Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Beehive - Boston

I wanted to thank Jennifer Epstein, an owner of one of Bostons' hottest eateries - The Beehive - for hosting my women's business group The Downtown Women's Club tonight. Over 35 savvy business woman were treated to amazing appetizers and a fabulous atmosphere. It may have been cold and rainy out, but it was cozy inside. This two level space in Boston's South End is right next to the Boston Center for the Arts at the Cyclorama. The Beehive takes its inspiration from La Ruche (French for The Beehive) an artist residence in 1920's Montparnasse that was a three story circular building that resembled a beehive (similar to the Cyclorama). Fittingly, the interior space has been decked out with original art - such as the handmade bars and reclaimed materials such as the amazing iron balustrades (above).
This is a closeup above I took of a section of the bar, which was made from all reclaimed pieces of wood. I love this whimsical illustration.

Here are some images from The Beehive's website.

The Beehive is open 7 days a week. Thanks Jennifer! And also a big thanks to JP Faiella for inviting us!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Pattern Play - ooooo Circles oooooo

Alchemy cocktail table by Allan Copley

The circle motif has been a staple of the design world since there was, in fact, a design world. I wouldn't be surprised to find that cave dwellers drew circles on their walls. Circles are interesting to look at - geometric, yet soft. They can also be imbued with deeper meaning: the circle of life, wedding rings, circus rings. They are containers of form and meaning. Here are some fun examples of circles and dots:

Single Girl Quilt - sly take on the Double Wedding Ring quilt - by Denyse Schmidt

Flocked circles fabric at Brocade Home

Dot Stencil play DIY Project at Evening Standard Homes & Property
Circle Dinner set by Jonathan Adler on Motif Modern Living

Pair of 1940's French dot mirrors at Venfield on 1st Dibs

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Deeply Madly Living - Breaking the Clichés of Home Decorating

I love the name - Deeply Madly Living - of this online housewares, furnishing and accessories store based in New York. Danish born Garry Jensen, a former international investment banker and design enthusiast and Elena Bertinetto, an italian interior decorator and trompe-l'oeil artist, founded the business after they moved to New York and were frustrated in their attempts to find the perfect assortment of eclectic accessories to complement their modern and antique furnishings in their new loft space.

Here are a few things that caught my eye:

Celebrity Lamp - shade made from Aviator sunglass lenses


Friday, April 25, 2008

Sponsor Love: Welcome, Inviting Lighting

I'd like to welcome new ::Surroundings:: sponsor Invighting Lighting! Among their many offerings are these spectacular chandeliers. The one above is the same as those that hang in the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. I was there only one, in the 7th grade to attend La Boheme and seeing these works of art rise up into the ceiling signaling the start of the performance was a memorable and inspirational experience.
Other offerings include:

Please visit Inviting Lighting to view more. I so appreciate them and all my sponsors for their support!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Fabrics like a breezy day...

How cute are these Kravet fabrics - both called Lady Day? I just ran across them and am so enamored I wanted to share.

Kravet fabrics are available to the trade.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Marie Antoinette at the Met

This month's Architectural Digest has a fascinating piece about the Metropolitan Museum of Art's newly renovated Wrightsman Galleries. The piece focuses on their recreation of an embroidered fabric - embroidery by Marie Antoinette herself - that once graced a suite of furniture by Jean-Baptiste-Claude Sené for use by the Queen at the Chateau de Saint-Cloud, a 17th century palace that Louis XVI purchased for Marie in 1784. The Chateau was burned, but amazingly, some of the furniture still exists, as does a sample of the original embroidery.

The Met owns a berger chair, a daybed and a fire screen. They contracted with Chelsea Textiles in London to recreate the original floral embroidered pattern as upholstery fabric.

One of their big decisions was whether to use a white ground fabric or an "aged" color to match better with the 200+ year old patina of the furniture. Ultimately, they decided to go with a fresh white, which will naturally age over time.

These scans don't do the AD images justice, so head on over to the newstand if you want to see them in fine detail!

Photography for Architectural Digest by Billy Cunningham.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Green Day: Hable Construction

photo by Rinne Allen

Hable Construction has teamed up with Bella-Dura to create a line of vibrant, fashionable, and eco-savvy fabrics suitable for in-doors and out-. Bella-Dura is a by-product of post-industrial waste comprised of synthetic fibers with amazing performance qualities that require no additional chemical treatments. Starring qualities of the fabrics include anti-microbial properties, stain-resistance, and provides 1,500+ hours of lightfastness. Bella-Dura fabrics are also recyclable.

This line is available to the TRADE ONLY and several NEW styles are in the mix. Such pretty, pretty patterns!

Calculating Yardages for Upholstery

Every wonder how to estimate yardage needs for a large scale pattern on fabric? I wrote a detailed post on this very subject over on The Upholstery Blog. Check it out here!

Green Day: VideoJug offers Green Tips and more

How To Save Energy At Home: A Quick Guide

How To Host A Green Event

Monday, April 21, 2008

Tiny Chairs - How cute are these!

Miniature Chairs Set

Dimitra & Bill of Up To You in Toronto sent word of these cute - and tiny - reproductions that they are carrying. There ar four different designer sets (9 chairs in each set,). Designers represented include: Eames, Mackintosh, Mies van der Rohe, Prouve, etc. Each set of nine chairs is $95 and there are a total of 36 chairs available at $12 each.

These are great alternatives to the Vitra chair minis, which I saw at Conrans in Paris a couple of months ago. (I've been waiting for a chance to use these images!)

What is it about tiny things? So cute!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Top Design: Season 2 Coming Soon!

The folks at NBC Uni and Bravo have finally released a little more information on the upcoming season 2 of Top Design. In January, they announced that the show had new producers - Magical Elves - who produce Project Runway and Top Chef. That was a good sign. Season 1 had many, many problems.

One of the first changes they've apparently made is that the show will have a host - model and design enthusiast India Hicks. The rest of the S1 cast will return - Todd Oldham as design mentor, Kelly Wearstler and Margaret Russell as judges and Jonathan Adler as the head just. I'm with Tom & Lorenzo - hopefully JA will have dropped his smarmy "See you later, decorator" line when contestants are sent home.

The show is scheduled to air between July and October 2008.

NEW BLOG! ::Silver Screen Surroundings::

By far, my most popular blog posts have been my "Get that Look" series where I have profiled beautiful movie interiors and how to break them down and get the look in your own home.
While I still intend to do these posts over here on ::Surroundings::, I have created a new home ::Silver Screen Surroundings:: where I will focus exclusively on movie set decor, including the set decorators and who they are inspiring.

In addition to my "Get That Look" posts, I'll include lots of still images for fun and links to many other online articles and images.

::Silver Screen Surroundings:: is still a work in progress - I'm still copying my existing posts over there and updating some of the links - a bloggers work is never done! But I invite you to hop on over and let me know what you think!

Now, all we need is the popcorn!

Congrats again, Modernemama!

Modernemama has received her prize from my recent contest and was kind enough to send me some images and do a post over on her blog. Glad you like it Modernemama!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Kaaya - Natural and sustainable pillows and accessories

California based Kaaya is a home décor and textiles firm, created by Vinitha Watson, that specializes in high-quality hand crafted materials for the home using only natural fibers and sustainable methods of production.

How pretty are these pillows. The embroidery and crewel work is such a classic touch!

Almost all the items in the collection are made exclusively for Kaaya in India. Says their website "Kaaya is committed to preserving traditional ways of life at the local level. By building relationships of trust and respect, and giving back to the communities, we are creating a sustainable model that can benefit and inspire us all."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Travel Tuesday: Schloss Velden, Austria

How pretty is the Schloss Velden Hotel in Austria! The architecture - a combination of ancient and modern - and those views! Spectacular!


Architecture by Jabornegg & Pálffy/Interior Design by Peter Silling of Hotel Interior Design
Text by Jeffrey Simpson/Photography by Robert Reck. Archtectural Digest, May 2008

Designer's Dish - Kravet & Traditional Home

Are you a cooking designer? Or a designer who can cook? Kravet and Traditional Home Magazine have teamed up for this kind of kooky, yet fun, sounding event. They are seeking two designers to square off in a cook-off! Submit your favorite recipe to any Kravet Showroom or email to designersdish (at) meredith.com. Click on the images for all information and contest rules.

Good luck! Now, where's my recipe file...

Monday, April 14, 2008

Get That Look! Semi-Custom Headboard Detail

The May 2008 House Beautiful featured this lovely bedroom with a really striking tufted and be-ribboned headboard. Upholstered headboards are hot, hot, hot right now; we're seeing them everywhere. Undoubtedly, the one featured in this photo is a custom piece. A custom built headboard with tufting and detailing such as this might range from $1,500 - $3,000.

But, how do you get that look if custom isn't in your budget? How about buying a ready made piece such as the standard tufted headboard above and add trim? From ribbon to sparkling bling to feather pom-poms - the sky is the limit! Depending on the headboard construction and the trim, you could either sew the detail in, or glue it. A great way to create a custom look for less!


Headboard: Rhonda Button Tufted Headboard at JCPenney. $279 - $429 plus tx and shipping
Trims: MJ Trim trim - estimated $100-$200

Total estimated cost: $450 - $700