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Friday
Apr302010

Lookup / Sip / Kiss-Kiss / Chat / Sip / Lookup / Chat / Sip / Chat / Lookup

There it is – a simple synopsis of a great night in the city... The Urban Electric Co.hosted an evening with Richard Mishaan on a chilly February 9th to celebrate our recent collaboration.

It was an exciting evening that brought out so many of our favorite magazine editors, fellow designers, clients and friends. (I'm not Suzy so you will have to peek at the pictures to see the who's who). Cocktails started at 7pm as did the first of the look up /chat /sip /kiss-kiss. It all began at Richard's amazing office downtown as the introduction to the collection was viewed in situ from conference room to powder room. Looking up you'd see The Venetian , The Athena or The Kings Road… Chatter was abundant with Richard or several of our favorite editors … two of which being Margaret Russell of Elle Décor and Sarah Medford of Town & Country. Sip a lot... hors d oeuvre very little... sip and start all over again.


At 9-ish we took the party down the road with a short walk over to Estancia – look up outside to see the start of the looming snow storm. The restaurant was closed for our seated celebratory dinner (with a seating chart that had all the maneuvers of a kell on earth episode). We sipped more, chatted a lot more and then ate an amazing supper – it was a perfect evening.


Note – next up we'll be bringing Richard on the road to an exclusive Richard Mishaan/Elle Decor book signing in our Atlanta Showroom… will we see you there?



Friday
Apr092010

A conversation with Barbara Westbrook

 Westbrook Interiors, Atlanta, GA,  www.westbrookinteriors.com

1. Best Design Tip you have learned:

Not to be afraid to move things around. If you have planned to use a chair and ottoman in one spot on a plan, but it looks better on the opposite side then by all means move it. Thank goodness furniture, art, etc. is mobile.

2. Favorite Design books or Most recent Design books you bought:

I enjoy any of the books found on the Beta Plus website. The Europeans know how to use their wonderful materials and keep it looking fresh and modern. You often find a more contemporary kitchen in a house full of textured materials like antique stone and rustic beams. I also find great inspiration in Thad Hayes work so I have a copy of his book at home and one at the office. It reminds me how important editing is. He also does not get stuck in a rut but his decoration always speaks to the architecture.

3. What do you collect?

I unfortunately collect shoes. I love them. I did not start buying beautiful shoes until I turned forty when a client of mine told me that my shoes looked like an old ladies. (She is 20 years my senior, but is as stylish and cool as they come.) I saw the error of my ways and fell in love with shoes.

4. What is your favorite UECO light and why?

I absolutely love the Altamont by Darryl Carter. This sconce can be mounted in a very contemporary bathroom or sprinkled down the stairs of a more traditional space. It crosses all those boundaries between modern and traditional, dressy and casual.

5. How have you incorporated UECo lights into your installations?

One of the most recent installations is in a library in a European style house in Greenville, SC. We used the Maxine library light over all the bookcases. They look terrific in the clean traditional space.

6. Your six picks of favorite UECo lights:

Melissa
Belle Meade
Metro Shaw Dover Bell
Lyford

7. Top/Favorite Design Resources or Top 3 Design Resources you can't live without

I have a couple of antique shops that I return to again and again. The first is Robuck and Co. (www.robuckandcompany.com) with the most fabulous Italian antiques in the country right here in Atlanta. The second is Linda Horsley Antiques (www.horsleyantiques.com). I adore the way she puts her shop together. She has a great eye and unique way of mixing the mundane with unusual antiques. Then, there is Urban Electric, of course, with great lighting!

8. What or who inspires you?

I am inspired by nature and fashion. After all, God is the great designer. We are wonderfully made and so is His creation. All I have to do is walk through my neighborhood and look up, the sky is always a different color and pattern. I also love the layouts in fashion magazines with the different textures and colors. I find the current Etro series with all the paisley to be particularly creative and have planned a client's study around the palette.

Friday
Feb262010

A Sneak Peek into UECo. Atlanta

Our Marketing Director and In-house Graphic Designer/Photographer recently visited from Charleston to see the new Atlanta showroom and begin planning for the grand opening event April 1st. They were as impressed as we are being here every day! Here is an inside look at The Urban Electric Company – Atlanta.

Call or email to set up an appointment to visit (404.815.8066, info@urbanelectricco.com) and while here, look forward to visiting the other amazing destinations within White Provision. Some of our new local "fav's"… JCT Kitchen and Bar: www.jctkitchen.com, West Egg: www.westeggcafe.com, Star Provisions: www.starprovisions.com, Sid Mashburn: www.sidmashburn.com and Bungalow Classic: www.bungalowclassic.com.

 

 

 

 

Tuesday
Dec152009

A Conversation with Glenn Gissler

Glenn Gissler Design, New York, www.glenngisslerdesign.com 

1. What do you collect?

I collect art, architecture and design books – I literally own thousands! And I have been told that books breed in the night! I collect drawings – modern and contemporary – if I could, I would own thousands, instead I own a couple of hundred. And I collect decorative arts – ceramics, silver, glass, and metal. My taste ranges from the rustic to the fussy Aesthetic Movement, American, African, Chinese, Japanese, B.C., etc. I love the works of the early English industrial designer Christopher Dresser as he was one of the first designers to struggle with the question of “What is modern?” Many of the answers that he came up with look VERY modern indeed. I find too that these objects breed in the night!

2. How have you incorporated UECo lights into your installations?

Here are two examples.
I have included an image of a Powder Room in New York City where I used a pair of customized “Cay” sconces in oil rubbed bronze, with antique mercury glass mirror backs and in a custom size that are mounted on either side of a bronze mirror fame, and sit over a custom bronze washstand with a hones Uba Tuba stone top.
 
The second image is in the stairwell of a new ‘old’ house in Westchester County. I hung a “Seven Springs” lantern to create a strong center to this space. The strong architecture of this fixture creates a commanding presence that complements the simple stair rail and the client’s antique Kesa textile that hangs on the wall.

3. Paint Colors that you like to use.

I love almost all of the colors in the Donald Kaufman Color Collection! And when budgets allow working directly with Donald Kaufman and Taffy Dahl to create fully custom colors is not only fun, but the results are sublime!  Every color has a full range of color pigments in them which gives them a luminosity that goes way beyond our normal expectations, and experiences with paint!

4. Favorite Design Books

The Decoration of Houses by Edith Wharton & Ogden Codman Jr.; Charles Scribners & Sons, 1897
For me this is the single most intelligent book on interior design that I own. This was Edith Whatron’s first book – yes, before all of her novels about the upper class in the late 19th century! While the illustrations to illustrate the ideas outlined in the book are typically fine and antique examples of fine European homes, the ideas are quite essential and transcend specific styles. It is currently available in a gorgeous reprint of the original book with deckled edge paper et al!
 
Axel Vervoordt - The Story of a Style; Assouline, 2001
This book has gorgeous photographs of some of Axel Vervoordt’s projects. He is a master of many things, but for me he is an excellent curator and a connoisseur of the fine, the archaic and  art from all time periods. He assembles these objects is ways they make them feel important and relevant to a modern and educated eye whether one’s propensity is to the traditional, or the modern.
 
Every Room Tells a Story Tales from the Pages of nest Magazine; Edited by Joseph Holtzman D.A.P / Distributed Art Publishers, Inc New York
Joseph Holtzman and his team at nest Magazine made thinking outside of the box a way of life and the basis to create a design magazine. While I prefer the actual issues of the magazine, now out of print, this book serves as a reminder to us all that there is a lot more room to expand our creative boundaries than we think! nest had its readers consider igloos, prison cell, quirky projects by Renzo Mongiardino, Jacques Grange, Richard Tuttle and Mei-Mei Berssengbrugge in New Mexico and much, much more!

5. What do you like about working with The Urban Electric Co.

I love many things about the Urban Electric Co.!
 
I think of this as an American company in absolutely the best possible way! The fixtures are made by hand and in America – which is a novel approach in this day and age. I have had the pleasure of visiting their manufacturing facility which only reinforced my appreciation for UECo approach to business.
 
I love the diversity of the fixture selections with many of them sharing a wonderful blend between what I think of as a Colonial simplicity, and classicism with an early 20th century industrial quality. Lighting is one of the most important things about my design work, and people often comment on how distinctive the fixtures are that I use, and Urban Electric Co. is certainly in my favorite resources fro lighting!
 
And I love the people at UECo! I have had the pleasure to meet the owner, floor managers, their in-house designer and their PR people – they are all wonderful! And no, they did not pay me to say this!

6. Your Six Picks of favorite UECo lights: 

Urban Smokebell
Dover Ball Seven Springs Oculus Cay Lyford Hang
Monday
Nov092009

A Conversation with Bettina Routh

Bettina Routh, LLC, Greenwich, CT, (203) 661-1122 

1. What inspires you?

Great architecture inspires me. If an architect has provided high ceilings, the right amount and correct placement of windows in each room (too many can be a designer's nightmare), generous moldings, casings and door openings, and good room proportion, the interior design flows easily from there. Symmetry that provides a beautiful vista from one room into the next is an architectural gift and a wonderful vignette opportunity for the designer.

2. Favorite part of home to design?

Hands down, my favorite part of the home to design is the Master Bedroom. It is the most personal space in a home, so you need to know your clients very well. This room is all about comfort and relaxation, where the lighting, acoustics, and bed are located becomes the most important element.

3. Tried & True tricks you use to update a house

If you are trying to update with minimal messy (and expensive) construction, I like to make sure that baseboard and crown moldings are generous, bookcase shelves are nice and thick, and that hardware on curtains, bookcases and doors, are of excellent quality with the metal finish that you really want. Don't feel that you need to be stuck with the cheap brass hardware that the builder or owners before you had chosen. Don't skimp when it comes to the hardware, moldings, and light fixtures in your home as they are like the jewelry in any room.

I also love to paint the back interior of bookcases in a rich color to add depth and show off your books and objects. This gives you an opportunity to add just a splash of color in perhaps an otherwise more neutral room.

4. Paint Colors you like to use

One of my all time favorite paint colors is Clunch by Farrow & Ball. It is the most perfect neutral that seems to adapt with the weather. It is beautiful in any kind of room on a bright sunny or stormy gray day. Clunch is also the perfect wall color as a backdrop for artwork.

5. What is your favorite UECo. light and why?

It changes constantly, but currently my favorite is the Virginia Hanging Lantern. It is the perfect combination of a classic shape with an updated modern twist. I will be installing two of them, oversized with restoration glass, in a barn-style great room with a 22 foot high, white-washed wood-planked ceiling. Even as large as they are, they feel light and airy and won't over power the room - can't wait to see them hanging in the space.

6. How have you incorporated UECo. into your installations?

I've used many hanging fixtures over kitchen islands and staircases. The ability to custom color the lanterns with a painted metal finish has allowed me to customize fixtures to work with kitchen cabinets, wall stencils, etc. when other metal finishes may not work. While I have used several wall mounted fixtures, I particularly love the soft light of the Belle Meade wall sconce, which I used in a banquette niche. (see photo)

7. Three Luxury Elements to include in interior design?

1. Fresh flowers, always
2. One chair or ottoman covered in splurge fabric (ie. An embroidered fabric, a great leather, or any fabric by Robert Kime)
3.A valuable piece of art in an unpredictable place

8. Favorite place to visit for design inspiration:

Venice: for the rich art history, wonderfully chic Italians, and Fortuny fabric.

9. Six Favorite fixtures If I can only choose six faves, they'd be:

Virginia Lantern, Piedmont Lantern (oh so versatile!), Andrew reflector sconce (especially wonderful in dining rooms), Maxine Up-Down (great on bookcases), Garrison (nice solution for people who don't like sconces with shades, but also don't like seeing a bare bulb), Melissa Table and Floor Lamps. 

Virginia Piedmont Andrew Reflector Maxine Up Down Garrison Melissa