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apr | may

the modern issue

tou jours


issue 004

004 004 004 EDITOR LETTERS What is Modern? (Adj: Of or relating to the present or recent times as opposed to the remote past.) While the classical definition of the word may be irrelevant when concerning design, as most things are reinterpreted and drawn from past ideas, I’d like to think the broad version of modern is what we are presenting in this issue. From the super contemporary in New York and Texas, the mid-century throw back in Palm Springs, the friendly green updated craftsmanstyle in Santa Monica, to wandering the streets of an ancient city with a modern voice, re-styled lighting, lounging, and libations, we have the present times wrapped up in Issue 004. And we hope you enjoy!.

Meghan Beierle-O’Brien

Raised in Southern California in the fifties and sixties, Modern was everywhere. From the photographic talismans of Julius Schulman, to the first stirrings of ecological design, manifested in Sea Ranch, located on the Northern California coast. Sea Ranch was photographed by Morley Baer, and appearing in Life Magazine this modern design reached the world. As a young artist in the seventies Late Modern was all-important to us. You can still see how this is an active part of our world, from architects in Dallas, and New York, to artists in the photographic medium.

Grey Crawford

Ar t i s t s

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s uns etatt hi sMi chael Ber manpr oj ect .

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DANA BEIERLE Art Director Dana lives in Brooklyn where she hosts rooftop dumpling parties for her starving artist friends. She wears clothing she finds on the sidewalk in Chinatown and listens to Hall and Oates. She draws, plays keyboard, and she and her cat Satchmo can sleep through just about anything.

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.”

EMILY RUDDO Design Editor Originally from Maryland and now an Angeleno, Emily is an interior designer with a signature style of infusing color and calm into a home. Her blend of east coast and west coast styles creates balance in a unique way. Her dedication to a healthy lifestyle, love of travel and passion for harmonious living impacts every single design decision she makes.


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.

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.

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.


Sarah Zaske

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.

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.

Writer Sarah Zaske is an Historic Preservation Consultant who loves researching and writing about the historic built environment and all that it encompasses: architecture, art, landscape, design, and history. She lives in a 1920 Arts and Crafts bungalow in Milwaukee, WI with her husband and two young daughters.

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W.T. Edwards Photographer W.T. Edwards is a freelance writer/ photographer. He lives in Philadelphia.

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.

Writer Kristy Firebaugh lives in a one hundrea yearold 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 she’s not writing or daydreaming about wallpaper she likes to hike with her dog.




7. 8.



Interior designer Emily Ruddo dishes on two modern styles and shares her picks for adding modern elements into your own home.






5. 9.



Inspired by glamour girls Dorothy Draper and Kelly Wearstler, this style shows no signs of slowing down. “Color trends come and go, but metallics, and blacks and whites are always glamorous, modern hues to use.”(1,5,7,8,12) “Add your favorite accent color for additional visual interest.”(4,6) “Linear pieces, geometric objects and abstract art all add a little modern to your home.” (2,3,9,10,11)









This significant design movement roughly spans from 1935-1965 and was wildly popular in California. It includes designer legends such as Eames, Saarinen, Niemeyer, Jacobsen & Noguchi “avoid being stuck in just the MCM style by blending it with 30’s Art deco pieces.” ( 2,3,4,7,8) “I like using abstract rugs and pillows when the upholstery remains solid.” (5,10) “Use a bold hued chair for an eye catching wow factor.” (6) “there is a variety of walnut wood pieces in this style that add warmth to the space” (1). “For additional texture add leather or shagreen pieces.” (9) ” is an excellent source for all things MCM.”


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5. 1.




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toujours | 004 | food and fuel

“Modern is just up-to-date techniques when it comes to cocktails. It’s all in the mix.” As you all know, I love a “sneaky”  (aka cocktail).  When asked to write about a modern cocktail I thought...hmm.  What did my dad used to drink?  A “Sparky”!  1/2 white rum,1/2 vodka, 5 ice cubes and an orange slice. My mom...a glass of white wine (a jug of Gallo) or an “old fashioned.”  Me... muddled,muddled,muddled.  (What is “muddle?”  To very gently stir ingredients until they bruise ever so slightly releasing their essential oils.) I love to mix cucumbers with herbs, jalapenos, and sometimes even fruit.  Whatever I seem to have on hand.  Sometimes I call my drinks “everything but the kitchen sink.”  When I muddle, I don’t just use hard liquor.  I even use champagne or wine. I love a good ol’ concoction.



Concoctions are modern. It almost seems you need a degree in science now to be a bartender or chef. I like ol’ school with a twist.  Egg whites in a cocktail or foam on my food does not interest me.  My idea of being modern is being innovative with ingredients that are familiar.  If you love it on your plate, you’ll probably love it through a straw with a little spirit to brighten things up!  

Gin Refresher 8 oz gin (I like Hendrick’s, which has a slight cucumber flavor) 5 fresh limes squeezed 5 sprigs mint 1/2 c (or more) thinly sliced Persian or Kirby cucumber, scrubbed but not peeled 1/4 c limeade lime, lemon and orange wedges or slices (optional) Use a pitcher - glass ones are so pretty for this! Place cucumbers in pitcher and muddle (“muddle” - remember?).  Slap the mint with your hands – it brings out it’s flavor - then add to pitcher.  Juice the limes and add those.  Pour in the gin (yum!).  Give it a good mix with a wooden spoon.  Fill pitcher with ice.  I always like to add extra lime, lemon and orange wedges.  It’s so pretty, right??  Give it another good stir. Either pour over ice or serve straight up.  Sweeter??  Add some limeade. Et voila!  Serves: Well... how big are your glasses??


QA Re-Mix

with designer Dayna Katlin

When owners Jennifer and Mark Rubin asked designer Dayna Katlin to make their Encino home’s interiors modern, they didn’t expect a mix of old Hollywood glamour, east coast classicism, and.... pleather.

Story : Dawn Moore Photos : Grey Crawford

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This bar area is so bold and geometric. Inspiration? Well, the painting actually. We needed a place to showcase the painting, the owner’s crystal and for them to serve casually in the living room. Nothing frou- frou. We wanted it to feel light, airy, almost floating. The polished travertine floors keep it contemporary and those great lamps are vintage acrylic stacks we thought mimicked the shelves’ lines. I love the fretwork molding on the living room’s fireplace back wall. That was the very first thing we did to the living room. That wall needed some definition, something to balance the fireplace. Then we darkened the beams and added the swooping Norman Cherner chairs on each side. I LOVE THOSE! And mixing periods. In fact, that coffee table is a piece from the Hearst Castle. We removed the heavy wood top and replaced it with glass so you can still see the wonderful carving. One of the last things we brought in was that beautiful painting “The Judge.” It brings the room’s shot of color. Then, the leather bound sisal keeps it all casual.

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The colors in the dining room are a cool and shimmery putty. This is one of your signature looks, right? Yes! “Greigy-Beige.” It’s a technical term. Take a look at the back of the chairs – each is centered with an Asian juniper tree on cotton while the front is a faux leather! The owners wanted a user-friendly dining room and clearly kids, red wine and silk faille don’t mix. That chandelier is original and the owners tagged it to go, but I thought it should stay because it was of the period of the house and it adds sparkly glamour. This is one of the sexiest bathrooms ever. It’s just screaming mas-cu-LIN. I LOVE this bathroom. It is a very small room and it completely dispels the idea that you can’t do dark on dark on dark in small spaces. That granite looks charcoal from one direction and espresso from another. The husband is MAD about fishing, so the polished nickel sink is embossed with three great big fish. We wanted to continue the manly vibe with textured walls and found a moisture-friendly “grasscloth” in this coffee bean color. I can see a modern-day Jayne Mansfield, blonde curls perched on her head and strategically placed bubbles in this master tub. But, let’s talk about that fixture! It’s not glass! And it’s not even a light! The globes are just suspended near the light source so everything dances and shimmers. It’s a fun take on a bubble bath! I love doing his and her showers – and these are connected (wink). We installed the marble with the veins running vertically to mimic water trickling down, and the pebbles on the shower floor give a little acupressure while you soap up.

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“We wanted to continue the manly vibe with textured walls and found a moisture-friendly “grasscloth” in this coffee bean color.”

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Ok, where are the master bedroom’s lights?? Ha! Well, the owners are both readers and they wanted lots of space on the nightstands, so we used recessed ceiling lights on either side with individual dimmers so one could read while the other slept. What’s interesting here is this wall is very, very high so the scale of the headboard became very important. Then we exaggerated the height even more by using a grey and straw stripe wall treatment followed by the striped bolster. But the mix of textures is my favorite; linen with nail heads, silver-leaf, silk and vinyl! And that’s what I think is modern!


Marcia Prentice is an Interior Designer and Blogger for the Style Illuminated Blog by LAMPS PLUS.

NLY LIT By Marcia Prentice Move over sconces, mini pendants are demanding attention, even in the bathroom. Pendant lights have a place in the bedroom as well. They save space as bedside lights and create even more drama in the bedroom. I love all the unique examples of pendant lights being used in the home. Because Spring is upon us and you can’t go wrong with bright

colors and playful shapes, I want to share a handful of my favorite glass mini-pendants in a multitude of colors and silhouettes. How can you pick favorites when each pendant is so unique and special? I love the Mini Isla Pendant because it reminds me of a beautiful sunset. If you are looking for something a little more funky, the George Kovacs Apple Green Pendant is designed by iconic designer Karim Rashid. The combination of the gradation from dark to light and the raindrop shape of the Cue Amber Glass Pendant definitely caught my eye. And the Possini Euro Design Crystal Burst Pendant is just plain glam!

Sa s h aKi n e n s Fi n ePa i n t i n g s

www. s a s h a ki n e n s . c o m Ne wYo r k

Mi l wa u ke e

Lo sAn g e l e s

Books For Your Consid ks For Your Considerat ur Consideration Book oks For Your Considera

Modernizing your shelves By Grey Crawford

The Future of Architecture Since 1889: When thinking of modern design many books come to mind. There’s no better place to get an overview than, The Future of Architecture Since 1889. This far ranging book covers the whole modern period from 1889 to the present it is richly illustrated with buildings, projects and plans covering masters and neglected but significant architects. This book also covers areas such as Eastern Europe, Africa and South America a truly overview of Modern.

top pick


Moderne: The European expression of modern design was pionnered by Jacques-mile Ruhlmann, Pierre Chareau, Robert Mallet-Stevens, Charlotte Perriand, Eileen Gray: together these designers and their contemporaries created the look of the modern French interior during the 1920s. Their use of sumptuous materials, rich jewel tones, intricate geometric patterns, and complex and varied textures has made this work a lasting favorite among interior designers, architects, and their clients. Moderne presents the finest examples of this work in more than two hundred plates, selected by Sarah Schleuning, a curator of the Wolfsonian Museum, and faithfully reproduced to preserve their original color palettes. California Design, Living in a Modern Way: In 1951, designer Greta Magnusson Grossman observed that California design was “not a superimposed style, but an answer to present conditions.... It has developed out of our own preferences for living in a modern way.� California design influenced the whole culture of Modern in everything from architecture to fashion. . California Design includes 350 images, most in color, of furniture, ceramics, metalwork, architecture, graphic and industrial design, film, textiles, and fashion, and ten incisive essays that trace the rise of the California design aesthetic.

toujours | 004 | printed matter

Atomic Ranch: Mid Century Interiors Atomic Ranch showcases the virtues of the popular ubiquitous ranch houses that sprang up across the country following World War II. It features the exceptional interiors of eight houses, discusses successes and challenges, and shows how to live stylishly.

The Century of Modern Design: The modern style was not just architecture but did include iconic furniture ceramics and textiles posters graphic art jewelry and everyday objects. The century of modern design includes all of these from the well known Stuart collection in Montréal, these pieces are shown along with their signature creations by the well-known designers. Each decade of the 20th century is introduced by an essay and covered in this book. Mid-Century Modern: The 1950’s house was a scientific triumph. Never had homes been so thoroughly contemporary, with antiques and period styles entirely banished. Mid-Century Modern explores the interior decor of this seminal decade, concentrating on all aspects of a home’s decoration—walls, flooring, surfaces, lighting, and, furniture. Mid-Century Modern examines beautiful present-day homes that exhibit mid-century style in an exemplary way, and suggest ideas for taking the 1950’s look—complete with collector’s pieces—and mixing and matching it with elements from other eras.




Vintage methods


By Sarah Zaske

Photos by Meghan Beierle-O’Brien

Styled by Sasha Sullivan


lison Rossiter’s studio is as warm and open as her personality. Tall ceilings, large windows, and white walls reflect light on organized rows of books, prints, and photographic materials. It was in this calm and creative environment that Alison and her friend and colleague, Stuart Rome, met to discuss their most recent photographic works.

Allison collects expired photographic papers from the 19th and 20th century.

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Rossiter and Rome were introduced in the 1970s when both were photography students at the Rochester Institute of Technology. They remained in touch as their careers took them on different paths – Alison teaching and working in New York and Stuart ultimately settling in Philadelphia, where he helped establish the Photography Program at Drexel University. They’ve both witnessed first-hand the fundamental shift in the way technology has impacted the field of photography. As traditional photographic materials and processes have been replaced by digital technology, they have used their skills and experience in both methods to create something entirely new.

Stuart Rome Stuart’s fascinating career has been centered around an interest in anthropology and the spiritualism of indigenous cultures – and the often negative impact our species has had on nature in the modern era. His work has taken him to all parts of the globe, including Latin America, Asia, Haiti, and Indonesia. Stuart is clearly passionate and enthusiastic about his work. As part of a commission for the Southeast Museum of Photography in Florida, Stuart focused his attention on the Everglades. This fragile and threatened ecosystem is unlike anything else in the region – it is underlain by rocks that were originally part of Gondwana but were left attached to North America when the supercontinent broke

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Stuart’s work appears courtesy of Gallery 339 in Philadelphia

apart hundreds of millions of years ago. Stuart took photographs of ancient fossil beds, some containing the tracks of long-vanished marine life. He then hired a hunting guide to take him into remote areas so he could photograph the tracks made by the animals inhabiting the region today. Stuart thoughtfully describes the resulting imagery as “a meditation on the continuum of natural history, in which our species has had a relatively short, but devastating effect.” These works are part of his latest photographic series, Drawn from Nature, in which Stuart utilizes a digital printing process on silver leaf to create shimmering, almost three-dimensional images. As he explains, “The digital prints have a foothold in the twenty-first century, and yet have a quality of early photographic processes.” They are ideally displayed under a very hot, white light, similar to the lighting used to exhibit daguerreotypes. This allows the viewer to glimpse the changing subtleties of the prints, while simultaneously appreciating the timelessness of the subject matter.

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“a meditation on the continuum of

natural history, in which

our species has had a relatively short, but devastating effect.�


Alison Rossiter

In addition to her busy career photographing art work for galleries and auction houses, Alison spent two years as a volunteer at the Sherman Fairchild Center for Works on Paper and Photograph Conservation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This experience gave her a new appreciation for the materials and processes of the medium and served as the spark that led to her experimentation with expired photographic papers and film. Alison began scouring eBay for expired photo paper and eventually collected papers from every decade of the twentieth century as well as a few from the nineteenth. Alison processes the expired photograph papers exactly as she finds them in their packages (the original packaging material itself is a timeline of graphic design history). Alison produces the prints in the darkroom without a camera. The decades-old paper may have been exposed to light leaks, moisture, handling, and other residual damage, but these “imperfections” generate arresting images when the paper is processed. If she discovers that certain papers no longer react to light, Alison selectively develops portions of the paper by pouring chemicals over the emulsion surface or by dipping the paper into a developer bath. “Each time I find a box of paper, it lets me find a way to use it,” Alison explains.

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Alison Rossiter’s work appears courtesy of the Yossi Milo Gallery and the Stephen Bulger Gallery

“One of the rules I’ve made for myself is that I’m not going to pick up a paint brush and paint developer on a paper. I’m not a painter, so why would I do that?” Instead, Alison applies her decades of darkroom experience to swirl, pool, and dip the paper, allowing things to develop naturally. The resulting images are abstract, often with a strong reference to landscape. Alison’s careful attention to detail and patience with the process allows her to let the historic paper speak for itself, while still infusing her own artistry into the strikingly contemporary images.


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Both Alison Rossiter’s and Stuart Rome’s work represents the best of modern photography by referencing the past while remaining firmly rooted in the present. Their years of experience can inform and educate a new generation of photographers who have come of age in an era when darkrooms and photographic processing are receding from memory. Their work keeps the heritage of photography alive while giving it relevance for today – the essence of adaptive reuse. (Alison Rossiter’s work is shown at the Yossi Milo Gallery in New York, the Stephen Bulger Gallery in Toronto, and Art 45 in Montreal. Her website is: Stuart Rome’s work can be found in public and private collections across the country. Visit his website www.stuartrome. com for more information.)

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“Dassonville Ebony, expired March 1961, processed 2012� -Alison Rossiter



S G N I R SP photos by Grey Crawford story by Meghan Beierle-O’Briend


There is no lack of amazing food in this town. Explore Palm Spring’s main drag on CA-111 highway for a quick bite at Lulu’s or a delicious burger at Tyler’s. For a fun yet delicious dinner, check out Trio, or further up the road, cozy up at Copley’s for a night of American fare.

Just a quick drive from Los Angeles and you can find yourself in the enchanting desert town of Palm Springs. An entire day can be spent simply perusing the main drag, picking up mid-century furniture finds, checking out the local art museum and tantalizing your taste buds. If you have a weekend, spend it soaking up the sun, sipping drinks by the hotel pool, playing a round of golf, or cruising around town on a bike!



Artists flock to this desert community and the finds are fabulous.

With some light digging, you can return home with an amazing original from any era. Get inspired at the Palm Spring Museum, meander through all the local galleries, and if you’re in need of a fun print, check out the Shag Shop for mod inspirations.

toujours | 004 | take a day

There are great places to stay in every price range. From the cool and funky Ace Hotel, the fabulous Movie Colony Hotel with 17 themed rooms, the outrageous Saguaro, or the luxurious Parker Palm Springs, you will be sunning in style.


If you are a mid-century furniture lover, this is your town. With eclectic shops like Christopher Anthony, 20 First Modern, Modern Way, Room Service, Distinctive Home and dozens more, there are unlimited treasures waiting to be hunted.


toujours | 004 | take a day


This town has always flourished with architectural innovations and evocative modern style. The postwar affluence allowed for Palm Springs to be developed rapidly with the modernist style infiltrating the local architecture; not only the homes, but also the local hotels, malls, government buildings, gas stations and even the airport. Take a walk around downtown and get the full effect with every stylish building.




Wanderlust is a series of articles on travel that feature affordable, atypical, and experiential narratives about culture and the beauty of our world. Jeff Mark is nomadic and so therefore we thought he’d do. He is a Professor of English and author living in Philadelphia.


sat on the steps of Ferrovia, Venice’s train station, with a to-go espresso in a little yellow plastic cup. Dogs ran by with children in tow. Other travelers lounged, read, waited to leave; others just arrived. ACTV waterbuses thudded against wooden piers. A train station is a place of movement, the antithesis of stasis; Ezra Pound, speaking of the people amidst a train station, said it best, “The apparition of these faces in the crowd; / Petals on a wet, black bough.” In transit, we’re all going somewhere, and I’m not talking about trains. The great W.T. Edwards had brought me the espresso and sat down next to me; we looked over the Grand Canal and its green-crystal serpentine flow. We had just lost ourselves in a city whose alleys were the tendrils of a knotted impossibility: a city seeming to float on water, a risen Atlantis; and we had to regain our equilibriums before training out into Europe’s interior. Into cities with grids and streets and logics. W.T. and I had been traveling together once a year, for four years, and when the five year anniversary trip came up, we wanted to go big. Go Europe. We settled on Venice first, because, unlike any of the other cities in our scopes, Venice could sink. We wanted to see it before it sunk. (As the alleys of Venezia once spoke to the architects: logic be damned.)

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“Venice, this impossible city: a mysterious, oddly beatutiful, deeply rooted, and powerful place.”

Venice doesn’t have parks or green spaces, really. I don’t know why I was surprised, considering the city’s situation; but I was—surprised. I circle green squares on maps, where benches would support my books and me. Venice is stone and water. The façades of the great churches and architectural marvels are impossible to see from the below vantage of a skinny alley. Great stone spiral staircases are fully realized only when careening the neck back, the head up, the eyes wide. You give the buildings the benefit of the doubt, you believe them beautiful. You believe this because it is Venice, this impossible city: a mysterious, oddly beautiful, deeply rooted, and powerful place. You feel it in the ground, in the hidden vacant piazzas: a power. Something individual and special. So you don’t question it; you pretend to see the stone relief and turn to you best and most faithful travel companion, old W.T., and say, “would you look at that, old buddy?” And he’ll nod yes, in on the old joke. We were modern travelers in an ancient place, trying to use his iPhone to make sense of the senseless routes around us. He marked, on his portable GPS, the location of our hostel, two beds in an otherwise empty room on the third floor of a completely unnoticeable building, and we went off into the labyrinth. The mysteries there are mysteries still, and like all quiet things, are best left unsaid— left for the travelers who dare them on their own. What I will say, however, is that we became tired in the summer’s whitewashing of the stone, the blinding reflection of the sun against it. The endless walking around perilous corners that could lead to unforeseen

toujours | 004 | wanderlust

attackers or dead ends at the Great Canal. Suddenly, there would be three planks nailed together, then the water. The emerald expanse of the Grand Canal. Countless boats, and the other side, the maze regained, winding wherever. Tired Americans look for jazz bars. The one we found was near Piazza San Marco, and although it didn’t have jazz music (the false advertisement of the sign as misleading as the infinite Saldi [sale] signs on the local Italian haberdasheries where I wanted to find some nice pants but realized a “sale” in Italy didn’t include much saving. I ended up with a tie. It’s nice, by the way) it had libation, and though we didn’t know it, it had fellow travelers on the crux of new friendship. There was Rory and the Americans, fresh from outside Philadelphia. We toasted to our hometown—to Philly! There was Ollie and the Brits, enamored with their American fellows. We toasted to colonization gone awry—Cheers! There was the newly married Spanish couple from Barcelona, hugging and exuberant. We toasted to casamiento—Salud! Three lovely girls from Australia, three Suedes, an American army soldier serving in Germany and his fiancé (Prost!) and too many more to enumerate. The point is, we were a diverse company—en masse—accidently together among the peculiarity of our environment, no trees in sight, huddled a bit closer to not get lost. At three in the morning, the “jazz” bar closing, we found ourselves tossed upon the Venetian stone less cognizant but joyous together. W.T.’s iPhone was dead—a Godsend, because now we’d have to traverse without technology, to find Venice as it should have been found: by meandering.

toujours | 004 | wanderlust

toujours | 004 | wanderlust

“Venice as it should have been found: by meandering.”

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The group spread, wandering into the night, and an implicit game began so that we would not lose each other. Although the participants were distancing, there would be a sentry left, at each turn, so that those bringing up the rear would know the direction of those heading the party. What is strange is that it was never discussed, never agreed upon. We strange travelers, newly met, had Venice figured already, without technology. We looked ahead for the sedentary person to point the way and left one behind to tell the stragglers the next turn. In that effort, we all ended up in Piazza San Marco together, in the rich silent morning. It, being bereft of tourists and empty, was startling in the distinction from daytime, crowded and impassable as it was then. Our group quieted. We looked at the Campanile, and beyond it, the stars. We nodded at each other. All embraced, and parted ways to our own rooms. Our own countries. Our own lives. I never saw them again. Except of course for W.T., who, the next morning, played a game of baseball with me by San Giavonni church in Campo Bandiera. A five-hundred year old church, two guys with baseball gloves, and a date with a train a couple hours hence. Later, on the steps of Ferrovia, I sipped my espresso, watched the Canal’s waves leap at the stone flanking it and leaned back on my elbows. W.T. pulled out his then-charged iPhone and I said, “Don’t bother.”


TEXAS architect | Max Levy photographer |Grey Crawford

article|Karyn R. Millet

Award-wining architect Max Levy designs a museum-quality modern home in Dallas to provide a retired couple with a simple aesthetic and offer beautiful space for entertaining and living. Accentuated by a bold and simple landscape design, the home’s clean, angular lines create building blocks that connect rooms and flood interiors with gorgeous natural light.

Looking from the kitchen island to the dining area and living area, the repetition of vertical slating in the architecture and artwork work together.


hen it comes to Texas, many of us think of cowboys and rodeos, however in addition to its rowdy nature, the Lone Star state has earned a notable pedigree in architecture and design. In particular, many new homes in Dallas have taken their cue from the city’s beautiful contemporary art museums and gardens, reflecting a sparse elegance in home building. Such is the case for a residence by awardwinning architect Max Levy. Known for his “Texas modern” design aesthetic, Levy brings simplicity and integrity to this sophisticated Dallas residence. Surrounded by a lush park of green grass bordered by full leafy trees the mainly white modern house pops out against its complementary canvas. Cubes of white and beige reveal small square and rectangular windows along the exterior, while the interior courtyard boasts large window panels opening up the home literally from the inside out. It may come as quite a surprise that this 4000 square foot house was built on a flat, treeless, featureless lot in a quiet suburban neighborhood. Knowing that the homeowners, a retired couple, wanted a modern home Levy was also sensitive to the fact that not everyone in the neighborhood would be a fan of the stark architecture. A consummate Southern gentleman, he reminds us “It is important to mind your architectural manners here in Texas. Be polite to your neighbors and realize that everyone doesn’t understand and appreciate modern design.” With this in mind, the house was set significantly far back into the lot as to not be too prominent on the street front. At the same time a border of tall bushy cedar elms where placed around the perimeter to soften its impact on the suburban surroundings. From the street view, the house resembles a still life consisting of a series of stucco boxes painted white, khaki and gray. Originally,

Plastered in sky blue, the living room ceiling reveals a “roof lantern” skylight giving natural light to the core of the house.

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“It is important to mind your architectural manners here in Texas. Be polite to your neighbors and realize that everyone doesn’t understand and appreciate modern design.� -Max Levy

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A window is shaded by a slated panel with resembles the fencing on the landing above. Simple metal pips create a linear waterfall against the back wall.

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Levy’s firm specified all white for the exterior, however the homeowners desired more color and the result was a series of building blocks of tone and warmth. When asked to describe his architectural style, Levy sums it up by saying “It is a form of modernism that connects with nature and has a little warmth.” We might also add to the above statement that it has a bit of whimsy. Case in point are the 30 metal leaves on steel rods jetting out in grid-formation from an exterior wall. The installation was Levy’s idea and was simply executed by sourcing the steel leaves, a stock item in the decorative metal industry, and then attaching the thin rods. The leaves were then placed in a five by six pattern on a south-facing wall. Since the lot was virtually a blank slate, the only nature Levy could connect with was the sun, so he engaged its shadows to represent the passage of time as they rotated around the leaves. From nearly every room inside the house, you can see the leaf shadows throughout the day, which give a sundial-effect to the artwork. The main interior space is comprised of a living room and dining room that are one in the same. Uniquely design by Levy to showcase his most important building material, natural light. Overhead is a large recessed “roof lantern” veiled with wooden slats to combat the harsh Texas sun and also cast interesting linear shadows along interior walls. The stark white walls act like canvases that are painted with light throughout the day. The dining area is positioned on the lot opposite an unattractive house across the street, so Levy needed to come up with a creative solution for a window treatment. He always admired the low-profile design in Japanese culture as it evokes a restful demeanor by casting a glance downward when entering a room.

Above |A simple grass rectangle grounds two sections of the house and offers views to the trees beyond.

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The outcome was a low and long window pushed into the room creating a table-high buffet, perfect for large dinner parties. This unexpected view to the outdoors looks out to a six-pack of circular stone planters filled with bright yellow flowers. After living in the house for a while the homeowner told Levy that she loves having guests over and never has to run out to buy flowers for her table as they are already there. The interior surfaces are basically all white except for three locations where integral colored plaster was applied. Sky blue was chosen for the living room ceiling which acts like a frame around the roof lantern. To warm up a hallway, a terra cotta colored plaster was used on a curved interior wall – an unexpected shape as the rest of the house remains angular.

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“...she loves having guests over and never has to run out to buy flowers for her table as they are already there.� Yellow lantana flowers fill six oversized planters in front of a long window looking into the dining area. The window is recessed to create a buffet table on the inside.

And in the kitchen, butter yellow accents one wall giving the space a warm and relaxed feel. When it came to furnishings, the clients started completely fresh. Living in a modern house was like entering an entirely new world for them and new furniture allowed them to start with a clean slate. White and off-white upholstered pieces fit perfectly in the living room, while an ebony table and chairs punctuated the dining space. Simple lamps provide added geometrical accents. This project proves that you can have a wonderful adventure without ever leaving home. Each day the simplicity of the architecture interacts with the changing sun making each day a creative experience with surprises around every turn.

Sunlight streams into the kitchen from a sky light above while slated sliding doors work as dividers between the adjacent dining and living areas. Left |Integral colored plaster covers a curvilinear wall along the hallway.

With successful projects like the Dallas residence in his portfolio, Levy is certainly an architect in high demand. Surprisingly, however he tells us “We attempt to work on as few projects as possible at a time, in order to concentrate on the details.� It is obvious from this exquisitely crafted home in Dallas he has done exactly that.

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VIEWSTRUCK Modern Manhattan Living


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Remodeling can be a horrible experience, if you don’t have a team you can trust. Luckily, Bruce and Gail Chizen were able to put together a dream team for their pied-à -terre in New York, all while living across the country in California. Having grown up in Brooklyn, and with family on the East Coast, the Chizens wanted to take advantage of the city’s offerings they missed out on when they were younger. They bought an apartment in the city, and on recommendation from Bruce’s brother Stu, hired Belida Associates. That sparked the synergistic efforts of Belida Associates, Ann Macklin of A2architects, and the Chizens to create this spectacular home in the clouds.

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Glass doors separate the semi-private office but still allow for light and a larger sense of open space.

When Bruce and Gail bought the apartment, it was cluttered with bookshelves, lowered ceilings and had a closed feel. They knew they wanted to open it up and take advantage of the view from the 55th floor, but they weren’t sure how possible that would be due to the apartment’s plumbing. After demolition began, it “validated [their] hopes of what it could be” by allowing extra space for the living room and creating a more open atmosphere. When it came to deciding on the décor, the Chizens opted for a modern approach since it “fit in with the city skyline and views and provided a change of pace from [their] California home.” Ann helped create a clean-lined, cool apartment, and Bill Cooper of Belida provided input to further the sense of space and make sure the design aspects on paper would translate into the field. They added a glass-tiled column next to the kitchen sink that reflects the city lights. Bill was able to extend another pre-existing column in the living room to fit the flat screen Bruce wanted.

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The Chizen’s wooden chess set falls into play with this Tracery Kelly Wearstler rug by The Rug Company.

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Choosing a contractor and architect makes a difference between a good project and a hellacious one.

They were able to build doors that closed off the office for guests but are usually left open to extend the living room. To finish the effect, Staci Ruiz of Studio 87 was brought in to perfect the lighting, as seen in the powder room.

FROM LEFT: Bill Cooper, Steve Belida, Ann Macklin, and Hector Fuentes are the design build team from Belida Associates and A2 Architect.

Asked what advice he would offer to others considering remodeling, Bruce replied, “Choosing a contractor and architect makes a difference between a good project and a hellacious one.” Having a team he could trust who were willing to do things one step at a time allowed Bruce and Gail to oversee the project from afar and make decisions as they arose. They were sent photo updates of the construction often when they couldn’t visit. They liked how interested Ann and Bill were in figuring out different ways to use the place and how their pleasant personalities helped ensure the cooperation of the building managers.

The bedroom overlooks the Hudson River through Manhattan architecture and into the skyline of New Jersey.

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The collaborative effort between Belida Associates, Ann Macklin and the Chizens ultimately ended in a “cool place where everyone who goes in is impressed. We’re proud of it.� When working together three thousand miles apart for a year, a result this inspired is a dream come true.

Staci Ruiz of Studio 87 found perfect pendant lighting to give the powder room an underwater dreamy effect.

d o Go ! s r o b h g i e N

An Inconspicu

uous Eco Home

Architecture and Design Lise Matthews Photography Grey Crawford

Styled Meghan Beierle-O’Brien

! e m t a k o Lo ...was not what Michelle and Marko wanted their new house to shout. Respecting the size and style of the traditional houses on their street, they wanted their home to be interesting and unusual, but not jarring. They also wanted it to be “green� in design and lifestyle possibilities, so they picked the street for its easy walk to a park, an elementary school, and a great grocery store; all minimizing daily driving. Architect Lise Matthews took on the challenge of designing a neighborhoodfriendly house whose electricity is generated by a large array of photovoltaic panels, whose spaces are cooled by natural ventilation and whose interior is heated by in-floor pipes carrying water made hot by the sun. The flat roof with its many solar panels is hidden behind a parapet wall that resembles the dividing walls of old British town houses, but here the division is between what is seen by the neighbors and what provides energy to the house. From the street, the house is welcoming with its sloping roofs and its covered front porch and only airplanes can see the solar panels.

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Drawing from her knowledge of cooling southern houses prior to air conditioning, New Orleans-born architect, Lise, used three design elements to promote natural ventilation: A long roof that overhangs both to protect exterior walls from the hot summer sun and to provide a pocket of cool air to be drawn into the house though its many transom windows. Second, she used transoms, not only stacked over exterior doors and windows, but they also penetrate interior walls to channel the flow of air throughout all the rooms. The third piece of the natural ventilation system Lise used is a “chimney� to allow hot air to rise up and out.

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Another “green� touch that Lise made use of is at the center of the house. The second floor is open to the space below, and above the opening is an operable skylight on the roof. As the warmer air rises up and out of the house, the cooler air under the long overhangs is drawn in. The quarter sawn oak plank flooring

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is a custom nail-free laminate assembly made to be installed over the hydronically heated sub-floor. To emphasize the unusual doors / windows/ transoms, Lise chose a darker blue-gray color for them and for all the wood trim; the walls are kept light. There are no curtains. Natural light floods the interior.

Privacy, when needed, is provided by wood blinds painted a matching blue-gray. All of the finishing touches in Michelle and Marko’s modernized yet traditional home are made to feel integrated. The house does not scream “Eco-friendly” or modern

“ ...they wanted their home to be interesting and unusual, but not jarring.�

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just by looking at it. However, when we understand the bones of the structure that Lise Matthews has created, we see a truly modern and green project.

r a l o S

! s l e pan

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desert digs

rd fo w a r C y e r G s o t o ph ien r ’B -O le r ie e B n a story Megh an m r e B l e a h ic M n desig


a new season of Mad Men and midcentury modern appreciation at an all time high, it seems more than appropriate to visit a modern master designer, Michael Berman, at home in his Palm Springs getaway. After Berman outgrew the design of his first desert home, he found this house as an inspiration for new pairings. When he purchased the house, he realized quickly that a little light construction would help create the light filled mid-century feel he was seeking. Berman opened up a few walls and converted them to floor-to-ceiling windows to utilize previously unseen views to the backyard. One of the best examples of Berman’s architecture re-mastering is the corner window space housing the smoky Italian hanging orb light fixture, all overlooking the outdoor dining area. From the backyard exterior, the home now feels like a swanky, yet sophisticated pool scene where the Rat Pack could have easily been found. At night the entire home glows like a gem into the yard, which is perfectly suited for a midnight swim and cocktail session.

The color palette of the home is a lesson in pairing very classic neutrals and loud pops of color. The jewel green tones that run throughout the house are an excellent tie to the indoor/ outdoor feel that Berman has created. The Warren Platner chairs in the living room punch perfectly against the natural brown hues surrounding them, while tying in the modern art hanging above the sectional. The curved lines of the Milo Baughman chaise evoke a sexy, yet casual feel that permeates the entire house.

palm springs has always proven to be one of the best weekend getaways for angelenos, and for Berman, it has produced a sense of calmness that he welcomes from his hurried city lifestyle. If Berman’s first home could be seen as a practice round in weekend luxury, this home is his midcentury masterpiece. His unique design pairings of sleek and organic, colorful and neutral, bold and demure, all create exceptionally beautiful unions throughout this fine-tuned home.



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c a n ’t liv e wit h o u t ... My husband, Bryan Mason - he is my best friend, and business partner. Not only do we have some wonderful adventures, but we work on some fun projects together, like our upcoming book! Fashion Illustration - This piece by Leigh Viner is hanging on my living room wall, and I absolutely love it when she greets me every day. Kusmi St. Petersburg Tea - I first tasted this in Paris, and love the blend of black tea and caramel. Every time I brew a cup I feel like I’m back in Montmartre. Zig Zag Iomoi Pens. For work to be fun, it must be complemented by beautiful accessories. African accessories. I love collecting pieces from the Continent. Right now my Cameroon juju hat and Moroccan wedding blanket are my most coveted pieces. My iPhone. It’s my personal assistant. With everything from Evernote to my Nike training app, this baby keeps me on task and in shape! J. Crew’s Dreamy Cotton Pant. Every designer needs a pair of stretchy black pants that keep you comfy and looking good. I wear these religiously when styling interiors. Pillows! I can’t get enough of them. My addiction prompted me to start designing bright and bold pieces like The Vibe.

Jeanine Hayes and her husband Bryan Mason

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Toujours Mag Issue 004  

Toujours Magazine is a LA based lifestyle magazine that focuses on interior design, fine art, travel, food, entertaining and attainable beau...