Monday, February 28, 2011

Pop Quiz 12

We may have picked up a few new readers, so I'll go over the rules quickly.  This is a Pop Quiz.

Pop quizzes show past rooms of a currently popular designer (You can see past pop quizzes here.)  I've shown the layout in its entirety so as not to edit out any telltale elements.

The first reader to guess the correct designer wins.  Nothing.  Wins nothing, but can walk around all day feeling quite superior to, well, probably to someone.

I'll be back with the answer and a few examples of current work tomorrow.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Bonus Round

Behind my desk I have low shelves.  Within short reach, on the top shelf, are lucite boxes of both current magazines and some with which I cannot part.

I have a lot of House & Gardens, a good bit of Domino and a smattering of older AD, House Beautiful and Elle Decor.  Sometimes, and it just might coincide with a hiccup in the writing process, I'll turn around and wonder why I kept certain issues.

Today was such a day.  I ran across a most excellent pop quiz, but I don't want to run it today.  I'm saving it for next week and it will be the mother of all pop quizzes.  Like the abhorred algebra teacher, I will place my head on my pillow each night over the weekend, grinning with anticipation of this too-hard test.

But today I will stand at the front of the class, a class expecting nothing new on a Friday, a class dreaming of red carpet gowns and sunny climes, and ask the tough question in an off-hand, yet steely way.

Anyone want to venture a guess when this was published?  These room struck me as timeless in a not-overly traditional way.  I think the publication is obvious, but if you can also name the designer you will go to the head of the class.

Post Script

Kudos to Los Angeles-based designer Oliver Furth.  At 12:54 a.m. CST, he correctly identified this as an Architectural Digest piece from the early 1990's.  He also recognized it as the home of Harley Baldwin above the Caribou Club in Aspen, Colorado.

I can hardly say "star pupil" as I am learning from him.
Oliver Furth
The design is by Peter Hans Kunz and Alan Tanksley, who had worked together at Mark Hampton and then went out on their own.  You can see Tanksley's portfolio here.  And, Mr. Know-it-All, Furth, here. I mean, geezo beezo the guy must have been, what, ten when this was published?

Images, Architectural Digest, November 1993, photography by Mary E. Nichols; Furth image courtesy of Elle Decor.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Word Up

OK, I've given you pictures this week, now you get words.  (I'm on deadline, in case you couldn't tell.)  You might be familiar with Chris Jones from a number of places, but he is currently writing for Esquire.  Jones is also writing a blog about writing, Son of Bold Venture.  It is a blog about writing, but as things seem to go with writers, it is a blog about life.  His latest entry, "Press Box Rules," makes mention of wet hot dogs, but could apply to nearly any profession.

If you enjoy good writing, I think you'll enjoy visiting Mr. Jones.  Here.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Too good for words.  Artist and designer Carol Fertig has begun sending these delightful postcards daily.  Opt in for inspiration here.  Each day Fertig selects an image from her amazing collection and sends them via email to subscribers.  Previously delivered "postcards" can be viewed in the archives on her site Objet-Lesson.  She provides brief descriptions which allow you to learn a little, while concentrating on what you see.

Trained in fine art with a career in clothing design, Fertig has turned her creative eye to branding for companies such as Sotheby's, LVHM, Mrs. John L. Strong, Barneys and Harry Winston.  Truly, in three-and-a-half years of blogging I have not seen one thing she has sent me before.  It's like a good piece of chocolate before breakfast.

All images via Objet-Lesson.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Dining In

Just one more, technically not from the bulletin board, but inspiration just the same.  These may be my favorite dining room walls.

This house wants green and blue (and maybe a dash of red.)  It does.  It has no affinity for yellow, though it holds no personal grudge.  This house shrugs at yellow.  This house would walk by yellow in the hall and say "Hi, how are you," but would never stop to hear about the horrific drive to work.   It may also be a little vain as it cannot seem to pass up a mirror. 

A little mirror, a little fretwork.  I just keep wondering if I could do it myself.

Images from Charlotte Moss's A Flair for Living, photography by Pieter Estersohn.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Inspiration Board

We had a small cocktail party last Saturday night for the people who helped us move.  People who had packed my kitchen, donated boxes, driven my children.

People who insisted, who did things even after I said, "Oh, no, absolutely not - we're fine!"  People who helped anyway.

"Are you settled?" ask friends I see out and about.  "It's done!" said a few who have dropped by.

It's not done, not by a long shot, but we're settled.  The Wii and PlayStation 3 are absolutely at home and one of the boys has already thrown up here, which is a sort of christening in my book.

My bulletin board is hung and I followed the advice of a reader who suggested a cheap one from a discount store trimmed in grosgrain ribbon.

It was bare for a bit, but is now collecting images and invites and memos.

And, honestly, it's terrifically fun.

Images, from top, Albert Hadley and Harry Heissmann, House Beautiful, 2010, photography by Christopher Baker;  Veranda.  I think.  I didn't write it down, like I've never done this before.  Forgive me, I'm a ding-dong; Pauline de Rothchild's bedroom featured in Elle Decor, October 2010;  Peter Dunham, House Beautiful, November 2010, photography by Victoria Pearson; Christine d'Ornano, Elle Decor, April 2010, photography by Simon Upton; Oliver M. Furth, via; Fabric, Hinson - Trixie Red/Black on Off White; paper, Scalamandre, Baldwin Bamboo, Cream and Red on Aqua.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Spot On

"Do you want to go outside?" was answered with, "Do you want to go outside?"

"Are you hungry?" was answered with, "Are you hungry?"

While, "Let's pick up your room," brought silence.

Then a day at the park with a friend and her also-two-year-old daughter made me realize that something was up.  While I watched them negotiate the wisdom of removing shoes and tights on a muddy day, I thought, "We are not exchanging information like that."

This was my youngest, the third, and I was no rookie to childhood development, but we had been communicating just fine.  If I asked him a question and he would repeat it (oddly in the exact same intonation) if his answer was "yes."  If he didn't care for my plan, he would not respond at all.  We got through the day without a hitch.

"He's fine.  He talks all the time," said my in-laws, and they were right.  He could identify dozens of dinosaurs, could name, literally, hundreds of ocean creatures and knew by sight the drivers of every major Nascar car.  His vocabulary was huge, but he wasn't telling me anything.

"Take him to the Children's Spot.  And stay off the internet," came wise advice from a friend.  The therapists there identified a speech delay with a soupcon of Sensory Integration Disorder.  While I followed the first part of my friend's advice, I did eventually succumb to the lure of google.  "Is he in the spectrum for Autism?" I finally asked.  "Patricia, you need to stop trying to put a name on this.  It doesn't change anything.  You are getting him exactly what he needs."

And we were.  When I asked the developmental specialist, who reassured me that our son was not in the spectrum for Autism but "certainly quirky," if the therapy "fixed" him, he said, "Yeah, that's funny.  We don't know, but I think it is very unlikely he would be here without it."

His therapy was not covered by insurance and we paid out of pocket.  Obviously, not all families are so fortunate.  Every year the Children's Spot hosts Once Upon a Time, For Children and Their Grown Ups, to benefit the Family Assistance Program which provides support for those families who cannot afford their child's treatment.  This year's event is March 6th from 3:00 - 6:00 and it is an absolutely amazing event for kids.  New this year there will be a table decorating contest judged by HGTV Design Star Jennifer Bertrand, NBC's Amy Hawley and me.  Tickets available here, and there is an early bird discount through tomorrow.  I hope to see you there.

All images courtesy of the Children's Spot.  And, for the record, I am not receiving any compensation for this post or my participation in the event.

Friday, February 11, 2011

As Luck Would Have It

A welcome break this week, a delicious dinner with smart and funny women. Our hostess has a wonderful apartment and every time I am there I find small additions, not the stuff of boast and bluff, but really personal things that delight.

This time, in addition to a new snappy, red bar and a remarkable book stand, was this small piece of art in the living room. A girl, what, doing a card trick? Playing solitaire? It matters not as her message is so enchanting with the shift of a lever. "You are amazing." Could there be a better surprise?

The creation of Ann Wood and Dean Lucker, these mechanical drawings charm and amuse.

The two attended the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and have been creating collaborative works since 1990.

You can see their work here and on Etsy here.

The pieces are incredibly reasonable; I feel the return on your investment would be ten fold.

All images courtesy of

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Out and About - Dolphin Gallery

You know how you have things that you like, but you just don't have the right spot right now? That's the fun of moving; suddenly, you discover that you have the spot for the thing you felt quite sure that you needed, but couldn't fit. Last year the Dolphin Gallery had an exhibit of Elizabeth Wilson's collection of vintage Japanese textiles. The patterns in the fabric are classic and modern. They sometimes remind me of folk art.

While the fabrics were at the Dolphin they scanned hundreds of the patterns, making it possible to print them in any size (almost) on paper or canvas or, say, silk.

The problem, of course, is deciding.

And once I knew there were hundreds, well, I wanted to see hundreds.

I am looking for two large pieces to flank a window in the family room. I'm square, so I want rectangular, but this circle might cure a thirst for Hirst.

It is interesting to see the fabric enlarged so dramatically; up close, you can see the weave of the threads.

The Dolphin has not printed all the patterns that were scanned.

Still, there were plenty to keep me busy on a frigid day.

The pulling and pairing, the stacking and sorting, warmed me up just like a good game of hopscotch.

Dolphin Gallery, here. Elizabeth Wilson's marvelous shop, Asiatica, here.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mentoring Program

And why would I be coaxing the advice from the aforementioned Mr. Jimenez? Because the guy has style in spades.

Don't believe me? Check out his work in both High Gloss and Standard Magazine this month.

Very different projects, though they scored him the cover in both instances. Oh, and he has new digs here in town (his former house was in House Beautiful.) I bet they are a full-on glam shazam.