WHY?

WHY?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

CHIC ON THE CHEAP







We're on the hunt for crisp, graphic bedding and you'll never believe where these soptions turned up. Sears hasn't been cool since our last pair of Toughskins (admittedly, yes, I had a pair in burnt orange denim). But a new partnership with Country Living magazine may change our minds. The linens are as fresh as the book's redesign: pared-down and only part nostalgic, mixing the textures and traditions of times past into present day.
And cheap. "No more fretting over the Frette," says Mouse, "face it, living with me, linens must be replaceable." The quilt comes in a set with two shams: $62.99 for queen, $71.99 for king. But Sears? really?





Sure, if you pair it with the new Simply Vera sheet sets from Kohl's for a more contemporary vibe (above) and, while you're at it, why not pick up that little Elle Decor collection owl for the bedside table (also at Kohl's). Target, what have you started?


Thursday, October 21, 2010

DOX-A-LANTERNS

Mouse would like to remind everyone that it's pumpkin carving season again. And, yes, that is
our little superstar modeling the latest dog-a-lantern stencils for Better Homes & Gardens.
If she doesn't look happy here it's only because
of her superior method acting... it's Halloween after all and she should show a good scare.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

SWITCH HITS


Details, details. Why, when the nickel and brass light switches of a hundred years ago were so stylish, do we still find plastic, screw-on plates used in the finest of homes?

There are alternatives. Forbes & Lomax is our favorite of these, having pioneered the screwless, flush to the wall plate. Formerly available in Europe—in finishes from mellow antique bronze to sleek stainless steel— they're lighting up our shores with a sleek new design.

Called the Invisible Lightswitch, its flush acrylic plate allows the wall finish (or covering) to show through. I like its Deco-era silver toggles at center. Carrie Bradshaw found it perfect for her new home with "Big" in the Sex and the City sequel. Mouse, however, likes a little more edge. She also prefers dimmers, for around-the-clock ambience. And you know how she gets what she wants, shown here in luminous nickel silver.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

METROPOLITAN MOXIE


It's day two of our staycation and today we hit New York, specifically 3rd Avenue. Click here to tag along on our visit with designer Karen Williams, courtesy of Decorati.

Monday, May 10, 2010

GARDEN DESIGN







Five glorious days off and no travel plans in sight. But why should that stop us from exploring the globe design-wise? So we've decided to blog where we wish we could dash off to—that is, if our very dashing Charlie were not obliged to stay in town this week. Here's choice #1, day #1:Nine magnificent gardens in the Cotswold Hills of Gloucestershire, where the partial ruins of Sudeley Castle will form a visionary backdrop for probably the best-ever selection of contemporary design pieces to be exhibited outdoors. Organized by Sotheby's and Carpenters Workshop Gallery, the exhibit is, of course, for selling (May 28-Aug 1). And that includes the Spaghetti Corten bench in corten steel and teak by Pablo Reinoso, above, as well as the lacelike Bon Bon Gold chair by Marcel Wanders, below.


A favorite of ours and very much a pioneer in the "design as art movement," we first fell for CarpentersWorkshop on seeing the limited edition furniture pieces of Sebastian Brajkovic.
Combining lathe-turned bronze or aluminum with exquisitely embroidered fabrics, his work
stretches today's fantasies of genteel, 18th Century Rococo.






































































With work of this quality, what could we expect to see outdoors? Rumor is this show will include a never-before-
seen piece by Brajkovic entitled Lathe X. I'm holding out for Marc Quinn's Mountain armchair and Lake table, an edition of 20 carved of pure white Carrera marble.

Other artists and designers (what is the difference in this case?) to watch out for include Lionel Scoccimaro, Wendell Castle, Robert Stadler, Vincent Dubourg, Jurgen Bey and Ingrid Donat.




Precedents for a show of this kind are the Beyond Limits modern sculpture exhibits at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, now in their fifth year. But can even the whispy, magical floating cities of Tomás Saraceno compete with Sudeley's history as the home of Katherine Parr, the only wife to evade the blade of Henry VIII? Who let everyone know of her own true love (Thomas Seymour) and managed to marry him once Henry's gout did him in? Let others dream of bigger things, the reluctant queen might say. Unlike the monumental works at Chatsworth, these pieces are in perfect scale for home collectors.
So walk up close. Like Donat's simple-from-a-distance console table, craftsmanship of this level excels in detail.

Okay, where's our ticket?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

KNOW WHEN TO FOLD THEM

Mouse's ears are perked to news of Modloft, a stylish and sensible—not to mention affordable—line of furnishings now available through yliving. The choices are even more enticing when they offer, well, choices. Open frame bedside tables with nesting components (the Ludlow) and multi-tiered coffee tables with 360 degree rotating surfaces (the Crosby) bend to your every need. (I imagine Mouse negotiating with me to relax, put on a movie, and eat take-out on some of those lower tiers.)




















Sunday, April 11, 2010

STEAL THIS FRAME























The six-figure David Smith painting may be out of our league, but the frame is another story. So lovely, so simple and so easy to execute as a little D.I.Y. ourselves. The clever design is a reproduction of a mid-20th Century frame by Le Corbusier, which brings an even more beautiful picture to mind of art dropping unexpected shadows on perfect white walls. For this piece, contact Margo Leavin Gallery in Los Angeles. ("Only an art dealer with dachshunds at home could be this smart," says Mouse).

Saturday, March 20, 2010

LOOK WHO'S GOT OUR GOAT








It's Lyle & Umbach whose Goat Leg Table in high-polish nickel conjures visions of oh-so perfect European interiors where contemporary furniture blends perfectly into traditionally paneled rooms decked in Old Master paintings. A Rubens with frolicking satyrs and nymphs particularly comes to mind. And for good reason. This table is a fresh, modern take on ideas tracing back to the days of Queen Anne. Its new hoof caps what's essentially a cabriole leg, whose outcurved knee and incurved ankle stylize the rear leg of a leaping goat (cabriole is Italian for "goat's leap"). Google "satyr table" and you'll see the style evolution from above to this beauty in carved wood by Niermann Weeks (available through Decorati, of course), and back to their 18th Century precedents.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

WITH GRATEFUL THANKS

Our sincere thanks to AreaRugs.com for listing us among their Top Interior Design blogs. What can we say? Mouse loves a pat on the head every now and then. Just as much as she adores discovering a beautiful new find. With much gratitude, here's some of our favorites from their site. All affordable, and all up to our standards of worry-free luxury.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

AND THE WINNER FOR BABY WILCOX IS....
















There was the Kapsule chair by Karim Rashid whose womblike shape promised to hug this toddler's widdle bottom safely in place while teaching him, yes, to pick up his toys. (Its seat lifts up to reveal storage, available through Spacify). An accordion-shaped dresser from Posh Tots was equally creative while sending a message of appreciation for life's less-than-orderly moments. Then there was the classic, a little man's oh-so-comfy club chair upholstered in a chintz of planes, trains, and automobiles found, among other places, at Spoiled Rotten Too. But in the long contest to win Baby Wilcox's little heart (see our SLEEP WELL BABY post from August), it was the LouLou Ghost that won in the end.
Purchased at Kartell's North Robertson shop in West Hollywood, the chair was a big hit when we carried it—wrapped in a big bow—into the garden lounge of the Sunset Marquis. Positioned at the head of our table, a fellow guest even offered to buy the little guy a drink (juice, of course). Final satisfaction, however, came in the form of the above (top, left) photo courtesy of parents Dan and Maggie. Both hip and classic, this little treasure is a collectible piece of Stark-tacular style that Baby Wilcox can keep around forever, no matter how many soggy cheerios fall onto its seat in the meantime. No wonder he looks so relaxed.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

TILE TIPS FROM BARNEY'S NEW YORK

The new Barney's in Chicago left Mouse and I simply floored. No, we weren't happy to see their home design department leave their former strorefront location (just across the steet) for upper story exile in this new building. And we missed how visiting the truly gifted Regina (famously this town's best makeup artist) once happened on a bustling ground floor location featuring spontaneous social gatherings and ample natural light. Larger decisions aside, we walked away with a mosaic of flooring ideas. Only ten steps inside their front door, our camera was snapping. Forget expensive materials. Like the best designs, these jazzy passages are a matter of sheer invention. White, beige and black 2x2 ceramic tiles sell for as little as $3 a square foot. But the graphic play of of these stripes, diamonds and chainlink patterns create a level of art that feels like sheer luxury.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

SCARLET CONTINUED

More scarlet colored lighting and, this one, blooming perfect. Available via special order from Lightology. Table lamp versions also beautiful and, if you must, there's a white shade option.