Sunday, May 31, 2009

Subscription Addiction

I’ve recently acquired fabulous new digs. The move couldn’t come at a busier time, but alas, the price we pay for Xanadu. Before me lies the daunting challenge of transporting my treasures. One might think that if you’re hiring a moving company it would be “Presto! – Finale!” but alas no. Suddenly the enormity of WHAT YOU OWN is apparent and alarming. I ask myself - do I really need all this stuff??? -and by “stuff” I’m not talking about furniture and furnishings, but the “other” things, like………. THE MAGAZINES! As I gaze bleary-eyed upon stacks and stacks (in some cases years and years) of these delicious “bibles of taste”, the prospect of disposal causes a sigh. I know I’ll have take action, and what lies before me is the harrowing task of detailed selection – an affliction familiar to others like me - the Shelter Magazine Hoarder (SHEMA -HOR), not to be confused with Sheena, Queen of the Jungle.

Only a small portion of the evidence.

And so begins the process. I am torn (no pun intended) – to tear… or not to tear? Should I keep the truly great issues in tact or should I dismember them, tearing out only what I want to save. It’s not an easy task. True, they have taken up some serious floor and/or shelf space in assorted abodes over the years but I am attached to them. Somehow knowing that these volumes of chic are within easy reference is comforting; that given a moment’s notice, I am possibly only inches away from my next source of inspiration, be it an article, a photograph or a period of style.

The mother of all Shelter magazines...the now defunct House & Garden.

Decision made. I will take on the burden of browsing, tearing and filing. I will be “green”, I will recycle…except for…House & Garden. I’m saving those for posterity!

Barbara Ashfield

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Missoni On a Mission!

The celebrated house of Missoni is at it again. There seems to be something so right about a third generation Italian fashion house with its creators still at the helm. The Missoni brand has always been about using color in new and imaginative ways. One of the best quotes that I have read in recent history is from one of the co-founders of the company, Rosita Missoni, who said “Color is the oxygen of life”. I concur!

The founders of Missoni Ottavio and Rosite Missoni.

After Missoni conquered the fashion industry in the early 1960’s with a colorful clothing line derived from knitwear, they introduced fragrances, and then in 1981 launched Missoni Home. I am a huge fan of Missoni Home products and own multiple sets of sheets and towels, which speak to my sensibilities of color and good design.

A shot taken of one of my Missoni sheets.
Due to the popularity of Missoni Home, the company has agreed to design a line of lifestyle hotels in collaboration with the Rezidor Hotel Group. The first of these properties will be opening in June of this year in Edinburgh, Scotland and then in Kuwait in September. The combination of Edinburgh and Kuwait seems odd, but I’m sure there’s research to back up the choices of these two particular locals.

One of the rooms in the new Hotel Missoni in Edinburgh.

Along with the tremendous design of the hotels themselves, the company has a beautiful web site to illustrate the concept even further at . I noticed they used a Jill Scott song as the soundtrack for the site…perfect!

Concept for a lounge at Hotel Missoni. I'm thinking this must be for Edinburgh, Scotland as the seating done in the style of Charles Rennie Macintosh, a noted Scotsman famous for his interpretation of Art Nouveau.

I am looking forward to eventually staying at one of these amazing properties and experiencing the Missoni aura all over again.

David Hansen

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

We've Got it Covered

Barbara and I are happy to announce that a recent project has made the cover of the current issue of ASID’s Bridge To Design, the official publication and newsletter for the ASID, Northern California Chapter. The article, entitled “Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day… It Took Nine”, is a segment in the ongoing “Tales From The Trenches”. The article gives a birds eye glimpse of this fast paced and exciting project which demonstrated our ability to design and furnish a household (within given parameters) in a very short amount of time. I will say this… it wasn’t easy.

The cover of ASID's Bridge to Design featuring a project we did in nine days.

The client, a busy executive who had arrived in town a few days before meeting us, required a fully functioning household up and running in 9 days. The scope of work included the design, specification, purchase and installation of all furniture and furnishings, down to linens and accessories and which would also include household staffing, fresh flowers and a stocked pantry.

A shot of the Living room featured in the article "Rome Wasn't Built in a Day...It Took Nine"

You might think the big prize on this job was knowing that we could do a smash up job in 9 days, but really, it was realizing first hand that all the great sources we’ve accumulated over the years were there for us and went out of their way to accommodate the deadline. It is them that we owe a debt of thanks.

The full story can be viewed on the ASID Northern California website here.

David Hansen