Thursday, June 30, 2011

Diamond Baratta Design

Diamond Baratta Design is one of a kind!  Two friends, William Diamond and Anthony Baratta, head this design firm in New York City.

Their rooms stand alone in the world of design, as they are able to envision and incorporate ideas that would stop most people in their tracks.  No detail is too small, and if they are unable to find what they need for an interior, they have it custom made.

After many years in the business, they now have a field of experts at their behest - quilters, rugmakers, artists, cabinetmakers, embroiderers and large manufacturers of textiles, such as Lee Jofa, and carpet maker, Stark Carpets, to produce their personal designs. 

And therein lies their not so secret 'secret'!  What they produce is one-of-a-kind!

Today, I am posting one of their nautically designed interiors.......and you will see what I mean.


Cape Cod Summer Home
Tugboat S.S. Lollipop

Entry with built in benches

Hand hewn lighthouse newel post
Hand painted floors
Rug by Diamond

Ticking fabric on walls
Custom made gingham carpet
Tole vases converted to lamps
DB designed fabric on sofa
Antique quilted cushions and ottoman

Homeowner's collection sailor's valentines in LR

Custom designed quilt pattern on walls, chairs

DR Wedgewood shell plates

Family room has custom designed Lee Jofa fabric on furniture
with antique quilted and hooked pillows
Vintage windmill refurbished
DB coffee tables and Orkney chairs
DB rag rug

Sun porch
DB latticework and porthole table

Master bedroom
DB bed and nightstand
Antique quilted pillows and linen on walls
DB rug

Boy's room
DB bed and pier tables
Hand painted floors

Beach house family room in red to match tugboat
DB fabric and antique quilt ottoman
Hand painted ceiling border and floor
Antique portholes and sconces

All photos via Veranda

Wouldn't you say they have a penchant for detail?  What do you think?
Comments welcome!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Oprah's Hawaiian House

As promised last week, here is the followup on Oprah's homes - her Hawaiian retreat.

What began as an old gray farmhouse Oprah purchased to tear down, ended up being restored and perfected to Oprah's requirements.  The property was purchased for it's location and magnificent ocean views.  With the help of an architect and designer Ellie Cullman and her team,  the house was brought back to life. 

After the floorplan was completely redone and the house taken back to its basic structure, the master bedroom ceiling was raised to give the room an airier feel, french doors were installed throughout the house and a wrap around verandah was added.

Since this property is meant for a very relaxed lifestyle, the interiors were designed with comfort in mind.  The folk art weathervane in the shape of a galloping horse became the focal point in the living room as a reflection of the horses in the field.  The rooms are painted in beautiful summery colors of yellows, greens and soft whites.  Oprah's master bedroom is done in her favorite shade, green, which is also very serene.  Along with her colorful bouquets of fresh flowers and her beloved African American art, it has become her home away from home.

All in all, an absolutely wonderful getaway.


Oprah's Hawaiian Home

Veranda ocean view

Living Room

Dining Room

Dining Room

Master Bedroom

Bedroom Balcony


All photos via

Monday, June 27, 2011

Beautiful Bunks

Images 1, 3 & 5 Southern Accents,  2, 4 & 6 Country Living, #7 Elle Decor

Friday, June 24, 2011

Loving the Art of Jennifer Lanne!

I discovered Jennifer's art a few years ago while perusing a Country Living magazine and have followed her work since.

The article described her happy life on a farm in New York state where she resides with her husband and a band of characters better known as her happy family.....their two Saddleback pigs, Violet and Olive, cats, araucana hens.....all of whom have names, I'm sure, it's just that I don't know them!  I do know they are all cherished and I was delighted to note in the article that vintage doll cribs are used for her cats beds!  What a great idea!

Jennifer's studio is a large barn on their property, so her work is inspired by her surroundings - her beloved pets, flora and fauna, other farms, birds and nature in general.  Her painting style is a mix of rustic and refined with an overall vintage look........and her art speaks volumes about her daily life.

Sounds idyllic and looks idyllic......despite the fact life is very busy as Jennifer travels about to country fairs and displays her work in many retail outlets throughout the United States.

For more on her art and where to find it, go to and you will find another source of her paintings at

Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!


One for the Money

Don't Be Shy


White Noise


Green Velvet

Crow Cherries

Barn Studio

Beloved Violet and Olive

All photos via Country Living and

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Storybook Cottages

These storybook cottages were part of a short-lived design era in the 1920s.  American architects with a flair for detail built upon medievel European cottage designs and embellished them with turrets, dormers, stucco, timber, rounded doors, asymmetrically placed windows and sloped rooves among other things. These cottages are also sometimes referred to as Cotswold Cottages, Hansel and Gretel and other whimsical names.  While they were built in many countries, America had its fair share and hundreds still exist, mainly in California and particularly in Carmel by the Sea.

They are fascinating and cosy little places and exist in a world of their own!



This is such an enchanting little cottage in
Carmel by the Sea

This Old House




John Robert Marlow
This cottage was commissioned and built for Charlie Chaplin.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Oprah's Santa Barbara Guest House

I saw Oprah's estate in her own magazine a few years ago and have never forgotten it's jaw dropping beauty.  Yes, she paid $50 million dollars for it (and that was before the decorating)!  And yes, she has her own tea house!   And a flower garden with 'hundreds of rose bushes, thousands of hydrangeas and a sea of dahlias!'

But, it was the guest house interiors that were featured that day that left me wanting to move in there.....she can enjoy the 'big' house, but who would want to leave the guest house?  Would you?

And guess who her decorators were?  Her hairdresser and his partner......who were wannabe decorators!  I'd say they are pretty good at decorating, wouldn't you?  Of course, when it comes to decorating, money talks.....sometimes!  In this case, it helped.......along with a lot of great taste!

Hope you enjoy!  I'll do her Hawaiian property another day!

Oprah's Santa Barbara Estate

Guest House Living Room Fireplace

Dining Room
(Collection of art by a single artist)

Dining Room

Library Fireplace

Library opposite fireplace
(Notice the African American doll in pride of place)

(This den was designed around the large Lincoln penny)

Den Fireplace

(Green (serene) study designed around painting of black lab above sofa)

Guest House Master Bedroom
(Lavender for optimum relaxation)

Master Bedroom Fireplace

Tea House - Oprah's Sanctuary
(Surrounded by thousands of roses, hydrangeas and dahlias)

Tea House

Tea House

All photos via