Friday, December 10, 2010

Pantone 2011 Color of the Year

by Shannon Kirby

Have you seen a lot of turquoise this past year?  It was the color of  2010, so look for  pink in the coming months  as Pantone has chosen Honeysuckle Pink as the color of 2011.  They describes it as: “A color for all seasons. Courageous. Confident. Vital. A brave new color, for a brave new world. Let the bold spirit of Honeysuckle infuse you, lift you and carry you through the year. It’s a color for every day – with nothing ‘everyday’ about it”. (That press statement is mildly funny, please let me know if you face the “brave new world” with pink.)  Please don't say mauve!
The color combination of pink and green have been around a long time- think of Lily Pulitzer and Kate Spade!
The combination of the white with the
honeysuckle in the Kate Spade dress cools down the palette while the green  shown in Lily Pulitzer papers still feels hot.

Black with it is very retro and fun- think zebra stripes, patent leather in black or white and honeysuckle.

The designers that have always worked in this hues are Johnathan Alder and the duo of Diamond Baratta Design.  This is their Tiburon fabric for Lee Jofa below in the pink and orange combo- which I love!

 Do you see honeysuckle in your future?  It's quite a shift from the the turquoises and grays of past years and wants to offer a glimmer of hope and promise.  You can't help but be uplifted when you see this fun shade.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The 2010 ELLE DECOR Showhouse...AKDO Tile Party

by innerspace

On November 10th, AKDO Tile hosted an exclusive cocktail reception at the the 2010 ELLE DECOR Showhouse, 
located in St. Francis Wood, a historic San Francisco neighborhood.
Many thanks to AKDO for the invitation!

The 2010 ELLE DECOR Showhouse
300 St. Francis Boulevard | San Francisco, CA 94127 | November 6-21

AKDO, a preferred partner of the showhouse, manufacturers some of the most beautiful quality stone mosaics and tile, often in unusual sizes, shapes, or patterns.  With so many ensuite bathrooms, the showhouse is a perfect showcase for AKDO.  Even the laundry room backsplash showcases AKDO mosaic tile!

Click here to see the laundry room backsplash 
AKDO | Polished Thassos and Ming Green Marble | Imperial Mosaic Tile
Photo by AKDO

Eleven bay area interior designers, selected by ELLE DECOR, let the materials speak, creating a visual dialogue between rooms.  In the library bathroom, designed by Will Wick, a wall of onyx and marble tile. in a black, white, and honey harlequin pattern, makes a bold statement.

Library Bathroom Designed by Will Wick   
Shower Wall
AKDO | Polished Onyx and Marble | 12"x12" Field Tiles | Fabricated into a Harlequin Pattern
Photo by katiedid

On the walls and floor, understated Calacatta marble mosaic tiles modulate the exaggerated harlequin pattern.

Library Bathroom Designed by Will Wick     
Walls | Floor
AKDO | Polished Calacatta Marble | .375"x.375" Mosaic Tile
Photo by AKDO

The dialogue between black and white design elements continues in the library.  The ebony enameled bookshelves, black enameled ceiling, and dark hardwood floor make a unified statement without enclosing the space.  The ivory walls, ivory window coverings, and blond sisal carpeting balance the ebony envelope.  The silhouettes of the off white furnishings and accessories, plus the patterns of the black and white works of art and the zebra skin rug punctuate the space. 

Library Designed by Will Wick

But, the marbleized Fromenthal wallpaper covering the wet bar sliding doors completes the conversation between materials.

Library Designed by Will Wick
Fromenthal Wallpaper Covering the Wet Bar Sliding Doors
Photo by katiedid

Fromenthal Wallpaper | Gypsum | Marlin
Photo by Fromenthal

In the master bedroom suite, designed by Jay Jeffers, nothing is lost in translation.  Instead of tile from AKDO, the bathroom features tile from Ann Sacks, another showhouse sponsor.  A wall of pietra dura tile, in a Gothic tracery pattern of grey, taupe, and white marble, determines the design vocabulary for the master bathroom.

Master Bathroom Designed by Jay Jeffers
Ann Sacks | Honed Marble | Custom Pietra Dura Tile

Stacked mosaic tiles in Athens gray marble cover the shower, tub face, and floor.

Master Bathroom Designed by Jay Jeffers
Shower | Tub Face | Floor
Ann Sacks | Athens Grey Marble | .5"x3.0" Stacked Mosaic Tile
Photo by Ann Sacks

Willem Racke Studio reiterated the linear mocha ribbons of the Athens gray marble on the plastered and hand painted walls and ceiling.  A masterful interpretation!

Master Bathroom Designed by Jay Jeffers
Walls | Ceiling
Plastered and Hand Painted by Willem Racke Studio
 Photo by Simplified Bee

In the master bedroom, a parchment secretaire cabinet, designed by Samuel Marx, repeats the strie pattern.

 Master Bedroom Designed by Jay Jeffers
Parchment Secretaire Cabinet Designed by Samuel Marx from Modern One | Los Angeles
Photo by Modern One

As does the gray marble fireplace.  The ottoman in front of the fireplace is upholstered in custom appliqued and embroidered fabric by Holland & Sherry, a direct translation of the tracery pattern.  Even the silhouettes of the handles on the Swedish Biedermeier stools at the foot of the bed recall the Gothic design.

Master Bedroom Designed by Jay Jeffers
Custom Appliqued and Embroidered Fabric by Holland & Sherry on Ottoman 
Swedish Biedermeier Stools from Sevnska Mobler | Los Angeles

But, the story isn't over yet!  Willem Racke Studio hand painted the ceiling of the bedroom in a tonal Neoclassical design, inspired by 18th century Scottish architect Robert Adam.  But, you need to read between the lines to understand the poetry!  The central medallion of the octagonal grid pattern mirrors the shadows cast by the eight-arm chandelier.  And, the running chain pattern on the octagonal banding alludes to decorative molding.  

Master Bedroom Designed by Jay Jeffers
Hand Painted Ceiling in a Neoclassical Design by Willem Racke Studio
Photo by Casasugar

On the sheer window coverings, the octagonal burn out pattern references both the ceiling and the tile patterns.

Master Bedroom Designed by Jay Jeffers 
Sheer Window Coverings by Jim Thompson
Photo by SFWire
Who could ask for closer connections between design elements?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The 2010 San Francisco Fall Antiques Show...Outstanding Exhibits

Some of the outstanding exhibits from The 2010 San Francisco Fall Antiques Show...
Overdressed?  Probably...  
And, dripping in jewels?  Definitely...  
And, perched on a pedestal?  Only front row seats will do...

With a bombe figure, sheathed in parchment paint, and bejeweled with parcel-gilt floral and foliate carving, this German commode, sold by Therien & Co., could not be described as understated.  Sensuous, yes.  Minimalist, no.  But...hello, gorgeous!  

Hello, gorgeous!  
Therien & Co. | San Francisco and Los Angeles, CA
German Rococo Painted and Parcel-Gilt Commode in the Manner of Johann Michael Hoppenhaupt | Pottsdam, Circa 1750-1760
photo by innerspace
Their magnetic personality drew you in from across the room...
The animated antique American flags displayed in the corner stand of Jeff R. Bridgman American Antiques... 
An affordable alternative to the Jasper Johns Flag painting, from the collection of Michael Crichton, sold by Christie's New York on May 11, 2010 for $28.6 million!

Magnetic Personality
Antique American Flags, Folk Art, and Painted Furniture
photo by innerspace
Dreaming of going on vacation? 
Maybe to Europe?
Wine tasting in Bordeaux, Burgundy, or Champagne?
A five-star hotel in Paris?
Or, a villa in Provence? 
Why not just escape to Galerie Steinitz?  The antique boiseries paneling immediately transports you to a French country chateaux, filled with the finest of European furnishings. Tres elegance!

En Vacances?
Galerie Steinitz | Paris, France
Antique Boiseries Paneling
photo by innerspace
A Coromandel screen diagonally divides the stand...
And behind it?
Perhaps a private screening room?

Screening Room?
Therien & Co. | San Francisco and Los Angeles, CA
A Coromandel Screen Diagonally Divides the Stand
photo by innerspace
No...a secluded grotto!
Way glam!

 Therien & Co. | San Francisco and Los Angeles, CA
A Secluded Grotto Behind the Coromandel Screen
photo by innerspace 
How do you define glamorous design?

The 2010 San Francisco Fall Antiques Show...Exhibition...Chinoiserie: Rococo to Eco

photo from The San Francisco Fall Antiques Show catalog

A colonnade of six lacquer red pagodas with gilt eaves and fretwork panels created not only a dramatic entrance to The 2010 San Francisco Fall Antiques Show, but also a theatrical background for Chinoiserie:  Rococo to Eco, the 2010 exhibition.

Colonnade of Six Lacquer Red Pagodas
photo by innerspace

Have you ever fantasized about traveling to an exotic location, or dreamed of building a remarkable collection?

According to historian Holland Lynch, who co-curated Chinoiserie:  Rococo to Eco along with Maria Santangelo of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 'Chinoiserie's popularity through the centuries is due, in large part, to its residing in the realm of fantasy, for it is evocative rather than innovative in its approach to style.'  

The furniture, ceramics, and textiles filling the display cases of the exhibition featured fantastic Asian designs, including exotic buildings, flowers, or birds, and imitated rare Asian materials, such as lacquer, silk, or porcelain.

Chinoiserie:  Rococo to Eco
The Introduction of Chinoiserie
photo by innerspace
Pair of Chinese Chippendale Armchairs | Parcel-Gilt Wood and White Japanning | English, Circa 1760 | Courtesy of Ann Getty and Associates
Textile with Chinoiserie-Style Buildings in a Landscape | Watered Silk with a Damask Pattern | Spitalfield's, English, Circa 1760 | Courtesy of Kathleen Taylor-The Lotus Collection

The Taste for Chinoiserie
photo by innerspace
Pair of Chinese Chippendale Armchairs | Parcel-Gilt Wood and Black Japanning | English, Circa 1760 | Courtesy of Ann Getty and Associates
Dressing Table for the Chinese Bedroom at Badminton House | Carved Mahogany | Gloucestershire, English, Circa 1760 | Courtesy of Malcolm D. Gutter

The Golden Age of Chinoiserie
photo by innerspace
Side Cabinet | Chinoiserie Painted | English, Circa 1800 | Courtesy of Carlton Hobbs LLC

Chinoiserie:  Past, Present, Future
photo by innerspace

Even though the visual presentation, text panels, exhibition labels, and exhibition catalog were of museum quality, I wish that one of the most important pieces in the exhibition, the table from the Chinese Bedroom at Badminton House, on loan from the San Francisco collection of Malcolm D. Gutter, was displayed in context, under The Golden Age of Chinoiserie text panel, which described this famous 18th century Chinese bedroom.

Dressing Table for the Chinese Bedroom at Badminton House | Carved Mahogany | Gloucestershire, English, Circa 1760 | Courtesy of Malcolm D. Gutter
photo from The San Francisco Fall Antiques Show catalog

English furniture lovers could hardly imagine a finer provenance.
 Or, a more renowned London workshop than that of William and John Linnell, whose furniture designs, according to the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, rival those of Thomas Chippendale.

Even though Ann Getty and Associates loaned two outstanding pairs of Chinese Chippendale chairs to the exhibition, wouldn't it have also been amazing to reunite the table with the pair of chairs from the Chinese Bedroom at Badminton House that are also part of the Getty collection? 

Chair from the Chinese Bedroom at Badminton House | Beechwood Frame, Gilt and Japanned, Modern Upholstery | English, Circa 1754
photo from The San Francisco Fall Antiques Show catalog, courtesy of Ann Getty and Associates

And, wouldn't it have been interesting to show how John Linnell's 18th century Chinoiserie chair design inspired architect Andrew Skurman's fretwork panel design for the pagodas?

Fretwork Panels on the Lacquer Red Pagodas
photo by innerspace

 Western designs influenced Eastern aesthetics as well.

verre eglomise tea caddy in the exhibition, also on loan from the San Francisco collection of Ann Getty and Associates, features 32 reverse painted glass panels of beauties.

Tea Caddy | Mahogany, Ebony, and Verre Eglomise | English, Circa 1770 | Courtesy of Ann Getty and Associates
photo by innerspace

Reverse Painted Glass Panel of a Beauty
photo by innerspace

I have an Asian art background, so I immediately associated the verre eglomise beauties with the Screen of 12 Beauties, commissioned by Chinese emperor Yongzheng (r. 1722-1735) for his study in the private quarters of the Old Summer Palace (Yuan Ming Yuan) in Beijing while he was still a prince.  The 12 panels of the screen portray imaginary beauties at leisure, drinking tea, enjoying nature, reading, or appreciating antiquities.  

Beauty Watching Butterflies in Summer

Beauty with Distant Thoughts Among Antiquities

The Screen of 12 Beauties is not only an important visual and historical document of Qing dynasty (1644-1911) court costumes, but also of the architecture of the Old Summer Palace, before it was redesigned by Jesuit missionaries in the style of 18th century European palaces for the Qianlong emperor (r. 1735-1796), who was fascinated by Western science, art, and architecture. 

Rococo to Chinoiserie!

What cross-cultural design influences have you noticed lately?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The 2010 San Francisco Fall Antiques Show...Chinoiserie Chic

Make a grand entrance at the 2010 San Francisco Fall Antiques Show through the two story gilded pagoda, created by Bay Area architect Andrew Skurman.  The chic Chinoiserie themed antiques show opens at the Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason Center on October 27 with a Preview Party Benefit Gala, hosted by New York fashion designer Derek Lam, a native of San Francisco.

Derek Lam's spring 2011 collection
photo by
Derek Lam's loft
New York, NY 
An exhibition and lecture series accompanies the San Francisco Fall Antiques Show, which runs from October 28-31.  Chinoiserie:  Rococo to Eco, the 2010 exhibition, explores Asian design influences on European fine and decorative arts and furnishings.  Highlights of the exhibition, including objects on loan from the collections of Ann Getty and the Fine Arts Museums San Francisco, include a mid 18th century table made by the workshop of William and John Linnell for the Chinese bedroom at Badminton House, an English country estate in Gloucestershire, UK, owned by the Dukes of Beaufort since the late 17th century.  Other furniture from the Chinese bedroom, including the Badminton bed, is now in the collection of London's Victoria & Albert Museum.

The Badminton bed made by the workshop of William and John Linnell
Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK
photo by
Guest speakers at Chinoiserie Chic, the 2010 lecture series, include David Beevers, keeper of the Royal Pavilion, the Brighton, UK seaside retreat that architect John Nash remodeled for George IV from 1787-1823.  The Royal Pavilion houses some of the finest examples of Chinoiserie in the UK.  Designer Saturday lecture features New York interior designer Bunny Williams, and Adam Lewis, who recently published a biography of interior design icon Billy Baldwin
The music room
The Royal Pavilion, Brighton, UK  
Renowned as the oldest, most prestigious antiques show on the west coast, the 2010 San Francisco Fall Antiques Show features over 60 prominent US and European exhibitors.  Favorite US exhibitors include New York dealers Kentshire, Liz O'Brien and Carlton Hobbs LLC, as well as San Francisco based Therien & Co. and Kathleen Taylor-The Lotus Collection.  European favorites include Galerie Steinitz, Paris.
A George I red and gilt Japanned bureau cabinet, circa 1720
Kentshire, New York, NY
A Dresden blue, cream, gilt, and polychrome Japanned bureau bookcase in the manner of Martin Schnell, circa 1730
Kentshire, New York, NY
A George I green Japanned and parcel gilt bureau cabinet in the manner of John Belchier, circa 1725
Kentshire, New York, NY
A rosewood cabinet on stand in the Chinoiserie taste inset with polychrome hardstone zhouwork, probably from the court of Augustus in Dresden, circa 1750
Carlton Hobbs LLC, New York, NY
An early 18th century French Chinoiserie silk and wool needlepoint
 Kathleen Taylor-The Lotus Collection, San Francisco, CA
Who will be the grandest exhibitors this year?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Beautiful Bathrooms

Beautiful Bathrooms
by Jan Gunn Interior Architecture and Design

Bathrooms are at the top of the list for home remodeling projects in 2010.

With the current trends in bathroom remodeling, there is something for everyone, no matter what the budget is.  If you haven't been in to Ann Sacks recently, they just launched "AS Basics", an new line of tiles at "economy friendly" suggested retail prices of under $12.00 per square foot.  Likewise, Robern just launched a new "builder" line that is also very reasonably priced.

From tub changes, to “borrowing space” from an adjacent closet, to fresh paint and new lighting, a dated bathroom can always be improved.

May all your bathrooms be showplaces!

photo by Doug Salin 

A good place for you and your client to begin is by evaluating the value of their home.  A remodeling project shouldn't be so extravagant that it overwhelms the underlying property value!  The National Association of Home Builders suggests that when all other factors are equal, an additional half bathroom increases the value of a home by 10.5%, and an additional full bathroom increases the value by 20%.  New bathrooms recoup approximately 60% of the initial investment within the first year of completion.  But, it may take up to five years to recoup the full expense of a major remodel.

Once you and your client have decided to move ahead with the project, it’s time to set a budget based on the homeowner's finances, and the suitability of the remodeling project for the home.  After the budget has been agreed upon, the design process can begin!

Layered lighting is important irregardless of the style of the project.  Did you ever hold a flashlight under your chin in a dark room as a child?  The same ghoulish effect occurs in reverse (top down) in a bathroom that is illuminated with a single overhead light!  Who needs to look like they have dark circles under their eyes?  Side sconces by the mirror(s) serve as flattering task lights.  Halogen lamps are the best type of lamps for sconces.  The color of halogen light is the closest to daylight, so the appearance of cosmetics is similar to what others see.  Accent lighting can add a “pop” of personality to the room. General ambient lighting should be controlled by dimmers, which are flexible and energy efficient.  However, building codes often restrict the use of low efficacy lamps, such as halogen or incandescent, in bathrooms, even if they are controlled by dimmers.  So, employing motion or vacancy sensors instead of dimmers could free the designer from these limitations.

photo by Misha Burk

In recent years, ventilation has gotten much more sophisticated.  Better fans and combination fan/light units are whisper quiet.  And, the units can be purchased with humidity driven switching or motion detector actuated night lights.  To determine what size of fan your project requires, simply divide the cubic footage of the bathroom by 5.   In this case, bigger is not necessarily better, because an exhaust fan that is too powerful could pull more air out of the bathroom than can enter.  This could make the fan overheat, make it less efficient, or make it noisier.

Sinks and Faucets
Sinks and faucets are the "eye candy" of a bathroom.  Both are now available in a wide variety of specialty finishes.   Even though toilet flushing plungers are not yet available in some finishes, the handles could always be re-plated to match the finish of the faucets for an additional cost.

photo by Doug Salin 

Comfort height toilets are increasingly popular, and are no longer only considered for ADA projects. And, the styling has vastly improved!   For example, the Kohler "Persuade" toilet not only has contemporary styling, but also is dual flush.  In-wall tank toilets, which make marvelous use of small spaces, are another option to consider. 

It is generally accepted that home buyers like a house to have at least one bathtub.  So, this should be a consideration when planning a bathroom remodeling project.  Now, hydrotherapy whirlpool tubs are gaining popularity over traditional water jet tubs.  Hydrotherapy tubs give a more soothing, vibrating massage, while water jet tubs give a more vigorous, pulsating massage.  Hydrotherapy tubs are considered more sanitary than water jet tubs because the water does not remain standing in the internal pipes when the tub is not being used.  And, the new infinity edged tubs with overflow drain systems are amazing! 

Shower Heads
If you are installing multiple shower heads in your remodeled bathroom, such as a combination of rain showers, hand held showers, or body sprays, consider completing the installation by the end of 2010.  A new building code goes into effect on January 1, 2011 that requires using valves, which can only activate one water emitter at a time. 

For a really luxurious and romantic element, consider adding a fireplace to the bathroom!   Today's direct vent gas fireplaces are economical and easy to install.  Since direct vent gas fireplaces do not require a chimney, they can be vented through a wall or through the roof. The direct vent operates not only by drawing combustion air, but also by venting to the outside atmosphere.  So, direct vent fireplaces don't consume warm air from inside the house, or compete with the furnace or other appliances for combustion air.  Plus, direct venting eliminates the heat loss and the drafts associated with other types of fireplaces.  How better to make your bathroom toasty?

What makes your bathroom a showplace?