Sunday, April 29, 2012

Spotting Style in High Point

Barclay Butera cowhide rug for Nourison.
High Point Market is fun!  Well, it was fun for me as my only responsibility was to walk around and look for good stuff.  No overhead to worry about, no need to fret about stocking fees or delivery times. Nope, just good friends, good stuff and lots of free cocktails (offered if not consumed.)

Resin tables by Makayla; photo Mat Saunders
High Point Market invited eight folks to scour the show for things that caught their fancies and pin them on Pinterest.

Mantis Stool by Chelsea House
I hadn't been to Market before and was intimidated by the scope of product.  (This, coupled by the fact that anytime I mentioned High Point to someone he or she would say, "You have to go..." and then proceed to tell me some grueling story, made me a little apprehensive.)  But what I found were a lot of lovely people who were happy to talk about their own stuff, but were also happy to help me find something else be it a showroom or a shuttle or something to nosh.

Lillian August Sofa; photo Jamie Meares
You can see what I spotted at market - and the other Style Spotters' picks, too - on Pinterest here.

Dominos by Barbara Cosgrove; photo Jennifer Mehditash

See how I made it look like graphic black and white is trending?  It's not.  Graphic black and white is always good, but I wouldn't start jumping up and down and screaming "trend alert."  There was a lot - a lot - of the Belgian look still out there.  Who's buying it?  Heck if I know; no one I talked to gets it, but it looks like it's going to be around a little longer.

Thanks to High Point Market for sponsoring my trip; I had no agreement or requirement to post about what I saw here, but I will.  Because I saw good stuff.

All photos mine unless otherwise noted.  All images taken with phones, so don't judge.  

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Bracelets I Cannot Afford, an on-going and (I think) entertaining series.


If I cannot commit to a pair of shoes (and I cannot) then I don't think you should have to look at them for a week (not that you would, but you know what I mean.)  As life often/sometimes/occasionally delivers what one needs, this really terrific mid-century bracelet landed in my in-box on Friday.  18k, bi-colored (I love a girl who can't make up her mind) curblink bracelet.  Could she co-exist with my double-wrap clinky link?  We will likely never know, but you can visit her and her cousins at dk farnum.  Don't be deterred by their construction sign - there's lots of good stuff under "collection."

Thursday, April 19, 2012

High Point


I am heading to High Point on Sunday and went shopping for shoes today.  This is what I came home with.  "Do you think these are too high for me?" I asked my eldest.  I'm a little over 5'8" and the heels are six inches.  "They're not that high and they're wedges, so they should be o.k."  "How do you know they're 'wedges'?"  "I do know girls."  "And you talk about shoes?"  "No, they talk about shoes around me."  "Oh.  Well, since they have a platform, they're really comfortable."  "Yeah.  I know."  "You're kidding right?" And he ducked his head, shaking it from side to side and looked up from under raised his eyebrows, "Not kidding."  He seems as mystified as I about his baptism into the world of women.

It's my first trip to High Point and even I know these are not the shoes for working, but might be good shoes for playing.  I plan on doing plenty of both.  If I'm posting next week it will be a miracle.  If I'm not on crutches next week, that might be a miracle as well.  If you think you see me at Market, please say, "hi."

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hand in Glove


I was at Dolphin Gallery last week and noticed a card for Ellen Greene's work which had been at Birdie's.  Greene collects vintage gloves and uses them as her canvas.  Seeing gloves as a symbol of a past ideal of femininity, of protection and restraint, she marries them with images of tattoos, the art of which is rooted in a male tradition.  I did have my eyelids done and while I'm happy with the results, I can't quite shake the niggling feeling that I have capitulated to two forces: personal vanity and some sort of larger mystical pressure that stresses physical beauty as ideal.   I'm not torturing myself over it (in fact, I bought eye shadow for the first time in years) but it's bugging me.  Greene's pieces hit me when I may be most vulnerable to them.  You can find them here.

Image, "Omi Wise" via artbyellengreene.com.

A Happy Marriage



When I met Mitch Owens a few years ago in the offices at Elle Decor I did not know that he was the author of the esteemed design blog, An Aesthete's Lament.  I did not find out until a few months later when another blogger casually mentioned it in an email.  It immediately made sense that this blog, which reflected a near encyclopedic knowledge of design, was the work of a seasoned and talented interior design writer. Mitch is currently Special Projects Editor at Architectural Digest and Ms. Russell has made an honest man of him.  No more clandestine meetings on the blogspot - Mitch is blogging as The Aesthete on Daily AD.  And, in case you're worried that I've outed him, I have not; he casually steps from behind the curtain in his first post.  I will be looking forward to more.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Numbers Game


The party night before last was great fun.  An unexpected pleasure was meeting Richard Belger, a local businessman and art collector.  I've mentioned his gallery a few times, but the first time I visited it was to see their remarkable collection of works by Jasper Johns.  I could not make the opening and stumbled in on a quiet afternoon and received a memorable personal tour by Mo Dickens.  Mr. Belger mentioned that the collection is traveling to Washington D.C. for an exhibit at The Phillips Collection, June 2nd - September 9th.  If you are in the area do make an effort to see it.  (I only wish Mr. Dickens could be your docent as he was mine.)


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Behind the Curtain


Last night I stayed out a bit too late for a school night as I had the chance to see a truly remarkable Bruce Goff house here in Kansas City (and some pretty remarkable people, too.)  It filled my head with fantasy. While I regroup (and get ready for the opening of Inventing the Modern World at the Nelson), click over to Architectural Digest where Miles Redd and I are chatting about sheer curtains.  (AD has revamped their site and it is looking pretty swish.)

Image, Architectural Digest, December 2011, room designed by Roberto Peregalli and Laura Sartori Rimini; photography, Oberto Gili.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring Fever


You may remember that I had a mature and established peony hedge in my old house.  As is common in the neighborhood, these shrubs divided our yard and our neighbor's.  Slightly less common might have been my boys' using it as hurtle, or maybe that is the role it played for generations, accustomed to the shush of the leaves as bare feet grazed its tops.


It was plentiful and generous and the blooms filled my home for weeks.  Large bunches spilled from vases on the mantle; smaller handfuls cheered the morning cook.


Last fall, nearly winter, on perhaps the last possible weekend, I had a fit of peony separation anxiety and we filled the back of my car with young and tender shrubs.


They are so small and so spindly.  I almost fear the day that they begin to bloom as the stems will surely give way, collapsing head first like a young girl in despair.


But we must start somewhere.  So now we wait.

Images, all mine.  The top three from the Dream House - the rest from the House with No Name.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Harmonious Convergence


I met Heidi Palmer a few years ago and was immediately impressed by her style.


I was fortunate to be assigned to write the article on her house in Sunset Hill for the April issue of Spaces.


Palmer has decorated her house with a lovely collection of her grandmother's and great-grandmother's things along with art from her father and her own finds.


It is a terrific mix and an excellent example of how to live with antiques; there is nothing fussy or fancy here, though it is incredibly grounded and personal.


More images in the issue (plus words, if you like words.)  On sale now - pick it up today.

All images Spaces, Kansas City, April 2012; photography Aaron Leimkuehler.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

If You Build It


The image, above, is of my father at the New York World's Fair 1964 - 65.  Catherine Futter, Curator of Decorative Arts at the Nelson-Atkins Museum was there, too.  (She was, however, much younger.  She still has her Sinclair Oil dinosaur pin.)  World's Fairs made a significant mark on Futter.  They held her interest.  They captivated her.


We are a week out from the opening of Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World's Fairs at the Nelson, an exhibit co-curated by Futter.  As with all the World's Fairs, not all the good stuff is inside.  The architecture of the pavilions was often as significant as the objects.  In our case, the Nelson has constructed the Sun Pavilion on the lawn.  Designed by Generator Studio, the structure has 150 solar panels that will provide power for the lighting, air conditioning and interactive displays.  Almost all the materials will be repurposed when the exhibit is dismantled.  For more information click here.

For tickets to the exhibit, click here.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

By the Sea, By the Sea, By the Beautiful Sea


We've been back from the beach for two weeks, but it seems like ages.


People keep saying things like, "It's as warm as Florida here!"  And it is.  And I don't want to sound contrary, but there's no ocean here.  It's lovely, but not quite the same.


On the last day of our vacation I received an email from a friend who was jetting off to Japan.  "I am too tan and too blonde," I told him.  (I cannot say "no" to the sun.)  He shot back, "Wear blue - it fixes everything."  I did, and he was right.


If cerulean shades are helping, so too is Rooms to Inspire by the Sea.  The books in the Rooms to Inspire series are personal favorites, and I think will prove themselves to be classics.  This particular edition is near and dear as I find beach houses irresistibly appealing.


You will find some favorites (of mine if not of yours): Peter Dunham for Susan and Spencer Croul, India Hicks and David Flint Wood and Tom Scheerer.  There are homes you might not have seen such as John Derian's in Cape Cod, which I think was featured in World of Interiors and Olivier and Zoe de Givenchy.  You can see more here and Courtney Barnes has given the book nice attention on Style Court here.

All images Tim Street-Porter.  The homes featured are, from top India Hicks and David Flint Wood (both the first and the second,) Richard Shapiro and the final two Dunham. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Good Luck, Chuck!


Oh, I do love to share good news.  

Two of my favorite Kansas City institutions are teaming up and we locals are the winners.


Chuck Matney, who had recently closed his floral business, is the new Personal Stylist at Halls.

His will be a comprehensive approach, advising on home design, entertaining and personal fashion.  (He has done this for years for some of the most stylish women in Kansas City.)  You can find Chuck  in the home design area on the first floor.

Besides his remarkable good taste and talent, he is an extraordinarily nice guy.  His services are complimentary; you can stop by, but if you'd care to make an appointment you can ring him at 816-274-3217.  (You might have to get in line behind me.)

Images of one of Mr. Matney's former apartments, Spaces KC.

Pin-Up Girl


I'm terrible at twitter, did not so much as glance at tumblr, but am mad for Pinterest.  If Pinterest had come first, I think it's highly likely I would have never started blogging.  Create a board and play along.  You can find me here.