1 Sep 2013
21 Jun 2013
While I admit to an unhealthy fascination with hotels in general ( a la distance), and hotel bars in particular (in close proximity), there are very occasionally a few hotels that break through my hazy, pro-hotel glow and beg me to book a flight and a room. Moravola is one of those hotels.
Architect Christopher Chong and his wife, designer Seonaid Mackenzie bought the 9th century Torre di Moravola in 1999 — after it had been abandoned for 50 years.
The torre is obviously lovingly restored in a sort of ”medieval modernism”. The website for the hotel has, unexpectedly, a charming overview of the design process, and shows the work that was required to reconstruct ceilings, add stairs, and smooth walls; an intimate, behind-the-scenes touch that seems to presage an equally intimate stay. It’s only open seasonally, but honestly, did you really want to go to Umbria in February?
Some images to wet your whistle:
21 Jun 2013
On a cold, rainy February night in New York, I remember a story Andre Malraux used to tell — and which, at some remove, was told to me — about Mallarme’s cat, whose name, almost needless to say, was Blanche.
On a cold, rainy February night in Paris, a thin and bedraggled alley cat, wandering the streets, looks in the window of Mallarme’s house and sees a white, fat and fluffy cat dozing in an overstuffed chair by a blazing fire. He taps on the window:
“Comrade cat, how can you live in luxury and sleep so peacefully when your brothers are here in the streets starving?”
“Have no fear, comrade,” Blanche replies. “I’m only pretending to be Mallarme’s cat.”
— From “Anecdotal Evidence,” by Eliot Weinberger, in the Fall 2003 issue of Conjunctions. [reprinted in Harper’s Magazine, June 2004]
14 Jun 2013
My friend and business partner, the inveterate adventurer Lisa Baird, recently had her home featured in the latest issue of the always beautiful Rue Magazine. The spreads were art directed by Maia McDonald of Design Conundrum fame, and photographed by frequent Rue contributor and SF-based talent Cooper Carras.
Lisa lives in a neo-gothic historic building in downtown Oakland, abundant in fantastic architectural detail. Couple that with Lisa’s playful and confident style with her interiors ….well…is it any wonder we hijacked the two flagpoles on her terrace and turned the whole gorgeous confection into the Coléoptère international headquarters?
24 May 2013
I recently became aware of the work of Brazilian designer Claudia Moreira Salles. Her work, currently on display at Espasso in New York City, is beautifully balanced, despite the heft of the materials. These are formally rigorous pieces that use native Brazilian hardwoods. Beautiful!