March 30, 2010

Lost in Translation


  


                                       
When this month's issue of Elle Decor arrived, I was thrilled to see a feature article about Tokyo and the city's thriving design sensibility within fashion, food, architecture and interior design.

What started out as a small fishing village in the 12th century, today's Tokyo has survived earthquakes, wars and citywide fires to become an enigmatic combination of ancient tradition and modern sensibility.




Two years ago, I had the distinct pleasure of spending a week in Tokyo.  Staying at the Cerulean Tower in the Shibuya neighborhood of Tokyo allowed a bird's eye view of this sprawling metropolis as well as daily interaction within one of the world's most fascinating crosswalks, Shibuya Square (yes, it's where the Starbucks was!):


  


Architecturally, three buildings left lasting impressions and should be on the "must see" list.  The Mikimoto Building, designed by Toyo Ito, is constructed by steel plates reinforced with concrete.  Due to the integration of the two materials, no interior structural supports for this nine story building are necessary:



The Prada retail store (designed by Herzog and de Meuron in 2003) in the fashionable district of Aoyama is a unique six story juxtaposition of steel and glass.  With three types of glass (flat, concave and convex) there is a constant interaction of movement between visitor and architecture.  With continuity between selling floor, private dressing rooms and interior displays the language of design stays congruent within interior and exterior facades:




  


On one of my last days in Tokyo, after all the stimulation of technology, lights, glass and steel, finding a peaceful solace at the Meiji Shrine was the perfect way to  close out my stay in Tokyo:





I was lucky enough to visit the Shrine during a wedding ceremony and as much as I hated interrupting a beautiful moment, being witness to ancient Japanese tradition was certainly a highlight of the trip:

 

It was as I was watching the procession that I found inspiration for my work: a beautiful pagoda inspired lantern



Coming back to the States, I quickly investigated where I could find similar lighting fixtures.  Below are some of my favorite pagoda inspired lanterns within the marketplace:











  


Arigato!






March 25, 2010

Colt and Gray



While in Colorado, my friends took me to an energetic yet cozy restaurant, Colt and Gray.  Besides a delightful menu (the blue cheese dusted gourgeres are a must!) and charming bar area by the fire, the interior has a fresh, yet mountain appropriate feel.


When back at my desk in New York City, I quickly researched resources should the opportunity present itself to design a similar aesthetic:



Small Aspen Light from Circa Lighting



Aspen Sconce from Circa Lighting




Empire Side Chair from Baker Furniture

March 23, 2010

Rocky Mountain High


 

While working as Director of Interior Design for Charlotte Moss, I had the pleasure of working on projects in Colorado: Denver and Vail to be exact.  While my trips were often of business, I found that retreating to the Rockies from New York City, was always enjoyable...the people, the design stores, the cuisine.  After a recent trip to visit friends (and do a little work!) I thought I would share some of the great shops the area has to offer. 




                   

The first stop for any interior designer in Denver is HW Home.  Ron Werner and Jim Herring (formerly of Holly Hunt) established the first store in Boulder and now four stores service the Denver area.  The collection is a beautiful blend of manufacturers and the customer service is superb.  Below are a few of my favorite finds:

Hobbs Mirror from Julian Chichester




Samantha Chair by Alexa Hampton from Hickory Chair



Caged Lantern by Eric Cohler from Visual Comfort


Next stop on the shopping list is Black Tulip Antiques.  A treasured hideaway on South Broadway where you are sure to find the perfect piece!  Below are a few that caught my eye:


French Carved Two Seater Settee



French Louis XV Bureau Plat attributed to Alfred Beurdeley


English Mahogany Serpentine Chest of Drawers




One last great resource for those last minute design needs (not to mention skiwear) is Gorsuch.  With locations in Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone and Aspen popping in for accessories, table linens, flatware, and barware is a must.  A few of these pieces caught my eye on my last visit:



Red Chalet Chair

Faux Fur Throw


     
Oleana Baby Blanket...perfect for those Alpine nurseries!





March 4, 2010

Tickle the Graphic Eye


As we head into this weekend and away from the various inspirations of Istanbul, I thought I'd leave you with a few of my detail shots from the various architectural building elements.  These graphic details now have a permanent home in my concept binder.  Enjoy!



                                 


                                 


                                 


                                 



  



                                  



                      

March 3, 2010

Ichiche

   

I'd be remiss if I didn't share this lovely site, especially while we are in the midst of my time in Istanbul.

Ichiche, a lifestyle brand started by Denise Spencer, specializes in all things Turkish: antique suzani kimonos and agate jewelry is what the brand is primarily known for.  An added delight is that Denise can offer customized shopping and culinary excursions in Istanbul...certainly the best way to see the city!