Monday, December 26, 2016

Happy New Year 2017!

Happy New Year to all my followers and regular readers. May 2017 be a peaceful and prosperous year for the planet.

See you next week for the first post of 2017. Until then, Happy Designing!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Happy Winter Solstice and Happy Holidays 2016!

This year, the Winter Solstice for the northern hemisphere happens this Wednesday, December 21st. I am wishing everyone a Happy Winter Solstice and a beautiful and joyous Holiday Season!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Know Your Chairs: The Platner Chair

Warren Platner started out as an architect but he will forever be known as a furniture designer and interior designer. He was a member of Eero Saarinen’s office (previously here) from 1960 to 1965, participating in the designs for the Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., the Repertory Theatre at Lincoln Center, and John Deere World Headquarters. But it wasn't until 1966 when he unveiled through Knoll his classic Platner chair collection that he found his true calling. All the pieces--except the Platner Loveseat which is no longer made--have been in continuous production since their introduction and each sculptural base of these staples of modernist design is made up of hundreds of steel rods which take over one thousand welds to manufacture!

Warren Platner was inducted into Interior Design magazine’s hall of fame in 1985. Until falling ill, Platner was still active in his firm, working on projects. He died in 2006 at the age of 86.

The Platner Arm Chair--
can be bought from Knoll here

The Platner Easy Chair--
can be bought from Knoll here

The Platner Lounge Chair--
can be bought from Knoll here

Happy designing!

Monday, December 5, 2016

A Flokati Will Keep You Warm

For the colder months here in the Northern Hemisphere, nothing keeps you warmer than all natural wool. And what could be more luxurious than feeling warm, thick wool pile under your feet instead of a cold wood or tile floor?

A flokati (flow-KAH-tee) is a type of rug that has been woven in Greece for thousands of years. Originally created by Vlach shepherds in the Pindus mountain range on the border of Greece and Albania, these rugs are made entirely of sheep wool, including the base. When the rug is being woven, long wool strands are inserted in between the weft fibers (the ones that run horizontally, or left to right). The rugs are then left in cold running water like rivers or waterfalls (or machine baths) where the long wool strands unravel and fluff out, while the backing gets much tighter, creating the classic, shag-rug look and feel of a flokati.

Today, these rugs are still handmade in Greece. In fact, in 1966 the Greek Ministries of Finance, Industry, and Commerce passed a law regarding flokatis that is reminiscent of the territorial claims for champagne (in order to be called champagne and not just a sparkling wine, it must be made in the Champagne region of France). The law specified that for a rug to be classified as a flokati, it must be hand woven in Greece and must be made of 100% wool (warp, weft, and pile). The total weight of the rug must be at least 1800 grams of wool per square meter. And the flokati must be subjected to the water friction process for the pile to unravel and fluff out.

Since they were popular in the United States in the 1970s, these rugs can have a slightly retro vibe to them. But as you can see below, they can look completely modern too!

Flokatis don't have to go on the floor either--they can be spread on chairs or on the backs of sofas...or even hung on walls like a tapestry to give a space texture.

Happy designing!

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Modern Christmas Tree

Last holiday season, I created a post called "The Non Traditional Holiday Tree" seen here, and the first photo showed a minimal tree made out of rings and ornaments only. I did not have a source for the tree but I have since discovered that it is The Modern Christmas Tree, invented by Bud Stoecker. The official website tells the story:

"In 2011 Matthew Bliss, as an ode to his grandfather, re-created his grandfather’s design of the Modern Christmas Tree and made it available to the public. Originating in the 1960s, Bliss’ grandfather, an Engineer and architect known as Lawrence “Bud” Stoecker, designed the first Modern Christmas Tree from cardboard. Bud loved to build A-Frame modern style homes making the Modern Christmas a natural fit for him. Over the years the trees design was refined, moving from cardboard, to Masonite, to Plexiglas and the ornaments were updated for aesthetic fine turning. Today the trees are designed in a range of acrylics and the ornaments are classic globes and chandelier crystals for sparkle and shine."

The tree is available in classic Pearl, shown above, but also in Emerald, Ruby, and Sapphire seen in the following photos.

The tree was photographed in a few Mid-Century and classic Modernist houses including the famous Stahl House in Los Angeles...

...and the Sculptured house or Sleeper House in Colorado.

If you'd like a Modern Christmas Tree for the fast approaching holidays, you can buy one from their website!

Happy designing!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Monday, November 14, 2016

Question of the Day: Single Hole or Widespread?

Chicken or beef? Heels or flats? Coffee or tea? New or vintage? Sweet or savory? Life can be full of so many choices and so can a remodel!

I've been doing almost exclusively bathroom remodels for the past several months (sometimes it just works out that way) and one of the things that surprises clients when we go to make decisions about bathroom hardware is what I call The Faucet Dilemma. I will show clients faucets that are traditional widespread faucets and then single hole faucets, and invariably they respond, ,"Gee, I've never noticed that before. Which one should I get?"

While there is no right answer to that question, there are a few things to keep in mind when making this decision.

A traditional widespread consists of three pieces: the center faucet and hot and cold handles on the sides. It is called a "widespread" because the handles can be positioned away from the faucet, traditionally 8" on center. Some models claim that distance can be up to 12" or even 22" if you have a lot of counter space! If you get a true widespread and not a mini-spread (which is a much smaller 4" on center), cleaning the area around the faucet is easy. Here are some photos of spaces I have designed with traditional widespread faucets.

You too may have never given much thought to a widespread or a single hole faucet. The following photos illustrating bathrooms I have designed with single hole faucets represent clients who want a look that is more streamlined in terms of how many pieces of hardware is on the counter. Another advantage is that cleaning is much easier when you only have one stem around which to wipe. And it only takes a single hand to turn on the water and balance the hot and cold. These are all things to think about when considering ease and function!

If you are considering a bathroom remodel but are overwhelmed with options, give me a call. I can help.
Happy designing!

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Art of Tableau Continued...

I've said it before, and I will happily say it again: I love to style a space and create tableaux. It has always been one of my favorite aspects of being an interior designer. I suppose it plays to the inveterate "collector" in me, to be able to group things together, to display objects of beauty or curiosity, or to assemble pieces which would ordinarily not be noticed on their own. Creating a tableau, or a "tablescape" as some call it, is one of the quickest ways to set a tone for a room. It's almost like creating a three dimensional piece of art, a sculpture if you will.

If you missed it, check out my post "The Art of Tableau: Four Tips For A Better Display" and its companion post "Contrast Brings Interest." You'll find pointers and tips about creating tableau and displaying interesting and precious objects.

To be continued...

I hope this post inspires you to try your hand at a tableau in your home!
Happy designing!