November 6, 2009

And the winning bid goes to... YOU

Auctions have always been not only a great resource for buying on the secondary market (meaning not new, not retail) but also a great learning experience as you can see every day objects paired sometimes with museum-quality, history-making pieces. Be careful though, once you go, you may get hooked.

Ivey-Selkirk Auctioneers in St. Louis is having an upcoming Modernist sale Auction: November 14&15 ~ 11a.m. CST. Preview of what's up for sale can be seen starting this Sunday: November 8-12 ~10a.m.-5:00 p.m. daily. The URL for their upcoming auction is I've done a little work for you and have chosen my pics that if I had the space, I'd choose for my home.

Note: all images and listings courtesy of Ivey Selkirk Auctioneers. Commentary done by DGU.

RANDALL MCCLELLAND, AMERICAN Walnut sculpture, 1973, signed with monogram and dated. 17 inches, raised on a black painted pedestal overall height 61 inches. McClelland is a sculptor from Quincy, Illinois. This is just a lovely wood piece that would look great asymmetrically placed on a mantel, on a coffee table or even on your dining room table. Anywhere. (This is the middle sculpture and is shown with others available by different artists at the auction)

IKE FORDYCE, AMERICAN COLD FALL OVEN - MARTINEZ HACIENDA, TAOS, N.M., October 1987, gelatin silver print, pencil signed lower margin and again with title verso, matted. This tree print is amazing. I'm a fan of trees and have done my own series with digital photography but it pales in comparison to not only the subject, but the use of light.

ALEXANDER CALDER, AMERICAN (1898-1976) color lithograph, A.P., pencil signed lower right, framed.
This is typical Alexander Calder.
A.P. refers to Artist Proof and are usually done before the numbered series as the artist is testing the process or he's making some for himself. This one's signed in pencil. Some are signed on the printing plate, and then you're never sure if it's an original or a later strike. This is a good one.

GEORG JENSEN, DENMARK Sterling silver compote, 1915-1939, slightly flared bowl raised on foliate stem and oval support, impressed signature and numbered 6 underfoot. When it comes to Sterling, you can't go wrong with George Jensen. I go to their shop often in Chicago, but the price can scare you away. Secondary markets allow collectors to keep going and enable the first-time buyer the opportunity to acquire. The craftsmanship on all GJ pieces are unmatched anywhere. Quality. Elegant. Simple.

GUSTAVE ROGER SANDOZ AND GERARD SANDOZ, FRENCH Silver, lacquer and eggshell cigarette case decorated in black and red enamel, interior in silver gilt, signed G. Roger Sandoz and Gerard Sandoz del, with G.S. monogram and French silver punch.
This case likely depicts the heavyweight fight between Jack Dempsey and Jack Sharkey, July 21, 1927 at Yankee Stadium.
This is just a cool gift for someone and I would love to have it on my dresser or even on my coffee table. I would even carry it around with me to hold business cards (although slightly too large for that). Unusual and a great pick whether or not you are a sports fan or not. Look at the composition/craftsmanship.

FRENCH ART DECO MACASSAR DINING TABLE circa 1930, with high polished chrome accents. Wouldn't this look stunning in either a very large entry hall against a wall as a console table or as your dining room table or... how bout a very large desk. I have a 7 foot desk myself... maybe it's time to upgrade?

LOUIS MAJORELLE, FRENCH (1859-1926) TABLE, a two-tier mahogany and fruitwood floral marquetry tea table, circa 1900, raised on buttressed legs, signed. Ok, this is an opportunity for someone to own a beautiful piece. Majorelle is in major museums around the world and is known for the craftsmanship of not only the inlay but the delicate nature of the carved parts of furniture. King of art nouveau furniture, it's worth the investment for a lifetime of beauty.

October 25, 2009

Pet Province...

Normally a client request includes designing around children, elderly parents; and guests, family or friends that visit often or even stay overnight. But when we design our homes, we often look over our pets. I was faced recently with having to really accommodate a family's pets which are as part of the family as the live-in mother-in-law and the three kids. The pets are there with the family interacting 24/7 in all parts of the house. There are no limits and this particular couple wanted to make sure their furry family members were included. I was looking on and found just the right things for the job.

Enjoy sitting on your chaise giving yourself a manicure? Well now your cat can do the same thing. This cat bed/scratcher reminds me of the Frank Gehry chair made out of the same material: cardboard. This modern, sculptural bed allows comfort and makes sure the user's paws/claws are maintained -- t doubles as a scratching post.

Dogs shouldn't be left out on comfort... this lucky dog gets to sit in style in this Le Corbusier-inspired sofa. Any dog day will be stylish in this number.

Forget Limoges .. try this stylish aluminum cat dish... this Alessi-like dish would make any finicky feline feast fabulously... now say that five times fast. Not to be outdone, any canine chow would look great in these two wood and aluminum dishes. One is just for food, the other includes a water dish or can be used as a double-feeder. WOOF!

If I had to be in the dog house, these are two that I'd gladly get sent to. Both act like coffee tables but allow both dogs and cats their own space in the living or family room. The Browns should have had one of these for Snoopy... at least he could have balanced his typewriter a bit better on top.

Pets are part of our lives and by including them in the design of your home, you're not just recognizing them, but allowing them to share even more in your space.

October 22, 2009

Fortuny... need I say more... ?

Today, I was so inspired by the craftsmanship and beauty of the fabrics shown to me by my Fortuny sales rep. I held the large, heavy sample book today and felt a chill run through my body as if I were holding the Ark of the Covenant. For an interior designer, it was an out-of-body-experience.

Born in 1871 in Spain (yes, he's Spanish, not Italian), Mariano Fortuny's name may be synonymous with beautiful fabrics but before all that, the accomplished painter, sculptor, architect and inventor, achieved previous successes: the invention of the first dimmer switch, a still-used-today boat propeller, paint brushes, dyes, paper for binding books, lamps, and complicated machinery for manufacturing. I would refer to him as having been a well-rounded, total genius. 

After marrying Henriette Negrin in Paris, he started in the fashion industry creating the infamous Delphos gown (based on the Greek sculptures from Delphi). Stars such as Isadora Duncan and others celebrated his designs. His first factory opened in 1922 in Italy. The rest is history. (you can still buy the dress and accessories, classics at their store in Italy).

There are only two Fortuny showrooms... one in Italy, the other in the D&D building in NewYork... if you want a personal tour, please let me know I'd love to take you.

Pictured are some of the designs coming out in November as well as some old designs updated in newer colors. . Inspiration comes and goes, but Fortuny will be an inspiration for a lifetime.

For more information on Fortuny, visit the website at For their lighting, visit (Although a lot of lighting or lampshades is made with Fortuny fabric, this is their own line).

For more Fortuny and some shopping (scarves, table runners, etc...

October 20, 2009

Dyson's latest fan....

I really don't do reviews of things unless I really, really, really love something... so here it goes.

I've always loved the Dyson brand of vacuumes. They're sleek, do a more-than-adequate job, and who wouldn't want one? Well now... they've outdone themselves. They have a line of fans? That's right, fans. A friend of mine forwarded me a photo of one, then I had to do more research. 

The Dyson Air Multiplier™ fan is simply amazing. First off.. wowie zowie on the design. It looks like a large magnifying glass without the glass. I was a little perplexed... where are the blades? There aren't any. The technology allows it to draw in air into a brushless motor then amplify it 15 times before expelling it from the machine. It's draw into the base which activates the technology inside the cylinder and then, in turn, it pulls air through the ring.

A very similar technology happens with turbochargers and jet engines. Amazing. 

Another feature is that it's totally safe. A child, pet or even yourself can touch, pick up the fan, and it isn't going to zap you, cut off an appendage, or hurt you in any way.

It comes in three sizes and a few, limited colors including one with a blue ring (see above). Great for that gadget person you know and any sort of interior space... it's something you'll want. 

It's only available through or through authorized retailers.

Dyson... another fan (figuratively) happy. 

October 17, 2009

I LIGHT YOU... Artemide Lighting

I'm working on this incredible, modern project right now and part of the process is the lighting plan. I was going through binders, websites, and even going to my favorite places for lighting. I came across some really great products and wanted to show you some really neat, new things from one of my favorite manufacturers, Artemide (pronounced ar-TI'-mi-dee).

The first is the Alicudi ceiling fixture. Finding flush mount fixtures is hard enough, but this is a gem and it's just gorgeous, don't you think? It's not glass, it's stretched fabric, diffusing the light evenly.

Aqua Cil is another series from Artemide. The influence is, of course, water. Each piece is molded specifically to be organic, flowing, just like the waves of water. Amazing! It comes as a pendant, a floor and a table lamp.

The Cabildo series is also amazing. Look at that great circular design, very unusual. It comes as a wall mounted fixture, a floor lamp and as a suspended chandelier. It has a halogen light. It's one of my new favorites... yum!

Artimide's Droplet light is another fascinating design. It couples this giant disc with three smaller baby ones that are suspended illuminating up, reflecting off the larger disk. It's like hanging a piece of sculpture. Amazing.

Lighting doesn't have to be boring. And whether you have a very traditional, transitional, or modern home, good lighting is important for both functionality and visual interest/design.

September 29, 2009

Althorp House and Earl of Spencer

A few weeks ago I shared with some Facebook friends my upload of my visit with the Earl of Spencer (Charles Spencer, Princess Diana's brother). There were about 30 of us at a showroom in Chicago as he spoke about and discussed pieces from Theodore Alexander, the company that is reproducing nearly all the antique furniture in the Spencer family home Althorp House.

Althorp House is a family home, owned by the Spencers for 5 centuries and 20 generations. Through the years they have amassed a huge collection of art, furniture and accessories. The story Spencer delivered is that the owner of Theodore Alexander (this is a spin off of Maitland-Smith) and he met and after a great afternoon of meeting the Earl invited David Koehler the president of the company to visit for a few days and take pictures of the furniture in the house. The result? Over 10,000 photos including detail shots of the furniture were taken.

The Earl of Spencer looks at all the designs and approves or disapproves each drawing and sample. So far he claims he's never rejected a piece of furniture.

An assumption people have is that the Earl is making millions off of this for his own pocket... uh... not really... Charles Spencer admitted that the house is so large and such a maintenance expense (for example, the house sits on 14 thousand acres which have to be maintained as well) that besides the annual revenue from visits to the house/musuem and to Diana's memorial, the proceeds go directly to the upkeep of the house.

The Earl put it this way "The House has been protecting 500 years of rare and special furnishings, it's now time for this furniture to take care of the House..."

You can read more about Althorp House by going online at

September 6, 2009

New Classes for Fall!!


We have new offices and a new classroom all in one!
Tjaden Interiors & Design Guy University
4703 McPherson Ave; St Louis, MO 6310

Close to restaurants and shopping! You can have lunch afterwards if you take the day class or dinner before/after class if you take the evening class.

The following classes will be offered as a series of five for only $98. Times available for classes will be Tuesdays 9-11am and each class will be repeated again from 7-9pm. Please choose one time only to show up.

Payment can be made by cash/check/money order. Please make out to: Scott Tjaden. Mail to: Design Guy University; 2433 McNair Avenue; St. Louis, MO 63104. (please mail here as we're not quite moved in yet)

All classes but the October 13th class will be at the new location at 4703 McPherson Ave; St Louis, MO 63108. Map to Design & Detail will be handed out the first day of class.

1. Downsizing. September 29th: I’ll show you some examples of downsizing and how anyone from down-sizers, empty-nesters and seniors don’t have to sacrifice style for a smaller space. I’ll have a testimonial and some photos/floor plans.

2. Color 102. October 6th: Color is often the point that one begins to start any project. In Color 101 we discussed how colors are determined, but this time we’ll abbreviate that process, talk quickly about the colors for 2009/10 and then we’ll take some examples on how to colorize your space. We’ll even go online with my new projector and look at some great websites to help you along in the process. I’ll even give you a list to take with you on some great ideas/techniques teaching you how to maximize color.

3. Design & Detail. October 13th: We’ll go to Maplewood as a fieldtrip to learn about new fabric and wallpaper lines. Design & Detail; 2731 Sutton Blvd # 100; St Louis, MO 63143; (314) 781-3336

4. Design History 101 October 20th: Chairs. We’ll look at the history of interior design through a quick overview of chairs. We’ll show the earliest known chair from Egypt housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art to contemporary examples. You’ll get a timeline of styles and get an understanding of changes in human taste over a period of six-thousand years through this unique approach.

5. Staging and Curb Appeal. October 27th: Sell your home in a flash! Follow these techniques and list that I’ve prepared to make your selling process a success. I’ll have advice from realtors, and pairing those up with the Design Guy to help you make the right choices. Everyone will receive their own DGU Staging Card to remind you of everything you need to remember. Also included will be curb appeal. How you can make the first impression, the right impression as potential buyers see your home from the street.

August 30, 2009

Kitchen Design and Trends

As promised although a bit tardy in this posting, I wanted to talk about Kitchen Design. When I saw the movie Julie & Julia, I was inspired by this blogger who daily wrote about her trials cooking through each recipie appearing in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. With that said, let's move onto THIS blog and talk about Kitchen Trends and what's new in today's Kitchens.

1. Earth-friendly: Bamboo is the natural choice for kitchens. Whether it be a countertop made out of this material and used as a butcher block or if it's floors. This is a renewable resource. You won't find this in a lot of choice colors only because bamboo is such a dense material that using dyes is almost impossible. So, cleaning up after a wine spill, isn't going to be a problem.
Check out:

2. High-tech: This is where high-tech goes green. Bosch makes a great line now of dishwashers that not only have 'E" or evironmental settings that control temperature/energy, but also have settings for 1/2 loads. At prices that won't break the bank, this is how high-tech can help you in your kitchen plan. Like TV? Siemens' created a multi-media hood that features a 17-inch LCD screen with the options for watching television and DVDs or listening to music. TV dinners couldn't be better. LG even makes a television outiside the door of the refrigerator. Ice on one side, Oprah on the other.

3. Colorful: I have never seen so many options for kitchens now. As part of its Preference collection, Dacor recently introduced 24-inch dishwashers in an array of colors. A floating glass front panel is available in six colors: anthracite gray, sterling gray, titanium silver, blue water, slate green (shown), and black. BlueStar produces a gas range, available in 190 colors. How's that for cooking up some color?

4. Healthy: Copper's natural antibacterial properties make Native Trail's offerings especially alluring. The Farmhouse Duet recycled copper sink with a double basin and exposed apron front. Who'd know that copper not only looks great, but is good for you too!

5. Convenience: Convenience and making sure that everything is in reach and organized is the key. Making sure that everything is stored with everything from garages for all that stuff like mixers to ones for recycling and garbage. Storage makes a good look, a clean look, and it makes life a lot easier when everything is in it's place.

August 10, 2009

Reinvention of Design Guy University

I had been really busy and had all but abandoned this blog, but when I saw the movie Julie&Julia this weekend, I was completely inspired to reinvent and continue with this blog about design. Later this week as I return from vacation, I'll be talking about kitchen design in honor of Julia Child herself. I was recently at the Merchandise Mart and want to share what I found.

Also, I want to talk about Design Guy University. I've developed a fall class which I think will be spectacular and interesting to all of you. With that, the website has taken on a new design and will be uploaded within the next few weeks. I'm really excited about it. And, I have two announcements already: We will be going to the Merchandise Mart again in late September and visiting some great new vendors I've used recently and we'll be visiting some old friends and see what's new for them.

On the docket for that Chicago trip is Holland&Sherry (they're not just fine suit makers anymore), the brand new Donghia showroom that will absolutely knock your socks off, Brunschwig & Fills, Scalamandre and a few other surprises that will be in store~~!! Even I can hardly wait.

So happy Summer... the best of design and continuing your degree in design confidence is on it's way!

Scott Tjaden

March 9, 2009

Welcome to the second year of 
Design Guy University!
I can’t believe it!

Design Guy University Classes -
New for March. 24th - April 21st.

March 24, 2009
Color 101: Color for 2009.
Learn what new colors are in store for the
year from the leading color resources and
the Color Marketing Group. 
Centennial Commons, 7210 Olive Boulevard, 
UCity, 63130; 314.862.2037.

March 31, 2009:
Big Design, Small Spaces.

Learn how even the smallest péid-a-térre
(like mine of only 150 square feet) and
small spaces don’t have to be difficult with
just a few hints. Centennial Commons,
7210 Olive Boulevard, UCity, 63130;

April 7, 2009:
Design History 101:

The history of interior design via the
design of chairs. We’ll look at the earliest
chair known from the Metropolitain Museum of Art 
(Egypt 4000BC) to present-day designer Phillipe Stark.
Centennial Commons, 7210 Olive Boulevard, 
UCity, 63130; 314.862.2037.

April 14, 2009
Construction 101.

Real costs revealed as you see what’s
involved when adding on or building a new
home. Learn how Green design can save
you money down the road.
Boa Construction Company, 8417
Chapin Industrial Dr., Saint Louis, MO
63114, 314.524.0203
Feb 10, 2009

April 21, 2009:
Design & Detail.

We’ll go to this two-year-old showroom
located in Maplewood where we’re in for a
show of Osborne and Little’s new fabric line.
Design & Detail, 2731 Sutton Blvd
Suite, 100, St Louis MO; 63143;

Note: Maps to Boa Construction and Design
& Detail will be given out the first day of class
along with your folders and the ever-popular Design Guy pencils.