My Sketches

I was going through the drawers in my office recently and happened across an old sketch book of mine. I used to do a lot of sketching of ideas, working things out by drawing the details before they actually became a reality. I would always carry a sketch book with me where ever I went so I could quickly capture my inspiration as it occurred. I haven't been doing enough of that lately with the advent of Auto Cad, a program where drawings are computer generated, and with my small digital camera in my purse at all times. I don't know whether it is laziness or the advent of technology, but I must say that looking back on these quick hand done sketches that they have a certain charm that the computer or the digital camera just can't achieve. There is something to be said for hand drawing. When I went to Design School we were taught to hand draw and I filled copious sketch pads. I studied Architecture in Paris and we would sit for hours in front of an important building or monument while the professor talked about the merits of the architecture and we would be fastidiously sketching away. I remember my first art class where there were nude models. I was very young and very naive and must say that it was very embarrassing for me to learn to draw the human body anatomically correct. Hand drawing is a very good way to train the eye to see details, and details are the stuff that design is made of. There is something magical about capturing the essence of something with a few lines.

tie back draperyfabric and trim

This was a sketch for a doorway into a Master Bedroom closet. I played around with different fringes to edge the drapery. One side was striped and the other side was a coordinating floral in linen.


This was an alternate detail for the drapery to cover the doorway into the Master Closet. Instead of being held back with a piece of curved metal it gathered back on itself with a series of loops sewn onto the back of the fabric, much like a roman blind. The top of the drapery was hung over the curtain rod with tabs that folded over and were pointed on the ends. There is even a design for coordinated lampshades trimmed with cord and tassel.

cushion details

These were sketches for toss cushions with notations for the size,fabric, trims and even the colors.

detail 1

This was a sketch for the drapery workroom for a "balloon" valance treatment with a decorative French mirror between. The windows bothered me as they were not even, so I added full length side panels to each window, as noted in the bottom notation, to have 10" hems/headers and I wanted them to puddle on the floor so I added an extra 40" to the over all length. I would not have been able to make this decision to frame the windows with full length draperies as easily if I had not done a sketch first.

ash street bed

A sketch for the arrangement of toss cushions and bedding, that were made of 3 fabrics: Cream Silk Taffeta, Anjelica - a beautiful cream and navy linen toile, and a charcoal pin strip Egyptian cotton. Funny I even added a little quotation: "Each Day Dawns But Once".


This was a sketch that I did of a chair in a Hotel Lobby in London, that intrigued me. I was sitting down waiting for the check-in to happen. The British do wonderful detailing on their upholstery and drapery treatments. I remember being totally charmed with the fabric and color selection of this chair, that I had to note exactly how it was done. I even drew the skirt in detail showing a section through it. People must have thought I was crazy, as I lifted up the skirt several times to see exactly how they had sewn it. I used to carry a travel palette of watercolors and would use whatever liquid I could find, for this one I might have dipped my paint brush into diluted tea?? After all it was London.


Yellow Fever

It's Feb 25th and I am anxiously awaiting Spring. Yellow reminds me that it is just around the corner. Forsythia blooming, tulips nodding their heads to me at the Flower Shops, a bowl of yellow lemons are all live touches of yellow we can add to our homes. But what about using yellow in more permanent installations in your home to add a dash of sunshine and warmth year round. Color researchers believe the color Yellow increases self-esteem and strengthens the overall well-being. Yellow to me is happy, bright, optimistic and interestingly enough it is the color that has the longest memory retention. So yellow is a good color to paint your house when you are wanting to sell it.....because yellow houses sell faster. Also yellow cars have been proven to have fewer accidents.

House Beautiful March08
Forsythia, yellow tulips & fresh lemons on classic Carrera marble countertops
House Beautiful March 2008

Yellow Pottery, lemons, bananas, and pineapple in this beautiful all white kitchen
Southern Accents

colorams se
Classic contemporary yellow chairs

A contemporary way to add a splash of color in your rooms, which is easy to change out for a new look.

jan showers com 02
Jan Showers uses touches of yellow for punch in this room

Elle Decor 2007 Laird Residence Bilhuber Designer1

Jeffery Bilhuber has used National Geographic magazines to get a pop of yellow into this warm and inviting sitting room

 via mrs blandings

This is such a bright welcoming entryway with my favorite Gracie Studio Wallpaper. Photo via Mrs Blandings

parish hadley reception via Peak of Chicalbert hadley june 2000 HB

I like the way Interior Design icon, Albert Hadley uses yellow as an accent color for furniture. The picture on the right is a room in his own home and on the right is his office.

tessellations org1 david hicks2

A beautiful "tessellation" tile (left) & David's Hicks's masterful use of bright acid yellow (right)

british homes and gardens via memyselfI


img17janshowers westerninteriors via katie did

I love the billowy yellow silk draperies in these rooms

credenza designed by the fabulous Tommi Parzinger via Jackie Blue Homepurplearea blogspot

A classic credenza designed by the fabulous Tommi Parzinger (top) & A painted Chinese chest (bottom)

Some yellow inspiration from my last trip to LA. That is velvet on the ottoman on left picture. The picture on the right is from an accessories showroom showing their spring and summer line for 2008. I definitely saw a trend for yellow for this year in home furnishings and accessories.

david hicks1

This is a room David Hicks designed in the 70's and it is still vital and current 30 some odd years later. He uses yellow sofas and chairs in his design much the same way as Albert Hadley.

katrincargillJan Showers

A beautiful yellow wallpaper in this room by Katrin Cargill Creamy (left) & butter yellow painted walls by Jan Showers (right)

yellow lamps
Yellow lamps add a vibrant shot of color in this black and white bedroom, and notice the interesting cushion on the bed

design inc tovas deck

Classic yellow striped cushions


I love the bold use of yellow on this floor...now that takes chutzpah

antique chairs

Magnificent antique Directoire chairs


Happy Weekend

Click here to watch this extraordinary video.

Prescription for Bliss: The Dog, the Cat and the Rat I couldn't resist sharing this wonderful video clip with you...the moral of the story to me is: Why can't we all just be friends. Here's to World Peace!! This is a video of one of the homeless in Santa Barbara and his pets. They work State Street every week for donations. The animals are pretty well fed and are mellow. They are a family. The man who owns them rigged a harness up for his cat so she wouldn't have to walk so much (like the dog and himself). At some juncture the rat came along, and as no one wanted to eat anyone else, the rat started riding with the cat and, often, on the cat! The dog, will stand all day and let you talk to him and admire him for a few chin scratches. The Mayor of Santa Barbara filmed this clip and sent it out as a Christmas card.

Click here to watch this extraordinary video.


Fornasetti Carpets

Fornasetti wallpapers are beautiful, well-made and bang on trend. My favorite ‘Tema e Variazioni’ inspired by the enigmatic face of a beautiful woman he came across in an old French magazine.


Piero Fornasetti was born in Milan (1913-1988) and became an eclectic painter, sculptor, interior designer, craftsman, engraver of art books and organizer of international exhibitions and events. Believing strongly in disegnothe practice of sketching and copying – as the legacy of the Italian artistic tradition, his unique style shows a strong sense of irony. He worked independently of the avant-garde and his production of exquisitely made objects, textiles and furniture, some of which are in the V&A Museum, is one of the largest of the 20th century.

Fornasetti's latest collection transfers the work this Milanese artist and interior designer into bold carpets. I love the bold whimsical nature of them.



How great would this area carpet be in an entry foyer

Buona_Notte Viso

Buona Notte / Viso

These area carpets feature the enigmatic face of a his beautiful French woman - one with eyes open and one with eyes closed

Serratura Mano

Serratura / Mano

How great would these carpets be in a hallway

Cortile_BW Pavimento

Cortile / Pavimento

These carpets are so enigmatic and remind me of a beautiful silk scarf in the manner of Hermes or Gucci.


Ortensia / Serpente

For a little more spice or drama a beautiful leaf in the botanical style or the symbolic serpentine.

Which one is your favorite pick?


The Color Orange & Gracie Studio Wallpaper

I just received the email below from Jennifer Gracie and she sent along with it this image of the most beautiful and luscious wallpaper that her office is papered in! Lucky you Jennifer....thanks for the image. BTW I am a big fan of Gracie wallpaper and you can see why. Click here to read the interview I did with her brother Mike.


Dear Patricia,

I think your blog is fantastic, and I do look forward to it's updates. I believe you interviewed my brother, Mike, for it in the past. I was reading your most recent on orange color while sitting in my office with it's handpainted scenic with an Hermes-y orange background!

I've sent you a photo, which I thought you might like, given that orange is your subject of the week.

Best regards, Jennifer

Jennifer Gracie Gracie, Inc. 419 Lafayette Street New York, NY 10003 www.graciestudio.com

Washington Post

I was excited to find out that my post on "The Color Orange"

Tulips Patricia Gray Feb 08

along with Joni's post on "Blue Opaline"


had been featured on the Washington Post's "Blog Picks" last Thursday. The same article was then picked up by my local newspaper The Vancouver Sun and also by the Seattle Times and the LA Times. Thanks to Terri Sapienza of the Washington Post!


Design Watch: Praise for the powers of orange and blue

By Terri Sapienza

The Washington Post

Our picks to click this week:

Patricia Gray posts on the color orange, calling it "mentally stimulating" and worth considering for a dining room, library or child's room. Need a little more convincing? Check out the interiors that accompany this post and you, too, may feel the need to lacquer your ceiling the color of a Hermès box. http://www.patriciagrayinc.blogspot.com/

• On Cote de Texas, the color of choice is blue. Blue Opaline, that is. It's an antique, handblown glass from France. Though blue is the most popular color of Opaline, according to the blog, the glass can be found in green, white, pink and red. The rarest color of all: lemon. Read a brief history and see lots of fabulous photos. "One piece is just as beautiful as a hundred pieces are," the blogger writes. http://www.cotedetexas.blogspot.com/




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...