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Issue № 7 SPRING 2012 $12.00 U.S.

Wit & Whimsy

INFUSING FUN INTO EVERYDAY LIFE


EDITOR’S

Letter

I tend to gravitate toward the more lighthearted and fun—whether it’s my fashion and decor buys, or movie and book selections. So when Meg Mateo Ilasco, Antholog y’s creative director, proposed devoting an issue to “Wit & Whimsy,” I was immediately sold on the idea. We view Issue No. 7 as an opportunity to showcase people and places with strong senses of style and humor. In our “Conversation” feature, we chat with an actress, comedian, and author (page 12) who had us slightly starstruck; we’re longtime fans of hers. Our entertaining story (“A Family-Style Affair,” page 113) focuses on a concept that I have a personal affinity for: breakfast for dinner! (I love any excuse to eat more bacon.) And reading the dispatches from a California road trip (“Strange Days,” page 34) may be just the motivation needed to pack a weekend bag, toss it in the back of the car, and head out of town.

The interiors on the following pages—including the Portland, Maine, apartment inhabited by a clever husband-and-wife design team (“Bohemian Rhapsody,” page 106), the Los Angeles residences of several comedy writers (“The Funny Side of Life,” page 66), and a San Francisco pad designed by a firm known for its playful yet sophisticated spaces (“Fun Meets Function,” page 98)—certainly vary in their aesthetic. But the homeowners seem to share a trait: they don’t take themselves, or their decor, too seriously. Every time we look at the rooms in “Bold and Beautiful” (page 20), we can’t help but smile. And we hope that by the time you’ve finished reading this issue, you have not only smiled, but maybe even laughed out loud a few times. After all, as Charlie Chaplin once said, “A day without laughter is a day wasted.”

Anh-Minh Le Editor in Chief

JEN SISKA

COMING OUT of winter and easing into spring,


Contents Spring 2012

FEATURES

BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL

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Inside a Philadelphia row house, a riot of rich colors and patterns comes together.

STRANGE DAYS

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A California road trip yields some outlandish attractions and experiences.

THE FUNNY SIDE OF LIFE

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Take a peek into the homes of a handful of comedy writers in Los Angeles.

WHEN SMALL LOOKS GRAND 88 An interior designer’s tiny family home showcases her originality.

HOMEWARD

FUN MEETS FUNCTION 98 A San Francisco residence is beautifully transformed with its fair share of surprising elements.

ANATOMY OF ICE CREAM

COLLECTOR’S EDITION

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY 106 A love of vintage pieces as well as a keen eye for design converge in a Maine apartment.

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In a North Carolina home, myriad collections are lovingly curated.

FRESH PAINT

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A San Francisco painter shares his eclectic, ever-evolving interior.

A FAMILY-STYLE AFFAIR 113 For a catering company’s staff gathering, the menu of choice is breakfast for dinner.

DIVERSIONS

MIX MASTER

IN EVERY ISSUE

EDITOR’S LETTER 2 | CONTRIBUTORS 4 | MAKING THE MAGAZINE SHOPKEEPERS’ PICKS 8 | MARKET REPORT 10 CONVERSATION Amy Sedaris 12 | RESOURCES 123 BY THE BOOK 125 | PRIZED POSSESSION Aaron Rose 128

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Consider ice cream in a whole new way with this visual breakdown of the treat.

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A Bay Area furniture designer thinks outside the box with his bespoke creations.

THE SPIRIT OF SAN MIGUEL 80 View the colonial Mexican town from the perspective of a vacationing photographer.

Cover photograph by SETH SMOOT

Inside cover photograph by MARVIN ILASCO

Inside cover styling by ALEXIS BIRKMEYER MEG MATEO ILASCO

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Conversation Photographs by TODD OLDHAM

Amy Sedaris describes her childhood home in Raleigh, North Carolina—a home that her father designed and built—as “clutter meets hoarders meets Sanford & Son meets The Munsters. When things broke down, they were rigged, never fully repaired. But I think that is why everyone in my family is good at coming up with quick, creative solutions.” That creativity has served her well: after performing in plays throughout junior high and high school, as well as appearing in numerous talent shows, Amy moved to Chicago to study improvisation at the famed Second City. She later landed in New York City, where she broke into the television industry; one of her most memorable characters is Jerri Blank from the Comedy Central series Strangers with Candy. More recently, she guest-starred on The Good Wife, Raising Hope, and Hot in Cleveland. And on the big screen, she lent her voice to the character of Jill in Puss in Boots. The actress and comedian—who is also a playwright (she’s written several plays with her brother David) and author (she penned I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence and Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People)—shares a one-bedroom co-op with Dusty, a Rex rabbit. “I like for things to look like they’re going to come alive at night,” she says of her interior style. “I like odd scale. I love decorative painting, props, and saturated colors.” Among the more offbeat objects in her apartment are a lampshade adorned with hair-color swatches, an assortment of plaster meats, a papier-mâché ax, and 60 wooden bats by artist Brock Shorno. Amy has dubbed her aesthetic as “collectic,” adding: “Everything out is very special to me and has its own story to tell.”


“I like to pretend that I am a widow: ‘Things were easier when my husband was alive.’”

DECORATING APPROACH: I am going for For-

mal Haunted Dollhouse. I like to pretend that I am a widow: “Things were easier when my husband was alive.” “My husband always took care of those things.” So I always have excuses for why things look so halfassed in my home. ON THE HOME FRONT: I am in the process of re-

decorating my bedroom. I hired a designer for the first time—David Cafiero, based on a spread I saw in a House & Garden magazine where he decorated Chloë Sevigny’s apartment. He just finished wallpapering my bedroom. FAVORITE SPOT IN YOUR HOME: It changes all

the time. Right now it’s my bedroom because the wallpaper is new. Last week it was my kitchen because I

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BOLD and BEAUTIFUL In an exuberantly decorated row house, personality-charged pieces reign supreme

THE PHILADELPHIA HOME of Elizabeth Nettles and her husband, Kevin Schultes, winks to passersby. Not literally, of course. But a pair of unexpected details—a graphic black-and-white striped mailbox and a silver door knocker shaped like a watchful fox, tail aloft—gently hint at the fun behind the traditional façade of the four-year-old brick row house. “I like to live in a space that feels playful, vibrant, and unique—a place that has a sense of humor, where there is always something interesting to look at, where there are little surprises waiting to be found in each corner,” says Elizabeth, an event planner and creator of the blog Peacock Feathers (peacockfeatherevents.blogspot.com). When she and Kevin met a few years ago, they immediately bonded over their time spent down South: she’s from Alabama; he went to Clemson University in South Carolina. From there, however, their interests diverge. She studied museum education at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts and wears dresses and heels exclusively, even to ride her Electra Amsterdam bicycle around town. He’s a mechanical engineer

Text by LAUREN MCCUTCHEON Photographs by COURTNEY APPLE Styling by ELIZABETH NETTLES


The living room’s many hues all seem to be captured, and tied together, in the framed Otomi embroidered textile. Opposite: Elizabeth Nettles’

penchant for bright colors and patterns is evident in her wardrobe as well as her home’s decor.

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Banners that were displayed at Elizabeth and Kevin’s wedding hang behind the office sofa, which is upholstered in Marimekko’s Bottna print.

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Left and below: The tablecloth was

fashioned from a duvet cover from Urban Outfitters. The vase is a glass milk bottle that Elizabeth decoupaged with scraps of vintage fabric.

and master well driller who brews beer and built the butcher block countertop in the kitchen and bookshelves in the living room. For the most part, Elizabeth is in charge of the home’s decor—and therefore the elements of surprise that she’s so fond of. Among the surprises: a dining area chandelier crafted out of Ball canning jars, a pair of blue-and-white striped banners from the couple’s June 2010 wedding, a collection of first-edition books with vibrant colors (one of her favorites is David Hicks on Decoration - with Fabrics), critterinspired art, and an assortment of vintage matchbooks (including some that are part of a collage that her father brought back from a trip to Japan in the 1970s). She refers to the elegantly quirky, undeniably

vivid mélange as a “circus.” But in truth, the 1,600-square-foot space—which spans three stories, but is just 12 feet wide—is the careful and natural outcome of her eclectic past and varied passions. Elizabeth grew up in a pristine household; her mother was always decorating, crafting, sewing, cooking, and tweaking. “It would be safe to say that my mom’s a perfectionist,” says the grateful daughter. But she also grew up following her freespirited aunt around countryside fairground flea markets, hunting for kitschy objects such as animal figurines. Elizabeth has a profound affinity for animals—“If I could, I’d have a farm in the city, or goats and donkeys on our roof,” she says—but also for couture, as evidenced by both her shoe-obsessed blog and her fabulous walk23


SPIRIT OF During a recent visit to San Miguel de Allende, photographer Amy Dickerson captured the Mexican city’s many charms—from the colorful haciendas that line the cobblestone streets to the local artisans and musicians who are part of the vibrant, creative scene Text and Photographs by AMY DICKERSON

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COLORS OF THE CITY

At the Rosewood hotel’s Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar, which offers glorious views, we watched the sun set while sipping tequila. In the heart of town, near Jardín Principal, a man sells hand-woven Mexican baskets.


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SIGHTS AND SOUNDS

The sounds of mopeds on the cobblestone streets and musicians such as Mercelo Cerino are commonplace. But even in its quiet moments— including our time spent poolside at the Posada Corazón, shopping at the eclectic boutique Mixta, and peeking into the city’s secret and lush gardens—San Miguel exudes a vibrancy.

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WHEN SMALL LOOKS

GRAND An interior designer cleverly maximizes every square inch (and penny) decorating her pint-size L.A. home Text by ANH-MINH LE Photographs by TERI LYN FISHER Styling by FRANCES MERRILL

THE IRON Y of her own decor is not lost on Frances Merrill. “As an interior designer, I pick out every detail in other people’s homes. But most of the things in my own home are accidental,” she says with a slight chuckle. “Most of our furniture found us.” Take the red Platner lounge chair in the living room that she and her husband Chris, a producer with the American Film Institute, discovered at a yard sale in their Los Angeles neighborhood for the bargain price of $200. (A new one retails for about $5,000.) “It was late in the day and the sale was on Silver Lake Boulevard,” she recalls, “so I couldn’t believe no one had grabbed it!” Nearby the Platner—well, perhaps everything in the tiny house can be considered nearby (more on the home’s size later)—a Barcelona chair has been Frances Merrill, her husband Chris, their daughter Honor, and the family pup Lola, enjoy one of their home’s best features—the outdoor space. Opposite: Rather than reupholstering the

pink velvet loveseat in the living room, Frances has simply covered it with various textiles over the years, like the current gingham pattern.

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Photographs by THAYER ALLYSON GOWDY


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This page and opposite: To

help unify the living room and kitchen, which are adjacent to one another, Frances painted both in Benjamin Moore’s Chelsea Gray.

recovered in a floral fabric. In a past life, it was a set piece for a play that Chris produced. “It had white upholstery and every night, as part of the play, red wine would get spilled on it,” says Frances. Once the play closed, she was given the iconic Ludwig Mies van der Rohe-designed chair in exchange for her work on the set. The upholstered headboard in Frances and Chris’ bedroom, which is a converted garage, is from a furniture store where she once worked. Not a fan of its nailheads, she came up with a quick and easy fix: throwing a hide over it. For lighting, she opted for a pair of construction lamps from Home Depot. Initially, they were clipped to the top of the headboard. But the clips have long since broken and the lamps now drape over the headboard, high enough so neither Frances nor Chris bump their heads on the fixtures. The nightstands flanking the bed are wooden crates that she topped with custom-cut ¾-inch

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This page and opposite: A sliding

glass door adorned with a colorful tapestry that has been sewn into a curtain separates Frances and Chris’ bedroom from the office space for her firm, Reath Design. (Reath is Frances’ maiden name.)

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sheets of marble—an ingenious example of the high/low approach. It seems like every decor decision in the home has an interesting tale. The house itself is rumored to have been built in the 1920s as the trailers for the crew of cowboy films starring Tom Mix. That would explain the structure’s small footprint; according to Frances, county records list it as less than 500 square feet. Over the years, various owners have managed to squeeze out more space, like the garage that has become the larger of the two bedrooms. The carport is now the office for Frances’ practice, Reath Design (reath design.com). And she and Chris have taken advantage of their massive yard by erecting a prefabricated modular unit that serves as a guest bedroom. The couple plans to eventually renovate and expand the house, which they share with two-year-old daughter Honor and their pound-rescue Lola; Frances and Chris’ second child is due in August. In the meantime, Frances’ creativity has gone a long way. The house lacks a dining room, but this being L.A., the family can eat outside almost 10 months out of the year. When the weather doesn’t cooperate, they gather in the living room, where low tables and floor cushions come in handy. In the adjacent kitchen, Frances put the

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Anthology Magazine is a home and lifestyle print magazine that explores a theme in every issue. In this online preview, we show you a glimps...

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