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
The moment you’ve all been waiting for is almost here: March 22nd you may purchase the beautiful Charlotte Moss Decorates title from our favorite publishing house Rizzoli. We were lucky enough to snag a review copy and can assure you it is worth the purchase. In the book we are treated to gorgeous photographs of the amazingly layered, perfectly British stylings of this accomplished decorator who has continued to shape the World’s interiors one room at a time. A few favorite spaces include the one featured on the gorgeous cover: a garden room located in a house in Washington. You actually see a before picture that makes one realize that she started out with a bare, white room.
Moss creates atmosphere, charm, and character like no one else. Her gallery style hangings have so influenced other designers, it’s all you see in the magazines. Who else can get away with putting a canopy bed right in the middle of the room, only to then use a plush, over-sized ottoman as a side table. Now that’s chic. You can purchase the book directly from Rizzoli, or buy it on Amazon. Below is a sneak peak as to what’s in store.
In Timeless Elegance: The Houses of David Easton, we are given a rare look at the incredible range this American Interior Designer had. While the book covers everything from a Mexican stucco house to an Aspen residence, our favorite spaces featured here are his Manhattan apartments. Easton was surprisingly eclectic, especially in the urban styling he arranged. Lots of gold leaf, lots of animal prints mixed with classically appointed ticking. Everything has a classic, slightly masculine feel that is inspired.
Below find a sneak peak of some of the beautiful spaces featured.
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:
The polished design of this sophisticated SoHo loft comes from our new favorite firm SPI Design. Based in LA, Sarah Shetter and Alison Palevsky founded SPI Design back in 2004 in an attempt to bring modern luxury in a livable way to urban dwellers. We love the clean lines mixed with quirky, comical touches. In this loft they have intentionally maintained the original industrial elements inherent in the space while also creating a warm, cozy, chic environment.
Our favorite details: the nicely curated photography on display, the color coded book shelf, the photo gallery hung above the sideboard in the dining/living room and the state-of-the art kitchen that is made from sustainable materials such as PaperStone counter-tops, FSC-certified cabinet base panels, and FSC-certified birch veneer cabinet fronts. And how great is the touch of regency-glamour in the bedroom? We love the mirrored side tables topped off with mercury glass lamps. The black and silver is perfectly playful, as is the rest of the space. Enjoy! For more information on this adorable design duo, visit their lovely website here.
Above, designers Sarah Shetter and Alison Palevsky.
Story by Cate West Zahl
Ten years ago, there was nothing democratic about the design world. The hierarchy of magazine editor to interior designer to consumer was tightly controlled. Today, everything has changed. If anything, the editor’s relationship with the blogosphere is a symbiotic one. Here, we’ve turned the tables, showing the faces and spaces behind seven exceptional design blogs from around the world. As it turns out, women are on the cutting edge of this phenomenon. Try not to act surprised.
Cassandra LaValle of coco + kelley
Coco + Kelley
Located in Seattle, Cassandra LaValle started Coco + Kelley in 2007 when her best friend persistently sent her links to other blogs. “I had no idea what they were, but I knew I wanted to create a space where I could post and keep track of all my favorite finds from fashion and interior design magazines,” she recalls. And it was the fashion aspect of her blog that caught our eye and the way she merges those disciplines together as well as why she’s a contributing blogger for us. Her aesthetic is feminine and mature, frequently featuring chintz, bright colors, and layered interiors with non-offensive feminine touches. Readers describe it in three words: glamorous, classy, and fun. The three pillars she focuses on are interiors, fashion, and entertaining, with a particular focus on color palettes and trends.
When it comes to her own space, she’s all about the details. “My favorite pieces aren’t large—they’re the little things that make up a room or have a story behind it. Linens brought back from France, my first piece of Hermès china, a gorgeous crystal vase found in a thrift store, my first piece of art—they tell a story and a history. It’s what’s within the walls that matter most. Locations can change, but the pieces remain the same,” says LaValle. Her motto for her Seattle home is “nothing too overdone,” with an emphasis on entertainment, seen in her proper bar setup, casually situated on a two-level white console table. She embraces being a woman in the best possible way, but doesn’t take herself or her brand too seriously. She also recently began her own company, also called Coco+Kelley, which does everything from event planning to interior design. “We do urbane interiors and stylish events for modern sophisticates across the country,” says LaValle. cocokelly.blogspot.com
Francesca Connolly of Remodelista
Julie Carlson of Remodelista
During simultaneous renovations on their living spaces, childhood friends Julie Carlson and Francesca Connolly realized they had collectively amassed a huge amount of information on design files and fixtures. “We shared a reverence for good architecture and have an eerily similar aesthetic—a shared design DNA, we call it,” says Carlson. So in the summer of 2006, they launched Remodelista for those experiencing the renovation process. Today, the blog has over a million monthly visitors. With inspirations such as Ted Meuling and Paola Lenti, it’s no surprise that Connolly describes her home’s aesthetic as “comfortable classic with a bit of glamour.”
Representing the East Coast, Connolly lives in a recently overhauled brownstone in Brooklyn Heights. Carlson, on the other hand, lives in Mill Valley, California, in a shingled bungalow style house. “Perhaps it’s my Swedish heritage, but I’m constantly trying to edit and refine my space,” she admits. Carlson’s heroes include Scandinavian greats such as Marcel Breuer, Eero Saarinen and Walter Gropius. As a result, her house is pared-down and laid back, coinciding with her town’s rustic vibe. While they live on opposite coasts, the duo’s favorite aspects of their homes are outside. For Carlson, she loves her outdoor shower that’s open to the elements. Meanwhile, Connolly appreciates her outdoor porch. “It makes entertaining so easy,” she says, “with just a hint of street life in the background.” remodelista.com
Victoria Smith of SF Girl by Bay
SF Girl by Bay
Back in June of 2006, Victoria Smith was set on having her space featured on the blog Apartment Therapy. She needed a place to store the pictures of her 800-square-foot pad in the Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, and started her own site to do so. Sure enough, AT ran the feature, which led people to visit her blog, so she kept updating it. “Blogging encapsulates my three main loves—design, photography, and writing,” she says. “I find it the perfect creative niche for me.” Her blog is much like her place: bohemian, modern, and crafty. She averages two-to-four posts a day, showcasing everything from scanned Polaroids of local scenes to loft spaces in Amsterdam. Smith’s space is full of her favorite things, including an Art Deco buffet she bought for five dollars and refurbished herself. “I don’t like cookie-cutter, typical catalogy-looking spaces. I like the unexpected, and I’m very inspired by vintage-modern furnishings,” she says. This appetite for quirky finds sets her blog apart. sfgirlbybay.com
Lori Langille of Autmatism
Based in Ottawa, Canada, Lori Langille started Automatism in 2006 for her friends so she could post all the things she came across online. She never dreamed it would be anything more than that, but as people started taking notice (and her traffic started to rise), she decided to go with it. “I gradually became more interested in developing my blog as a little online magazine where I could share my interests with like-minded people. I love the sense of community in the design blog world—I’ve met a lot of truly lovely people through it.”
Unlike the blogs out there with strict themes, Langille’s rule for the type of content she posts is simply whether she likes it or not. “I’m just as interested in writing about art, books, or illustration as I am about interior design. The one common theme is my somewhat minimal aesthetic—I like interiors and art that can breath,” she says. Her tiny apartment in Ottawa—less than 800-square-feet— is flooded with light that “makes up for the lack of room,” she says. Langille’s influences are Charles and Ray Eames and Isamu Noguchi, and when it comes to decorating her space, she focuses more on the feel and less on the stuff. “I do strive for a serene environment where I feel relaxed and creative, which is why I’m drawn to minimalism.” Her all-time favorite piece of hers? “Definitely my set of two Danish teak mid-century chairs and my matching side table that were my grandmother’s,” she says. “My mom gave them to me years ago. I feel so lucky to have them.” lorilangille.blogspot.com
Kim Johnson of Desire To Inspire
Desire to Inspire
It all started on Flickr for founder Kim Johnson and Jo Walker. “We met on the site, as she shared my passion for discovering the most eye-catching interior design photos. We quickly had so much traffic that we realized we could start a blog with the same concept,” recalls Johnson. Currently, Desire to Inspire is the place to find the best interior images online. Devoted to showcasing larger-scale photos of interiors and exteriors, the majority of the content is from the best lensmen in the field, making it a place for both design fan and art lover alike. Johnson lives in Ottawa (along with her seven cats) where she’s a web developer for the Canadian government, and lives in a colorful home with a recently renovated kitchen, her favorite space. “I love how the living room and dining room are now open to each other,” she says. “My kitchen is now a dream, and I love spending time in there and cooking up a storm.” Her favorite home treasure? “It’s a tossup between my white Panton S Chairs and the DIY couch my boyfriend and I built.” desiretoinspire.net
Danielle de Lange of The Style Files
The Style Files
From her stand-alone house in The Netherlands, located 20 minutes away from Amsterdam, Danielle de Lange started The Style Files back in 2006 to document global design. With an emphasis on the Dutch, the blog reflects the author’s day job as an interior sylist and location scout. She’s known for posting sparse, not-so-standard interiors. And her renovated house reflects just that, with a lack of any decoration on the walls, a pile of wood placed in a corner, and an open-layout kitchen. “My design style is basic and modern. My goal is to make a client’s house warm and inviting,” says de Lange. You can buy into her look, too. In 2007, she opened Le Souk, an online store with hard-to-find Danish products. style-files.com
Kris Bernard of Better Living Through Design
Katie Hagar of Better Living Through Design
Better Living Through Design
The premise of BLTD is simple: provide purchasable content and great sources for the modern home—from hard-to-find items to inspirational interiors. It started five years ago when Kris Bernard (top) and Katie Hagar (bottom) met at a party in Dallas and discovered their mutual appreciation for good design. According to Hagar, “BLTD was started in hopes that we could create a resource for items actually available in the ‘click and buy’ sense.” And that’s what BLTD does very well. “The aesthetic we lean towards is modern. Especially anything with an eye towards straight lines and innovative manufacturing techniques or materials,” says Bernard, who teaches architectural drafting. Her interests are focused in design that results in the reduction of cost, space, and environmental impact.
With quirky touches like a Stormtrooper head from Star Wars, a regal gold-leafed colonial mirror, and cartoonish oil paintings, Hagar describes her home’s décor, saying, “I suppose I go for an eclectic mix. I love modern things, but I also like the history of antiques and flea market finds.” Her BLTD partner Bernard lives in Los Angeles and brings the international, European influence to the site that makes the content all the more expansive. Her space is a bit more refined and pared down, with inspirations such as Tom Dixon, Moooi, and, Droog. According to Bernard, her house is “modern, simple, livable and comfortable, but injected with a sense of humor.” betterlivingthroughdesign.com
To see more from these lovely ladies, pick up a copy of our Spring 2010 Issue on newsstands!
Creative talents and independent minds have forged a bulwark against boredom in America’s greenest city
It’s not surprising that Portland is a design-driven city, with top-shelf creative firms such as Nike and Wieden + Kennedy calling it home. What’s surprising to outsiders is that the people shaping the scene have little to do with these recognizable names. Rather, it’s the emerging architects, designers, craftsmen, and artists who are driving the city’s cultural growth. “Portland is a very accessible city for young creatives,” says noted architect Jeff Kovel of Skylab Architecture.
Kovel and others have carved out spaces for artistic expression in each of the city’s main quadrants. Take the gritty Eastside: Kovel put the area on the map in 2004 with his Doug Fir Lounge, an offbeat restaurant, bar, and live music venue whose design could be defined as ’50s modernism meets cosmopolitan truck-stop diner. In the upstairs bar, onion rings, burgers, and “Grandma’s Meatloaf” are served, while the downstairs lounge hosts rock shows for a late-night crowd.
Next door, the 80-room Jupiter Hotel looks like it was lifted from a ’60s California postcard. Also open since 2004, the hotel was a design collaboration between Skylab and owners Kelsey Bunker and Tod Breslau, featuring recently updated guestrooms with modern headboards made from Ikea-like furniture, mod chandeliers, hand-painted wall murals, and Rothko-esque bright colors.
The workers who frequent the Jupiter for happy-hour drinks labor nearby at bside6, a new, seven-story office building. Designed by Works Partnership Architecture with Le Corbusier in mind, the project inhabits a simple concrete frame that creates four window-filled façades, interspersed with “city rooms” that offer views of downtown at its best.
Elsewhere on the Eastside, newish developments such as the former food bank called The Hub are home to lifestyle boutiques, including the hybrid florist-décor shop Ink & Peat. Clientele frequent this light-filled boutique to browse country-chic wares that include rustic pottery, letterpress greeting cards, and brightly patterned pillows.
Nowhere in Portland is the design scene so centralized as it is in the Westside’s posh Pearl District. Formerly a shady neighborhood characterized by dilapidated warehouses, this pedestrian-friendly, art-loving community is now marked by high-rise condos interspersed with exceptional dining locales. There’s one restaurant that only vegetarian denizens won’t travel to—BEAST . With an intimate, tiny setting of two communal tables framing an open kitchen, the restaurant boasts a “frank appreciation of meat.” Chef Naomi Pomeroy creates weekly menus and keeps them to six-course, prix fixe dinners with only two seatings per evening. Menus have included potato-leek soup topped with maple-glazed bacon and chervil salsa, and shredded rabbit over spätzle. For another helping of dessert, stop at one of two locations of Cacao. Owners Jesse Manis and Aubrey Lindley, boast what they call “chocolate prêt-à-porter meets chocolate haute.” The shop has more than 35 kinds of the sweet stuff, offered in both chewable and drinkable form.
Elsewhere in the Pearl, modern furniture stores like Hive feed the decorating desires of local loft owners, while the Museum of Contemporary Craft invites contemplation about design with rotating exhibits and public programs, complemented by monthly First Thursday gallery walks and annual shows dedicated to contemporary art, including fall’s Time-Based Art Festival.
Nearby is the West End, a budding shopping district sandwiched between the Pearl and downtown. Here, young professionals peruse the wares at Canoe, a modern home shop with a stock of simple, functional products. Close by is the headquarters of Ziba, a design consultancy, built in 2008 by Holst Architecture. The firm used native Douglas Fir throughout the 53,000-square-foot LEED Gold-certified space, keeping up with the city’s reknowned environmental standards. There’s even an auditorium open for public events.
Just a few blocks away sits the soulful Ace Hotel. This smart, nostalgic renovation of a 1912 hotel stretches an entire block and has 79 rooms flaunting vintage décor and wall murals from emerging artists such as street artist-skateboarder Brent Wick. An adjacent event space known as The Cleaners hosts regular events such as the bike-themed party, Artcrank.
Within walking distance from the eco-chic Ace Hotel sits the Nines Hotel, which houses Kovel’s 9,000-square-foot Departure Restaurant + Lounge features a new-millennium sheen, softened by an ocean-liner motif and Asian cuisine. The polished wood-paneled dining room has nautical map murals, marine-inspired teak decking, and an outdoor space that offers arresting views of downtown. Also located downtown is a veteran hot spot, Saucebox, where, since 1995 chic patrons have gathered for cocktails, as well as pan-Asian and Pacific Island cuisine.
Still need some retail therapy? Then Relish on the Northwest side is worth visiting for another round of shopping. This modern-home boutique attracts shoppers with an affinity for local green goods such as architect Jeanie Lai’s line of felt jewelry, runners, and coasters. Nike and gang may have set the stage for a burgeoning design scene, but it’s the under-the-radar individuals like Lai who are taking Portland to the next level. Says Kovel, “There’s a low barrier of entry here, allowing for many early-career opportunities for self-expression.” So far, it’s proven to be a winning design for success.
Photography by Linden Olivia Hass
We asked some of our favorite designers to select their favorite kitchen hues that have the power to transform any space-remodeling not required.
Matthew Hufft of Hufft Projects:
“I am obsessed with the new Benjamin Moore Aura paints. I find rich reds such as Caliente to be appropriate for the kitchen, since they stimulate the appetite and create a sense of warmth.” Benjamin Moore Caliente AF-290
Amanda Nisbet of Amanda Nisbet Design:
“Farrow & Ball’s Charleston Gray is such a sophisticated and warm gray/brown. It’s very chic and it can work with a variety of accent colors, in either a modern or traditional setting.” Farrow & Ball Charleston Gray 243
Eric Cohler of Eric Cohler Deisgn:
“Use any bold color that makes a declarative statement and it says ‘Let’s have fun.’ Kitchens need to be kicked up a notch.” Benjamin Moore Marlboro Blue HC–153
Delta Wright of Curated:
“This allows the kitchen to reflect a love of cooking. The deep, rich color adds warmth and complexity, while providing a dramatic contrast to white marble counter tops and crisp linens.” Benjamin Moore Graphite 1603
Cover Your Tracks
These designers suggest taking an extra step to elevate your kitchen into glam territory. The following wallcoverings add depth and personality. And, yes, some are easy to clean.
Amanda Nisbet of Amanda Nisbet Design:
“A fabulous aspect of this covering is that you can’t tell it’s vinyl. This surface is impervious to the spills and grime commonplace “Grassweave” in a kitchen. vinyl wallcovering by Koroseal
Ann West of Ann West Interiors:
“For a smaller apartment or loft kitchen, always go with something graphic. The Edo print is a fresh “Edo” take on early-’70s graphics. It’s very reminiscent of. wallpaper by Quadrille
Matthew Hufft of Hufft Projects:
“I find cooking around walls that are covered in paper to be out of sync with my design sensibility. “Shagreen Deco” That is why vinyl makes sense. It provides texture. vinyl wallcovering by Koroseal
Vicente Wolf of Vicente Wolf Associates:
“The Pleat Series adds depth, texture and a little warmth. And because it’s vinyl, it’s easy to clean—“Pleat” perfect for use in a kitchen or bathroom.” vinyl wallcovering by Maharam
The Future Perfect’s recently opened store on Great Jones Street is now showing an exhibit featuring works by Constantin and Laurene Boym set to run through the holidays until January 7, 2010. Their presentation of Timeless Objects includes a number of items created exclusively for The Future Perfect. Prior to the store’s installation, the Boym duo presented Timeless Objects to the public at Lisbon’s ExperimentaDesign in September, NYC’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in October, and in a personal exhibition last month at Wright in Chicago.
(Photo from Dezeen.com)
(Photo from Objectdesignleague.org)
As modern alchemists in their Brooklyn studio, the Boyms take ordinary objects and apply a coat of special, secret formula for a tough type of polymer that ends up looking like the dripping bronze of historical monuments. And voila! The mundane, discarded objects are now quite beautiful, giving new life worthy of a second look from the people who might otherwise disregard them in their everyday worlds.
Their handmade collection, a sort of commentary on the essential versus the trivial, challenges the commonplace with permanence and attempts to give the objects everlasting value. In line with the Boyms’ earlier projects, such as Recycle (1989), Searstyle (1992-94), and SalvationCeramics (2000-02), Constantin and Laurene Boym aspired to emancipate conventional objects from oblivion and neglect to give them new value and another life.
Visit the exhibit at The Future Perfect Manhattan outpost:
The Future Perfect
55 Great Jones Street (Bowery)
New York City, 10012
Posted by Nicole Bruce