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Holiday 2010 Every Issue 39 Editor’s Letter 6 Contributors 9 On The Boards 14 Our Holiday Giving Guide
On The Town 23 Bundle up, explore and indulge in Boston
Newsreel Trend Predictor 44 Eleven tastemakers share their predictions for the New Year
Darling and Daring 104 Our parting shot
Columns Perfectionist 39 Favorite tablescapes—if James Saavedra likes them, you know they’re good
In Search Of 111 Alexandra Robbins lathers up her locks
Wear The Room 114 Katherine Brown’s sweet fashion memories 3
64 Features Standard Visits Fireclay 31 Our Editor gets lured in with tacos and ends up in farm-country.
Standard Operating Procedure 64 Take a peek inside our Hollywood office
The Ghost of Christmas Past 74 Golden Days of Yore in an 1876 LA Mansion.
A Cottage Industry 84 Designer Sarah Kelly invites us in for tea... or at least to see her vintage tea set
Nineteen- Twenty Something 96 Event Design: Prohibition naughtiness at Central!
The letter AFTER THE LAUNCH OF OUR PREMIERE ISSUE, I HAD THE PLEASURE OF CELEBRATING WITH SIXTEEN TASTEMAKERS OVER AN INCREDIBLE MEAL PREPARED BY CHEF MICHAEL GARNER. THROUGHOUT THE COURSE OF THE EVENING I ROUTINELY LOOKED AROUND AND FELT INCREDIBLY LUCKY AND PROUD TO HAVE CURATED SUCH A WELL-ROUNDED GROUP OF FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES— IT WAS TRULY ONE OF THE MOST SPECIAL EVENINGS OF MY LIFE. IN THE DAYS THAT FOLLOWED, I RECEIVED PHONE CALLS, EMAILS AND CARDS FROM MY GUESTS; EACH EXPRESSING HOW RARE IT IS TO BE ABLE TO SPEND TIME WITH A WHOLE TABLE OF PEOPLE WHO ARE BRILLIANT, INSIGHTFUL, FUNNY AND (SHOCK, GASP) NICE! IN THIS ISSUE’S NEWSREEL TREND PREDICTOR, YOU WILL HAVE A CHANCE TO READ THEIR PREDICTIONS FOR THE COMING YEAR (ALONG WITH A HEALTHY DOSE OF SOME HOLIDAY HUMOR). I AM ABSOLUTELY SMITTEN WITH OUR FIRST HOLIDAY ISSUE AND THE WAY WE’VE TAKEN THE THEME OF NOSTALGIA AND BATTED IT AROUND A BIT. FROM EATING CHOWDER IN A FORMER HOLDING CELL IN BOSTON TO AN UNDERGROUND GIFT EXCHANGE IN SANTA MONICA, WE’VE THOROUGHLY ENJOYED A MISCHIEVOUS EXPLORATION OF AN EVER-SO-SLIGHTLY MACABRE CELEBRATION SEASON. WE INVITE YOU TO EXPLORE BOTH THE SWEET AND THE NOT-SO-SWEET MEMORIES THAT LIVE WITHIN YOU. THERE IS BEAUTY IN ALL OF THEM... AND THATIS THE MAGIC OF NOSTALGIA.
Kelly LaPlante Editorial Director & Founder 6
Editorial Director & Founder: Kelly LaPlante
Publishing Consultant: Heather Stephenson
Senior Blog Editor: Andrea Gardner-Bernstein
Editorial Assistant: Lilianne Steckel firstname.lastname@example.org
Organizational Liason: Devin Adante
Production Assistant: Kelly Thompson Editorial Consultant: Jess Chamberlain
Ad Sales: Michael Rader, email@example.com Interns: Diana Abdulian, Jessica Serabutt
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Contributors “Holidays have always been about food. My mom is 100% Norwegian and, growing up, I lived for the days Julekage (a sweet holiday bread) started coming fresh out of the oven. But since I don't live near my folks anymore, my Mom every year makes dozens of loaves, freezes them, and FedEx's them to my brother and I. It's basically all we eat for breakfast the last two weeks of December.” Lincoln Barbour, Photographer Wear The Room Page 114
“Every year on Christmas Eve my family and I attend the midnight church service. I love how it is a moment that we can all come together and share a time of peace within our hectic lives. At the end of the service, the entire congregation is handed a white candle. While singing, Silent Night, the dark room slowly illuminates by candlelight... voices tend to soften a bit and it seems as though the ‘peace’ has arrived. The song finishes, the flames are blown out. To me, this moment creates one of the most miraculous emotions I get to relive every year!” Katherine Brown, Columnist Wear The Room Page 114
Contributors “It turns out that my holiday tradition is not to have traditions. Each year is different from the next and that suits me just fine. With any gathering, I think that opening gifts in front of people is just awkward. This discomfort began when one Christmas I opened my ‘big’ gift to find a child-sized weed whacker while my sister received a computer. (or something much better than a garden tool).” James Saavedra, Columnist Perfectionist Page 39
"My favorite holiday tradition is ignoring what gefilte fish is really made of and just enjoying it!" Hillary Reitman, Photographer Newsreel Trend Predictor Page 44
“Each year I set aside one day in November to shop all day. I love seeing the stores decorated, and I end up bringing home more gifts for myself then intended. My husband and I also love watching the old holiday movies during the winter season. Oddly enough my least favorite tradition is when movies run back-to-back for a full day during the holidays. I love a good holiday movie but I don't want to see it 20 times. In a row.” Dallas Shaw Cover Illustration
"My favorite part of the holidays is the warbling notes of carols wafting amidst softly falling snow that...*recordscratch* I kid. I'm in it for the chocolate." Alexandra Robbins, Columnist In Seach Of... Page 111
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ON THE BOARDS: holiday giving guide
For your favorite Designophile, we suggest: 1: Emerson Toy House by Brinca Dada 2: LCD Portfolio by Matt and Nat 3: Color Wheel Pendent by Yellow Owl Workshop 4: Sketchbooks from ecojot 5: General Pencil Company’s Metal Sharpeners 6: General Pencil Company’s Magic Black Eraser 7: Classic Contemporary Toy Furniture by Brinca Dada 8: General Pencil Company’s Assorted Pencils 9: Bennett Toy House by Brinca Dada 10: Hexmat in Apple by Aurelie Tu for CraftedSystems, available through Branch Home 11: Cityscape Stamp Set by Yellow Owl Workshop Gifts that Give Back, click descriptions to learn more
For your girliest girlfriend, we suggest: 1: Decoylab Kirie 01 Clock from Fawn and Forest 2: Candles, Interior Fragrence Oils and and Incense Sticks from Altru by Gamillah 3: Medea by Matt and Nat 4: Beaded Necklace by 31 Bits 5: Vintage Doorknob Wine Stopper by Knobstoppers 6: Praying Mantis by Stray Dog Designs 7: Paris by Mini and Maximus 8: The Ellie Bag-Pink by Rubie Green Gifts that Give Back, click descriptions to learn more
For Book Nerds and Chic Geeks, we suggest:
1: High Minded Chandelier from Anthropologie 2: Robots by Gordon Bennett of Bennett Robot Works 3: Medical Book Print by The Spotted Sparrow on etsy 4: Alice in Wonderland bottles by Greencycledesigns on etsy 5: Cubebot by David Weeks Studio 6: LCD Write Your Own Message Debossed Card from Yellow Owl Workshop 7: Mockingbird Birdhouse by David Vissat, available through Uncommon Goods 8: Mr Small Robot and Mr Large Robot, from Ferm Living Gifts that Give Back, click descriptions to learn more
1 5 7 6
4 3 11 20
2 8 6
9 10 For the Karma Chameleon, we suggest: 1: Red Canvas Men’s Classics from Tom’s 2: Handmade doll by The Doll Farm 3: Beaded Necklace by 31 Bits 4: Drape Necklaces by Dawes Design 5: Redwood Bonsai Forrest available through Vickerey 6: Tine Ring by Dawes Design 7: Ritual by Matt and Nat 8: Oval Peredot Ring from Turtle Love Co. 9: Polli “There Goes the Neighborhood Necklace” from Turtle Love Co. 10: Don’t Tell Me To Relax tee by Guillotine Co. 11: Xeko Mission: China, Trading Card Game from Mintsy 12: Peacock by Stray Dog Designs Gifts that Give Back, click on descriptions for details
ON THE TOWN:
Grab your umbrella, your sturdiest rain boots and layers of warm clothing. There is nothing like spending the holidays in Boston, where you feel a sense of nostalgia —even if you’re not from back east—the very moment you arrive. The town is full of
cozy spots to curl up with a cup of coffee or chowder and there are plenty of easilywalkable adventures at every turn. Our recommendations include spots in and out of the city limits as well as a few unconventional ideas for sight-seeing.
Locked Up Stepping into the lobby of the Liberty Hotel, one cannot help but notice a beautiful eerinessâ€”which undoubtably comes from the fact that it was once the Charles Street Jail, built in 1851. Many of the original architectural features, such as the catwalks, are still in place and now have been enhanced with timeless, thought-provoking elements. Stop in to see the transformation and then head into Clink for a bowl of their delicious belly-warming chowder (certainly not a recipe that was used to feed the spaceâ€™s early visitorsâ€”it was a holding cell!).
Unexpected Fusion Tucked away in little Italy is the most unexpected and delightful combination of flavors at Taranta, a Southern Italian/ Peruvian fusion restaurant. From ravioli that bursts at the seams with surprising flavors to the Guavannoli (a guava-cream-filled cannoliâ€” yum), we recommend you try as many flavors as possible. Ask one of their knowledgeable staff members to help you select an array of flavors to try â€”every dish we tasted was inventive, interesting and representative of the owner (Southern Italian) and his wife (Peruvian).
School is in session at Fireplace on Beacon Street in Brookline (from the center of Boston it’s just 10 minutes on the green line). The restaurant was founded by Chef Jim Solomon and is more or less a manifestation of his love of New England history (ask him where he was during the bicentennial... he can recall everything about that day in impressive detail!). Along with their New England inspired menu, Fireplace is famous for their Fireside Chats where patrons can taste food while they learn in an intimate setting from winemakers and brewers. The chats are often colorfully entertaining (we were just weeks shy of their celebration of the re-legalization of Absinthe!) and we hear that the Valentine’s Day reading of John and Abigail Adams’ love letters sells out weeks in advance!
We were saddened to learn of the recent closure of Don Ottoâ€™s Market. A sandwich or pre-prepared dish from their counter was just the thing to warm the soul. Weâ€™ll always remember the day we collected tasty provisions and headed over to Boston Common (pictured below) for a bundled-up picnic.
Here Lies History
Just a short walk from Boston Common, you will find yourself among the victims of the Boston Massacre along with Paul Revere, Samuel Adams and other founding fathers. Visiting the Granary Burial Grounds is a surreal experience (especially for us westcoasters who arenâ€™t accustomed to having the foundational history of our country right in our backyards). Across the street from Granary is Kingâ€™s Chapel and its burial grounds, with stones so old that the engravings are now invisible. We cannot emphasize enough the beauty of these two grounds, nor the juxtaposition of having them smack in the middle of one of the most vibrant parts of town.
On a sunny afternoon I attach myself to the hip of Eric Edelson, vice president and unofficial tour guide of Fireclay Tile, for a behind-thescenes look at how the collection is made and the people who make it.
KELLY LAPLANTE Fireclay Showroom. San Jose, California. Friday afternoon. Plans for “just a quick visit” are already a distant memory. The moment I arrive, I am sucked into the vortex that is The Bone Yard— an outdoor area full of amazing deals on overruns and extras. There are boxes upon boxes of tile ready to come home and live in the kitchen... or bathroom... or entry. Eric Edelson, co-owner of the company, comes out to swiftly re-focus me. “There are tacos!” he announces.
Inside we find Martin, the companies most senior employee, who has created a trio of flavors for us to sample. He seats us at a table and pours white wine (a glance at the clock confirms the suspicion that it is 11:30 in the morning... but we indulge anyway). We tour the showroom and watch Martin prepare a sample board for a client before making a set of coasters from left over Cuerda Seca tiles. Then Eric asks if I’d like to see the factory. The answer is a definitive yes. I knew I’d never make it to that belly dancing class anyway.
Where Are We? We drive 45 minutes south to Aromas, where the factory is, and I cannot help but notice the increasingly rural setting. Have we made a wrong turn? Shouldn’t we be passing industrial buildings and not, um, cows? The only clue that we might be in the right place is a granite quarry, about a quarter mile up the road from where we turn in and pull up to what looks like an old barn. The building is surrounded by fields and flowers with three small residences; being slowly and artfully devoured by overgrown gardens of flowers and food. A cat is tending to one of her new kittens and a swing on the play structure sways in the breeze. It is very quiet. Silent actually. We go inside where, although less silent, the environment is still peaceful, efficient, artisanal and flooded with beautiful natural light—one whole end of the building is open to the outdoors. The talented workers go about their business as I get intimately acquainted with two different kinds of kilns, glazing stations, mixing areas and something that reminds me of cookie dough on a long sheet (but with much more interesting cutters). Stacks of giant bags capture my attention —they turn out to be full of granite dust, used in Fireclay’s Debris Series tiles. For eighty years, the quarry was not able to find a use for this bi-product. Fireclay owner and founder Paul Burns figured it out in just two years. Genius.
The Story of Mushtaque, Cowboy Hats and Lab Coats. Next we are on to a small room that is stacked with jars of pigments. On the table is a dusty pad with hand written formulas. The radio in the corner is tuned to NPRâ€™s Science Friday. This is the lab room and domain of Mushtaque, the Glaze Master and proud bearer of one of the best stories in the company. In 1986 he came to the US from Pakistan, where he was a PhD student and a physicist. Speaking no English, he told an agency that he knew how to work with electronics. They gave him an address of a place that might be able to employ him and he went there, only to find that it had been recently taken over by Fireclay. Paul offered him a job doing glazes... and the rest is history. Twenty-four years later, he is still passionate about creating just the right color, experimenting with custom matching and even shaping tiles when there is no color mixing to be done. I witness as he shapes a piece, by hand, in about two seconds flat. He is wearing his usual uniform; a cowboy hat and a lab coat.
Game Time In another room, a shy woman is hand painting Cuerda Seca tiles. Itâ€™s remarkable how much more saturated the colors become after they are fired. The heat deepens, intensifies and shines the designsâ€”like a tree going from spring to summer in a matter of hours. Without warning, Eric starts back toward the door. It is 2:30, which means it is time for the soccer game. I follow him to the gravel soccer pitch and watch as nearly everyone in the company plays a fifteen minute quarter. They do this daily and it is sacred. ]
It is 2:30, which means it i
is time for the soccer game.
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JAMES SAAVEDRA ON: TABLESCAPES
Once again, the holiday season has snuck up on us. Songs of snowbells and candy canes follow us into every store we step foot in and with the season of giving comes a plethora of celebrations and gatherings.
details of design is a lot harder than it seems and for the stress that ensues, there is no better antidote than cooking a fabulous meal for myself and loved ones to enjoy. Of course, you know that means setting the perfect table!
I always say that in design it is the smallest details that make the biggest difference. In a world where the definition of “perfection” is constantly changing, I throughly enjoy the pursuit of it. But hammering out the minute
Hunker down in your kitchen (or call for scrumptious take out) and create a picture perfect celebration with you and yours. These five arrangements can serve as inspiration for an unforgettable meal!
1) If you want the wow factor- search no more. Striking, unique and well edited, Little World Design demonstrates that walls aren’t the only place for artwork.
2) Style and beauty does not have to break the bank. I adore the simplicity of white votives and pillars mixed with a bit of moss and clear stemware in this arrangement by Nicoâ€”clean and classic!
3) Think outside the box and embrace the unexpected. Paper flowers from Birch in San Francisco are chic and sophisticatedâ€” not to mention painstakingly made by hand.
4) A little sparkle goes a long way. Dragonfly hits the right balance with handmade bowls overflowing with succulents and just a hint of glimmer from the votive cups. Feeling adventurous? Paper mache your own vessels!
5) Imperfection is perfection. Using Fleurtâ€™s genius Floralscape Service is as effortlessly chic as it gets. They select the vases and the flowers â€” you collect the compliments! Group the collection together for dramatic impact or separate if you wish.
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At our first Tastemaker Dinner, twelve brilliant (and entertaining) minds tell us what to watch for in 2011
Trend-predictor PHOTOGRAPHY BY HILLARY REITMAN
EDITOR’S NOTE: ANDREA HAS JUST JOINED OUR STAFF AS SENIOR BLOG EDITOR!
EDITOR’S NOTE: ERIC’S LAST NAME IS INCORRECTLY SPELLED ON HIS CARD. IT IS EDELSON— OUR MISTAKE!
EDITOR’S NOTE: ERIKA’S LAST NAME IS INCORRECTLY SPELLED ON HER CARD. IT IS EDELSON— JUST LIKE HER HUSBAND’S! 57
Text This page: The table is set with vintage dishes as well as antique vessels from Trade Secrets for the Home. A bartender serves Veev and chef Michael Garner prepares in the kitchen. Opposite page: A server puts the finishing touches on the table. Editorial Director Kelly LaPlante goes over the final details with Standard staffers, Kelly Thompson and Lilianne Steckel. Guests mingle around the pool during the cocktail hour.
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 FROM MEN D OC I NO C OU N T Y
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STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE 18
inside our hollywood office
The Mowry Chair, by jak, is upholstered in remnant fabric from an old design project.
o say that we got lucky when we found our loft offices in Hollywood would be a major understatement. The 1100 square foot space— which is shared with Standard columnist James Saavedra and which also functions as the design studio for our two firms and our collaborative furniture collection, jak—was a lucky find in the midst of the recession, when both of us had resigned ourselves to working from home. “We were sick of being alone in our spaces so we decided it made sense to share something, if we could find it for a good price” recalls James. “One afternoon I called Kelly and said ‘I think I found something but it’s probably
In the reception area a Bentley chair, by jak, is upholstered in remnant vinyl. The table is by John Salladino, circa 1976. Hanging overhead is a chandelier that was found at a thrift store.
too big.’ She said ‘darling, there’s no such thing as too big.’ Three days later, the lease was ours.” But it needed TLC and we were severely understaffed. At the time, we had scaled back so much that we only had one intern between us (Kelly Thompson, now Standard’s production assistant.) Our tiny team plugged away, painting, organizing and creating various work spaces for various tasks, and under the surface, a kind of magic was brewing. Less than a month after taking the leap into the new office, both firms were bustling again. More interns and assistants were hired until it got to the point where we were truly glad to have all that extra space. Because our talented staff often works long hours, we set up a bar so we could host happy hour without leaving the studio. It sports a collection of vintage glassware and, we’re not ashamed to admit, was one of the first things to be completed in the space. The best thing about the loft is the amazing light that filters through the drapery—it allows us to work all day without flipping on a light. The history behind the space is also a favorite element. The entire upstairs of the building was once a Mission that served the homeless. In our conference room, a round chimney-sized hole in the ceiling confirms the landlord’s story that our space was a soup kitchen! Our neighbors in the building are artists, writers and designers, most of whom we see only quick glances of as they disappear like ghosts into their lofts. They are not here to socialize. Like us, they are here to create. ]
Top: the bar was fabricated from an old base and an unused mirror from one of James’ projects. Bottom: a light fixture was found for $40 in a junk store.
His and hers. James found the table base at a consignment shop in Palm Springs. Kelly found the set of Bellini chairs at a thrift shop in Los Angeles. Benjamin Moore Natura, in a custom mixed deep coral color is on the ceiling of the reception area to warm the space. 18
In the resource library: an antique drafting table and display shelves from an old department store.
Designer Sarah Barnard tells us the tale of a holiday restoration design at the Perry Mansion
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by LILIANNE STECKEL
he Perry Mansion, originally designed in 1876 by E.F. Kysor was the fanciest house of its time. Displaying the wealth of its owners, it plays a large role in the history of Los Angeles design and architecture. So it is fitting that it’s original owner, William Hayes Perry, also played a large role in developing the city of Los Angeles—from starting the first furniture store in the city to pioneering the lumber industry and organizing the gas company and first steam engine in Los Angeles. In 1975, the Perry Mansion was moved to the Heritage Square Museum to join a sanctuary for preservation and public viewing of critical buildings from the late 1800’s. Today, these buildings are given a rebirth from designers, like Sarah, who have made detailed restorations. We caught up with Sarah about the holiday design she created for the Perry Mansion. STANDARD: How did you become involved in the revival design of this museum house? SARAH: I had been working with the Santa Monica Conservancy and during a meeting with the museum director, Brian Sheridan, the idea was born for coordinating a designer home tour with the Heritage Square Museum. I rallied designers to work on the project and three homes on the grounds were designed, including the Perry Mansion which was designed by me and my team. STANDARD: What was involved in your research process in order to create an accurate restoration? SARAH: We extensively researched the home, its’ original owners and the traditional holiday fare of the late 1800’s. We were especially inspired by antique cards I found with Victorian holiday scenes; we kept these around to help in recreating the Christmas décor. STANDARD: How much of the building needed work and what is original?
SARAH: The main idea behind historic preservation is repair, don’t replace! The building had beautiful flooring, stairways, windows, fireplaces and marble mantles that are all originals needing varying levels of repair. There are several ceiling murals and one was badly damaged over time—it has been recreated exactly using the remaining trace of the original painted pattern. The next stage of the restoration will be to work on the second floor and hopefully open this to the public as well. STANDARD: What about the furnishings? Are any of them original to the house? SARAH: Only a small portion of the furnishings are original to the home, but nearly all of the furnishings, artwork and accessories are authentic pieces from the period. In fact, a large portion of the Victorian furnishings were generously loaned by my parents! They are avid preservationists, most of the fabulous mohair pieces were restored by my father in his youth. The draperies are the one thing that we had to custom order for the project (from Fine Draperies). I felt the deep color for the drapery in the formal living room was perfect because it is true to the historic form for Victorian winter décor. STANDARD: Where did you source the antiques you needed to fill in the gaps? SARAH: I worked with some great people at Old Master Antiques, Thomas R. Field Antiques, Classic Accents, and John Meigs & Associates. STANDARD: Tell us about the Christmas trees. SARAH: There are two trees in the mansion. The first is in the formal living room and is similar to what would have been present during the time the Perry’s lived there. It is decorated with handmade white glass ornaments and wax candles. While electric string lights had been invented around this time, they were not widely used until much later. The second tree, in the dining room, is inspired by the Perry’s family history (with our own creative interpretation).
STANDARD: And the peacock feathers? Is there something significant about them? They are a beautiful addition—glamorously festive! SARAH: That’s exactly right! In the 1800’s, the peacock was a symbol of luxury exclusive to the wealthy. STANDARD: Who are the people in the portraits around the house? Do any of them haunt the halls? SARAH: Almost all of the paintings were sourced from a local dealer by one of my team members, C a r o l y n . Th e y w e r e ve r y specifically researched to be American and in the correct period but are not family members. During our project everything went smoothly... no spooks to speak of! Standard later learned that William is said to slam the doors on occasion! ]
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Designer Sarah Kellyâ€™s vintage furnishing obsession inspires the perfect single-girl space
mall is the new big” is a catch-phrase that continues to gain popularity as home owners and apartment dwellers work hard to demystify the art of scaling down. Few small spaces seem to work as well as designer Sarah Kelly’s 450 square foot bungalow-style cottage in Venice Beach’s Lily Court. The space, both efficient and beautiful, somehow gives the illusion that there is room to spare while the layers of history make it clear that “minimal” doesn’t have to mean “modern.” STANDARD: Tell us the story of the Lily Court bungalows and of how you came to live here. SARAH: Lily Court was built in the 1920's and consists of 11 little beach bungalows. They were originally vacation homes for people that lived in the "city". The layout of these places were smart and efficient especially for the times. Back then our street, Electric Ave, was where the Red Car train would stop to let people out to get to their beach home away from home. I had the great fortune of knowing someone who lived in Lily Court and got a hot tip that one of the residents (of 10+ years) would be moving out. Everyone who lives here knows the person who lived here before them. It's like a secret club and everyone knows how lucky they are to have their space. Lily Court is a very special and unique oasis in Los Angeles. STANDARD: In your former home, you spent a good deal of time sussing out a style for the bedroom. How much of that carried over and what things did you change?
Coconut shell hassocks from Palecek are multi-functional in a living space appointed with a sofa (upholstered in Sensuede II in Snow by Robert Allen) and a collection of vintage furnishings.
SARAH: I literally had just finished a complete remodel of my room just before this place became available! That process involved purging a lot of my stuff, so when I moved, the only thing that really carried over though is the color on the walls. I had the paint color custom matched to a sari that friends of mine got me while on a trip to India. I absolutely love it! I had an opportunity to do whatever I wanted in my new space which for a designer is so much fun! I blended some fantastic vintage pieces that I had acquired over the years but couldn't use because they just didn't work with my old space. I then added some new modern pieces to create the juxtaposition style that I think Lily Court embodies. There is a distinct contrast in colors and textures, which I love. STANDARD: I know you are a huge fan of all things peacock. How did you narrow it down? SARAH: I didn't want the two peacocks to ever have to compete with anything else or lose the impact that they have. They are so distinct and deserve the special attention they get. Also, as they say, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. It's a constant battle though...I am always practicing restraint. STANDARD: You're also passionate about discovering vintage and antique furnishings. What are some of your best finds and how did you incorporate them into the design? SARAH: I believe that combining vintage pieces with new and sustainably made pieces is an incredibly important part of 21st century design. I have to say that the lamps that flank my sofa are my favorite vintage pieces in the space so far. Everyone that notices them asks if I spent a fortune but the truth is that they were only $150 for the pair! I know, unheard of in Los Angeles. Oh, and then there are those delightful dishes and tea pots I got recently....
Masks of friendsâ€™ faces, hand-cast by Sarah, adorn the hall.
STANDARD: Tell us about the masks in the hallway. They are a little spooky but also very beautiful. SARAH: While I was in school at Otis College of Art and Design, I was taking a creative process class where we were instructed to do a project of our choosing. I had this great idea that involved combining all of these plaster castings of my friends—it was going to be awesome! I was so excited about it that I spent hours and hours getting a head start on it. I went to present my idea and my teacher said "yeah, we've seen enough of the white mask thing. I think you can come up with something better". I know, can you believe that? Actually, she was right, I did come up with s o m e t h i n g b e t t e r, b u t I digress...
Meanwhile I had all of these masks that were just kind of floating around in my garage studio for a couple of years until they found the PERFECT home on this wall. They are a little spooky but comforting at the same time because they represent some of my closest friends. I look forward to seeing where they go from here. STANDARD: What's the secret to successful small-scale living? SARAH: Simplicity has freed me! I have less than 450 sq. ft. so everything that is in here I either need or love so much I am willing to make space for it. Smart organization and constant editing has resulted in an efficient space that is comfortable and doesn't have something shoved into every inch. Once I no longer need something, it quickly moves on to someone who can use it. STANDARD: The Murphy Bed probably helps. Do you love it? SARAH: Love is a strong word. I do love that it allows me to feel like a live in a 1 bedroom place instead of a single. At the end of the day it is a double bed and the ancient Murphy frame is a little u m . . . s q u e a k y. S o m e o f m y neighbors have cut out the frame to accommodate a queen size bed but it forces them to have their beds out all of the time. That just doesn't work for me because I also run my business out of here and I need the space. STANDARD: And what about entertaining? You have a tight group of friends and I imagine they come over frequently. How do you make the most of the space you have when you've got overnight company or dinner guests? SARAH: Entertaining is really important to me and I put special thought into what I needed to do to make it possible. There are a few things that really help out. I bought a sofa that has a queen-sized pullout bed (deluxe mattress of course) which people have said is actually quite comfortable. I also designed
The designer sits at a desk built into the space by a friend. Behind her, the original secretary completes her office suite.
my kitchen table to be a transformer. The bench has storage inside of it and the table extends to seat 6 comfortably. Also, I have many stools that can be moved around or used as side tables as needed. STANDARD: What other quirks and features does the cottage offer?Â Any iconic relics from the past? SARAH: My favorite is the original ice box in the kitchen that currently functions as my spice cabinet and wine storage. It's fantastic and I'm so glad they didn't rip it out and put a cabinet in there. I also love my vintage stove. It doesn't work very well, but I wouldn't trade it in. And the original built-in secretary desk with crystal knobs is so charming! I can just imagine people writing family and friends about their visits to the beach and the pier from that spot. There are no electrical outlets in the bathroom and only one in the entire kitchen. You can tell by the layout that it was never designed for modern appliances (and imagine the coordination required to make sure you don't blow a fuse!). Also, for some reason my unit has an elevated platform under the toilet. It takes some getting used to and I have no idea why it's there but it is kind of funny.
A hint of the holidays adorns Sarahâ€™s desk. The designer catches up on e-mail in her cozy Murphy Bed.
STANDARD: Tell us a ghost story.
A few favorites from Sarah’s collection of vintage kitchen and dishware.
SARAH: Lily, the owners daughter (who the place was named after actually) died in the back unit that belonged to my friend who got me in here. If her spirit is around, she is pretty laid-back like many Venice residents. STANDARD: You're right next to one of the best streets in town for shopping and eating—Abbot Kinney. If you could only pick one place on the street to patronize, what would it be? SARAH: Oh that is really tough! I visit so many places each day for different reasons, but for shopping I would say Plantation. Their furniture is made locally with domestically grown woods and they are stocking more sustainable fabric options to chose from. The quality of their work is fantastic and I absolutely adore Ashley and Kelly who take great care of me there. Don't even get me started about the fabulous parties they host! STANDARD: Sum up your cottage and lifestyle for us. In five words, what is it all about? SARAH: Inspired living in small spaces. ] 93
nty Something photography by Josh Walker
ndulging in the forbidden is a time-honored tradition that, for us, invites a return to the days of Prohibitionâ€”when the simple act of exchanging forbidden books while sipping absinthe, was enough to induce giddy excitement. The Scene: Central Social Aid and Pleasure Club in Santa Monica, where the team from breakform design helped give an old pharmacy new life with serious underground-style. The Elements: Vintage hats, vests, suspenders and headbands, old copies of controversial books wrapped in craft paper, absinthe decanted in crystal... and someone who can play the piano! The Attendees: (pictured below, left-right) breakform Designâ€™s Lindsey Kampmeier, Ramsey Daham, Myles Schlange and Tim Sachs, hosted by Rory Lovett, owner of Central. ]
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
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In Search Of...
THE BEST UNDER $10 SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER
ALEXANDRA ROBBINS Let it be known that I do not expect miracles from a shampoo or conditioner. Despite commercials to the contrary, shampoo has given me neither bouncy waves nor uncontrollable orgasms. If a shampoo were to actually provide either of those services, perhaps I would be willing to pay more than I do. Anyway, I have a strong hunch that the appearance of my hair has much less to do with a shampoo brand than, say, the weather and who styles it (i.e., not me). All I expect of a hair-washing is that it gets my hair clean and relatively neat with a natural fragrance that does not send my husband rolling to the other side of the bed for cover, as did one of the products I tested. Therefore, I stick to what I can find at the grocery store. Because the point of this column is to replace products in my house, one by one, with organic or natural items, I decided to test only shampoos and conditioners under $10 that I could find at the stores where I typically shop (grocery stores, drugstores, and Whole Foods). Desert Essence Organics Red Raspberry Shampoo and Conditioner Initially, I picked up the tube because of the promise of the graphics: luscious red raspberries so fresh they still nestle amongst sun-dappled leaves. Note to self: do not judge a shampoo by its label. I appreciate Desert Essence’s “Clear skin, clear conscience” motto, but someone ought to look into “clear nose.” The scent it leaves in my non-bouncy, non-orgasmic hair is neither luscious nor fresh. Nor raspberry, come to think of it.
Giovanni 50:50 Balanced Shampoo and Conditioner Now here is an organic shampoo that does not smell like essential oils or the earthy musk commonly associated with chemicalfree products. It looks and feels like any number of shampoos I’ve used in the past, except – it’s better. It smells better than nonorganic shampoos. Unless I’m imagining it, my hair is less parched after using Giovanni. And for men, both my husband and I like Giovanni’s Magnetic line. I didn’t realize until I’d used Giovanni several times that the ingredient list includes “fragrance,” a red flag. A Giovanni spokesperson assures me, however, that there are no synthetic fragrances in any of Giovanni’s products; last year, the company changed all of its scents to natural-only fragrances.
Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Shampoo and Conditioner, Vanilla Silk Conditioner Hoping to avoid the odiferous doublewhammy that I experienced by using the same flavor of Dessert Essence products, I use separate varieties of Organix shampoo and conditioner. The coconut milk shampoo smells like a refreshing beachside cocktail; no problem there. Then I tried the vanilla silk conditioner, hoping that the combination will result in some sort of tropical pastry scent. However, vanilla silk is so cloying that I can’t wait to test the next shampoo just so my hair won’t smell like Organix anymore – and my newly washed hair is drier and knottier than it was before I showered. To give Organix the benefit of the doubt, I try the coconut milk conditioner a few cycles later, even though I don’t buy into the “For best results, use the same version of the conditioner as the shampoo because then we can make double the money off you” instructions. The beachproduct scent is acceptable, but the conditioner has zero detangling properties and leaves my hair a dry, tangled mess. If I were picky (what, me? Nooo), I would also mention that the bottle design is impractical. I can’t be the only person who stores a quarterfull shampoo bottle upside-down so that the dregs are ready to go when I am. This is impossible with Organix because of its rounded top.
Kiss My Face Miss-treated (Palmarosa Mint) Shampoo and Conditioner I have no idea what palmarosa is – it sounds like a brand of Fort Lauderdale resortwear – but for some reason, to me, the shampoo smells like summer camp. In a good way. The satisfying lather also happens to kill off the lingering vanilla silk from my shampoo two days ago, so Kiss my Face gets lucky bonus points. The conditioner exudes a more pronounced citrus note that mixes oddly with the mint, but it’s not overpowering, so it passed the husband test. Is my hair shinier? Possibly. My hairbrush actually squeaks as it glides unimpeded through my (albeit still-wet) hair, so either my hair is squeaky clean, or I need a new brush.
Aromaland, Lemongrass & Sage Shampoo, Jasmine & Clementine Conditioner The shampoo, an earthy citrus, is fine, but the conditioner doesn’t do a thing for my hair. Plus, it smells like old lady perfume. Really old lady perfume. Nature’s Gate and Avalon My experiences with Nature’s Gate (Lavender & Aloe Shampoo, Asian Pear & Red Tea Conditioner) and Avalon (Olive & Grapeseed Fragrance-Free Shampoo and Conditioner) are neutral. I appreciate that Avalon is truly fragrance-free. Both brands do the job. Nothing to complain about, but nothing to write home about, either.
EO, Rose & Chamomile Protective Shampoo and Conditioner; Honey & Chamomile Restorative Shampoo and Conditioner. What I love about EO is that I don’t have to worry that the family-owned company has slipped in a synthetic fragrance without telling me. I trust that EO has consumer health in mind. With the Rose & Chamomile Shampoo and Conditioner, a little goes a long way. It certainly gets my hair clean, and sudses surprisingly well given that it doesn’t contain sodium laurel sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate. Incidentally, I am coining suds as a verb. If we can juj (a la Queer Eye), we can suds. Because EO’s essential oils can smell strong, however, I get clean hair but temporarily lose husband.
Because I want to give EO another chance, I next sample Honey & Chamomile. The wash and resulting hair is fine (a step-up from Nature’s Gate and Avalon) and my husband doesn’t balk. Well played, EO, well played. Found! Alexandra’s Standard: A tie! Depending on your scent preference. Giovanni 50:50 Balanced and Kiss My Face Miss-treated shampoos and conditioners FOR MEN: Giovanni Magnetic Restruxturing Shampoo and Conditioner Follow New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Robbins on Twitter @Robbinsbooks
Wear The Room OH, MEMORIES! KATHERINE BROWN
PROJECT PHOTOGRAPHED BY LINCOLN BARBOUR
What takes you back to that place? To that moment you want to relive over and over again? The holiday season opens up the magic portal to those memories, whether you are traveling back home or spending time with friends somewhere that just feels like a place you’ve been a thousand times... like Café Vélo, designed by Jessica Helgerson, in Portland, Oregon.
Transformation to Wearable Style
The Gardner Dress from She Bible will take you no time flat to get into! The cut of this number is instantly chic so youâ€™ll be ready in case you run into an old flame. Snatch it: www.shebible.com Envirosax will rid you of the worries of spilling that cherry danish over your lovely handbag. This nifty sack is washable, fashionable and strong (it holds up to 44 lbs, so you can tote around your holiday purchases). Thereâ€™s one for every ensemble... go ahead, collect them all! Snatch it: www.envirosax.com Vintage Salvatore Ferragamo will make every step a little more dandy as you tinker your way down the street (we found this pair through 5andDimeMemories on etsy). Add leggings, knee highs or a simple pair of tights and leave the house with a smile. Snatch it: www.etsy.com
FLORENCE, JEWELRY ARTISAN, 31 BITS
The Nostalgia issue is a slightly macabre look at the holiday season!