Saturday, February 20, 2010

What Might Have Been....

Last fall, Linda O'Keeffe - then Creative Director at Metropolitan Home - , photographer Antoine Bootz and I worked on a photo shoot for what would have been featured in a Spring 2010 issue of Met Home. Alas, days after the shoot, HF-USA announced the closing of Met Home. The designers whose projects had been shot and slated for later publication were able to purchase the images for their respective shoots. Below are a few of the photos taken of my client's very special duplex apartment in West TriBeCa complete with wrap around terraces that loom above the Hudson River.

Originally our client had retained the incredibly talented Clodagh to design the space. A few years later, she called me at my design studio for a meeting to discuss a new interpretation she was envisioning for the space. After many long meetings we were able to re-interpret the space and redesign the main rooms to create a soft, harmonious, sexy feel.

The first time that I ever agreed to sit for a portrait
for a magazine project photo shoot

Living room: it took us close to a year from concept to installing the wool
and silk rug. I was inspired by a photograph I took of rippling water.

The chaise was custom made in walnut, it is
now part of our Interieurs esprit collection

The bedroom was envisioned as a spiritual retreat.
We designed the bed with soft silk chenille textile.

Custom daybed designed to echo the feel of the bed

We kept Clodagh's original bathroom
because it perfectly reflected our sensitivity

Daughter's bedroom

The inspiration behind this media room came from a photograph
of my son and I sitting in a common room of one of my favorite hotels
in the Palmeraie of Marrakech. The silk rug was custom made as
were the sofas. The pillows were cut out of antique shawls.
The chair is from l'Eclaireur in Paris.

The following detail shots were not part of the Met Home spread. They were taken by Michael Grimm for our own records. Most objects are tribal artifacts, and I actually carried the antique alabaster statues of Buddha in my bag from a trip to Burma.


  1. I am not sure I have a sliver of design knowledge to appropriately remark on this stunning duplex. What I do understand more is the relationship between you as the designer and your creations. Your worldly travel, your appreciation for nature and people; they all feed into your remarkable designs. Your humble presence, the calmness, it's all in play. This home is one that leaves me with my jaw dropped and at a loss for words. So, enough said. You however look stunning in that photo. You must be so incredibly proud? I'm just sad that we didn't see this come to print in Metropolitan Home. I already miss it. Bravo to you Francine, bravo!

  2. beautiful images! i'm so pleased to have discovered your wonderful blog and have added you to my links over at urban flea. thanks so much for the comment, it really makes my day! have a great weekend!

    xo urban flea

  3. Francine...only 1 word needed: AWESOME !!
    And, you are beautiful. xx's Marsha

  4. Francine. That is very beautiful! Love the large painting, the plaster looks amazing. What a great mix of pieces, art works and textures. Nice job!


  5. Ohh Francine, you are sooo gorgeous! And your home has me drooling right now!! I love subtle colours and large spaces and Moroccan designs! Looks like a perfect melange of my choices!! You are great! :) xox

  6. F,
    very very impressive.
    and i am happy that you stated that it took 1 year to complete.
    (people just don't get it, unless they are sophisticated when it comes to design)
    sometimes it does take a year (or longer)....especially if you are using some of the fab custom items that you used.


  7. Love the work you did. The chair of Fornasetti from l'éclaireur is a lovely " clin d'oeil" .I like the mix of organic, classic and chic in this duplex.
    By the way, you look fabulous

  8. Francine,
    You did it! Gorgeous! And yes the home looks sexy and so do you!!
    Great post!

  9. What a shame it didn't make the pages of Met but you did end up with that great photo of yourself and room shots. Your work is sublime and will surely make another magazine.

  10. Oh Francine...this is absolutely stunning! Calm, intriguing, sexy, and full of interest. It's a shame the world never saw these via Met Home (perhaps another mag can pick up your story?), but I'm so happy you shared it here with us!

  11. A wonderful looking home. I really like the warm tones. I too am at a loss for words.
    The main thing is it should be a happy home.

  12. look at you ... you look wonderful! i hate getting my picture taken... my boyfriend is a photographer and is always trying to snap them and i run away everytime... i dont know what it is... and if i am in a crowd, i am ok.
    john is really good friends with linda... we need to talk about your projects.. email me robinson_
    hope you had a wonderful weekend... x pam

  13. You should definitely be in a magazine, can't it be another one!!! I can totally see this in Met home or another one!! And I love that photo of you, stunning!

  14. A beautiful beautiful home.
    Love the mixture of textures and colors. Great job

  15. Fabulous and beautiful! Thank you so much for your lovely comment - it's so nice to know you're enjoying BF. Leigh

  16. Wow, this is such a unique and creative home!! The walls are fabulous, and the carpet that you designed is stunning. What a wonderful representation of rippling water :-) And the bathroom -- WOW!! It's stunning!! Absolutely love the river rocks on the floor and the simple vanity. The whole room is like a piece of art :-)

    Kelly @ DesignTies

  17. Stunning Francine...what exquisite rooms, xv.

  18. I think the first few pictures are really elegant!

  19. omg, I am speechless! this is incredible. really wonderful!!!
    do you have pictures of your house (stables) on the blog? I would LOVE to see it!!!!

  20. Francine,

    What a FABULOUS place you've designed. There are so many things I love. I love the wall art in the living room, the carpeting in the daughter's bedroom, the stones you used in the bathroom under the sink and most of all that fabulous media room. I adore Moroccan design myself. You look great in that first photo btw.

    Karen O :)

  21. Hi. Just popped over via Doxa's site. So glad I did. At least you got to showcase these amazing photos here. Your work on this home has such a calming and serene feel to it, love all the personal touches, and the overall color scheme.

  22. The space is just gorgeuos. What a bummer that it did not make it! I would be so crushed. But the photos are fabulous

  23. Francine this is just beautiful!! I love everything, it is so personal, so many amazing details!


  24. What a treat to see those beautiful images, clever design and unexpected details. Your picture speaks of your personality...gorgeous.

  25. dear francine... you are a very special woman. not only talented beyond measure but a very special person who reaches out and supports others. please go claim your sunshine award.... truly deserved... xoxo

  26. Francine, this is such a gorgeous, global, earthy and vibrant layout it is such a pity that it was not published in Met Home as it would have served them well. I love this inclusive approach to modern, actually it is probably my favorite in regards to modern. Francine Gardner, Clodagh, Christian Liagre...all very different but all very appreciative of the wonder which lies in both nature and the cultures reflected in the world around us. I love it, very nicely done Francine...AND by the way, meow, you look great too! Sorry to have come by so late in the week, I have been slammed and all but absent from the "blog world".


  27. Francine,

    Not only do you look beautiful here, but so confident! I greatly admire you as a businesswoman and as a person.

    This home is beyond words! I cannot get over the many details that make this place both unique and inviting...I want to live in that daybed, take a bath in that stunning bathroom with the stones, and just look up at that chandelier in the daughter's bedroom. It is truly a work of art - as is this entire place. Wow.


  28. Francine,
    What a stunningly creative piece of work. I love the way the window treatments let in the light and the bathroom is fab. But what I really liked was the sculptural and ethnic accents together with the fabrics you chose. What rotten luck about Met Home for you. Thanks for showing us! Maryanne xo

  29. Francine, I am sorry that the world doesn't get to see these stunning images, but so grateful that you posted them on your blog. What a beautiful job you did!

    Thank you for your comment on my blog. I really treasure each and every comment from you - I always learn something.

  30. This is stunning Francine...I'm speachless.


  31. Soulful. That is what this home is to me. Full of soul. What beautiful collaboration and work!

  32. Francine this looks incredible! Love the way you've encorporated so much art into the space. It's simply stunning, yet still looks liveable and comfortable.

  33. the hanging sculpture in the daughters bedroom is so stunning!!! & the armchair as well!! lovely thoughts

  34. what a beautifully designed space.. and how gorgeous you are! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. You are so talented and sweet. :-)


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