Tag Archives: Interior Design

‘The New Guard’

Timothy Brown of Timothy Brown Studio

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As a rule, I avoid trendy Manhattan restaurants at all costs.  You have to understand I moved to the city in 1983, at the height of ‘Nouvelle Cusine’.  Paying $40 for 3 ounces of poached salmon and 3 blanched snow peas at Richard Lavin’s joint on 39th Street revolted me.  So when I was asked to join a Christmas celebration dinner at one of Chelsea’s hottest brassieres, I cringed.  After some seemingly ceaseless prodding I buckled to the peer pressure and went.  In the end, the food was good, the crowd (albeit far younger, far taller, and favoring obligatory black fashion) was pretty, and the conversation among my design-ista friends was great fun.

Oddly enough, this man I’d never met, named Timothy Brown, kept surfacing in conversation, and in a consistently favorable way.  Phrases like ‘gloriously restrained’, ‘master at mixing finishes’, and ‘perfectly understated’ were the buzzwords of the evening.  So, the following morning I called his offices, and invited him to coffee.  Here’s what I learned in our charming and spirited interview.

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‘Wabi-Sabi’ – A Japanese Aesthetic

a quiet movement that's time has arrived

Mix-rarefattoAxel Vervoordt

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As last year ended, I began to contemplate what the New Year might hold, and I had the opportunity to focus on a design aesthetic that has been of interest to me, yet I did not know it’s name.  Upon investigation I discovered it’s called Wabi-Sabi, a queer term yet so insightful and thought-provoking that it attracted me immediately.  Among the extraordinary designers who I looked to for inspiration on the subject, Axel Vervoordt stands apart as the true devotee of the aesthetic.   It is because of him that I have become a disciple.

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‘The New Guard’

Michael Kao of San Francisco's MAK Studio

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I’ve heard it said that designing successful minimalist space takes more effort than any other stylistic genre.  When structure and surface elements stand alone, they must be carefully chosen, and artfully arranged by someone who understands them intimately.  There are a few dozen architects and interior designers who do it masterfully.  A few weeks ago I was introduced to the work of Michael Kao of MAK Studio, who is most certainly among their ranks.

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King of Clubs

6 of America's best regional designers & their favorite club chairs

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I think we’d all agree that design is purely subjective.  Everyone has an opinion, and every opinion is valid.  It’s also true that there are as many decorating styles as there are decorators.  With those ideas in mind I decided to chat with 6 of America’s best regional interior design professional to learn about their individual aesthetics, their favorite club chairs – and more specifically – how those chairs speak to the area of the country they call home.

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Luxe Leather

a shopper's guide for high end hides

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‘Luxe Cafe’ from Edelman Leather
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Let’s talk about a special type of leather today.  Those lustrous, sophisticated, supple varieties that high style is synonymous with.
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The finest grade leathers are still produced using traditional vegetable and salt tanning methods resulting in malleable, translucent hides with great color saturation.  The process of aniline dyeing produces a luminous appearance allowing for characteristics and variations in color and markings to be showcased.
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‘The New Guard’

Corey Damen Jenkins of Design With Vision

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“We live in a world where people want everything right now… they speed through the design process and ‘microwave’ rather than ‘bake’ the perfect solution”

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Several months ago I was introduced to Corey Damen Jenkins, winner of this years ‘Showhouse Showdown’ on HGTV.  He’s come a long way in his relatively short time in interior design.  I had the chance to chat with him about his personal style, his business model, and his list of go-to vendors and products.

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New & Noteworthy

December shopping for the design savvy consumer

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My ear is always to the pavement for new design shopping opportunities, and as usual, New York never disappoints.  Here’s a brief summary of the four must-see places, products, and websites that have caught my eye as I plan to close out 2012!

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Chinese Art and Heritage in 20th Century Decorative Arts

shopping for hand painted wallpapers

An Antique Fragment from The Bentley House Chinese Drawing Room

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As an interior designer I have often been charged with the task of adding historical reference to my projects.   This can occur in a number of ways.   Today I want to talk about one of the most sublime genres of the decorative arts – hand painted Chinese inspired wallpapers.  The history of decorative arts is a vast caldron of ingredients which when handled deftly can produce a fine stew.