Friday, September 28, 2007

You, You Light Up My Life

I know a lot of you are city dwellers. You might not have garages, or cars for that matter. But here, in Kansas City, we are mostly suburbanites and most of us have a garage. I know the idea is to put your car in there, but mine is mostly stuffed with lawn equipment, bicycles, boxes of stuff to be left out for a needy cause and things that are forever lost because they are in the scary part in the back.

Kansas Citian, Barbara Cosgrove, didn't use her garage for her car either. Ten years ago she took her art background and turned it into a profitable business making lamps. In her garage.

Needless to say, Cosgrove is standing among dried leaves no more. She currently has two lines of lamps; The Collection offers a variety of styles and choice of shades while the BCL line is less expensive with a pre-determined shade.
Frankly, I think are the lamps are stylish and pretty reasonable priced. The Collection models are $200 - $600, while the BCL line runs $140 - $170.

The lamps are available "in town" at Hall's, Black Bamboo, High Cotton Home Furnishings and Noel's.

Those of you not in our fair city can pick them up through Nieman-Marcus, Gump's and Horchow.

Recently, Cosgrove has expanded into accent pieces and some furniture.

I purchased a tortoise shell a couple of months ago, and while I adore it, it concerns me that demand could create an unfortunate situation. These are very pretty, and resin, so you could sleep easy.

There is a bit of this going around. I think it would be fabulous painted white if you want to channel a little Hadley. I just got a bid for a client to powder coat an old bed. $125. For the headboard and foot board. So something like this would be...I don't know, but less.

This would be a jazzy little breakfast tray, no? You could lay about in your satin bed jacket having toast and tea, planning a business you could start in your garage.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Mariette Himes Gomez

I know we are all pouring over Domino. Fresh, young, hip, exciting. I love it because it's bright and cheerful and exciting.
There's another magazine. I don't think you're reading it. It's old, staid, and, I'll say it, out of touch. Unfortunately, this doyenne of the design tomes carries the work of a few designers you would love.

Mariette Himes Gomez is one of the best. Gomez opened her own shop in 1975; her interiors are classic and sophisticated and still, remarkably fresh.

Her rooms are balanced and focused. I struggle with furniture placement and have studied her rooms memorizing each detail.

Clean and crisp they give you room to breathe. While these rooms are super stars, they allow their owners to be the focus of the attention.

They don't over power.

And while many of Gomez's interiors are neutral, she uses color with aplomb.

Deep and rich with an enviable attention to detail.

No fool, Gomez is a business woman, too. She designs two lines of furniture. One, Private Collection is available through her web site and her store, The Shop, in New York.

The other is a collection with Hickory Chair.

I love this ottoman; Gomez uses this egg shaped work horse in many of her projects. It's so much more interesting that a rectangle, graceful and chic.

Next time you are standing in the grocery store line, pick it up. Every now and then there is a treasure.

post-script: StyleCourt reminded me that Gomez has published a book, "Rooms; Creating Luxurious, Livable Spaces" and a new book coming out soon, "Houses Inside and Out."

Office Chair is in Good Company

I approved the cutting for office chair's reupholstery yesterday. Even when things are in stock, it all just seems to take too long. I guess if it takes you months to choose a fabric you shouldn't be too impatient when your fabric house takes ten days to ship.

In the meantime, while working on another post, I started coming across all these great rooms that have that soft aqua and sharp red. I can't believe it took me so long to see the light.

This image and the one top, Courtney Haas's home by Joe Nye, House Beautiful, Oct. 07.

The upholstery on this day bed is spot on what I am after for office chair. I was almost bummed when I saw it here; I wanted to be the first on my block.

Elle Decor, Oct. 07.
As it turns out, this combo has been around a while. Here it is used in "Dior's favorite room." I love the way the architectural elements are highlighted in the different colors.

From Southern Accents on Color, Frances MacDougall.
Many of these rooms have gold accents, which might have been my sub-conscience's inspiration for the nail head trim.

Alexandra Champalimaud's kitchen, Rooms to Inspire, Annie Kelly.
Admit it, you want that sink. Well, I do. I always imagine these folks finding things behind a gas station or something and saying, "We found it on the way back from Santa Fe and just tossed it in the trunk."

Decor, Fall/Winter 07.

These are the kind of details that always surprise me in their wrong rightness. Were there ever tassels on each notch? And the red ones, were they added later? But it doesn't matter. In fact, it's better. It all works so beautifully.

From Farrow and Ball: The Art of Color

This Farrow and Ball paper is so classic and lovely. Those rooster watercolors make me want to get out my paints.

Miles Redd in Rooms to Inspire, Annie Kelly.

There is something so appealing to me in the chalkiness of the blue and the richness of the red.

Elizabeth Locke's entry, House and Garden, Oct. 97.

We've been here before; this whole setting makes me swoon.

Kenleigh and Michael Larock's Connecticut farmhouse, publication unknown.

Um, yes, I did notice the yellow. I'm not sure, but the fabric on the chair might be a particularly yummy velvet by Etienne. This is a bedroom-turned-dressing-room. Lucky girl.

Michel Arnaud's 1996 photo of Marie Gersh and her son, HG, 1996.

See how she's shoved aside that red velvet pillow to have a tickle contest with her son just before she jets off to the ballet? Bother the peanut butter and jelly on his face, she knows all is well because she has him - and the fabulous striped curtains with the lovely robins egg blue chairs. Heaven.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Own A Calder Today

A few years ago, this image from Elle Decor caught my eye. Ebony floors, zebra rug, chrome table - all fabulous, but I couldn't take my eyes off of those bowls. Their owner, designer Catherine Malandrino, said she began collecting "these fabulous enameled silver bowls by Alexander Calder at the 26th Street flee market."

I did some research at the time, and Alexander Calder did indeed do some work for Reed and Barton. I could not find examples of the collection or any mention of an identifying mark.

But I adore Alexander Calder.

I find the humor and grace of his mobiles enchanting. Several years ago I attended an exhibit of his work at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. I was captivated by the toys he made for his children and grandchildren.

Unfortunately, owning a Calder did not seem in my future. Turns out, other people like him, too. But collecting these bowls seemed like a reasonable goal. Except the 26th Street Flea Market is not so handy for me. Then fate smiled. Hello, ebay.

At almost any time there are half a dozen or so vintage enameled bowls in the offing. Many are Reed and Barton, although almost none of the dealers mention Calder. Occasionally, one will display the mark above. Maybe I just like the idea of it, but the "A" inside the "C' certainly seems like it could denote the artist's involvement.

The shapes and colors are cool and jazzy.

Most of these beauties sell for forty dollars or less.

But if you like the look and aren't interested in vintage, a few contemporary trend setters have similar pieces. Ms. Spade has a couple pieces in her collection, although they are nickel.

Oscar de la Renta's home collection is as stunning as his runway creations. He offers these enameled bowls in several colors and a few sizes.

Any and all would make great additions to any gift list, whether you are the giver or the receiver. As for me, I hope to be saying, "Oh, Mr. Blandings? He picked me up another Calder."

Post Script - Several people have written to let me know that Alexander Calder was not involved in the design or production of these bowls in any way.