All things wild and wonderful in the interior design world and then some!

FABULOUS CONTEMPORARY CHAIRS FROM THE MONTREAL MUSEE DES BEAUX ARTS

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MUSEE DES BEAUX ARTS MONTREAL

 

Last Thanksgiving, my husband and I took a road trip up to Montreal, Canada (see post.) We had a fabulous time despite the 7 degree weather. One of the spots we most enjoyed was touring through the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal , aka The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Continue Reading…

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JUST BULBS! THAT’S RIGHT…ONLY BULBS!

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Across the street from my office is a tiny story packed to the gills with every imaginable light bulb that you could possible dream of…and  thensome.  The store is called Just Bulbs and Continue Reading…

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JAVIER MARISCAL: LOS MUEBLES AMOROSOS FOR MOROSO…AND MORE!

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With a name like Los Muebles Amorosos (translation: The affectionate/ loving  furniture,) Javier Mariscal’s furniture is already ahead of the design curve.  The name is sexy and sensuous and playful, and so very appropriate to the pieces in the collection produced by Moroso.

 

SAULA MARINA/ JAVIER MARISCAL

SAULA MARINA/ JAVIER MARISCAL

 

This suite of furniture is designed with the commercial market in mind, hotels in particular.  But I think it is just so much fun and so uplifting in spirit that I might even want to include a piece or two in a home…especially in an ultra modern palacio. Each piece has a super-big personality, which is so infectious and inviting.

 

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HOTEL 21 GRAND SUITE/ JAVIER MARISCAL

 

Let’s talk a little about Javier Mariscal, who hails from Barcelona and definitely has that Mediterranean bent in his designs.  His artistic career began as an illustrator, in particular in drawing cartoons. His Mickey Mouse-like creatures, Fermin and Pikera and their dog companion, Julian, AKA Los Garririsdisplay his optimistic spirit in a wacky but artistic fashion. Take a look at this video, called Pescando la Luna (Fishing for the Moon,) which I think is an excellent example of the nature of Mariscal’s cartoon talents…a little bit eccentric, a little bit unexpected, but totally charming:

 

 

Not happy to only illustrate comics in black and white, he ventured forth into sculpture, posters,product design, furniture design and eventually into doing interiors for buildings and hotels (see interiors of the Gran Hotel Domine in Bilbao.)    

 

COBI THE DOG

COBI THE DOG

 

Mariscal also has one other claim to fame, and that is his concept for Cobi the Dog, which became the symbol for the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. As a multi-talented artist with numerous international clients seeking his assistance with their projects he finally opened the Estudio Mariscal in 1989 and his success has been nonstop ever since then.

 

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HOTEL 21 GRAND SUITE/ JAVIER MARISCAL

 

It’s hard not to see the similarity in the style of his furnishings and cartoon drawings, but I mean this only in the most positive sense of that word. The furniture is joyous and colorful and challenges our expected concept of how we usually upholster chairs and sofas. It’s almost as if you can see the artist’s pen drawing the lines of the furniture and then coloring them.

 

ALESSANDRA CHAIR, JAVIER MARISCAL

ALESSANDRA CHAIR, JAVIER MARISCAL

 

One of his most famous chairs for Moroso is the Alessandra Armchair which was designed in 1995. It symbolizes his love of organic forms and shapes and his playful use of colors, especially the black and white leather version which makes us think of a delightful cow.

 

ALESSANDRA CHAIRS, JAVIER MARISCAL

ALESSANDRA CHAIRS, JAVIER MARISCAL

 

A note about Mariscal ‘s partner in design, Moroso,  which has been collaborating with the world’s top designers since 1952. It’s avant-garde attitude towards furniture design has brought to the forefront intelligent furnishings, where craftsmanship and new techniques have led to the production of  really fabulous products. I love their aesthetic  (see post) and if you are not familiar with them you should definitely check out their website.
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P.S.  If you haven’t seen Mariscal’s animated movie, “Chico & Rita,”  which won an Oscar in 2012, here is a direct link to watch it for free.  I thought it was wonderful…and the sound track is superb!

Ciao, ciao ’til next time!

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JORIS LAARMAN: “DESIGNER-MAKER” EXTRAODINAIRE!

JORIS LAARMAN

JORIS LAARMAN

We are going to talk real cutting edge design today so get ready.  If you are an extreme traditionalist this all might seem a bit too way out there, but new technologies…think 3D Printing, advanced materials, etc….have opened up the door for Continue Reading…

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HANGING OUT IN STYLE IN VENICE, CALIFORNIA: THE ROSE

ROSE HOTEL / VENICE, CALIFORNIA

ROSE HOTEL / VENICE, CALIFORNIA

 

 

I visit Venice, California several times a year, as my son and his family live out there.  It has become quite a hot spot over the last years, with Continue Reading…

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THE MAD BIENNIAL 2014: NYC MAKERS

 

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Me and Misha Kahn, at NYC MAKERS: THE MAD BIENNIAL 2104

 

Looking for an art exhibit unlike anything else in the city?  Want to see who are the movers and shakers in the the creative fields today?  Love to be up on the those talented artisans that function on the “A” level but  are rather unknown since they fly under the recognition radar?  Well, I suggest you Continue Reading…

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THE MODERN LIBRARY: THREE INSPIRING ARCHITECTURAL INTERPRETATIONS

PARQUE BIBLIOTECA ESPANA, COLOMBIA

PARQUE BIBLIOTECA ESPAÑA, COLOMBIA

 

The library of yore…and I mean way back when…used to be a stately building that imposed a somber mood on the people who chose to  enter it’s doors. Libraries were strictly Continue Reading…

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SCULPTOR ALICE AYCOCK’S FASCINATING CREATIONS DECORATE PARK AVENUE

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“Hoop-La” by AIice Aycock

 

I happen to live near one of best spots on Park Avenue in New York City.  It is the site where the Fund for Park Avenue annually installs outstanding sculptures that fill up certain sections of the grassy median separating the Continue Reading…

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CHRISTIAN LIAIGRE’S FLAGSHIP STORE IN NEW YORK CITY: SENSUAL MINIMALISM

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LIAIGRE FLAGSHIP STORE IN NEW YORK CITY

 

I know a lot of people in the interior design industry.  After all, I have been a designer for almost 25 years and have had the good fortune to meet and greet with just about everyone here in New York City.  So, when I met my friend, Rob Geer, on the subway one day about a month ago and he told me he was now working at the Christian Liaigre store on the upper east side, I immediately made a date to visit him there.

 

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CHRISTIAN LIAIGRE

 

Well, needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed at all.  Rob gave  me and my associate, Daniel Vanhall, the royal tour of the space and we got to discuss many of the fabulous details integrated into Liaigre’s furnishings.

MERCER HOTEL, NYC

MERCER HOTEL, NYC

 

You might have forgotten, but  over 17 years ago Liaigre designed the Mercer Hotel here in New York. That is where he first employed that now classical minimalist furniture look where everything is fashioned out of dark wenge wood, a look that has been mimicked ad infinitum by lesser companies. Yes, he is the man that started that whole movement. But there is no doubt that he is still the master at creating fabulous contemporary pieces in this genre, and then some.

 

LOOKING IN THE WINDOW OF THE CHRISTIAN LIAIGRE STORE

LOOKING IN THE WINDOW OF THE LIAIGRE STORE

 

Liaigre’s background is French and he spent many years in his youth living on a horse farm in the Vendee area of France, near the Atlantic Ocean. This country aesthetic is apparent in many of his designs, and you will see a fabulous photograph at the store of the rear view of a horse…yes, I said a rear  view…that captures your attention the minute you walk past it…as well as a bronze saddle stand that is for sale. Other fabulous art  at the store is a series of oversized  photographs…not of horses… by a very talented photographer who’s name escapes me…so sorry, but call Rob at the store and he will hook you up!

 

LIAIGRE STORE IN NYC

LIAIGRE STORE IN NYC

 

I have previously purchased  Liaigre’s furnishings for clients and have always admired how strong his design statements are despite being rather simple overall.  He gets a lot of mileage out of using superior materials and impeccable execution.  He frequently finished his woods with wire brushing which takes the look of the wood out of the ordinary and right onto the wonderful level.  All of this adds up to a “sensual minimalism” which pervades Liaigre’s designs.

 

LIAIGRE STORE NYC

LIAIGRE STORE NYC

 

I also noticed that many of his pieces utilize bronze…très chic and unfortunately très expensive!  However, every once in awhile one needs to splurge in order to raise the ante of the design in the room and one of Liaigre’s pieces is the right place to do it. Think: Future Collectibles!

 

LIAIGRE STORE NYC

LIAIGRE STORE NYC

 

The word is that Liaigre is  very particular about the customization of his furnishings and will only permit this to happen when the integrity of the design is kept intact.  I sort of appreciate that attitude. The furniture is made both in the United States and in France, depending on where the proper craftsmen for the individual pieces exist.  Everything in the showroom looks pristine and wonderful and you feel like buying everything!

 

LIAIGRE STORE NYC

LIAIGRE STORE NYC

 

I came across this quote from Liaigre  in a Wall Street Journal article from a few years back, which I found very interesting considering the pure style of furniture he is most noted for:

“My favorite period of design is the 18th century,…the 18th century was the time when there was the most creation in jewelry, furniture, metal hardware—everything was modern. Versailles was the force—the motor. I find it amazing that they could do so much baroque and yet keep it coherent…I feel it’s coming back into fashion.”

Keep your eyes out for Liaigre’s take on all of this in the future!  In the mean time, check out Liagre in New York City and get your dezign juices flowing. Oh, and don’t forget to ask for Rob!

 

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Ciao, ciao ’til next time!

 

 

 

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LEMON & LIME DELIGHTS: FURNITURE TO SPARK UP A ROOM!

SCARAB CABINET at Ralph Pucci

SCARAB CABINET by Patrick Naggar at Ralph Pucci

 

Bring on the sunglasses….summer is upon us and everything is finally looking sunny and bright.  I thought this would be a perfect time to talk about two of my favorite flavors Continue Reading…

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