“Paint is your best friend if renovations aren’t possible, but you can’t be shy! Skip bland and go straight to daring, like this strong gray. I use it on the mullions of colonial-style windows, and the transformation is stunning. They instantly look modern, as if they were steel casement. At night, the mullions seem to disappear into the darkness, and all you see is the view outside. Magical!”
Pared-back silhouettes, tactile surfaces, and an artful ensemble— including Richard Alvedon’s iconic portrait of Dovima, primitive pottery, and an African mask— creates an aura of magic in this Brooklyn Heights dining room. Photo courtesy Thomas Loof
Alchemists have existed in every major civilization—along with great artists and artisans— all engaged in an attempt to transform base metals into gold. Similarly, a good designer possesses a knowledge of elements that when amalgamated create magic in an interior.
Two of my favorite elements are fine art and objects.
After a year getting my feet VERY wet as the President-Elect of the New York Metro Chapter of ASID (American Society of Interior Designers), I took the helm as the new President in October at a beautiful and well-attended party at the new Jonathan Adler showroom on 58th & Third Avenue.
While my involvement with ASID has me taking on a lot of responsibility, the resulting opportunities have been remarkable — up to and including the chance to meet hundreds of new people in the interior design industry.
I first met Carl Dellatore three years ago this month; after having followed his blog for some time I’d asked him to visit with me at my office to talk about the work he was doing around developing content strategies. We’ve been working together ever since.
At the time, in addition to working with designers and vendors on crafting digital presences that advance their brands, Carl expressed a wish to study design formally, but was challenged by how to go back to school at his age. I made the suggestion that he begin with Edith Wharton’s The Decoration of Houses first published in 1897 — still widely regarded as the first book to read when embarking on a career in interior decoration.
I don’t recall when I first saw the interior design work ofMelvin Dwork, it might have been in the 1970’s in Architectural Digest; his work had a big impact on me. I remember it to be current with both minimalist and ‘high-tech’ sensibilities, but it also included select antiques (and even some color) to create spare yet rich environments that were ‘his alone‘. Time and time again I would be drawn to his work…
For creative people, inspiration can be found almost anywhere.
At the Rhode Island School of Design all students are required to look at nature, not just a passing glance but to REALLY LOOK, to understand what is at work on a structural level. This is encouraged in a magical place now called the Edna Lawrence Nature Lab. Edna Lawrence founded the Nature lab in 1937, and it has served as inspiration for many, many generations of art and design students at RISD.
In discussions I had with fellow RISD alumnus and lighting designer Lindsey Adelman while mocking-up an enormous custom chandelier in a Greenwich Village home project, her profound connection to the innate understanding of structure, learned in the Nature Lab, became very clear to me.
Lindsey’s lighting designs are a wonderful combination of fine engineering and hand-craftsmanship, culminating in fixtures that have the essential structural characteristics found in nature.
This week I learned that my good friend and colleague Carl Dellatore’s eagerly anticipated book, Interior Design Master Class, is officially finished and off to the printer. I’m both grateful and excited to have been part of Carl’s project from its inception, and to be included in the incredibly talented roster of designers who have contributed to the book.
In my capacity as the President elect of the ASID New York Metro Chapter, I have been working with the New York School of Interior Design on an event to celebrate the book. If you’d like to be kept abreast of the event – and of other events being scheduled around the country – you can join the book’s mailing list by following this link.
As some in the design community already know, I’ve been the President elect of the New York Metro Chapter of ASID since October of last year. I’ll become the President later this year in October.
But in the interest of raising the bar on activities within the organization I’ve been working with New York School of Interior Design (NYSID)President, David Sprouls, and his fantastic staff on a lecture series presented at the school. The latest event was held last Wednesday evening, and was titled ‘Creative Collaborations: Designing Signature Product Lines’.
The panel included 3 accomplished interior designers — Barry Goralnick, Alexa Hampton, and Laura Kirar — all of whom have been developing products for a variety of home ‘furnishing categories’ and a variety of manufacturers for years. Also on the panel was Kate Verner who is a creative strategist, brand manager and business expert in the luxury home industry.
I had the great pleasure of moderating the event. It was very fun and, at some moments, quite funny — and was very well attended both by students of the school as well as many members of the design community.
NYSID videotaped the event, so if you weren’t able to attend I’ve added the entire clip here for your consideration.
Hugo Crosthwaite, Mexico “Fire Cart” 2012 Pierogi, Brooklyn
Each year I allocate at least one entire day to immerse myself in the wonders at The Armory Show and VOLTA art fairs where historically I am looking for works for my clients – or myself – however, this year the experience was purely for pleasure.
I took photos of dozens of works that caught my eye for a variety of reasons. Reviewing the images I saw different ways to bring some order to the rich chaos; this post focuses on works that are Black & White both representation and abstract… Continue reading →