Thursday, 31 January 2008

Back in black...

When I was 13 a friend of my mother's told me that black really suited me (I was dressed head to toe in it), much to my mother's chagrin. Being an impressionable age, I took the compliment to heart and have been pretty much obsessed with black ever since. Living in Melbourne, which is the Australian equivalent to New York - it looks like a sea of black and grey in winter, certainly helped.

I've already posted about my love of dark walls (see here), but black is a colour that's not often used in interiors, on walls anyway. I think it takes a brave designer to use it en masse, but the results can look fantastic. Art and pretty much any other colour looks great with black, and it has the ability to look warm or cool, and I think it can work in either modern or classic looking interiors - as I think the pics below will attest.

from the home of fashion designers Badley + Mishka

Aerin Lauder's Hamptons home, from House & Garden magazine (US)
Shoreditch House, London

A Tom Scheerer interior - it looks quite warm and inviting, don't you think?

Office of Ashely Edwards, from Domino magazine

An interior by Melbourne design firm Hecker, Phelan & Guthrie

Kara Mann Design - love the photography in this image too.

Photo by Roger Davies photography

Interior by Jackson-Aaron

Kelly Wearstler's incredibly chic black kitchen, from Domicilium Decoratus

Lobby of the Bulgari resort, Milan

Exterior of Yael Arfallo's house, from Domino magazine

Black crystal pendant light by Spina design

Vases fromthe new Calvin Klein Home collection

Sexy pumps by Christian Louboutin - one of the holy shoe trinity (the others being Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo of course)

A snakeskin clutch from Hong Kong based Kotur

One of my favorite fashion designers, Martin Grant - a Melbourne boy based in Paris. He even went to the same University that I did!

"Black Paintings" Authored by Mark Rothko, Robert Rauschenberg and Ad Reinhardt, this is a collection of black paintings that were creating in America in the 40's.

40's American armchair, covered in jet black patent leather, from 1st Dibs.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Barbara Barry tribute

One of my all time favorite interior designers is Barbara Barry. My current obsession with American interior design all started with her. I remember searching for every scrap of info, any photo I could find and was thrilled when her website was created. In my opinion she has created some of the most beautiful and elegant interiors, and some even more beautiful furniture and product designs. She was my idol. Well, she still is really, but let's just say I've branched out. Not so much moved on, but I'm exploring other options. Since I started reading blogs and I started my own I've discovered so many other talented designers around the world, but mostly in the US, and have been a bit neglectful of my original mentor. So I thought it was about time that I paid tribute to the woman who got me started on this journey. Here are just a few of my favorites...

Let's hope my slipper chair looks this stylish once its been recovered!

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

The power of Art

Last night I saw the last in a series of eight BBC (UK) documentaries called The Power of Art, presented by Simon Schama. As with most things, I've missed the first 7 of them! The one I did see last night was about Mark Rothko. An artist that I did not know much about previously, this was a fascinating insight into an extraordinary man. The presenter was a little pretentious, and there were a few too many knowing glances at the camera that lasted a little longer than necessary, but it was a pretty good show nonetheless. The first seven shows were about Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Picasso, Turner, Bernini and David. I was wondering has anyone else seen any of these? If so, what did you think? I might have to track them down on DVD.

*UPDATE*, I've been informed that the DVD is available from amazon. I also discovered the book version - also available through amazon, or for other Hong Kongers, its available at Kelly & Walsh bookstore, Pacific Place.

Monday, 28 January 2008

Yabu Pushelberg

George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg, of Toronto based design firm Yabu-Pushelberg have created some of the most luxurious, elegant and timeless hospitality and retail spaces that I've ever seen or had the pleasure of visiting. A mulitple award winning firm that has been inducted into the Interior Design hall of fame, regularly commands a fee of more than 1 million USD$, and has worked on some pretty impressive and high profile projects over the 30 years since the company formed. The luxe factor that they create for their high-end clients has had some pretty amazing effects on sales (check out this article in Canadian Business online) - which I guess helps them justify their astonomical fees! Their clients to date include Bergdorf Goodman, W Hotels, Lane Crawford, Tiffany & Co. and Carolina Herrera - just to name a few. Here are a few of my favorites...

Fin restaurant, Las Vegas

Carolina Hererra boutique, New York

Bymark restaurant, Toronto

Four Seasons Hotel, Tokyo

St Regis Hotel, San Francisco - for more pics see the post Me, Myself & I just did on this beautiful hotel.

Bergdorf Goodman, New York

Lane Crawford, Hong Kong

Sunday, 27 January 2008

New blog alert

While I spend today hanging out on the couch nursing a red wine induced hangover from our Australia Day celebrations last night (it's okay, I don't expect any sympathy), I've discovered a few new blogs - this one in particular caught my eye...check it out!

Friday, 25 January 2008

Be black!

I don't often do non-design/style related posts...but I couldn't resist this one. If you aren't already familiar with this website, check out the blackle website...please.

the latest purchase...

My first purchase from 1st Dibs, very exciting, is a classic 50's Robsjohn-Gibbings slipper chair that is in need of a little help....look at it...its a bit sad really - don't you think? (This one DEFINITELY needs recovering, as well as a new cushion)

She'll scrub up nicely I think. I think its also time to admit I have a bit of a problem with buying furniture. My husband is just about ready to confiscate my credit cards... At the rate I'm going we won't be able to buy a place to live in! My justification was that it was much cheaper than the other Robsjohn-Gibbings slipper chairs listed. That is, of course, until I pay to ship it from Southampton (NY) to Hong Kong and then have it recovered...

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Steven Quigg

This renovation from an industrial warehouse to an uber chic bachelor pad in Melbourne had me swooning! If I was to renovate an old warehouse, this is pretty close to what I would do myself. The former 1 bedroom apartment owned by Steven Quigg, Melbourne based Interior Designer has been transformed into a 4 bedroom space with a study. Normally you read about people buying apartments and knocking down walls to open it up - but not this time. I'm a big fan of walls, and I actually like having rooms, so I appreciate what Quigg has done here. With a mix of high and low, old and new, minimal and decorative, he's created a space that he calls international, yet feels very Australian. Painted brick walls and highly polished concrete floors mixed with Ralph Lauren wallpaper (Ashfield Floral in Gunmetal) create a stunning backdrop to a collection of period and custom made pieces. Its cool and cozy.

Sorry, bad scanning quality here, but these images are of the open living dining area. The sunburst mirror was purchased while the owner was living in New York. An antique Empire sideboard sits behind Jardan sofas. A 19th C French chandelier sits over the custom reproduction dining table. The 50's French neoclassical dining chairs are covered in a pearlescent vinyl and backed with black dyed springbok. The large canopy chair (on the right hand side of the 2nd image) is covered in cowhide.

The painting at the end of the galley kitchen is by Peter Walsh.

Photographs by legendary Australian photographer Bill Henson line the length of the open study.

A custom made lampshade by Quigg adds a bit of glamour to an antique lamp base. The painting beside it was commissioned by Quigg.

A custom made mirror panel head board adds some light and a bit of glitz to the bedroom.

All images from Belle Feb/Mar 2008, photos by Shannon McGrath.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Katie Ridder

My Feb edition of Domino finally arrived this morning, and because I feel like I'm so starved for visual inspiration, instead of saving it for tonight (or the weekend) I read it this morning over my cuppa at work. I have to say I'm very excited by the NY apartment decorated by Katie Ridder. I'm not a die-hard fan of her work, but this place is really speaking to me. The palette is exactly what I want to do with my place - soft blues and celadons mixed with muted sandy browns, white trims, and dark wood furniture. Gorgeous! I also really like the combination of furniture and accessories - just enough modernity thrown in with the traditional to make it not look old and stuffy. This will keep me satisfied until...oh...tomorrow!

The owner of the apartment pictured above (I own the same dress, how funny is that!)

Pics from Domino Feb 2008, photos by Lucas Allen.