Saturday, January 31, 2009

I can't believe it's Coal

I first saw these sculpted coal tables a couple of years ago at the Ralph Pucci showroom and I wanted one immediately.  I almost fell over when I inquired about the prices, but I do have one friend who actually purchased one.  They are carved out of Anthracite coal by Jim Zivic.  I am told that this type of coal, unlike charcoal, is 100% pure carbon, whatever that means, but I am enthralled by them because one:  I find most of them to be quite beautiful and two:  I am always amazed to see others creative visions and use of materials that I never would have thought of.  He has also fashioned bowls and bookends.  The bookends are available thru Foley & Cox Home.  More on Jim Zivic later. 

Friday, January 30, 2009

Frank Gehry designs ceramics for Tiffany Co.

I've long been a fan of Frank Gehry.  I first met him when he was designing Bauhaus style buildings in the '70's and I always am interested to see  him evolve.  My friend Marcie just told me that he had designed a line of ceramics for Tiffany Co. so I immediately went on to their site (  Here are a few samples of his pieces with Marcies on top with flowers.  I had seen a prototype cuff bracelet of his in a magazine made out of white gold mesh, rough diamonds and pearls.  Since it has not been produced I felt guilt free to make a sort of similar cuff out of metal mesh, pearls and Swarovski crystals that I had lying around.  I was very proud of myself and wore it until it disappeared into the ethers or someone's hands, in which case, I hope that they are enjoying it as much as I did.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Amazing transition from wall sconce to table

James Magni has brought the original Felix Agostini cast bronze wall sconce back to life.  It was first produced in the 50's or 60's and it is one of my favorite lamps.   When James was inspired to re-figure the sconce frame into a table, which I think is genius, I half expected Mr. Agostini to turn over in his grave wondering why he didn't think of that himself!  The table just won an award from California Home + Design for best new product.  James is now represented at Kneedler-Fauchere in West Hollywood.  By the way, James is one of my favorite contemporary interior designers besides myself of course and a few others.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Paintings that vibrate

My friend Peter Lodato just had a show of his paintings at the William Turner Gallery in Bergamot Station.   Peter has been meditating for years and I feel the vibration in his work is probably similar to his experiences while in mediatation.   I have an earlier work that is a corner of  a room and what is so deceiving about his seeming minimalist work  is that there is so much  life and energy in it.  It still fascinates me after all of these years.  He first started with architecture , then moved to rooms which then  morphed into doorways as seen on top.  I'm not sure what these stripes represent, I've never asked him, but these are the only paintings of stripes that I have ever liked.  Some people have even felt dizzy looking at ones like the bottom one.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A really interesting coffee table

I think I may be in love.  This coffee table by Jari-Pekka Vilkman (  is perfection in my eyes.  Having built furniture when I was in college, I stand in awe of great craftsmanship combined with beautiful and unique designs.  At second glance I realized that  opposite sides play against each other with a play of convex & concave curves.  I think it looks absolutely spectacular in Macassar Ebony.  I love placing a few really special and unique pieces in my projects because it is unexpected without screaming "Look at me!".  What do you think?  

Designs that expand my ways of thinking

This table by Herve Van der Straeten  ( ) expands all of the ways I think about furniture design.  Although it may not be your cup of tea and I may never be able to place it with a client, I find it inspiring and timeless.  To me it is like placing a piece of sculpture in a home and I love that it's RED.  Ralph Pucci in New York carries some of his pieces on occasion.  You probably have to email them to get their code info. to enter the site.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Lighting art, photos and accessories

Well, my 4th attempt at loading a photo worked although I have no idea what I did..... I am looking forward to mastering this.  I woke up the other morning thinking about lighting and how important I think it is for bringing your interiors, art work and accessories to life. Depending upon the stage of a project, I usually use  recessed low-voltage lights or in combination with track lighting.  I always try to get a spot to focus on the chimney wall, coffee tables and buffets or any other tables that will have accessories or art.  In the evening I will always opt for highlighting these beautiful objects and dim the rest of the room, it's amazing how the ambience changes which is one reason I'm such a fan of dimmers for everything so that different moods can be created.  My favorite track system is the "Via" track, shown above,  from Plug lighting on Melrose in West Hollywood (  It just fades into the background.  This one uses a hidden transformer so the lights don't have those bulky attachments, and I always buy  heavy duty transformers so that I can add lights as I need them. There are very serious lighting systems for the serious collector that adjust to the size of the art and leaves no reflection on the walls, but most are very expensive so I opt for different spreads that low-voltage bulbs come in along with soft focus lenses and that usually does the trick.  The owners of Plug are lighting designers themselves and have trained their staff to be very helpful and informative.

Be well,


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My first blog

Hello bloggers!  I've just signed up and I wanted to introduce myself.  I'm new to this, but hopefully I'll get into the swing of things soon.  If you'd like to get an idea of my style you can view my website at:
My style usually goes from contemporary to a mix of styles combining old with ethnic and new.  I've been custom designing modern furniture for my clients for years and I'm trying to educate them to think about sustainable and green living, which hasn't been as easy as I thought it would be.

I thought it might be interesting to see if you had any areas of design or from my web photos that you would like me consider writing about and get the ball rolling.

I'm really looking forward to this!