On The Go

  • Gentleman On The Go: Highlights from Maison&Objet and Paris Design Week

    Many of you have asked me what my favorite things where from this latest trip to Paris in September.  So I am finally sitting down to share the goodies.

    From Maison&Objet some of the trends I noticed where a continuation of the natural, honest, rustic materials we have come to see in past seasons with a particular focus on refining those materials and more introduction of brass, and warm metals.  That was clearly evident in the beautiful small goods of Belgium based designer Michael Verheyden (www.michaelverheyden.com) whose understated chic items really captured the spirit of the show.

    Another Belgian standout was Sempre (www.sempre.be) with its rustic collection of over scaled furniture that had a fresh point of view using reclaimed teak, teak branches, and aged oak.  For larger projects I liked that they were able to accommodate customization.    Perfect for country or beach.

    cto Lighting Ltd (www.ctolighting.co.uk)

    cto lighting (www.ctolighting.co.uk)

    Other notables were the JNL collection (www.jnl.be) for it’s very sophisticated presentation that included a fully built showroom, absolutely well done space and the furniture was comfortable, well scaled, and eco-friendly fabrication.

     Among some of the Design Week highlights:

    New introductions from Ecart which I had not seen but most notably:

    Edition Ecart: Eric Jourdan

    Edition Ecart: Bruno Moinard

    But by far the most creatively energizing presentation was the Artcurial and AD Intérieurs 2012 Show.  Click on the image below to see the Vogue France imagery of the showcase featuring the work of a  talented group of designers including:  Jean Louis Deniot, Chahan Minassian, Bruno Moinard, Pierre Yovanovitch, and Joseph Dirand.  Click the image below to see the Vogue France post on the presentation.

    Artcurial et AD Interieurs 2012 Courtesy: Vogue France

    AD Interieurs/ Bains de Maharadjah / Joseph Dirand por Louis Vuitton

    AD Interieurs 2012/ Salon Ethnique de Jean Louis Denoit

    That’s it for today….more to come!


  • The Sunday Stroll: SOMA-San Francisco

    This weekend I took a stroll through the neighborhood of San Francisco’s Financial District which overlaps with the SOMA neighborhood .  In addition to the wonderful galleries, museums, hotels in this part of town, there is a wonderful crispness in the air and a certain palpable optimism and energy.
    One of my favorite discoveries was the 2002 Cesar Pelli designed J.P. Morgan Chase Building at 560 Mission Street.  This has to be one of the finest examples of how corporate architecture can add to a neighborhood in a positive way. From its low hung eaves, to its perfectly selected dark forest green steel structure lends it a wonderful organic feel and softens what could be an otherwise imposing structure.  The building also features a  tailored and art filled courtyard designed by Hart Howerton Architects which is inset from the sidewalk and provides an uxpected respite from the busy street.


    2002 Ceasar Pelli
    560 Mission Street, San Francisco

    J.P. Morgan Chase Headquarters

    560 Mission St. Courtyard, San Francisco
    Design:  Hart Howerton Architects



    550 Mission Plaza features Human Structures by Jonathan Borofsky


    550 Mission Plaza features Moonrise Sculptures by Ugo Rondinone

    The always busy Salt House (www.salthousesf.com) with its lovely industrial rustic chic interior is worth a visit for a little nibble and a well deserved cocktail.


    Custom light fixtures at the Salthouse


    Bye for now.
  • Gentleman On the Go: California Bespoke Exhibition

    Recently my studio was engaged to design an exhibition showcasing a variety of artisinal product designed and fabricated in our great state of California.

    This sort of design project always is exciting to me, as it is more conceptual and poses a challenge to the space but allows for great creative freedom, not unlike the Dreamscape installation I wrote about some months back.

    As I began developing the concept and how I would showcase the varied products such as furnishings and textiles to stationary and soup bowls….even surfboards designed by the incredible Thomas Meyerhoffer (http://www.meyerhoffer.com/)

    I decided that the answer, at least part of it, was in the beauty of California’s natural landscape.

    Half Dome in Winter
    Yosemite, CA


    Joshua Tree, CA



    Big Sur, CA


    With the concept set we began developing a space which would simultaneously provide a neutral backdrop being curated by our friends over at The Editor at Large (http://www.editoratlarge.com/), and at the same time force you to engage some aspect of California’s beautiful landscape through either imagery, greenery or through the artisinal quality of all the various products.
    It was an absolute pleasure collaborating with the producers of the exhibit (Merchandise Mart Properties), as well as the entire team at the Los Angeles Convention Center, not to mention having an opportunity to meet many of the very very talented artisans producing so many beautiful things that have the ability to inspire us in all aspects of our lives.


    California Bespoke
    Photo: Jim Harris
    California Bespoke
    Photo: Jim Harris



    California Bespoke
    Photo: Jim Harris



    California Bespoke
    Photo: Jim Harris


    Bye for now.



  • Gentleman On The Go: The de Young Museum

    I had the pleasure of spending a delightful afternoon at the Golden Gate Park,  touring the de Young museum which currently has two exhibits of giants in art and fashion, Pablo Picasso and Cristobal Balenciaga.  I remembered to take my camera so here are a few fun images from the day.

    The museum itself, designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron is both monolithic and intimate.  Located in the music concourse of the park, the juxtaposition of the de Young against the classically designed Spreckels Temple of Music made for a memorable afternoon of people watching.

    Don’t miss these shows.  The Balenciaga exhibit was particularly inspiring for all of its attention to detail.

    For you fashion junkies, be sure to check out the site for the new Balenciaga museum located in Balenciaga’s home town of Getaria, Spain.  http://www.cristobalbalenciagamuseoa.com/ The museum opened this month.

    Bye for now.

    de Young Museum


    de Young – Main Lobby


    Music Concourse


  • 162 Years Old and Still Looking Good

    On Christmas Eve Eve, John and I headed into San Francisco to The Original Cold Day Restaurant, Tadich Grill.  It also happens to be the oldest restaurant in San Francisco.

    Established in 1849 on Clay Street, it was painstakingly relocated to its current location in the 1960’s.  Moldings were recreated by local craftsman, original fixtures re-used, just about everything was done to  make sure the look and feel of the original location was preserved.

    The first thing you notice when you enter Tadich is how completely ordinary it is.  There is no flash, no daring art, and best of all no hyper tall hostess staring menacingly down at you.  A simple eighty foot wood top bar (oiled with mineral oil twice a year and sanded every couple of years…yes, I asked.), oak panelling, brass hooks for your coat, and simple art deco light fixtures.  What you do notice is the service delivered by impecable waiters of a certain age in crisp white jackets and ties.  We opted to sit at the bar versus wait for a table.  We find the service to be equally good if not better than at a table, the atmosphere more casual and the people watching superior.

    Known for their seafood, John had Petrale sole but I choose as I always do when given the choice, steak.  The menu is a classic.  San Francisco treats like Crab Louie, Sand Dabs, Cioppino, and Hangtown Fry are regular features.  A large wedge of fresh sourdough bread accompanied the meal.  Topping the meal was a spot on custard with a single espresso.  My attention however, I have to admit kept being drawn to the details in the room.  The overwhelming sense of history, the leather stools, the oak panelling, the brass fixtures and the tile work, it was all perfect.

    At one point looking out towards the street from our perch at the bar, one of the older electric city buses from the 40’s puttered by and looking through the glass window, the neon sign, and the waiters, you would have sworn that you had been transported back in time.

    There is an authenticity about certain places that is tangible.  Classic, simple and in good taste.  Being in some trendy restaurant with the all too often overdone dining room and underdone menu seems so irrelevant when you know you can have this.