• innerspace | interior design blog

the vertical garden that french botanist patrick blanc designed for pershing hall hotel in paris in 2001 seemed so unique when my husband, bob, and i first stayed there.  now, vertical gardens are becoming so popular in france that the eiffel tower might even become a vertical garden!

in 2011, blanc designed a vertical garden for drew school in san francisco.  so, it’s not surprising that vertical gardens are becoming popular on the west coast.  to update the landscaping in the entry and the portico of the 2012 san francisco decorator showcase, living green designed vertical gardens of succulents and ferns.

vertical garden of ferns | portico | designed by davis dalbok of living green | 2012 san francisco decorator showcase

photo credit mercurynews.com

in 2012, blanc designed vertical gardens for the annual orchid show at the new york botanical garden.  so, it’s not surprising that vertical gardens are also becoming popular on the east coast.  so popular that charlotte moss designed vertical gardens of perserved boxwood for a master bedroom suite at the 2012 kips bay decorator show house.  along with the vertical gardens in the sitting room and the bathroom, moss used trompe l’oeil wallpaper, garden photographs, and garden ornaments to transform the suite into a french country retreat.

vertical garden of preserved boxwood | master bedroom suite | designed by charlotte moss | 2012 kips bay decorator show house

photo credit charles eckert

does it seem unusual that the same design trends appear in decorator show houses on the west coast, and on the east coast?

the entry halls of both show houses feature ikat rugs.  a zigzag patterned ikat rug, paisley patterned wallpaper, and zebra patterned porter’s chairs update the great hall of the san francisco decorator showcase, a classical revival house that was built in 1902.

ikat rug | the great hall | designed by dara rosenfeld | 2012 san francisco decorator showcase

photo credit mercurynews.com
an ikat rug, designed by thom filicia for safavieh, also anchors a gallery between the entry hall, the living room, and the dining room of the kips bay decorator show house, located in adjacent duplex condominiums in a new hi-rise building.

ikat rug | gallery | designed by thom filicia | 2012 kips bay decorator show house

photo credit nicole gibbons | so haute

could this be considered trend direction?  or, product placement?

could it be coincidental that the color of the safavieh ikat rug is purple haze, and that the dining rooms in both show houses have purple and green color schemes?  to modernize the late victorian dining room of the san francisco decorator showcase, klismos chairs with green upholstery surround a cluster of tiered tables with purple resin tops.

purple and green color scheme | dining room | designed by marysia rybock of scavullo design | 2012 san francisco decorator showcase

photo credit mercurynews.com
in the dining room of the kips bay decorator show house, aubergine walls and a 42-arm venetian glass chandelier from the 1940’s alter the proportions of the too-tall space.  french empire chairs with green upholstery, and a 1960’s mirror, framed in green faceted glass, add contrast.

purple and green color scheme | dining room | designed by todd alexander romano | 2012 kips bay decorator show house

photo credit nicole gibbons | so haute
but, the faceted mirror isn’t the only diagonal pattern in either show house.  in a living room in san francisco, green couch mounted a faceted mirror with a cracked ice pattern above the fireplace, and laid a kyle bunting cowhide rug with a cracked ice pattern on the floor.  they even stacked the bolster pillows on the sofa diagonally.

cracked ice mirror | lifestyle room | designed by jeff schlarb and tray schlarb of green couch | 2012 san francisco decorator showcase

photo credit mercurynews.com
and, in a living room in new york, brian del toro hung a faceted mirror with a cracked ice pattern above a sofa.

cracked ice mirror | living room | designed by brian del toro | 2012 kips bay decorator show house

photo credit nicole gibbons | so haute
it may not seem unusual that both show houses showcase the ultimate in kitchen appliances.  the main kitchen in the san francisco decorator showcase already had a la cornue range.

la cornue range | lifestyle room | designed by jeff schlarb and tray schlarb of green couch | 2012 san francisco decorator showcase

photo credit mercurynews.com
and, at kips bay, st. charles of new york installed a la cornue island.

la cornue island | kitchen | designed by robert schwartz+karen williams for st. charles of new york | 2012 kips bay decorator show house

photo credit nicole gibbons | so haute
but, the custom bed, created for a bedroom suite in san francisco by furniture and accessory designer paul benson is unusual.  don’t the materials of the bed, which include hot rolled steel, brushed brass, and polished aluminum, remind you of la cornue?

hot rolled steel/brushed brass/polished aluminum bed by paul benson | the tailor made suit(e) | designed by brian dittmar | 2012 san francisco decorator showcase

photo credit david duncan livingston

visit the 2012 decorator showcase | san francisco CA | april 28-may 28

visit the 2012 kips bay decorator show house | new york NY | may 16-june 14

canadian media and branding mogul tyler brule founded both wallpaper* and monocle magazines.  he also writes the fast lane, a column in the weekend financial times (FT) that is generally amusing, often hilarious, and usually opinionated.  ‘a springtime special delivery’, the 21 april 2012 the fast lane, answers readers’ queries about travel, fashion, and design, including questions about garden design:

question:  ‘my terrace is looking a bit tired and i want some new furniture.  should i go wood or woven for chairs?  how do you feel about outdoor sofas?’

answer:  ‘first, sofas belong indoors…’

for lifestyle retailers, such as rh (restoration hardware), outdoor upholstery could be considered a brilliant product extension that blurs the distinctions between interior and exterior furnishings.  rh’s outdoor upholstery collections are constructed of weather resistant materials, such as marine grade plywood and quick dry foam cushions, and are slipcovered in sunbrella or perennials solution dyed acrylic fabric.

their spring 2012 design source book shows outdoor upholstery installed on sand.

rh | capri outdoor upholstery collection

photo credit rh

on gravel.

rh | belgian slope arm outdoor upholstery collection

photo credit rh

or, on grass.

rh | belgian track arm outdoor upholstery collection

photo credit rh

could outdoor upholstered furniture be as durable, low maintainence, or weather resistant as teak, all weather wicker, or powder coated metal furniture with removable cushions?

do you think that upholstered furniture belongs outdoors?

if you live in london, you might read time out magazine for the restaurant and theater reviews, or the schedule of events.  so, when my husband, bob, and i arrived in london recently, i borrowed a copy of time out from clive, the concierge at the capital hotel, to make sure that we weren’t missing any interesting events.

joan mitchell is one of my favorite artists.  and, i would absolutely love to own one of her pastel drawings.

joan mitchell (1925-1992) | pastel | pastel on paper | 1991

cheim & read | new york. NY

photo credit cheim & read

so, i was excited to discover that hauser & wirth gallery was presenting joan mitchell the last paintings from 3 february-28 april 2012.  mitchell’s late abstract expressionist paintings use intense gestures and intense colors that express her intense feelings for the countryside near her home in vetheuil, france.

joan mitchell (1925-1992) | river | oil on canvas | 1989

joan mitchell the last paintings | 3 feb-28 apr 2012 | hauser & wirth | london, united kingdom

photo credit hauser & wirth

joan mitchell (1925-1992) | sunflowers | oil on canvas | 1990-1991

joan mitchell the last paintings | 3 feb-28 apr 2012 | hauser & wirth | london, united kingdom

photo credit hauser & wirth

joan mitchell (1925-1992) | trees | oil on canvas | 1990-1991

joan mitchell the last paintings | 3 feb-28 apr 2012 | hauser & wirth | london, united kingdom

photo credit hauser & wirth

her last paintings are pure abstractions that use color, line, compositon, scale, and form spontaneously and freely.

joan mitchell (1925-1992) | untitled | oil on canvas | 1992

joan mitchell the last paintings | 3 feb-28 apr 2012 | hauser & wirth | london, united kingdom

photo credit hauser & wirth

joan mitchell (1925-1992) | tondo | oil on canvas | 1991

joan mitchell the last paintings | 3 feb-28 apr 2012 | hauser & wirth | london, united kingdom

photo credit hauser & wirth

joan mitchell (1925-1992) | tondo | oil on canvas | 1991

joan mitchell the last paintings | 3 feb-28 apr 2012 | hauser & wirth | london, united kingdom

photo credit hauser & wirth

does the round format of the tondos remind you of damien hirst?

damien hirst | beautiful strummerville spin, the future is unwritten painting | household gloss on canvas | 2012

sold for GBP 445,250 | US$ 699,087

contemporary art evening auction | 15 february 2012 | sotheby’s, bond street | sale l12020 lot 34

photo credit sotheby’s

attending all of the auction previews at christie’s, sotheby’s, or bonham’s is one of the things that my husband, bob, and i both miss about living in london.  our recent visit to london coincided with post war and contemporary art week.  so, of course we couldn’t resist attending the auction previews in the evening, after work and before dinner.

instead of neo-expressionist or figurative painters, such as basquiat or bacon, many of my favorite artists, such as cy twombly, are abstract expressionists.  somehow, the freedom and spontaneity of their work is really appealing.  if i could have bid on anything, it would have been twombly’s calligraphy drawings at christie’s, king street.

cy twombly (1928-2011) | untitled | gouache and wax crayon on card | 1970

sold for GBP 577,250 | US$ 906,283

post war and contemporary art evening auction | 14 feb 2012 | christie’s | london, king street | sale 8052 lot 24

photo credit christie’s

cy twombly (1928-2011) | untitled | gouache and wax crayon on card | 1970

sold for GBP 713,250 | US$ 1,119,803

post war and contemporary art evening auction | 14 feb 2012 | christie’s | london, king street | sale 8052 lot 47

photo credit christie’s

he created them at the same time as his blackboard series, which became famous for blurring the lines between drawing and painting.

cy twombly | untitled | gouache and wax crayon on paper | 1969

cy twombly-works from the sonnabend collection | 7 feb-17 mar 2012 | eykyn-maclean | london, united kingdom

photo credit (c) cy twombly foundation

eykyn-maclean gallery is showing cy twombly-works from the sonnabend collection from 7 february-17 march 2012—one of the many museum quality commercial exhibits that accompany the february impressionst, modern, post war, and contemporary art auctions in london.

if you could, which would you choose?  a cy twombly calligraphy or blackboard drawing?

cy twombly blackboard drawing above the bar in the apartment of aerin lauder zinterhofer | new york, NY

photo credit francois halard

if you live in san francisco, you might remember the spectacular chihuly exhibition at the de young museum and the legion of honor in 2008.

dale chihuly | chandelier room

chihuly at the de young | de young museum and the legion of honor | san francisco, CA | 14 jun-28 sept 2008

photo credit dale chihuly

so, of course, my husband, bob, and i looked forward to seeing chihuly at the halcyon gallery during our recent trip to london.

when i think of chihuly in london, i can’t help thinking about the dramatic 27 foot high chandelier in the reception rotunda at the victoria & albert museum (v&a), which remains on permanent display following the chihuly at the v&a exhibition in 2001.

dale chihuly | v&a chandelier | 2001

victoria & albert museum | london, united kingdom

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

but, what made chihuly at the halcyon gallery so engaging was the opportunity to get so close that you could have touched everything!  you could see how the chandeliers were assembled by hand wiring each of the individually made long, short, bulbous, twisted, or spiraled glass elements onto the cage-like interior armature.

dale chihuly | dusky sky chandelier

chihuly | halcyon gallery | 5 dec 2011-21 apr 2012 | london, united kingdom

photo credit halcyon gallery

dale chihuly | cranberry and clear chandelier

chihuly | halcyon gallery | 5 dec 2011-21 apr 2012 | london, united kingdom

photo credit halcyon gallery

you could also marvel at the amazing craftsmanship on a pair of cut glass sconces, made at the waterford crystal centre in ireland for the chihuly over venice project in 1995-1996.

dale chihuly | pair of waterford sconces

chihuly | halcyon gallery | 5 dec 2011-21 apr 2012 | london, united kingdom

photo credits matilde aguilera and halcyon gallery

or, the sculptural gold and quartz two tiered chandelier, made specifically for a stairwell in the gallery’s grade II listed building.

dale chihuly | gold and quartz two tiered chandelier

chihuly | halcyon gallery | 5 dec 2011-21 apr 2012 | london, united kingdom

photo credits halcyon gallery and halcyon gallery

the exhibition includes other site specific sculptures, such as a 24 foot mille fiore glass garden.

dale chihuly | mille fiore garden

chihuly | halcyon gallery | 5 dec 2011-21 apr 2012 | london, united kingdom

photo credit halcyon gallery

as well as chihuly’s signature botanical or aquatic sculptures, such as macchia, persians, and venetians, or seaforms and boats.

dale chihuly | sunset boat

chihuly | halcyon gallery | 5 dec 2011-21 apr 2012 | london, united kingdom

photo credit halcyon gallery

if you are in london, you ‘must see’ chihuly at the halcyon gallery.  if you can look, but not touch!