Saturday, December 8, 2012


 With a desire to bring Haute Couture to the home through stylish, one of a kind creations, I am thrilled to announce the launch of OCARINE, a distinctive collection of accent pillows made with vintage beaded samples. Victoria and Octavia pillows above.

Hortense pillow

In designing the collection, I have sourced the  most distinctive vintage embroidery and beading samples from Mary Ann Embroidery, a company active in Los Angeles from the 1940s through the 1960s, once used by fashion icons such as Galanos, Norell, Halston and Blass.

 A 1960s Galanos gown showing beaded detail from Resurrection Vintage.

Arabella pillow

Norman Norell gown from Decades.

A 1950s gown with detail from Couture Allure.

Turquoise pillow

Tallulah pillow

A mix of both classic and modern shapes and an assortment of the finest materials were selected to highlight and frame the elegant workmanship of the vintage samples.

Pauline and Paulette pillows

Detail of Paulette

Clearly, these are not pillows to lounge on, I consider them jewelry for the home. Each pillow comes with it's own silk organza dust bag!

 Detail of a Galanos gown from Decades.

 Lucille pillow below, detail above.

The pillows are available to the trade at Bausman & Company, 921 North La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

French 19th Century Paisley Shawl by Gaussen Fargeton

One of my passions is collecting antique Paisley shawls, Kashmiri, Persian and European. The hunt for them is especially exciting. I have found many excellent shawls through internet auctions, but the most fun is going to flea markets, especially in Paris. My favorite is the Porte de Vanves market. I always find something fascinating. Featured here is my most recent acquisition.

I was impressed by the excellent condition of the shawl, but fell in love with the rich colors and intricate detail. After inspecting it more carefully at home, I noticed initials in each of the four corners, GF and what looked like a Maltese cross. Researching Monique Levi-Strauss's book Cachemires Parisiens, I discovered that it was manufactured by Gaussen Fargeton. The Maltese cross signifies the Legion d'Honneur and it was used between 1850 and 1857, so this dates the shawl very accurately. Gaussen Fargeton  received a medal at the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1855.

The white text seen above says "Cachemire pure" 

The "gates" at two ends can be seen above. I doubt that the dealer at the flea market knew that the shawl was signed or I would imagine he would have pointed it out. Needless to say I am thrilled with my find.

Saturday, September 1, 2012


 I first visited Lake Tahoe forty years ago, on my honey moon, and recently went back with my husband. We had forgotten how beautiful it is! The water the bluest blue, reflecting the immense sky. The size of  the lake surprised us also, yet you can easily drive around it in a day, the road following in most places the shoreline
for breathtaking views of the lake.

 We took a boat trip on the lake and the captain pointed out an eagle's nest to us. I took a picture of it and to my great surprise, when I zoomed on it later, I noticed two birds in the nest and one on the branch next to it!
Looks like a mother eagle and a young one in the nest and another young one on the branch, perhaps contemplating it's first flight.

 Virginia City is always fascinating to me. The haunting beauty of the desolation keeps me going back.
I always like to visit the graveyard, dating to the Gold Rush of 1849.
 Mount Whitney, seen at a distance, taken near Lone Pine.
 Near Lone Pine, the rock formations of Alabama Hills.

 Near Oakhurst, the Nelder Grove is a sequoia grove in the Sierra National Forrest. It is a beautiful small
jewel, with many easy hiking trails.

 I found the colors and the textures of this beautiful grove most inspiring.

Monday, June 11, 2012



Karen E. Hudson, the granddaughter of the celebrated architect Paul Williams, above on the right with this blogger, has written a new book on his work, "Paul R. Williams: Classic Hollywood Style", published by Rizzoli. One of the houses featured is the Preminger House in Brentwood,  owned by Merle and Peter Mullin for the past thirty years. Last Sunday they graciously opened their home for a book signing reception, sponsored by Gary Drake of Drake Construction. As I have worked on two Paul Williams houses in the past, it was most delightful to meet Ms. Hudson and visit this beautiful home and of course, to meet the current owners.

 Photograph by Benny Chan, copyright Rizzoli 2012

 The Mullins have renovated the house with Gary Drake by adding a solarium between two wings, among other things. The trellis motif can also be seen throughout the garden.

The guest house had a former life as a garage.

The head gardener Art Luna was on the site with helpful hints on gardening. He said that the Mullin garden is about 85% organic. I had just watched a program on the gardens of Prince Charles' residence, Highgrove, that morning, and this garden reminded me of it. Art said that he had visited Highgrove many times during different seasons.

Mr. Mullin is an aficionado of 1930s French cars. He has an impressive collection of them in his museum, The Mullin Automotive Museum, in Oxnard. The residence in Brentwood has a garage below the herb garden with a sampling from the collection. Above is a magnificent 1938 Talbot Lago.

Visiting this beautiful home and garden was a most delightful way  to spend a Sunday afternoon!

Friday, May 25, 2012


Photograph by Alexander Vertikoff

 The Pasadena Showcase House 2012 is closed, after four very successful weeks. Here are some images of the Dining Room, which I had the honor of designing. I have shown before pictures and finished room pictures in earlier blogs, but here are some details. The Twig console and Rock Crystal lamps from Erika Brunson Couture Living set the elegant tone to the Dining Room. The mirror is from Baker Furniture  and the
antique French brackets from Dagmar Design.

Above is a detail from the Quadrus Studio Pluma mirror and below it a detail of one of the corbels supporting the coffered ceiling.

Photograph by Alexander Vertikoff

Above on the top is a photo of the room before I started working on it and below it, the finished look.
The hostess chair is from Erika Brunson Couture Living and side chairs from Bausman & Company. I designed the dining table for the room, manufactured by Shell Furniture, Inc., in a silver leaf finish and with an antiqued mirror top. The area rug is from Tufenkian and the mirrored obelisque from Century Furniture.

The scrolls of the white gold Regency chandelier from Panache Designs echo the scrolls of the Jeff Colson photographic C-print from Ace Gallery.  In April, Jeff received the prestigious Guggenheim award. He lives in Pasadena.

Top hat and walking cane champagne bucket holder flanked by the silk/linen fabric from Christopher Hyland
on the window treatments.

Instead of formal table settings, I decided to decorate the dining table with crystal specimen from Crystalarium and organic moss balls.

Photograph by Alexander Vertikoff

The above mixed media work is by Los Angeles artist Lawrence Carroll, also from Ace Gallery.

I always enjoy participating in the Pasadena Showcase House, but this year was my favorite. The dark coffered ceiling, even though quite beautiful, posed quite a challenge however, with the dark floor and doors. By using reflective surfaces, such as antiqued mirrors and silver leaf, I feel that I accomplished my my goal of lightening the room, but still respecting the original architecture.

I am very grateful to my generous resources, whose help makes my task possible, and of course to the Pasadena Showcase committee.

All photographs unless otherwise noted by Karina Oldemans