Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Summer Love

All that's missing from the scene above is a round of some lovely little umbrella-covered drinks and a few of my closest friends and family. This Teak Extension Dining Table and Chairs from Home Infatuation makes for a perfect backdrop to the great American past time- the summer party! The slatted, teak tabletop expands from 94" to 142" long, which can mean only one thing... the more the merrier! Quality construction and gorgeous style make for a combination that I could easily be infatuated with.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Blurring the line....

We have lately been inundated with information and ideas about blurring the line between indoors and out, bringing nature into our homes, and opening our homes to the great outdoors. Of course, it makes perfect sense, and what better way to do just that, than to use the beauty found in nature as a window covering when we have to cover the beauty of nature!

The options in product and pricing are boundless, making the addition of natural woven products a possibility for just about everyone. Many of the companies have done their environmental homework and their offerings are renewable, sustainable, green and gorgeous.

Conrad is the leader, the innovator of the industry, setting the standard for almost 60 years. Their beautiful shades are hand-woven by master craftspeople from natural plants and grasses that are sustainably grown and harvested. The fibers are naturally strong and resistant to ultra-violet light and mildew, are dust-resistant and have high abrasion resistance, which makes them a perfect choice for window coverings that will stand the test of time. Conrad shades are GreenSpec listed, so designers and consumers are assured of their quality and environmental friendliness.

Project Green has been launched by Hartmann & Forbes as they strive to grow, harvest and produce their striking window coverings in a sustainable manner and limiting their impact on our environment. Also GreenSpec listed, Hartmann & Forbes has hundreds of "fabrics" or weaves to choose from, making their shades, draperies and panels complimentary to any decor.

The simplicity of catalog and on-line ordering is the hallmark of Smith & Noble. They provide easy to follow instructions for measuring and installation, or you can have one of their specialists provide that service. All of the materials for the Natural Woven Shades, such as grasses, reeds and bamboo are globally sourced, renewable and environmentally responsible.

Many companies that we have long been familiar with, such as Alta, Hunter-Douglas, and Levolor, have each included substantial offerings in the natural woven product lines. With so many different choices available through so many different suppliers, we can all experience the beauty and wonder of nature, whether we are looking out the window or at the window.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Payne Wing Chair from Dessin Fournir

Dessin Fournir is known for combining a mellow sense of comfort with an understated grandeur, and they have done it again with the Payne Wing Chair. The thing I like about almost all of their pieces, this one especially, is that you can tell the quality just by looking at it. Dessin pieces look and feel expensive and well made. I especially like the beehive front legs on this piece, which really give it an identity in the crowded chair market. The chair reminds me of a throne of sorts and I think it will appeal to most men looking for a self-esteem boost. The wood is fine mahogany and I predict this chair will find its way into many libraries and living rooms.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sultry Sophistication by J. Robert Scott

J. Robert Scott introduces Bluestack, the third chapter of Deep Tones. This selection of luxury textiles expresses glamour with smoky and sultry tones realized in mohair, hand-woven silk, silk chenille and lambskin. Each of the chapters within the Deep Tones Collection makes a distinctively modern, chic statement faithful to the design vision of Sally Sirkin Lewis, and Chapter III, Bluestack, does so with sophistication taking its cue from a cosmopolitan mood.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Everything and the Kitchen Sink

French designer Philippe Starck recently created the first kitchen sink design for Duravit. Starck is known for his original and groundbreaking designs in hotels and appliances and he has excelled here as well. The sink comes in dimensions of 40"l x 20"w or 35"l x 20"w, allowing for large pots and pans to fit in the space. The sink is available in four colors: white, pergamon, anthracite and chestnut. The design is very sleek and attractive, as well as efficient. I love how much room this sink gives you, I know when I am in the kitchen I always feel cramped in my sink. This sink allows you to really get down and dirty with your dishes and not feel overwhelmed.

Sui Armoire from Pal + Smith

The distinctive hatch pattern incorporated into the door of the new Sui Armoire from Pal + Smith caught my attention first- even before the bold colors! The woven pattern reveals an Asian influence in the design and provides the modern flair that Pal + Smith is known for. The Sui was modeled after an antique, adding timeless style to a very contemporary piece. If the vivid colors shown above aren't your cup of tea- not to worry! The Sui can be custom-colored in any shade.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Punto Singolo Chandelier from Philip Nimmo Ironworks

Saks Fifth Avenue commissioned him to produce an artistic center table, his list of celebrity clients includes Sir Anthony Hopkins and Jim Carrey, among others, and his recent completion of eight Giacometti-style floor lamps for the newly remodeled Crown Plaza in Manhattan has created a palpable buzz surrounding Philip Nimmo. In seven years the Philip Nimmo Ironworks collection has expanded from fire screens to a complete collection including lighting, furniture and hardware. A recent addition to the extensive Philip Nimmo Ironworks collection are this gorgeous Punto Singolo Chandelier, a clear representation of the innovation and fine craftsmanship synonymous with the Philip Nimmo name. His design style has been compared to Bauhaus artists such as Piet Mondrian and I would expand that to include Keith Haring, whose influence is reflected in the bold lines, brilliant colors and combinations of geometric and organic shapes found in the Philip Nimmo Ironworks collection. However, it is the distinctiveness, craftsmanship and innovation that makes the collection so incredibly unique.

Walker & Co. presents the Modern Collection, a refreshing take on home furnishings, featuring metropolitan silhouettes and natural materials. The organic textures of eco-friendly and all-natural woven banana-leaf meld into the mahogany, creating a soothing combination of natural fibers. “Designers and educated consumers seek out sophisticated silhouettes and a mix of textures to compliment their decor. Although the use of these all-natural materials is not new, the updated look has found its place in the elements of great design." says Susanne Walker, national award winning designer and architect behind the Modern Collection. Walker is known for natural designs that can transfer seamlessly among one another while retaining the vision of the designer. I am a fan of comfort and natural materials, and this collection has both. I wish there were more pieces available in this style.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Kaleidoscope from Appomattox Tile Art

Creating new designs in an art form that has been around for thousands of years is a enlightening process. The history of mosaics runs all the way back to the ancient Sumerians, who inhabited South Mesopotamia in the 5th to 3rd millennium BC, which is now modern Iraq. Evolving from the simple use of different colored pebbles by the Sumerians, to the Greeks and Romans, to famous Renaissance mosaics, mosaics are one of history's most common and complex art forms. But enough of a history lesson, Appomattox Tile Art makes a living by creating new and fresh mosaic designs that draw on past successes and pave a new way to the future. I love the combination of natural colors used in this design. The overlapping circles are a treat for the eyes and really make this design unique. Check out the Appomattox website for more great designs!

More Stunning Wallpaper

Never before has the urge to wallpaper something been so strong! I received these images from ATADesigns today and couldn't wait to share them. Founder Annette Taylor-Anderson has created a dazzling collection of wallpapers that can be complemented by matching cushions and lampshades. The Regal Collection, imspired by 18th century creations, includes (from left to right) Regina, Noble, Regina Stripe and Empress. This latest collection, which debuted at the Paris Maision et Objet earlier this year, is a welcome addition to ATADesigns family of wallpaper, cusions, lampshades and even tiles.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Key West Lounger from Walter's Wicker

This new piece from Walter's Wicker uses a polished stainless steel frame and a resin-weave adjustable back for a fresh look on outdoor lounging. This is a lounger that will give you both great comfort and hip style in the same package. It also comes fastened with two wheels in the back, insuring that if you need to drag it across your deck in the middle of a thunderstorm, you won't break your back while doing it. I usually look for two things in my outdoor loungers: A stylish combination of materials and the proper placement and material of cushions. This lounger has both those things and more.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My Latest Crush

I won't admit to writing "I heart Chauncey" all over my notes in this morning's meeting (honestly, I don't know who did that :) but I think you'll agree the new Chauncey Chair from Pal + Smith is certainly worth fawning over. The best way to describe the Chauncey would be the three words that came to mind when I first saw it: I want this! Was it the gorgeous Bergamo floral needle-point upholstery that first caught my eye? Was it the charming swivel-base that won me over? It's hard to say but the total package of style, comfort and quality that this chair offers seals the deal! I have also been thinking of the many rooms that this chair would fit perfectly in, but I'm wondering what do you think Chauncey is best suited for?

Please leave your comments below. As for me I have to get back to my notes... I heart Chauncey...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Apogee Market Umbrella from Giati

Picking an umbrella for your patio table just got a whole lot easier. These umbrellas are perfect for any kind of outdoor set-up and will immediately give your patio or deck a stylish vibe. The Apogee Collection of umbrellas from Giati are constructed of premium grade teak and are available in octagonal or square shape in 7 ft., 9 ft. or 12 ft. sizes. Bases can be customized as square or round, rolling or stationary. The umbrellas are handmade and feature a finger jointed and tri-staggered pole for greater strength and stability. Although the umbrellas are obviously aesthetically pleasing, their real worth comes from their amazing durability and strength. So often in our outdoor designs, we choose to skimp on the umbrella and then are disappointed when a brisk wind destroys it. Invest in a Giati umbrella and receive the confidence of a handmade product.

Separation Anxiety

For those who can't stand the dreariness of cubicle confinement, there is now a solution to provide a little flair to your work space. The new divider partitions from LOFTwall consist of panels that can be completely customized. Now you may be thinking, "Ugh, what if I decide the rose print I once loved is now boring and dull- how do I pick a design I can live with day in and day out?" That's just another feature of these innovative partitions- the panels can be removed and re-purposed to reflect your changing tastes. The slim-line, modular design is easy to assemble and can also be used in the home.

Add Some Disney to Your Backyard

I have to admit I was intrigued when I heard that Walt Disney Signature was teaming up with Veneman Furniture to create a collection of outdoor furnishings. This new line, Disney's first upscale, non-character lifestyle brand, consists of four collections: Lumiere, Griffith, Imperial and Script Writer. The collection that immediately caught my eye was Imperial. Inspired by The China Plate, one of Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies from 1931 in which the characters on a porcelain dish were brought to life, the Imperial Collection features an Asian motif with strong, refined angles and structural symmetry. The combination of the bold lines and the bright colors creates a warm, welcoming environment that I would love to have in my backyard.

It's not your Grandmother's wallpaper!

Lately, it seems that wallpaper is everywhere! New patterns, colorways and treatments are coming out of the woodwork. There is no end to the beauty, versatility and yes, price points that are represented in the marketplace today, with hundreds of choices for the custom product. Designers and clients asked, and the industry responded in spades.

The design trade has a special place in their hearts for de Gournay, their detail, use of color and motif is beyond compare. While specializing in 18th and 19th c. chinoiserie and French designs, they can reinterpret classics for a more modern ambiance.

Gracie Studio also specializes in the luxury of the hand-painted scenic wallcovering. Historic documents, photographs or local landscapes can be used as a source of inspiration for the artists to create the most traditional subjects or contemporary patterns on silk, paper or metallic grounds.

One of the newest kids on the custom block is Fromental, but their creativity and depth of experience speaks volumes. Their embroidered silk collection is unique to the industry. From the more traditional chinoiseries, the collection moves through re-interpretations of 1930's florals, 1950's mod, bold super graphics and the sweetness of children's papers.

Elegance and exuberance meet in the latest creations from Maya Romanoff, with one of the finest examples displayed in the 2009 Kips Bay Showhouse. The company incorporates ancient techniques with modern design and production, and also maintains an environmental sensibility.

With tongue firmly planted in cheek are the clever designs of Dunford Wood, available in the US through Lucy Rose Designs. With an extraordinary color sense and great humor, traditional designs are turned on their head!

For an eco-friendly wall treatment, Given Campbell prints on no VOC, no trim paper, with water soluble, air dry inks. Her patterns and colors are fresh, modern and truly inspired.

Custom capabilities go a step further with Alluminare, giving the designer complete control of the pattern, scale and colors. You choose from dozens of patterns, scale the pattern appropriately for your application, adjust colors and 3 weeks later, your custom paper arrives. This is just plain fun!

Choices today are virtually infinite, allowing designers and their clients complete freedom of expression and the chance to create a unique and personal design statement.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Kao Wall-Ceiling from Artemide

Products from lighting manufacturers always seem to push the envelope in terms of creativity and originality. I think the lighting medium lends itself to outlandish and interpretive designs, and we are all the better off for it. Artemide presents us with the Kao, a wall or ceiling light fixture that can brighten an entire room and make a bold design statement. This fixture would go perfectly in an entrance way, reception area or corridor. It is a great way to set a theme of modernity without having to spend money on multiple lights. It is the perfect complement to a modern design scheme, and most of all it just looks really cool!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Ocean and Madeira Collections from Oliveira Textiles

I am a total sucker for great fabric so it's no surprise that I have completely fallen for the Ocean and Madeira Collections of organic interior fabrics from Oliveira Textiles. The company uses all natural fabrics that are free from toxins and suitable for all interior applications. The textiles shown here (from left to right) are Anemone from the Ocean Collection in wild plum, sun orange and storm grey, and Madeira Vine from the Madeira Collection in shale sand and marigold.

Schwaller Armchair from Dessin Fournir

The Schwaller Armchair from Dessin Fournir is a nice alternative to the all the ultra-modern chairs you see out on the market these days. It is a lovely French throwback to a long-gone era that features strong Oak legs and an encompassing feel. It measures 24 1/2"w x 28"d x 44 1/2"h and can seat even the most expansive frame. This looks like a great chair for a library or low-key living room. It would be a great chair to sit down in, read the paper and drink your morning coffee in as well. I heartily recommend this chair for a person who would like a change of pace and some good old-fashioned comfort at the same time. It almost looks like it was taken right out of an old picture and plopped into our living room. Enjoy...

Bamboo & Linen Floor Lamps from Ibolili

These bamboo and linen floor lamps from Ibolili, a member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council, made their debut at the recent High Point Market and its no wonder they're creating quite a buzz. In addition to being a great value (did I mention the retail prices range from approximately $75-$100?!) they are also eco-freindly. In fact, the entire Ibolili collection consists of fine, handmade furniture created from natural elements such as leaves, bark, wood and sisal. These lamps are perfect for anyone looking for quality and affordable green design.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Castillo Bar Chair from Giati

At first glance I would have thought the new Castillo Bar Chair from Giati Designs, Inc. was comprised of wood, what with all the hand-carved details such as the fluting on the legs. To my surprise, however, the chair is hand-cast and finished in bronzed aluminum. The woven metal seat is inset into the grooves and seamlessly welded into the frame. This chair is designed and constructed to withstand the outdoor elements but would work in many interior applications as well. The cushions can be upholstered in any fabric from the Giati textile collection creating the opportunity to mix and match, perhaps pairing solids and prints to add an expressive touch to the chairs. The Castillo collection also includes a lounge chair, sofa, loveseat, chaise, ottoman, dining armchair, side chair, side table, coffee table and square and round dining tables.

The Cassiopei Lounger from Walters Wicker

Walters Wicker, manufacturer of exclusive high-end wicker, rattan, woven leather and resin furniture presents the Cassiopeia Lounger. It is a fluid and spine-hugging design, crafting a perfect seat for a person who needs to lounge. To be honest, I am not sure if I have ever seen a more comfortable looking chair. This is the kind of chair that you set out in front of a pool or beach and fall asleep in. It is making me sleepy just looking at it! It is constructed with an aluminum frame covered in a resin weave, and measures 32"w x 70"d x 32"h. It is shown here in a coffee cream finish but is also available in natural or chocolate. I think it would be a perfect fit for anyone's pool or beach-side escape.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Lighting from Trove

As a fan of the distinctive wall coverings that Trove is known for, I am delighted to see that they have extended their design spectrum into lighting with the launch of a comprehensive collection of pendant lighting. The shades are printed with Trove's trademark, nature-inspired designs, providing a stunning effect to any design application. The designs can be customized to create a personalized shade, adding to the luxury of the lighting collection, which includes drums, cylinders and other shapes in a variety of of sizes. Standard hardware finishes are offered in blackened steel and satin brass with custom options available in satin and polished nickel, polished brass and pewter.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Hank, the lamp located to the right, is hand-spun aluminum with a copper fade finish. The shade is a delicate cream linen, with more options available upon request. The height of the lamp is 28" and the shade dimensions are 14"l x 16"w x 11.5"h. You can see Hank in person at the HD Expo in Las Vegas, booth 7248-7249. I think this is a stylish lamp that would be a good fit in a foyer or some kind of entryway. You can tell it is handmade and I think designers will appreciate the homespun feel.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Tamarac Dining Table from Gérard

The Tamarac Dining Table from Gérard and Dessin Fournir features "Elegant tapering snake-like legs flowing from the top, with the center legs flaring away from each other, masterfully placed to allow for two chairs to sit at the head position." This is a very adaptable piece, allowing for placement in an assortment of spots around the house. The walnut piece measures 49"w x 57"l x 30"h. This is something I could definitely see myself putting in a kitchen where the space is minimal, I think it is a really fantastic little dining table.

Parsons from Bungalow 5

What struck me first about the new Parsons collection from Bungalow 5 was the simplicity of the designs. But wait a minute... look closer. Yeah, they're wrapped in grasscloth! I love the approach that takes a basic design and adds a touch of something, like grasscloth, to make it unique. The collection offers console, side and coffee tables in white, black, brown, red and navy. The tables provide a great solution for projects requiring something basic but not boring.

Haagen Chaise Lounge from Kerry Joyce

Radiating class and comfort, this new chaise lounge from Kerry Joyce and Dessin Fournir is a perfect compliment to any classic design scheme. Measuring 80"l x 28"d x 34"h, the chaise is also very customizable to fit the needs of the designer. The material is a walnut burl veneer, with COM upholstery. The piece has an elegant and aristocratic vibe, and would fit well in a variety of settings. Personally, I see this piece being an excellent fit in a library, or some other kind of sophisticated setting. It has the distinction of being a piece that is very comfortable, and extremely stylish.