Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I am so excited to see the American paintings galleries at the Met are finally open to the public again, as of January 16th.  They are a wonderful complement to the American Wing with its period rooms and furniture galleries (of course my true love at the Met).  My only sadness is that it will likely be a while before I can make it to NY to view the galleries.  When I studied at Sotheby's, many an hour were spent in the galleries before the renovation, and they were certainly in need of a facelift.  My wonderful ex program director and professor Carrie Rebora Barratt is doing the rounds promoting the new galleries, even making an appearance on the Colbert Report on Jan 19th - check out the clip here.  I think she held her own quite well.  Sigh, her discussion of Washington Crossing the Delaware sure did make me miss my school days!

A few of my favorites in the galleries:

Madame X by Sargent, 1883-4 (one of my all time favorites ever):

Approaching Thunderstorm by Heade, 1859:

The Hatch Family by Johnson, 1870-1:

Daniel Crommelin Verplank, Copley, 1771:

Cremorne Gardens, Whistler, 1870-80:

I could go on for hours!  Anyone in NY please go and enjoy!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I love the ever increasing interest in Steampunk and Dark Nostalgia styles within the world of interiors.  If you are not familiar with these trends (you probably are even if you do not know the terms), well, that is a blog for another day...coming soon (but think updated Victorian, mixed with technology and a rough industrial element...the film equivalent would be the latest iteration of Sherlock Homes starring Robert Downey Jr.). 

One supplier I particularly like that embraces these styles, is Hudson Goods.  They embrace the industrial, the unique and the oddly Victorian. 

They are based on the East Coast but ship everywhere.  And so far, all the product I have spec'd for clients has been great.  Some of my favorite pieces which I have yet to use, are:

Essentially all their lighting, of which some similar versions have been popping up at Restoration Hardware lately (another huge proponent of the Steampunk and Dark Nostalgia):

The Industrial Bottle Lights for $35-$450 each:

The Industial Cage Lights for $250 each:

And the Vintage Tripod Lamp for $85:

And my favorite which they do not seem to be selling despite the fact it is on their home page....the awesome bowler hat pendant which I totally want in my house:

Some furniture I am hoping to use sometime soon, this very cool dining table:

 Any number of their console tables and cabinets:

And I love these recycled burlap pillows (wouldn't these be great in a rustic Park City home?):

Check out their website and all additional products here.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


I had the opportunity to work on a kitchen renovation last year, and it turned out it was an ideal project to create an eclectic, unique look with the cabinetry.  It has become more popular in recent years to stray from the typical matching cabinetry throughout a kitchen.  Using different finishes and colors can create a wonderfully fresh look in a kitchen, and can be very effective in older homes that embrace different styles and have been renovated over various decades.

These clients needed to maintain one wall of cabinetry from their original kitchen, which meant either trying to match the old cabinetry- something that is nearly impossible to do, or to go eclectic.  We chose to add white and red cabinet blocks in the kitchen, being mindful of giving some overall connection and relationship between the 3 elements in the space with backsplash tile, countertops, crown molding etc.  I love the way it turned out.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I suppose since I went on and on about how great the Clift by Starck was a few weeks ago, I should also give you a peak at where I actually stayed in San Francisco, a hotel I would have blogged about first if I hadn't been staying just a few feet away from a Starck hotel. 

The Hotel Monaco is a Kimpton Hotel.  Bill Kimpton is a man I have much respect for...almost as much as Starck (actually I don't really think respect is the correct word to use for how I feel about Starck, a man that regularly poses without a shirt on to advertise his furniture).  Anyway, Kimpton pretty much invented the 'boutique' hotel as we know it today.  The W and such hotels would likely not exist without Kimpton, well, at least not as we know boutique hotels...although Ian Schrager was only a few months behind Kimpton with the whole idea and may well have come up with it on his own.  But Kimpton was first, and gets his dues.  His whole premise for the boutique hotel was to create a great design, dining and bar experience with 'rooms on top'.    The whole point was not the room but the experience of being in fabulous spaces where the locals actually wanted to come and hang out.  So he created the first boutique hotel in San Francisco in 1982, and the whole idea took off instantly.  Some years later he created a boutique hotel chain- the Hotel Monaco- with locations in many cities across the country.  Many have followed in his footsteps. 

So, while not quite a Starck hotel, I was also excited to stay in one of the original boutique hotels located in the city that gave birth to the idea. 

And it lived up to expectations, with great lobby areas with a definate nod to the late great hotel designer Dorothy Draper (in my opinion- bold colors and oversized neoclassical and baroque elements):

A very cool resturant and bar:

And of course very tiny rooms.