Saturday, November 29, 2014

And the winner is ...

Michelle, congratulations on winning
Segreto Style by Leslie Sinclair!!! 

This book is divine, and will continually inspire you to live 
an artistic composition of a beautiful life.

Many thanks to the talented and lovely Leslie Sinclair for sponsoring our first giveaway with her gorgeous book!  If you didn't win, remember you can still order your copy here on Portobello Design, just click her book on the right side bar.  You will be so glad you did!

I hope it's lovely where you are ...

All the best, Rié

All emails and comments on original post will be deleted to protect your privacy.  The winner has been emailed.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday Giveaway and it's the new design book SEGRETO STYLE!!

Pinch me! Our first giveaway and it's the much anticipated design book, Segreto Style!!  Do you remember this photo announcing the new books from Leslie Sinclair of Segreto Finishes,  from our post in August?  See the post here.

The home of Joyce Horn, of Joyce Horn Antiques, and Segreto Finishes - Plaster Finish

Well, it's arrived and it's beautiful!

Just in time for the Holiday Season and to get a jump on BlackFriday and CyberMonday, you can win a copy of Segreto Style.  Just leave a comment in the comment section with your name and email address.  The winner will be announced Saturday, November 29th!  This gorgeous and large table top design book is an $85.00 value.

Here's a sneak peak inside!

Notecard: Garance Doré, Rifle Paper Co.

Merci and Hugs to Leslie Sinclair for sponsoring this giveaway.   You can also order another copy(s) of Segreto Style here on Portobello Design, just click on the copy of her book on the right side bar!  Makes a great hostess or holiday gift.

Don't forget to leave your name and email in the comment section to win!

I hope it's lovely where you are...

All the best, Rié

Since the giveaway is over, all emails and comments have been removed to protect your privacy. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Robert Kime: Britain's Esteemed Interior Designer - Excerpts From TMagazine

Kime's Bedroom, London, above his Bloomsbury shop

"...Robert Kime, Britain’s most esteemed interior designer. Past a rickety bridge and ragged hills with sheep grazing on either side, a low golden light streaming through the valley, is his charming, white-painted farmhouse. The property could not be in a more beautiful setting — the picturesque Longsleddale valley near Kendal in the north of England. Appearing untouched by time, with its working sheds and a beautiful barn that Kime converted into his library, the bucolic scene must look much like it did in the 18th century. While Kime lives primarily in London, in an airy apartment above his design shop in Bloomsbury, Docker Nook is his quiet escape, where he idles the days away doing little more than reading by the fire and walking the grounds..."

Robert Kime

Living Room of Docker Nook

The Larder (formerly the dinning room) Docker Nook

"Kime is without peer in creating the lived-in, classic English look that eminent figures such as the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Beaufort call on him to create for their homes. Yet this place proves he’s as talented at decorating a humble farmer’s cottage as he is a palace. The interior is quite simple and comfortable, but everything is of great quality. Each room feels like it’s been there forever, for Kime understands the value of leaving alone as much as he changes. Yet the telltale signs of his work abound: loose-gathered lampshades on thin silver candlestick lamps, antique octagonal occasional tables, small cushions in all sorts of vintage linen and Uzbeki fabric and very deep, soft upholstery..."

Kime's Drawing Room in his London Apartment


"...Unless you are familiar with Kime’s approach, you would think that the place had been untouched by an interior designer. This might be because he is a dealer first and a decorator second."...

The Sitting Room at Docker Nook

"Kime was born in Hampshire in 1946 and left school at 16 to work as an archeologist in Greece and Israel before studying history at Oxford. Throughout university, he would deal antiques to his fellow students to help fund his studies. After Oxford he went to Sotheby’s and from there to work for Miriam Rothschild, selling pieces for her. “She was more hands-on than a patron,” he says. 'She let me get on with things but loved the fact that all her stuff was recyclable, a lot of Rothschildiana.' Kime admits he never intended to become a decorator. 'It was looked down upon in those days,' he says. 'I figured, ‘I can’t afford to be a decorator, but I’d like to do it,’ so I took Fridays off [to try] and gradually it took over.'..."

The Dining Room in London


The Master Bedroom in Docker

Kime's Bedroom London

"But it is his bedroom that ultimately defines what Kime stands for as a designer. In the center of the room is a beautiful antique gilded four-poster bed with chintz curtains, lined with a delicate antique muslin voile. The headboard is covered in an old quilt with a scalloped edge along the top, giving it a homey finish. What is very obvious here is Kime’s unusual and unique talent for making rooms both masculine and delicate; they are never too feminine and never something you have seen before."

A view of Docker Nook

Cited from: 
This blog version is an edited edition from original online article.

I hope it's lovely where you are...

All the best, Rié

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Designer Barbara Barry: Corona del Mar, California

Living Room Vignette:   A demilune table, Gustavian wall clock, garden flowers, and stacks of books showcase Barbara Barry's eye for beautiful compositions.

Lovely ...  A lovely watercolor, is how I would describe the design work of Barbara Barry.

She designs a room like a watercolor artist, with brush strokes that are wide and sweeping, yet at the same time finely intricate. Nothing is out of place; each color and each piece, is part of the whole, seamlessly blending and defining... nothing dominates ... the medium is controlled... but fluid.

Mastering watercolor painting is almost entirely learning how to anticipate and leverage the behavior of water.  Water is an active partner in the process, changing both the absorbency and shape of the paper when it is wet and the outlines and appearance of the paint as it dries... this is the beauty of a watercolor painting.

Here is Barbara Barry's "watercolor painting", if you will, a beautiful home she designed in Corona del Mar, California.

Living Room:    French Antique chairs, custom-designed sofas, barrel & slipper chairs, and ottomans.  Oberon cocktail table from Baker, glass-topped Cabochon table from Henredon, both by Barry.

"I saw the living room as a tonal painting of warm golden light," 
Barry Says.  
"The color of hay and wheat, parchment and sand, punctuated by the soft cerulean blue 
of a southern California sky."

This living room chair covered in Kravet wool silk and edged in gold-leaf.  Perfection.

Sculptural shapes on an Alastair gold leaf and crackled ivory side table reflect the palette of the house.

Dining Room:   Nevo pendant by Arturo Alvarez and Swedish cabinet compliment the graceful curves of the vintage and custom chairs and the 1940's table.

I love the composition: the contemporary chandelier with traditional artwork, floor length café curtains, the mix of chairs and antiques, and the styling that compliments but doesn't distract from the design. 

Outdoor Dining Area:   Used year-round with it's Teak dining table and Barbara Barry's Bowmont dining chairs for McGuire.


An artist palette... Painting the living room chairs in watercolors first allows Barry to get the exact blue she wanted, then she matched the color to the fabric.  Even her grey and cream tray, a beautiful mood board if you will, canvasses her design inspiration: gold leaf, flowers from the garden, fabrics, a leaf green pen...

Watercolors from other design projects.  I would frame these and hang them in my home.

The Painter's Pot

Kitchen:   Cabinets are painted Farrow & Ball's Light Gray. Walls covered in a strié paper, Drag, also by Farrow & Ball.

Flooded in light from the garden, the kitchen was softened with "a shadowy color, one you can't quite describe - mushroomy, taupey, tree-barky.  I love colors you can't describe," she says.  "It instantly made the room warmer and more intimate. In fact, it feels more like a room than a kitchen."

Color Inspiration she finds in nature in this speckled egg, and the coolness of marble with it's shadows and veining.

Breakfast Area:   Barry had the homeowner's black chairs painted and reupholstered in linen.

A still life composition... the colors, flowers, handbag, teapot, the perfect weave on the basket mirroring the pattern of the wood flowers, white marble, white linen inside the cabinets, white dishes, white chandelier shade, and the dark, aged candlesticks with the dark leather handles on the basket... lovely.

Family Room:   A large custom leather ottoman doubles for seating or a table for informal meals.

"The earthy tone of the kitchen is continued through the breakfast room into the family room uniting them as one large space," Barry says.  "It's more embracing, and you just don't want to leave.  This core of the house works like a shadow box that  opens onto a vast horizontal green garden."

Outdoor Furniture by Barbara Barry for McGuire.  A favorite spot in the evenings.

Master Bedroom

A Peaceful space... "a feminine nod to the woman of the house, who loves flowers."  Barry upholstered the bed and curtains in Faded Poppies by Hodsoll McKenzie.

Guest Bedroom

Barry pulls the soft greens and blues from the garden creating a sanctuary for guests.

Landscape designer Margaret Carole McElwee created the gardens, lush with boxwood hedges, lavender, ficus, and cypress.  Towering cypresses stately frame the entrance of this Southern California home. 

Barbara Barry

I hope it's lovely where you are...

All the best,

*Photos courtesy of HouseBeautiful and

Friday, November 7, 2014

Glamorously Delicious Grilled Cheese: Roasted Strawberry, Brie, & Chocolate

A decadently glamorous grilled cheese perfect for an evening snack with a glass of milk or for brunch.  Serve a half sandwich with an organic baby Arugula salad and sparkling San Pelligrino with lime.   Use a multi-grain bread, organic strawberries, and dark chocolate, and this sandwich is filled with antioxidants, protein, and fiber.   Enjoy!

Photos and Recipe by Jessica Merchant's Blog: How Sweet It Is

Jessica's new cook book "Seriously Delish - 150 Recipes for people who totally love food", from her popular food blog, How Sweet It Is.  The cookbook is an offering of her two passions: writing and building recipes.  The recipes, which include, Slow-Roasted Chicken Tacos with Gorgonzola Slaw, Grilled Scallion Corn & Shrimp Quesadillas, BBQ Chicken Chili, and Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls, have been met with rave reviews and are simple to make.  You can order her new book from Amazon here.

I hope it's lovely where you are...

All the best, Rié

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