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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Mies van der Rohe, one of the titans of modern architecture, was born 126 years ago today.

If you went on Google today, you saw their homage to Mies van der Rohe.

Known for his “less is more” style, after his death, many postmodernists blamed him for the soulless “international design” that became popular.

The thing is, simple is hard to get right.  All those Mies van der Rohe knockoffs were just that, knockoffs.

I know this chair is EVERYWHERE, but I love the lines of the Barcelona chair.  It’s modern design, but I’ve seen the chair work in non-contemporary settings as well

Barcelona chair, Knoll

The Guardian has a great article regarding how the reputation of Mies van der Rohe has completely changed since his death in 1986.

I didn’t know that the Barcelona chair was never intended for production.  A stainless steel one will set you back $7740.

I can’t even imagine what an original version goes for.

*Apologies to Mr. Kermit the Frog.

While I have always appreciated the color green in nature and in interiors, only recently have I fallen for this color in clothing.

Green represents growth, harmony, balance, and freshness. It’s a “cool” color which is why, with my complexion, I should really wear it more often.

Greens were all over the Spring/Summer 2012 runways, especially the brighter versions.

Green reminds me of the mountains that surround my parents’ home in St. Martin.

I hope to buy a few green things this spring.  How about you?

My friend Elizabeth suggested I read this book.  Elizabeth has written about design (among other things) for over twenty years, so when she tells me I should check out a book, a store, a designer, etc., I do it.

MASSERIA, with text by architect Diane Lewis and photographs by Mark Roskams, is a fantastic book.   Masserie are fortified farmhouses located in Puglia, the southeastern coast of Italy.

They range in size.  The materials are local, stone, concrete, iron, and brick.  Some were used as resting places for pilgrims traveling on Via Appia.

Now many have been renovated, some into boutique hotels.  The rest are working farms, passed down through the generations. Puglia is an area of Italy that doesn’t see many American tourists.  The majority are Italians and Europeans.

I haven’t made it down to Puglia yet (it’s on my list) but I really like the architecture.  It’s Stylish Simplicity.  Rustic and elegant, some of these farmhouses date back to the Middle Ages.

There was also a practical reason to read MASSERIA.  When I was in Anguilla over the Christmas holiday, I met with one of my clients’ builders.  He showed me a few of the houses he has built on the island.

In the Caribbean many houses have stone or tile floors because of the climate. Some areas of Puglia have a flat landscape like Anguilla. I see a lot of simliarites in the materials, although wood is used more in the Caribbean. The use of the color white, a lot of white on the walls, interior and exterior, makes sense in both places as the sun is very strong.

I’ve flagged several photos in this book.  I’m loving the stone floors, the iron bed posts, and the use of color.  It’s good to see how these unique spaces were allowed to keep their integrity while being modernized.

If everything goes to plan, the house in Anguilla will be done next year.  In the meantime, I’m putting together my library/inspiration board for the project.  MASSERIA will be one of the books I refer to again and again.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in design, Italy, and/or traveling to Puglia.

 

This Tom Ford dress is not an easy look to pull off.  With a dress this “simple” the tailoring has to be impeccable and the accessories must be on point. That cuff!

There are no bells and whistles to distract the eye.  It’s a formal gown, yet the dress looks comfortable. The cape was a daring and practical choice.  It was chilly that day in Los Angeles.

Gwyneth was mentioned on many Oscar Best Dressed lists and I agree.

She said in several interviews that this was the only dress she tried on.  Gwyneth was inspired by Jacqueline Kennedy’s 1961 Inaugural gown which was made by Bergdorf Goodman’s Ethel Frankau.

Perfection.

 

 

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