Thursday, March 12, 2009

Slipper Chairs

Slipper chairs are wonderful! I love them! They are so versatile and add great style and grace to most any room. From the bedroom, to living room, to a patio or a commercial lobby, slipper chairs provide a comfortable, welcoming seating option in design. Initially appearing as a low chair in bedrooms for donning slippers, hence the name, this member of the lounge family has graduated to hold a prominent place in furniture plans today. I love sitting in them and I love using them in my designs. I work one, two or more in wherever possible. Great chairs!

Jaques Garcia - Castel Lounge - pictured above

I have a compilation of few styles that really appeal to me. Difficult to pick a favorite…I have mine…let me know your favorite.

Cottage and Bungelow - Florence Chair

British Regency - Slipper

Bernhardt - Helena

Donghia - Open Villa

Suzan Fellman - Scarf Chair

McGuire - Slipper Chair

Orlando Diaz-Azucy - Cambay

Bernhardt - Cotierie

Paul McCobb Chair - collectable

Barbara Barry - Slipper Chair

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

On Collecting

I have been thinking lately about how we collect "things" in our lives and what those things come to represent to us. How much meaning, heart, and soul live in our collections?

Several years ago when I left my position with an architectural firm, I left behind the library of materials that I had compiled over the 9+ years I spent with the firm. My collection of stone, tile, wood, paint, wall covering, fabric, catalogs, etc. were a part of my career story, but they were also beautiful objects that I had come to value, appreciate, and create with. The sample collection was not just a tool, it was part of me. The brown mohair and the gold wool boucle fabric, the yummy black brown maron cohiba granite, the rich zebra wood sample, the wonderful Ralph Lauren suede paint, the Oceanside Glass tiles, the Artemide catalog with the great Tolomeo fixture, and on and on...these pieces made up my collection, were like friends, and they spoke to me. Sadly, the collection remained behind at my old firm and I began the process of collecting again. My new sample collection is coming along; it's growing and evolving, some old friends rediscovered and some new friends joining the party.

As I muse about my various collections; recipes, shells, books, wine, antique dishes, (I confess to having many)...I ask my husband what "things" make up his personal collection and I am once again told the story of his prized Gibson SG guitar - the foundation piece of his guitar collection. I am reminded by him of his collection story; how he was 18 years old and saved for the prized instrument, how he and the instrument have survived many of life storms together, and how it still brings him happiness and comfort today.

How much joy can be gotten from a simple sea shell, a piece of music, or a beautiful painting - experienced again and again? How much richer are our lives because we humans collect?

My newest addition to my sample library - Escarpment Marble from Niagara

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

On Barbie Turning 50

How fun to think of Barbie turning 50! I never knew we were the same age, girlfriend. She looks great for 50! My husband walked into the dark zone last evening when I cheerfully informed him of Barbie’s birthday. He foolishly said, “50 – is Barbie really “THAT OLD?” Silly man. I am keeping an ear open today for the flower delivery…

Barbie turning fifty has brought back memories of the wonderful Barbie museum that I visited in Palo Alto, CA in 1993. I was living in California at the time and my younger sister, Beth, (pictured left with her friend Karen) came to visit. She just had to see the largest Barbie collection in the world. It was truly amazing! Every Barbie you could imagine, wonderful dresses, accessories, cars, etc. Barbie had it all.

Barbie has changed over the last 50 years, reflecting our changing society and social trends. Barbie has evolved as we have, from teen Barbie to astronaut, to pediatrician, to police officer, to appropriately, Barbie for President. For fifty years, Barbie has fueled the imagination, creativity, and dreams of children all over the world. I wonder how many design careers were born from the famous question - “want to play Barbie?”

One of my favorite design blogs by Patricia Grey had a terrific post on Barbie yesterday. Hope you enjoy.

Happy Birthday, Barbie!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Outdoor Fabrics - Great New Style

Outdoor fabrics have come a long way from the days where the choices were limited to solids or stripes. Today there are wonderful weaves, interesting patterns and yummy fabrics with plush texture and luxurious nap. Made of solution-dyed yarns, these newer fabrics can withstand exposure to harsh elements and strong cleaners while retaining their rich color and great looks over time.

Sunbrella® has fantastic new fabric offerings that can be used indoors or out. The newer fabrics have a variety of finishes such as linen, silk, terry cloth, chenille, velvet, and bouclé; all achieved while utilizing those tough solution dyed fibers. The added bonus is that there are a variety of trims to match in the same solution dyed fibers - great for accents on a pillow or cushion. It is the dream fabric combination; great performance and great style!

Here are a few of the current offerings from Sunbrella®

Batik Leaf/Ocean


Striped Ribbon/Nubuck

Boucle Twist/Cocoa

Bamboo Check/Ocean

Jakarta/Robins Egg

Poolside Plush/Seaweed


Lux Soleil/Bistre

Dotted Batik/Indigo