OUR COLOR ISSUE jan | feb
full of hues to cure your winter blues
in the issue:
HOT | Tots Shops SHOPS Shop for your favorite tot
| Up-Cycled LA’s Wild Salvages take you on a tour of past trash
FRESH | Living In Color
Emily Ruddo gives us tips for using Tangerine Tango | Inspiration Board Interior Designer Dayna Katlin | Winter’s Bone Jewelry Designer Meredith Kahn of Made Her Think | Quirky Perfection Inside Heike Jarick’s clothing line | Seasonal Thinking Toujours contributors share their color theories
FEED AND FUEL | Skinny Apps
Entertaining goddess Lulu Powers keeps us trim with New Yearâ€™s delights
in the issue:
INSIDE ART | Bold Sculpture
Artist Sylvia Raz compiles leftovers and pop culture to create work that impacts
TAKE A DAY | Devon Ave
Chicagoâ€™s hidden jewel
BON VOYAGE | Tahoe Blues
Experience Tahoe in a new light
in the issue: WANDERLUST | The Waves of Kanyakumari Travel to India with our resident nomad
PRINTED MATTER | Color
All the Hues you need to read
LIVING | Living In Color
Artists Ed and Dawn Massey open up their colorful California home | Child’s Play Designers Jeff Andrews, Mark Langos & Joani Stewart-Georgi | Blue Green Yellow and Red Inside Schuyler Samperton’s LA Home
SEASONAL SKETCHINGS | What’s His Name
Illustrations by David Saracino
FINAL THOUGHTS | Can’t Live Without
PR Genius Rich Pedine shares his must-haves
letters from the editors Color moves me. Just as many people are moved by music and the way a song can change their attitude, hues constantly inspire me. And in the draining winter months, I am constantly comforted by vibrant colors everywhere I find them. This issue touches on color in all forms. We feel that just because your trees are lacking foliage and the light wanes at 4pm, it doesn’t mean we all need to live in grey hues for three months. Instead we have brought together a collection of stories, designers, and artists that draw inspiration and passion for their work from color. From the bright hues of artist Ed Massey’s home to the subtle, moody tones of jewelry designer Meredith Kahn’s Made Her Think line, we have been in search of color and it’s impact.
photo by Jaymi McClusky
Approximately 150 years ago a group of artists in and around Paris fundamentally changed our relationship with color. Allowing emotion to come into play, feelings to dictate appearances, fun to determine hue. Our world has never been the same. Color can be serious, fun, playful, exciting, and vibrant, the whole color wheel is for our use now. Thanks to the team at Toujours for getting this issue on color together. We have ranged far and wide, and had fun putting it together, so please enjoy, and we hope we bring a bit of color into your life.
003 KAT O’BRIEN Copy Editor Kat O’Brien is a born and bred California girl. She got an English degree from Long Beach State and divides her time between fiction and reality. She can often be found online, buried in a book, knee-deep in notebooks, or hopping the border to Canada.
DAVID SARACINO Illustrator David is a freelance Illustrator & Designer living outside of New York City in Astoria. He likes to cook and has more polaroid cameras than you can count on both hands.
KARYN MILLET Writer | Photographer If something wants to be photographed, I’ll shoot it. If there’s a story that wants to be written, I’ll find it.
DANA BEIERLE Art Director Dana lives in Brooklyn where s rooftop dumpling parties for he artist friends. She wears cloth finds on the sidewalk in Chinat listens to Hall and Oates. She dr keyboard, and she and her cat can sleep through just about a
she hosts er starving hing she town and raws, plays t Satchmo anything.
LULU POWERS Entertaining Director Lulu will contribute sage advice on all things entertaining, and we will also be featuring her recipes. Lulu started her catering business in 1994, and she delights one and all with an inspired take on life. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband Stephan, a photographer, and their 3 dogs.
DAWN MOORE Editor at Large California Girl to the bone. Designer, writer, kayaker. “Authentic is far more important than impressive - in art, interiors or personal adornment. Soulful living is the key.”
JEFF MARK Writer Jeff Markovitz is a Professor of English and Creative Writing at Community College of Philadelphia. Though primarily a fiction writer, he has published poems recently in Certain Circuits and in the anthology Names in A Jar: A Collection of Poetry by 100 Contemporary American Poets. His creative non-fictitious stories “Too Tough for Tetherball” and “Two Gents on A Church Lawn were published in 2011 and his first novel Into the Everything was published in 2011 by Punkin House Press.
SASHA SULLIVAN Art/Fashion Editor Sasha Sullivan is an artist living in New York after a recent stint in Florence. Her narrative and figurative paintings are based on images styled and shot in the home she shares with her sculptor husband.
THOMAS BACHAND Photographer Thomas Bachand’s contemporary landscape photography resides in the Oakland Museum of California and the Bancroft Library at the University of California, as well as private collections. His travel book “A Vagabond World: Essays From A Solo Journey Around The Globe” has been reissued with photography and is now available on iTunes and Amazon. For more information on his work, include current EMILY RUDDO Design Editor Originally from Maryland and now an Angeleno, Emily enjoys her bicostal clients and lifestyle. She loves hunting for fantastic fabrics and when not decorating, enoys anything involving the outdoors:. from golf to hosting an impromptu gathering on her terrace. Her dream is to have homes on each coast decoratedto fit each lifestyle, and is constantly dreaming of Italy.
SARAH REISMAN Writer A reformed lawyer, former New Yorker and an aspiring nomad. After spending 6 years in the corporate jungle, this blogger is trading it all in for an actual jungle; traveling the world in search of beauty, adventure and a good time.
toujours | 003 | contributors
BETH COLLER Photographer A native of Southern California, Beth Coller received a degree in fine art before turning her attention to commercial photography. An interest in architecture and design, and the things that people surround themselves with help shape her photographs. She is currently working on a personal project documenting field trails, a competition for pointer dogs.
KRISTY FIREBAUGH Writer Kristy Firebaugh lives in a one hundrea year-old house and spends her weeking painting, decorating, and trying to convince her husband to help her refinish furniture or knock down walls. She is currently working on a Ph.D. dissertatio in English literature at the University of Denver. When sheâ€™s not writing or daydreaming about wallpaper she likes to hike with her dog.
LIVE IN PURE CO LIVE IN PURE CO LIVE IN PURE CO So you have probably heard Tangerine Tango is Pantone’s 2012 color of the year, but are you wondering how to pair this spirited color in your own home? I have done some color decoding and matched up this energetic color with complimentary hues for those of you who want to add it to your existing decor.
Whether you are going for color combo’s of fun & flirty or muted & earthy, here are easy ways to incorporate this new ‘it’ color:
OLOR OLOR OLOR
FEATURING PANTONE TANGERINE TANGO
I get asked all the time how to mix colors, so these color palettes offer up inspiration for updating your fabrics, wallpaper and accessories. Because it packs a powerful punch, be sure to maintain balance with this fiery hue. Tangerine is also a great color to introduce to your outdoor decor this year.
Plantation Chevron Frame
Jonathan Adler Capri Lamp
EMILYâ€™S TIPS Avoid a tangerine explosion. Start small by adding new home accessories. Change out existing pillow covers and throws for a fresh update. Paint or wallpaper the inside of bookcases for texture and dimension.
Jonathan Adler Hexagon Tray
Add colorful books and artwork in this hue to brighten your space. Use reddish-orange fruits & veggies as decorative accents in your kitchen.
Crate and Barrel Suffolk Chair
Lamps Plus Pillow
C Wonder Napkins
Layla Grace Dwell Striped Rug
Plantation Lacquer Desk Set
By Dana Beierle
Droog Frame Tape Scott Diffrient Jewery
Etsy VintageMod Frames
Etsy Hand Soap
Urban Outfitters Furniture
Donald J Pliner Glass Bead Shoes
Dyptique Candle City Bakery Hot Chocolate
Hermes Avalon Pillow Bodum Cup
Vera Meat Ring
The fall earthy palette is a favorite of Art Director Dana Beierle. Bodum’s dual chamber glasses keep rich chocolate brown coffees hot without burning hands.
Jewel tones and winter hues suit Co-Editor in Chief Grey Crawford’s style perfectly. He’s never without his bone white Montecristi hat with sepia satin sash.
See our staff’s
toujours | 003 | fresh staff
Pratima Liposomes Vitamin Serum
Voliere Tambour Table Lamp Priya Means Love Lip Balm
Bindya Scarf Iznik Dhurrie Rug
Crate and Barrel Placemat
Judy Ross Pillows
Kathryn Herman Batik Scarf
Bright, neon, and vibrant are just a few words to describe the color scheme favored by Co-Editor in Chief Meghan Beierle-O’Brien. Marimekko’s whimsical designs encompass the feeling of spring in color and print.
Surevolution Silk Bangle
Fashion Editor Sasha Sullivan lives her life in the palette of summer no matter the season. The Bindya scarf plays home to the bold tones of summer and the playful wrapping styles make for skirts, head wraps, and shawls.
cardella Rancho Mirage, California
By Grey Crawford
we think of the most colorful and fun room in the house it’s usually the kids rooms, while the rest of the house might have quieter color, calm furniture, an adult feel, in the kids room we allow fantasy, fun, and color to run wild. There are 2 shops in the Los Angeles area that exemplify this fun, exuberance and colorful palette of children’s worlds. In Santa Monica on Main Street the WeeGo Home interior design store served as a model for Jessica and Asher Richter, to bring the magic and fun of childhood to a retail store. WeeGo Baby is a fun filled visual delight for all ages. With all the necessities for a child’s room the large pieces, beds tables, chairs, lamps, all in amazing colors and materials, to the smaller joys of childhood, toys, stuff animals, and games. These in a contemporary setting, with a helpful staff, bring your child here for a fun filled day.
For a traditional feel and look for your children drive to Beverly Hills to visit, Art for Kids, the retail outlet for Gail Sedigh creations’. Working for 30 years making classically styled bench-made furniture, Gail decided to bring it all into an environment that showed off her detailed carving and appliqués, all in water-based non toxic finishes. With two large rooms filled with products there is no shortage of ideas, and stuff to pick from. With Gail’s helpful staff one can pull together a whole room or just that one piece to finish your child’s room. When visiting don’t forget to bring the children they will have as much fun as you, and your home will be more colorful and fun for the effort. Enjoy!
We asked interior designer Dayna Katlin to create a calm color pallette based on one of her favorite paintings. We love the soft subtle hues and elegant textures.
paint and paper Benjamin Moore Hazy Skies
Martha Stewart Silver Leaf Metallic
fabrics Rose Tarlow
toujours | 003 | fresh
produced by dawn moore
Phillip Jeffries Wall Covering
Benjamin Moore Horizon
I love the shimmer of the ocean when the sun hits the surface. And mixing that ethereal morning haze with the warmth of a mahogany table in a modernist geometric shape thrills me! The plush and the linear – the unearthly blues and silvered metallic. – Dayna Katlin
savory “ With flavors and
SLIM PICKS AND TRICKS Did you know January is “Five Spoons” month? Well, it is on my calendar! My high-profile clients all get “five spoonfuls” of food per meal, and you should, too. Unless you’re hosting a party for dogs, you can actually encourage your guests to chew slowly and the Five Spoonfuls Strategy is surprisingly satisfying. I know, you still have to host that red-carpet awards party, so here’s some cool ideas that will keep you and your friends healthy and happy...
BY LULU POWERS
tempting presentations, anyone whittling their waist won’t even notice they are eating healthy with smaller portions.
From Left: Soba Noodles, Pistachio Mint Kale Salad, Tuna Ponzu Cilantro, Sweet Potato Aioli, Asparagus Bruschetta
SLIM TIPS 1. Dump the bread! These recipes are great served in spoons. And it’s so cute... 2. Don’t have enough spoons? Cucumbers slices make perfect little discs to hold a bite! 3.
Serve watermelon juice. Seriously. It helps with bloating, is a pretty color and is yummy.
4. Replace the “chips” in chips and dip for crudité or bake your own kale chips. Salsa is inherently low fat – scoop some up in a celery stick! 5. Plain organic popcorn sprinkled with olive oil and a touch of truffle salt... heaven! 6. Suggest a splash of bubbly water to white wine. A “spritzer” cuts down the sugar content and saves you tons of calories. I love to have my white wine over ice. 7. Small portions! Resist the temptation to over serve your guests. Let me reiterate... Small portions! 8.
Let your guests know if you will be serving them a full dinner or just appetizers. That way the dieters can manage their food intake. Make sure to have a pitcher of plain or spa water with glasses easily accessible to your guests so they can stay hydrated and alternate between cocktails and water.
10. Spa water – cucumbers, mint, citrus or apples.
Whatever you have on hand. Tip: good to do the day before so the water gets infused with the flavors.
11. When your first guest walks in, your treats should
be out and ready to go. Don’t let your friends start enjoying those those “sneeky’s” on an empty stomach. Besides the obvious, it encourages eating way more than they need.
5 SPOON RECIPES
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Soba Noodles with Lulu’s cilantro coconut peanut sauce 2 tablespoons peanut or almond butter 1-1⁄2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar 2 tablespoon Tamari or soy sauce 2 tablespoons water 1-tablespoon sesame oil 2 Garlic cloves 1 inch piece of Ginger 1-tablespoon honey 2 tablespoons coconut oil 1⁄2 lime, squeezed Splash of tapatio Chili flakes (to taste) Salt and pepper (to taste) Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend. Add to warm soba or buckwheat noodles This dish can be made before hand. It is great cold, hot or at room temp. You can always add Shredded chicken or fish for some protein.
Sweet Potato Aioli
Kale Salad with Mint Pistachio Pesto
Pesto 2 cups of mint 1 cup of pistachio’s 1 lemon zested and juiced Blend in food processor. Toss kale with 1-tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add pesto and toss.
1 bunch Asparagus 1⁄4 cup Parmesan 1⁄2 cup almonds 1⁄4 ounce chives Rind of 1 lemon Juice of 1 lemon Salt and pepper to taste Blend in food processor.
Tuna with Ponzu Cilantro 1 piece sushi grade Ahi Tuna Citrus ponzu or lemon juice Truffle salt Cut tuna in to thick pieces. Place on spoon and drizzle with citrus ponzu and a sprinkle of truffle salt. Adorn with a piece of cilantro.
2 Garlic cloves 2 Roasted sweet potatoes 1⁄2 cup almond 1⁄2 cup Parmesan 1⁄2 lime squeezed Salt and Pepper to taste Blend in food processor.
take a day
a walk through india in chicago
story and photos by meghan beierle oâ€™brien
While a resident of the great (and cold!) city of Chicago, Devon Street was one of my favorite gems: an Indian focused neighborhood bursting with color, overwhelming scents, and generally dazzling my senses. The local grocer, Fresh Farms, is brimming with delicious and enticing spices, produce, and curries.
While a little out of the way, especially if confined to public transportation, Devon Street and its locals never let me down. From bangles to silks to dosas to local spices, the day was always full of fantastic finds. If you are enticed by our Wanderlust story this month and have a hankering to visit India, step onto this city street to get a petite taste of a country that will literally dazzle you.
toujours | 003 | take a day
On a recent trip to Chicago, I ma the familiar pilgrimage back to t Indian hub that bursts with life a a slight bit of chaos. I dragge a friend that had never been (although born and raised in th cityâ€Ś), and while she was sligh intimidated by the sights, she gave Devon Street and its color treasures a true Chicagoan stam of approval and wanted seconds matar paneer.
ade the and ed n he htly e rful mp s of
toujours | 003 | take a day
On our final stop of the day, scents of curry lead me back into my favorite Indian restaurant on Devon, Uru-Swati, and all of the food I’ve been missing in the year since I’ve been gone comes rushing back. My new convert sighs happily, and we agree: it’s worth the trip, if only for the food...
Winter’s Bone Made Her Think: The World of Jewelry Designer Meredith Kahn.
STORY · SARAH REISMAN DRAWINGS · SASHA SULLIVAN PHOTOS · MEGHAN BEIERLE-O’BRIEN
ven as a child, jewelry designer Meredith Kahnâ€™s life was a study in contrasts. Her mother often made the clothes that Kahn and her sister wore, and Kahn, obsessed with Madonna, often dressed in pearls and bows and experimented with makeup. But, she refused to be a girly-girl. Her stepfather was a pattern maker and Kahn grew up in his shop, comfortable with the heavy machinery. She owned a dirt bike and spent her evenings running around with the kids in her Staten Island neighborhood, playing manhunt. Creativity too, came at an early age. Driven to make art, the young Kahn could often be found at her kitchen table at 5 a.m., hard at work over her finger paints. Today, Kahn still seeks out contrast and uses it to find balance. She started her professional career designing jeans, not a surprise given her upbringing, and designing jewelry on the side. Soon, however, the side project began to attract attention for its striking and unique designs and became coveted for its ability to balance completely different perspectives. And thus, Made Her Think was born. â€œI like things that are ironic and contrast; things that go against the expected grain. I love the unexpected: mixing two opposites and watching them dance together.â€? Her chilling, yet lovely palate reflects her philosophy, as Kahn mixes colors and materials that are not usually found together. She is drawn to the murky point between two colors and uses surprising metal combinations like faceted light shades of smoky quartz with rose gold. The result is stunningly beautiful, but with a sharp, cerebral edge; A bit like Kahn herself.
DESIGNER 路 MEREDITH KAHN
Quirky Perfection per fection
A look inside designer Heike Jarick’s workroom
STory by Sasha Sullivan Photos by meghan beierle-o’brien
toujours | 003 | fresh
German Designer Heike Jarick’s biomorphic designs are sympathetic to the female form. Created with unusual and luxurious textiles, Heike’s genius is revealed in the carefully contrived draping of fabrics. Subtle and effortless, the draped designs flatter the body in a modern yet timeless construction. Her exquisite tailoring detail has captured not only the attention of celebrity clientele, but also The Yohji Yamamoto Group in Tokyo, where Heike was the design director at Work & Friends. Heike Jarick launched her own label over a decade ago after designing in Milan for Luciano Soprani, Krizia and Trussardi. She continued to fine-tune her craft at Anne Klein and Searle Blatt Ltd in NYC. Heike’s studio in the Garment District in Manhattan contains the strong character of her creative history; vibrant walls wrap around her showroom packed with current and previous seasons’ designs. Decadent silks hang next to beaded chiffon and sequined outfits, which are balanced by the modal and jersey ensembles. The other half of the space houses copious amounts of clothing patterns, bolts of fabric, and simple muslin waiting to sown into new creations. Looming over all are Heike’s intriguing inspiration boards. Here is where her ideas come to life. Color, texture, and pattern take form in swatches of feathers, wool and other fibers, which synthesize with images of models and fragments of art. The diversity of Heike’s studio mirrors her personality - her quirky sense of humor balanced by the meticulous eye for perfection. To view Heike Jarick’s latest line, visit her website at www.heikejarick.com
Click here to see Fashion Editor Sasha Sullivan decked out in Heike’s designs
Up-Cycled with: the Wild Salvages of Los Angeles
With the holidays and all the
excess that surround us during the season now past, we thought it would be a great time to play with repurposing items many people already own. People all over the country have caught onto the idea of Up-Cycling, which “is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value”*. LA based upcyclers Carrie and Rita, known as the Wild Salvages, have come up with some great (and colorful!) projects for anyone wanting to get creative while staying warm these winter months. They also show some great pieces from their shop that may take a little more effort, but certainly keep great furniture and accessories from a waste dump.
! y i DECOUPAGE d
*see instructions on our blog by clicking here
Photos by Meghan Beierle-O’Brien
nt: s Mission Stateme landfill e g a lv Sa d il W e Th e nt of waste going to th to decrease the amou
ying “We want d of consumerism by bu an br ’ co ‘e e or m a e ag unwanted and encour …well, trash! We take m fro e ad m s m ite d an e. second-h ry day disposables’ (i. ve ‘e as ll we as re itu and/or broken furn d clothing, coils from a pe rip or d ne ai st s, CD scratched e various rbish and recycle thes fu re e, os rp pu re d an mattress…), nctional, unique d exciting pieces of fu an w ne to in gs in th random nt in their homes.” art that people will wa
THE BETTY CHAIR Ooh la la! This is an East Lake chair is from about the 1890’s. It has original horse hair and hand-forged coils inside (which makes it more of a ‘showcase’ piece rather than functional seating), and upholstered in a cheetah print curtain handed down to us from a set display. It’s a fun, sexy piece that makes you want to channel your inner Betty Paige!
The twin headboard is refinished to look a bit French country, and we used a hand-me-down baby blanket set to pad the front for some fun texture. We also found a King headboard on the street in a very boring, dated stain, we grabbed that puppy and turned it into a hip and modern piece with some matte black paint and an eco clear coat.
toujours | 003 | hot shops
! y i d DUVET COVER
*see instructions on our blog by clicking here
THE MARY CHAIR We felt like MacGyver...crib mattress coils, a palette, baby food jars and wire...and of course lighting! Stunning ambiance is a sure thing when lit up with candles above your patio table.
We couldn’t believe when we found this chair sitting by someone’s driveway, “free for the taking”, that it was actually IN someone’s house the day before! It was not what anyone would call decent or even acceptable...until we snatched it up! A little cleaning and some great new modern fabric breathed new life into this sturdy office chair. Some bright orange paint we already had on-hand made it pop!
pop culture in sculpture Produced ---> Dawn Moore Written---> Meghan Beierle-Oâ€™Brien Art---> Sylvia Raz
SYLVIA RAZ Sylvia Raz’s work can hit you over the head if you’re not prepared. Her insightful, visual commentary of the human condition and the world we live in seems well timed and desperately needed. In a country full of materialism and disposable goods, this artist collects many peoples’ junk and trash to create cultural sculptures out of scraps and leftovers.
Left ---> Knitted Self Portrait Above---> Found Mannequin and Dove Peace Right---> Hope Sculpture (displayed at th
For Sylvia, her art and work has come with the times. “If you can’t afford it, you make it”, was the lesson Sylvia's grandmother taught her as a child. Over time, she used that message to develop the style in which she now works. She realized if she could make a glove, she could make a hand, and that kind of thinking broadened her work, as seen in her knitted self portrait. Sylvia feels that now, with our current economy, people are forced to work with less. “You can make beautiful things with what you have. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to be uglier, it can be much better.”
Sculpture he Ojai Valley Museum)
toujours | 003 | inside art
As we tour the studio filled with thought provoking pieces, Sylvia speaks of her work with a humble tone, saying she sometimes feels guilty as she is simply â€œputting things togetherâ€?. As an observer this statement is clearly untrue. There is a spark and creativity in Sylvia that drives her pieces to illicit emotions and reflection from their viewers. In talking with Sylvia, she speaks of her past work, which included painting, working with clay, stone and other mediums. Now, however, she seems to have struck a chord within herself with her current assemblage sculptures. Sylvia has found a place in her work that conveys intelligence and humor, as well as a study in contradictions. A final key aspect of the assembled pieces that Sylvia felt was lacking in past work is clear to her and all that view them: color.
You can make beautiful things with what you have
C O L O R
Books For Your Consideration By Grey Crawford
It involves light, it reflects off surfaces, it fills our life. We see it all around us, and we have some of the best eyes in the animal world to perceive it. Yet how often do we stop and consider color? In this issue we offer a few books that do just that. Color from artistsâ€™ visions, interior designerâ€™s decor, a history of specific hues, and the scientific point of view.
Pantone: The Twentieth Century in Color takes us on a hundred year journey, visiting more than 200 works of art, products, and trends to show us where we have been, and maybe even where we are going.
toujours | 003 | printed matter
Indian Interiors takes us into India’s visual culture ruled by bright colors, religious decoration and the unrelenting heat of the sun. Designers have responded to this challenge in many ways and this book captures their varying perspectives.
Lulu de Kwiatkowski; Dream in Color is filled with sumptuous handmade collages, taking us even further into a colorful world than her well-known textile line LULU DK.
Blue, The History of a Color does the same for this hue. Scorned by the ancient Greeks, and once considered to be a “hot” shade, now everywhere from our jeans to Gauloises cigarettes packs.
HUE, Kelly Wearstlerâ€™s new version of her book is a petite edition filled with photos of her home, and a color sampler for the bold at heart.
Mauve: How One Man Invented a Color That Changed the World tells the history
of this color, and why we now have a complete palette at our finger tips. .
Bright Earth, Art and Invention of Color
takes readers on a learned tour of what science has taught us about vision, the nature of light, and the physical and cultural factors that condition our perceptions of color.
Color, A Natural History of the Palette, you
will see how Cleopatra used saffron as a source for yellow and as a source of seduction, where the renaissance got its ultra marine (lapis Lazuli), and how insect blood was used for carmine red.
A Grand Book Tour indeed without leaving our own homes, enjoy!
The Waves of Kanyakumari
Wanderlust is a series of articles on travel that feature affordable, atypical, and experiential narratives about culture and the beauty of our world. Â Jeff Mark is nomadic and so therefore we thought heâ€™d do. He is a Professor of English and author living in Philadelphia.
By Jeff Mark
Travelling has afforded me with insights worthy of constant reflection. Think rainy days, long drives, breaks at work, etc. Right, those times. Times that force you to suddenly realize the collation of your experiences are the final product of your self. And listen, I’m originally from Delaware, and nothing against my home state (what’s more American than the first state, uh-hem?), but there wasn’t a lot of stimuli. So, when I grew a little courage, I made a fool’s pact with myself: no matter what, without doubt, funds notwithstanding, time be-damned, logistics ignored; if someone asks me to travel with them, I say yes. No fanfare, no indigestion. I always and simply say yes. And it brings me places. Sure, it’s a bane on the wallet, a point of contention with loved ones, a profession in and of itself; but it’s brought me around the world. And I want to talk about it. It goes like this: once, someone asked me to go to India, and I said, yes. It’s me, the sea, Orion and his tri-illuminated belt, the southern tip of India, calm water, and all the world.
It’s difficult to describe how a place feels. Places are simply spaces that we occupy for a time, but inside of them, perhaps implicitly, there are feels. I’ve tried over in over, in short story, poem, and discourse, to explain what that one green bench off Drumchondra street in Dublin feels like, or sitting with coffee in Russell Square in London. Or how the cliffs of Latrabjarg in the west of Iceland feel when their winds blow deeper notes over the spout of beer bottles while puffins dive apathetically in their cartoon cuteness. But I’ve failed. Miserably. And perhaps I’ve just written myself out of a job as a travel columnist, but perhaps (conversely) this is all that can be said of trying to describe abstract things like feels with other abstract things like words. Words, it seems, can never be apt substitute for feels (and this has nothing to do with the tactile sense). It takes courage to feel. But places, bless them, have feels. You can feel them, breathing into you while you absorb their color. For moments, you stand in a spot, and know there is enough wonder in the world to continue living in it. They are the moments you wish would last forever, but revel in their adjacent terminus, because if they did last forever, they would lose their wondrous allure. How like life itself. Passing birds look like laterally falling stars, and I am on a balcony at ten pm watching the Bay of Bengal lick placidly at a rock jetty. This is three bodies of water convergence: Kanyakumari. The point where the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean meet and share their waters. It’s where Gandhi’s ashes awaited interment. It is the southernmost tip of India, and I feel it.
toujours | 003 | wanderlust
toujours | 003 | wanderlust
I breathe in and it’s salt water. It’s dark and the Bay, like all bodies of water at night, is a monster. It’s one big organic thing pulsing and moving with itself, folding its water in curls and applauding the beach. And somehow, unbeknownst to me, my body has released adrenaline; I’m light, evaporated into the show before me. I hold it for a few moments, indulging in simple India, before turning in to retire. The next morning, I have to get out of the hotel room for a bit, in part because I want to explore what seems to be the end of Asia and in part because my roommate is very liberal and feels comfortable talking to me in the nude, with one leg balanced up on the nightstand and all his glory there for the world to see. I excuse myself cordially. I walk out onto that jetty, which curves north in a hook around the harbor. It was built after the Tsunami three years previous, which rampaged India’s east coast, to protect the fishing vessels, should there be a sequel to those impossible waves. What I admire most vividly is a man standing on the rocks of the jetty, staring into the water, as if he was angry with it. I imagine him having lost a wife, a child, in the violence of the undertow (big wave, big pull). It’s not that much of a stretch; in the preceding weeks I had spent incountry, I’d heard many similar stories. One woman asked me (through an interpreter) why the sea took her daughter, when she had wrapped her neighbor’s children in her sari so they wouldn’t be swept away. She cried as she asked. I said nothing. I had no answer. “I don’t know why,” I wanted to say, but the words stayed put in my throat. But now, at the edge of the jetty, next to the man glaring angrily at the water, I stand alongside him, as if obstinate, however reverent, to mother nature herself. I almost dare it to storm.
â€œItâ€™s one big organic thing pulsing and moving with itself, folding its water in curls and applauding the beach.â€?
toujours | 003 | wanderlust
Because of Kanyakumari’s geographic uniqueness, a very patient person could stand in one spot and see the sunrise and sunset. After the jetty, my first desire was to go to the very end, that ultimate point, the terminus, the tip-top end of the entire subcontinent. There, I stand at the top of seven stairs that descended into the water, and it feels like the beautiful end of the world. People bathe and splash in the water, descend and ascend the steps. All around are the general throngs of a marketplace, with people living their everyday lives, seemingly unaware of the spectacle at
my feet. I can’t help but think, as people watch me curiously, that I would be happy to watch the sunrise and set at this spot and wouldn’t even consider it a day wasted. There, just off the coast of Kanyakumari proper, I can see two islands that hold the most spectacular sites in the region. Accessible by ferry, the Vivekananda Rock Memorial is an enormous temple dedicated to Swami Vivekananda, a philosopher and spiritual leader in southern India who believed children were the key to the country’s progress (cue: I believe the children are the future. . .). Vivekananda meditated on the island because it was
believed a goddess stepped foot there ages before (evidenced by a humanesque footprint in the rocks, now enshrined as well and visited by travelers, like me). Like most of the architecture in India, the temple is ornately beautiful, but what inspires me the most is the indoor mandapa, or meditation room, in the back of the memorial. Entering, everything is pitch black save for an Om backlit in glowing green on the back wall. My eyes adjust and upon the marble floor in front of the Om are a variety of pilgrims, some in religious garb, others in baseball caps, kneeling or sitting cross-legged in meditation. I join them and watch the Om. In this environment, with
the green light shining from behind, all else begins to fade and we are left with a cool rock floor and the hovering green symbol of the entire Universe (nee: existence). Impossibly, breaths bring sea saltiness, but inside, I cannot hear the waves of Kanyakumari. Itâ€™s as if this is a foreign place, even more foreign than India itself. There is a meditative silence shared by master yogis in a tradition of centuries and by tourists in epiphany. Origin nor experience matters here; the Om light blankets our faces evenly. Thatâ€™s all really deep stuff, Iâ€™m aware. But remember what I said earlier, I have a difficult time explaining the feels of places,
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“... all because he himself at one point sat on these descending step and felt a feel of place that was indescribable.”
so you’re going to just have to allot me this one futility, and accept it with my deepest contrition. Anyhow, the island adjacent to Vivekananda’s is—in my opinion—even more incredible. Rising 133 feet above the water is a massive (and when I say “massive” I want you to think Statue of Liberty [151 ft.] made of solid stone) statue of Thiruvalluvar, a poet from the Tamil state of India whose 133 chapters (get it, a foot per chapter?) make up the Kural, a sort of guidebook for life in poetic couplets. This imposing statue gazes back at Kanyakumari and can inspire vertigo from the most intrepid daredevils. I like to think of myself as somewhat of a daredevil (I mean, I was there in the first place, right?), and I certainly didn’t want to go all that way without braving the stone giant, so up I go, into the hollowed interior of the enormous poet. And having been inside the Statue of Liberty on an eighth grade trip, I feel just in saying Thir’s inside is not nearly as cramped and treacherous as Ms. Liberty’s. His couplets are etched into the interior stone. From the highest outlook, I can see Kanyakumari and its roving people, each at their day’s business, while I marvel. Upon returning to the mainland, I immediately go and find the Kural, Thiruvalluvar’s book. Here’s a sample: “Seagoing ship goes not on shore/ Nor on sea the strong-wheeled car.” And just for fun: “Don’t say ‘I’m not a drunkard hard’/ By hidden fraud is known abroad” (in the chapter entitled Not Drinking Liquor; oops). Neat, huh? Back near those wonderful steps that close out India, I find the Gandhi memorial, which is constructed of stone painted a soft pink. This pink is one of many vibrant and strange colors that make up Kanyakumari. There’s the red-and-white striped temple, the
royal blue Tsunami memorial, with its silver hand holding a yellow flame, and a variety of other ornate colors that give this place character. The Gandhi memorial was built around a spot where his ashes were held prior to interment. Throughout the structure, there are quotes and statues of the famous protester, all because he himself at one point sat on these descending step and felt a feel of place that was indescribable. While in front of the very spot where Gandhi’s ashes were at one time held, I notice a hole in the ceiling. Inquiring, I am told that on October 2nd (his birthday) of every year, a beam of sunlight drips through the hole and illuminates that spot. “Really?” I ask the fellow. “Really,” he says. I spend the rest of the day in the peculiar throngs of marketplace Asia, buying tiny Shiva statues and eating. . .well, I don’t really know what it is I am eating but I eat it. I visit the Tsunami memorial and remember the images of waves crashing over Thiruvalluvar’s 133-foot shoulders like a water cloak and shake my head, a shiver crossing through my body like electricity. And finally, because I have to, I watch the sun set. From a boulder climbed for the vantage, I sit cross-legged (and now that I think of it, it used to be okay to say Indian style; and well hell, because I’m in India: I sit Indian style!) and watch the sun float into the sea with a small group of locals and travelers as companions. Around, the night rests onto our heads. I sit patiently on the southernmost beach of this great country, in the dark, where all I have is the chill of the breeze and the sound of nimble crashing waves. I have the feel. Fishermen prepare nets. I ask the world, “What’s next?”
TAHOE BLUES Story by Thomas Bachand | Photos from his book, Lake Tahoe: A Fragile Beauty
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pend any time on foot in the Sierra Mountains and one is struck by the cool, dry air of the forest, the lush green of heavy scented pine boughs, the black and brown decay underfoot, and the gray â€“ the carved, bald, blinding gray â€“ of granite peaks, rising above all else. Jagged and bare like the desert, for millennia they have braved the wind, sun, and snow.
Amidst this vast Sierra Nevada stretching from Bakersfield to Lassen, shimmers Lake Tahoe, as if a gateway to another world. For ten thousand years the Washoe knew it as the Big Water â€“ indeed a world unto itself. The boundless expanse of blue melds earth, water, and air. A late spring snow or midsummer thunderstorm can quickly turn those waters deep cobalt to mirror tumultuous, black skies.
toujours | 003 | bon voyage
toujours | 003 | bon voyage
The clear waters entice us from shore, where from our small, silent craft, we hover 60 feet above a submerged, sandy shelf where currents carve ripples like a whale’s belly. Below us, glacial boulders lay encased in the alpine waters, crystalline as if through a jeweler’s glass. At the edge of the shelf, the lake bottom plunges a thousand feet into blackness, leaving us with vertigo. A bright yellow disposable camera bobs off our bow, dry in its bloated wrapper. The universe demands we take a picture. Wake early before life’s distractions; stir down the lane or in your head. From the cool white beach witness the ballet of violet, red, and gold rising above the eastern shore. Listen. Stillness laps Tahoe’s shores. Behold eternity.
COLOR Produced and Written by Dawn Moore
Photography by Meghan Beierle Oâ€™Brien Styled by Emily Ruddo
If you ask Dawn Massey, being married to an artist is pretty swell. After all, commissioning a work of art just takes a little pillow talk.
“When I’m designing our homes and see a blank wall, I just turn to Eddie and say, ‘Can you create something for there?’” Ed Massey, an artist known for large-scale works on DC-9’s, a fleet of New York taxicabs and Malibu’s lifeguard shacks happily complies.
A visit to the Pacific Palisades home they share with their two children and chocolate Lab Harley, would lead one to believe there’s been a lot of those conversations. Built in 1948 and remodeled in 1980 by award- winning architect Eric Owen Moss, the modernist house is something of a neighborhood touchstone. Baby blue with billboard-sized numbers on each side, the structure announces its presence into a pop art microphone (at least that’s what it’s rumored to be), which leans over the entrance. When the Masseys first saw the property they both were unimpressed. Dawn however, had second thoughts. “I just kept thinking of the openness. Once I figured out how to add more wallspace for Ed’s work, he was sold.”
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â€œWith color, one obtain
that seems to stem from
ns an energy m witchcraft.â€?
- Henri Matisse
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2009’s “Summer of Color” Lifeguard shack prototype – sand and all – sits on the kitchen island. A vintage crystal chandelier twinkles over the family’s set of mugs, including one for their lab Harley.
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As you head down the stairs leading to the entrance, the royal blue interlocking circles painted on the pavers induce a smile. Once inside – certain you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole - a cranberry and white striped wall sports a tangle of dripping grapes surrounding a mirror - reflecting that you are now grinning like an idiot. Beneath, is a cardboard box stating, “Please do not Discard. Homeless and positive.”
Ed Massey’s work is similar to biting into a cherry Starburst – colorful and tart with an unexpected explosion in the middle. A little Keith Haring, a little Wayne Thiebaud with a Matisse chaser. Lemon yellow vinyl covered sofas trimmed in lime green face a glass table stuffed with old toys. Rosy pink crescent-shaped benches surround the custom wrought iron dining table that in a single stroke pretty much captures
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“The colors – a departure from my usual work - are like child’s playground chalk. I liked the quality and used a paint stick with a very dry pigment to emulate the feel of chalk.” notes Ed.
the Massey’s magical union. Knowing they wanted a glass-topped table to display the handmade roses Ed created for Dawn’s 150 lb. wedding dress, they commissioned an ironworker who toiled away while they honeymooned in Paris. Upon their return, the piece was delivered and smack in the center – unrequested – was the Eiffel tower. “The craftsman had been watching a show about Las Vegas, saw the tower and thought it would be interesting to add, not knowing it was actually in Paris,” explains Ed. Where they just returned from. Serendipity. The one item that nods to the structure’s midcentury aesthetic is a white leather covered Eames lounge and ottoman. Interestingly, it is also the only white item in the house. It nestles into a cozy reading space by the fire where an example of Dawn’s irreverent sense of design is found. “There were two builtin beautifully crafted wood veneer and glass cases which we chose to drywall over to showcase a painting Ed created for the space.” Amorphous shapes ooze and stretch and intersect in the hues chosen for the room by their seven year-old daughter Georgi and eleven year-old son Felix. Few parents would turn to their pre-teen offspring for the family’s living space color palette, but the dreams and desires of children are central to both Masseys.
Massey’s piece “Back to School” contains a seemingly innocent lunch bag concealing a semi automatic weapon.
Once inside – certain you’ve fallen dow and white striped wall sports a tangle of mirror - reflecting that you are now grinn
wn the rabbit hole - a cranberry f dripping grapes surrounding a ning like an idiot.
toujours | 003 | living
toujours | 003 | living
Ed’s work often revolves around children’s themes and in 1995 he developed Portraits of Hope as a creative therapy program for children in pediatric facilities. Throughout his travels, he noticed that flowers were a consistent theme in children’s drawings regardless of ethnicity, age or demographic. Simple shapes yet symbolic of hope and joy, the flower became the overarching imagery for Portraits of Hope and can be found hovering in the sky on airships, zooming around a track at NASCAR and covering the eaves in their back yard. Other pieces are more provocative like “Please...not tonight” which addresses child sexual abuse and “Back to School,” a school chair that holds a lunch bag whose contents include an apple, a sandwich and semiautomatic weapon.
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In the garden, flowers are almost redundant next to Ed’s masterful use of color both inside and out. “I’ve spent many, many hours studying the colors of nature and still can’t replicate the vibrancy of a purple bougainvillea bract,” he laments. I would beg to differ as we stand on the hydrangea-blue basketball court gazing at his work “Table for Six.” After digging a hole large enough for a Mini Cooper, the piece includes six stationary exer- cycles topped by a large wooden table all painted in stripes of white and hyacinth. “It’s a nice place to eat a triple cheese, extra thick pizza with chocolate fudge cake!” notes Dawn. Are the Massey’s ready to relax now that the space is art filled? “Once completed,” Dawn shares, “we are eager and ready to move to our next adventure!”
The Seussian landscape adds pointy punctuation to the amorphous interlocking ovals spewing trickling water from four spouts. The fountain, devised as a privacy screen, offered another surface for Masseyâ€™s imagination.
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Ed and Dawn Massey with their dog Harley
Interiors by Schuyler Sampteron Homeowner | Schuyler Samperton
Photographer | Grey Crawford
Article | Karyn R. Millet
B GY r
BLUE, GREEN, YELLOW AND RED. L.A. DESIGNER SCHUYLER SAMPERTON PULLS THE PALETTE TOGETHER IN HER COMPACT COTTAGE APARTMENT A Colorful Pied á Terre Does Triple Duty for Living, Working and Entertaining What do a surfboard, four saris and a crystal ball have in common? Together, they make a creative yet cohesive design statement in the apartment of Los Angeles interior designer Schuyler Samperton. Samperton has secured an impressive list of clients under her hat. A protégé of Michael Smith Interior Design in Los Angeles, she worked on projects with file tabs like “Murdoch”, “ Spielberg”, and “Crawford” – Cindy that is. Although she had experience in other industries, it was at Michael Smith’s that she refined her passion for interiors.
With the California sun shining in daily from the northwest, the living room is always ready for afternoon tea. The leather chairs (circa 1860) are framed in walnut and enjoy their original upholstery. The canine portrait in the corner is the homeownerâ€™s former puppy, Jack, who she rescued in New York City.
Schuyler’s garden floor apartment built in 1934 had the bones for great design, however it suffered from the when-in-doubt-paint-itwhite syndrome. The living room would be the first space to tackle… and did she ever. The bold green paint color for the living room was her first real decorating decision, and it provided a theme of vivid color for the rest of the apartment. The curtains were enormously important to the overall look for the room, so she decided to splurge on Bennison’s Dragon Flower linen fabric. The crystal ball was actually a good luck gift from a friend, so it has a prominent place on the circa 1800 Chinoiserie table.
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Interior Designer Schuyler Samperton tells us “I like to mix it up with Moroccan, Japanese and Chinese patterns coupled with classic English, French and Italian design. The more pattern, the better!”
For her first New York apartment at age 19, Schuyler’s parents presented her with a very special house-warming gift - the stunning zebra rug, now under the coffee table. It makes for a bold graphic element juxtaposed against the florals and tapestries that surround it. One of the chief architectural elements Samperton added was the large bookcase along the west wall. Once installed, it completely changed the room and provided a cue for the rest of the decorating scheme. Painted in Pratt & Lambert’s “Silver Blonde,” it is a few shades lighter than the green on the walls. This color of green is one that Samperton likes to
The red chair, one of a pair, is a reproduction of a Pavilion chair, and crafted by Brenda Antin of Los Angeles.
use on cabinetry in clients’ homes as well. It provides a bit of color without being overwhelming. On the opposite wall, a J.F. Chen plein aire landscape of California hangs above an antique Chinese desk used as an entry table. And the blue lamp, well there’s a story there. While shopping on Los Angeles’s trendy La Brea Avenue one day, Schuyler stopped into Maison Midi and fell in love with a brilliant blue vase. Wanting to use it year round and not for seasonal flower arrangements, she had it wired to become a lamp. This was a case of function following form, and a bright idea at that. The lamp’s splash of blue gives a hint to what is in store around the corner in the vestibule. Formerly all white, this tiny space was drenched in blue – “Myth” by Pratt & Lambert. She randomly hung the art on the walls without any master plan and then brought in a chair from Nathan Turner as a focal point. The cushion was promptly removed to reveal the tennis racquet-like weaving on the seat. The dining room took on various colors at first, however it was yellow (Pratt & Lambert’s “High Noon”) that won out in the end. An extremely dark room despite its two windows, yellow gave the walls the vibrancy and light the room needed. The curtains are actually four separate saris from the “Little India” section of Artesia, California. The price was right at $30 each, and the sunny tangerine hues were warm and inviting. Each panel is 6 yards long and a different shade. The dining room chandelier is 19th Century Italian gold gilt wood, while the decorative screen is late 18th Century Chinese.
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A six-panel Chinese screen from the late 18th Century is incised with lacquer work. The dining chairs are originals from New York Cityâ€™s Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
As for the Regency style dining room chairs, they are originals from the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. Even the fabric (wonderfully, a bit worn) is original. For her bedroom, she surprisingly decided that white walls were wonderful. Color is introduced via lamps, throws and drapes. The gorgeous bed covering is an antique linen susani (c. 1875) from Uzbekistan. Not wanting a traditional headboard, a 19th Century four-panel screen was selected. Each section is decorated with an intricate medallion depicting Moroccan soldiers â€“ the perfect protection for a good nightâ€™s sleep.
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Left| The lotus flower of the susani bedcover is carried through to the pillow sitting on the upholstered bench, a family heirloom. Above to English engravings of Setters and Pointers are hung Right | An antique susani from Uzbekistan adorns the foot of the bed while a four-panel screen of Moroccan soldiers serves as a headboard.
The Bess Arabian rug is from Schuyler’s parent’s home, and secured when they decided to scale down and relocate a few years back. Also formerly her parent’s, the love seat was recovered with Doug Funkhower’s hand-blocked batik on linen. Forever a dog lover, Samperton chose two English engravings of Setters and Pointers (circa 1806) for the walls, as well as another California plein aire painting. To top it all off, the lovely leopard pillow was stitched from one of the homeowner’s favorite coats. As she says, “The decorative arts take their cue from fashion.” Schuyler has drawn upon her past experience of her childhood home and her apartment in New York when creating design plans for herself as well as her clients. An eclectic mix of tradition, color and a bit of glamour seem to be a reoccurring theme. Samperton tells us, “Clients visit my house and see I can push the envelope.” Her design philosophy is “individualism” “I don’t deliver the same product twice. Actually, I have no signature style other than comfort, interest and off-the-beaten track.”
In her dining room, a corner is mixed between family, a drawing her father did in architecual school, sports, her surf board, a Mchael Junod, 9â€?0â€?, and 19th century dog etchings. Right| Samperton has turned her bathroom into a gallery of small pictures, from travels, friends and anything of interrest, and anchored all with a print of Edie Segwick, taken after a fire in the Cheslea hotel.
As a parting tip, Schuyler reminds us to “maintain a great sense of humor and adventure, and avoid the generic.” Words to inspire us all the next time we head to the paint store, antiques market or our parent’s attic.
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CHILDâ€™S By Kristy Firebaugh Interior Design by Jeff Andrews, Mark Langos, Joani Stewart-Georgi Photos by Grey Crawford and Beth Coller Drawings by Sasha Sullivan
Q Mark Langos As a new mom, I have spent the past several months poring over smart nursery design that incorporates color in interesting ways. Here, three designers talk about their unique perspectives on the challenges and opportunities presented by designing for kids. As you can see, Jeff Andrews, Mark Langos, and Joani Stewart-Georgi each bring very different aesthetic principles to their work, and they show how their underlying philosophies transfer easily to designing for kids.
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Tell me a little about your approach to working on kids’ rooms: Jeff Andrews: With kids, it makes sense to stimulate them with color; however, a lot of my work doesn’t use highcontrast colors. The rooms I am drawn to are slightly more monochromatic, with subtle texture and pattern. For these rooms, I wanted to have a mixture of colors—not just pink and green for the girl’s room, or just blue for the boy’s. I wouldn’t be quick to use pops of color in an adult bedroom, but it makes sense in a kid’s atmosphere. Mark Langos: Kids’ rooms don’t have to have a theme— often, it could be a color or one bold element that ties a room together. In the nursery here, the lion decal on the wall is that one bold statement, and the wallpaper serves this purpose in the girl’s room. Children’s bedrooms should be as polished and chic as the rest of the house, and they should be able to evolve along with the child. Joani Stewart-Georgi: I approach kids’ rooms as if I were a kid again. The approach is usually with a lot of humor and a big smile, as I see this room as the most fun room in the house. I think bright colors used in interesting ways, fun wallpaper or a mural, soft floor covering, since kids don’t really sit in chairs! I design around their interests and hobbies. I think of a kid’s room as their castle, a place where they spend most of their time, bring their friends, do their homework. I want their room to be a place they want to be, that they are proud of. This is my room!
Do you organize differently for children? ML: For kids’ rooms, storage and organization are key. Rooms should be a serene backdrop against which family life happens, and organization helps add to this sense of serenity. So for me, organization does the same thing in both kids’ rooms and adult rooms. The girl’s room, for example, had to cover sleeping, playing, homework, and sleepovers. So I used multifunctional pieces; the daybed can be pushed against the wall to create more space in the room.
JA: Kids have so much stuff! But the good thing is that it’s so cute. For me, open shelving for stuffed animals or toys can become part of the décor. You don’t always have to hide everything or have it be put away. JSG: I do organize differently to some extent. I like to have a place for everything, so it is easy for kids to pick up their stuff and put it away by themselves. I organize them by putting things low for their reach. Kids have more “stuff,” and lots of that “stuff” has lots of pieces that tend to get lost, unless they have a place to put them that makes it fun and easy for them to put away. I use different boxes for different things, i.e. puzzle pieces, Lego pieces, art supplies, books, dolls and their clothes and parts. Things need to be more organized for kids’ rooms, or their rooms become disaster zones. Everything should be labeled either with words or with pictures.
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Who do you listen to when designing a room for a child—the child or the parent? JA: Both. Obviously it depends on the age of the child. For the girl’s room featured here, the parents didn’t know the sex of the baby before she was born, but the doctor told me so I could design the room as a surprise! I worked on that room for a month with the door closed so they wouldn’t find out the sex early. But the situation varies from project to project—some parents have a strong idea of what they would like, but sometimes it just comes together organically. For the five-year-old
boy’s room here, I asked him what he wanted, and he just said he wanted a blue room, so I had a lot of room to interpret that request. ML: For the girl’s room, all she said was that she wanted a blue bedroom, so I used that as a springboard. But it’s important that the room becomes something that works for both the child and the adult who will be spending time in the room as well. Comfort and multifunctionality are both important aspects of designing for a child, so it’s a matter of listening to both child and parent and using their requests as direction for the room. JSG: In the case of the young girl’s room in the photo, she is 12 years old and very grown up with sophisticated taste, so it was important to include her in every decision and listen to her wants, likes and dislikes. Of course her mother was also consulted and included. I left the decision making process for them to decide together and then they let me know.
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What are some of the most difficult aspects of designing kids’ rooms? JA: Making sure everything is kid-friendly, comfortable, and durable. But this is often the case with the whole house when there are children. ML: Coming up with storage solutions that are attractive to both child and adult. Both of the rooms I designed actually have great storage; for example, the armoire in the nursery is very functional in this way. JSG: Some of the most difficult aspects of designing for kids is making sure we don’t have anything in the room that could be a potential danger for the child. Square edges, itchy floor covering, nothing breakable, I try to keep all fabrics washable and nothing precious. I like to make sure that everything in a child’s room is kid friendly.
What are some things to keep in mind when designing for children? ML: It’s important that nothing is jarring from space to space in the house. The browns used in the baby room are picked up in an adjoining room that uses a lot of chocolate brown. Transitions between spaces are crucial to give the entire house a sense of cohesiveness. Also, remember that kids’ rooms don’t have to be babyish; the rooms can mature with the child, and they can still be sophisticated and chic. JA: Even though the rooms are for children, they must be able to evolve and grow with the child. Usually clients
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like these rooms to be fairly transitional, so I think of ways to accomplish that. For instance, a certain color scheme can often grow into something else as the child grows up. Most importantly, as with any design, there are really no rules. Whether you’re designing for an adult or a child, just be as personal as possible. JSG: The most important thing to keep in mind when designing for children is the child! They usually have an idea of how and what they want/need in their rooms and it is my job to try to understand what they want and engage them in helping me with the design. If they are scared of fish, I’m not going to do a fish mural. On the other hand, if they are into video games or Darth Vader, I would like to design their room around that theme. Safety is another important element to keep in mind with kids, an example would be the strings from window coverings (drapes, Roman shades, blinds etc.)
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3 – Palm Springs. It has everything I love – great hotels, great food, great shopping, great weather – and cheesy nightlife! I especially love to go in the off-season and rent a small house with a group of friends.
4 – Levi’s. I did the whole “designer denim” thing when I first moved to LA, and then I realized how ugly my pants were. Doug at the Levi’s store on Beverly Drive is like my personal stylist. #5
5 – Pottery! My longtime friend and client Jeff Andrews got me hooked on ceramics and pottery. I love to hunt for cool, odd vintage pieces like Jeff taught me, but I’m a sucker for anything fun like Jonathan Adler.
ive just can’t l 6 – Madonna as art. With nearly 30 years without
of photos, it’s hard not to find a Madonna image that works in your interior. She’s in my office, the bathroom… a great friend just got me a limited edition lithograph of the “Like a Virgin” album cover. Of course, I hung it over the bed.
#4 #9 #3
1 – Singing. I was singing before I could talk, and now I sing with the Gay Men’s Chorus of LA. In the past four years, we’ve performed for President Obama and with Leann Rimes and two Dreamgirls. 2 – My beagle, Buddie. I found Buddie at the Beagles & Buddies rescue in El Monte, CA. Our favorite place to unwind together is Runyon Canyon
7 – Zippo lighters. I started my career at Zippo, which was founded and is still based in my hometown of Bradford, PA. The Zippo lighter is a classic product that is timeless and iconic. It’s a habit of mine to say “Zippo” every time a character uses one in a movie or TV show. 8 – Working outside. I haul my laptop out into the backyard to work as often as possible. And when I get frustrated, I go and trim a rose bush or pull a few weeds. 9 – Organic fruits and veggies. First off, I’m no health nut. I started using the Farm Fresh to You organic produce delivery service this summer, and I am totally hooked. Who doesn’t love a delivery?! 10 – Lynette Jennings and Kelly Wearstler. My first “a-ha” moment with design was watching Lynette’s show when I would stay home sick from school as a kid. Then, 15 or so years later, when I first saw Kelly’s Domicillium Decoratus book, I knew that I just HAD to work in the design industry.
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Toujours Magazine Issue 003, The Color Issue, Artist Ed Massey, Entertaining Guru Lulu Powers, Photographer Grey Crawford, Designers Jeff An...