Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Design Under the Influence: Fashion Meets Architecture

Hello everyone! It's Erika from small shop once again bringing you another edition of "Design Under the Influence." Today's topic is kinda fun: during this past New York Fashion Week, I read that Derek Lam's Spring 2012 RTW collection was influenced by Neutra's Kaufmann house in Palm Springs. Fashion meets architecture? I was intrigued, as you can imagine! So I thought I'd investigate it further. What I find really interesting is it appears that Derek Lam had to have been quite inspired by photographer Slim Aaron's "Poolside Gossip" (below) and "Kaufmann House, 1970" (above) in particular. And when I went looking around at peeks of the house elsewhere, there definitely are correlations between some of the visual lines and materials of the architecture and surroundings, and Lam's pieces and details. Let's take a look:
I love the way Lam incorporated sunny yellows, aquas, and lacey white patterns into his collection, straight out of Slim Aaron's iconic photograph "Poolside Gossip."
These were views I had not seen of the Kaufmann House previously, but the deep burgundies and browns, and the various woods and angles of the house make for some really interesting lines and materials when translated to apparel.
The soft and sandy desert landscape provides the perfect backdrop for the rectilinear slats and shapes of the structures, skillfully interpreted by Derek Lam for his Spring 2012 collection.
So what do you think? Does Lam's homage to this iconic house do it justice? According to Lam, a California boy, he was envisioning "Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack crooning by the piano and Angie Dickinson lounging by a crystal-blue pool. Mid-century louche and luxury."
One last thought about the true origin of influence and inspiration: I had the amazing opportunity to visit photographer Julius Shulman at his house a few years ago (he has since passed away), and he brought up an interesting point about the fact that quite possibly, his photograph made Neutra's work famous (and other mid-century modern architects at the time). And you could argue further that Slim Aarons' photographs have done the same more recently. Join me at my blog today as I discuss this and share a few photos of our meeting!

Maison de Luxe

This morning, I’m off to Maison de Luxe, the fabulous designer show house at the historic Greystone Estate in Beverly Hills, sponsored by LUXE Interiors + Design magazine. Thanks to the fabulous team at LUXE, I will be attending a dinner tonight along with all of the amazing designers who participated in the show house. Tomorrow night, we will be going to the opening gala and Friday, we will attend a design lecture before heading back home. I am super excited to experience what is sure to be a stunning show house given the level of talent involved. I am also very much looking forward to meeting some of my favorite designers. I am sure I will have lots to blog about when I get back, so check back for a recap early next week!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

When can I move in?

HB Dec2011 New Trad3
It isn’t often that I see a home in a magazine or a book and think “I would move right in and wouldn’t change a single thing!”. There are plenty of gorgeous homes that I like, but much like what we’ve done in my “Dream Home” series, I would take different rooms from various houses to create the home of my dreams. All of that quickly changed when I laid my eyes on the absolutely gorgeous home of Mark D. Sikes and Michael Griffin in the December/January issue of House Beautiful. Every room is absolute perfection. There is a perfect balance between neutrals and patterns, classic and modern resulting in what House Beautiful has described as “New Traditional”, a style that very much speaks to my design sensibility. This charming West Hollywood home has a beautiful Mediterranean exterior and a traditional interior, resulting in an ideal canvas for the stunning interiors crafted by Sikes and Griffin, both of whom are visual merchandisers, which is evident in how fabulously the home is styled. The home is chic and polished, while exuding that quintessential, easy and inviting California elegance.
HB Dec2011 New Trad4
{The entryway draws you in right away. I am in love with the door!}
HB Dec2011 Paris Large
{Just yesterday, I posted the lighting in this home for the Visual Comfort & Co. blog. The grand dining room features Gracie Chinoiserie wallpaper, gingham chairs anchored by a couple of limed wood Chippendale-style chairs, and Visual Comfort’s Large Paris Flea Market Chandelier.}
HB Dec2011 Annette
{The living room is one of my favorite spaces in the home. This room is the embodiment of classic California style. I love how layered it is—so many great textures.}
HB Dec Grosvenor
{The homeowners drew inspiration from Christopher Peacock’s classic kitchen designs for the all-white, timeless look of this space. Hanging overhead, a pair of Visual Comfort’s Grosvenor Single Pendants.}HB Dec2011 new trad
{More Gorgeous Spaces—I am in love with the home’s exterior and the lovely library.}
HB Dec2011 New Trad2
{Amazing, isn’t it?}
HB Dec2011 New Trad5
{Classic Meets Cozy—This home exudes such charm. I’m not sure that I could tire of it.}
HB Dec2011 Narrow Neck Vase Lamp
{The guest bedroom features dark chocolate walls paired with flowing, ivory fabrics. Notice how the bed’s canopy is hung from the ceiling.}HB Dec2011 Single French Library Sconce
{I love the contrast between the high gloss black walls and the classic plumbing and lighting fixtures in the handsome guest bathroom.}
{Image Credit: Amy Neunsinger for House Beautiful}

Dream Home: Marcus Design

So, it’s officially back! Due to an overwhelming response to the end of the “Dream Home” series, I have decided to bring it back for a while. I am working on getting a new line-up together in between trips (I just got back from Spain and am headed to L.A. on Wednesday- yikes!). Please let me know whose “Dream Homes” you’d like to see featured! Today, we have the lovely Nancy from Marcus Design, who has created a gorgeous “young traditional” home that I know you all will love.

Marcus Design

Hello lovely LDV readers! A huge thank you to Paloma for allowing me to participate in one of my very favorite series in the blogosphere. And how fun it was to put together! My dream home would have a fabulous traditional/Hamptons vibe, starting with a grand exterior. Architectural details like columns and oval windows would be a must!

The black double doors would be sporting beautiful lion head knockers to invite you in.
The entry would welcome you in with a grand mirror, and I'd place a lucite console table layered in front.
There would be a tufted bench in the hall for putting on shoes {with sconces built-in to it - it's all in the details after all!} .... and just adjacent a jewel-box of a powder room.
The living room would be formal yet cozy and inviting all in one:
On to the kitchen, it would be white, bright & airy, with lovely marble smothering the counters and backsplash, and unique little details like glass cabinets in front of a window, and a comfy bench in the breakfast nook ...
The TV would be placed in a subtle way in the family room. High ceilings, dreamy panelling, and a Madeline Weinrib pillow or two wouldn't hurt either ...
A touch of Hollywood glam in the dining room would be brought in with a built-in velvet tufted bench and shimmery Romo medallion wallpaper.
We would definitely have 'His & Hers' home offices, a gorgeous deep inky blue for the man-cave, and a light & bright feminine space for moi.
Upstairs the hallway would have to include a vignette or gallery wall that would entice you to stay and linger a while ...
source unknown
The master suite would be a soft & calming retreat, with a generous amount of space for a seating area.
The master bath would be the epitome of luxury {it's a dream home after all!}, complete with a fireplace, floor to ceiling mirror with mirror-mounted sconces, and a free-standing tub .... surrounded by a library of course ...
Oh, and did I forget to mention I would have to have all black interior doors? Another must. The closet would be white, tailored & organized with a boutique feel.
The guest bedroom would sport hotel-style twin beds, a luxe dressing area and a lovely bathroom with the mirror-layered-on-mirror look.
And finally, the outdoor space would be fantastic: there would be balconies off each of the bedrooms and a large swimming pool. Oh, and let's not forget a charming little spot to spend summer nights watching movies on the lawn. I think we'd never leave home!
Hope you enjoyed my dream home - thank you Paloma for having me visit! xo

Monday, November 28, 2011

Spain in Still Frames


Two Fridays ago, Fabian and I headed to Spain for a week of rest and relaxation. We landed in Madrid on Saturday morning and then headed two hours west to the charming medieval city of Salamanca where we spent two days before heading back to Madrid. Salamanca has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site and was once of the most important cities in Spain, often considered the “Florence of the Iberian Peninsula” as it flourished during the renaissance. Salamanca’s university was host to some of the most important names in Spanish history—Cervantes, Cortez, Unamuno, and even Christopher Columbus, who spent time in Salamanca while he was being commissioned by the Spanish Kings to set off on his travels.



Salamanca is a quaint and charming town, made vibrant by it’s young population attracted by the university and the stunning architecture. The buildings are made from a local limestone that seems to glow in the sunlight and especially at night by the light of the moon. The day that we arrived, it was rainy and gloomy out. I was quite worried because the town seemed to be dead as no one was out—the complete opposite of the happening little town I remembered from my visit three summers ago. I worried that I’d made a mistake bringing us there, but we had booked two nights at the hotel, so we stayed. By Sunday, the sun came out and so did everyone else. People were out and about, enjoying the weekend and this wonderful town. Fabian ended up loving it and really enjoyed seeing the contrast between a small, laid back Spanish town like Salamanca and a thriving metropolis like Madrid. Alas, we prefer the city life, so two days was plenty of time in Salamanca before we were ready to move on.





















After a weekend in Salamanca, we moved on to Madrid, Spain’s bustling capitol. We both commented on how much it reminds us of New York. It is a fast-moving city with activity at every hour of the day and night. It is also reminiscent of Paris with its elegant architecture and wide boulevards. We loved the fact that we always had something to do in Madrid. From tapas and drinks at the fabulous San Miguel Market (a foodie’s heaven!), strolling along the frenetic Gran Vía, taking in the world-class Prado Museum, shopping in the tony Salamanca neighborhood, or experiencing an awe-inspiring Flamenco show at the Corral de la Morería, we enjoyed so many different activities. By the way, if you are planning a trip to Madrid anytime soon, you simply must take in a show at the Corral de la Morería. It is considered the best Flamenco tablao in the world and with good reason. It was far and a way the best Flamenco performance I’ve ever seen. The passion and emotion are completely palpable—I was moved to tears at the show. For now, I’ll leave you with these images, but I will be back later this week with a review of our Madrid hotel, the NH Palacio de Tepa, which I would highly recommend.























{Image Credit: Fabian and Paloma Contreras for La Dolce Vita}