A Seductive Bachelor Pad in ~Blue~

December 21, 2012



Made a trip up to The Guggenheim last week and was wowed by the show “Asterisms” by the Mexican-born artist Gabriel Orozco. He has created sculptural and photographic installations from rubble he gathered on two sites in New York and in Baja California, Mexico. Got me thinking about something amazing I had encountered years ago while living in Australia– the lair of a male blue Satin Bowerbird .



photo Tim Lanham



Long story, but while living in Sydney, my sister (an avid bird-watcher) visited and arranged a day-long excursion with an ornithologist. In a quiet little patch of urban park land we came upon the most bizarre work of nature I have ever encountered– a field of blue “stuff” scattered in a large circle with an elaborate thatch structure in the middle (think Blair Witch Project for birds).



via rezinate

Bowerbird males are masters of seduction who lure their females into elaborately built bowers where mating will take place. Their favored color is blue and they collect and decorate their “pads” with all sorts of blue colored detritus– most of it, small found objects of plastic like bottle caps, clothes pins, straws. If you are dying to know more, tune into this little video  “Bower Bird“.



Which brings me to the Gabriel Orozco Asterisms  exhibit at The Guggenheim– similar to the Bower Bird “show” but  a bit more organized. The artist actually found these tiny bits of detritus in the astroturf of a field near Pier 44 in NYC.  The ~beauty~ is in the arrangement– objects carefully spaced and organized by size and color.



No purposeful “mating” motive here, but seductive nonetheless.

And on to the display of objects found in the waters of Baja Mexico (photos below). Again, Orozco has placed the objects in a large field decreasing with size and organized by color– an amazing collection of driftwood, stones, floats, lightbulbs, bottles and even toilet paper rolls encased in plastic.












And there are other artists who work with “found” objects and “everyday trash” .  Take a look at the work of Portia Munson:




via beautiful decay




via Brooklyn Imbecile




via beautiful decay



What do you think of this aesthetic?  Heaps of rubble… found objects…litter…lovely trash?   Or as Ken Johnson, in his review of Asterisms in the New York Times remarked, “The idea is that something greater than the sum of its parts will emerge.”




Blues, Teals, Greens + Buttercream in the Kitchen

September 29, 2012



I’m currently working on a palette for an historic home in DC where we are using “color” on painted cabinetry.  Of course, many cabinet lines offer the option of custom color.  Crown Point Cabinetry even offers milk paint finishes and colors in the historic Farrow & Ball range. These images caught my eye. The cabinetry is classic but casual and the colors are soft and pleasing to the eye.



via Plain English Design




via Better Homes and Gardens



I’m also loving the used of “mixed” cabinetry here- saturated color on base cabinets with white and glass above.



via Better Homes and Gardens



Here, simple open shelving is combined with base cabinets painted in “butter”.



Studio Sarah Willmer via Houzz



And here, a lively combination of  Benjamin Moore ‘Stratton Blue’ on upper cabinets is paired with  ‘Pale Avocado’ below. The dark countertops, floors and ceiling make this combination sing.





via Plain English Designs



The last image of  cabinetry is from Plain English ( “bespoke” and from the UK, of course).  And the kumquats are the perfect dollop of complementary color.






Cape. Cod.

July 15, 2011




Took a wee break this week and did a little road trip up to Cape Cod.  A dear old friend has a summer house there.  The thought of just an afternoon on her porch, maybe in the hammock, made the 8 hr. white-knuckled trip from DC up I 95 totally worth it.












My real reward?  A cool morning breeze through open windows with sounds of footsteps on crushed oyster shells and a golden retriever nosing her way through the bedroom door for a friendly wake up.






So, not going to divulge exact coordinates of this little slice of heaven…suffice to say it is historic and sweet–a close-knit summer enclave of weathered shingle cottages, bikes, and “sail & sizzles” by the community “yacht club”.   I did indeed unplug for a bit but found myself with camera in hand and brain  “adrifting” straight to those pesky little color and design things. Like






this perfectly pretty and casual little dining room–with just enough blue.




And a little more blue ~



And a little more blue complementing crisp white bead board, and the warm orange-y tones of old pine floorboards and antiques.




Whimsical touches from MacKenzie- Childs in a powder room




And a local artist ( hand-painted ceramics) in the kitchen



More porch love.






Thanks (again) and love to my dear friend, Lauren.  Bye-bye Cape Cod.  And sorry, Snookie!  You are NOT welcome here.


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