Archive for July, 2009
We’re officially on a French kick this month, with our newest discovery, living agency, fueling the trend. Now there are some fundamental elements of we what know of as a loft that will never loose their significance: concrete, tall ceilings, casement windows, primary color touches. Translation: the aesthetic Corbusier created. This loft is actually located in the “Cité Radieuse” created by Le Corbusier himself. The loft is one of the 337 apartments which compose this authentic vertical village, featuring hotel, shops, school, gymnasium and even a swimming pool in full sky. It is owned by an interior decorator who has painted the walls nearly-black, within which light floors and accessories contrast dramatically. The space has an updated, mid-century modern aesthetic that poetically pays homage to Corbusier.
From the Phillip Lim 3.1 Resort Collection comes our next Rooms from the Runway installment — a luxurious mix of Moroccan designs, white lace and simple accessories…
This lofty room belongs to interior designer Jacques Grange, shot for the pages of W magazine. The runway look is a fairly simple one to translate — a no fuss palette of fresh whites and mixed neturals that allows the patterns to speak for themselves. There can be great simplicity in luxury, and this room captures that perfectly. It is relaxed while maintaining an air of sophistication. The addition of black to both the ensemble and to the room gives each instance a layered effect that makes it look more like a collective design. A perfect summer retreat and style, don’t you think?
We got to attend the New York Design Center’s first LOOK event last week, where designers showcase their newest products to-the-trade in the Center’s multi-floor showroom. We got to meet up with Campion Platt , one of our favorite designers previously featured here, and see his beautiful new lines of brightly colored textiles.We also discovered a new favorite–Tucker Robbins. Most of his designs are made from reclaimed wood salvaged from the ocean. Beautiful big beds, dining tables for a family of 10, and many lil’ stools and tables to accessorize any room had us in awe. And on our way out, we were told a certain former President’s daughter (Miss Chelsea Clinton) had placed an order on one of his bed frames for future sweet dreamin’ nights.
See all our favorite first LOOKS below:
Posted by Kyra Shapurji
In Marseille, France a couple has reconverted a former pasta factory into their home. They’ve done a great job of maintaining the original elements of the factory, as well as the industrial aesthetic inherent to the bones of the space. We especially like the awesome outdoor space thats dotted with mini-fire pits and the commercial-like kitchen that combines brushed steel with vintage leather. This came to us from the photography firm Living Agency, that has many more drool worthy interiors on their site.
Whether seeking a new color palette or a shot of original style for your home, fashion is always a fantastic place for inspiration! I’m very excited to be a new contributor here on the LoftLife blog where I’ll be featuring weekly posts every Tuesday that show just how easy it is to translate runway looks into styled rooms.
The series is called Rooms from the Runway – something I started two years ago on my blog, coco+kelley, and I hope it will be a great source of quick inspiration for many of you! Shall we get started?
Pulled from the Alberta Ferretti 2010 Resort collection, this ensemble features a surprising pop of mustard and blue against black, khaki and brown. Translated into this room featured at Nuevo Estilo, we see a classic style that is consistent with Ferretti’s design. Using similar neutrals as the base, the blue urn and yellow flowers add that same pop of color, carefully placed in a way that doesn’t overwhelm the space.
*Tip: If you’re unsure of adding a brighter color to your rooms, testing it out with a little floral arrangement will help you see if you really like it without breaking the bank! Next to throw pillows, they’re the quickest and easiest way to transform a space.
7/17/09 We’re thinking someone likes to throw parties in this loft, what with the detail that has gone into the kitchen and the impressive shelving created just for the glasses and liquor and the individual cubby holes for the wine. And who wouldn’t want to throw fabulous shindigs in this loft? We honestly don’t blame them, and we can sense a “Loft Party” happening at this scene . . .
The Cutler Loft in New York, NY came to us by way of Murdock Young Architects. We liked the streamlined-feel to the loft, yet it still held on to its industrial roots. A nice example of how the new and old mix together–the classic loft combo. The mix of metal and brick pretty much soothes our interior soul. What do you think of the mix?
Posted by Kyra Shapurji
Photography by Michael Moran.
7/16/09 I took a lovely trip to the nation’s capital last weekend, and I couldn’t miss out on one of the city’s small, yet monumental art collections: The Phillips Collection. The art collection is housed in a very old mansion set amongst all the embassies, and it can be a bit hard to find actually, since it’s tucked away and sheltered by all the nations represented on the neighboring street. But the collection, an eclectic one at that, includes an El Greco, Picasso’s Blue Room, some Degas, and a beautiful piece by Ingres, a Rothko room, some Bacon and Lucien Freud pieces, and many more. It’s hard to believe that it’s all housed in one gallery and not a museum. But along with the pieces, there were various furniture and old house elements that caught my eye. Gallery furniture is often times a key representative of the space that houses the artwork or collection. Each piece is quite different from the next (again, they’re very eclectic) and seemed like a valuable insight into the gallery itself. I couldn’t help but notice the pieces, and felt like I wasn’t going to damage any artistic property by using my camera (but hence, the not-so-sharp photography coming your way, since flash was prohibited).
I enjoyed this pairing a lot. Little twin chairs. There were various sets around the museum, and I found the curvaceous back and arm rests as one piece very streamlined and different for wood furniture.
This little table or maybe even a nightstand is simple, yet matched the old mansion’s interior perfectly. And the key hole drawers give it a timelessness not seen in today’s furniture. I wonder what the Phillips used to lock up in there. . .
I’m such a sucker for beautiful tile. The detail is quite amazing, and blue tile for that matter gets me every time. This ornate detail in the house framed a fireplace in one of the rooms.
Steering away from the old and incorporating the new, here’s a chair that is recognizable and still popular in most office waiting areas or doctor’s offices but usually seen in white or black these days, but I have yet to ever see it in this color. Retro and the standard all in one.
This little guy was just begging for someon to take a seat.While the upholstery color might not be the greatest, it’s another classic design that could sit in any home office. I didn’t take a seat in it, for fear of some reprimand from the gallery workers, but I swear I heard it calling out my name to come rest my walking legs.
Posted by Kyra Shapurji
Around the corner from the LoftLife offices, and one of our favorite bookstores in town is Dashwood Books. Opened to the public in 2005, the store is the city’s largest independent book store devoted entirely to contemporary photography. Featuring both new, used and the occasional signed copy as well as rare and out-of-print titles, the store carries an awe-inspiring selection of publications from around the world.
A quick search of architecture and interiors turned up the following:
The Transparent City by Michael Wolf
Interiors 1973 – 1974 by Robert Adams
Domestic Landscapes; A Portrait of Europeans at Home by Bert Teunissen
Home is Where the Heart Is by Bruce Webber
Dashwood Books is located at 33 Bond Street, between Bowery and Lafayette.
Story by Sherry Jo Williams
Photography by Jonas Briels
Amsterdam is a petite but powerful magnet for travellers of every stripe – be they hippies seeking out green-stickered coffee shops or the cultured, craving Van Gogh and Vermeer—or vice versa. To a visitor, the city’s incongruity of the traditional and the avant-garde is clearly evident. To a local, it’s relished like a good pipe.
Even A’dam’s preferred modes of transportation reflect this sense of cultural democracy. Whereas cars outnumber bikes in American cities, the reverse is true in this shortlisted candidate for “European Green Capital 2010.”
So, to travel like a denizen, rent a bicycle, lease an electric bike-taxi, or take advantage of the world-class public transportation system and hop on a tram, bus, metro, or ferry. At least one serpentine cruise along the canals is mandatory.
Near Centraal Station, you’ll find The 9 Straatjes, a suite of cozy, but bustling streets that almost magically become elaborate bridges that meander over sudden canals. It’s here that quintessential Dutch contemporary designs can be found. Many of the shops along these cobblestone roads are teeming with opportunity, but ➋ The Frozen Fountain is a definite winner. More gallery than shop, its mix of limited-edition furniture, fabrics, rugs, and accessories, is often commissioned from Dutch masters such as Hella Jongerius and Piet Hein Eek. Paul Koeleman, a prominent book and graphic designer says, “Frozen Fountain’s commitment to Dutch artisans, both known and emerging, is invaluable.”
After roaming through this chic neighborhood, take a moment to pause at ➌ Droog, the dramatically appointed headquarters of the powerful design brand. In a refurbished three-story structure which dates back to 1641, passionate fans of 21st-Century design can experience the infamous “Chest of Drawers” by Tejo Remy or Marcel Wanders’ “Knotted Chair.”
Another inspiring example of recycled architecture is ➑ Sprmrkt. LoftLife’s other A’dam expert, Marcel Schreuder from Springtime design (an international firm with clients ranging from Coca-Cola to Nike), loves this place. “The name is a clever abbreviation from its previous incarnation as a supermarket,” explains Shreuder. Not far from the 9 Straatjes, SPRMRKT mixes furniture and fashion from local designers with an impressive bookstore stocked with publications like vintage Domus magazines, plus an inviting café.
Surrounding the 9 Straatjes is the much larger Jordaan district. Built in the 1600s, it was established as central housing for the workers of this rapidly expanding city. Strolling through The Jordaan, you’ll find a broad menu of shopping options.
The major must-see is ➐ Jessica Padt’s marvelous upholstery workshop and showroom. Her success hinges on an impressive assortment: from work by Kvadrat Maharam to the unique, vintage textiles she’s found. She welcomes “classic to modern, retro to kitsch” pieces and specialises in Artifort (an important Dutch upholstery label from the 60s). Given the lean global economy, there’s been a newfound appreciation for her refreshing heirlooms that are more than reasonably priced. Koeleman is an unabashed fan of Jessica Padt’s studio and her skills, calling her “an indispensable asset.”
At the northern tip of The Jordaan, stands the distinguished ➒ Westerhuis. Founded by design icon, Marcel Wanders, this former schoolhouse is now a hive of activity with the moooia prominent gallery showcased on the ground floor, firms specializing in art and culture throughout, and The Hub, an open-plan space on the top floor with temporary desks, internet access, and a library. For those who skipped “Dutch Design 101,” Rietveld’s revolutionary red and blue lacquered lounge chair in the 1920s established the Netherlands as a leader in the world of design, and The Westerhuis is further proof that this trend is alive and kicking.
If you’re into the vintage look, check out ➍ Anno for exceptional late 20th-Century furnishings. Our experts, Koeleman and Schreuder, both love Anno’s sexy 60s upholstery by Pierre Paulin. Anno also carry 70s pieces from Magis, as well as current labels like Kartell, and Dutch super-star, ARP, known for their beautifully executed wooden tables and seating, a natural choice for any sparse space.
Heading south to the Museumplein, it’s impossible to miss The Stedelijk, “the MoMA of Holland.” Established in 1895, renovations to this grand old building are expected to be completed December 2009. Until then, with typical Dutch resourcefulness, a portable initiative is touring the city via pre-fab construction cabins. Called ➊ “Stedelijk Goes to Town” these newsstand-sized mobile units keep the museum’s collection available by housing temporary art exhibitions and performances.
Next to investigate is De Pijp, a quaint area with a vibrant scene. Like its neighboring ’hoods, De Pijp is a study in contradictions. Juxtaposing Amsterdam’s charm with the super-hip is ➓ Sid Lee Collective, an internatio nal creative agency focused on communications and branding. The Collective sports an expansive gallery, boutique, and café, ideal for those hungry for design or food. As Koeleman points out: “It’s great—music, art, cuisine, and in my neighborhood!”
Nearby is the popular ➎ Vintage Home, a highly recommended high-end source of furnishings from Aalto to Eames, plus surprises from the 30s to 80s. Constantly changing the look of the showroom, the founder is eager to display these important classics in a comfy setting. It’s a great place to treat yourself to an Aldo van den Nieuwelaar collectible, a 70s Grundig hi-fi speaker, or a 60s Saarinen marble table.
Before leaving the De Pijp—or Amsterdam for that matter, all sightseers must explore at least one of the dozens of specialty outdoor markets. The Albert Cuyp Market is the largest and most well known of the open-air bazaars around town and is conveniently open six days a week. Packed with a lively mix of antiques, Asian imports, and obligatory bric-a-brac, the Albert Cuyp Market is also well stocked with fresh, local food purveyors.
Both Schreuder and Koeleman insist that any guide to this unique city is incomplete without a suggested walk through the transitional neighborhood of KNSM Eiland. Here, you’ll discover a real prize, ➏ The Pols Potten Winkel (winkel=shop), a mixture of private label and top name furniture and products. Pols Potten pride themselves on selling handmade goods that are “subtle, innovative, with a hint of quirkiness,” in other words, the epitome of Amsterdam.
Amsterdam still sits squarely on the shoulders of sturdy dikes, technically below sea level, but obviously well above the common ground in architecture, interiors, and innovation. A visit to the capital of the Netherlands, for the ﬁrst or ﬁftieth time, is guaranteed to satisfy the most blasé urbanite. The wise and weathered Dutch still offer the fruit of 400 years of savvy experience and international trade, plus the bonus of world-class designers from the last ten years. And all are equally welcome to explore Amsterdam’s notorious neighborhoods, share its Old World warmth, and revel in the future projected by its rich design.
Ok, it’s a fact, we’re head over heels for Resolution: 4 Architecture. We’re not even going to try and deny it. Yes, the previous two loft tours have been from them, and this one is too. Why should we explain, when we’re in love with this firm’s projects? Why hide it away?
This most recent loft comes with some quirks and some personal architectural choices (ones that display musical instruments and other collections), which is only befitting since the project was for Marvel Comic’s Editor-in-Chief in New York, Joe Quesada, and his family. The Chelsea loft was an entire gut-renovation and took 4,750-sq.-ft. and turned it into one large floor plan for the whole family to live and entertain in. Built-ins seem to be a distinguishing characteristic to the firm’s many projects, and they’re used again to accommodate Mr. Quesada’s large collection of comic artifacts. Besides the cool collections on display the master bedroom sits directly on axis with The Empire State Building (you can see it peeking out of one of the window views below). All in all, it’s one marv-elous loft for a Marvel Comics maven.
See if you can find the superhero who’s hiding out in this loft (hint: he’s got spider-like powers) . . .
Posted by Kyra Shapurji