Friday, May 23, 2008

Quote of the week

Ok - so maybe just this one quote and NOT every week but this one from the CAH-RAHZY and always entertaining Karl Lagerfeld made my day!

'I think her pants are poorly cut' - thank you, that is awesome.....see who he is talking about at the end of the clip ONLINE

I wanted to find a picture of him and there were so many ENTERTAINING ones to chose from that I thought I'd do a little slideshow :-) yes -not only does he WORK at Chanel -he's also trying to LOOK like Chanel (may she rest in peace) ok -so is this a cologen job gone wrong with his lips? something is NOT RIGHT there.....
ummmm the tip-less GLOVES? the rainbow? all the 'angels' behind him? Is he a new superhero? me thinks his name would be 'supergay!' the exclamation point is part of the namebefore his reinvention -he was even more...ummmm.......strange and ladylike - but PRETTY, right? I wonder what shade that lipgloss is -and who does his eyebrows? Where is the moo-moo from and is that a big food stain on his chest or the light reflecting? That is why I don't eat with chopsticks, thank you very much, I don't like the pad thai stains on my moo-moo.

Royal Doulton, Strawberries and cream

For this week's china of the week is a childhood favorite -'stawberries and cream' by Royal Doulton. My parents loved to mix and match china and our 'everyday' dishes were just 2 plates each of different wedgewood and royal doulton patterns. My brother and I would always fight over the strawberry plates! I now have a few pieces in this pattern and they really are just charming! Designed in 1978 -the detail is astonishing and they're just so pretty!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Doris Duke Gardens at Duke Farm

I first heard about the demise of Doris Duke's indoor greenhouse at Duke Farms in NJ from Aesthete's Lament a few weeks ago when he blogged about 'paradise lost' -since then it has been written up by many different areas in the press and getting a lot of negative attention. The trustees have decided to tear down these greenhouses which housed her international gardens that she worked long and hard on for years because they are energy guzzlers (supposedly) and they want to create a model of ecological conservation and sustainable environmental practices at Duke Farms. From what I understand -she left this farm in memorium to her father to be used as a sort of horticultural workshop in trust to a board of trustees. They are taking this mission and sort of changing how the farm started out. Is change a bad thing?I have very mixed feelings about this. While I am saddened by the loss of these fantastic gardens and their place in history, the creation of this new ecological conservatorium if done correctly will bring a lot of good to the field of ecology.
Doris Duke
This brings out the larger question: where does history stop and research continue. Should places such as Duke Farms be frozen in time or become living / breathing / changing places. Museums after their foundation constantly expand their collections and put additions onto their spaces; occasionally even move the collection. What was Doris's intent upon creating Duke Farms? This is where the contention starts. It's a shame some sort of compromise can't be reached -such as keeping this building complex and turning the remaining acreage into the model of ecological conservation and sustainable environmental practices that the trustees invision. In the future -will generations bemoan that the greenhouses were torn down, or will they find that what has replaced them more useful and important? That is hard to know. Back in the day when Pennsylvania Station in NYC was torn down (a big kick start for historic preservation) many people were opposed to the tearing down of that beautiful structure and still miss it to this day. The current Penn. Station is hideous and not even functional. Will the same fate be true for Duke Gardens? Or will whatever is coming next be so important that we will not even remember Doris's gardens....only time will tell.
Judge for yourself and read more about it online HERE, HERE, or HERE.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Now Voyager, 1942

One of my new favorite movies is 'Now Voyager'. It also wins for 'most smoky movie' - the characters ALWAYS have a cigarette in their hand! Yes, I know it's not 'new' really -but it's new to me! Released in 1942 and starring Bette Davis, the movie has been a cult classic since it opened. It's over the top drama, romance, fashion with great acting and a fabulous house to boot! I think the 'ugly duckling' story line is always a favorite with audiences.Bette 'before'
Bette Davis plays Charlotte Vale of the 'Boston Vales' - a prominent Boston society family. Her over-bearing mother has so twisted her mind that she has a mental breakdown and is finally sent away to a funny farm then on for some world traveling, all the while narrating her travels in letters home to her Dr., played by the fantastic Claude Rains. The 'evil' mother played by the elegant Gladys Cooper
On this trip she falls in love with a dashing, but married, architect (of course, always with the architects!) played by Paul Henreid and undergoes a startling transformation from shy, ugly duckling to beautifull, fashionable & popular society hostess! It may have been 1942 but the fashions are still incredibly stylish.
Bette 'after'
On board the cruise with the architect
Of course in true dramatic fashion, because of his marriage they vow to always love one another but move on with their lives. However, they keep running into one another, which causes her to rethink her upcoming nuptuals to another society Bostonite and to take in his daughter who has many of the same problems she did as a girl to make her closer to her one true love. In the ending scene ( and I dare you to not cry! admittedly it's so cheesy!) she tells the architect that she wants to keep his little girl because it's something they can share and will bring them close together. The famous ending line is 'Oh Jerry, don't lets ask for the moon, we have the stars!' when he asks if they should date or get married and ON QUE you will *SOB*. SO ROMANTIC *sigh*
a common theme throughout the movie - smoking
Another famous scene from the movie is run throughout -where they constantly smoke together (yet another thing to share) and he lights her cigarette in his mouth along with his own and then hands her the lit cigarette. Very racy!!!
yet ANOTHER cigarette -ewwww - so gross but always looks romantic in movies somehow
When her mother dies (in true dramatic fashion after Bette stands up to her bullying and she has a heart attack) she inherits her fortune, scary victorian mansion and becomes the matriarch of the family. The scene after she inherits the house will take your breath away. This dark foreboding house becomes very inviting; new furniture, dark walls painted white, candles lit everywhere, parties everyday, fires in the fireplaces -no more doom and gloom! I wish I could find 'after' pictures of the house!
And to end with -another line from Bette during the movie is "An Architect! I could cry with pride!" Oh how true it is.......So whats your favorite movie? Discuss, comment!!


'Hammerschlag hall' at CMU
I was 'Tagged' this morning by PVE and I always like to play fair so here it goes :-)

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?

I was a freshman at Carnegie Mellon Univ. entering into the architecture program. It was a really difficult year for many reasons........but mainly just that architecture school is REALLY hard! I failed a course ( first time I had failed anything in my life ) and began to question where my interests lay -what did I want to do with my life....ultimately I stayed in architecture but stopped conforming to the 'status quo' and sort of went my own way.
Part of the problem was that an architect seemed to be expected to have no other life outside of his (or her) interest in architecture. That was incredibly stressful for me as I have many varied interests ( as you can see here on this blog) and I was being questioned by professors because if I didn't want to do 'architecture' 100% of the time, then what was I doing there?

2. What are five things on my list for today?

Just a typical day here....
WORK - some deadlines this week so the office is BUSY
LUNCH - hopefully get outside into the beautiful spring weather and eat my leftover chicken and carrots
GO BACK TO WORK - get some projects out of the office!
MAKE DINNER - cooking at the end of the day while watching Martha on tivo helps me relax!
READ - currently reading a book composed of notes and conversations Marilyn Monroe had with her business partner Milton Greene; a sort of autobiography.

3. Snacks that I enjoy?

I am a true snacker (thanks to a high metabolism) but I generally prefer salty snacks. Nuts and especially potato chips (my weakness that i try to avoid) -but I also have a thing for sour type gummy candies like sour patch kids. A piece of dark chocolate always hits the spot too!
4. Things that I would do if I were a billionaire?

This is one of my favorite things to think about (and why I play the lottery: you can't dream about if it you don't play!). I would keep pursuing my license in architecture (only a year or two left) and then work on my own as a developer/ architect.
One of my 'missions' in life ( as corny as this sounds ) is to make the world a more beautiful place than I found it. I sat down last night and read Charlotte Moss's 'A flair for living' cover to cover and saw so much of what I want out of life in her book; to make the world a more beautiful place for people. A lot of that is what led me to become an architect and even on a smaller level to start this blog.

5. Places I have lived;

This is complicated because growing up we moved around. However, only one place ever felt like home and that is Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Thats where my grandparents lived, I ended up going to college and my parents have settled down there now again. Since then I have made my home in Washington, DC. But I still love to travel!!
6. I have tagged each of you or anyone else who likes to play fair and square.

LODA and anyone else who wants to play!

Kips Bay

Have you been to the Kips Bay Showhouse in NYC? I wish I had a NY trip planned so I could check it out! I ran across some YUMMY pictures from it over at the Paris Apartment and wanted to share them with you! ENJOY!

Isn't this bathroom cozy! a great place to take a bath -LOVE those mirrors!!
These must be from Charlotte Moss, she is known for her red leather covered vogue collection -I would love to do this with my collection of 'world of interiors' or 'architectural digests'!
A bedroom ala Marie Antoinette! This would be a beautiful B&B room! That copper bathtub is fantastic and the dusty blue walls with the red lampshades is beautiful!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

This week's dream house

My dream house changes everyday -this one is in my own neighborhood and is really beautiful but a little out of my price range...ok -a lot out of my price range. Check it out!
What a pretty dining room! I love the mirror, even if it is a little small in scale
This open first floor is beautiful!!this guest bedroom is really cute!
I love white bathrooms! -the window bench is a cute idea!
the sparse master bedroom - a modern 4 poster steel bed would be beautiful here

Mrs. Meyers

This weekend while doing some shopping I noticed that Target has started to carry Mrs. Meyer's products! If you're not familiar with them - the company produces all natural and aromatheraupic ( is that a word?) cleaning products. You can be green, health conscious and help your nose as well! I already love washing dishes, but this geranium dish soap makes it even BETTER!
My 2 favorite scents are geranium and lavendar. I know, geranium doesn't sound like it would smell good -but it DOES! Target is still light on different 'flavors' and had mostly lemon verbena (which I do NOT like!) but I was able to get some laundry detergent in lavendar. In the past I was getting Mrs. Meyer's products at whole foods which carries a very large variety of products and scents. They also come with great packaging so you're not stuck looking at an ulgy box or bottle. I think Martha would approve!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Finnish Embassy

This Saturday I went with some friends to an exhibit at the Finnish Embassy entitled: MY PARADISE: 100 years of Finnish Architects' summer homes. The exhibit was really interesting but what really impressed me was the beautiful building. It was a perfect day which helped, but so does the location: located on Embassy Row in a nook surrounded by Rock Creek Park. The site is heavily planted and the exterior of the building has vines crawling over it.The exhibit space is directly below the front entrance and you descend down a beautiful curved wood and steel staircase. Cleverly, the lower two treads are granite -a sort of resting pad for the staircase.the stair

interior shots, looking up

My favorite project exhibited was Villa Oivala by Oiva Kallio from 1924. The summer house, sited on the edge of a lake, had a wall of french doors facing the lake as well as a completely open courtyard with all the rooms off of it. The 'front door' merely brought you into the open courtyard and not into the house. The wall of french doors could open letting breezes into the courtyard and opening the space to the view. Back views of the model showing the open french doors to the lake & view and the interior courtyard

a view of the front of the house (model) - very simple with the big doors opening onto the courtyard