Moving Madness Sale

Moving Madness Sale

For those of you who still mourn the loss of Takashimaya, I have a bit of good news. Imperio jp, the lifestyle company which was Takashimaya’s best seller in the bag department, is having an enormous moving sale. They are relocating to a new space, which will be a retail store/gallery, open to the public year round. Imperio jp’s goal is to “seek out small craftsmen, artisans and workshops in developing countries that previously have never exported, and use local materials”. Today and tomorrow ALL of their collections will be 40-90% off retail. They carry not only bags, but jewelry, evening accessories, home decor items and beautiful shawls.…

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Gil Schafer – In Vino Veritas

Gil Schafer – In Vino Veritas

I don’t need any wine to speak the truth about this project. It’s simply spectacular. If you were to plan a wine cellar in your home, what would you imagine – perhaps a modest room in your basement, with, if you’re lucky, a small place to sit and sample your wares. Well Gil Schafer and his client envisioned this!

“We want our houses to have charm, character and warmth, but without being gimmicky about it.” says Schafer. Well I would say they exceeded those expectations and more. One of my favorite aspects of his work is that in these very large, expensive homes, there is no sign of ostentation.…

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Gil Schafer – Part Deux

Gil Schafer – Part Deux

The featured project on Gil Schafer’s website currently is the William C. Gatewood House in Charleston, SC, which won an AIA award for historic preservation last year and was featured in Town & Country in May.

The story of the renovation is a fascinating one and there are two wonderful videos (both from the same occasion) included on the site if you are interested. I’ve linked to the one of the Roundtable Discussion at the Institute of Classical Architecture in NYC last April which included Schafer, the homeowner, Sarah Horton and the builder Richard “Moby” Marks, Charleston’s preeminent restoration contractor. It is both informative and entertaining.…

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Gaga over Gil – Part 1

Gaga over Gil – Part 1

OK, I confess, I have a bit of an obsession (the oxymoron is actually understatement) with the work of architect Gil Schafer. Ever since I first saw images of his weekend house, Middlefield, in Elle Decor almost ten years ago, I have routinely stalked his site, waiting for new projects to be published. Over the years, I somehow felt, erroneously of course, that I alone was the single anonymous member of his secret fan club.  But since the Town & Country article in May and the announcement that he has won the Veranda Art of Design Award for Architecture, I fear there will be many others vying for his (illusory) attention.…

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Exciting Offer

Exciting Offer

David Easton’s studio is offering Quintessence readers bookplates, signed by David, to put in their copies of Timeless Elegance. E-mail your name and mailing address to [email protected] – don’t forget you must mention Quintessence! What a wonderful treat for yourself or for a lucky someone on your list!

If you missed my review of the fabulous book, go here: http://quintessenceblog.com/2010/09/timeless-elegance/

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Andre the Giant

Andre the Giant

Giant of photography that is. As if there weren’t enough reasons to go to Paris already, there is now another. The Jeu de Paume Museum is showing the first major European retrospective of Andre Kertesz, one of my all time favorite photographers.

Born in Hungary in 1894, Kertesz started to explore with a camera when he was 16, while working as a clerk at the Budapest stock exchange. Inspired by life itself, Kertesz used his camera as a sketchbook, recording the majesty of everyday scenes. He explained,  “I photographed real life—not the way it was, but the way I felt it.…

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Richard Frinier | Designing the Outdoors

Richard Frinier | Designing the Outdoors

Richard Frinier is one of the best known designers of luxury outdoor furniture working today. The recipient of more than 70 awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Casual Furnishings Association, he has set the standard for innovation and discriminating style in outdoor living. His designs grace private homes and luxury resorts and hotels throughout the world as well as royal palaces and even the Vatican. I discovered Frinier when there was a flurry of press this year announcing a new collection. As I started to research his career, I was astonished by his overwhelming creative output.

Designer, Richard Frinier

Frinier started his professional career with Brown Jordan where he spent 20 years, graduating from a staff designer to Chief Creative Officer and lead designer.…

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Wish List

Wish List

Here is my next wish list installment. So do you remember in Rear Window when the incredibly chic Grace Kelly,

playing a fashion editor (dressed by Edith Head of course), comes over to Jimmy Stewart’s apartment with that fabulous Mark Cross bag?

The original bag was specially made for the movie in 1954 by Max Holzman for Mark Cross. The bag above is a very rare recreation made in the 1990’s when Mark Cross tried unsuccessfully to make a come back (the store closed in 1998). My sister actually owns one of these.

Well don’t get too excited – it’s not being reissued, but I have found a bag that reminds of it in spirit.…

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Brilliant Box

Brilliant Box

How could I not have known about 212box. Designers for the thinking man (the term referring to the unisex global form of man), this is exactly the kind of company I find intriguing. A totally comprehensive firm, they tackle everything from graphic and product design to architecture and  advertising. Their website is a cubic grid of connections to keep the eye and mind engaged, as is their work. You can look at their work on just an aesthetic level and be impressed or you can delve below the surface and be blown away. Take a look at this article in the New York Times about a project that Eric Clough, one of the partners at the firm, worked on and you will have a glimpse into their expansive, creative and dedicated mindset.…

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Posted in architecture, design, dining room, interior design, kitchens | 2 Comments  

Gearing Up for the Guys

Gearing Up for the Guys

Some marketers have finally realized that guys like stuff too and are willing to shop online and even spend money just like their female counterparts. Two new sites which have arrived (or are coming soon) are targeted to them or their significant others shopping for them. The first has been getting quite a bit of press because it is being brought to you by the team who brought you the very successful Net-a-Porter, the “world’s premier online luxury fashion destination” – which it is.

Natalie Massenet, the founder of the fabulous Net-a-Porter, earlier this year sold a 93% financial stake in her company (netting her a purported cool 50 million pounds) to Richemont, the Swiss luxury conglomerate which already owns a stable of other luxury brands such as Cartier, Van Cleef, Montblanc, Chloe and more.…

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