Sunday, August 31, 2014

Glory, Drama and Beauty at San Francisco Opera: I Love It

Creativity, Verve, Inspiration and Passionate Performances — The San Francisco Opera Fall Season Opens September 5.

I’m looking forward to a great new fall opera season, with thrilling new operas, dynamic new productions, and divas to die for.

I love opera. Big themes and intense emotions take performance and spectacle far beyond singing and orchestral music.

Designers and architects and artists and all creative types, in particular…should have season opera tickets. Music is basically structural and harmonious. The composition and power and mastery of each performance are always inspiring. Set designs, costumes, choreography, expression, ideas, eras, are all captivating.

Watching opera for two or three hours sparks the brain, encourages dreaming, incites new ideas.

Singing…beautiful, moving, live voices…is just the beginning. 

La Bohème


Betrayal, Love, Honor, Death, Dreams, Fantasy, Devastation, Beauty, Triumph, Wit, Hatred and Romance are portrayed on stage.

I watch, caught up in the music and the choreography.

I’m inspired, I’m uplifted and spirited away from the everyday. 

San Francisco War Memorial Opera House

San Francisco Opera is one of the greatest international opera companies (now in it 93rd year), and performances at the War Memorial Opera House are among my favorites of the cultural season.

Starting on September 5, when the season launches with a gala, we can look forward to glamorous evenings with Bellini, Verdi, Handel, Rossini, Puccini and Floyd.

First there’s the September 5 opening night gala—and then three glorious months of sopranos and tenors, passionate lyrics, character-enhancing costumes, all surrounded by glamorous sets and orchestral magic. If I'm really fortunate, I sit in the front row, almost part of the orchestra. I love to watch the musicians as well as the drama on stage.

The season opens with Bellini’s moving ‘Norma’ and ends on December 7 with Puccini’s romantic and tragic ‘La Boheme’.

I’ll be attending all seven operas. I’m especially looking forward to the sumptuous production of ‘Norma’ and then a new production and the company premiere of ‘Susannah’.

There’s ‘A Masked Ball’ with its love triangle, and Handel’s ‘Partenope’ transported to 1920s Paris. ‘Tosca’ is so familiar it’s tempting to sing along. ‘Cinderella’ is frothy fun, and ‘La Boheme’ leaves the audience in tears. Divine.

Come with me for a preview. Oh, and for those who love to plan a social evening: All 2014–15 Season evening performances will now have a 7:30 P.M. curtain time. 

San Francisco War Memorial Opera House

Highlights of the Fall Season:

COMPANY PREMIERE of Carlisle Floyd’s SUSANNAH. The first opera composed by this American composer receives its San Francisco Opera premiere in a new production by the team who created 2012’s Nixon in China—director Michael Cavanagh and set designer Erhard Rom. Conductor Karen Kamensek makes her Company debut. 

This opera is a great favorite of David Gockley, San Francisco opera director (formerly with the Houston Opera)…who believes that Carlisle Floyd is one of the top American opera composers. I can’t wait to see it. Sept 6-21. 

COMPANY PREMIERE of Handel’s comedy, PARTENOPE, presented in a brilliant Olivier Award-winning production directed by Christopher Alden and starring two of baroque opera’s most sought-after performers—Danielle de Niese and David Daniels. October 15- Nov 2. 

NEW PRODUCTION PREMIERE of Bellini’s NORMA opens the season starring Sondra Radvanovsky, who sang the role for the first time in 2013 and received outstanding critical acclaim in the recent Metropolitan Opera production of the opera. Sept 5—30. 

La Bohème – Giacomo Puccini
November 14–December 7 

Puccini’s masterpiece about an aspiring poet and a fragile seamstress who experience passionate love and poignant tragedy in 19th-century Paris, features two superb alternating casts in a new production. One cast features Sonya Yoncheva as Mimì opposite Michael Fabiano as Rodolfo. David Farley’s setting is conceived as a collage of canvases by the painter Marcello and is inspired by the artistic brilliance and romance of France’s Belle Époque. Resident Conductor Giuseppe Finzi leads the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus. November 14–December 7 

Revivals of San Francisco Opera Productions

Un Ballo in Maschera (A Masked Ball) – Giuseppe Verdi 
October 4–22 

Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera is headlined by Mexican tenor Ramón Vargas as the unwisely flirtatious and cavalier King Gustavus III. A compelling tale of love, betrayal and revenge, Verdi’s magnificent drama is presented in San Francisco Opera’s classic production, conducted by Music Director Nicola Luisotti and directed by Jose Maria Condemi. 

Tosca – Giacomo Puccini
October 23–November 8 

Italian maestro Riccardo Frizza conducts Tosca, Puccini’s masterful melodrama in which a great singer, a rebellious painter and a corrupt police chief engage in a deadly test of wills. San Francisco Opera’s elegant and beloved production designed by Thierry Bosquet is directed by Jose Maria Condemi. 

La Cenerentola (Cinderella) – Gioachino Rossini 
November 9–26 

Based on a beloved fairy tale, Rossini’s La Cenerentola sparkles in Jean-Pierre Ponnelle’s charming production. French mezzo-soprano Karine Deshayes makes her San Francisco Opera debut in the title role of Angelina (Cinderella). 

Susannah set design


David Gockley, now in his ninth year as San Francisco Opera general director, commented “I am genuinely enthused about the new season and believe it stacks up against the finest seasons offered over the decades by this great company. All the productions will be sung at the highest international level and will feature our extraordinary San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus.

“On a personal note, I am particularly thrilled to present Carlisle Floyd’s beautiful and popular Susannah. I have championed Carlisle’s operas throughout my entire career, and I couldn’t be more pleased to finally present Susannah to Bay Area audiences in a handsome new production.” 

Norma set design


San Francisco Opera offers a comprehensive array of acclaimed training programs and performance opportunities for young artists under the auspices of the San Francisco Opera Center and the Merola Opera Program (each a separate institution). Both are led by renowned soprano Sheri Greenawald.

San Francisco Opera and the San Francisco Opera Guild annually bring opera and music education programs to more than 60,000 students throughout Northern California. San Francisco Opera’s groundbreaking Opera ARIA (Arts Resources in Action) programs work with classrooms and educators in grades K–12. Aimed at connecting professional artistic and creative elements of opera with classroom curricula, Opera ARIA’s methodology focuses on empowering educators to work with both San Francisco Opera and their own colleagues to develop connections to curriculum and the California State Arts and Academic Standards.

In addition to these in-school programs, San Francisco Opera and the San Francisco Opera Guild provide education opportunities for all ages, including workshops for adults, pre-opera talks, preview lectures, insight panels, professional development for educators, family opera movie screenings, opera arts training camps, student dress rehearsals and opera house and backstage tours. 






San Francisco Opera was founded by Gaetano Merola (1881–1953) and incorporated in 1923. The Company's first performance took place on September 26, 1923 (La Bohème, with Queena Mario and Giovanni Martinelli, conducted by Merola).

THANK YOU San Francisco Opera is sponsored, in part, by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, Norby Anderson, John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn, Franklin and Catherine Johnson, Mrs. Edmund W. Littlefield, Bernard and Barbro Osher, and Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem. San Francisco Opera is supported, in part, by a grant from Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund. Opening Weekend Grand Sponsor is Diane B. Wilsey.

All images courtesy of San Francisco Opera, and used here with express permission.

All performances feature the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus at the War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco.

For Tickets, call (415) 864-3330 or

Monday, August 25, 2014

Photographer I Love: Introducing the Brilliant and Creative Photographer, Jo Whaley

This week on THE STYLE SALONISTE I have dramatic and thought-provoking images to make your brain sparkle and tingle and to instantly grow more dendrites.

The dramatic and highly original photographs are by Jo Whaley—a dedicated photographer who has been exhibiting for the last twenty-eight years. I discovered her in a book published by Chronicle Books in 2008, ‘The Theater of Insects’. 

Jo’s images—still lives—are in the classical tradition of the great Dutch masters but hers have a modern aspect, a contemporary point of view. Like the Dutch painters she alludes to the beauty and glory of nature and at the same time the brevity of life. And her subtext presents, with great delicacy, a post-industrial meditation. But most of all—they are simply glorious and technically daring images.

Come with me this week to meet Jo’s work face-to-face and to consider her bracing point of view, the twists of her mind, her virtuoso craftsmanship and her supreme technical mastery.

The printed images vary in size from 8”x 10” to 24”x 30” .

Who is Jo Whaley?

Jo Whaley has lifelong roots in the San Francisco Bay Area. She had earned advanced degrees in Art and Photography from the University of California, Berkeley by 1980.

Whaley originally studied to become a painter and later took a day job as a scenic artist for the San Francisco Opera and other Bay Area theatrical companies. Her theater experience informs her photography, in which she creates stage sets and employs numerous props, painted backdrops and dramatic lighting.

All of her photographic series fuse the language of photography with the language of painting and rely on an expressive use of color. 

The Classical Concept of Still Life Images

Jo Whaley comments: 

“Each element in a still life contributes to the narrative of the image. The staged sets for these insects use cast-off materials from urban production, which have been partially reclaimed by nature. These include metal that has gone through fire, glass that has become oxidized and iridescent in the earth, plastic that has been pitted by the sea, and paper that is foxed by microorganisms.

These found objects are chosen for the visual poetry written in their deterioration and imperfection. In this work, the animating spirit is the Japanese aesthetic known as wabi-sabi, which celebrates the state of decay as a spiritual reflection of life itself and above all reveres nature. As opposed to the ancient Greek aesthetic of ideal beauty, with its regular proportions and flawless perfection, wabi-sabi sees beauty emerging from ugliness, such as the painterly transmutation that occurs when a piece of metal rusts. Likewise, some insects may seem repulsive at first, but close observation reveals their expressive power.” 


Jo Whaley’s work is held in the permanent collections of many museums, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the San Francisco Museum of Art. Her touring exhibit “The Theater of Insects” opened at the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC in the Fall of 2008, followed by the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego It has continually toured to museums concluding in 2013, at The Henry Fox Talbot Museum, Lacock Abbey, UK. A monograph, “The Theater of Insects” was published by Chronicle Books.

Jo Whaley received one of the last National Endowment Visual Artists Fellowships in 1994 for her “Natura Morta” series. She received numerous grants to work with the Polaroid 20x24 camera in New York between 1989 and 1993 for her series of nudes, entitled “Global Folly”. She keeps studios in Santa Fe, NM and Berkeley, CA and shares her life with the photographer Greg Mac Gregor. 

Jo Whaley lives in Oakland, California, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

It’s the beauty and power and thrilling imagery and suggestion of her work that enthrall me and offer chills and reverie

Whaley, in a special recent collection, photographed insects and butterflies. That alone would be exciting. But it’s her allusions to the traditions of classical still life styles—as well as her use of staged sets that use cast-off materials from factory production, mechanically made, that create poetry and power. 

Jo Whaley Notes:

Manufactured objects and insects have appeared together before in art history. In the European iconography from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, the insect in still-life painting symbolized the transient nature of all life, as an insect’s life span is literally short and some insects assist in the deterioration of matter.

“These paintings were cautionary tales with their sumptuous displays of earthly bounty and material wealth, while characteristically including a clue to mortality, such as a skull or an architectural fragment and inevitably a crawling insect. They warned that whatever humans create is in fact fleeting and that all wealth is mere vanity in the face of death. Ultimately, decay and entropy take their toll on every human endeavor.

“This classic theme of vanitas is carried forward in my photographs, but with the insect featured as the main subject. To reinforce this concept in the work, the specimens are depicted not in their actual size, but rather their scale is large, approximately the size of a human head. The viewer thus confronts the insect on a one-to-one relationship, as an equal, calling into question the perceived human dominance over nature.” 

Technical Details

Process: This series was shot in the studio using strobe lighting. The series began with film using a Mamiya RB 6x7, and creating Chromogenic photographs. Eventually I switched to the digital medium using a Canon 5D Mark 11 camera and printing archival pigment photogrash. The size of the images ranges from 8x10” to 24”x30”.

Jo Whaley Tells Us:

These photographs are fantastical field illustrations. While the insects in these images are real, the backgrounds are imaginary altered habitats of my own creation. Inspired by the old dioramas found in natural history museums, the pinned insects are arranged in constructed environments. “

“The studio where I create the images is as much a theatrical scene shop as it is a photography studio. The prop room looks like an eighteenth-century cabinet of curiosities, in that it is filled with specimens of natural history and visual oddities of manufacture. I use free association and intuition to make decisions about arranging the insect with a particular backdrop. Looking at color, shape, and form, I move the elements about until the magic of the image appears. “

“Lighting the scene is challenging as the sets are only about five by seven inches across with a depth of about an inch and a half. Yet the studio lighting is key to breathing a spirit into these pinned specimens and unifying the disparate elements within the mise-en-scène Finally, the performance of the image is concluded with a single click of the camera’s shutter.” 


“I approach photography as a theatrical expression. For this series, I use the color shape and form of the insect as a starting point for designing the set, keeping in mind the concepts of mimicry and camouflage.

Lighting the scene is challenging as the sets are only about 13 cm by 18cm across with a depth of about 4 cm. Yet, the studio strobe lighting is key to breathing a spirit into these pinned specimens and unifying the disparate elements within the mise-en-scène.

Finally, the performance of the image is concluded with a single click of the camera’s shutter. The series began with film using a Mamiya RB 6x7, and creating chromogenic photographs. Eventually the switch was made to the digital medium, using a Canon 5D Mark 11 camera and printing archival pigment photographs. 

Artist Statement

Within the series is a new development, which I call “The Portrait of Psyche For the Ancient Greeks”. The word for butterfly was the same word for the human soul. 

That word was Psyche, the root of our word psychology. Psyche was also the name for the Goddess of Love in Ancient Greece.

The photographs in this series depict butterflies paired with portraits of anonymous individuals whose souls have long ago departed. In fact, the tintypes and glass plates that carry their visage show signs of decay, so that even the portraits of these individuals are disappearing with the passage of time. The result is the melancholy beauty of entropy mixed with the gemlike exquisiteness of the butterflies. Nature, art and science are entwined. 

The Theater of Insects

Butterflies, beetles, dragonflies and other colorful insects take center stage in this collection of Jo Whaley’s photographs.

The photographs show insects in altered habitats that reflect a compromised natural environment. Entomology specimens are juxtaposed with backgrounds which are composed of cast-off materials from urban production, which have partially been reclaimed by nature; such as metal that is rusted, paper that is foxed by microorganisms and plastic pitted by the sea. The result is a world of nature, intermixed with the man in manufacture, and the melancholy beauty of entropy. 

All images here copyright Jo Whaley. Images used with express permission of Jo Whaley.

This series was shot in the studio using strobe lighting. The series began with film using a Mamiya RB 6x7, and creating Chromogenic photographs. Eventually I switched to the digital medium using a Canon 5D Mark 11 camera and printing archival pigment photogrash. The size of the images ranges from 8x10” to 24”x30” . 

The Theater of Insects
Photographs by Jo Whaley
Essays by Linda Wiener and Deborah Klochko and Jo Whaley
Published by Chronicle Books, 2008. 

Gallery Representation

Santa Fe, NM 
Photo-eye Gallery

Scottsdale, AZ 
Lisa Sette Gallery

La Jolla , CA 
Joseph Bellows Gallery

San Francisco 
Robert Koch Gallery

Palm Beach, FL 
Holden Luntz Gallery

Los Angeles 
Thomas Paul Gallery

Monday, August 11, 2014

Designer I Love: Stephen Brady — City Retreat, Domestic Bliss

EXCLUSIVE TO THE STYLE SALONISTE:  Come with me to meet the wonderfully talented designer Stephen Brady and learn how he has created his own private retreat, a peaceful realm near San Francisco Bay.

This week we visit Stephen at home in Mission Bay, San Francisco, to capture his tips on interior design and find ideas in his tailored apartment. It’s new, and has never been published. You see it here first.

You’ll discover how Stephen designs for his own pleasure.

For the last twenty years, he has been designing GAP Inc. international flagship stores and retail concepts for high profile Banana Republic and Old Navy stores and new acquisitions like Athleta. Recently he has been traveling often to China where the company is expanding. 

Stephen has also designed several highly successful San Francisco restaurants, including the popular Spruce in Pacific Heights, and Café des Amis, on Union Street.

I’ve written about Stephen rather a lot over the past two decades. And yet you won’t find him featured in design magazines…but you will find his influence on thousands of retail stores around the world.

If you leap over to your library and flick through some of my earlier books, you will find him. His rustic house at Stinson Beach is in ‘Seaside Interiors’ one of my Taschen books (or was it ‘California Interiors’?) His city house is in ‘San Francisco Interiors’ where he is definitely on Page 129. Let me know if you find him in others. His beautiful garden was featured in Garden Design magazine (I was one of the founders) and ‘The Garden Design Book’

His private work is personal, graphic, classic, old-school, and always wonderful to photograph. 

Stephen has just completed decorating his new San Francisco apartment, and I shot it with David Duncan Livingston to give my readers the first look.

The Mission Bay apartment is in a superbly designed new complex in the newly developed Mission Bay district, formerly a tumbleweed area along the bay, east of the city. (Think former railroad yards, warehouses, an industrial area time had passed by.)

Stephen’s new two-bedroom apartment is chic, relaxed, and immensely comfortable. It’s his perfect weekend escape. Come for a visit.

As a special extra treat, I’m included below a list of design tips and ideas from Stephen. You’ll find them inspiring.

Who is Stephen Brady

Stephen Brady has devoted his life to interior design and interior architecture. He is the Executive Vice-President Creative Services at GAP Inc. and recently celebrated his twentieth year with the company. If you’ve walked into a new Banana Republic flagship store in Shanghai, Rome, London or Paris or New York, you’ve seen the work Stephen and his team have created. He directs and collaborates with highly talented teams for high-profile GAP Inc. stores, as well as Banana Republic and Old Navy. Stephen put his imprint on many stores including glossy Banana Republic interiors on Regent Street, London, the Champs-Elysées, Paris, and in Tokyo and Rome.

In other words, Stephen is devoted to style—and he is always traveling long-distance to finesse and fine-tune bold new retail concepts.

In San Francisco recently, he took six months to find his ideal apartment, a two-bedroom, 1,600 square foot south-facing residence that feels spacious, and gets sun much of the day.

His apartment is both a private refuge from a busy life, and a clubby retreat where he likes to entertain friends with impromptu dinners and casual gatherings. And perhaps because his very early career was at Britches, the venerable menswear store in Georgetown, Washington, DC, he has a deep love of menswear fabrics like suede, tweed, linen, wool, cashmere, cotton oxford, and patterns like herringbone and houndstooth. That’s a great habit to pick up. Oh, and his bed is upholstered in tan faux ostrich. 

“I was looking for a two bedroom apartment to acquire, and heard about new construction in Mission Bay by a top Canadian developer that specializes in high-quality design,” said Stephen. “I went to check out floor plans and finishes and materials when the building had barely broken ground. I love real estate and was attracted to this new neighborhood fifteen minutes from my office, and twenty minutes from SFO. I liked the refined floor plans, the fourteen-foot ceilings, and the well-considered design. My favorite floor plan had a quiet sheltered terrace where I could enjoy breakfast in the morning.”

The neighborhood he discovered has been developed over the last decade, from a neglected former drive-by area to a thriving community of top research hospitals, and low-rise apartments.

“Today’s glamour should be seductive, personal, comfortable, and just a little bit eccentric. These concepts were the motivation behind my new apartment,” said Stephen.

That’s the driving force for Stephen whose new apartment suggests the nuanced colors and connoisseurship of Coco Chanel, the quiet sculptural refinement of Jean-Michel Frank, and the wildly confident passion for art in thirties Paris.

Tobacco-colored suede club chairs, softly faded Aubusson rugs, mirrored black lacquer screens which refract shards of sunlight, and a panoply of portraits and iconic black and white twentieth-century photography whisper of the intrigue of Paris salons and the designer’s worldly travels. 

A handsome eighteenth-century French painted chinoiserie chest, a shimmering pair of mirror-topped brushed nickel cigarette tables, and a sleek glass and nickel Art Deco coffee table, along with voluptuous twenties and thirties bronze figures on tables and shelves show Stephen’s knowledgeable and discerning eye.

“Eclectic antique and art collections are always an important part of my rooms,” said Stephen.

Essentially, the furniture is overscale. This approach makes his rooms feel more expansive, more comfortable, and certainly grander. Furnishings in a chiaroscuro of dark brown, black and off-white create a background, a mood, and a frame for the paintings, photography, and objects he has collected over many years.

Brady has made it his practice to create mood, individuality and mystery in his rooms.

For his work, Stephen Brady is always on a plane or on-site or in his studio in San Francisco overlooking the bay.

His job is intense, highly collaborative with many specialist teams, and very rewarding as he sees stores designed, built, polished, perfected efficiently with his specialists, and then opened. He had previously worked in top design positions for Ralph Lauren and for Calvin Klein.

Stephen has done city chic in Manhattan, a Stinson Beach beach cottage, and a sleek Palm Springs retreat. In the Hamptons his shingled saltbox weekend house is all cushy sofas, down pillows, open doors, and sunny terraces.

When he first arrived in San Francisco from New York in the early nineties, he created richly-detailed rooms in an Arts & Crafts house near Buena Vista Park, complete with a redwood paneled sitting room and a romantic formal living room with hand-plastered walls. That apartment is in my book, San Francisco Interiors.

Stephen is a serial apartment lover. Returning to Manhattan in 1995, as a design director for Ralph Lauren Home, he shaped his French-accented art deco townhouse in the East Village. Heading uptown to Sutton Place, he designed a glamorous art deco apartment overlooking the East River.

“There’s a thread between the various California and New York City apartments and co-ops I’ve lived in,” said Brady, who heads every spring to celebrate his birthday in a rustic cottage in St Bart’s.

“Everywhere I go, I find antiques, sculptures, paintings, and my rooms have a mix of eccentric and rare antiques from London, Paris, New York, or Morocco. I like diversity. I like pieces that have odd proportions that show signs of age and wear. They all live with my collections of black and white photography by Angus McBean, Jacques-Henri Lartigue, and Horst.

In all his dwellings, Brady selects console tables, hall tables, chests, dressers and cigarette tables on which he arranges vignettes of gilt-framed portraits, crystal lamps, antique silver candlesticks, arcane design books, flea market collections of tortoiseshell boxes, along with French silver vases filled with tulips and garden roses, and antique Murano and Daum glass vases.

To give his living room a feeling of pure luxe, and to enhance its apparent size, Stephen kept the window shades ultra-simple.

“I wanted a romantic, Paris salon-style apartment overlooking trees and a quiet park,” said the designer. “For me it has a New York sensibility, and the interior could also be in Paris.”

His rooms seduce the senses with soulful paintings, wax-buffed hardwood floors, gestural sculptures, French art books and fragrant candles (Cire Trudon and Diptyque.).

“My collections have come together over decades,” said Brady. “When I return home in the evening, there’s an air of tranquility. It’s very quiet and meditative. It’s a bit formal, but I entertain very casually. I don’t stand on ceremony.”

In composing rooms of quiet beauty, harmony and elegance, he has also painted a very artful portrait of himself.

Weekends with Stephen...
“On a Saturday morning, it’s very quiet and private here,” he said. “I may go up one flight of stairs to the gym. I could swim at the Olympic-size outdoor pool. Or I might go over to Dogpatch and meet a friend for lunch at Piccino. There’s the Mission Rock Resort, with fantastic views over the bay. I can drive to the Ferry Plaza for lunch with friends at Bouli Bar on Sunday.”

In particular he said, he likes the simplicity of life here—after the excitement of working on a glamorous new flagship in Shanghai or Paris or Tokyo.

Hot Tips from Stephen Brady:

Interior designer Stephen Brady’s decorating ideas are cool-wherever you hang your hat.

COOL COLORS — Keep your color scheme uncomplicated and fresh. Brady loves timeless blue and white fabrics, and white walls. He’s also a fan of charcoal, dove, off-white and black…very Chanel…for a color scheme with an edge. Black is his go-to color.

DOUBLE DUTY — Versatile furniture makes life simpler. A large upholstered ottoman can also be used as a coffee table topped with a tray. A day bed instantly becomes an extra guest bed. (Dress it with a selection of throws, blankets and wraps.)

PRACTICAL UPHOLSTERY — Stephen loves fabrics that look like men’s haberdashery--tweeds, wool herringbone, checks, slubby linen, and flannel. For his country house on Long Island he uses slipcovers in natural off-white denim, or indigo washed denim feel good against bare skin--and can be thrown in the washing machine for instant cleaning.

CANDLELIGHT — Keep a stock of natural beeswax candles--tapers, columns and votives. Dozens. Candlelight helps everyone relax.

NO HARSH LIGHTING — In the evening, banish overhead lights. “They should be taboo,” said Brady. “Overhead lighting is harsh and unflattering.”

CUT A RUG — Choose carpets (like rush matting) that you can pick up, shake out, and change at will. Faded, somewhat tattered Oriental carpets are especially hardwearing even outdoors. They can turn a patio or terrace into an outdoor room.

TABLE OF CONTENT — Select a very generous, sturdy dining table-to use for everything. It’s the perfect family gathering place all day, children can do projects on it on a cool day, and it’s ideal for a buffet. 

CREDITS:Photography exclusive to THE STYLE SALONISTE by David Duncan Livingston.

David Duncan Livingston is an interior and architectural photographer working throughout the country from his Mill Valley, California studio.

Interior designers, architects and publishers work with Livingston to create photos of interiors for portfolios and editorial, along with the people and products that reside within them. Livingston brings a cohesive vision to his assignments by carefully overseeing the art direction, styling and post-production of his photography. His editorial style creates photos that are inviting, with a natural light-filled feeling.

David Duncan Livingston is the photographer of six books of interior design among them: Shingle Style, by Rizzoli, San Francisco Style, California Country Style by Chronicle Books. Hawaii a Sense of Place, by Mutual Publishing, and by Taunton Press; The New City Home, Patterns of Home.

All images used with permission from the photographer, David Duncan Livingston.