Monday, 26 November 2007

Jacques Quinet

If I could go back in time to any place or any era, I would have to say that France (or Paris in particular) in the 30's & 40's would by my choice. They had such style, such grace, such elegance in that era, in a way that I don't think has ever been replicated by anyone, anywhere since. I've long admired the work of Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann (more prolific in the decades previous) and Jean-Michel Frank who, despite sitting at polar opposites of the decoration scale, both worked with luxurious materials and who created such grand interiors and furniture that they are still inspiring designers today. I more recently discovered the work of another genius of that time, Andrè Arbus, who also had a talent for refining furniture designs to their absolute finest detail that they still look modern, yet classic at the same time, today. Since then, I've made another discovery....Jacques Quinet. Quinet worked in this era also, but was also producing furniture and interiors into the 60's and 70's. I was so taken with the images that I'd found on the internet that I bought a book about him (below) as soon as I stumbled upon it. The book is full of lovely images, and as its the 4th book I've purchased recently that has French text it's inspiring me to learn the language.

"Jacques Quinet" by Guitemie Maldonado. Published by Editions de l'amateur (September 1, 2000). Unfortunately both Amazon and Stout Books are both out of stock of this item at the moment.

Two interiors featured the book that still look as current today, despite a few minor details, as they did in the 60's when they were created. The book is full of photographs, some colour but mostly black & white, so if you like the style, I highly recommend the book (if you can get a hold of a copy). If you read French it's a bonus!

Just two of the pieces that are currently available on 1st Dibs and Artnet.

Friday, 23 November 2007

Week of art

It's been a great week in the art world in Hong Kong. First of all, a local gallery organised a Julian Schnabel exhibition and brought him out to Hong Kong for the first time. Very exciting - this kind of level of work does not come here often. I saw the exhibition on Wednesday evening and was really impressed by the work they showed. I must admit I only discovered Julian Schnabel earlier this year when I learned that he had decorated the new Grammercy Park Hotel in New York. It was only after that that I discovered he was quite an acclaimed artist as well as film director.

On Thursday night I attended one of a series of lectures on contemporary Asian Art, held by the Asian Art Archive and sponsored by Christie's. The subject of the lecture was contemporary studio practice in India. The speaker was Atul Dodiya, an accomplished Indian contemporary artist who has been exhibiting internationally for some time now. Again, I was very impressed. Not only was he well spoken and articulate, but his body of work is quite phenomenal. I was also very happy learn more about the AAA - they are a registered charity, and the only organisation fo their kind in the world - who are amassing a body of work and information about contemporary asian art that is freely available to the public. If you're ever in Hong Kong and interested in this topic, check it out.

These are my picks from the exhibitions...

Julian Schnabel, "Fox Farm", 1989 - oil, gesso & resin on found painting

Atul Dodiya, "Three Painters", 1996, oil & acrylic on canvas (the person to the left is actually the artist)

More culinary delights...

I have a few more to share with you before I get this part of the house out of my system. This post is partly in honour of my Nth American friends who celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday.

Two stunningly classic kitchens by Anne Coyle.

Three by the legendary Thomas O'Brien (top image is his own NY apartment). The bottom one is definitely my favorite. What I would do for that much space! Space a aside, I love the design. He is one designer (along with Mr Gambrel) who always manages to make utility rooms look stylish.

from House & Garden.

A kitchen by "The Wearstler" - a little more modern that I normally go for, but I quite like how she combines materials together. The wood countertop and the black splashback seem to warm up the mass of stainless steel a bit.

This one is from NY based Glenn Gissler. The colour is not one that I would personally chose for a kitchen, but I love the cabinetry with the silver edging. Very sleek and chic!

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Kitchen cravings...

Thanks to all for your comments on my bathroom related posts. I was planning on posting some kitchen images anyway, but I think now it's a must!

As you can probably tell, my taste in kitchens runs along the same lines as bathrooms, mostly white and fairly classic. But not always. Here are a few that I've recently been drooling over and some oldies I've been holding onto - just in case...

A modern but classic looking kitchen by Joe Nye

Three classics by Steven Gambrel. This man can do no wrong in my eyes.

A very small but very luxurious kitchen by Hong Kong designer Steve Leung. So crisp, so fresh and so chic!

The kitchen of Michelle Smith featured in Elle Decor Oct '07 . I have always loved the combination of black and white in kitchens - especially white cabinetry with black benchtops, and this is a great example. Plus I love the idea of having a breakfast bench - and having art in your kitchen.

From one of my favorite all time NY apartments, designed by Fox-Nahem. So classic. I love the vintage light fitting.

One of my many tear sheets I've been carrying around with me, from an Australian magazine. I love the combination of dark wood flooring and all white cabinetry. Plus the light!

Another old favorite, so classic.

These two are from a Melbourne home decorated by Stuart Rattle. I love the simplicity of this and how well it blends into the rest of the interior without necessarily looking too 'kitcheny'. Plus I think the tiled wall/splashback looks remarkably stylish.

From the apartment of Timothy Whealon. I probably don't need to say much more than that. Simple. Chic.

Again, the dark countertops and flooring with the white cabinetry. I must be onto something - it seems to be a recurring theme.

And another. Also a great example of displaying art successfully in a normally utilitarian room.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Bathroom inspirations....

Okay, I promise not to bore you with more bathroom related posts after this...but as you can tell - I'm a little obsessed with bathrooms at the moment. These images are a little more modern than I am usually drawn to, but there is something in them that is still classic, but with a modern edge.

Love, love, love these mosaic tiles by Bisazza. And as you know, I also love diamond buttoning (see my previous post). I think these mosaic tiles would add a touch of femininity and timeless chic to an otherwise modern bathroom. These are definitely on my list of maybe's for the future bathroom...

I also love these pieces wich are part of a bathroom collection that was designed by the Spanish designer Jamie Hayon for the Spanish bathroom company Artquitect. He has created an entire line (available in black or white) of furniture and bathroom pieces which have incredibly sexy shapes. These again are little more modern and organic than I'm normally drawn to, but I would love to use the sink pedestal on its own with more classic looking tapware and bowl.

Monday, 19 November 2007

More bathing beauties....

Here are a few more of my favorites from my style files...

Love the crisp whiteness of this one, and I also pretty much love any bathroom with furniture in it...

It's the elephant on the window sill that does it for me.

This is one of my all time favorites although its a little different from my usual all-white favorites. This bathroom is in the home of one of my favorite Australian interior designers, Stuart Rattle. I love how he has made this quite a classic "room" (notice the only tiling is on the floor), but has quite successfully brought in some moorish elements that make this quite masculine, but very chic.

I love the contrast of the dark timber with the neutral background in this one.

A little bit of violet goes a long way. This one is a little more feminine than I would normally like, but its so pretty I had to keep hold of the image. The black & white floor make it a little more graphic, and less sickly sweet.

The blue marble helps bring a little colour to this otherwise neutral bathroom. LOVE those curtains!

This one is so luxurious, not just because of the size, but the animal-skin rug also helps! I like how they've team a tradtional looking latern and shutters on the window.

Love the combination of the mosaic tiled floor and the carrara marble surround. And the furniture...when does a klismos chair not look good?

Friday, 16 November 2007

Bathroom blitz

I've been sorting through my old tear sheets and style file lately and have become a little obsessed with bathrooms and kitchens. As you can see from the images below I'm a bit of a fan of classic style bathrooms, usually white. I'm hoping we'll have a place of our own to renovate here soon so I'm preparing myself for the onslaught of decisions to be made.

Between work and guests from out of town the last few weeks I've been a bit light on the posting, but I have a lot more in store, so stay tuned...

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Tall, Dark & Handsome

I'm not sure if its because the weather is getting cooler and I feel like hibernating, or if it's because I just can't seem to get the Steven Gambrel interior from the latest Elle Decor out of my head, but whatever it is I'm in love with dark walls at the moment. They aren't particularly practical in some rooms, but living in a city that is known for its small dark apartments, using dark colours doesn't necessarily combat this problem. But hey, if you can't change it, work with it!

I love how dark walls make a room feel instantly warm, comfortable and inviting. The complete opposite of some rooms I've seen that are all white. I also love how artwork looks against a dark backdrop. I'm sure I'll get into trouble for saying this, but I think most art looks better against black.
So, to help me get over this feeling of wanting to hibernate I'm going to share with you a few of the images I've been inspired by lately.

The two rooms by Steven Gambrel from the Nov 07 Elle Decor that got me on this...

Just lovin these sexy black walls - from Aerin Lauders home in the Dec 07 House & Garden

Interior by Australian designer Greg Natale

Dark walls in a Nate Berkus dining room

Charcoal library by Todd Alexander Romano

Image from KM Design

interior by Australian design firm Hecker Phelan & Guthrie

Dark walls by Thad Hayes

Another Thad Hayes room - love these colours together

The other master of dark colours, who practices what he preaches - Philip Gorrivan's own living room

A Miles Redd bedroom - another stunning colour combination

Federal blue walls by Markham Roberts

Another room by Markham Roberts

Hunter green walls by Darren Henault

Smouldering dark bedroom walls by Eric Cohler