Wednesday, 27 August 2008

French chic

I was very excited to read this morning that someone is finally publishing a book on the legendary French decorator, Jacques Grange. And not just anyone, Editions du Regard is the same publisher that brought us the original monograph's of Jean-Michel Frank, Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann, as well as the now out of print and incredibly rare and expensive work on Eugene Printz (despite the price tag, I am still longing to get my hands on a copy). Written by Monsieur Grange's life partner, and sometime collaborator, Pierre Passebon, it's due out in September - and I will certainly make sure I get my hands on a copy.

Speaking of collaborations, the power couple in question have come together on a project for the first time, working on New York's soon to be re-launched "The Mark Hotel". The exquisite interiors were created by Monsieur Grange, and Monsieur Passebon commissioned one-off pieces for the hotel collection (which will also be sold in the Hotel's boutique) by some of the contemporary artists he represents with his store, Galerie du Passage. These artists include Ron Arad, Mattia Bonetti, Guy de Rougemont and Vladimir Kagan. Not bad, eh? With interiors by Jacques Grange, and an amazing mix of 20th century and contemporary pieces, this sounds like my kind of hotel! I will definitely have to try and stay there next time I'm in New York...although it's quite likely I'll never leave...

I love the look of this place - I think I could move in right now and not change a single thing!

J'dore this bathroom! It's absolute perfection - but then what else you expect from Jacques Grange!?

All images from "The Mark Hotel" website.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Armani Casa

In case you hadn't noticed, the Armani Casa website has been updated with a new look and a few new products. Of which, I am besotted with the Botticelli bed. So chic!

Monday, 25 August 2008

Calling all Springer fans!

I've had Matthews & Parker on my favorites list for some time now, so I was thrilled to receive an email from proprietor Mark Eckman with images of some new releases.

Mark's story is so interesting I just had to share it with you. Having started out as an industrial designer, and later ghost designing furniture for some high-end trade showrooms working with Lucite when it first became popular, he later started collaborating with the one and only Karl Springer. Some time later, he bought out Springer's business from bankruptcy just before his death in 1991 - and I'm so glad he did! Matthews & Parker now offer new designs that are inspired by the great designer as well as selling originals. I thoroughly recommend you check out their website as they also offer a custom made service in addition to offering an appraisal and restoration service for original Springer pieces.

They are currently represented only in the US, but fortunately for the rest of the world they are currently also working on representation in London and Paris. So folks, if anyone out there is looking for an original or a Springer-inspired piece - you know where to get it from!

The new "Guerlain" table, inspired by Andre Arbus. Made from white oak with a white leather top.

A Jean-Michel Frank inspired piece, very classic chinois style parsons table, made from two-tone lacquered linen.

They're both stunning!

Friday, 22 August 2008

Today I'm loving...

The brass "Quin" floor lamp by Stefania Andorlini is evocative of mid 20th century designs, and I love it!

Thursday, 21 August 2008

M.L. Poomchai Chumbala

Following on from the Thai theme of yesterday's post, I thought I'd share some pics I found of the Bangkok home of Agalico's creator, ML Poomchai Chumbala. His stunning home was created by using remnants and pieces of over 5 traditional Thai homes that were otherwise demolished. The traditional floor plan of a Thai home is a square shape, with rooms surrounding a central courtyard. Chumbala has somewhat ignored tradition by laying out his home in a large 'H' shape, with two long annexes, joined in the centre - allowing a greater variety of views from each room, and better cross ventilation (a must in Bangkok's tropical climate!). This was probably the only traditional element he has ignored, because the rest of the construction was done as close to traditional methods as possible - not a single nail was used! This is not to say that he was forgone modern conveniences - there is still running water, electricity, and air-conditioning - it just happens to be very cleverly concealed.

One quick look at the decor and you can tell very quickly that this is the home of an avid collector - and one with a very refined eye. Some of these pieces have been in his family for several generations, so they have quite a history as well as personal meaning. The dark wood interior is quite a contrast to the all white of Agalico, but it has such an exotic feel to it - I certainly wouldn't say no to spending the night here! What do you think?

All images from Architectural Digest, November 2005 - Photographed by Robert McLeod.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Phuket, and more

For anyone that hasn't been to Phuket, it's a lush tropical paradise. The beaches are clean, the water is warm and crystal clear, people are friendly and it's still pretty cheap. We stayed at Le Meridien with all the other wedding guests, and while I thought the resort was pretty well appointed, you may be a little disappointed if you are looking for a really traditional Thai experience. I guess it depends on what you want... I must add, however, they left a bit to be desired in the service department. The now happily wedded couple booked the hotel months back, and made sure to communicate closely with hotel staff about the guest bookings - as they had guests from afar as the US, UK and other parts of Asia. Many people arrived to find their reservation didn't exist, others had to wait hours for their rooms to be available, and the worst part - they put the bride and groom in separate beds! If you're a traditionalist, you're probably thinking that's the way it should be, and I respect that - but I think if you spend a tonne of money at a hotel for a wedding, and specifically ask for a double room, they should go all out to make sure you're both happy. Anyway, I'm not grumbling too much - we got a free upgrade!

This is the view that I had to deal with all day for the long weekend from the beach. Pretty hard to deal with, hey ;)

My time in Bangkok this trip was purely in transit, however, I thought I'd share a place I found the last time I was there. Agalico (meaning 'timeless' in Sanskrit) is a simply gorgeous cafe/tea house, inside a colonial style building next to an old royal palace amongst a lush garden. Agalico is the brainchild of Poomchai Chumbala a distant member of the Thai Royal family no less, as well as a noted Interior Designer and hobby gardener. This place is more than just a respite from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, it's a veritable oasis. The decor of the tearooms - as you can see from the photos below - is mostly white, apart from the lush green of the plants indoors and out, as well as the odd piece of blue & white china scattered around. It's really quite breathtaking, and such a refreshing contrast to the rest of the city.

But, apparently it's a closely guarded secret, so remember, this is just between you and me ;)

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

I'm back!

...and just a little bit sunburnt, but feeling fantastic after a short break with friends. While I put together a post, and maybe a few pics, I thought I'd share some eye candy I came across while trawling through a new blog find, A Merry Mishap. These interiors are by a NY based firm, Pappas-Mirron, and I'm obsessed with all of them! I'm not sure how I hadn't heard of these girls before, but there is so much to like in all of these images that I'm sure we'll be hearing more about them in the future. Enjoy!

Thursday, 14 August 2008

a short break...

Sorry for the lack of posts lately folks, work has been a bit hectic lately. I'm off to sunny Phuket tomorrow for a few days to attend a friend's wedding. I'm hoping to return with fully charged batteries, and plan to return to normal posting next week. While I'm away I'm looking forward to devouring the latest Elle Decor, it looks like a good one judging by the cover.

Have a good weekend!

Friday, 8 August 2008

Friday afternoon inspiration

Hope you've all had a great week, and you have an even better weekend. I'll leave you with a few pics that I'm loving at the moment...

Andy Goldsborough

Antoine Proulx

Armani Casa

Christophe Delcourt

Stephen Miller Siegal

Paul Fortune

Evan Lobel

Kelly Wearstler

Thursday, 7 August 2008

a sign of the times...?

In case you haven't already noticed, 1st Dibs has added a new "price reduced" search facility. This, coupled with the dropping value of the US Dollar, will surely encourage overseas purchasers, like me. Not that I need the extra encouragement! Actually, the HK Dollar is pegged to the US Dollar so it's not doing me much good, although I have bigger problems than that. Remember the dining table I bought myself for my birthday - 2 months ago? Well, it's still sitting in the shop I purchased it from waiting to be picked up. Why, you ask? Because I am having trouble finding a shipping company that can provide customer service along with international door to door shipping. So, if anyone out there has any tips on how I can get this table shipped from Miami to Hong Kong, please let me know!!

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

I want!

I just saw these lacquered boxes from West Elm on Design Sponge, and I love them! Don't know whether it's the studs or the lacquer that makes them so appealing, but they're a fab way to have your storage out in plain view. And when you have a tiny apartment, like I do, that's a good thing!