Congrats to Canadian athletes for winning the most gold medals a host country has ever won!
What a great day to be a Canadian!
On a crummy day like this, I dare to wear my uggs to the office (only because the boss is away of course), and I know that at some point I will be making myself a cup of sarabeth's hot chocolate. I also know many of you Americans are stuck inside too, so here is a mini reading list of some blogs I think you should be looking at (if you aren't already are!)
Today I was injected with a big shot of worldly inspiration courtesy of famed interior designer, Eric Cohler.
Eric was in Toronto to give a talk to the Toronto design community about infusing passion and a love for collecting into design. It was such a treat to hear from “the mix master” of design himself and discover that despite his high profile and various established product lines, he is as approachable and personable as ever.
The distinguished Mr. Cohler is truly a walking encyclopedia about design. He holds a Masters Degree in Historic Preservation from the Columbia University School of Architecture and a certificate in design from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. During his lecture he shared several sources of inspiration that inform his work and provided tips about dealing with tricky clients as well as humorous personal anecdotes about his family.
He discussed the art of curating objects to form vignettes that encapsulate your personality, and one theme he consistently touched on was mixing high and low. As a firm believer in this sentiment, I was excited to see such an established figure preach the same thrifty sensibility.
It’s not often a designer will cop to pairing a crate and barrel table with $12,000 antique chairs.
And you don’t often hear a designer boasting about how he paired an icon of modern design he purchased on sale with a cheap ceramic Chinese stool.
Many high-profile designers are also afraid to get their hands dirty, but Eric was clear that he likes to do things himself, such as picking up bead board from Home Depot, flipping it around and painting it black for something unique that didn’t necessarily break the bank – how refreshing!
I really enjoyed how he related his passion for art, photography, travel, culture and nature to various rooms and products he has designed. For example, the photographs of zebras he took on his trip to Tanzania was the direct source for the pattern of one of my favourite Lee Jofa fabrics from his collection: the beautiful dinisen linen in pewter.
Eric also mentioned how he likes to bring the outdoors in and vice versa. He showed several groundbreaking examples of modern architecture that fused the exterior with the interior, such as the Kaufman house in Palm Springs, and pointed out how he wants to change how separate and delineated the “outside” and “inside” are in the world of design. He showed us spaces where the two spheres are blended together seamlessly, such as this backyard in which he installed an outdoor projector system so a family could watch movies by the pool.
Other sources of inspiration he referenced were legends of design, such as Billy Baldwin, Sister Parish, Albert Hadley, Elsie de Wolfe and David Hicks.
He was clear to point out specific rooms he worked on that referenced these designers and was not afraid to mention borrowing from their genius, which you can clearly see in the above rooms that have that graphic hit of Hicks-esque pattern.
Other fun facts I learned about Eric:
He doesn’t like upper cabinetry – he likes to build pantries instead and in this room he installed art above the counters in their place.
He was inspired by the oculus in the Pantheon in Rome and used the cut-out light source element in a modern bathroom design.
The Obama's are using one of his fabrics on their dining chairs at the White House (I believe it is the Tyler Crewel in mustard seen above)
He is even working on a book that illustrates design lessons to be learned from I Love Lucy!
Finally, I’d be remiss to neglect mentioning one of my favourite things Eric does, and that is the consistent presence of all things greek key!
He designed this mantle with its Louis XVI starburst detail and classic greek key motif
You can find greek key in his own furniture line for Lee Jofa
And in his lighting line for Visual Comfort
The lecture truly was a glimpse into how such an accomplished figure in design works and what gets his creative juices flowing – thanks so much Eric for sharing your passions!
(most images via Ericcohler.com)
My fave Rodarte for Target dress sold out in my size before I could get my hands on one, so I’m going to have to high tail it to states fast in order to get this killer tuxedo ensemble by Zac Posen before it eludes me as well:
The slick 80s lipstick tank wouldn’t hurt either…
And how cute is this brocade dress with the oversized bow!
Countdown to April 25th starts now!
Pardon my absence last week...my sisters and mom and I high-tailed it to Orlando for a speedy visit with Mickey, Dopey, Thing 1 & Thing 2, the Hulk and the other magical characters to be found at Disney World and Universal Studios.
Stay tuned for photos of our adventures!!
It’s no surprise blogland collectively gasped over the amazing Dorothy Draper-inspired wedding decor featured in Elegant Bride -- the black and white striped table cloths, gold flatware, elegant tapered candlesticks, bursting bouquets of blooms and relaxed antique-looking louis chairs were refreshingly creative and unexpected in a world of chiavari chairs and white on white!
While browsing on netaporter, I did a double take upon seeing this Stella McCartney frock -– it is as if the wedding decor was transposed into dress form!
Inspired by the decor-to-fashion swish, I decided to build upon the tablescape and create a quick scheme that can be used in your own home for that hit of unexpected eclectic Draper style:
clockwise: floral rococo cream fabric by lee joffa, black and white wallpaper from creative wall coverings, Godinger Harmony Candlesticks, Murano red cased glass vase from Buck House, Baker’s oval x-back dining side chair, matte gold crackle ceramic lamp, Benjamin Moore’s 2002-70 Pink Cadillac
How rich and sophisticated is this luxe oro dust ruffle by Dransfied and Ross?
Paired with an understated coverlet and shams like the virginie collection by Leontine, it would totally pop!
One of the most beloved and celebrated of all classic Hollywood films, An American in Paris is a visual masterpiece featuring some of the most stunning dance numbers you will ever see. Directed by Vincent Minnelli and starring the genius Gene Kelly, the film won six academy awards and is a continuous source of inspiration to me.
In addition to the infamous ballet at the end, my favourite sequence is where we are introduced to the many facets of Lise, a young French woman who expresses her personality to the audience through dance. As each of her traits is discussed by her older beau, Lise, played by the exquisite Leslie Caron, dances in the respective style contrasted against monochromatic set designs.
First she is an “enchanting girl” wearing a pale pink dress that pops against a royal blue set. The monochromatic set, despite being saturated in the deep blue, is overtly traditional with a vignette of a console with cabriole legs, an ornate mirror and heavy acanthus sconces.
Next Lise is an “exciting girl” in a bright violet dress against a demure pale pink set, complete with lush swagging drapery, skirted table and an open-back dining chair.
Then she is “sweet and shy” dressed in bright yellow pleated dress while dancing with a bouquet in a rich green living room, complete with an ornate mantel, panelled doors and many types of frames.
In the most sparse of the sets, Lise is “vivacious and modern” as she kicks up her heels in white fringe against a spicy red backdrop.
She “reads incessantly” in a preppy black unitard with a sharp white collar against a pale yellow library set, which includes a massive desk, oversized mantel, built-in book shelves and heavily carved columns.
Finally, she is “the gayest girl in the world” as she pirouettes circles in a sky blue tutu around a lavender set with feminine detailing, including an armoire, oversized harp and curved settee.
All these traits come together at the end in one final flourish that reconciles all her traits into one – what fun!