Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Flower Power!

Barbara and I recently attended Bouquets to Art at San Francisco’s DeYoung Museum. The event, which was the 27th annual lasted for five days (March 15-19) and was formerly held at the Legion of Honor.

The event showcases local floral designers and garden clubs interpretations of the museum’s most cherished works using flowers.

Bouquets to Art is organized and produced by the volunteer members of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Auxiliary, and is the largest fundraiser the museums hold for the entire year. The money raised helps fund special acquisitions and educational programs.

Here are some of the photos we snapped while touring the exhibit…

After Diebenkorn...

A Classical interpretation...

After Mark Rothko...

By City College of San Francisco...

Inspired by the upcoming Balenciaga exhibit...

A nude inspiration...

David Hansen

*All photos by Barbara Ashfield and David Hansen for Ashfield Hansen Design inc.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Speaking Of Daphne...

After choosing Daphne Guinness as one of my style icons in our last post, imagine my delight when the new issue of Architectural Digest arrived (the next day) with photos of her chic apartment on 5th Avenue in New York City.

Not many people can boast a portrait of themselves by David LaChapelle. and the use of the color Red seems to be a common thread (which isn’t as easy)…divine!

The design for Ms. Guinness’ residence was implemented by architect Daniel Romualdez. The spread was photographed by Thomas Loof.

The article can be viewed can view here.

David Hansen

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Stylish Aspirations

Style. A common enough word, but what does it really mean? The dictionary has many definitions, but is most commonly described as A particular, distinctive, or characteristic mode of action or manner of acting: They do these things in a grand style. Certainly style is subjective, but most people can recognize style, and may think of it as something “special” that lacks description.

We would like to thank and pay tribute to our friend and local blogger extraordinaire Kendra Boutell. Anyone who hasn’t experienced her lovely blog “Porcelains & Peacocks” should visit there post-haste! Her posts manage to educate, while dazzling her readers with unique imagery and subjects. A few weeks back Kendra nominated us for a Stylish Blogger award, to which we thank her!

We thought we would take this opportunity to share some of what we hold as sacred and stylish. Here are our two takes on style and inspiration (hence the name Design Squared)…


I think Jackie Kennedy said it best with “Style is not a function of how rich you are, or even who you are…style is a habit of mind that puts quality before quantity, noble struggle before mere achievement, honor before opulence. It’s what you are. It’s your essential self. It’s what makes you” And I wholeheartedly agree.

As for inspiration, I think I’m most inspired by people who live life on their own terms. I take inspiration fromforeign travels, ensconcing myself in the local culture as much as possible, taking in design, cuisine, art and architecture and watching the locals go about their daily lives. I am inspired at the Farmers Market by beautiful fresh produce and flowers, especially the colors and the smells. And last but not least, rummaging through old issues of House & Garden and Gourmet, neverknowing when something will hit me for a current project.

My style Icons are:

1) Madeleine Castaing for following her own drummer and without knowing it created her own “Castaing Style” that is timeless.

2) The Dutchess of Devonshire for her elegance and her chickens!

3) Diane Von Furstenberg for her enduring style, sophistication, success, and dedication to family.


My sense of what I consider stylish stems primarily from the fantasies of an only child who was captivated by a range of imagery from old Hollywood to exotic far away places. It’s difficult to put style into words, but it’s something you know is right, but defies definition. Three people I would choose to epitomize style would be:

1) Gene Kelly – A masculine archetype who was debonair and always dressed with a timeless dash.

2) Nina Simone – She was someone who had an ultimate command of her craft, amazing verve, but couldn’t be defined by categories.

3) Daphne Guinness – Heir to the Guinness fortune, she is the ultimate fashioinista, who truly loves fashion and the people who create it.

Today we pass the torch as we award our choices for Stylish Blogger Award to:

Claudia Juestel of Adeeni Design Blog

Denny Holland of Denny Holland Studio and

Diane Dorrans Saeks of The Style Saloniste.

Barbara Ashfield & David Hansen

Photos from top:

1) The Duchess of Devonshire from

2) Daphne Guinness from

3) Diane Von Furstenberg from

4) The Duchess of Devonshire as a young woman.

5) Madeleine Castaing from

6) The Duchess of Devonshire with her chickens.

7) Diane Von Furstenberg by photographer Frazer Harrison.

8) Gene Kelly from

9) Gene Kelly from

10) Nina Simone from

11) Nina Simone from

12) Daphne Guinness from L’Uomo Vogue February 2010.