Aside

We moved!

For my new office, I’m having a reclaimed black walnut desk custom built, and it’s so exciting to go through the whole design process. Here’s the idea:

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Now, the process. First step: picking the slab

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Second: measuring

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Third: powder coated iron legs are just what I was looking for. However, the standard shelf is definitely too small for my purpose. I’m having it customized…

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…and there it is:

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I can’t wait to have this beauty delivered. Thank you, Blake of elpis&wood (ps: check them out, these guys are amazing)

Kaiguo dadian (开国大典) and the Chinese heritage

Do you know that on the other side of the world over 1.3 billion people are celebrating one of their biggest holidays of the year? With 15 hours of difference it’s already October 1st in China, so happy 63rd National Day of the Republic!

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If you want to learn more about this holiday, check out this article and vintage pictures on the Chinese Posters:  http://chineseposters.net/themes/1-october.php

In 2001 I visited China for the first time. Here is what I find most fascinating about the Chinese heritage:

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Calligraphy

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Mirror, Mirror (Specchio, specchio delle mie brame…)

In my recent search for retro and vintage accent pieces to fit in a discerning client’s home, I stumbled across this jaw dropping authentic Venetian mirror. My (also authentic) Venetian heart has been pounding for it ever since. 

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Etched and beveled classic Venetian mirror (1950s) featuring beveled edging, etched floral motif, and cut glass rosette accents.

 

Mirrors are great pieces. They add light, interest and a sense of space to any room. And, they come in so many forms and shapes. I find it fascinating to see the various interpretations of mirrors from different countries.

From France, here comes the Justine Screen, a folded screen with 6 foils in mirror (1980)

San Miguel Allende, Mexico, brings us this intriguing burnt orange leather mirror with hand-crafted brass details (circa 1970)

From the Shanxi Province, China, comes this early 20th century Chinese Mirror
(circa 1900)

From Peru comes this Spanish Colonial style mirror with red and gold frame (20th Century)

If you reflection is not as important as the reflection of your personality, you definitely want these bold statement pieces, a pair of Pop Art Mirrors (circa 1971) from our very own LA.

If vintage is your draw, but budget is an issue, fear not. You would not believe what flea markets and fresh paint can do. Follow these advice: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/diy-update-an-old-mirror-110972 …and enjoy the result!

 

 

Case study: restaurant high chairs

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They say, once you have a child, you see things in a different way.

They are right. Long gone is the time when going out for dinner was a matter of picking the cutest, quaintest restaurant, with the most delicious food. With our now 18-month-old in tow, top priorities are lack of perils (stairs, fountains, candles) and comfort (a booth will nicely “trap” the kid for a while, or a comfortable high chair will do).

Most restaurants and public venues have this type of high chair:

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Simple, functional, and arguably comfortable, this common chair meets the industry standards, satisfies the basic requirements, and will do the job. But… can something better be done? For example, what about maintenance and cleanliness of the chair?

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There comes the Rubbermaid high chair. Its Microban® antimicrobial protection helps prevent the growth of stain and odor causing bacteria. Thumbs up for this heavy-duty, durable molded plastic chair (also guaranteed not to chip, dent, or rust).

Ah, there’s one more benefit, it stores pretty easily:

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Back to the Standard high chair, and on to another issue, can something be done about that hard, uncomfortable seat? And perhaps, the rough crotch strap?

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The Monte Design Group and I are definitely on the same page, check this out:

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Design wise, the Tavo high chair is most definitely a step up product. The upholstered seat comes in white, black or brown bonded leather. Once in, the child is safely secured by means of  the permanent T-bar.

Here’s another stylish version of the chair, white leather and espresso finish:

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Being an integral part of the design of a restaurant, high chairs demand the same attention as dining chairs would.  Color-wise, a wide selection comes from the Designer high chair by Koala Kare:

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When space is what matters the most, how about the Baby Bjorn high chair, foldable to just 10 inches for easy storage:

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Thumbs – and the whole hand – definitely up for the Minui HandySitt, a portable high chair that can be strapped onto almost any size chair, or placed onto its own base. It is said to be found in most Starbucks an TGI Fridays in the United Kingdom.

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Danish genius!

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Hey, wait, what is this?

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It’s the Maartje Steenkamp high chair manufactured by Droog. This white birch “companion through childhood” is provided with notches on the legs, where they should be sawn to adjust the height. It is not a joke, in fact, when purchased, the chair comes with a handsaw and sandpaper.

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And if  you think you’ve seen it all, check out the Blekiz Feedaway:

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…a cardboard portable high chair to be used for temporary situations, while travelling or just for fun. Made from recycled cardboard, the chair is provided with 3 point safety harness and comes with its own recycled cardboard carry box strong enough to withstand the rigors of travel by car, train or airplane. Too good to be true? Witness with your own eyes…

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Travelling by paper

The Summer 2012 edition of Hospitalitystyle.com is here. And, with summer right behind the corner, how could I not feel transported by these glamorous pages and dream, dream, dream…

When fashion meets design. Take a look at the stunning entryway of hotel La Maison Champs Élysées, designed by  the Belgian fashion house Maison Martin Margiela (MMM). The glittering period chandeliers are self-spoken, however, noteworthy are the walls, lined with photographs of millwork. That’s right,  trompe-l’œil.

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Up to last night, the words “vacation” and “heath” went inarguably together, in my opinion. However, this next picture had me stop and rethink that concept for a moment. The Miura Hotel Spa in the Czech Republic by Labor 13 features a snow cabin. This leaves me speechless.

And pondering.

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A short distance from the Czech Republic, but a world apart, is the Penzance’s Artist Residence hotel in the U.K. The Ephemeral Opulence suite by  Rachel Ella Taylor is cozy, sophisticated and inviting. I just want to dive into that cloudy duvet.

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It is now officially ok to start dreaming about the next summer vacation.