Sunday, May 17, 2015

Kips Bay Showhouse 2015 ~ part 1


Walking thru the doors of a Kips Bay Showhouse is always special.  You know you are in for a treat, and this year on the Kips Bay organization's 100 year anniversary it is no exception.

 Jamie Drake's foyer grabbed our attention as soon as we stepped over the threshold.

Its dark wine walls mixed with Japanese mica is magical.  The furniture was few but strong, important, and held the space.  The cloud-like lighting floating below a beautiful blue lacquered ceiling are by Ayala Serfaty.

I kinda fell in love with the kitchen.  Never more just a utilitarian space, the design and execution were sublime.  Christopher Peacock's mastery of finely outfitted kitchens is well known. The Tanners Brown, low luster, Farrow and Ball paint was intriguing.  It took on the look of dark brown to charcoal to deep plum as the light changed around the room.  His hand brushed brass hardware was a nice counterpart to the other surfaces; throw in a live edge anything and I am "hooked."


Akdo tiles in Balmoral Plaid are a fashionable nod to classic tailoring and warm the hearth behind the stove.  Dacor appliances were featured.  Their smart technology oven is the 1st of its kind.  Synced with your iPhone, you can control its features remotely.  I don't know about you, but there have been so many times I wished I could pre heat my oven while I was still out.

 I realized I have been living without a Nespresso drawer which I will have to rectify immediately!

 I immediately recognized Christopher Guy's furniture gracefully outfitting the eat in area.


Bennett Leifer, one of Traditional Home's "rising star's" created a jewel of a space.  Organic in nature, the lounge packs maximum drama in minimum square footage.  Between the deGourney metallic paper with matching sheers (new to the company), crystal lighting and artful accessories, it is a nice respite from all the cooking you would undoubtedly would be doing (or your professional chef will be doing.)


Ascending the back stairs you are whisked  away from the Upper East Side to the Crystal Palace in Pakistan.   An Escapist Retreat by the girls of Tilton Fenwick, who's  pattern on pattern style and color palette always delight, features their fabric from Duralee.  This small space packs a big punch, These ladies are on fire....


Mark D. Sikes created a cheerful, layered look with equal mix of opulence and casual, Mark was inspired by Italian style icon Marcella Agnelli and features his rattan furniture collection with the British company Sloane.  It's meant to feel timeless and fun. "Nobody wants a stuffy dining room anymore."


I loved the traditional style mixed with the more contemporary paintings by Harry Cushing above the antique chests.

The Princess and the Pea bedroom by Cathy Kincaid began with the bone inlaid bed from John Rosselli & Associates.  This richly layered bedroom, with a document wall covering is seeped in beauty and tradition that also has an escapist quality to it.


Nobody does embroidery better than Penn & Fletcher.

Phillip Mitchell of Toronto created a gallery landing featuring much from his personal collection.  The space is an homage to his mother who recently passed away.  She loved toile and this Mulberry wallpaper is at once deeply meaningful, soft, contemporary. and a good neutral background for all the great art.


Stop back for part 2

Photos: *Rafael Quirindongo, ** Bruce Buck via NY Times, all others CLI

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Shine Bright Like A Diamond

I saw a photo of an interior space on Instagram and hanging on the wall above a sofa was this 5 foot round diamond painting.  I think my heart skipped a beat.  I commented and asked who's work it was.  I never heard back.  Then, in a twist of fate, the artist was revealed to me in The Sunday New York Times.

French painter, conceptual artist, architect, sculptor, director Mathieu Mercier wants us to look at everyday objects in a new way.  But when the everyday objects are such things of beauty, and not paper towels and trash we throw out, like the artist I featured here who was exhibiting at The Aspen Art Museum, we tend to linger a little longer, love a little deeper.  These are objects that resonate from a duel point of view.  They act equally as a representation of a diamond as well as an abstraction in and of themselves.

Mathieu is interested in starting a dialogue between early 20th century art and design icons and contemporary mass produced items.  It forces us to examine consumerism and the intersection of abstractionism and architecture (in some of his work).

“Society is responsible for the imagination I have, it’s just that I’m looking at things and I see what’s missing in between."

I don't know about all that.  I just see these and think:  STUNNING!

The Denis Gardarin Gallery happens to be staging a solo exhibition of Mathieu's "Diamants 2015" featuring 7 paintings never before seen at Skylight at Moynihan Station (the new home of NY fashion week) in the historic James A. Farley post office from May 13th to May 16th.  The gallery often stages shows in unexpected, "non traditional" venues.  The idea behind staging it there, which is currently not a public space, represents "a diamond in the rough."

Diamonds don't come cheap, but they are always a good investment!

photos: Denis Gardarin Gallery

Monday, May 4, 2015

Travel Inspired Color Palette

I was specking paint for a client and wandered upon Pittsburgh Paints.  They teamed up with designer Vicente Wolf  for The Voice of Color Program.  Vicente is a perfect choice for partnership because he has been long known for his deft use of color (however subtle), and is always inspired by his world wide travel and global awareness.  Wolf's wanderlust has spawned several books and many a collaboration.  He also shops the world and shares his treasures in his shop VW Home.

Color, more than any other element in a room has the ability to move you.  It evokes any emotion you want to convey, however subtle or strong.  Change the color, change the mood.  I love how Pittsburgh Paints market their products.  Even if you are not in need of paint, it's interesting to see Vicente's inspiration; where the color originally came from, how it can be used in a realistic way, and suggested colors to incorporate with it.  That takes all the guess work out for do it yourselfers.  You get a fail proof, warmly layered color palette at your fingertips.

Red sandstone in India inspires a warm, unexpected pop of color in a bedroom.  Neutrals keep it from looking cartoonish.

Jaisalmer, India is called The Golden City because of the sifting sands that take on a yellow hue.  This is a beautiful choice for the person that wants color but may be a bit intimidated.

 Burma is rich in gems and stones such as jade.  Vicente uses these complex blues and blue greens a lot for their chameleon like quality.  They are nurturing and have a softness that are always inviting.

The warm whites from Greek and Roman influences in Spain inform a majority of Vicente's neural rooms; a look he is known for.  His mastery of "the mix" creates a sophisticated and warm environment within this palette.

Vicente sees the beauty of the blacks and taupes in the historic city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands as graphic and expressing a certain prowess.

As the day shifts from morning to night so does the color you see, changing from light to dark as well as cool and/or  warm.

Vicente's perfect white is #581-1.  True white is nearly impossible to master so once you find one that works, stick with it.

The mercurial nature of the changing hue of blue dominates much of Uzbekistan architecture and is so easy to live with.

The shifting color of greige witnessed in the Ottoman and Byzantine historic sights of Istanbul transcends time and place when mixed together for a modern lifestyle made easy.

Varanasi India is one of the world's oldest inhabited cities.  The blue grays inspire a tonal neutral that help establish a depth of field.

The French have a subtle way of using color beautifully. The sunset in the city of light inspired the purple palette.

There are so many afferent cultures when traveling thru Africa that they each have their own identity. Vicente thinks of agriculture and the verde greens from Mali.

 Each paint company with their own "recipe" create subtle or complex colors, from company to company color is not just color!  Certainly, I don't know of any with their own back story.  I like that.

ph: Pittsburg Paints, Vicente Wolf