Table Top Treasure

Barney's New York ~ Chelsea Passage

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Way back in the late 80’s Simon Doonan and I met every weekday morning at the now defunct Chelsea Gym to ‘workout’.  Looking back I think it was our tongues that did most of the exercising.  Those were Simon’s early days as Creative Director of Visual for Barney’s New York, when Barney’s was downtown on 7th Avenue and 17th Street.  I remember Simon’s first conversations about a handsome young ceramic artist he’d met, named Jonathan Adler, whose career was launched at Chelsea Passage – the hip and chic home furnishings boutique – in Barney’s.  Walking up Madison last week, I got to wondering if Chelsea Passage was still a discerning resource for top drawer accessories, so I rode the escalator to the top floor to see.  The good news – it’s better than ever.  These are my top 6 pics in the “things to covet” category.

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Virginia (the super-charming sales associate who gave me all the skinny) told me these sculptures made from branches magically trapped in lucite were actually referred to as “acrylic glass”.  It’s really hard to explain their visual clarity.  The way the ends of each branch miter perfectly to meet the cleaved edges is just remarkable.  They’re from the French design firm Bleu Nature.  Click this link to see a larger image from Barney’s website.  Naturalism meets Industrialism, and mesmerizing at the juncture.

 

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These ‘Barney’s Label’ Lanmar Lambs wool and Angora throws with fringed edges come in six colors (12 if you count that each has a reversible contrast color.)  They’re really gracious at 79″ x 52″, and perfect for cuddling up just about anywhere it’s chilly.  They’re also only $375 each., which for Barney’s is a steal, and you’d swear it’s cashmere.

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Barney’s has long been a source for edgy/elegant glass, only to be outdone by the Heller GalleryScacchi Cono (shown above) was one of the stand-outs of the day, representing a collaboration between Enzo Mari and the Corsi Design Factory.  There are also AMAZING vulcanized rubber vases from Gaetano Pesce, but Barney’s doesn’t promote them because they sell almost instantly.  You’ve simply got to see them in person… looks like glass – but to the touch they wiggle.  Click here to see them on CSF’s website.

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Seems I’m always advocating for a mix of design influences, because for me, an eclectic view in interior design best represents real life.  The Impossible Chair by Philippe Starck, parked in front of a French Regency desk, would be my ideal place to surf the net.  I especially love the contrast of the black exterior/white interior.

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These Spisani Coral Bookends are, for me, probably the best looking bookends ever.  Barney’s has quite a selection from Spisani which are beautiful, just in case you’re in the ‘collecting coral isn’t PC’ camp.  They remind me of the coral drawer pulls I bought from Marjorie Skouras a few years back.

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Last on my list is this Mortar and Pestle from a.j Metissage which comes in several colors.  It’s a perfect gift for the gastronome – great for cracking pepper or a quick pesto (use up the last of the basil.)  At $125.00, you get the Barney’s box and bag to present it in – guaranteeing you an invitation to the next dinner party.

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That’s my roundup for Chelsea Passage.  There’s plenty more to see if you’re in the vicinity of 60th and Madison…. not the least of which are Simon’s ever beguiling windows.

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660 Madison Avenue    New York    10065    212-826-8900

http://www.barneys.com/

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