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S H E R W I N - W I L L I A M S® W h e r e C o l o r a n d C r e a t i v i t y C o n v e r g e V o l u m e 4 • I s s u e 1 • 2 0 0 7

s t i r


Spy eye

How trend spotters like Brooklyn’s Grace Bonney are influencing style.

Rub-Proof Paints

Dining in Blue

Colorful Cuisine With Chef Rick Bayless

Editorial Advisor: Tresa Makowski Executive Editor: Bryan Iwamoto Editorial Director: Dobby Gibson Editor: Kim Palmer Managing Editor: Laura Pigott Executive Art Director: Sandy Rumreich Senior Designer: Cate Hubbard Monique Kelbrants Senior Editor: Mara Hess Production Director: Pam Mundstock Production Artist: Neil Kresal Project Manager: Linda Usgaard Client Services: Steff Gumingo STIR® magazine is published by Hanley Wood, LLC, on behalf of The SherwinWilliams Company, for interior designers and architects. We welcome your questions and comments. Please direct correspondence to: Sherwin-Williams STIR Magazine Hanley Wood 430 1st Ave. N., Suite 550 Minneapolis, MN 55401 Phone: (612) 338-8300 Fax: (612) 338-7044 E-mail: Web site:

STIR Advisory Board Emily Blitzer Paul Segal Associates New York, NY Kathleen Neama The S/L/A/M Collaborative Glastonbury, CT Ann Newton Spooner, IDS national president Ann Newton Spooner Interior Design Charlotte, NC Karin Schluer, Allied ASID, LEED certified Karin & Company Long Valley, NJ Leslie Shankman-Cohn, ASID Eclectic Interiors Memphis, TN Zara Stender, CID, IDS, Allied ASID, CMG vice-chair ZaraDesigns Reno, NV Kristine Stoller, NCIDQ certified KSID, LLC Sharon, MA Abby Suckle, AIA, FAIA, LEED certified Abby Suckle Architects New York, NY Denise Walton, ASID, NCIDQ certified Denise J Walton Design Scottsdale, AZ

Printed in the United States, © 2007 Sherwin-Williams, Vol. 4. Issue 1, 2007

Order Sherwin-Williams color samples online at



ou’ve no doubt been told that you have “good taste.” Not only is this expression the ultimate compliment for a design professional, it also reveals how closely married color is to food. In fact, whether you’re describing a color as icy or rich, or naming it saffron, butter or grape, it’s nearly impossible to talk about your palette without also talking about, well, your palate. There’s a fancy word for something that affects more than one of our senses — synesthesia — but you don’t have to be a scientist to understand this concept. You only have to trust your instincts as you discover inspiration in the flavors you sample, whether it’s painting with the color of a curry that lifted your spirits or an espresso that shook your soul.

In this issue of STIR, Chef Rick Bayless tells us how color functions as an ingredient in both his award-winning Mexican cuisine and the interior spaces of his beloved restaurant, Topolobampo, in Chicago. Inside a new Minneapolis restaurant, Cue, which sits inside a building designed by renowned French architect Jean Nouvel, we discover a dining room that has broken one of color’s cardinal rules: It’s blue. This project is a thrilling reminder of the ways in which food inspires experimentation — and the importance of understanding the rules before attempting to break them. Like a memorable meal, we hope this issue stirs your senses. Bon appetit. Sincerely,

For product or compliance questions, call the Architect and Designer Answerline at (800) 321-8194. For local service and advice, please see your SherwinWilliams Architectural Account Executive or your local store.

Sheri Thompson Director, Color Marketing and Design The Sherwin-Williams Company

The trademarks and copyrights of Sherwin-Williams appearing in STIR are protected. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


S H E R W I N - W I L L I A M S®

s t i r

Vo l u m e 4 • I s s u e 1 • 2 0 0 7



ON THE COVER EYE SPY Go behind the scenes with today’s hottest trend watchers and learn how they’re influencing design.





Vivid hues are now available in burnish-resistant, low-VOC paints.





CONCEPTS IN COLOR™ Thanks to designer input, Sherwin-Williams’ new color collection is more client-friendly than ever.



Cue, one of Minneapolis’ boldest new restaurants, breaks all the rules when it comes to dining- room color.


TOWER POWER The Hearst Corporation’s Manhattan headquarters sets a new standard for earth-friendly office design.

The celebrity chef explains how color has become an important ingredient in his award-winning Mexican cuisine.

16 MOD MAKEOVER Discover how a classical modernist palette helped to give a modular-style 1950s home a much-needed renovation.

18 FINAL TOUCH A mouthwatering look at sushi’s colorful, edible art.




Stir 1



Designer research inspires

new color collection Concepts in Color™ is designed to put your clients at ease.


herwin-Williams has launched a compact, elegant color collection, called Concepts in Color, which is designed to help simplify the color decision process for design professionals and their clients. To make the collection as user-friendly as possible, Sherwin-Williams carefully studied how residential and commercial designers worked with clients to select colors. The end result: a simplified color selection system, including oversized color chips, that will put even a challenging client at ease. Best of all are the colors: Concepts in Color comprises 250 of today’s most popular hues, including 125 new neutrals and whites. So how does the collection’s color selection system work? For starters, the colors are arranged by family and on large 3" x 5" color chips. Each chip includes a small, perforated window to help with the color-specification process. The back of each chip conveniently lists coordinating color recommendations. Along with the large chips, the in-store color merchandiser includes 30 idea cards that feature inspirational room scenes. Plus, five cards showcase current color trends and lifestyles. Concepts in Color is an exciting new addition to the Sherwin-Williams COLOR System.® If your project requires custom matching, the SherwinWilliams Sher-Color™ Advanced Computer Color Technology system will ensure you get the fastest, most accurate matches possible.

How to Order Look for the new Concepts in Color display at a Sherwin-Williams store near you. You can order the Concepts in Color fan deck and large-size samples by going to the Professional section of

Featured wall color is new Stolen Kiss (SW 7586).




DESIGNER CYNTHIA ROWLEY DEBUTS CONCEPTS IN COLOR™ AT FASHION WEEK Sherwin-Williams and designer Cynthia Rowley have partnered to launch the new Sherwin-Williams Concepts in Color collection, bringing coatings to couture, and helping to cement color’s crossover from home trends to fashion. The color collection debuted at Rowley’s show at Fashion Week on Feb. 8 in the runway, lighting, signs and seat cards. Rowley, who is known for the creative use of color in her designs and is well-immersed in the home decor arena, makes an ideal partner for Sherwin-Williams and the Concepts in Color launch.

Rowley’s credentials As a senior at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, Rowley sold her first fashion line to a number of New York’s most prominent stores and has never looked back. Today her line includes women’s, men’s and children’s wear; accessories including shoes, handbags, eyewear, jewelry, and belts; dishes; and a signature fragrance. The line is sold in Cynthia Rowley Boutiques in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and East Hampton; in better department stores and specialty stores; and in more than 50 Cynthia Rowley Boutiques in Japan. The Council of Fashion Designers of America honored Rowley with the New Fashion Talent Award and a nomination for the Perry Ellis Award for New Menswear Design Talent. She is the co-author of the best-selling line of Swell books and co-creator of Swell-related television programs and home products with Ilene Rosenzweig, former deputy style editor of The New York Times. Rowley has also appeared as a judge on the reality television programs Project Runway and Design Star.

MADE IN THE SHADE ClimaGuard SPF may change the way you feel about UV-blocking glass.


f you don’t usually recommend UV (ultraviolet) filtering windows for your projects, it might be time to reconsider. UV-blocking glass can protect walls, floors and furnishings from excessive solar heat gain and damaging UV rays while maximizing natural daylight and thermal insulation. ClimaGuard SPF window glass is designed to block 99.9 percent of (UV) radiation without any visible change in day lighting, compared to a 76 percent reduction with low-E glass and a 43 percent reduction with clear glass. What Makes ClimaGuard SPF Glass Unique?

• Comprehensive UV protection that blocks 99.9 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation.

• Glass appearance is not tinted or excessively reflective, suiting your design while providing plenty of natural daylight. UV Tips

• Direct sunlight can cause fading and discoloration on upholstered fabrics. Keep your furniture as far away from sunlight as possible. Rotate your furniture frequently to avoid patches of fading.

• UV rays don’t just affect furniture. They are harmful to people indoors as well as outside. Limiting your UV exposure is always recommended. ■

UV-blocking glass is essential to protect furnishings from damaging UV rays.

To learn more about ClimaGuard SPF, visit

COLOR CHIPS Facts and trivia from across the spectrum Silver wheels.

Bronze Age dye job.

When it comes to car color, silver comes in

If you’ve ever found inspiration in a radical

first. Maintaining its pre-eminence as the most

new hair color, you’re part of an ancient

popular automobile color in North America,

tradition. History has uncovered more than

silver adorned a full 24 percent of all North

100 different formulas that were used to alter

American vehicles produced in the 2006 model

hair color. The Romans, who

year. White was the second most popular color

Cool blue jewels.

Black and red tied for third at 13 percent each,

Those with deep pockets and a taste for the

ingredients ranging from

followed by blue at 12 percent. Naturals, which

unusual can now buy striking blue pearls,

leeches and charred eggs

include light metallic beige, copper, orange

artificially created in cultured abalone

to walnut shells. They were

and brown, also came in at 12 percent. Green

mollusks. The pearl is a product of the brightly

certainly on to something —

secured a 7 percent share of the market.

colored, blue-shelled paua abalone, indigenous

some of today’s dye formulations

to New Zealand. Over the course of two to

still use walnut shells.

three years, the abalone creates an iridescent bluish-green stone with a flat side that makes it easy to place into a bracelet, pendant or ring. Abalones produce eight different color grades of blue pearls, each sold at premium prices — $1,000 to $5,000 apiece.


were fascinated with

at 16 percent, also retaining its 2005 ranking.



dyeing their hair, used


Durable, rub-proof



Finally, bold hues are available in a burnish-resistant, washable and low-VOC coating.


hen interior designer Ann Newton Spooner’s grandchildren come to visit, her walls get a rubdown — though not the relaxing kind. The girls slide down the staircase railing, and their knees rub against the paint on the wall below it. “So I have this wavy line of shine on the wall,” says Spooner, a designer based in Charlotte, N.C., and past national president of the Interior Design Society. That shine is called burnishing, which is caused when a painted surface is scrubbed, rubbed or worn down. It often occurs in high-traffic areas, where a surface is washed or cleaned frequently, or when objects such as furniture (or kids’ knees) rub against it. It also can occur if a lowgrade paint with poor resistance to stains and scrubbing has been used. To prevent this, Sherwin-Williams developed Duration Home®, a special paint designed to hold up to activities such as washing or rubbing that would otherwise stain and burnish interior surfaces, says Steve Revnew, director of marketing, residential markets, for Sherwin-Williams. The technology focuses on the resin that holds together the various components of paint — pigmentation, solvent, additives, for example — Revnew says. “Normally when paint dries, it’s a physical process. Water evaporates, and the latex particles remain,” says Lisa DePaulo, manager of architectural product development for Sherwin-Williams. Duration Home paint is formulated with a special cross-linking technology. “Components in the polymer are actually reacting [to each other] to create a stronger film,” she says. The resulting paint is stronger and more stain-resistant. “You can wash stains without removing paint film, and because you’re not removing paint film, you’re not getting burnishing,” says Revnew. Burnishing tends to happen more noticeably with darker colors, where less light is reflected and surface imperfections are highlighted. “It’s the No. 1 complaint with bright, bold colors,” Revnew says. But, finally, there is a solution. Duration Home is ideal for residential or commercial high-traffic areas. Though Spooner may not be repainting her own staircase any time soon, she says the Duration Home line will be useful in her work. “I get frequent calls from people wanting me to specify paint colors and finishes. This will be a good sales tool for me.” ■

Burnishing is the No. 1 complaint with bright, bold colors — paint washes off or mars when you rub against it.

This spring, Duration Home will be available in accent bases, which means bright, vivid, bold colors can be tinted in the Duration Home formula. And because Duration Home is a GreenSure™ product with low VOCs, designers can specify dark colors that resist burnishing, are washable and are environmentally friendly. SHERWIN-WILLIAMS

Stir 5

Spy eye




From the sidewalk and cyberspace,

trend spotters

are increasingly influencing style. By KITTY SHEA

Tom Julian, strategic director of trends for ad agency McCann Erickson, strives to translate what he discovers on the street into viable business concepts for clients.



he teakettle whistles in the background as trend-spotter Josh Spear strides around his art-filled, feng-shui-tuned apartment, Vonage Wi-Fi cell phone to his ear, and tries to explain how it is that, by posting nothing more than “stuff he likes” on his namesake blog, he’s become a celebrated eye for all-things cool (even though “cool” is no longer in his hype lexicon). Spear supplies trend-minded types with five to 10 daily hits of idea caffeine, posting photos and pithy endorsements of art, books, gadgets, skateboards, back-alley restaurants — whatever cultural snippets he and his contributors find inspiring. He’s on the road at least once a month, digging around cities, visiting museums, knocking on shop doors after hours and gaining celebrity-like entrance. Solicitations also come to his mailbox. “There are packages stacked up at the office for me to consider for posting,” Spear says. Consideration, for him, is viscerally fueled: “It’s all about the experience I have with each product or place: Is it up to a certain par?” Spear’s conferral of coolness (that word again) is, to him, more predilection than prediction, but marketers, brand managers and advertising executives consider it genuine buzz. The Boulder, Colo., chronicler has thus become a living, breathing brand himself. “My readers are there to consume or take on what I’m curating,” Spear says. “They like it for the personal reasons they like it. They also like it because I like it, weird though it sounds.”

Trend Scouring For trend-spotter Grace Bonney, whose Design*Sponge blog and its offshoots focus on youthfully charged modern design, staying true to what she likes has won praise from esteemed corners. The New York Times “Home & Garden” section put her on its cover. Time magazine’s design issue christened Design*Sponge one of its top blogs. House & Garden signed her as its product blogger. And New York magazine raved about her Web site’s high potential for addiction. Bonney’s discriminating picks draw more than 30,000 daily readers, nearly half of whom work in art, architecture and design, including a who’s who of shelter magazine editors scrolling for leads to fill their pages.


Stir 7

“Editors don’t have time to do what I do,” Bonney says, referring to her 13 hours of trend scouring every day. Twice weekly, she leaves her Brooklyn, N.Y., Pullman-style apartment (which is above a hardware store) to root around new retail shops and student art shows. Mostly, though, she surveys the scene via computer screen, obsessively researching exhibitor lists from international design shows, artists’ work, and the sites of product manufacturers in locales including South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the Scandinavian region and, stateside, the Portlands. (Portland, Ore., and Portland, Maine, are hotbeds for “really interesting handmade stuff right now,” she tips.) Wannabes court her consideration as well: Bonney receives 150 to 200 e-mail submissions a day, of which five might be post-worthy. When she sees something repeatedly, she christens it a “minitrend.” Red and white accessories recently made the list, as did Delft blue accents reminiscent of 17th-century Holland. Also cutting into her consciousness: bright white furniture and objects that celebrate form over ornate decoration.


trends GREEN


Trend-spotter Josh Spear calls himself a devoted reader of the WorldChanging blog, which is dedicated to sustainable living. Spear recommends the new WorldChanging print manual, recently published by Abrams.

Virtual Eyes The Internet has made spotting trends less about surveying society from behind dark sunglasses and more about click-happy sessions online, according to Reinier Evers, the Amsterdam-based founder of, which compiles monthly trend briefings and annual reports for an international corporate clientele. “In a way, as information is ubiquitous, our spotters are less and less just eyes and ears in a specific city or region, but more eyes and ears in cyberspace, scanning hundreds of sources,” says Evers. Nevertheless, for eyeing street life, “New York and London still rule,” he says. “Nowhere else in the world do so many different people converge with so much ambition and, thus, output.” Evers’ formalized feeder network consists of 8,000 trend watchers — entrepreneurs, students, frequent fliers, the curious and the savvy — in 70-plus nations who e-mail whenever they spy a new business idea or consumer behavior. Accepted submissions earn points redeemable for, appropriately, trendy gifts. It’s one thing to spot something of seeming significance — and quite another to know what it means and how to capitalize on it. “With a lot of people, their only job is to inspire a company [by supplying ideas],” says Tom Julian, strategic director of trends for advertising giant McCann Erickson in New York, who spends 40 percent of his time spotting trends and the balance analyzing them (plus toiling on the red carpet Academy Awards night, filing live fashion reports for “My job is to take those 10 ideas and make them into three actionable ideas for clients.” (continued on page 10)




f WHITE Design*Sponge calls the mini-trend of crisp, white furnishings “a reaction to the highly decorative, overly adorned objects we’ve been seeing a lot of over the past few years.” It can be seen in everything from furniture to place settings. PHOTOGRAPH BY HANS HANSEN, COPYRIGHT: WWW.VITRA.COM, DESIGN BY RON ARAD



Design*Sponge trend-spotter Grace Bonney recently noticed metallic paints and finishes appearing on tableware, such as this Kings Road plate by designer Rosanna Bowles.

Youth Intelligence Trends and youth have always had a symbiotic relationship, but the bond appears tighter than ever.




“I love the design options made possible by designer Jos Kranen’s zero-profile LED Flexilights,” Josh Spear says on his blog. Kranen designed the Flexilight for Feek Furniture.


CHIC’ has called “no-frills chic” a revolution “here to stay.” Discounters such as Target and Jet Blue (aircraft pictured left) have secured a devoted customer base by offering a design-savvy consumer experience at low cost.

‘ B E I N G S PA C E S ’

h says “being spaces” — living-room settings such as a coffee shop — will become increasingly popular as people seek out communal environments in a lonely online world.

ow 22, Josh Spear has been gaining notice with his namesake blog for three years already and has launched Spear Creative Group, a brand consulting agency. Grace Bonney, 25, launched her Design*Sponge style prospectus when she was 23. Reinier Evers, the 36-year-old founder of, is nearing retirement as a trend spotter: “I don’t see myself doing this in my 40s and 50s, so time is running out,” he says. “I will probably migrate to a more strategic role, translating trends to corporate strategies, while a younger person takes over the actual spotting part of our business.” Why is the trend business so youth-driven? Something happens as we age, and in most every regard except the business of new, it’s positive. We gain experience and perspective. We become more satisfied. We grow surer of who we are and how life works — too sure, perhaps. “Young people tend to be more open to new things, less inhibited by what are the norms,” says Evers. “There are super-sharp people of age, but in general, myself included, you grow up with a certain framework, a certain way of doing things. Being deeply curious about ‘the new,’ about alternative ways of doing that which you’ve done for a long time, really decreases with age.” And the idea of what constitutes “youth” is relative: Among Bonney’s most proven and cherished sources for big ideas are design students, many of whom are even younger than Bonney.


Stir 9

Thus, rather than parking himself at a sidewalk cafe and noticing whatever streams by, Julian has specific spotting assignments: Travel to X to observe Y for client Z. He’s bullish on London and the U.K. for retail accounts, while nightlife, liquor and relationships right now are “driven by the Las Vegas factor and its sphere of experiences beyond the casino.” Whatever he spots and wherever he spots it, Julian views his collected observations through the loupes of business, statistics, history and the marketplace. Content may be king for bloggers, but context is what builds skyscrapers. ‘“Hot’ is happening, a quick fix,” he says. “A successful trend lives beyond and develops further into a lifestyle offering, concept or brand experience.” A profit source, in other words. The fixes aren’t quite as quick in interiors as they are in fashion, according to Louise Chidgey, London-based senior interiors editor at Worth Global Style Network (WGSN), the leading online research, trend-analysis and news service for international style intelligence. “Furniture and textiles — more the high-ticket products — are the foremost areas for trends in surface, pattern, texture and craft, as well as being the areas in which interior trends first appear in the market,” she says. The Milan Furniture Fair is the place for the leading trends, she notes. “The core trends will then progress and evolve in similar veins, but not change drastically or radically.”

Looking Long For all the breathless, real-time reporting of the latest vibe, designating an item or behavior as a bona fide trend and watching it seep into society is a long-haul discipline. Minneapolis research and advisory firm Iconoculture pioneered the industry’s first framework for translating trends into growth opportunities. Per its model, an observation (dog sushi) becomes a trend (pet versions of people food), then becomes a macrotrend (pets are people, too). To merit designation as a macrotrend, it has to be influencing the whole of our lives. “We need to see it demonstrating itself across different lifestyle categories,” says Vickie Abrahamson, Iconoculture’s executive vice president and co-founder. Having identified a macrotrend, Iconoculture tracks its movement for five to 10 years. Macrotrends are deeply rooted in consumer values, and people don’t change their core as quickly as they change the cut of their jeans. And, given the torrent of stylish new things we can do, wear, eat, drink, use and prize, that’s probably just as well. ■ For more on trend spotting, plus a full list of links to trend-spotting blogs and Web sites, visit

“Editors don’t have time to do what I do,” says Grace Bonney, who spends 13-hour days trend spotting. 10



Design*Sponge blogger Grace Bonney, pictured here browsing Brooklyn’s The Future Perfect, is a devotee of the neighborhood’s vibrant boutique scene.


S t i r 11

STAGEpresence A theater restaurant makes a design statement as dramatic as its setting— and breaks a ‘tried and blue’ rule along the way.


ue, the new restaurant at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, is sophisticated, glamorous and very blue. The deep, saturated color envelops you like an indigo embrace. And while blue is the hue most cited as people’s favorite, it’s often avoided by the food-service industry because it’s considered an appetite suppressant. “Blue is not a great food color,” concedes David Toay, regional vice president for Bon Appetit, the restaurant-management company that developed Cue. “I was opposed to it. There really isn’t any true blue food.” But Toay was trumped by Jean Nouvel, the celebrated French architect who designed the $125 million theater (his first project in North America), which is blue inside and out. Its distinctive shade, somewhere between midnight and cobalt, nearly disappears against the evening sky, leaving a magical glow of lobby lights and silvery images from past Guthrie productions, which are screened onto the building’s facade. Nouvel had submitted his own design for the restaurant, but the theater’s board of directors thought its edgy nightclub vibe might intimidate some theater patrons, who range from urban hipsters to families attending a matinee of A Christmas Carol.




“A hospitality environment has to be friendly and welcoming,” says architect and interior designer Ira Keer of the Durrant Group, who led the design of Cue. “We walked a fine line, trying to create an elegant restaurant that was also hospitable.” Keer’s original design for Cue, chosen by the Guthrie in a competition, included dramatic, themed feature walls; decorative elements; and lipstick-red accents. “[Red] is a good food color, and it’s theatrical,” he says. But Nouvel’s office, which had to approve all aspects of the Durrant design, envisioned something more stark, more minimalist — and more blue. “He wanted the restaurant to be a reflection of the building,” says Keer, who ultimately found a way to create a welcoming environment within those parameters. “We were gifted with a wonderful space that he created for us” — a horseshoe-shaped room with 25-foot-high glass panels overlooking the Mississippi River. “Blue doesn’t bother me. Any rule can be broken successfully.” The success of Keer’s final design included keeping the blue primarily on the perimeter of the space, while the heart of the restaurant features a more neutral palette of silver and black, with blue used sparingly as an accent, such as in the flecks in the granite bar tops. The walls and elaborately soundproofed ceiling were painted blue,


B y K I M PA L M E R


Cue successfully flouts restaurant design

ue, the new restaurant at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, is sophisticated, glamorous and very blue. The deep, saturated color envelops you like an indigo embrace. And while blue is the hue most cited as people’s favorite, it’s often avoided by the food-service industry because it’s considered an appetite suppressant. “Blue is not a great food color,” concedes David Toay, regional vice president for Bon Appetit, the restaurant-management company that developed Cue. “I was opposed to it. There really isn’t any true blue food.” But Toay was trumped by Jean Nouvel, the celebrated French architect who designed the $125 million theater (his first project in North America), which is blue inside and out. Its distinctive shade,

somewhere between midnight and cobalt, nearly disappears against the evening sky, leaving a magical glow of lobby lights and silvery images from past Guthrie productions, which are screened onto the building’s façade. Nouvel had submitted his own design for the restaurant, but the theater’s board of directors thought its edgy nightclub vibe might intimidate some theater patrons, who range from urban hipsters to families attending a matinee of A Christmas Carol. “A hospitality environment has to be friendly and welcoming,” says architect and interior designer Ira Keer of the Durrant Group, who led the design. “We walked a fine line, trying to create an elegant restaurant that was also hospitable.” Keer’s original design for Cue, chosen by the Guthrie in a competition, included

rules by embracing the possibilities of blue.


S t i r 13

BLUER THAN BLUE One of the biggest design challenges the Cue team faced was trying to keep Jean Nouvel’s blue consistent across different materials and textures. “How do you go from flat glass to crushed velvet?” Keer says, referring to the blue tile in the Waldorf kitchen and the custom-dyed blue curtains covering the wall on the theater side of the restaurant, which serve both an aesthetic and acoustic purpose. “Even when the blues match, they read differently because of the different textures.” For example, the ceiling paint appeared darker in the samples than it did when applied, and it now looks a shade lighter than the adjoining wall. The blue tiles picked up green and gold tones from the reflected river view. But instead of fretting about the subtle variations, Keer embraces them as a positive. “I find the drifting of blues welcoming. It’s less than perfect, and that makes people feel more comfortable.”

custom-mixed to match the rest of the theater using Sherwin-Williams Color Accents® alkyd in a satin finish. “The paint had to be washable because of grease spatter and drift,” Keer says. “The painted surfaces are close to the kitchen.” Accent hues, painted with Sherwin-Williams Color Accents alkyd and ProMar 200XP™ latex, included Black Magic (SW 6991), White Pepper (SW 1912) and a custom-mixed shade of gray. Cue exudes drama, thanks to its theatrical lighting and reflective surfaces. The Waldorf show kitchen, which echoes the theater’s thrust stage one floor above, is a shimmering performance space all its own, clad in cobalt blue glass tiles and a curving LED light panel. Interior columns were wrapped with a wall covering made of polished aluminum fibers that are lit in the evening to glow blue, with magenta and gold halos. The bar is set with illuminated “coasters” — fiber-optic lights with dichroic lenses on their surface, so that they appear to be different colors when viewed from different angles. A huge stainless-steel wine tower, designed by Keer, creates a gleaming focal point as well as a dividing wall between the bar and the dining room. Even the tabletops cast a glamorous spell, thanks to the reflective twinkle of crushed glass, silvered mirrors and quartz embedded in their surfaces. “We had decided upfront to eliminate table linens,” Toay says. “We looked very hard to find a product that gave [the tabletops] a magical quality.” Ultimately, the project limitations became a source of inspiration, Keer says. “As designers, we rely on color to help create a mood. It’s so simple. But it’s almost a handicap.” Faced with a restricted palette, Keer became more creative in his use of patterns, materials, textures and lighting. “Because we did not have the option of color, we had to look in different directions,” he says. ■ For more on on the Cue project, including links, visit

MORE ABOUT THE COLOR: Blue: The History of a Color, Michel Pastoureau (Princeton University Press, 2001) A beguiling and beautiful mixture of art book and social history that shows how the rarest of all colors became the most common.






TOWER power The Hearst Corporation’s Manhattan headquarters sets a new standard for earth-friendly office design. By KIMI EISELE


he new Hearst Corporation headquarters proves that even in the heart of New York City, amidst 46 stories of glass and steel, you can build green. Designed by London-based Foster and Partners in conjunction with Gensler Architectural Design and Planning, the tower uses 26 percent less energy than conventional buildings, thanks in part to high-performance, low-emission glass, which minimizes heat gain. Internal walls were kept to a minimum to facilitate natural illumination, with daylight sensors dimming lights when natural lighting is sufficient. “The primary design goal was to create a new environment that embodies daylight and visibility — an open work environment to promote interaction and collaboration among employees,” says Bob Seitz, a senior associate at Gensler. Built above Hearst’s former headquarters at Columbus Circle in midtown Manhattan, the project received a Gold Rating from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The construction of the tower itself incorporated environmental conservation. Eighty-five percent of the steel was recycled, and the unique design of the tower’s “diagrid” frame used approximately 20 percent less steel than a conventional perimeter frame, Seitz says.

Environmentally friendly materials also were chosen for the building’s interior. “One of the simplest things you can do to make a building green is to pick paints that have low VOCs [volatile organic compounds],” says Brian Schwagerl, vice president of real estate and facilities worldwide for the Hearst Corporation.

BREATHING EASY Most of the interior space of the Hearst Tower was painted with Sherwin-Williams Harmony® Interior Latex paint, which offers zero VOCs and is a low-odor, silica-free coating with antimicrobial properties to resist mildew. Choosing no-VOC paint was a no-brainer, according to Schwagerl. “If you can get quality paint in beautiful colors and not create toxic emissions that your employees are exposed to, why not do it?” he says. “We have the cleanest air of any building in New York City, and the paint is a factor in that.” “The interior color palette is clean, bright and fresh,” Seitz says, and it incorporates a variety of whites and grays, including Morning Fog (SW 6255). “We relied on daylight, the view and the quality of finishes to make the environment.” “We looked at this project as a home renovation,” Schwagerl says. “We view corporate employees as part of the Hearst family. Why wouldn’t you put the best products in your home?” ■

INNOVATION IN CONSERVATION The Hearst Tower’s ahead-of-the-curve conservation features include:

Recycled water. A rainwater collection system on the roof reduces by 25 percent the water that normally would flow from the site into the city’s sewer system. That collected water is harvested in a 14,000-gallon tank in the basement of the building, where it replaces water lost to evaporation in the building’s air-conditioning system and also irrigates plants and trees inside and outside the building. Captured water is also used to create “icefall,” a special feature in the building’s grand atrium, designed to humidify and cool the lobby.

“Thinking” elevators. The building’s “destination dispatch” elevators conserve energy with an organized system that “pre-plans” trips. “Rather than board an elevator with a crowd of people where everyone pushes their numbers, you punch in your number before you board in a kiosk, and it tells you which elevator to go to,” says Bob Seitz, a Gensler Interior Design firm senior associate who consulted on the building’s interior design and architecture. The efficient system meant that fewer elevators were needed to transport the Hearst workforce from floor to floor.


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A chef’s palette B y K I M PA L M E R

The flavors of Mexico have inspired Rick Bayless to create award-winning cookbooks, TV shows, a line of prepared foods and a pair of Chicago eateries: Frontera Grill and Topolobampo — one of America’s only fine-dining Mexican restaurants. He’s known for his modern interpretations of traditional regional dishes, turning them into a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.

STIR: You just returned from Mexico. What did you do there, and what was the most memorable thing you saw or tasted?

STIR: Colorwise, what’s the most beautiful Mexican dish you’ve ever seen? RB: You’ll laugh. It’s molé poblano. It’s this almost mysterious dark color. It looks like it was cooked too long, but not quite. In Mexico, if you can pick out any one flavor in molé, it’s a poor molé. They’re going for unified flavor, where everything has lost its identity and becomes part of a whole. The color is the same way. You can’t describe it.

RB: We were shooting the fifth season of the show (PBS’ Mexico – One Plate at a Time), all on the Yucatan peninsula. What was most memorable? That’s easy. Everything. A whole pig baked in a pit, wrapped in banana leaves … seeing the Mayan ruins at Uxmal … fishing on the coast and cave-diving.

STIR: What is the color palette in your restaurants? How does Frontera Grill’s differ from Topolobampo’s?

RB: It varies. The Yucatan is much lighter, with Caribbean colors. Central Mexico is more intense. There I picture Mexican pink, or rosa Mexicano; a blue that they call colonial blue, which is cobalt; and a yellow that I’ve never heard anybody describe, that veers just off yellow into green.

STIR: What role does color play in authentic Mexican cuisine and its presentation? How would you compare it with other culinary traditions? RB: There’s the real simple stuff: red, white and green — like guacamole, ceviche [a seafood salad] and salsa. That palette runs through so much of the cuisine. Beyond that, it turns very earthy. Mexican food is the earthiest-colored cuisine, because it weaves so many chilies together. The chilies dry to different colors. Some are completely black; others are cranberry red.




STIR: How do you adapt or interpret that palette in your cooking? RB: I like to add fresh greens and white onions as an intense, bright contrast to all that earthiness. I try to keep that balance. In Mexico, you live surrounded by so much color. Flowers are everywhere. They’re surrounded by that so they don’t have to put it on their plate. Their food presentation is simple. They don’t like decor; they think it’s silly. I have to try in my translation of dishes to capture the beauty of Mexico. I have to put it on the plate, because it’s not surrounding us. I might sprinkle marigold petals over a salad, like edible confetti, or put an edible bloom in a plate of ceviche. That would be pretty unusual in Mexico.

RB: Frontera is all warm colors. It has two-toned walls, with pale gold above the wainscoting and a rusty burnt orange below. It’s painted to really look old. In Topolobampo, the top of the wall is stuccoed white, then glazed with a hint of amber. The bottom of the wall is cobalt blue. In Topolobampo, we have a huge collection of fine art, and it shows beautifully on the white walls. Frontera has more folk art, and the golden color embraces the art. It’s a more relaxed atmosphere, with bright acoustics, and you have a sense of the food being really communal. It’s the color of the hearth, and the food calls less attention to itself. Topolobampo has more design elements, and it’s quieter. It’s a slower dining experience. ■ Find colorful recipes at For more on Bayless, visit


STIR: When you picture Mexico, what colors immediately come to mind?

“ There’s a false notion that a Mexican party is putting up lots of crepe-paper flowers. … For me, it’s the combination of brilliant color and really earthy food.”


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Mod makeover This midcentury home always stood out among the colonials and Cape Cods that surrounded it. Now, a respectful renovation has revealed its potential.



hen Barbara Boardman and her husband bought their 1957 steel-and-glass modular home in Carlisle, Mass., it wasn’t out of a passion for midcentury modern architecture. They liked the home because it was unusual, with its Acorn partitions, its glass walls — and its stilts. “We didn’t want a colonial,” says Boardman. “They’re so boring.” But after living in the home, which was designed by architect John Nickols based on a plan published in the 1937 book The Modern House in England, the couple quickly became converts to the modernist aesthetic, despite the challenges. “The views are amazing, but it’s cold in the winter and hot in the summer because of all the windows,” says Boardman. Oh, and then there’s the fact that the house wobbles in a strong wind, thanks to the stilts. Boardman’s sister, New York City-based architect and designer Abby Suckle, loved the house immediately and frequently urged her sister and brother-in-law to let her give it a tender-loving “update.” Finally, in 2005, 18 years after they moved in, they were ready. At the rear of the home, Suckle removed the Acorn partitions that delineated two small bedrooms, creating a large master bedroom, bathroom and closet. Creating the “spa-like” master bathroom, which




Removing walls opened up the house, celebrating colorful views in every direction.


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Bold, primary colors both create warmth and acknowledge the past.

WORTH SAVING? Architect Abby Suckle argued for renovating, rather than for preserving, her sister’s midcentury modular home. Suckle says, “There was no one thing you could point to and say, ‘This is worthy of preserving.’ You’re not talking about a Frank Lloyd Wright house.” But a house’s pedigree shouldn’t be the only measure of its worth, says Michelle Gringeri-Brown, editor of Atomic Ranch (, a quarterly magazine devoted to 1940s–1970s ranch-style houses, and author of the new book Atomic Ranch: Design Ideas for Stylish Ranch Homes.


every postwar house is an architectural gem, but they’re very livable,” she says. “They were great for families then and they still are.” Gringeri-Brown





midcentury homes to learn about the palette of the era. “Postwar houses were optimistic,” she says. “They used fun, vibrant colors.” SherwinWilliams has collected a variety — Harvest Gold (SW 2858), Avocado (SW 2861) and Stratford Blue (SW 2864), for example — in its Suburban Modern Preservation Palette. Ranch-style homes have been “the architectural

The house has a classic modernist palette, anchored by red and yellow.

stepchild,” according to Gringeri-Brown, but younger homeowners, in particular, are discovering their merits. The era of renovating midcentury homes is just beginning, she predicts, and period-sensitive materials and pieces will soon be widely available. “It used to be you couldn’t get a pedestal sink to put in your bungalow, and now you trip over them at every home improvement store,” she says. “The same thing will happen with midcentury homes.”

Find a Q & A with Gringeri-Brown at

Atomic Ranch (GibbsSmith), 192 pages, cloth, $39.95




is painted Meditative Blue (SW 6227) and Waterscape Green (SW 6470), was an exercise in compromise, given the twin challenges of 50-year-old plumbing and exposed infrastructure. “You can’t just cut holes and run things where you want in a house like this,” says Suckle. In the center of the home, Suckle reconfigured the living space by removing two walls in what had been the “horrible, horrible kitchen” and opening up the room to both the dining room and the stairwell that leads to the outside. She added a 22-foot-long island and updated the cabinets, appliances, flooring and fixtures, achieving the “Jetsons” look her sister wanted. To continue the space-age, industrial feel — and to create a neutral backdrop for the commanding views of the five-acre property — Suckle chose Passive Gray (SW 7064) for the wall coatings (in Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint® Interior latex Eg-Shel) and darker Worldly Gray (SW 7043) for the window frames and trim. The metal ceiling was scraped down (a painstaking process that took two months) and painted

Arcade White (SW 7100) in SuperPaint® Interior semi-gloss, which she chose for its coverage and sheen. In choosing accent colors, Suckle looked to the classic modernist palette: red, yellow and blue. “We didn’t use any blue because we had the black on the outside of the house,” she says. “But the ceiling beams are painted in high-gloss Cheerful Yellow (SW 6903), and the furniture provides the red accents.” Suckle, who worked with architect I.M. Pei for 20 years, says her goal was “to make the house into what it could have been originally. I didn’t fight the architect,” she says. “I did it absolutely in the spirit of his work.” The renovation garnered an Interiors Citation from the Boston Society of Architects and an Honor Award for Renovation from the Society for American Registered Architects in 2006, and the house was featured in the June 2006 issue of Dwell. For her part, Boardman is even more in love with her home than ever, and she wishes she hadn’t waited 18 years to do a face-lift. “The house feels right now. It’s happy in its skin. I don’t think it was happy before.” ■




According to Japanese tradition, food is eaten not just with the mouth,

but with the eyes. In fact, presentation is such an essential part of Japanese food preparation that sushi masters often study the works of landscape painters for inspiration. Colors, textures and flavors must be perfectly balanced to harmonize with each other and with the serving dish, which is almost as important as the food itself. Contrasting colors, such as rich red tuna next to cool green cucumber or avocado, are frequently chosen because they are believed to make the sushi appear more vibrant and interesting. And because colors have important symbolic meaning in Japanese life, sushi palettes often reflect the season: reds and golds in autumn; whites in winter; greens and pinks in spring; and red, green or purple in summer.



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H a r m o n y . Th e p e r f e c t b l e n d o f p e r f o r m a n c e a n d e c o l o g y. ®

Now there’s a coating that meets your quality expectations without compromising environmental concerns. We call it Harmony. This high-hiding, low-odor, zero VOC, silica-free paint has anti-microbial properties that protect the paint film, and is available in hundreds of colors. Plus it is washable and durable, so you know your look will last. Keep performance and aesthetic requirements covered in perfect Harmony. To learn more, see your Sherwin-Williams Architectural Account Executive or call our Architect and Designer Answerline at 1-800-321-8194 for color and product information.

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STIR 4.1 2007  

STIR magazine from Sherwin-Williams Volume 4 Issue 1, 2007.

STIR 4.1 2007  

STIR magazine from Sherwin-Williams Volume 4 Issue 1, 2007.