Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Change Is Good!

So it's official! We're finally finished with DIFFA'S Dining By Design and we couldn't be more thrilled with the experience as well as the overwhelming support from everyone involved who either made a donation or stopped by over the weekend to check out this incredible event. We apologize for being off the radar the past couple of weeks, but it took quite a bit of time and energy to put this together. However, in the end it was more than worth all the hard work and effort to get it done. We met some of the nicest, most talented designers who were also participating in DBD and we were truly amazed at their level of creativity and imagination. We started setting up last Wednesday with essentially an entire group of strangers, but by the time we broke everything down this morning, we felt like we had just returned from a weekend a way with good friends.

Again, for those of you who may not be aware DIFFA
(Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS) is one of the largest fundraisers benefiting HIV/AIDS service and education organizations in the United States and has provided more than $35 million to hundreds of these groups nationwide since it's inception. Dining By Design is DIFFA's signature fund-raising event and multicity marketing platform, where designer's are asked to create elaborate dining experiences to showcase their creativity. It also happens to be one of THE most fun events of the year!

Considering the current economic climate, we wanted to create a dining environment that focused on helping DIFFA as much as possible throughout the 5 day event. Even during difficult times almost everyone has some spare change in their pockets so we thought, why not create a dining table where people can actually deposit that change and help put the "fun" back in fund-raising. We designed our table almost like a shadow box with a lucite top that had "coin slots" at each place setting so that people could drop in a few coins, a dollar bill, a ten or a twenty. We figured a little change can add up and bring about big changes to those in need, especially during these tough economic times. We then topped off the table with an array of vintage piggy banks just to drive home the message "Change is Good!" We were thrilled with not only the way the table turned out, but more importantly how many people actually "made deposits" throughout DBD. Apparently DIFFA was excited as well and asked us if they could take the table on their national tour. Of course we said yes, and this morning we said goodbye to all our little "piggies" and wished them a fond farewell as they embark on a 7 city tour, with stops in Kansas City, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The New York Event officially ended last night with the big Gala Dinner, where people paid up to $1000 for a seat at one of these custom created dining tables. We had a terrific time celebrating with those who came out to show their support including everyone from Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza, to Whoopi Goldberg (who slipped a rather large bill into our table-bank) and our table mate, the high-larious journalist Michael Musto. All in all, there was quite a bit of money raised for DIFFA and we can't thank them enough for asking us to be a part of this year's event.

We would also like to thank and acknowledge a number of people whose products and services helped turn our original vision into a reality:

- BAMBOO AND LUCITE DINING TABLE TOP: SIEGFRIED’S BASEMENT INC.
- FORGED STEEL DINING TABLE X-BASE: MORGIK METAL
- CAMPAIGN CHAIRS: DESIGNED BY JIM ZIVIC AVAILABLE AT RALPH PUCCI
- ROUND SILK RUG: BDDW
- FOLDING SCREENS: RICHARD WRIGHTMAN
- GLASSWARE: DESIGNED BY ROOST AVAILABLE AT GRACIOUS HOMES
- CUSTOM EMBROIDERED NAPKINS: COPPER PIG
- PIGGY BANKS: FRIENDS, FAMILY, AND EBAY!

We also want to thank our friend Heather over at Habitually Chic for posting such a great piece on our table and the event. She's got some nice pictures of some of the other tables so make sure you click here to check it out.

Lastly, we'd like to thank the real unsung heros that helped pull off this entire event with such grace and professionalism and who were an absolute delight to work with. This includes Peggy Bellar and Steven Williams from DIFFA and their entire staff and group of volunteers, Gary Bias from Eventco Productions and John Williams from Rubicon Studios. Thank you for an incredible time and we hope we can work with all of you again at some point in the near future. (photos by Kevin Tachman)

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Making A DIFFArence!

Well .... 7 days and counting until the big DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS) event that we're involved with this year. Again, for those of you who may not know, DIFFA is one of the largest fundraisers benefiting HIV/AIDS service and education organizations in the United States and has provided more than $35 million to hundreds these groups nationwide since it's inception. Dining By Design is DIFFA's signature fund-raising event and multicity marketing platform, and it's also one of the most FUN parties of the year! Dubbed the “Cannes of Tabletop” by filmmaker John Waters, this annual event is an opportunity for various corporations and designers to showcase their creativity and talents by producing unique dining installations that will ultimately accommodate their dinner guests.

We've been working feverishly on our design concept which we must say we're incredibly excited about it. We just pray that everything comes together in the end. With that in mind, you may have noticed we've had very little time for blogging
this week. However, we do want to remind everyone that there's still plenty of time to buy tickets for this year's DBD event which runs in conjunction with the Architectural Digest Home Show. For more information click here!

One of the other designer's involved in this year's DBD is the talented event planner David Stark who is creating a table for Benjamin Moore. We've always admired Stark's work and were especially taken with a sweet story that ran in the New York Times last September in which he was given the task of designing 3 separate centerpieces using unexpected items one might find at a hardware store (top three photos above taken by Marilynn K. Yee). We thought he pulled this off brilliantly and wanted to share them with you. Most recently, Stark lent his talent to help raise money for the Cooper Hewitt Museum at the opening party for New York's newest West Elm store. We happened to be there that night for the preview and once again we were beyond impressed with the items he designed from recycled material for the evening's silent auction (last photo above). We can hardly wait to see what he's come up with for this year's DIFFA event. Hopefully all you New Yorkers reading this will be able to see it
for yourselves firsthand. If so .... please make sure you stop by our table to say hello and possibly "change" someones life forever!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Postcards From the Edgy.

Dearest Friends,
We hope everyone had a nice relaxing weekend. We laid low here in the city and tried to get caught up on some dreaded paperwork. We've been incredibly busy the past few months and have been working extra hard to stay on top of everything. We're certainly not complaining, but one thing's for sure, we're ready for a vacation! However, instead of flying off to some exotic far away location, we might end up just rolling our bags over to 29th and Broadway and checking into the new Ace Hotel opening at the end of this month for a mini staycation. A good friend of ours landed a job there a few weeks back and we've been counting the days until it opens ever since. Imagine if Urban Outfitters decided to take a stab at the hotel industry, and you'll get a glimpse into the idea behind this eagerly anticipated, "grunge-modern" inn. Founded in 1999 by Alex Calderwood
who, along with three friends, originally purchased a Seattle halfway house with plans to renovate it as an affordable hotel, this hip chain of hotels has only 3 other locations including the original Seattle post, one in Portland and another in Palm Springs. Taking over the former Hotel Breslin that was built in 1904, the New York Ace Hotel will feature a 150-seat restaurant brought to you by April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman of The Spotted Pig and designed by one of our favorite design firms Roman and Williams. In addition to the restaurant there will be the retro-hip barbershop Rudy's on the ground level with it's first East Coast location, all of which is certain to attract a fashionable edgy crowd. We know we can't wait to check out (and into) this bohemian-chic pad which the New York Times recently described as "The Country's Most Original New Hotel." Hope everyone's doing okay back home. The weather's been a little overcast, but we're still having an amazing time...wish you were here!
xoxo-Design Therapy!
p.s. check out photos from some of Ace's other locations below-Enjoy!


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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

CONSOLEation Prize.

Every now and then you come across something that reminds you of why you fell in love with design in the first place. Well our friends over at R 20th Century win the prize this week for doing just that. We received an e-mail from them earlier today simply titled Storage Solutions, but when we opened it, it was anything but simple. Instead it was a sampling of some of the most stunning consoles we've seen in a long time. We were so inspired, we felt like we had to share. Hope you enjoy. Oh .... and speaking of prizes, one of our favorite websites - Meade Design Group - just featured Design Therapy (aka Brad Ford ID) on their blog making us feel like a real winner! Check it our here and let us know what you think!

Consoles:

1.Guisseppe Scapinelli's unusual console in jacaranda perfectly balances three drawers over long, delicately carved legs. (Sao Paulo, Brazil, circa 1950s)

2.The hexagonal motif door pulls on Jorge Zalszupin's four-door credenza in jacaranda are repeated in the custom hardware. (Brazil, 1960s)

3.Carlo Hauner's elegant console in caviona wood has curved sides, stunningly sculptural tripod legs and inlay detailing on the top. (Forma, Brazil, circa 1960s)

4.This long four-door credenza in richly grained jacaranda with white handle detailing by Martin Eisler rests on an architectural T-shaped base. (Forma, Brazil, 1960)

5.Fine dovetailing and drawer dividers exemplify the craftsmanship and attention to detail of Joaquim Tenreiro showcased in this eight-drawer console in jacaranda. (Brazil, 1970)

6.Martin Eisler's four-door credenza in jacaranda with woven cane front is a classic mid-twentieth-century style. (Brazil, 1950s)

7.The bow-tie handles on this five-door credenza in jacaranda are a sensual counterpoint to the piece's dramatic geometries. (Martin Eisler for Forma, Brazil, circa 1960)
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Monday, March 9, 2009

Take This Job And Love It!

Imagine for a moment if Europeans had taken shop class throughout the 17th and 18th centuries (right before the Baroque period). Then try and envision a couple of jokers smoking way too much weed right before class. Combine these images and you've got a snapshot of the irreverent, over-the-top work being hammered out by Studio Job. Last week we stopped by one of the city's most inspiring showrooms, Moss, to check out the latest work from Job Smeets and Nynke Tynagel who make up this Dutch-based design team. As usual, we were completely enamored with their most recent creations and can only describe them as being grandiose with a slightly hand crafted quality, and looking like the furnishings imagined in the design duo's most beloved comic book fantasies. Using a broad spectrum of materials and techniques including paper mache; cast, polished and gilded bronze; laser-cut marquetry; and modeled and hand-painted clay, these artists' rebellious talent is undeniable causing art collector's around the world to get in line for these highly sought-after "Jobs!" We don't know what the hell they're smokin' over there at Studio Jobs-if anything. We just know you'll be high on life after stopping by Moss to check out some of their exceptional limited-edition works. On a completely different note...we've been busy, busy, busy working on our concept for DIFFA's Dining by Design. Running in conjunction with the Architectural Digest Home Show March 26th-30th, this is one of the design industry's premiere events and all of the proceeds go towards such an incredible cause. There's still plenty of time to get your tickets and you can learn more about how to purchase them here. We're excited about our idea and don't want to talk too much about it right now...but we will give you a little hint with the photo below....Enjoy!

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Friday, March 6, 2009

Le Freak C'est Chic!

I never will forget when I was in 4th grade, I took my very first record album I'd ever bought with my own money to school for show and tell. When I walked into class that day, I stood tall and felt a level of pride that I haven't felt since. I was beyond excited and eager to share with my fellow classmates something I knew was destined to become an instant classic. The album was Le Freak by the legendary R & B band Chic and it was a certifiable hit not only in the front of Ms. Huggler's class, but on radio stations across America. I LOVED that record and I'd sit in my room for hours listening to it on my walnut-veneered, Pioneer turntable complimenting myself mentally on having helped the album skyrocket to the top of the charts. Well, fast forward a decade or two (or three) and I'm eager to share something else I feel certain will become an instant classic among various design circles, although I can't take credit for this one. Some friends of mine just got back from Mexico City raving about a four-story 1920s mansion, in the Colonia Roma district, housing a showroom and design firm with one of the coolest names I think I've heard since elementary school: Chic by Accident! Founded in 1999 by antiques dealer and designer Emmanuel Picault, this colorful and eclectic showroom definitely holds true to it's name. Comprised of a mix of Mexican folk furnishings, along with art deco and danish modern designs, this freewheeling studio has created quite a successful balancing act of eccentric charm and sophisticated glamor. Certainly not an easy task, but one I greatly admire. Do yourself a favor and try to get your hands on a copy of Mr. Picault's hard-to-come-by book by the same name, Chic by Accident. I went over every single page of my friend's copy .... three times and it's absolutely stunning. And just think .... it sure would be a great thing to take to your next Show and Tell! By the way .... P, thanks for showin' and M, thanks for tellin'.

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