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It’s a Mighty Long Way from Peter Marino Architect to St. Francisville!

June 20, 2012

Last week a video crew from NYC came to St. Francisville to interview one of our newest residents, writer Rod Dreher. Rod just landed a column with the BBC, so they came down to shoot a video of him and the St. Francisville area in conjunction with his first column. I can’t help but reflect on what a different life I am living, compared to my first year in Manhattan where I was honored to work for the great Peter Marino whose projects include some of the most opulent residences in New York.

I didn’t even know who Peter was (a friend suggested I send him my resume’) until I was sitting in his office waiting for an interview. His secretary handed me a copy of the latest House & Garden Magazine with an article about Peter’s project for Christopher Whittle in the Dakota. The first line of the article was ” ‘Peter Marino‘  Marie-Helene de Rothschild was heard to reply when asked by a dinner companion to name the most sought-after architect/interior designer on the international axis.”  The article went on to not only showcase Whittle’s apartment, but talked about all of the custom furnishings. . . upholstery made by a tapissier in Paris, the silk fabric made in Lyon, museum quality antiques. . . Needless to say, I was bowled over!

On my first day, Peter sent another new employee and I to see the Whittle project which was even more stunning in person.

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Whittle’s Edwardian Apartment in the Dakota

I learned more in that one year from this incredibly talented and brilliant man (he was often on the phone speaking Italian, German, French. . . ) than I’ve learned about design in my entire 30 year career. What a surprise it has been to see his personal transformation from this somewhat thin man wearing bow ties, button-down collar shirts and pleated pants, to this muscular black leather-clad powerhouse!

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From Bow-ties to Black Leather, Peter Marino today.

 Here’s a link to the article on Peter that goes with the above photo that appeared in last January’s issue of Architectural Digest that’s now online:  AD: Peter Marino’s Edgy Style

Needless to say, I was exposed to some of the finest interiors in New York and my first project for him was completing the punch list for the new (back in the eighties, mind you) Barney’s women’s store. I spent the first two weeks drooling with mouth agape most of the time. However, as the year went on, I found myself constantly saying how much nicer my clients were down South than the ones I had to work with in Manhattan. So that brings me back to the video that was shot just last week on Rod Dreher and St. Francisville. The opening photo is of the front of Shadetree Inn where we paint samples, pour jars and handle all things related to paint samples and shipping. Kenwood (my former husband, daughter’s Dad and still family) and our dog Rosie are also featured. Be sure to read Rod’s interesting article on the War of 1812!     

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Link to video & article: BBC News: West Florida Republic: The birth of US Imperialism

On another note, my office (where I handle the business part of my company) was featured again on Houzz.com in this article on Dutch beds: houzz=http://www.houzz.com/photos/26699/Loft-Home-Office-Guest-Bedroom-eclectic-home-office-new-orleans

2 comments

  1. OMG! That Dakota apartment was the most gorgeous ever!!! I still have the tear sheets of it. How lucky you were Ellen to see it and work with the brilliant Peter Marino. However, I can’t say that I get where his new image is coming from. Frankly, I think he looks ridiculous now, but he’s entitled to create his own fantasy image of himself. Don’t we all have a different image of ourselves deep inside us?


    • Yes, and I love that he’s a couple of years older than me! Must be mighty hot in the Summer, though!



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