Archive for September, 2008
It’s the third in LoftLife’s series of design store call-outs. After mining the Atlanta design scene, we’re excited to reveal yet another gem. With personal attention and an approachableness best described as “genteel Southern charm,” a passion and deep knowledge for their plethora of products both prosaic and the poetic, OwenLawrence clearly makes the cut because, quite frankly, we were charmed. And this was before we noticed the wood and leather furniture (like the coffee tables) designed by interior designer (and store manager), Fio Pichardo.
OwenLawrence started back in 2003, when Owen Halpern and Lawrence Pritchard combined their decades of art and interior design expertise and created a gallery with wide choices from all over the world: Pampaloni, Dibbern, Furstenberg, Daum, L’Objet, Sola, Seguso, and Arzberg, among them. We especially like how the company appeals to both spectrums of the budget. From $10 candles to a $20,000 (handmade) Seguso Venetian chandelier, OwenLawrence doesn’t discriminate based on price, they just follow their passion for “all that is beautiful in life.”
If you’re in the mood to “autumn up” your table top, look to their 100-percent recycled glassware line called “Aster.” The dishware comes in warm reds and oranges that perfectly invoke the season’s changing colors.
1200 A Howell Mill Rd.
Posted by Kyra Shapurji
Here at LoftLife we have a slightly different take on Do-It-Yourself. We’re not completely anti-DIY — its amazing what people are whipping out on their own and we’re all for it! That said, we know that most of the time we don’t have the wherewithal to actually plug in the drill, pick up the hammer, or lay down the tarp. Can’t it be okay to get some help to bring about your DIY idea?
Thus, our philosophy was born:
Do-It-Yourself Kinda’, a less involved version of the overly-ambitious DIY phenomenon that appeals to us in theory. Every week we will bring you a new DIY(K) project and hope to start our own mini trend.
DIY(K) Project #1: The Office Door
OBJECTION: Upgrade the front door to something presentable, and even, hip.
CHALLENGE: A budget of $200
THE PROJECT CAPTAIN: Photo (and all around go-getter) Vincent Sacco
THE DOOR: The building was replacing our mangled front door with the standard metal frame that each office unit has. They usually paint it the creamy-white-institutional color to match the walls, BUT we asked them not to.
THE VISION: To take an unpolished aluminum standard door and make it look polished and textured (and not like a prison door).
THE TOOLS: An angle-grinder, roller brush and polyurethane.
1. Found a “handy man” on craigslist named José, called him up and told him his vision of using an angle-grinder and polyurethane to finish the door.
2. José said he could do it but needed to see the door before he told him the cost. That day, José and his assistant came in to give us an estimate; Vince got him down to $200 and arranged for them to start immediately.
3. Vince bought the polyurethane he thought would work best; José brought his own angle-grinder and other necessary tools.
4. José used the angle-grinder to refine the door surface, starting on the top and working his way down each side of the door. Though we didn’t ask him to, he took it upon himself to create a circular pattern making the surface more dynamic, an unexpected bonus for us!
5. He then put two coats of polyurethane on each side of the door to bring out the engraved surface and add shine. The fumes made everyones day a little bit more interesting. Those coats dried and his job was finished.
6. The final touch Vince took care of: applying metal numbers from Design Within Reach to the outside of the door by drilling screws through the door.
THE RESULT: A hip, unique, industrial-chic entrance that sets the tone for our office and reflects what we stand for at LoftLife!
P.S. Our affair with the angle-grinder continued when we decided to apply the same technique to our stainless steel Ikea desk. We got José to do it for no extra cost!
While the weather might be changing, and summer is slipping away, it doesn’t mean you can’t plan outdoor renovations for your patio or your deck. Especially since, in Atlanta, warm weather seems to stick around longer and longer with each passing year. So, it’s a good time to start planning ahead by hiring that decorator or architect to shape your outdoor space. PierceMartin, a showroom for-the-trade-only, should be your first stop.
A professional resource for wicker, iron, and rattan furniture, as well as Pacific Rim finds and antiques, PierceMartin’s philosophy is rooted in three simple words: “Design, refine, repeat.” It’s a mantra created by Alan (Chip) D. Cheatham, president and creative director of the Atlanta-based PierceMartin headquarters. Cheatham believes stylish living is “a blending of classic furnishings with exotic accent treasures” and PierceMartin provides their “stylish living” concept with services like custom-finishing and upholstery.
PierceMartin continues to move with the times by offering an “All Weather” collection, using natural, sustainable materials such as bamboo. They also have a new line called “PM4U” that is exclusively available online for the general consumer. We were intrigued by all these concepts, so we took a look at their online showroom and found a few things we’d ask our decorator to snatch up in an instant.
First, we found these Malaysian Arm chairs in naturally distressed rattan with cathedral style backs. We thought the chairs’ red and yellow striped cushions were perfect colors to invigorate any patio.
We also loved the PierceMartin classic, “Chelsea Loveseat” and were once again spellbound by the stripes in bright blue and white, both colors highlighting the naturally aged rattan. It’s got a nautical feel that’s not over the top.
And their “Wood Garden Stool” from their “PM4U” line we thought would make an adorable accent to any space, indoor or outdoor, and comes in a variety of color finishes (we loved the forest green finish!).
Look forward to this fall or next spring and summer spent under the sun (or shade) on your newly furnished outdoor space. You might even find yourself repeating the phrase, “Design, refine, repeat.”
Atlanta Decorative Arts Center
351 Peachtree Hills Ave.
Atlanta, GA, 30305
Posted by Kyra Shapurji
Starting this upcoming fall on September 18 and running for a full year, Artefacto in Atlanta, will be hosting “The Artefacto Style House by 11 Designing Minds.” A new shopping destination for fresh, modern design and international home furnishings, Artefacto (a Brazilian company) will be showcasing their Fall/Winter custom creations on their first floor in conjunction with the exhibition that spans their entire second floor. The “eleven minds” include Atlanta’s most dynamic interior designers and architects (Bo Waddell of Bo Unlimited; Wendy Blout of Blout Architecture and Interiors; Joel Kelly of Joel Kelly Designs; internationally acclaimed architect, Haitham Haddad are just a few to name), who were asked to create innovative ways to approach the home, condo, and (our favorite) loft living.
We were most interested in architect, designer, and host of HGTV’s “Designed to Sell,” John Gidding (not just because he’s got a famous face). His one-of-a-kind design approach transforms a loft into something extraordinary. We admire and love how he changed simple linear loftwalls, made with unlikely materials, into moveable borders.
Two of his loft walls simply blew us away. Gidding took one straight wall and turned it into a curvature that leads you into the bedroom, bathroom, and a dressing area; his interpretation contrasts texture (Argentinian leather with hide) and color (from light to dark). The most appealing aspect of this application is simple enough to cover brick and other industrial wall materials. As for the other wall, Gidding managed to envision and make a custom architectural wave wall, composed of stacked, marine-grade plywood sheets that undulate from the shower to the bedroom. These sheets also function organically as shelves and have the ability to wrap around fixtures.
Gidding’s primary concern “is always a person’s lifestyle.” “Because the loft architectonic is more industrial,” says Gidding, “the light factors and the reflection of the space needs to be clearly defined and purposeful. That’s why I selected lux fabrics in monochromatic tones and juxtaposed them with a vibrant paprika–which is a powerful anchoring color that unifies the space with its judicious use in accents.”
We say, “hear, hear” and share his ‘primary concern’ here at LoftLife. Artefacto is open seven days a week, which gives you ample time to visit the entire exhibition, explore Gidding’s loft design, and shop the store’s new seasonal collection.
Photos by J.Thomas
Posted by Kyra Shapurji
For a three-part series this month, we’ve decided to call-out the Atlanta design companies we’re really lovin’ right now. And first on our list is Kolo Collection. Owners Michelle and Greg Martin began Kolo in 2003, and in the five years since, they’ve built a unique retail showroom that is nationally recognized.
Kolo Collection has created a 7,000-square-foot environment where customers can see several high-quality, high-design, outdoor/indoor casual furniture first-hand. Lines include: Brown Jordan, JANUS et Cie, Fermob, and Kettler. Other lines, such as Chilewhich, Eva Solo, and Zack and Voluspa work well for those who need to fluff up a bland patio or deck.
Kolo’s displays are thoughtfully designed and constantly changing. The company strives to “use bold fabric colors and (mix) materials within vignettes to create a designed look”–although, interestingly, nothing at the store is sold as a set. Customers are encouraged to work with on-site staff designers at their Midtown store or at their homes to “ensure the creation of exterior living experience perfect for their space and lifestyle.” Kolo has been graced with awards like the “Best New Outdoor Furniture Store 2003” and “Best Outdoor Furniture Store 2005 in Atlanta Magazine and “Top 25 Garden Shops” in Garden Design. Kolo has also managed to make it as an Apollo Award finalist three years in a row for the best casual furniture retailer in North America.
Our favorite item from the store is the contemporary fruit basket that makes any table (and any fruit) look just a little more sleek. If you need help finding your next fruit holder, throw pillow, or even an environmentally-smart open fireplace, visit Kolo Collection and have fun scouring their vast space and choices.
1189 Howell Mill Rd.
Posted by Kyra Shapurji
Here at LoftLife, we’re not used to being blown away by an artist’s website. There is a lot of mediocre stuff out there! That is why our recent visit with John-Patrick McChesney, John-Patrick McChesney, local Atlantan artist and loft enthusiast, was refreshing. McChesney’s work is conceptual in nature and seems to cry out for display in open spaces.
LoftLife: We found your sculptures to be quite dramatic. They command the viewer’s attention, especially in the way you are exploring the beauty to be found in industrial materials and constructs. We particularly liked your Ukusjili series, especially the piece entitled “father”. When did you start making art?
JPM: When I was a child and later as a younger man, I was frequently drawing, painting, sculpting, or building one thing or another. I enjoyed it very much, but I certainly never outwardly identified myself as an artist. It was just something I got lost in. It was not until 2003 that I decide to start selling my work, and I have never looked back.
LL: So how do you view the creation process?
Do you have any set goals in mind?
JPM: The creative process is perfection, nirvana. For me, it is the most sincere expression of the soul. When I am working on a new piece my goal is to simply remain present and to pay close attention to that part of myself that is resonant.
LL: What period in art do you draw influence from?
JPM: I am most passionate about the more modern art that was being produced in the 60s and 70s. Modern art deals with a different form of creativity. For me it is rewarding and alluring more for its innovative nature than simply being an acknowledgment of artistic skills alone. Modern art gives permission to many highly creative people to create works of beauty and interest These artists are able to present new perspectives to art lovers that that do not necessarily fall into more confined traditional realms.
LL: What motivates you to make these pieces?
JPM: My work has thematic structures that are continually in a state of metamorphosis. I am very interested in the symbols and structures of time, change, and evolution such as lava or the weathering of metals. Simultaneously, my work points to the the familial strengths of indigenous island peoples and other ancient cultures. I have witnessed in them an iron-strong sense of loyalty, purity, and harmony sometimes lost in our consumer culture.
LL: Tell us about the titles of your pieces. How do you name your sculptures?
JPM: I am currently working through a series of Caribbean and Pacific Island inspired works. Some of the names are taken from a nearly extinct language taken from the Karifunian tribes that originally inhabited the islands, others are Hawaiian words.
LL: Are you depicting feelings in your artwork? Or is it more about tangible things?
JPM: A hybrid of both really. Usually inspiration starts with a great texture or a unique object, such as old dumpster doors or reinforcement bars. When I begin to manipulate the material it tells me what it wants to be. As the process evolves, I begin to develop distinct sensations and more personal perspectives emerge. It really is an organic process, particularly with my current island inspired works.
LL: Have you always been interested in creating things that are abstracted?
JPM: Yes, in a manner of speaking. Most of my life has been lived in the abstract! Seriously, I do think in somewhat abstract symbols. My work is a reflection of that I guess.
LL: What direction do you think the art world is taking in Atlanta right now?
JPM: Atlanta is an amazing, exciting art scene. An extraordinary pool of talent exists here. The scene really differs from New York or Santa Fe or Los Angeles. We have world class museums and galleries, but the heartbeat is more underground. There are many artists here that are now, contributing on a global scale, and I love being in this environment.
Troy from Atlanta, GA vs. Alex from Los Angeles, CA
Despite their geographical distance from each other, we couldn’t help pairing up these two lofts. While each of our inaugural SUYS entries stand on their own, when shown side by side, they exemplify opposite takes on the use of light and tonality. Troy’s loft is painted bright white from floor to ceiling, creating a blank canvas for his darker furnishings to pop. Alex’s loft features dark hued walls and exposed brick as the backdrop for white enamel furnishings and upholstery. Incidentally, Barcelona chairs are found in both. Obviously, we’re not picking favorites – we think both spaces are incredible and find the coincidental inverted color schemes inspiring. So, we invite you to be the judge! Leave a comment and let us know which look you think works best.
#1 Troy’s White Digs – Atlanta, GA The Atlanta-based designer, photographer, and all-around creative describes the décor of what he calls his “Freedom Loft Renovation”as simply: “White, white, white classic modern.”
If you think his space is cool, check out his website:troyking.com
#2 Alex’s Ultra-Dark Downtown Pad – Los Angeles, CA The look of Alex’s downtown LA loft is an example of affordable DIY creativity or, as he explains it, “I did all this by hacking IKEA stuff.”
“The brown room divider was built out of kitchen countertops from ikea.”
Comment below and let us know which space you’d prefer to live in. Have a space you’d like to share? We want to see it. Enter our Show Us Your Space contest for a chance to be featured!