Saturday, February 17, 2007

Palm Springs Modernism Week

The seventh annual Modernism week is going on right now in Palm Springs California (Feb. 16-25). The recent edition of Palm Springs Life is focused on Modernism. In 2006, Palm Springs was deemed one of dozen distinctive destinations in the United States for the high concentration of mid-century architecture by the National Trust of Historic Preservation. Thanks to these preservation efforts buildings still stand today by such great architects as William Cody, Albert Frey, John Lautner, Richard Neutra, Rudolf Schindler, Donald Wexler, and E. Stewart Williams. To find More information on the communities preservation efforts and modern buildings take a look at the Palm Springs Modern Committee Website. (photo from the book Albert Frey, Architect by Joseph Rosa)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Nature in Extreme Close-up

There is unexpected beauty in things all around us. The black and white photos by Karl Blossfeldt are an excellent example of the abstract beauty found in nature. His photos of plants in extreme close-up are breathtaking and displayed the organic beauty of nature with his artful composition. Blossfeldt had the talent to capture the layers of texture often missed by the naked eye. A catalog of Blossfeldt's photos are available in the books Art Forms in the Plant World: 120 full page photographs and Natural Art Forms. His prints can also be viewed in a compilation by Taschen publishers. If you want original prints the antique botanical print dealer, Panteek, is just one resource offering Blossfeldt prints.

Displaying Karl Blossfeldt’s botanical photos in a series on a wall would add power to his prints and a wonderful visual detail to any room. Investing in some frames and these books are the only cost to adding an artful display to a room. Of course, you may be able to do this one better by taking your own photos of nature or other things in extreme close-up. The digital age has made it extremely possible for you to be your own artist. When a house guest asks you about the artist you can tell them a little about the photos and your influence from Karl Blossfeldt.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Cork, Cork Everywhere!!

When you mention the word "cork" a wine stopper may be the first thing that springs to mind. There are many other wonderful uses for cork including lamps, lampshades, bowls, floors, and paper to name a few.

Years ago I walked into, Belvedere, a local designer shop of twentieth century furniture with a twist. The owner and designer, Julia Carr-Bayler, has an innate ability to apply new elements to her finds that enhance the items. Carr-Bayler's exhibited her design eye with a pair of teak lamps beautifully accented by cork shades. These breathtaking shades were thinly shaved slices of cork that elegantly displayed the grain of the wood. It turned out the shades were out of my price range, but I have since been captivated by the use of cork as a design element. Next time you are looking to incoporate something different into your decorating think cork.

(Cork circle table lamp shown above is from the Murray Feiss Geo Collection)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A modern home in Atlanta

A modern Atlanta home that seems to be, at the very least, influenced by John Lautner and Eero Saarinen. This home is even more breathtaking in person with the cascading roof, waterfalls, and an endless pool. I can only imagine what it must feel like to be on the inside or even better yet to wake up each morning in this home. It is a real dream come true. This architecture brings a smile to my face and butterflies in my stomach every time I pass it.