31 March 2008

DAUM - "Art is the Ultimate Luxury"

I like Daum crystal. I think it is Most Excellent. In moderation.

I am not a big fan of tchotchkes placed in large groupings or major collections throughout a home. What I do like is a select object, sculpture, vase, small grouping of ceramics or perhaps a piece or two of Daum crystal strategically placed. Not every selection from the House of Daum gets my thumbs up. I am drawn to the more abstract, unusual, or precisely colorful masterpieces. I have just taken a run through the Daum website.

The site, complete with many special three-dimensional effects, displays the crystal created by Daum in a art gallery like format. Obviously paying respect to the fact that each and every piece of Daum crystal is a work of art. Many of which have been designed by some of the world's most highly regarded artists. Below are a few of my favorite selections from my tour of the Daum site. I have listed the price for each piece, just in case you may want to pick up one of these beautiful accessories for your home.

"La Venusienne" in Green Blue. Designed by Alain Sechas. 76 copies. $28,400.00 each.

From the "China" collection. "Dragon 8" in Amber. $1,150.00

"Chamane" in Black, designed Nicole Le Paire, 8 copies. $18,900.00 each.

"Ginkgo Small Bowl" in Green. $315.00

"Vis de forme" in Black and White. This avant-garde design allows the user of this lamp sculpture to change its shape by rotating each of the glass elements on its axis. 125 copies. $6,980.00 each.

"Sequoia Magnum Vase" in Green Amber. Designed by Emilio Robba. 388 copies. $12,200.00 each. I love the contrast of colors in this vase. The way they flow effortlessly into each other is stunning.

28 March 2008

Russian Contemporary Design.

Deep in the Moscow suburbs there is a strange but Most Excellent fashion of painting psychedelic things on the walls of houses. This one, (above and below), is the most impressive. Instead of dull gray boxes of concrete, fun and whimsical contemporary, "pop" art like murals rule. They look like they may have just stepped out from Japanese animation.

Full view of side of building - detail above

So often we equate fine contemporary design with Italy or Sweden, to name two examples. How often do we consider or ponder Contemporary Design from Russia? While I could go on and on presenting example after example of Russian design, please allow me to touch upon a few designs that I consider to be Most Excellent and a lot of fun. Presented here is a sampling of the world of contemporary Russian design, the advanced part of it.

I would also like to throw in a few snapshots of some unique "moving" museums or contemporary art that may be found in and around Moscow.

It is no secret that in every country there are some pretty gifted designers that in our time of globalization can sell their creations to Western countries. On to Russia...

"A Moving Museum"

Here are some photographs of the Moscow subway, (above and below). Select trains are like moving museums with paintings of some famous Russian artists set up on the walls and outside the cars instead of windows so people everyday can meet some art on their way home.

A Select Few Contemporary Pieces. From Russia.

Bookshelves resembling hieroglyphs for people who like something not usual. Shown above empty.

Designer: Kibardin Design

With books - covered in white paper

You can turn into an angel for a while sitting at this chair with angel wings mounted to the back.

Design: Kibardin Design

Lightweight home furniture made from multi-layered cardboard.

Designer: Michael Scholk

Some Russian people are not happy with white air conditioners “ruining the overall designer’s look of my flat”, so this new service of painting air conditioners seems to be popular these days.

A chocolate bar in a form of PC keyboard. If to be produced in a full scale size can weight two pounds. The designer advises not to eat at the same time CTRL ALT and DELETE chocolate keys.

Designer: Michael Sholk

Computer styled thumbtacks to use in the real world, not only on your computer display.

Designer: Artem Lebedev Studio

"The Greenboy" - a hard-fabric key chain that splits your office keys from home keys, is said to be very handy and nice to touch and use - saves your life when trying to find the right key.

Design: Vadim Kibardin

Prototype of the Russian Car - "Russo-Balt", (above and below)

Back view - The Russian "Russo-Balt"

Definitely not an iPod. This is a stainless steel mp3 music player in a form of Christian cross that can be worn on the neck.

Design: Man Work Designs

These watches were rewarded with a few awards for design. They are wrist hand watches imitating sand hourglasses with pixels.

Design: Pavel Balikin

27 March 2008

Kelly Does it Again... and Again.

Kor Hotels and interior designer Kelly Wearstler have done it again!

I have just returned from a whirlwind tour of Southern California. I had the pleasure of staying at two hotel/resort properties designed by Kelly Wearstler. My first stop was The Chamberlain Hotel in West Hollywood, Los Angeles. The hotel, secluded on a quiet residential street in West Hollywood, just between Santa Monica Blvd. and The Sunset Strip, was a small gem. Tasteful and elegant, the hotel was comfortable, spacious and truly a delight to visit.

Chamberlain West Hollywood is a metropolitan hotel with the comfort and ambiance of a residential pied-a-terre. Tailored, crisp and timeless, Chamberlain's décor evokes classic menswear restyled for the modern eye.

Immediately following my trip to Los Angeles, I was off to the desert. The Viceroy Palm Springs, another Kor Hotel property, was Most Excellent. Kelly Wearstler has designed a dramatic and meticulous retreat with so many special design touches I am afraid I lost count. Immediately following the photos of the Chamberlain Hotel are snapshots of the Viceroy Palm Springs. Allow me to say that the pictures do not even begin to do the resort justice. I am very impressed. Kelly's designs are consistently stellar.

Recapturing the dramatic Hollywood Regency style popular during the Desert's original glamour era, Viceroy Palm Springs and its luxury Estrella Spa welcomes contemporary travelers to a resort and spa where privacy and relaxation reign. Featuring clean-lined classical forms and a stunning white, black and citrus color palette, the premier Palm Spring spa resort's design brings sophistication and luxury to the desert's relaxed indoor-outdoor setting. Originally a 1930s desert inn, Viceroy Palm Springs Hotel has been updated throughout the century to offer guests a full array of luxury accommodations, amenities, and services including a stylish spa, restaurant and bar. Located at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains in the heart of Palm Springs, this secluded hideaway is a short stroll from fine restaurants, boutiques and legendary golf courses, making it an ideal California desert getaway.

Chamberlain West Hollywood Lobby

Chamberlain West Hollywood Studio Suite

Chamberlain West Hollywood Lobby - A perfect eclectic mix!

Chamberlain West Hollywood Rooftop Pool - Panoramic view of L.A.

Chamberlain West Hollywood One-bedroom suite

Chamberlain West Hollywood Bistro

Chamberlain West Hollywood Studio Suite

The Estrella Spa - Viceroy Palm Springs

Citron restaurant - Viceroy Palm Springs

Regency Court Pool - Viceroy Palm Springs

Tile detail - Viceroy Palm Springs Lobby

Viceroy Palm Springs

Three photographs, (above and below), Viceroy Palm Springs Guest Room

Complete with a vaulted ceiling and gas fireplace

Black and White color scheme with just a "pop" of Yellow

25 March 2008

Pick a Color. It's Not as Easy as it Sounds!

Reprinted from The Washington Post - "Designers' Favorites", 20.3.08
(click above to enlarge)

Color can be difficult. One thing many of my clients tell me is how challenging it is for them to choose just the right paint color for a particular room, etc. With thousands and thousands of paint color choices available, the process of selecting just the right one or orchestrating a smashing color palette may be quite a frustrating and time consuming experience.

So many factors may affect making the "right" paint color choice - Here are just a few - 1. The lighting in the room 2. Personal preference, reaction and emotional response to a particular color 3. Color of furniture, furnishings, accessories, etc. that will be a part of the entire room "ensemble" 4. Ease of cleaning and upkeep 5. Design trends, and decorating style 6. Architecture, shape, size, location of the space, etcetera.

Approximately two weeks ago, Washington Post, Home Section, team writer, Jura Koncius, telephoned me and asked me to provide some of my recommendations to readers for paint colors. Below is the article that she put together as an introduction to making proper paint color choices. Above you will find a floor plan "map" of a home with specific color selections chosen by a few Washington, DC Interior Designers. I have contributed color ideas for the kitchen and the living room and have also shared the "secret" as to what color my own living room is painted in. That color is a very unique gray, lilac, beige color blend that changes tone, intensity and shade throughout the day, depending on the light level in the room. Additional information may be found by jumping to the
Washington Post Website

"Choosing a Color? Hold the Gravy."
by Jura Koncius, The Washington Post, 20.3.2008, Page H05

Reprinted from The Washington Post, Home Section, 20.3.08
(Click above to enlarge floor plan, article or visit The Washington Post website)

21 March 2008

More than an Easter Bonnet!

This posting is by PJBJRID's Design Assistant, Megan Blake

I am in shock at my hands... a tie-dye blend of smeared pink, yellow, and a terrific shade of purple (a fantastic possibility in lacquer). Last night was a marathon egg-dying event. Without a doubt from the first dye job, I managed to shatter a handful of wax-penciled traditions. The collage of broken egg shells reminded me of eggshell lacquer, a decorative treatment which originated in China and became quite vogue in the 1930’s. Gump’s of San Fran sells a couple peices, including my fav, the Eggshell Nesting Tables.

The burnished surface is a blend of tiny egg shell fragments and a chocolate brown lacquer. Mush more labor-intensive then a dozen or so colorful hard-boiled creations but perfect in almost any setting. And not to foget the egg shell Bath Collection. Hand-rubbed and no-less handsome, they’ll look great in any spa-like setting.

Cracked eggs no more.

A fresh take on the egg shape in home decor comes from his eggcellence, designer Jim Schatz. He makes common products in a unique and innovative way. Out of his eleven product lines, today's post highlights the Egg Lamp, Egg Birdhouse, Egg Bank, and Egg Birdfeeder, all of which come in mouth-watering glossy spring colors. All easy to find and fall in love with.

If these don't lighten the load of your easter basket, how about 
turning on the Red Gloss Egg Lamp by ET2. The unique broken shade is accented with a red gloss finish. 

Now, I thought I had seen everything, until I realized that the are truly more then 101 ways to cook an egg. If you watching your waistline but hungry for something sunny-side-up, step into this scale. Made by Viceversa, the Egg Scale can stand up to any large feet. And with colors such as Aracione, Celeste, and Verde Orange, who can resist a little balancing act.

Happy Easter!