Stained Glass for the Modern World

November 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

As much as I adore patterned walls, some environments are better suited to finishes without motifs. Often, institutional or corporate settings require more neutral wall finishes. However,  windows can present an incredible opportunity to introduce pattern!

I adore the pattern used in this window at The House Cafe Corner in Istanbul (pictured above). Of the many ways to create crisp, patterned window finishes, fritted glass is by far the most durable and functional. Fritted glass involves baking a ceramic glaze directly onto the glass.

The resulting glass can create depth, texture and movement within the 2-D window surface. What an incredible way to introduce pattern to a modern structure!

Wiel Arets Architects: University Library UBU, Utrecht, Netherlands, 2004

Little Serow: Big Design in a Small Space

October 15, 2012 § 1 Comment

During our honeymoon, we traveled through D.C. and ate at the most lovely restaurant, “Little Serow“, near Dupont Circle. The incredible basement space, formerly a Dunkin Donuts, looks and feels like you’ve walked into someone’s home in Northern Thailand. The color and texture of the space felt so reminiscent of the room I rented while living in Guatemala, I had to include a photo (see below)Image

Chef Johnny Monis and his wife, Anne Marler, inspired during their travels to Southeast Asia, developed the restaurant concept as well as designed the space. The aqua teal walls feel pitch perfect, as does the corrugated tin ceiling. No computers are visible (the serving staff pulls out the point-of-sale computer to process payments from a drawer), and they don’t have a phone. The no reservations, no substitutions, no frills, 28 seat dining space works (and tastes) wonderfully.

Pattern and softer textures missing from the interior finishes are incorporated into the delightful plateware and vintage dresses worn by the serving staff. The cool green walls help diners feel relaxed and calm while eating the deliciously spicy food, while the small touches of floral pattern help you to feel even more relaxed and at-home in the bustling little restaurant.

10 Corso Como: An Italian Geometric Treasure Trove

August 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

Photo by COURTESY PHOTO

While developing a series of geometric wallpaper patterns, I’m referencing some of my photos from a recent trip to the iconic, genre-defning, Milanese emporium: 10 Corso Como. Located in a dense, historical neighborhood, 10 Corso Como has provided a nearly transcendent shopping experience for well over two decades. It’s not so much a store, it’s more of an institution. Once inside the beautiful gates, you can enjoy a delicious meal, spend hours perusing books in the 2nd floor bookstore, take a stroll through a current, world-class art installation, relax on the rooftop garden terrace, or, of course, shop. The clothes, shoes and accessories are, of course, exquisite.

Today I’m especially inspired by their circular patterns, integrated into the logo, displays, and fabrics.

No trip to Milan would be complete without a visit to the store, which shares it’s street address with it’s name, 10 Corso Como.

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