Kingdom America

I just bought this lamp off Etsy, and I'm loving that it has the blue and white porcelain look, but with an off-beat assymetrical design and the sort of random "America." I suppose I say random because there is a crown in the design, and America is fundamentally non-monarchal? Also I don't see too many decorative art pieces, non-kitschy ones at least, with "America" emblazoned on them. And I think it's funny that America is written in such a sober font! The font does nothing to evoke sing-songy patriotism.

Although it will be going in my much more humble dwellings, I could also see it in either of these two beautiful rooms...

This traditional foyer, both elegant and immensely welcoming, by my illustrious former boss Miles Redd, where real blue and white porcelain would not be out of place, and the oddity of this design might add a touch of whimsy...

Or this cheery and comfortable living room where a touch of blue would be a nice contrast, and the vintage-y feel would be right in sync with the suzani on the sofa. Sadly I don't know who this one is by...


Another Withdrawing Room

Now this could certainly be a withdrawing room, and a sexy one at that. Do you ever think about what kind of attire a room lends itself to? Or what kind of music?

This one certainly leads me to consider both. I think I would like to lounge about in here, or even entertain guests, wearing canary yellow satin pajamas with a mandarin collar and listening to Billie Holiday.

Possibly with a bourbon and ice, or a cigarette in one of those long extender things my grandmother used. The last part is inspired by the bear-skin rug-- it practically demands that you up the vice-factor.


Withdrawing Room

Just came back across this photo of a study by Robert Passal in one of my files and wanted to share. I just love it! The paint color, the ceiling, the long banquette, the art, the bar tray on console, the sophisticated use of animal print...

Actually, is it a study? The prepared table throws me off. I think, in fact, it could be a drawing room! Did you know that the phrase drawing room originated as "withdrawing room," is it was a room used to withdraw with guests for more privacy?

Also, did you know the English have terms for multiple different kinds of reception rooms, including a "morning room"? A morning room typically had an eastern exposure and was used for daytime guests.

My sister has a similar room, which she named herself, that she calls the "coffee room." It's a fantastic little room only big enough for four comfy chairs facing each other and an ottoman in the middle, and it has one wall of windows facing the garden and three walls of beautiful paneling. They really do use it for coffee, and I have become convinced that every house should have such a cozy little room to enjoy the morning. It's not even attached to the kitchen, which I think is ideal because it is situated calmly away from all frenzied morning activity. I, for one, have a hard time slowing down in the mornings, but such a room could entice me to do so.


Wheel of Fortune

Sometimes, I find the lottery to be depressing in the way it functions as a regressive tax, taking higher proportions of poor people's money than rich people's, since it is the poor who keep holding on to that hope, and they have less disposable income to begin with. But sometimes, lottery-winning stories are just enough to convince me, "why not let people keep hoping? Sometimes it works!"

Last Wednesday, a 50-year old Ventury county man who works at his local Ralph's grocery went into a Chevron and asked for two $10 lottery tickets, as he always does-- one for himself and one for his father. But the clerk made a mistake and gave him one $10 ticket, and one $2 ticket. She asked if he would like to cancel the transaction and start over, but he said no, he'd give the $10 one to his father, and just add $8 more worth of numbers for himself.

Then, after his lunch of Chinese food yesterday, he was inspired to check his lottery numbers when his fortune cookie read, "You will enjoy a luxurious life." Sure enough, he had won $10,000,000 with the $8 ticket he had accidentally purchasd. He said he has no immediate plans for how to spend the money, but will continue to work at Ralph's because he doesn't want to "become a lazy slob."

info via The Ventury County Star

Oh, and if you haven't seen Waking Ned Devine, the movie that these images are from, you absolutely should. It begins when an elderly Irish man wins the lottery and then dies promptly upon hearing the news, and hilarity ensues as his lifelong friends consider faking his identity to claim the winnings, and inevitably the whole of their small town ends up involved in the moral dilemna.


Missed Connections

"You had a guitar. I had a blue hat. We exchanged glances and smiles on the subway platform. I pretended to read my New Yorker, but I couldn't concentrate. You got on the Q and I stayed to wait for the B. You were lovely."

I love reading the missed connections on craigslist and other sites, thinking about how people really do sometimes believe in the fleeting eye contact they shared with a stranger, or believe that they understand something about someone simply through their clothes and body language. And I like that missed connections exist for the sole purpose of, well, connecting to another person. They are never malicious.

This blog, where illustrator Sophie Blackall creates illustrations to match missed connections she reads, is so charming.

It inspires many trains of thought for me...

As in the one at the top, I love the little bits of honesty like "but I couldn't concentrate," that result from someone putting something anonymously out into the world. Or as in the one below, the tenderness that would never be expressed face-to-face with a stranger. I like knowing that people think such tender things as they walk around in the world.

"Phoenix w/ crutches: I would like to carry you around piggy back until you can walk again."

I like that Sophie creates art using material that is already out there in the world waiting to be given a visual form. I mean I suppose that process is actually intrinsic to art, but I like that it is emotions and thoughts coming from someone else originally, and she interprets them. It's interesting that it's not an introspective or self-centered art. As she says of the missed connections, "Their messages have the lifespan of a butterfly, I'm trying to pin a few of them down."

It's also entertaining how people describe themselves. Sometimes the missed connections start off sweet and then the person says something like, "and I was that toned, attractive brunette guy," and you're like, "who would read that arrogant statement and want to reestablish the connection?"

...and also thinking about how the way the one person experienced the interaction could be so totally different from the way the other person perceived it. The writer may have thought it was love, and the sought-after may have just been looking off into space and accidentally made eye contact! Who was it that said that no two people will ever experience anything the same way?

"Remember? Uptown A train. Sunday around 9pm. I was the black dude reading Bukowski's Post Office. You were reading the Arts and Leisure section. You passed wind rather loudly and started chuckling. I'd like to see you again. The flatulance wasn't a turn-off."

Or, as in the case of the one above, maybe one way you know you're meant to be with someone is that you DO experience things similarly. Maybe this guy was the only other person on the train that thought it was funny that this girl passed gas and then chuckled at it, and he knew they were soul mates!


Random Acts of Creativity >> Office Romance

This one isn't necessarily random, but I still love it. I love that it is about love expressing itself through creative means. This is the kind of love I would like. How many times did I just say love? Five.

Love it! Six.


Kitchen inspiration... via a Pixar film...

Have you seen Ratatouille? If you haven't, you MUST. It's so good. And not just good for an animated film. Good period.

I absolutely loved the kitchen at the restaurant, and I just found a quicktime tour of it-- you can pan through-- it's so cool.

Check out that gorgeous black and brass La Cornue range! We want to borrow elements of this kitchen for the restaurant kitchen at Mattei's, which will be a display kitchen with a chef's table in an inglenook. We love how it's not all matchy-matchy like a modern American kitchen-- so many textures, and notice all the different finishes? There's brass, stainless, copper... and it feels totally authentically French.

It also makes me want to know more about set design for animated movies. How do they do it? Do they have a set designer do all the specifications and everything as though it's real, and then just have the animators create it digitally? Sooo beyond me. There's also a tour of Skinner's office, and it just makes me think, "Who chose that rug on the floor? And how/why?" So cool.


Summer Style

Summer necessity... a new bathing suit! Bought online, which scares me a little bit given the fit of a bathing suit is rather important, but it was so reasonable on sale! From Boden.

A recent splurge... gorgeous leather carry-on from Steamline Luggage. Hey, I travel a lot and it was also on sale!

Yeah, I'll take him too. Image via the Sartorialist.

Adorable clothes from Mona & Holly.

LOVE this look captured by Garance Dore.

Image via style pill


Freedom of Expression

I love the way each of these bedrooms has a fairly neutral palette, but uses art and artifacts to give the rooms character.

Stephen Shubel

Cottage Living

Thomas O'Brien

Ken Fulk


Random Acts of Creativity

As I've said before, I love the movie Amelie, and really, I love the whole idea of acts of random creativity. I just coined that phrase, by the way. So naturally, I think this is awesome. These two people decided to write an individualized letter to everyone in the small Irish town of Cushendall, just to see what kind of interactions and conversations it would spark amongst neighbors. It's difficult to describe why precisely, but I find these kinds of things so inspiring. They have no point, really, but nonetheless they make me happy.

Here are a few-- it's pretty interesting to read them and see what they thought of to say to total strangers. You can see all of them here.

It's the same reason that I love French conceptual artist Sophie Calle, who I discovered at the Venice Biennale a couple of years ago in the most clever exhibit I've ever seen.

Her projects are more introspective than they are aimed at affecting others, but interesting in their explorations just the same. For example, she once found an address book on the sidewalk and called all the numbers in it to interview them about the address book's owner, and then published the piece as an article in the newpaper.

I'll just copy an article from the Guardian that can describe her work, including the genius biennale exhibit, better than I can:

He loves me not

When a boyfriend dumped her by email, French artist Sophie Calle asked 100 women to read it - and became the star of the Venice Biennale, reports Angelique Chrisafis

Picture this. You're one of France's best-known living conceptual artists. You're 51 and visiting Berlin. Your mobile beeps, it's an email from your boyfriend. In a hideously self-absorbed message about human emotion, he dumps you electronically, saying it hurts him more than you. He signs off: "Take care of yourself." You're heartbroken. Then you think of its potential as art.

Click the jump for the rest of the essay:


Industrial Revolution v2.0

I realize industrial-chic is becoming quite trendy at the moment, but the look really does work for this Mattei's project, I swear! And I particularly like the legit antique pieces. How cool is that industrial architect's drafting table?!

Antique drafting table and bluestone-topped dining table from Balsamo Antiques, zinc-topped side table from Avant Garden, and reproduction demi-lune zinc-topped tables from Mecox Gardens.

Ultimate bar

I know I just posted on a bar tray, so it must really seem like I've got booze on the brain, but really it's just this Mattei's project, I swear. And hey, it's five o'clock somehwere, right? Just kidding.

Anyway, we love this bar! It's so perfectly moody looking, without being dive-y. Saloon-y without being kitschy. I wish I knew what bar it is, but it's actually from an ad for Antique and Vintage Woods of America. It's a brilliant ad since the whole atmosphere of the bar seems to be set by the gorgeous wood ceiling. We will definitely be copying that ceiling.


Campaign Modern

Richard Wrightman's take on campaign furniture is brilliant. Only subtle changes from the traditional designs, but important ones. The shiny black leather just takes it to a new level. And now we're thinking about doing this tray table as the nightstand instead of the red one for Mattei's.

Also, we emailed them about pricing and customization, and Richard Wrightman himself wrote back within hours. Gotta love that.


Your next whiskey bar

I am OBSESSED with this bar tray from Laurin Copen on 1st dibs. Wrapped in red leather with a chrome inside? Yes. We are considering making something custom like this as the bedside table for Mattei's, so I think we should just buy this one as a prototype, right? And we can just store it in my apartment when we don't need it. I wouldn't mind too terribly.
Related Posts with Thumbnails