Friday, February 28, 2014

Mirror mirror on the wall, who's the fairest bangle of them all?

I love jewelry inspired furniture.  It always bring another dimension to an interior.  By that I mean it amps up the glamor factor of a space.  This sexy and chic dining table is no exception.  I mean when was the last time you think of your dining table as something that any glam squad would admire?  This table also works as a library table as they can customize it to any size you want.  You can find more info at Hudson Furniture.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Den Blå Planet

Or in English it's called The Blue Planet.  This national aquarium in Denmark is breathtaking!  It is currently the largest and newest aquarium in Europe.  Located right outside of Copenhagen, architect 3XN was inspired by the circulating currents of the whirlpool.  By the look of the building, I say they hit the nail right in the head!  If you like this building, check out their newest monograph.  Their other projects are equally inspiring. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Benu on Hawthrone

Benu restaurant sits right at the same place where old Hawthrone Lane restaurant was.  That was the only thing both restaurant shared though.  Benu has consistently been rated as one of the best restaurant in San Francisco and there is a good reason for that....  food is exceptional (and they have two Michelin stars to prove it), service is on point, decor is understated, and the music choice is somewhat odd (to me anyway).

Its menu is Japanese/ Chinese inspired Californian cuisine.  The overall presentation is elegant, simple, and very precise.  My favorite experience has to be the birthday cake.  Our server came out with a wooden music box that has little LED lights under.  I crank the box and happy birthday song came out.  Turn out the wooden box has a plate underneath with a delicious birthday cake.  It was a very cute and a pleasant surprise.  I highly recommend this restaurant for every occasion.  

Friday, February 21, 2014

Régence vs Louis XV chairs

People know there is Louis XIV style and Louis XV style but did you know that between those two styles, there is also a period called Régence style?  Between 1715 and 1723, France was actually governed by a Regent named Phillpe d'Orleans due to Louis XV's young age. 

Many people are confused with Louis XV style (right green chair) and Régence style (left brown chair) because they look somewhat similar.  In fact, I see a lot of people mistakenly called Régence style furniture Louis XV.  But then again, the mistake is understandable given that most people are not aware that Régence style exist.

The easiest way to differentiate a Louis XV chair versus a Régence chair is look at the feet.  If there is an x-stretcher connecting all four legs but have undulating legs like most Louis XV style chairs, it's most likely a Régence chair.  If there is none, then it's a Louis XV chair.  It's as simple as that.  Of course there is other differences such as shape of the back (in the example above the shape of the back is different but often Régence chair back is shape very similar to the green chair example above), how undulated the legs are, the overall look of the chair.  Louis XV chairs should look more delicate and free form.   Régence chair will often look heavier because it's transitioning from a formal Louis XIV style into a less formal XV style.

Now that you know the difference between a Régence and Louis XV chairs, go to your local museum and test yourself! 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Menacing digital chair!

This has to be one of the most menacing looking chair out there!  It looks very hard edged and uncomfortable to sit on.......  But I love it!  I admire Zhang Zhoujie's creativity and his tenacity to make his designs come to life.  To me, this chair looks almost manga-ish... so out of this world...  See more of this China born and British trained work here

Monday, February 17, 2014

The excellent adventures of Charles & Ray Eames

One of the most creative pair in 20th century has to be Charles and Ray Eames.  I had the pleasure to work on the "Work of Charles and Ray Eames: A Legacy of Invention" exhibition at Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2000.  It was very cool to dig through LACMA's Eames collection.  I remember going to LACMA West, which was the former May Department Stores building at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, and cataloging what was there.  LACMA was lucky that Eames front office at the 901 Washington Boulevard in Venice was donated to them awhile back.  The museum literally had everything lock, stock, and barrel.... down to clay flower pots.  I knew whom Charles and Ray Eames were at the time but I would say I have much more appreciation of their craft today than back then.  It was fun coming across this PBS documentary.  It's about hour and a half long.  If you are a Modernism fan or an architecture student, you owe yourself to watch this excellent documentary.   Watch the Full Documentary Film

Friday, February 14, 2014

Missoni bag winner revealed!

Drum roll please.......and the winner of the Missoni bag giveaway on this Valentines day is....... Jen F.!!!  Congrats and please send me your US mailing address!!!  Thank you all for entering.  Until next time!  Have a great Valentines day.  XOXO

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Secret Gardens in Los Angeles that most out of town visitors skip?

It has to be the Huntington Botanical Gardens and Library in San Marino.  Typically visitors to LA would go to the Getty Museums, Hollywood, Disneyland, and Universal Studios.  They may even go to the muscle/ Venice beach or Santa Monica Piers.  But most don't venture inland to Pasadena area.  But if they do, they would discover one of the best gardens in Southern California.

Huntington Botanical Gardens and Library is more than just whole bunch gardens and a library, it also has a very nice fine and decorative art collection.  The main mansion that Henry Huntington used to live now displayed his collection of English and French art.  Probably one of the prolifically copied painting in the world is Gainsborough’s Blue Boy and Lawrence’s Pinkie.  Pretty much every antique store I ever been to probably has a copy of either and or both (which drives me crazy but that's another story)!

The gardens (207 acres) here are to die for.  Some of my favorite is the rose garden (when it's summer time and all the roses are open, the fragrance of the roses are just intoxicating) and the Japanese Garden.  In the Japanese Garden section, they have a large collection of bonsai.  These bonsais are kept meticulously.  Every year Golden State Bonsai Federation holds annual fundraiser for the GSBF Collection.  I've been to the gathering once and the bonsais displayed at the event were just marvelous!

I have yet to explore all the gardens at the Huntington Gardens.  My next goal is to see the Chinese garden.  It was built in 2000 and from the pictures I've seen, it looked amazing.  I'm sure it is gorgeous in person.  Can't wait to see it on my next trip to Los Angeles!               

Monday, February 10, 2014

If only this bomber jacket can swim in water....

Exotic?  Yes.  Crazily price?  Yes.  Timeless?  Yes.  Something a bit more luxurious from Lanvin is this water snake leather bomber.  The color is amazing and so is the texture.  And it's not loud enough that if you wear this 5 years from now, people won't be like "isn't this from 2014?"  Lanvin

Friday, February 7, 2014

Plates fit for a queen! Literally.

Commissioned by Catherine the Great of Russia in 1773, this 952-piece Frog Service was one of the most expensive commission that Wedgwood created.  Each piece was to display scenes from English estates which required 1244 illustrations (Hermitage states 1244 although Victoria & Albert museum states 1222).  The result was magnificent and fit for a queen!  The set included 680 dinner and 264 dessert pieces for 50 people.  But today, you don't have to be a queen of Russia to own some Frog Service pieces.  Wedgwood have decided to make special edition.  The frog is now gold instead of green and the edge of the plates are now gilded as well.  Who says you can't eat like a queen?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Big Bulb wall sconce

Industrial cool comes into my mind when I see the Big Bulb Wall Light.  Designed by Italian designer Loris Sensolini, it is impossibly chic for something that looks so retro and yet so now.  It comes in polish nickel or polish brass finishes and the wire comes in red or black.  Perfect for powder room or long hallways.  Get your fix here.    

Monday, February 3, 2014

Is that a Rolling Stone Bomber Jacket?

There's no doubt that Hedi Slimane was inspired by Rolling Stone for Spring 2014 collection.  I love this Saint Laurent Paris Black Sequin Embroidered Viscose Bomber Jacket.  A bit flashy really but a nice statement piece nonetheless.  I always think a person needs one in your face piece every season and this bomber jacket is definitely it IMO.  Mr Porter.