Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Elle Decor's A-Team (Part VII)

I'm seriously running out of intro ideas for these Elle Decor's top 25 interior designers posts... How many more ways are there to say the same thing? It's now clear that we're going through the 2010 list and talking about what we personally find appealing about the designers...right? Anyway - just a couple more weeks to go in covering the rest. It's been a fun summer project!

Here is what we think of the next three...

(If you're new to this, you can catch up with: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V and Part VI.)

Robert Stilin

ED (Elle Decor) describes Stilin's work as "carefully edited, serenely contemporary settings that invite laid-back living...His fuss-free projects are finely tailored and warmly textured, incorporating clean-cut fabrics, strong lined vintage, antique, and modern furniture..., dark metal, natural woods, and grandly scaled art with a compelling graphic presence."

Stilin's work leans more toward contemporary than the Style Key West look, but if there is one thing that we absolutely agree upon, it's a well thought out room that maintains comfort and functionality regardless of aesthetic. The images we selected are those closest to our own style and feature very livable spaces with the perfect balance of universal appeal and individual personality.

Madeline Stuart

ED describes Stuart as "funky, classic, elegant - Stuart produces them all, imbuing her work with romance, history, and a sense of expansive ease. The interiors...can be appropriately dramatic or restrained depending on whether she's designing a Georgian manse or a sleep contemporary beach house...Whatever their style, her rooms usually feature a compelling mix of antiques and bespoke pieces."

This was a hard one to go through since Stuart's range of work is pretty epic. It covers Spanish, Modern, Ranch... But antiques, vintage styles and rich textiles figure prominently in her work. One theme of the portfolio that greatly appealed to us is the attenion to personal spaces such as dressing rooms, bathrooms and bedrooms. There is a level of decadence to styling fantastic spaces that are rarely seen by visitors.

Steven Volpe

ED (Elle Decor) describes Volpe's interiors as "ranging from lusciously palatial homages to the past to edgy exercises in modern living. The San Francisco-based designer was strongly influenced by his years in Paris and is known for a spare sensibility that never forgoes luxury or richness, juxtaposing strong colors with refined detailing, modern works of art, and subtle doses of glamour and shine."

I'm finding myself at a loss on this one... I selected images that I found appealing for their composition, fine art and obvious taste level, but none of them particularly speak to my personal taste. I think the last two images come the closest, but there is little here that reflects the Style Key West design philosophy. Volpe's work is probably best appreciated from afar. It's hard to imagine people living in these rooms. Maybe entertaining...but not sitting around with a cup of coffee and the morning paper. I would find it hard to feel comfortable in these spaces. Everything is "just so". But then again - the images were pulled from a portfolio, and room styling plays a role in this perception.

So what do you think? Any opinions so far on Elle Decor's selected designers?

*Unless otherwise specified, all images procured directly from the designers' websites.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Elle Decor's A-Team (Part VI)

Only nine more to go in this Elle Decor's top 25 interior designers feature. We were quite fond of the three we covered last week (even the one that was the least in line with our own design style). Here is what we think of the next three...

(If you're new to this, you can catch up with: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV and Part V.)

Michael S. Smith

ED (Elle Decor) describes Smith as "The tastemaker for the private quarters of the Obama White House...his posh-trad vocabulary of contemporary art, deluxe antiques, cozy upholstery, and romantic fabrics inspired by English chintzes and Indian cottons. His style is knockout but never over-the-top."

It's clear that Smith puts a lot of thought into keeping a consistent look throughout each house and expressing the subtle personality of each client. We love the luxurious bathrooms featured in the his portfolio. Another feature to his work, much in line with our own, is his use of accessories to add depth and interest to each room.

Matthew Patrick Smyth

ED describes Smyth as having "quiet style with legs, a classically inspired but always lively mix of traditional furniture, up-to-the-minute upholstery, and luxe fabrics that run the gamut from graphic ethnic prints to Savile Row-style wools and cashmeres."

Again - we love this designer's use of accessories to personalize spaces. The images above reflect this best, but they also provide a good representation of how Smyth's designs provide a fresh perspective on traditional style.

William Sofield

ED (Elle Decor) describes Sofield as "crafting spaces that are almost decadent in their interplay of materials, history, and mood. [Sofield] has a luxurious, worldly aesthetic that spans from rigorous haute-industrial allure to theatrical pan-Asian refinement. Though he considers himself a modernist, his work often nods to 1930s Hollywood glamour and features hand-wrought finishes and custom pieces that celebrate the artisan."

When I linked to Sofield's website, Studio Sofield, it was only a landing page with address and phone number. So I had to find images online - a task that proved rather difficult since there aren't many of them. Here are the ones I liked best:

It's hard to get a real feel for this designer since there are so few images to view at the moment, but the glamorous style is undeniable. I personally, respond quite positively to a little ornate gold leafing upon occasion (my mother says it's the Italian in me) and I love the retro ambiance of these images. I looked at the pictures before reading ED's description, so I found the 1930s reference to be dead on. I could easily see Bette Davis or Joan Crawford sashaying through any of these rooms. Quick! Someone put out some ashtrays!

*images from: Material Girls, Habitually Chic, Architect Design, vitruvius

So what do you think? Any opinions so far on Elle Decor's selected designers?

*Unless otherwise specified, all images procured directly from the designers' websites.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The "Model" Citizen Revisited

Many months ago we ran a post about how I was selected to be a "model" in a photo shoot for a Key West hotel.

My job was to make "sand angels". I was hoping it might be something more like sharing an umbrella drink in their Tiki Bar with some beach babe. But I guess, at 66 years old, those casting opportunities are a thing of the past. Anyway, for never having made a sand angel before, I've gotta admit I've got some real natural talent in that direction.

But it was when I leapt up into my "signature move" (undirected by the ad agency), that they discovered "the real money shot".

Well, here's the result as they saw it in Ad Land...

As you can see I even got a free sunburn courtesy of the art director.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Cottage Bed

We love our newest shop addition: the Cottage Bed in a dreamy sea mist finish. Believe it or not, the soft, mellow aqua turns out to be a great neutral.

Here we've dressed the bed in contemporary brights...

This time a romantic pastel and floral palette...

And finally ethereal white...

Whatever your taste, this versatile color can be a part of your own bedroom sanctuary.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Elle Decor's A-Team (Part V)

We skipped a week on this feature (that can be blamed on me as I had been out of town and didn't get my act together until mid-week), but we're getting back to it today.

Halfway through Elle Decor's top 25 interior designers now, "Part V" will cover at least a couple with which I'm very familiar.

Catch up with:
Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV

Miles Redd

ED (Elle Decor) describes Redd as "blending high style history with bold colors and patterns...that put a cheeky spin on tradition. Often inspired by the saucy elan of American design in the 1930s, his cocktail-ready interiors sparkle, shimmer, shine and seduce.."

We love how he manages to combine opulence and every day comfort. Also how he gives typically forgotten or functional spaces character and interest.

Katie Ridder

ED describes Ridder as "strikingly adept at merging exotic references (Morocco, Turkey, the Middle East) with unusually patterned wallpaper and fabrics...cheerful, worldly boho-chic spaces saturated with color, whimsy and couture touches."

Ridder's wall paper and fabric line is fantastic and we adore her feminine bedrooms that, yes, have a distinctively exotic feel. Her spaces are so unique and full of pattern and color. Much of it is straight up eye candy.

Stephen Sills

ED (Elle Decor) describes Sills as "a connoisseur and collector who has an eye for objects with impressive provenance...The look? Serene and sophisticated, history energized with a dollop of swagger. He's also known for his subdued color palettes, rich fabrics, jaw dropping modern art and striking finishes."

This was a difficult one for us since the work really doesn't speak to our own aesthetic. But we do appreciate the diversity of style that Sills brings to his design projects. We admire how he's able to infuse a lot of personality into traditional rooms without taking away from the sophistication, as well as add warmth to simple spare spaces.

So what do you think? Any opinions so far on Elle Decor's selected designers?

*Unless otherwise specified, all images procured directly from the designers' websites.
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