Shagreen, Anyone?

Shagreen is such a soft, poetic word to my ears. From the French “chagrin“.  J’ai du chagrin literally means “I am disappointed or saddened” but in a grand, quite serious and dramatic way.

Shagreen is a spotted like, granular leather made from the hide of sharks and sting rays. Used throughout the centuries from Europe to Asia to make small decorative objects, cover sword handles or entire pieces of furniture, shagreen found its glorious expression in the Art Deco Period. Today it is still in use but has recently found a renaissance of sorts in its imitation form : “faux shagreen”.

I am drawn to its mysterious name and aspect, which gives depth and texture to the pieces it covers.

A few current favorites:

Faux Shagreen Trays

Faux shagreen trays- Jayson Home.

Faux shagreen octogonal lamp-Gracious Home

faux shagreen-Oka

 

Faux shagreen Lantau chest of drawers with real gold leafed handles and base-Oka

Faux Shagreen Box, Small, Charcoal

 Faux shagreen box-West Elm

Grey faux shagreen mirror-Jonathan Charles Furniture

Hope you enjoyed!

ABC Home and its Little Culinary Jewel

While visiting with my sisters in New York, I had the wonderful opportunity of having lunch at ABC Kitchen, situated in the ABC Home building. A charming and vast room, with a gloriously high ceiling held by visible (thank you!) wood beams, white brick walls, the restaurant is simply a feast for the eyes and mouth. Created by chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and dining mogul Phil Suarez, the restaurant offers a locally grown and organic cuisine of the finest quality. The construction of the restaurant is made of recycled and sustainable materials and decorated with an array of tastefully designed items such as: a medley of softly lit chandeliers, comfy white steelwood chairs, handmade porcelain dinnerware by local artisan Jan Burtz, recycled and pleasantly shabby-chic European porcelain plates.

ABC Kitchen softly lit seating area.

Some of my favorites dishes included the Roasted beets with house-made yogurt, the Spinach, goat cheese and herbs pizza, and the Gazpacho with watermelon and tomatoes:

ABC Kitchen Gazpacho soup served in a Jan Burtz bowl.

The service was impeccable. Young and friendly servers popped in and out of the kitchen at lightning speed, yet managing to seem unrushed,  gracefully depositing plate after plate on tables. My sister is friendly with one of the sous-chefs there, the talented Ross Mendoza, and we thrilled to have a quick chat with him after our meal.

One word: Dessert. Please, please indulge. The toasted almond Panna Cotta is SUBLIME.

Now, on to the store itself. Meandering in the ABC Home aisles I found myself having to take deep, calming breaths. Thoughts going through my head : How can I check out all these beautiful offerings in just under two hours?? Remind me why don’t I live in New York again?! This place truly feels like a museum exhibit!

A few eye-catching sightings:

Handmade Italian dinnerware at ABC Home.
More Italian handmade tableware at ABC Home.
Stunning arrangement of containers and stones on a back lit surface. ABC Home.
ABC Home has a love affair with lights. And it shows…

 

Lovely geometric pendant at ABC Home.

 

Paper bubble pendant at ABC Home.
Stunning Murano Glass chandelier with a painted iron chandelier in the background.
Blu Dot Floor Lamp with red cord at ABC Home.

Textiles and pillows abound. I particularly enjoyed these indigo items:

Indigo Blue Pillows.

 

Indigo Blue blankets and textiles.
Intricate patterned blue pillow by Eskayel.

I loved how the pillows and blankets were organized by color hues:

Superb pillow and blankets arranged on a shelf at ABC Home.

There were many other fascinating floors are items but I just cannot cover all. Make sure to check the Raw section (a space dedicated to industrial vintage finds), the Cobble Hill furniture line:

Cobble Hill furniture upstairs at ABC Home.

And take the time to check out spaces with quietly gorgeous pieces such as above the restaurant, if you go up that staircase, you can find cream and wood and metal sculptural beauties such as:

Jaw dropping imposing French fountain at ABC Home (I would estimate it measured about 4 feet in diameter).

Dashing across the street to the ABC Home Rug building, 10 minutes before closing, I was able to take a glimpse at one of my favorite rug designer, the great Madeline Weinrib:

Madeline Weinrib cotton flatweave rugs.

Voilà, my friends! Hope you enjoyed my tour. Clearly, I shall have to visit ABC Home again very soon.

Blue Day Shopping

Last week my post was about feeling blue and the wonderful atmospheric quality of the  color blue.

This week I explore interesting items to shop for a Blue Day. Whether you like to be totally immersed in blue or just use pops of it here and there in your interiors, I have something for you!

Please have a seat:

Accessories, extra seating and coffee table:

Pillows, rugs and mirror:

Blue Fabrics: