Building Castles in the Sky

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year.  For the senior design team at Martha Angus, it means a bit of jet-setting in tropical Miami for arguably the world’s splashiest design and art scene.  

We’re coming to you from Design Miami where we fell hard for Calvin Siebert’s sandcastles.  Skip the visions of drippy piles of wet sand and crumbling turrets cast from plastic molds.  These are true masterpieces, an ode to brutalist architecture and modernism. Siebert considers building these marvels a test as nature is constantly working against him.  He doesn’t have a blueprint but instead follows the twists and turns that naturally occur when working with sand at the beach.  

Magnifique!  

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Timeless Design

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A few weeks ago our entire team road-tripped to hear David Netto’s insightful lecture on the fascinating and at times elusive François Catroux.  Catroux has been blazing interior design trails for the past fifty years, aided from the sidelines by his wife Betty, once muse to Yves Saint Laurent.   He’s known for his restrained opulence, one that marries a deep respect of the traditional with a more modernist view.

 I highly recommend the book, which is filled with stunning photographs of the many rooms that Catroux has designed.  Perhaps what is most noticeable to me is that every room he has designed is as relevant today as it was the day he designed it.  It’s the very definition of timeless design.

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Animalia

Animalia Final

The San Francisco Art & Antiques Show theme, Animalia: Animal Imagery in Art & Antiques got me thinking about how often I incorporate animals into my design.  These animal references add vitality to a space and exude warmth. 

A large snail purchased in the south of France provided a witty touch in my St. Helena dining room.  He got left behind when I moved but I’m sure that his new owners love him too.  I adore a Marin kitchen eating area that I designed around a Damien Hirst Butterflies print. The butterfly wings inspired the entire color palette.  I have also been known to cover a chair or an ottoman in a Clarence House tiger or leopard silk.
 
I suppose that in the end it’s somewhat instinctive for us to gravitate toward animal imagery.  “Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!”
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Holiday Helpers

Holiday Helpers

As the hint of crisp fall air settles over our city, the elves at Martha Angus are starting to turn their attention to the holidays.  Think tinsel and sparkle and fresh inspired design created exclusively for you by us. We remove the hassle and pile on the joy. To book your holiday decorating session, please call 415.931.8060 or e-mail Stephanie at stephanie@marthaangus.com

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DIFFA Designs

DIFFA

DIFFA Designs 2016 was a success.  Personally, I am loving the new format after years of Dining by Design. It feels fresh.  This year’s theme was “Shine.” Local creative types submitted objects based on the theme and the favorites were showcased at the NWBLK gallery.
Our team had oodles of fun with the project and emerged with a jewel encrusted banana.  As we noted in our description of the piece, “we love making the old new again, the dull shine and the perishable forever-cherished.”
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The Gilded Age

Gilded 2

These days you don’t have to look too hard to find hints of gold. From the more democratic West Elm, to the loftier Scala Luxury, gold is having a moment.  In fact, it is so au courant that our finest art institutions have embraced the theme.  Recently, the celebrated artist Maurizio Cattelan emerged from quasi retirement with a fully functioning solid 18K gold toilet that now sits in the Guggenheim. The accompanying placard simply reads, “America.” Artist Arndt Von Hoff took the ordinary (and very American) hamburger and turned it to gold with his aptly titled piece,”Gold Hamburger.” These pieces punctuate the opportunity and the excess that defines our country. Apparently, the American Dream now comes dunked in gold.

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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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