Just yesterday our very own Lisa Luchaco was researching some lighting for a new build we’ve recently been working on…often times we begin sourcing by searching for a few inspirations, which lead Lisa to a fabulous company out of Venice California called Obsolete… While parousing Osolete’s site, we soon realized that this company not only featured interesting lighting options, but antiques and objects as well. I first became enthralled – then I became curious, so I decided to give them a call… A friendly voice answered the phone “Obsolete”, and to my surprise it was the owner and founder himself, Ray Azoulay. While chatting I discovered that Ray had decided to leave his profession as a clothing designer (more specifically design director of Liz Claiborne) and move to California. Little did he know that opening a gallery was in his near future – that was fifteen years ago. In 1997, just one year later, and through a series of unplanned events, the Obsolete gallery was born. Talking to Ray, you can tell he has an incredible passion for the arts – and this passion seemingly provoked him to form Obsolete where he could provide a place, a showroom or sorts, where fine arts, unique objects and fascinating antiques could be held and sold under the same roof. Obsolete isn’t just another designer gallery or showroom, rather an artistic collection of ancient treasures, beautifully crafted paintings, sculptures and interesting found objects. Just about 95% of everything in this gallery is one of a kind, and collected from around the world. Ray isn’t biased towards one specific region of the globe, but travels anywhere he believes fine art and antiques can be found. He’s visited countries such as Italy, Belgium, Spain, England and Sweden in search for hidden treasures that he can share with the community of Venice. Ray is drawn to the mix of old world and new contemporary, specifically drawn to pieces that are “150-200 years old, and sitting on top is a contemporary piece less than a year old”. He appreciates that the “form, content and context” of these two rather differnt pieces help to unify them, making them work together gracefully in one space. Although I haven’t had the opportunity to visit the gallery myself, I can tell there’s a great sense of history, artistic appreciation and community within the walls of Obsolete – the gallery hosts numerous artist receptions and open houses, antique shows and community awareness events. Today, we applaud and admire Obsolete the company, Ray Azoulay the mastermind behind the gallery – as well as the product… Ray Azoulay Caged work light with original handle and metal cage. Italy 1920-1940 1.Industrial glass sconce, with unique glass, old and new components, Italy, 2. Colorful ceiling mount multiple arm light fixture. Italy 1950-1960 Oversized bronze pendant with ribbed glass shade. Italy circa 1920 Primitive swedish chair, simple form, traces of original painted surface. Sweden 1780-1800 1.Tall, bulky, oversized green leather wingback chair with original worn leather and simple wood frame / stretchers. England Circa 1880, 2. Unusual Settee that was likely built under a stairwell, pitches lower from left to right, original painted surface. England Circa 1810 1. Victorian Mother of Pearl Rosary with silver filigree separations, interesting four point images on the cross. Italy circa 1770-1800, 2. Fragment of a Child’s Rocking Horse mounted to a new iron base, original painted surface. Tennessee 1910 – 1920 1. Oil painting of a gentleman farmer. Belgium circa 1920–1930, 2. Vascular anatomical chart of the human body, unusual color blue on paper backed linen. Germany circa 1880-190 1. Primitive Santos carved from a single piece of wood. France circa 1770-1790, 2. Paper mache hand painted figure / doll with poised face. France 1910
The longer I work in my field, the more I look for inspiration…and I find that it’s all around me. Today I’d like to share something that inspires me…Cinematography and set design.
Over the past few months, I’ve become increasingly enamored with set design, cinematography and overall theatrical concepts. I attribute this growing intrigue to the recent popularity of AMC’s rendition of the 1960s hit series Mad Men (I have a ‘thing’ for all things vintage, specifically from the sixties) - as well as a few of my favorite motion pictures (I feel so glamorous calling them motion pictures – ohhh old Hollywood).
The overall styling, lighting effects and thematics featured in both television series and feature films alike have vastly transformed throughout the years. Where they once remained consistent in appearance, first in black and white, then upgrading to technicolor, they are now shot using various lens’, lighting techniques, slightly off-focused and interesting camera angles and in some cases with special effects.
We see a few of these techniques used in Joe Wright’s Atonement and one of my personal favorites Pride and Prejudice, in Bobby Garabedian‘s short film “Most”, I’d even go as far as giving Nike props for a few of their uniquely shot commercial advertisements.
Beautifully designed sets and thoughtful cinematography help bring stories to life, make history more relevant and allows the viewer to see the world through the eyes of another (say hello to my inner conceptual). Sets and Cinematography inspire me to create…another medium to gain further inspiration.
Ohhh Amy Wells how I adore your styling…
Vivienne Tam has become one of the 21st century’s most unique and successful contemporary designers “combining culture, classic style and an offbeat flair to her fashion design” – and most recently, to a home furnishings division courtesy of Rowe Fine Furnishings.
I recently had the opportunity to view her 2011 Spring collection (no I didn’t preview at New York Fashion Week – next year perhaps?) and was impressed with her level of sophistication, color tones, rich mix of textures, sense of casual edge and simple ease – need I say more?
Her ability to translate her East meets West influences showcase flawlessly both on the runway and into the home, something Garrison Hullinger is incredibly drawn to. She’s modern without becoming overly abstract which prolongs the life of her designs, in hopes of becoming a whimsy staple in your closet as well as your home.
From her fashions to her furniture frames and custom fabrics – Vivienne has made quite a name for herself. Inspired by the city which she now calls home, New York City, Miss Tam creates beautiful styling and designs for her custom fabric line - “Many of the prints and patterns in the collection are the result of the views from my terrace [in New York City]. I love watching the light shimmering as it plays with the architectural corners and angles of buildings against a grey and bluish evening sky.”
With collections that speak to both the classic and to the streamlined Vivienne really has something for just about everyone. It has been said that Vivienne’s collections are an “artfully mixed hard and soft, uptown and downtown, grunge and glamor, black and stunning color” – something I have come to completely agree with.
Join me in admiring the work of Vivienne Tam…
1. Willow Sofa 2. Alder Sofa Vivienne always adds a bit of contemporary to classic pieces such as the tufted Willow sofa (seen above). The metal legs and oversized oval arms create additional character and a graceful edge to the piece – much like her fashion designs.
Let’s all welcome Lisa Luchaco to the GHID blogging scene…
Have you ever felt uninspired and at a loss when it comes to creative design? My solution…Travel. This latest adventure took me across the Atlantic to the Northern European region of Scandinavia, more specifically the beautiful and historic country of Denmark.
Typically when referring to Danish design, one would think Modern, streamlined and minimalist, but Denmark’s interiors and architectural history draws from a wide range of design from Viking and Nordic to Baroque and Rococo styles. I had the opportunity to tour the Frederiskborg Castle in Hillerød which was once a Royal Residence and is now the National Historical Museum. The décor was spectacular with no detail lacking. One such detail that is so often over looked but can add such interest in your own home is in the floor.
Here at GHID we love wood floors and the character and warmth that it brings to a space. Parquet wood floors can add that special detail, and while the costs can be high to have it throughout your entire space, they are a perfect detail for the foyer, stairway landing, or hallway.
-Lisa Luchaco, Associate Interior Designer
Modern take on traditional parquet hardwoods:
Ever have one of those afternoons where all you can think about is a good ol’ nap? And not just a short cat nap either, I’m talking about a “I must close my eyes now or else I’m going to fall over” kinda sleep…well today, I’m there.
Crawling into a comfy bed after a busy day is one of the best feelings ever. Especially when the bed is dressed with fine linens.
So what constitutes as a fine linen anyway? Well number one, luxury sheet ensembles don’t necessarily mean overly expensive. Softer, long-lasting linens vary in price, ranging from a $75.00 – $500.00 and above.
Fine linens are most often constructed of 100% cotton and contain a high thread count (thread count: how many threads are in a one-inch square of fabric). Linens with a 400-500 thread count and above tend to be a lot softer than those containing lower counts, however thread count is not the most important aspect of the sheeting.
The sheeting material itself is by far the most important feature when shopping for fine linens. Cotton is one of the softest, most breathable natural fibers on the market today, which is the reason most sheeting is constructed of the fiber. To avoid itchy scratchy bedding, make sure your sheeting is 100% cotton, and when possible check to see what grade the fiber is. The higher the grade, the longer and thicker the fiber threading – the longer and thicker the threading, the softer the sheeting.
There are a few product lines we enjoy using while sourcing bedding for our clients. Check them out.
French Quarter Linens: Sferra, Peacock Alley, Legna Classic