Sunday, December 18, 2011

Canadian Quest.

The Interior Design Show is Canada's version of ICFF and it's the country's largest contemporary design fair. Since the doors first opened in 1999, IDS has been visited by over 500,000 design professionals and served as an industry hub for thousands of design-forward businesses. So we were thrilled when they asked us to be a keynote speaker at this year's show in January. This is our first trip to Toronto so we asked Shauna Levy, Vice President of MMPI Canada and the director for IDS to give us a few tips on what we should see and do while we're there. She must know us pretty well, because we can't wait to check out all of her suggestions:

-Art Gallery of Toronto (Image 1): Founded in 1900 by a group of private citizens, this is one of the largest art museums in North America, with a physical facility of 583,000 square feet. The AGO recently underwent a facelift under the design direction of Frank Gehry and the new look includes an iconic spiral staircase, a titanium and glass south wing and a new glass and wood facade.

-Corus Quay (Image 2): We'd definitely like to check out the lobby of the new Toronto headquarters for Corus Entertainment. Outfitted by Quadrangle Architects Ltd. the building features open floorplates, raw ceilings, exposed ducts and cabling and also showcases a twirling slide that runs the length of the building. Looks pretty cool...

-Domison (Image 3): We're always looking for cool furniture showrooms and this definitely looks like one we need to investigate. Minimalist and contemporary in its aesthetic, Domison was opened by brother and sister design team, Thien and My Ta Trung. They not only present locally made furniture, but promote local art and design through a selection of artistic books and designer accessories. (Better bring our checkbook...)

-Avenue Road (Image 4): We're also eager to visit this showroom designed by Yabu Pushelberg. Established as a showcase for seductive, sophisticated furniture, AR is one of Canada's premier venues for classic and contemporary furniture designs. With a showroom of rotating innovative designers, they're currently housing eco-friendly furnishings which we're excited to see.

-Commute Home (Image 5): We also want to run by this shop, which has been described as a mini-museum housing beautiful sought-after pieces from beds to bar stools to vintage and one-of-kind furnishings. This looks like a good resource!

-Cafe Belong (Image 6): Finally, we want to be sure and eat at Cafe Belong. Designed by John Tong of 3rd Uncle Design, the airy dining room was apparently inspired by Argentinian cafes with reclaimed wooden beams loaded with red, orange, and yellow tones. We love the design, but it's Brad Long's food we're really looking forward to know we love to eat!

Thanks to Shauna for these great sure and check back in a few weeks to find out which exhibitors we're most excited about seeing at the show! For more information on IDS click here!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Great American Woody.

We've had an incredible time over the past year traveling across the country with The Great American Woody, but now we're in the homestretch and sadly the journey is coming to an end. However, we're thrilled at the possibilities of raising much needed funding for DIFFA: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS.

As many of you know, The Woody is being auctioned off as a part of DIFFA’s “30 for 30” auction on You can learn more about it here, but you better act fast because the auction will close Monday, December 19th.

We would greatly appreciate it if you could help us spread the word by blogging, tweeting, facebooking or simply e-mailing your contacts about this unique project and auction. Our goal is to continue to drive interest in bidding so we can raise as much money as possible to support DIFFA’s groundbreaking work in the fight against AIDS. So far the bid is up to $36,000, but we'd love to double or triple that by next Monday.

We'd like to especially thank Moore and Giles for making this happen and everyone else out there who helped support this project over the past few months including: Traditional Home Magazine, Architectural Digest, Luxe Magazine, GQ, Garden and Gun, Avenue, Pernod Ricard, Effen Vodka, Bulleit Bourbon, and Banks Rum. You can learn more about our journey (and get some great cocktail recipes from PDT's insanely talented mixologist Jim Meehan) at It's truly been an amazing ride and one we'll never forget...Hope everyone's enjoying the holiday season so far. Now, let's all raise a glass to DIFFA. Cheers!

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Monday, October 31, 2011

Haunted House?

Located in the desert near Joshua Tree, California, this vacation rental named Rosa Muerta is kind of creepy and kind of cool all at the same time. Designed by architect Robert Stone of L.A. firm Levin & Associates, the structure is rooted in modernism but the structural and ornamental elements, including hearts and flowers are all in shades of black. We're intrigued....Click here to learn more and have a spooktacular Halloween!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Loft Love.

A good friend of ours reminded us of this project today and it's always been a favorite. Designed by Photographer Anita Calero, this 2,000 square foot West Chelsea loft feels as fresh and relevant today as it did several years ago when we first came across it. We find it incredibly inspiring and hope you like it as much as we do. To learn more click here! Photography by Anita Calero/ and Jonny Valiant.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Book Report-Muriel's World.

There have been a number of remarkable design books come out this fall, but one of our absolute favorites has to be The World of Muriel Brandolini. We've always admired Muriel's talent and her ability to layer pattern, color and texture. But it's her skillful way of seamlessly weaving together a range of furniture styles and artwork that really caused us to first sit up and take note. While we tend to like things a bit more understated, we can't help but respect Muriel's sophisticated design sensibility and impeccable taste level which this book illustrates beautifully.

Part I of the book is a deeply personal account of Brandolini's life, including her early memories of Vietnam, her arrival in New York City, and the accidental launch of her decorating career.

Part II is compromised of eleven residential projects, beautifully photographed by Peter Estersohn. The residences range from a New York City apartment with an intimate powder room delicately beaded in butterflies and blossoms, to an airy Southampton house awash in sorbet colors.

In conjunction with the launch of the book, Phillips de Pury & Company will present Brandolini's collection of furniture in a pioneering single-owner auction on October 21st, 2011. This is a great opportunity for those of us who have an appreciation for her work to see some of her unique designs in person. "I want people to enter the space and be transported. They should feel as if they are in a home, and see how a contemporary metal console can be placed next to a Regency style banquette." says Brandolini. We're certainly looking forward to seeing this installation and if you live in the city we strongly suggest you stop by to check it out as well. Regardless, you should definitely get your hands on a copy of her new book. The rich photography and stylish interiors are sublime and one can't help but exit Muriel's World feeling enthused and inspired. This is another book that gets an A++.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Knotty By Nature.

We're excited about R 20th Century's second solo exhibition of works by Brazilian designer Hugo França. The exhibition will feature a stunning new series of massive casulo -- Portuguese for cocoon -- sculptures in solid Pequi and Imbuia woods.

The casulo series of environments are carved from the trunks of awe-inspiringly large Brazilian trees. This series offers the viewer unique access to França's immersion experience of literally climbing into the tree, transporting the viewer to França's perspective by bringing them inside these massive natural forms. See the photo below of Hugo sitting in one of his designs to get a better sense of scale and then click here to read a fascinating interview with him done by New York Times T Style Magazine.

The opening reception is tomorrow night Wednesday, October 5th from 6 to 8 and Hugo himself will be there which is a real treat for those interested in his work. (bottom photo taken by Gabriel Rinaldi)

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Book Report-Dealer's Choice.

It's been feeling a lot like "back to school" for us recently, but our reading list this fall has us buzzing and feeling rather inspired. And with copious amounts of design books headed our way in the coming months, we thought we'd share some of our favorites over the next few weeks. First up is a book that was actually published over the summer, yet one of the most impressive design tomes to come our way in quite some time. Dealer's Choice gives us an inside look at the homes of some of our industry's top trendsetters – the dealers of antiques and vintage furnishings. With text by our dear friend, the talented and handsome Craig Kellogg and a foreword by Michael Bruno of 1stdibs, the book showcases 32 houses, apartments, lofts and even a castle of dealers specializing in mid-century modernist furniture and objects, antique European decorative works, and antiquities. With homes from Blackman Cruz, J.F. Chen, Cristina Grajales, Jourdan Antiques (above photos) and Patrick Seguin (photos below) to name a few, the book is loaded with rich, colorful photography and gives an intimate look into the lives of the various occupants. This along with Kellogg's writing creates a vivid story that celebrates some of our industry's most trusted resources. We consider this book a must have for any design enthusiast and highly recommend you add this to your design library. We definitely give this one an A++.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Back to Black.

As we mentioned in an earlier post, we're coming out of a very busy but quite productive period with design projects. It wasn't until Labor Day weekend that we were able to really come up for air, and now we're having a hard time letting go of summer. She seemed to have slipped right past us when we weren't looking. But this last weekend got us wound up again on the blog front when we headed up to Kingston, New York for a studio tour of Blackcreek Mercantile & Trading Co.

We first discovered BCMT last November and have been following them closely ever since. Founded by Joshua Vogel, one of the original co-founders of NYC based furniture company BDDW, this impressive workshop is producing one of a kind, sculptural woodturnings, pieces of limited edition furniture and meaningful small products. The works are absolutely stunning and we finally got our hands on one of their pieces a few weeks ago (in fact...see the "cross" piece in the first photo...that's a limited edition puzzle and it's OURS!)

We had a great day driving around Kingston and then getting a chance to visit with Josh and his lovely girlfriend Kelly. They were such gracious hosts and we left their shop feeling incredibly inspired and excited about incorporating their work into our projects. And if that weren't enough, this morning our inbox had the most beautifully done short film featuring Josh talking about his craft. Produced by The Scout (great resource if you don't know about them), the film is both artful and insightful and a definite must-see. You should check it out below and then when you have a minute, take a look at the new Anthology Magazine to see Josh and Kelly's charming house. Keep your eye on these two...they're doing big things when it comes to the art of woodworking!

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