The blogosphere has been a buzz about the reintroduction of Domino Magazine with their special edition, which is out on newsstands now. I picked one up the other day at Whole Foods and I have to say, this is boring, boring, boring!! It just seems like a rehash that has been in Domino Magazine before and definitely lacks the spunk that Deborah Needleman brought to the publication. The thing that I found funny about this issue is in the back of the magazine, there is a column called, ‘Dominos Top Ten Decorating Don’ts.’ Domino magazine would never have a list telling you what ‘not’ to do. Domino was always a celebration of individuals and individual style.
On Saturday April 21, I hosted the first Smithsonian Craft Show dinner, A Night of Art and Design. The idea of this fundraiser was to have dinner at an interior designers house and to be joined by two-guest artist that were showing at the Smithsonian Craft Show. This was done as a special event and guests bid on a seat at the table. I am happy to say the bids were high. The dinner turned out to include 16 guests and I decided that since it was going to be a spring evening to use my screened in porch as a dining space. I had my friend John build a 12 foot long table in which I covered with two layers of cotton canvas, one green and one blue.
I used a collection of vintage Swedish glass vases, candles and viburnum to decorate the center of the table. The table setting is white china with natural linen napkins. The dinner was catered by Fete Accomplie which was delicious
Everyone had a great time and this event was a huge success! So much so that we now plan on extending this concept to be an annual spring fundraiser with the Smithsonian Craft Show. Next year we will have five interior designers participating. A special thanks to Emily Willey who was my partner in crime putting this event together and my assistant Elizabeth Baebel for all her help…she even watered the grass in my front lawn.
On Sunday, April 22, 2012 join me and noted fabric designer, Peter Fasano and Gardener/Stylist, James Farmer for a lively and informative discussion about the use of handmade objects in everyday life. The three of us are giving a panel discussion at 1pm at the Smithsonian Craft Show.
It’s April in DC so you know what that means, it’s time for the Smithsonian Craft Show. This year the show is celebrating its 30th Anniversary. What do you think the crafts were like in 1982? The Smithsonian Craft Show is an annual event held at the National Building Museum, which celebrates everything handmade. And over the past couple years this show has brought in more and more young and innovative artisans. If you haven’t been in a while I highly recommend going. One of the great things about a show like this is that you actually get to meet the talented artists who crafted the piece you are about to purchase. So, not only is the craft show full of beautiful objects but also there is a personal quality to everything. Last year we discovered such artist as, Michael Bauermeister, Olen Hsu and Christine Adcock who all three are returning to this Craft Show.
Starbucks has just unveiled their concept store, The Bank, in Amsterdam. Starbucks design director Liz Muller has definitely jumped on the sustainable and reclaimed trend. Walls are lined with antique Delft tiles, bicycle inner-tubes and wood ginger bread molds. Re-purposed Dutch oak is used to make benches, tables and an undulating ceiling relief consisting of 1876 pieces of individually sawn blocks. Is this the future of Starbucks?
We have fallen in love with San Francisco food photographer, Maren Caruso! Her work is absolutely stunning, clean, simply…she makes food sexy!
One of the great things about the Olympic Games is the architecture of new stadiums and sporting venues built in the host cities. With the summer Olympics in London this year I am truly looking forward to seeing the work of designer, Thomas Heatherwick, whose firm Heatherwick Studio is designing the Olympic cauldron. After seeing his work for the UK pavilion for the Shanghai Expo in 2010 my curiosity is definitely peeked.
Over the last couple weeks I have had the opportunity to go to brunch, dinner, and drinks at Pearl Dive, a new restaurant/bar on 14th street. While the food is really delicious and the location is really great for meeting friends for drinks, I find the interior to be uninspiring. How come everything is beginning to look the same? Every restaurant, especially on 14th has the same design aesthetic. You have your exposed brick walls, your wood top tables that everyone claims is made out of recycled materials, some wood flooring out of some recycled material, some school house chairs, and some leather booths. Of course there has to be something odd hanging from the ceiling. At Pearl Dive it’s a large piece of metal chain that makes an undulating sculpture over the main bar. But, the problem is that if you blindfolded me and dropped me off at Café Saint Ex, The Heights, Taylor’s Gourmet, Cork Wine Bar, Ted Bulletins, Red Rock Pizzeria, or numerous other places around DC I couldn’t tell you where I was. There is very little distinction between all these restaurants. I thought we were supposed to be in the age of individuality where nothing is in and nothing is out, it’s all about what you like. When you see the same thing over and over again it just gets boring.
Can there really be that many people designing the same thing? Well, maybe there could be…this year I was on the design committee for the DC Design House. I was pretty surprised to find the same beaded light fixture from Curry & Co. on five design boards and the same Celerie Kemble fabric on eight boards that were presented. Once again, are we all thinking the same? To be honest with you, the designers chosen for the Design House all had identical points of view. They weren’t doing what everyone else was doing. And as the spring issues of shelter magazines come in the office there is this overwhelming look that is evolving and everyone seems to be doing it – there is always a nice sofa (sort of non-committal) not traditional or modern, a scattering of French chairs, some vague modern art, and if you are really daring a Lucite coffee table. Where is the individuality in this? Have all clients become the same?…I don’t think so!