Introducing Tyger Tyger! A Stripe of Tiger or a Spot of Leopard?

Sometimes the most difficult and time consuming job as an interior designer is finding that perfect accent or punch for my client's interiors to give it a feeling of lushness, sensuality, and a hint of mystery. I want to create an experience for them that will be exquisite to touch and see, something bespoke with rare findings. I believe that beauty elevates the human spirit and within mystery there is always beauty.

'You can feel mystery; it comes from a certain beauty. There's always beauty in mystery. The unexpected is always there and it brings things to life.'

                -Madeleine Castaing

I've spent many hours or weeks, sometimes months searching antique stores, flea markets, design showrooms, ethnographic and antiquity shows the world over for richly loomed  antique textiles or passementerie to incorporate into throw pillows or to use to upholster an unusually gorgeous antique accent chair or ottoman, adding some soul and a touch of the exotic to the interior I'm working on.     

(LtoR) Paris flea market stall, Lijiang village in China famous for jade, silk vendor in Istanbul

After all, even if you wanted to, who has the time to fly off to Paris to scour the flea markets for the perfect objet d'art, hunt around small rural villages in China for carved jade bibelots or adventure off to the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul looking for rare ornaments and Ottoman textiles. Tyger Tyger does just that, offering exclusive accent collections incorporating elegant tiger and leopard prints. Showcasing bespoke throw pillows, with touches of Art Deco and Chinoiserie, hand-embellished with aigrettes of carved jade, semi-precious stones, exotic plumes and rich passementerie from all over the world. These exquisite and collectable pieces add a hint of the exotic to accent your interiors and are the piece de resistance!

  

(LtoR) Tiger painting by Jakuchu, Edo period, monk shown walking with his spirit tiger

Panthera tigris: Latin for the magnificent tiger, embodying a combination of grace, strength, agility and enormous power. The striped splendor of tiger skins were reserved as seating for the royalty of Chinese Emperors, Indian Rajas and Ottoman Empire Pashas, symbolizing power, prosperity and the essence of a powerful feminine creative force. Tiger skins were also used as the sacred seat cushions of Tibetan Buddhist monks and thought to provide them with protection while engaged in meditation.

Here is an over-the-top interior using tiger and leopard designed by Tony Duquette for the Rosekran's apartment in the Palazzo Brandolini on the Grand Canal in Venice. Even the seams of the room and framing on the paintings are finished in tiger and leopard.

Here is an over-the-top interior using tiger and leopard designed by Tony Duquette for the Rosekran's apartment in the Palazzo Brandolini on the Grand Canal in Venice. Even the seams of the room and framing on the paintings are finished in tiger and leopard.

Tiger prints such as this one at Le Manach in Tours, France continues to employ the original looms that have been used since the early 19th century to create one of the most beautiful and expensive silk velvet tiger prints in the world.

Tiger prints such as this one at Le Manach in Tours, France continues to employ the original looms that have been used since the early 19th century to create one of the most beautiful and expensive silk velvet tiger prints in the world.

A little tiger or leopard goes a long way in these interiors where we see just a touch of it on the accent chairs.

 A stunning accent piece upholstered in tiger like this pair of ottomans can add the needed punch to an interior and might offer an ideal extra seat for a party.

 A stunning accent piece upholstered in tiger like this pair of ottomans can add the needed punch to an interior and might offer an ideal extra seat for a party.

Parisian decorator, Madeleine Castaing, employed leopard wallpaper on walls and ceiling as well as lampshades and carpeting in Jean Cocteau's study in Paris.

Parisian decorator, Madeleine Castaing, employed leopard wallpaper on walls and ceiling as well as lampshades and carpeting in Jean Cocteau's study in Paris.

Velvet leopard skin throw pillows on banquets running down a hallway in Elsie De Wolfe's Villa Trianon from 1906 on the Palace Versailles grounds. 

Velvet leopard skin throw pillows on banquets running down a hallway in Elsie De Wolfe's Villa Trianon from 1906 on the Palace Versailles grounds. 

A spot of leopard.....

A spot of leopard.....

 .....a stripe of Tiger...either way  they both add the perfect punch to these rooms.

 .....a stripe of Tiger...either way  they both add the perfect punch to these rooms.

Whether designing an apartment in New York or a residence in Dubai, Santa Fe based designer, Tonia Prestupa spices up any interior with her newly launched collection of Tyger Tyger. Exclusive accent collections incorporating elegant tiger and leopard prints. Showcasing bespoke throw pillows, with touches of Art Deco and Chinoiserie, hand-embellished with aigrettes of carved jade, semi-precious stones, exotic plumes and rich passementerie. These pieces will add a hint of the exotic to your interiors.

Inquiries about Tonia Interiors design services or purchasing from the Tyger Tyger Collection, please visit the Contact Page.

My Top 7 Windows: Where Muses Dwell

Just back from Los Angeles from the Legends: Where Muses Dwell  interior design event in the La Cienega Design Quarter. It was fabulous and inspirational! Here are my top 7 picks of window displays out of 61 windows, each featuring a different Muse along with the presenting designer's statements...

Revez Grand!

  WINDOW'S MUSE: RENEE PERLE as photographed by Jacques-Henri Lartique

 

WINDOW'S MUSE: RENEE PERLE as photographed by Jacques-Henri Lartique

 "Two young moderns on what turned into a 3-year French Riviera vacation. Thinking stripes, fringe, pincurls and how these two would choose to live today?"

- Presenting designer, Windsor Smith

 

  Renee Perle as photographed by Jacques-Henri Lartique in the French Riviera, 1930

 

Renee Perle as photographed by Jacques-Henri Lartique in the French Riviera, 1930

 

 

Corner window featuring Muse, Renee Perle

Corner window featuring Muse, Renee Perle

 

'I don't collect, I accumulate.'   -Yves Saint Laurent

  WINDOW'S MUSE: YVES SAINT LAURENT

 

WINDOW'S MUSE: YVES SAINT LAURENT

"It's not just the decoration of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge homes that inspire me but their sensibility and taste is, truly, my muse."    

Presenting designer, Matt O'Dorisio

 

Detail from window featuring Muse, Yves Saint Laurent

Detail from window featuring Muse, Yves Saint Laurent

'When you get there, there is no there, there.'

           - Gertrude Stein

  WINDOW'S MUSE: GERTRUDE STEIN

 

WINDOW'S MUSE: GERTRUDE STEIN

"Gertrude Stein was an ex-patriot living in Paris during the Belle Epoque. She became a central figure in the modern literacy and artistic movements, nurturing and supporting creative work. I've always romanticized this period and her pivotal role in its legacy."  

Presenting designer, Cliff Fong

 

'Le Style Pauline'

  WINDOW'S MUSE: PAULINE DE ROTHSCHILD

 

WINDOW'S MUSE: PAULINE DE ROTHSCHILD

  "Iconoclastic, idiosyncratic, individualistic..."le style Pauline" is the American-born aesthete's legacy of juxtaposing spare/opulent, modern/historic, raw/refined, mixed with memories, emotion, and scholarship to embody inspired design, timeless style."

Presenting designer, Kristi Nelson

 

 

Old Havana Style

  WINDOW'S MUSE: OLD HAVANA

 

WINDOW'S MUSE: OLD HAVANA

 "The Muse chosen for the window vignette is Old Havana. It is based upon historical references from the heydays of the 1920's and 1930's when the fusion of the Spanish Colonial and Art Deco furnishings and architecture became the new modern style du jour. Bright colonial colors amid darkly hued wooden furniture creates a distinctly Havana experience."

Presenting designer, Thomas Allardyce

 

Odalisque En Repose

  WINDOW'S MUSE: ODALISQUE EN REPOSE

 

WINDOW'S MUSE: ODALISQUE EN REPOSE

"I have always wondered about the beautiful woman in La Grande Odalisque by Jean-August-Dominique Ingres. The luxury of her small den with its bed hangings and cloths inspired within me a lifelong love of textiles, fantasy and exoticism."  

 - Presenting designer, Young Huh

 Grande Odalisque, oil painting of 1814 by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres 

 Grande Odalisque, oil painting of 1814 by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres 


'Pleasure was the color of the time' 

  WINDOW'S MUSE: JULIA MORGAN

 

WINDOW'S MUSE: JULIA MORGAN

 "She designed buildings to fit her clients, blending design strategy with structural articulation in a way the was expressive and contextual, leaving us a legacy of treasures that were as revered when she created them as they are cherished today."  -Michael Graves  

- Presenting designer, Elizabeth Dinkel

 

'My buildings will be my legacy...they will speak for me long after I'm gone' - Julia Morgan

 

Julia Morgan with William Randolph Hearst looking over drawings, 1926

Julia Morgan with William Randolph Hearst looking over drawings, 1926

Who is your Muse and where does your Muse dwell? Consider WHO, WHAT, WHEN OR WHERE inspires you the most.   

Warmly yours, Tonia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who is Your Muse?

 

Who is your Muse and where does your Muse dwell?

I'm inspired to find out who everyones Muse is while in Los Angeles for the 7th annual La Cienega Design Quarter LEGENDS 2015, May 6-8. 

One of the highlights at Legends are the 67 windows of the shops, showrooms and galleries that will come to life with this year's theme Where Muses Dwell. Each window will be designed by a notable interior designer, and bring to life their Muse, revealing their source of inspiration.

It will be  exciting to see what's happening in the world of interior design in an design quarter that has attracted design icons since the 1950's like Elsie de Wolfe, Tony Duquette and Kalef Alaton to name just a few. 

 I plan on seeing all the windows but the ones that I may head to first are featuring the Muses; Pauline de Rothschild, Yves Saint Laurent and Starlets & Set Decorators of the 1940's.

 I'll try to get back to my favorite windows in the evening when window viewing becomes an especially magical and transporting experience!

This theme really inspired me to think of what my Muse is and why, so I am first looking to the classical 9 Muses in Greek Mythology.              

 

 

 

Painting of the 9 Greek Muses from Mantega's Parnassus 1497, Louvre, Paris  

Painting of the 9 Greek Muses from Mantega's Parnassus 1497, Louvre, Paris

 

 

"sing to me oh Muse"...

Each Greek Muses has wonderful attributes, however mine would definitely be Erato, the passionate one or lovely one, protector of love and love poetry and Muse of parrots (Erato must also be the Muse of my little green and black Jardine parrot named Dgiba). The Nine Muses of the Greek Mythology, all daughters of Zeus, were deities that gave artists, philosophers and individuals the necessary inspiration for creation. Erato is depicted as an ethereal woman with Devine beauty holding a lyre, her name comes from the Greek word “Eros” that refers to the feeling of falling in love. 

 

  John Russel's "Portrait of a Young Lady as Muse Erato"    

 

John Russel's "Portrait of a Young Lady as Muse Erato"

 

 

I've embraced Erato as my Muse to support me in continuing to not be swayed about what is or is not in fashion but to follow my heart and collect and surround myself with what I'm deeply drawn to. I know from experience that this brings a poetic quality to life that stirs the passion to live in the truth and beauty of who I am. I find that there's so much pleasure and delight in falling in love with the lines and comfort of a certain chair, the patina from the age of an objet d'art or that textile that is so sensuous to the touch and alluring to the eyes! Erato surely declares to surround oneself with what one is truly and deeply in love with!

 'Above all, you have to love a house to make it a success; it's always a question of love.'    - Madeleine Castaing

 

  Picasso's Erato

 

Picasso's Erato

 

When you collect things you love, that are authentic to you, then your home will become your story and reflect your soul.

 Next time I meet with a friend, client or colleague, I'm definitely going to ask about their Muse. I can't think of a better way to get know someone, than to find out who, what, when or where inspires them the most.

 

 
  Queen Marie Antoinette posing as Erato in 1788 by Ludwig Guttenbrunn

 

Queen Marie Antoinette posing as Erato in 1788 by Ludwig Guttenbrunn



I'm sure there will be lots of great conversation on the subject of Muses at the upcoming La Cienega Design Quarter LEGENDS Event. I'll take plenty of photos of the window displays and I'm looking forward to sharing my favorite windows with you in my next blog when I return from the City of the Angels. Until then, ask yourself 'who is my Muse?' and surround yourselves with the poetry of all the things you love!

 

 
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7 FRENCH WORDS EVERY DESIGNER SHOULD KNOW

In the world of interior design, French words are often used. Not only is it important to know what they mean, but I've found that practicing these words out loud is really helpful and gives me the confidence I need before using them in a conversation. The key for me is remembering how many syllables are in the word and then to say the word with some degree of panache! Here are seven of my favorites:

 1. BIBELOT  Word origin from 19c. French, 2 syllables, pronounced beebuh-loh, a small object of curiosity, beauty or rarity. 

Used in a sentence: "Her interiors are always accented with several wonderful bibelot creating a visually rich and compelling room to be in; the one that caught my eye was a stunning Art Deco enameled and diamond curio box."

 Art Deco enameled and diamond curio box

 

 2. AIGRETTE  From early 17c. French, 2 syllables, pronounced ey-gret, a tuft of long, white heron (usually egret) plumes used as part of an ornamented decorative headdress. Such plumes were highly prized as ornaments in Middle Eastern ceremonial dress. Jeweled aigrettes with a tuft of plumes became an adornment for turbans in Turkey, particularly during the Ottoman period (1281-1924), and later became fashionable on European ladies turban hats in the early 20th century.

 

(LtoR) Jeweled turban, Drawing of an Ottoman period man wearing  turban with aigrettes, Poiret ladies turban  hat 1920, Ottoman turban aigrette with swan feathers, inlaid with rubies, pearls, and turquoise

Used in a sentence: "Tyger Tyger has a unique collection of accent throw pillows that feature aigrette adornments on the front of the pillows made from carved jade, semi-precious stones and exotic plumes."

Detail of velvet tiger pillow from the Tyger Tyger Collection with aigrette of carved coral jade with an overlay of semi-precious stones and ostrich tuft flourish 

Detail of velvet tiger pillow from the Tyger Tyger Collection with aigrette of carved coral jade with an overlay of semi-precious stones and ostrich tuft flourish 


PASSEMENTERIE From 16c. French, 3 syllables, pronounced pahs-mahn-tree, trimming of gimp, cord, braid, tassel fringe, beads. Famous French passementerie houses include, Houlès and Scalamandre. 

 Used in a sentence: "Houlès passementerie is often selected for the decoration of palaces and castles like Château de Versailles."

 Various forms of illustrated passementerie (above)  

 Various forms of illustrated passementerie (above)  

  Houles passementerie 

  Houles passementerie 

 4. PIECE de RESISTANCE From French, 6 syllables, pronounced pee-es duh ri-zee-stahns, literally means "piece of resistance", the outstanding item (the prize piece or main exhibit) in a collection. A collector's item, showpiece, curiosity, peculiarity, rarity, oddity, something highly unusual and perhaps worthy of collecting.

 Used in a sentence: "The piece de resistance in the room was a chaise longue upholstered in a velvet leopard!"

note: Chaise longue (pronounced shez-lawng) is sometimes incorrectly written and pronounced as "chaise lounge"

 Leopard velvet chaise longue

 Leopard velvet chaise longue

5. OBJET D'ART  From late 19c. French, 3 syllables, pronounced awb-zhe dar, means literally "art object", or an object of artistic worth or curiosity, especially a small object.  It therefore covers a wide range of works, usually small and three-dimensional, of high quality and finish, in areas of the decorative arts.

Used in a sentence: "The flea market in Paris is one of my favorite places to find the perfect objet d'arts for my clients, like the pair of Foo Dogs I found on my last trip there ."

Pair of 19c. emerald glazed Foo Dogs 

Pair of 19c. emerald glazed Foo Dogs 

6. ATELIER  From mid 19c. French, 2 syllables, pronounced atuh-lyey, a workshop or studio, especially of an artist, artisan or designer; originally from 14th century Old French atelier, referring to a carpenter's workshop piled with wood.

 Used in a sentence: "The atelier at Le Manach, located in Tours, France, still employs its original looms from the 18c. to produce the leopard and tiger velvet prints for which they are famous."

The atelier at Le Manach in Tours. France

The atelier at Le Manach in Tours. France

 7.  CHINOISERIE  From late 19c. French, 3 syllables, pronounced shee-nwazuh-ree, a style of ornamentation chiefly from the mid-17th to mid-18th century in Europe, then revived during the Regency (1811-1820), characterized by intricate patterns and an extensive use of motifs identified as Chinese. Currently, it is a style of decorative or fine art based on imitations of Chinese motifs.

 Used in a sentence: "The red lacquered chair was chinoiserie and looked stunning set in front of a panel of framed chinoiserie wall paper."

Chinoiserie vignette

Chinoiserie vignette

                                 

  Just for a bit of fun at the next cocktail party you attend with fellow designers, try using all seven French words in one sentence! Let me give it a try..."Madeleine Castaing had an antique shop in Paris in the 30's filled with unusual bibelot and objet d'art, however the piece de resistance was a chinoiserie chaise longue in leopard velvet, detailed with silk passementerie from the atelier of Scalamandre that she refused to sell to anyone. Apparently a beautiful woman walked into her shop wearing a stunning aigrette on her headdress and convinced Madeleine to sell it to her, to which Madeleine agreed because she felt this woman would look exquisite, lounging on the chaise, and the two would make a good marriage."

Tyger Tyger offers many piece de resistance. For inquiries about Tonia Interiors design services or purchasing from Tyger Tyger, please visit the Contact Page.

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