Tag Archives: Inspiration

Small is good,  especially when done well.  That means that every detail is carefully thought out and executed, the materials are strong, the design and architecture reflect the rest of the house and, of course, everything functions flawlessly.

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WORLD OF INTERIORS, always a great resource for the unusual, recently wrote about Maison du Pastel, a treasured old French pastel manufacturer in existence since 1712. I made their shop a must see on my quick trip to Paris in mid January. The tiny atelier in Paris, open on Thursday afternoons only, is hidden in a courtyard in the Marais. This firm has been attracting artists and amateurs alike in this same location since 1912. While newly cleaned and slightly updated, it appears much the same today as it did when it first opened its’ door;  a welcoming front entrance, a long wall of painted drawers, open shelves holding boxes of colors, a well used wooden counter, charming student lamp and two enthusiastic, knowledgable young women to open your eyes to the world of pastels.

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I know that many of you saw this bath featured in World of Interiors. I would be remiss if I did not comment on this completely original Art Deco design: it is perfection.  The New York City apartment, a penthouse with 30 rooms on Gracie Square with views in several directions, was owned by Conde Nast. The design elements of the bath and the entire apartment fall well within the decorative arts framework made popular in the 1920s and 1930s in France. The influences were informed by contemporary design themes from LeCorbusier and Walter Gropius, historical excesses and exuberant wrought iron floral designs of Edgar Brandt, organic forms from Hector Guimard and crisp angularities from Charles Rennie Mackintosh are evident in the etched glass.

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The recent popularity of gray kitchens follows the trend for the color in general. From light to dark and cool to warm, gray is the new neutral.  It is an easy partner with many stone surface materials and is easily neutralized with white. This classic gray/white combination is uncomplicated, timeless, associated with elements in nature and not far from the fundamental simplicity of black and white.

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