Harry Bertoia is best known for his art, namely his sculptures and his modern furniture which is widely collected among auction enthusiasts and also carried by Knoll. He is very well respected as he did not follow trends and designed furniture based on ergonomics. Arguably his most recognized piece is the Diamond chair which is a seat made of molded lattice work of welded steel. I don’t think these will ever go out of style. Some say that Bertoia’s sculptures are not as celebrated as they should be and I have to agree. Bertoia’s “Textured Screen” is one of the most creative pieces of art I've ever laid eyes on as it illustrates the ways in which metal can be manipulated to produce sound. Bertoia really was a true scientist.
Sounds horrible doesn’t it? Well, its not always. Brutalism is actually a subtype of modernism that was very popular from the 50s-70s. Brutalist architecture can be offensive and often brutal as by principle Brutalism is a “frank expression of materiality” aka buildings are often fortress looking. Where Brutalism is welcomed is when it is honored in smaller pieces- think light fixtures and coffee table bases.
I recently brought my client into Studio Van Den Akker which is a lighting and furniture shop that specializes in classic modernism. My client loves wildly unique light fixtures but lives in a Mediterranean home which we are decorating true to its bones. If you can avoid interest in overly trendy lighting but cho0se hand made one of a kind interest pieces, it is fairly easy to pair more modern fixtures with a less than modern home. See below for an example of how this was done right
When you head to a marble house you will find rows and rows of slabs. They are bundled together in the same order they have been cut. If you take two slabs directly next to each other and place them side by side you will find that they are a near mirror image of each other. Fabricators can then meld these slabs together to create a whole lot of drama. I am working on a bookmatching now for a back Butlers’ Pantry wall which is really more of a piece of art. See below for a glimpse of whats to come..
Chartreuse is a tough nut to crack. Wikipedia defines chartreuse as a color halfway between yellow and green. I recently purchased an outlandish rattan bed in this color and was put off by peoples reactions. Of course, they are seeing the bed out of context (not yet set up), but how could people not have the same “need to buy, even if I don’t have a place for it” reaction as me? I began surveying people and as it turns out (with my sample population), straight men are not keen on chartreuse. As a result, I am on a mission to prove to them why it is an enchanting color. Pictures of the finished product coming soon…
Hermes is the epitome of chic and therefore, by nature, its signature shade is too. Some people are scared to use orange in their home fearing it is too bold. I, on the other hand, think of it as a neutral color as you can essentially pair it with any other color. Right now I am working on convincing a client to do the below Eltham Palace hand painted wall panel from Dessin Fournier. I have laid this out so that everything else in the room with be variations and tans and beiges with small pops of Hermes orange. Think hermes orange leather arm chairs and Fortuny throw pillows. If you are trying to create an inviting environment for entertainment, think no further than going with hermes orange.
It has been said that succulents are the perfect plant for forgetful gardeners but that’s not why they are one of my favorite plants. Yes, low maintenance is always better especially when you are a gal on the run like me but what I most love about succulents is how much variety you can find from this single family of plants. Colors vary from black to pink and everything in-between and the actual leaves come in all shapes and textures. If you are starting to add greenery to your home, succulents are a good place to start.
I am currently working on a herringbone wood floor for a client and she asked if we could put an area rug on top. You can only imagine my response.. Herringbone floors are art and should not be covered. The texture and warmth they offer from the pattern and variation of tones should be celebrated. See below for a gorgeous example.
When I want a vibrant quality fabric, my first stop is usually Bennison. Bennison is an English company that specializes in hand-printed fabrics based on designs of original 18th Century English and French textiles discovered by Geoffrey Bennison. Bennison was a renowned antique dealer and decorator in his time and boy, can I thank him for a lot. Check out the below picture. I am working on building a low banquette for a bar in Darien, CT. The right-hand is the fabric and the left-hand will be used for an assortment of pillows. I cannot wait to see the finished result!
La Colonial is a French Vietnamese restaurant that is just feet from the D&D in Manhattan. The décor in this place makes me want to stay for hours. It’s basically a time warp with tin ceilings, animal print banquettes, palm leaves everywhere, and slow moving fans. A nice place to escape the hustle and bustle. Highly recommend.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with Tony Duquette, he was an extremely talented stage, film, and interior designer. His Beverly Hills house by the name of "Dawnridge" is a mainstay for the design business and this pagoda in the garden tells you why. Those two iron leaf chairs were designed by Duquette while the two carved stone pagodas and wooden deer were from a palace in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
While I’m not a huge fan of faux anything I found these at Anthropologie the other day and fell in love. The color combo of these two stones paired with some burgundy lips would look perfect with a glass of champagne.
There are few people I love more than Iris Apfel. Well, that’s a lie. I love my family a heck of a lot more. But look at this lady. She is FAMBOYANT and I just love that. She does not give a hoot what people think, she just rocks what she loves. And that, my friends, is how we should approach home design. A lot of people come to design firms and say I don’t know diddly about decorating- can you help me out? Well, of course we CAN. But its best to know what you like, what you get a kick out of, and what makes you comfortable. From there, we can really design a space that truly intrigues you.
Abstract artist Mark Rothko is well known in the art world (paintings selling upwards of $50 million). So well known in fact that he was commissioned by Harvard to put together murals some years back (think 1963). After about 25 years, all 5 commissioned pieces were placed in storage and not revisisted until now! Now thanks to both Rothko’s family and the Harvard Art Museum restoration on these pieces will begin. Where is gets interesting is because Rothko was such a flaming genous and made his own paint there is no easy way of doing this and as a result, thay are planning to use light as their retouching tool of choice?! Crazy stuff, fingers crossed that projecting a transparent light will do the trick. If this works- the retouching world could change forever…
Everything about this china makes me happy. In my mind, all servingware should serve the purpose of making food look better. What's the purpose of having fine china if you only use it on occasion?
Transom windows, when done properly, are pretty rad. Here are example of appropriately placed transom windows .They work because they serve their purpose of letting light in and yet are also attractive. In the recent weeks I have been helping my sister house hunt in LA’s Manhattan Beach, you cant even imagine the amount of ill-placed transom windows. Do it properly people!
I have been seeing acrylic images EVERYWHERE and have zero complaints. This image is pure beauty to me. I could accessorize it in so many ways.
While this isn’t technically a tete a tete, its function is the same. One can sit in a chair directly across from their best friend while comfortably lounging. Sounds ideal to me.
I found this painted glass mirror on @1stbdibs about two months ago and ever since I have been trying to find a spot for it. My ideal location would be above a sink where people normally check themselves out. This would serve as a great little reminder to not take oneself so seriously.
@FlessasDesign had a brass nutcracker in the shape of a lady legs. The humor and sexuality behind this makes me giddy!