Issue № 1 FALL 2010
The Slow Life RELAX AND ENJOY THE THINGS THAT REALLY MATTER
Contents Fall 2010
MAKING THE MAGAZINE
AN ARTIST’S RETREAT
How did we get here? See for yourself as we take you behind the scenes.
IN PERISH WE TRUST
A prop stylist and a photographer fill their homes—and San Francisco storefront—with charming vintage pieces, as well as a few oddities.
A soothing palette, natural elements, and keepsakes from family and friends come together in a Berkeley abode.
REVIVING A VENICE BUNGALOW
A thoughtful new layout and modern touches transform a family home.
ALPINE ALLURE 48 It may be famous for its slopes and Sundance, but there’s a lot more to Park City, Utah. A local shows us around and shares her favorite places in town.
Louisiana homeowners infuse their sense of fun and DIY spirit into a 1940s bungalow.
HOME IS WHERE THE HEARTH IS 109 Get inspired by this fun, not fussy, dinner party. On the menu: homemade pizza, ice cream, and a fall fruit galette.
SWEET CHARITY 18 NICE RIDE
The Working Proof offers affordable artwork for a good cause.
For a growing number of bicyclists, it’s not about speed or Spandex. They take it slow—and in style.
A WAY WITH WOOD
A CHAIR AFFAIR
Find out how a Chicago designer creates his heirloom-quality furniture.
A FEAST IN THE FIELD
ELEMENTS OF PERSONAL STYLE
A Brooklyn couple mixes patterns, bold colors, and cherished mementos.
A farm to table communal dinner proves as memorable as it is delicious.
Interior designer Grant K. Gibson defies convention and gives a drab living room a stylish makeover.
AN EVERYDAY LUXURY
Reap the rewards of a modern-day cutting garden. Good news: It’s easier than you think!
IN EVERY ISSUE
FOUNDERS’ LETTER 2 | CONTRIBUTORS 6 | SHOPKEEPERS’ PICKS 13 MARKET REPORT 16 | CONVERSATION Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge 21 RESOURCES 118 | BY THE BOOK 121 | PRIZED POSSESSION Aimee Cho of Gryphon New York
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Grace Bonney runs Design*Sponge (designsponge.com) from the comfort of the Brooklyn apartment she shares with her husband, Aaron Coles, and their two cats, Ms. Jackson and Turk. The website, which Grace started in 2004 as a way to help land her dream job, has turned into a dream job itself. Now, with more than 60,000 visitors every day, the once one-woman operation has grown to include a small editorial team. Itâ€™s no surprise that a publisher came knocking on her door. Look for Graceâ€™s first book Design*Sponge at Home (Artisan Books) next year. 21
CAREER PATH: I’ve always had a passion for
FIRST ART PURCHASE: A painting of two
both writing and design, but had never thought about combining the two. After college, I took a job in the music industry. The job required me to do a little PR—crisis PR to be precise. After I left the record label, I found the first way back into design I could: at a design PR firm. It was at that job that I first met design magazine editors and designers in person. I quite simply couldn’t get enough, so I started the blog in hopes of using it as a portfolio to one day apply for a magazine job. I had no idea the blog itself would end up being my full-time job, but I’m so glad that it did. This is the greatest job I never knew I could have.
bears by Marci Washington. I had never bought an original piece of artwork in my life, but it really opened my eyes to the idea of saving up for one or two original pieces a year, rather than having a whole host of rotating small prints. As I get older, I feel the need to simplify things and focus on a few key pieces.
FAVORITE DESIGN PERIOD: If you tied my
arms behind my back and made me choose just one, it would probably have to be something from the South around the turn of the century. The homes and ironwork in cities like Savannah, Charleston, and New Orleans call to me in a way that no other design does. But the style in my home is always a splash of Dorothy Draper combined with a bit of Danish Modern and a little do-it-yourself craftiness. I tend to pull from a number of different styles to create something that’s my own. 22
WITHOUT: My immersion blender. It’s not very
pretty (product designers: please design something pretty in this category!), but I use it constantly for all sorts of things, including soups, sauces, and salsas. BREAKS: Scooter rides! My husband works with me full-time now on Design*Sponge and we’re constantly thinking of ways to escape for a quick afternoon ride. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world when I’m on the back of that scooter. I get to be close to the person I love most, I get to feel the wind in my hair, and I get door-to-door service—no parking hassles! I’m so happy Aaron got that scooter; it makes the entire city feel accessible. BLOGGING
CHILDHOOD MEMENTO: I’m gonna keep
it real here. I’ve had a teddy bear named Webby (short for Webster, after the 1980s TV show character) that I’ve never been able to part with. He lived on my bed until I started dating my husband. Right now he lives in my closet, but I’m hoping one day to pass him on to our children. FAVORITE TV SHOW: Arrested Development.
Hands down. I watch episodes on repeat on hulu. com. I’ve now become one of those people who can say every line from start to finish for each episode. I’d be a great trivia date. BEST RECENT ACQUISITION FOR YOUR
and snap peas. Random, but I like to nibble throughout the day. FAVORITE HOBBY: Eating. Is that consid-
ered a hobby? If I could be a professional eater I would. I thought about getting into food writing for a while but decided it would do major damage to my health. I’m just not the type of girl who knows what moderation means when it comes to food. In terms of actual hobbies, I really enjoy watching mixed martial arts and ice hockey whenever possible. It’s a great way to blow off steam and let out the day’s stress.
HOME: A piece of Otomi fabric for my DIY
MOTTO: Keep your head down and keep work-
headboard. That gorgeous red and white fabric makes me happy each time I go to sleep and wake up. Well worth the extra splurge.
ing. Don’t focus on anything but your own work and your own mission; that way, you won’t get bogged down in the drama that sometimes hangs around the design world.
NEXT ON YOUR TO-DO LIST: I spend 95
percent of my life in my living room “office,” a.k.a. the sofa, so I really want to redo the room. I’m hoping to repaint the walls white, add some faux molding to the walls, and invest in a new credenza and striped rug. CURRENT OBSESSION: Stripes. I never met a
stripe (or a polka dot) that I didn’t like. ALWAYS IN THE FRIDGE: Grapes, tiny
heirloom tomatoes (even though they’re not supposed to be refrigerated), skim milk,
“I’ve had a teddy bear named Webby (short for Webster, after the 1980s TV show character) that I’ve never been able to part with.”
Customers often type notes and poems on the scraps of paper in the typewriters at Perish Trust. Owners Kelly Ishikawa and Rod Hipskind have saved each and every one.
IN PERISH WE
Text by CHANTAL LAMERS Styling by ROD HIPSKIND Interior Photographs by KELLY ISHIKAWA Portrait Photograph by JEN SISKA
BEHIND A PAIR OF MATTE black doors at the
Top to bottom : Kelly and Rod met ten years ago, when
they were both starting out in the photo industry. Old instruments, such as these vintage microscopes, are viewed as sculptural pieces at Perish Trust.
dark and moody Perish Trust in San Francisco, obsolete objects—dog-eared bingo cards, wooden duck decoys, battered bowling pins—are painstakingly curated, becoming candidates for a new home. “These are the things that get relegated to the street corners and dumps,” says co-owner Rod Hipskind. Hence the shop’s carefully chosen name. “It’s sort of a play on words, evoking the idea that we take care of dead and dying objects.” Days before the 2008 presidential election, he and Kelly Ishikawa precariously opened Perish Trust. As markets dove, jobs vanished, and wild consumerism suddenly waned, a new collective yearning developed for comfort and nostalgia. It conjured the perfect storm for a shop like Perish Trust, with its achy, sweet melancholy for olden technologies and peculiar timeworn pieces. Rod describes the shop as having “the grit and industry of New York, the mystery and romance of New Orleans, and the natural, nautical beauty of San Francisco.” Upon entering the unapologetically handsome shop, it is clear that there is a discerning eye at work, or rather two pairs of eyes: Rod is a prop stylist and Kelly is a photographer. Thoughtful vignettes throughout the store underscore their vision. It’s not unusual to come across a few dozen wooden arrows sculpturally composed. Or a flower frog employed to display an elaborate feather arrangement beneath a glass dome. Worn clipboards flaunt vintage ephemera, while stacks of thoroughly read zoology and battleship books reside between schoolhouse microscopes and decoupage paperweights. The criterion for objects at Perish Trust: they must be visibly aged and amusing, says Rod.
Rod and Kelly composed this nautical vignette around a painting by Oakland artist Jessica Niello.
Kelly has lived next to the Perish Trust shop space for five years. She is the latest in a long line of photographers to inherit the apartment.
Left to right: In the dining area, Kelly finds “something intriguing about the old group photos and the many stories they hold.” Her collection of thermoses started with a pair her grandmother used every day during the winter—one for her soup and another for her coffee.
Next to a round oak table surrounded by mismatched wood chairs are framed black and white photographs displayed so neatly, you’d think the subjects were beloved.
ADJACENT TO PERISH TRUST is Kelly’s early
1900s abode, where she further indulges her love of art and antiquities. “My mom is a theater teacher and my dad used to be a science teacher,” she says, “and I think if you put those two together, you get a pretty curious kid who likes an environment with a story behind it. Vintage items naturally have that.” Inside Kelly’s home, a tufted yellow velvet sofa and a Victorian-era sofa reupholstered in a pale blue and gold damask warm the living room. Opposite the seating, cherished old paper signs and sketches hang on a battleship grey wall. Glass-encased shelves are intricately arranged with books, vintage cameras, and other knick-knacks. The living room flows into a large, charming space that serves as a kitchen-cum-office-cum-dining nook. Next to a round oak table surrounded by mismatched wood chairs are framed black and white photographs displayed so neatly, you’d think the subjects were beloved. “I don’t know any of those people,” Kelly laughs.
comfort CHIC SOUTHERN
AND CALIFORNIA COOL
CONVERGE AT A LOUISIANA HOME RIPE WITH NATURAL LIGHT,
color, AND UNABASHED DIY S P L E N D O R
PHOTOGRAPHS BY ANNA BETH
Chao AND JEN Siska
STYLING BY ANNA BETH CHAO AND KELLEY LILIEN
Anna Beth and Vince Chao partake in a sing-a-long in their back patio. “The state map was in my mom’s classroom for years,” she says of the wall décor.
ecorator Anna Beth Chao (rhymes with wow) and her much admired blog come to life— exuberantly so—in the light, bright Monroe, Louisiana, bungalow she shares with her bizman-musician husband, Vince, and their teenage daughter, Madeleine. Nestled on a quiet, tree-lined street in the city’s historical Garden District, every inch of the hip 1,950-squarefoot space is a reflection of the dynamic pixie-d brunette, whose infectious zeal for design and conversational writing style have earned her scores of fans. On her blog, hashai.com, Anna Beth (also known as “AB”) shares decorating and renovation stories, as well as her shopping wish lists and crafty successes. “I’ve always been into interior design,” she says, “and I’ve always been a do-it-yourself queen.” An internal communications writer by day, she furthered her online presence as a recap writer for televisionwithoutpity.com. Between her creativity and clever command of language, she caught the attention of the executive producer of ABC’s Eli Stone, who plucked Anna Beth for a plum writing gig in Los Angeles. She headed west for several months while Vince and Madeleine held down the fort in Monroe. Though a writers’ strike put a damper on a family move and Eli Stone did not survive, the marathon-running wife and mother didn’t sit idle. She used the downtime to shop the city and thrift for ironstone dishes. “I shipped all the The artwork is by pal Meredith Pardue, who gave the Chaos the loveseat. Anna Beth freshened up the piece with white paint. “I love that it’s quirky and yet still kind of understated,” Anna Beth says of the ostrich-patterned wallpaper in the entry. The living room focal point—the huge, mirrored sunburst—was just $70. “That was a pretty big steal,” says Anna Beth.
Possession “After retiring as a physician, my father-in-law enrolled in a ceramics class at his community art center. Since then, he’s become an avid potter and makes these bowls to give to friends and family. They echo traditional Korean earthenware, but updated. The colors are very subtle and their weight and texture give them almost a masculine look. They are the opposite of slick and modern. I love that they were clearly made by hand and made with love. I’ve always thought of Gryphon as special clothes for everyday life. If you own something you love, you should wear it as often as possible. The same goes for home goods. I like things that are special, but that I’m not afraid to use all the time. These bowls are the perfect marriage of special/beautiful and useful/practical. In our apartment, my husband Tom and I have them strewn all over. We eat out of the bowls, as well as use them to hold keys, jewelry, whatever is in our pockets at the end of the day.” AIMEE CHO is the founder and designer behind fashion label Gryphon New York, which was recently hailed as an up-and-coming brand to watch by Vogue . (gryphon-ny.com)
Photograph by SETH SMOOT ANTHOLOGYMAG.COM