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 allmodernpet.com 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 www.fortuny.com. For their lighting, visit lucegiudecca.com. (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... venetiastudium.com.

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 dyson.com 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.