Friday, February 29, 2008

Black and White: Done Right!

Thankyou to the Washington Post for including this post in your Blog Watch, March 6, 2008!
There is a lot of black and white being strewn about in the name of new and trendy design. It's fun, it's fresh. But I have been seeing some really classic interiors that have some real staying power and sophistication, while also being very modern and unique. I wanted to draw a little more attention to these.

Metropolitan Home March 2008, Photo by Colleen Duffley

This entry hall by designer Jill Van Tosh combines traditional architecture with contemporary art: painting by Todd Murphy through Lowe Gallery. By combining the modern and traditional elements in this space, the designer has really made it so much more interesting. "Stunning" is word that comes to mind.

Metropolitan Home March 2008, Photo by Colleen Duffley

Ms. Van Tosh continues with the black and white scheme in the Living Room. Ebonized oak floors contrast with white walls and furniture showing off the architectural details. I love how she uses the flea market-find porcelain dogs in contrast with the Xavier Lust white lacquered bench ((MDF Italia). The dogs would seem trite in an interior that was too Hollywood Regency, but here mixed with the other high style furnishings, she really pulls it off. Sofas are by Christian Liagre for Holly Hunt.

Metropolitan Home March 2008, Photo by Colleen Duffley

This image is from the guest room. You can catch a glimpse of the Eames chaise, and when mixed with the red Swedish style clock and a photograph of Audrey Hepburn, this clever combo really works!

O at Home, Spring 2008, photo by Roger Davies

This Dining Room is the handy work of Mindy Weiss, event planner to the stars (Gwen Stefani, Quincy Jones, Heidi Klum and Brooke Shields to name a few!) A Flea Market collector, she has a knack for putting it all together with alot of style. I love her black and white scheme with punches of blue from her collection of Chinese blueware. She inherited the Dining table from her mother, as well as the sideboard. Again, mixing old and new is what it is all about for me! Thomas Paul rug and wall color is Field Gray # 32-19 from Pratt and Lambert. Elkins Dining Chairs from Grace Home Collection.

Southern Accents March April 2008, Photo by William Waldron

Designer Betty Burgess, who previously worked with Dan Carithers, creates a soothing retreat in this guest bedroom. The black and white is warmed up with a seagrass rug. I am a white linen girl, so this room would make me feel right at home. The wool blanket at the end of the bed adds that tiny bit of the unexpected, which is something I always appreciate.

In Style Magazine, March 2008, Photo by Oberto Gili

Don't you always want to catch a glimpse of the private spaces of trend setters? This Black and White Dining Room belongs to the creative director of Gucci, Frida Giannini. Don't you just adore the Murano Glass Chandelier? The table and chairs are Parisian Art Deco. The embodiment of style...and one would expect no less from this style maker.

In Style Magazine, March 2008, Photo by Oberto Gilli

This is Frida's Black and White Master Bathroom. Again, a style victory with it's custom Boffi tub out of Corian with a backdrop of black marble. Brilliant!

I first saw this table in the March issue of Elle Decor Magazine on the Insider Trading page. So I scurried on over to the Ralph Pucci website and found this stunning photo of the Mondrian Cocktail Table by Herve Van der Straeten. (Find out more about the fascinating Mr. Herve Van der Straeten in a great post by Habitually Chic here). Not only is this table a piece of art, but it is shown in a black and white space that does it justice. The table is made with a parchment top inlaid with bronze. Beautiful!

I originally saw this black and white lacquer chest on Turquoise Chic blog. It is from 1st dibs and going for $5200. I had to go check out the details on 1st dibs because I just thought maybe there is some way I can get my hands on it. And because you just never know when $5200 might just fall into your lap. With just a little nosing around, I found this picture of the chest in a room (showroom?). It does start to give one ideas!

Here is a close-up. I may have to pillage the kids' college fund.

So, one might wonder how to get started creating a little black and white heaven of one's own. I'm here to help. A little shopping perhaps? Some fun finds that may help you on your way:

Designer's Guild now has a webshop where you can find these beautiful black and white bed linens: theTullgarn Queen Duvet Cover runs around $225.00.

Everyone has probably heard of Seacloth fabrics, but did you know they also sell a wonderful line of accessories online? These black and white bangles go for $70.00 and $150.00

I found these on the Toast and Tables blog, and if you have not visited, by all means do! She is the "It" girl if you need anything for entertaining. These black and white babies are from Neiman Marcus. (Catch them through Toast and Tables. A twenty piece set for $120.00! Unbelievable!)

These Mark Cutler Table Skirts are really just so much fun! Seen on Black White Bliss blog, I added these for you Joni!

Also as seen on Black White Bliss blog, I leave you with the latest Jonathan Adler Wallpaper collection. Please do go have a look-see at all of the colors and patterns available.

For more Black and White design and inspiration, please don't miss Black White Bliss! She is the expert on this classic color combo. She has many more ideas to get you going.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

FRESH: Kirk Brummel

Swatch Watch:

New from Kirk Brummel Associates available through Brunschwig and Fils.

Top left: Shawnee Linen in Orange. Top Right: Boca Chica (Positive) in Red. Bottom: Ashanti in Brown and Orange. All linen and Cotton prints.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Elle Decor Amour

Last night I had the honor, thrill, pleasure...pick any of the above.... of meeting Margaret Russell, Editor in Chief of Elle Decor Magazine. The Ann Sacks Showroom in San Francisco hosted a very swank cocktail affair for a book signing of Margaret's must have book:

When I arrived at the party with book in hand (I had bought the book as soon as it hit the shelves!) , the first thing I did was scan the room to see if I could find Margaret. It didn't take long! She looks just as fabulous in person as she does in print. And yes, she was wearing a beautiful little black dress. When she began signing books, I approached and introduced myself as Katiedid. It was so much fun to learn she not only knew who I (Katiedid) was, but seemed very excited to meet me! Talk about flattered! I just have to say that she has got to be the most gracious and kind woman in the the shelter magazine biz. She very generously spent quite a bit of time chatting with me and Kate of Girl Meets Glamour (more on that in a sec!). I was thoroughly charmed!

She was genuinely interested in what we had to say about the blogging world, and we gained a fair amount of insight on how she views them. Be assured that she does find the time in her very busy schedule to read them, and is quite aware of what's happening out there! She truly enjoys them and does try to keep up. One thing she was very concerned about was making sure that the photographers of those fabulous photos we love are credited! (I hope all of you bloggers out there will take her up on that, as will I!)

Well, lucky me! I also got to get together with my good friend Kate from Girl Meets Glamour (Kate's on the right).........(OK, OK, that's her on the left!). Isn't she just about the most beautiful blogger out there?! Her blog name fits to a tee. We had a blast sipping cocktails and gabbing about what else? BLOGGING and, well, design, fashion, and needless to say, SO CHIC ! We were desperately seeking Karen of Alkemie and Robyn of Garden Rooms, but sadly could not figure out who they were among the masses. A picture exchange is a must for future events!

As we left, we received a very sweet gift bag with a copy of the latest Elle Decor, a really nice scented candle, a little box of personalized M&M's, a rolling straight edge (no designer is without one!) and some other goodies. A very nice way to wind up a wonderful event.

Thank you to Ann Sacks for putting on this event! Definitely a wonderfully memorable evening.

I will leave you with one more party picture!

1.(Friend Jelena, Margaret, Kate, friends Andrea and Kerry, and moi!)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Marianna Kennedy: Alchemy in Design

I first caught a glimpse of Londoner's Marianna Kennedy's work in the December 2007 issue of Domino. I have not been able to get her work out of my mind since. It has such a lyrical fairy tale quality, while being modern as well as artful:

There are a variety of resin lamps that she produces in many colors and sizes. Her intent is to use new materials to breath new life into traditional forms.

These convex mirrors have tinted glass in blue and green. Very Alice in the Looking Glass!

The company also is known for their bespoke work like this griffin table which has been given a modern twist with red lacquer. Those are also resin candle stick holders by Marianna.

This example of the artwork that graces the tops of bespoke tables shows the talent and creativity coming out of her studio.

I am always attracted to a mixing of new and old ideas: that alchemy of ingredients that when combined create something altogether new. Her work is brilliant. I urge you to visit her website to see all of the amazing images of many more magical creations.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Aesthetic Mirror Loves Color

" There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it."
Edith Wharton
What are you, a candle or a mirror?

Aesthetic Mirror has come out with these new painted lovelies. Hope you enjoy these little candle reflectors that will light up any room:







Thursday, February 21, 2008

Flower Power

Flowers really can change a person's mood, don't you think? Whether you buy them for yourself, grow them in your garden, or receive them as a gift, they never fail to lift one's spirits. When I saw the post on Habitually Chic's blog about flowering branches, I realized I needed to get out to my garden and cut some of the flowering quince before it was too late!

I just wanted to say THANKYOU to Habitually Chic for the motivation to gift myself with these beautiful branches. I had so much fun putting together a little tablescape. The coral blooms with the seashell pink and white coral are putting me in the mood for Spring.

And please don't miss HC's post. It's a natural mood enhancer!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Bear Valley and Murphy's

It's been awhile since my last post and I hope you forgive me! I have just returned from a long weekend in Bear Valley. Bear Valley is the kind of place you imagine when you think of the ski resorts of the 50's: small, charming, and beautifully secluded.

Every year for the last six years we have rented a little cabin in the hills above the cross country ski area. It lies next to a little creek and has it's own family of Blue Jays that all of the cabin's guests are charged with feeding.

The cabin has knotty pine floors and antique rugs. I love this antique bench used as a coffee table in the Living Room.

The owners have used fabrics and wallpaper borders in the William Morris style, which is a nice change from the expected "mountain motifs".

All of the bedrooms are charming and simple. It is the kind of place where one can relax and renew.

Every year we ski, cross country ski and sled in the stunning Sierra Nevada Mountains.

We build our own sled course through the trees near the cabin and it gets a little longer every year. The weekend never seems quite long enough.

But we do look forward to spending the afternoon in the Gold Rush town of Murphy's on our way home. It has become a very popular wine producing town, home of Stevenot and Ironstone wineries amoung many others. Many of the original stone buildings on the main street have been turned into antique shops, restaurants, art galleries and boutiques.

The Murphy's Historic Hotel, in business since the mid 1800's.

One of the many original stone buildings turned antique shop.

The Grounds coffee shop and restaurant.

Espresso and cookies at the Aria Bakery is a must!

We had lunch at a restaurant called Alchemy. Beet and Watercress salad to start and a wonderful chicken pot pie. Mmmm.

Spring has arrived in Murphy's and the show of flowers was beautiful!

Happy Trails!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Chocolate Love: Ginger Elizabeth

What is the most important thing about Valentine's Day? That's right:


And what better way to express it than with Chocolate!

That's where Ginger Elizabeth comes in. A delectable new chocolate shop run by a brilliant young woman by the equally delectable name: Ginger Elizabeth! (I just can't get over how much I love that name!)

Sacramento happens to have an Art Walk every Second Saturday of the month. All of the Art Galleries in town are open late and people congregate in the downtown area to visit the galleries, shops, restaurants, and listen to music, which you find all over town. This last Saturday, Ginger Elizabeth was packed with a bevy of new fans all salivating over the luscious chocolate samples being given away. What struck me, other that my first instinct to devour everything in sight, was the distinctively charming design of the shop. It is very contemporary, while still being a little girly. All and all, very appetizing!

Designed by Curtis Popp of Blank Blank. Many of the fixtures were designed and made through Blank Blank.

I like the barstool design here, and the chandelier is paper.

The wallpaper is the perfect backdrop for Ginger's confections.

Ginger has a fascinating and impressive resume for a young woman of 27. She has worked with some of the greatest pastry chefs in the world and recently was the pastry chef for one of the best restaurants in the region. She started Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates in 2005 at the age of 24! Her boutique is new this year. To find out more about Ginger's fascinating journey, click here.

Just a few items in Ginger's own chocolate heaven.

Talented girl, no? YES! This is Ginger putting together the chocolate sculpture I saw in her shop last Saturday.

And here she is. Ginger Elizabeth. Could a person match up with a name any better? Ginger and chocolate. Destiny!

Please pay her website a visit to see all of the chocolate possibilities. It is as well done as her shop!


(all photos courtesy of Ginger Elizabeth, Photos by Vivien Chen of Littlest Details Photography)