Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Monday, February 24, 2014
"Fun House - an amusement facility in which patrons encounter and actively interact with various devices designed to surprise, challenge and amuse the visitor....."
So "How fun is this?!" is what I was thinking as soon as I set foot in the door.......this, and also a little like I had "found my people".
Coup d'Etat, in case you are unfamiliar, is a Showroom-slash-Shop-slash-Laboratory where the owner, Darin Geise, and his amazing associates create curiously satisfying furniture vignettes with one-of-a-kind treasures, mostly vintage, or recreated with humor and artistry that is rare.
In a nutshell, I would say, Coup d'Etat fits the bill of the quintessential Fun House in all of it's various meanings. It not only surprises, but completely delights. It challenges by pushing the envelopes in which we find ourselves, figuratively as well as the literal envelope of our surroundings. It makes one smile with glee and think "Yes! THAT is what I am talking about! THAT is cool....and so is that..... and that!" Of course, that was MY impression.....I would love to hear yours after you get a glimpse.....
So...just to add an exclamation point to the Fun House comparison....there is the mirror to prove it. And a sumo wrestler just for .....fun.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
During the Holidays, Tim and I decided to make plans to visit our daughter in Portland. She had started her first year of college and we had not been up to see her since we had dropped her, bags and baggage, to her dorm last Fall. So we picked a weekend and bought our tickets.....non-refundable of course. We thought February might be good. Portland is a pretty moderate climate. It might even be the beginning of Spring......we thought...
How naive......Portland decided to give us a show.....a winter adventure. It started with one of the scariest flights I have ever had.....the kind where everyone on board cheers and applauds with ecstatic relief when the pilot manages to fight through zero visibility cloud cover and teeth rattling turbulence for a 3 point landing. Thank you very much!
We picked the weekend that Portland experienced the worst snow storm in recent history. But we were not to be cowed by a little weather. We were going to walk and walk and find hot beverages and walk some more! We were here to have FUN damn it!
Portland is one of my favorite cities....very walkable, tons of shops, restaurants, very pretty parks, fantastic transit system, lots of things to do in the way of Farmer's Markets, outdoor events, street entertainers and lots of people watching opportunities.
This visit proved to be an eye opener. The few people we did see were cross country skiing through town....or the 911 respondents we called when we found a woman who had fallen on the icy sidewalk and had broken her wrist....or inside where rational people would be in weather like this! We did find many places to keep warm out of the weather: Powell's books (HUGE!!!), The Original (Best French toast EVER.), Mother's Bistro, Little Bird Bistro, and Irving Street Kitchen (you MUST go sometime! Excellent!) Honestly....we really did eat a lot on this trip. And I highly recommend all of the places we went!
It was quite an experience to see what is normally a bustling, active, outdoorsy city become such an eerily quiet place. .....but we were not disappointed. It was an experience we will never forget, and in all the good ways. We figure we will never have the opportunity to see Portland quite like this again. We came across people helping other people out, like the transit system guys who helped a homeless man with frostbite from the streetcar get to a hospital, and the two young men on their way to work who helped us get the lady who had fallen into a warm building to wait for the paramedics, and the guys from Mother's Bistro who erected a tent in front of their building to keep the snow off everyone waiting for a table inside. People were just looking out for each other. But maybe that is just how Portland is all of the time.
Tim and Maggie....in search of Portland....
Thursday, February 13, 2014
|Still Life with Urn by Caitlin McGauley|
Busy as Bees around here at Katie Denham Interiors! But I had to take a moment and wish you all a lovely Valentine's Day. And what better way than to share a little bit of prettiness, some flowers, and maybe a few watercolor interior design renderings, just to keep things on point!
I had a email cross my screen the other day and it was from another Katie....so I had to open and read, of course! It was a lovely introduction to Tiger Flower Studio. Perhaps you have heard of it. It has been noted in Architectural Digest and House Beautiful recently. Tiger Flower Studio is collecting limited edition prints of some artists I have become familiar with over the last few years.
The artists are the kind that give one a little "pick-me-up". The colors are bright, the themes fun and pretty, and "whimsical" is a word that seems to fit with most. The artists also seem to have something else in common....they have worked with some of the biggest names in the Fashion and Design community.
Caitlin McGualey is best known for her watercolors and she can name Kate Spade New York, Tory Burch, Ralph Lauren, Hermes, Domino Magazine and Tiffany & Co.
I thought a big bright bouquet from Caitlin might get you in the Valentine spirit!
Here are a few more from Caitlin showing her interiors and fashion illustrations.......
|Red Chairs by Caitlin McGauley|
|Leopard Coat by Caitlin McGauley|
Another artist of renown is Gladys Perint Palmer, one of the leading fashion illustrators today. She has an amazing list of clients which include Oscar de la Renta Vivienne Westwood, Geoffrey Beene, Missoni, Estee Lauder to name a few. She has also been seen frequently over the years in The New Yorker, Harper's Bazaar and Elle. Three books down and another in the works, Gladys has an amazing following. Care to join the parade?.....
|Divine Christian Lacroix bu Gladys Perint Palmer|
|Where Coco Chanel wrote " Friends, there are no friends." by Gladys Perint Palmer|
Kazumi Yoshida is an artist that knows no boundaries. He paints, he sculpts and is famous for his contribution as the director of design for Clarence House. His work has been published in Elle Decor, Architectural Digest, Vogue and House and Garden, and he authored the book about Clarence House......
|La Belle et La Bete by Kazumi Yoshida|
|Plein Soliel Monkeys by Kazumi Yoshida|
|Arles by Kazumi Yoshida|
Harrison Howard is an artist I grew to know a number of years ago having "met" him via the blogosphere through another artist friend. I had the happy honor of writing a blog post about him and was very happy to see him represented in the Tiger Flower Studio! Harrison charmed me with his humorous illustrations of chinoiseries and scenics. He has had a number of recognizable names in his client list including Vanderbilt, DuPont, Firestone, Goodyear. Perhaps you will be charmed like me....
|Before the Concert by Harrison Howard|
|Rococo Fantasy by Harrison Howard|
Mita Corsini Bland brings us back most strongly to our connection with Interior Design. She is well known for her watercolor illustrations of interiors. Mita's work make look familiar to you since she has been working for Brunschwig & Fils doing illustrations of their fabrics, etc. since the 1980's. She is a contributing editor for Veranda and freelances for House Beautiful as well. Just some of her amazing work.....
|Tom Scheerer by Mita Corsini Bland|
|Peter Dunham by Mita Corsini Bland|
|Mari Buatta by Mita Corsini Bland|
|Brooke Astor's Library by Mita Corsini Bland|
So..... I wish you all a very
Happy Valentine's Day
with lots of flowers and hearts and cupids....
|Flora by Caitlin McGauly|
And please do stop by Tiger Flower Studio to see many more Limited Edition Prints and much more about each of the artists!
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Things always move pretty fast around the Denham household. It seems like yesterday that Tim and I met, that we married, and that our adult daughters were babies. And here we are starting to plan a trip to Europe to celebrate 25 years of wedded bliss. We are planning a trip for Spring of 2015....a "second honeymoon" of sorts (although that expression strikes an odd note for me...is it a little old fashioned ?). Tim is an Air Force brat and has traveled all over the world. He has been to Russia, Guam, Japan, Australia, Iran, Lebanon, Hong Kong, the Philippines, India, Wales, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Mexico, Canada.....I might be missing a couple. Me....my travel past is a bit lackluster in comparison. Tim has not been to the Netherlands, Belgium, France or Italy. So.....We are trying our best to limit the countries to these plus London.
I have been spending way too much time researching inappropriately priced places to stay, and really need to concentrate on reality. But I do come across the most wonderful places! And this one seems like it might be in the ballpark. It is a little hideaway in the Montmarte area of Paris, 18th arrondissement. Maybe a bit too far from much of what we want to do, maybe a little more than we want to pay, but maybe not. The Hotel Particulier Montmarte seems to have everything we are looking for, charm and style with little edge, but with a definite nod to history, a place to sit outside....OK, let's just state the obvious.....it is gorgeous......
The Hotel Particuleur Montmarte is housed in a Directoire style home formerly owned by the Hermes family which was re-made into a five-suite boutique hotel. It has all of that historical charm, but with the bit of modern edge I was talking about. It has a little "Alice Through the Looking Glass" quality to it with the over sized art and murals in the suites, and the beautiful garden designed by architect, Louis Benech, (who redesigned the Tuileries Gardens). (You should take a moment to check out his website....delightfully "Alice" as well!) Each suite is so different from the next, I would feel quite "special" if I stayed here. The suites were designed by Morgane Rousseau, who is also a co-owner along with Frederic Comtet. They commissioned 5 renowned contemporary artists to take part in the design of each room. Tell me what you think. First the Suites......
And now the Lounges and Restaurant....
How much great design is one hotel aloud to have in Paris? Apparently there is no limit....
We may just have to fit this place in our budget. But if it it not meant to be....
Sorry about that. I couldn't resist. ( And apparently I just discovered there is some controversy about the phrase being either French, Italian or Spanish. There are those that say any is correct ...or not entirely incorrect....and your vote?)
If anyone has any recommendations on wonderful places to stay, please bring it on! I have also been checking airbnb and vrbo and I am finding great things there as well.
I am off to explore Mr. and Mrs. Smith next!