30 April 2012

spoon lamp.

 Creative and functional. Artistic and beautiful. Those are a few words used to describe Clive Roddy's "Spoon Lamp".  According to his website, "Clive Roddy is designer/maker based in southwest UK, with a passion for creating quirky yet desirable products that aim to induce intrigue and happiness." The lamp is constructed mostly from solid oak and 115 solid stainless steel dessert spoons. According to Roddy, the lamp was originally inspired by giant pine cones found in Yosemite National Park. It is no secret that I adore unique, whimsical furnishings that are perfectly functional and may be used in a variety of settings. In my book, Roddy and his artful creation receive an A+.

27 April 2012

Simply. "Byron".

Coco Chanel once said, "Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance". The Byron table from Bradley Hughes, is just that - simple and elegant. What makes it unique and has prompted me to introduce this table here is the use of materials that are combined to create this table. A 2.5" bone concrete top is supported by a hand-forged iron base. The look is contemporary, modern and industrial. This uncomplicated piece may be appreciated for the strength of the materials used. Delightfully so, it is also possible to add color, a variety of different finishes and even an alternative top to the table. All bespoke finishes permits this table to become something very unique and personal to the environment where it will become a part of. Specific color finishes that intrigued me were Persimmon, Algae and Smoke. The alternative table top materials include such options as Antique Mirror, Onyx, Colored Glass, Limestone and wood. I believe the table base is best kept in the natural iron although even that may be dazzled with an antique pewter or gold finish. Of course, custom sizing is also available. With all these choices it is very difficult to go wrong in creating a piece of furniture that has a dashing and distinguished personality. However, I return to the original design - bone concrete with natural, hand-forged iron. I like the natural, neutral and textural elements of these two materials and I certainly enjoy envisioning this table as a centerpiece in a contemporary living room with a single orange Pin Protea grounded in a charcoal ceramic vase for just a punctuation of color.

Pin Protea

26 April 2012

A burl wood and lucite desk. A vintage chair.

This is not the first time I have introduced a piece of furniture composed of lucite and wood on this blog. I just love the combination of the two materials. So, when I see a handsome contemporary desk such as the one above, I want to shout out loud and make sure it is published right here. The desk, shown above, features a burled wood top from the European black Poplar tree. The desk top is supported by two sturdy lucite side panels and is punctuated with stainless steel hardware. An added bonus to this piece of furniture is that there are two drawers which make it exceptionally useful as a vanity or desk. This sophisticated and elegant desk may be combined with either traditional accessories or more contemporary details. A lamp with a Chinese Ginger Jar porcelain base, for example, would be at home on top of this desk as would a slick polished chrome desk lamp that screams modern design. This desk also provides a great deal of flexibility and versatility when it comes to pairing it with the right desk chair. I'm thinking a chair in a stainless steel with a raw silk upholstery fabric in a neutral beige tone. Or, the mid-century vintage chair pictured below. This chair has a polished chrome frame, and silver and white cowhide upholstery. The chair has some signs of age due to it's history. This only enhances the vintage beauty of this unique piece. Paired with the lucite and burl wood desk above, the curved lines of this chair perfectly juxtapose the straight, sharp lines of the desk. It is just one of many different combinations to consider.

25 April 2012


The Klismos chair, is one that dates back to ancient Greece. It has such distinct characteristics that it is often easy to recognize the design. The chair typically has four sabre legs that extend outward in the front and back and a central, concave support at shoulder height. The reinterpretation of the Klismos chair shown here is from Global Views. The collection features a dining or occasional chair and as well as a bench. This chair is simple, elegant and sophisticated and may be used in a variety of settings from traditional to transitional to contemporary. The limed oak frame of the chairs and bench are complemented by a soft-colored grey or beige leather upholstery. The neutral leather colors afford many different possibilities in terms of what colors, fabrics, patterns, etc. the chairs and/or bench may be paired with. There is no doubt that this design has stood the test of time. It will never appear dated and these beautiful pieces will be able to be passed down from generation to generation.

23 April 2012


I have always been fond of combining different types of materials in order to compose a piece of furniture or an accessory. I believe a room should be designed with a mixture of elements such as wood, glass, stone, metal, etc. However, finding the right combination to use together is somewhat of a trick. Here, Emporium Home has created a beautiful chandelier using two different materials - agate and satin brass. The natural agate adds texture, color and visual excitement to this chandelier. The satin brass foundation is uncomplicated, sophisticated and refined. When the two materials are fashioned together, the result is magic. A chandelier such as "The Eclipse" from Emporium Home is the perfect jewel piece to complement any different type of decor. I can see it in a monochromatic modern interior to a traditional dining room with red lacquer walls or maybe even in a Hollywood Regency style room.


20 April 2012

play with knives.

These knife hooks are a slightly macabre accessory for the simple use of hanging up a set of keys, a dish towel, a jacket, etc. inside the home. Unexpected, whimsical, and certainly eye catching, these wall hooks are made from multi-purpose polyurethane and will add a sinister twist to even the most mundane tasks. The hook is shaped like a knife piercing into the wall and is attached with screws. Every room could use a little surprise. These hooks are certain to add an instant air of diabolical villainy. The knife hooks are designed by industrial designer, Ti Chang for TC Studio and are available here.

18 April 2012


I love this Perforated ring from Interior Designer, Kelly Wearstler. It's artful, simple and geometric design makes it appropriate for either a man or a woman. It could be stacked with a simple diamond band, worn with either gold or silver accessories to create an eclectic fashion statement or even worn as a wedding band with an avant-guard splash. The ring is made of solid brass and is available in either a brass or gunmetal hue. Here.

12 April 2012

Spacium by JetClass.

At first glance it may be difficult to figure out just what it is. It has the characteristics of a both an ornate classic piece of furniture, along with a simple contemporary facade. This is the "Spacium" Bar from Portugal-based furniture manufacturer, Jetclass. The bar is stirring up all kinds of interest at the various trade shows where it has been showcased. I don't know if I have ever seen anything quite like this luxurious piece of furniture. It is not only beautiful, but this masterful piece is designed to keep everything hidden from view. While the bar may appear to be flat, once opened, it is as if one was opening a gift full of some wonderful surprises. Inside this jewel piece is a built-in refrigerator, freezer compartment, bottle holders, wine rack and a section just for housing bar ware and glassware. There are many options available for customization as well. You may add a cigar humidor and even a built-in television. This design is highly unique. The carved base is exquisitely and intricately executed. This bar would be an absolute show stopper in any room where it was placed. The price is available upon request only.

09 April 2012


I was not given a "green thumb". Quite the opposite. I tend to over-water, under-water or just plain forget to water my houseplants. Or, I give them shade when they need sun or full exposure sun when they need just a bit of partial sun. I love using plants and flowers when designing a home. I think they add life and provide good energy to our surroundings. It is also exciting to watch as they grow and evolve within the space.

I have turned to succulents. These low-maintenance plants bring the natural world to our surroundings - inside or outside quite effortlessly. They take up very little space, tend to just live on air with a sprinkle of whatever every so often. They are also quite interesting looking, unique and colorful. They are the perfect addition to any style room or outdoor space. The photographs below show my use of succulents on a side table "stump" in a den and on a coffee table outside on the terrace. I especially love when the plants are placed in different pots and displayed together in small groupings.

I just discovered that West Elm sells groups of three succulents to be used in planters, wood decorative boxes, terrariums, and even some very cool glass wall planters, (end photo). They are fun to decorate with, easy to care for and they enhance our living spaces with beauty, texture and variety.

04 April 2012

Classically Inspired.

I recently received the Trade catalog from Made Goods. While looking at their offerings I saw many things that I liked quite a bit. Amongst those items were these two classically inspired pieces. I would actually use either this mirror or this lamp as accent or "jewel" pieces in a contemporary or eclectic interior design. I would not necessarily consider them to be limited to a classic or traditional design, just because they exude such qualities. I find it fun, amusing and interesting mixing and contrasting contemporary elements into a more traditional setting. This design direction I have led for quite some time. I call it "Urban Sophisticated". The lamp above is called "Troy". The base of this piece is a classically inspired bust made out of resin. The resin body is set upon a crystal acrylic base and finished with a white silk drum shade. I love the contrast between the richly detailed resin bust and the simple crystal lamp base. The silk shade is lovely and uncomplicated. Shown below is "Angelica". This hand carved Louis Philippe mirror features an angel sitting at the top, surrounded by floral scrolls. It is antiqued in 24 carat gold leaf. The frame itself is a hand painted blue color that is lightly abraded with a whitewashed topcoat. Both pieces are from Made Goods and are available through the Trade.

02 April 2012

Shoo-Fly. Shoo!

For the same reason I chose to hang a limited edition photograph of the head of a cockatoo over my HGTV "Showhouse Showdown" Winning Master Bedroom design, I would hang this piece of art, entitled, "Fly Paper", by Sara Singh. A cockatoo is the last thing you would expect to see hanging over the bed in a transitional style bedroom. It is likely the case that you would want to shoo or swat flies out of your house, let alone pay homage to them in an artistic creation. It's about silliness, drama, the unexpected, out-of-the-ordinary, etc. Granted, a cockatoo photograph is not going to work for many people in their master bedroom. One thing is for certain, a beautifully framed archival ink on archival paper artistic vision of flies stuck on fly paper will grab your attention, start a conversation, or just be plain memorable. Good, bad or otherwise. This is thinking "outside the box", having fun with interior design, being playful and perhaps weird. Art, like beauty, is subjective. Love it? Hate it? But, definitely, think about it.

My winning master bedroom design for HGTV's new hit series "Showhouse Showdown" includes a limited edition photograph of the head of a cockatoo, set in an antique gold dusted bamboo frame over the sleek and contemporary bed. Memorable? Weird? Odd? Fun? This is art that doesn't just fade away. It makes the room "pop". However, I understand this is not a look for everyone.