Thursday, February 26, 2009

{design: "the" YSL chair}

Exhibition Hall of Paris's Grand Palais

The Yves Saint Laurent sale of the century, aka the biggest auction ever held in Europe, ended yesterday after netting an incredible $477 million in winning bids - including $28.3 million for a, dare I say... ugly, 90-year-old armchair crafted by famed Irish designer Eileen Gray.

Many other incredible pieces went up for auction, including two Qing bronzes as the star lots. Objections from the Chinese government and a legal challenge failed to halt their sale, and most likely added to the allure of obtaining them. I just have one question- what recession?

{ten things i love}

There are things in life that you have, or long to have... some simple and some extravagant. These are the things I love, and have... and make my day to day that much more pleasurable.

A squishy velvet chaise to curl up and read on.

Marie Belle chocolates.
Not everyday, but as often as possible.
A pen and notepad onhand at all times.
I prefer a nice fountain pen and Smythson of Bond Street pads and agendas.

I hate telling people what I wear, but I will say I mix with oils and perfumes to make it my own personal scent.

Cashmere sweaters.
Every color, and almost everyday.

My books.
Old, new, cookbooks or design books. Life would be dire without them.

A gorgeous hot bath.
Every single day, I make it a point. I can't sleep without one. No bath is complete without Jo Malone oils and Laura Mercier products. To die for.

They are architectural and stunning, and grow beautifully in California. I have them all over my patio in LA.
DayNa Decker candles.
From the couture line, the scents will knock your socks off. The wood wick makes them crackle like a mini fireplace. Trust me on this, they are perfection (and I sell them in my store). Everyone is addicted.

Nikon DX Camera.
This camera can't take a bad picture. For those of you who take photography seriously, but don't have the time to be obsessive, this is the best camera.

{artist: Liza Lou}

Homeostatis, 2005-2006

Artist Liza Lou beaded her way onto the New York art scene in 1996 by creating a real size kitchen in nothing but beads. We can't decide if she is crazy, or a genius- and with her MacArthur Genius Grant we'll go for the latter. With grant in hand, she moved to South Africa and didn't show in New York for six years.

In October of 2008, she showed her most critiqued installation to a less than thrilled art crowd, Maximum Security Fence. Her work began as painstakingly rebuilt bits of Americana (see the kitchen and trailer below) out of nothing but brightly colored beads. Her departure from where she began, to Maximum Security fence has been described as, "derivitive, soul-less" and a "politically correct commodity". Ouch.

Kitchen, 1991-1994

Kitchen, 1991-1994

Kitchen, 1991-1994

Trailer, 1999-2000

Backyard, 1994-1999

Backyard, 1994-1999

Maximum Security Fence, 2008

Personally, I enjoy it all and think that each artist should create work representing what they are feeling at that time, and maybe she wasn't feeling to colorful and cheerful during that time. With that type of critique, I wonder what would have made the critics happy... a ferris wheel or carousel covered in beads (not a bad idea... I'd like to see that one)? While I understand the anticlimactic nature of walking into the gallery to see a beaded fence and barbed wire, I'm still okay with it.

Security Fence, 2005



Don't listen to the naysayers who critique your website and newsletter, GOOP. I get it and love it- and people who read my blog love it, too.

I love the latest on Paris and places to go, stay, and eat. Absolutely fantastic suggestions. You are the only one out there who is giving me information on interesting places to go, food that tastes great and is good for you, interesting topics and theories about life, all of which I can use on a daily basis. Bravo!

My only suggestion, would be to improve the functionality of GOOP. It times out quite a bit and could use more info.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

{inspiration book: Jen Catto's weekend house}

My friend Jen Catto has been writing about travel and food for over eight years as an editor and media resource for tips and advice, travel trend information and data analysis, conducting TV and radio interviews in markets around the country, including NPR, NBC, The Wall Street Journal, Fitness, Redbook, Cooking Light, Cigar Afficionado, The New York Times and Wine Enthusiast. She has also served as a resource for Marie Clare, Cosmopolitan and Shape and was a travel expert for Martha Stewart Living on Sirius Radio before landing at Gourmet--the only epicurean magazine earnestly dedicated to travel. Here is her design inspiration book for her weekend house in upstate New York. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!

Frederick Fekkai's upstate kitchen
love the cabinets. would use soapstone counters.
Photo from

Floors, Dark wideboard floors - old Greek Revival
Fekkai's upstate house. Taupe walls throughout, ebonized (or more espresso-colored) old floors.
Photo from

Steven Gambrel's 19th-c. cellar kitchen EXACTLY how I want to renovate the summer kitchen. Trestle table and all.
Photo from

Garden, Barn and pool
Garden ideas
Photo from

Olive walls, historic home
shutters painted same shade too
Photo from

Living room, 3 windows, one curtain rod
Great tones too.

Kitchen, Pewter Aga stove
Soapstone counters, pewter Aga stove

Fine Paints of Europe - persimmon
LOVE this color for a front door on an historic house! Can't decide between this and the bible black option...

Garden, German beer garden table

Guest room 4, Antique Sheraton Field bed (maple)
Leonard's $3900

Guest room 3, Cow parsley Cole & Sons wallpaper
Guest room 3, yellow room.

Guest room 3, National Geographic collection

Kitchen floors, Farmhouse Provencal Tomette
Recycled antique French tiles for kitchen floor (or wideboards instead)

Living room, Hugo Guinness collection, John Derian

Kitchen, Astier serviceware, John Derian

Guest room 3: Canary yellow faux bamboo lamp
Best part is I already own this lamp, just need to paint it!
Photo from

provencial kitchen

perfect door


penguin books

Guest room 3: French faux bamboo desk

toast welsh tapestry bedcover 220- BP
For blue and white guest room

VELORBIS Dannebrog
Dutch-designed bike built in Germany
Photo from

Wessex Bathtub
The perfect clawfoot $1400

Bac Dinner Plate by Astier de Villatte at Tabula Tua
House serviceware $86

Pair of Gustavian sofas
$23,000, need upholstery

Guest room 2: Quadrille Alan Campbell
Love this Alan Campbell fabric for a revamped reading chair, room 2

Urban Archaeology Bathroom

1965 Porsche 356C
Come to mama. (Ned's 35th b'day gift this year...shhh!)
Photo from