J. Crew President Jenna Lyons used to live a few blocks from me in Park Slope. I was lucky to have been inside once during a house tour and used to walk down Garfield Place every chance I got just to peek inside those beautiful windows. The New York Times Style section story on her yesterday (which said she sold it last year for $4 million to Vincent Martin of Depeche Mode and moved to Tribeca), reminded me of that amazing brownstone, and I wanted to share it here.
Here’s the living room shot Domino magazine used when it covered her house in 2008. The gray walls inspired our own gray hallway. Pretty amazing bones in this 1880s townhouse and I love those French doors off the living room that open to the Juliet balconies with that beautiful ironwork.
The gray, black & white color scheme continues into the dining room. I read that the chandeliers were custom. I like the unexpected pairing of black iron with crystal, and the black candles are very cool. Also her son’s Playsam car is very cool. Continue reading
My friend, architect Patrick Gegen, has been traveling to Mexico City a lot for business lately and been spinning tales of his great discoveries. (Here he is on the roof of Mexico City’s Metropolitan Cathedral.) Patrick not only has a trained eye for design – he worked on the renovation of Ralph Lauren’s Manhattan apartment for god’s sake! – he’s also an amazing cook who’s always up on the food scene. I completely trust his opinion, so I asked him to share his top design-minded picks for Mexico’s biggest city.
STAY: Condesa DF hotel
A modern 40-room hotel housed in a 1928 French, neo-classical building in Mexico City’s artsy Condesa neighborhood. “The restaurant is pretty great and the rooftop bar is amazing, but make sure to specify that you want tequila in your margarita,” says Patrick.
EAT: El Contramar
“Great seafood joint where you can sit outside and people-watch in the Roma
neighborhood. Great micheladas – different than they make in the
states – I remember tequila, I think.” Continue reading
Here’s my newest baby: the VCU ICA, the project I’ve been working on since moving to Richmond almost a year ago. I’m helping Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts (the #1 public art school in the country, did you know?!) on communications for its exciting new art center, the Institute for Contemporary Art, which is planned to open in 2015.
This is a dream come true: working with one of the nation’s leading creative centers on a project that will be transformational for Richmond, it’s art community and the next generation of artists who study at VCU. I’m in heaven. Just LOOK at the place!
The architect, Steven Holl, is brilliant. He designed a thoughtful building with flexible spaces that can be used for all sorts of cutting-edge exhibitions and performances. The idea is that today art takes on a variety of forms and the space needs to allow for experimentation and collaboration across all medium.
Stay tuned! I’ll keep you updated along the way.
Big news: We’re leaving Brooklyn and returning to Richmond — in a week! We’ll be moving back into our old house with plans to give it a little refresher. Here’s what it looked like before we moved out… Continue reading
It’s not often that you’re called in to rescue a home for the good of the neighborhood, but when your name is Gottwald in Richmond, Va., you’re a likely candidate for the job. Windsor House (above) was the centerpiece of the lovely Windsor Farms neighborhood. The 1945 Colonial Revival home sits on a large tract of land where the original Windsor Farm sat, but it had fallen into disarray and its well-to-do neighbors worried about its future. They approached Thomas E. Gottwald, a Windsor Farms resident, who they thought might save the day. Someone knew what they were doing.
Gottwald is president and CEO of a chemical company (and on Forbes’ radar with $1.7 mil in annual compensation). He and his wife took on the project and after an extensive renovation the home was open for the first time this year during Historic Garden Week in Virginia’s Windsor Farms tour. It stole the show.
The decor was restrained and surprisingly casual. A pool table anchored one side of the living room and a large built-in cocktail bar sat in the middle of the kitchen. The family has several grown sons who I’m sure love that, but the Gottwald’s must entertain a good bit, too.
Off the kitchen, an English-made conservatory created a bright breakfast space. But I wondered, with no shades, how hot that would get in the summer. Maybe it was positioned to avoid direct afternoon sun. Here’s what it looked like inside …
In honor of National Architecture Week, which starts today, I thought I’d give a shout out to Grand Central Terminal. New York magazine just declared it New York’s greatest building and I have to agree. Some would argue it’s the Empire State Building. Eh, not me. Others the Chrysler Building. Now that I can see. Both are beautiful and grand in scale, but Grand Central wins out on one big factor: It’s a public space. And isn’t that just perfect that for a city where you’re forced, like it or not, to rub shoulders with folks all day long that the city’s best building should be have such a spectacular indoor public space. I love the energy of that building.
Visiting? Check out a walking tour of Grand Central.
This cool image from The New York Times lets you move the slider to compare the building in 1978 and 2008. It hasn’t changed much. Love that.
image via Doobybrain
grand and above all, a public space. And how appro
The newly opened High Line park is part of the return-to-nature going in New York with parks, green markets and cloth bags everywhere.
Architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro (the only architects to ever win a MacArthur “genius” Award) and landscape architects James Corner Field Operations designed a heavily planted and interesting promenade. Aside from some benches and a few double-wide wooden recliners, there isn’t much sit and hang space. It’s more of a stroll and view — and what a view.
Who knew New Jersey could look so good.
I love the idea of being just a few stories above the city. Close enough to see, smell and hear it all but in a removed, tranquil spot.
The project took 10 years: two area residents formed the Friends of the High Line in 1999. In June Section 1 opened from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to 2oth Street in Chelsea, between 10th and 11th avenues. Continue reading
Goodbye to our adorable but small-for-Richmond 1,000-square-foot house
and hello 500-square-foot, third-floor-walkup apartment in Brooklyn.
(Half the size and twice the price!)
A friend decided to impart this particular nugget about her boyfriend, Bubba, while taking a road trip during college, and boy did that stick with her. But, you know, Bubba has a point. I was reminded of this notorious quote recently when I spotted this amazing house on interior designer Amanda Nisbet‘s web site.
Nothing can make a house like trees.
I wrote about this eco-friendly house in the Woodland Heights neighborhood in Richmond several years ago. Architect Patrick Farley designed the structure, and its bridge-entrance, narrow enough to squeeze between mature trees on the property. The owner helped maintain the character of the ‘hood by building around the land’s already existing occupants. How refreshing. Apparently he liked trees, too.
After researching the post about the new Kimber Modern hotel in Austin, I got curious about architect Burton Baldridge’s other work. Turns out he caused a stir in a one of Austin’s historic bungalow neighborhoods when he built this amazing glass house (below) for himself.