Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Highland Lodge : Wanderlust Wednesday

Researching last minute spots to spend my birthday watching the Northern Lights...Iceland? Greenland? or Northern Scotland? Check out this incredible home in the Scottish Highlands with interiors by UK designer, Suzy Hoodless.  I wonder if they mind if we drop in...

'This incredible lodge is constructed out of granite, steel and glass, designed by leading American architect Moshe Safdie, sitting in a 57,000 acre estate in the Scottish Highlands. The project was years in the planning, an initial meeting with Moshe at The Metropolitan Hotel, London, on Christmas Eve and many years of travelling to and from Scotland on various modes of transport.'... more here

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Niveous: Word of the Day

One of my New Year's resolution is to expand my vocabulary, so until I lose steam on this endeavor I wake up to a new word everyday thanks to my handy little dictionary app. Imagine how appropriate it was to wake up one morning in our cozy spot in Telluride to a beautiful snowfall outside the window and the word of the day is:

niveous |ˈnivēəs|adjective: literary. snowy or resembling snow

Into the White for  Emmerson Fry

Into the Light by reportageImages on Flickr
The Snow by Tokujin Yoshioka 

A few years ago, I had the good fortune to stumble into an exhibit of overwhelming beauty at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo. Titled Sensing Nature, it was a sensory exploration of the Japanese perception of nature in winter.  Three years later, the stunning images from this show still haunt me, particularly the work of Tokujin Yoshioka. His installation, The Snow, involved a mesmerizing fifteen meter glass tank of blowing feathers.  Like staring at the ocean, the various waves and patterns created in that tank were transporting and peaceful. More about his work and inspiration here. And the video here

The Snow by Tokujin Yoshioka 
The Snow by Tokujin Yoshioka

" Because I believe there is a hint for the future somewhere in-between the essence of the design and the nature, I would like to pursue designing works with this aspect."  

"The most beautiful things I believe in this world is what is irreproducible, accidentally born, and disorder that cannot be understood by the theory. I believe the nature is the ultimate beauty in this world."  -Tokujin Yoshioka
by JenniPenni on Flickr

I am a cold weather girl and always happiest in the middle of a snow storm, so what's not to love in an exhibit like that?  

Happy 2015! Enjoy all things niveous and inspiring.

all other images not credited found on Pinterest

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Friends in Good Places

The best part of working in the design industry for as many years as I have is all the amazing creative people you get to meet and work with on a daily basis, and it's even better when many become dear friends.  Over the years some have started their own inspiring companies.  So in gratitude to those friendships, old and new, and in the holiday spirit of counting one's blessings,  I am officially declaring it a Friend's Christmas and am doing most of my shopping with them. #shopsmall #shopfriends.

I encourage  all you last minute Santas to check out these beautiful sites for unique gifts.


Bellocq photo by Gentl&Hyers
Bellocq photo by Gentl&Hyers
Bellocq Brooklyn Tea Salon by Gentl&Hyers

Michael Shannon, one of the brilliant co-founders of Bellocq, and I worked together years ago at Martha. His elegant taste and unerring eye for detail and nuance are evident in the beautiful company he has built with another Martha alum, Heidi Johannsen Stewart and Scott Stewart. My personal favorites of their teas are Afgani Chai and Hindu Holiday. The silver-plated canisters make a sweet gift with a handmade tea strainer at DARA Artisans

If you are looking for a nice respite in your afternoon shopping in Brooklyn, stop by their tea salon at 104 West St in Greenpoint, or check out a local retailer here.


WMS & CO. 
Exquisitely Practical Tools for Your Life and Your Desk
Self-inking stamp
Self-inking stamp
Readymade stamps
A Designers Eye: Paul Rand by JP Williams 
limited edition and signed
Bamboo wrapped rock, handmade in Kyoto, Japan

Recently launched by the brilliant husband and wife team behind Design MW, JP and Allison Williams, WMS&Co is the perfect destination for gifts for those hard-to-please, already-have-absolutely-everything person on your list. The website offers a custom designed rubber stamp collection and design service that is perfect for a wide range of uses. Create a book plate stamp for a voracious reader, a new business card for a serial entrepreneur or a personalized template for place cards for an obsessive hostess and of course the obvious, monogramed stationary. While it may be too late to get a personalized stamp in time for Christmas, why not slip a gift certificate for one in their stocking and let them design it? Or better yet, buy a readymade stamp, who doesn't need an elegant Bullshit stamp in their arsenal?  The site also features an  idiosyncratic and lovely collection of desktop accessories, as well as JP's recently published book on Paul Rand, and for the really impossible, the handmade bamboo-wrapped-rock paper weight from Kyoto.  Exquisite indeed.  


A house. A home. 
Hudson | Grace via C Magazine

H|G Signature Scent

H|G edited design books

Cutting boards from 19c reclaimed wood

My dear friends from our GAP and west elm days, Monelle Totah and Gary McNatton, have created an evocative store with a very appropriate tagline. Their carefully curated collection delivers on its promise, they offer all the special pieces and details that transform a house into a home. Hotel silver, the perfect linen napkins, cutting boards made from reclaimed 19th century European wood and exquisitely scented candles. If you're on the west coast, check out their charming stores and for those less fortunate, visit H|G online. I highly recommend their signature candle, my all time favorite, a luxurious blend of Mexican tuberose, Indian jasmine and Moroccan orange flower. 


Photo by Anna Williams for DARA Artisans
Marité Acosta, is the talented chef, stylist and now potter behind Ingredient Studio. We worked together a long time ago in another facet of Marité's design career and stayed in touch off and on over the years. It's exciting to watch people get the recognition they deserve like the feature in WSJ Off Duty section featuring her Bone Vessels. See her full story and some of  her work at DARA Artisans. 


Charm Necklaces @ DARA Artisans
one of my favorite's Peter's dramatic Solstice Ring
Peter  Hofmeister is a new friend I met this year through old friends at Aesthetic | Movement, but as it turns out we ended up knowing many of the same old design friends. The NYC creative world is actually a very teeny tiny world, especially when you slice it into the photographers that shoot it and artisans and designer|makers, it gets even smaller.  This lucky red-string charm necklace is a collection we created together for DARA Artisans.


Available @ or March in SF 
Available at BDDW 
Blue at
Maria Moyer is a woman of many talents from running her communication and strategy consultancy, Wink Communication, advising many of our industry's most influential designers and Fortune 500 companies's, to her work as an ardent social entrepreneur and accomplished ceramist. We met many years ago when our paths first crossed at GAP. She was leading GAP, Inc.'s environmental and sustainability efforts and I was trying to create an organic newborn collection. Kindred spirits from the start, we were able to reconnect years later and have some fun collaborating on a project at west elm that benefited Oceana. Support Maria and one is likely supporting an important environmental cause.  More about Maria at Hand/ Eye.


M.Patmos shawl photo by Gentl & Hyers for DARA Artisans
M.Patmos handmade scarf from Nepal
Marcia Patmos is an award winning, CFDA certified, innovative designer with a passion for artisan work and  sustainable methods and materials. Her chic modern designs are found at the coolest and the best from Barneys to many fabulous independents across the country and in Europe and Japan. Our's is a longtime friendship that started when we were working together right after she graduated from RISD. I have been very fortunate to work with her at our shared retail alma maters and on many different projects since. You can find her work on her website and at these stores as well as a few of her goodies at DARA Artisans.


RTH SHOP bracelets shot by Gentl & Hyers for DARA Artisans
RTH Shop leather egg bag photo by Gentl&Hyers for DARA Artisans
RTH Brown plaid egg bag at March SF
RTH Shop Black Leather Wallets @ March SF

Meeting Rene Holquin of RTH Shop a couple years ago was one of those amazing intersections of different people and places from my past ( here's a link to that story).  Rene's style compass is always well ahead of the pack and is an inspiration to all those in the know. Check out his beautiful RTH shop in LA on North La Cienega in this Remodelista article and this recent article about his collaboration with Paulo Solari's Arcosanti in GQ.  


DbO Home Collection by Gentl&Hyers for DARA Artisans
DbO Home Birch Log vases
Bare dinnerware at ABC Home 
When I first met Dana a few years ago we realized we shared a very funny family connection, but more about that later. Dana Brandwein and her husband / partner Daniel Oates's  designs are informed by their natural surroundings in bucolic Sharon, Connecticut. We first met professionally, when we collaborated on a project at west elm, where proudly they they are about to embark on their third collaboration.


David Stark: The Art of the Party

The perfect hostess gift for all your friends who love to throw parties or if you need some inspiration for your own New Year's Eve fete just around the corner. Check out this inspiring and practical book from the the most creative event  planner, David Stark, whose clients list reads like the list of the hottest events of the year, from Cooper-Hewitt's annual NDA Awards to the Robin Hood Foundation and  the Metropolitan Opera Anniversary. DSD events are really elegant and fun art installations disguised as parties.  His team is also Target's go-to genius behind their insane pop-up shops. David was a fellow RISD grad of Marcia Patmos' who brought him in one day, a lifetime ago, to help us meet a design deadline. Since then I have been fortunate to work with him on lots of projects and have loved watching his company soar. Thank you, Marcia!


Read Between the Lines
And finally, a fitting last word from the incredibly talented and thoughtful ladies at RBTL (Read Between the Lines), a passionate and positive crew that will go to the end of the world to exceed expectations in delivering super-duper, over-the-top customer service ( I speak from experience). They have fabulous art prints, greeting cards and hysterical, dare I say it, the ubiquitous holiday wine sock, though their's is super cool and graphic, of course.

As I look back through these images I have to give a special shout out to Andrea Gentl and Marty Hyers for their amazing work, it's incredible ( and fortunate) how many times our paths and projects have crossed over the years, lucky me!

Have a happy happy everything, now go finish up that list!