From Design Director, Katie McCaffrey
My husband and I recently took the trip of a lifetime. We spent months clicking through websites, pouring over articles, Pinning and bookmarking our way to the ideal itinerary for us. Our destination was the Philippines, and more specifically the stunningly beautiful archipelago of Palawan Province.
We made our home at a small private island resort and spent our days sailing to even more remote islands, swimming through warm clear waters to white sandy beaches. As a designer, I couldn’t help but notice the colorful palette that mother nature provided—chalky white limestone cliffs, lush verdant tropical forests, shimmering turquoise waters that revealed vivid coral reefs.
It’s perhaps true that a photo says a thousand words. Need I say more?
Sometimes it takes just a few small changes to transform a room. I have always used white sheets, but recently I swapped them for ones that are bright orange and hot pink. I placed a YSL hot pink book on the bedside table, added a Warhol flower print over the bed in hot pink and purple. Presto, I now have a guest room that makes me smile every time I’m in it!
Our design director, Katie, likes adding something with character or history to a room–something you love which isn’t out of a catalogue. It could be a sculpture that speaks to you, an antique or even something slightly quirky.
Senior Designer, Ericka, loves to shop the Alameda Flea Market for silver bowls to hold jewelry or julep cups for makeup brushes. These touches add personality to keeping things organized.
Everyone agrees that the simplest way to spruce of a room is with fresh flowers. Whether you venture to the flower market or add some to your basket at Whole Foods, flowers bring a fresh punch to any space.
Last night a few of the ladies from the office and I attended the awe-inspiring fog fair opening gala. Imagine being greeting at the entry by a dramatic 20-foot tall wall of roses (thank you, stanlee Gatti). Once inside Fort Mason, the creativity overflowed with displays from some of world’s finest galleries.
Some of our favorites included:
Knockout chairs from New York’s Friedman Benda gallery. One chair resembled a furry cumulus cloud and the other might be mistaken for a neon green mollusk. Both were divine.
Flowers in a bicycle basket by the Chinese contemporary artist, Ai Weiwei. We love him!
“Untitled Blu Monochrome” by Yves Klein and from one of my favorite galleries, Levy Gorvy.
Sculptures from LeBreton Gallery.
p.s. The dessert bar was also a crowd-pleaser.
The show ends on Sunday, so there is still plenty of time to be inspired. All proceeds benefit the SF MOMA.
It’s inevitable that with the start of a new year comes the lists of what’s “in” and what’s “out” in the world of interiors. While it’s certainly fun to read them, these lists somewhat contradict my general philosophy of timeless design. What looks great today should and can in fact look equally fabulous and relevant in twenty years. As I think through the many homes that I have designed over the years, I realize that there are certain iconic pieces that resurface. Many are investment pieces but rest assured that these are classics that will stand the test of time.
1. YVES KLEIN TABLE
2. SAARINEN DINING TABLE
3. PARSONS TABLE
4. LOUIS XVI CHAIR
5. REGENCY GILTWOOD MIRROR
6. ANYTHING GUSTAVIAN OR GEORGIAN PAIRED WITH MODERN ART
As we look toward New Year’s Eve and fondly bid farewell to 2016 (buh-buh), it feels like a good time to share a few bubbly libations to ring in a new year.
Who wouldn’t want to sip on something that sounds as fun as a Pomp Fizz, a tequila and champagne fiesta created by Zachary Taylor or Dirty Water in San Francisco.
Pomp Fizz (reprinted from Mademoiselle Magazine)
1.5 oz. Patron Reposado
.75 oz. Lemon Juice
.5 oz. Cinnamon Syrup*
1 heaping barspoon Pomegranate seeds
Build in shaker, adding tequila, juice, syrup, seeds, and then ice. Shake vigorously and fine strain into a champagne flute. Top with Prosecco and then drop a bar spoon of pomegranate seeds into drink. Add 1 dash of angostura bitters to float on top.
1 cup Water
1 cup Sugar
2 sticks Canela (Mexican cinnamon), broken into pieces.
Combine, sugar, water and cinnamon in a sauce pan over medium heat and simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved and a prominent cinnamon flavor develops. Transfer to a glass jar and let cool. Keeps for up to one month in the refrigerator.
The French 75
This cocktail dates back to World War I when French and American soldiers would toast their victories with it. The French 75 has made many a movie cameo, perhaps most famously in Casablanca.
1 ounce Gin
.5 ounce fresh squeezed lemon
.5 ounce simple syrup
2 ounces Champagne
Lemon twist or cherry
Mix all of the ingredients together and garnish with a lemon twist or a cherry. Best when served super chilled, including the glass.
If all else fails, one can never go wrong with Champagne served the original way, straight up.
Happy New Year!
We’re all feeling a little like Eartha Kitt these days around the office. Could Mr. Claus just hurry down the chimney tonight? Here are a few of the things that made our wish list and p.s., we have been very good this year!
Avedon fashion book
A piece from the Alex Katz collaboration with H+M
Anything from Crowne Point Press
Soludos Espadrilles, oui ou non?
This delicious cotton candy sculpture
A tiny pink Polaroid camera, “shake it”
A bauble from Finn Jewelry
And for the grand finale, a stay in the Coco Chanel Suite at the newly reopened Paris Ritz
In case there is any doubt, Miami is as hot, sultry and magical as ever. The confluence of cultures provides the ideal backdrop for Art Basel and Design Miami, arguably some of the most important shows in the art and design worlds.
Here are a few tidbits from our journey south in case you ever find yourself in this spicy town the first week of December:
Do head straight to Ola for al fresco dining and to Havana 1957 for a taste of Cuban cuisine. Grab a drink poolside at the Raleigh Hotel.
We adored the Nobu at Eden Roc.
While everyone flocks to the main shows (and they are worthy), we are every bit as enamored with the Pulse and Ink Fairs. We may have even bought a piece or two!
Take in the Art Deco architecture. It’s so close to the beach that it’s intoxicating. Notice the art that is everywhere. Enormous sculptures dot the cityscape and murals transform parking garage walls into paintings that beckon you to look twice.
Bold, wacky and fashion-forward outfits provide yet another feast for the eyes. Still, by all means pack comfortable shoes!
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.