Archive for the ‘Decorating’ Category
Check out this tiny desktop calendar by Studio 8 Design. It’s like a stack of post-it notes but then the dates (numbers) 1 – 31 pop up with each month having its own individual color. It’s small, compact, and made by a British paper company that specializes in Italian papers called Fedrigoni.
Here’s another soild design for 2010 by Industries Stationery. The D31 Perpetual Calendar is black and simple with silkscreen numbers in white. 8.25 x 8.25 x 5.25″ thick. Get one now at www.industriesstationery.com. $195.00
Dorogaya Magnetic Calendar: You may have to speak Russian to get your hands on one of these, but if I were you why not treat yourself to some Russian classes. With this calendar you’ll never have to get another one. The months are abbreviated to three letters. It has everything you could want and it’s eternally, environmentally sound. If you have a night out or a flight to catch, just place the special chips like “Deadline,” “Flight,” “Drink of the Day,” or “Don’t Drink Day,” and more!
What’s Etsy got in store for 2010?
This letterpress calendar is all hand-drawn and hand printed. It features a selection of pretty objects that are sketched from everyday life. Size: 6 x 10.5 inches
Paper: super duper heavy French cardstock
Bound with a metal bulldog clip, including a cardboard backing material. $24.00
Le Papier Studio, LTD Botanical 2010 calendar is sophisticated with the latest botanical designs printed on a creamy textured stock with rounded edges. It comes with a satin ribbon for hanging. $22.00
Also, check out Le Papier Studio, LTD 2010 Calendar Pillow. Just the enough touch of color and clean design. $42.00
Thom Filicia, arbiter of all things cool and cozy in home decor, first introduced me to the canopied wing back chair in his interior design book, Thom Filicia STYLE. Filicia describes canopied wing backs as “personal cocoons of coziness” and, I must say, after sitting in one myself this Christmas, I couldn’t agree more. In a way, these chairs remind me of a more traditional take on the Lee West Stereo Alpha Egg Chair, surrounding the sitter with a roof and two walls, safeguarding from the rest of the room.
In the case of these canopied chairs, the burlap upholstery balances out their stateliness. And, though the chairs are certainly the focal point of this conversation area, the southwestern saddle blankets definitely complete the look. The two featured on this table-scape are more reasonably priced than their authentic forefathers and are from Urban Outfitters.
Thank you to Susan Larsen for sharing her Arizona dining room with us here at the LoftLife blog!
The lovely folks over at Brook Farm General Store in Brooklyn tipped us off to their newest product: the Lampe Gras. They have a wide range of products in stock, including beautiful items for around your home, and are currently the only store on the East Coast to carry the original architect’s lamp.
First designed by young engineer Bernard-Albin Gras for use in offices and industrial environments in 1921, the Lampe Gras became the ideal French architect lamp for its simple yet beautiful design. Without screws or welded joints in the basic form, it is an adjustable lamp with a chrome base and head refined for reading and working at the table.
The Lampe Gras was one of the first items created for industrial use to become embraced in everyday interior decorating. During the golden age of design in France in the 1920s, the Lampe Gras exemplified the perfect blend of form and function that came to define the style of the period.
Many lights are described as architects’ lamps, but only the Lampe Gras can claim the distinction of being not only the first architect lamp, but the favorite of the godfather of modern architecture himself—Le Corbusier. As one of Bernard-Albin Gras’s most enthusiastic supporters, he championed the lamps as modern classics, describing them as a ‘type-objet’; an object reduced to its pure function. He and other well known avant-garde figures like Henri Matisse adopted the lamps for their own offices and studios for projects all over the world.
Production of the Gras Lamps stopped at the outbreak of World War II, and after over a year of experimentation and careful study, they are once again being hand-made in France.
For more information on these modernist table lamps, visit the Brook Farm General Store site or head on over to their brick and mortar store in Brooklyn, NY:
Brook Farm General Store
75 South 6th St.
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Posted by Nicole Bruce
Today we bring you a much celebrated maker of charming and iconic furniture and lighting. PINCH Design, a London-based furniture, product and interior design company, is the creation of husband and wife team Russell Pinch and Oona Bannon. The company has already made a name for itself through features in a number of impressive publications over the years since its conception in 2004, such as Homes and Gardens, Living etc, Vogue, Elle Deco, Architectural Digest, The Guardian, and The New York Times. And it’s easy to see why they’re such a big hit. They craft simple, yet uniquely detailed pieces by hand that you will treasure for years.
PINCH produces furniture that includes armoires, upholstery, tables, sideboards and cabinets, lighting, shelving, stools and benches, and architectural pieces. They believe in using local materials, making to need, and offering custom-made pieces to ensure their customers receive furniture that delivers both functionally and aesthetically. We’ve featured some of their pieces of furniture below, so you can see the careful attention to detail and form that they provide in each design.
Mid-century relief plasterwork inspired the Alba sideboard to create a sculptural, calm and intriguing piece. It houses two drawers to the center with a cupboard to each side with adjustable shelves.
The Frey armoire features an exterior of simplicity and perfect proportion resulting in a piece that is clean and classically tailored.
The Joyce cabinet is inspired by a Victorian optometrist’s shopfitting. It has sliding glass doors and a cherry-lined interior with shelves and drawers, making it suitable for a variety of uses throughout your home.
The Lowry sideboard features a sculptural front section created by a series of solid wood fins of varying widths and depths, which also act as handles for the cupboards.
The random shapes and sizing of the fielded paneling on the Marlow armoire plays with tradition that results in an elegant yet impactful piece.
The Pendel is a curvaceous two seat sofa designed to make sense of compact space. Perfect for hall use, bay windows or secondary seating, this sofa can also be used to create intimate seating arrangements in large open spaces.
All photography featured is credited to James Merrell and all rights remain with Pinch.
Posted by Nicole Bruce
There are plenty of ways to jazz up a room, but stenciling is quickly pushing forward as an artful technique to make bland walls, floors, and furniture more attention-grabbing.
After years in the making, Chronicle Books introduces their second book with graphic designer Ed Roth, Stencil 101 Decor (Paperback, On-sale November 2009; $24.95), a beautiful over-sized portfolio which comes with ten plastic stencils, instructions, and photos that teach you how to customize every corner of your home, including walls, furniture, and floors.
Author Ed Roth has been perfecting the stencil since 2005 when he founded his company Stencil 1. His stencils have been praised by many, including Martha Stewart, ReadyMade, and the New York Times. The portfolio of reusable and durable stencils, project instructions, and photographs allows you to work your own magic to create custom patterns for embellishing walls, furniture, and more. You can create a great wallpaper effect using just one stencil! It’s quick, unique, affordable, and it’s bound to make a big impact. What more could you ask for?
Interested in dipping your paintbrush into the stenciling craze, but not quite sure how? You can find some informative how-to videos and demos with Ed Roth on Stencil1.com’s How-To Instructions page. For more information and to purchase the book, visit the Chronicle Books site.
For inspiration, we’ve included some photos of stenciled walls from around the web:
(Pictured above: Portico Wall Tattoo by Benjamin Moore from Apartment Therapy)
(Pictured above: Stenciled bathroom wall from DIYideas.com)
(Pictured above: Stenciled lamp from DIYideas.com)
(Pictured above: Chenery House Kitchen Floor from Gracewooddesign.com)
(Pictured above: Lace stenciled floor from Designspongeonline.com)
(Pictured above: SHNY Stencils from Habitually Chic)
Posted by Nicole Bruce
French designer to the stars, Valerie Pasquiou, invites us into her casual loft, shows us her favorite pieces, and tells the Cinderella tale of finding her passion.
Q & A by Cate West Zahl
Photography by Tom Ackerman
LoftLife: Let’s start at the beginning. This cool, sophisticated, and oh-so-cultivated design sense you instinctively have . . . Where is that coming from and when did you first leave France to bring it to America?
Valerie Pasquiou: I came here when I was 22 years old. Actually, I’ve been in the States for 20 years, and the last four have been in New York. So it’s pretty incredible.
LL: But you started out in Los Angeles, is that correct?
Valerie: Yeah, I started out in L.A. sort of by chance. It’s a long story, but basically I lost a bet, the terms of which involved me traveling somewhere I hadn’t been before. I ended up in Los Angeles and ended up staying. That’s when I started to get into styling for photo shoots, and then I got into set design.
LL: I’ve always wondered how to become a stylist.
Valerie: So my background is art and advertising, which led me very naturally into set design. I got noticed by a few people, mostly photographers, who said things like “you have such a good eye,” and really encouraged me to start doing set design full time. One thing lead to another, and I started to work with people like Ben Stiller, Sheryl Crow. That said, it was an amazing training in terms of interior design because I learned how to be extremely efficient in a short period of time.
LL: Well then how did you end up getting your big break into the business?
Valerie: If you can believe it, my big break came on my second job. Essentially, for the last year that I was doing set and production design, a friend of mine came up to me and said, “I have a 5,000-square-foot house, and would you consider doing it?” And I said, “Okay, I’ll help you.” Of course, two months later she left me hanging with a project. And then the completion of this project got me my second job, also my big break, with k. d. lang.
LL: This is starting to sound like a Hollywood fairy-tale that’s too good to be true!
Valerie: I know. She had only hired me to do a bed and to design a bedroom. And then two days later she said, “You know what? You are doing the house.” So it was very natural. I never really pitch any people for my work. It’s really all about the chemistry you have with your client. It starts with trust, just like a new relationship. You are basically deciding to get married to this person for duration of this project.
LL: So the relationship really does matter the most?
Valerie: It really does. I think there’s a distinct psychology behind what we do as designers. Especially when you do residential. It requires you to be extremely attentive and you have to be a good listener. And you have to be sensitive to the person’s desires. It’s a permanent thing, you have to work through the details to make the client happy. The overly polished or artificial look never has character. It can turn into a showroom.
LL: Speaking of showrooms, here’s a quote you once said: “I’m anti-showroom look. Having a mix of things gives the home more personality. In Europe, you keep your family antiques and mix them up with contemporary pieces. That’s where you can push the edge.” Talk a little bit more about this.
Valerie: First of all, let’s face it. The whole minimalist thing is a pretty snobby way to look at design. I mean, come on. No one really can pull that off. I think the two most important factors in interior design is staying true to the personality of the client and a willingness to keep pieces they are attached to. You have to be working with their art. You have to tell the story of the person who lives there. It gives the space personality, and I think personality can actually bring high-end results.
LL: It’s refreshing to hear you say that, especially since it does feel like high-end modern décor is usually equated with a sparse, cold aesthetic. So, if every space tells the story of the person living in it, what’s yours? Why did you choose this loft?
Valerie: I was born by the beach in France, and we lived in a spacious house, so I guess if I am going to live in a city, then I love the feel of being in a big space. You have lots of light, it gives you room to be free and think. It nourishes the creative spirit. Personally, I like warmth, and I like elegance. I like details. I like comfort. I like timeless. And I like modern, but always with a mix of old and new.
LL: So, modern furnishings with your family antiques, for example. Is that what you mean?
Valerie: Not necessarily. Mix of different things, a mix of objects of things that you like, some of them from the past and some of them now. For example, that’s a bench from the 1890’s. And no one can sit on it! Which doesn’t make it that functional. But it’s something that I have carried with me from the past. So, I like a mix like that, of old and new.
LL: Now that brings up a great question. Where did you find these amazing pieces? Because here is the story of the typical American designer. They go to the D & D building for their clients, and pick out their furnishings for clients there.
Valerie: I rarely go to the D&D building. I have gained resources in Europe and here for lighting, carpeting, furniture. I like to find little shops when I travel, I like to find the little shops in New York, I am always open to new designers. I like to support them. I myself am starting a very upscale furniture line myself that will incorporate leather, bronze and wood. More noble materials. This is something I am finally ready for.
LL: Well, we will be looking out for it. Now, it’s time for the favorites part of this interview.
Valerie: The favorites part? Like, what’s my favorite breakfast?
LL: Yes. But let’s start with this: What’s the favorite part of your space?
Valerie: Well, I love my library. I need to be around books, I love my books. So I spend a lot of time in my library.
LL: What is your favorite color?
Valerie: Oh that’s hard. If I have to pick, I would say black and white. It’s so classic, and sophisticated. I also love warm grays.
LL: What’s your favorite thing you own?
Valerie: That’s hard . . . I guess, at the moment I really love the Thonet bench.
LL: Who is your favorite designer?
Valerie: Andrée Putman. I just love her. I hope I can work into my old age like she.
LL: Favorite artist?
Valerie: Louise Bourgeois. I love her for art and for her who she is. As she established herself as a woman in the art and design world. Because I think a lot of designers are very cautious about what others think, and she never has. She has expressed herself and is still working at 95.
LL: What’s your favorite flower?
LL: What’s your favorite city?
Valerie: New York!
LL: Really? That is awesome.
Valerie: Well, New York and Paris. But New York is home.
LL: We are happy to have you, especially since you have brought so many European sensibilities here.
Valerie: I will say that I’m much less cautious than other designers from the America. I’m not really concerned with having everything match. I never have been. I’m not quite sure where the myth that things must or should match came from.
Remember when you were a little kid playing outside in the crisp autumn air, marching around in the fallen leaves of the woods perhaps, and your mom would call you in for dinner as evening was just settling in? You’d reach the front door with that one solid, brilliant piece of nature you’d found on your after school adventures—a fallen piece of tree. Behold the mighty stick you used for ascending remarkable heights of the mountains as an explorer, the cane you limped and prodded with as the old hag in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the sword you fought with while fending off evildoers, the paddle to the raft for your stealth getaway down the river, the bat for hitting “monkey brains” (fruits of the Osage Orange Tree) as stand-in baseballs or bullies’ heads. . . And your mom made you leave it in the yard where it belonged.
Well, this post is about carrying that forbidden tree branch across the threshold of a mother’s intolerance and into your home. Maybe you won’t have such a fond attachment to the one you bring indoors today, but you’ll probably love it for another reason or two. Here are several ways people have mixed natural elements into their own spaces. We’ve gathered a few images for inspiration.
Autumn in a vase
We adore Brooklyn photographer Trevor Tondro’s use of branches in his home. Here, the sticks look modern intertwined in clear glass.
Hanging as sculptural art
(Pictured above: HSW via Re-nest.com)
Mounted to the wall
Go big or go home with larger pieces of tree
You can also find some very fun ideas for decorating with tree branches through these photos on Rdekko.com. We love the branch stretching across the bookcase shelf. No drilling, hanging, or mounting necessary. So simple! And that table made up of layers of bound logs and smaller branches with glass on top is pretty awe-inspiring.
There are many ways to decorate seasonally that go beyond tree branches, and perhaps we’ll explore some other organic elements for fall and winter decorating. But for now, if you’re not destroying nature by directly severing the branches from living trees, this is an easy, eco-friendly way to decorate this season! That down-to-earth, yet elegant piece could be right outside your door right now. And if you’re thinking of sprucing up your walls, you can also consider the help of wallpaper, decals, or stencils instead of freehanding those tenuous lines of a tree branch with a paintbrush. Stay tuned for our next post on more “unnatural” tree branches—the painted/wallpapered versions.
Posted by Nicole Bruce
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