white allover aesthetic.



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The Pera Palace Hotel is an historic special place and museum hotel located in the Pera district in Istanbul. It was built in 1892 for the purpose of hosting the passengers of the Orient Express. In fact, the original owner was the Compagnie Internationale des Wagon-Lits and was named after the place where it is located. It holds the title of “the oldest European Hotel in Turkey”.

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It was the brainchild of Alexandre Vallaury, a French-Turkish architect who blended neo-classical, Art Nouveau and Oriental styles to produce a hotel that became an elegant hangout for the celebrities of the early 20th Century including Sarah Bernhardt, King Edward VIII and, later, Alfred Hitchcock.

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Also Mata Hari, accused of spying and executed in France in 1917, stayed at the Pera Palace Hotel. So did Greta Garbo, who played the shadowy dancer in a 1931 movie. Ernest Hemingway checked in to report on war between Turks and Greeks.  If walls could speak…

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This painted sedan chair stands in the hall as a reminder of the early years when guests were transported in this way from the Sirkeci station, terminal of the Orient Express.


A witness to tumult, the Pera Palace became a target in 1941 when a bomb exploded at the entrance shortly after the arrival of a British diplomatic party from Bulgaria, which had sided with the Nazis. Several people died.


White marble steps from the foyer lead to the Kubbeli Saloon, a soaring room at the heart of the hotel, with parquet floor, banded columns of Carrara marble and six domes pierced with discs of turquoise glass.

This is the setting for the ‘English tea ritual’, a traditional speciality here that is accompanied by music on the Schiedmayer grand piano.

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The state-owned Pera Palace has reopened in 2010 after a two-year restoration costed 23 million euros ($30 million), seeking to capture the lost sparkle of what was one of Istanbul’s most prominent landmarks.


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Waitresses in trim beige dresses and white aprons emerge from the Patisserie de Pera, adjacent to reception, bearing platters filled with triangles of striped cake, puffs of pastry smothered in chocolate, tiny tarts and rather larger scones.

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The hotel was the first building in Turkey to be powered by electricity, other than the Ottoman Palaces. It was also the only address in the city to provide hot running water for its guests and was home to the first electric elevator in Istanbul.

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Nobody will sleep in the Room 101. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, a former army officer who founded Turkey in 1923, once used it as a base. The room will house a museum of items belonging to Ataturk, including hats, slippers and dignitaries’ gifts.

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Agatha Christie was one of the many high-profile visitors in the early 20th century. Agatha had stayed in Room 411 as she passed through Istanbul on her visits to excavations in Iraq with her archaeologist husband Max Mallowan. She have crafted “Murder on the Orient Express” in Room 411.





Angel of 57, rue de Turbigo. The rue de Turbigo is part of the St Martin district, not an aristocratic area like its neighbor le Marais. The smiling, colossal stone angel seems to stand guard over the human comedy unfolding at its feet. Wings unfurled with a span rivaling that of the Louvre’s Winged Victory,  its feathers  brush against the fourth floor apartments’ windows of this building designed by architect Eugene Demangeat in 1860. Demangeat was a key player in the building boom of Paris, orchestrated by Baron Haussmann under the aegis of Napoleon III.  The goal was to aerate, beautify and unify the capital city, until then a medieval maze of dark, insalubrious, winding streets. Next year,  the angel of the rue Turbigo  celebrates its 154th year, a serenely vigilant guardian angel radiating happiness throughout the neighborhood.


From Promenade Plantee.

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Paris apartments.

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Paris apartments.


La France Journal du Soir.


Atlantes above the entrance of the 116, rue de Réaumur, 2nd arr. This building was built in 1898 by Albert Walwein . The statues of Atlantes are said “sheathed” (their lower part is melted in a pillar). Above the door, a relief with Diana and two Amours.


Along Rue Réaumur there are many interesting building façades. In 1897, a new planning regulation was put in place. This meant that roofs could be extended and bay windows could be added to the stone façades. Quite a few architects won a prize for these additions.


Caryatids around a window at the corner of the 101, rue de Réaumur and rue de Cléry, 2nd arr.


The enormous heads of the goddess Hathor in Rue du Caire. Back in 1798 the future emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was about to pop off on his Egyptian Campaign, so things middle eastern were somewhat in the air. The Passage du Caire was supposed to be like a nod to the great souk of Cairo, but in the end was criticised for not being souklike one little bit. The architect of the building in these pictures, constructed around 1828.


One of the many reasons that I love Paris is that I feel that there is something wonderful, and often unexpected, to discover around every corner. There are several whimsical examples of Parisian Art Nouveau architecture tucked away in quiet spots in the 7th arrondissement. Like the first time I turned a corner and stood face to face with Jules Lavirotte’s outrageous Art Nouveau masterpiece on 29, Avenue Rapp. Look carefully to discover the many whimsical details on this building –  from the windows above the door that look like Martian’s eyes, to the bison heads which holding up balconies, lizard door handles, fox-headed fur collars, fantastical fish, wonderful curves and shapes, young women and men.

29, avenue Rapp (l'art nouveau à Paris)



Lavirotte designed this wildly decorated facade in 1901 for his friend Alexandre Bigot. A frequent collaborator, Bigot was a talented ceramist and he gave Lavirotte complete freedom with the design for this building. Bigot created the ceramic details himself, working closely with Lavirotte to execute his outrageous and lavish designs, along with the sculptor Jean-Baptiste Larrivé. Read more about the buildings Lavirotte designed in the 7th arrondissement of Paris on Wikipedia.


39, rue Saint Sabin. The mansion, three levels plus attic above the cornice, was built in 1909 by company A. Chérioux according to plans by architect L. Delpoix and ornamented with statues and friezes made ​​by the sculptor E. Chenevière.
The three central windows of the first and second stage are connected together by a balcony railing wrought iron. Windows are surmounted first by a triangular pediment carved. They are framed by a square column supporting grooved on each side at the second floor, a sculpture of a woman who carried the garland of flowers located above windows.




Marvelous intricate handle.


Iron coat of arms.


Winchester Cathedral door – England.



The Forbidden City door.


Art Nouveau door handle.


I got a fish for you.


A door in Carcassonne.


Country French antique door.


Cross and feather door knob.



The Public School knob of New York.


Door handle, Terlingua ghost town.


Double knobs.


Lions door knob.


Horse head door handle.





This amazing house is named after his designer. Hundertwasser House is a residential building located in Vienna designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser with original co-author Josef Krawina (architect). Built in the years 1983–1985, designed in harmony with nature.

Friedensreich Hundertwasser started out as a painter, but early 1950s he became more focused on architecture. In 1972 he visualized his ideas about forested roofs, tree tenants and window rights. What’s the window rights? Below you can read Hundertwasser’s manifesto clearing the subject. Check if he was right…


Photo by Szilveszter Farkas


Photo by Jens Jeppe 


Photo by Barnyz


Photo by Allesok


Photo by Ulf Liljankoski


Photo by Movaxdx


Photo by Miroslav Pietrasko


Photo by Charlott


Photo by Richardzinho


Photo by Jens Jeppe


“Window Dictatorship and Window Right”
Some people say houses consist of walls. I say houses consist of windows.
When different houses stand next to each other in a street, all having different window types, i.e., window races, for example an Art Nouveau house with Art Nouveau windows next to a modern house with unadorned square windows, followed in turn by a Baroque house with Baroque windows, nobody minds.
But should the three window types of the three houses belong to one house, it is seen as a violation of the racial segregation of windows. Why? Each individual window has its own right to life.
According to the prevailing code, however, if window races are mixed, window apartheid is infringed.
Everything is there: racial prejudice, racial discrimination, racial policy, racial ideology, racial barriers, with fateful impact of window apartheid on man. The apartheid of window races must cease.
For the repetition of identical windows next to each other and above each other as in a grid system is a characteristic of concentration camps.
Windows in rank and file are sad, windows should be able to dance.
In the new architecture of satellite towns and in new administration buildings, banks, hospitals and schools, the levelling of windows is unbearable.
Individuals are never identical and defend themselves against these standardising dictates either passively or actively, depending on their constitution. Thus either with alcohol and drug addiction, exodus from the city, cleaning mania, television dependency, inexplicable physical complaints, allergies, depressions and even suicide, or alternatively with aggression, vandalism and crime.
A person in a rented apartment must be able to lean out of his window and scrape off the masonry within arm’s reach. And he must be allowed to take a long brush and paint everything outside within arm’s reach.
So that it will be visible from afar to everyone in the street that someone lives there who is different from the imprisoned, enslaved, standardised man who lives next door.