Design editor Wendy Goodman falls for the craft-is-art Denyse Schmidt quilts at Ralph Pucci International, finds a young mom who's figured out how to store her kids' toys (inside the furniture), and witnesses the imaginative work of Marcel Wanders for Baccarat. Plus, delicious chocolate!
There's Always Something Fantastic at Ralph Pucci
I ran into Jack Lenor Larsen, the renowned textile designer, author, and collector, at Ralph Pucci International (44 West 18th Street). He was there to give a preview of the upcoming shows at LongHouse Reserve, his museum in East Hampton. Bryan Hunt and George Rickey will be showing, and Douglas Dawson will be curating an exhibit called "African Ceramics at LongHouse; 2500 Years of Clay. The kickoff is May 1 ; longhouse.org for more information.
What a Quilt Can Be
I was on the ninth floor of Ralph Pucci when I saw these quilts by Denyse Schmidt. She is giving the grandmotherly art of quilts a whole new spin with her subtle, spare aesthetic. She designs the quilts, and they're hand-stitched by Amish women.
Hanging or Laying Flat; Either Way They're Great
As wall art or furniture dressing, I think they are sublime.
A Table, Wrapped in Leather
Jim Zivic has been designing a range of fascinating furniture ever since he started with his piano-shaped tables. Here, he has fashioned a bale of cotton into a bench with leather straps and top. Lou Reed is a big collector of his work. Zivic is also known for his very cool coal tables and benches, polished to look like rich mahogany.
Why Not an Indoor Hammock?
Another Zivic specialty: a hanging hammock for the great indoors. It makes you rethink the possibilities of interior design.
The Cantilevered Desk
It's made entirely of leather.
A Working Piece of Interior Architecture
This is by the design team of Robert Bristow and Pilar Proffitt. It's called the Barnwood Bookcase.
My Lust for a White Table
This perfect table, also by Bristow and Proffitt, inspires my lust for a HUGE white loft so I can fit the biggest table ever made in it!
A Bristow and Proffitt Side Table
Another perfectly beautiful piece from this duo.
Deborah Turbeville's Photos
Up to the twelfth floor of Ralph Pucci, where the photographer Deborah Turbeville has an exquisite show of photos done for her book, Unseen Versailles. Here they are presented as photo collages mounted on steel plates. I especially love that she has handwritten her labels on brown paper torn to the right size.
Everybody Knows This Chair
While looking at Deborah's photos, I saw this Jens Risom chair. The legendary Danish furniture designer had been at Ralph Pucci a few days before to introduce some of his new designs. Did I mention that he is 93?
Design Is Everywhere
I always find something new and fun when I'm out scouting, by just walking down the street. I came upon L.A. Burdick at 5 East 20th Street, and this sign drew me in. The café and store had been open about a month.
Hot Chocolate for a Cold Day
They make wonderful hot chocolate you can sit and savor on a wintry day.
Another Food/Design Overlap
I made a note of this little yogurt shop on 32nd Street during a scout, as I was intrigued by the décor.
Rather Posh for a Fro-yo Place
George III–style chairs instead of the regular metal stools: interesting. Is it a sign that tradition is seeping back into our mod lives? Or that someone had extra inventory they wanted to unload?
Furniture Intended for Kids
Jennifer Esposito, a young mom (and not the Hollywood actress), has designed a line of kid- and adult-friendly furniture that fits together. Here's some of it in her living room.
The Mom at Rest
Jennifer, seen here, has designed her entire apartment to be comfortable for adults, but safe for kids running around; the furniture is lightweight covered foam.
How DOES She Keep Her Apartment So Tidy?
She's a mom, after all, but do you see a single toy, stuffed animal, what-have-you?
This Is How!
The drawers underneath her window seats are packed with kid stuff.
The Cheerful Kitchen
What child wouldn't like eating in a hot-pink kitchen?
Comfortable and Multifunctional
This ottoman and bench combination can be ordered in many different colors and fabrics. The idea is that all the pieces are lightweight and durable, so kids (and parents) can sit on them, play with them, build a fort, and so on.
It Looks Like a Fuzzy Pink Pillow, but ...
She has all kinds of ingenious ideas for hiding things attractively.
These furry sacks are so much fun, even kids will help clean up if they get to use them.
The Inspiration for the Furniture
Here are the blocks that inspired Jenny's modular furniture. Her website for ordering is jenniferespositodesign.com.
Marcel Wanders for Baccarat
Dutch design maverick Marcel Wanders now turns his fantastic eye to crystal with his first collection for Baccarat. He is calling it "United Crystal Woods." He's calling these "stainless steel deer antlers," and they're adorned with candles and flower vases. The press event took place at MAD (the Museum of Art and Design), of course.
The Vase/Candlestick Combo
These are vases and candlesticks combined. I love that they are etched with a lacy filigree pattern.
More Multipurpose Antlers
Another view of the deer antler candelabra/vase.
The Monk's New Showroom
Monk turned interior designer Tucker Robbins had his showroom of fascinating finds and designs in Long Island City, but he's now moved to 200 Lexington Avenue (the New York Design Center). It's great because he's now much more accessible.
Tucker and Friend
Tucker celebrated the opening with a great party where friends and wonderful designers and artists came to cheer. Here's Tucker, left, with Keith Recker, who has just founded Hand/Eye magazine.
And It's a Gallery
Tucker's space will also showcase artists and their works. Here, Enid Munroe's new collage works.
I Call This the Skewed Spheres Table
This fun, seemingly off-kilter table is one of Tucker's pieces; it looks unbalanced, but it's totally secure. Tucker adds a great new vibe to the Design Center. His website is tuckerrobbins.com.
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