White out

White: Iconic in every right, in menswear, in women’s wear must haves, the go-to’s and now arriving to the home. The color stands for everything from classicality, sophistication, to the juxtaposition between masculinity and femininity, as well as a sense of demure sensuality.  A hint of the je ne sais quoi with a casual blasé attitude.

White by Nacho Polo

White by Nacho Polo

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Take for instance the feeling I get from putting on a crisp white shirt after a day enjoying the sun or taking a nap using white linen sheets fresh from the clothesline. Nothing could be better in my opinion. Just as a shirt can change my mentality for the better, so can a quick touch up of the woodwork around my house. White can make everything feel new again.  It’s refreshing, neutral, clean, bright and crisp.

The newest whites from Miele

The newest whites from Miele

white for the serious home chef by Miele

white for the serious home chef by Miele

Past the exterior now, a white kitchen is ideal for the home cook, whether your taste in home décor is classic or contemporary, urbane or rustic. White can make spaces seem bigger and airier, while providing a clean canvas for showcasing other elements. This creates an inviting, enchanting, and functional home. Wood finishes look richer against white; printed fabrics pop even more; and lighting fixtures such as chandeliers and pendants stand out as sculptural elements against the neutral backdrop. 


Quarts Surfaces by Silestone/Consentino Suede: Color: Kensho

Quarts Surfaces by Silestone/Consentino Suede: Color: Kensho

Laguna beach by Consentino

Laguna beach by Consentino

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White in the landscape can become a focal point. It has the power to make us think of travel by sea or plane. We can dream of stars and clouds while sitting on our porches. Bask in the ideas of what if, and share with our closest friends and family. In a contemporary setting it draws the eye inward making one conscious of his or her surroundings.

Quadrant lighted seating by Perin & Topan. Endless internal Illumination possibilities. A big thank you to Ms. Katja Matoseu for the introduction.

Quadrant lighted seating by Perin & Topan. Endless internal Illumination possibilities. A big thank you to Ms. Katja Matoseu for the introduction.

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The color white is pure and serene by nature. Blending in to reflect the aura of its surroundings. White has been used throughout the ages to speak of new beginnings. White harkens calm and influential architecture as well as in purist design. Our living quarters are transformed from the ordinary to the extraordinary simply with a brush, a roller, and a few well-chosen functional elements. A few of which I am highlighting here that are sponsors of the Architectural Digest Home Show that took place a few days back. I learned quite a bit visiting all of the different vendors, not only about advances in technology for the home but in identifying a comfortable trend in what I used to refer as “nesting.” 

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Perhaps white is about making things easier, not fussy, and even youthful.

On the Edge

Be Daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.  --- Cecil Beaton

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There’s something about the older cobblestone streets, the wind in my hair and the smell of the city--just a bike ride from Manhattan. This is where the true artisans live and work, in warehouses that are glamorized by television shows like Gossip Girl and the like.

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To my surprise, I found the residents and characters of area just as interesting as what they create and design. Their sawdust-covered workshops are filled with one-of-a-kind objects for home. To them their dedication is about the craft, the love of materials, most of all the process. The value of the dollar is different here. It’s measured in making the rent, buying recycled materials, a trip to the market all to maintain this “loft Style” existence.  I found myself not only drawn in by this lifestyle, but wanting to become a part of it somehow—this new perspective on day-to-day living was something to cherish.

Photo courtesy of Paul Raeside. 

Photo courtesy of Paul Raeside. 

Yet, when it comes to describing the proud grins of each master craftsman displayed as I acknowledged his talent, I can’t possibly give the moment its full justice. I wouldn’t want to butcher the integrity of it all. So, all I can do is attempt to emphasize the awe-inspiring work behind those smiles.

Architectural Digest Home Design Show

Architectural Digest Home Design Show

All of this took place on the other side of the bridge in Brooklyn, in an area named Dumbo to be exact. I witnessed families with kids in strollers, couples promenading down the chilly avenue along side the homeless, artists, bars and workshops. They were all existing together, each group contributing to the vitality of Brooklyn. It’s a city unlike Manhattan where one is merely measured by their address.

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After my tour of a few galleries and workspaces, we were able to stop for a much needed break and to enjoy a glass of wine at the Olympia Wine Bar where I met Chris and Goel. Just from a glance I knew they represented the people I have been reading about recently, reinventing a new frontier—The Quality over Quantity Brigade. They have lived in the neighborhood for twelve or so years, moving in when Brooklyn wasn’t so desirable (to say the least). They noted today there were more baby carriages than ever before. Looking out the window with concern behind his eyes, Chris suggested Manhattan may just be moving into “his” territory.  

Take for instance Mark Jupeter, in this company he is compared to the craftsman that made tables in the TV series “Sex in the City,” not a bad person to be compared to I suppose. If you recall in the show, Carrie and this gentleman were at odds over the addresses as well as individual lifestyles. That friction is apparent throughout Dumbo.

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Chris and Goel shared that rents were running 3500 dollars for a lofty two bedroom. While it may seem to some a bit romantic, picture what lofty really means here. No heat, cement floors, and vandals paired with great views. Have I mentioned no whole foods as of yet. But somehow with Manhattan only a bike ride away, all of the cities luxuries were available just on the other side of the bridge.

These craftsmen, designers and artists may seem outside of normal but are producing some of the neatest objects and furnishings I’ve seen in a while. I think we should surprise ourselves, seek these characters out in our own cities and towns. We may just be buying a new favorite heirloom, with a great story attached.

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All I can say is a big thank you to Veronika Miller and Modenus for the introduction as well as our wonderful sponsors.