Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Words To Decorate By

"It's important to be chic and comfortable." Suzanne Kasler

We couldn't agree more. In Veranda, March/April 2012

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things - Miranda Thomas Pottery

I have been collecting the work of Vermont potter Miranda Thomas for about 15 years. Her workshop produces pieces in different glazes and styles, but it is the cream, carved pottery that I love.

Thomas cites ancient Japanese, Middle Eastern, and Aboriginal symbols and forms as design influences in addition to the English countryside of her youth.

The nature inspired patterns remind me of the work of 19th century artist and textile designer William Morris.

Each piece is made entirely by hand, a unique object stamped by the individual potter who crafted it.

I have several of these canisters around the house.

The carved pottery is currently produced in five different patterns, but Thomas accepts commissions for custom work. I had a pair of these made with an oak leaf and acorn design.

Pieces are often whimsical; one can see evidence of the artist's sense of humor. This rabbit appears to be running, possibly from the fox in the center of the bowl.

Thomas and her equally talented, furniture-maker husband, Charles Shackleton, have a beautiful showroom in an historic mill in Bridgewater, Vermont.

Additional designs available include lamps, tabletop and serving pieces.

Personally, the highlight of a visit to the showroom is the possibility of finding a 'one-off' - a sample or experimental piece. This small vase, a favorite in my collection, was just that.

The ShackletonThomas showroom is at 102 Mill Road in Bridgewater, VT 05034. Information, directions and additional retail locations here.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Copenhagen Contemporary

Once in a while I see a house that makes me believe I could do modern. I love this minimalist apartment in Denmark. The Scandinavian white is right on, and the spare, clean interior is so appealing to me.

In the living room a reindeer skin, a traditional Scandinavian touch, is thrown over a contemporary Eames rocking chair from Herman Miller

The lower level is dominated by a large eat-in kitchen. Glass walls let in lots of light. Phillipe Stark chairs from Cassina.

One often needs to be creative when it comes to storage in small spaces; a built in sofa provides it.

In the kitchen, white Corian work surfaces top dark cabinets. Ceiling lights are from Tobias Grau.

The painted iron staircase leads to the second floor living room and bedrooms. Pale floors are consistent throughout, as is the overall color palette.

On the second floor a bookcase serves as a room divider between the living room and the master bedroom.

A large, floating sofa from Italian furniture maker Minotti provides ample lounging space.

The master bath is simple yet stylish.

In the master bedroom a wall lamp from Louis Poulsen and a painting by a family friend hang over the bed.

See the original article in Bolig magazine here.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

London Calling

My sister, who with her English husband, recently purchased a new apartment, summoned me to London last week to help her make some decisions about the renovations and decorating. I was happy to oblige.

For the last 4 years my sister has lived in London's Little Venice, an immensely charming neighborhood in the area known as Maida Vale, popular with English families with children, American ex-pats and more than a few celebrities.

Maida Vale's 'high street' is a foodie's paradise with several cafes and gourmet food purveyors, an excellent wine shop, an organic grocer and a proper English butcher.

Also a dreamy florist's shop.

The new apartment is on the top floor in one of a row of white stucco town houses - a familiar sight in London - only a minute's walk from the old place.

While every room is undergoing some degree of renovation, the kitchen has been gutted and was the focus of our first day. Right now it looks like this:

The new kitchen is being designed by Plain English. My sister had already decided on white cupboards with the 'Long House' door style and marble countertops. I would have chosen the exact same thing so there really wasn't anything to discuss.

Plain English is my favorite English custom kitchen outfitter. I love the simplicity of the designs and the features they offer are plain genius. We visited the showroom in Marylebone to have a look.

My sister's kitchen design includes a Welsh dresser like the one below with shelves above to display china and a cabinet below to serve as a buffet.

I love this larder cabinet with the basket drawers and marble counter.

I might actually use my silver if I had this felt lined drawer in my kitchen.

At this point I am beginning to feel a little dissatisfied with my current kitchen.

My dream pantry.

Now I'm having paroxysms so it's time to leave. We moved on to the issue of a new kitchen table - after a stop around the corner at La Fromagerie for some some sustenance. I highly recommend it for lunch. The Marylebone shop is in Moxon Street.

My sister had her eye on a table from Oka, possibly my favorite UK home furnishings shop.

The Stola table has four leaves and can accommodate 4 to 12 people. I agreed it was the perfect choice so I did some browsing while she placed the order.

Oka has a great selection of furniture, fabrics, lighting and accessories. I wish they would open a store in the US.

Having wrapped up what we planned for the day fairly early, and with a some time before we had to pick up my niece and nephew at school, we stopped in at the Nordic Style showroom near London's Chelsea Harbour Design Center.

I still love this look. My sister picked out a sweet single bed and a desk for my niece which will be adorable with the pink Chelsea Textiles check we selected for her curtains and bedding. I will post photos when the work is complete.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Charles Spada - Antiques on 5

No trip to the Boston Design Center is complete without a stop in Charles Spada's treasure trove, Antiques on 5. Here are a few things I would have liked to carry home yesterday.

A Swedish Mora clock (Big surprise, I know.)

A collection of Ironstone tureens and the gorgeous chest it is displayed on.

One of a set of six paint and gilt lyre-back side chairs.

The porcelain urn, the lamps, the botanicals...everything!

A corner cabinet filled with transferware.

A Swedish Gustavian period drafting desk.

A Directoire style arm chair.

 A collection of Belgian framed red wax seals in shadow boxes.