Issue № 4 SUMMER 2011
SUMMER IS SYNONYMOUS with spending
time outside. So when it came time to hone in on a theme for this issue, the great outdoors was a natural choice. All of the homeowners featured have integrated their scenic setting into their lifestyle. For example, a couple in Northern California patiently grows an orchard on the land they purchased a dozen years ago (“Neverending Story,” page 90). A woodturner uses materials from his own upstate New York property to update his cottage in the woods (“Going with the Grain,” page 18). My own place, which I always liken to a giant tree house, is in this issue as well (“Natural Selection,” page 101). Check out some of the highlights of Marfa, Texas—a destination known for its expanses of open space and creative spirit (“Meet Me in Marfa,” page 66). And tag along as we take a look at Scribe Winery in Sonoma, where the wines are derived from the vineyard’s own wild yeasts (“Wild at Heart,” page 58). If you’re looking to cool down, give our floral tea shaved ice recipe a try (“Chill Out,” page 47). Or gather together with friends for a picnic under a shady tree; the dishes in our entertaining story are sure to be crowd-pleasers (“Picnic Perfect,” page 118). There’s plenty more in store for you in the following pages. We invite you to sit back—perhaps on a sun-drenched deck or patio, with a tall glass of iced tea—and get inspired.
Anh-Minh Le Editor in Chief
Contents Summer 2011
GOING WITH THE GRAIN
FUN AND GAMES
In upstate New York, the land itself serves as the inspiration—as well as a resource— for updating a stone cottage.
AT HOME ON THE RANGE
WILD AT HEART
An Oregon couple lives off the grid in a trailer situated on a pastoral site.
MEET ME IN MARFA
Revel in the outdoors and the simple joys of camping.
In restoring an old orchard, a young San Francisco family creates a bucolic weekend retreat.
A young winemaker with farming in his genes and a penchant for impromptu parties revives a storied winery.
Trust us: this West Texas destination—a magnet for creative types—is worth the extra effort to get to.
A kite you’d rather frame than fly? A Brooklyn couple’s designs are meant for recreation, but are also one-of-a-kind beauties.
As a kid, our editor in chief always wanted a tree house. With her current abode, which is surrounded by redwoods, she finally got her wish.
Beat the heat with our shaved ice recipe— a refined take on a childhood favorite.
CALIFORNIA DREAMING 110 In a seaside L.A. suburb, a fashion designer takes full advantage of indoor/outdoor living.
Vertical gardens make it easy to add greenery to a home—no outdoor area or talent for plant upkeep required.
THE LIFE AQUATIC
A houseboat in Amsterdam is proof that even a tiny space can be big on style and personality.
A Bay Area restaurateur hosts a picnic that brings together old and new friends. IN EVERY ISSUE
EDITOR’S LETTER 2 | CONTRIBUTORS 4 | MAKING THE MAGAZINE 6 | SHOPKEEPERS’ PICKS MARKET REPORT 10 | CONVERSATION Rosie Brown of Papa Stour 12 | RESOURCES 127 BY THE BOOK 129 | PRIZED POSSESSION Angela Adams 132
Cover photograph by JEN SISKA 3
going with the grain Set in the woods, a home in New Yorkâ€™s Hudson Valley exudes a rustic, well-worn warmth
Text by LIZ ARNOLD Photographs by SETH SMOOT Styling by KENDRA SMOOT
“IT WAS LIKE THE HOUSE FOUND ME,” says sculptural woodturner Joshua Vogel of the stone cottage in Kingston, New York, that he shares with girlfriend Kelly Zaneto. “I just got in my car and drove through the hills, and I could see this one had potential. For me, potential means I could add onto it and not screw it up.” Joshua, who sells his turnings, objects, and limited-edition furniture through his company, Blackcreek Mercantile & Trading, Co., apparently brings the same transformative skills to spaces as he does to wood on a lathe: that is to say, it’s hard to imagine he’s capable of anything but hand-hewn wonder. Even the textures inside the pair’s home—an old lace tablecloth, worn pots and pans, chestnut beams—are natural with a warm, unfinished sensibility that invites use, touch, and function.
“The trunk passed from Otto onto a friend of ours and now we are keeping it safe for both of them,” says Kelly of the quirky side table. Opposite: Joshua whittled the wood chain link from a branch. He is working on a larger, sculptural version for his limited-edition collection.
“My favorite spot in the house would have to be the bed,” says Davy. Facing French doors that lead to the back patio, “it makes you feel like you’re on vacation.”
When Joshua first saw the house about five years ago, it was similar to other stone structures from the early 1900s, but it had undergone a number of funky renovations. A ranch-style addition had been smashed onto the back. The finishes, he says, “were kind of 1980s.” And the roof, curiously, had been raised a few feet to provide more space on the second floor. With vertical wood paneling connecting the stone to the roof, it’s as though the house wears a charming top hat in the middle of a deciduous forest. By devising some of his own additions, Joshua was able to balance out the quirks of the old ones, giving the house (an enjoyable work-in-progress) a unified feel. “He’s like a house listener,” if not quite a house whisperer, says Kelly, who’s also the business manager for Blackcreek Mercantile. “He has an amazing ability to come into an environment and sense what it should be.” “Woodworking has always been in my blood,” says Joshua. The New Mexico native recalls being happiest as a child when he was nailing scraps of wood together with his uncle. At the University of Oregon, where he studied architecture and worked in a woodshop, Joshua met painter and sculptor Tyler Hays. The two would later found the artisanal 20
furniture studio BDDW in New York City in the mid-’90s—taking on any number of odd demo jobs, Pepe Jeans showroom build-outs, or whatever was required to bring the business to life. Despite the success of the company, Joshua admits, “I never really felt like a city guy.” When BDDW shifted its production upstate, he became so enamored by the new locale that after more than a decade in Brooklyn, he moved to the Hudson Valley. “There’s just something about living up here,” says Joshua, who subsequently branched out on his own, starting Blackcreek Mercantile with Kelly last year.
The fireclay farmhouse sink is a favorite feature of the couple’s recently renovated kitchen. Opposite, top to bottom:
Joshua planted the 100 red tulips last fall. He and Kelly are fans of “acoustic entertainment,” she says; they both play the guitar.
The porch’s timbers were mortised, tenoned, and pegged together by Joshua—who was inspired by naturalist John Burroughs’ Slabsides cabin. Opposite: The writing desk occu-
pies a corner of the library, which doubles as a home office.
Clockwise, from top: The rendered plas-
ter walls are consistent throughout the home. The bathroom was one of the first renovations. “Although it sorely needs to be reupholstered, we can’t bring ourselves to get rid of the beautiful, sun-faded pink color we’ve come to love,” says Kelly of the
“I can go and put my feet on the ground and have a real garden”—a different experience entirely from the kind he was compelled to plant on the rooftop of his urban residence. The company’s 1,600-square-foot workshop— located inside a converted 1917 factory—is a beautiful 15-minute drive away. A large lathe takes center stage in the space, with a wall of neatly organized tools nearby. Piles of wood shavings on the floor and vessels laid out on the table are markers of the craftsmanship that happens here. Having settled among the trees, Joshua is completely at ease in his surroundings—and he has incorporated those surroundings into his home. When he purchased it he planned to hold off on renovations for a year, but he couldn’t help but start tweaking within a week, culling materials from his acre of property and salvaging from local factories. The
GAMES Handcrafted in Brooklyn, Fredericks & Maeâ€™s wares are designed for outdoor recreation, yet are also works of art Text by DORKYS RAMOS Photographs by JENNIFER CAUSEY
IF YOU’RE EVER STUCK on what to buy the
person who has everything—including a love of art and the unexpected—then presenting them with an arrow decorated with exotic feathers and handspun with thread is sure to illicit surprise. Or perhaps they’d be more delighted with an artistic wooden bocce set for those summer gatherings in the backyard. Such items are only some of the whimsy that you’ll find from Fredericks & Mae. Created by Brooklyn duo Gabriel Cohen and Jolie Signorile (the company bears the 25-year-olds’ middle names), Fredericks & Mae is a collection of handmade objects for the home, garden, and sky that are functional and beautiful to behold. The two met during their senior year at Ohio’s Oberlin College after adjacent art studio spaces and a “vibing” vision left them crushing on each other. A joint senior show and five giant installations later (their biggest was 50 feet long), they each moved to Brooklyn, where they had to scale down the size of their projects to fit within their New York City apartments. In an effort to streamline and make the best use of both space and their palette of materials, Jolie says they’ve employed a simple rule: “A new product will make sense if it can basically be made with the
1. Along with using cotton, polyester, silk thread, and gold and silver paint for their arrows, Gabriel and Jolie color the wooden dowels with batik dyes before wrapping them with thread.
2. Jolie brands the company’s name onto the side of the arrows’ dowels.
3. A stack of gold- and silver-tipped dowels bears the Fredericks & Mae imprint.
4. One arrow takes about an hour to complete and comes in a vibrant array of designs embellished with thread, paint, and bird feathers. No two are alike.
5. Jolie cuts the feathers before shaping them. Next, she’ll attach the spine of the feather to the arrow shaft.
6. Gabriel spins different colored thread around each dowel, creating a one-of-akind pattern on each arrow.
7. Jolie carefully adheres the feathers to the side of the threaded dowels.
8. Using a fletching jig, Jolie attaches the feathers to the arrow shaft.
things we already have.” So despite the seeming randomness in their line of arrows, masks, kites, and bocce sets, a unifying thread runs through it— oftentimes quite literally. Cotton, polyester, and silk thread imported from places like Mexico, Germany, and Italy have been present in their work since their larger-than-life college projects and is currently used to create unique patterns on arrows that are then topped with colorful feathers. “I keep being amazed at how beautiful naturally occurring things are,” says Jolie. The vibrant plumes—now acquired from breeders, pet owners, and eBay sellers— were what initially sparked Gabriel and Jolie’s fascination in 2008 and led to the company’s first collection of wings and gold- and silver-tipped arrows. After designer Maryam Nassir Zadeh stocked her eclectic Lower East Side boutique with the arrows that fall and Andy Spade, Kate’s husband and the force behind Partners & Spade, pointed them out in a New York Times
After the bocce balls have been painted and varnished, they’re hung to dry in Jolie’s basement— which serves as the company’s work space when the weather impedes them from taking their projects out to the garden.
Recipe and Text by ALEXIS SIEMONS Photographs by COURTNEY APPLE
Snow cones—those icy rainbow delights—were a staple of my childhood summers. Whenever the temperatures start to rise, I can’t help but recall the sweet jingle of the ice cream truck and the anticipation of devouring those spoonfuls of shaved ice. In hopes of taming my nostalgia, I headed into the kitchen to give the familiar frozen treat a sophisticated twist. Instead of the artificial syrups of my youth, this grown-up version calls for drizzling a bit of floral tea simple syrup on top.
FLORAL TEA SHAVED ICE Serves 4 to 6 Put your keepsake teacups to use—even during the summer heat waves—by filling them with refreshing shaved ice. Serve the floral tea simple syrup in a glass carafe and tuck a flower arrangement into a favorite teapot. It’s a simple soiree in the making. 3 tbsp loose, whole leaf White Rose Tea 5 oz lavender honey
1. Fill an empty half-gallon paper carton with water and freeze overnight into a solid ice block. 2. Fill a paper tea filter bag (I recommend the Finum brand) with the tea. 3. Add 2 cups of water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from burner and let cool for 3 minutes. Add the bag of tea to the pot and steep for 4 minutes. 4. Remove the bag of tea and return pan to burner. Bring tea to a boil. Reduce heat, and add honey. (Lavender honey intensifies the floral flavor of the syrup; regular honey can be used as well.) Stir until honey has dissolved. 5. Remove pan from burner and let simple syrup cool. (Tip: For an elegant touch, add a drop or two of pink food coloring.) Pour into airtight container and keep in refrigerator until ready to serve. The syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. 6. When you’re ready to serve, take the syrup from the fridge and pour it into a carafe. (The syrup should be cold so it doesn’t melt the shaved ice.) 7. Take the ice block from the freezer and tear away half of the paper—leaving enough to easily grip the block while grating. Using a standard grater, shave at least half of the ice block into a medium bowl. 8. Spoon the ice into teacups and drizzle the syrup on top. Philadelphia-based ALEXIS SIEMONS the tea enthusiast behind Teaspoons & Petals (teaspoonsandpetals.com). In addition to blogging, she has a line of haiku teaware and recently launched a series of culinary tea classes.
TEA TASTING The White Rose steeps to a smooth and fragrant sip and is my tea of choice for this recipe, but a number of other floral blends also work well. Orchid Oolong steeps to a nutty and subtly roasted flavor with rich floral notes. Steep 3 tablespoons loose tea in 2 cups of steaming water (bring to a boil and let cool for 2 minutes) for 4 minutes. Jasmine Pearls, a hand-rolled green tea scented with night blooming jasmine, unfurl for a smooth, aromatic sip. Steep 3 tablespoons loose tea in 2 cups of steaming water (bring to a boil and let cool for 4 minutes) for 3 minutes. Earl Grey with Lavender, a traditional black tea with bergamot and dried lavender, steeps to a full-bodied sip with citrus and floral flavors. Steep 3 tablespoons loose tea in 2 cups of boiling water for 4 minutes.
Text by JENNIE NUNN Photographs by KELLY ISHIKAWA Styling by ROD HIPSKIND
NEVERENDING STORY A San Francisco couple and their young son plant their roots in an idyllic dream home and orchard
IT’S THE KIND OF PLACE THAT COULD BEST BE ILLUSTRATED IN CHILDREN’S STORYBOOKS. THE KIND OF PLACE THAT’S SO DREAM-LIKE—WITH 105 ACRES OF SPRAWLING LAND, 100-YEAR-OLD PEAR AND APPLE TREES PLANTED BY EARLY PORTUGUESE SETTLERS, AND WILD PONIES (YES, WILD PONIES) THAT ROAM FREE IN THE HILLS—THAT IT MIGHT AS WELL HAVE BEEN PLUCKED FROM THE PAGES OF KENNETH GRAHAME’S THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS. BUT THIS IS IN FACT A REALITY FOR GAÉTAN CARON, MARIO KASHOU, AND THEIR THREE-AND-A-HALF-YEAR-OLD SON, JOSÉ LEO.
Clockwise: Mario Kashou,
Gaétan Caron, and their son José Leo on the front porch. A door leads to the garden. The entire plot is protected from the deer that are in abundance.
Hidden away on a long, steep road in Mendocino County—a few hours north of San Francisco, where the family resides most days of the week—is the orchard discovered by Mario in 1999. “I just fell in love with the forests and culture of Mendocino. There are so many artists, healers, and nature lovers,” he says. After graduating from law school, he began searching for land without a house; specifically an orchard that was in need of restoration. “I found a real estate magazine that described a property with about 35 old fruit trees. I was hooked.” During his initial visit, the Irvine, California, native counted over 100 old trees that had been abandoned for at least half a century.
The kitchen was designed to mimic the look of the exterior of a building in Europe.
Most of the dishes, pots, and pans are from Thrift Town in San Francisco’s Mission District, while the patterned rugs were picked up during the couple’s travels.
CALIFORNIA dreaming A FASHION DESIGNER DISCOVERS A LITTLE SLICE OF PARADISE JUST A FEW BLOCKS FROM THE BEACH
Text by ANH-MINH LE Photographs by THAYER ALLYSON GOWDY Styling by EMILY HENSON
Toni Spencer relaxes in her backyard with Peaches and Eddie Kid Cooper.
oni Spencer was living in Paris—where she had gone to study fashion—when the postcards began arriving in her mailbox. They were from a friend who had moved from Paris to Los Angeles. “She kept sending me postcards,” Toni recalls. “I got one from Palm Springs that said, ‘Hanging by the pool.’ And, suddenly, Paris was looking a little gloomy.” So Toni moved to Southern California on a whim. “As soon as I got here,” says the native Londoner, “I fell in love with L.A.” That was more than two decades ago. She spent her early years in L.A. doing a variety of work, including assistant styling for commercials and videos. In 1999, she joined Velvet—the clothing line known for its stylish yet comfortable designs—and subsequently became a partner in the business. In 2006, she and Jenny Graham, also of Velvet, launched a luxury label called Graham & Spencer. On the personal front, Toni married, gave birth to daughter Morgan, and divorced. In the wake of the divorce, about three years ago, she started house hunting on the city’s west side. “I wanted to be closer to work,” she says, explaining the
Located close to the beach, it’s no surprise that friends—even those who live in other parts of L.A.— come to the house and stay for the weekend. Below: The porch often turns into a
makeshift arts and crafts area.
“AS SOON AS I GOT HERE, I FELL IN love WITH L.A.” decision to leave the hip Silver Lake neighborhood for the quaint seaside community of Pacific Palisades. “It’s been really good; we can walk to Morgan’s school and to the Village, which has shops and restaurants.” In an area with more traditional architecture, such as Cape Cods and Spanish-style homes, Toni stumbled upon an abode that is modern and warm—clean-lined with plenty of wood accents throughout. “This felt like a real find, not cookie-cutter,” she says. Although built in the 1920s, it had been remodeled by the time she and Morgan, now eight years old, set foot in it. “I felt that we could just move right in and be happy. The house is inviting and friendly, which was exactly what we needed at the time.”
Right: “I love that it’s
a quiet room,” Toni says of the master bedroom. Below: The powdercoated stainless steel dining table was made by friend and furniture designer Matthew Ready.
Prior to their official move-in date, mother and daughter spent several weekends in the empty dwelling to “try to get a sense of it,” says Toni. It was a way to ease into the new place, as well as determine what furniture they should purchase and what changes to make (for example, the wall colors and the flooring). “We had picnics in the garden. Sometimes we slept outside. Sometimes we slept inside in our sleeping bags with the doors open.” The home’s 2,000 square feet includes three bedrooms, three bathrooms, an office, a kitchen, a den, and an open living/ dining area. With its abundance of natural light and high ceilings in some rooms, Toni viewed it as a blank canvas. She has filled the house with mostly vintage furniture and accessories from favorite stores such as Lost & Found, NOHO Modern, Grain, and Orange. The original plan was for the living room to be a grown-up space, while the
“No one is going to love this green kitchen the way I do!” Toni laughs. Below: Toni intended to hang a painting above the sofa, but the textile—a temporary decor idea—has stuck.
den was earmarked for Morgan and her friends. “The dogs have taken over the den! There used to be more furniture and carpets in there, but we had to take them out because the dogs were chewing on them,” Toni says of canines Peaches and Eddie Kid Cooper. A pair of cats, Sammy and Cub, also resides in the house. Toni and Morgan can often be found in the kitchen, which is notable for its acid-green cabinetry. The room offers a couple of seating areas: a breakfast nook and bar-height counter. And, perhaps more importantly, it offers immediate access to the backyard. “In California, you’re outside all the time,” Toni observes. “People always talk about indoor/ outdoor living, but that really is the case with this house.”
The outdoor space was a big draw for mother and daughter. “Morgan loved the house the minute she saw it,” says Toni. “All of her friends want to stay over; they like to just run around.”