The moment you’ve all been waiting for is almost here: March 22nd you may purchase the beautiful Charlotte Moss Decorates title from our favorite publishing house Rizzoli. We were lucky enough to snag a review copy and can assure you it is worth the purchase. In the book we are treated to gorgeous photographs of the amazingly layered, perfectly British stylings of this accomplished decorator who has continued to shape the World’s interiors one room at a time. A few favorite spaces include the one featured on the gorgeous cover: a garden room located in a house in Washington. You actually see a before picture that makes one realize that she started out with a bare, white room.
Moss creates atmosphere, charm, and character like no one else. Her gallery style hangings have so influenced other designers, it’s all you see in the magazines. Who else can get away with putting a canopy bed right in the middle of the room, only to then use a plush, over-sized ottoman as a side table. Now that’s chic. You can purchase the book directly from Rizzoli, or buy it on Amazon. Below is a sneak peak as to what’s in store.
In Timeless Elegance: The Houses of David Easton, we are given a rare look at the incredible range this American Interior Designer had. While the book covers everything from a Mexican stucco house to an Aspen residence, our favorite spaces featured here are his Manhattan apartments. Easton was surprisingly eclectic, especially in the urban styling he arranged. Lots of gold leaf, lots of animal prints mixed with classically appointed ticking. Everything has a classic, slightly masculine feel that is inspired.
Below find a sneak peak of some of the beautiful spaces featured.
Story by Cate West Zahl
Ten years ago, there was nothing democratic about the design world. The hierarchy of magazine editor to interior designer to consumer was tightly controlled. Today, everything has changed. If anything, the editor’s relationship with the blogosphere is a symbiotic one. Here, we’ve turned the tables, showing the faces and spaces behind seven exceptional design blogs from around the world. As it turns out, women are on the cutting edge of this phenomenon. Try not to act surprised.
Cassandra LaValle of coco + kelley
Coco + Kelley
Located in Seattle, Cassandra LaValle started Coco + Kelley in 2007 when her best friend persistently sent her links to other blogs. “I had no idea what they were, but I knew I wanted to create a space where I could post and keep track of all my favorite finds from fashion and interior design magazines,” she recalls. And it was the fashion aspect of her blog that caught our eye and the way she merges those disciplines together as well as why she’s a contributing blogger for us. Her aesthetic is feminine and mature, frequently featuring chintz, bright colors, and layered interiors with non-offensive feminine touches. Readers describe it in three words: glamorous, classy, and fun. The three pillars she focuses on are interiors, fashion, and entertaining, with a particular focus on color palettes and trends.
When it comes to her own space, she’s all about the details. “My favorite pieces aren’t large—they’re the little things that make up a room or have a story behind it. Linens brought back from France, my first piece of Hermès china, a gorgeous crystal vase found in a thrift store, my first piece of art—they tell a story and a history. It’s what’s within the walls that matter most. Locations can change, but the pieces remain the same,” says LaValle. Her motto for her Seattle home is “nothing too overdone,” with an emphasis on entertainment, seen in her proper bar setup, casually situated on a two-level white console table. She embraces being a woman in the best possible way, but doesn’t take herself or her brand too seriously. She also recently began her own company, also called Coco+Kelley, which does everything from event planning to interior design. “We do urbane interiors and stylish events for modern sophisticates across the country,” says LaValle. cocokelly.blogspot.com
Francesca Connolly of Remodelista
Julie Carlson of Remodelista
During simultaneous renovations on their living spaces, childhood friends Julie Carlson and Francesca Connolly realized they had collectively amassed a huge amount of information on design files and fixtures. “We shared a reverence for good architecture and have an eerily similar aesthetic—a shared design DNA, we call it,” says Carlson. So in the summer of 2006, they launched Remodelista for those experiencing the renovation process. Today, the blog has over a million monthly visitors. With inspirations such as Ted Meuling and Paola Lenti, it’s no surprise that Connolly describes her home’s aesthetic as “comfortable classic with a bit of glamour.”
Representing the East Coast, Connolly lives in a recently overhauled brownstone in Brooklyn Heights. Carlson, on the other hand, lives in Mill Valley, California, in a shingled bungalow style house. “Perhaps it’s my Swedish heritage, but I’m constantly trying to edit and refine my space,” she admits. Carlson’s heroes include Scandinavian greats such as Marcel Breuer, Eero Saarinen and Walter Gropius. As a result, her house is pared-down and laid back, coinciding with her town’s rustic vibe. While they live on opposite coasts, the duo’s favorite aspects of their homes are outside. For Carlson, she loves her outdoor shower that’s open to the elements. Meanwhile, Connolly appreciates her outdoor porch. “It makes entertaining so easy,” she says, “with just a hint of street life in the background.” remodelista.com
Victoria Smith of SF Girl by Bay
SF Girl by Bay
Back in June of 2006, Victoria Smith was set on having her space featured on the blog Apartment Therapy. She needed a place to store the pictures of her 800-square-foot pad in the Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, and started her own site to do so. Sure enough, AT ran the feature, which led people to visit her blog, so she kept updating it. “Blogging encapsulates my three main loves—design, photography, and writing,” she says. “I find it the perfect creative niche for me.” Her blog is much like her place: bohemian, modern, and crafty. She averages two-to-four posts a day, showcasing everything from scanned Polaroids of local scenes to loft spaces in Amsterdam. Smith’s space is full of her favorite things, including an Art Deco buffet she bought for five dollars and refurbished herself. “I don’t like cookie-cutter, typical catalogy-looking spaces. I like the unexpected, and I’m very inspired by vintage-modern furnishings,” she says. This appetite for quirky finds sets her blog apart. sfgirlbybay.com
Lori Langille of Autmatism
Based in Ottawa, Canada, Lori Langille started Automatism in 2006 for her friends so she could post all the things she came across online. She never dreamed it would be anything more than that, but as people started taking notice (and her traffic started to rise), she decided to go with it. “I gradually became more interested in developing my blog as a little online magazine where I could share my interests with like-minded people. I love the sense of community in the design blog world—I’ve met a lot of truly lovely people through it.”
Unlike the blogs out there with strict themes, Langille’s rule for the type of content she posts is simply whether she likes it or not. “I’m just as interested in writing about art, books, or illustration as I am about interior design. The one common theme is my somewhat minimal aesthetic—I like interiors and art that can breath,” she says. Her tiny apartment in Ottawa—less than 800-square-feet— is flooded with light that “makes up for the lack of room,” she says. Langille’s influences are Charles and Ray Eames and Isamu Noguchi, and when it comes to decorating her space, she focuses more on the feel and less on the stuff. “I do strive for a serene environment where I feel relaxed and creative, which is why I’m drawn to minimalism.” Her all-time favorite piece of hers? “Definitely my set of two Danish teak mid-century chairs and my matching side table that were my grandmother’s,” she says. “My mom gave them to me years ago. I feel so lucky to have them.” lorilangille.blogspot.com
Kim Johnson of Desire To Inspire
Desire to Inspire
It all started on Flickr for founder Kim Johnson and Jo Walker. “We met on the site, as she shared my passion for discovering the most eye-catching interior design photos. We quickly had so much traffic that we realized we could start a blog with the same concept,” recalls Johnson. Currently, Desire to Inspire is the place to find the best interior images online. Devoted to showcasing larger-scale photos of interiors and exteriors, the majority of the content is from the best lensmen in the field, making it a place for both design fan and art lover alike. Johnson lives in Ottawa (along with her seven cats) where she’s a web developer for the Canadian government, and lives in a colorful home with a recently renovated kitchen, her favorite space. “I love how the living room and dining room are now open to each other,” she says. “My kitchen is now a dream, and I love spending time in there and cooking up a storm.” Her favorite home treasure? “It’s a tossup between my white Panton S Chairs and the DIY couch my boyfriend and I built.” desiretoinspire.net
Danielle de Lange of The Style Files
The Style Files
From her stand-alone house in The Netherlands, located 20 minutes away from Amsterdam, Danielle de Lange started The Style Files back in 2006 to document global design. With an emphasis on the Dutch, the blog reflects the author’s day job as an interior sylist and location scout. She’s known for posting sparse, not-so-standard interiors. And her renovated house reflects just that, with a lack of any decoration on the walls, a pile of wood placed in a corner, and an open-layout kitchen. “My design style is basic and modern. My goal is to make a client’s house warm and inviting,” says de Lange. You can buy into her look, too. In 2007, she opened Le Souk, an online store with hard-to-find Danish products. style-files.com
Kris Bernard of Better Living Through Design
Katie Hagar of Better Living Through Design
Better Living Through Design
The premise of BLTD is simple: provide purchasable content and great sources for the modern home—from hard-to-find items to inspirational interiors. It started five years ago when Kris Bernard (top) and Katie Hagar (bottom) met at a party in Dallas and discovered their mutual appreciation for good design. According to Hagar, “BLTD was started in hopes that we could create a resource for items actually available in the ‘click and buy’ sense.” And that’s what BLTD does very well. “The aesthetic we lean towards is modern. Especially anything with an eye towards straight lines and innovative manufacturing techniques or materials,” says Bernard, who teaches architectural drafting. Her interests are focused in design that results in the reduction of cost, space, and environmental impact.
With quirky touches like a Stormtrooper head from Star Wars, a regal gold-leafed colonial mirror, and cartoonish oil paintings, Hagar describes her home’s décor, saying, “I suppose I go for an eclectic mix. I love modern things, but I also like the history of antiques and flea market finds.” Her BLTD partner Bernard lives in Los Angeles and brings the international, European influence to the site that makes the content all the more expansive. Her space is a bit more refined and pared down, with inspirations such as Tom Dixon, Moooi, and, Droog. According to Bernard, her house is “modern, simple, livable and comfortable, but injected with a sense of humor.” betterlivingthroughdesign.com
To see more from these lovely ladies, pick up a copy of our Spring 2010 Issue on newsstands!
In New York’s Chinatown, perched high above the street in a 19th-century industrial loft live architecture couple Solveig Fernlund and Neil Logan. Devoted to collecting mid-century modern souvenirs, the space accommodates the open-plan, live/work environment that suits their personal, verging-on-austere aesthetic. We love the intentional decoration seen in the eclectic collection of art that is casually leaning against the wall or hung in groups. The open shelves in the kitchen allow their china collection to serve as decoration and the floors were painted with grey gloss to reflect light, adding to the airiness of the space. The few pieces of furniture they have are all genuine vintage designs from the likes of Charlotte Perriand, Jean Prouvé and Alvar Aalto. This simple, calm oasis proves that sometimes less really is more.
Photography by VERNE/OWI
To this day, Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill’s legendary live/work complex in Barcelona, Spain remains one of, if not the most impressive examples of adaptive reuse we’ve ever seen. It all started about 35 years ago when the controversial architect discovered an abandoned cement factory comprised of over 30 silos, underground galleries and huge engine rooms. He bought it and began renovation. This included defining the space by demolishing certain structures, cleaning cement, exposing previously concealed forms, and planting various greenery including eucalyptus, palms, olive trees and cypresses. Today, the factory has been successfully transformed into his personal home, as well as a multitude of offices, modeling and archival laboratories, a projection room, and a huge space known as ‘The Cathedral’, which serves as a venue for subsequent exhibitions, lectures, and concerts.
The vast space exemplifies incredible restraint. He hasn’t filled it up with too much stuff; rather the interiors are intentionally appointed with casually slip-covered white sofas, canvas slingback seating, warm oriental rugs and lush leather upholstery. The work areas feature dramatically long conference tables paired with high-tech leather seating. In terms of artwork, beautifully framed architectural prints either hang on the wall or are displayed on wooden easels. The space overall boggles the mind, so much so that we can’t believe it even exists! But it does, and Bofill has this to say about it:
“The factory is a magic place with a strange atmosphere that is difficult to be perceived by a profane eye. I like the life to be perfectly programmed here, ritualized, in total contrast with my turbulent nomad life.”
Photography by Verve
When it comes to beautiful books on interior design, especially monographs, we count on Rizzoli to get our fix. They seem to consistently publish high-quality, dense, picture heavy volumes on all our favorites. Our latest obsession: Jacques Grange Interiors by Pierre Passebon.
The book is singularly focused on legendary French decorator Jacques Grange’s design portfolio from the past four decades. Each page showcases full color photographs of the spaces he’s designed over the years, including Yves Saint Laurent, Princess Caroline of Monaco, and Valentino. It’s so much fun to get lost in each page, studying every little detail in the various rooms. His style is so unique, combing neoclassical, traditional inclinations with the unexpected and, often times, avant-garde. The book also features many close up shots, which reveals his talent for tablescapes, and his ability to capture the essence of his client’s personal taste.
In the meantime, we’ve given you a preview of some of our favorite pages and spreads. Enjoy!
Vicente Wolf has been a major figure in the NYC design world for over 30 years. Known for his layered interiors, Wolf consistently uses neutral color schemes that are accessorized with unique objects from his travels. Today, we want to focus on his amazing loft in New York. Shiny white floors, a free floating bed, lots of art, the combination of gray upholstery and bright yellow accents. What more could you ask for?
At this year’s second New York International Gift Fair, it was all about functional design. In the “Accent on Design” section, the part applicable to us the most, we were overwhelmed by the innovative designs exhibited. Here is a round-up of our favorite, top three participants:
#1 – Moleskine
Just when you think this forward-thinking journal company has reached their creative limits, they present ingenuous product design. Some stand-out new products include a tear away desk calendar (pictured above), the 2010 “Color A Month” Daily Planner box set, extra large folio journals, and the 2010 Pocket Softcover Project Planner that features 54 accordion pages.
This steady favorite of ours specializes in providing a context for designers of all fields to create, develop and produce various high-quality home and lifestyle items. This “publishing house” for designers has resulted in unique accessories that mix form and function, many of which have playful overtones. Our favorite new designs they were showing include a white table that swivels, a candleholder meant for dripping wax, and a foursome of Swedish stick-back chairs.
#3 – DESU DESIGN
According to their mission, DESU DESIGN “strive to make innovative products that blur the boundary between art and design” using modern manufacturing technology to mass produce their products. Every single furnishing and accessory that they sell has a specified function. Their small products for the home feel especially custom. Our favorites: the spice rack series.
For the older generation, having and maintaining the perfect at-home-bar is a priority. One reason being, they really like to drink! In my grandparent’s mirrored bar area, I recently found cocktail napkins with the saying “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere. . .” printed on them. That says it all. But I have to admit that there is something really civilized about well-kept bar setups, especially the one Betty Draper keeps for her husband in Mad Men, the show that has officially triggered a statewide throw-back to the aesthetics of the late 50s.
The point is this: it’s time to become a grown-up and setup your bar. The good news is that there are a myriad of ways to go about it. You don’t have to have a big space, or a big budget. We’ve rounded up high-end essentials with their inexpensive equivalents to get you started. Remember, you can always collect items to add to your bar gradually. Or, if you are eager to make it official, create the illusion of a full, established, well-kept bar by stocking up on tiny bottles of tonic water, club soda, etc. and aligning them geometrically.