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Archive for the ‘design’ Category

the g hotel

I’ve been thinking a great deal about travelling again. During college, I was more or less known as the resident globetrotter, studying in four countries and interning in D.C. twice. My first foray into studying abroad was a quick summer in Brighton, England, and that taste quickly made me addicted to discovering new places.

Although I’m much more hungry to return to Guadalajara or another city in Central Mexico (I’m currently reading On Mexican Time, and San Miguel de Allende is quickly rocketing to the top of my list), I’ve been looking up some information about some other cities I visited in my travels. While putsing around, I came across the g hotel in Galway, Ireland. I studied in Cork, the second largest city in Ireland, in 2004, and went to Galway twice, once on a retreat with the University College Cork Chorale, and later returned for more sightseeing and debauchery with a friend. Galway was a lovely city–very artsy, slightly bohemian, and extremely friendly and gorgeous. One thing Galway isn’t, however, is flamboyant, and that seems to be exactly what equally flamboyant milliner Philip Treacy has created at the g.

I can’t fully suss out my feelings on the design of the space. The mirrored bar, lush colours, and the bespoke desk make me swoon, but the psychadelia-meets-traditional pink room is a bit questionable. That said, Treacy certainly seems to have designed an uncharacteristically glamorous Irish space that presents quite a different image for hotels on the island. Although I’m curious to see how it works with the calmness and serenity of Galway, I’d be more than willing to falling down the rabbit hole of what Tatler equated to Alice running about in the Mad Hatter’s mansion.

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Well, I have once again fallen behind on posting. I was in Baltimore last week for a work conference, and since then I’ve been working on detoxing my life–eating better, living better, treating myself better, and treating my home better. I have rearranged my closet set up since I’ve been home, hung my pendant lamps, and fixed many other things around the apartment. I’ll be posting some photos soon, I expect, but I’m still working to clarify the style. I also ordered a print from Heather Amuny-Dey for my new chocolate brown wall, which I have decided I will dedicate to art space.

At any rate, Baltimore was a very interesting town. I was expecting to enjoy it a bit more than I did, but I found it to be a little less than desirable. However, the interplay of old and new, industrial grittiness and modern banking towers was an interesting juxtaposition.



I then moved on to DC, my old stomping grounds, where I spent time with my dear Katy Ray. She has a charming apartment in Falls Church city, a relatively spacious one bedroom with hardwood floors throughout. While I won’t divulge how much she pays, I would be confident to say she has one of the top 5 deals in the DC Metro area. It is interesting how, now that I am so “into” design, I end up taking stock of design and decoration of space nearly everywhere I go. I came home this evening and was struck by how modern and clean my bedroom looked; quite a contrast to the traditional pieces and “organized clutter” of Kate’s home. But, most importantly, our spaces work for us.

I’ve been thinking about possibly going back to school for interior design and/or interior architecture, and some people have been quite obviously against this plan. Some of this stems from what I perceive to be a sort of stigma against interior designers; some sort of a belief that it is a career for people who aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer. I understand this thought, and to an extent, I even used to think it myself. That said, I feel like the field has been gaining considerably more respect in the past few years, especially as younger people become intrigued by creating better spaces. I think the difference in the style preferences of Kate and myself help to illustrate why interior design isn’t a field to be written off as child’s play. The health of one’s home, and perhaps more importantly, the match of the home to the personality of one’s owner plays such a role in the happiness and well-being of the individual. The last apartment I lived in was a terrible home. Poorly designed; terribly uncomfortable furniture; and a style and color of furniture and paint that I later realized was so awfully matched to what I not only liked, but needed to live calmly and happily. It’s funny how people can treat a psychology as a deeply important profession (which it is), but can write off design, when in fact, creating a balanced space that was me honestly helped to get rid of some serious anxiety that was plaguing me in the old apartment. In sum, I love design and continually see the importance of the field and the impact it has on lives. I’m so pleased that I’ve realized this at such a young age; I only hope that if I pursue this further that I could encourage other twentysomethings to do the same. Lord knows how much angst could be avoided!

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Marimekko

mari.JPG

I love Marimekko, as have generations of Americans (and Europeans, and people of many other regions of the world, I expect).The history of design and design houses is often so fascinating to me, and I find myself discovering new, interesting tidbits of history all the time, as is the case with Marimekko. For instance, today I learned that Marimekko first became popular in the States after the divine Miss Jacqueline Kennedy was seen wearing a simple Marimekko dress on the cover of Sports Illustrated (my, how we’ve changed.)

Personally, although I feel like i have had a consciousness of the Finnish design house’s patterns for many years, I remember “learning” the name after I discovered some loverly lumimarja canvases on eBay.

lumimarja

Then, to my happiness, CB2 began offering some wintery Lumimarja sheets last year.Lumimarja

I simply adore this pattern, and specifically the tones going on here. I don’t think the design is overly feminine (unlike the bright pink lumimarja print, for instance); but rather, would look great in almost any home. I was at the CB2 on Lincoln/Addison last week, and they still had these displayed in the store, sitting on a very clean and modern bed, where it looked divine. I like a bit more colour in my bedroom, in general, so I have yet to bite the bullet, but for anyone who can’t handle bright purple walls, I think they are divine.

While I probably won’t be using Marimekko in my bedroom, I might buy one of the wall hangings offered through the truly awesome Textile Arts. I first heard about them through the equally great site, Apartment Therapy, after seeing two of the designs in one of their house tours (so addictive).

While I can paint my new apartment, I’m a little reluctant to, as my building doesn’t seem to have a problem with charging people high prices for various things, and I fear that I would end up having to pay some ludicrous fee when I leave, even if I repaint the walls. So, I’ve been looking at some non-paint options to add colour to the room. The difficult part is working with the various colors that will be going on in the room. I’m doing a partially furnished sublease, and a giant red couch that is very blah but very comfortable has to stay. I also have a light blue chaise that was my dad’s from the 70s, and just last weekend picked up a great coffee table/padded ottoman with great lines in a light milk chocolately brown. Semi-difficult scheme, especially for someone who likes bolder colors as a rule.

I think this print, called Pasky, might be a great solution. With red, blue, brown, and a camel color (which is featured in some random covered stools I found, but might sell), it seems like it could integrate things very well. They describe it as an abstract mountain interpretation, and the blue and seafoam shapes remind me of little birds. I quite like. Plus, at $95 for a 54×54 panel, it’s a really affordable piece of art that can work well with my high ceilings.


Here are some other random Marimekko loves (from Marimekko.com & Textile Arts):

1dots.jpg3brella.gif2brella.gif

5tree.gif4turq.gif3mari.gif

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Sheets for Chez Chase

Soon after announcing (liv)ed in on Flickr, one Mr. Chaseism, whom I will be appearing with in a gallery show soon, presented me with a design query. While I’m certainly no expert, it’s fun to be able to actually apply my wealth of otherwise useless knowledge to a real-life problem.

Chase wrote:

design huh? then maybe you can help me find a new set of sheets….i’m looking for a grey/blue muted tone in a full size (c:

i’m not kidding either…I’ve checked -every- where and i cant find anything. be my hero?

Futher inquiry resulted in my finding out that he was in the market for sheets to match this duvet from IKEA, adding that it’s more midnighty than just slate:

Since I love to be a hero, I decided to take on the challenge. And you know what? Chase was right. It is nearly impossible to find sheets in that color. That said, if the sheets really are much more midnighty than slate, these sheets in Midnight from Area look like they might be a good fit.

On the downside, these chic sheets price out at something ludicrious like $450 for just the sheets; insanely too rich for my blood, and if they’re not too expensive for Chase, well, he should be taking me to Pars Cove for dinner very soon.

That said, I think the fates are trying to tell Chase a little something, and I can’t help but agree. I’d really recommend doing something to pick up on the lighter threads. Pairing a same-colored midnight sheet with the midnight duvet is rather akin to wearing a pink shirt with a pink tie, and unless you’re Regis, that’s kind of strange. I think a lighter blue, gray, or white, would make the whole bed pop.

One set of sheets that I think I might be a good fit are these percale sheets from CB2 in a gorgeous, soothing, sexy color of gray that could go with an infinitely number of duvets if you ever wanted to change things up.
cb2

If you want comfort, here’s my top choice: the awesome, awesome, beech sheets from Bed Bath and Beyond. I use the sateen beech sheets daily, and it truly feels like you’re sleeping on silk. So soft, and also, so cheap. I may have turned a certain someone else onto them as well. Unfortunately, they’re lacking in muted blues in the sateen sheets, and the blue in the jersey is a bit light but might ideally match the lighter threads.

Beech

While I’d probably go with one of the two solids above, I just had to throw in these gorgeous (albiet very expensive) sheets from Dwell. They probably wouldn’t be the best fit for what you’re looking for, but I just love and want to share.

The geometric patterns of these sheets is unique and modern, but also understated and classic. The pattern reminds me of a lot of fabulous design that I’m into at the moment; it particularly seems like a 2-D interpretation of the base of the Saarinen chairs/tables.

However, if all of my recommendations were way off, there are always a plethora of other great duvets out there. I think so many people think that you have to buy loads of new sheets to switch up a bed, when in fact, you can just switch up the quilt/duvet cover and no one would ever know that those are bright yellow sheets hiding underneath. Besides, since Chase’s macking skills are renowned, what really could be better than the Mr. Lover Lover duvet from Kate Storer? 🙂 Tres cheeky.

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