I love to get out of the office and shop for my clients because things don't always translate online. Even if I don't buy anything, it is inspiring to see and touch and try out the furniture. Interior Design has and always will be a tactile industry.
I just returned from a mini vacation in Santa Barbara for Memorial Day weekend. I traveled with a close friend and although we made a promise not to work while we were there, it turned out we almost spent our entire first night discussing only work related 'stuff.'
So I didn't shop while I was there... well not really. Every Sunday there is an Arts and Crafts show at the State Street pier. I strolled by and took note of a few local artisans. I also managed to pop into one gallery as we were literally hopping in the car to head back to Los Angeles. I am so glad I did because I found one artist whom I really loved, Erika Marie Carter. The first photo is from the gallery, the others I pulled from her website.
I always look to nature for inspiration. It is everywhere and only a moment from being noticed.
Recently I visited the California Mart in Downtown Los Angeles. While I was there to shop with a few reputable furniture companies, I was astonished to see how much JUNK was there. It looked like my grandmothers house on steroids. Small wooden bunnies, trinkets galore, colored letters, boards with feel good statements. It really irked me - who buys this stuff? What's more - who is the man (or women) in charge of producing these products? Why are our precious resources being wasted on this junk? Seriously who needs a frog holding a sign that says welcome?? In my opinion a well designed environment should have none of this clutter. A few accessories here and there okay but much more than that is clutter and superfluous. Before you buy that bright blue oversized bowl for your auntie in Kansas, think: does she really need this or would she better appreciate some fresh fruit? Or a gift card to the spa? Where was this made? And is it really worth my time and money or am I just filling a void? I also suggest checking out a local flea market or resale shop. Up cycling is an incredible way to save resources and money in your pocket.
About two summers ago I had the privilege of working with my college professor on a project in the Colonial neighborhood in Fort Worth, Texas. Gale VanAckeran designs are well-put, magnificent, and understated. Here are images from the Modern Italian style villa that you won't find anywhere else but here on Site and Seen.
A few more lasting moments from Rome...
I was able to shop a Flea market while in Rome. (as some may know - flea markets are one of my most favorite past times) It was a delightfully refreshing experience. Here are a few treasure I spotted...
I spotted this chrome and glass beauty at Blackman Cruz on Highland. It reminds me of rain drops or icicles - perfect for a cool entry or dramatic in a high ceiling dining room. I'm also loving the heart with wings sconces!
Inspirations for the well traveled...
One of my favorite things is to pop into random and unknown antique shops. Underneath the dust and debris treasures abound...
Images from Ralph Lauren in Beverly Hills. I could move right in...
Once home to Mr. J Paul Getty, The Getty Villa is now home to an extensive collection of ancient Greek, Roman, and Etrurian artifacts. The Malibu development dates back to 1954 when the original home was built. In 1968, Getty endeavored to recreate a first century Roman house of one Villa dei Papiri to house his growing collection of art. The latest addition was made prior to 2006. Although the modern style cafe perched above the auditorium takes away from the true essence of the Roman era I think the majority of the latest renovation was beautifully done. Here are a few inspirations from The Getty Villa.
There was an article in the New York Times recently about a group of perfectionists and their New York City homes. Each person has a successful career and yet they are living in empty apartments due to their inability to find the purpose of a sofa or one that satisfies their self righteousness. I believe that we are in a world of over worked and over caffeinated people, and the home, albeit a personal reflection, should be a warm invitation to relax and let go.
Recently I saw a beautiful exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago on the Japanese Kimono. The exhibit showcased traditional garments and modern interpretations as well as the process for developing the intricate design motifs. The kimono has been around for over six centuries and the traditional construction has changed very little. I loved the all of the colors and patterns. Here are a few of my favorites from the exhibition.
Unique accessories are essential to a well designed environment. They can speak to what you like, where you have been, and who you are. Think about the things you love to do. Find accessories that speak to you. Are you into roller derby? Maybe a pair of vintage skates for your bookshelf. Are you a movie producer? Maybe a sweet stage light repurposed as a floor lamp. Or maybe you are into farming? A cool vintage pitchfork would liven up your kitchen walls or buy some beautiful cutting boards and collage them like art. But my best advice - don't care what anyone else thinks of your knick knacks.