Friday, August 30, 2013
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
What can I say about Blackman Cruz boutique on Highland Avenue in Los Angeles? The word brilliant comes into mind. Eccentric, weird, strange, amazing are other words I would use for the furniture in this showroom. The owners always manage to find things that are off the beaten path that may not always be your cup of tea but never fail to intrigue you.
One of the thing that intrigued me when I visited the shop last time was Stefan Bishop's spill side table. I have never seen anything like it. It is just so odd and yet mesmerizing at the same time. It's one of those statement piece that I certainly would not mind having in my home.
Monday, August 26, 2013
When you need something to give your kitchen or powder room a punch, look no further than Fornasetti tiles. These are designed by Piero's daughter Barnaba Fornasetti. She used her father's extensive design vocabulary and came up with these brilliant hand-painted 8" square tiles. They came in a matte or glossy finish and are perfect for giving that powder room a bit of a va-va-voom. One can also frame these up as a wall decoration for a long hallway or use them as coasters (add felt circles under to prevent scratches to tables). I'm sure you can think of gazillion ways of put these tiles to good use. What would you use them for?
Friday, August 23, 2013
Congrats to Angela S. for winning this fabulous pair of sunglasses! I'm sure you will look great with it and possibly even better if you pair it with the new Phillip Lim x Target collection coming this fall. Please send me your address and your sunnies are on their way. Thank you everyone for entering. Until next time!
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
I always find that an interior is most successful if owners inject themselves into the space; be it family photographs or things they collect. Luckily for connoisseurs who collect ancient Chinese bronze, they will have a chance to add to their collections by bidding at Sotheby's this fall. Of course the biggest pitfall for buying ancient Chinese Bronze has always been either fakes or they had been illegally dug up recently. But fear not, this collection has an impeccable provenance that you won't have to worry about any of these!
Monday, August 19, 2013
Christie's auction house is currently doing a small exhibition on Contemporary British Silversmiths in their London King Street premise this summer. 61 British craftsman made 186 pieces (some were made specifically for this exhibition) to exhibit their range. Some used traditional method such as hammering to make their ware while others resort to use computer-aided techniques. There are some amazing pieces in this selling exhibition. I particularly like the Arc 4 Jug by Martyn Pugh. The line of the jug is simple and elegant; goes perfectly with that B&B Italia table you just bought.
Friday, August 16, 2013
Crochet chair by Marcel Wanders struck the perfect balance of looking back and looking forward at the same time! The shape is not extraordinary nor is doily, but the combination of the two makes it so irresistible! This chair is perfect for adding a twist to your sleek modern interior.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
In about a month (September 15), Phillip Lim x Target collection will be unleashed. There will be tons of accessories to choose from! However, one of the accessory that was left out of the collection is sunglasses! Fear not my readers, I'm giving away a pair of 3.1 Phillip Lim sunnies! It's true that these are not from the Phillip Lim x Target collection, but can I say they are just as fabulous if not more because they are from his main collection line.
Please note: apologies to my international friends - I wish I could extend these giveaways to you but legal restrictions prevent it. Thanks for understanding.
Monday, August 12, 2013
There are gazillion sconces out there, but none as unique looking as Esterel sconces by Pagani Studio. I like the rock crystal rectangles that stagger on top of each other. The effect reminds me of Mondrian and cubist paintings. I think this particular design looks elegant and sublime. They are perfect for that long hallway or powder room. These scones are great example of designs that are interesting looking without screaming look at me!
Friday, August 9, 2013
I have a fascination with tea services. I'm always looking for interesting shapes be it art deco, contemporary, rococo, or mid century modern. I must have came across an article several years ago about American mid century modern silverware. One of the design that caught my eyes is Reed & Barton's Denmark line.
This line was designed by John Prip in 1958. After his gig at Reed & Barton, Prip went back to teach at School of Museum of Fine Arts in Boston as well as Rhode Island School of Design. He actually did several clean modern lines for Reed & Barton. For some reason, the Denmark line tends to come up on Ebay often with reasonable prices. I've seen this set sold for just couple hundred dollars in the past. In fact, currently there is a set comprise of coffee, sugar and cream for $80! Denmark line also have flatware and comes in silver plated finishes. Interestingly, the coffee and tea service comes in two different types of finishes: silver plated or pewter. Pewter sets usually sells for less than $100 on Ebay. The set is currently in the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC.
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Next time when you are at The Eternal City a.k.a. Rome, stop by Felice Restaurant. Every single pasta dish in this trattoria is cooked to perfection but you must have their Cacio e pepe. This Roman dish essentially consists of pasta (usually Spaghetti but at Felice they use homemade tonnarelli) with freshly shaved pecorino Romano cheese, black pepper, emulsified with pasta water and olive oil. When I was there, my waiter tossed it next to my table until the shaved cheese completely melted into pasta. The result was a creamy pungent dish that is so simple but yet perfect. Anyone who cooks regularly knows that cooking a great simple dish is the hardest task because there is no place to hide from imperfection. Let's just say Felice's Cacio e pepe defines perfection. Oh and just so you think you are done, don't forget to order their tiramisu. It is said that it's one of fashion designer Valentino's favorite place to take in his tiramisu. And frankly if it's good enough for Valentino, it's good enough for me. Just saying...
Monday, August 5, 2013
No, I'm not talking about Chippendales that one can find in Las Vegas. I'm talking about Thomas Chippendale, the genius cabinet maker in 18th century in England. This particular table was offered by Sotheby's auction house last month. It originally came from Harewood House in Leeds, Yorkshire. Don't let the word 'house' mislead you as this house is probably as big as your local library! Harewood is rather significant as the interior was designed by famed architect Robert Adam, the furnishing was done by Thomas Chippendale (the largest commission of his lifetime), and the landscape was laid out by the most famous 18th century landscape architect in England Capability Brown.
But enough about the house, let's talk about the this magnificent George III fruitwood, tulipwood, marquetry and giltwood pier table. In case you don't know what a pier table is, it is basically a low table that sits between two windows and typically there would be pier glass above the table. I just love the color of the table. It feels very warm and inviting. I can see it sitting in front of a deep gray colored wall in the entrance area of a 5th avenue apartment. I would just love to have this neoclassical pier table greet me daily as I walk into my apartment! Unfortunately I do not have the budget to acquire this museum worthy furniture (the mate to this table is still at Harewood)....it was last sold for close to 600k to a lucky bidder!
Friday, August 2, 2013
There are a handful of one Michelin Star restaurants on San Francisco peninsula. Madera is one of them. The location of the restaurant could not be more perfect. It is right on Sand Hill Road where all the tech venture capitalists are at. I went there to grab lunch and saw two types of lunch crowds: ladies who do lunch and VCs. Being that it is one of the few restaurant on peninsula that has a Michelin star, I had high expectations. Sure, it's not going to be as good as Baume restaurant in Palo Alto (two Michelin stars), but surely it should match up to Acquerello or Quince in the city right?
Well, it really depends on what you are looking for. Quality of the ingredients was very high. I had Fresh Rock Shrimp Tempura with Spicy Chili and Sesame Aioli. It was very good. The shrimp was definitely NOT overcooked. It was very juicy and tender. I guess I'm so used to eating turbo fried tempura shrimps at my local Japanese restaurants that I forgot what a well fried shrimp tempura should taste like. Next I had a Crab and Shrimp cake. They were delicious. The crab and shrimp cake was 75% crab and shrimp and 25% filling. Too often one orders crab cakes and you ended up with a lot of "cake" but not too much crab. This one is the opposite. The curry emulsion goes perfectly with the cake and mint leaves made a pan fried dish light. Who knew mint leaves does that?
All in all, I enjoyed the food here. I just wish the presentation of the food is more on par with Acquerello or Quince. With that said, perhaps their lunch presentation is more casual than the dinner one? I guess I will have to go back and check it out again. BTW, I was there for a birthday lunch and their freebie raspberry cake definitely leaves much to be desired. It felt more like something that Rosewood Sand Hill hotel (where the Madera is at) would leave at their customers' rooms as a welcome gift than the same kitchen that just served me expertly fried shrimp tempura.