Friday, October 29, 2010

Project Runway Finale

Last night was my favorite TV night of the year; it was Project Runway season 8's finale. I think there was a bit of an upset with Gretchen winning over Mondo, but I actually really loved Gretchen's show. I loved her hippie, granola, bohemian, with a modern edge, style throughout the season and her collection last night was no exception. I thought her clothes, jewlery, and styling were amazing. Here were some of my favorites (take a look at the entire collection here, and visit Gretchen's website, Mothlove, here.)

Gretchen also showed her collection to this song, Icarus by White Hinterland. Have a listen, you'll like it.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Art History Thursday - Modernism in America

I'll keep this brief, but one artist that really stuck out to me from yesterday's art history lecture (the beginning of Modernism in America) was Richard Diebenkorn. Influenced heavily by Matisse, Diebenkorn (and many of the other early American modern artists) focused on pushing modern art further by creating tension in his works. I found this really interesting. Probably because in my interiors, I don't like things too pretty or too perfect or too planned (I'm realizing more and more that I'm also like this with music and fashion); if something is a little "ugly" or awkward, I tend to like it more, and I find it a lot more interesting.

Diebenkorn created this tension through a few different avenues. He created an illusion of space, while also emphasizing the flatness of the canvas. His paintings would also show tension between abstraction and representation. The loose, sloppy, and tactile quality of his painting technique also creates a tense or awkward sort of quality. I love it.

In this painting, there is an illusion of space as if you can look off in the distance, beyond the painting, but the perspective is a little awkward and forces the viewer to also recognize the paint as just paint and the flat canvas as a flat canvas.

Girl with Plant. This is a good example of abstraction and representation existing in the same painting. You can see a girl with a plant (hence the title), but she has a very abstract quality about her and the space around her.

Ocean View. The same tension causing elements apply.

Better Shelter

Some day, probably not any time soon, but some day, I want to start a company that does what these people do. Better Shelter purchases foreclosed homes in specific areas of Orange County and Los Angeles, that are small in size, but big in modern (think Dwell magazine) design potential. They fix up these homes using inexpensive, but design savvy techniques, materials, and finishes. When the construction is complete, they stage the space with modern, mid-century, laid back beach style furnishings, and then let the bids roll in. Most all of Better Shelter's homes sell for more than the asking price. Yes, even in "this economy".

Check out their blog here, and read the recent Los Angeles Magazine article on Better Shelter here.

We can help with your modern or mid-century decor. Just give us a call!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Birthday List

So for the passed 2 hours the plan was to clean my extremely unorganized and messy office. Instead, I was birthday shopping online. My birthday is in exactly one week and here is my want list, just FYI.

Faux leather scuba jacket from Collection B.

Linus Roaster in white. Got to have the 3 speed. With the hill up to my house from the beach, purchasing a 1 speed bike is a mistake you only make once.

I'm in love with these earrings, from In God We Trust.

I started to pick it apart, but then decided that I wanted this whole outfit from J. Crew.

But specifically this...

These are on sale!

I'm in to juicing these days (specifically orange carrot juice, which I currently just buy from Jamba Juice, but think of the possibilities if I had my very own juicer?!). I found this one on Amazon, it's pretty and stainless, nothing's worse than an unsightly appliance.

This watch...

Or this one...

Yep...that should leave me good for another year.

Mary Wigman & Witch Dance

Taking my art history course has sparked an interest in learning more about a lot of different forms of artistic expression. Today I was doing a little research on the German dancer, choreographer, and instructor, Mary Wigman (1986-1973).

She was a pioneer of expressionist dance and her work was known for bringing the deepest of existential experiences to life on stage. The most popular dance that I found on YouTube was the "Witch Dance", which I thought was actually pretty fitting given that Halloween is a mere 3 days away.

I thought this dance was a little eerie, and not really something I would want to watch over and over again, yet, I found myself watching it at least 3 times. Art doesn't have to be beautiful in a "happy" or "pretty" sense to be appreciated, I think it just has to make you feel or react to serve its purpose. And for that, I would say to Mary Wigman, mission accomplished.

Contact us for more information on design services in the Newport Beach and Orange County area.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Buck House NY

I came across this shop on 1st Dibs after reading Eddie Ross' design blog. Just add it to the list of reasons I want to move to New York.

If you live in Orange County and want help redecorating or redesigning your home, visit our website at

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Art History Thursday - The Avant-Garde

Matisse, The Woman with the Hat, 1905

One of the reasons I signed up to become a docent at the Orange County Museum of Art was because the training sounded so interested. It's 6 months of half art appreciation/teaching and half art history. So far it's been amazing and I'm really excited about it. What is it about being a mere 6 years older and not having any tests or homework to worry about that makes this art history class soooo much more interesting than all of the art history classes I took in college?

So now I am officially naming Thursday's "Art History Thursday" on my blog for the duration of the class, where I will share a little bit of what I learned, or relearned, with you.

During today's lecture, here are some of the points I found most interesting:

1. Duchamp. I was familiar with him calling found objects "art" (i.e. the urinal) and the uproar it caused in the art world, but today I learned more of the reasons behind why he did this. In the early 20th century, being avant-garde meant to reinvent and push forward and Duchamp wanted to be a part of this movement as it pertained to art, but felt after Cubism with masters like Picasso and Braque, there wasn't much further he could push paint and a canvas. So he took found or readymade objects and recontextualized them and forced everyone to ask the question, "what is art?".

Duchamp, Fountain, 1917

2. Arp. Also pushing art forward and rejecting traditional art as much as possible, Arp created a series of works called "Collage arranged according to the laws of chance". He created these pieces by tearing paper into pieces, dropping them onto a larger sheet of paper, and pasting each scrap wherever it fell. This was Arp's way of not only forcing viewers at the time to look at art in a new way, but to also force himself out of any habits, traditions, or repetitions that he may have formed in his own work. It forced him to step outside of his own box even further.

Arp, Collage arranged according to the laws of chance, 1916-17

Even though I shouldn't be, I'm a little surprised by how much this art history class has inspired my design process; not only by the works themselves, but also the feeling and intention behind each piece. I'm loving every minute of it!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

J. Crew

I just got my J. Crew catalog in the mail and I noticed a couple of things. 1. Tights (sweater, opaque, patterned, you name it) are a must this season, and I'm really liking how the J. Crew stylists have paired them with shorts, which will generally work during a Southern California winter. 2. They have some seriously cute shoes.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Grant Gibson

I "follow" several blogs, but I generally don't log in and check the blogs I follow, I still just type in the web address when I want to check in with any one of my favorite bloggers. But today my list of blogs that I "follow" actually caught my attention.

I give you the scoop on Grant K. Gibson's stoop (like how I rhymed that?). It's San Franciscan fall perfection.

Factory 20

Happy Monday! A while ago I was searching for an authentic vintage industrial side table for a client and stumbled across this little gem of a website, Factory 20. They have some seriously cool stuff and their prices aren't too shabby. Don't live in the NY area? Not to worry, they will gladly ship anywhere, and they are super quick on the email responses, gotta love that!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Oscar de la Renta Home for Lee Jofa

What do you get when you combine legendary fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, interior design mastermind Miles Redd, and a high style fabric house like Lee Jofa?

Well let me tell you...Oscar de la Renta has recently launch his new line of fabric for Lee Jofa, Oscar de la Renta Home, under the creative direction of Miles Redd. The colors and texture of his fabric line are bold, beautiful, and A-MA-ZING. These are photos of the showroom that Miles Redd designed using all of Oscar de la Renta's new fabric. Normally I'm not drawn bold reds, greens, yellows, and blues, all in the same room, but that's why these men are geniuses; they make it look timeless, incredibly stylish, unique, and comfortable all at the same time.

I also just received an email from 1st Dibs announcing a Lee Jofa charity auction hosted by Bidding for Good, which will auction off 9 custom ball skirts created by Oscar de la Renta using his fabric from his new home collection. The skirts were used in advertisements for Lee Jofa announcing the launch of the collection. Bidding will be hosted online through November 30, 2010. Proceeds of the auction will go to Casa del NiƱo, which is regarded as the most complete project of child assistance in the Dominican Republic.

Talented and charitable...nicely done Oscar!

Photos taken from 1st Dibs and the Kravet blog, read more here.
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