March 31, 2016


Michael Devine Ltd. strives to create beautiful products that are unique and always handmade. Using the best artisans in both the USA and France, every yard of fabric or piece of china is carefully crafted and made to order.

Setting the Stage for Glorious Dining

A sunny corner of the de la Renta dining room.
A cache of vintage '80's and '90's House & Garden magazines provided the inspiration for todays post. The stockpile was recently uncovered in our storage area and a review of begone eras has made me long for their return toute de suite! I was amazed when looking at these rooms and the collections many of the owners displayed. The attention to detail and sensitivity in these rooms is really incredible when compared to what passes for stunning design today. An endless array of white rooms with bare windows, a few pieces of rather uncomfortable looking furniture combine to create a look that is more interstate motel than multi million dollar estate. 
If what I just described is your thing than I am not sure you will find much interest in this post. However, if a few people still enjoy comfortable well appointed rooms with style and personality than todays post should come as a welcome respite in a cookie cutter world. 

Opulent pattern and colors for the eye to feast on looking into the dining room. 
The master of haute style Oscar de la Renta was featured in his Connecticut home in the July 1986 issue. The style icon was at home with miles of chintz on the walls and furniture, tables loaded with photographs in silver frames and books. The dining room was no less beautifully thought out as you can see from the above image. The walls were masterfully faux painted by Patrick Boivin with inspiration from the Pavlovsk Palace near Leningrad according to the article written by Carolyn Sollis.
A very American dining porch by Sister Parish in Saratoga NY.
This room is part of a farm house that Sister Parish did upstate in Saratoga, as seen in the July 1991 issue, horse racing capitol of the Northeast. The home was one of many that the owner had, according to the article she almost forgot she owned it. The easy country style dining porch has much charm (a word not often used today) and a collection of antique Majolica decorating the side board and on the table. The arrangement of multi colored zinnias in the Majolica pitcher on the table is a country classic. A rather grand faux painted horse statue stands next to the table recalling the local attraction and the purpose of the farm.
A soft ivory dining room in the Southampton house of Mark and Duane Hampton.
Mark Hampton is an American classic and so is his dining room in the Hamptons. The room has faux painted trompe l'oeil moldings and deep ivory walls according to the Feburary 1988 issue. The table is set with antique blue glass pieces from the collection that his wife Duane collected and masses of garden roses bank the sideboard. The place settings are not particularly fancy but have pitch perfect weekend style down to the slightly crumpled napkins.
A Valentino original on the Island of Capri.
Decorated with airy frescos, the dining room in Italian couturier Valentino's Capri get away is haute style as seen in the June 1991 issue. The table is set with D. Porthault linens, a collection of Neapolitan porcelain and a summer classic red geraniums. Style and ease the ideal summer combination.
A cheerful breakfast table in the Porthault country house near Paris.
Since 1925 the famous French textile family has kept a house outside Paris as a weekend place the May 1991 issue stated. The sideboard laden with an arrangement of flowers stands by the inviting breakfast table set with Porthault lines and china. The day would be off to the right start at this pretty and simple table. It also stated that many of their customers come in twice a year to buy their linens and stay at the Ritz or the Plaza Athenee. I wonder how customers still fly to Paris twice a year to buy their linens?