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04 May

The Imaginative World of Carlo Marchiori

World-renowned artist Carlo Marchiori

When you hear the word Ca’Toga, so much beauty, fantasy and artistry comes to mind.  Located in California’s picturesque Napa Valley, Ca’Toga is a replica of a Palladian-style Italian home — but one with a fun sense of humour mixed in with a strong sense of design.  Filled with trompe l’oeil murals, sculptures and wonderful architectural details, the villa remains an ever-popular draw to visitors. When you then think of the artist behind the masterpiece, Carlo Marchiori, you think of the singularly creative mind that created such an enchanting world.  He was born in Italy and after living for a time in Canada, settled in California in 1978.  Among his incredible world-wide projects, he has also been nominated for an Oscar and opened a second Ca’Toga in Thailand.

Mr. Marchiori was recently invited by the Museo Italo Americano to exhibit a curated collection of his fantastical works. The Museo Italo Americano, located in San Francisco, was the first museum in the U.S. entirely devoted to Italian and Italian-American art and culture.  They present incredible exhibitions and this wonderful showcase, entitled Festa Veneziana: The Imaginative World of Carlo Marchiori, is currently open through June 3, 2012. We had the opportunity to correspond with Mr. Marchiori to talk a bit about his inspirations, his tastes in other’s artwork and what he would do if he had two hours to spare in his busy schedule.  Let’s dig in…

Maestro Marchiori preparing for the Festa Veneziana exhibit

Pulcinella on Stilts No. 1

Do you have a personal artisan philosophy?

I grew up and attended art school in the 5os, there the curriculum was based on traditional, academic trainings: perspective, chiaroscuro, life drawing and practical work projects in the techniques of watercolor, fresco and tempera.

Professionally, who are some of your inspirations? 

As a figurative artist, I lean toward the spontaneous fluidity of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and 18th-century Venetian artists.

What’s the best piece of professional advice you have received?

My art teacher would say “good” but you should work “harder”.

(above and below) Beautiful peeks into the Festa Veneziana exhibit.  It includes paintings, sculptures and ceramics among the pieces.  You can see that whimsical, spontaneous, surreal and fantastical all come into play in his artistry.

In your travels, what have been some of the most inspiring spaces you’ve seen?

I like Greco-Roman ruins and some Renaissance or Baroque theatrics such as the Park at Bomarzo, frescoed Palladian villas, Roma Baroque churches, etc.

What subject do you most appreciate in art? 

People — the nude movements in figures — but I have recently moved toward the surreal and abstract.

Please Click to Enlarge

What figures do you doodle?

I like movements in animals in motion and the human figures. I have doodled all my life and it is faster to sketch anything than having to describe it with words.

If you were paid to write a new book on any subject you wished, what would it be about?

I would write about the general subject of creativity, how to invent something — to turn “a silk purse into a sow’s ear” (I mean it this way). Creating spontaneous inventions such as Picasso’s bicycle handle bar bull.  I use bones, old junk, antlers, absurd industrial gadgetries, left over this & that,  all assembled together with crazy glue.

What job would you like to have for a month?

To design, to plan and to build a terraced amphitheater on either side of a natural stream, using recycled rubbles to make it look like an ancient ruin. People would feel the combination of nature and architecture…but it would take more than one month to build.

 Finally, if you had two hours to waste on anything, what would you do?

Pruning, cleaning, doing laundry and cooking or taking my three Basenji dogs for a walk on the hills.

At San Francisco's Museo Italo Americano until June 3, 2012

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That sounds like a wonderful way to while away the time!  I loved learning about his leanings, a bit on how he perceives the world and getting a peek at the exhibit.  (Glad I found out about the park in Bomarzo, too — had no idea!)  Mr. Marchiori is a world-class artist whose work graces the lobby of the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas and Tokyo’s Disney Resort.  If you are in the San Francisco area, do visit the Museo Italo Americano’s Festa Veneziana exhibit (open until June 3rd!) and of course, take a tour of the unforgettable Ca’Toga in Napa Valley.  You can also keep up with the incredible artistry of Mr. Marchiori via the Ca’Toga Facebook page and Twitter stream. They also have a wonderful YouTube channel. I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s profile and information — it was an incredible honor for me to put it together for you.  Many thanks to Tony Banthutham and JoAnn Locktov for facilitating the profile, so appreciated. May you have an inspired weekend, gorgeous ones!

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02 May

Book Giveaway: Decorate by Holly Becker

From the keyboard of Peggy Pardo…

I have an addiction – to decorating books. When one calls out to me from a bookstore shelf or an page, I have to respond by looking through it. Should I spy even one picture that inspires me, into my basket it goes. That’s how I’ve amassed a gazillion decorating books. Okay. That may be a slight exaggeration, but I do have 3 Ikea Billy bookcases filled to the brim. ‘Nuff said.

Naturally when someone I admire comes out with a decorating book, I get very excited about it. That’s how I felt when I first heard about Decorate: 1,000 Professional Ideas for Every Room in Your Home. It was written by Holly Becker, creator of one of the most popular (and one of the first) decorating blogs Decor8, and Joanna Copestick with photography by Debi Treloar. This one I didn’t even peruse before buying; just added to my cart and awaited its arrival.

Holly Becker Decorate

Thanks to Amazon Prime, Decorate was here in 2 days. Did it pass the “at least one picture I like, so I’ll buy it” test? Did it ever! The first time I go through a design book or magazine, I stick strips of post-its with brief notes on the pages that have something to which I want to refer back. By the time I finished going through Decorate, it had so many pieces of paper sticking out of the top it looked like a craft project. That’s a good thing -  a really good thing.

My post today originally started out as a book review. Why not? I think the book is wonderful. However, there are so many fantastic reviews of Decorate that are already out there – like this one from Apartment Therapy, this one at Mango Juiced and here is another at Living In. Rather than do a review, Regina and I thought we’d take it one step further and do a GIVEAWAY! So instead of just telling you how great the book is, one lucky reader will receive a complimentary copy of Decorate and be able to see for themselves!!

Here are a couple of pictures to whet your appetite…

Decorate Holly Becker 2

Decorate Holly Becker 3


For your chance to win

Leave a comment on this post letting us know how we could improve Fauxology, tell us about your favorite post or share your suggestions for post ideas.

But that’s not all! You have six more chances to win…

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Each time you do one of these, leave us a comment on this blog post letting us know you did.  [If you're already a fan, just let us know! :)  ] So, you can leave up to seven comments on this blog post to enhance your chances of winning — please note that comments left on Facebook, Twitter or other sites will not count.

The Giveaway is open to everyone and one winner will be chosen at random from the comments.  Deadline: Midnight on Wednesday, May 9, 2012.

Good luck to all,



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30 Apr

Coloring in the Lines

Straight from Regina’s laptop — Happy Monday!

I don’t know what it is, but I looooooove the idea and look of lining a wall or ceiling.  In fact, I’ve written about it before in a 2010 post called Drawing the Line.  I remember when I played with my coloring books as a kid, out would come my full set of color markers and 64-set of crayons.  I’d first use a color marker to line the pattern perfectly and finish coloring in with a crayon matching the marker.  To my eye, it gave a more polished look.  (There’s a method to my madness even as a kid, I guess.)

Here’s a few more images to share on the lined look…

Room designed by Amy Carman for the 2011 Wisconsin Breast Cancer Showhouse. It’s listed as black ribbon but one could easily sub black paint instead.

You can take the bright colors and really go wild, as in this Roy Lichtenstein-inspired space by designer Jeffrey Miller.  Here’s a close-up.

This striking bedroom (below) was featured in Elle Decor.  See the red edging right above the harlequin diamonds? Great splash of color and extra drama.

One can also do this in a hue tying in the designated accent color, like the blue below.  It’s the Berlin home of art historian Samuel Wittmer, featured in sköna hem.

This last one was part of a MoMA exhibition.  I like how the pattern is edged out with lining to give it a finished look.

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It wouldn’t be too hard to do lining on a surface since it really only involves extra taping and a bit of measuring.  I have to find a place in my home to do it or remember to suggest it to the right potential clients.  Do you like the look?

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26 Apr

Runway to Roomway

Straight from Regina’s sleep-deprived laptop!

So here’s my life so far.  Last week I was oohing and ahhing over the snow-capped mountains of Utah and this week I’m at the sunny beaches of Miami.  All for the love of decorative painting, of course.  (More on Utah and Miami soon – pinky swear).  I do need some sleep though.  Soon.  But what am I doing in my can’t-fall-asleep moments?  Looking at images, of course!

I thought we’d take a fashion trip and end up at fashionable spaces.  Here’s a few runway designs that could have been the inspiration for a few roomway surfaces…

From bridal fashion company, Pronovias. I’d definitely ditch the white for this one. Now, if you’d like to see a variation on a wall…

Voila!  Isn’t this a beauty?  It’s the Moroccan Lace stencil from Royal Design Studio.

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Silk Beaded Dress by Elijah (above) and now…

GORGEOUS! Those are Swarovski crystals in the Italian Silven wallcoverings.

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An artistic watercolor-y loveliness above by Vera Wang and an artistic watercolor-y loveliness below by Black Crow Studios.

So, sometimes you don’t have to go further than your closet for inspiration, right?  Off to sleep now, gorgeous ones.  A big Mwah! for reading the ramblings!

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24 Apr

Target Your Room’s Design

From the keyboard of Peggy Pardo…

Beautiful design doesn’t have to cost a fortune. I truly believe this. Having had Champagne tastes all my life and at times with a public water fountain pocket book, I know how to make every design dollar (and cent) count.

One of my go-to sources for quality pieces at affordable prices is Target. I could literally spend hours in their online store! They collaborate with top designers in various industries to bring us the latest trends. Their style expert for home is Sabrina Soto, who I had a chance to see last month at the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival.

Since summer is just around the corner, I thought a gorgeous vacation spot would be the perfect inspiration. And did I find one for you!

Design Inspiration

Design pieces from Target

Inspiration Photo: St. Regis Princeville Resort on the island of Kauai, Hawaii – Designed by Trina Turk
Paint Colors: Benjamin Moore
Design Finds: Target

Now you’ll have to excuse me, I’m going to try to find a place for that chair. I love it!

Cheers to all,
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23 Apr

Purple Inspiration

From the keyboard of Peggy Pardo…

Happy Monday! What better way to start the week that with some color inspiration! Music for your eyes to dance to. :)

Spinning the color wheel, we land on the color PURPLE! And a lovely color it is. I’ve found some purple objects and a few rooms that could easily have been inspired by them. Enjoy!



Inspiration Sources: Eggplant – Fruits R Us; Jewelry – Morning Glory Antiques & Jewelry;
Dress – The Dessy Group
Realized Sources: Top left, top right, bottom right – HGTV; bottom left – Curbly

Inspiration comes in all sizes, shapes, places and colors. Keep your eyes and mind open and you’ll be surprised at what you can see!

Cheers to all,
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20 Apr

The Details Make the Art

From the keyboard of Peggy Pardo…

Ready for your mind to be blown? So, I was purusing the internet and I found these incredible wall installations. Take a look at this one…

Glass Mosaic 5

You’re probably thinking, yes – they’re beautiful. But so what? Now take a CLOSER look…

Glass Mosaic 5CU

Yes – That’s GLASS MOSAIC TILE. They’re the remarkable work of a Spanish company that manufactures wide format images on glass mosaic. To learn more about it, check out their website.

Glass Mosaic 1

Glass Mosaic 2

Glass Mosaic 3

Glass Mosaic 4

Glass Mosaic 6

Cheers to all!
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