Towering & Timeless Form Of Decorative Style: The “Secretary” Hutch

Towering Style With Hidden Storage:  The "Secretary"
Towering Style With Hidden Storage: The “Secretary”

The “Secretary”. A “desk” or “hutch” that provides a stylish and decorative appeal while offering display opportunities and concealed storage. Beauty and function. Structure and form paired with stowing capability, indeed.

The “Secretary” is described as a base of wide drawers topped by a desk with a hinged desktop surface, which is in turn topped by a bookcase usually closed with a pair of doors, often made with a pair of doors, often made of glass”. This single, tall and heavy piece of furniture certainly serves double-duty in terms of function. Hidden storage paired with classic and timeless interior style. The term “Secretary” refers to a “Secretaire a abattant” and “Secretaire” with similarities to a “Fall Front Desk” (the slant top with a hinged desktop). The typical main work surface of the “secretary” is the Hinged piece of wood which lifts up to a vertical position and is tilted to an angle of about 45 degrees or so towards the bulk of the desk in order to enclose secondary work surfaces (such as small shelves, small drawers and nooks) stacked in front of the user”. There is also the form of a “Secretary” that is referred to as “Escritoire” (bookcase sections covered with glazed panels instead of wooden doors). Who knew that these are also referred to as a “portable writing slope”? Interesting. Alas, the varieties!! To add to that, there are also those forms of secretary desk that are referred to as “Side By Side Secretary” (one side is the desk and the other half holds a glass door cabinet. Again, varieties. Options and possibilities within these timeless pieces that can adorn our interiors with purpose. Purpose and function.

Vintage Advertisement: The Desk Hutch Of Purpose
Vintage Advertisement: The Desk “Hutch” Of Purpose

Perhaps it can be said, in a broad way, that all desks which have the capacity to close off the working surface are “Secretaries”. Either way, no matter the variety, these objects of distinction endure to provide function and form. And of the repurposing of these vintage objects layered with history? Although the purpose and function and contents may change and evolve, the fact remains that these towering and decorative, stylish “Secretaries” will continue to endure within interior design. Evolve? Yes. Endure? Yes. Timeless representations of the past repurposed to new futures. Whether timeworn or layered with a coat of paint, the beauty of function and form endures to appeal

The "Secretary":  An Interior Emblem Of Distinction
The “Secretary”: An Interior Emblem Of Distinction
Double Duty With Style:  The "Secretary"
Double Duty With Style: The “Secretary”
The "Secretary":  Decorative Form & Versatile Function
The “Secretary”: Decorative Form & Versatile Function
Vertical Form With Possibilities:  The "Secretary" Hutch
Vertical Form With Possibilities: The “Secretary” Hutch
Classic Style Paired With Evolving Function:  The "Secretary"
Classic Style Paired With Evolving Function: The “Secretary”

Consider with appreciation the benefits and dual purpose of the versatile and functional “Secretary”. Whether you are simply choosing the form and decorative appeal of the “Hutch” or selecting it for dual purposes, whether you choose to fill the cabinets and shelves with treasures on display or an organized and stored grouping of contained possessions in drawers, the benefits are many. Whether traditional or modified versions, the stowing capability and functional edge of these large objects of decoration provide a multitude of possibilities within our interiors. Towering & timeless form of decorative stye, indeed…

Kristin

“When it comes to furniture, secretaries are a New Yorker’s dream. There’s plenty of storage space, plus a work surface that folds down for all those overdue thank you notes. Modern versions abound, but I prefer one with a bit more history to it” – Eddie Ross, Lifestyle Expert

Eddie, I couldn’t agree with you more! The history behind an object brings forth even more appeal!

Graceful, Delicate Foliage Of Vibrant Green: Ferns Within The Interior

Emerald Green Delight:  Ferns Within The Interior
Emerald Green Delight: Ferns Within The Interior

Lacy, leafy delight in a hue of vibrant green. The Fern. Leafy botanicals that add a lush texture and color to the interior. The visual delight of fronds unfurling into graceful, delicate leaves within our interior spaces is a worthy consideration to fill our personal spaces. Perhaps, as the chill of Winter begins to fade and the arrival of Spring and warmer weather is in sight, there is no better time to fill our interior worlds with the tropical delights of Ferns…

Ferns, the botanical group know as Pteridophyta, are described as “herbs with a perennial short, tufted or creeping root-stock that posses “fiddleheads” which expand into what are called “Fronds” which are each delicately divided”. Delicate, for certain. Unlike mosses, ferns are vascular plants with stems, leaves and roots. Without seeds or flowers, ferns reproduce via spores. It is stated that there are approximately 10,000 species with approximately 200 of them appearing in the United States. Imagine! Of course, there are those ferns that are meant to remain in our exterior surrounds and there are those that are versatile to grace our interior worlds. And of the care of this graceful, ornamental botanical? The fern that dwells within our interior worlds requires bright light and consistent moisture to maintain its brilliant form and hue. A mist of water to the trunk and fronds of the fern is sure to maintain the condition and growth of this graceful form of nature

The Unfolding Fern Frond:  Beauty In Nature
The Unfolding Fern Frond: Beauty In Nature
Vintage Representation Of Ferns
Vintage Representations Of Ferns

Historically, ferns are said to have first appeared in the fossil record 360 million years ago. Many of the current families and species of ferns are said to have appeared approximately 145 millions years ago in the early Cretaceous period. History of a vibrant hued plant, indeed. Linked to mythology, medicine and art, these upward arching fronds and grand stature of the fern endures to appeal. Alas, the fern gracing the interior is enduring within history. Perhaps it is the Victorian’s that are best known for the inclusion of these elegant and lace-like leaves. The demand for the green fronds within Victorian interiors would continue for decades and would spread throughout the British Isles and America. During the late 19th century, what is referred to as “Fern Fever” and “Fern Mania” denotes that the fronds of green had become an obsession referred to as “Pteridomania”. Who knew? “Giant glass chambers became gleaming temples to the botanical ardour which possessed Victorian hearts and minds”. Alas, the power of a humble botanical indeed. It is said that to the Victorians, ferns “encapsulated the mystery and majesty of another era”. Thought to be a “sign of good taste” with their “Modern & restrained” appeal, it is no surprise that the love of the fern has endured. Perhaps the Victorian’s love of the fern, which would result in the creation of elaborate glass “Ferneries”. The fern was incorporated within their gardens, art, literature and of course, their grand indoor spaces. In fact, the possession of a collection of ferns became a status symbol. Who knew? As with times passing, however, the decline of the obsession with ferns is thought to have been the result of the rejection of the Victorian Age, itself. Either way, the appreciation that the Victorian’s had of the fern is certainly prevailing and enduring today…

Victorian Embellishments:  Fern Cases
Victorian Embellishments: Fern Cases
Victorian Era Appreciation:  The Grand Fern
Victorian Era Appreciation: The Grand Fern
Modern Inclusion Of The Lush & Graceful, Delicate Leafy Fern
Modern Inclusion Of The Lush & Graceful, Delicate Leafy Fern
Interior Appeal Of Fresh Green:  Ferns
Interior Appeal Of Fresh Green: Ferns
Ferns Within Our Interior Worlds
Ferns Within Our Interior Worlds
Grand Display Of  Feathered Leaves:  Ferns Within The Interior
Grand Display Of Feathered Leaves: Ferns Within The Interior
"Ferns" Within Interior Spaces
“Ferns” Within Interior Spaces
Fronds Of Distinction:  Ferns Within Our Interior Worlds
Fronds Of Distinction: Ferns Within Our Interior Worlds
Layered  & Feathered Leaves Of  Green:  Ferns Allure Within Interior Spaces
Layered & Feathered Leaves Of Green: Ferns Allure Within Interior Spaces

Of course, the elegance of the fern incorporated into memorable and iconic celebrations of life? Timeless displays of celebratory moments, indeed….

A Grand Centerpiece:  The Visual Statement Of Elegant Fern
A Grand Centerpiece: The Visual Statement Of Elegant Fern
Wedded Bliss Paired With Green:  The Elegant Fern
Wedded Bliss Paired With Green: The Elegant Fern
Memorable Bliss:  Events & The Fern
Memorable Bliss: Events & The Fern
Memorable Events Embellished With Ferns
Memorable Events Embellished With Ferns

And of the adornment of lush ferns of green to our exterior world? A visual delight, for certain. Perhaps the Southern climates excel in filling their exterior spaces with foliage of lacy delight. To me it is the balconies of New Orleans that have iconically taken the fern to new heights. Expectations of green delight amidst the color of the city, indeed…

Dripping In Ferns/New Orleans/French Quarter
Behind My Lens: Dripping In Ferns/New Orleans/French Quarter (March 2012)

Consider the lush, leafy and vibrant green fern to bring life to your interior world. Dramatic sweeps of graceful foliage that add interest and beauty to our spaces. Vivid tones of green and a layer of delicate, leafy delight will brighten your surrounds with fresh color. A captivating burst of color that adds textural interest and life to our interior worlds. Graceful foliage of vibrant green, indeed…

Kristin

Quatrefoil: Four “Leaves” Of Distinction Embedded Within Architecture & the Interior

Architecture "Tracery":  The Ornamentation With Four Foils/Lobes Of Quatrefoil
Architecture “Tracery”: The Ornamentation With Four Foils/Lobes Of Quatrefoil

Quatrefoil (Qua-tre-foil) means “Four leaves” and is “A representation of a flower or leaf with four petals or leaflets, especially in heraldry and as “Architecture Tracery” or “an ornament with four foils or lobes”. Considered a “conventional representation of a flower with four petals or a leaf with four leaflets, the “4-loped foliation” in history is enduring. Found in art, architecture and religious symbolism, the ornamentation of Quatrefoil continues to delight. A design detail that is embedded within the Greek Revival, Gothic and Renaissance periods, its distinctive shape in ornamentation endures to embellish our world with its harmony and symmetry. A decorative framework of symmetry of four lobes that radiate from a common center, indeed…

Historic Renderings:  Quatrefoil Within The Interior
Historic Renderings: Quatrefoil Within The Interior
Variations Of Timeless Design:  Cinqfoil, Trefoil & Quatrefoil
Variations Of Timeless Design: Cinqfoil, Trefoil & Quatrefoil

And of the distinctive windows of architectural form? Captivating to the eye. These round “windows” or “cut out” forms with four lobes embedded within in the historic architecture that surrounds us are, perhaps, seemingly familiar to us. Perhaps, their shape is more prevalent in architecture than we have noticed. Perhaps, like a four petaled clover, the shape is familiar. Either way, the form of the Quatrefoil will endure to retain its distinction and aesthetic appeal. Perhaps, a greater appreciation for the historic shape, form and its meanings are at hand…

History's Representation Of Quatrefoil
History’s Representation Of Quatrefoil

Appreciation of the history of such an iconic emblem that we find embedded within our architecture and within the world of interior design brings forth a history and meaning of representation that is broad and diverse. In architecture, Quatrefoil refers to a “Symmetrical shape which forms the overall outline of four partially overlapping circles of the same diameter”. In heraldry, a quatrefoil represents the four-leafed clover as well as what is considered a “rare variant of the trefoil or three leafed clover”. Certainly, the clover and the Quatrefoil shape that the clover holds are emblems and symbols of good luck. Often, the Quatrefoil is combined with an equilateral triangle to form a “barbed” trefoil, which is viewed as a symbol of Celtic and traditional Christian religion due to the stylized thorns (projecting at the intersection of each pair of lobes) and seen as a representation of the cross. To the Native Americans, the Quatrefoil representation represents their holy “Four Corners of the Earth” (North, South, East and West). Thus, the meaning of this poignant emblem of ornamentation was dependent upon the context in which it was viewed. What has remained consistent, however, is its link it has held to “Luck” and good fortune. Alas, the iconic emblem of the “Four Leaf Clover”. Beyond the symbol of the clover, the beauty of form of the Quatrefoil is worthy of our attention…

Quatrefoil:  Symmetry & Harmony In Architecture
Quatrefoil: Symmetry & Harmony In Architecture
Exterior Embellishments Of Historical Design:  Quatrefoil
Exterior Embellishments Of Historical Design: Quatrefoil
Quatrefoil: The Fourth Presbyterian Church/Michigan Avenue/Chicago
Quatrefoil: The Fourth Presbyterian Church/Michigan Avenue/Chicago
Exterior & Interior Representations Of  Graphic Shape:  Quatrefoil
Exterior & Interior Representations Of Graphic Shape: Quatrefoil
Symmetrical Delight Within The Interior:  Quatrefoil
Symmetrical Delight Within The Interior: Quatrefoil
Decorative Framework Of History Within The Interior:  Quatrefoil
Decorative Framework Of History Within The Interior: Quatrefoil
Interior Architectural Form:  Quatrefoil
Interior Architectural Form: Quatrefoil
An Iconic Emblem Within The Interior: Quatrefoil
An Iconic Emblem Within The Interior: Quatrefoil
Historical Design Detail Within The Interior:  Quatrefoil
Historical Design Detail Within The Interior: Quatrefoil
Exterior Appeal In Quatrefoil Formation
Exterior Appeal In Quatrefoil Formation
The Coveted Four Leaf Clover:  Quatrefoil In Design
The Coveted Four Leaf Clover: Quatrefoil In Design

Consider with appreciation the beauty of the Quatrefoil. An Historical and distinctive emblem of ornamental form linked to good fortune, harmony, luck and well being. For certain, this four-lobed symmetrical shape, that resembles a four-petaled clover, represents proportion of distinctive form. “Four Leaves” or “Four Lobes” of distinction embedded within architecture and the interior, indeed…

Kristin

PS: Recollections of a personal sort…
Our marriage commenced under the embedded architectural distinction of Quatrefoil…

Circa 1995/Our Marriage/Under The Architectural Distinction Of Quatrefoil
Circa 1995/Our Marriage/Under The Architectural Symbol Of Quatrefoil

Glowing Beauty: Lee Rhodes & Her Gift Of The Hand-Blown “glassybaby”

Lee Rhodes/"glassybaby"
Lee Rhodes/”glassybaby”

The allure of “glassybaby”. A glow of warmth and inviting appeal. What is a “glassybaby”? Beyond its description as a “small, colored glass cup, candleholder or vase”, a “glassybaby” is truly an elegant hand made vessel of stunning color that holds the glow of candlelight. Oh, the simplicity and glowing beauty with a tea light that it holds. A handmade colorful glass votive holder that offers choices of over four hundred stunning colors with which to personally fill your spaces with coordinating glow to your interior display. I will personally add, there is simply nothing quite like the glow of a glassybaby. It is an experience that will lure you. A rainbow of choices for flames to dance within the elegance of a light reflecting colorful glow

Hand-Blown Colored Glass:  "glassybaby"
Hand-Blown Colored Glass: “glassybaby”

Perhaps an brief understanding of the reason behind the creation of this quiet luxury is in order to further appreciation if your interest is piqued….

Based in Seattle, Washington, “glassybaby” was founded by an award winning entrepreneur, Lee Rhodes. A private company with a philanthropic purpose. A quiet luxury with a cause. The cause? In 1995, at the age of 32, the mother of three battled a third round of a rare form of lung cancer. Having given her husband, Emery Rhodes, lessons in glass blowing in the past, Emery created small glass “cups” or “baby glasses” to comfort his wife. Lee would light these glass objects with tea light candles to seek comfort during the difficulty of her cancer treatments. The gift of this small glass vessel produced a life changing opportunity. Rhodes recollections of patients in chemo waiting rooms that struggled to pay basic needs during treatment offered an opportunity to help. In 1998, Rhodes hired local glassblowers and began selling these vessels of molten glass from her garage. The company was officially founded in 2001 with a new glassblowing studio set up in Seattle in 2003. Her mission and intent? Spreading hope while giving back a portion of sales for cancer patients. Rhode’s message has been described as “Perserverance and strength through light”. Indeed, she has succeeded and continues to give the gift of hope. As Rhodes terms it, “Candles for a cause”

“I feel joy that we created something that touches so many people”- Lee Rhodes

“glassybaby allows people to take that 30 seconds of peace and calm to find healing”- Lee Rhodes

Beyond Rhodes appearance in 2008 on Martha Stewart’s television show and the countless accolades of merit the company and Lee Rhodes would obtain, it is her gift of hope that endures to gain attention. By 2011 glassybaby had donated more than $600,000 to various charities, following Rhodes goal to donate 10% of all sales to charities helping cancer patients with costs during chemotherapy. glassybaby has since surpassed its one million donation goal to charities across the country and aims to reach “one million more”. Imagine! Quite an intent of hope. Beauty paired with giving.

“The more glassbaby grows, the more money we will give away”- Lee Rhodes

Lee Rhodes & Her "glassybaby"
Lee Rhodes & Her “glassybaby”
glassbaby.com
glassbaby.com

The original glassybaby is a glass votive, roughly 2.5″ in diameter and 3.75″ tall. Given the fact that each is handmade, variations of distinction certainly are bestowed to each vessel of hope. Of interest, to produce one glassybaby is said to take approximately 12-14 minutes by a team of glass artists. Quality in craftsmanship, indeed. The “team” that create these glowing vessels comprise of over 70 artisans. Four artisans and three layers of glass per glassybaby. Imagine. That said, beyond a molten ball of glass on a blowpipe, consider the time, the energy and artful talent of glassblowing that each vessel holds. The beauty of an art form. Beyond the skill and time taken in the creation, it is interesting to note that the European color rods used (which are lead free) are said to be derived from elements of nature, the “recipes” of some of which are stated to have endured for centuries. History and the colorful glow of an art form.

Lee Rhodes/glassy Baby & I November 2013
Lee Rhodes/glassybaby & I
November 2013

In November of 2013, I had the pleasure of meeting Lee Rhodes. Her appearance in our quaint, Northern Illinois town of Woodstock was part of the Woodstock Fine Arts Association’s, Creative Living Series at the historic Woodstock Opera House. Of note, Lee was part of the same series and stood on the same stage that Martha Stewart once stood and presented. History. At the time Lee Rhodes presentation took place we were celebrating our 50th year of a series of inspiring and acclaimed speakers. Another iconic moment for our series, indeed. Her story was expressed so simply and naturally. Sincerity. Warmth filled the air as we journeyed with her through her shared story of hope. Afterwards, the delighted audience gathered closely around her and the amassed collection of her glowing vessels. As a board member of the Woodstock Fine Arts Association, I had the pleasure and the opportunity to meet her and personally express my gratitude for her gift and my adoration for the hand blown vessel I had discovered years prior (And of my newest addition? deep lipstick red in color, of course!). But I must express the genuine joy and sincerity that glows from within Lee Rhodes and spills outward for all who surround her. Pure joy. Upon meeting her and directly experiencing her spirit of hope and joy of life, the impact and my appreciation of her glassbaby’s have deepened. Her joy and effervescence of life is within my interior when I light my vessels of hand blown beauty. Is there any better gift with our lives than to touch others with love? A flame that will endure. Indeed, the new tagline for these vessels of glowing beauty is just that: “glassybaby Forever”. For certain, it is also perfectly quoted as “One Of A Kindness”. Indeed.

Lee Rhodes/Glassy Baby/Woodstock Opera House 2013
Lee Rhodes/glassybaby/Woodstock Opera House 2013

And of the glowing beauty of these vessels within the interior? Beautiful. Whether a single glassybaby or a mass of glowing bliss, the stunning glow warms the spaces it fills….

Glassy Baby Glow Massed Within The Interior
glassybaby Glow Massed Within The Interior
Warm Glow:  glassybaby Vessels Of Inviting Calm
Warm Glow: glassybaby Vessels Of Inviting Calm
glassybaby:  Versatile Vessels Filled With Delight
glassybaby: Versatile Vessels Filled With Delight
Colorful Delight In Candlelight:  glassybaby Style
Colorful Delight In Candlelight: glassybaby Style
Glowing Elegance Of Colorful Allure:  glassybaby
Glowing Elegance Of Colorful Allure: glassybaby

Consider the unique and reflective glow of a glassbaby. Whether filled with the glow of a votive or blooms of fragrant bliss, glassbaby delights. A luxurious element within our interiors that simultaneously brings the gift of hope to others. The mission of giving that is melded into each glowing vessel is forged together beautifully. Consider the glow of inviting appeal that is full of spirt. Hope and love. Beyond the visual warmth on a cold or dark day, the calm and peaceful glow delivers an inviting appeal that gifts back. The “Power of Giving”. glassybaby Forever. “One Of A Kindness”. An appreciation of the gift of glowing beauty, indeed…

Fill your world with the beautiful glow at glassybaby.com.

Kristin

PS: To Lee Rhodes…Thank you for your glowing gift of enduring hope and love.

glassybaby
glassybaby

Form & Function: The Decoration Of The Cylindrical “Bolster Pillow”

Cushions Of Distinction:  The Bolster Pillow
Cushions Of Distinction: The Bolster Pillow

The “Bolster Pillow”. Cylindrical cushioned style of comfort within the interior. The key to a “Bolster Pillow’s function is its name: to “Bolster” or support the user. Described as “A long, narrow pillow or cushion filled with cotton, down or fibre” that is usually “Firm for back or arm support or for decorative application”, this “Armrest to support your arm” while perched on a couch or settee is distinctive in its form. The decoration of the “Bolster Pillow” certainly supports an enduring appeal. Often this pillow of cyndrical form is referred to as “tube, neck or neck roll pillows”. Variations and evolutions within function, for certain. There is no standard size for this pillow of support and distinction yet the cushion that is round and long beckons our attention with its form and function. Found at the edge of sofas or daybeds or prominently on display within the assortment of pillows that may adorn a bed, the “Bolster Pillow” adds a distinct appeal to the setting with which it rests. A pillow or a prop? For certain, function and display are united together

The word “Bolster” is from the Middle English and from Old English’s “Belg Bag” from the 12th century. The history of these pillows that accessorize a room with their unique cylindrical shapes? “Bolster Pillows” are stated to have originated in the South and Southeast Asian countries (in particular Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Malyasia, Signapore, Bangladesh and Thailand). Designed to be “Hugged” when sleeping, this pillow of cylindrical form holds various references including the “Hugging Pillow” which was also designed to be used for back support. In addition, these “Bolsters” were also used by the Chinese ( called a “Dakimakura” ) as end cushions for sleeping platforms. Of additional interest, in Japan it is referred to as “Jukbuin”. The tradition that follows is that the “Bolster Pillow”, hollow and formed out of bamboo, would be given by a wife to her husband when he traveled far from home to comfort him and keep him refreshingly cool during sleep due to air circulation within the bamboo form. “Juk” stands for “bamboo” and “Puin” stands for “wife”. Hence, the name “Bamboo wife” would result. Who knew? But alas, it is not a “Bolster Pillow” made of bamboo that I refer to. The form and the addition of luxurious fabrics that layered solid forms of cotton or down feathers is the “Bolster Pillow” that dwells within our interior spaces that gains my attention.

Function & Form:  The Decoration Of The Bolster Pillow
Function & Form: The Decoration Of The Bolster Pillow
Long & Narrow Style:   The Bolster Pillow
Long & Narrow Style: The Bolster Pillow
The Bolster Pillow:  Firm & Stylish Support
The Bolster Pillow: Firm & Stylish Support
Cushions Of Support:  The Bolster Pillow
Cushions Of Support: The Bolster Pillow
Long & Narrow Cushions:  The Appeal Of The Bolster Pillow
Long & Narrow Cushions: The Appeal Of The Bolster Pillow

Consider the classic form of the “Bolster Pillow”. Comfort and visual interest united. Form and function. A decorative throw pillow? Perhaps, yet one with a distinctive visual in decoration paired with support. Comfort with versatile application. Whether custom cushions with limitless options for fabrics, colors and patterns or basic decorative accents available at-the-ready, consider the inviting appeal and comfort added with “Bolster Pillows”. Whether a “Bolster” sewn into a solid stitched form or a versatile pillow complete with zipper or hook and loop enclosure allowing for further versatility with changing display, the distinctive addition of its shape simultaneously compliments other fabrics and shapes within a room. Form and function with the cylindrical decoration of the “Bolster Pillow”, indeed…

Kristin

Vintage Interior Appeal: The Classic Warmth Of The Architectural “Radiator”

Architectural Details Of Function Within The Interior:  The Radiator
Architectural Details Of Function Within The Interior: The Radiator

The vintage radiator. Distinctive architectural representations of the past. The appeal and charm of the vintage radiator endures to provide interest and architectural details within an interior. Ornate or simple, the appreciation of the “mighty” radiator is a worthwhile focus…

The radiator is not an element of function to be hidden or disguised from view. Rather, I believe is an iconic element of form and function. The radiator clearly denotes history of a structure. Timeless. Craftsmanship in details of an object of function. Heat. Beyond the benefit of quickly drying snow laden gloves and scarves or humidifying the dry air of Winter within the interior with pans of water resting on top, the architectural statement of the radiator is certainly an asset to our visual spaces. Whether layers of old paint coat their vintage surfaces or layered with a gilded sheen and luster, the appeal of the radiator goes far beyond the warmth that it generates.

Radiators are termed as “Heat exchangers used to transfer thermal energy from one medium to another for the purpose of cooling and heating”. Of note, the adjustable valves of these steam systems are at the far end of the radiators and allow pressure to build creating additional needed heat. Mechanicals of scientific wonder. Of additional interest, there are two types of radiators: Single-Pipe and Double-Pipe. The single-pipe radiators work with steam while the double-pipe radiators work with steam or hot water. Alas, it is the double-pipe radiator that is the most sought after type of vintage radiator. Sought after is the key. Adding architectural charm paired with function, for certain.

And of the radiator in the interior? Alas, a source of heat to the environment it dwells within. The vintage cast iron radiators that iconically stand within vintage structures were installed for the intent and purpose of generating heat and favored for their ability to gently and evenly heat a room. Of course, credit the craftsmen of the Victorian era (who supported that seeming mantra that everything can be beautiful), scrollwork and floral motifs would be embossed to the cast iron forms. The era when utilitarian fixtures featured not only craftsmanship but great design. High style design of fine craftsmanship. Details. Life is all in the details. Alas, why shouldn’t even the basic parts of life be beautiful?

My appreciation of these glorious elements of the past began years ago within my first studio apartment in the city of Chicago. Beyond the crackling sounds from the heat traveling through its pipes, the vintage form lured me. The radiator that provided me warmth represented history. The 1910 studio I dwelled within was provided with comfort and sounds that so many before me had experienced. Perhaps, beyond warming our interiors, radiators warm our hearts with their appealing design and historical presence. Out of season, radiators enduringly hold a purpose of architectural interest.

Vintage Details Of Form & Function:  The Radiator
Vintage Details Of Form & Function: The Radiator
Vintage Architectural Embellishments Of Form & Function:  The Grand Radiator
Vintage Architectural Embellishments Of Form & Function: The Grand Radiator
High-Design & Craftsmanship Of Details:  The Vintage  Radiator
High-Design & Craftsmanship Of Details: The Vintage Radiator
Shapes Of Visual Interest & Warmth:  The Radiator
Shapes Of Visual Interest & Warmth: The Radiator
The Appeal Of History & Design:  The Radiator
The Appeal Of History & Design: The Radiator
Ornate Style With Warmth:  The Vintage Radiator
Ornate Style With Warmth: The Vintage Radiator
Warmth Of Historical Charm:  The Vintage Radiator
Warmth Of Historical Charm: The Vintage Radiator
Architectural Jewels Of Decorative Delight:  Vintage Radiators
Architectural Jewels Of Decorative Delight: Vintage Radiators

Whether painted in gilded gold or coated with layer upon layer of standard white paint applied over the years, embrace these architectural features of seasonal function that offer year-round appeal. A conversation piece? Perhaps. A bold statement of history in form and function. For those fortunate enough to have this element of history deliver you much needed warmth, look closer at the cast iron emblem of the past that dwells with purpose within your interiors. With renewed appreciation. Classic warmth. Vintage appeal with function, indeed…

Kristin

A Year Of Interior Color Inspirations

Interior Color Inspirations:  January/Striking Black & White,  February/Hues Of Pink, March/Brilliant Green,  April/Dramatic Blue
Interior Color Inspirations: January/Striking Black & White, February/Hues Of Pink, March/Brilliant Green, April/Dramatic Blue
Interior Color Inspirations:  May/Warm Yellow, June/Refreshing Coral, July/Statement Red,  August/Tranquil Turquoise
Interior Color Inspirations: May/Warm Yellow, June/Refreshing Coral, July/Statement Red, August/Tranquil Turquoise
Interior Color Inspirations:  September/Subtle Beige,  October/Painted Black,  November/Muted Gray, December/Crisp White
Interior Color Inspirations: September/Subtle Beige, October/Painted Black, November/Muted Gray, December/Crisp White

“A year in color”. A visual journey of color inspirations…

Color is defined as “That aspect of things that is caused by differing qualities of the light reflected or emitted by them, definable in terms of the observer or of the light.” For certain, the world of color is an inspiration of possibilities within our interiors. Choices of tone, mood and statement. An appreciation of hues of color drenching the interior, coating the walls or saturating our spaces is worthy of our focus. Whether you live within the wonder of bold and distinctive hues or muted shades of appealing allure, the choice is certainly yours. Choosing to fill your spaces with colors that bring joy to you and define you and your personal sense of style is paramount. Whether white or vivid and bold red, the choice is personal. Yet an appreciation of all colors is also paramount…

Enjoy the visual reflection of a year of “color” coating interior spaces. And if you desire to linger further, month by month, for more visuals and words of description of these coated hues? Peruse the category “Interior Color Inspirations”. Inspiration may follow…

Cheers to “color” within your interior!

Kristin


“Nature always wears the colors of the spirit”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions”
-Pablo Picasso

Textural Luxury: The Embellishment Of “Fur” Within The Interior

Winter Appeal:  Layering Of "Fur" Within The Interior
Winter Appeal: Layering Of “Fur” Within The Interior

The embellishment with “Fur”. Whether real fur or a luxurious “Faux” fur blanket or pillows, the layering of warmth and texture of these soft and supple accessories add visual delight. The richness and textural interest not only add Winter appeal but drama to our interior spaces. Subtle elements that beckon us to nestle within the embrace of warm layers. The addition of these plush elements of style and warmth provides a welcoming lure of the warmth required within our interior spaces during the Winter season. Distinctive layers, indeed…

This iconic accessory of warmth has a history that is said to travel back to the beginning of time. Thought to be among the first garment of bodily decoration, it has been worn throughout history. The Intuit peoples of the Arctic relied on fur almost exclusively for warmth from the elements. The fur trade (the worldwide buying and selling of fur), is said to have been one of the driving forces of exploration in North America and the Russian Far East. Traditional to Russsian, Scandinavian and even Japanese clothing, the history of fur continues onward. In fact, during the first half of the century, in the affluent West, fur has had a tremendous presence. Due to its superior warmth and durability, it is no wonder that the world of interior design would embrace its layer of insulation for its own purposes. A layering of style and glamour with warmth would unite, indeed.

Sumptuous Interior Style:  "Fur" Within The Interior
Sumptuous Interior Style: “Fur” Within The Interior
Soft & Supple Elegance: Layered With "Fur"
Soft & Supple Elegance: Layered With “Fur”
Draped In Distinction:  The Textural Warmth & Appeal Of "Fur" Within The Interior
Draped In Distinction: The Textural Warmth & Appeal Of “Fur” Within The Interior

Fur p 4

Warmth & Texture With Lightweight Appeal
Warmth & Texture With Lightweight Appeal
Richness & Plush Textural Appeal With "Fur" Embellishment Within The Interior
Richness & Plush Textural Appeal With “Fur” Embellishment Within The Interior

Consider the luxury of “Fur” to layer your interior in warmth and textural appeal. Whether draped on a sofa or accent chair or layered on a bed, the luxury of these rich and grand layers of visual and textural delight earn a place of seasonal distinction within our interiors. Textural Luxury with the embellishment of “Fur”, indeed…

Kristin

Interior Color Inspirations: Classic & Crisp “Winter” White

The Classic Crispness Of White Interiors
The Classic Crispness Of White Interiors

Brilliant white. The shade of Winter that holds seasonless appeal. The color of pure snow on snow capped mountains, white is the color of light and the opposite of its counterpart, black. The classic combination of black and white prevails in enduring style. Yet Modern appeal and elegance certainly results with the injections of any color against the blank canvas of white. The potential to inject seasonal or accent colors always brings an added striking appeal to a space clad in white. Distinction against white, for certain…

Of historical interest, the Icelandic word for white is “Hvitur”, derived from the Old Norse form of the word “Hvitr”. Common Germanic used the word “Blankaz”, meaning “White, bright and blinding”. Like the blinding snowfall on a Wintry day. The Germanic term is said to have been borrowed from the Late Latin term “Blancus”, which meant simply “White”. A clean and pure color. “White as snow”. Perhaps the color represents a visual “Whiteout” within your surrounds. Of additional interest, within Europe and the United States, the color white is said to be associated with not only with perfection, positivity, brilliance, illumination, faith, purity, neutrality and lightness but exactitude. Exactitude. There is an intent when we envelope our spaces in white. A bold, dramatic intent exists within interiors layered in white, for certain…

With layerings from brilliant white and parchment white to cream, the many subtleties of white delight with texture and crisp, refreshing style. Cool, calm and serene yet powerful. Perhaps the beauty of the color white is its versatile range that pairs beautifully with varied styles of interior design. White visually expands a space and emphasizes natural light, showcasing the elements and the furniture in the space that it fills. White provides a backdrop to display one’s personality and style with a color scheme that does not compete but offers a stunning background for distinctive furniture, artwork or other elements that one wishes to command attention. Within the walls of white and rooms filled with objects that meld into the backdrop, tone on tone, the elements of bold style and distinction stand out. Patterns and textures also create depth and interest against a snowy white backdrop. Versatile all year round, awaiting our seasonal injections of interest and allowing focal points to change. Versatile stying, indeed…

Classic Simplicity: Interiors Blanketed In White
Classic Simplicity: Interiors Blanketed In White
Interior Distinction:  White Interiors
Interior Distinction: White Interiors
Muted Palettes: Variations Of White Interiors
Muted Palettes: Variations Of White Interiors
Layers Of White Variations Within The Interior
Layers Of White Variations Within The Interior
White Delights:  Interiors Coated In White
White Delights: Interiors Coated In White
White Interiors:  Neutral Elegance Of Simplicty
White Interiors: Neutral Elegance Of Simplicty

Consider white. An all-white palette perhaps adds a Wintry spin to our spaces. The elegance of this stark, crisp and yet serene color can provide a clear and deliberate focus for our spaces. Ethereal elegance. Classic, sharp and clean. Blanket your spaces and gain fresh clarity with the pure color of white. Whether you view the white interior as coated in a fresh “blanket of white” or a cool retreat and haven within Summer’s heat, the bold layering of a white interior provides a pure and sharp contrast of style. Pure white style, like fresh snow. Classic and crisp “Winter White”, indeed….

Kristin

“…Winter is the snow with black silhouettes…” -Vincent Van Gogh

The “Parsons Chair”: A “Slipper Chair” Of Timeless Appeal

Streamlined & Timeless Style:  The Parsons Chair
Streamlined & Timeless Style: The Parsons Chair

The “Parsons Chair”. Streamlined versatility of function and comfort. A classic chair of timeless design, the upholstered or slipcovered chair is typically crafted of hardwoods and features a slightly curving, squared backrest and legs. A visually solid chair iconically embellished in fabric. The Parsons Chair provides simplicity with distinctive style. Perhaps, to deepen one’s appreciation for this unique and timeless design, an appreciation of its past is in order…

The “Parsons Chair” was created in Paris in the 1930’s by the Parsons School of Design. Of interest, what is known as the Parsons school was begun as the Chase School in 1896 by renowned American Impressionist painter William Merritt Chase (1849-1916). Chase founded the New York school and led a small group of students who withdrew from the Art Students League of New York in search of individualistic expression. The Chase School and the icons of early American Modernism perhaps is what brought to the school in 1904 the vision of Arts educator Frank Alvah Parsons. In 1921, with a vision of art and design’s link to industry, Parson would initiate a satellite school in Paris, France. This satellite school is said to have been the first art and design school founded abroad by an American school. Who knew? In 1941, the school would be named in his honor. Parsons would soon become the sole director of the New York School of Fine and Applied Art and continue to provide vision for the future. A vision that would continue to inspire the world of art and design, indeed…

Frank Alvah Parsons  (1866-1901)
Frank Alvah Parsons (1866-1901)

And of this chair of simplistic and linear design from the 1930’s? The Parsons School designers are said have streamlined “excess ornamentation” and the historical influences that reflected the periods of Arts & Crafts (1880-1910), Art Nouveau (1890-1905) and of course, the era that the 1930’s was layered within: the Art Deco period (1910-1940). The styles that dominated furniture designs of the time would certainly inspire the design of this enduringly modern, yet timeless chair. Function and comfort were also a focus in addition to the classic and modern influences resulting in a chair of distinction. Said to present “Classic Modernists traits of natural, simplistic and linear design” the enduring traits follow this stylish object of purpose and function within the interior, for certain. Of note, the original Parsons design is said to have been upholstered in leather. Again, who knew?

The  1930's "Parsons Chair" /Parsons School of Design
The 1930’s “Parsons Chair” /Parsons School of Design

However the chair is covered over its linear form, the chair itself was historically considered to be a transitional piece of furniture. Of additional interest, the Parsons Chair was first designed as a part of a matched set of furnishings. Designed for use in a dining table suite with 4 chairs and a table, both were intended to reflect a similar aesthetic. The linear and simple design of both provided a contrast to the heavier dining furniture of the early 20th century that tended to visually dominate a room. The light and airy appeal of the sleek variation to interior style provided a versatile and functional appeal. The Parsons Table and Parsons Chair were created as companion pieces yet perhaps due to the simplicity and versatility of both has led them to be incorporated separately into many interior styles. Parting ways within the interior, the adaptable style certainly provides a striking appeal in any setting. Certainly, an evolution in design. Both, perhaps, integrate historical influences while presenting a modern edge that still stand the test of time today. The table, like the chair, holds a simple elegance that endures. (Alas, perhaps the iconic Parsons Table is another topic to dwell upon…)

The Classic Parsons Table
The Classic Parsons Table
Upholstered Slipcover Of Classic Style:  The Parsons Chair
Upholstered Slipcover Of Classic Style: The Parsons Chair
Classic Influences Of Adaptable Style:  The Parsons Chair
Classic Influences Of Adaptable Style: The Parsons Chair
Transitional Simplicity Of Enduring Design:  The Parsons Chair
Transitional Simplicity Of Enduring Design: The Parsons Chair

Consider the versatility and timeless appeal of the Parsons Chair. Choices and stylistic preferences abound, for certain. Incorporated into the interior, this stylish chair blends in any setting while standing out in distinctive style. Although there are variations of this classic chair that are absent of the adornment of fabric, perhaps it is the classic beauty of this chair is the fabric that swathes its upholstered form. Although there is an almost regal elegance when covered in upholstered or slipcovered fabric, there are certainly variations that retain no layering in upholstered style but rather the linear form itself. Options absent of the adornment of fabric yet options of great design. For certain, the design has evolved. But what remains consistent is the elegant simplicity of design. Enduring style. Whether wrapped in leather, tailored coverings of slipcovered style or even smaller and shorter designed chairs with or without armrests, the classic “Parsons Chair” holds a timeless appeal that endures, indeed….

Kristin

“Industry is the nation’s life, art is the quality of beauty in expression, and industrial art is the cornerstone of our national art” – Frank Alvah Parsons, 1920