Saturday, December 31, 2011

Feast For The Festive

With New Year’s Eve upon us, many of us will be celebrating with friends over supper – whether it be elaborate or simple, no matter.  It’s the thought behind the menu that keeps it interesting, and, of course, the company. 

I’m ringing in the New Year with dear friends at a sit down dinner party that promises to be nothing short of divine.  Boef Bournignon has star billing, the hostess is trés chic and I’m certain the table will be just as glorious as the meal.

Take a look at these fabulous table settings – giving truth to the adage “a picture is worth a thousand words”  --I wouldn’t mind being a guest at any one of them, would you?  The range is marvelous and each one sublime.


Barbara Ashfield

Photos from top:
1.The Beatles from
2.Black and White from
4.Queen Elizabeth from the

Friday, December 23, 2011

Celebrating Global Illumination

Nothing personifies the holidays quite like a beautiful display of light. This is something that every country in the world has in common. Let’s take a journey to see a few stunning light displays from across the globe…

Paris’ Champs-Élysées…

Tel Aviv…


Denver Colorado….

Madrid’s Plaza Mayor…

Paper lanterns in Buenos Aires…

From the Light Festival in Berlin…

Tokyo Japan…

And of course San Francisco’s Waterfront…

Here is wishing you a peaceful holiday season filled with light, and a prosperous new year ahead!

Barbara Ashfield & David J. Hansen

Photos from top:
A collage of light displays from
Champs-Élysées from
Tel Aviv from
Toronto from
Denver Colorado from
Madrid from
Galleries Lafayette in Paris from
Buenos Aires from
Berlin from Magix magazine
Tokyo from
San Francisco from

Friday, December 16, 2011

Saluting The Patriarch of Modern British Life

The Design Museum in London helps celebrate Terence Conran’s 80th birthday by launching an exhibit on his legacy and impact on modern British daily life. The exhibit is called "The Way We Live Now".

Mr. Conran is undeniably one of the sages of modern daily life in Britain since the end of World War II, and has made his mark through products, books and the architectural vernacular.

Mr. Conran is one of the founders of the Design Museum, and helped establish it initially in the basement of the Victoria & Albert Museum. The exhibit traces the various incarnations of Mr. Conran’s career from his architectural practice to mass retailer of modern furnishings and house wares, to restaurateur.

The exhibit is on display until March 4, 2012 at the Design Museum on London’s waterfront. To learn more about the exhibit go here.

David J. Hansen

Photos from top:
1)   Photo of exhibition poster in the London Metro from the Conran blog
2)   Photo of Terence Conran from
3)   Photo of Habitat store in Dublin from

Monday, December 5, 2011

Details, Details!

Our local Dining by Design is one of my favorite events of the year. As a member of the Steering Committee I am always involved in the behind-the-scenes details of the event, but usually don’t have much interaction with the actual tables. My first glimpse is usually when I encounter them at the venue.

I’m always amazed at the creativity of the designers who create the event’s signature “Over-the-top tabletop”, and how much work goes into these works of art.

Most design is a sum of it’s parts and as they say: “the devil is in the details”, but in this case it’s the divine!

Here are some of my favorite details from our most recent event which was held on November 16th and 17th:

Monogrammed napkin detail at the Gary Hutton Design table:

Corrugated cardboard light fixtures at a table designed by Alexandra Torre:

Male and Female “bums” at a table designed by Room Service:

A “charred” chair at the “Phoenix” table designed by Mondo Guera (of Project Runway fame), and students from San Francisco State University. The table was sponsored by The Merck’s Living Positive By Design campaign:

A checkerboard floor covering utilizing various garden materials at the table designed by Shades of Green Landscape:

Concentric Strings makes a statement at the Academy of Art table:

Succulents at a table designed by John Witmarsh:

Beakers and elements at the “Periodic Table”:

San Francisco’s Dining by Design benefits the Positive Health Program at SF General. They deliver on demand care to those living with HIV and AIDS.

To learn more about San Francisco’s Dining by Design go here. To see photos from the 2011 event go here.

David J. Hansen

Top photo: The purity of white at the table by Gary Hutton Design

All photos by David Hansen for Ashfield Hansen Design Inc. © 2011