Cool Weathervanes, that’s right.

Tuck and Holand Lobster Weathervane

Quite honestly, I never would have given weathervanes much of a thought.  I had tossed them off as something I could care less about.  But in June I was given a tour of the Tuck and Holand Metal studio on Martha’s Vineyard and those “so what” thoughts were completely tossed aside.  I can fully understand the beauty and allure of a custom crafted weathervane, and one day I hope to be able to afford one.  These are top of the line pieces of functional art, the perfect element to top off your dream home.  I was especially intrigued by the weathervanes that had a variety of movable parts, like the school of fish that sway in the wind.

Tuck and Holand Lobster Weathervane

California Paints Color Challenge

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I love to travel and am always inspired by the things I see and experience away from home.  Recently I was able to pull colors from past photos I’d taken to put together color combinations for California Paints Color Challenge.  The picture above was a taken during a lazy day on Koh Tao (while recovering from food poisoning) taking in the bright white sunshine and loving the crystal blue water.
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I photographed this carved lattice at a temple in Thailand.  The natural wood against the black background is a masculine contrast to balance the lovely floral motif.  These two photographs were used to inspire my color choices for the California Paints Color Challenge, the results you can view on the website in the designer gallery.
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5 Seconds on Nate!

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Well, it was quick, I counted for 5, but it was there on the March 16th episode of the Nate Berkus Show, or The Nate Show… they used a photo of a bathroom I designed (see above) to show how homeowners can easily update a bathroom with a new faucet, using a simple and clean lined design.  I watched the video later online and took a screenshot of it (below)!  Blogolicious.
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Outdoor Luxury with Silkworks

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I saw this product today and I wish I could spec it right away!  It’s like Fortuny for exterior rooms.  A dyed acrylic fabric as the ground with a design screened or printed onto the fabric.  Silkworks Textiles makes this outdoor collection and it’s perfect for custom furnishings.  Designers can select the ground color, choose the pattern and then the ink color for a completely unique fabric.
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Crypton Clean and Green

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Crypton recently sent me a kit to test their product.  It was cute and kind of fun.  Inside a small zippered pouch made of Crypton fabric was a sample of Crypton fabric (a chartreuse microsuede), a highlighter, small packet of ketchup, a red crayon, and a mini tub of jelly.  It also had a small packet of Tide detergent and a toothbrush.  The instructions were to try to stain the fabric and then use the detergent and brush to see how easily it cleans.  I used all the ingredients sent with the fabric, but I also wanted to test other products that I know end up on my furniture.  I added balsamic vinegar, olive oil, coffee, a crayola washable marker (which I pressed hard and let bleed into a nice blob), a red Sharpie marker the kids were fighting over, sunblock stick, sunblock lotion, and bug spray.  I was all set.  And then I thought I would let it sit for a week.  The kids never let me know right away if they accidentally draw on the furniture, or wipe their hands on the sofa, or smear sunscreen on the chairs.  These are stains we find later and later is usually too late.

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After one week, and maybe a few days, I picked up the sample, laid it on the counter and started to dab and blot it with water only.  Using a white rag, I could see most of the stains easily came out.  With some more rubbing the stains that remained were the crayon, balsamic vinegar, Sharpie and Crayola markers as well as slight residue from the olive oil and sunscreens.

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Following directions, I mixed the detergent provided with water and scrubbed the stains with the brush.  The crayon came right out, the Sharpie eased out, the washable Crayola marker was tough.  (I admit, I did make sure I saturated the spot with marker ink.)  Eventually everything came clean except some very faint oil spots from the sunscreens and olive oil.  I think I’ll throw the sample in the wash with the next load just for good measure.  Overall I was impressed with the Crypton fabric.  If this fabric was white, I bet the stains would be no problem if they were cleaned up quickly.  If the fabric had a pattern or greater texture I think the remaining oil residues would have been undetectable.  I thought the Crypton fabric was great and I love that the product is made in the USA, the company is dedicated to green initiatives and have a Crypton Green line.  The name sounds cool too, straight out of a comic book.

Bulletproof

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At High Point, whenever I felt overwhelmed with my self imposed agenda, I would let myself wander.  These are the times when I would come across the unexpected and most rewarding finds.  Moss Studios had a display that drew me in as I caught sight of it through a door.  A vivid green (chartreuse?) wall provided the background to the most eye catching and innovative use of basically used materials.  The artist / owner, Breck explained how he could create one of a kind pieces to fit the needs of my clients based on the designs and materials he was using.  But I already loved most of the pieces as they were.  The bullet proof lamp I picture above was so simple and cool.  I would love to use this in a project!

Fall Market Finds

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This was the first time I have gone to the furniture market in High Point.  There was so much to see and I was lucky enough to stumble upon a few things by chance that were new and cool to me.  I’ll share them in the next couple entries.  The first is a company called Notre Monde from Ohio.  I loved the dark and glamourous studio they set up, full of guilded accessories and mirrored pieces, but not over the top.  These pieces were tempered with the right earthly and muted finishes which gave them a balanced masculine feel.  Creatively made in the USA.

ASID “I” on Design Business Conference

Last week the New England Chapter of American Society of Interior Designers held a business conference  which included several lectures on the business side of design, as well as vendors showcasing new product.  My favorite new product was by Edelman Leather.

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Their Pinseal leather has a slight sparkle and full glamour effect.  The design is engraved on their full grain Royal Hide Leather.

The Moire, which is similar to a “faux bois” design, is roller embossed onto their Royal Suede.  Both are great twists to the standard leather and suede.

At the end of the business conference was a cocktail party where Dennis Duffy was our guest speaker.  He spoke about how he started out in the design industry and his journey to where he is now.  His speech was modest, refreshing and quite inspirational.

The evening ended with the presentation of awards for the 2010 ASID Design Excellence Awards.  I was proud to be part of the committee presenting awards to recipients and honored to receive an award myself.  Congratulations to everyone who participated in this year’s competition!

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Summer Soiree

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I was able to attend the Boston Common Magazine Summer Soiree held yesterday in Newport, RI at the Belle Mer on Goat Island.  This photo shows the luminous fireplace guests face when they walk into the event venue.  It is covered in shimmering tiles which reminded me of treasured shells I would find on the beach.  The Belle Mer venue was designed with a white on white scheme which was elegantly executed with variations in textures and materials.  Picture long flowing white sheers billowing in the wind, crisp white oyster shell paths, translucent louis chairs, and modern white wicker seating with white canvas cushions.  The event was certainly relaxing with plenty of signature Grey Goose drinks and delicious passed appetizers.
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