Brizo, Water, Bloggers and Jason Wu

You may be wondering why I would bunch these words in my title together. Where am I getting at??

Definitions:

Brizo: Brizo is “a premium faucet brand that promises distinctive design, inventive faucets and accessories that make a fashion statement in the home”.

Water: We all know what water is. Water is graceful, clean, soothing, in perpetual movement.

Bloggers: A contraction of two words, “web” and “log” is at the origin of the word “blog”. Blogging is a form of online public journal keeping or journalism where the blogger has freedom of press and puts a lot of him/herself in the writing. Hyperlinks allow the readers to be redirected to related articles or.websites.

Jason Wu: Jason Wu  is a talented Taiwanese-Canadian Fashion Designer who lives in New York City. Among other things, he designed Michelle Obama’s Inaugural Ball dresses, two flowy, very long dresses, Ruby red velvet and chiffon for this year’s Presidential Inauguration Ball, white chiffon in January 2009.

About Shot

Jason Wu, photo via JasonWuStudio.com.

Brizo deals with Water and design and Wu deals with movement and design. Water moves. Bloggers move ideas and Design bloggers are designers or writers interested in the design process.

Jason Wu and Brizo have been collaborating on a special fashion forward line of faucets and shower systems for a few years now and Brizo is Wu‘s main sponsor.

I think you’re starting to see the correlations…

jason-wu shower Shower

Jason Wu for Brizo Medium Flow Custom Shower

Today’s post is about how Brizo, Water, Wu, and Bloggers will be reunited for a very special event.

Drum Roll Please:

Brizo has invited me and 18 other bloggers to New York to see its newest products and attend an exclusive expenses-paid, design-focused event during Fashion Week.

The New York City event will include an introduction to the Brizo brand and interactive sessions with the product and design teams as well as the chance to build or strengthen the camaraderie between other elite design professionals through meals, team projects and unique shared experiences.

We’ll take a trip to see esteemed fashion designer Jason Wu show off his Fall 2013 collection at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and cap off the entire event with a private cocktail party with Jason Wu himself.

It is a formidable opportunity and I am truly truly honored to be part of it. To meet other designers and share ideas about creation and design is very exciting. Traveling to these types of VIP events on occasion is not about glitz for me. I’m just a nerdy gal in love with beauty and design.  I cannot wait to learn about fabrication and technology and exchange with my colleagues.
I applaud brands like Brizo or Kravet (Read my blog about last year’s Blogfest 2012) who understand how we are all in this together. If designers learn about products, then they can collaborate better and sell something they truly know and understand. And simultaneously,  brands benefit from exchanging with designers, who deal with clients’ needs and tastes on a daily basis.
We all gain from interacting with each other and I have learned this firsthand with Interior Designer Chat, a weekly Twitter platform chat (twitter handle: @IntDesignerChat) founded by Barbara Segal, where dedicated designers, vendors, and other professionals share and discuss diverse topics related to design. Frankly, it’s like going off to a weekly fantastic seminar!

And boy, am I looking forward to this Brizo “seminar”!!!

 

Interiors Magazine? One word: Wow.

I had the pleasure of attending a panel hosted by Interiors Magazine editorial director Michael Wollaeger while at BLOGFEST 2012 . Guests included designer extraordinaire Miles Redd, architectural photography pioneer  Peter Aaron and style editor/blogger Marisa Marcantonio.

Back in my Boston area office,  I opened the June/July issue. My jaw dropped. I turned a few more pages.  No, this was not a dream! One word: Wow.

Reading through this magazine is like reading a beautiful Art book. One needs to savor images slowly, taking regular breaks in the process. The interiors are absolutely breathtaking, and the photographs are pure and transparent, showcasing the rooms perfectly, as if one were standing very still, taking in the space.

Here are five interiors in this issue that struck me as being powerful:

French Interior Designer Pierre Yovanovitch, who used to be a Fashion Design for Pierre Cardin,  created this lovely built in sitting area for a Parisian couple in their 17th arrondissement flat.
Designer Kevin Dumais created a textural, soothing and minimal look for this modern Nashville home. Dumais draws inspiration from the Seventies. I love how the oak library shelves and paneling contrast with the metal fireplace, the mohair sofa and clear coffee table.
Sitting area in the same house by Dumais. I love the blues and pale camels and the interplay between the architectural perspectives in the wall art and the geometric rug.
Capri kitchen by Architect Guilano Andrea Dell’Uva. White lime was applied to the ancient stone walls, creating depth and texture. I love the gigantic cut out of the  black windows against the zippy white and yellow. A brilliant composition.
Candace Cavanaugh designed this glamorous bedroom in San Francisco. The color scheme in this bedroom is very attractive and restful : citrine , black and greys. I like that this bedroom is not too grandiose, and maintains a sense of whimsy (ie: the bathing suit painting, unusual bergère and general textural interest of materials )

And finally, I’d like to post a WOW of my own selection, I’d love to share this gorgeous interior by Windsor Smith, one of my favorite designers:

Windsor Smith Interior. A master of balance, color, shape and texture.

My apologizes for taking mediocre photos of the Interiors Magazine photos: I hope this article entices you to check out their wonderful magazine, which exists in a paper and an online version!

A la prochaine!

 

 

 

 

Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse, Savant and what a Show!-Blogfest 2012

When:  Day 1 of Blogfest 2012, Monday May 21st

Where: Kips Bay Decorator Show House, The Aldyn Residences, 60 Riverside Blvd, New York

After the ICFF, Blogfest 2012 attendees were whisked off in buses to Kips Bay for the grand Kickoff of the tour, hosted by the lovely Margaret Russell, Editor in Chief of Architectural Digest.

What is a Show House, you ask? Simply put, a designer show house is a space in which  different rooms are decorated by a few select and talented Interior Designers or Decorators, who are usually given a very short time frame to do their magic. The amount of hair pulling to meet deadlines must be tremendous, but the interiors created are superb and offer a wonderful venue for designers to showcase their talent. Show Houses benefit a charity: they are typically associated with a fundraising event, and can be visited for a fee. Kips Bay is famous for its extraordinary show of designer rooms and benefits the Kips Boys & Girls Club located in the Bronx.

The Show House celebrated its 40th anniversary this year.

If you can imagine more than 160 bloggers/interior designers squeezing themselves through the penthouse rooms, you will understand why I have a limited amount of quality wide angle photos to show :-) I concentrated on selecting  mini vignettes to share with my readers.

Entering the Aldyn Lobby.
The massive and sculptural ceiling lighting in the Aldyn lobby was not to miss.
“In Memoriam of Albert Hadley” By Bunny Williams, David Kleinberg, and Brian McCarthy. I love this wood mirror above the console table. Of course the branches contribute to giving this vignette grandeur and an organic feel.
“The Cabana” by Scott Sanders. Scott was in the room himself and kindly answered my questions. His room was bubbling with good humor. I loved the yellow grasscloth covering the walls, against this white lacquered desk by Lorin Marsh.
Another vignette in Scott Sanders’ Room. Gorgeous alabaster lamp by Lorin Marsh.
“The Conservatory” by Neal Beckstedt Studio. Le Corbusier Chaise.

 

Lovely, stylish vignette by Neal Beckstedt. Italian 1950s Bar Cart.
Neal Beckstedt. Neal and I exchanged a few words on the importance of texture, and I feel he does a superb job of layering and telling a story. Chevron Gear Table Lamp by Robert Altman. Blue sculptural bowl by Martin Kline.
“Foyer” by Timothy Miller of Timothy and Associates. Timothy was very excited to be invited to decorate the Kips Bay for the first time! His use of two Daum Tulip vases-including an ultraviolet one- with discreet back lighting was spectacular on the Rosewood Saarinen table. I had never seen one with a rosewood pedestal but Timothy informed me it was a unique piece.
“Kidz Rule” by Laura Bohn Design Associates. This bedroom was just fantastic, a little green and red fuzzy and textured cave for little ones. Cabrio In Space saving unit with desk/integrated bed, Edward Fields round spiral shag rug, M2L, Inc Tatino and Tatone red ottoman and seat.

“The Writing Room” by Chuck Fischer Studio. Chuck was happy to take questions and explained he created and hand painted the Chinoiserie Mural, as well as the Lee Jofa desk chair. I liked the pale and soothing melons and roses in this room, mixed with browns and blues.
Another view of a spectacular retro two arm floor lamp Chuck found at  Alan Moss Antiques.
“Gentleman’s Study” by David Scott Interiors. David (shown seated here) had created a very layered, masculine and glamorous study which I really enjoyed.
Here he is pictured in front of the most striking Larry Zox painting, a lesser known but rising artist who found success during the Color Field Movement of the 60’s.  The painting did a lot to the room, creating a wow effect.
Sculpted Bronze étagère by Paul Evans in this David Scott study, George III writing table, Jacques Adnet floor lamp.
Custom Omnibus Chaise Lounge by Vladimir Kagan Couture across from the desk.
“Le Bureau Privé (The Private Office)” by the very talented Raji Radhakrishnan (Raji RM & Associates). Sebastian Ezzaruiz Tilt Bookcase and Ralph Lauren Collector Desk.
Another view of Raji’s Room with Christophe Côme Loukoum Lamps.

 

Margaret Russell, editor of Architectural Digest, is shown here just before kicking off the event with Beth Greene, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Branding for Kravet, and the mastermind behind Blogfest 2012
Kravet is a 4th Generation family owned company and the organizer of Blogfest 2012. Here pictured are Lisa Kravet (her back is towards the camera), Thom Filicia on her right, and directly across from Lisa, is her husband, Cary Kravet, head of the company. My apologizes for the awkward angle, but I was stuck in a crowd, and my small stature never helps in these situations :-)

After champagne and this extraordinary tour,  we were off to Savant to learn about automation systems for residential and commercial applications.

Floating TV screen projected behind this bathroom mirror. Note, reflected in mirror is the wall control panel, allowing for control of lights and TV in the room. All Savant interiors in the NY showroom are decorated by Thom Filicia.
Great shower tiling detail in the same bathroom.

After this, some of us continued on to the next venue, Savoir Beds, to try out luxury mattresses and nibble on lemon and chocolate cakes. Savoir is a line Savoy Hotel created back in 1905 to keep their guests comfortably tucked in!

It was a fabulous day filled with intensive learning and discovery. Thank you, Kravet and thank you, Blogfest 2012!

 

 

Aha Moment ?!!!

While at Blogfest, we were encouraged by House Beautiful editors to write about what inspires us, what might have been the moment in our life that prompted us to choose this profession, or what “AHA moments” we encounter in our daily work.

I have to say Aha Moments abound in my life. Like the time I realized very early on I was happiest creating and working with COLOR.

A little French girl growing up in Washington DC, bound to the rigid system of the French School I attended, I quickly found the freedom and joy of color in illustrations I created inside my French “cahiers” (notebooks) :

Illustration in my “cahier” at the French School.

Later as a brooding teenager, I perfected my craft to include realistic illustrations of other brooding creators (here Baudelaire, as a child):

Illustration of Baudelaire, enfant, by Barbara Elza Hirsch

I fancied myself a talented designer in the making: my goal was to be a fashion designer. From age 10 on, I had developed a mad crush on FABRIC and spent my time making little outfits for my barbies, or inventing little bags and decorative boxes out of Marimekko fabrics.

A vestige of my passion for fabric and creating (note the little ruby stone patiently sewn on to the bustier):

After high school, I moved to Paris and went to Art School, and later, to Studio Berçot, one of the top Fashion Design Programs. I madly scribbled and created designs for diverse collections:

Fashion Illustration by Barbara Elza Hirsch
Sweater line created by Barbara Elza Hirsch back in the 80’s.
Little summer bags created by Barbara Elza Hirsch while a student at Studio Bercot.

Alas, my career as fashion designer was never to be. I HATED the fashion world! If you’ve ever seen The devil Wears Prada, you know what I am referring to.

Little did I know that somewhere deep inside, was an interior designer in the making. Years later, as a wife and mother still enamored by COLOR and passionate about DESIGN, I found my true calling : Interior Design!

Interior designers were a friendlier bunch, and the freedom I encountered in creating designs was thrilling. Aha! I thought! It’s all coming together:

My love of fabric:

Windsor Smith fabric for Kravet on wing chair with contrasting piping. Custom creation by Elza B. Design, Inc.

My love of color:

A color scheme on a current Elza B. Design project. Inspired by a beautiful painting my client owns.

And just the joy of seeing it all come together:

Living Room created by Elza B. Design, Inc

But, wait! Look at what I just found in my childhood notebooks:

“Life is a Big Room” by Barbara Hirsch, done as a child.

Aha! I should have known :-) There was a room in me after all.

Crazy, Vibrant New York : ICFF Finds (Merci, BlogFest 2012)

I dragged my luggage through long corridors, up into the subway, down escalators and carried bulging bags filled with awesome magazines, incredible gifts from BlogFest2012, battled rain and ended walking barefoot in Brooklyn on a particularly pouring evening; I met design celebrity after design celebrity, spoke with amazing people, stuffed my pockets with business cards and toasted many champagne glasses; I met an amazing family owned business (the one and only Kravet), snapped picture after picture, took notes and went to bed at ridiculously late hours, learning about design day in and day out. I came home exhausted but over the moon.

Where in the world did I go????

Two words: Blogfest 2012.

The Kravet Group launched the Blogfest 2012 concept in 2011. It has since become an amazingly popular destination for interior designers and bloggers who blog about design. This year, registration for the event sold out in 4 hours!  Blofest 2012 defines itself in these words : Blogfest is a three day tour designed exclusively for interior design bloggers featuring the industry’s top shelter magazines, A-list design celebrities and breathtaking venues. 

Follow me as I take you along and share highlights of my trip.

When: Monday  May 21st, 2012

First Stop: ICFF -International Contemporary Furniture Fair

Before meeting our Blogfest hosts and friends, we were offered an optional ticket to the ICFF.  I took advantage of this time to take a few photos of interesting items.

Stone Source- screen printed Porcelain tiles in incredible colors and patterns.
Stone Source tiles.

More tiles by the same vendor:

I finally saw the famous Family Chairs by Design House Stockholm  :

Family Chairs

I loved these sculpted bowls from the same vendor:

Ceramic bowls by Design House Stockholm

I really had to stop and admire the lines by Manulation, a Serbian Designer, making  traditional wood carved furniture since 1927, and now also offering a modern line:

Wood furniture by Manulation.

I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw the following work by Asher Israelow:

Spalted Beech Wood Chair by Asher Israelow. Incredibly comfortable and beautiful design. Desk in background is by same designer.
This chair also by Israelow was very comfortable as well and the leather offered a soft contrast next to the wood grain.

And this piece by Wewood, a Portuguese Joinery, made of French oak was superb:

Wewood French oak piece with beautifully crafted drawers would make a nice statement in a room or in an entry foyer. You could put all your keys, mail and small items in it!

Next I gravitated towards wall coverings and fabrics:

Textile Print Designer Julie Kouamo is based in London where she creates wall coverings and fabrics. She likes to create textural patterns mixing old and new dyeing and printing techniques.

 

Another creation by Julie Kouamo, in which she draws inspiration from printing techniques used in her native Cameroon and mixes them in with photographic elements drawn from nature.
Juju Papers Handmade wallpapers from Portland, Oregon were whimsical and could look fabulous inside a child’s bedroom for example.
Another design by Avery Thatcher of Juju Papers.
Double R Studio eco-friendly wallpapers. Artist Rosa Ruey is inspired by organic shapes and Chinese landscaping painting.

A few close-ups:

Shalimar Pattern.
Viceroy Palace Pattern.

In a very different style, these hand-painted wall coverings by Vahallan Papers were wonderfully textured and imitated metals to a T:

Destiny by Vanhallan Papers.
Urbana by Vanhallan Papers.

This sublime chandelier by Tracy Glover captivated my attention:

Handblown glass Silver lining Chandelier by Tracy Glover.

I am seeing more and more incredible outdoor furniture and fabrics. The following surprised me by their design, which I felt were very accomplished:

Barcelona foozball indoor and outdoor tables. Now, how cool was that?
Close-up view.
Massant outdoor chair.
Another lovely Massant outdoor chair.

Finally, back in the indoor furniture section, I was drawn to these unusual chairs by designer Cecilie Manz for Fritz Hansen:

Soft, curvy, sturdy and comfortable chairs by Cecilie Manz for Fritz Hansen. I love that they are so carefully crafted with soft felt like fabrics, available in dark or light grey for the exterior and warm to cool colors for the inner. A thin band of leather piping follows the edges.

What a way to start my Blogfest adventure! Thank you, Kravet and Blogfest, for this opportunity to visit the ICFF before the Blogfest kick-off!

Until next post…part 2 of Blogfest 2012 with fabulous more designs!