29 February 2008

Barbara Barry. Unexpected.

Allow me to start by saying I am quite fond of the work of Los Angeles based interior designer, Barbara Barry. In addition to creating beautiful commercial and residential interiors, Barbara is also creating an empire. Very much the way Martha Stewart's name has become synonymous with elegance, living well and "good things", Barbara Barry is creating product lines for some of the most prestigious manufacturers.

It is now possible to buy Barbara Barry furniture from Baker, Bloomingdales and Henredon. At Henredon her collection is called "Barbara Barry Realized". She also designs crystal for Baccarat, china for Wedgewood and Haviland, rugs for Tufenkian and has her own decorative accessories, art, and bedding. Yesterday, I ran into Barbara's bed linens collection in the latest Neiman Marcus catalog. They are simple, understated and feature soft hues and very relaxing colors. As is common with many of Barbara's designs, they impart a very special Hollywood glamor. What I have surprisingly discovered joining the great Barbara Barry brand are two collections that I will classify as "Barbara Barry. Unexpected."

The first unexpected delight is Barbara Barry's "Orange Grove" tea blend and the second flicker of magic is her array of fragrance for the home. Similar to Ralph Lauren, Barbara Barry has created the total lifestyle. A simple example is the possibility of sitting in a Barbara Barry "Bracelet" chair, (for Henredon), sipping tea from a Wedgewood china tea cup while breathing in the aroma of a Barbara Barry "Living room" votive candle. I wonder what will be next?

I do love tea. Here is what Barbara Barry has to say about her signature blend, "Orange Grove":

"My day begins with tea. The small ritual of boiling the water, selecting the tea and heating the cup into which I pour it, creates a way for me to center myself as I prepare to meet the day. Sitting with a cup of tea soothes me in the middle of a hectic day and gives me the chance to gather my thoughts. Much later, a cup of tea, prepared artfully, allows me quiet moments of reflection as I relax and end my day. The joy of tea is the joy of self expression, the joy found in the comfort of small daily rituals that give structure to my day and the joy of bringing friends together to celebrate the shared moments of our lives."

Barbara Barry's inspiration for Orange Grove:

“I live in the hills of Hollywood, California and my backyard is full of fragrant orange trees and night blooming jasmine. Each time I smell them their scent evokes powerful and wonderful memories of my childhood, growing up in California. After traveling around the world, coming home to these healing and evocative smells is always a tonic to me. I looked to T to create a blend so that I could take that bit of home with me wherever I go. Their remarkable efforts are found in Orange Grove. Today it doesn’t matter whether I’m in a plane at 30,000 feet or in a new country half way around the world, when I brew that cup of tea, close my eyes, and inhale the scent of fresh orange blossoms I’m home again."

Orange Grove is a blend of Madagascar orange peel, Tahitian Vanilla blended to a perfect balance with the highest quality Oolong tea that gives it a subtle woody finish reminding you that this is a product of the earth.

LEAF : Twisted large full leaf
AROMA: Sweet with vanilla & citrus
PALATE: Sweet and earthy


Home fragrance:

Barbara Barry tea cup featuring her "Bracelet Chair" for Henredon furniture

Barbara Barry "Living room" home fragrance spray. Each room has it's own individual fragrance

Barbara Barry "Dining room" votive candles. Monogrammed with the double "B"

Barbara Barry "Bedroom" votive candle

Packaging of Barbara Barry "Dining room" votive candles

Images of Barbara Barry "Realized" for Henredon chairs grace Wedgewood glasses and dessert plates

28 February 2008



While I am not a big fan of tchochkes, these frog sculptures are Most Excellent. Handsome and a lot of fun, they may be purchased from such prestigious retailers as Gumps, San Francisco. Many of Tim Cotterill's metal bird and animal sculptures have even been sold at Sotheby's.

Tim Cotterill, the FROGMAN known for his frog collectibles, has an uncontrollable passion for frogs. And only frogs. He loves everything about those bulgy-eyed beauties — their faces, their webbed feet, their springy legs and their antic nature. He incorporates every possible expression, contour, and subtlety of these amphibians into his green-enameled bronzes. Tim has also published two Frog books showcasing his work.

Growing up in Great Britain, he developed a lifelong love of things that go "jump" in the night. Says Tim, "As a little boy, I always loved looking for frogs in the fields of England."

Once he moved to Venice Beach, California, Cotterill discovered frogs as a sculptural form through which he could express his delightful sense of humor.

What makes Tim's frogs unique is that many bear human traits of different characters - a dancer, swimmer, the prince charming, etc. And these red-hot frogs are being snapped up by people all over the world, including many celebrities. Says Tim, "Muhammed Ali's wife collects them I've been told, Michelle Pfeiffer, David Hasselhoff, Whoopi Goldberg."

Priced from $400 to $8,000, Frogman's bronze frog sculptures are flying out of shops at a phenomenal rate of a thousand a month! Tim says "I'm feeding galleries in Singapore, Italy, Guam, Hawaii ... "

Since no two frogs are alike, the process is painstaking. Cotterill forms a pose on a wire frame. "Then I'll get car body filler and start laying it on and sanding it back until it builds and builds." Finally when it's smooth enough, he sends it off to a foundry to be cast in bronze.

Tim Cotterill's bronze frog sculptures capture the whimsical character, the jewel-like quality, and the pure J
OY of these beautiful little creatures. "Through the centuries and throughout the world, FROGS have symbolized many things - Good Luck, Royalty, Fertility, Magic Potions, Energy, Charm, Indiscretion, etc., etc. In today's fast world, life sometimes becomes complicated and stressful. As you can see, my art is not. It's Elegant, Stylish, Whimsical, Unique, and is pure FUN! It makes people SMILE! When we smile and laugh it releases endorphins all through our body and mind. The more we smile, laugh, and feel happy, the healthier we become."





27 February 2008

AGAPE - World Class Bathroom Design.

My absolute favorite - The double "Minuetto" wash basins with mirrors suspended from ceiling, Corian counter top

Some of my favorite bathroom wash basins, bathtubs and showers are imported from Italy. Agape, the manufacturer of all of the bathroom fixtures shown here offer a creative, innovative and very sophisticated line of bathroom furnishings. Materials such as glass, steel, treated wood and polypropylene are combined to produce some Most Excellent designs. Ideal for larger bathrooms, Agape is a industry leader when it comes to world class bathroom fixtures, fittings, accessories and more for those interested in more modern living. http://www.agapedesign.it

Graceful curved "Gabbiano" wood wash basin with glass front and mirrored medicine chest

"Minuetto" single glass sink with a Corian counter top and optional towel bar - adjustable round side mirror, wall mounted

Treated wood "Woodline" wash basin with stainless steel wall tap

Scroll design "Chiocciola" Polypropylene shower - Outdoor installation

Scroll design "Chiocciola" Polypropylene shower - Indoor installation

Wooden and Glass composition with adjustable round mirror - "Boxes" collection

"Ufo" stainless steel bathtub with floor tap

Agape's "Spoon" bathtub - Tap rises from floor and pours into tub

26 February 2008

Shower Up!

How fun are these shower curtains? Izola offers fresh and sophisticated shower curtains that incorporate the work of groundbreaking artists, bold patterns and iconic global destinations. What a Most Excellent way to shower up! More exciting shower curtain versions and other bathroom accessories are available at http://www.izolashower.com
(Artist Patrick McMullan Shower Curtain pictured above)

Bamboo Shower Curtain

"What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" Shower Curtain

City of Paris Shower Curtain

Venice, Italy Shower Curtain

The Brooklyn Bridge Shower Curtain

New York City Subway Map Shower Curtain

25 February 2008

Teak. Remixed.

"Volcano" table. Teak tree trunk in Bronze

Definitely not a typical teak table! These coffee tables from Chista are made from the trunks and roots of the Teak tree. Huge slabs of teak are cut and set with stainless steel or simply perched alone. There are remixed versions of large chunks of teak that have been ebonized or cast in bronze. Regardless of which table graces the center of a furniture grouping, the design statement will be huge! http://www.chista.net

Made of slice of Teak root and Stainless Steel

"Meteor" table. Created from naturally formed Teak root.

Teak root table

"Volcano" table - Ebonized solid teak trunk

Teak tree trunk with Stainless Steel base

22 February 2008

The Celebrated Life - "MAYFAIR"

No one can create a "lifestyle" like Ralph Lauren. His Home Collections, season after season, bring us to island retreats like Jamaica, safaris in Africa, and the beauty of Southampton, NY. We have been tossed back to Medieval times, have been allowed to experience the life of an Aristocratic Gentleman and now for Spring 2008, Ralph introduces us to "Mayfair". The collection is composed of lighting, furniture, bedding, china, silver, fabric, wall coverings, paint, etc. This home collection is a total lifestyle - the perfect picture of "The Celebrated Life" and it is Most Excellent. I love the use of polished crystal and silver, strong contrasting fabrics and timeless details.

"Mayfair" is fashioned with modern elegance and undertones of 1940s glamour, this sophisticated decor features well-tailored furniture deftly layered with silver and pewter metallics, natural woven materials and black, white and cream fabrics.

I love these "Clivedon Carved Chairs", upholstered in White and Black Glazed Linen

The "Mayfair Chandelier". Yours for $31,250.00