Archive for January, 2009

Thanks for Everything, Domino.

January 30, 2009

domino covers.jpg

By now we’ve all heard the news. In fact you couldn’t go anywhere this week without encountering discussions of Domino’s imminent demise. Reactions in blogland have ranged from ‘good riddance’ to ‘good God, no!’ but I for one have avoided the topic altogether–simply because talking about it makes it feel real, and I don’t want it to be real. Domino wasn’t always a perfect magazine; indeed, as my passion for design has evolved, other publications have replaced it as my favourite. But Domino was the magazine that sparked that passion, and as such it will always hold a special place in my heart.

domino donald judd.jpg

Cassandra said it beautifully when she described Domino as ‘the one magazine to make design accessible and simple‘. Truly, holding an issue of Domino in your hands was like holding a key to a world previously open only to an elite few; the magazine was an exuberant and approachable trail guide for discovering the vocabulary, the references, and the courage to find your own design personality. Domino espoused a boundaries-free approach to decorating—blurring the lines between interiors and art, fashion and photography—thereby encouraging readers to find design inspiration wherever they darn well pleased.

domino green list.jpg

Domino opened our eyes to the endless possibilities of design as a force for social good. From uniting style with sustainability to showcasing independent designers and artisans, Domino played a huge role in the emergence of the now thriving green and handmade movements. Sure the shopping guides were fun and the pictures were pretty, but the lasting impression that Domino has left with us is a deeper appreciation for the power of design to make our world feel more safe, more welcoming, more like home.

domino columnists.jpg

Domino not only changed the way we think about design, it has forever impacted the way that we speak and write about design. With a roster of editors and columnists who felt like real people—like friends even!—Domino’s talented staff approached their subjects with equal parts gravitas and good humour. Their message? Don’t take this too seriously. Have fun. Create a design experience that is both intimate and inclusive, that learns from the past and that looks to the future, but that above all reflects your truest self.

domino vienna revival.jpg

The result? Page after page of gorgeous interiors. Subtly communicated lessons about design history and ideas for respecting that history while making it our own. The feeling that we too could paint our walls, set beautiful tables, find joy in our homes–without having to be paragons of domesticity. As I flipped through the pages of my old issues last night, I revisited images that I have come to know and love from the portfolios of my favourite photographers: Paul Costello, Mikkel Vang, Ditte Isager, Roland Bello. Had Domino not attuned my eyes to the magic of a well-composed room, an unexpected color palette, a surprising source for inspiration, I would not have the ability to appreciate these photographers’ work now. So thank you, Domino, for opening the doors to this world of history and harmony, empowerment and play. You will be greatly missed.

domino magazine decorating.jpg

All images courtesy of Domino Magazine.

Advertisements

An Interview Starring Me!

January 29, 2009

city sage art to be framed.jpg

The always fabulous Lynne from Tea for Joy invited me to share my style resolutions for 2009. Check them out here!

Oh, and there’s a bonus: photos of my embarrassingly drab apartment. Don’t hate me ’cause I’m boring, people!

An Interview Starring Me!

January 29, 2009

city sage art to be framed.jpg

The always fabulous Lynne from Tea for Joy invited me to share my style resolutions for 2009. Check them out here!

Oh, and there’s a bonus: photos of my embarrassingly drab apartment. Don’t hate me ’cause I’m boring, people!

Spotted: The Perfect Sofa

January 28, 2009

200901282225.jpg

I am the world’s pickiest sofa snob. My list of requirements is a mile long. Most important? A bench seat—I hate getting swallowed up by that gaping crevice between separate seat cushions—and low arms, so as to prevent any Edith Ann moments. After seeing the Presidio Sofa on a recent trip to Williams Sonoma Home, I am convinced that I have found The One!

presidio sofa.jpg

It doesn’t hurt that the floor model at the store was upholstered in a gorgeous glazed linen—
the surface had a touch of pearlized sheen that was so subtly glamourous! I’d complement
the Presidio’s clean lines with some Moreno Nesting Tables from Crate and Barrel (though if I’m dreaming, I’d much prefer these Moon Tables from Ochre). Then for fun I’d throw in something over-the-top girly like the Sophie Chair by Oly Studio. Now if only I had $3,000 lying around…

Tell me, what are your sofa requirements?

Spotted: The Perfect Sofa

January 28, 2009

200901282225.jpg

I am the world’s pickiest sofa snob. My list of requirements is a mile long. Most important? A bench seat—I hate getting swallowed up by that gaping crevice between separate seat cushions—and low arms, so as to prevent any Edith Ann moments. After seeing the Presidio Sofa on a recent trip to Williams Sonoma Home, I am convinced that I have found The One!

presidio sofa.jpg

It doesn’t hurt that the floor model at the store was upholstered in a gorgeous glazed linen—
the surface had a touch of pearlized sheen that was so subtly glamourous! I’d complement
the Presidio’s clean lines with some Moreno Nesting Tables from Crate and Barrel (though if I’m dreaming, I’d much prefer these Moon Tables from Ochre). Then for fun I’d throw in something over-the-top girly like the Sophie Chair by Oly Studio. Now if only I had $3,000 lying around…

Tell me, what are your sofa requirements?

Get Your Valentine On: Christina Williams Designs

January 28, 2009

il_fullxfull.54567824.jpg

As usual, my plans to make my Valentine’s Day greetings by hand are dying a quick death in the face of ‘real’ work. But fortunately my girl Chris at Christina Williams Design has got my back! She just added a slew of adorable new stationery to her Etsy shop. I’m over the moon for the sweet simplicity of her Love Card and her Ava Card. I adore tone-on-tone papers with really tactile detailing, and these fit the bill perfectly!

200901280754.jpg

Of course we all know what Valentine’s Day is really about: a big, honkin’ diamond! Give your sweetie a not-so-subtle hint with this goccoed card, aptly named ‘The Rock‘.

200901280750.jpg

For those of us who want to skip all that love nonsense and head straight for the chocolate, these embossed Kiss Tags are definitely crave-worthy. Plus I really appreciate the snazzy silver, black and white color scheme—so stylish for Valentine’s Day and beyond!

200901280754.jpg

Chris has tons more gorgeous, handcrafted pieces that I encourage you to explore—this monogrammed stationery literally has my name on it—and she curates a pretty awesome blog too, so stop in and tell her I said hi!

Gee You Smell Great: Tom Ford White Patchouli

January 27, 2009

tom ford.png

Have you ever caught a whiff of something so enchanting that you sniffed around madly to determine the source, only to discover that the smell was emanating from you? No, me neither. In fact I generally have the opposite problem, especially since I switched to an all-natural deodorant.

But on Saturday I was at Bloomingdale's and—like a magpie attracted to a shiny object—I was inexplicably drawn to the glowing white bottle of Tom Ford White Patchouli. I doused myself quite generously, and the huz and I commented all day on how terrific I smelled. Then I showered and all was forgotten. Or so I thought.

This morning in the car, the sun warmed my leather jacket and caused the residual White Patchouli molecules to drift upwards. I spent the rest of the drive burying my nose into my sleeve to catch the scent. I didn't just smell good; I smelled (and felt!) like a sexy cool girl. I have never in my life felt like a sexy cool girl.

Long story short, I gotta get me some. Tell me, do you have a sexy cool girl scent?

What’s Better than Pink?

January 27, 2009

pink ombre.jpg

Pink Ombre! Whether it’s a subtle color fade on a wall or a bold splash of sunset-inspired silk,
ombre is one of my favourite trends for Spring 2009. And seeing it in pink makes me happy as a cat in cream.

Painting a color gradient on your walls is a bit of commitment, but it could be fun to try your hand at some dip-dyed throw pillows. Although that box of RIT dye does inspire visions of a) failed childhood tie-dye projects and b) 1960’s commune living. So what’s your opinion on ombre: cutting edge or crunchy granola?

Photographer Lust: James Tse

January 26, 2009

tse 24.png

Get a load of these gorgeous interiors as captured by the fabulous photographer James Tse! I love the texture in these shots, the way that the personalities of the natural materials really shine through. Every swirl of teakwood, every vein of marble, every pebble of leather: it’s a sensory smorgasbord in the best possible way!

tse 15.png

The pale, washed out tones of the room above have the potential to feel cold, but the textures of the stone behind the bed and the fuzzy, nubby rug really heat things up. And the sleek white Barcelona chairs and Saarinen table below are a terrific contrast to the earthy fireplace surround and burnished wood floor.

tse 6.png

What a wonderful photo gallery! It feels so exuberant, with the frames just taking over the whole wall. That giant leaf painting not only breaks up all the blacks and whites with its textural warmth, it also ties in beautifully with the wood floor.

tse 9.png

How fun are the animal touches in this vignette? I know we’ve seen antlers and fur throws everywhere this season, but this shot is a great example of how these playful details can punch up an otherwise straightforward space. The cow print on those slick metal chairs is sending me into fits of ecstasy, and check out the fabulous portrait in the background!

tse 19.png

Another charming mix of pieces. I’m always unsure of how to blend shades of black and white with wood tones, but it’s definitely doable when you stick with simple shapes as in the dining room below. The only opulent piece in the whole setting is that smidgen of chandelier; everything else is clean, graphic, bold.

tse 33.png

Another a great instance in which seemingly disparate elements are united by similar lines. The ethnic inlaid desk, the quirky lamp, and the thoroughly modern chair all have spindly, skinny legs. Do you think the connection is strong enough to make it work?

tse 18.png

Holy windows Batman! Don’t you want to bask in this light with a good book or a game of Scrabble? Painting the window frames white and the muntins black makes the windows the focal point of the room and accentuates how grand and expansive these beauties are. Genius!

tse 1 1.png

I had to throw this last image in for my mom. She’s a total rug nut—she literally has more antique Kilims than she has floor space to cover! I can just see her luxuriating in this deep tub, enjoying the sight of her beloved rug as much as she’s enjoying the bath itself. I can also see her when I come to visit, pounding down the bathroom door and asking, ‘Are you getting water all over my rug?’ Sorry mom, but you know you would!

tse 14.png

All images courtesy of James Tse. Oh, and I owe complete credit to the brilliant Roseland Greene for turning me on to Tse’s work.

Blogger Book Love: Abbey from Abbey Goes Design Scouting

January 25, 2009

Life_02.jpg

Happy Monday everyone! I thought we’d kick of the week with another edition of Blogger Book Love. Today we have an amazing list of favourites from Abbey at Abbey Goes Design Scouting. Abbey’s expertise is so versatile—she’s studying for her Masters in Design History, she runs a vintage shop, she designs the sweetest paper goods, plus she’s soon to be a mom!—and her beautiful blog really reflects the depth and breadth of her diverse passions. Abbey Goes Design Scouting is a delicious feast for the eyes and the mind, so it comes as no surprise that Abbey’s book list is one of style and substance. Without further ado, I give you:

abbey goes design scouting banner.png

The Amateur Naturalist, by Gerald Durrell. I grew up in the countryside of Vermont and spent most of my time outside which as a urban adult I find increasingly hard to believe. This is a beautifully illustrated guide to exploring the outdoors. The book mixes practical tips (such as what to pack in a naturalist’s daypack or how to take plaster casts of animal tracks) with detailed information about a wide variety of habitats (grasslands, desert, tundra, deciduous woodlands, mountain, ponds, streams, wetlands, shores, oceans and more).

200901252159.jpg

The Flowering of American Folk Art 1776-1876 by Jean Lipman. This overview of American Folk Art was my first introduction to design as a child and it is packed with inspiration and creativity that I return to again and again. Indirectly, I think this is one of the reasons I ended up getting a Master’s in the History of Design. A lesson to parents everywhere: the books you read your children do have profound effects!

200901252159.jpg

The Wild Trees by Richard Preston. This non-fiction book details the awe-inspiring ecosystem of Redwood trees and the modern-day explorers who first realized the world that existed in the tops of these majestic giant trees. This books sounds like a snooze as I type this, but Preston is a superb non-fiction writer and this reads quickly and will absorb you completely. PS If you like Preston’s style, you’ll love his scientific non-fiction.

200901252159.jpg

Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil by Deborah Rodriguez. I just finished this autobiography about an American hairdresser who moves to Kabul to start teaching women there how to be hairdressers (a way to help the economy and the women themselves). The book provides insight into the mostly closed world of Afghan women and the trials and triumphs of living in what amounts to a war zone.

200901252200.jpg

The Good Son by Craig Nova. This novel, written by my father, is one of my favorite novels. It chronicles a family through the second world war and is both funny and wise about love and life. He is at work on a sequel to this novel which I can’t wait to read.

200901252200.jpg

I’ve also read and enjoyed just about everything written by Graham Green, Robin McKinley and Henning Mankell.”

————————————-

As usual I am humbled by a list of books that I not only haven’t read, but that I haven’t even heard of. I love Abbey’s thoughts on how our childhood experiences influence what we read today–hello American Girl and my historical fiction obsession! And as a total needlepoint nerd, I’ve got to get my hands on that folk art book. I’m so grateful to Abbey for sharing her favourite reads. If you’re just joining us, be sure to catch up on the rest of our Blogger Book Love series!