Monday, June 27, 2011

WHO: Mark Hampton LLC

Legendary designer Mark Hampton created spaces that fused understated tradition with unquestionable style and quality – yet he had no one “signature.” “I have absolutely no interest in a trademark style,” was his “trademark” quote, according to Architectural Digest. Though his design schemes were traditional - he used classic elements such as English country house colors, Oriental rugs, and eighteenth and nineteenth century English and American antiques – “his attitude was modern, and up until the last he kept his exquisite balance between nostalgia and spontaneity,” according to AD.

Alexa Hampton began working at her father’s firm when she was 13. Since taking over the practice in her late-20s after he died at 58, Alexa has carried on his tradition of quiet classicism. Like her father, she is a published author, accomplished designer and wonderful artist who still believes in the importance of being able to draw. She has worked on projects ranging from Trowbridge House (a part of the historic Blair House complex in Washington) to apartments and large residences, private airplanes and yachts. Alexa inherited her father’s innate sense of style and balanced approach to creating interiors, telling AD, “Suitability and appropriateness are hallmarks of great design, and I strive to have both in my work.”

For more information, please visit To purchase books by Mark Hampton or Alexa Hampton, please visit

Image courtesy Elle Decor. Info courtesy Mark Hampton LLC and Architectural Digest.

WEEKLY Ws: Classic/Current

Great design is timeless, not trendy. Icons become the standard by which everything after is judged because the original design transcends time and place while adapting to each new period and space. This week we look at classic design icons and current versions, for fresh takes on timeless design.

Friday, June 24, 2011

WHY: William Hamilton

Concrete is, essentially, the color of bad weather. – William Hamilton

Thursday, June 23, 2011

WHERE: Summer School

Summer is a great time to throw yourself into a fun project and learn about a topic you really love. Why not take a Color Theory class? Even if you’ve worked in design for a long time (or loved it forever) there’s always something new to explore. And when you go “back to basics” you might be surprised at what you see and learn!

New York University offers “Color and Pattern in Interior Design,” which will explore "how colors influence mood and convey a particular style, how color and patern have been used in the past, what’s happening now and what’s on the horizon in the field of interior design.” Class starts July 5, so for more information please visit

Image courtesy

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

WHEN: “Maria Kalman: Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World),” through July 31

The first museum survey of illustrator, author and designer Maira Kalman’s narrative art is on display at the Jewish Museum in New York through July 31.

Kalman’s signature style, which combines pops of color, eccentric portraiture and exuberant lines, is recognizable from her contributions to The New Yorker; her books including “What Pete Ate”, her illustrated version of “The Elements of Style” and “And the Pursuit of Happiness”: and several textile collaborations. “Kalman illuminates contemporary life with a profound sense of joy and a unique sense of humor,” says the museum’s web site. “This exhibition features a selection of original works on paper that span 30 years of illustration for publication.”

For more information, please visit thejewishmuseum.or/exhibitions/mkalman. To purchase Kalman's books, please visit

Image and info courtesy The Jewish Museum.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

WHAT: Donald Kaufman Color

“Donald Kaufman, one of the country’s preeminent color specialists since 1977, designs formulas of multiple pigments that blend the full spectrum of light, just as artists, in pursuit of nature’s beauty, have practiced for centuries,” wrote The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Kaufman trained as an artist and turned to architectural painting when he “outgrew canvas and began coloring the whole world,” according to his web site. His ability to blend colors across the spectrum to create unique shades is legendary. His eye for color is so remarkable and his paint creations so incredible that after art dealer Max Protetch hired Kaufman to paint his gallery, Protetch gave him an opening – featuring the bare walls.

For more information, please visit

Info courtesy Image courtesy Elle Decor.

Monday, June 20, 2011

WHO: Jamie Drake

“Lush and vibrant is the Drake signature” according to Jamie Drake’s web site – and that’s an understatement! A champion of bold, unexpected – and unexpectedly beautiful – combinations, Jamie infuses both residential and contract spaces with vibrancy, freshness and exuberance.

Jamie is at ease in both traditional and contemporary interiors, and though his palette is bold it is always measured so that in the end, the design is appropriate to the space and its owners. His licensed home furnishings collections for Edward Ferrell+Lewis Mittman, Schumacher and other iconic manufacturers reflect his dynamic, distinct and fearless approach to style.

“I love what I do,” says Jamie. “I love style in every form. There is nothing more exciting than incorporating bold, vibrant colors with a striking mix of genres and periods to create lively, magical spaces that inhabit memories and enrich lives.”

For more information, please visit To purchase “Jamie Drake’s New American Glamour,” please visit

Image courtesy Elle Decor. Infor courtesy Drake Design Associates.

WEEKLY Ws: Color!

We’re crazy for hue, and this week we’re checking in with Ws that make life a bit more colorful. From a designer who looks at colors as though they were neutrals to a new way to see the world, we’re covering color from practice to theory. Please visit throughout the week for colorful inspiration!

Friday, June 17, 2011

WHY: Lauren Santo Domingo

If there’s one thing you can say about my apartment it’s that it’s constantly evolving, constantly changing. I think that is the mark of a good apartment; you can never really be done – it’s like a proper wardrobe. – Lauren Santo Domingo

Thursday, June 16, 2011

WHERE: Ralph Lauren, New York

The stately Beaux Arts mansion at 72nd and Madison that houses Ralph Lauren’s collections for women and home blends seamlessly with the surrounding neighborhood and complements the landmark Rheinlander Mansion across the street. Its grand scale, incredible architecture and remarkable beauty are even more amazing when you realize the building was built from the ground up over the last two years specifically to house the collections.

The 22,000-square-foot building was created by Michael Gilmore, a partner in Weddle Gilmore Architects, in collaboration with the Polo Ralph Lauren Creative Services Team. The façade features soaring blocks of Indiana limestone and hand-forged ironwork. The interior is pure glamour, combining marble, crystal chandeliers, chinoiserie wallpaper, framed black and white photos, and other sophisticated touches.

Lauren told Architectural Digest that the building “is the fulfillment of what I do: creating timeless beauty that’s universal.”

For more information, please visit

Image and info courtesy Architectural Digest.

WHEN: Last Days to Catch Color Moves

The Cooper-Hewitt’s exhibit “Color Moves: Art & Fashion by Sonia Delaunay” ends this week. Don’t miss the opportunity to view the work of this groundbreaking textile artist and fashion designer.

This exhibition focuses on fashion designs from her own Atelier Simultane in Paris during the 1920s, as well as textiles designed for the Metz & Co. department store in Amsterdam in the 1930s.

For more information, please visit

Image and info courtesy Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

WHAT: The Tiffany Suite at the St. Regis

The new, one-of-a-kind Tiffany Suite on the 14th Floor of the St. Regis features an entire design motif based on the iconic jeweler, proving that in design as in fashion, accessories really do make the look.

According to WWD, “The 1,700-square-foot suite features neutrals such as whites, beiges, charcoal gray and silver accented with the signature Tiffany blue.” Some of the furnishings and finishes reference jewelry, such as the console that calls to mind a wedding ring, chandeliers draped with crystal “necklaces” and shimmering silver-leafed tables. The living room walls are painted Tiffany blue, and crisp white molding resembles white ribbon – altogether, an inspired interpretation of the Little Blue Box.

What would Holly Golightly think?

For more information, please visit

Image and info courtesy WWD.

Monday, June 13, 2011

WHO: William Sofield

William Sofield worked at Ralph Lauren Home with Thomas O’Brien before the two opened Aero in the 1990s. While O’Brien is associated with classic, all-American style, Sofield is known for show-stopping glamour and incredible craftsmanship, the result of his diverse background (including an Ivy League education, an apprenticeship with an Italian woodworker, and the design of 400 boutiques for Gucci, Yves St. Laurent and Tom Ford).

Interior Design summed up Sofield’s career and style thus: “Sofield’s ascent to stardom can be attributed to his unerring ability to reinterpret modernism. And he does so with an arresting combination of controlled virtuosity and a flair for the theatrical.”

“Whether it’s lacquer or Lucite,” Sofield said, “my work is grounded in craft and materiality.”

For more information, please visit

Info courtesy Image courtesy Habitually Chic.

WEEKLY Ws: Fa-fa-fa-fashion…

Furnishings and fashion are of a piece – generally one’s taste is consistent across both. This week we’re taking a closer look at some stylish design icons that transcend the worlds of fashion and interiors.

Friday, June 10, 2011


Five things to flip through and click through this weekend:

Who: interviews Bunny Williams.

What: Read the lovely essays in Dominique Browning’s “Around the House and In the Garden,” available through

When: Section 2 of the High Line opened this week. View photos on their Facebook page.

Where: Click through pictures of secret gardens in Maryland:

Why: Because it’s pretty much the textile embodiment of fun in the garden… Marimekko’s Madison Indoor-Outdoor Pillow, available (on sale!) at

WHY: Rose Tarlow

I’m not a writer. But words and furniture have a lot in common. Both are inanimate. They don’t move themselves. Yet they can move you. – Rose Tarlow

Thursday, June 9, 2011

WHERE: Shakespeare Garden

Shakespeare gardens, created out of reverence for the bard, can be found throughout many locations in both the US and Britain. Of these gardens, one of the most famous is that found in Central Park, where it is located at West Side and 79th Street.

What had formerly been known as the Garden of the Heart was, in 1916, renamed the Shakespeare Garden to mark the 300th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death. Following in the tradition of already established Shakespeare Gardens, the Garden was filled with the beautiful plants and flowers mentioned in the works of the playwright, as well as those featured in his own private garden in Stratford-upon-Avon.

The Garden covers four acres of plants that change according to season. Included among these are plants such as rosemary and pansies, alluded to by Ophelia in Hamlet, thistle, mentioned in the play Much Ado About Nothing, and even a white mulberry tree that is said to have grown from a graft of a tree planted by Shakespeare himself in 1602.

For more information, please visit

Image courtesy Info courtesy

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

WHEN: Thursday Night Cocktails in the Garden at Cooper Hewitt

This Spring, the DJs are back in the garden at the Cooper Hewitt!

Each Thursday night, this former mansion on the Upper East Side hosts DJs from around the world for three-hour cocktail parties in the garden. The DJs play tracks that display an incredible variety of influences – from soul, funk, disco, and jazz to Latin, Brazilian, Caribbean, reggae, dub, Afrobeat, hip hop, and more.

Parties are held each Thursday evening, from 6 – 9, through June 30. For more information, please visit

Image and info courtesy

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

WHAT: Flower Boxes

During the reign of Charles II, a craze for horticulture came to England from Holland. This prompted the design of handsome boxes on elaborate stands in which bulbs and roots were grown indoors. For two centuries, fine examples were produced in veneer wood and japanned decoration.

Image courtesy Info courtesy “the Encyclopedia of Furniture” by Joseph Aronson.

Monday, June 6, 2011

WHO: Rose Tarlow

As an internationally-renowned furniture and fabric artisan, interior designer, antiquarian and author, Rose Tarlow’s creations have influenced the design community for over thirty years.

Ms. Tarlow opened R. Tarlow Antiques in Los Angeles in 1976, and was inspired shortly thereafter to design her own furniture, using local craftsmen with whom she still works daily. Rose Tarlow Melrose House opened in 1979 and quickly became a preeminent producer of furniture and textiles.

Her book “The Private House” discusses and illustrates simple principles of creative design appropriate to any home. Always arrange your comfortable, upholstered furniture first, she writes; pay special attention to how light affects your spaces; and use carpets as background only, never as the focus of a room.

For more information, please visit To purchase a copy of “The Private House” please visit

Image and info courtesy

WEEKLY Ws: Coming Up Roses

We’re celebrating summer in full bloom this week. From Rose Tarlow to garden parties, we’re cultivating quite a list of Ws. Please visit throughout the week for more than just garden-variety design…

Friday, June 3, 2011


Five things to flip through and click through this weekend:

Who: Meet the editors of online shelter publications in a feature in the New York Times Home Section.

What: Matchbook #5 is live!

When: Click to make plans for Tuesday’s free events in New York.

Where: Hardware stores offer some amazing décor options – check them out in the June issue of House Beautiful.

Why: Because it’s summer… play hooky and catch a matinee! (How about “L’Amour Fou”?)

WHY: Margaret Russell

Please don’t let anyone be dismissive of a deep emotional connection to a business that you feel passionate about – it’s certainly worked for me. – Margaret Russell

Thursday, June 2, 2011

WHERE: Hall of Mirrors, Versailles

The Hall of Mirrors (Galerie des Glaces) is the central gallery of the Palace of Versailles and is renowned as one of the most famous and glamorous rooms in the world.

As the principal and most remarkable feature of King Louis Xiv of France’s third building campaign of the Palace of Versailles, construction of the Hall of Mirrors began in 1678 and continued until 1684. The Hall of Mirrors measures 239.5 feet by 34.4 feet by 40.4 feet and is flanked by the salon de la guerre to the north and the salon de la paix south.

The signature design element of this famous hall is the seventeen mirror-clad arches that reflect the seventeen arcaded windows that overlook the gardens. Each arch contains twenty-one mirrors for a total of 357 used in the decoration fo the Galerie des Glaces.

Image and info courtesy Wikipedia.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

WHEN: Hamptons Designer Showhouse July 24

The Hamptons are glamorous. Designer showhouses are glamorous. So the Hamptons Designer Showhouse is sure to be glamour incarnate!

Mark your calendar for Sunday, July 24, for the Showhouse opening. This year, the Showhouse will be held in a sprawling shingle-style home in Bridgehampton. Traditional Home will sponsor the event, and proceeds benefit Southampton Hospital.

The Showhouse will be open from July 24 through September 4. Admission is $30 and includes a journal. For more information, please visit

Image courtesy