Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dreamy.

We had the pleasure of attending the Kips Bay Showhouse President's Dinner a couple of weeks ago, and while the dinner itself is always a treat, we were most excited about getting a sneak preview of this year's house. The architecture of the Upper Eastside townhouse is as impressive as many of the rooms, but there was one space in particular that literally took our breath away. The "Urban Sanctuary" designed by our dear friends Jayne and Joan Michaels was absolutely sublime. We'd been talking with 2Michaels about this project from Day 1 and had looked at photos, sketches, swatches, samples, you name it – so we were eager to see the final results. When we finally walked up the stairs and entered their room we were beyond impressed. The overall design of the space is incredibly complex. It's clear that each piece of furniture was carefully and thoughtfully selected with every detail including the materials, the artwork and the millwork in mind. Yet it looks as though it was created effortlessly. The colors are absolutely mesmerizing and lend to the serene and calming spirit of the room. It truly is the ideal "urban sanctuary." We couldn't be more proud of these two, especially because we know how much hard work went into it. The New York Times obviously agrees – they included not one, but two photos of the space in last week's Home and Garden section. Something else that's exciting is you can get a behind-the-scenes video tour from the sisters along with Gilt Groupe, that shows their work on the room leading up to the opening. To learn more about that click here.

Be sure and check out the 38th Annual Kips Bay Showhouse this year. It's not only inspiring, but it also benefits a fantastic cause. The house is located at 106 East 71st Street here in New York and is open through November 11th, Monday to Saturday 11am - 5pm, Tuesday and Thursday evenings until 8pm and Sundays noon - 5pm. For more information click here.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Handcrafted Modern.

Every now and then something comes along to reaffirm your passion and remind you what it was that caused you to pursue a particular path in the first place. That's what happened to us recently when we got our hands on a new book entitled HANDCRAFTED MODERN-At Home with Mid-Century Designers by Leslie Williamson for Rizzoli New York, 2010. Bottom line-This book is simply superb!

Granted full access to photograph as she desired, Williamson's book showcases with beautifully intimate photographs, the homes and work spaces of fourteen design legends including: Wharton Esherick, George Nakashima, Harry Bertoia, Russel Wright, Jens Risom, Eva Zeilsel, Vladimir Kagan, Irving Harper, Walter Gropius, Jerome & Evelyn Ackerman, Charles & Ray Eames, J.B. Blunk, John Kapel, and Albert Frey – some line-up don't you think?

By photographing homes exactly as they were lived in, Williamson shows how each designers' creativity and talent is expressed within their own living spaces. Saying that ".... every house had it's own secrets to discover," Williamson's intent was to capture the personal elements often overlooked – work areas brimming with supplies and tools, handwritten notes on mirrors, stacks of firewood by the door, collections of shells piled on ledges – thus illuminating the "life" behind their inspired creations.

We haven't been this wound up for a new book in a long time. And trust us when we tell you this is a must have for any design enthusiast, especially anyone who appreciates the handcrafted. Available where fine books are sold, we promise you this publication will not disappoint. For an added bonus be sure and click here for Leslie's blog to see unpublished images and outtakes from the book. Enjoy!

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