Wednesday, September 25, 2013


I obviously love chairs.  Just about all chairs that have some element of good or interesting design, and in particular small-scale, elegant chairs.  And woodworker Clayton Thomas, through his company Ivory Bill, creates many a gorgeous hand-crafted, petite chair, as well as amazing tables and case pieces.  Ivory Bill recently competed in the Modern Chair Competition, hosted by Mod A Go Go, with something like FOUR original chair designs (or was it five?)!  And not surprisingly, Ivory Bill won with this little lovely-

Everything about Clayton's work, vision and design philosophy speaks to my own ideas about design,  and I just love the fact that he takes the name Ivory Bill from the woodpecker that was thought to be extinct, just as the art of solid, hand-crafted furniture was once thought to be extinct.  I encourage you to visit his website and explore his amazing pieces if you have not done so yet!

A sampling of my favorites-

Sunday, September 22, 2013


I have had this book on the shelf for several years now, and have finally gotten around to reading it, with all my attentions focused on my new furniture venture.  It is such fun learning more about the Keno bros and their start in the field of American furniture and dec arts, my true love in the world of antiques.  I was lucky enough to have both of them as guest lecturers when I attended Sotheby's Institute, and had the bizarre experience of attending an auction with one Keno brother at the front of the room selling American furniture, and the other standing at the back of the room buying American furniture.  One would think such a practice would not be allowed... can't identical twins read each others thoughts?!

While I have only made it through the start of their careers in the 1980s, I am completely hooked, and also more than a bit creeped out by the descriptions of two blond, seven-year-old, identical twins (often dressed identically as well) roaming the New England countryside poking around abandoned barns looking for 17th century antiques.  Isn't that the beginning of several horror films?  Oh no, just the beginning of the extraordinary lives of two of the greatest antiques experts of our day.

Despite the somewhat unsettling narratives in the first chapters of the book, I find it absolutely fascinating, learning about their first acquisitions as young dealers, rising through the ranks of Sotheby's and Christies auction houses.  I can't get enough of this stuff...yes, I am a furniture geek through and through.  Any other furniture geeks out there, I would highly recommend it!

Sunday, September 15, 2013


It is hard to say I feel creative and inspired every day at work, and there are time I get bogged down with spec sheets, budgets, and project management, and I loose site of the fun of my profession.  So it is always a great treat to hear a successful designer speak about his career and passion for design; it always gets me fired up about my field once again.  This past week I was lucky enough to hear Mr. Larry Laslo give a talk at Hamilton Park's furniture showroom here in SLC.  Laslo is on Elle Decor's 2013 A-list, quite an honor, and has a long and illustrious career designing private homes and retail properties throughout the US as well as textile and furniture lines to his name.  

In Elle Decor he sums up his style-
"My work is classic, but with a surprising twist.  There's that edge that tells you it's 2013, not 1998". 

Elle Decor says of him- 
"He creates crisp interiors that pull freely from different periods, and the unexpected elements often come from striking contemporary artworks or bold combinations of colors."

I hope to have a similar write-up in the magazine when I am on their A-list one day :)

In addition to just being great at his job and showing very pretty pictures at his lecture, what is so great about Laslo and pretty much all the iconic, celebrity designers, is that they are utterly convincing that they love every second of their job, and they simply live and breath design.  There is a great passion, even after decades in the business that is so inspiring.  So after a few days of mundane design work, Laslo was the perfect kick in the pants I needed to get some inspiration going!

Thanks Mr. Laslo and thanks to Hamilton Park for getting him to leave Manhattan and Palm Beach to come all the way over to little SLC!