Angelo Donghia

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It’s fascinating to see how great design transcends space and time.  It’s timeless.  Take, for example, this marvelous room designed by Angela Donghia for Ralph Lauren in the seventies.  It’s still perfection almost fifty years later.

Donghia extended his design mindset beyond the room and considered the total environment.  He liked simple lines, sensual textures and pure materials.  Trademark “Donghia touches”  included the use of silver grey, grey flannel, fat furniture and paying attention to the ceiling.   Sadly, he was taken far too soon–yet another talented creative who fell victim to the AIDS epidemic.  Luckily for us, his legacy endures and continues to inspire.

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NY NY

NY One

I recently returned from a trip to New York and was reminded once again of why that city rocks.  I stayed at The Hudson, a Phillipe Starck special and it did not disappoint.  Can we just talk about that lobby?

At Barney’s, I fell hard for a Libertine jacket and hand-painted statement chairs.  I’m still wondering which lucky client will get to sit in them.

Any trip to New York would fall flat without a museum visit or two and this time I strolled through both the Whitney and the Museum of Art + Design.  The gold shoe piece by Gary Simmons and Byron Kim’s skin tones left me mesmerized.

Finally, I have to plug Untitled, the new Danny Meyer restaurant located at the Whitney.  I sampled one of every small plate and each yummy bite was better than the next.

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Hot or Not

Hot or Not

I’m looking forward to next week’s DesignLive.  Beyond the fact that it gives me an excuse to peruse the shops of Sacramento Street, I can’t wait to dissect current design trends with my peers while on the “Love or Hate” panel.

Oh boy, where will I start?  I promise not to launch a smear campaign against macrame wall hangings and I might just profess my undying love for Shawn Huckins’ pieces.

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Sangria Wine

Sangria WIne

Labor Day weekend marks the official end of summer.  This sangria recipe is fresh, fruity and best poured over ice.  Enjoy and we’ll catch you in the fall.

  • 2 or 3 cups of mixed berries (blueberries, strawberries, or blackberries work)
  • 1 bottle of chardonnay
  • 1/2 cup of pomegranate juice
  • 1 16oz. bottle of sparkling berry flavored water

Mix the berries, wine, and pomegranate juice and let refrigerate for 1-3 hours. Add sparking water and mix right before serving. Cheers!

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Shopping the City of Angels

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While we’re not quite Thelma and Louise, put two designers on a mission to scout out the hottest design shops and galleries in Los Angeles and you have a recipe for a different kind of trouble.

A few weeks ago senior designer Ericka Catanzaro and I laced up our power sneaks and shopped L.A.  We scoured Consort Design  and  JF Chen (a-mazing!).   We made ourselves at home at Richard Shapiro’s Studio, Lucca Antiques and Lawson Fenning.  Then we capped it all off with a tour around the Broad.   I need to pause here to say that the gift shop at the Broad is perhaps the coolest museum gift shop that I have ever seen.  I left with a super fun Jeff Koons plastic tote bag that will be perfect for fabric swatches or a day at the beach.

What’s crystal clear is that the design and art scene in L.A. now rivals NYC and that’s a big statement coming from a former New Yorker.

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Horsing Around For A Good Cause

Horsing Around Final

 

Last weekend the Sonoma Horse Park hosted The Giant Steps Charity Classic.  Our resident equestrian, Katie, attended the over-the-top fabulous show and shared a few snapshots from the day.  French luxury purveyor Hermès displayed its trademark equestrian chic aesthetic.  The truth is that through this fad and that one, classic good taste will never go out of style.

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Tech @ Home

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It might be a function of our techy hometown but smart technology has become a part of my vernacular. Long gone are the days of working around ugly speakers and cascading wires.  Sonos, iDor Mobile, DS Cam and Home+ make their way alongside the Yves Klein tables and Arbre de Matisse papered walls.

Our design director, Katie even spotted the Laundry Bot at CES. No more folding, pairing or ironing required. That’s progress I can embrace.

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The Beat Goes On

Music

Can you imagine a day without music?

It feeds my soul, fuels my creative spirit and keeps me centered.  It’s that simple auditory pleasure that can instantly transport you to funky town or to some quiet crevice of your brain. Pick your pleasure.

Our office hums along to many tunes throughout the day.  Will it be Django Reinhardt?  Perhaps, the band Air? Or it might be my personal favorite, Sirius XM Chill.

Per Bono, “Music can change the world because it can change people.” People let’s turn up the volume and rock on!

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Vive La France

VIVE LA FRANCE

A bright light from across the pond joined our clan for the summer.  Eden will soon return to Bordeaux to continue her studies at Ecole de Conde.  We asked her what struck her most about her time in the US of A and here’s what she had to say:

*People take the time to say “hello, how are you?”

*Wow, there is so much tech and uber is everywhere.  We are about five years behind in France.

*The food is both amazing and diverse (Chinese, Thai, Mexican and the list goes on and on.)

*People’s personal and interior style is much more laid back.

With that I am going to go get a croissant and my all-American Diet Coke.

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You Had Me at Hello!

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Our design director, Katie, recently purchased a charming Petaluma farmhouse that she and her hubby are lovingly restoring.  First on her “to do” list was updating the front door from a tired brown to a sophisticated shade of blue.  She landed on a rather sublime one aptly named Twilight (Benjamin Moore #2058-10).  Perhaps the best accessory of all is her ferocious guard dog. Look for future posts about Katie’s farmhouse remodel.
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