who styled it better? smith vs cohler

The console table is second only to the mantel as a tableau for beautiful bibelots. Remember when these 2 images ran in the same issue of House Beautiful? I had great fun flipping from one to the other trying to determine which was my fave. Here's my review.


designer: Cal glamour girl Windsor Smithphotog: Victoria Pearson.

Loves: 1. the table itself is all marble and gilt gorgeosity. 2. the fashion photo - glorious. 3. Orange as an accent colour (but more on that later). 4. the photo composition and lighting are flawless.

Beefs: Styling. 1. jumble of vintage empty bottles - meh. 2. a stack of Hermès boxes screaming at me "Hey, look how rich I am. I've got a bunch of stuff from Hermès!" OK, the colour is fab, but those boxes are the most overworked prop since the chunk of coral. 3. Windsor, why are there riding boots in your master bathroom? huh? I can only think of 2 reasons: either a) you are knocking me over the head again with the Hermès narrative. or b) you and Mr. Smith get up to some shenanigans in your master suite with the wearing of boots. (if so, I don't want to know about it). A styling colleague (and sometime reader of this blog) and I once agreed -- tomatoes and red peppers don't belong in the living room. Likewise, riding boots don't belong in the bathroom.

designer: NYC designing gentleman Eric Cohler. photog: Jonny Valiant

Loves: 1. this console could wipe the floor with the other one -- check out those legs! 2. the art, the art, the art, the art. Um hello, a Picasso etching beside a junk shop sketch. genius. 3. the mini easels. they give great presence to the smaller pieces. 4. The painting leaning on the floor below the table -- nonchalance = confidence. 5. the way the shape of the sculpture echoes the shape of the table legs - sexy. 

Beefs: a blossom or leaf or some speck of nature would be welcome here.

So, the winner IMHO is Eric Cohler's lovely console. I know, it's a shocker, especially since the bloggonet is all quivery over Mrs. Smith. But don't get me wrong, her whole place is wonderful, but in the console styling smack down, I'm going with Cohler for the win. BTW, His place is right up my alley too -- it's all Farrow & Ball and Cole & Son and great legs and layering and collections. Am looking forward to hearing him speak in Toronto this week.