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Thursday, June 25, 2009

How Green is your Fabric?

Now these photos are just plain ridiculous. This is just a bit of my odd humour. However, on a more serious note: green textiles are becoming more apart of the design textile industry. In Commercial design, LEED standards for all aspects of design including textiles are becoming extremely important.Residential Designers can do their part also. As I have written in my blog before. Buying antiques and vintage, going to consignment shops are very important to green design.If you have an interest in this and your interior designer is not well versed in "green design" It is a great opportunity to learn together. There are even upholsterers that use materials that are green. The following are some facts to consider when purchasing fabric for your home or office. The information below was taken from Pollack Associates green statement for their textile company.
Protecting our environment, and its present and future inhabitants, is the essential and vital goal of sustainability. This large and complex field looks at our marketplace, at the way we grow, make and consume products, and strives to incorporate an awareness of the impact of our choices at every stage of the process. There is no one "right" way to be environmentally responsible, but there are a growing number of intelligent choices and best practices.

The concept of sustainability combines concern for the well-being of our planet with the needs of continued human development. The World Commission on Environment and Development defines it as "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". When the design process is informed by this imperative, the central concern is to assess the consequences, both short and long-term, of any transformation of the environment. Design must also aim to eliminate waste, to use renewable energy, to reduce toxic emissions and to leave as light a "footprint" on the environment as possible.

How "green" is my fabric?
There is considerable debate on how best to describe and compare the environmental attributes of one textile versus another. Is the presence of toxic emissions that affect indoor air quality the primary issue? Some people believe that recycled or recyclable content is most important, or that natural fibers from renewable natural resources are best. Others feel strongly that the only thorough way to evaluate a product is to do a "Life Cycle Assessment", or LCA, a comprehensive examination of a product's environmental and economic impact throughout its entire lifetime, beginning with extraction of raw materials.

I think it is our responsibility as designers to be more informed to help our clients understand what all of this" stuff" means and how it truly effect us. As consumers we all should be informed. That is one more step that we can do toward making our planet healthier.
For more information go to ,


Saturday, June 20, 2009

my new office

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Today, my friend, Wendy and I met for coffee. We chatted about all the wonderful things that were happening around the world. (actually just in our own personal lives). It made me realize how wonderful it was to laugh and experience new things.
My life has been open to so many different possibilities." I don't know if you know this but I am kind of an important guy". We went shopping at our favourite little store, Cielo Home. We found these beautiful porcelain lamps with an Etruscan motif. They were exquisite. I also saw some beautiful plates.They are $1800 for the set. I just don't understand how anyone could part with them.
So I am blogging about my new office space. After a year of living in the nightmare of stage 3 colon cancer, I decided that I needed some changes. Last summer I purchased a Gregory Grenon, a Jack Portland, and a little Italian armchair, which I had reupholstered in Pollack Associates new spring collection Roundelay in colour: white wall tire. I just love it. The chair is also double welted in a black and gold pinstripe silk. I added some pillows for my brown leather sofa. they are made of Pollack's fabric , Legend, an ethnic weave. His inspiration was taken from tribal textiles woven by women. We added a new light fixture overhead. The grass cloth from Silk Dynasty looks fantastic.
I am really excited about getting down to business again. That is the business of making people's surrounding beautiful. I feel renewed. I am feeling really happy nowadays. I am truly enjoying living life and laughing again.As with us all in the business of decorating homes it has been tough. However, I know Great things are just around the corner.
I could feel a few more dollars in my pocket.:)
Be of good cheer,


Friday, June 19, 2009

the makings of a delightful and cozy night

The pictures above are my inspiration for today. I think they would look wonderful in a room with pale warm gray walls. The dim light of a crystal chandelier above would dance across glossy black doors and moldings. There would be an off white slip covered sofa with basket weave silvery grey pillow shams for lounging. Also I think it would be great to have a mixture of mid century modern pieces with other casual contemporary pieces.The manuscript pages from old Japanese books would be wallpapered on the walls of a small bathroom. I think I would silver leaf the ceiling to reflect the light.
The simple shapes combined with the neutral palette would have a visual ambiance that would bring a smile to any one's face. Although void of vivid colour each piece tells a story to the owner. I imagine a burst of yellow and orange flowers in a vintage glass vase. I could see myself sipping a chilled glass of white wine listening to the summer rain splattering on the window sill nearby. It sounds like a happy room. A room full of vivid imagination waiting to tell another story.
take care,

Thursday, June 18, 2009

This Dark Space!

When humankind first entered the cave for shelter. They had the need to express themselves artistically. Dark, moody atmospheres are often cast as brooding malevolent hovels. Actually quite the opposite. They evoke solemn spiritually and awakening. The key to any dark interior is the balance of light and shade. Caravaggio, the italian artist used this often in his paintings. In modern film, the silver screen could evoke an entire range of emotions from fear,danger to bliss, peace and solitude through the play of light and shade.,
Today's modern interiors continue to imitate that same idea of comfort that our ancestors would seek in a their own shelters.
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, (29 September 1571–18 July 1610) was an Italian artist active in Rome, Naples, Malta and Sicily between 1593 and 1610. He was the first great representative of the Baroque school of painting, noted for his intensely emotional canvases and dramatic use of lighting.[1] He is widely considered one of the greatest painters in European history.
"What begins in the work of Caravaggio is, quite simply, modern painting".



Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The House that Jack Built

Jack Lenor Larsen, internationally known textile designer, author, and collector, is one of the world's foremost advocates of traditional and contemporary crafts.

His awards are many and his designs are in collections of international museums. Larsen is associated with schools and art centers worldwide.

Jack Lenor Larsen founded the firm that bears his name in 1952. Over the past five decades, Larsen the Company has grown steadily to become a dominant resource for signature fabrics.

The "Larsen Look" which began with Mr. Larsen's own award-winning hand-woven fabrics of natural yarns in random repeats has evolved to become synonymous with 20th century design at its pinnacle.

Known as an innovator, Larsen has won many awards and is one of four Americans ever to be honored with an exhibition at the Palais du Louvre.

The merger between Larsen and Cowtan & Tout, the USA subsidiary of Colefax and Fowler Group Plc., took place in 1998. For five years Jack Larsen was a design consultant to the group and played a key role in the development of new designs.

More than a weaver, Mr. Larsen is a scholar, world traveler, and an authority on traditional and contemporary crafts. His home, LongHouse, located on 16 acres in East Hampton, NY, was built as a case study to exemplify a creative approach to contemporary life-style. He believes visitors experiencing art in living spaces have a unique learning experience--more meaningful than the best media.

Inspired by the famous Japanese shrine at Ise, LongHouse contains 13,000 square feet, 18 spaces on four levels. The gardens present the designed landscape as an art form in its own right.

The grounds also offer a diversity of sites for the preservation of multifarious species where they can flourish for generations to come.

Mr. Larsen's most recent book, Jack Lenor Larsen: A Weaver's Memoir, was published by Harry N. Abrams in the fall of 1998 and reprinted in 2002.

Interview with Jack Larsen by Patricia Malarcher of Surface Design Journal

To view some of the magazine articles written about LongHouse Reserve and Jack Larsen please click on the links below. (To view the files you will need a free Adobe Reader)

The Modern Estate, Spring Issue 2008
Architectural Digest, June 2003
Gardens Illustrated, October, 2003
Art & Antiques, September, 2001
House Beautiful, June 1997

Click to view Larsen design "A Living Archive" at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

For Larsen Inc. click here

1927 Born to Norsk-Canadian parents in Seattle, WA

1945 Enrolled at school of architecture, University of Washington
1946/47 Studied furniture design, started to weave. Moved to Los Angeles to concentrate on fabric
1949 Returned to Seattle to study ancient Peruvian fabrics; opened studio
1950/51 Cranbrook Academy of Art (Michigan), Master of Fine Arts degree; Opened New York City studio
1957/60/64 Reported the Trienale di Milano for Interiors Magazine
1958-60 Consultant to the State Department for grass weaving projects in Taiwan and Vietnam; visited Southeast Asia
1960-62 Co-Director, Fabric Design Department, Philadelphia College of Art, Pennsylvania
1962 Designer and director of traveling exhibition, Fabrics International: Visited West Africa, Morocco, and the Transvaal
1964 Design Director and U.S. Commissioner, XIII Trienale di Milano
1965 Completed Round House at East Hampton, New York
1966-67 Vice President, Architectural League of New York
1968-69 Co-curator, "Wall Hangings," The Museum of Modern Art, New York
1974 Designed "Visiona IV" exhibition, Frankfurt, for Bayer Ag
1975 Artist-in-Residence, Royal College of Art, London
1976-81 Chairman, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts; Honorary Chair from 1981.
1977 Curator, "Wall Hangings-The New Classicism," The Museum of Modern Art, NY
1979-80 Retrospective, Musée des Arts Decoratifs, Palais du Louvre
1981 Co-director, "The Art Fabric: Mainstream" traveling exhibition opening at the San Francisco Museum of Art
1981-89 President, American Craft Council, Emeritus, from 1990.
1983-84 Editor, "Design Since 1945," Philadelphia Museum of Art
1986-89 Curator, "Interlacing: The Elemental Fabric" opening at The Textile Museum, Washington, DC
1986-91 Curator, "Splendid Forms" at Bellas Artes Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
1988 Curator, "The Tactile Vessel: New Basket Forms," Erie Art Museum, Erie, PA
1991 Established the LongHouse Foundation, East Hampton, NY

2001-02 Retrospective Exhibit, "Jack Lenor Larsen: The Man and the Cloth", Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN.

Other venues: American Textile History Museum, Lowell, MA, The Mingei International Museum, San Diego, CA

This information was gathered from the website
Please visited the website and take a virtual tour of the gardens and the interiors. Jack's textiles that he wove are very unique. He truly was very innovative to the designer textiles industry. His fabric was probably one of my most favourite fabric's to choose for client's. Now my favourite collection is Mark Pollack's textiles. Mark designed textiles at the Larsen studios before he went out on his own many years ago.

Friday, June 12, 2009

friday night blitz

Tonight! it's cloudy, humid, rainy. I am watching "Steel Magnolia's" as suggested by a friend. It is the wedding reception and they are getting ready to cut an armadillo shaped cake. OK That is how my evening is going. I hope my inspiring photos get you into the mood to decorate. I am going to finish this movie and relax.
take care,