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Issue â„– 2 WINTER 2011

Where the Past

Meets the Present


Contents Winter 2011

FEATURES

DECORATIVE ROOTS 27 A textile designer’s interior tells her life story, starting with her South African upbringing. LONDON TIMES 58 A local shows us her favorite art, design, shopping, and culinary delights in the British capital.

HOMEWARD

COZY UP TO COCOA

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Warm up this winter with our expert’s picks for the best hot chocolates on the market.

DRAWN ACROSS GENERATIONS 38 Art and whimsical wall decor help define a third-generation illustrator’s abode.

A MODERN MIRACLE 86 Mid-century and vintage pieces are right at home in a contemporary Eichler residence.

An anti-color serves as a blank canvas in an apartment inhabited by a stylist and an artist.

BACK TO LIFE 96 A long-shuttered mercantile shop in Utah is rescued and reborn as a cozy family home.

IN EVERY ISSUE

ARTFUL ELEMENTS 106 A Brooklyn stylist with an eye for design fills her nest with collections and color contrasts. SHAKE IT UP 120 Throw a modern-day cocktail party, inspired by entertaining ideas from a previous generation.

A WAY WITH WHITE

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EDITOR’S LETTER

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CONTRIBUTORS

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MAKING THE MAGAZINE 8 SHOPKEEPERS’ PICKS 10 MARKET REPORT

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CONVERSATION

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Leslie Oschmann of Swarm DIVERSIONS

ONCE & AGAIN 19 Return to the scene of an old picture, capturing the past and present together. LOST & FOUND 50 A San Francisco gallery shines the spotlight on forgotten artists of yesteryear. CLASSIC CRAFTSMANSHIP 68 Witness how a ceramics company produces its earthy yet elegant designs. PALM SPRINGS HIGH & LOW 76 See the Southern California city through the lens of lo-fi and hi-fi cameras.

Cover Photograph by KELLY ISHIKAWA Styling by ROD HIPSKIND 2

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RESOURCES

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BY THE BOOK

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PRIZED POSSESSION 136 Alexis Swanson Traina of Swanson Vineyards


DECORATIVE Text by STEPHANIE TODARO

Roots

Photographs by KELLY ISHIKAWA

Styling by ROD HIPSKIND

Taking cues from the South African home she grew up in, a textile designer delights in the bright and bold


“I don’t follow any particular style or rules.”

Paula Smail shares her home with Leonardo, a ten-year-old Labrador mix.

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In the bedroom, the Indian bedspread had been stashed away for years. “I was always afraid of damaging it and finally decided it needed to be used,” says Paula. “It was too beautiful to hide.”

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rom the outside, Paula Smail’s 1930s cottage looks like any other in her quiet North Hollywood neighborhood. But the Wedgwood blue front door and African-print curtain peering through the front window hint at what awaits inside: a medley of vibrant color combinations and dramatic patterns that are a reflection of Paula and her life experiences.


LOST & FOUND A San Francisco gallery showcases the work of artists you’ve probably never heard of— and that’s precisely the point

Text by ANH-MINH LE Photographs by THAYER ALLYSON GOWDY Styling by KATE PRUITT 6

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Rob Delamater restores a vintage frame, part of a wide range available at Lost Art Salon.

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or decades, Adine Stix’s paintings were tucked away in a storage unit in Northern California. As a young woman, she had spent her days raising her two children and running the Quail Canyon Ranch in Nevada. The abstract expressionist had little time to devote to promoting her work. Yet, inspired by her natural surroundings, she never stopped painting. When she passed away in 1987, she left behind a couple hundred pieces, primarily large oils. Last year, thanks to the Lost Art Salon, Stix finally got her own show. When Gaetan Caron and Rob Delamater opened Lost Art Salon in 2005, Stix was exactly the kind of artist whose work they envisioned curating. “Although she achieved a certain amount of success during her life,” says Rob, “she never became an A-list artist and, therefore, her name and work had been forgotten over time.” He adds: “We started Lost Art Salon as a way of integrating our shared interests in art, personal creativity, and things and stories from the past. We both have a sort of nostalgic perspective, so the idea of rescuing vintage works from the Modern Era [1900-1960s] was very seductive.” The walls and shelves of their 1,500-square-foot gallery brim with affordable art—including paintings, drawings, sculptures, ceramics, and glass pieces. Framed paintings typically cost $350 to $750. On the main floor, clients are encouraged to relax and take their time browsing. After all, there are about 4,000 original works available. The second floor is home to a framing workshop. While some pieces are already framed, those that aren’t can be customized with one from the extensive selection of vintage frames. “Presenting our period artwork in period frames means that the aesthetic of the whole package carries the spirit of the era it was created in,” says Rob. “Vintage and antique frames tend to have a lot more personality and patina than new frames. It allows us to recycle these beautiful


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It’s never too hot for the Brits to drink tea—

Opposite (top, center):

The author with Kris Mordokhovitch.

that quickly becomes apparent to me during this trip to London. The city is experiencing an intense heat wave, yet nevertheless, steaming cups of tea dot the tables at The Breakfast Club in Soho. Kristina Mordokhovitch—or Kris Atomic, as she’s known in the illustration world—is one of the locals whose affinity for tea is not diminished by the sweltering temperatures. “Although the British fondness for tea is a huge cliché, it’s one stemming from the truth,” she says. “Perhaps because iced tea hasn’t taken off here in the same way it has in the U.S. or other parts of Europe, we drink the hot stuff all year round.” Soon after joining me for a mid-week brunch, Kris orders an Earl Grey to accompany a platter of Eggs Royale. The Breakfast Club was one of her regular haunts during her years studying illustration at Camberwell College of Arts. (Her work graced the cover of Antholog y’s inaugural issue.) This morning, she took the train an hour from her coastal home in Brighton, where she moved upon graduating two years ago, to hang out with me and photographer Kelly Ishikawa. I’m excited to have Kris show us some of her favorite places—well, as many as she can in one day. Kelly and I are both visiting from San Francisco and hopefully any jet lag from our ten-hour flight has been vanquished by now.


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After filling up at The Breakfast Club, we head to nearby secondhand store Beyond Retro. Kris successfully resists any temptation, since she needs to downsize her collection of vintage dresses. (The onebedroom flat she shares with her boyfriend and cat doesn’t offer much storage.) Still, a rack of Fair Isle sweaters—or jumpers, as the Brits call them—catches her eye. Given how hot it is, the very thought of donning a wool sweater has me on the verge of passing out. Kris quickly explains that they are her current illustration obsession. We then stroll down the street to Liberty. In 1886, Arthur Liberty set up shop in a tiny storefront, selling ornaments, textiles, and objets d’art. He gradually grew the business and in the 1920s it relocated to a grand Tudor on Great Marlborough Street. (Sadly, he died seven years before the building was completed.) Today, Liberty is a full-fledged department store that carries everything from fashion to home furnishings. There’s also a flower shop, a barber shop, and three eateries. (Kris recommends TEA restaurant on the ground floor.) As soon as we enter Liberty, we head straight to the fourth floor to browse the furniture, housewares, and artwork. After exploring every nook and cranny on that level, where Kris is especially drawn to anything needlepoint, we descend the charmingly creaky stairs to the

third floor. This is home to Liberty’s famous fabrics, ribbons, and notions. We could spend hours here, but we’ve got an itinerary to stick to! Next, we hop on the Underground, or the Tube, bound for Covent Garden. Along Neal Street, Kris points out Food for Thought, where she and her vegetarian mother often dine. We pop into Magma Books to peruse the art and design publications; Tatty Devine to ogle the quirky jewelry (such as acrylic necklaces depicting a dinosaur skeleton or feathered wings); and Tabio to check out all manners of socks and hosiery. Kris favors skirts and dresses and swears by Tabio’s 110 Denier tights, which are available in a wide range of colors and are a mainstay of her coldweather wardrobe. Following our shop visits, we’re ready to refuel at Maison Bertaux. With its striped blueand-white awning and bistro tables and chairs that spill out onto the sidewalk, it’s like a slice of Paris in London. Although the pastries look amazing, Kelly, Kris, and I are all in the mood for strawberry sorbet—and Kris also orders up a pot of tea. If you go to Maison Bertaux, be sure to have cash and time on your hands; credit cards aren’t accepted and the service can be slow. Our last stop of the day is the V&A South Kensington, a museum that is probably on everyone’s must-visit list—out-of-towners and locals alike. Since it is enormous, Kris


a r t f ul

ELEMENTS An innate sense of style and design breathes life into an early-1900s apartment Text by LIZ ARNOLD

Photographs by THAYER ALLYSON GOWDY

Styling by RANDI BROOKMAN HARRIS

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Resting on a dresser from the Brooklyn Flea is a collaged painting by Randi Brookman Harris’ mother-in-law, Deborah Harris. “The color palette makes my eyes happy and my heartbeat quicken,” says Randi.

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Surprisingly affordable art: the 1968 photo depicts Randi’s grandmother with some of her friends, and the framed Brian Rea illustration was torn out of The New York Times Magazine .

w

hen I was little, I used to think that every object had a personality; cars had faces,” says Randi Brookman Harris, a freelance prop stylist. “I always loved arranging things, and I wanted to see things next to each other to see how they related.” Hearing her recall these early sentiments, it’s easier to understand why, in the one-bedroom Brooklyn home she shares with her husband Jacob Harris and a Boston terrier named Olive, the row of some dozen vintage fans on a bookcase has the charming effect of an anthropomorphic community or a cluster of cactuses on the windowsill looks so artfully arranged. Scanning the room, you might also notice comforting repetitions of shape: a round glass vase with flowers on the Saarinen dining table echoes the outline of a bare bulb hanging above, while a grouping of curvy vases sits near a collection of quirky ball-topped hat pins in plump pin

cushions. The eye glides over the sloping back of an Eames La Chaise to a white globe lamp on a sculptural black side table, and a circular picture frame with convex glass pops from a wall of neighboring rectangles. Clearly, we’re dealing with a professional here. But Randi never studied interiors. She has a degree in graphic design from New York’s School of Visual Arts, where she fell in love with typography. “Working with letters was like working with a favorite object,” she says. But the field wasn’t tactile enough, and her projects were unusually three-dimensional and constructed with found objects. In 2003, after spending two years in the graphic design department for architect and designer Michael Graves, Randi was working in editorial design at Time Inc. She went to a retrospective of Martha Stewart’s work at the Art


Hints of red,

ORANGE, AND PINK WARM UP THE SPACE, AS DO THE BAMBOO FLOORS AND WORN, PAPERY TEXTURES.

The living room rug comes with a backstory: “I heard that [designer] Madeline Weinrib saw it arrive from India, she liked the tonal color pairing, and decided to make this rug in the same colors as the one I had customized!” says Randi.

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A San Diego stylist invites friends over for a modern-day cocktail party with a vintage vibe

Text by ANH-MINH LE Photographs by JEN SISKA Styling by MEG MATEO ILASCO


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K

elley Lilien’s passion for entertaining was instilled at a young age. “I literally think it’s in my blood!” says the woman behind the Mrs. Lilien styling house and blog. “My mom is an expert when it comes to entertaining. She lives for it and is great at it. There were always cloth napkins in our house— never paper—and there were napkins for every occasion.” And so Kelley learned by example. “Any time I set out to do anything, I picture an extravaganza—even if it’s small and intimate,” she says. “My brain immediately goes to: ‘What would be the most amazing thing, for me and my guests?’” In this case, it would be a cocktail party. The guest list includes Joy and Bob Cho (close pals who recently moved

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from San Diego to Los Angeles), as well as Kris and Bethany Orheim (Kelley and Kris attended the same Portland, Oregon, junior high and high school). “Gatherings centered around cocktails are for savored company and always elicit the most fascinating and effortless conversations,” says Kelley. The pre-party planning entailed printing custom stationery in the name of Mr. and Mrs. Lilien—Mr. Lilien is husband Tim. Kelley’s invitation inspiration? Dominick Dunne’s 1999 tome The Way We Lived Then, which documents the entertaining habits of movie stars, socialites, and moguls from a bygone era. (Think Vincente Minnelli, Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Montgomery.) The book includes photos of invitations mailed by celebrities to their guests.

Above, left to right:

The party hosts, Kelley and Tim Lilien. Invitations were handwritten on what Kelley calls “house stationery.” Opposite, left to right:

The Liliens greet party guests Joy and Bob Cho. Kelley purchased the vintage fondue pot on Etsy.


The 1930s Spanish bungalow that Kelley shares with Tim and their children—son Laird and daughter Isla—doesn’t require much dolling up. “My house is like Candy Land on crack,” she quips. “When your house is well-dressed, it’s ready for any kind of occasion at any notice. That’s the way my house was growing up.” While her home’s existing decor is party-ready—from the curtains and rugs that feature bold, graphic prints to the cherry red Windsor dining chairs—she upped the ante by gilding the wood beams. “The space was screaming for something super special,” she explains. “There was a need for a pièce de résistance.” Armed with a can of spray paint, she took to the ceiling—and didn’t stop there. “Once I realized how magical it was, I kept going.” The fireplace logs also received a couple of coats of gold paint. (Note: the logs are purely for visual enjoyment.) On the day of the party, Kelley shuffles around the kitchen preparing epicurean delights that hearken back to those parties thrown in her childhood home. Fondue and date boats— what Kelley describes as “thoughtful yet easy” recipes handed

CHEESE FONDUE Serves 6 ½ bottle Sauvignon Blanc 2 whole cloves garlic, peeled 1 tbsp sherry ½ cup flour 8 oz gruyere, cut into 1-inch cubes salt and pepper 1 baguette, cubed

In a medium saucepan over mediumhigh heat, warm the Sauvignon Blanc, garlic, and sherry. Dredge the cubed gruyere in flour, shaking off any excess, and add to the saucepan. Stir for about 3 minutes, until the cheese is melted. The consistency should be smooth and thick. Remove garlic, season with salt and pepper, and transfer mixture to a fondue pot with a lit base. Serve with baguette.

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