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September 13, 2009

Serralunga Vase for Inside Landscaping

We have our eye out for ways to bring the outdoors in. The Missed Tree series was designed for Milan-based Serralunga by Jean Marie Massaud in 2007.

Timeless and elegant, the vases are available in metallic or lacquered finishes. The branching nature of Missed Tree II stands a formidable 78" in height (200cm) rising from a stainless steel base. The external width at the top is nearly 30" (75cm). The smallest in the collection is 22" (57cm) in height.


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April 24, 2009

Curtain Call for These Rings ...

Kontextur_Curtain_rings It's a glorious day; we're finally taking a break from April showers. But if you still insist on thinking water, at least make it the indoor shower. With glass stalls and all, we've forgotten that some still use the curtain and those sometimes nasty to work rings. Nothing is worse than being perched on the top of a tub trying to manipulate those rings. Well maybe one other thing is worse, having plain old ordinary bathroom rings hanging the curtain you so carefully selected.

Apparently Kenneth Schiller, designer and owner of Manhattan-based Kontextur, agrees about the utility and also thinks that color is key. He has created several that is a complete departure boring old curtain ring -- using vibrant candy-colors shaped in squares (shown here), bamboo or a rounded version which is available in gold, black, silver and chalk.

A box of 12 retails for $50 from the site, and right now, the company is offering 10 "needy" bathrooms a chance for a boost in color. Contest ends May 1.

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Sheer Brilliance

Ravi_Panhania_banner_shades Window treatments are such a tricky endeavor. Too often they can look, as Vladimir Kagan once said, like rags on a window. While Kagan's sentiment may be harsh, my personal problem with most treatments is that they don't add to the atmosphere. That is not the case with this treatment by Ravi Pankhania.

Rather than block light, these waterfall or banner shades create an ethereal and fluid effect. A veritable wall sculpture. The Canadian designer from British Columbia, sews varying sizes of fabric onto a shear roman shade which results in this fluttering effect of light and material.

"We wanted to find a way to filter and fracture the light. We look at the window and customize the amount of light that we want to get through," he explained. "This one in the bathroom faces the beach, so we increased the density on the lower half to filter the view." 

Pankhania, who specializes in soft furnishings, plays with different weights of fabrics to get different effects. The curtains list at $50-75 per square foot.

Absolutely gorgeous. --diane

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March 27, 2009

Custom Wall Coverings

AlluminareWallPaper I'm not one for wallpaper but for those whom are hooked on covering walls, I can't help but believe the options from Alluminaire will satisfy.

The Atlanta, Georgia based company provides custom lighting, wall coverings and pillows. How custom? custom enough that you can pick a color and a color wave, and if that isn't custom enough, submit an original design. We opted for Pure Contemporary's colors on this modern print.

According to the testimonials on the site, the colors on the screen are nearly dead matches for the final product. This is a bit surprising, given that screen colors are made up of Red, Green, Blue while printing colors are made up of Cyan, Yellow, Magenta. Color mapping software certainly exists, and kudos to the technical team if they have mapped the palettes so precisely.

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January 09, 2009

Help! Can you find this rug!

Chiasso-Kaleidescope-RugErin sent us this picture of Chiasso's Kaleidescope (sic) Rug. She loves the bold mix of colors and geometric shapes -- but would like to find it in a larger size. Chiasso only offers it in a 5 x 8, and is declining to state the name of the manufacturer. Anyone out there with some knowledge on whether this rug is available in a larger size? (Don't know if the spelling of the rug is a clue or not, but Chiasso writes Kaleidoscope with an "e" instead of the "o".)


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January 01, 2009

Here's to a High Quality New Year!

As the economy sank this past Fall, we were sitting in an editorial meeting jawing about Pure Contemporary's role: do we just ignore the financial mess? do we change our perspective and put our appetites on a budget? and we all agreed: the purpose of Pure Contemporary is not to tell people what they can or can't afford but to relate to readers the distinctiveness of contemporary so they can make their own choices.

Now that might sound like a cop-out. But the reality is, contemporary and modern design is very akin to beauty -- and the verdict goes to the beholder's eye. My very first suit out of college -- courtesy of my mother -- was a very expensive, yet very timeless, Harvé Bernard. Two decades later the suit still has miles to go before it sleeps, although the gathers at the waistband still annoy me. The point is, it was definitely beyond my budget -- and yet it was an investment. An investment in an article of lasting clothing yes, but also one to help to establish my brand.

That's one of the aspects of spending that seem to be so lost. We have lost site of spending on quality and items that add value. Expensive does not mean quality any more than bargain means tackiness. And adding value isn't limited to just your home -- it also conveys who you and your family are. That is the reason why we love modern so much. We can't hide behind the accessories and we shun cookie cutter items that mask our personalities. Instead we revel in our individuality: periwinkle in the kitchen, mid-century modern in the den, maybe Hollywood glam in the boudoir. The very fact that we like more one-of-kind tends to mean it is more costly. But if I amortized that Harvé Bernard over the years, I would find it was dollars per wear, and a lot less expensive than the $100 suit that only looked good the first time it was worn.

That's the beautiful thing about quality and timelessness; it minimizes the regrets.

Happy New Year! --diane


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December 04, 2008

I'm Dreaming of a Peacock Christmas

Was in the DC area last week and saw a Christmas tree of peacock feathers - loved the idea but not the execution. Saw a 2nd tree of that used peacock blue and gold bulbs of all different sizes -- with gold gossamer ribbon running vertically, and decided my tree of burgundy and white poinsettias will be retired for at a try at my new favorite palette. Peacock_wreath_Cu
White_peacock_wreath And suddenly peacocks were everywhere: Ideas for a peacock themed table, bowl accents, dramatic wreaths for the door -- even a glamorous wreath of white peacocks -- if all the teal becomes too much. (For the DIYers, Michaels is the place for your peacock supplies.) --diane

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November 24, 2008

Mod Metal Furniture With a Kick


Those gams in the background may be the muse to these whimsical creations by mid-western designer  Cole Scego. Or maybe it was too many anatomy classes while studying pre-med before giving it up for Cole_scego3 the arts. In any event, Scego is enamored with metals (steels and aluminums), art deco shapes and finishes -- using etching and powder coating techniques to create these functional yet sculptural pieces.

While they  certainly would be right at home in an outdoor setting, Scego likeScego_Sleigh_beds to think of them as indoor pieces first, which is probably a better idea for this unique sleigh bed. --diane

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October 08, 2008

Pink Anziano Chair Proceeds to SGK


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month which usually motivates every commercial enterprise to plaster pink on products and hawk Pink Ribbons. Trouble is, this corporate giving is usually dubious. A five dollar ribbon from your favorite boutique (made overseas for less than pennies) is often a mere donation of 50 cents. Having had breast cancer I've been given zillions of these pins from very well meaning friends, and I always stifle the urge to say "just donate directly and bypass this ersatz donation." (While that may sound harsh, it angers me that some companies attempt to cash in on women's emotional ties to this issue -- without care that their products may be toxic to the environment, or whose corporate culture does not provide health insurance, or whose donation is nothing more than they would have given away with a coupon.)

Pink_ribbonSo it was from this perspective that I listened to representatives from Donghia tell me of their special offer: the iconic Anziano chair -- in Pink! But I really started paying attention when a company rep assured me that 100% of the trade price would be donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation -- making this truly a one-of-a-kind, and very special corporate giving promotion.

Designed by John Hutton (Donghia's famed design director in the 1980s), the Anziano chair, with its bent-wood seat and back and metal klimos-styled legs,  was originally designed for the American Academy in Rome. The classic, which holds places of honor in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum and the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, is being revived by Donghia. The collector version has a shell of molded plywood veneer finished in pink lacquer, with steel legs in matte black powder-coated finish. Purchase a pink Anziano chair from any Donghia showroom across the country between Oct. 16-Dec. 21, and the wholesale cost of $475 will be donated to SKG.


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Eero Saarinen Building at Risk?

The mid-century US embassy in Grosvenor Square, London and built by architect Eero Saarinen, may face the wrecking ball or a heavy-handed makeover unless preservationists step in to “list” the structure. For many, this building was not one of Saarinen’s better efforts, while others champion it as another important piece of 20th Century history. For while the history of architecture is certainly important, Hugh Pearman’s, architectural critic for The Sunday Times, London suggests that “buildings acquire personality not only through their architecture, but through the events that they witness.” What events in a mere 50 years? The war protests of the 60s and 70s, the show of support by more than 50,000 mourners following the 9/11 massacre, and indeed the fortification of the Embassy following terrorist threats. --diane

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