Streets of San Francisco

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Artist Jay Malone

San Francisco by Jay Malone of Buffalo NY
If you dined at the former Martin Cooks on Connecticut Street in Buffalo New York you might have spotted this painting of a street in San Francisco. The depth of perspective and play of heavy texture against the darkness with hints of illumination from the windows, street lights and automobiles immediately draws you in. Each time my husband and I visited for a very enjoyable meal we would stop and stare for a moment. One day we inquired about the artist and if there was any possibility he would be will to sell this captivating work of art. As you might have guessed the answer was yes and it is now hanging at the top of our bedroom stairway on the only large wall in our home. We love our open floor plan, but it does limit our ability to hang wonderful pieces of art like this one.

Walking Paris

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I think I have mentioned before that I love Paris!

I have visited the city many times and dropped by the usual tourist destinations like the Louvre and the Musée d'Orsay. Once inside after waiting online, reality sets in... it would take days to see all that is offered.

On our latest trip an effort was made to not let those precious few hours slip away..... waiting. We decided to walk, talk, eat, relax, walk some more, talk and eat again.  We roamed the Paris streets, but this time included planned, liesurely  stops for lunch and dinner at well researched dining spots.

We had a great time and our good decision to view Paris from a different perspective was reinforced as we passed by the long lines at the usual tourist attractions.

The image above is on the grounds of the Musée du quay Branly, recommended as a must see by a friend. It is known in English as the Quai Branly Museum, nicknamed MQB. The building was designed by Jean Nouvel with extensive gardens and green walls designed by Gilles Clément and Patrick Blanc. The museum features indigenous art, cultures and civilizations from Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. We will make an attempt to see the interior exhibits on our next trip to Paris!

Sir Paul Smith

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I received a book titled Hello, My Name is Paul Smith for Christmas and I could not put it down until I finished reading it from cover to cover. Sir Paul Smith generously shares his backstory about his journey from opening one small shop in Nottingham, England to becoming an international presence in the design world today. The book is beautifully illustrated, including much of his own photography and it is an inspiration for those seeking to learn more about the business of design.

His design focus originally was men's fashion, establishing his first store in 1970 and in my opinion waited far too long to launch his first women's collection in 1993. He is a keen observer and photographer and has collaborated with the likes of British car brand Mini, Mercian Cycles, Burton Snowboards, Leica Cameras and Maharam Fabric Corporation to name a few.

Paul Smith shops and interiors are designed in-house following Paul Smith's vision that all of the shops should look different and not be formula driven.

If you have not visited a Paul Smith shop it should be added to your list of things you must do. The shops are welcoming and not just about fashion. You will see interesting objects and artwork that Paul Smith has been collecting and photographing everyday of his life.

Personal Space

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Blog, Furniture, Spaces

A discussion I had yesterday with a colleague of mine about the "office of the future" brought back memories of the Fisher Price Team Building project that I was fortunate to have been involved in way back in 1993. The project team consisted of the Architect, Construction Manager, Owner and Furniture Dealer. At the time I headed up the Design Department for the Furniture Dealer and we were charged with planning the interiors for this truly innovative building.

As part of the initial research and planning we mocked up a team area for the Juvenile Products Team. Part of the plan was a new product at the time called the Personal Harbor, which can be seen in one of my original development sketches at left. The Personal Harbor was installed as part of the team mockup for the highest level position going into the building, a Sr. Vice President. As the story goes, the VP closed the sliding door for privacy and when he tried to open it, it would not open, he was trapped. Needless to say, this product was not used in the final building space plan design.


The Personal Harbor was developed using video taped studies to determine how people work rather than the usual programming process that involves interviewing people to understand their workplace needs. The result was a self-contained 48 square foot workspace, meeting ADA guidelines. The workspace included a sliding curved door for privacy, ceiling, lighting, airflow and it was relatively easy to relocate.

When I mentioned this product to my colleague, who is a bit younger than me, he had not heard of it. And as I continued to think about it, I realized I had not heard of it since that project. I decided to look it up on the web and I found the above photo included in the Steelcase Timeline stating the Personal Harbor had won the 1995 Gold Industrial Design Excellence Award (IDEA).

Looking at this image today, I wonder if it might be time to take another look at the Personal Harbor as it might fit into the "office of the future".




Falling Water?

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We are all familiar with Falling Water, a remarkable residence in Bear Run, Pennsylvania designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  Artist Jason Middlebrook's take on Falling Water represents the artist's fascination with the earth's environment and the human effect juxtaposed with Wright's vision of living in harmony with nature. This is a gigantic mobile fountain which at first glance appears to be made of stone, but in actuality it is constructed primarily of styrofoam.

Falling Water by Middlebrook is another great example of the exhibits you will find at MASS MoCA, this was the perfect venue for artistic work of this scale.

Charles Pollock

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1930 – 2013

Very sad to read in the NY Times yesterday that Charles Pollock perished in a fire at his Queens studio on August 20, 2013.

A talented, mid-century furniture designer and artist in the news more recently with the release of the newly designed CP chair commissioned by Bernhardt Design which was posted here last November.

This is a video produced by Bernhardt Design last year that highlights his life and talent.

May 7, 2013

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Photo by Deborah M. Sher, NYC

May 7, 2013 was a perfect day to take in the sites in New York City, including a new art installation by artist Orly Genger entitled Red, Yellow and Blue, commissioned by Mad. Sq. Art in Madison Square Park.  These colorful sculptures will be on view through Summer 2013. The work is comprised of the artist’s signature material, approximately 1.4 million feet of hand-knotted nautical rope covered in 3,000+ gallons of paint and weighing in at a mere 100,000 pounds! It creates an impressive backdrop for this park’s already beautiful lawns and gardens. Another great excuse to take a stroll in NYC.

Illuminating Fashion

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Blog, Design, Lighting, Spaces

A shop window on Rue Christine Paris, FRWhen I passed by this shop early in the day my eye was originally drawn to the jacket with the red collar and cuffs. I took a double take later that evening on the way to dinner.  The illuminated dresses provide the only lighting for this shop at night highlighting the sheer, delicate nature of the fabrics. This creative, whimsical display takes on a completely different look at night than by day. The shop can be found on the Rue Christine in Paris, France.


Works in Paper

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Irving Harper "Works in Paper" by Michael Maharam

It is no secret that I love imaginative, whimsical creations that delight the eye and make people smile. This morning I found the latest Interior Design magazine in my mailbox. I thumbed through it quickly and turned to my favorite part, the back cover. Maharam, a provider of textiles to architects and interior designers, has been the source of these creative ads for as long as I can remember. Generally a single image, always eye-catching and without explanation, that truly makes you want to find out more and I did…..

Upper left notes “Skira Rizzoli” a publisher of museum quality fine art books, lower left “Irving Harper Works in Paper”, a new book by Michael Maharam, CEO of Maharam. The book celebrates the works of Irving Harper, one of the many talented mid-century designers who in addition to designing the iconic Herman Miller logo, the Marshmallow Sofa and the Ball Clock, he produced hundreds of  people and animal sculptures created with paper and other materials one might find around the house such as spaghetti and toothpicks….truly amazing!

Possibly, one day Mr. Harpers creations will be displayed for the world to see and enjoy. In the meantime, I will be adding Michael Maharam’s book to my collection.