Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fancying Flat Weaves

Maybe it's the heat, maybe it's my need for change, maybe I am smitten because a beach house project has me searching for "something else, something new," but I have fallen for flat weave rugs.  They were never really on my radar.  I always gravitated towards the flat weaves plush, high pile counterpart, but I am feeling adventurous.

They feel crisp and contemporary (even in a most traditional pattern).  They are as practical as they are beautiful.  You can turn them over to double the life span of the rug.  With a plethora of design options,  Navajo, oriental, geometric, stripe, in bold, fun colors, or a natural neutral, the looks are limitless!

Flat weave rugs are usually tightly woven from cotton and/or wool.  The ease of cleaning makes them a perfect option for homes with pets, kids, or allergy sufferers!

I am really excited to choose a fun rug for my beach house project.  The hard part is always deciding between all the wonderful options.

Flat weave rug photos courtesy of Studio Four NYC  along with Merida, Dash and Albert,  Serena and Lily and Madeline Weinrib : these are some of my favorite resources.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Walk with Me: Coconut Grove,FL

I am wrapping up decorating a home in Coconut Grove, FL.  The house was sold and the owners are relocating.  We weren't quite done, but the best laid plans…

I am completely smitten with the area.  Every time I wander past the lawn I have to have my GPS on, because the neighborhood is a maze of narrow winding roads overgrown with flora and fauna.

As a matter of fact, Coconut Grove is the oldest. modern, continuously inhabited neighborhood in Miami.  "The Grove" is lush with vegetation, alive with lizards, and peacocks reign!  Often I see them roaring the streets, but not this day.  I heard them, though.  They sound like cats in distress, I kid you not.

Every nook and cranny holds interest to me.  Every path or gate begs the question, "What's beyond?"
I hope I did not alarm the neighbors as I trolled the streets with my camera.  I was so inspired; loving the greenery and the wild, tropical, residential feel of it all.

Many native plants and trees create living privacy screens, so it was really hard to see all the interesting homes, but I persevered!

Classic Spanish Mediterranean abodes felt at home in the location


An homage to the famous mascot that calls The Grove home

I am sure it takes much work to create the natural landscape that looks like it has evolved over many,many years

Some trees ~ pregnant with stag horn ferns

The perfect tree swing hung below; an idyllic setting, a romantic respite.
I understand "Meet The Fockers" was filmed in The Grove.

My curiosity peeked at the sight of this Asian inspired property, Kampong, part of the Fairchild Botanical Garden, but the trees put me over the edge.  I think it's a Banyan tree, but I have never seen anything like this.  If you know ~ do tell.

The long wavy strands of almost ombre colored branches were otherworldly, especially when surrounded by the mist that had settled after a sudden rain.  I wish I could have color captured it better; the hanging vines or branches looked as if they were glowing.

Foo Dogs stood sentry over a slightly more humble but no less interesting residence

I twist and wind thru the streets...

… like the roots and branches of the trees and shrubs that call The Grove home

 British Colonial homes are equally appropriate in the tropical oasis

I saw modern day tree houses 

I love the assemblage of objects greeting guests at this front door, and the warm terra cotta color is welcoming as well.

I played the game, what kind of house would I want if I lived here?  I chose a hybrid of many of the homes I saw and came up with a Mediterranean Modern.

I love the color blocking going on here.  I am sure the owner planned that red car in just the right position.  Attention to detail: I like it.

I'm gonna miss this charming place, but feel lucky I had the opportunity to experience it!

Under the heading of write it down, make it happen:  I am interested in creating a bigger presence in  South Florida.  Despite the heat and humidity, my love of travel married with my love of decorating = perfect pairing.  Plus, my kids are there,what's a mother to do?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Making a Classic Modern

 The Philadelphia Museum of Art is a treasure, not only amongst Philadelphians, but nationally.  We're not all Rocky steps, great food, and attitude.  This grand lady is very much a part of the fiber of Philadelphia with a history worthy of revitalization and a legacy meaningfully moving into the future.  The museum's reputation for top tier exhibitions and an impressive collection of works is recognized by art aficionados world wide.  
The problem with our little Philly gem is just that:  size.  We need more space.

Enter Frank Gehry.  Currently Frank Gehry's exhibition "Making a Classic Modern" is a visual display of Mr. Gehry's comprehensive ideas to expand the museum in several phases without altering the museum (too much).  The neoclassic landmark is impressively perched at the end of the Ben Franklin Parkway; an iconic building anchoring an iconic Philadelphia landmark.  Mr. Gehry was asked to create something "symphonic in spirit" that would rival his beauty in Bilbao, Spain, but quieter and mostly underground.  He said he liked the idea of flying under the radar.  Ha!


 With a new logo and an additional 80,000 square feet of clean, modern space added to the existing building, again, mostly underground, our little lady is growing up.  There will be extensive interior changes, namely to the great stairs.  A vaulted area that has long been closed to visitors will be opened up to hold events.  Changes will be made to the way visitors approach  the building and move within its walls.  

 the pièce de résistance ~

Gehry’s idea: Build a sunken seating area in the middle of the steps with a window peeking into the art galleries.
Museum-goers can look out at the city, and stair climbers can look in. However, not everyone is in favor of this bold plan.  Those steps are famous in their own right, but we need to think about and respect the future of this architectural treasure, the city and all that it embodies.

 "When it's done, people coming to this museum will have an experience that's as big as Bilbao. It won't be apparent from the outside, but it will knock their socks off inside", says Mr.Gehry.


ph:3,5,6 renderings via Gehry Partners,LLC