Monday, March 23, 2015

Spring Cleaning

Today was a fulfilling day of filling bookshelves starved for attention.  Here were built-in bookcases put in by the client, but sorely underutilized for their purpose in life! My homework for the clients was to corral all things of interest.  There was no dearth of great hardbound books, what with both clients being teachers.


When I asked the client if she happened to have any rocks, to my amazement, she showed me several nice specimens from her grandmother - a real treasure trove!  There were also some fabulous ashtrays from the 50's.

Leather bound books were rescued from the basement, and curious objects that hadn't seen the light of day in years were dusted and washed.  There wasn't a single thing purchased to make these shelves come to life!

After - left side

There are no rules really in regards to bookshelves;  each instance may present varying factors to consider.  Here, I chose to intersperse the books with the clients' personal possessions, instead of wall to wall books.  As I was taught by a librarian, the books are brought flush with the front of the shelves. 

After - right side

The now smiling shelves are ready to welcome the new furnishings yet to arrive.  A fresh  spring look for  dear old friends!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

An Auspicious Day

Here we all are, sharing a day that comes once in a century!

Completely irrational, it never ends and never repeats itself.

Math is usually all Greek to me; much as I love geometry and use it endlessly in my interiors. 

In case you forgot, Pi is the circumference of any circle, divided by its diameter.

 I do believe that everything and everyone is connected, and there is no beginning or end.

What I love about interior design are the special relationships that evolve in the process. Just consider the many people and resources that get involved in the production of putting an interior together! It is a richly layered tapestry that is completely unique.

Sometimes, in the creative process, I do feel that I am going in circles with no end in sight. There seems no end of irrationality!

I like that I have the area code 314 for telephonic communications; isn't it time that you got around to calling me?

Enough with the math,let's all enjoy some other kind of pie!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Wall Whisperer

It's a new year, and the possibilities are endless. How shall we edit?  What should we add or subtract? It's the same with interior design. When it it right to leave well enough alone? 

There is great beauty in beginnings, when rooms are empty and quiet.  In the art of design, I find the challenge is to preserve the soul of the past with profound respect while truthfully living in the present. The future will take care of itself.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Architect & Designer Awards 2014

It was a great honor to be picked as a finalist in three categories for the 2014 At Home Architect & Designer Awards. Universally renowned judges were Barbara Barry (Barbara Barry Design-Los Angeles), Jeffrey Bilhuber (Bilhuber & Associates-New York), Marlon Blackwell (Marlon Blackwell Architect and University of Arkansas-School of Architecture), Michael Boodro (Editor-in-Chief, Elle Decor), and Peter Pennoyer (Peter Pennoyer Architects-New York).  On February 10th, At Home celebrated the awards ceremony with a special gala event at the Missouri History Museum.  

It's always great to see friends and colleagues in the industry being acknowledged for their talents. It was a night to remember, and I was proud to be a partner of this illustrious community!
Amidst impressive competition, I was awarded First Place in the category of Kitchen (less than 300 square feet), Second Place for Contemporary Interior Design (for a home less than 3,000 square feet), and Third Place for Living Room.  Thank you, esteemed judges, and thank you especially to Editor-in-Chief Christy Marshall of St. Louis At Home for inaugurating the Awards and so passionately promoting architecture and design excellence in St. Louis!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Pondering the Porter

When the wintry wind is whipping around outside, wouldn't you wish for a chair to keep you warm and protected?  Centuries ago, if you were on call in a cold castle awaiting and admitting guests, you might fantasize about how you might be most comfortable. Happily, some clever soul came up with the idea of enclosing a wing chair.  Central heating and double-paned windows were far in the future.

Ah, the romance of a piece of furniture! At about the age of fifteen, I remember seeing a porter's chair for the first time.  Situated near the front door of an elegant furniture showroom, I recall being enthralled, and having delusions of grandeur, desired to possess the thing. I mused that if I could only afford the $500 or so that it cost, it would make me happy. Suffice it to say that I couldn't afford it.

Versailles Burlap-Backed Chair
Restoration Hardware

The chair was believed to have originated in England, where it then jumped the Channel to great estates and palaces in France. These chairs look fit for a king, but for Louis XV,  I doubt he didn't so much want to make his servants more comfortable as ensure that his guests were suitably impressed and intimidated by his excellent taste and style!

The porter's chair signified your station in life as a servant. Today, it does not discriminate, and in fact, you will find it in the thick of anything regarding high style.

Chesterfield Porter's Chair

When the trade of upholders became upholsterers, all manner of comfort and cushioning was unleashed. Just imagine how much this chair must have helped the poor porter feel cozy and content!

With the passing of time, the porter's chair (along with the porter) joined the unemployment rolls.  In the Victorian era, it was  reinvented and reinterpreted as a beach chair.  Here you see an entire herd of them doing hard labor sheltering the well-to-do from the sun and wind. Quite a far cry from the cold castle!
And why not double your fun and double your pleasure?
 Atelier Lounge offered by Dauphin
In a leap of imagination, the porter's chair has leapt from residential to commercial use, evolving as new needs are required.

Another army of porters at work in present day times. This design makes excellent use of the chair's acoustical benefits.  It also lends intimacy in a large restaurant with diners shoulder to shoulder.

Wander's Tulip

Here is an amazing interpretation of the chair disguised as a tulip by the wonderful Marcel Wanders. It is a revolution in design as it revolves on its stem.

ID Trim Cap by Antonio Citterio, 2012

Another full evolution for the porter's chair.  At work in the office, this ergonomic task chair provides all the basic accoutrements such as helping the poor worker concentrate better in an open office space.

Massaud Work Lounge with Canopy
Jean-Marie Massaud for Coalesse
Now we're really cookin'!  This pod offers a table, built-in lighting, optimized acoustics, and is totally wired for integration of your techy devices.  You can have total privacy or take a conference call in a completely public space. Added pluses are that you can take a snooze and nobody is the wiser.

Haworth Windowseat Chair
Mike and Maaike Studio 
I read a silly book in my youth about a woman who became possessed with the notion of owning a Dior gown.  It ended as a sad story, with nowhere for the dress to be worn, and was left hanging in her closet.  Happy to say, the porter's chair is definitely back and enjoying a new lease on life. So why not sit in one and put up our feet?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thoughts of Thanks

Thanksgiving day is my favorite holiday for its very simplicity.

I am thankful for pumpkins available in a variety of wonderful shapes and colors.  Or the better to bake in a pie?

I am thankful for the water and wind that shapes fallen trees into fantastic shapes. As beautiful as they are to behold; better to bivouac your bottom?

I am thankful for a wreath made of coconut husks from far away, framing a bundle of Indian corn. How better to warmly welcome my friends to the holiday season? A happy thanksgiving to all!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Hallowe'en in New Orle'an

Where better to spend Halloween than New Orleans? The mansions along St. Charles rise to the occasion, as for any occasion, with impressive and spectacular decorations.

Beads are a basic to the city, and here we have the pearly gates.

This St. Charles manse must have had a hundred skeleton puns across the property. There is no skimping on the sacrifices that New Orleanians will make for a holiday, festival, parade or party. It's my kind of town!

On the hallowed night, many hundreds of well-costumed children and their equally well-costumed parents queued up for treats. The hosts couldn't possibly be more gracious to one and all, as they sipped their Sazaracs.  I was chastened not to begrudge the comparatively few goblins that crowd my front porch in St. Louis.

This is one of my favorite houses, having always been a fan of Neo-classical Beaux Arts style architecture.  Can you estimate how many yards of cobwebs had to be ordered for the wrought iron fence?  And let's see, I'll take a dozen 6' spiders...

The semi-circular driveway accommodated droves of little devils, sort of like a drive-in treatery.

Where do the New Orleans folk store all their holiday decorations?  This creepy gypsy caravan is no small thing to park in your garage!  And what with elaborate Christmas, Mardi-Gras, and St. Patrick's decorations, I don't know how they manage, being as they don't even have basements.

There are no qualms or hesitation about what might be too scary for the little tricksters.  The scarier the better!  Halloween is serious business here and no cutesiness about it! 

Just a sweet little old couple resides here. I saw them dancing the night away later in the eve on Frenchman Street, groovin' to the jazz.  Hope to see them next year, if they're still kickin'!