16 February 2010

INrapturous INdecorous Taste


Lauren Tennenbaum of the riotously creative INDECOROUS TASTE is one amongst many out there in the blogging world, uh well- maybe the world- certainly the world beyond the one she is creating with her painted rooms. Lauren's rooms are Moody (my favourites) ,Romantic, Sparkling. Full of reds, full flourishes-full of Baroque-with her must have touches of funk- the rooms feel well worn but very alive- no dour dust- unless it is pixie dust.

She has fixations- this one.
witness One fetish...
for shoes (are all her own creations)
I told you-

But Look at this-
This is what intrigues Me, what brings Me to her posts, sends me back to them again -to scrutinize, applaud.

It is Lauren's ability to take her decorative painting and then design a moody room that- for instance this tapestry (painted) is perfect.
This You may wonder, well So?
Well, So-It is unusual.
What designers today do you know that are painting the walls for the rooms they are designing? There are those in past that have done so- the most famous I think must be the incomparable RENZO MONGIARDINO.
It is a truth: Those that decorate- design do not, or should I say- can not paint. Yes, there will be Painters out for Me- but Decorative Painters do not decorate-can not decorate.
It does not follow-
Do not try to convince me otherwise!
but- well, there is Lauren Tennenbaum.

I couldn't wait to ask Lauren some questions. Her own blog has such a lot of information about her & her work.

But what really makes her Louboutins skip a beat on the cobbles?

LA: Who or what period are you most inspired by?

LAUREN: I'm inspired by characters with individual styles and distinct personalities: Isabella Blow, Denning and Fourcade, Marcel Duchamp, Tony Duquette, Florine Stettheimer. Oh, and really exceptional window dressers and fashion stylists: Gene Moore, Edward Enninful, Linda Fargo. Essentially, people who create fantasies. And especially those who possess the ability to take something unexpected (even ugly) and turn it into something absolutely desirable and wondrous.

Always put "something mad on top of something very good, 
or something very good on top of something mad." 
- Geoffrey Bennison
(this quote found on the Indecorous Taste site)

The periods I gravitate toward change.  A love for Gothic churches and their objects (reliquaries, texts, etc.) is a constant.  The Byzantine Empire. Also, imperialist Russian decorative arts. And a sort of Baroque spirit underlies everything, but the more I can be inspired by, the merrier!

Gothic Quatrefoil Wall

Imperial Malachite

LA: When did you start painting? Were you a childhood talent?

LAUREN: I don't think I was particularly talented as a child— at least not in painting. My mom enrolled me in many, many art classes when I was young; I never liked painting. (Should I be admitting this?!)  She paints, and my grandfather did so in Europe, professionally.

up close-Lauren's

We've done lots of decorative work together, and I think that's where I've picked up most of my painting skills.  It's when I realized that there were certain rooms and styles that I LOVED that my painting skills blossomed.  They grew from necessity.  I get captivated by a fantasy or idea, and then, I'll do whatever it takes to get there: painting, sewing, hammering, plastering, gluing, soldering... sometimes it works, other times it results in a giant mess.  Painting is just one of the mediums I employ to get there.  My mom and I influence each other in that way.  She loves painting for painting's sake, I love style and fantasy— the ways in which it can be used.

Lauren's own LX IV here
personally, I have past the point of them- but this would be just the sort of thing I would buy to look.

LA: What led you to enter the Architectural Design competition recently?

LAUREN: It was a pretty last minute decision. I ran across it by chance and entered because I thought this room fit the theme of the competition, which was "interesting use of fabrics."

Lauren's Bloomsbury meets Beaton Bedroom 

(more views of the room)

LA: What would your personal fantasy room look like?

LAUREN: I'd need five houses full of rooms— I have too many personal fantasy rooms! My bedroom as it stands right now is one of them— light aqua bluish green Fortuny style walls, lots of delicate apricots and golds, painted inlaid wood floors, TONS of mirror, glass and crystal, an antique Cuban feather mahogany bed, crisp white linens, plenty of damask and layered patterns.  It's all very light and very reflective.

Often, though, I fantasize about darker, dustier, more cavernously cozy spaces. But lately, I've been fantasizing about the bedroom Denning and Fourcade designed for Oscar de la Renta's Paris apartment, in the 80s-see Lauren's fantasy here. It's covered floor to ceiling in the most gorgeous chintz, with layer upon layer of pattern and luxurious fabric, paintings, furnishings...  It's a jewel box: very small, very extravagant, but it's also very cozy.

 the de la Renta room

 a last look at Lauren's own Summer Palace
looking very much Onegin &Tatyana

read more about Madamoiselle here 
Maison Archinard here

 all photographs are Lauren's -please inquire with her for use.


  1. Very beautiful...rooms with stories to tell. Thank you! Trish

  2. this is incredible! thank you for sharing, i'm off to explore Lauren's blog.

  3. Lauren's rooms are simply delicious. Elegant, audacious, and always original.

  4. She is amazing...from shoes to walls, will be sure to check out her site. Thanks for the intro.

  5. So so divine. That bedroom. Sigh.

  6. Lauren has a great talent- one I can not wait to see her explore in full over the next few years.Jane I love the Fortuny walls in the bedroom.

  7. Her painting is full of good technique with a free flowing quality that makes it unique. Nothing is worse in decorative painting than technique and no heart, in past "faux" finishing was done with a fine hand but the results were to be artistry rather than producing a facsimile of a marble for instance. That sort of painting is the worst and one reason many designers have lost sight of the art and its use.

  8. As one of Lauren's first commenters, I have watched with great interest her growing sense of self and style. Not mentioned here, this young one is a Vassar graduate who thinks as well as fantasizes. Her young, fresh, audacious style is liveable performance art. Around a table of The Great Ones such as Duquette, Castaing, Mongiardino, they would see themselves reinvented and would smile and encourage her (or perhaps be petty bitchy because they are so insanely jealous of youth and talent). Since they are dead, I hope blog world and beyond will say there's talent, and then there's Lauren, a whole other continent worth exploring.

  9. Unbelievable Talent...LOVE the Interview

  10. Fantastic piece. As a follower of Lauren's blog and work, I quite often think that in a few years, we will be saying, 'Ahhh I knew her when. . ."

  11. For those of you just getting your first look at Lauren's work -I am happy to be the person to introduce you two-
    For her loyal followers- yes we can say-I knew her when

    and Home-thank you for the introduction to Lauren's great blog months ago. pgt

  12. Thank you for another piece of the pie that is this incredibly talented lady x

  13. Remarkable. I found (In) Decorous recently, gratefully, Lauren left me a comment which led me over... it is a welcoming light apart and different from all others; a sense of style not unlike my beloved Chintz of Darkness, without all the dark satan-y stuff.

  14. I think she is a fantastic talent, really amazing.

    Great post.

    re comment, I know, I was so intrigued by the rooms too.

  15. She is amazing just plain and simple...CREATIVE!

  16. Thank you for this marvelous introduction to a very talented young lady!!!

  17. Thank you, everyone, for your wonderfully sweet and encouraging comments!

  18. The first time I spotted her I said, now there is an old soul to watch.
    She has such a luxe aesthetic in a totally delapidated (spelling?)
    and aged way.
    I adore her work.

  19. I have rarely come across such a sublime talent. Words fail me for once.

  20. authentic and inspiring. this can't be created or copied. excellent interview. following you both.

  21. Marija, I agree, Lauren is a talent! thanks for following along. pgt




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