Today's Ideabooks
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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Just for Fun...

Check out this fun little quiz from Sproost that let's you rate images and then shows how your answers interpret your "personal style". It only takes a few minutes, and the results might surprise you...
This room below was an image they used to show my personal style... Vintage Modern... pretty accurate!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Favorite Mirrors

The simplicity of this one, makes it a personal favorite. The faceted edges give it a little bit of interest, and I think it would be a great idea to give a coat of paint, I think in Flamingo Pink it would be terribly chic. It is from Oly Studio, so you know it's also not going to be too expensive.

I have to be honest, I have been a fan of Aesthetic for many years. Their work is all inspired by classical architecture, so the pieces are all quite different from many other things on the market. This mirror inspired by the Mannerist movement captures the elements of this classical style. A collection of these on a wall would look amazing!

Richard Shapiro is an antiques dealer in Los Angeles. His store is like a museum visit, some of the most exquisite examples of art and furniture from throughout Europe can be found there. He has also started creating his own furniture, which is simple, but elegant, and creates a beautiful counterpoint to the antiques. I love the way he has incorporated sconces into this mirror.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Nouveau Nature

In my (always-ongoing) search for livable modern items, I came across a company called Unison. Being that "green" is the new EVERYTHING, I found their nature inspired colorful prints and 100% organic linens to be a refreshing twist on the green trend and often too neutral nature-inspired items. A few of my favorites...The "Lush"pillow. This proves what all of those fashionistas are saying... florals are in this season!
The "Static" pillow. I would love to see this on a great, modern sofa.

The "Fire" candle holder. What can I say, I grew up at the beach... I am always a sucker for a coral inspired piece.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Combining my Passions

It is rare that I get the opportunity to combine my passion for Interior Design & Architecture with Yacht Racing but recently I became aware of just such an opportunity! One of the most exciting races, which is currently going on, is the Volvo Ocean Race. Starting in Alicante, Spain and finishing in St Petersberg Russia, this 11 stop 37,000 mile race will stop in Boston Massachusetts around the 27th of April (based on current race estimates) and there the PUMA City will make its American debut. This tour de force of architecture and design, a massive 11,000 sq ft retail space is made of 24 40' long steel shipping containers, represents the culmination of Puma's first foray into the racing world along with their boat il Mostro, skippered by American Ken Read.

Puma City was recently awarded as the Travel and Leisure 2009 Design Award winner for Best Retail Space in the magazine's March issue. The award recognizes standout design in 15 categories and was judged by such prestigious members of the design industry such as Calvin Klein and architect Adam D. Tihany.

The building was designed by the architects at LOT-EK who specialize in this very particular type of mobile spaces----both retail and residential. It is designed to be fully mobile for transportation on commercial shipping network and has already traveled from China to Spain and is now on its way to the Untied States. It is no small feat to design a building which can easily operate anywhere in the world and thus, the architects have even taken into account International Building Codes, dramatic climate changes, plug in electrical and HVAC systems in addition to ease of assembly and operations.

I am really excited to see this space in Boston this spring and hope that it may eventually arrive here in LA. Although UBER-Modern, I feel it is the future of design in many aspects of its conception and construction. In order to attract the upscale and sophisticated clientelle, retailers will have to bring more attention to the concepts of the presentation of their goods in addition to the goods themselves. And a bar and lounge in the space never hurts!

Designing on a Budget

Lets face it we all have budgets, some are just bigger than others. But the true value of using an Interior Designer, is that they know how to make your $1,000.00 budget look like $10,000.00. This thought reminded me of a project that I did a few years ago in Southern California, we were getting to the end of the project, money was starting to run out, and I still needed a drop dead fireplace surround for the Living Room. It was going to be the first thing you see when you walk into the house so I wanted it to be dramatic. Also, it was a big room, so it had to be able to deal with the scale of the space too.

I decided that a simple wall treatment would create enough drama and scale to create an illusion of a tall, grand fireplace. So I found some leather floor tiles and laid them up the wall. I used a sheet metal guy to do a very simple surround around the firebox opening and then had it coloured to look like bronze. So far, so good.

Now for the mirror, I wanted something simple, chic and slightly modern, so with a basic drapery rod, two leather belts from the gap, and a sheet of mirror, mitred with two slots cut into the top portion....and voila!

The point of this is to show that with a clear objective in mind, it can be not as daunting as you think to create something special, without blowing your budget.......

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Not for Everyone, but These Knobs Sure are Beautiful

A lot of what you do as a designer are small little details. They will often go unnoticed, but cumulatively add up to become important parts of the overall design. Cabinet knobs are a good example of that. They will often go unnoticed, (when was the last time you tagged a page of a magazine because you loved the hardware?). 

Anyway, today I went shopping with my client for knobs for her Kitchen. On of my favorite manufacturers is NANZ. Their pieces, while expensive are absolutely beautiful. Check out the pictures above, they come in great finishes and the quality is apparent the moment it touches your hand.

I also like the fact that they are made in the United States (their factory is on Long Island). So next time you are looking for that perfect piece to spruce up your cabinet or to dress up your Bathroom, give them a try. Remember, its all in the details!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Roused by Rope...

Rainy days always bring out my inner "Martha". Last month I made a custom lampshade, and this weekend I decided to take it up a notch and tackle the ugly bar stools at my breakfast counter. I have had them for about a year, unsure if I should just chuck them and start over, or if they could be salvaged somehow.
Inspired by the fabulous Christian Astuguevieille rope pieces at the Holly Hunt showroom, I think I now have a bit of direction...

After web surfing for a while I came across a similar tutorial on the Martha Stewart website (of course). Granted, I am going to be tackling the whole stool, not just the seat, but it is a good starting point as far as materials go. For rope, I am thinking something thick and chunky and maybe even painting it... I am tempted by the golden stool above... thoughts??

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Great Lamp

I was out shopping on Friday and I stopped by a store that I am embarrassed to say I haven't been in in a while. The store is Dragonette in Los Angeles. It is owned by Patrick Dragonette, and they have a great collection of decorative items and furniture with a glamorous edge. I cam across this lamp which they make using pieces of agate. 

I think it is one of the prettiest lamps I have seen in a while, and I think would work well in a traditional or modern environment. He has them using several different examples of stone, I like this one, but there is a pair of them with a black stone that is also impressive.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Las Vegas Market Week

Well, first of all thank you to everyone at Las Vegas Market, for putting on a great show. There was a lot to see and it seems that this show is really starting to mature and one that is fast becoming a must see.

Having said that ....what was there to see?

Well, since I have gotten back I have been besieged with computer issues, so there will be no images with this post, but there will be some I hope at the beginning of next week.

As far as trends... obviously GREEN is huge, everybody seems to have a green line, some good and some not so good. There is a huge amount of people doing things with recycled woods, the play of rustic against modern. To be honest that is starting to seem just a little tired by now.

Curiously there was a lot of Moroccan influence, Four Hands had some great Moroccan style lights, as did Roost, Arteriors and a few others. I have to say I saw one of the prettiest outdoor dining chairs at Phillips Collection too. 

There also seems to be a rise in the European rustic look, made popular by the Belgians, I think this is certainly a plus and a trend we are likely to see continue.

All in all, a lot to see, and I look forward to posting some images for you all to see next week.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Artist in Focus: Judith Murray

Like many people, our office is inundated with junk mail---Flyers, Post Cards, Offer letters and the like. For the most part I try to give everything a cursory glance before filing it away in the Deep 6 because every so often I find a gem. Most recently it was a post card from the Sundaram Tagore Gallery here in Beverly Hills.

Their latest exhibition is called Continuum by Judith Murray and I was immediately taken by this woman's nonconformist paintings. She has created a trademark of her own language of effusion and sensation created through the use of heavy texture in a limited palette of red, yellow, white and black. Each work is composed in the moment, as Murray responds to the results of her previous strokes. A bar of color grounds the compositions on the left hand side, providing a barrier of linear energy to these otherwise untamed depictions of vitality within the expansive bounds of her large works (as you can see in the photo of Judith painting in her studio)

Murray was commissioned by the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts to create a poster for the Mostly Mozart Festival in 1981, 1986, and 1991. Her work is included in the permanent collections of Honolulu Academy of Art, Honolulu, Hawaii; the National Museum of Art, Warsaw, Poland; and the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York. In 2002 she was named the Guggenheim Fellow.

I look forward to the gallery opening party and to meeting this brilliant artist of our time in person.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Las Vegas Market Week

I am excited to say that I will be at Las Vegas Market this week. I will be posting about interesting things that I find. It is the first time I have been to this Market, as it continues it's climb to prominence over it's east coast rivals. I have heard lots of things about it, so I am hoping to see some new and interesting Design ideas.

I will also be appearing on  a panel on Tuesday at 1pm. I will be appearing with a group of Industry leaders talking about doing business in this economy. For anyone in the design field, I think there will be lots of tips and insights to help navigate what promises to be an exciting year.

If you come by,please stop and say hello.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Pasadena Showcase

Our Inspiration......

We are currently busy at work on our room at the Pasadena Showcase House. We are doing the garden room. The second image is what the room looks like now. The drawing at the top is what we plan to do, a classic styled garden room. The last two images are our inspiration. I can hardly wait to see it finished,,,,what do you think?
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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I swore I would NEVER...

Growing up in a home where no round table could escape a ruffled tablecloth, I always swore I would be tablecloth free as an adult...
However, during the past few months, I have noticed images in my favorite shelter magazines of round tables with these great simple tablecloths. The fabrics are (ruffle-free) natural, draped or tailored, and well... now I want one!
I love them on a round table in an entry or dining space. What a great way to soften a space so usually full of hard surfaces, corners, and straight edges. I think these images below prove my point.
I have been wrong all of these years. When done simply, and in moderation, a skirted table IS a beautiful addition to any space.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Spring is in the Air

It is getting to be that time of year that everyone in the northern part of the country hates everyone in the south. Last weekend in Los Angeles was sunny and in the low 80's perfect outdoor entertaining weather. So, at the risk of upsetting you northerners I am going to write about my search for the perfect outdoor chair. 

This is the year, I am finally going to get my garden into shape, my outdoor dining room complete and start using the garden again after a year or so of looking at bare earth. I saw a chair on sale at Smith and Hawken at the end of last year, but was too slow and they were all sold out, so now I am searching for a chair, well 10 chairs actually. The table I have in mind will be  a fairly rustic wood one, so I want a chair to contrast that.....here are some that I found, what do you think?

I Like this one from the Sundance Catalog and at $225, it's a great deal

This one from Mecox Gardens I really like, in person it may be a little heavy, so I would have to swing by and take a look, also, I am really hoping to bring in some strong color too, so the Grey may not be a good choice. At $795 it's also a bit expensive.

I was surprised to find these at Kmart of all places. Part of the Martha Stewart Collection, I think they might be the winner. Already I am in love with the red. I am a bit concerned that these are last years stock, so finding 10 might be a challenge.

The most modern of all is to be found at the MOMA Store. I will be in NYC in a week or so, so I am going to check it out and see what it's like in person, it could also be a great choice. But at almost $500 a chair I had better fall totally in love.