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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

READ THIS: Ex Arte by Geoffrey Bradfield Highly Recommended by Whom You Know Sponsored by Stribling and Associates

For over 30 years, Stribling and Associates has represented high-end residential real estate, specializing in the sale and rental of townhouses, condos, co-ops, and lofts throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, and around the globe. Stribling has more than 200 professional brokers who use their respected expertise to provide personalized service to buyers and sellers at all price levels. A separate division, Stribling Private Brokerage, discreetly markets properties over $5 million, and commands a significant market share in this rarified sector of residential real estate. Stribling is the exclusive New York City affiliate of Savills, a leading global real estate advisor with over 200 office in 48 countries.
"Luxury is a necessity that begins where necessity ends," Coco Chanel once said, and Geoffrey Bradfield took this philosophy and runs with it-figuratively- many, many marathons.  If this book were a dinner, you would think it might be Thanksgiving as it is a definite celebration with multiple courses, but the quality contents of this book are superior to turkey for sure, and contain no calories.  Geoffrey Bradfield is the kind of person that you hope you get seated next to at a dinner party, because he's likely to be one of the most spectacularly talented and interesting people there, simply because he is one of the most spectacularly talented and interesting people on earth, period.  He's the exact antithesis of someone you'd be seated next to that you would need to endure all night.  More importantly than all of this, he's a nice person too.  Peachy's met a lot of people in her relatively young age, and this lucky duck did in fact sit next to him at dinner recently.  So we just HAD to peruse Ex Arte, we could not resist...and it was a complete pleasure.   If we were closer to our 400th book review we would have saved it to print as a milestone!  We didn't want to keep you waiting however and deprive you of the ecstasy of this tribute to class and style at its best.

A lot of people at cocktail parties rave about this book or that book and how we really ought to review it, but the difference between that and THIS is that Ex Arte actually lives up to every resounding rave we've heard!  It even exceeded our expectations which is a rare occurrence.  And we absolutely love the Bradfield Boogie Woogie page which looks quite an achievement.   The vast majority of days, Peachy Deegan is pleased as punch to wake up to be Peachy Deegan, but upon reading Ex Arte, she sees it must be quite a good thing to wake up to be Geoffrey Bradfield. Or one of his clients!  You're going to want to leave your life and step into Ex Arte and live there.

Why?  Starting on page 16, you can see how linguistically gifted Geoffrey Bradfield is as he describes a crack happening on his floor-the result of an accident.  He doesn't say:  "Ooops my floor cracked."  Instead, he says: "I looked down to witness a black line racing toward me at some speed, like a snake slithering across the marble surface."  That is the soul of a true artist speaking!  And before we delve into this book too much, you should all be aware that Ex Arte is an adjective...a derivation of the Latin expression "according to the principles of art"..."beauty through art."

He's in the Architectural Digest Top 100.  He's on Haute Living's Haute 100 list and is widely known as the designer of choice for billionaires everywhere.  He's been profiled on CNBC's "High Net Worth."  Dinners at Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace are not unusual invitations for him (we quote page 21, and check out the scores of celebrities listed also there), however when you see later on on page 27 that he designed a dinner for 100 at St. James's Palace for the late Queen Mother, you should not be surprised.  We think he is heavily influenced by the House of York rather than the House of Lancaster as he uses quite a lot of white and not much red; you know Peachy has been obsessed with the War of the Roses as of late since The Women of the Cousins' War just came out.  Not only is he a talented artist, but he is socially talented as well which only heightens his success; he used to watch two movies starting at two am with one of his well-known neighbors in New York and be "petal fresh" the next day (We would like to know what kind of coffee you drank, Geoffrey...). We are humbled to review his book.  And Peachy does hope she was at least 10% as fun as whomever Geoffrey sat next to at his last dinner at Windsor Castle...

The difference between Geoffrey Bradfield and most other interior designers is that his talent is so innate and his execution is so intuitive; the end result shown on so many pages in Ex Arte and of course even better in real life is the shining glory of this seemingly effortless endeavor of outward embodiment of splendor.  But it's not all champagne and caviar.  In terms of style, he can even pull off jeans on page 352.  We love his versatility.

Much like when in the movie "Back to the Future" they say "Where we're going we don't need roads," we'll let you know in great works of interior design by Geoffrey Bradfield, where we're going we don't need budgets.  The sky is the limit and luckily, Bradfield's talents are naturally unlimited.  There are few people alive that possess this much taste in such density. This lack of budgets reinforces a clear commitment to unbounded excellence, which is what we are always looking for and we see it here in its purest form.  This is what they were talking about when they said Ever to Excel in the Iliad.

Bradfield arrived in New York in 1977.  We love how New York is celebrated from page 119 with Breakfast at Tiffany's (just like nothing bad could happen to you at Tiffany's we imagine nothing bad could happen to you at any place designed by Bradfield) and also in references to pages 50 to 51 which tell us that artistic talent must be genetic as Margery Bradfield, Geoffrey's sister, is the talent behind the series of drawings that depict 9/11 in New York; this room also includes a Niki de Saint-Phalle, and you know you can see her work now at the Nohra Haime Gallery!  Niki is mentioned again on page 236.  The photography in this book is unparalleled, and on page 95 the staircase is to-die-for stunning.  Oh, and by the way we are talking about the staircase owned by the Kingdom of Morocco.  The whole look of course reminds us of Casablanca and the chandeliers are appreciated by know that column.  Who else has a column on Chandeliers?  Geoffrey we hope you enjoy it.  Later in the book you'll see how he can put Morocco in Palm Beach.    And he's not only in tropical places and urban places; we love the Equinox in Vermont and went there for ages before ever coming to New York City; you know Peachy is from New England.

The use of color knocks us out.  Peachy is enamored with the peacock blue in the chairs that just pop on pages 105 to 113.  The pieces themselves make us want them like the silver piano on page 142; why have black or white when you can have silver?  Bradfield's sense of accuracy is so on point; when he says that purple can be a carnal color: it must be used with economy and balance, which is key, with other colors to achieve its full contribution-those are the words of a genius.  We never pondered penguins with color until we arrived at page 282 and we're wondering what Mr. Willoughby thinks of these animals-they seem to be nearly as cute as him.  Geoffrey even captures daisies in Ex Arte which should delight every one of our readers that is an ancient-see page 241.  Our favorite part of the book begins on page 261 where we are whisked away to the sea- you will have to see for yourself!  Or maybe page 278 starts our we have to pick?  We only regret we are reviewing it two years after its debut.  Whom You Know Highly Recommends Ex Arte by Geoffrey Bradfield!  Read it, and enhance your life.  Better yet, just hire him!


Geoffrey Bradfield Ex Arte (Panache Partners, August 2009), published by Brian Carabet and John Shand, is a monograph of South African-born, New York-based designer extraordinaire Geoffrey Bradfield. The 360-page book with vibrant images and insightful editorial is a brilliant follow-up to Bradfield’s widely acclaimed Defining Millennium Modern. With a foreword by Paige Rense, Geoffrey Bradfield Ex Arte reveals the designer as artist setting out to break new visual ground through the creative language of color and composition. 
Drawing inspiration from his elite clientele’s collections of art by masters like Frankenthaler, Nevelson and Schnabel, among others, Bradfield creates timeless interiors that impeccably echo residents’ level of taste and sophistication. The book presents 25 of the designer’s most celebrated interior design commissions around the globe—from Manhattan, Chicago and Palm Beach to St. Martin, London and Mumbai—each of which is introduced by a thought-provoking quote about an artist’s worldview. 

“A Bachelor’s Pied-à-Terre” highlights an impressive collection of Latin American art while epitomizing the owner’s Dominican patrician lineage, love of bullfighting and zest for life; a sizeable Bradfield-designed rug with Iberian-Hispanic undertones anchors the main living space while Art Moderne and Deco pieces complement studded leather furniture in the bedroom. In “A Penthouse by the Sea” Bradfield referenced the glory days of the famed Normandie and the S.S. France for his specification of period furnishings while gleaning inspiration from countless summers spent yachting in the Mediterranean; masterfully featured are the panoramic ocean view along with pieces by Botero, Brandt, Poillerat, Otterness, Nares, Chihuly, Lalanne, Lichtenstein, Warhol and Chagall. “An Eaton Square Townhouse,” presented on the cover of Geoffrey Bradfield Ex Arte, displays Bradfield’s interior architectural design savvy as the residence is the product of two seamlessly combined adjacent terrace houses; speaking to the owner’s life and experiences—a veritable mosaic of many languages, places, cultures and experiences—Bradfield thoughtfully married East with West from the interior layout to the fine appointments that beckon the owner to host grand social events. 
Bradfield’s designs, although serene, are pulsing, colorful, vibrant, joyous, refined and filled with rhythm and life, much like the man himself. Fashion icon Iris Apfel eloquently describes Bradfield as “a fantasy of that perfect Edwardian gentleman: exquisitely mannered, impeccably tailored, well spoken, conversationally witty, politically savvy.” A celebrated party host, Bradfield has, on many occasions, designed lavish costumes and brought in priceless antiquities simply to further an evening’s theme. Designer Carleton Varney understands that Bradfield’s talents as a host begin with his sense of style and the clarity of his vision, relating: “Dorothy Draper created a look, Frank Lloyd Wright created a look … Geoffrey doesn’t just do a room; he creates a look. And that is his major talent … Geoffrey knows glamour; he lives glamour.” 

The designer’s art-focused interiors are a testament to his remarkable talents and boundless personal sophistication. Bradfield, a longtime philanthropist, considers The Metropolitan Museum of Art “our equivalent of Versailles … our treasure trove of so many civilizations” and has worked alongside curator Craig Miller to establish the core of the museum’s acclaimed 20th-century textile collection. 
Best-selling novelist Barbara Taylor Bradford, is unequivocal in her assessment: “Geoffrey Bradfield is one of today’s great interior designers. He has enormous talent, style and flair, and all are evident in his latest book. Here you can see this eminent designer’s work in all its glory, and in particular the way he uses art to define spaces and give them visual impact ... This beautifully illustrated book is a visual treat, one not to be missed.” Appealing to design aficionados, art collectors, art historians and anyone looking for creative enrichment, the phenomenal interior designs and insightful ideas presented in Geoffrey Bradfield Ex Arte will engage and inspire readers the world over. 

Book Details: 
Title: Geoffrey Bradfield Ex Arte 

Publisher: Panache Partners
Distributor: Independent Publishers Group 

Foreword by Paige Rense
Principal Photographer: Durston Saylor

Editor: Jorge S. Arango 
Publication: August 2009, $50, Hardcover, ISBN 1-933415-78-9 

Genre: Design, 360 pages, 12" x 9", 300+ color photographs 

Also available from Panache Partners: 
Spectacular Homes of Metro New York (ISBN 1-933415-14-2) 

Visions of Design (ISBN 1-933415-67-3)

Geoffrey Bradfield lives “a life of exquisite perfection,” having circumnavigated the globe as a teenager, partnered with the late Jay Spectre for 14 prolific years, socialized with wildly successful entrepreneurs and public figures, lectured at the Smithsonian, developed an exclusive line of home furnishings—encompassing rugs, wallcoverings and textiles—for Stark Carpet, created the stunning Millennium Modern collection of Lucite furniture and designed many of the world’s most inspiring interiors. Bradfield has been dubbed “the Billionaire’s Designer,” with a gilded roster of silent celebrities throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe and the Orient. In 2005 Bradfield garnered a coveted title of “Dean of American Design” from Architectural Digest, which has included him perennially amongst its prestigious AD 100 list. The award-winning designer has been featured on CNBC and HGTV and within The New York Times, Interior Design, Elle Décor, Veranda, Classic Home, House Beautiful and Metropolitan Home. In the spring of 2009, Sebastian+Barquet dedicated an exhibition to Bradfield’s designs, declaring that his environments succeed in being “entirely ‘of the moment,’ while simultaneously aware of their heritage.” Geoffrey Bradfield Inc. is based in New York and has satellite companies in Palm Beach, the Emirates and Qatar. With vice president Roric Tobin, Bradfield continues to share his unique brand of functional opulence with the world’s most discriminating homeowners. 

With more than 25 years of experience in the industry, Brian Carabet and John Shand are drawn to creating spectacular publications for discerning readers. The founders of Panache Partners have produced upward of 100 books and continue to redefine what it means to create sophisticated publications. Panache Partners specializes in coffee-table books showcasing luxury lifestyle subjects, including high-end interior design, custom home building, architecture, golf, wine, art, event planning and travel. For more information, visit
Geoffrey Bradfield Ex Arte is available at bookstores everywhere and through Independent Publishers Group: 814 North Franklin, Chicago, IL 60610, 800.888.4741, Chicago Review Press, Inc. is the parent company of Independent Publishers Group. Established in 1971, IPG was the first organization specifically created for the purpose of marketing titles from independent presses to the book trade. With consistent growth each year, IPG’s success has come from supporting and encouraging the growth of its client publishers throughout the United States and worldwide. Clients include publishers from the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Israel, Spain and elsewhere.

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