Saturday, 30 May 2009

Looking forward to...

Smooth Operator

Sade's new album due out November 24, 2009.
It has been 25 years since Smooth Operator was first released. And, Sade will be 50 this year.



Friday, 29 May 2009

And off we go

A clean slate with nothing to compensate for, or to fix.

Now playing: Men at Work - Down by the Sea
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Sometimes, things are just black and white


Nice View

Mish Mash





Stuart Redler

Silver gelatin print
Editions of 25

jagged art

Now playing: Roxy Music - India
via FoxyTunes

What would you say

If I told you there was nothing wrong in the picture, and that I just wanted to create a setting to use Chris Isaak's Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing?

This time, that's not the case. It was the flowers. While a nice combination, the scale is all wrong for the vase and the arrangement is stiff. I point this out not just as a decorator but as a decorator who worked for nearly five years as a florist.

Now playing: Echo & The Bunnymen - Flowers
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

You mean all this time we could have been friends?

The Providores & Tapa Room, London

Peter Gordon and his Marlybone restaurant, The Providores & Tapa Room, represent the best of fusion cuisine. Until then, for me at least, it was nothing more than an unpalatable and ridiculous idea.

One of my favourite dishes was his mashed sweet potatoes with miso and wasabi, served with escargots. Sadly no longer on the menu, but not impossible to make.

2 Sweet potato - peeled and roasted then pureed


Yellow miso paste, about a teaspoon and a bit
Tamari, a couple of good dashes
Wasabi paste, a dollop
Mirin, a teaspoon
Sake, single shot

Warm the rinsed escargots in the blended ingredients and add to the still warm pureed sweet potato. Simple.

Peter Gordon: A World in My Kitchen

Now playing: Malcolm McLaren - Madame Butterfly (On the fly mix)
via FoxyTunes

What's wrong in this picture?

Now playing: Chris Isaak - Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Van Morrison, Astral Weeks Live At The Hollywood Bowl: The Concert Film


A kitchen dating from the late 1960s that is perfect in its simplicity. No bells and whistles needed, or desired.

The drawing room. Again, perfect in its simplicity. This would also work incredibly well in a transitional space, say in a large hallway or on a particularly wide landing.

Gentleman's Relish
World of Interiors, June 2009
Photographs by Antony Crolla

Now playing: k.d. lang - Simple
via FoxyTunes

Monday, 25 May 2009

First yellow, then pink, and finally black

The historically important Das Triadische Ballett by Oskar Schlemmer (1888-1943) premiered in 1922. During Schlemmer's tenure at the Bauhaus, 1921-1929, the ballet became a symbol of the new school's ethos.

If today's arts love the machine, technology and organization, if they aspire to precision and reject anything vague and dreamy, this implies an instinctive repudiation of chaos and a longing to find the form appropriate to our times. - Oskar Schlemmer

Now playing: David Bowie - Let's Dance
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, 24 May 2009

More ways to waste time

Shirley MacLaine and Michael Caine in the 1966 crime caper Gambit.

Love this film. MacLaine is exquisite to behold and Caine is roguishly charming.

Now playing: David Bowie - China Girl
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Mother necessity

Judd Foundation

I rented a small house on the edge of the town. The house was quartered into eleven by eleven foot rooms. There was no furniture and none to be bought, either old, since the town had not shrunk or changed much since its beginning in 1886, or new, since the few stores sold only fake antiques or tubular kitchen furniture with plastic surfaces printed with inane geometric patterns of flowers...I designed a bed... so that the lumberyard could cut the few different lengths to size and I could nail them together in place. I liked the bed a great deal, and in fact the whole house, for which I made other furniture. - Donald Judd (1928-1994)

Corner chair


Single bed



I’m very touchy about it being considered art. To me the chairs and benches are perfectly comfortable, not hard and uncomfortable as people sometimes seem to think they are. I have nineteenth-century wooden chairs from Sweden and I’ve sat on them for years. I think the thing to do is to either sit up or lie down or stand up: I’m not sympathetic to in-between positions. - Donald Judd

In Donald Judd's last interview he discusses his unique aesthetic, his dislike of contemporary architecture, and his passionate quest for the perfect exhibition setting for his large works of art.

Donald Judd furniture is available from Artware Editions and London's Louisa Guinness Gallery; with each supplying different pieces from his catalogue of designs.

Now playing: Ry Cooder - Paris, Texas
via FoxyTunes

Friday, 22 May 2009

Have you two met?

Emily, meet Mrs. Spry.

Constance, this is Miss Young.

Now playing: Fairport Convention - Meet On The Ledge
via FoxyTunes

What's going on?

My take on the anti-bourgeois theory.
The whited out windows are part of the finished look.

Now playing: 4 Non Blondes - What's Up
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, 21 May 2009

That woman

Not one of my icons, but I do find her curiously interesting. Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor and the Duchess of Windsor discuss their first meeting.

And, her canary dress against the red sofa and green lampshade is just too captivating.

Now playing: Oleta Adams - Woman in Chains
via FoxyTunes

The opposite of hate


The house of Chrisian Astuguevieille as it appeared in Maison Francaise. Highly individual and impossible to mindlessly imitate.

Now playing: Lighthouse Family - Lost In Space
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

More ways to waste time

Herb and Dorothy
He was a postal clerk. She was a librarian.
With their modest means, the couple managed to build one of the most important contemporary art collections in history.

Meet Herbert and Dorothy Vogel, whose shared passion and commitment defied stereotypes and redefined what it means to be an art collector.

New York City premier 5th June, 2009 at Cinema Village

Thanks to The Errant Aesthete

Now playing: Phil Collins - Two Hearts
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?

Best Show Garden
The Daily Telegraph Garden
Designed by Ulf Nordfjell
Gold Medal Winner

Best Courtyard Garden
The Fenland Alchemist Garden
Designed by Stephen Hall and Jane Besser
Gold Medal Winner

For video and full details, visit the BBC's coverage of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Now playing: Van Morrison - In the Garden
via FoxyTunes

Lyric of the modern

Easy Chair, c. 1935
Made by Fritz Henningsen. Leather and stained oak

Chair, c. 1935
Made by Fritz Henningsen. Leather and mahogany

Sofa, c. 1930
Made by Fritz Henningsen. Leather and mahogany

Fritz Henningsen

While quite possibly the least famous of the internationally recognised Scandinavian designers, Fritz Henningsen may very well be the most coveted.

Now playing: Marvin Gaye - Can I Get a Witness
via FoxyTunes

Monday, 18 May 2009

A surrealist by default

Leonor Fini (1908-1996)

Leonor was like no other woman, like no other human, or other species for that matter. Hers was a natural allure and distinguished bearing. Then too, she was intelligent in ways that only she could be - Arlette Souhami, Galerie Minsky

Douceur, 1960
Watercolour on paper

L'Infante, 1978
India ink, lavis and gouache

Hélène, 1985-86
Watercolour, India ink, and lavis on paper

From Portrait of an Artist: Leonor Fini by Chris Vermorcken, 1987

A woman should live with two men; one more a lover and the other more a friend - Leonor Fini

Now playing: This Mortal Coil - Song to the Siren
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, 17 May 2009

For brunch or dinner

Original Joe's, San Francisco

Not the prettiest of dishes, but delicious.

Joe's Special -

Olive oil
Finely chopped onion
Minced steak or ground beef
Sliced mushrooms
Fresh baby spinach
Beaten eggs

Sweat the onions and the garlic, add the mushrooms and minced steak. Lightly brown. Add spinach, when wilted mix through. Set aside and keep warm. In the same frying pan melt the butter and scramble the eggs until loose. Add the steak mixture and heat through.
Serve with Tabasco (or Crystal hot sauce) and a baguette.

Images via LA Time Machines

Now playing: Patti LaBelle - Lady Marmalade
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, 16 May 2009

In the interim

The new Sir John Soane's Museum, London by Tim Knox, with photographs by Derry Moore, should help pass the time until In House is published.

Now playing: Aretha Franklin & George Michael - I Knew You Were Waiting
via FoxyTunes

Friday, 15 May 2009

It's ok

I'm told it's a Warhol.

Now playing: The Metrosexuals - Andy Warhol
via FoxyTunes

Clairee, you know I would rather walk on my lips than criticise anybody, but...

I just hate this.

Not because I think it an ill-executed mishmash, but because it is being proffered as an ideal for an interesting interior. To its inhabitants, it more than likely is. It is, if nothing else, highly personal. Many of the elements were chosen because they were seen to be anti-bourgeois. Unfortunately, these very elements are now part and parcel of the visual vocabulary of the nouveau bourgeois.

This is less about decorating and more about voyeurism. A voyeurism that will only spawn impersonal and derivative ill-executed mishmashes.

Now playing: The Human League - The Sound of the Crowd
via FoxyTunes.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Let's be frank

Three lamp designs by Jean-Michel Frank.

Now playing: Depeche Mode - Enjoy the Silence
via FoxyTunes