Archive for May, 2011

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

travel tuesday — philip johnson's glass house — part 1

One of the archi­tec­tural gems of Con­necti­cut is Philip Johnson's Glass House. Opened to the pub­lic in 2007, the 47 acre prop­erty in New Canaan is sim­ply spec­tac­u­lar. When you con­sider John­son started with 5.5 acres and built the glass house in 1949, you under­stand his descrip­tion of the prop­erty as his "50 year diary". The guided tour starts at the top of the site near the road — all the land slopes down­ward and away from the street, pro­tect­ing all the views from and of the house.

As vis­i­tors walk down the dri­ve­way, on the left is the Library/Study. Built in 1980 and used by John­son as his study, the cone at top fea­tures a sky­light. There are no win­dows on the dri­ve­way fac­ing façade, but a small win­dow oppo­site the cone pro­vides a view of the Ghost House. The Ghost House is a folly built in 1984 and ded­i­cated to Frank Gehry. It is not a func­tional struc­ture, com­posed of chain link within a steel framework.

Library/study and Ghost House from the driveway

Library/study and Ghost House from the driveway

Con­tin­u­ing down the dri­ve­way, vis­i­tors pass a 1971 Don­ald Judd con­crete sculp­ture and an impres­sively sized stone wall. The wall was built atop the orig­i­nal farm wall to block Johnson's view of his vis­i­tors' parked cars.

donald judd sculpture with stone wall and glass house beyond

don­ald judd sculp­ture with stone wall and glass house beyond

philip johnson's glass house

philip johnson's glass house

Tra­vers­ing walk­ways through the clipped grass "car­pet", enter the glass house directly into the liv­ing area, with seat­ing ahead, kitchen to left and bed­room to the right. The cab­i­netry seen behind the paint­ing forms the back­drop to the sleep­ing area and pro­vides storage.

glass house seating area features a 1649 Nicolas Poussin painting

glass house seat­ing area fea­tures a 1649 Nico­las Poussin painting

glass house dining area located to the left of the living room area

glass house din­ing area located to the left of the liv­ing room area

Between the din­ing area and the kitchen is this 1930 Elie Nadel­man sculp­ture "Two Cir­cus Women".

elie nadelman sculpture in the glass house

elie nadel­man sculp­ture in the glass house

a corner of the glass house kitchen and view toward driveway

a cor­ner of the glass house kitchen and view toward driveway

the glass house fireplace

the glass house fireplace

the shower room is located on the reverse of the fireplace column

the shower room is located on the reverse of the fire­place column

the bedroom, anchored by cabinetry, is open on all sides

the bed­room, anchored by cab­i­netry, is open on all sides

Step­ping out the back of the house, the views are magnificent.

the view from the glass house bedroom

the view from the glass house bedroom

In the fore­ground is the pond with its 1962 Lake Pavil­ion. The folly ceil­ing height is only 63 inches. Behind and to the left is the Lin­coln Kirstein Tower, a 30 foot tall scal­able sculp­ture com­pleted in 1985. Vis­i­tors are not allowed to climb, but we were told there is a secret inscrip­tion at the top which can­not be revealed to non-climbers!

view from the back of the glass house

view from the back of the glass house

Could you live in a glass house? I def­i­nitely could, and Peep­ing Toms be damned! No clut­ter and no place for clut­ter — none of the debris of daily liv­ing — for me, the pres­sure to put every­thing away would be too much! Of course, I don't know if John­son actu­ally lived this sparsely, but if he did, I salute him!

There are sev­eral more build­ings to explore on the grounds, which I will share in my next post.

 

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Friday, May 27, 2011

fabric friday — blogfest2011 — barbara barry

Another won­der­ful expe­ri­ence at Blogfest2011 was the oppor­tu­nity to lis­ten to inter­na­tion­ally acclaimed inte­rior designer Bar­bara Barry dis­cuss her new col­lec­tion Indo­chine for Kravet. Barbara's slides revealed the many inspi­ra­tions she found dur­ing her trav­els in Asia, par­tic­u­larly in Japan. If you have seen any of her pre­vi­ous fab­ric col­lec­tions, you know her fab­rics are always gra­cious, under­stated and calm. Her per­son­al­ity matches com­pletely! The Asian influ­ence is clearly vis­i­ble; the palette remains soft and ele­gant. In addi­tion to fab­rics, the col­lec­tion includes trim, hard­ware, rugs and believe it or not, her own cus­tom tea blend named Cit­rine. Bar­bara in the Kravet show­room, show­ing the fabrics:

Barbara Barry in the Kravet Showroom

Bar­bara Barry in the Kravet Showroom

Close up shots of sev­eral fab­rics — I wanted you to see the texture…

Barbara Barry for Kravet

Bar­bara Barry for Kravet

Barbara Barry for Kravet

Bar­bara Barry for Kravet

Barbara Barry for Kravet

Bar­bara Barry for Kravet

Barbara Barry for Kravet "Wind Palace"

Bar­bara Barry for Kravet "Wind Palace"

Barbara Barry for Kravet

Bar­bara Barry for Kravet

kravet indochine hardware

kravet indo­chine hardware

indochine trim from Barbara Barry for Kravet

indo­chine trim from Bar­bara Barry for Kravet

What do you think? I think sub­tle and beau­ti­ful, like the lady her­self. Thanks Kravet for the chance to meet this amaz­ing talent.

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

outdoor living spaces: kips bay and elle décor modern life concept show houses

The out­door spaces at both Kips Bay Dec­o­ra­tor Show House and the Elle Décor Mod­ern Life Con­cept House were sur­pris­ingly fun despite the non-stop rain last week. At Kips Bay, the court­yard yoga area from Greener by Design was a rest­ful retreat.

kips bay courtyard from greener by design

kips bay court­yard from greener by design

The ver­ti­cal walls of let­tuce are delight­ful and delicious!

kips bay courtyard from greener by design

kips bay court­yard from greener by design

This drift­wood sculp­ture is eye-catching.

kips bay courtyard from greener by design

kips bay court­yard from greener by design

The upper ter­race at Kips Bay, by Robert Stilin and Gunn Land­scape Archi­tec­ture LLC was a haven, even in the rain. I espe­cially love the sheep — so amusing!

kips bay patio by robert stilin

kips bay patio by robert stilin

sheep are so amusing! The ter­race areas at the Elle Décor Mod­ern Life Con­cept House were packed with designs for the out­door mod­ernist. The space divider is dra­matic and def­i­nitely dis­cour­ages pigeons from land­ing on it! Design by Amy Kehoe and Todd Nickey.

Elle Decor Modern Life Concept House terrace by Nickey/Kehoe

Elle Décor Mod­ern Life Con­cept House ter­race by Nickey/Kehoe

There was a lot of buzz about the teak wing chair from Restora­tion Hard­ware. Clas­sic style, mod­ern interpretation.

teak wing chair from restoration hardware

teak wing chair from restora­tion hardware

Pops of bright color help to off­set a gloomy day:

terrace by nickey/kehoe

ter­race by nickey/kehoe

I think one mea­sure of the suc­cess of an out­door liv­ing space is how well it works in all kinds of weather. There spaces def­i­nitely deliv­ered high style and visual inter­est under cloudy skies. I imag­ine they shine even brighter in the sun!

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

kips bay decorator show house 2011

It seems I was just at Kips Bay Dec­o­ra­tor Show House, and here it is again, back in its reg­u­lar May time slot. I really think the smaller scale of this four-story home is a bonus, because it allowed the design­ers to use fur­nish­ings that atten­dees might imag­ine in their own homes (albeit per­haps not from a price perspective).

The entry, from “Mil­lion Dol­lar Dec­o­ra­torMary McDon­ald, is lac­quered an amaz­ing red and sports a cus­tom ban­quette and portier­res in men’s wear inspired fabrics.

kips bay foyer by mary mcdonald

kips bay foyer by mary mcdonald

The dream kitchen and but­lers pantry from Bilotta Kitchens is a dra­matic mix of tra­di­tional and con­tem­po­rary ele­ments. The creamy cab­i­netry is beau­ti­fully set within cop­per hues on the walls, mar­ble coun­ter­tops, fix­tures and back­splash tiles. The ban­quette eat­ing area, where every ele­ment is strik­ing, remains so approach­able I can imag­ine a fam­ily actu­ally enjoy­ing this kitchen.

kips bay kitchen dining by bilotta kitchens

kips bay kitchen din­ing by bilotta kitchens

kips bay kitchen dining by bilotta kitchens

kips bay kitchen din­ing by bilotta kitchens

From funky spaces like this girl’s bed­room by Harry Heiss­mann

kips bay girl's room by harry heissmann

kips bay girl's room by harry heissmann

kips bay girl's room by harry heissmann

kips bay girl's room by harry heissmann

and this go-big-or-go-home ikat uphol­stered stair­well by Rauber & Rauber Interiors

kips bay stairwell by rauber & rauber

kips bay stair­well by rauber & rauber

To more tra­di­tional, ele­gant rooms like this bed­room from Bar­bara Ostrom

kips bay bedroom by barbara ostrom

kips bay bed­room by bar­bara ostrom

kips bay bedroom by barbara ostrom

kips bay bed­room by bar­bara ostrom

And this divine din­ing space from Matthew Patrick Smyth

kips bay dining room by Matthew Patrick Smyth

kips bay din­ing room by Matthew Patrick Smyth

kips bay dining room by Matthew Patrick Smyth

kips bay din­ing room by Matthew Patrick Smyth

to inde­scrib­ably hip spaces like the stereo lounge from Brad Ford

kips bay stereo lounge by brad ford

kips bay stereo lounge by brad ford

kips bay stereo lounge by brad ford

kips bay stereo lounge by brad ford

kips bay stereo lounge by brad ford

kips bay stereo lounge by brad ford

the Kips Bay Dec­o­ra­tor Show House has plenty of inspi­ra­tion and eye candy for every­one! If you attended, which was your favorite space?

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