elevate Premiere Issue,Fall 2010
Fall 2010 Every Issue
Founderâ€™s Letter 6
Contributors 8 On The Boards 11 With antiques from Conor Fennessy
On The Town 17 Discover Dog Patch, Caffeine Rivalry and a return to Gold Rush Days in San Francisco
Newsreel Trend Predictor 47 Graffiti, Vampires and Political Polarity make their way into your home
Darling and Daring 104 Our parting shot
James Saavedra on Fall Fabrics
In Search Of 54 Alexandra Robbins seeks the best water bottle
Wear The Room 100 Katherine Brown gets sweet... and edgy
Fall 2010 Features
Blustery Day 28
The LA Box Collective gets all modeled out with O Eco Textiles
Standard Visits Graypants 39 An interview with Seth Grizzle of the Seattle-based design company
Room With A Muu 57 Inside the home of Muu Kidâ€™s founder Robert Kwak and his family
66 More Features
The Modern Manâ€™s Guide to Hillside Living 66 Inside a Hollywood Hills retreat
That Old Thang? 76 Actors Beth Broderick and Dennis Bailey in Austin
Bride of the Wild West 88 The team from Bash Please serve up a bachelorette party in Joshua Tree
Standard Loves This Project 96
A 1747 home on Nantucket wins the American Clay Makeover contest
FOR ME, THERE IS NOTHING LIKE THE ALLURE OF OPENING UP A FAVORITE PUBLICATION AND SETTLING IN FOR INSPIRATION. NEEDLESS TO SAY, THE PAST FEW YEARS OF WATCHING COUNTLESS MAGAZINES FOLDING INTO THE ABYSS HAVE BEEN PARTICULARLY DISAPPOINTING. STRUGGLING TO STAY AFLOAT, MANY OF THE SURVIVORS HAVE HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO SACRIFICE CONTENT FOR AD SPACE. LIKE ATHLETES WHO STAY IN THE GAME LONG PAST THEIR PRIME, THESE PUBLICATIONS, ONCE POIGNANT AND PROVOKING, HAVE BECOME SCRAWNY INSIGNIFICANT LOOK-ALIKES. IT IS BECAUSE OF THIS UNFORTUNATE METAMORPHOSIS IN THE PUBLISHING WORLD THAT I WAS MOVED TO CREATE STANDARD, BASED ON THE BAR I HAVE SET FOR MYSELF OVER THE PAST 12 YEARS OF CREATING DESIGN THAT DEMONSTRATES MY MANTRA: GREEN IS A STANDARD, NOT A STYLE.
DON’T LOOK FOR WORDS LIKE THESE: ECO-FRIENDLY, RECYCLED, FAIR-TRADE, FSC- CERTIFIED, WATER-BASED, NON-TOXIC, LOCAL, ORGANIC, RECLAIMED, GREEN, RECYCLABLE, RENEWABLE, ENERGY-EFFICIENT, UP-CYCLED, NATURAL, SUSTAINABLE...
just ASSUME IT. it’s our STANDARD. WE WON’T BE HITTING YOU OVER THE HEAD WITH OUR MORALS. QUITE FRANKLY, THE TIME HAS COME FOR A PUBLICATION THAT DOESN’T MAKE A BIG DEAL OUT OF EVERY ECO-DETAIL . WE DON’T GIVE BROWNIE POINTS FOR THINGS THAT SHOULD BE STANDARD, HERE IN THE POST-GREEN MOVEMENT. I HOPE THAT YOU WILL ENJOY WHAT WE HAVE TO SHARE WITH YOU . OUR TEAM IS MADE UP OF A COLLECTION OF INCREDIBLY TALENTED INDIVIDUALS WHO I AM PROUD TO HAVE CURATED OVER THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS IN ANTICIPATION OF THIS VERY MOMENT. WELCOME TO STANDARD. I LOOK FORWARD TO SHARING THIS JOURNEY WITH YOU.
Kelly LaPlante Editorial Director & Founder
PS. EXCITED TO HAVE HEALTHY CHILD HEALTHY WORLD AS OUR PHILANTHROPIC PARTNER FOR THE YEAR!
Editorial Director & Founder: Kelly LaPlante
Publishing Consultant: Heather Stephenson
Organizational Liason: Devin Adante
Editorial Assistant: Lilianne Steckel firstname.lastname@example.org
Ad Sales: Kay Hill email@example.com
Production Assistant: Kelly Thompson
Interns: Joy Shi, Diana Abdulian
Editorial Consultant: Jess Chamberlain
Contributors “Standard, to me, connotes two themes intertwined: both a level of consummate quality and an expectation that has been fulfilled so consistently that it has become a norm. That's tough love, really, because those of us with high healthy expectations keep raising the bar.” Alexandra Robbins, Columnist In Seach Of... Page 54
“The more customers purchase quality pieces (within their budget) the more they are, essentially, making investment purchases. When we invest in our wardrobes, they are able to sustain for a much longer period of time. And when we cut down on the purchasing of ‘fast fashion’ we help save natural resources. My Standard means equality through quality. Let's start wearing it now!” Katherine Brown, Columnist Wear The Room Page 100
“My standard is to always strive to do my best each day... to live my best life. We all deserve a life infused with beauty and style.” James Saavedra, Columnist Perfectionist Page 26
Tet Text "When I think of the design world, my standards and what should be standard for everyone, I think of the search for quality and quirk. I think you really need to take your time investing in pieces that are amazing in quality and have some style. Then you can mix in some other things with your own personal taste, no matter what the price. I always take a moment to ask sellers how items are made. You feel good when you purchase a piece that is hand-crafted or earth-friendly. It feels good to know the background of the pieces you live with." Dallas Shaw Cover Illustration
“Standard is jammin’ to 90’s beats during the shoot, glowing with positive vibes and capturing the subject in a natural yet unique way.” Joshua Walker of bareallgoodness Photographer, Blustery Day Page 28
“The standard I set for myself is to look for and find beauty in the every day. I strive to bring that attitude and approach into my shoots—to explore a space, to find its hidden moments and to share them with others. Then I feel it's a job well done.” Laure Joliet, Photographer The Modern Man’s Guide to Hillside Living Page 66
ON THE BOARDS: new finds, old favorites With featured antiques by Conor Fennessy, San Francisco
1: Skull Decanter by Justin Parker for Esque Studio 2:The Esque Off Pitcher and Cup from Heath Ceramics 3: Gold Front Skull by Justin Parker for Esque Studio 4: The Ghost Camera from Yellow Owl Workshop 5: Bracelet from contourmysoul on etsy.com 6: Anatomical Prints by Bernard Sigfried Albini, through Conor Fennessy 7:Vases by Sara Paloma 11
4 3 5
1: Rush Hour Pillow from Branch Home 2: Map of San Francisco by Ork Posters 3 & 4: Antique finds available through Conor Fennessy 5: San Francisco Terrain by Conor Fennessy 6: Cavalry Wallpaper by Cavern 7: Hand-felted “Stud” Pillow by Alexandra Ferguson on etsy.com 12
2 5 4 3
1: Custom Leather Carrying Case and Custom Leather Clutch by Mr. Winters. 2: Southeast Asian Bronze Stupa Reliquarythrough Conor Fennessy 3: Italian Space Age Light Fixture through Conor Fennessy 4: Hand Blown vases from Vivaterra 5: Tigerlace Wallpaper by Cavern 6: The Jump Desk by Knu 7: Antique Skull through Conor Fennessy 13
3 7 6
1: Pouf 43, Round Ottoman by Cisco Home 2: Orangerie BP 2503 Wall Paper by Farrow and Ball 3: The Bobo from ARTICLE 22 4: Bucharest and Constanta Collection by Amy Butler 5: Weld Vases by Phil Cuttance 6: Gate Sofa by jak Studio Collection 7: Deco Pillow, Dominique from Les Indiennes by Mary Mulcahy 14
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ON THE TOWN:
Coit Tower view, as seen from the Crown Room and Tower Building of the Fairmont.
It doesn’t matter if you are a friend or foe of f o g g y w e a t h e r, t h e r e i s s o m e t h i n g undeniably magical about the 49 square miles that are lucky enough to call themselves San Francisco. The spirit of the city manages to make us ride the cable car (even though it is SUCH a cliché) and we cannot help but get a little misty-eyed when we hear Sinatra crooning about how he left his heart there, just like we did.
Embarrassing admissions aside, we’d like to present just a few of our favorite haunts, both old and new. It may seem like a motley crew (how can a landmark hotel and a warehouse-based take out restaurant be on the same list?) But they are bound by the commonality of quality and united in their quest to push the boundaries, creating an e ve n m o r e a m a z i n g S a n Fra n c i s c o experience for locals and visitors alike.
Good Dog Wander over to the up-and-coming Dogpatch neighborhood for lunch at Piccino where the chickpea and roasted garlic spread (pictured above on the Antipasti Platter) is so good that we’d be ashamed to call it hummus. The daily sandwich specials are inventive and satisfying —we adored the grilled cheese number they were serving with thinly sliced cucumbers when we visited—and the dishes are hand thrown pieces of rustic perfection by the talented architect/ designer/ artist Loring Sagan.
Sly Dog For those who seek a more underground experience, we recommend the extremely un-fanciful but very fabulous kitchenette, which operates from the loading platform of an old Dogpatch warehouse. Take the T-line from downtown, grab yourself a picnic lunch and then cop a squat on one of the benches outside or take your gourmet meal to go. With chefs trained at some of the most prestigious restaurants in town, the food is sure to please your palate while the industrial experience will satisfies your hunger for adventure. Menus are posted every weekday morning on their site and twitter feed.
Gold Rush Once upon a time, San Francisco was a town full of miners and prospectors—men on a mission with basic needs who were always grateful for a well-stocked general store. While it may not have been what the owners had in mind when they created Gravel & Gold—a shop full of beautiful, well made things—there is certainly a bit of an 1850’s vibe one gets when they walk through the dutch-door and into the space where hand written signs explain each item and a record player in the corner churns out twangy old tunes.
Garden Industry Where can one find a nursery boasting an impressive array of succulents, a resident artist/ welder and a café where the baristas serve up Ritual Coffee all under the same roof? At Flora Grubb in the BayView neighborhood, of course! You’re sure to reconsider the notion of a picnic in the garden when you pull up to one of their outdoor tables, gaze into the foliage and realize that you are staring at an old Ford Edsel... transformed into a wild overgrown planter.
JOIN THE LOCAL DEBATE OVER WH0 HAS THE BEST COFFEE. RITUAL OR BLUE BOTTLE?
Warning: this is not a place to grab a quick cup. You will want to take the time to indulge in the artistry of a single cup of coffee being prepared on the Japanese siphon bar at Blue Bottle’s Mint Plaza Café. The process is fascinating and truly beautiful to watch. When the coffee is done, relax, sip and admire the light that filters through the giant windows and the ceiling—so high that it almost feels as though the space is a perfect cube!
Antiquarian This issue’s featured antiquarian, Conor Fennessy, can be found in the heart of the North Beach/ Telegraph Hill area—one of our favorite neighborhoods to spend an afternoon. We recommend taking the cable car up Columbus, hoping off to see what Conor’s latest treasures are and then wandering up the street to one of the many restaurants and cafés. The street is brimming with gorgeous Italian food (and the equally gorgeous Italians who serve it!) On our latest visit to the neighborhood, we sat down with Conor, who gave us the ten cent tour of his life as an antiquarian. STANDARD: You’re originally from Ireland and skipped around a bit before coming to San Francisco. If you were an antique, what would your provenance be, from the time you arrived in town until now? CONOR: I came here in the 1970s to do live sound for The Grateful Dead and to take part in a program that was being held through a school on a boat in Sausalito. Then, in the 1980s, I had a shop on Filmore Street for awhile and I began to practice design. Ten years ago I was in France on a buying trip with some clients and I met a dealer in the northern part of the country who was interested in having a shop in San Francisco. We decided to partner and I found this space for us here in North Beach. At they last minute they pulled out but I decided to go for it anyway. I’ve had this shop on my own since then. 22
STANDARD: There seems to be something missing there. How did you go from doing live sound to designing? CONOR: They are the same, really. When you are doing sound you are arranging—the levels, how the music projects and where. And when you are designing you are arranging—deciding what will go together and how. Finding interesting ways to put things into an unexpected composition is one of my favorite things about designing for clients and for the shop. STANDARD: Tell us about North Beach. What is special about being in this neighborhood? Who are the people who come into your shop? CONOR: I’ve always lived on this side of town and I love having my shop here. There is something about the smell from the bay and the wet air that I really love. It is the only part of San Francisco that has remained relatively unchanged. Most of my clientele is the design trade and I actually do a tremendous amount of business on the internet now but I still find having the shop to be really important. We have events here and it is my connection with the community. Conor Fennessy in his North Beach shop STANDARD: Obviously antiques are extremely important to you. Do you insist that your design clients use antiques? CONOR: My job is to create something meaningful to them and to help them see a part of themselves that they may not see on their own. Antiques almost always become a part of that but it is not a requisite, no. STANDARD: It’s cliché but we’d be remiss if we didn’t ask what you’d grab if the store was on fire. CONOR: I’m quite fond her (he points to an Austrian art deco sculpture of a nude woman with blue hair). That is a very unusual size for a sculpture like that and she is very special.
Nighty Night After a long day of exploring you could lay your head at any number of exquisite hotels in the city by the bay. We are only recommending one. For more than a century, The Fairmont San Francisco has maintained what we consider to be the most important standard for hotels: excellence. Think the vibe at The Fairmont is too “old” for you? Getting amazing sleep and waking up with plenty of energy for mad adventures will change your mind about that. And while you’re nodding off to the distant sounds of fog horns and the bells of the trolley, the dedicated staff is working around the clock to provide the very best service, accommodations, stateof-the-art amenities and innovative environmental programs (including the executive chef’s new honeybee hives in the culinary garden, introduced to help maintain the dwindling bee population.) Full disclosure: our editorial director and founder Kelly LaPlante designed the Lexus Hybrid Living Suite for the hotel in 2008 (so we may be just a wee-bit biased) but, in fact, it was her recollection of the exemplary experiences she had with the staff while living at The Fairmont for several months that sealed the deal for us. An executive at the hotel summed up their philosophy by saying: “Excellence is never static; it is always evolving based on an ever-changing world.” We could not agree more.
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JAMES SAAVEDRA ON: FABRICS
It does not matter what I am working on, there is a specific formula that results in a successful interior, a meticulously honed approach that I have developed over the years. Success is met when diligent, measured attention is payed to the details. Fabrics are in integral part of any interior. Whether you’re selecting a sumptuous linen for your custom sofa or narrowing down that perfect stripe for a few new pillows, you definitely want to pay attention to the details of each and every fabric. It could be the fabric’s texture, color or hand but you can bet it is the details that draw you in and make you say "this is the one." Here are a few of my favorites this fall.
1. Basket in Straw, from Lulan Every great room needs a bit of sheen and sparkle. This fabric creates a glow that doesn’t go overboard.
2. Leathersoft in Pewter, from Q-Collection Sophisticated and brooding contract grade leather with a lovely (surprisingly supple!) hand.
3. Checkered Skipper in Silver Sea, from Q-Collection With a fuzzy hand and two distinct blue stripes this accent fabric is a great addition.
4. Lodge in Creme Brulee, from Pollack This nubby wonder made of worsted wool is an excellent texture to build upon.
5. Infinity in Cinders & Charcoal, from Brentano I always love to throw in something a little unexpected. The unique pattern on this fabric is a lot of fun.
photographed by Joshua Walker
LA Box Collective & O Eco Textiles
Opposite (L to R) Furniture designers and LA Box Collective members Robert Apodaca, Toher Paterno and David Johnson wear scarves made of Rainier, the new wool collection by O Eco Textiles (in Dolphin, Slate & Chocolate.) Below, fellow collective member & designer William Stranger wears Rainer in Charcoal.
(L-R) Robert wears Ultimate Floppy Linen in Coral, Will and Topher wear Rainer in Pumpkin and Cloudberry, David wears Hardy Organic Hemp in Apple.
The LA Box Collective is like a high school wood-working club... but the members are older, sexier, more talented and fiercely committed to their values.
Members of the LA Box Collective with their original furnishings. (L-R) William Stranger wears Tonasket in Rhododendron, Edward Pine Stevens wears a custom print by Piano Nobile on Bloedel, David Johnson wears a custom print by Piano Nobile on Chinook, Topher Paterno wears Quilcene in Fog and Robert Apodaca wears a custom print by Piano Nobile on Bloedel. All fabrics are by O Eco Textiles.
Inside the live/work loft of the trio of creatives that is Graypants, we sit down with co-founder and creative director, Seth Grizzle, to talk about cardboard, art, and the importance of transcending tradition and redefining design
Name: Seth Grizzle No, this is not his stage name Hood: Queen Anne neighborhood, Seattle Gig: Co-founder and Creative Director, Graypants Wisdom: 29 years STANDARD: So, pretend we met, randomly, at the Ballard farmer’s market, instead of in your loft for an interview. We get to talking, and I ask “So, what do you do?” Response? SETH: I’d tell you I’m an architect. And then I’d go into a story about how I’m in transition, focusing on product and responsible design. I’d tell you how I don't consider myself just an architect that does buildings. I consider myself a designer that considers all aspects of design.
And then I’d pull out my phone, flip through photos and start the story about how I’ve fallen into a weird little niche. How I take cardboard boxes and turn them into light fixtures. And you’d say “These are old boxes?!?” The photos, which are a little portfolio in my pocket, help transcend the idea that we’re creating junky lights out of junk. They are indeed a jawdropping recipe of organic material and aesthetic modernism. It’s such an abstract idea to describe; people need the visual representation. STANDARD: So, then, what would you say is Graypants’ mission? SETH: Hmmm. I should have this. I guess I’d say: To challenge the idea of what design is. Again, to transcend people’s thoughts around
what design is, and to show that you can really do good design with different, unconventional, material. S TA N DA R D : W h o a r e s o m e designers you’re inspired by and why? SETH: Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saaranin, Peter Zumthor, Herzog de Meuron, Office Da, Shigeru Ban, Steven Hull. They're always pushing the envelope and exploring new ideas. And they don’t get locked in one aesthetic, but rather, keep reinventing themselves, challenging the idea of what design is and can be. STANDARD: What Seattle designers/ c o m p a n i e s s h o u l d w e k n ow ? SETH: Kerf, Urbancase, Graham BaBa Architects, Lead Pencil Studio and Zero Plus. STANDARD: Tell me about your space. SETH: I love the stairway, which connects our live/work space to the street level. We love collaborating with artist friends and our buddy Mark Von Rosenstiel turned a dark, nasty, ugly corridor into a playful and energetic space with the experience of walking through a dynamic painting—a true transition of coming and going. It totally changes the spirit of the space. You kind of want to dance up and down it. It really pulls you from the street. This is true. STANDARD: And the actual live/ work space? SETH: Once you get up, it's such an e f fi c i e n t a r e a . I t h a s t o b e , considering three people live in about 1000 square feet. Seth resides with co-owner Jon Junker and their business partner Jon Gentry—again, not stage names. Currently, Grizzle and Junker are doing the Graypants gig full-time. It’s small, so every 41
The live/work space of Graypants. “The cave” (an added third bedroom) in the “closed” and “open” positions.
square foot counts. There’s the production/ manufacturing area, the office area. Everything needs to be transitional. He shows me how a couple modern leather L-shaped couches can quickly disappear from the “office”. When managing two things—a home and a workspace—the boundaries end up bleeding together.
the imperfection of a fold takes place in the box, which then creates a unique ray from the light. Each light is made from different boxes, and we don't take labels off the boxes, so each one really tells a story. I love that there’s a message behind it, because to us design is about stories. For these lights, the story is about remembering what it was.
STANDARD: How did the laser cutter become your tool of choice? SETH: When thinking of different materials to use for furnishings, we played with the layering process, the idea of slices (made possible by the laser cutter). Junker and I were sketching ideas for chairs. We were talking about decks of cards, or stacks of quarters and being able to loosen things up to manipulate shape. STANDARD: And why used cardboard? Most of the boxes are from automotive shops in the neighborhood that are happy to have the “waste” carried away. SETH: There’s that distinct pattern from corrugation, but it’s the unique aesthetic quality you can't plan for that’s so wonderful: where
STANDARD: Tell us about the style/aesthetic of your space. SETH: It just kind of happened. Ah, finally, a good reminder that these attractive young design heroes are also just guys. I think we all have similar ideas and none of us are big collectors of things. Personally, I’ve never kept much. I have two pieces of furniture: a Jakob Wagner Ray chair and an old church pew that I found in my grandparents barn. Junker had a couch. Gentry had a desk. We’ve purged a lot. And we don’t need to have a lot. The things we have, we want to be nice. And what we don’t have forces us to make furniture. If we need something, we make it. Again, such guys. Like, we needed a third bedroom, so we built it.
Jon Gentry hangs a scrap light from the Graypants collection.
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Here at Standard, there is a core belief that if you watch the world closely, you will be able to predict what will happen in the world of design. In this issue we examine the effects of political polarity, the teen-screaming obsession with vampires and how street art, which has always been a way to check in on the pulse of the world, is slowly making itâ€™s way indoors
Vampiric Obsession With the celebration of all things vampiric in full swing, it was only a matter of time before designers started digging up their demons.
we Predict A MINIATURE GOTHIC REVIVAL IS ABOUT TO DESCEND UPON US LIKE A SEXY VAMPIRE BOYFRIEND DESCENDING FROM THE SKY. IRONWORK, CANDLES, BLOOD-RED VELVET AND MOODY PRINTS WILL SLOWLY BE MAKING THEIR WAY INTO YOUR FAVORITE SHELTER SHOPS... THE LOOK IS ALREDY ON THE RUNWAY FOR DESIGNERS LIKE BODKIN.
Appeals courts are overflowing with the evidence that we are a nation divided. We cannot agree on what our politicians decide for us, nor on what we decide for ourselves. As the fights over gay marriage, healthcare and religious expression wage on, we cannot help but wonder how much melting is actually going on in this pot.
WE PREDICT CONTRASTING DETAILS, MORE THAN EVER., ARE GOING TO APPEAR IN ALL ELEMENTS OF DESIGN. THE RUNWAY CONFIRMS THAT DESIGNERS ARE EFFECTED BY THIS POLARITY, WITH FASHION SHOWS DOUBLING AS EXPOSITIONS OF JUXTAPOSITION. EXPECT TO SEE MORE OF THE INDUSTRIALMEETS-GLAM LOOK AS WELL AS OTHER UNCONVENTIONAL MIXES... LIKE TRADITIONAL INDIAN WITH ART DECO, PERHAPS.
A world in turmoil As the nations continue to undergo various crises, artists continue to use graffiti as a form of commentary upon wars, political turmoil, and the injustice they witness occurring in modern society. Whereas, once, graffiti was almost always linked with rap and hip-hop culture, today graffiti has found increasing acceptance and street art carries messages from all corners of the artistic community, like the installations on this page, by Jesse Graves of Mud Stencils.
AS GRAFFITI GAINS GREATER ACCEPTANCE AS AN ART FORM, THE DESIGN COMMUNITY WILL BE EXTENDING A GREATER WELCOME TO IT AS WELL. LOOK FOR URBAN EXPRESSION EMERGING IN ELEMENTS OF DESIGN. THE SHOCK ELEMENTS, AND EVEN VIOLENCE, FOUND IN A LOT OF STREET ART WILL BE TEMPTING FOR DESIGNERS TO IMPLEMENT AS BOLD THEMES IN A HOME.
In Search Of...
THE BEST RE-USABLE BOTTLE
ALEXANDRA ROBBINS When certain magazines publish “Best Of” product lists, compiled through reader surveys or editor tests, I eagerly pounce. Somehow, those lists always lure my attention, dangling promises of road-tested, tried-and-true magic fixers. But time and time again, I fold the magazine, disappointed, because even if the products delivered, I wouldn’t use them. On rare occasions, a single product out of many on the list will be captioned “Best Natural” or “Best Organic,” which leads me to wonder whether the magazine considered more than one. That’s why I’m writing this column. For every issue, I’ll test a series of high-quality items— all of which will meet our strict criteria in this arena—so that rather than having to disclaim “Best Natural” or “Best Organic,” I can confidently recommend one or two as, to my tastes, the best. I decided to focus my first column on water bottles because the lifestyle fix is such an easy one. I had expected the search for a reusable water bottle to be similarly easy, yet it turned out to be surprisingly frustrating.
Klean Kanteen: I began with the usual suspect. Klean Kanteen developed the first BPA-free stainless steel water bottle on the market and is an environmentally responsible company. The company bills its product as “the healthiest, safest bottle you can buy” and touts its durability, claiming “they don’t dent easily.” Here’s the thing. They do. At least, mine did. One drop on a sidewalk dented the bottle and chipped the coating. (The bottle didn’t have far to drop; I’m 5’3’’ on a good day.) Granted, a dent alone wouldn’t be enough to dissuade me; I don’t mind a bit of character. The bottle top, however, was a different story. Tough to twist, it was awkward and relatively timeconsuming to open. For me, that was the dealbreaker. The company has since come out with additional bottletop options, but I still find them uncomfortable to grasp with a finger. Camelbak: I appreciated Camelbak’s tapered bottom, which enables its Betterbottle to fit snugly into cupholders (also, I appreciate the phrase “tapered bottom”). The grip isn’t ideal, but the “spill-proof bite valve,” which closes automatically, is pretty cool. The sippy-cuplike straw means that you don’t have to lift and tilt to drink, which helps while driving or biking (though if you want to avoid the plastic hanging out in your water, you can remove the straw). Camelbak’s insulated bottles prevent condensation and keep liquids cold even on hot sunny days. The stainless steel bottle, however, is not dishwasher safe.
Sigg: Another stalwart on the water bottle scene, Sigg offers recycled aluminum bottles. On the version I tried, the mouth was too narrow for easy cleaning, but the bottle was lightweight and the designs were cool and customizable. The poptop “mud cap” worked fine. Soon after my purchase, however, news outlets reported that Sigg’s supposedly BPA-free bottles in fact leached BPA, and even the new “EcoCare” liner can flake. Sigg lost my trust, and therefore my business. Nathan’s: I loved Nathan’s easy grip and its dishwashersafe stainless steel. But while the flip straw is a good concept and the extra included straws are a nice touch, some bottles require a surprising amount of pressure to flip the straw (test them in-store before buying). Another concern is Nathan’s warning: “Not for use with hot liquids or milk products.” Not that I’m going to keep a Potbellies milkshake on the sidelines of my soccer game, but what does that unusual caution say about the material? Thermos Roho: As soon as I tested the Roho, I was in love (well, as much as one can be in love with a water bottle). Here was an efficient poptop cap—a cinch to open one-handed and on the go—a long neck for easy gripping, a stainless steel, top-rack dishwasher-safe construction with no lining, and a wide-enough mouth that enabled me to drop in ice cubes without having to slam them in with a frozen palm. A note: practice taught me that liquid flows better when I drink sideways from the cap. Found! Alexandra’s Standard: Thermos Roho Also recommendable: Camelbak Alexandra Robbins is the New York Times bestselling author of several books, including "PLEDGED: The Secret Life of Sororities" and "THE OVERACHIEVERS: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids." Contact her at facebook.com/AlexandraRobbinsbooks
FOUNDER’S NOTE: I’M CRAZY ABOUT ALL OF THE GREAT DESIGNS THAT THERMOS HAS PUT TOGETHER FOR THE ROHO!
CHERISH THE FREEDOM OF SAFER CHOICES You’re already doing your best to raise your family in a safe and healthy environment. But did you know that today’s homes are filled with pesticides and chemicals from everyday objects and foods? Discover how to eliminate your children’s exposure to man-made toxic substances and provide them with the best future possible.
Essential advice and simple solutions for all stages of parenting. Keep kids healthier. Reduce environmental threats. Green your home. Our new trusted eco-guide will show you how! Pick up your copy today.
Room With A Muu The modern childrenâ€™s furniture company founder and his family carve out a new look for their home in Silverlake, California
obert Kwak, founder of Muu Kids, lives in a midcentury dream house with his family. Spacious and bright, with a view of historic buildings, treetops and a sizable mountain range visible from two sides of the house, just two challenges stood between the family and domestic bliss: 1) Expressing their style without detracting from the amazing view. 2) Designing to compliment the architecture, without ending up with the ubiquitous â€œMidCentury Silverlake Designâ€? look. While a lot of their existing furniture seemed to have its heart in the right place, there was a common theme of disproportion and misplacement in most rooms. The dining area was particularly challenging, with a table that was too big for the space and uncomfortable heavy chairs. A small piece from the coupleâ€™s amazing art collection
was being drowned by the expanse of white wall around it and a mid-century lighting fixture was doing nothing to enhance the ambiance of the area. The space needed a complete transformation and once that was agreed upon the table and chairs were sold, u n c e r e m o n i o u s l y, o n craigslist. “We just wanted a fresh slate” explains Robert. We didn’t care that we had to eat dinner on a card table for two months.” Vintage Bertoia chairs were discovered at a neighbors garage sale and two captains chairs (which live in the entry on most days and are brought in to accommodate additional guests at dinner parties) were
“These were some of our favorite pieces, and they were just hiding in storage!”
purchased and re-upholstered in a strong and sturdy Mohair from Knoll. Finding the perfect table was the most time-consuming part of the entire project. A large marble top was sought after for its durability and aesthetic but the specificity of the requirements made it difficult to find. Weeks of internet searching paid off when Robertâ€™s wife, Eunhak, found a gorgeous marble slab, castoff from a building in downtown Los Angeles, where it had a previous life as a lobby wall. The slab was refabricated and paired with an antique sewing table base, found at Olde Good Things. The remainder of the slab was turned into a customdesigned entry table. The lighting fixture was replaced w i t h a ch a n d e l i e r t h a t o n c e belonged to Eunhakâ€™s mother and a new salon-style art wall was created
to highlight the couple’s fantastic collection and to make the room more personal. “These were some of our favorite pieces” says Robert “and they were just hiding in storage!” Once the dining room was complete the couple was encouraged at how much could be re-used in the other rooms of the house. The living room wa s a d d r e s s e d w i t h a s i m p l e rearrangement of furniture—reoriented to emphasize the view and to create a more defined entry area. The couple’s credenza from Cisco Home was placed behind the sofa, where it helps to anchor the entry space and define the new living area. “It is amazing what a difference it makes to have the furniture facing the right direction” laughed Kwak. A rug from Union Eighteen and a vintage coffee table were the only items purchased to help complete the look. All around the home, the focus was on making the best use of the art. A favorite piece in the entry and a pair of small paintings in the hall, along with the collection in the dining area, made each space feel personal and deliberate. Bedrooms were flip-flopped and repainted. The room previously functioning as the Master Bedroom was turned into a bedroom for Ameila. “It was much smaller than the other room but it had a fireplace and we were always concerned that our
A pair of family-favorite chairs are enlivened with a remnant-scrap rug from Union Eighteen and a vintage coffee table.
“It’s finally become what we always knew it could be.”
daughter would be hurt if left unattended in that room” explained Eunhak. The problem was solved by sealing off the firebox and turing it into a puppet theatre. Th e r o o m w a s d e s i g n e d t o emphasize the design on the Muu Kids furniture in the space. A color was pulled directly from the innerchangable design panel on the toddler bed and matched for the walls. Existing roman shades were rejuvenated with screened-on daisies. With an ecstatic child who was thrilled to play in her new space, the parents felt guilt-free about their next planned indulgence: a soon-to-be-redesigned master bedroom! Reflecting on the completed process, Robert commented; “We really couldn’t believe how much better our own things looked with just a few important additions and re-arrangements throughout. It’s finally become what we always knew it could be.”
the modern manâ€™s guide to
hillside living Rugged individuals have done it for centuries; taken to the hills to connect with nature.But when the individual in question is a busy entrepreneur, the hills are in Hollywood and the nature is a highly populated canyon, how does the experience translate?
photographed by Laure Joliet
A rug made of the silk from antique saris from Lawrence of LaBrea sits in the living room along with a vintage sofa, a pair of Louis XV Bergere chairs from Eccola, ceramics from Kelly Green and art curated by TKO.
or two decades, Mark Feller has been experimenting with various building and business applicationsâ€”from creating an impressive second-hand clothing operation to building a coffee farm and ranch in Kona, Hawaii that epitomizes best practices. With each project, he pushes himself to set a higher bar, to innovate and to be an example for others. So when he decided to build the Hollywood Hybrid home as a retreat in the hills, it was a given that he would do so with the same integrity and pioneering spirit that he has used to champion so many other endeavors in his life. Feller enlisted the help of design/builders Marmol Radziner and Jensen Dagget of Hybrid Home to create a custom pre-fab home Â
An antique bar stool from Eccola accents the modern kitchen. that would make the best use of the steep hillside property. The challenges were to maximize the beautiful canyon view and create a strong connection between the indoor and outdoor environments while virtually erasing the view of neighbors in close proximity. “I was very careful to design the windows and sliding doors to face the back of the lot that looks out onto very mature Eucalyptus trees and the virgin hillside across the way. There is only one window on either side of the home for that reason,” explained Jensen. “I spent a good deal of time sitting on the lot before it was purchased and it seemed obvious that there was only one way to face the home. The lot was the best one that I had found because it was on a gated street that felt miles out of the city, even though it is right up the hill from the heart of the town. It seemed like an idyllic place to get a fantastic night of sleep.” 72
Troy Thompsen relaxes in the outdoor room.
Above: A vintage lamp from Kelly Green, antique miniature dress forms from Eccola and a silk rug from Lawrence of LaBrea are all the Master Suite needs to feel complete. Below: Bathers in the Master Suite get the same premium view.
“I have spent many years trying to come up with the most responsible way to build and have learned that the best material to use really depends on the lot. It’s hell when you’re in it but afterwards it all seems worth it.” Jensen Dagget 74
Because of all of the attention that was put into making the home feel removed from the city, a guest of Mark’s can sit anywhere—be it a living room or a bathtub—and get lost in the view without seeing one inch of another home. And with glass walls that entirely open the face of the house, the connection to the outdoors could not be stronger. In case that wasn’t enough to make the owner relax and take in the sights and sounds of the canyon, an outdoor “room” was inset between the living and dining spaces (used for everything from quiet yoga to pre-dinner cocktails.) “I built this place to be like a tree house in the city” says Mark. “It’s five minutes away from everything and yet there is complete serenity. It's like yin and yang, nature and complete city living, combined in one.” Not surprisingly, Mark’s next endeavor will focus on taking this kind of experience to the next level with 100% grid-free living: crosspollinating cutting edge technologies with applications that have been in use and working for centuries.
A bedroom on the bottom floor opens up to the pool. The lush backyard continues to cascade down the hill, beyond the pool deck. 75
Bethâ€™s painted iron furniture, which once resided in the sunroom of her Hollywood home, is perfectly content on the porch.
When actorsâ€”and friendsâ€” Beth Broderick & Dennis Bailey relocated from LA to Austin they had only a single design rule: Purchase Nothing
That Old Thang?
riends like Beth and Dennis are more like family, so moving into an old house in a new town together seemed only natural. What was a little un-natural, however, was merging two very different collections of furniture.
“There was her stuff and there was my stuff and we felt like it would be a lot more fun to be creative and try to combine it all, rather than start fresh,” Dennis explained. “We just took it as a challenge and, since we know each other so well, we felt like it didn’t have to be a big deal.” But in the beginning, Beth couldn’t see it working. Her collection, primarily glamorous, white and chic, was vastly different from his very masculine Arts and Crafts-type pieces. “I kept telling him that our stuff didn’t go together but he kept assuring me that it did. And then he just started grouping my things with his... and I got it!” The artwork was especially harmonious together. Both owned pieces that Dennis had
personally painted over the years, along with a variety of photographs, vintage posters, lithographs, paintings by other artists and limited edition prints. It was this salonapproach to art collecting that was the one commonality in their styles and once the art went up, the rest fell into line.
The living area was given a parlor feel with Beth’s midcentury bar and club chairs. Dennis’ accent pieces lend weight to the room.
“We suddenly started getting really excited about our furniture” Dennis recalls. “So many of the pieces are even better looking in this place than in the places they had been originally purchased for!” It is as if the spirit of the city—all warm starlit nights, nostalgia and train-whistles—had infused itself into the very being of the interior design. It is not that the rooms seem “Texan” or particularly “Southern” but the combination of his and hers created something sultry that could exist no where else but in Austin.
Her furniture and his recently inherited dishware... playing nicely together.
One of Dennisâ€™ original paintings hangs over his bed. Across the hall, a tiny, beautiful and efficient room works brilliantly as both a place for guests to slumber and for Dennis to work.
Bethâ€™s room reflects romantic eclecticism. Furniture, art and curiosities curated over her years of work and travel (including Democracy, the street dog she rescued from Romania!) make this room a special sanctuary. 85
Bride of the
Event design + styling: Bash, Please. Photography: erinheartscourt.
e Wild West
Beauty: drybar + Josie Maran Cosmetics. Wardrobe: Ruche
orget bar-hopping in a pouffy pink veil and plastic penis necklace, today’s off-beat bride is looking for a different kind of wild when it comes to her bachelorette party. A camping trip with her besties—with the Joshua Tree Desert mountains as the background—is perfect for our wildchild. The vibe is free-spirited and communal. Relaxed, yet utterly untamed. From hiking explorations to playful sword fights and beer chugging contests, the idea is to create an environment that inspires rumpus behavior. Having fun is the only rule. And don’t forget the guitar for a spirited rendition of Kumbaya around the campfire. These days a girl needs her off-the-grid time as much as she needs a trip to the salon. Reconnecting with nature and friends is what this party is all about: leaving the mobile at home, watching the sunset with the girls and reminding yourself that there is life to be lived outside of the city!
DÉCOR ELEMENTS: Vibrant colors mixed with muted, subtle desert tones FEATHERS!! Tons of feathers. Old school construction paper garland and photos pinned to a clothes line Succulent bouquet for the bride Lunch bag pin wheels Muslin wrapped gifts Whiskey bottle invite DIY personalized mason jar whiskey glasses Feather head pieces / face paint Feather adorned flask made just for the bride 90
TABLESCAPE A moveable feast! Roast chicken, roasted potatoes, fresh herbs, bread + butter, red velvet cuppies + of course whiskey! Succulent pots + desert inspired florals in simple mason jars + DIY stamped tags Silverware wrapped in linen napkins adorned with DIY paper cut feathers Hand painted tablecloth/runner
As a fourth-generation winemaker, farmer and father, I seek to leave the world in better condition for my children. They inspire me to craft special wines that sustain our environment, the place where we live and the people who live here.
Premium Organic & Biodynamic Wine F ROM MEN DOC I NO C OU NT Y
loves this project! Congratulations to Michele Kolb, who was just named the winner of the American Clay Makeover Contest in the do it yourself category for the recently completed renovation of her 1747 home on Nantucket. Exposing the original post and beam timbers, using reclaimed flooring and applying American Clay to the walls were the key elements that helped the house to resemble what it wouldâ€™ve looked like in 1747. We love the warmth and history of the spaces. Even with the modern touches, the home still feels like it has a special historic wisdom.
Cool fact: Using American Clay in the bathroom helps control moisture, which reduces the risk of mold.
Michelle used Sugarloaf White in a Porcelina finish (our favorite) with a lime wash.
Wear #e Room
SWEET... WITH AN EDGE
Earlier this year our very own Kelly LaPlante and her team designed a room for the new Upward Bound House in Culver City, a transitional housing project for homeless families. 18 designers donated time and resources to furnish and decorate units housing four families each yearâ€”for a total of 72 families provided shelter and a place to call home. I love the soft grey, punchy red and clean black and white, combined with notebook-style doodling and tattoo artist sketchesâ€”right on the furniture!
Transformation to wearable style: EDUN’S DANCING GIRL TEE
With incomparable softness the colors of this everyday tee (as good with your bubble skirt as it is with leggings) hints at the soft gray palette of the wall color and the sweet yellow orchids—a reminder to breathe deeply and respect nature in all aspects of style, inside or outside of the closet. Snatch it: www.edunonline.com
ALEX & ANI’S BILTMORE COCKTAIL RING
This ring compliments almost any outfit and the faceted resin rhinestones will have you flaunting your pretty little phalanges all day long! The once-loved metals will mike you appreciate the modern day sparkle this piece makes. Snatch it: www.shopbop.com
RE COLLECTION’S COMBO SKIRT Resurrect your style with this of-the-moment skirt. Adding a fabulous silhouette to your powerful ensemble, the black and navy combo translates the unexpected doodle-like script within the room into an inspiring message we can all understand: it’s all about design with personality. Snatch it: www.shopbop.com
MELISSA ULTRAGIRL + J. MASKREY
How can we not grasp onto the lovely reds shown in the Upward Bound House? Warm and inviting, reds help keep us feeling cozy as the temperatures begin to drop this fall. This flat will have you walking with a little sparkle and shine. Snatch it: www.melissaplasticdreams.com
CLARE VIVIER’S REMAKE CLUTCH
This little guilt-free luxury nods to the woven sofa with its detailed textural flair. Snatch it: www.seevivier.com 101
CHERISH THE FREEDOM OF SAFER CHOICES
You’re already doing your best to raise your family in a safe and healthy environment. But did you know that today’s homes are filled with pesticides and chemicals from everyday objects and foods? Discover how to eliminate your children’s exposure to manmade toxic substances and provide them with the best future possible.
Essential advice and simple solutions for all stages of parenting. Keep kids healthier. Reduce environmental threats. Green your home. Our new trusted eco-guide will show you how! Pick up your copy today.
before it was she showed us that it could be
écologique, by Standard Magazine’s Editorial Director & Founder, Kelly LaPlante is the definitive guide to green design as a standard, not a style. Available at: www.kellylaplante.com “...filled with lush images of responsible design ideas that think outside the typical modernist box.” Vanity Fair Online “You have to see these gorgeous spaces to believe them, each unique to the people who live in them, each one compelling in visual presentation but still completely livable.” The Daily Green
BEARDED BRAWNY BEER-DRINKING FELLOW... SPOTTED WITH KNITTING BUDDIES.