Wednesday, August 29, 2007


The circle is so full of symbolism...it is a shape found throughout nature; it is an idealization in math; it has spiritual symbolism in most religions; it is the symbol for eternity and perfection as it has no beginning or end.

Because of the beauty of the form of the circle, it is an effective component of design, and one that I love to see in furniture, fabric, and art.

Kelly Hoppen Collection for Century Furniture, Ring Screen

Serena Screen, Oly Studio, made out of capiz shell with metal frame, either gold or silver

1st Dibs - 1960's era room dividers, Pierre Anthony

Henry Calvin fabric "High Life" in Bloody Mary colorway

Mariette Himes Gomez Circle Chair

West Elm Circle Cutout Chairs

Christine Round Side Table, Oly

Ironies Rain Mirror

Ironies Ring Lounge Chair

Objet Insolite Diego floor lamp

Plantation LA Ringed Lamp

Dance - Henri Matisse, 1869-1954

Damien Hirst (British, 1965-), Valium, 2000

Mira Hecht, UNTITLED #3 ( from the Full Circle Series), from The Ralls Collection (Washington D.C. art gallery)

Do you have a favorite circle pattern in fabric, furniture, or art? Post a link in the comment section!

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Cy Twombly at the Tate Modern

One of my favorite cities in the world is London. There is something so charming and accessible about the city, perhaps because there is no language barrier, but also because of the great history of the city. Although there are so many wonderful historic sites and museums to visit, London is also very much a city of the 21st century. The combination of the old and the new is truly experienced when visiting one of the jewels of the London museum scene, the Tate Modern. Housed in a converted power plant, the Tate Modern is on the banks of the River Thames, and looks out to the magnificent skyline of London (and is directly across the river from St. Paul's Cathedral, Christopher Wren's masterpiece). Inside, the architecture of the place and the modern masterpieces of art that it houses make it the second most popular tourist destination in London.

On a recent trip to the Tate Modern in London, some of the most mesmerizing paintings I saw were the Four Seasons ("Quattro Stagioni") series by Cy Twombly. The tall canvases were created from 1993-94. The mood that the canvases capture is both beauty and the decline of beauty.

Born in 1928 at Lexington, Virginia, Cy Twombly studied art in Boston, New York and at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. Twombly is known for his abstract paintings combining painting and drawing techniques, repetitive lines and the use of graffiti, letters and words. Not graffiti in the tradition of what you might find on the streets of urban American cities, but rather graffiti in the tradition of French contemporary artists.

Quattro Stagioni: Primavera 1993-4
"In each of the four paintings shown here, a different range of colours registers the changing light and temperature of the seasons. In this work, representing spring, a resurgence of energy after winter is depicted in a vertical arrangement of red curves and splashes of yellow. The curves relate to traditional Egyptian boats, which appear in a number of Twombly’s works, including a sculpture in this display. Primavera, the Italian word for spring, appears alongside passages of text that evoke happiness and hope." (From the Tate Modern web site)

Quattro Stagioni: Inverno 1993-4
"Quattro Stagioni celebrates the annual cycle of spring, summer, autumn and winter, and Twombly’s use of the four seasons to evoke the natural rhythms of death and rebirth is common in classical poetry and painting. Twombly uses strong colours to suggest the brilliant Mediterranean light and the essence of the different seasons, from vivid red and yellow in spring to deep greens and purples in autumn, combining these smears and drips of paint with scrawled poetic fragments, reminiscent of ancient graffiti, from several sources. While the lush, tactile qualities of the paint evoke bodily sensations, the poetry grounds these feelings in the broader context of classical culture. The curved forms that are visible in Primavera and Estate evoke traditional Egyptian rowing boats, imagery that appeared in Twombly’s work after he spent several months in Egypt during the mid 1980s." (From the Tate Modern web site)
Quattro Stagioni: Autunno 1993-4
"Deep reds and greens punctuated by vivid yellow evoke the turning point of the year which is also hinted at in the foliage, stems and berries that appear down the left-hand side of the canvas. The passages of text are harder to distinguish, although the words 'your blood' can be read at two points on the canvas.The artist's red handprint appears near the centre, as if marking his physical presence in the work. Twombly's vigorous approach turns the canvas into an arena for action: paint is pooled and dripped, encrusted, brushed in thin washes, and pushed about by bare hands." (From the Tate Modern web site)
Quattro Stagioni: Estate 1993-4
"Twombly's depiction of summer combines vivid splashes of liquid yellow on white with passages of lyrical poetry that emerge only to disappear again under layers of paint. The text is drawn from a poem by the Greek poet George Seferis. Although the poem is difficult to decipher, references to youth and the passage of time can be picked out. The painting also includes references to the Latin poet Catullus and to the shores of Asia Minor. Baia di Gaeta, towards the top of the canvas, refers to Twombly's home in Italy. "(From the Tate Modern web site)

This month, the work of Cy Twombly was on the cover of Veranda magazine.

Twombly was also in the news recently because a French woman kissed one of his paintings in a museum in Marseilles, France. She had on bright red lipstick, which stained the snowy white canvas. The painting was valued at over $2 million, and the woman was charged with damaging the painting.

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Saturday, August 25, 2007


Anyone who has read my blog knows that I love traditional, classic architecture, and a fresh, contemporary interior (well, maybe soft contemporary or transitional is a better way to describe it). If I had to pick my dream house right now, the exterior would probably be Georgian (or Georgian Revival) in style. And it would definitely have quoins on it, in a light color that contrasts with the brick. What are quoins, you ask? They are those stones that form the corner of a building (usually in laid so the faces are alternately large and small). I had no idea what they were called until this week, but I have always noticed them, and have always loved them.


Cambridge, England 1624

London, England

Brighton, England, 1820

Yong Pak, architect

Historic home in Atlanta, GA

Atlanta, GA

From the movie "The Ultimate Gift"

Quoin lamp, David Linley

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Sophisticated Renovation

A year or two ago, a house that was renovated by Young Pak (the architect in yesterday's post) was featured in Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles. The designer was Wallace Bryan of Southern Exposure Interior Design. I was not able to find any more information on this designer, but clearly he has a great eye.

The house went on the market last year, and was on the market for quite a while. After a large price reduction, it sold this summer. Correct me if I am wrong, my fellow Atlanta blog friends, but it seems to me that many of the Atlanta clientele who can afford a $3 million dollar home tend to be much more traditional in their taste in architecture and home decor. French and English antiques still rule with many in this crowd, so it took a while for this lovely home to find the right buyer. Here are some pictures from the real estate listing for your viewing pleasure.

Entry hall

Library/home office, done in rich shades of brown and orange. Note the wall to wall zebra carpet and the beautiful orange ceiling!*

Dining room/library. Note the beautiful fretwork in the chairs.

Living room - one of two seating areas

Second seating area of living room

Second seating area, different view

Kitchen, which opens up to the keeping room below

Keeping room (open to kitchen)

Master bedroom*

Master bedroom*

Guest bedroom*

Guest bathroom

Sophisticated teen suite


Most of these pictures are from the real estate listing, but the pictures with the * are by Erica George Dines

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Inspirational Architects - Pak Heydt and Associates

If only the best will do, many in Atlanta (and throughout the country) with an eye for fine architecture call upon the firm of Pak Heydt and Associates. Founded by Yong Pak in 1997, and later expanded when Charles Heydt joined the firm in 2003, the firm is known for its traditional and classical architecture combined with a modern sensibility. No cookie cutter neighborhoods for this firm; it is custom all the way, with a focus on the best of cratsmanship and materials.

Some of the pictures I have seen of the latest Pak Heydt architecture and renovation work has a nice modern feel to the interior, which I love to see with a very traditional exterior (as you can tell from some of my previous posts). There is something so interesting to me about the surprise of a modern or transitional interior when contrasted with a very classical exterior; there is more to the house than what initially meets the eye. (Pictures below are from a recent Pak Heydt renovation project).

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