May 31, 2007
Modern Boat Launch
Annnieglass is launching a modern maritime look with its new line of boat-shaped bowls. Called Ultramarine Long Boats, the gently abstracted canoes are serving pieces handmade of luminous aqua glass, and they float an aesthetic that's vibrant, artistic, and multi-functional.
“I like the idea that they are long and narrow.” says their designer Ann Morhauser, “As centerpieces, they aren’t too big for the table."
To give her serving pieces the limelight as centerpieces, Morhauser exaggerates the marine motif by filling them with water and live goldfish, or floating candles or flower blossoms. Minimalists might let the pop of color speak for itself and leave the bowls empty, but they'd also look great filled with sea shells, ornaments, fresh fruits or veggies.
$122 for 19" long
$163 for 27" long
Ultramarine serving bowl (foreground), 15", complements the boats, $69.
Love the color? Check out our favorite products, furniture and accessories in the same blue hue.
A Bed To Drift In
San Francisco designer Ted Boerner is all about comfort. If there can be comfort foods, he asserts, then there should be "comfort furniture;" furniture that invites you to dine solo or feast with friends, or just flop on a bed to relax. With "Drift" the design is “all about ease,” he says.
Foot- and headboards are rounded to beckon and nestle in. This upholstered interpretation of a contemporary sleigh bed can be casual or formal based on the fabric.
While the fabric provides cozi comfort, the lines are definitely streamlined and crisp, and the upholstery is tailored. Wood feet and frame can be in cherry, white oak, maple, mahogany and walnut (shown). Top-stitching matches the wood choice for contrast and to accentuate the the lines.
With the soft edges and upholstered all around, Drift is an ideal piece to float in today's spacious modern master bedroom. To "feminize" the bed, use softer fabrics or patterns; while a more masculine application might be with leather and top stitching. Boerner told us he personally likes it in a solid textural fabric with a directional grain; he produced one for the showroom in a woven grasscloth.
Drift is made to order, available to design professionals and lists for about $4900, contingent on size, fabric and wood selection.
May 30, 2007
NeoCon Xpress Speakers Announced
If you'll be in LA this August 22 & 23 and are checking out NeoCon Xpress, be sure to sit in on one -or all - of the speaking sessions. Here's the rundown, just announced...
The first-ever NeoCon® Xpress L.A., the West-coast architecture, design and facility management community’s premier opportunity to see hundreds of hot new products fresh from the NeoCon World’s Trade Fair, will feature top-name presenters when the show makes its debut at The Los Angeles Convention Center, August 22-23, 2007.
In addition to featuring all the hottest new products and trends from hundreds of manufacturers, NeoCon Xpress will showcase presentations from the industry’s top visionaries.
Angela Adams, angela adams Designs, LLC. “Bringing Comfort to Contract”
Wednesday, August 22, Noon
Angela Adams is the CEO and Creative Director for angela adams Designs, LLC. Growing up on an island twelve miles off the coast of Maine, Ms. Adam’s island upbringing helped to shape her unique perspective on design. Her designs are known for their sense of timelessness, simplicity and balance. She is constantly exploring new mediums for her designs. Her contract industry work includes partnerships with Shaw Contract Group, Architex and Ann Sacks include broadloom & carpet tile, woven fabrics and ceramic tiles. Angela will discuss translating the aesthetic of her designs and the Angela Adams brand into contract environments.
Cameron Sinclair, Architecture for Humanity, “We Don’t Ship: How Community Design Delivers More Than Architecture”
Thursday, August 23, Noon
Cameron Sinclair is the co-founder and executive director of Architecture for Humanity, a charitable organization which promotes architecture and design solutions to humanitarian crises and provides design services to communities in need. Trained as an architect, Mr. Sinclair also developed an interest in social, cultural and humanitarian design. Named one of the seven people changing the world, by Fortune Magazine, Mr. Sinclair also is an adjunct professor at the Montana State School of Architecture and the author of Design Like You Give a Damn. Cameron"robert kennwill discuss how a new breed of designers is responding to humanitarian crises and rethinking the social and economic future of the more than two billion people currently surviving in sub-standard living conditions.
Jack Kyser, City of Los Angeles “Reinventing Los Angeles – Downtown and Elsewhere”
Thursday, August 23, 9 a.m. Breakfast, 9:30 a.m. Presentation
Jack Kyser, the Chief Economist at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), is known as the “guru of the Los Angeles economy.” Kyser is responsible for interpreting and forecasting economic trends in the Los Angeles five-county area, and for analyzing the major industries of the area. Kyser serves on the Economic Policy Council of the California Institute, the research and policy arm of the California Congressional Delegation. Hear about the revitalization of downtown L.A. and learn how these new developments will enrich the future of Los Angeles as it works to redefine its skyline.
Debra Ertel-Hernandez, “Making the Business Case for Sustainability at Toyota”
Wednesday, August 22, 4 pm
Debra Ertel-Hernandez CFM, CFMJ, FMA, is the senior facilities operations administrator for Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. Corporate sustainability is more than simply recycled content and the recyclability of products. It is a business approach that creates long-term shareholder value by embracing opportunities and managing risks deriving from economic environmental and social developments.
Autos and the environment meet at every life cycle stage. We will take a close up look at Toyota Motor Sales’ Business Case for Sustainability and their Global Earth Charter moving forward in the 21st Century and explore why the initiatives of major corporations like Toyota are becoming a major focus of the design industry.
Robert Kennedy Jr., Environmentalist “A Contract With Our Future”
Thursday, August 23, 8 a.m. Breakfast, 8:30 a.m. Presentation
The Southern California Chapter of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) will host the 2007 Catalyst: Ideas for Breakfast event at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Renowned environmentalist , will discuss the important role that our natural surroundings play in our work, our health, and our identity as Americans. Mr. Kennedy will eloquently explain how good environmental policy is good business policy, good economic policy, and good policy for posterity.
Tickets for the Catalyst Breakfast are available July 1 at iida-socal.org.
Shawn Littrell, Designer
Thursday, August 23, 9 a.m.
Student Series at NeoCon Xpress L.A. will offer students of design and architecture an incredible opportunity to learn from the award-winning industrial designer, Shawn Littrell, who will speak to students about his projects, as well as making the transition from the classroom to the office. Littrell will also have an area on the show floor featuring various spatial projects and furniture exhibited at the Salon del Mobile in Milan.
May 29, 2007
Todd Oldham Noguchi Video
Todd Oldham revels in Isamu Noguchi's use of sculptural forms to create functional forms we enjoy using as much as looking at. We love him for that too and for his ability to create timeless pieces that are still coveted today. In that category the table's a given, but let's not forget the groundbreaking Radio Head Nurse.
Modern Backyard Bed
Ahh, here I am enjoying my most recent vacation with a few friends and a gorgeous Gandia Blasco Day Bed. Note the minimal construction, expansive outdoor ready mattress and UV blocking canopy. You may not have a coterie of men to carry you from place to place like I do, but don't count out the usefulness of those long handles yet. They'll also serve to keep this perch balanced on rocky ground. Make sure you take into account the amount of space the handles take up though if you're thinking of buying, and if your space is too small, try the handle-less elevated version.
All shopping and showroom info is available at the Gandia Blasco site and they have a pdf of all their products. Download it. It's the fastest, easiest way to see their designs without waiting for their too high-tech, flash site.
Oh, and yes,despite what you may be thinking, it is reasonable to have a bed al fresco. Just check out the latest trends in modern outdoor living: Rooms to Grow.
The great (and confusing) outdoors
Like many of our readers I spent the holiday weekend landscaping and repairing my chaotic garden. At times I found myself at a lost as I tried to conjure a modern garden in my mind -- and the search began.
Below are a few picks on modern landscape and gardens -- enjoy!
May 28, 2007
Jamie Drake's Luxury Faucets for THG
Luxury bath firm THG (the House of Tetard-Haudiquez-Grisoni from Normandy, France, THGs) introduced several new collections this spring at the Kitchen and Bath show, but our favorite was the Profil by New York designer, Jamie Drake. We caught up with Drake and asked him about the inspiration for his sculptural handles enhanced with dramatic inlays.
Drake is known for interpreting past time periods with new finishes and genres. For the Profil Collection, it was a mid-century, brass and crystal vanity mirror by famed Italian architect Gio Ponti that provided a point of departure for his collection. In fact if you look closely, the lines of the mirror's stand (above right) look very similar to the sculptural arcs that are apparent below the faucet handles.
Drake's design, with its mix of curvilinear and straight components, drove the decision to accent with inlays. (Although it couldn't have hurt that Lalique and THG had an agreement to feature the French maker's crystal in THG's products.)
Profil is available in 35 different finishes sans inlays, or a choice of onyx, horn or Lalique crystal. They also can be custom fabricated with tiger eye, malachite, lapis -- or any other luxurious detail that one wants to splurge on. Drake tells me his personal favorite is the gold finish with horn inlay. --diane
May 24, 2007
GE announces new ecomaginationSM Homebuilder Program
A blueprint for building green homes
in Los Angeles, GE and Masco Contractor Services' (MCS) Environments
for Living® division celebrated the announcement of the ecomagination
Homebuilder Program. This new program helps residential developers and
builders design homes that are not only comfortable, but that are more
efficient in their energy consumption and indoor water consumption than
industry–accepted average new homes.
In the last two years, natural gas costs have risen 42 percent and electricity costs have risen 17 percent, according to a report in Energy Source, March 2007. The same report noted that 86 percent of recent homebuyers said they would choose an energy–efficient home over one that was not energy–efficient.
Versus industry–accepted average new homes, a home built to GE ecomagination Homebuilder Program specifications is designed to achieve:
- at least 20% household energy savings
- at least 20% savings on household indoor water consumption
- at least 20% fewer household emissions of CO2, SO2, and Nox
Top reasons why homebuyers who want to live in a high–performance, energy–efficient home will choose homes built to GE ecomagination Homebuilder Program specifications include:
- New GE SmartCommand™ Dashboard: this interactive wall panel provides current and historical feedback on electricity and water consumption.
- GE® and GE Profile™ ENERGY STAR® appliances: pair
innovative energy efficiency with groundbreaking features and
cutting–edge design. Among the appliance choices are the GE Profile
SmartDispense™ dishwasher, the GE Profile Frontload laundry pair, and
GE or GE Profile refrigerators.
- GE advanced lighting package: includes indoor and
outdoor lighting. At least 50% of the standard socket lamps in the home
will use GE Energy Smart™ lamps with compact fluorescent technology. GE
CFLs consume up to 75% less electricity than standard incandescent
- GE Brilliance™ Solar Electric Power Systems (optional):
if the home is equipped with solar power, this system is designed to
produce power year after year and typically meets 20–30% of a home's
electricity needs and works in conjunction with the local utility to
provide complete service.
- GE Mortgage (optional): builders of these homes will
have the option to recommend to qualifying homebuyers a mortgage
offered by GE Money with financial incentives.
- The Environments for Living Certified Green program standards: apply to heating, ventilation, air–conditioning, ductwork and the outer shell or "building envelope" that surrounds a home's living quarters. This "envelope" includes tight construction, fresh air ventilation, improved insulation, efficient HVAC equipment, humidity control, pressure balancing and combustion safety.
Comfort and Energy Limited Guarantees Homes built to ecomagination Homebuilder Program specifications will be built with an Environments for Living Certified Green classification. This standard employs advanced building science techniques in order to deliver both comfort and energy efficiency. Environments for Living offers a guarantee to the original homeowner that there will be no more than a three degree temperature differential from the center of any conditioned room within each thermostat zone.
Just this month, GE signed the first of several anticipated agreements with RWO Acquisitions to build the nation's first community built under the GE ecomagination Homebuilder Program in Myrtle Beach, SC. The 900–acre residential community is being developed by RWO in harmony with the master–planned redevelopment program under the direction of the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base Redevelopment Authority (MBAFRA). This impressive public/private project includes a 3,970–acre parcel of land with $30 million of new infrastructure including 29 acres of lakes, over 200 acres of new community parks and four miles of new roads.
For more information about the ecomagination Homebuilder Program, please visit: http://www.geappliances.com/energy_efficient_home.
It's a man's world -- pt. 2
The virtually silent, fully automatic Robomower will mow any lawn (up to 16,200 sq ft) completely by itself. Running on battery power equivalent to a 5.5 HP gas mower, the 21 inch three blade system is gas, oil, and emissions free -- perfect for the Green man.
Also included --- a programmable docking station. Just set the days and times for mowing and relax!
Murano Glass Saarinen Table
Design icons can be tricky sometimes––if they're seen too much, they stop being interesting, and we take them for granted. I think that's happened to some extent with the Saarinen Tulip table. We see it in a room and think,"Oh, they used Saarinen's table," but we no longer stop to admire the graceful simplicity of the piece. Find a twist on a much loved icon though and you really have something. That's why I was SO excited to find these 1970's Saarinen tables with Murano Glass tops. They're small, just 15" with a 23" diameter top, but the impact is huge. Eyes are drawn to the glass and then we appreciate the form all over again. These rare beauties sell for $1,675 each at Flessa in New York City. -Caroline