The best example of eco-friendly design that I’ve seen is the 2500 square foot, three-bedroom model apartment designed last year by Thom Filicia for the Riverhouse condominium building in New York City. The LEED certified Riverhouse is a luxury high-rise overlooking Battery Park and probably one of New York City’s “greenest” buildings. It has attracted high-profile buyers including Leonardo DiCaprio and Tyra Banks and in a clever marketing effort, the developers tapped Filicia to create a stylish model apartment that embodied the idea of luxury, eco-friendly living.
The entire apartment was designed using environmentally friendly, sustainable materials such as natural fiber fabrics, FSC-certified woods, low-voc paints and wall paper glues, recycled objects and of course, antiques.
Filicia conceptualized the space with a fictitious couple in mind…a pair of empty-nesters re-locating downtown from the Upper East Side. “You know these people: they’re well-traveled, sophisticated, and curious, and they love to entertain family and friends,” Filicia says in his book, Thom Filicia Style. In the living room above, the rug is made from vintage kilm runners and cut up felt. The green glass lamp is made from recycled wine bottles and the telescope in the corner is vintage.
The apartment features a fairly neutral color palette infused with organic earth tones and rich, natural textures such as the biodegradeable grasscloth wallpaper that you see throughout the space. There are a few bright spots though, such as the yellow sofa pictured here. The dining table features a paperstone tabletop and a FSC certified wood base wrapped in recycled zinc panels. The chandelier above is made from recycled jet airplane parts and the floor lamp is made from recycled plumbing parts.
Many of the furnishings in the apartment were custom…like this sectional sofa in the library which has a FSC certified birch plywood frame and cusions made of organic latex. The coffee table that you se a peek of on the left is made from recycled aluminum.
Here in the guest room, the walls are covered in wood pulp wallpaper with eco-friendly metallic detail. The bedside tables are made from old sewing machine stands, the lamp base is unglazed ceramic and all of the bedding is eco-friendly.
I’ve always loved the look of sawhorse desks and the one shown here in the model apartment’s master bedroom is vintage. The rattan bench adds even more textural contrast to the space.
Filicia got very creative with the custom furnishings in the apartment. The orange bedside tables are actually linen sealed with a water-based lacquer. The table lamp was made from old ship’s chain. The sheets are made of naturally sustainable bamboo and even the Ecobamboo mattress, made by Magniflex, are environmentally friendly! I really tip my hat to Thom for this one. The space is beautiful and livable and proves that you don’t have to sacrifice style to design green.
Here’s to making smarter choices in efforts to green our planet!
Albert Hadley, the honoree at this year’s Kip’s Bay Decorator Show House
2009 Kip’s Bay Decorator Show House
This year’s must-see show house is a tribute to Albert Hadley and is sure to be filled with plenty of design inspiration. Participating designers include Charlotte Moss, Christopher Maya, Amy Lau, BunnyWilliams, Jamie Drake, Joe Nye and Eileen Kathryn Boyd among others.
April 17 – May 17
22 East 71st Street, NYC
Kip’s Bay Special Event: Albert Hadley Book Signing
Design legend Albert Hadley will be signing copies of his books “The Story of America’s Preeminent Interior Designer” and “Albert Hadley: Drawings and Design Process.” Included in cost of admission to the show house.
Tuesday, April 21
3:30 – 4:30PM
Kip’s Bay Special Event: Designer Panel Discussion
“What Can We Learn From Decorator Books?”
A panel discussion with Jeffrey Bilhuber, Jamie Drake, Juan Montoya, Ann Pyne & Bunny Williams. Moderated by Annie Kelly. Included in cost of admission to the show house.
Tuesday, May 5
3:30 – 4:30PM
For info on all Kip’s Bay events click here
Design on a Dime 2009
For this annual fundraiser, Housing Works enlists some of the top names in interior design to create spectacular room vignettes with donated, brand new luxury home furnishings which are then sold at 50-80% off retail to benefit Housing Works’ charitable programs for homeless and low-income people living with HIV and AIDS in New York City. The roster of designers participating this year is top notch and names include Charlotte Moss, Ernest de la Torre, James Huniford, Carolina Irving, Robert Passal, Steven Sclaroff, Jaclyn Smith and Ty Pennington among others.
The Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street
May 7: Opening Night Reception 6PM
May 8-9: Free Public Sale
More info here
The Affordable Art Fair 2009
AAF NYC is the place for new and established collectors to discover and buy paintings, drawings, sculptures, video, photography and limited edition prints from distinguished galleries, all priced from $100 – $10,000. This year the Fair will host more than 60 galleries from the US, Europe, Asia, Canada and South America.
May 7 – 10
7 West 34th Street, NYC 10001
More info here
ABC Carpet & Home Bronx Warehouse Sale
Up to 75% off on lighting, tabletop, decorative accessories, furniture, rugs, and more. 1055 Bronx River Avenue Bronx, NY 10472
Aronson’s Floor Covering Spring Warehouse Sale
Up to 60% off on area rugs including shag, flatweave, and needlepoint rugs from Merida Meridian in wool, sisal, abaca, and jute as well as on overstock and remnants from additional manufacturers. Plus get 20% off on new orders for Merida area rugs and wall-to-wall carpeting placed during the event.
Aronson’s Floor Covering
135 W 17th Street, NYC 10011
April 23, 6-8PM (Designer/Trade shopping only)
April 24-27, 10AM-6PM (Open to general public)
More info here
I’ve been eying a number of gourd lamps like the ones above for my living room. I love this style of lamp not just for the beauty of its shape but for the symbolism that the gourd represents. The gourd is most commonly recognized as a symbol of longevity and good fortune, stemming from ancient eastern traditions where the gourd was once used as a drinking vessel. These bottle gourds were carved from a gourd fruit which is thick-skinned, oddly shaped and similar in nature to a squash or a pumpkin.
The fruits were often dried and then hallowed out into a vessel used to store and drink water or rice wine. In Taoist and Budhist traditions, it was believed that the gourd was filled with the nectar of longevity and health which was consumed by the Gods. In Feng Shui, it is believed that the gourd, when placed in one’s home, will bring longevity and good luck into the lives of its inhabitants. It’s no wonder why we’ve seen gourd shaped lamps used in interiors for so long! Here are some of the gourd lamps that I’m obsessed with right now:
Lindsay Single Gourd Lamp
Left: Alexander Lamp / Right:Stout Double Gourd Lamp
Ridged Single Gourd Lamp
If money were no object I’d buy a pair of Chritopher Spitzmiller’s beautifully handcrafted lamps which range in price from $650-$2250 per lamp. I’d take any of the above!
These Porcelain Urn lamps from Williams-Sonoma Home
could work nicely but are still a bit pricey at $495.
Left: Small Gourd Form Lamp / Right: Large Baluster Form Vase Lamp
Left: Medium Mokko Form Lamp / Right: Mini Fang Gourd Lamp
These options above from Circa Lighting
are all beautiful and much more reasonably priced. The ones that you see here range from $210-$420. Notice a trend in the colors I’m gravitating toward?
Robert Abbey Double Gourd Lamp
Robert Abbey Triple Gourd Lam
These gourd lamps from Robert Abbey are least expensive and most widely accessible selling at mass lighting retailers such as Lamps Plus
and even Macy’s. Here in New York, they’re currently on sale at Gracious Home
…I’m a sucker for a sale…so the Robert Abbey Double Gourd lamp shown here might be the winner. Stay tuned! And now that you’ve had a little history lesson on gourds and have seen my favorite picks, here’s a look at more beautiful gourd lamps in context.
My all-time favorite room by Miles Redd
Joel Woodard for Lichten Craig Architects at this year’s Kip’s Bay Decorator Show House. Photo via House Beautiful
Do you ever have things in your home that are just placeholders? Pieces that work for the time being but you know you’ll replace eventually? Well, that’s the deal with much of my living room furniture, which I’ve never been quite satisfied with. In a little over a month I’ll be hosting some of my favorite girls in my tiny apartment for my best friend’s wedding weekend so its the perfect excuse to redecorate! The short deadline makes the task a bit tougher since finding the perfect pieces takes time but it will also force me to stay focused and not procrastinate, which is a good thing! Now that I’m motivated to finally make all of the little updates I’ve been thinking about forever, I’ll be documenting my finds and my progress here on So Haute! On the top of my list is to replace my West Elm tables that you see above, my dining room chairs, the artwork above my sofa, hang curtains and get new dining chairs. I’ve also been searching for a fab chandelier but that can wait. I’ve actually already checked one thing off the list which is buying new end tables. I found the tables below on Craigslist and I LOVE them!
These photos from Craig’s aren’t the best and certainly don’t do the tables justice, but you get the idea. They’re gorgeous…three-tiered, faux bamboo mahogany with brass and painted gold accents. If you follow my tweets
, you may know that this Craigslist purchase involved a bit of bribery. You see, when I emailed the seller last Tuesday to inquire, she kindly replied back with “Sorry, I’ve already promised them to someone else and she’s coming to pick them up on Sunday. If it falls through I’ll let you know.” Thank God I’m persistent and a bit crazy…I emailed her back with a hint of desperation in my voice, telling her that I had to have these tables. She kept saying no and I kept emailing her back, propositioning her with a new offer each time. I felt like I was last-minute bidding on eBay or something! She finally relented after I offered to throw in an extra $50 cash and a $100 gift card to one of my favorite stores that I had lying around. Score! I picked them up that night and couldn’t be happpier. They’re perfect! Now that I have the tables a new pair of lamps is next on the list. Check back later for a post on some of the beautiful table lamps that I’ve been eying!