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Blast from the Past

Last week when I posted this new top-ten pad I started thinking about the various spaces we’ve written about in the TWO PLUS years since design crisis hit the interwebs.  The very first place that always pops into my head is the one featured below.  I’ve reposted the post today. (look it was from November of 2008 and only 3 of you have been reading this blog that long)

Originally I was obsessed with the mural in the opening picture, but whenever I think about this space now I always fantasize about the wood paneled walls.  Anyhow, let’s take a look back at the days when I only had 2 cats, thought Missoni chevron was the bees knees, and I hadn’t been pregnant for 41 weeks straight.  Enjoy!

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Good morning, good morning! What a wonderful Monday it is thanks to Raina who sent me this insane article from W magazine. After months of loyal readership she has managed to pinpoint, with laser-like accuracy, exactly what mama likes: obscene use of color? Check. Artwork run wild? Check. Garish accessories, interesting use of materials and a view to boot? Check, check, and check. Behold:

You may be wondering if I could actually wake up every morning to such a full-blown-hyper-color attack on my retinas. The answer is: yep, you bet your sweet ass I can. Did you get a load of those dogs? If I thought my pets would still come snuggle up to me at night, Laser and Magnus would be in neon lampshades faster than you could say holy good lord that’s hot.

Let’s talk about what’s going on here: Blessed owners Tobias Meyer (ahem, head of Sotheby’s worldwide contemporary art) and Mark Fletcher pose in front of mural by Brazilian artist Assume Vivid Astro Focus. A John Currin oil is perched above a French 1740s kingwood commode. Commode! Who owns one of those? Jeeze.

These dudes had me at hello, but I’m sure, like me, you’re dying (dying!) for more:

The only dream-shatterer here is the mural on the ceiling, I’m not 100% on that. But really, don’t you all just want to curl up in a little ball next to that pillar while hugging the Missoni pillow, thanking whatever god you believe in that you’re alive? Holy Crap my mind is going to explode!

Time for us all to hyperventilate in tandem:

Andy Warhol gun + LIGHT UP DOLLAR SIGN + a naked man that Nagal would have painted if he’d painted men? It’s just TOO GOOD! Here’s what the owner’s had to say:

Everything is about the reality of it all, about the human condition and facing death. Art right now is about desire, human nature, sexuality, power and violence.

These men are spending life inside a living, breathing piece of art. And I want to strangle them for it.

Kleenex time!

Plywood befriends the trippy Stark carpet while a diptych from Matthew Barney’s Cremaster series hangs above a German 1760 gilt-wood console. The whole kitten-kaboodle is topped by German rococo ormolu candelabra (MATTHEW BARNEY!!! what is this? The freakin Guggenheim?)

The owner’s note that they enjoy using low-grade materials in the design as there is “a hopefullness to it’s unfinished quality.” Um, right. Keep talkin, buddy. Now, don’t get me wrong, j’adore la plywood, but if I even consider putting that moldy old board next to my plethora of craigslist finds, it will be all over. I think it’s important to note the power of context here, with a side note that I, despite my delusions of grandure, am not the head of the world’s premier art auction house.

To wrap it all up, let’s take a look at the window I may or may not have to jump out of:

Do you see the dollar sign reflection? Doesn’t it just make your heart sing? You can all send your thank you notes for providing such a majestic kick off to your week to me at godsend@design-crisis.com*.

*not a real email address, but it should be, huh?

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The Lichtenstein Look

Finally! It seems there’s a home design trend that matches my unwanted yet rapidly growing Fisher Price menagerie (note to Kartell: please make stylish baby toys. Hurry). Collectors and art enthusiasts have long appreciated the pop paintings of heavyweight Roy Lichtenstein, but now it seems that Lichtenstein’s style is increasingly interpreted through textiles, patterns and paint. Yep. Primary colors are back in funky fresh force, along with a cartoonish panoply of stripes, ben-day dots and blocky solids.

roy lichtenstein

Lichtenstein himself did a series of interiors in his trademark style, hinting at the shape of things to come. Funny that he even anticipated the avalanche of Warhol’s Mao paintings that covered the walls of bazillions of featured homes this past year.

roy lichtenstein

This room styled by Jeffrey Miller owes more than a wink and a nod to the piece above. But you don’t have to be so literal to reference the look.

christopher coleman

Of course, having a polka dotted ceiling like this room designed by Christopher Coleman helps.

tobias rehberger

And a glut of seizure inducing stripes can’t hurt, right? Cafeteria designed by Tobias Rehberger.

india mahdavi

Obviously, what you really need is a giant stylized glamazon in the manner of Lichtenstein’s famously blond heroines.

india mahdavi

The top half of this India Mahdavi designed restaurant is no less comic book chic.

max azria home

Not to worry — you don’t have to have a towering Barbie in your house (but what girl doesn’t secretly want one?). Playful elements scattered here and there create major impact, as in this room in fashion designer Max Azria’s home.

missoni home

Just try and stop me from swathing my next couch in these Lichtenstein inspired Missoni prints.

missoni shower

And I wouldn’t be mad if my next house had a Missoni colorblock shower in it, either.

If you’re feeling a bit overstimulated by all this crazy bizness, consider limiting the look to a simple painting by the man himself.

lichtenstein hostel

No, not like this hostel, which feels more tragic than comic. Although, note how easy it would be to paint a simple, similar mural in chic black and white…

roy lichtenstein

I was thinking more like this room designed by Vicente Wolf, where traditional furnishings are seriously lightened up by the addition of one of Lichtenstein’s mod paintings.

roy lichtenstein

The flowers are killing me, but you get the idea.

roy lichtenstein

Personally, I like the pop look best when it’s paired with contrasting elements. The Calder mobile in similar style and colors competes with the painting in Patsy Tarr‘s home.

jeffrey miller

On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with going full frontal on a small space, like this quirky vignette styled by Jeffrey Miller.

roy lichtenstein

And what better than a Lichtenstein bust to make a popping fresh statement. Yet another idea for the reinvention of Beethoven?

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I Don’t Actually Need Anything, But…

It’s the Monday before Thanksgiving and I know what’s on your collective mind: turkey and giblets. You were daydreaming about giblets, right? Because I really sense a giblet zeitgeist sweeping the nation… no? Well, I have been known to be wrong. Occasionally. Anyway, I should be preparing for the annual Thanksgiving trek, which will be made exponentially more interesting this year by the presence of a certain 4 month old someone during the six hour drive to Texarkana, but instead I have Black Friday on the brain. It’s not that I believe sales are more important than family, it’s just that I’m still on a decorating kick and I stumbled onto something I want, and damned if I’m paying full price for it (because I’m broke). Also, if you were trying to decide what to buy me for Christmas, here you go:

urban outfitters

I know! It’s so… normal. So reasonable at $68. So very much not a bedazzled reindeer skull. But this colorblock rug from Urban Outfitters represents a little slice of inspiration for me. I think I want to redo my bedroom. You know — the bedroom I’ve never showed you because it’s so two years ago. I could keep most of my furniture in my fantasy redo, but I’m going to need a new headboard and linens. And a new rug. Me likey this one. It feels kinda Bauhaus to me. But I need it to go on sale because that other stuff ain’t gonna be free, and you know I just redid the dining room, and when The Hunny reads this he is going to KILLKILLKILL.

I digress. Sort of. You see, after I found this rug, I started looking at UO’s other offerings, and you know — they have some good stuff.

urban outfitters

Like these pillows. I’ll take the top one, and maybe if Karly is nice, she’ll get the bottom one for a Christmas present. I’m a very giving person.

urban outfitters

I would also like to give myself this origami quilt. I’m a bit concerned about the flowery underside, but I think overall it would do a swell job covering the futon in my office.

urban outfitters

I could give this bench to Ike for his room, because I’m sure it tops every four month old’s Christmas list.

urban outfitters

I tell you, The Hunny has just been slavering over this cotton Rorschach rug a la Andy Warhol, and who am I to deny his dreams? Of course, I wouldn’t put it on the floor. It would make a much better wall hanging or upholstery material.

urban outfitters

I’m sure there’s someone out there who really needs this Rya style shag rug, but no one’s going to buy a 4×6 rug for $198, Urban Outfitters. Put that baby on sale!

urban outfitters

I am really digging the arty prints and finishes on lots of UO’s home goods. I wouldn’t be mad if someone gave me this paint splatter vase.

urban outfitters

However, I am wondering what you dudes think about this Painter’s Chair, so called because it’s covered in… paint. It’s $298. Thoughts?

urban outfitters snuggie

And, ok, I know it’s not related to interiors, but I had to show you UO’s Booty Buddy Blanket. THAT IS A SNUGGIE. And yet I find it repulsively compelling…. This confirms my suspicion that Snuggies might actually be awesome if they came in nicer prints.

While I’m busy twiddling my thumbs waiting for some of this stuff to go on sale, you might want to head over and check out the home goods UO already has on sale, like Alexander Girard quilts for DIRT CHEAP (if you like that sort of thing),  good deals on kilim rugs, and cute lamps. It’s never to early to start Christmas shopping. For yourself. I mean for others.

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No Mercy

Hey kids, as promised we are reposting some of our greatest hits during the holiday break. Think of this as a super rare reissue with fancy new cover art… or whatever. I don’t really know anything about music. But I do know I love Julian Schnabel.

I just finished watching The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, a movie about the former editor of Elle magazine who was paralyzed by a massive stroke at the tender age of 42. It was such an amazing film, so luminous and unexpected, that I was curious about what other projects director Julian Schnabel might be currently involved in. I already knew he was a famous painter and respected film maker — having seen Basquiat I was expecting great things from his latest movie and I was wholly undisappointed — but I didn’t realize that he had also extended his creative pursuits to interior design.

Now I know hotels are usually Karly’s forte, but since I’m nursing a mental crush on Schnabel, I thought I’d check out his take on the newly renovated Gramercy Park Hotel in New York:

gramercy

Is it just me, or does the (grand) entryway look like it belongs in a Harry Potter book? I think it’s the script on the custom designed carpet… I have to admit I’ve always wanted a checkerboard floor, though.

gramercy

Here’s a better look at the hotel’s art collection which rotates some pretty heavy hitters. Although I’m not familiar with the particular pieces, I’m pretty sure that’s a Warhol on the left and what must be a Cy Twombly on the right. Schnabel also included several cast bronze pieces he made, including that creepy Beetlejuiceified lamp.

gramercy

There are plenty of bars in the hotel, which suits the decor well since bar design seems to lean toward the theatrical anyway. Of all the rooms, I think these two are my favorite. The Damien Hirst spin art painting on the left is a great counterpoint to that amazing pendant light display and the red curtains, and I love the pink walls with the gold Warhol Rorschach painting on the right. The Beetlejuice bronze definitely looks better as a chandelier than as a floor lamp.

gramercy

The rooms themselves are a little… different. Instead of relying on art as decoration, they almost look like paintings themselves. This suite is very Vermeer, I think.

gramercy

The penthouse is similarly jewel toned, with extremely bold color choices. I wonder what it would be like to actually sleep there, not that I’ll ever have cash enough to find out.

When talking about his paintings and films, Schnabel claims that he’s “aiming at an emotional state, a state that people can literally walk into and be engulfed.” It’s funny that his movies, not tactile in the conventional sense, do exactly that, but that his hotel seems superficial in comparison, despite its obviously tactile and luxurious environs. I think it’s a little cartoonish, sort of like Disney meets the Whitney Museum, and that it misses much of what makes his films and paintings great: a sense of scale and proportion, a willingness to mix real with surreal, and enough grit to take the shine off the decorative.

What do you think? And I being to hard on my new hero? Does adulation always doom the adored?

Continue Reading

No Mercy

I just finished watching The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, a movie about the former editor of Elle magazine who was paralyzed by a massive stroke at the tender age of 42. It was such an amazing film, so luminous and unexpected, that I was curious about what other projects director Julian Schnabel might be currently involved in. I already knew he was a famous painter and respected film maker — having seen Basquiat I was expecting great things from his latest movie and I was wholly undisappointed — but I didn’t realize that he had also extended his creative pursuits to interior design.

Now I know hotels are usually Karly’s forte, but since I’m nursing a mental crush on Schnabel, I thought I’d check out his take on the newly renovated Gramercy Park Hotel in New York:

gramercy

Is it just me, or does the (grand) entryway look like it belongs in a Harry Potter book? I think it’s the script on the custom designed carpet… I have to admit I’ve always wanted a checkerboard floor, though.

gramercy

Here’s a better look at the hotel’s art collection which rotates some pretty heavy hitters. Although I’m not familiar with the particular pieces, I’m pretty sure that’s a Warhol on the left and what must be a Cy Twombly on the right. Schnabel also included several cast bronze pieces he made, including that creepy Beetlejuiceified lamp.

gramercy

There are plenty of bars in the hotel, which suits the decor well since bar design seems to lean toward the theatrical anyway. Of all the rooms, I think these two are my favorite. The Damien Hirst spin art painting on the left is a great counterpoint to that amazing pendant light display and the red curtains, and I love the pink walls with the gold Warhol Rorschach painting on the right. The Beetlejuice bronze definitely looks better as a chandelier than as a floor lamp.

gramercy

The rooms themselves are a little… different. Instead of relying on art as decoration, they almost look like paintings themselves. This suite is very Vermeer, I think.

gramercy

The penthouse is similarly jewel toned, with extremely bold color choices. I wonder what it would be like to actually sleep there, not that I’ll ever have cash enough to find out.

When talking about his paintings and films, Schnabel claims that he’s “aiming at an emotional state, a state that people can literally walk into and be engulfed.” It’s funny that his movies, not tactile in the conventional sense, do exactly that, but that his hotel seems superficial in comparison, despite its obviously tactile and luxurious environs. I think it’s a little cartoonish, sort of like Disney meets the Whitney Museum, and that it misses much of what makes his films and paintings great: a sense of scale and proportion, a willingness to mix real with surreal, and enough grit to take the shine off the decorative.

What do you think? And I being to hard on my new hero? Does adulation always doom the adored?

Continue Reading
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