Archive for the ‘Roundup’ Category
One of our favorite new designers from an otherwise unfortunately predictable ICFF this year came from Montgomery Design. Principle designer Andrew Montgomery first caught our eye on the tinyhouseblog a year ago with his pallet chair design, and we were delighted to see he was still designing, and slowly expanding his collection to include lighting. We love the unpretentious, simple lines of his furniture that seem to marry both an Americana approach with a modern, almost Bauhaus aesthetic.
Montgomery Design is based in Charlottesville, Virginia and was founded by Andrew Montgomery, a graduate of Virginia Tech’s architecture program. For more information, visit the website here, which exemplifies the progression the design firm is taking by displaying the products they are making in chronological order.
Here’s a taste of such designs:
Real or fake? Appraisal being something of a way of life, this question is applied to almost everything nowadays from memoir writers, TV shows and handbags, along with its more traditional subjects like body parts, bacon bits, and bling. The understanding is always that real is better, preferred, and ideal. And, sometimes it is. But with the holiday season upon us, this seems a perfect time to celebrate an authenticity not of pretty objects and entertainment, but of feelings, words and actions. And conversely, to appreciate the sly value of the blatantly, shamelessly unreal, the charmingly sincere fake that does not seek to deceive. In that spirit, here’s the following fake trees, ranging from tabletop to full size, as an invitation to rethink what makes something “a good fake.”
In the words of the band Blonde Redhead: Fake can be just as good
Felt Trees from CB2
The clean lines and spare profile of these soft conical wonders from CB2 add a decorative touch without any fussiness.
Mini Ornament Tree from Crate and Barrel
If all you really want is to show off your ornament collection, then maybe all that greenery is just in the way. This tiny ornament tree with its scrolled hooks for ornaments is an ideal way to showcase beloved favorites so they don’t get lost in the branches.
This German import featuring a rendition of the humble bottle brush elevates the mundane to the celebratory and was designed by Kuno Prey, a professor at the Free University of Bolzano in Italy.
On Sunday October 18th, Duane Park, a not-for profit organization that was founded in 1994, hosted their 10th Tribeca Loft Tour. Some of the loft buildings have been around since the mid-1800’s. Many of the buildings facades and some of the core structural elements showcased these time periods. There were converted warehouses, most of which had classical elements in the Renaissance or Romanesque style, although there were a few that had a French derived Neo-Grec aesthetic. These various architectural trends from the past can be seen in the original ceiling beams, unusual window treatments, ornate columns, and vaulted detailing. The original purposes of the buildings ranged from old spice market factories, garment industrial manufacturers, paint makers, and, even, business oriented fields, such as the old American Express headquarters.
Personally, it was a privileged and treat to visit these historically rich homes that had not attempted to cover up their past. It’s not ever day that you enter someones home and see ancient paint spattered all over the wooden floors. Enjoy!
An Artist’s Loft:
Loft completed by Dean/Wolf Architects:
Photographer, journalist, and connoisseur’s Loft featuring Valerie Carmet’s lovely mosaic tiling:
Architecture designed by Acheson Doyle Partners Architects P.C & Design, construction, and contracting by European Interior Concepts, Inc.
Photography by Linden Hass
Ever wonder what on earth should go in a room to bring it all together? Whether it is in a corner beside a chair, on a bookcase in the library, or on the center of a table in the foyer for all to see, people are using clean, white ceramics of all kinds as focal points to draw in the room’s elements. We’ve scoured the internet for some great finds in the pottery world, and think that these accent pieces are just what you need for a space teetering on the edge of boredom. The truly great thing about this trend? No matter the color walls, bedspread, or furniture, these simple, yet elegant white pieces will fit in anywhere.
Each of Caroline Swift’s stoneware flowers are delicate, sensitive works of art, just like nature. Hand-crafted in England, the flowers are made individually from charcoal or natural stoneware. The centers of the flowers are works of art in themselves; a honeycomb of delicate ceramic fibers can be removed or placed in the center of the flower as desired. These intricate blooms would look beautiful on a mantelpiece or as table decorations.
The sets of three charcoal flowers are presented in a black gift box, while the natural stoneware comes in a white gift box. All are tied with a porcelain rose and gift tag, embossed with the message “with love.” Would make for a nice gift, don’t you think?
These truly unique porcelain leaves are as thin as paper yet remarkably strong. Hang the three strands with approximately forty leaves together or separate them to hang individually. They would look beautiful on the wall or near the light where they have a ghostly translucence.
Each of Coe&Waito’s porcelain pine cones are meticulously hand sculpted, capturing the intricate beauty of natural specimens. Prices and sizes vary by type of pine cone, but you can find them in four different kinds: black pine cone, white spruce cone, red pine cone, and white pine cone.
This slip-cast porcelain vase shines with a creamy clear glaze.
Influenced by her Russian upbringing in St. Petersburg and her graphic design experiences, Asya Palatova merges classical and modern to develop objects with a purity of form that compels people to touch and use them. All of her tableware pieces are porcelain and handmade in her Rhode Island studio. This plate could be used as traditional tableware or as a decorative piece on a coffee table or mounted on a wall.
Translucent and paper thin porcelain, the votives glow gently with the standard votive-size candle. The unglazed, slip-cast porcelain will vary slightly in shape due to the hand-built process.
(Pictured above: Jung-Porzellan vases)
The German porcelain maker Jung-Porzellan handcrafts each of their pieces in their Berlin studio so no two items are alike. This vase puts a modern spin on the typical flower holder. They also have an amusing looking banana holder, which can be hung from the kitchen ceiling. Be sure to check out the rest of the items in their shop, as you’re sure to find a variety of handy and charming products.
Karen Swyler’s work is quiet, subtle, and transitory. Her pieces are evocative because they function on many levels. The sensuous surfaces, muted colors, and fluid forms create quiet relationships meant to entice people visually and physically. Surface, line, and color bring attention to the delicate and subtle elements of design.
Due to their understated nature, the nuances of Karen’s pieces take time to notice as they require the close attention and a heightened level of involvement from the viewer. Closer exploration gives way to different colors, while surfaces reveal themselves and hint at a more sensually profound level.
French ceramist Nathalie Derouet has created remarkable fixtures for a home. Beautiful, elegant and fragile, she puts a twist on the everyday bowl shape that’s hard not to admire. Sophisticated with style and functionality, her bowls and vases can literally be used anywhere to yield a Zen-like atmosphere.
With the intricacy of lace, these contemporary dentelle pieces are sure to lead to conversation. Some of her other medusa (or jellyfish) designs have a haunting quality that will leave a lasting impression on any beholder.
The serious quality of texture of each and every attention-grabbing porcelain treasure from the hands of Heather Knight is highly regarded. Delightful and appealing!
The North Carolina-based artist has both sculptural and functional pieces, like these textured tiles for your wall. Visit her site for enlarged images of her entire wall tile collection, where you can also find all of her other fabulous designs for around the room.
(Pictured above: Williams-Sonoma Pierced Porcelain Gourd Candlelight)
Light up your room with Williams-Sonoma’s white porcelain candleholders! They evoke autumn gourds, and their glossy hand-applied glaze enhances the glow. Each candleholder has a cup for a tea light. Or, Lekker also has a larger Dutch designed porcelain lantern available for instant ambiance.
(Pictured above: VivaTerra Porcelain Origami Crane)
There’s something mesmerizing about the Japanese art of paper folding, particularly cranes, but folded porcelain? That’s just crazy! Traditional figures of serenity and peace, these unglazed porcelain origami cranes add a sculptural touch of nature to your holiday tree. Exquisitely rendered, they hang from a white silk ribbon, and come in a set of 4.
(Pictured above: YLighting Egg Vase from Moooi)
These little, lumpy vases were developed by Marcel Wanders for Droog Design. Made in the Netherlands, they come in three sizes. The white porcelain Egg Vase has a rather unique source of inspiration: the design was originally conceived by stuffing hard-boiled eggs into a latex condom! While that might sound a bit racy, there’s no denying the outcome is intrinsically endearing.
Posted by Nicole Bruce
This past weekend LoftLife sponsored the Eighth Annual Castleberry Hill Loft Tour. The festivities kicked off on Friday night with the Loft Tour Media and Sponsor Party. Great food from Castleberry Hill’s local eateries was provided and Massoud Besharat’s breath-taking home and gallery served as the backdrop. Many of the guests went on to take part in the monthly Castleberry Hill Art Stroll.
Even with ominous clouds, the crowds showed for the first day of the tour. Volunteers were welcoming and worked hard to make sure guests were well informed and guided.
Loft #1 is owned by artist / illustrator, David Campbell. It was one of the smaller lofts, but was also one of the most successful uses of space. Multi-levels and large canvases served as room dividers between his living and working space. Large factory windows let in excellent light for drawing and living. This live/work space is cozy, comfortable and very livable.
Loft #2 is the home to Calvin Lockwood and Steve Messer. After walking through the downstairs gallery, guests are greeted by an actual airplane fuselage. The loft itself is open and airy with a mix of new furniture and vintage finds. Adjacent to the main space is a private, natural style, multilevel rooftop garden. Although the highlight is the spiral staircase that leads to a small rooftop cupola with stunning views of the city and their own garden below.
Loft #3 is a free-spirited space inhabited by Debbie Kvinlaug. This tri-level loft was a former loading dock for a meat packing plant and still retains a lot of the industrial grit. Most recently in her career, Debbie has worked for Claire’s, and that same funky fun attitude infuses her space. From the quirky bare-lightbulb chandelier to the messenger bag planters; her space oozes character.
Loft #4 is owned by Jeff and Tracy Schaffrick and is an interesting mix of modern and traditional. After acceding the stairs from the gallery below, The space is all exposed brick and clean wood floors. In contrast, the furniture is more classic in styling, which gives the space a warm touch. The heart of the home is a beautiful, large kitchen, perfect for entertaining.
Loft #5 is an open loft with soaring three story ceilings and belongs to Tracy Bergquist. This loft really works because all the living spaces are open and flow into one another, while just behind well placed walls lie comfortable and intimate bedrooms. It even has a small room at the very top, perfect for listening to vinyl with friends and having a few drinks.
Loft #6 is home to Raymond and Wendy Tsao. This three-story 1930’s warehouse was renovated to their specifications. The goal of this home was to create something that feels both contemporary and country and the same time. With fantastical light fixtures, distressed furniture, touches of glass and exposed brick walls it certainly accomplished its goal.
Loft #7 and #8 were both in the neighborhood’s newest construction, Castleberry Point. The first belongs to Rob Anderson who used a boutique hotel as inspiration while adding some personal touches that reflect his love of old-school jazz. The second loft is home to Valarie Henry and had a really wonderful layout. With living space on one side of the partition and sleeping on the other, both can enjoy sweeping skyline views from the full wall of floor to ceiling windows.
Even with the downpour of rain on Saturday, Atlantans came in droves to participate in the neighborhood event. Everyone left with great design inspiration and (of course) a copy of LoftLife magazine.
With fall approaching and the start of the new school year, we’re finding that many are treating a certain classroom staple as unconventional home decor. It seems chalkboards aren’t reserved just for schools anymore. Blame it on the inner kid in us, but we love these chalkboard walls, doors, furniture and even lamps! We think you’ll find yourself wanting a corner or whole wall for doodling too.
An entryway is a perfect place for a chalkboard wall. Notes, appointments, and shopping lists can be checked on the way out the door.
Instead of writing grocery and ingredient lists, you could keep the menu for dinner or a wine list on your kitchen chalkboard.
Or consider a giant chalkboard as a work of modern art in the making (remade every time your friends come over for a visit).
For a different look in your home office space, try painting or bordering a wall with chalkboard paint. You can write important notes, scheduled meetings, and motivational quotes right on the wall in front of you.
For a less permanent and space consuming way to get the look, you can turn any wall into an instant chalkboard for jotting down ideas with Chalkboard Wall Schtickers, which are easy to clean, removable and reusable. For the kitchen, this could also be a brilliant way to keep a kid entertained while you’re cooking!
You can also find adhesive chalkboard vinyl wall decals made by Modern Dose. Such an adorable idea for a kid’s room!
(Pictured above: “Hootie” by Modern Dose)
(Pictured above: “Invasion” by Modern Dose)
UK store No. Eight is featuring this blackboard cabinet in its collection, but you could easily transform the idea onto cabinets or other furniture in your own home, such as this endearing piece in a kid’s room.
(Pictured above: 123 Cabinet by No Eight)
Handmade by St. Louis artist and designer John Beck, these lighting fixtures are the perfect canvas for any youngster’s musings, and they’re made of 95% recycled steel. Since they come in three different sizes, you can choose exactly the right one for your child’s room, kitchen or living room. We can’t think of a better place to write or draw something glowingly lighthearted and have it really shine.
(Pictured above: John Beck Writeable Chalkboard Pendant Lamp via Inhabitat)
Country Living has suggestions for making your own blackboards out of items you already have handy around the house. Check out their fun project ideas. Or Make Magazine will show you how to create this blackboard globe. For those of us who can’t make a big commitment to the blackboard trend, Canadian House and Home suggests creating these DIY placecards.
Rocky Bella has even turned an old mirror into an inspirational chalkboard shelf.
(Pictured above: Rocky Bella)
Posted by Nicole Bruce
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.
The kitchen. It’s made a big comeback in recent years. This is especially true for kitchens with open layouts that lend themselves to a more communal dining experience. According to Adilin Darling Design, an architecture firm based in San Francisco, when a kitchen has an open layout, it becomes a “stage” within which the most average of cooks can shine. In that vein, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite open kitchens that we’ve found inspiring for your enjoyment this Friday.
The art of display is almost always a challenge, especially when thick industrial walls or exposed brick make hanging art impossible. We say, when in doubt, invest in some easels. They allow you to rotate your artwork, turning your home into a make-shift gallery space. Another common conundrum is the decoration of table tops. Stacked books with objects on top, the oh-so-hip coral craze and various candle stick collections are all possible routes to go.
My current choice? Mini Easels. They come in various shapes, sizes and materials, though the ones most readily available are usually acrylic, brass, or bamboo. They are most especially useful in terms of versatility: framed pieces of art, postcards, mounted photographs, even pages ripped out of art books can all be displayed via these easels.
Here is a roundup of awesome display easels we found on the web that range from table-top to full-length:
(Clockwise, starting from upper left)
The Wahkeena table top easel from Easel Society; Acrylic tripod easel from CB2; Acrylic hinged stand from Xylem Design; Deluxe Brass Display Easel from Easel Society; Vinyl Coated Counter Display from Mamasionshopping; Twisted and Smooth Brass Wire Easel from Potomac Display
A personal favorite, this streamline metal adjustable display stand and lamp is a stunning way to show off your most precious piece of artwork or your kid’s art project from school. From Visual Comforts, through Circa Lighting.
Here are two examples of how I am using them in my apartment (the first displays a drawing that I have mounted on a faded piece of canvas and the second an acrylic framed drawing) this week . . . mind you, I’m always changing it up!
Posted by Cate West Zahl