Friday, October 31, 2014


Just picked up a lovely bunch of throw pillows for my booth at the Antiques + Modernism Winnetka Show next week! So excited! Anyone coming to visit me at the show in Chicago?!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


One of my absolute favorite parts of a project- fabric selection!  It lets the graphic designer in me mingle with the interior designer.  

Friday, October 24, 2014


So glad I had the chance to catch the David Bowie Exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, put together by the great V&A Museum in London. Extremely well done multi-media exhibit, bravo V&A! The only downside is that I was unable to take any photos in the exhibit (and the fact that I cannot get 'China Doll' out of my head!)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


I am so excited to be exhibiting my furniture at the Antiques + Modernism Winnetka Show in Chicago from November 6-9th!  I love their concept of mixing traditional antiques with modern pieces, just my kind of design philosophy.  Nothing is allowed in the show post-1979, which allows for quite a wonderful mix of old and (almost) new.  This show used to be two distinct shows, but the organizers saw the 'writing on the antiques wall' and realized a mix of styles was exactly what people are looking for these days.  So with a combined history of 60 years, the two shows merged and flourished.  I am so glad to be so close to Chicago and have access and the ability to participate in such a great event in a great city!

Please check out their wonderful short video that speaks to the philosophy of the show.  Winnetka Show Video.

If you are in the area, please come visit me!

Thursday, October 16, 2014


On my last trip to Norway I checked out some family heirlooms I always loved as a child, and looks like I might the only one in the family interested in keeping these (the only one that did not find them spooky as a child!)...  They need some TLC, but just imagine the possibilities!  Now just have to figure out how to get them across an ocean!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


During my hotel design lectures to my interior design students, I use the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Lake Huron as a great example of the late 19th Century hoteliers obsession with the neoclassical style, despite the location.  All over the world from Hong Kong to India to the American West to the Great Lakes, hotels in the 19th century were big, white neoclassical mansions plunked down in any type of landscape with little regard for their surrounds.  And this big, white neoclassical mansion is no exception, however I believe the spot is actually quite well suited for the style!

It is most well known for its front porch, the longest porch in the world at a total length of 660 feet.  I must say it was the highlight of the visit, sitting and soaking in the view on that porch.  Luckily I visited just at the end of the season and it was quite quiet.

In addition to the porch, the main attraction for me was the interior design, all of which was renovated in 1977 by none other than the Dorothy Draper Company.  However excited I was, the excitement was tempered by the knowledge that Dorothy Draper had died in 1969 and her loyal minion Carleton Varney was running the show at that point.  While the firm still exuded a Draper-esque feel, I knew the minute I stepped in the door that it was not in fact Ms Draper that had done the work.  All seemed an echo of her brilliance, but unmistakably affiliated with her.

I must say I was quite impressed with how much of the design felt fresh and new, a kind of 'Kate Spade' aesthetic that really is quite popular right now.  Bold prints, bright colors and lots of white painted woodwork.  However, there was the occasional 1970s faux pas, mostly occurring in some of the draperies and room wallpapers.  Might be time for a few updates, Grand management.

Overall, despite some roughness around the edges expected with the 100+ year old hotel, I was quite happy with the visit to another property that I can now scratch off the bucket list.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Just back from a lovely week travelling around (and in) the massive Lake Michigan.  Other than the lack of a salty film caked over my skin, I cannot imagine this is not an ocean.  Lots more photos and details on the way, including two bucket list design properties I have wanted to visit for years!

Friday, October 3, 2014


Love the quirky mix of, ahem, junk.  But you never know what might be unearthed, I have, in my New York days, found some remarkable pieces at this market.  Alas, not this trip!

Thursday, October 2, 2014


Bentwood, Baroque and Eastlake, oh my!  New stock is in the house!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


I was happy to be able to visit the Jeff Koons Retrospective at the Whitney Museum while I was in NYC last week.  I have always found his 'balloon animals' quite delightful, and always found the artist quite intriguing and seemingly a brilliant marketer and salesman.  I am still not entirely sure how he got anyone to promote his early work or why anyone purchased his work before he was famous.  But the retrospective gave me a much better understanding of the sweep of his career, his wit and ideas behind his works.  I still feel the 'balloon animals' and other works from his 'Celebrations' exhibit are his strongest by far, but I am happy to see how much these works actually have weight and emotion behind them.

It was also great to see one of his early iconic works in person, despite the fact I don't totally understand the physics of it.  Yes, the ball is actually suspended in water, and it is slowly sinking...

And of course the wonderfully iconic Bubbles the Chimp with Michael Jackson

And one I had not seen before, which is secretly my favorite...(anything Rococo, you know!)

I was not completely sure on these however (featuring the artist himself and his wife)...

In particular after window shopping just down the street and spotting what I can only imagine was Koons' inspiration for the works...

The exhibition was tinged with some sadness for me, as I am sure it will be the last visit to the Whitney at their original and current location on the Upper East Side.  They will soon move to a new, flashy, Reno Piano-designed building on the very hip and young Lower West Side somewhere between the Meatpacking and Chelsea, next to the High Line; a move I am not very on-board with yet.  I love the 1966 Marcel Breuer building, within easy walking distance of the Met, the Guggenheim and the Cooper Hewitt.  I will miss the Whitney in my favorite NYC neighborhood.  But good luck to them with all those cool hipsters downtown!