Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Color Combo: Coral and Blue...

I know, I know...I am not the first person to post a picture of the ubiquitous Chiang Mai Dragon fabric from F. Schumacher, but once I procured my very own decorative pillows and yardage in the Aquamarine colorway, I cannot seem to stop gravitating toward interiors using shades of Coral/Orange paired with Blue/Turquoise/Aqua. I especially love the addition of white to the space as seen in the images below. The look is just so fresh, clean and happy.

These rooms make me think of warm weather which I hope gets here sometime soon...

Images (top to bottom): F. Schumacher, Tobi Fairley, Angie Hranowsky, Thibaut, Ashley Whitaker

Monday, April 26, 2010

Dear Michelle Nussbaumer...

I LOVE your pants.

Ever since I tore out the above image of Michelle Nussbaumer from a past issue of Elle Decor where she is wearing those whimsical pants, I have not been able to stop thinking about that pattern: malachite! I have been on a crazy hunt for that fabric which reminded me of the dynamite Tony Duquette who used the malachite pattern throughout his home as well as his clients' homes in everything from fabric to furniture to objets d'art.

In my hunt for a similar fabric I found this to die for Michael Kors "Malachite Hostess Skirt" which is way out of my price range. The malachite beading around the waist is just gorgeous and I love the length. I would host a fabulous party in that.

Roubini has just launched the Tony Duquette Rug Collection including his "Malachite" design while through Jim Thompson, a textile company, carries the Tony Duquette Collection which includes the "Malachite" design.

Lastly, I came across the malachite credenza above on 1stdibs which some lucky soul has scored. The door fronts are not real malachite, but it looks pretty good against the stark white of the body of credenza. So glamorous.

Images: Elle Decor,,, 1stdibs

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Talented Ms. Schaefer...

If you happen to live in the Philadelphia area there is only ONE week left to view the fantastic installation, In-Step, by the very talented contemporary artist Anne Schaefer at Tiger Strikes Asteroid located at 319A N. 11th Street, 4th Floor.

Really, if you have a chance you must go see it. It is a very visually impactful piece which takes up all four walls of one room in the gallery space. Anne was kind enough to answer some questions about the piece. Below I have included a panoramic view to entice you to go see it. Please click on the spread to see it larger. Enjoy!

K+H: I understand that the "In-Step" was dictated by the constraints of the physical space for the installation, but what was the inspiration for its composition?
A.S.: All of the compositional and pattern choices are based on how they will interact with the dimensions of the space and subsequently influence the way in which the viewer interacts and experiences the piece. So in that way, the physical constraints of the space are the inspiration. My goal is always to have multiple very specific and unique perceptual or sensory experiences going on in the same piece. The elements accumulate or meld in to each other to make for a total experience for the viewer.

K+H: What determines your use of color which is very bold and saturated
A.S.: The goal for the color is to have each work with another to create very particular optical effects. I am interested in overwhelming the viewer to some extent. I introduce less saturated colors like the robin's egg blue and light pink as well as the neutral tans to offset the intensity of the colors like the red, orange, yellow and teal. The color is really calculated to get multiple color interactions happening at once or at specific intervals. The idea of totally enclosing the viewer in a relatively small room seemed sort of aggressive to me and it felt to appropriate to have the color sync up with that idea.

K+H: Is this an ephemeral piece: once it is taken down that is the last of it aside from photo documentation?
A.S.: Yes, it will all vanish over the course of two days of painting. For the first time, I am working to have the piece documented in both photo and video. The initial documentation of the piece through photography seemed to miss the real experience of being in the room and I would like to attempt to capture that in a stronger way.

K+H: What is the average length of time that you spend on a piece and what is your process, if you are able to share?
A.S.: I had about a year of lead time for this piece and the preparatory drawings came immediately after knowing the date of the show. I sketch and do a lot of color swatching which serves as research for the piece. I also work on other pieces concurrently, especially works on paper that inevitably inform some of the color choices or pattern structure. I need to have more than one thing going on at a time in my studio. It enables me to take breaks from some ideas. I also make really crude and basic models of the specific spaces to see how things look, but despite this kind of preparation, it always changes during the installation process as the work becomes full scale. This can be both really exciting and totally terrifying because I have a finite amount of time to process and respond to these changes.

K+H: I am familiar with your work and I have seen it evolve. At what point did you want your work to become part of the interior architecture that it is/was installed in?
A.S.: I had been wanting to describe an experience or a get a perceptual effect in some of my previous work and finally became dissatisfied with the work being descriptive of an experience and wanted it to really be that experience. At this point it seemed natural to work on a larger scale. Now the imagery is fused with the architecture, dissolving the boundary between object and environment to create an immersive perceptual experience for the viewer. Additionally, I have always used repeat patterning and it seemed that I was carefully dividing up space in my paintings the same way one would organize imagery to fit in to repeat. Similarly, it seemed a natural extension of that process to divide up a physical space.

K+H: Do you see your work moving to the exterior of an architectural structure?
A.S.: Right now, there is something really important to me about the viewer's experience being one that is enclosed and controlled. This piece in particular really struck a cord with me in that way. The outside world is very intentionally absent from my work. I really strive to have the experience in the piece be its own world. I am not sure if that experience would be available if the work was outside, but never say never. It would certainly be an amazing opportunity to think in a new way.

Additional comments by Anne: I wanted to take advantage of the nearly square dimensions of the room and challenge myself to make the space feel smaller when the viewer is standing facing the main wall with the tiered squares. I feel that in this position, the back wall feels really close to the viewer's back. I also attempted to make the room feel much longer when you stand facing any of the striped walls. Also, through the patterning and the arrangement of the elements, I hope to influence the way the viewer moves through the space. The position of the door generally sends people to the left when they enter and they walk toward the main wall, they move from left to right as the squares step down from left to right and then push out into horizontal stripes.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Long Live Sister Parish...

At long last I FINALLY received the May issue of Vogue yesterday. It was the spread on Sarah Jessica Parker, a.k.a. Carrie Bradshaw, that I was looking forward to. However, it was the Nostalgia piece by Christopher Petkanas on page 108 that determined today's Kelly + Horne posting, "House Rules."

Mr. Petrkanas' reminisces about his time back in 1992 with the legendary American decorator Sister Parish to prepare for the very first book to be written about her work. Mr. Petrakanas does not mention the title of the book in the article, but I can only assume that it is the highly covetted book, Parish-Hadley: Sixty Years of American Design,that he is referring.

The article immediately made me think of the image above which I tore out of an old issue of House and Garden (miss you!) that I have been hanging on to. The fabric in the background is Chou Chou by Sister Parish Design. I just love, love, love it and the the look and feel of this image. I can see an entire room decorated around this image as inspiration. It is fabulous. It is crisp, clean, with graphic impact and utterly stylish.

You too can get a piece of the Sister Parish look: her granddaughter Susan Bartlett Crater and protégé Libby Cameron founded Sister Parish Design making her fabrics and wallpapers available to the public. Additionally, the two have published a book, Sister Parish Design: On Decorating.

Now I cannot stop thinking about that print...not only do I love the design I love the name...Chou Chou...

Images: Vogue (May 2010), House and Garden

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Highlight: Area Home

Along the Delaware River sits Lambertville, NJ, once a manufacturing town is now a quaint and artsy town which hosts antique shops, artisan boutiques, cafes, and restaurants all nestled along picturesque streets made up of lovely Victorian homes and former mills.

Located on the second floor of a former factory you will find a little jem of a place called Area Home. In establishment for eight years, but in its new location for just under a year, Area Home is a well-edited selection of furniture, lighting, objects d’art, with a scattering of stylish books, and is run by its lovely proprietor, Lori Johnson.

The space has maintained the original character of its former life – first a factory that made spokes for horse drawn carriages and then a Ford Model-T showroom – keeping the exposed beams and wood plank flooring. The brick walls have been given fresh coat of white paint. Behind the customer service desk is a fresh green backdrop with the store’s logo and name that is one and the same in crisp white lettering. The simplicity of the space showcases the store’s offerings that have been arranged in lovely vignettes throughout.

Area Home carries lighting by Jamie Young, porcelain by Middle Kingdom, upholstered furniture by Cisco Brothers, to name a few...

Disclaimer: You will have to pardon the not so great images which were taken with my iPhone. Truthfully, photography has never been my strong suit.

Sunday, April 18, 2010 the pool....

With warm summer fun just around the corner I seem to be thinking about vacation spots a lot lately. However, the places I have been thinking of are not anywhere near where I am actually going this summer which is New Hampshire. The vacation spots I keep thinking of are in warm locales with a pool and a very cool vibe. Coincidentally they all seem to be places designed by, you guessed it, Kelly Wearstler. If you cannot deduce from this and a previous posting, I am a fan.

Back in the late 1990's she had designed the Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills, pictured througout this post, which was a dilapidated hotel originally built in the 1940's. Her application of mid-century design throughout the space basically soared her to design stardom.

If you happened to have read the third of issue of Lonny Magazine, then you are aware that Ms. Wearstler has gone in and given the space another facelift in honor of the hotel's 10-year anniversary. Although the space still maintains that mid-century design feel which is very modern, there are elements that I think resemble the Memphis Movement: such as the ceramic sculptures Wearstler included in the space as seen above.

Above are just a couple of before and after pictures showing comparisons of the changes. In the cabanas a graphic pattern has been applied to the walls, the arched lamp that was previously in the cabanas has now been replaced with the Arco lamp, and all of the furniture has been replaced with new lounge pieces. In the restaurant the Platner chairs are still grooving their mid-century vibe. A graphic pale blue and white pattern has been applied to the ceiling. The bar back which was previously covered in wood is now covered in Cippolino marble and the terrazzo flooring is still intact.

Don't get me wrong, I am sooo excited about my vacation in New Hampshire this summer, but I definitely think that a vacation in a Wearstler-designed hotel is in the future...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Thinking Pink by the Poolside...

The other day I was in Barneys New York and I stumbled upon this fantastic colored acrylic tray in a diamond pattern. It made me stop in my tracks and my mind sent me sitting poolside sipping cocktails served on this tray.

The setting: A scene right out of a Slim Aarons photograph as shown here from his book A Wonderful Time: An Intimate Portrait of the Good Life.

The cocktail: "In-the-Pink Drink" A cocktail I have been wanting to try at home after having seen the recipe in the April issue of Traditional Home.

In-the-Pink Drink (Recipe by Heather Christothoulou)
6 cups ruby red grapefruit juice
1 cup pomegranate juice
1 cup ice-cold vodka
Fresh mint sprigs

Fill large pitcher half way with ice. Add 6 cups grapefruit juice, pomegranate juice, vodka, and some fresh mint leaves. Stir to mix. Serve in chilled glasses. Garnish with mint sprig. Makes 8 servings.

Note: For nonalcoholic version, omit grapefruit juice and vodka. Replace with 7 cups raspberry lemonade. Combine as directed.

Sadly, the tray is no longer available in pink, but comes in citrusy yellow, cool grey, and faux tortoiseshell.

Although I won't have the pink acrylic tray, or the pool for that matter, perhaps this weekend I can still put on my mixologist's apron...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Turquoise and Lacquer...!?!...

I did not have time to put together a well thought out post this morning. This image is a shot of Club 50 Lounge at the Viceroy Miami designed by the fabulous Ms. Kelly Wearstler. Check out the settee...Turquoise and Lacquer! I adore it!

I am questioning the guy's choice in pants though...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Lacquer Love...

I know it is everywhere, but I cannot help it. I LOVE lacquer. With lacquer's slick surface and in a bright hue, it is like a big piece of candy in a room. Love it.

Here are just a few examples of some pieces I am adoring...

The turquoise chest is from an old issue of, I think, Elle Decor (I cannot remember which issue). I have been hanging on to this image for some time and have done nothing with it until now. I love the combination of a lacquer shell paired with stained wood drawer fronts.

The NEW Traditionalists have come out with a great line of furniture and I am crazy about the Savannah Changer/Dresser. They have dazzled the drawer fronts with hot pink and kept the shell and legs in its natural wood state warming it up with a bit of finish.

Lastly, the Lacquer Tray Table from Jonathan Adler which is available in five colors. This is a great table when in pairs. Check out his site for other lacquer pieces from large to small he has it all.

Now I just need to convince A. that we need to have a turquoise lacquer chest in our home....

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I literally gasped when I opened to this page in a recent issue of
Town and Country. I believe it was from the issue with Rose Byrne on the cover. I usually do not read T&C, but I was in the airport and wanted to take a look at some jewelry I will never own.

Lately I have been into the color combination of Pink, Yellow and Orange, so this picture jumped at me. With the inclusion of the color Green (a favorite of mine) and the contrast of the black details on the shoes, this image is fabulous!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Very first post....

Settee...for me....

As a textile designer, I adore pattern and color. I have a background in interior design as well so I am obsessed with looking at images of interiors and I am always fantasizing about designing and redecorating. However, my husband, who will be referred to as "A.", and I are not quite yet owners of our own home. Therefore my imaginary home looks amazing (also referred to as "my virtual house" among friends and family) while our rental townhouse is okay for now and I have done the best I can to reflect our taste. Although A. would say it reflects my taste and not so much his...I guess turquoise, pink, coral, green and orange would not be his preferred palette.

For my virtual house I have been totally obsessed lately with getting a vintage settee like the very first settee pictured which I found on Craigslist. It has great potential, but sadly there is no space for me to take it in. Can't you imagine upholstering it in a saturated color like the hot pink one above or with some gorgeous print like the Louisa Settee currently available through Anthropologie (also pictured)? If anyone lives in the Philadelphia area and is in want of a settee, I hope it is still available for you. If you are the lucky person who gets your hands on it and want some advice on what to upholster it in, I would be glad to chime in. It is a blank canvas waiting for some color!

Hot Pink Settee - found on Absolutely Beautiful Things blog