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The Perfect Black

Elizabeth Bolognino exploring design & environment.

WARM MODERNISM | THOMAS O’BRIEN

I’m posting O’Briens apartment an example of timeless design. His furniture selection spans decades, centuries even – but mystically remains current.  The use of neutrals punctuated with the perfect black keep his interiors classic, but interesting.

I’m reminded of that giddy, purposed, enriched feeling from the day of grad school whenever studying Thomas O’Brien’s work. He is the master of “warm modernism”, and upon discovering him,  I knew I had found my muse.  It was the mid-aughts, and I spent 3 years consistently over-caffeinated & underslept. I had callouses from grasping exacto knives too hard, and lead from my left palm all the way up to my elbow from graphite renderings and multi-point perspectives.  Besides childbirth, graduate school at Pratt Institute was the hardest I’ve worked in my life… However, the effortless cool, slightly non-chalant ambience of O’Brien’s interiors kept me going – and ultimately inspired my design style of “layered minimalism”.

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Subtle color pops by removable accessories allow his interiors to change with the season. Interiors should be effortless… and O’Brien still remains the beacon.  xoEB

via INTERIORS PORTFOLIO | AERO.

Yohji Yamamoto

via the Big black day — Guðrún Ólöf.download

Coffee Table Roundup

I’m shopping for a client’s living room coffee table.  As we discuss personal wishes along with integrating into the overall scheme, I must take a 30,o00 foot approach to what’s fueling our process…  And yet again, it checks back to socio-economic climate/general wellbeing.  It always has!  When the economy is good, when the social climate is stable – designs tend to be riskier, less hard-edged.  A perfect example of this is the biomorphic movement which focuses on organic forms in nature.  This drove furniture design and architecture from greats such as Isamu Noguchi, Eero Saarinen, & Alvar Aalto. The movement arose after World War II, when the public wasn’t as concerned with machines, rations, & wartime.  Let’s assess our current status: the Dow is high, real estate remains strong, and the US has pulled out of Afghanistan & Iraq.  Checkmate.

Here are some fascinating finds & their provenance. mg_9576_lAndorinha Coffee Table by Jorge Zalszupin in Brazilian Jacaranda.

3689072_zJorge Zalszupin Jacaranda Coffee Table

3705232_zsidewinder_low_view_1__zSidewinder Coffee Table by Plateaux

img_0195_zOutstanding Paul Evans Studio Coffee Table, USA, 1960s

3453233_zA 1970s Glass Low Table on Bronze and Lucite Base attributed to Albrizzi

xxx_8817_1283883883_1_lVerner Panton Verpan Ilumesa Coffee Table or Lamp in Orange Color

For details on any of the tables above, please contact me! Have a great Thursday.  xoEB

 

 

 

 

The Curious, Inherent Nature of Matte.

As a designer, it is my job to interpret one’s feeling into the aesthetic. Often I find that texture plays second fiddle to color and pattern – however it is equally as important. Today, I am focusing on the understated… the opposite of the spotlight… the curious, inherent nature of Matte.

My soundtrack for this post comes from Japanese composer Takagi Masakatsu. He does an excellent job of interpreting matteness into soundscapes.

Matte is a Thud thump vs a clang clink. Matte is muttled, muted. Matte is a hazy sun. Cashmere. Snow. Winter. It’s intuitive, thoughtful and internal. Private. Aloneness. The definition of Inherent means to be involved in the constitution or essential character of something.  To belong by nature or habit.

Matte Fabrics

Matte Interiors

 

Matteness in Furniture Design

 

 

 

Matteness in Art

Matteness in Nature

Matteness in Concrete

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It’s so important to balance texture when designing an environment. Hope you enjoy!

2015 Roundup

Happy 2016!  Here’s to a facelift and some new content! 2015 was a year for growth both professionally and personally.  Most importantly, we welcomed our new baby girl in June.  She has been keeping us very busy in the very best way.

2015 was also year of change. We bought and sold apartments in New York, as well as continued with the farm renovation (more on this later).

Professionally, my business continues to grow with fantastic clients and fun projects.  I was honored to be featured in Elle Decor’s “Truth in Decorating” article alongside my friend and colleague designer, Michael Adams. I also was featured in NY Magazine’s Design Hunting & Departures Magazine.

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NYMagDesignHunting

I’ve got some big news up my sleeve which I can’t reveal just yet… but we’re talking BIG! Cheers to Change, Resetting, and enjoying all this great Life has to give.  xoEB

Q&A with Lonny.com!

Thank you to Lonny for taking the time to chat with me & being such a fabulous resource.  I was just looking at Cat Dash’s Paris roundup yesterday for new lighting ideas! Happy Thursday to all.  xoEB

Lonny Loves Q&A

The Fascinating World of Zaria Forman

Wow.  Meet Zaria Forman, my inspiration for today’s post.  To me, Forman’s paintings deliver something that is missing from today’s ethosphere.  It’s time to rediscover our hands as instruments, slow down & disconnect.  When was the last time you saw a contemporary artist working with pastels?

Her technique is so reminiscent of my grandmother Katherine Snyder, who dedicated her life to working with pastels.  I can still smell the studio & see it’s collected colorful mess.  As is evident in Zaria’s studio below, the space between artist & the canvas tells the story.

Courtesy of Alaska-Alaskaa
Courtesy of Alaska-Alaskaa

Two of Foman’s recent series,”Chasing the Light” and “The Maldives” bring awareness to Earth’s rapidly changing landscapes from opposite ends of the spectrum.

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Image Courtesy of Paranoias.org
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Image Courtesy of Paranoias.org
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Image Courtesy of Paranoias.org

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To see more of Zaria’s refreshing work, please visit her website, ZariaForman.com. 

My Williamsburg Holiday Hit List.

This afternoon, Chloe & I ventured out to do some last minute shopping.  I found myself gravitating towards old standbys, but was happily surprised to find a slew of small shops with really nice selections.  If you had asked me 15 years ago if I’d end up in New York, the answer was a definitive No.  Furthermore, BROOKLYN?  Hell no.

Here I am, 11 years later, loving Williamsburg as I did the first time we drove down Bedford Avenue post 9/11.

My first stop was at Mociun, where I found this amazing handcrafted dinnerware set by ceramist Robert Blue.  I love the softness of his work with tasteful pops of color that flow so naturally throughout the series.  The pieces are perfect gifts as singular objects or as a grouping.

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Mociun Pottery

I also loved the tactility of this woven bowl from Rwanda, paired with handthrown cups.  Simple = Elegant.

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Looking for something for your little ones?  My next stop was to Allegria, located on North 3rd Street.  This happy place is the perfect example of good Juju – upon entering, you just feel good.  The store curates items for children young & old, & everything from pillows to puppets feels hand selected.  The intention is clear, and it’s working.  This simple vignette highlights the care & curiosity of a child in such a simple way.

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I picked up KidsonRoof’s Archiville for my 3 year old.  It’s a urban interlocking toy that models things we New Yorkers hold dear – an amazing toy for young explorers.

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On my way to the waterfront, I stopped into Nightwood, a small shop that sells custom reclaimed furniture, accessories & antiquities. I loved the hand woven tapestries which echo the language in this custom cabinet.  Prices seem very reasonable for the quality of furniture Nightwood produces.  In fact, while I was in the shop, a women came in just to tell the owner how much she loves her custom coffee table.  Simple gratitude.

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This little occasional chair is so cute, and at 389$, a steal of a deal.

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Finally, I returned to Moon River Chattel, which opened on Grand Street the same year we moved to the neighborhood.  In my opinion, Moon River is a huge part of influencing the “Back to Basics” design movement that has come out of Brooklyn over the last couple years.  It’s a lovely store which has a little something for everyone.

A perfect holiday palette:

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Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking is a lovely gift for anyone interested in cooking (or history, for that matter).

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I found this book by Alexander Calder to be fascinating, for a student or anyone who appreciates precision of line.

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And then, my holiday shopping was complete.  I can’t divulge all my secrets (hey, xmas is in three days), but I will say walking through Williamsburg was a treat in itself.  I lived through my twenties and into my early thirties in this pocket – evolving with my surroundings.  It’s been an amazing experience that has no doubt has shaped me as a designer, a wife & a parent.  Happy Holidays to you all, and here’s to a Happy 2014.  xoEB

Today, These are My Favorite Things.

I’m feeling particularly color neutral today, enjoying the simplicity of texture rather than color pop this holiday season.  I love the contrasting warmth from material in this loft below.  The juxtaposition of Kjaerholm’s PK22 chairs are a perfect compliment to all the fuzzy accessories.

Cool, collected, perfect Martini sipping fire-side chatting type of room. Courtesy of Japanese Trash.

Function Follows Form? Or Form Follows Function? Discuss.

Function Follows Form? Or Form Follows Function? Courtesy of Japanese Trash.

Black Christmas ornaments are so Chic.

Black Christmas Ornaments are so Chic.
Black Christmas Ornaments are so Chic.

For anyone reading my blog, I love these herkimer diamond earrings I found on Etsy.

Herkimer Diamond Earrings
Herkimer Diamond Earrings via Etsy

A Graceful Interpretation of a Christmas Wreath &  Tree!

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Informative Interpretation of a Christmas Tree
Informative Interpretation of a Christmas Tree

The Perfect Black is a chic way of dressing the holiday! xoEB

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