2/25/09

Get The Look

Last week, to celebrate our wedding anniversary, my hubby, our precious little bundle of joy and I dined at Indochine, one of my favorite restaurants in New York City. This restaurant was established in 1984 and since then has been a favorite among the famous and world socialites. The food, a fusion of French and Vietnamese cuisine, is exquisite-I personally recommend their Vietnamese Bouillabaisse - And the drinks are one only-enough reason to visit it. But, every time I step into this place I get mesmerized by its decor. This is what I would call a perfect Tropical Luxury style. With its famous banana leaf wallpaper, black and white checkered floors, green leather banquettes and those perfect toned lighting sconces, set the mood to transport you to the one time French colonized, Indochine.
indochine restaurant nyc, banana leaf wallpaper,Catherine Deneuve
After you enter through a very Indochine looking door with its neon lighting sign you find this gorgeous space in front of the bar. Where all of the very good looking staff await for you.
Here, you can see the banquettes with mirror above, with sconces in between. I thought it would be fun to imagine decorating a home with an Indochine influence.

Two versions of the banana leaf wallpaper. Sold here.
A really cool sconce that would give that smooth tone to any room, Red Padoga chandelier, and painted bench.
Bamboo club chairs and Caribbean casual dining table.
Sheraton arm chair and Annie Selke green leather chair.

Nicky Hilton dinning room with the famous banana leaf wallpaper.

Above, the movie Indochine (1992) with Catherine Deneuve, one great source to get inspired by Indochine Decor.

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2/20/09

Kitchen

Is a humongous Kitchen really needed or is it just one more futility of our society?

I have always wondered why some people are so obsessed with big kitchens? I have seen innumerable amount of houses in magazines where the kitchens are noticeably bigger than any of the other rooms. In many cases, especially in modern architecture, with the kitchen located as the heart of the house. Don’t misunderstand me. In no ways do I think it looks clumsy or odd. On the contrary, it’s very functional. My lack of understanding starts to arise when it seems a requirement that this very important and must-have room of our homes, the absence of it would make of a house more a hotel room, to be humongous. I ask myself, do we really spend more time in the Kitchen than in any of our other rooms? Is the kitchen the most important room in our homes? Let’s compare and let’s start with our bedrooms. That private place of our living spaces, where we go to sometimes escape and disconnect from the hectic daily life or to share our most intimate moments with our significant other. In that room, if we are lucky and nothing disturbs us, we spend for sure at least 8 hours straight. Sleeping…yes, but equally important and needed as eating. Not because it’s a room to sleeping, rest and perhaps watch TV while cuddling in our favorite linens, means it should lack space. Do you use your room to wind down, to get dressed in the morning, to have a cup of tea or coffee while reading a book or magazine? Then that room should be decorated and accommodated to meet all your needs and tastes. The size of the room will depend on the types of activities in it.
The living/family room, the space where probably our favorite memories are created, we get together with our families, friends. We spend an average of 38 hours a week. More, if you like me, are a stay at home mom. Here we play, converse, watch TV, listen to music, snack, nap? If you have small children you probably need enough empty floor space for that child or children to play on? Now that is a must-be big- or big-enough room we are talking about.
Meanwhile, the kitchen. Although I agree that “our heart is where the kitchen is” for others, that is true, only when hungry. Specially for those who prefer eating out or take out vs. cooking at home. For many busy people eating out almost, if not everyday, is a lifestyle. These same people, who are not always, single, sometimes they are young couples or a small family, would probably opt for a catering service or delivery service if they were to have a party at home. The rest of us, who most of the time cook at home, spend about 15 hours a week? I should say that this is a place where precious memories with our family and friends are originated. In my case, one of my favorite moments is when I sit on the countertop enjoying a glass of wine while watching my husband cook. But this is something I used to do before in our 50 square foot kitchen and it was as great then as now in my 200 square foot, bigger kitchen.

For me, a kitchen, big or small, should be, above all, a place to have fun, to share, to learn and teach how to cook to our kids, to eat. The size is not as important as making these precious moments last in our memories forever. As long as we make every square inch count. Let’s hope that the term “Big Kitchen” represents the cooking in the kitchen more than the actual size of the space.
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2/11/09

Veronica Webb at home

veronica webb home, todd blank
Veronica Webb's house in Florida is a perfect representation of Moorish architecture. Only that this house is surrounded by Florida palm trees and an oasis of ponds. The architecture is by
Bender & Associates and interior by Todd Black
I love the use of the huge modern art above the red velvet sofa. It breaks with the overly done and expected regal look of gold and red.
This part of the room is very eclectic. With pieces that evoke not only Morocco but also India and Africa. The choice of shades on the glass doors/windows softens the room without blocking the light or view and the green walls blend perfectly with the outside.
The colorful dome ceiling with intricate Islamic-star grids was produced in Morocco. Doesn't it look like a Peacock in all its glory to you? All images from AD.
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