William Mclure is an Artist and Interior Designer.  You may have seen his inspiring apartment many times since it has been surfing the web for a couple of years.  Many sites have posted about his beautiful Birmingham apartment and its constant changes.  I can’t find anything more pleasurable than seeing how artists and designers keep on changing and rearranging their homes.  And they don’t do it because they get bored, no.  After all who says that a home is ever completely finished.  Our own taste is constantly developing and once we get more confident about our own choices in Interior Design or in anything else in life for that matter, our results are more stunning.  Of course this latter gets more noticeable in someone with such taste as William Mclure.  His design aesthetic is a mixture of that ideal combination of old and modern classic pieces -elegantly casual with zero stiffness.  When it comes to his talent as an artist, he is all modern in a very classic way.  His paintings resemble a bit of Cy Twombly with a sum of cubism.
William Mclure design via belle vivir interior design blog

William’s Instagram account is of great entertainment.  His ability to create all these beautiful vignettes is impressive.  And he can’t stop still, it seems.  He is constantly changing his home when he is not moving.  I honestly had to spend a good couple of hours figuring out which of his apartments was the most recent one.  I think I got it right though.  Let’s look at them… shall we?

I think that first picture has all the goodies it needs and then some more.  William got eight of the regency style chairs for $300 bucks on Craiglist.  This time his apartment has more of a global feel with exotic accessories.  I love.

William Mclure gallery wall via belle vivir interior design blog

I absolutely love this space.  The gallery wall is a beauty on its own but the classic black table contrasting with the white Bertoia chairs is simply stunning.

William Mclure living room via belle vivir interior design blog

This is his new or latest living room, at least until yesterday, lol.  The space is an industrial loft which William was able to make into a cozy and elegant home.  Love the neutral tones and the touches of black.  Every home should have a dose of black.

William Mclure apartment 3 via belle vivir interior design blog

This time the selection of the furniture is a bit more on the modern side with more elegant pieces like the regency style chairs.

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Often we complain about our political/social situation, failing to realize how powerful individual efforts are.  It’s easy to just be diplomatic and play it safe in order to not sabotage our own personal progress.  Such approach is not self rewarding to me and it’s certainly not going to help heal a country that needs so much healing after this last election…?  In a day as important as today, we all should feel compelled to reflect on how we can make a difference by helping those who are marginalized and treated less worthy?  Below, a list of present valuable causes to support.

valuable causes to support, Martin Luther King Jr. via belle vivir blog

We should educate ourselves and understand the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. — that a man should be judged by the content of his character not by the color of his skin.  Most importantly, support those organizations that are actually making a difference and fighting against injustice and inequality.  Here is a list of organizations that help with that fight alone with a very recent information that I have found deeply upsetting.

valuable causes to support, Serena Williams and daughter Vogue

Black Infant Health Program and Souls of A Sister Reproductive Justice Institute

I was shocked to read an article in this month’s Parents Magazine that U.S. has the highest maternal-mortality rate among all industrialized countries in the world.  In California alone black infant mortality is 9.4 deaths per 1,000 births – a colossal difference from the white rate of 3.9.  Experts and professionals conclude that even when having the same level of medical care and even among highly educated affluent black mothers, African American women have the worst childbirth outcomes of any group in this country.  The reason for the disparity is even more alarming and perplexing and the conclusion is linked to our country’s complicated history with racism.  “It is absolutely plausible, scientifically, that the chronic stress of being treated unfairly or viewed unjustly because of one’s race- or even just worrying that this may occur- could cause physiological changes in a woman’s body that can in turn put her infant at a disadvantage”  Dr. Braveman told Parents Magazine.  Ongoing stress can lead to inflammation throughout the body which can weaken our immune system and as a consequence affect offspring.  Dr. Braveman went on to explain that this effect is called “allocastic load” which causes a breakdown of the body’s health preserving mechanisms.  A study in Journal of the National Medical Association found that black men and women have higher allocastic load scores than whites, which has led to an increase in premature death from chronic diseases.  It doesn’t matter who you are or how much money you have, recently Serena Williams who together with her beautiful baby daughter grace the cover of the current issue of Vogue recounts the scary days that followed her childbirth experience.  You can read the scary episode here.  Helping an organization that empowers disadvantaged mothers, regardless of their race is always a worthy cause.

valuable causes to support, Barack Obama via belle vivir blog

American Civil Liberty Unions

Voter suppression is another embarrassing fact of this country.  State legislatures try to curb voting rights by creating more laws that make it more difficult to register to vote and curtail access to the ballot box.  But it’s of course been emboldened lately with baseless claims of voting fraud.  In reality what the status quo is trying to do is to prepare the path to enact new and harder laws to stop a certain social demographic from voting.  In a way to maintain the status quo.  Everyone should have the right to vote.  If you watched the Obama interview with David Letterman this past week, he explains this issue in his own quintessentially smart way.  Supporting organization that fight for basic civil rights is paramount.

Human Rights First

Human rights should in the forefront for any law creation or legislative action.

This last cause may not have to do with Civil Rights but it’s in keeping with helping one of the most important causes of modern history.  Global Warming is a fact.

valuable causes to support global warming via belle vivir blog

Avoided Deforestation Partners and Greenpeace

This issue should be simply understood since it’s backed by so many scientific studies yet, many prefer to ignore the facts or come up with alternative facts which are mainly lies or fake news.  If we destroy our planet where will we go, what will we leave to our children or future generations?

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I know that at this moment Montecito, CA is confronting a catastrophic situation.  My heart goes out to the people who have been affected by this horrible and devastating mudslide.  Meanwhile many Central states here in the US are expecting anything from 4″ to 20″ inches of snow, depending on where you live.  But for others this season is resort season exactly because who wouldn’t want to escape all this.  Since me myself may or may not be planning our own winter escape I allowed myself to window shop, only just virtually for the resort pieces every chic woman needs.  My conclusion, below.

resort pieces every chic woman needs via belle vivir blog

Night Floral Dresses

For the night, you may want to still feel comfortable but a bit more like a grown up, hence these pretty flair dresses.  From left to right in order of high to low prices.  I absolutely adore Erdem, I think it’s one of the most beautiful brands available.  As in everything in life, the best is going to cost you.  A mid-point price dress like this one by Tory Burch is always a great alternative.  And finally one dress that will cost you practically nothing.

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When designing a home around contemporary art, especially if the art is an impressive one, the house should rise to the occasion in more ways than one.  In this case the owner of this Victorian house in London owned a dramatic collection of contemporary art so instead of creating a home that recedes to the background, Architect and designer Shalini Misra created a home with drama just enough to not shy away from the art and with character enough to serve as blending element.  The result is a balanced combination of drama and glamour.

designing a home around contemporary art by Shalini Misra via belle vivir blog

A mixture of black and white play a protagonist role in the Interior Architecture.  The contrasting colors are beautifully used.  We can see them on ornate stair railing and on the Rhombus pattern tiles on the raised ground floor.  The transformation of the Interior Architecture was pretty impressive and left only to professionals.  Since the house needed to be enlarged to accommodate the owner’s art collection, doorways were widened to facilitate the view of the art.   The basement was dug deep to create an extra 418 square meters for a swimming pool, gym and spare rooms.  As well as the staircase was relocated to move clockwise between all floors.  This last move was inspired by Vastu Shatra principles- a traditional Hindu system of architecture meant to bring harmony into the home.

designing a home around contemporary art via belle vivir blog

How amazing is this impressive view of the staircase.  Beautiful white marble, velvety stair runner and ornate railing combined with an edgy but still traditional rhombus floor.  It’s a somewhat over the top interior design.  Though a kind you can live with thanks to the classic references and neutral tones.  I say, I’ll take it.

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