"" MaDDI: April 2013

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Covet List: Anticipating Austin

In 16 days, I'll be in Austin, TX. I once read that roughly half the psychological benefit of a vacation is derived from the planning and anticipation. I believe it! Just thinking about our upcoming trip puts a smile on my face. (Even if I am a smidge nervous to travel with the pup-- his first plane ride. Any tips?)

While I appreciate Austin for its famed live music scene, epic BBQ and near perfect climate, what I dig most about the city is its vibe. Austin has killer style! So with the countdown to Austin rapidly approaching zero, I find myself gravitating towards objects with a funky, modern Southwest vibe. 

Here's what I'm coveting now:

This vacation is, in part, to celebrate the conclusion of my drafting class at Parsons, so these architectural silkscreen prints by Ben Kafton ($30 ea. via Etsy) seem especially appropriate to include. Now if only the drawings for my final presentation looked so good...

I'm a little late to the party on this one, but the Jason Wu for Brizo Collection is intensely covet-worthy. Oh, that shower head! ($340 for the full shower kit, via ebay). Although Brizo does offer the collection in a range of traditional finishes, the matte black is a stand-out.

How neat are these kilim shoes? ($129 via Etsy) One day, I'd love a giant vintage kilim on my floor. But until my budget catches up to my covet list, I'll happily settle for a kilim on my feet!

After spotting Horne's Tabletop Hi-Fi console ($1,800) in the April edition of Lonny, I immediately fired off an email to Ryan (subject line: I want I want I want.) He responded, in true boy form, "very cool. very expensive." Yup. That just about covers it.

Speaking of cool/expensive, check out the FEDRO Floor Rocker, by Lorenza Bozzoli for DEDON, spotted on Design Milk. Even though Austin's Hotel San Jose is quite possibly one of my favorite places on the planet, we opted for the Airbnb route this trip so that we city kids (and city dog) can experience the joys of private outdoor space. Maybe one day I'll have a reason to shop for outdoor furniture, but until then, I'll content myself with admiring these strange and beautiful creations in Dedon's Soho showroom.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Beach Bums

I don't like to count my chickens before they hatch, but I might have a fun project in the pipeline for this spring-- a beach house bedroom on a budget. (Sorry for the mouthful of alliteration. I hereby swear to come up with a more succinct, less corny working title a.s.a.p.) This project is really more of a zygote at the moment, but I'm hoping I can convince the client to use an arresting beach photography as a jumping off point for style and color palette.

With temperatures hitting 81 degrees in New York (insert happy dance), I'm in the right mindset to research beach photography. The term "beach photography," however, casts a dangerously wide umbrella. What I'm searching for is really a very specific subset of the genre. I want a photograph that perfectly captures the sort of bizarre rites of beach-going. I want a photo that's principally about the bathers-- their interaction with the environment and with each other. The sun and surf is somehow incidental. 

But most importantly, I want that overexposed quality that visually mimics the feeling of returning home after a long day of the beach. Your eyes are hazy, your skin feels sun baked and salt dried-- you just feel light, relaxed, and sort of...bleached? Weird choice of words, maybe, but that's more-or-less how I feel after beach bumming it up.

Oh, yes, and I want it to be affordable. A somewhat complicating factor when it comes to art. (If cost wasn't a consideration, I'd happily to turn to the undisputed master of the genre, Massimo Vitali.)

My search continues, but here are a few top contenders right now:

Sources (clockwise from top left)
  1. A La Plage by Gray Malin, via The Design Ark (see Trend Land for more photos)
  2. Overhead Beach Series #003, Judith Gigliotti
  3. Anakena, by Richard Silver (30 x 40 print, edition of 50) via ArtStar - $450
  4. Photography of Alicia Bock, via The Jealous Curator
  5. Unt., by Margarita Kazanovich (23.6 x 35.4 print) via Saatchi Online - $850
Top Photograph:
Beach of St. Peter-Ording II, by Margarita Kazanovich (via Saatchi Online) - $900

Also on my short list are beach scenes by Antoine Rose (who likes to dangle out of helicopters with a camera in hand.) I highlighted his piece "The Red Canopy" in my scouting report on the NYC Affordable Art Fair last week.

The overexposed beach photography of Christain Chaize would be at the tip top of my list, but I'm not sure where to obtain affordable prints of his work now that 20x200 is on hiatus (or, maybe permanently closed? Does anyone what the deal is? 20x200 was one of my most reliable sources of affordable art!) 

Source: Praia Piquinia, by Christian Chaize

If the scenery looks repetitive to you, it's because the photographs were taken from the same spot overlooking Portugal's Praia Piquinia beach at different times of day on each day of Chaize's vacation. Cool concept, right? Check out an enormous print from his Praia Piquinia series in the Manhattan apartment of Kiane and Charlie von Mueffling:

Interior Design by Iain Halliday via Elle Decor
I've checked all my go-to's for affordable art (Saatchi Online, Society6, Art Star, Etsy, exhibitors at the Affordable Art Fair, etc.), but maybe I missed a great spot? Drop me a comment if you have any suggestions for where to find Vitali-esque beach photography at non-Vitali prices!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Look: Over-sized Art in the Bedroom

Isn't this bedroom inviting? It's spacious, dramatic, bohemian, lived-in, a little off-beat...

via luellaloves tumblr
I like the over-sized art above the bed. Especially how the geometric theme contrasts with the patterned bedspread, but stays in the same color scheme (a great example of complement|contrast in a real space.) I even like the velvet euro shams in the back-- in any other context, I think I might hate them, but here they really work by adding texture and stylistic contrast. And those charcoal floors! Yes, I could happily live here.

But since the family that actually occupies this bedroom (and their adorable mop-head kid) might object, here's an idea for how to achieve a similar look in your own space:

Sources (clockwise from top left)

  1. Architectural System Organism Machine by Simis Gatenio (38.6 x 37 x 1 Acrylic on Wood Panel), via Saatchi Online
  2. System Organism Machine by Simis Gatenio (33.5 x 47.2 x 1 Acrylic on Wood Panel), via Saatchi Online
  3. Provence Sham King, Calypso St. Barth Home - $180
  4. Austin Velvet Euro Sham, via Black Forest Decor - $49.95 (*sale price)
  5. Provence Duvet King, Calypso St. Barth Home - $675
  6. Diamond Linen Quilt (King), Pottery Barn - $299 (try the quilt as a casually draped box spring cover)
  7. TraversSide Table, Anthropologie - $498
  8. Tizio Desk Lamp for Artemide, via DWR - $525
  9. Off-Black (No. 57), Farrow & Ball 
If a pair of over-sized canvases aren't in your budget, try hanging a single piece of art work centered over the headboard or off to one side!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Scouting Out the NYC Affordable Art Fair 2013

It's a good day for art lovers. Tonight's the preview party for the Spring Affordable Art Fair. The show runs from April 3 through April 7 at the Metropolitan Pavilion. Tickets to the party tonight will run you $65 a person and include re-entry during the show's public hours. General Admission is $15 for a one-time use ticket.

With show's of AAF's size and diversity, I opt for one of two strategic approaches:

  1. Advance Research I use AAF's Exhibitor List to scout out the participating galleries websites and make a list of booths I'd like to visit. This method definitely has its faults. Galleries don't always specify which artists they'll be featuring, so there is no guarantee that the works of the artists you scope out will be on display at the show.
  2. Cruise/Double-back I show up at the opening gong with a show map and a highlighter (yup, like a crazy person). I speed walk through the show in a zig-zag pattern and mark which booths I'd like to re-visit on the map. I stop to chat with gallery owners, pick up business cards and socialize with other guests only on the second pass. This method is more effective, but also more time-consuming/generally embarrassing (particularly if you're the type of speed walker who uses rapid arm thrusting to maintain a fast clip.) And it's practicable exclusively if you attend solo.
Is it nuts to be so militaristic about an art fair? TOTALLY. But I tend to get overwhelmed in large, crowded venues. Going in with a game plan preserves my sanity and keeps me focused.

Sadly, I won't be attendance this year. But instead of whining about it, I thought I'd help out you lucky ducks who will be there by scouting out a few artists represented by my favorite exhibitors. This list relies on the advanced research method, so I can't offer any guarantees that you'll see these specific artists represented at the show. But here's hoping!

Sources (clockwise from top left)

  1. Light Print 50, by Jason Engelund (11 x 14" Archival Pigment Print, Edition of 50), Modernbook Gallery
  2. Escape, by Franklin Alvarez Fortun (11 x 14" Print, Edition of 250), Art Star
  3. Ocean (Part 2), by Fusako Kuyama (39.4 x 39.4" Paper on Screen Panels (diptych)), Onishi Project
  4. Red Stairway, by John Aquilino (30 x 24" Oil on Canvas - 2012), Fraser Gallery
  5. Green Path Diptych, by Mauricio Morillas (18 x 12" each, Mixed Media on Wood Panel), ArtMix
  6. Untitled Billboard No. 2, by Mark Hartman (20 x 20" Archival Pigment Print, Edition of 25), Luster NYC
  7. Notice, by Su-Man Park, NineGallery

Sources (clockwise from top left)

  1. Two Girls, Bondi, by James Hawke (1000 x 1000 mm Oil on Canvas), Bicha Gallery
  2. A Happy Girl, by Sienna Freeman (11 x 14" Framed Mixed Media Collage), Modernbook Gallery
  3. Gents, by Eric Ogden (16 x 20" Archival Pigment Print, Edition of 25), Luster NYC
  4. The Red Canopy, by Antoine Rose, Emmanuel Fremin Gallery
  5. 2447, by Luis Feito (45 x 57" Oil on Canvas - 2009), Art Angler
Enjoy the show for me! And don't forget to buy your tickets in advance.

Monday, April 1, 2013

AD Show 2013: Furniture, Lighting + Home Accessories

Steel yourselves! Today's the day I round-up my favorite furniture, lighting and home accessories from the Architectural Digest Home Design Show 2013. 

While I typically like to sniff out affordable art (and even surprised myself by gravitating towards so many textile booths), I think it's safe to say that the furniture and lighting is the AD Show's main attraction for the general public. Oh sure, the trade attendees get hopped up on eco-friendly flooring, invisible electrical outlets and custom European kitchens that cook 4-course meals at the command of an iPhone app, but many of those vendors are to-the-trade only. And unless you're embarking on a massive renovation, those types of items might not be on your shopping list. Us peons in the "General Admission" section all made a b-line over to furniture and lighting.

Before I dive into my favorite trends from the show, I'd like to say an obligatory word about George Nakashima-inspired fine woodworking. In my limited experience with trade shows in the past 3 years, live edge furniture with mid-century influence is ubiquitous. It's extraordinarily beautiful. And if money was no object, I would kill to have a walnut slab bed with build-in side tables. But when I'm in a windowless, cacophonous airplane hangar jam-packed with people and products, my eyes tend to glaze over at the sight of another live edge dining table. It's not that I don't covet one desperately or appreciate the skill that went into it, it's just...a little predictable? 

So in the spirit of blogging about what excites me most, I'm going to assume you're aware that live edge furniture a) exists and b) is wildly popular, and instead direct this post to a few fresh and fun trends that caught my eye. 

Trend: Wood, Meet Color

In my imagination, David Rasmussen, on whom I have a big fat design crush, takes the proverbial hand of a richly conditioned slab of walnut and says solemnly, "Wood, I'd like you to meet Chartreuse." And when Walnut lays eyes on that vibrant jolt of color, he knows he'll never feel whole without her. Thus Rassmussen brokered one of the greatest design marriages of our time, memorialized by his WUD plates. True story. 

I'm happy to see the trend is catching on. I do love mid-century lines, but as I alluded to in my diatribe above, it can get a smidge repetitive in the trade show context. But give the classic shapes and woodworking techniques a kick-in-the-pants with some color and, suddenly, my eyes register it as a new and exciting trend. I like the way the color serves to enhance the natural beauty of the wood. You'd think it might upstage and outshine the natural wood tones, but the reverse is true-- the contrast further showcases the wood:

Sources (clockwise from top left)
  1. Sof_Gregario, Antonio Manaigo Design Studio
  2. WUD Plates, David Rasmussen Furniture Design
  3. v4 Arm Chair, Skram Furniture Company
  4. Atlantic 30", Hatched Furniture Design 
  5. Curve A Linear Side Table, David Rasmussen Furniture Design
  6. Driftwood Hooks, Kielmead - $25 ea.

Trend: Extraterrestrial

I initially thought I'd group these objects under the title "sculptural objects"-- but these shapes struck me as far more than just sculptural. To me, they read extraterrestrial. From Furthur Design's blown glass flying saucers, to Palo Samko's alien-like wall mirrors and J. Liston Design's starship-turned coffee table, I definitely identified a sci-fi theme in a lot of my favorite pieces.

Sources (clockwise from top left)
  1. Paper and Wire Lamp, Patrick Weder Design
  2. Earth Groove Series, Furthur Design - $150 - $210
  3. Leather Round Mirror, Palo Samko
  4. Strata Display + Organizer, In.Sek Design - $200
  5. Bangle Table, J. Liston Design 

Trend: Modern Dining Chairs

In my wanderings, I tend to see dining chairs that fit into one of three categories: 1) traditional; 2) iconic modern and 3) Ikea. It was refreshing to see so many modern dining chairs that, while they may take cues from the design pantheon, still felt like a unique and interesting choice. 

Admit it, wouldn't it be kind of satisfying if your design buff friends walked into your apartment and stared intently at your dining chairs in a state of confusion. And then you caught them discretely checking under the seat for a makers mark? Instead of the usual "Oh, I like your [insert: Eames, Panton, Wegner, Saarinen, Wegner, Thonet, Risom, Cherner, Bertoia, blah, blah, blah] dining chairs." Because friendship is really about one upping the people you love.

Sources (clockwise from top left)
  1. Lincoln Chair, Asher Israelow
  2. Chr_Skewer,  Antonio Manaigo Design Studio
  3. Piedmont #3 Chair, Skram Furniture Company
  4. Miles Chair, Miles & May Furniture Works - $1,700