Archive for November, 2009
The Molteni Group and Archivia Books are joining forces to invite you to toast the holiday season with furnishings, kitchens, and books at Archivia Books’ pop-up bookstore, which opens tomorrow evening.
Co-founders Cynthia Conigliaro and Will Rogers opened the independent bookshop Archivia Books on New York’s Upper East Side in 2007 to specialize in illustrated books. The original Archivia: The Decorative Arts Book Shop was located on Madison Avenue across from the Whitney Museum from 1991-2001, and had established an international reputation. Now housed in a lovely, 800 square-foot space on Manhattan’s Lexington Avenue, Archivia Books features over three thousand titles on architecture, design, decorative arts, interiors, furniture, gardens, fine arts, fashion, and a miscellany of fiction and non-fiction. The store serves neighborhood clientele as well as a professional base of architects, designers, gardeners, collectors, museum curators and all those interested in the visual and applied arts. Designed by Cynthia Conigliaro herself, the shop also offers a physical space where customers seeking design inspiration, cultural exploration, and historical reference can discover and interact.
The Italian furnishing company Molteni Group opened the two-floor Molteni&C Dada Unifor Flagship Store in the Soho neighborhood of Manhattan. The store features Molteni’s modern home furnishings, the Dada kitchen collections, doors by Citterio, and the contemporary furniture built for work environments by Unifor. The New York Flagship Store is the first example of integration not just of technology and style, but also of retail between all the firms in the Molteni Group.
We are excited to present the opening of their pop-up bookstore this season!
Details about the opening:
Tuesday, December 1, 2009 from 6-8 pm
Molteni&C Dada Unifor
New York Flagship Store
60 Greene Street
RSVP by phone at (212) 673-7106 or email email@example.com.
Posted by Nicole Bruce
One of the things I’m asked most to do as an interior designer is to help couples merge their looks into one cohesive home that reflects both of them while still maintaining some semblance of style. Not always an easy task! But, when I saw this photograph taken by a new blogger that I stumbled on a few weeks ago, it instantly reminded me of one of my favorite spaces that I think perfectly projects a casual masculine look with a feminine touch…
It’s that little touch of pale aqua in the room that really does it for me. The sheets and the lamp (a very feminine choice) take the room from simple to interesting – especially in contrast with those rich wood tones! And, of course, a flannel blanket just adds that bit of classic masculinity. Rough textures like the wood nightstand give it a rugged feel, and the dark blue accents add the perfect final compliment. I know I’d happily call this a room of my own!
Well, the weather outside isn’t quite so frightful here in New York City just yet. But, rest assured, winter is on its way. Air conditioners have come out of windows, heaters might be on for portions of the evening, and radiators are kicking on and rattling/hissing/clanging their old, obnoxious tunes. But turning up your heater (if you even have that option) doesn’t exactly have the same appeal as sitting around a cozy fire. Not everyone has the pleasure of owning a traditional fireplace in their home, and for the most part they are found in the living room area anyway. Who would have thought there would be other options for watching the mesmerizing flames flicker? And in whatever room you choose no less.
Now there’s a wide range of portable fireplaces that burn eco-friendly ethanol to replace traditional fireplaces. They offer that same inviting vibe, but can be used in any home, in any room, and can be taken with you when you move. So you can keep warm wherever you are in your home with these innovative, portable or wall mountable fireplaces that are as functional as they are stylish. While you may not exactly welcome the wet feet and cold digits that winter brings, you will be longing to fire up one of these once you’re back inside while curling up on the couch with a book and mug of hot chocolate for a toasty evening indoors.
(Pictured above: Vauni Cupola)
Vauni’s Cupola is a wall-mountable fireplace made of light-weight aluminum, making it as easy to hang as a flat screen TV. Available in a black or white matte finish, the slender design looks like a modern sculpture even when it’s not lit. The Cupola is equipped with a bio-ethanol burner that allows for vent-less fires.
They also have a globe-shaped, free-standing hearth, powered by an advanced ethanol burner.
(Pictured above: Icoya Fireplace from Arkiane)
This steel fireplace from Arkiane can be wall-mounted or built into the wall, which is ideal for tight spaces. There are also many other modern designs worth exploring from Arkiane.
The Malle à Feu is a simple, white trunk that opens to reveal a two-flame ethanol fire inside. They also make a travel-size box, which might be nice for vacationing during cooler seasons.
(Pictured above: Zeta Portable Ventless Fireplace)
The Zeta Portable Ventless Fireplace is made of timber, leather and stainless steel with a stainless-steel swivel base. It burns denatured ethanol, an environmentally friendly, renewable biofuel.
(Pictured above: Ponton Fireplace)
The Ponton Fireplace has a glass cylinder body and is fueled with standard or bio alcohol and ethanol.
(Pictured above: Fredrik Hylten-Cavallius Piet)
Swedish designer Fredrik Hylten-Cavallius designed the Piet, a chimney-free indoor fireplace with a brass reflector that burns ethanol fuel instead of wood. Because it doesn’t give off smoke, there is no need for a chimney, making it versatile and portable. It also has a layer of rockwool fire insulation between the reflector and the outer shell, which keeps the outside ceramic body cool, so you can keep it close to walls and furniture without worrying.
Posted by Nicole Bruce
We decided the real sweet life resides not only in a European loft, but also in an old sugar warehouse nonetheless. So we had to share this loft that came to us by way of Uxus Design and the company’s (and the loft’s) owners and directors, George Gottl and Oliver Michell, who decided to keep the original wooden interior of this 18th century Amsterdam sugar warehouse.
Built in 1763 and located on the Bloemgracht canal and in the Jordaan district (the hot spot for lofts we’re beginning to realize) the loft also boasts a panoramic view overlooking the city. But an important note on the interior is it continued to remain in its original state for almost 250 years until the owners decided to add their own design tastes and choices. Uxus Design has this to say about the loft: “In keeping the original open-plan layout we created a series of dramatic curtain walls that could be opened and closed according to the needs of use. Made of luxurious Italian linen, the curtain walls are opaque when lit from the front yet transparent from behind. At night, the space becomes a series of glowing tents, creating the effect of a surreal interior landscape.”
We especially love all the natural elements that this loft oozes, what with the hard-to-miss wooden interior, animals, antlers, and coral (all found objects from markets around Europe) combined with the art collection and draped curtains gives it an overall unique cinematic and surreal gothic feel. But maybe what gets us most, is the clever way they’ve designed their master closet, scroll down to see the sweetest closet we’ve seen to date.
Posted by Kyra Shapurji
Photography by Dim Balem
Up-in-coming interior designer Ryan Korban recently launched a website showcasing a selection of his projects to date which span from commercial to residential and other various interiors in between. Clients including downtown designer Alexander Wang, actor James Franco, model Natasha Poly and the stylish daughter’s of Danielle Steel–Victoria & Vanessa Traina, in addition to shopping go-to’s Barneys and Opening Ceremony, have all turned to the young designer for a classy, curated space that incorporates traditional English design elements fused with ornate and rich modern pieces. Creating an upscale yet functional space that is both polished and un-stuffy is the designer’s specialty, and his unique approach is one we’re excited to watch evolve.
LoftLife: As a traditionally untrained designer, what led you to this field?
Ryan Korban: I have always been drawn to the arts whether it was fashion, theater, or fine arts. My desire for creating environments was something that I was born with. Whether it was doing the table scape for my mother’s dinner parties or coming up with a concept for the Christmas tree every year. My desire to actually be an interior designer didn’t develop until I was older, but my passion for atmosphere was always there. Once I entered university at the New School, I had realized that creating full environments was what I wanted to do. Even at that point I didn’t want to go to school for it. I was more interested in having an academic degree. For me design is not about drafting living rooms in a classroom, but learning about the past. A perfected yet untrained eye has always been what inspires me. I studied European history and art and my liberal arts degree taught me more about how to create an alluring environment than studying floor plans would have.
In my senior year of school I was ready to exercise my skills so I designed my first commercial space while I was in school.This was a store I opened with a friend. What better way to start than having the challenge of creating a store? It had to be such an alluring space that people would want to buy something in it. Edon Manor really was a collection of everything I had studied and learned, from the rare book collection to the china collections, it supported my ideas of creating an academic space. Also my informal training lent itself as I was able to create a residential design for a commercial space. I hate how stuck America design is. In Europe the lines between commercial and residential are totally blurred and I am so drawn to that. So Edon Manor really was my first ever project.
LL: What finally led you to launch a website?
RK: I work with a very specific group of people and this is very important to me in order to create a body of work that feels different than what we have seen before. I really felt that the interior world was making little effort to try new things and as I saw the publications dropping (Domino, House and Garden, Metropolitan Home, Vogue Living) I realized that there lack of change and risk was really hurting the industry. This is why I am so drawn to the fashion world and the people in it. There is something new and relevant going on all the time. I feel a huge disconnect when I look at a lot of the interior publications. I work with CFDA winners, actors who have been in Academy Award nominated movies, and models who have been in couture shows and they don’t even live like the people do in Architectural Digest. I think the interior world is so fixed on square footage, I am more concerned with creating something fresh and sexy. I don’t feel any sex appeal in the interior world. So I thought it was time to publish my small, but precise body of work under my own name which is now the website.
LL: You have a strong fashion following, in addition to co-owning/designing Tribeca’s Edon Manor. How do you see fashion tastes crossing over with interior style?
RK: Working within the fashion world is so inspiring. It’s young, it’s fresh and it’s glamorous. All the things I look to achieve when I create a space. I love working with designers and watching them grow into lifestyle brands and helping them do that. The connection is so there and so underutilized that it makes me angry. My fashion clients know so much about what kind of mood they want and how they want to feel in a space its amazing. They know about silhouettes and fabrics. They have such a new approach to the treatment of fabrics and furs because of clothing. The way they develop fabrics is so advanced compared to the interior industry. Even the older, experienced, and respected people in fashion still look to be sexy and of the time. This is what really draws me to their world and pushes me to create spaces that feel sexy and sophisticated.
LL: Good design should be accessible. As a young designer, with a young clientele, how do you see a new generation’s attitude toward working with an interior designer on their home and not just doing it on their own?
RK: For me it’s so easy. I love working in small spaces — it’s my passion. Anyone with money can buy an Upper East Side condo or a mansion in the Hamptons and make it look amazing. I am more interested in what you do with a 600-square-foot studio in SoHo or the East Village. My work is based on taste not size and I think that is the new approach to interiors and my clients share this approach. Young people, even young rich people want to live the way they dress. Not everything needs to be polished and precise. Working with young people makes my jog so exciting and challenging. It forces me to really focus on what we should invest in. I work with a lot of renters so it’s important that I give them furniture they will have for the rest of their lives. When I work with someone it is usually their first time to hire a designer; I’m always flattered that they come to me and its exciting to take their virginity.
LL: That said, what are your favorite spots for shopping on a budget?
RK: I love shopping at Flair, of course they have very expensive pieces, but you can also go in and get the best accessories for the home. You can get stunning crystal ashtrays for $150. I love flea markets and I am addicted to Housing Works online auctions.
LL: What design elements do you begin a project with?
RK: I always start with a mood, it could be a color, a scent, or a flower. I like to develop the feeling my clients want and the world that they want to live in. That is more important than any tangible element of design. I never feel confident choosing furniture until I know the exact mood they want to achieve. Working with the senses is how I always start.
LL: Traditional English design is a big influence in your aesthetic. What began your obsession?
RK: I’m drawn to an old world dark romance that is so hard to find these days. I think my obsession started with Sweeney Todd, Eliza Doolittle, and Oliver Twist as a kid. From there it expanded into Princess Diana, The Clash, Amy Winehouse, and Kate Moss. My partner (Davinia Wang) at Edon Manor is from London as well and we have spent so much time in Oxford and
Holland Park. The idea of tradition is so alive there and the idea of rock is also still so alive. The enormous gap between Brink Lane and Buckingham Palace is so fascinating to me. To have such highs and lows creates so much romance in so many different ways that I cant help but be inspired. Plus I have a large obsession with the Elizabethan era to think England has had women ruling for so many years and are such a strong and wealthy country is amazing. Especially when we think we are the progressive ones.
LL: What kinds of projects do you hope to work on down the line?
RK: I hope to just keep doing what I do now. I hope that I can help bring life to the interior world and most of all I hope we can start to see exciting things happen. I love the projects that I do whether its a store, showroom, home or even a baby shower for the future I just hope I can keep getting interesting work with inspiring people. A hotel wouldn’t hurt either. If I don’t learn something or find something new working with a client then I’ll know it wasn’t a success.
LL: Describe your ideal home, and where? Is there a city or neighborhood, decorating theme, etc.
RK: My ideal home wouldn’t reflect a time period or a design aesthetic, not even a neighborhood, but instead a complete fantasy. The design world is so obsessed with dates, times and eras I’m obsessed with the idea of walking into a space and feeling like you are in a whole other world that has never existed until that very moment. That’s my ideal home, it’s a bit of a fairy tale.
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
Sometimes what we really need in our homes is a sanctuary space–for me, it’s my bedroom. A neutral palette of greys and whites helps me clear my head and calm my nerves at the end of a long day. When I saw some of the dreamy piece from the Chloe Spring 2010 RTW collection, I felt that same sense of dreamy relaxation…
Fresh whites and creams in loose, billowing fabrics lend themselves perfectly as inspiration for a peaceful bedroom like this one from Kara Mann. The layers of textures here mimic those of the Chloe look–all in a palette of creamy whites. That plush throw is especially fantastic, and I love the use of light woods and silvers with a dark floor to ground it all. Anyone else ready for a nap?
Photographer Anita Calero migrated to West Chelsea long before the current stampede of millionaires. Back in the 1990s, she rented a 2,000-square-foot loft in an artists’ condominium, which she then bought and began to reconfigure. Calero knocked wide doorways into several rooms, including the new eat-in kitchen with its major appliances carefully hidden from the adjacent spaces. The dining table and chairs are lightly restored Jean Prouvé “standard chairs,” with a faux-coral chandelier above (Calero frequents furniture dealers and flea markets). Of course, this kind of archaeology isn’t possible in the ultra-luxury apartments rising around Calero’s building. We especially love how she has embraced the older elements of the space.
Photography by Anita Calero/GMAimages.com and Jonny Valiant