Nod to Mod at NYDC What’s New, What’s Next

Atelier at the New York Design Center

Atelier at the New York Design Center

I recently attended the “What’s New What’s Next” event at the New York Design Center and what’s next isn’t what’s new at all! It seems that what is next is a nod to Mod, as in Mid Century Modern furnishings. My blog post, The Case For Mid-Century Modern, touted my mad love for this iconic style and why I feel it has such a broad appeal. The pieces in the showrooms at the design center encompassed original “vintage modern” along with new designs that pay homage to the sleek lines and chic shapes that define the style. This new breed of Mod, I like to think of as Millennial Mod or New Century Modern, combines those iconic shapes with organic elements, glamor and glitz.

Phillips Collection at New York Design Center

Phillips Collection at New York Design Center

Phillips Collection at New York Design Center

Phillips Collection at New York Design Center

The Phillips Collection shows earthiness with some great animal references.  I also love the mix of rustic wood and shiny metal.

Fred Flintsone meets George Jetson, and they get along.

Studio A NYDC

Studio A NYDC

Studio A NYDC

Studio A NYDC

Studio A mixes the clean lines of mid century with both golden glitz and earthy notes. The golden shine is so inviting! The collection of handmade bowls and metallic pillows on the modern sofa create an eclectic but sophisticated and well balanced space.

Carrasco large scale chaise

Carrasco large scale chaise

I love large scale and Raul Carrasco was full of big, modern pieces. The large pale pink chaise shows that the collection, although large in scale, radiates both style and grace.

Bakes and kropps at NYDC

Bakes and kropps at NYDC

A kitchen display at Bakes and Kropp really caught my attention. With clean lines but so much attention to detail, it’s a look that would work with modern chic and also rich pre-war architecture.

Design Lush showroom at NYDC

Design Lush showroom at NYDC

Design Lush is one of my favorite showrooms from social media. The current collection shows outrageous LED twinkly wallpaper, beautiful sculptural accent lamps and luxuriously finished pieces. The artful accents are particularly notable.

The New Traditionalists NYDC  showroom

The New Traditionalists NYDC showroom

 

The New Traditionalists know how to throw a party NYDC #WNWN

The New Traditionalists know how to throw a party NYDC #WNWN

The New Traditionalists showroom has a colorful, glamorous vibe. During the event the space felt like a nightclub. The bar was packed with design lovers of all kinds and signature cocktails were flowing.

Vladimir Kagan Couture New York Design Center showroom

Vladimir Kagan Couture New York Design Center showroom

Vladimir Kagan Couture New York Design Center showroom

Vladimir Kagan Couture New York Design Center showroom

The pieces at Vladamir Kagan Couture are truly inspired. I learned that Vladimir himself is one of the original furniture innovators of the Modern Movement. The current collection has a multilevel sectional, the likes of which I have never seen before. It is no surprise these iconic designs have held their audience since 1946! So What’s New, What’s Next? It seems that what’s old is new again and Mid Century Modern is definitely in style.

UPCYCLING….. Don’t Trash That Yet!

would be trash about to become something lovely

would be trash about to become something lovely

Upcycle is a catchy new word I really love. According to dictionary.com, it means to process (used goods or waste material) so as to produce something that is often better than the original. I am always inspired when I see artisanal furniture created from reclaimed wood and fabulous lamps made from old woodwind instruments but had never really thought about how to reuse materials from my own job sites.  While working on the remodel facelift of a kitchen in an old Long Island estate house, my client looked at the pile of rubbish cabinets we were creating and said, “You know, it’s too bad we can’t use those for something. Too bad we couldn’t find a way to make a sideboard out of all of that instead of ordering something…..” As the words were coming out of her mouth, I grabbed my pencil and sketchpad and started to draw. I had an idea to create a dish pantry in her breakfast room and she loved it. A talented carpenter, some new molding and a coat of paint and Voila! Our beautiful upcycled dish pantry gave what would have been a pile of junk new life.

up cycle 2

up-cycled piece

 

Handcrafted Feels Good

California Faucets buffing-spout

I had the pleasure of visiting the Corvette factory in Bowling Green, Kentucky a while back and it made a big impression on me. I was amazed at how many hands actually touched the car! Automation is utilized but the car is actually hand assembled by people taking great pride in their work. Watching as the energy in all those hands touched each car gave me a real feel good sense and also made me think of the car as more worthy of the sticker price.

I like to find handcrafted items for my clients when working on their homes. Finding affordable original art and handcrafted furnishings and rugs are key to my designs. I also love the idea of handcrafted quality in those items we take for granted like light fixtures and plumbing ware. Surprisingly, there are handcrafted faucets made right here in the USA. The products made by California Faucets give me that handcrafted feel good sense I love to incorporate into my work. Here is a quick take on their hands on approach.

http://www.calfaucets.com/video/the-2-minute-custom-faucet

Here’s to hoping you are inspired to add some handcrafted items in your home that give you that “feel good” vibe!

Corvette living the dream

The Case For Mid-Century Modern

Cabana Bay Resort, Universal Studios. Orlando, Florida

Cabana Bay Resort, Universal Studios. Orlando, Florida

While on a brief trip to the Cabana Bay resort at Universal Studios, in Orlando, Florida, I realized the how and why of my love for Mid-century modern. To my 52 year old mind, it is the nostalgic stuff of my avant-garde trendsetting artist grandmother, Cornelia, or Gramma Lella as I loved to call her.  As a designer, I see it as iconic, clean lines that work so well with vibrant color, art, book collections, musical instruments and all sorts of eclectic “accumulations”. To the youthful minds of some 20-somethings I was with, it is just plain fun. Noteworthy from a period in American history that introduced tv commercials and mass production.

A few years ago I designed a kitchen for an old friend. She loved it so much that she wanted to keep the updating going. Next was the living room. As I started to examine the old Danish modern love-seat and chair set that had been attacked over the years by several cats, she blurted out… “Oh, no! Those are going!” Not so fast, I thought. Sure, there was stuffing sticking out and the fabric hadn’t seen a good day in years but the frames were fabulous. Sleek, teak wood in a natural finish and such graceful lines! So I started my case for Mid-century Modern.

I started to gush all things Mid-century modern. How it is an iconic style recognized by the MoMA, how the clean lines and simple shapes actually trace to Bauhaus Modernism, c1919 and how the revolutionary concepts taught in that art school were embraced in the 1920′s by Kaare Klinte, a young European who combined modern art forms, fine furniture craftsmanship and an ergonomic sense to start the Danish modern movement. I rattled on about how it is a classic, how it could never go to the trash heap, how I would lovingly rescue it with help from some loving re-upholsterers…. As I pleaded the case, she interrupted with a smile and said, “Honestly, I have always loved it! I figured these pieces were too old and ruined and you wouldn’t like them. I was going to let them go because this is what you do and maybe it was time for a change…” I smiled back, telling her, NOPE! We would give them new life! And we did!

The funny thing is, the true Bauhaus style Danish Modern that inspired the American Mid Century Modern style actually born in the 1930s are becoming legitimate antiques. Add another design oxymoron to the mix. Post-Modern as in “after modern” and now vintage modern and modern antiques! With such a wealth of style options to choose from, we are living in a time when anything goes. Why consider Mid-Century modern with such a wealth of styles to choose from? Because a mid-century modern space with the right scale and some fabulous color will draw the eye, invite you in, keep you comfortable and inspire some good conversation. I rest my case.

The Right Rug

imageFinding the right area rug for a lovely Hamptons living room took me a while. A full day of watching as rug after rug after rug was peeled back from the pile and hoping against hope that the next one would be it….. but no….
It needed to be a perfect blend of a specific color palette I was working in,  have a large but soft pattern and a luxurious hand loomed quality.
The end of the day was nearing and I was looking at the bottom of yet another pile when the shop owner went the extra mile to open something that had just come in and… It was perfect! The right colors, a soft pattern and a real quality look and feel. The right rug can be a focal point at times but mostly I am looking for something to enhance a mood without making that bold a statement. Something that is harmonious with the fabrics, wall treatments and art and calmly anchors the room. Something that draws you in but doesn’t hold the eye.
This beautiful rug is from the fine folks at Peykar in Westbury, New York, and the client and I find it to be exactly the right rug.

My Fascination With Running Water

9190_pc_mosaicWhile on a recent trip to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, I became infatuated with all the cascading waterfalls in the huge atria that make the place a landmark destination. I realized how inspired I am by running water.  I really love the sound it makes and the shiny reflective movement.

I try to find some way to honor that sensuous sound and soothing feel when I do a bath design so incorporating the Styledrain from California Faucets is a natural. The options for a simple tile-in square that let’s the water cascade in from all sides to “stylish” square covers with artistic patterns really enhance the look of a shower.

A few of my current projects incorporate these interesting pieces as it is truly the attention to detail that make a project special. I am also a proponent of using dual drains when implementing curbless showers for easy access universal design. A square piece below the main shower head and a linear one at the shower threshold. The linear drains are a great looking way to transition floor tile and keep any stray water from cascading into the rest of the bathroom.

Good looks and good sense all around. I encourage you to give the drain a second thought when planning your next bath remodel so here is a link to these award winning drain designs. http://www.calfaucets.com/video/styledrain-tile-the-best-drain-you-ll-never-see

Until next time….

 

What Do Your Furnishings Say About You?

Companions Of Pan table by NickDavisArt.com

Companions Of Pan table by NickDavisArt.com

 

I have always enjoyed perusing the artistic furnishings at ICFF ( International Contemporary Furniture Fair) but this year I found something really special. I found the mythical creature Pan, courtesy of Nick “the bronze” Davis. This incredible table is a true piece of functional art. I believe that good design inspires conversation. I believe that your furnishings say something about you and I know I would love the owner of this whimsical table. I believe that handcrafted furnishings nurture the soul of the user and meeting the artisan was a real pleasure. My unabashed enthusiasm inspired him to show me a chess set filled with armies of mythical creatures that also really captivated me! What could be more fun than playing chess with these incredible pieces? When you touch them you really feel them. This chess set or table would really make a statement in a room. So I ask you to ask yourself what your furnishings say about you. I hope it’s something special.

Chess Set NIckDavisart.com

Photos courtesy of NIckDavisArt.com

White Set

The “Magic Box” We Commonly Call The Oven

Great neck cottage 1As a kid I was obsessed with magicians and magic tricks. Alacazam!! and the rabbit disappears in the hat…. Alacazoo!!!! and a bauble appears in what was an empty hand. I was amazed. As an adult, I am still obsessed with what I consider a certain magic although it can also be explained as technology. I consider appliances, especially ovens, to be magic boxes of a very special sort. Allacazam! I shout to my grandson as I put the gooey egg mixture in the oven. Alacazzoooom!!! I shout this time, 16 minutes later when a perfect cheese soufflé emerges from the magic box we commonly call the oven. “Wow, look what happened!” he says as I did back when I was a kid. Ovens were magic back then. Now, although totally explainable they are still magic to me, nonetheless. Todays’ breed of appliances is even more amazing with the introduction of steam as well as the convection I have come to love. Although I love the cooktop and wall oven arrangement above, my current favorite “magic box” is the Pro Grand Steam range from Thermador.photo 2 This 48″ magic box includes seven cooking options. All of them are impressive and sure to thrill the home chef. I love this piece because everything is in easy reach for my “cooking station”. The built in warming drawer can warm my plates or allow my cauliflower gratin to stay moist and serving temperature while I’m searing steaks and my rosemary biscuits are magically rising in the conventional oven with convection option. The steam oven can be used to quickly make healthy meals from fresh wholesome ingredients without the need for added fats and oils. The steam oven can also be used for proofing. A nice feature for home bakers. The griddle option is perfect that leisurely Sunday morning pancake breakfast, warming drawer so useful for warming plates or keeping the pancakes just perfect so everyone can eat together. All in all, I find the amount of cooking versatility built into 48″ to be a pretty magical thing. Cooking appliances are where I start when planning your magical dream kitchen. The rabbit and top hat are optional!

Fifty Shades of… Nope! Not Grey

50 Shades of… Nope! Not Grey… (or The Glory of Gold)
You would have had to be marooned on a desert island  for a few years if you haven’t  heard all the buzz about “50 Shades of Grey”. The book, the coming movie, the spoofs and parodies are all over the media.
Well, what about “50 Shades of Gray”?  I adore pewter-y paint colors and finishes, carrera and statuary marble, silver leaf and deep grey chenille and velvet. Gray has been the in trend and I have done some beautiful gray kitchens and baths over the last few years. As for general thoughts on the color gray? I do not love gray days. I find gray to be the color of fog and depression. Other than being used as a soft backdrop to a vibrant life,  to me, shades of gray read non-committal in a world of vivid color and the glorious contrast of black and white.
So why am I concentrating on 50 Shades of Gold? Well, because I like it better.
Gold is the color of sunshine and kings. Gold says regal and queenly. Gold is the color of warmth and comfort. Gold is the color of the perfect French fry or caramelized onion. Fields of golden wheat attest to goodness. Gold is the bounty of pirates. Goldfinger was a very cool movie!  Gold is assigned to the enjoyment of aging as in “golden years”. Yes, I love gold.
Here are my 50 Shades of Gold, curated to add some glamour to your home.
Gold 1-10
                     1    Golden Gate fabric from Richloom
                     2    Easy Health Angel Juicer
                     3    Montecito stemware from ZGallerie
                     4    Diva Dish from Kelly Wearstler
                     5    Mepra “Ice Oro” flatware
                     6    Gold Zebra stacking dish from Jonathan Adler
                     7    Midas Ripple Lamp from John Richard Collection
                     8    Coasters from IndiaMART
                     9    Marc Blackwell Northern Hemisphere Double Old Fashioned Glass
                   10   Alustra blind from Hunter Douglas
Gold 2-20
                   11   Gold subway tile from Susan Jablon Mosaics
                   12   JCovington Design Groovy Metallic Chest JC4068
                   13   Verpan Spiral Pendant
                   14   Donghia Daphne Mirror in 22k gold over carved wood
                   15   Gold striped taffeta pillow from Deborah Main Designs
                   16   World Market mercury glass candle holders
                   17   Aerin gold linen frame
                   18   Astair nesting tables from ZGallerie
                   19   Bath Sensations Starlight Square vanity accessories with Swarovski crystal
                   20   Amber chandelier from Lorin Marsh
gold 21-30
                   21   Bashian Verona rug from Rugs-Abound
                   22   Kadur lighting from Shakuff, Breath Collection
                   23   Gold table from The Paris Apartment Boutique
                   24   Table Art Eucalyptus napkin ring
                   25   John Richard Collection gold vase
                   26   Gold frame from L’Objet
                   27   Windisch round gold jar with Swarovski crystal
                   28   Dwell Studio Franklin Media Cabinet
                   29   John Richard Collection tiger glass vases
                   30   Amber crackle stemware from Pier One
Gold 31-40
                   31   Donghia Windowpane gold wallcovering
                   32   Gold pedestal dish from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
                   33   Noritake Crestwood Gold dinnerware
                   34   Gold Leaf vase from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
                   35   Normandy 5 gold bar cart
                   36   Cynthia gold chandelier from Safavieh
                   37   Imports From Marrakesh gold Moroccan pouf
                   38   Gold Lame dinner napkin from Maison 24
                   39   Rex accent table from Safavieh
                   40   Baker Furmniture Nara Chest
gold 41-50
                   41   Reed & Barton Captiva flatware
                   42   Gold glass mosaic tile from Bisazza
                   43   Wall covering from the Phillip Jeffries Glam Grass collection
                   44   Gotas gold leaf armoire by Rotsen Furniture
                   45   Antique gold Branch & Bird Sconces from Dessau Home
                   46   Perch Table lamp- Rose Gold from West Elm
                   47   Gold rug from Macy’s rug collection
                   48   Antique gold Bamboo Float coffee table from Dessau Home
                   49   Cambria Rosslyn sold surface material with beautiful golden flecks
                   50   Fabulous gold faucets from THG Paris

Summing Up Design and Construction Week

show collage 4So what is Design and Construction Week? Let me sum it up with this little equation: Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) + International Builders’ Show (IBS) = Design and Construction Week.

As a new member of the K+BB Editorial Advisory Board, I made my best effort to walk the entire show, seeking out beauty, function and innovation. I really enjoyed the fabulous booths from some of my industry favorites like Kohler, Wellborn, Robern and Brizo. I also loved the retro Merillat kitchen set up as a mid-century modern photo booth. A show highlight for me was finding the booth featuring the Falmec Mare E.Ion hood that I helped to select as winner of the Kitchen Product of the Year in the K+BB Product Innovator Awards. Another highlight came on Thursday morning. During a light drizzle, I took the bus ride out to The 2014 New American Home. The home was fabulous! Although a two story, indoor water fall may not be practical for most of my market, I was inspired to see some stunning wall treatments, innovative outdoor living spaces, beautiful baths and …you guessed it… an open kitchen plan.

Now for my show favorite, and let me say it is true I might be biased in favor of certain lines. I have long been a fan of Thermador . From the introduction of the pro grand range and refrigeration columns through to the steam ovens, coffee systems, and now the frameless induction cooktop series, I have enjoyed showing my foodie clients all that this line has to offer. My unabashed enthusiasm for this appliance company with the tag line “No Dinner Party Too Large”  has actually led to a position on their design council and I couldn’t be more thrilled!

Thermador + Bosch + Caesarstone + Genius Design of Mick de Giulio = One Killer IBS Booth!

So, yes, happily biased, but all that aside, the IBS booth featuring Thermador, Bosch and Caesarstone, designed by Mick de Giulio was amazing! The simple, clean lines, open flow and textural choices were stunning. I especially loved the use of polished steel in one of the Caesarstone countertops. I really enjoyed watching Chef Kyle create the perfect tuna bite on the new induction cooktop with accessory Teppanyaki pan. I enjoyed eating it, too! Relaxing in the lounge area adjoining the functioning kitchen, I took in the Caesarstone presentation of the “House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year Retrospective”. It reinforced all that I believe about kitchen-centric design. I have always felt that open kitchen plans honor the foodie, the entertainer and most simply, the family.

So I will close with this equation: Open Kitchen + Innovative Design + Friends and Family = Good Living!