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.
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.
I paid a visit to Popham Design on my most recent visit to Morocco. I was already smitten after my first stateside encounter. Being surrounded by vibrant cement tiles in every color of the rainbow sealed the deal. These tiles are what I call a room maker. They can absolutely transform or carry a room.
Every tile is handmade by Moroccan artisans and takes two to four minutes to make. The tiles are produced using hydraulic presses and then dried and cured. They’re just as durable as they are beautiful meaning that they can be used in even more places – yeah!
Take a look at some of my favorite designs. Be still my beating heart.
One of the best parts of my job is getting to know inspiring people. Our clients are movers and shakers, and in one case, cocktail makers. If you haven’t already met, I am pleased to introduce you to Austin Cocktails. No need to mix, macerate or squeeze, these gorgeous bottles of pre-made craft cocktails taste as if you had your own private bartender at your service. Banish the bland with fresh flavors like Cucumber Vodka Mojito, Paradise Found and Fred’s Ruby Red. Run, don’t walk, to stock up for summer.
Comme j’adore French artist François Morellet who recently passed away at a vibrant ninety. Throughout his life, he embodied the youthful exuberance that comes with following your passion. Morellet was a painter, sculptor and light artist known for his exploration of geometry and intricate pattern. Using a range of mediums from paint and canvas to neon tubing and fluorescence, this modern master conveyed geometry as art and played with the exchange between rules and spontaneity.
How I would love to design a room around one of his masterpieces!
While sadly I couldn’t be there in person, I followed last month’s epic Armory Art Show with great interest from afar. One artist who is represented by San Francisco’s own Haines Gallery caught my eye in a profound way. Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian hails from Tehran, Iran after having spent several extended periods living in the West, a fact that profoundly influences her work. She’s best recognized for her mirrored mosaic sculptures that blend traditional Iranian technique with a decisive nod to geometric Abstraction. In addition to having commissioned pieces around the globe, Monir had her first U.S. solo show at the Guggenheim last year. Another fact that shouldn’t be overlooked is her age. She a vibrant ninety-something. Clearly, there is something to be said for doing what you love.
Every February throngs of midcentury architecture and design aficionados, like myself, descend upon Palm Springs for Modernism Week. With over 250 events, tours, films, lectures and parties, it is THE celebration of midcentury design.
This year, I am thrilled to have my home on tour. I spent years envisioning my ideal Palm Springs getaway. Then thanks to the brilliance of architect Jim Jennings, my dreams became a reality. The frame of my home literally arrived via flatbed truck. How novel! Finishing touches came courtesy of me. Please come join me in the desert on February 21st.
We love client installations. It’s probably the closest an interior designer ever gets to that HGTV-style reveal complete with the requisite squeals of delight. We had one last week for a fabulous family with four young children. Decorating for this lively tribe meant keeping things durable without sacrificing style.
Here’s a peek at the home that emerged. We wanted to hunker down and stay a while.
Our design director Katie McCaffrey recently returned from being blown away at CES. Here’s what she had to say about the smartest appliance for the kitchen:
Imagine a refrigerator door that works like an i-Pad. The geniuses at Corning and Samsung not only imagined one but they created it. You can check the weather, watch your favorite cooking show, upload pictures of your family and get reminders all while nursing your first cup of joe. Say “bye bye” to the era of the sliding magnet weighed down with “to do” lists and children’s art.
Low on milk? Need more veggies? No problem, your super fridge will let you know. This is what I call useful technology! Keep an eye open for Samsung’s model which should debut later this year.
To see more innovative ideas from Corning, check out this video.