Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Guest House Recycled

The World of Interiors, July 2010
Photos by Richardo Labougle
I’ve been working on my garden shed project I posted recently.  One of the goals of that project is not to only spiff up the garden shed, but to empty the shed and our garage of some of the left over construction materials that have been piled up for two years now.  That’s one of the reasons I was so attracted to this guesthouse in the south of France.  It looks like the perfect ‘get away from it all’ vacation spot.  If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know I’m all about mixing old and new.  Also, this guest house is a great example of keeping it green.  The house is a recycled old hen house.  The owner reused recycled doors, windows, radiators, & corrugated tin.  Of course I love all the planking and the modern shower in the bathroom is super cool. 


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Super Size My Walls

On Friday I posted an idea about mural wallpapering my front hallway.  Then I saw this!

I have this love/hate relationship with W.  Sometimes it has its head stuck so far up its butt it makes me crazy.  My other life, outside of this strange uni-verse called blogging is in fashion retail.  I’ve always worked as some creative type within store design, visual merchandising, and market branding, so yes, I have knowledge of fashion and can will speak about it.  My problem with W is that most issues have a least one spread trying so damn hard to be arty that the clothing never shows up.  The photography direction is usually either dark, deliberately out of focus, upside down or something else equally as stupid (I thought a lot about what word to use there – something more descriptive perhaps?  But, stupid really sums it up).  What I hate even worse is when they reference the fashion in the caption, but never really show it. 

Example:  the shot is from a distance; let’s say about 3 fucking city blocks, its night, raining and the photo is in black & white.  We see the leg of a model entering a doorway.  All we see is the hem of her white dress.  The caption reads, “This page Bottega Veneta’s silk and leather halter dress, Tiffany & Co. fish scale earrings, Hermes cuffs, lips by Lancôme.” 

Lips by Lancôme.  What kind of shit is that!  We didn’t even see her head, much less her lips.  I guess because you showed me the bottom of her Gucci strappy heel, and I’m a fashion expert I’m to assume the skinny bitch is wearing Lancôme’s Berry Noir lipstick. 

Trust me; I do appreciate the creative aspect.  When I was working in NYC we always strived to do the most creative work possible, but tried to make sure we never lost focus of the goal.  And if we hid the product in lieu of ‘art’ we would have been tossed out on our inspired asses.  But, for every one stupid spread from W, come two or three of brilliance.  It’s why I keep my ‘prescription’ current.  Here’s one of them.  Of course there’s little fashion involved, but this time they were up front that wasn’t the goal.  It’s about interior and design, which is why I’m ranting on about a fashion magazine today. 

W has given me a great idea.  The images used on the walls are too old world euro for me, but the idea is fantastic.  This I like!

April 2011
photos by TimWalker

Friday, March 25, 2011

Wallpaper Murals

I love the front center hallway of my house.  I especially love the color I painted the walls.  It’s Farrow and Ball’s Cornforth White and it’s beautiful.  In fact, this room is probably one of my favorite in the house.  So, it’s strange that it’s completely empty.  I believe the first room a person enters should set the tone for the rest of the house, but I’m not living up to that philosophy.  I’ve moved more stuff in and out of this room than you can possibly imagine, but nothing has ever stuck.  The room is narrow so it can’t handle too much.  I’ve always thought about a pair of matching consoles on each wall.  I found the perfect pair in NYC a few years back and was too cheap to drop the cash.  A mistake. 

My latest idea is to wallpaper a mural in the entire room.  But, I’ve had bad experiences with wallpaper.  Years ago a friend and I found a cool magnolia wall paper border.  We thought it would look best if I cut out the pattern.  4782 hours later, I was finished and put it up in my bathroom.  It looked OK.  But, due to the intricate cut pattern the shit started curling up almost immediately.  From then on I’ve stuck with paint. 

A mural would make the room feel even larger, especially if I scatter around my Ghost chairs and then leave the room empty.  It also needs to be done in a more modern and update approach.  So, if I were to do a mural it would have to be traditional in feeling, but have a subtle twist.  Like images of pre ruin Pompeii, but all the people would be wearing IPods and Gucci loafers. 

I’ve researched murals on canvas, which means a custom hand painted design, so I might as well hope to have the house dipped in 18-carat gold.  I guess I’ll just keep staring at my Cornforth White walls.  I’d really hate to cover over them in the first place.


photo credit Andrew Bordwin

photo credit Roger Davies

photo credit Pieter Estersohn

photo credit Ricardo Labougle

photo credit Roger Davies

photo credit Simon Upton

photo credit Simon Upton

photo credit Roger Davies

photo credit Roger Davies

photo credit William Waldron

photo credit Fernando Bengoechea

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Stone Face

I think everybody needs at least one bust of a dead person in their house. I wish I had one. It’s not that I don’t practice what I preach; its just I haven’t found the right dead person yet. There seems to be plenty of busts of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson or Julius Caesar but I want a bust of someone good looking. I took this picture when we were in Rome at the Ara Pacis. I think its Augustus, but I don’t remember. He’s kind of hot. But, since the Ara Pacis is a museum of sorts, it wasn’t for sale and the security was rather heavy so slipping it under my jacket wasn’t an option.

So, I’m still looking. There also seem to be a lot of bust available of fancy old English or French guys, but they’re too gay, even for me. I lean towards more classical Greek or Roman design so Emperors or Gods work best. Unfortunately, most of them have big noses or are just to rough looking. If I knew a sculptor I’d have him make me a bust of Daniel Craig with a laurel wreath on his head and the hint of a toga on his shoulder. I doubt anyone would recognize that it was Daniel Craig in Greek drag. But, I don’t know a decent sculptor, so I’ll just have to keep on looking.



photo credit Alex Ramsay

photo credit Bill Batten

photo credit Bill Batten

photo credit Grey Crawford

photo credit Grey Crawford

Josh McHugh

photo credit Laura Resen

photo credit Michael Partenio

photo credit Richard Felber

photo credit Timothy Kolk


and the Queen of Busts, Miss Stone Face 2010

Monday, March 21, 2011

Morning Sunlight

When I made my way down stairs first thing Monday morning (well it was first thing for me), C had already gotten up and open the drapes.  The back of our house is mostly doors, lots of them; which means there are lots of drapes.  The house was perfectly situated on this site 200 years ago to clearly take advantage of the sun.  The morning sun rises directly due east perfectly positioned to center it’s light on the rear center hall doors and sits perfectly on the front center hallway double doors.  The borrowed light is amazing and warms the house in the fall and winter, but it heats up like a furnace in the spring and summer, hence the small huge fortune we’ve spent on drapes.  All too often we keep them closed.  So this morning the first thing I noticed was the sunlight beaming on the rear center hall table and a purple orchid.  Of course, everything in the house is grey, black or more grey so there’s not a lot of what most people consider color.  But, I thought I’d take advantage of the morning light and see how many brilliant colors I could find inside and outside during my first cup of coffee. 








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