Friday, August 31, 2007

The Kitchen Designer in Better Homes & Gardens

Blogging friend Susan Serra, The Kitchen Designer, designed the kitchen above which is featured in the month's Better Homes & Gardens Magazine. Way to go Susan!

Branding the Famous: Princess Diana

Today is the 10th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana. I must admit - I watched the wedding, the funeral and remember where I was when I heard she had died. My parents were in London that week and they said that it was crazy with the mobs of people, the flowers and all the disruptions.

She was the most photographed person in history; as a matter of fact, I heard on NRP tonight that fashion mags in London would see a 25% increase in sales when Diana was on the cover. I'm sure that was true in the US as well.

So, it's not surprising to see her legacy live on in branded home furnishings as well. In the case of The Althorp Living History Collection, we have Diana's brother, Charles, Earl Spencer who has licensed a line of furnishings based on the family ancestral home. Made by Theodore Alexander, the furniture is really beautiful. I used a couple of the cabinets in a client project and they really make the space. This is a pretty subtle Diana branding - for instance, there are no photos of the princess used in the marketing or on the main website.

On the other hand, we have Paul Burrell, who was Princess Diana's butler. Mr. Burrell has launched the Royal Butler Collection of furniture and carpets. Mr. Burrell liberally uses Diana's image, and his own, on his website. The collection is filled with pretty standard fare. Not bad looking, but not particularly special.

And finally, here are a couple of random "tribute" pieces:

Princess Diana Settle at Riley Brothers

What do we think? Good... not good, inspirational, time to move on?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Green Design: When what is old is new again

I just posted piece on a new Green Sofa at The Upholstery Blog. Made by Heller Furniture, this piece is based on a design by Benjamin Thomas, FAIA. Noted architect, designer and founder of Design|Research in Cambridge, MA.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Marj Bates Studios - Glass Things

I love these art glass finials and drawer pulls from Marj Bates Studios.

She also offers do-it-yourself kits and workshops in the Boston area.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Travel Tuesday - The Library Hotel

Travel Tuesday has been on vacation for a few weeks, but a hot tip from Ms. Place sent me to The Library Hotel in New York.

The Library Hotel is conveniently located on Madison Avenue and 41st Street, also known as Library Way, just steps away from the majestic New York Public Library, Bryant Park, Pierpont Morgan Library, the exquisitely renovated Grand Central Terminal and all that Midtown Manhattan has to offer.

Designed to feel more like a private club than a hotel, each of the Library's richly appointed accommodations are individually adorned with art and a collection of books that relate to the room's unique theme.

I love the elegant comfort that just leaps off the pages. A readers' paradise!

Historically Inaccurate Decorative Arts

How fun are these embellished textiles from Historically Inaccurate Decorative Arts?

I love the humor and whimsy of these pieces. What a conversation piece!