Posts Tagged: House Beautiful

LCDQ LEGENDS 2015 RECAP: PART 3

“The life of a designer is a life of fight: fight against the ugliness.” – Massimo Vignelli

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The final day of LCDQ certainly inspired all of us to keep the fight going….I was looking forward to some of my favorite showrooms hosting events and taking in all the incredible sources that LCDQ has to offer. The new showroom of Hollywood at Home is a feast for the eyes. Peter Dunham’s gorgeous space makes shopping an absolute delight. We were greeted by the new fabric collaboration of adorable Amy Meier and Peter Fasano. The first lecture of the day included LA designers Jamie Bush, Nickey/Kehoe, Amy Meier and Christos Prevezanos discussing creating custom fabrics for their projects with particular reference to Peter Fasano.  The always entertaining Robert Leleux, editor in chief of Domino, led a lively conversation with his usual panache.

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The front of the showroom houses fabrics lines organized by designer and the back contains one of the chicest special event spaces I have ever seen.

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One of the most highly anticipated keynotes was “The Art of Authenticity” sponsored by Milieu at the sublime showroom McKinnon and Harris. Interiors editor Leslie Newsom Rascoe and renowned interior designers Nicky Haslam and Nathan Turner discussed the definition of enduring interiors in the context of short lived nature of decorating and why some spaces transcend time.

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The boisterous banter between these three was highly entertaining. Leslie cleverly dubbed the presentation “The Nick and Nate Show” and the two designers shared their advice and even entertaining tips with the group. Nathan compared the role of a designer as that of a captain and the importance of maintaining control of the ship.  Nicky elaborated to never compromise your own design aesthetic because that is why the clients hire you in the first place. He also gave his secret to a great party, “Too much to drink and chocolate pudding.”

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Equally as entertaining was Nathan’s precious chocolate lab Nacho, who he referred to as an “attention hound.” Nacho charmed the crowd with his personality and even had the last bark at the end of the presentation.

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Next, a picnic lunch at Woven Accents complete with Moroccan rugs in lieu of picnic blankets and dueling DJs to entertain the crowd.

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Ginna Christensen, Denise McGaha, Tami Ramsay, Jennifer Mehitidash

After lunch, the next keynote was “Entertaining:The Home as a Social Stage” sponsored by California Homes at the Janet Yonaty showroom. Susan McFadden, editor of California Homes led a panel with Kathryn Ireland, Lulu Powers and Russ Diamond and how contemporary entertaining styles have changed including the extinction or comeback of the formal dining room, chef inspired kitchens and indoor outdoor entertaining.

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That afternoon, a flurry of book signings took place along Melrose and La Cienega. Windsor Smith, the Brentwood based design powerhouse, hosted a meet and greet to unveil her new collection at Arteriors.

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Mecox Gardens hosted a group signing including design icon Charlotte Moss (Garden Inspirations), Jane Scott Hodges (Linens for Every Room and Occasion), Justina Blakeney (The New Bohemians: Cool and Collected Homes) and Anthony Iannaci (Design in the Hamptons)

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The final keynote of the day featured some of my all time favorite design talents. Hosted by the Claremont showroom, “Chasing the Muse” featured designers Celerie Kemble, Schuyler Samperton and Hutton Wilkinson and was brilliantly moderated by Stylebeat founder Marisa Marcontonio. Using the 2015 LEGENDS theme of “Where Muses Dwell,” the designers discussed where they go to find find inspiration and if modern day muses still exist.

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Lindsay Fleege, Holly Phillips, Julia Buckingham, Me. Elle Toler, Rafi and Josh of Form LA, Tami Ramsay at Harbinger

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Joe Lucas of Harbinger certainly knows how to throw a party especially when he combines forces with Moore & Giles and the Hearst Design Group. Harbinger is another LCDQ favorite.  The showroom is always beautifully designed showcasing the latest and greatest from many bespoke fabric and furnishing lines. We always need to stop by at least twice…once to shop and once to socialize.

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Holland and Sherry Rugs

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Thomas Callaway Fabrics

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Hearst Design Group, Harbinger and Moore & Giles Teams in front of the celebrate Moore & Giles Airstream

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California Homes sponsored the Finale Party at the loft like Marc Phillips showroom.It is amazing everyone was still on their feet and showing no signs of slowing down!

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Jennifer of The Proper Poppy, Danielle Rollins, Paloma Contreras

KATHY

The last stop on the whirlwind LEGENDS LCDQ tour was attending an intimate dinner at the home of Kathryn Ireland.  This was certainly a “pinch me” moment because I have long admired her Santa Monica home and hilarious personality. Every single space from the outdoor seating areas to the guest house to the cozy nooks in the main house made you want to linger all night. Chateau Domingue hosted a stunning alfresco evening complete with craft margaritas, a mariachi band, and an amazing Mexican feast.

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And to cap off a perfect night, we had a the chance to meet a favorite character from Million Dollar Decorators, Jacqueline, Kathryn Ireland’s chic confidante and right hand!

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For more of my design inspiration, be sure to follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook Twitter and subscribe to Bespoke Banter.  Thanks for reading and please come back again!

Photography by JL Photography unless otherwise noted.

LCDQ LEGENDS 2015 RECAP: PART 2

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”- Oscar Wilde

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3 days & 30 events…To give a sense of the incredibly content packed schedule at LCDQ’s LEGENDS event, I thought it would be fun to take you through one of the 16 hour days to see just how much creative energy you can absorb at this spectacular event. The logistics behind this event are mind boggling…not only do the organizers recruit and manage multiple speakers at various venues throughout the week, but they also throw amazing parties, each with their own distinct atmosphere.  Designers are by nature a very tough crowd to impress and the LCDQ hosts never disappoint.

The La Cinega Design Quarter was founded in 2007 to promote the burgeoning antiques and design neighborhood on one of LA’s oldest thouroughfares. Since the 1950s, it has been the design destination for legends such as Billy Haines, Elsie de Wolfe, Tony Duquette, and Frances Elkins. These creative spirits seem to permeate the atmosphere…especially during LEGENDS.

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Scott Meachum Wood, Me, Denise McGaha, Tami Ramsay, Will Taylor, Jennifer Mehditash

Our first official day began at the beautiful Renaissance Tile showroom for the Blogger Breakfast sponsored by Luxe Magazine. Knowing most of the crowd had very late nights, I was pleasantly surprised to see everyone bright eyed early in the morning to greet us.

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With fellow ambassadors Jennifer Boles & Paloma Contreras

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The first keynote speech was sponsored by Veranda at the Jonas Showroom. Entitled “Page Turners,” editor-in-chief Clinton Smith led a panel with designers turned authors and the highs of lows of publishing. Discussing the creative and business sides of publishing their monographs, they elaborated on how they translated their individual points of view onto the printed page.

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Clinton Smith, Markham Roberts, Winddor Smith, Brian McCarthy

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Next keynote, “Not Your Mother’s Traditional sponsored by Traditional Home at George Smith. Senior Design and Lifestyle Editor Jenny Bradley discussed the new meaning of “traditional” with entertaining panelists Elizabeth Dinkel, Madeline Stewart and Thomas Callaway.

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The Elle Decor Power Lunch at the stunning Compas Showroom is always one of the most elegant events.  The courtyard setting beautifully adorned with abundant flowers is breathtaking every year.

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Robert Rufino, Michael Boodroo and Guest

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Catherine Connelly, Celerie Kemble, Roxanne Hanna, Joe Lucas and Rebecca Dane

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The Egg and Dart Showroom hosted “Branding Beyond the Candle” with interior and product designer Christopher Kennedy, photographer turned fashion designer Jonathan Skow (aka Mr. Turk) and moderated by the delightful Kelly Lee of Kelly Golightly. They shared their secrets of building a brand that appeals to a broad audience while staying true to their creative visions.

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Matching ensembles with Mr. Turk

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Complete with live mermen, the Tufenkian windows were some of the most visited during LCDQ. They hosted “Makers as Muse” moderated by Pamela Jaccarino, Editor in Chief of Luxe Magazine. She lead a conversation with Molly Luetkemeyer, Joe Lucas and Betsy Burnham on the artisans and craftsmen that serve and inspire them and what fuels them to keep their designs fresh and forward thinking.

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The final keynote of the day  “The Art of Upcycling” was held at the gorgeous Woven Accents showroom. Led by Domaine’s creative director Mat Sanders, actress and Honest Company founder Jessica Alba, Ginna Christensen of Woven Accents, Chairish.com’s Anna Brockaway discussed innovations in green living and the perks of up-cycling in interior design today.

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Next up the parties! House Beautiful and the Stark family hosted a cocktail party welcoming Sophie Donelson, the new Editor in Chief in the stunning stark showroom. The gorgeous rugs provided a beautiful backdrop for another insanely attractive crowd!

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Lovely Sophie Donelson taking center stage

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Sophie Donelson with Nate Berkus

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With Tony Buccola, Holly Phillips and Shaun Smith

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The Sherle Wagner showroom hosted the Tributes party complete with live jazz, crafted cocktails and hilarious scenarios for photo ops with their products.

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Victoira Larson, Amy Meier, Tami Ramsay and Patrick Dragonette

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Danielle Rollins and Bill Ingram

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Kerry Joyce, Michael Boodroo and Chuck Comeau hosted the official LEGENDS After Party at the exquisite Therian showroom.  Knowing that the crowd had experienced and overload of visual stimulation during the day, they made sure to come up with some imaginative and exciting entertainment to capture everyone’s attention.

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Fire eating performers…

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Dueling musicians perched above the crowd….

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And the grand finale…Cirque du Soleil inspired performance artists to cap off an epic day.

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And was just the first day!  Be sure to check back to read about the final day of LCDQ which was equally as inspiring and entertaining.  For more of my design musings, be sure to follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.  Thanks for reading and please come back again!

Photography by JL Photography unless otherwise noted.

CREATIVE MINDS: STEVE & JILL MCKENZIE

Steve and Jill McKenzie are best known for celebrating the modern Southern lifestyle. Hailed as “must-see” Atlanta destination by House Beautiful, their showroom is located in an old Army railroad freight depot in the Westside Design District. I had the delightful pleasure of meeting Jill at the Southern C Summit in Nashville last fall and Steve on a design shopping spree in Atlanta.  I was fortunate to get a tour by Steve himself hearing about his career path, artistic inspiration and even how he makes his walnut ink for his incredible abstract paintings. 
 
Steve had served as Chief Designer for Larson-Juhl for the last 20 years and as the CEO for the past decade. Jill’s background in design and retail stems from growing up in a family that owned a Scandinavian modern furniture store. Their showroom features an assortment of Southern artisans that are doing a fresh interpretation of regional styles such as R. Wood Studio Pottery from Athens, GA, Blenko Glass from West Virginia and North Carolina furniture makers Old Wood Company and Second Story Wood Company. In addition to these talents, the McKenzies also sell an upholstery line based on their favorite mid century modern designs and fabrics based on Steve’s paintings. Many of his original works are displayed in the showroom. Enjoy getting to know these two creative minds in their interview below!

When did you know you wanted to pursue design as a career and how did you get started?

Throughout my entire career, I have been directly involved in product design – from paint color palettes and holiday products to custom frames, when, two years ago, the entire design world opened itself up when we launched our fabric line and showroom.  Interior design was a natural progression as clients inquired about my design services for their homes. In college, I worked in Sherwin Williams’ research labs on color palettes for the Caribbean market.  Instantly, I was hooked on the power of color and its impact on design.

What is your creative process?

My creative process for design is similar to the creative process for my art…  I don’t start with a preconceived notion; I pursue an exploration of one brush stroke to another.  Intuitively, the laws of balance, art, line, color are there, but I don’t focus on those.  Same goes for my Interior design process, an image or color in nature can become just the spark I need for a space’s color palette.

What is your latest creative breakthrough?

My most recent creative breakthrough would be the chandelier I just designed for a client’s home.  The chandelier combines the talents of several artists, and in my mind, it will reflect the look and feel of one of my paintings.

What has been the most pivotal moment in your career?

Starting this new business with Jill in Jan. 2012 and realizing all the potential for creative outlets to merge my artistic side with my design side.

Tell us about your current work.

The art series I’m currently working on is an exploration of the combination of color and pattern.  It’s much bolder than prior work. To me it evokes a feeling of freedom and flight.

Can you give us a glimpse of what to expect from the McKenzies in the future?

A sneak peek of something we’re working on that’s been under wraps until now is an outdoor fabric collection in our classic patterns!

What do you want to be remembered for?

JILL: Our family and the way we do business (we’re here to make the designer/client happy and look good while providing extraordinary service).
STEVE-Creating spaces and products that allow friends and family to create beautiful memories together.

Do you have any advice for budding designers?

Find a fabulous mentor who is willing to invest in you; network to meet great designers & resources; and most importantly – LISTEN.  Listen to your clients, the way they live and want to live.  Listen to your mentor and your peers. We learn so much more when we listen.

Whose work do you admire?

From an artist perspective, Anselm Kiefer and Antoni Tapies for their bold, fearless creations. From a design point of view, Axel Vervoordt, for his keen understanding of the role of art in the home.

Who would be your dream client and why?

POTUS – As a kid, my family and I saw an exhibit of Presidential china.  Ever since, I’ve always wanted to design the White House china, and maybe even, the entire White House.

What is your dream vacation?

STEVE & JILL:  An isolated beach with my family all together – relaxing, enjoying good food and playing games.

What is your secret vice?

STEVE – Sneaking a spoonful of canned vanilla whipped icing. Yum!

What is your idea of bliss?

STEVE – For me, bliss is an afternoon of no demands on my time and being outdoors.  JILL – An uninterrupted nap on the screened porch or playing a great game of tennis.

If you had a theme song, what would it be?

STEVE- Let It Whip by The Dazz Band; I love what I’m doing at this stage in life, and as a college student of the 80’s, this song embodies a great beat and keeps me going.  JILL – Don’t Cha Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me?

 

What do you collect?

Oh boy – so many items have stolen my heart and shelf space! Among my favorite collections are vintage ceramic turkeys, reamers, floral frogs, and religious artifacts. Jill says Steve has a problem 🙂

What is your favorite color?

STEVE– Paprika; like a good chili, most interiors benefit from a dash of paprika
JILL – Periwinkle, my favorite crayon.What s your favorite design trick?

What is your favorite design trick?

Orchids go a long way in any space.

What are your favorite local haunts?

Atlanta favorites include Anne Flaire Antiques, Scott’s Market, the print floor of the High Museum of Art, and The Lawrence restaurant.

THANK YOU JILL & STEVE!

THE A-HA MOMENT: THE PINK HOUSE-A HAVEN FOR BREAST CANCER SURVIVORS

The A-Ha moment is one of clarity.  It is a defining moment when you gain real wisdom that can be used to change your life. This moment can be inspiring, surprising, original, deeply personal and worth sharing. It often arises when there is an obstacle that needs to be turned into an opportunity.

Last week at Blogfest 2012, the editors from House Beautiful encouraged us to share an A-Ha moment from our design work.  Up and coming designers Michael Herold, Jill Goldberg, and John Call shared their A-Ha moments with the group and challenged us to do the same.

My A-Ha moment came while working on the Pink House, a unique respite for breast cancer survivors and the Carolina Breast Friends organization. The Pink House serves breast cancer survivors in numerous ways: Wellness Education, Library and Computer Research Center, Fitness and Nutrition Centers, Self-Image Services, Arts & Crafts Workshops, and Counseling Services.

When I first saw the house, it was a beautiful historic home that had recently been renovated, but there were no funds to furnish the interior. What seemed like an insurmountable obstacle at the time turned into the most wonderful and fulfilling opportunity.

Catherine M. Austin Interior Design/ Pink House Living Room
The Living Room
Upholstery from Charles Stewart
In order to raise funds for the interior, we held a ladies-only “Pink Party” in November of 2010.  In one evening, we raised enough the furnish the first floor of the Pink House. Then, we approached several vendors and workrooms to see if they would be willing to donate their time and talent to help with the cause. Many were cancer survivors themselves and were thrilled to have the chance to help out. Thanks to the donations of the Charlotte design community, we were able to complete the entire house which opened its doors in May of 2011.
Catherine M. Austin Interior Design/ Pink House Living Room
The Living Room
Accessories donated by Circa Interiors and Antiques

The organization wanted us to create a sophisticated, calming and feminine atmosphere.  This was a haven where women would come together for fellowship, support and inspiration.

Catherine M. Austin Interior Design/ Pink House Living Room
The Living Room
Re-upholstery donated by Design Services, Inc.

Albert Hadley said, “Decorating is not about making stage sets,…it’s really about creating a quality of life, a beauty that nourishes the soul.” We wanted the survivors that entered this space to feel like their spirits had been lifted and their souls nourished.

Catherine M. Austin Interior Design/ Pink House/ Artist Kate Long Stevenson
Painting donated by Kate Long Stevenson
in honor of her friend Neil Maddux Miller

We found several pieces at local flea markets and tag sales. With some refinishing, new paint and re- upholstery, we were able to turn others people’s cast off furnishings into beautiful pieces for the Pink House.

Catherine M. Austin Interior Design/ Pink House Dining Room
The Library
Window Treatments donated by
Custom Window Treatments
Several fabric houses such as Kravet, Lee Jofa, Cowtan and Tout, Jane Shelton, Pierre Frey and Schumacher gave us discounted fabrics so we could stay on budget.
Catherine M. Austin Interior Design/ Pink House Sunroom
The Sun Room
Carpet donated by Stark

When we first began this project, I honestly did not know if we would be able to pull it together. We had several different rooms that needed to flow together along with random assortment of found items and upholstery that needed some unifying element. I finally understood the expression “making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear!” Fortunately, we ended up with our A-Ha moment and we were all thrilled with the final product.

Catherine M. Austin Interior Design/ Pink House Exterior
The Exterior
Renovations donated by J.E. Dunn Construction
To make the experience even more satisfying, we were completely humbled by everyone’s kindness and generosity.  Not a single person we asked declined to help. This greatly added to our A-Ha moment- bringing a community’s talents together for a higher cause!!!
Yours truly with Newell Turner, Editor in Chief of House Beautiful
and Beth Greene, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Branding
for Kravet, Lee Jofa and Brusnchwig & Fils
To read the full blog on The Pink House , please click here.

BIG APPLE BLOGFEST:DAY 2

Our second day of Blogfest begins with breakfast at the stunning Hearst Tower…

High up the the 44th floor, we will hear Veranda‘s elegant Editor in Chief Dara Caponigro discuss the evolution of the May/June issue.

Two of my favorite (I know there are many!) designers, Timothy Whealon and Darryl Carter, will review how their projects came to life on the pages of this issue.

We then get another dose of extraordinary talent from House Beautiful. The charismatic Editor in Chief Newell Turner will share his insights onto what it takes to get published.  House Beautiful’s Next Wave Designers, Jon Call, Jill Goldberg and Michael Harold will reveal their secrets on how to take an interior design career to the next level.

After our inspirational morning, we will head to the Elle Decor Modern Life Concept House to meet with the dashing Editor in Chief Michael Boodroo.

The show house is being held at the Dillon in one of their nine townhouses. Eight international designers have created original contemporary spaces in conjunction with modern furniture, fabric and accessory lines.

Next we are off to the D&D building to the Lee Jofa showroom for lunch with Macrae furniture designer Robert Brown and Keith Granet, author of Business of Design.  After lunch, we will join Traditional Home Editor in Chief Anne Maine at the Kravet showroom for an interview with the charming and talented Alexa Hampton.

The ladies will define and discuss what the term “traditional” means today and how the design industry has acclimated to keep up with the new “traditional.”

If that were not enough for one day of design, we then head to see a sneak preview of the new Baccarat showroom to meet designer extraordinaire Vincent Wolf.

The topic of Mr. Wolf’s lecture is “Finding New Direction: How People Want to Live in the Contemporary World.”

Finally our day concludes with a private cocktail party at the incredible GE Monogram Design Center. Executive Chef  Tagere Southwell will work his magic in the luxury open kitchen, showing off all of the latest and greatest appliances.

Thank goodness there is no After Party tonight! Stay tuned for Day 3 tomorrow…