Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cloud-Headed....

It's amazing how something can be right in front of you and you still don't see it. Perhaps it's being overly focused, or it's the complete opposite and you're walking around with your head in the clouds (no comment on where we land on this scale....). Regardless, it's always refreshing when you finally put two and two together and make an unexpected and delightful discovery. That's exactly what happened with us and interior designer Delphine Krakoff of Pamplemousse Design. We've unknowingly admired her poetic designs over the years, but never put it together that it was all coming from the same place. Married to Reed Krakoff, President and Creative Director for Coach, Delphine grew up in Paris where she attended business school. Though her education was in business, it was her interest in design that landed her jobs at the luxury houses of Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior in Paris, and later Coach and Ralph Lauren in New York. Her venture into the world of interior design came by chance, when a friend offered her the opportunity to decorate his classic Hamptons beach house. Her innate sense of style and natural French flair made the transition into the trade seamless, and led to the creation of her own interior design company in 2000. We think she's an amazing talent and wanted to share a few photos of her inspiring work. (click here to see even more.) Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Modern Living Made Easy.

Modern Living Supplies is one of our absolute favorite vintage furniture stores here in New York and we're excited to announce the launch of their newly redesigned website which is up and running as of today! It's a fantastic looking site that's a breeze to navigate, and showcases their inventory and custom furnishings beautifully. The site also features a section with on-going articles related to art and design and we were flattered when MLS asked Design Therapy to be a contributor. Here's an excerpt from our first article entitled:
"Modern Living Made Easy"
. Hope you enjoy...

Seems as though we’re living in a world now where nothing’s as easy as it should be. Ironic, considering we’ve got iPhones and iTunes, flash drives and faxes, all set up supposedly to satisfy our needs in a more timely fashion. “You’ve got it, I want it …. but I want it faster!” Somewhere along the way we’ve become a restless nation of “instant gratification.” Social Networks such as facebook and Twitter are designed to bring us closer together, yet as “connected” as we are, there still seems to be a huge cloud of disconnect that won’t blow over. Add in the current economic climate and you’ve got yourself a gourmet bowl full of funk soup that’s hard to swallow!
During these uncomfortable times, I know for myself and others, the one place that can often bring much needed comfort is the home. It’s where we spend the majority of our time, surrounded by the people we love and the things we cherish. It says so much about us as individuals: our history, our interests and our tastes. Considering everything that’s been happening the past few months, it seems only fitting that we do our best to create our own environment that’s serene, inviting and introspective. This is easier than one would think, but it does require a bit of effort. Here are a couple of quick suggestions to help you get your own nest in order.

Click here to read the article in it's entirety. Thanks again Mark...and Congratulations! The site looks awesome! (photos courtesy of Brad Ford I.D.)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Standard Operating Procedure.

This past weekend we had an opportunity to go on a personal tour of Andre Balazs' new Standard Hotel here in New York. Designed by Todd Schliemann, a partner at Polshek Partnership Architects (the same folks behind the Clinton Library back in our home state of Arkansas), this 18-story glass and concrete monument that straddles the High Line is without a doubt one of Manhattan's newest architectural gems! Although there are a few minor details we think are a tad off, for the most part we're absolutely crazy about what Mr. Balazs has created with this latest incarnation of chic-boutique, Standard Hotels. With 337 rooms, the hotel boasts several other exciting features including: two restaurants (one with a floor covering made up of $35,000 worth of actual pennies) and 5 bars (one with 25 ft ceilings and an attached pool, another that's one of Manhattan's largest outdoor beer gardens). We were allowed to go into 4 different hotel rooms (designed by Roman and Williams) and the warm, serene Scandanavian/Nautical design left us humming "Looove .... Exciting and New, Come Aboard---" You get the picture. Seriously though .... the rooms are fantastic with stunning views of either the Hudson River or the Manhattan skyline and terrific aerial views of the High Line. We have to warn you though - one feature that did get carried over from the West Coast Standard is the exposed shower in each room. Not an amenity suited for the modest guest! The hotel is currently open for business, although the restaurants and some of the bars are still finishing up construction. One last detail that peaked our excitement are the elevators whose walls will be floor to ceiling video monitors simulating what it might look like descending into the depths of hell (clever ....). However, once you get a look at the new Standard you'll realize it's anything but hellish. In fact .... it's quite the opposite.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Panic At Kips Bay!

Last Tuesday evening we had the privilege of attending the President's Preview and Black Tie Dinner for this year's Kips Bay Decorator Show House here in New York. For those who may not know, this is the premier Show House that showcases the ultimate in interior design from top designers and architects to help raise money for the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club. This year's house is in honor of design legend Albert Hadley, who at 88 still goes into the office every day. We had a chance to visit with the always gracious Mr. Hadley at the opening and he was full of gratitude and humbled by this latest design tribute, saying he was truly impressed with the fantastic work each designer had put into the show house. This year's event is staged in a grand and elegant neo-Italian Renaissance mansion that is one of the largest and most important townhouses in New York. Located at 22 East 71st Street, it's architecture alone is worth the price of admission (which at $30 is lot less expensive than the $75,000,000 price tag on the home). Of course the rooms are all decorated beautifully but one in particular that really excited us is from one of our favorite architects, William T. Georgis. We love a pretty room, but we're also huge fans of smart, clever design and Mr. Georgis' Panic Room covered all of the above. "Economic mayhem, global warfare, take your pick. We have to hunker down, and where we do so has to be chic and comfortable,” Gerogis said regarding his room. The small, dark, cavernous space is located in the basement and has no windows, but is full of other luxuries including a carved stone fireplace, fine European antiques, a bear skin rug, a stainless steel toilet and of course what every panic room needs, a disco ball! There is also an impressive collection of fine art in the room including a set of Richard Dupont nude sculptures. Dupont's work is often distorted in such a way that your eyes aren't exactly sure where to focus, delivering your senses a heaping dish of dizziness with an extra side of discombobulation (perhaps the original cause for panic!). “There’s oxygen, vodka, Marlboros,” Gerogis told the New York Times. “It’s heavily armed. Jodie Foster had none of this stuff." And clearly she didn't have nearly as much fun. Gerogis, who recently finished re-designing the lobby of the Lever House, also designed one of our favorite projects that Elle Decor published in March of 2008 (see images below). We adore his irreverent sense of humor but also recognize his extraordinary talent is no laughing matter. If you live in the city, make sure you stop by the Kip's Bay Decorator Showhouse to check out Mr. Gerogis' work as well as all of the other terrific rooms in this year's house. The show runs through May 17th and again admission is only $30. It's not only an amazing source of inspiration, it's also for an incredible cause. Lastly, we'd like to thank the New York Design Center for inviting us to the Preview Party and Dinner. We had a great group at our table including: Top Design's Eddie Ross, Heather Clausen from Habitually Chic, Sarah Medford from Town and Country, Interior Designers Joe Nye, Wayne Nathan from NathanEgan, the charming Paul Sisken, and Stephanie Odegard from Odegard Rugs. We had a wonderful time A.L. Thanks again and we can't wait to see you in the building soon! (upper photo by Raeanne Giovanni-Inoue for The New York Times and lower photos by William Waldron for Elle Decor.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Getting High!

This past weekend we got a sneak peek, hard-hat tour of the work going into refurbishing the elevated railroad tracks that run down the west side of Manhattan called the High Line. Originally constructed between 1929-1934, the High Line allowed trains to travel from 35th Street to Spring Street without endangering pedestrians as they had previously when trains operated at street level. The High Line was an active railway until traffic declined in the early 1960s, and the last train ran on it in 1980. Threatened with a demolition decree by the outgoing Guiliani administration, the Friends of the High Line was formed in 1999 by Joshua David and Robert Hammond to preserve this historical landmark and turn it into unique park for everyone to enjoy. With the help of fellow New Yorkers, the Bloomberg administration and other city officials they were able to turn the dream of saving the High Line into a reality. The first four images above are part of a series that were taken over a year in 2000 and 2001 by photographer Joel Sternfeld to support this endeavor.

The efforts were of course successful and the first section of the High Line (from Gansevoort Street to West 20th Street) is slated to open in June! The design concept of this truly one-of-a-kind park is a collaboration of the firms Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, both of NYC as well as Planting Design by Piet Oudolf of Hummelo, The Netherlands. And from what we've seen it promises to be a truly remarkable green space of the future while still preserving the city's past. Also, the lighting designed by L'Observatoire International of NYC which features unique LED lights that will illuminate the walkways, are built in facing downwards at waist level and below so as not to obscure the famous nighttime cityscapes. We've been excited about this project for years and always knew it would be an incredible public space for the city. But it wasn't until we were actually on top of the High Line that we realized just how amazing this landmark truly is. You've never really seen Manhattan from this perspective, and the context of the city continually changes with each block you encounter from above. Going from the new Standard Hotel that straddles the High Line, to the Chelsea Market and beyond (all with a constant Hudson River connection) the pathways showcase industrial and architecturally mind blowing vistas that will make you fall even more love with this great city. We absolutely can't wait for the opening in June and look forward to getting High all summer! Just one word of caution .... don't mess with Tiny's cart. (lower eight photos courtesy of Design Therapy).
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Saturday, April 11, 2009

House/Party!

Manhattan Magazine is a new publication from the folks over at Modern Luxury Media and we're wild about it for a number of reasons. Artistically, it's beautifully laid out and we can't help but feel incredibly enthusiastic about the content and their edgy point-of-view. Especially since they just did a small article on yours truly! Yes, they asked us if they could take a few shots of our house and we quickly accepted their offer with pleasure. If that weren't enough .... now they're throwing a party with Holly Hunt to celebrate this Design issue and we'd love for you to stop by. It's this Thursday evening, April 16th from 6:30 to 8:30 at the Holly Hunt showroom at 150 East 58th Street between Lexington and 3rd Avenue (see the invitation below). Click here to see the entire story and "turn" to page 114. Then run out to your nearest news stand, buy a hard copy and subscribe. It really is an amazing magazine and we think you'll love it whether you live in Manhattan or not! (above photograph by Kate Glicksberg)


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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Exchange, Expansion, Extraordinary.

For the last few years, we've been fortunate enough to be part of a group here in New York called the Design Exchange. It's a group of designers, architects, editors and other professionals in the design community who get together once a month at various showrooms to network, learn about new products and keep each other informed about what's happening in the industry. A few places that have hosted our group in the past include Lepere, Pollack Fabrics, and Artstic Tile. This week we met at one of our favorite stores, Karkula, which has recently expanded to include the first US flagship showroom for Paolo Lenti and the Italian lighting company Oluce. Founded by Parson's grad John Erik Karkula, this Tribeca establishment sells sexy modern furnishings with an emphasis on natural materials, color and texture. In addition to representing Paolo Lenti and Oluce, they also rep Fritz Hansen, Hans Wegner, Santa & Cole, as well as a number of other extraordinary lines. The new space is absolutely stunning and showcases the furnishings beautifully. Crisp, bright and incredibly spacious, the architecture is clean and modern with the right number of original details to keep the space soulful and consistent with Tribeca's industrial surroundings. We had a fantastic evening sipping Perseco and noshing on delectable morsels from Grandaisy Bakery while looking around the new space and learning about the history of Paolo Lenti and Oluce. We'd like to thank John Erik once again for hosting this month's Design Exchange and we look forward to spending a lot more time at this striking showroom, a must-visit destination for any design enthusiast.

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