Thursday, October 27, 2011

Duravit is still pushing the design envelope...

Last night I had the opportunity to be a part of the unveiling of some of Duravit's newest products, and I was impressed...  That's not a statement I often toss around, but there was definitely a moment of, "This is genius"...

So surrounded by my peers in the design community we ooohhh'd and aaahhh'd over the newest bath suites rolling out in the already extensive and modern lines from this German leader in bath design.  The night ran through several new offerings, but started with one of the most memorable.

The Trapeziodal Paiova Bathtub is just a piece of luscious sculpture that beckons you into its unconventional shape.  The Monolith is an seamless tub with an integrated apron, removing the need for paneling... The ingenious engineering of the piece makes it possible to make these 90 degree angles for the apron face, unmatched, and unable to be reproduced by others.

This is an enormously generously sized tub, made to accommodate two bathers, but side-by-side as opposed to the more common face-to-face.  Integrated neck rests comfort you, while you can add on the additional air and jet systems along with soothing LED lighting effects.  Pure Bliss!

The piece de resistance was for me though the OpenSpace "fold-away" shower, freeing up additional floor space for those tight bathrooms where every last inch of space is gladly gained.  This just blew me away when we were being told about it.  

The simplicity of the idea is phenomenal, it's just baffling that this wasn't out sooner!  The "shower doors" fold back 90 degrees to the corner, giving you 2 full length mirrors, visually enlarging any bathroom, then pulling them out, they lock again producing an enclosure!  It is beyond brilliant really...  The chrome infrastructure and 8mm thick safety glass doors are on a rise and fall hinge mechanism locking the doors into either position.  The unit can be installed on either a standard floor tile or in conjuction with the Duravit's DuraPlan shower trays.  Just an amazing amazing product that will revolutionize the way people, especially in tight situations think about showering!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Died a little today while shopping for furniture...

So one of my normal days out and about at the various design buildings on the hunt for awesome and oversized chandeliers as well as transitional wood armed lounge chairs... So I'm going on, doing my thing, then out of the corner of my eye at the Dennis Miller Showroom at the New York Design Center those angels started to sing, and that beacon of light shown down from the heavens and this piece of furniture started to glow!

Okay, rarely do I really love a piece of furniture enough to consider wanting it for myself, but here's the one...  It's this simple lined, but phenomenal desk unit. 

I can't help it, but I just think it's gorgeous... Gray reclaimed wood with ceniza vinyl drawers, is just exactly where my aesthetic is at right now.  So in love, I can't stand it.  The desk is such a simple and basic shape it's the use of materials and the proportions in which they were applied that's making me swoon.  The vinyl actually looks more like felt, so it's both hard and soft looking; new and old, rough and smooth, it's the perfect ratio of each.

Who designed this "masterpiece"?  Well it is the creation of a gentleman named Sami Hayek... A familiar sounding name, well it should as his older sis is the Hollywood starlet Salma Hayek!  His collection is named Espacio, and celebrates innovation in design, but always pays homage to his Mexican roots and traditions.

There are quite a few different pieces in the collection, from rugs, to side tables to acrylic chairs...  Here are just a few example of the extensive line.  This is just a chic shelving unit made of reclaimed wood and metal.

This 96" long red lacquered credenza is just a work of art... The left hand side of it is an intricate mosaic of hand laid glass beads, which is done by Huichol artisans using methods dating from the 16th century... How amazing is that!... Breath taking really.

I'm honestly in love with the Sami's use of materials, and his determination to use his country and upbringing as a resource for inspiration and artistry.  I'm so gonna be dreaming about that desk tonight!...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

It's pumpkin decorating time!...

So the family and I took a little drive to a farm not too far away to go pumpkin picking today... Boy, do these "farms" have quite a cash cow of a business... Between the Hay Ride, Pumpkin Catapult, and horrible food we dropped about $75, when we could've just as easily went down the street to the grocery store and picked up three nice pumpkins for less than 10 bucks... Oh well, it was fun nonetheless.

Now what to do with these round orange gourd-like squash?...  Well, I decided to go the non-traditional route and change up the color on them.  Got out whatever spray paint I had in the attic, and picked up a few packs of thumbtacks at the drug store and had my way...

I started out by brushing all that dirt off the one side of the pumpkin that it was growing on with a stiff brush.  Then I wrapped the stem in blue tape so no paint would get on that.  Then I started shaking up the paint.  I had a glossy red lacquer and a matte black paint on hand, so that's what I used.  It took a few coats to get the color consistent, but it was a quick 10 minute job. 

I then decided to just start pushing the tacks in... On the red pumpkin I used bright brass pins, and just followed the natural ridges of the squash.  I tend to like things more A-symmetrical, so I did 5 rows, and stopped.

For the matte black one I covered the entire top with white thumbtacks, very heavily, almost like snowcap on a Montblanc pen.  Then I did a slight ombre effect with the remaining brass tacks I had left over. 

Both were super simple, and I think pretty successful.  It's a chic way to celebrate the season without having to break out the carving equipment... It's the grown up way to decorate a pumpkin!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Leaves, presented in twelve ways...

I was just sitting here completely obsessed with this photo I shot with my BlackBerry this afternoon with my son, and just started to play with the image and do all sorts of crazy things with it... So I present my exhibition of "Leaves"... I'm a dork, and I'm not ashamed to admit it... :)

All photo effects made possible by

Friday, October 14, 2011

Stars of Design 2011

On Wednesday evening I was invited to attend the ultra exclusive black tie event put on by Charles S. Cohen the owner of the Decorators and Designer's Building in New York.  The Stars of Design dinner celebrates and honors artists in their respective fields of architecture, art, industrial/product design, graphic design, landscape design, photography and of course interior design.  There is also a special lifetime achievement award that is presented.

The crowd was a gorgeous assortment of the heavy hitters in design, bloggers and just those creative minds that make lives more beautiful.  It was the mega-stars in the interior design industry celebrating what makes our profession so great.  Vicente Wolf was chatting it up with Mario Buatta, as Peter Marino showed off his leather gear alongside Bunny Williams, while Jamie Drake was comparing the metallic sheen of his blazer against mine... It was awesome!

The 2011 Stars of Design Honorees were as follows:

Architecture--Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Art--Jean-Michel Othoniel
Graphic Design--Paula Scher, Pentagram
Industrial/Product Design--Tucker Viemeister, Rockwell Group
Interior Design--Matthew Patrick Smyth
Landscape Design--James Corner, Field Operations
Photography--Jason Schmidt
Lifetime Achievement--Albert Hadley

Below are a couple images of Albert Hadley's iconic work which solidifies his spot in Interior Design History.

Brook Astor's Corner Library, photo courtesy NY Daily News

Luxurious Library, photo courtesy House Beautiful

The evening was one that I was extremely fortunate to be a part of, and proud to be in the company of such greatness.  The festive crowd was captured on film and can be viewed on Patrick McMullan's site.  It was a night that I am still overwhelmed to have been a part of, but just pushes me to strive to be an honoree in the very near future!... 

Monday, October 10, 2011

My new favorite color combo... Pink and Navy. HOT!!!

I'm so loving this combination of colors... It's both masculine and feminine, chic and playful, it's the perfect balance of everything...  I saw it coming down the runway for Spring 2012 from Dsquared².  I thought it was so beautiful and lively without screaming, LOOK AT ME!...  Then I found a few of examples of this duo of tones working their magic in rooms...

Dsquared and Lily Pulitzer
Mary McDonald and Dsquared
Dsquared and Kelley Moore
Tell me this is inspiring you to work these saturated hues into your decor!... Awesome!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Brooklyn Night Bazaar

Okay kids, I just have to share what my family and I did this evening which was a ton of fun... We made the trek through the Holland Tunnel, weaved our way through the crowded streets of Chinatown, crossed over the Manhattan Bridge into the Borough of Brooklyn.  Specifically to the Dekalb Market for Brooklyn Night Bazaar.  What a wonderful time!

Brooklyn just in general has always had a great vibe, but here you have dozen of diverse vendors all selling their wares.  From clothing, to jewelry, to food and art, it was an assortment of great shops, most of which were set up in re-purposed shipping containers.  Music was alive and pumping with a live performance from Yacht while the beer and wine gardens were flowing freely as well... It's ALL good!

I just wanted to highlight some of the great things there...  First off was this super delicious kimchi from Arirang Kimchi... Yeah, if you follow me on Twitter you know I've got a bit of an obsession with Korean food, but this stuff was actually quite good.  They had a Vegan and Traditional version, and I'm a die hard traditionalist when it comes to things like food, so bring on the salted shrimp and fish sauce!... So super yummy!

Next we started perusing all the super creative artisan's stalls... We found one that was so interesting and unique, my husband walked away with a purchase... He got the coolest ring, which was basically a chunk of brass mounted on a simple band.  It's a hefty ring, but so well made...  Sarustar is a thoughtful and really well priced jewelry line.  When I go back I think I'm going to be picking up a necklace for myself...

The best way to wrap up an evening is with a little bit of sweetness, and boy did I get it!... Oh my god, I tasted heaven in 4 bites!  I got 2 of the most amazing macaroons!  I got a Red Velvet and an Earl Grey flavored cookie delight, and can I just tell you they were Uh-mazing!!! Seriously addictive and thankfully I only bought 2.  They offered a good 10 or so varieties there, but there are a ton on their site, so I highly recommend checking out the Macaron Parlour!

We met up with a few other couples for just a great night of food and fun, and the mission was accomplished!  I heard on a normal daily basis Dekalb Market is a quieter and less crowded experience, so you can shop leisurely without the extra thousand people poking around with you, but I left happy nonetheless!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Halloween decor...

That time of the year for ridiculous decorations ranging from creepy and gory to silly and fun is upon us again... Undoubtedly my son's favorite time of the year, as it's a day that he can legitimately wear his costumes out in public, and not just be a superhero or video game icon in the confines of his own room...  I just gathered a few ideas for transforming your space into a frightful space!...

From the brilliant design team over at Martha Stewart, this simple but very effective way to add some horror to a simple staircase... Just add a simple black and white silhouette to the risers, it is just so easy...

An image from Apartment Therapy shows off the Halloween spirit at its finest, but when you break it down and get rid of the fluff, it's a simple and clean space, but with the addition of a few pumpkins and feather wreaths it was brought to that next level...

The classic Ghost Chair in black is a super versitile piece during the year, it's just an iconic and super chic chair, but when witches and goblins are on everyone's mind, this is the perfect seat for any ghoulish character...

A gorgeous pheasant feather wreath is another great transitional accessory that is awesome for Fall decor, but it really gives a goth and vampirey type feeling when paired with a half dozen blood red pillar candles burning all around it...

This is just Alexander McQueen's embroidered pillow which is super chic at any time, but it's all the more fun when Friday the 13th, Scream and Poltergeist are in heavy rotation on TV...

A project more for the kids of all ages is to get them painting pumpkins with fun images, instead of carving up the gourd... This is a much safer way to get a look without the danger of carving little fingers away, and the pumpkin will last a lot longer!

Or, if you're really feeling like scaring the hell out of your Trick or Treaters or your haunted house guests, hang up a picture of this!!! Boo!!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Mid-Century Loveliness

One of my friends is starting a new venture in importing gorgeous Mid-Century pieces from Portugal of all places... The few images I've seen are really getting me excited!  He gave me a sneak peek of the kind of inventory he's got access to and I just wanted to tease you a bit...

I know, you're probably reacting the way I did... "Shut up!" Aren't these just amazing!  I can't wait for the the portfolio of all the goodies that are available... These items are like furniture porn... So lovely, and so wonderful! Uhhhh, I'm dying... :)