Monday, April 21, 2008

Felt Never Grows Old

Felt is the oldest form of fabric known to humankind (it predates weaving and knitting) yet we still have not exhausted options on how to incorporate this versatile material into our lives. Clever designers like Pia Wallen and Josh Jakus have introduced new products with a modern twist on this traditional material.

Trivets, coasters, and nesting baskets by Pia Wallen
Joshua Stone vase and bowl from Lekker Home (Bonus! This eco-friendly designer uses reclaimed wood for the core of his products)

Just one of many clever Josh Jakus products, this is my favorite.  
It's the centerpiece on the dining table in my home.
These ingenious place mats by Josh Jakus have built-in napkin rings!

6-pack coasters by Josh Jakus
Wine pocket and zip-up pouch also by Josh Jakus
These would make great gifts.

Momento Rug from 2 Form

Roses Rug by Nani Marquina
Available in Los Angeles from Plush Pod

Last, but certainly not least.  Check out Paola Lenti's spectacular felt rug collection.  She pioneered a woven version of the material that is extra durable and inspired the use of felt in totally new ways. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Los Angeles Art Weekend 2008

Start with a self-guided tour of the downtown art scene on Thursday. Mix in cocktails at Moss on Melrose, after hours at LACMA and many more events that will keep your creative side satisfied all weekend. Check out the website for the full schedule of events.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Please Remove Your Shoes

A friend and modern architecture enthusiast from Chicago was kind enough to send me these photos of Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe's Farnsworth House, where he is a docent.  I've only seen staged photos of the home, so the shoes littering the entrance made me smile (Guests are asked to remove their shoes to protect the floors).  To read more about the history of the home and Ludwig, and view some breathtaking photos, check out the website link under 'visit', which includes links to the Farnsworth house, as well as other modern landmarks not to be missed. 

An architect, as well a a furniture designer, I'm sure you'll recognize the Mies van der Rohe pieces below that continue to be popular today.  The officially licensed versions can still be purchased from Knoll Studio
Barcelona chair designed by Mies van der Rohe for the Barcelona World Fair of 1929 as part of the German Pavilion; check out this website that helps distinguish the knock offs from the real thing.

Barcelona lounge; introduced in 1930, a year after the chair and ottoman; it peaked in popularity after Philip Johnson used it in his apartment in 1953. 
Brno chair designed by Mies van der Rohe in 1929-30 for the bedroom of the Tugendhat House in Brno, Czechoslovakia

Speaking of the Bauhaus, my friend also informed me about the group Chicago Bauhaus and Beyond.  How many Los Angelenos out there would be interested in joining a design forum like this?  Monthly meetings would bring together a network of designers, architects, and artists to discuss both past and present accomplishments/projects in the design world.  Or let me know if you know of another group like it (besides LAC Mod Com which exclusively discusses preservation issues and I'm already a member).

Saturday, April 5, 2008

West Week 08

This year Architectural Digest sponsored West Week, an annual event at Pacific Design Center, and they lured all the best talent to contribute. Among those were celebrity designers Martyn Lawrence-Bullard and Steven Shadley, world-renowned photojournalist, Harry Benson and legendary mid-century textile artist, Jack Lenor Larsen.

"The Beatles" Photographed by Harry Benson

Martyn Lawrence-Bullard: Mexican Residence

Martyn Lawrence-Bullard: Bedroom for Cheryl Tiegs

Martyn Lawrence-Bullard: Residence
Stephen Shadley: Bel Air Residence for Diane Keaton
Photo by David Glomb

Stephen Stadley: Beverly Hills Residence for Diane Keaton
Photo by Tim Street-Porter

Stephen Stadley: New York Residence for Diane Keaton
Photo by Michael Mundy

Jack Lenor Larsen: Aurora 1970 (Rayon, cotton, mohair)

Benson was feet away from Bobby Kennedy when he was shot and in the room when Nixon resigned. Larsen designed the curtains for the international style landmark, Lever House, in NYC (1951-52). Stephen Shadley has been Keaton's interior designer for half a dozen homes and Bullard has a similarly impressive resume including Woody Allen's new pad that will be featured in an upcoming issue of Architectural Digest. To hear these people speak about their work and experiences was amazing, but if you missed out, read more about these extraordinary artists at the links I included above.
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