Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Dallas Mid Century Ranch Revival

A mid-century built home in Dallas is a rare thing as Dallas is known for tearing down older housing and rebuilding monstrous homes as big as zoning and lots will allow. This particular John Astin Perkins designed home, built in the early 1950's, had become virtually obscure as it's sloped roof, originally built to shield the structure from the Texas sun, had become lost in 50 years of tree maturation and growth. A young family of five asked architect Mark Domiteaux to breathe new life into this mid-century gem. Photography by Jack Thompson.

The fireplace (originally brick) was rebuilt in black granite and steel. Oom barrel chairs are covered in a Triffid (man-eating plants from the sci-fi classic) damask chenille.

Despite the home's modern lines, it originally had small doors and hallways. Domiteaux took every opertunity to open up walls with floor to ceiling windows and pop out parts of the ceiling replacing it with upper windows to draw in even more light. In the family room, desinger Nancy Leib used Charles sectionals from B & B Italia and a Walter Knoll red Oscar chair and ottoman.

A view of the slate tile and venetian plaster fireplace from the kitchen with a glimpse of the television wall in the family room.

The 1950's kitchen needed some major updating. Today, we like to integrate cooking with the rest of the household so Domiteaux took down walls seperating the kitchen, butler's pantry, and breakfast room to reveal one open space.

The master bedroom opens unto the backyard pool. I bet this is a pretty great summer lounge spot.

In the master bath, a BainUltra Origami tub is surrounded by Okite quartz. Barbara Barry's Groove tiles from Ann Sacks.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Hot Mess Mondays

Today's Hot Mess Award goes to Vince Shlomi, better known as the spaz from ShamWow infomercials. The Smoking Gun posted this lovely mugshot of Vince last week after he was arrested in Miami for an altercation with a hooker.

I bet Arlynn has a ShamWow. I mean if you own the Snuggie chances are you own a ShamWow. Anyone?

Orange, Grey and White on Trendwatch

I am in love with this color combo from Lucky. JaDIE!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Earth Hour is Tomorrow!

Turn out your lights tomorrow, March 28th from 8:30-9:30pm and take a stand against global warming. To find out more about how you can help make a difference, visit the Earth Hour website.

Tango Me to Buenos Aires

I've always wanted to go to Buenos Aires. The residents love life and tourists refer to it as the Paris of South America. I'd take in a polo game, shop in Alto Palermo and take advantage of that favorable exchange rate, take in the architecture of San Telmo and hit up the Sunday flea markets, and of course, tango the night away. Raul Barrenche wrote an article for Elle Decor last month on this South American hot spot and made it even harder for me to resist. Photography courtesy of Corbis/John Hicks and Casa Cruz.

Avenida 9 de Julio, named in honor of Argentina's independence day, connects the Arturo Illia Parkway to the Rio de la Plata waterfront. Kind of resembles the Washington Monument, no?

The Faena Hotel and Universe is definitely my kind of hotel - chic and romantic. The photo above is their Bistro restaurant, complete with unicorn trophy mounts. Their website has some beautiful photography and soothing tango music, click the link and escape for a few minutes today.

The Museo Nacional de Arte Decorativo hosts collections of sculptures, paintings, and furnishings with shows that rotate seasonally. French architect René Sergent, who designed some of the grandest mansions in Buenos Aires, also designed the mansion housing this museum. The building's 18th century French design is a work of art itself, and it will give you an idea of the incredible mansions that once lined this avenue, overlooking the extensive Palermo park system.

The Museo de Arte Latinoamericano (MALBA) was created under Argentine collector Eduardo F. Constantini and the building, which houses 20th century and contemporary art from all over Latin America, was born out of a competition in 1997. Three Argentinean architects finished the space, opening in 2001 to house several large exhibition spaces, and the permanent collection of nearly 300 works, including masterpieces by the likes of Diego Rivera, Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, Argentinean Zul Solar, Chilean surrealist painter Roberto Matta, and Antonio Berni.

The tidal wave of immigrants from Italy, Spain and other parts of Europe in the late 19th century has given the Argentinean culture much of it's fin-de-siecle tastes of industrialists, cattle kings and melting pot language. Above, alpaca and horn accessories are seen at Airedelsur, a refined and rustic chic home decor store.

The Belle Epoque and Art Nouveau mausoleums are well known throughout the city, especially the mausoleums that line Cementerio de la Recoleta where first lady Eva Peron is entombed among several presidents, scientists and well known Argentineans. Dozens of feral cats that live within the cemetery gates can be seen gathering at closing time as the locals have been feeding them for years.

If the modern stylings of the Faena Hotel and Universe is not your style, maybe try The Alvear Palace Hotel located in the center of the upscale Recoleta district. The Alvear Palace is the most exclusive hotel in Buenos Aires and one of the top hotels in the world. It is the only privately owned luxury hotel in Buenos Aires. A gilded classical confection full of marble and bronze, the Alvear combines Empire and Louis XV-style furniture with exquisite French decorative arts.

One of polo's global hot spots, Argentina hosts the century old Campeonato Argentino Abierto in the spring (November). The Campo de Polo is set in the center of Palermo's parklands and seats 45,000. The polo stop and shop of Arandu is one of the premiere supply stores.

The Casa Rosada is the Presidential Palace and official seat of the executive branch of Argentina's government. Built as a fort originally in 1594, British Argentine architect Edward Taylor updated the building as the functioning government building it is today in 1859. The original paint was said to have been mixed with cow blood to prevent damage due to the humidity.

Starchitects continue to expand this amazing city and keep in step with the Beaux Arts. I have my Fodor's guide ready, I'm thinking November?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Equine Interiors

The horsey house of RHONYC Kelly Bensimon has struck a chord with everyone this week. Ralph Lauren, or as I like to call him Ralph Lifshitz, is responsible for these bit and bridle inspired tables above. Hand stitched thoroghbred style doesn't come cheap; priced at $4,485 and $5,985 respectively in saddle grade leather and glass tops.

Janus et Cie at Westweek

Westweek at the Pacific Design Center kicked off yesterday and I attended the Janus et Cie showroom and cocktail reception. Since I am never one to be "Tardy to the Party", I happily rsvp'd when they invited me to their event. I love the outdoor furniture Janus et Cie creates; their materials are sustainable and durable and their design is chic and luxurious. Below are a few pictures from last night.

Hubby accompanied me last night which is never much of a challenge when an open bar is involved. He can hold his own against the well coiffed and impeccably dressed Los Angeles interior designers and I'm not talking about the ladies.

See? If you are a single homosexual in this city and into grooming, appearance and cut and sew mastery, you should definitely be hanging out at the Pacific Design Center.

I like how they made this table scape look so upscale. Janus et Cie makes furniture that mimics the design of an indoor piece but has the air of an outdoor piece.

This patio umbrella was huge! Definitely my favorite piece in the showroom.

Root Virus Warning!

My computer is so boss, seriously it is like one of those souped up cars in Fast and the Furious. But yesterday as I browsed some of my favorite blogs, it was attacked by a root virus, aka computer killer. This virus has been going around, it looks like your virus software and it pops up and appears to be scanning your system meanwhile it is downloading Trojans, root viruses and Lord knows what else into your beloved cyber pal. My IT team is working on it, but it is giving them a really hard time and they are so amazing so my point is this virus is bad. Be careful out there in blogland! Hence, I am a little behind in my posts today. I have lots to report from last nights Westweek, but until then, please enjoy a picture of Dede, an Indonesian fisherman who has HPV and has roots growing on his body as a result.

Q & A at the Chateau

One of my posse had a question about a previous post. She writes:

"What is on the wall... is it wallpaper?"

And the answer is yes, that is wallpaper. The Woodson & Rummerfield styled living room was wallpapered in "Circle and Squares" by Florence Broadhurst. You can find more information on the Lust section of the W and R website.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Irish Traveller Update

Breathtaking!

Atwood's Milan Apartment

If you love shoes half as much as I do you know this handsome young man. And when you're dating design mogul Nate Berkus you're sure to have a great apartment. Brian Atwood credits his mother's amazing wardrobe for his fascination with the fashion industry and Gianni Versace for giving him his first taste of Italian living. He is now operating his own label and serving as creative director of Bally, which I know as the only shoe my father ever wore. His Milan apartment was originally two units that underwent an eight month renovation under architect Matteo Bermani and continues to be style by Berkus. Photography by Simon Upton.

Atwood takes a break in his studio. He wears mostly Bally and sometimes Tom Ford.

Berkus claims that Milan is a difficult city to navigate. Many of the stores are hard to find and keep odd hours. The couch is B & B Italia and the vintage cocktail table from 1stDibs. The hand chair was a vintage find in Manhattan, very similar to the chair in Adler's Palm Beach condo.

A 1970's Flair desk is accompanied by a wood and chrome credenza from Spazio 900.

Martinique wallpaper! Such a classic. Vintage Pace Collection chairs accent the dining area.

A vestibule plays landing spot for a Hermes bag and Bally shoes, of course.

Nothing says gay man's library like a vintage Farah Fawcett poster!

Some interior shots display a decent sized Milan kitchen, Atwood's showroom with a vintage Zebra rug, another glimpse of the library.

A Serge Mouillo light fixture suspends over the bed. Linens by Nate Berkus for HSN.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Design Rides on the Cheap

This morning India introduced the most anticipated fuel efficient family car ever, the Tata Nano. Priced at just $2,500 USD, the Nano is the world's cheapest car and has been nicknamed, "The People's Car". India is hot right now! First Slumdog at the Oscars now they are cornering the automotive industry. The Smart Car was so 2008.


The four-door Nano is a little over 10 feet long and nearly 5 feet wide. It is powered by a two-cylinder engine in the rear of the car, has 33 horsepower, and is capable of 65 miles an hour. Its four small wheels are at the absolute corners of the car to improve handling. There is a small trunk. Higher level models will cost more and come with air-conditioning; extras like sun visors and radios will be an additional cost. The Nano will go on sale in India later this year with an initial production run of 250,000 a year. Tata says it will offer the Nano in other emerging markets in Latin America, Southeast Asia and Africa within four years. Supposedly there is an application to own this car and over one million have been filed with an expected delivery rate of 60,000 by late 2009. I wonder if this car will be reserved for lower income households? It would make sense, reserve a more economical car for the people who would benefit the most from it.


In other automotive news, could Swedish giant IKEA actually enter the eco-friendly car market? Many Northern Americans are aware of and love the affordable home goods/furniture solution store, but did you know they already sell flat pack homes to parts of Northern England and Scandinavia? A mysterious yet official-looking French website with an accompanying video appeared today with a countdown to April 1st (an April Fool's joke?) as the unveiling of the LEKO, an environmentally-friendly IKEA-branded concept car. The video claims the LEKO can act as either a coupe or convertible and the car apparently also has the full backing of the World Wildlife Fund France, though it's not clear if that means the WWF is contributing to the LEKO's development or just endorsing it. The official IKEA wesbite has no mention of the LEKO or online instructions for it's easy to follow home assembly!

Taking The Cake

Elle Decor brought out their inner Eddie Ross with an etcetera post on cake servers. From left to right: Capitol pastry by Bugatti for Vietri, York by Calvin Klein Home, Impondo by Diana Carmichael, Royal Cisele by Christofle, Pewter Horn Handle by Vagabond House, Palette from Match, Elas Peretti Padova by Tiffany & Co, Venere by Armani Casa.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Palm Beach Pied-A-Plage

My BFF's Palm Beach home was published in Metropolitan Home a few months back and it is every bit as charming and unpredictable as the duo themselves. It all started when Jonathan Adler took his design guru husband to Palm Beach for a birthday celebration. A friend in the area told them to check out a 1970's beachfront condo and just like that the pied-a-terre was theirs. After spending a couple of winters in this auspicious town, they decided to upgrade down the hall to a two bedroom, just in case I wanted to drop in for a visit. Photography by Colleen Duffley.

Pedro Friedeberg's Left Hand chair is the main focal point of their living room. Of course Adler's line of home furnishings and accessories are found in every happy room. According to Adler, he makes, "things". According to me, things that are fabulous!

The gentlemen of the house: Simon Doonan, Jonathan Adler and Liberace.

The Channing desk by JA is used by Doonan for writing. Doonan's books are a riot, check out My Prescriptive for Anti-Depressive Living and Eccentric Glamour - Creating and Insanely More Fabulous You.

Another look at the living room. The artwork is vintage and very fitting of the decor.

Another glimpse of the living room shows a wall adorned by art produced from Adler's own stoneware tiles.

Such a sunny and bright eating area, I love it. I wish I could find that shiny giraffe for my friend Melanie who is doing a giraffe motif in her nursery. Tulip table by Knoll, back to back mirrors by Philippe Starck for Kartell. The room divider was constructed from an outdoor gate.

Is that bed ridiculously fantastic or what? I don't ususally JaDIE over canopy beds but the thick mirror gives it such a bold look, I love it! By Paul Evans, circa 1970.

Some details of the pad include Adler's Love chair and a Simian Mokey in the vanity.

A very tongue-in-cheek homage to Palm Beach includes their Foo Dog terrace. These enormous sculptures are in fact made of fiberglass and were purchased in NYC's Chinatown. Another interior shot of the bedroom displays a midcentury chandelier.
Nice digs JA, thanks for sharing!