My biggest design inspiration in 2014 was the "Auction of the Decade," Sotheby's auction of the estate of Mrs. Paul "Bunny" Mellon. Bunny Mellon was a renowned philanthropist, gardener, and tastemaker. Her eye for sophisticated yet casual design was unsurpassed. When the auction of her estate was first announced, I began counting the days until the auction lots were published. After poring over the catalogs (all four of them!) I diligently made a strategic list of lots I wished to bid on and then traveled to Sotheby's in New York for the preview to further refine my list. The number of beautiful pieces -- furniture, art, porcelain, jewelry -- was a feast for the eyes and incredibly inspiring. Sadly, on Day One of the Interiors auction, the bids immediately climbed into the stratosphere and it became quite clear I would not prevail on any item. (Rule One of auctions -- set a dollar limit. Do not get caught up in the moment and go above your limit. Easy to say, hard to do!)
While I came up empty handed, I nonetheless found the whole process of previewing the lots and studying the catalogs incredibly inspiring. One of my favorite lots was her collection of art books, approximately 550 volumes. You will learn that I am a firm believer that one can never have too many books, especially big, beautiful art and design books. I was drawn to the many volumes in Bunny Mellon's collection and found that I happen to have a few on my own shelves, including this large volume on DaVinci. It has a place of honor on my etager, with a small abstract sculpture that, upon seeing at another auction last year, I determined I must have! Fortunately, that day I was victorious. Every day I view this abstract piece atop the volume of Da Vinci's life and work and I smile and am inspired. That is what MarigoldGray is all about. I hope Mrs. Mellon would approve.