29.4.09

Art 101 > From Russia with love

As many of you know; I have a daily art calendar which features artists from all over the world and from many era's. From time to time I like to feature a piece of artwork that pertains to an upcoming holiday or relating to a post that I am working on.

Today's feature is the artist: Anna Nikolaeva Karinskaya (1871-1931)
When turning to today's selection this page struck me, hard to believe that this was created so long ago....... it looks as if it could be hanging in a gallery today or in someones home.


The colors are what drew my eyes in this early a.m. The soft lines of the brushstrokes as they contrast to the open paneled doors, windows and panes of glass. You can even see the reflection on top of the hall table. And if I might add an interior that would be fitting in any 21st.century home of today. Look into the room, a great round topped table, daybed & great curved arm chairs. The color palette is also very welcoming in muted soft neutral & a dash of Scandinavian influenced colors.

Interior of l. Panteleev's House in Murmanov, 1913 * Art Museum of Vologda. Vologda, Russia.
Oil on canvas, a 55 x 45 vertical painting.



Below, the only other work of art that I could find listing the artist; Landscape with Haystack, 1903 Oil on canvas 39 x 72 From the same Russian collection in the Art Museum of Vologda.

28.4.09

Casting call.....

It's hard to remember a time when I was not wanting to "tweek" anything that pertained to my home. When I was little I would always tweek my dolls, clothes & things. I am always adding this or changing that, on a daily basis. Don't get me wrong, I am also drawn to a more simplistic life as well. I just seem to find a need to add this or take away that when working on a project. It is very rarely that something comes home from the shelf to the house untouched.


But there is something about a "gilded lily" that entices me to linger and examine. The rough carvings from city buildings, an ornate piece of hardware; separated from it's partner long ago, or a richly carved relief that was a part of something years ago. I love the character of old crumbly buildings, the distinct carvings in Central Park, or even here wher I live there is a huge collection of Art Deco design downtown. I think you are either drawn to it's allure or you are not. Who know's what it even means, but I do love character and the story that even if you do not know it; the story that may have gone along with a piece with a past!





The casting mold's and pieces of time here are from Greenwich Village, a fourth-generation family firm P.E. Guerin. Fine brass furniture, lighting and hardware, all made by hand.


Some samples of table legs - Rococo ram motif, neoclassical - in gold and nickel plated brass, designed and cast at P.E. Guerin.

Ages of renderings of reference books and master catalogs in the pattern room inside the company's work room. The worn spines of the reference books show the wear & tear in turning to the classical design elements time after time.



A close up of the stacks of books and catalogs. To the left is a cast & plated panther head looking down from the bookcase, above it a woman's face adorned with a crown of details. To the right boxes of fittings and samples of casts & moulds for creating hardware.


The back wall with ornate frames and filigree, roped wires and pieces of adornments. The company has preserved more than 150 year's worth of hardware designs. Pages devoted to work done in 1915 for a Henry Ford estate bear pattern numbers but no pictures to foil copycats.

In the foundry, workers pour molten brass, heated to nearly 2,500 degrees, from graphite crucibles into molds made from sand quarried near Albany, NY. The molten brass - at 2,000 degrees the color of orange Kool-Aid -is the look of the potential of creation and play of manipulating the liquid to a solid form. Before the molds can be filled, they are baked for 10 hours at 425 degrees to eliminate any moisture that could potentially ruin the casting. After the castings cool,they are wire brushed, cut, filed, chased, polished, and plated.


To the right, a client's 19th century chandelier, awaiting restoration in the storage room of P.E.Guerin's factory. Once missing or broken parts are replaced with new castings, the piece will be restored in the right full finish. This piece will be cast in gold.


A treasury of bronze and brass curtain tiebacks, plated in gold & styled as rosettes and medallions, mounted on a wooden display board in the main gallery of the New York showroom.


A collection of furniture mounts, capitals, bases, corbels, caryatids, and other decorative hardware all seated and shelved in the company's pattern room. Much of the work that was done in P.E. 's time is done as it was with a few nods to modernities like alternating current. Once a piece is cast, it's imperfections are brushed and filed before the pattern is retracted with files and scrapers similar to a dentist's. Only then does a piece begin it's transformation at the hand of chasers. These alchemists score, dot, and push texture into the shrill brightness of brass with small chisels, giving details like leaves or a mermaid's hair the look of life.
"It's all how you break up the light," says Grubman the manager.
From order to delivery the process can take up to four months to complete.


A unique array of pieces and fragments. These shelves line the pattern room walls from pieces to fragments & relics from years gone by. The company founded by Pierre Emmanuel Guerin is seen throughout the three conjoined buildings that make up P.E. Guerin on Jane Street. The business founded in 1892 is now occupied by P.E.'s great-grand-nephew Andrew Ward, who lives in an apartment above the showroom.


A poetic figural mount in gold-plated brass. The motif is a common detail in furniture decoration in the 19th century, viewed in the showroom's main gallery. This long nosed, high collared, smiling Victorian gentleman hangs on the wall.
Deliberate work is what is owed not only the customer, but also history, art - and P.E.

House & Garden RIP........

27.4.09

Parlez le Francais?

Meet the Halards; Michelle & Yves ..................... Sitting under 100 year old plane trees. How sweet is this lil French decorator couple from the south of France?
Their son Francois captured them together on film outside their distinctive home filled with a lifetime of collecting treasures.


I love the shape and shade of blue in this wonderful Parisian Chapel bench, supporting the Halards. The footed rattan coffee table is such a textural contrast. Love their loyal companion sitting on the bench with them, I just love a home with a dog.

The entry way is painted in a sky blue color featuring an incredible wooden chandelier, once a stage prop, Spanish urns and an antique religious bust of Christ. I love the octagonal cut tiles with a center punch of black marble accent tile.

In the Library, the book shelves run the entire front of the house to the back. These custom made shelves hold a lifetime of books and designer magazines. I only wonder if my own collection will ever be this large? I like the punch of blue color painted on the back side of the book shelves. On the top are vintage toys and mirrors. White side chairs from Versailles sit on an 19th century Aubusson carpet. The curtains are in Aldin silk by Nobilis.The duo downsized from a 43 room chateau to their current home without giving up any of their collections.


Vintage bistro garden chairs and large terra cotta pots filled with arid cacti & bamboo line the pathways into the home.The courtyard is relaxed and very natural in contrast to the prized collectibles within the home.



In the dining room the structure features Neo Classical mouldings,gilt detailing, & a wonderful ornate Italianate mantle piece. This room is the only room that was kept with the original floor plan. When choosing a home here in Provence price & availability were key; finding a eighteenth-century hunting lodge with five farm buildings was the ticket! The buildings were integrated into a newer and expanded floor plan.




In the bedroom a canopy & bedspread bring wonderful color and pattern to the pale green washed walls. The trumeau mirror above the cast stone mantle, nobility paintings & military inspired prints on the walls bring an antique feel of heritage to this room.





Love the wooden green Provincial side table, rush seating chair & vases & staues of meissen.


In the bath, an eighteenth-century screen framed in military scarves with marble statue originally belonging to Michelle's mother. Making the bathroom a warm, lived in feel with tactile & elegant touches.





Some key tips for living the Provincial life:

Color, color, color.......the Provincial home boasts beautiful and beloved objects brimming with color. A belief of the Halard's of " more is more fun".

A metal & wooden garden bistro chair brings the color green to the scheme. But color here is inspired by trees, leaves or plants. A tree leaf may inspire a color scheme....going from brown to dark green to light green shades and colors. "People say you cannot put green & blue together, but you have to look at the grass and sky to see it does", says Michelle.
Below, Yves waters plants that line the esplanade.



Images House & Garden

26.4.09

Tread on these

What a great idea & global organization! While shopping this weekend on Brook side's trendy strip of shopping my daughter & I stumbled upon http://www.idaredboutique.com/ a cute little store that takes you back with vintage candy, soda pop & t-shirts, & clothing.



A sample of some of the vintage pop you can get at Ida Red's store........


The really neat thing we stumbled upon was the Toms Shoes find the story here: http://www.tomsshoesblog.com/

An interesting global company that for every pair of shoes bought, a pair of shoes are given to a child in need of foot ware all over the globe- one for one. With a one day without shoes campaign just behind the company, it is apparent that the company is gaining support and spreading the word of their global efforts.

Garden Glass

Chihuly in the garden, at Cox Pond in Atlanta Botanical Garden's Fuqua Conservatory.

The gardens of Atlanta Botanical garden were transformed by artist Dale Chihuly, the master of molten glass manipulated into colorful forms & integrating into nature. An exhibit that featured over 50 of his beautiful sculptures playfully placed amongst the garden features.

A close up of some of the glass objects integrated into the water & lilly pads. Studying the art of glass blowing in Venice, Chihuly integrated the centuries old techniques of glass blowing with modern shapes and colors.

Some of the glass objects that dazzle in the sunlight as well as in spotlight when the exhibition opened on scheduled evenings. With more to glassblowing than aesthetics: strength & dexterity are essential in shaping, with heavy iron tools, fiery round molten glass on the ends of steel rods into which air can be blown by mouth. The entire process takes teamwork to accomplish.


Images from the Atlanta Botanical Garden / Veranda

25.4.09

Happy Weekend



Happy Weekend.......... Weather here calling for some rain but the sun is shining today! Enjoy the weather & it looks like Spring has finally sprung! There are many local events going on here this weekend, check out your local events for activities & garden tours!

24.4.09

Great Design for Two


Working on a place of their own, the architectural design team of Tim Haynes & Kevin Roberts create a glorious home. The use of unusual materials, refurbished building materials and thinking out of the box reflects the "Green" design trend that is becoming a way of designing, and no trend in the future.

The entry into the hallway, before the renovation is completed. Much prep work and design planning is needed to create a more unique and personal space. You also need to work very closely with your builder / designer when working with more unique materials to ensure your vision is also their vision for your design.The property had a 1690 parsonage on a neighboring property, and on their plot was protected wetlands, so a more modern home with glass was not the choice.With it's old trees persuading then to stay within the line of saltbox and shingles,but both wanted a light airy sun filled type of home with high ceilings.

The shaker shingled home is a mix of old & new, as over the years the square footage of the home has grown. A very lived in and casual looking expansion of space.

The drive through for this Hampton's getaway was designed by Tim Haynes of Hatnes-Roberts, Inc., a getaway that Haynes shares with designer Kevin Roberts. When working with other clients for the past 15 years, they were ready to embark on their own building. Roberts wanted a library in a separate building. As Haynes, a Harvard-trained architect who was advised by former professors to renovate rather than build,was wanting to experiment with space.


This living area is light and uncluttered, as the homeowners wanted to leave all the stress and clutter behind when coming for weekend getaways. The iron torche'res and to the window Sol Le Witt's dynamic Double Pyramid No. 3 (1986), gives a sculptural punch to the clean and uncluttered living room. A pair of clean lined American chaises, ca. 1950, from Alan Moss, NYC, in Peloton line in Breakaway.



Hanging above the pair of chaises is the Australian chandelier, ca. 1950 and behind that a plaster academy model of Laocoon mounted on a wooden stand, from Amy Perlin Antiques, NYC.


The very sculptural Double Pyramid No. 3 (1986)


The design pieces of Mid-century Borge Mogensen's teal and leather winged armchair, a pair of tufted neutral aluminum chairs by Jansen, and the slate and wrought iron coffee table by Jean-Charles Moreux bring one section of the living room together. Above the sofa, a painting by Al Held's West-Northwest (1970).


Another view of the seating arrangement with the embroidered more classical chair to the right of the window.



The library, though far from traditional with white painted bookcases, wicker arm chairs and rustic English table from Ann Morris Antiques.



In the pass through to the kitchen the gathering table is an octagonal English table from Amy Perlin Antiques,NYC. The marble floor which was reclaimed from a warehouse and reused to bring an ages quality to the renovation. Light filled and opened beam ceilings open up and let light into the kitchen.


The trademark of a Haynes-Roberts design seems to be the fine blend of modern and traditional elements,and this is so apparent in the kitchen of their own home. In the kitchen, custom cabinets by St. Charles of New York and Timothy Haynes Architect, NYC, have been fitted with reclaimed nickel icebox latches to match Viking's stainless-steel chimney wall hood and open burner fuel oven. The lighting is from Urban Archeology and are old cafeteria lighting. Waterwork's Easton 2-hole level-handle kitchen mixer is in satin nickel. On the island cream ware bowls, English pottery and giant clam shells bringing the natural organic feel to the kitchen.


Louise Fishman's Trouble of the Touch (2005) hangs above the 19th-century artist's worktable in the master sitting room. The prayer kneeling chair, zinc urn & the adorable rattan pet bed line against the wall opposite the main living area in the master.



A very organic feeling bulls-eye mirror by Herve' Van der Straeten and Andy Warhol's Robert Mapplethorpe-Side view (1983) stand out in the master sitting room. Again the contrast of cool limestone, textural sea grass, wicker and cool iron & glass coffee table.


A Haynes-Roberts designed bed drapery around the custom framed bed by Morgik Metal Designs, NYC. Open high ceiling with a lofty airy feeling and creamy denim chair with a light & airy feeling in the master.


One of my favorite photos of Roberts assisting Haynes on the ladder, with their Border Terrier (like my lil Derby) watching then hang an antique tole lantern in the entry.


The reclaimed warehouse bricks wait to be set as a floor in the hallway.


The wood flooring team from Brian Rutledge assemble reclaimed wide plank flooring according to the color and character before hammering them down.


A freestanding tub was stored upside down until the master bath was finished.



Some tips from the homeowners / architects on design trade secrets:
Many of the materials were reclaimed, a natural choice for a newly built home.
Using reclaimed materials gives depth, richness, and a patina that new materials
cannot give a build or renovation.
The main rooms flooring was salvaged from a company that reclaims 18th century Pennsylvania attics, one put in the attics for their susceptibility to warp & crack; but are now in demand for their unique character.
Custom mixed paints in neutral hues give an air of serenity in the house.
The entryway is tiled in black & gray & white marble from a 200 year old floor salvaged from an English Country Home.
In contrast, the brick floor appears to be antique material but was made by Robinson Brick, a company in Denver that tumbles the product for a weathered look.
Photos credit House & Garden RIP..........

23.4.09

Swarming trend to Honeycomb

Bzzzzzzzz! Bzzzzzzz What is all the business swarming traditional design decorators to a little touch of the modern in the honeycomb trend?



Beelieve ( couldn't resist) or not; Bee's are very celebrated in the world of Interior Design, with a great thanks to Napoleon himself. It is the architectural element of the honeycomb that has enticed designers and architects alike in design, pattern & structures.

Through the decades an era of designers have punched their own stamp on the coveted block of pattern, in the 1960's it was David Hicks & Mark Hampton who got hip with the Mod design trend.



In the design trends of today the honeycomb pattern can build on bold and bright pattern or be more neutral in design and being a building block for a design pattern and room theme. So, the question remains; Traditional or Modern? I guess the beauty of that answer is in the eye of the beholder.



This bone inlaid lacquered chest,by Sylvan SF you can find it at Paul Marra Design http://www.paulmarradesign.com/



The classic lines of this gourd lamp have gone modern with the blue & brown honeycomb pattern of this lamp base. Laslo lamp from bungalow 5 find it at: http://www.bungalow5.com/



If you are a spa follower then you know the moisturizing qualities of honey. From days of Egyptians, a well known skin moisturizer, you can find the same effect in these pollen & honey soaps from Honey Soap find it at; http://www.worldmarket.com/Bee-Pollen-or-Honey-Bar-Soap/lev/4/productId/8439/Ntt/honeycomb%20soap/Ntx/mode+matchallpartial/N/0/Nty/1/Ntk/Cats/Ssr/Y/index.pro



Who would not want tea and a little honey to drink from this cute saucer and cup from Kate Spade. A buzzzzz will surely be heard from your guests around the tea table; find it at http://www.katespade.com/category/index.jsp?categoryId=1855195&clickid=leftnav_home_img


These graduated shelving units can be arranged to make your own hive and in any size. By Plush Pod at: http://www.plushpod.com/


Well......the light of your life ( also referred to as "Queen Bee" will be all a buzzz over this royal light fixture. With geometric pattern, iron frame and colored glass inserts from Marjorie Skouras at: http://www.marjorieskourasdesign.com/product6.html



The pair of honeycomb bolster pillows will surely give you your share of zzzzzzzz's when in need. Find them at http://www.westelm.com/online/store/CategoryDisplay?storeId=17001&langId=-1&catalogId=17002&viewSetCode=E&identifier=WE-SH1RUGPIL&retainNav=true


And when the Queen Bee needs to light up the colony, this light fixture is the bbuuzzzzz. Find it at Style North at:http://stylenorth.ca/blog/2008/08/shops-ultra-lighting/


This daybed sports the honeycomb pattern in a contemporary circle motif in this Indonesian styled sitting room.

Top several photos credit to House Beautiful Mag