Category: Guest Blogger

Frances Elkins, Michael Taylor, and me…

By , September 24, 2008

Let me introduce you to my extremely talented Senior Designer, Stuart Gilchrist. Here’s what he’s writing about….

Actually, what led me to write about Frances Elkins, who influenced countless 20th century designers, is my excited anticipation of Stephen Salny’s upcoming book about Michael Taylor, the renowned San Francisco designer. Taylor was profoundly influenced by Frances Elkins, and I by both of them. So it makes perfect sense that Stephen Salny, who wrote a beautiful book about Elkins in 2005 called Frances Elkins: Interior Design is following it up with a book about Taylor.

My first experience learning about Elkins occurred in my childhood when my mother hired an interior designer, Sue Gilpatric to decorate our home in Northern California. Gilpatric, who followed Elkins’ lead, inspired me to become a designer and a follower of Elkins’ work. And in fact, like Elkins herself, I would go to friends homes and rearrange the furniture to my liking, sometimes to the joy and sometimes to the dismay of its occupants. Unfortunately, unlike her, they were not my clients (until much later)!

As Mr. Salny so eloquently states, “ Frances Elkins was a chic arbiter of taste. Her contributions to interior decoration spanned over three decades and influenced interiors from New York to Hawaii.”

elkins4a

© Jess Smith/Photosmith

Luis Medina/Architectural Digest ©Conde' Nast Publications, Inc.

Luis Medina/Architectural Digest ©Conde' Nast Publications, Inc.

As you can see from these photos of Mr. and Mrs. Kersey Coates Reeds’ tennis house sitting area and living room done in 1929; she has a wonderful sense of scale and proportion that she learned from her brother, David Adler, the renowned Chicago architect. This, along with her ability to mix modern pieces with antiques, is a big part of what set her apart and helped create her dedicated following of designers still to this day.Elkins was considered avant-garde. She took risks when others would not.

 

Photo Louis Median, © Peter S. Reed

Photo Louis Median, © Peter S. Reed

Again, as you can see in this photo of the Reed Library, she mixed modern furniture by her friend and collaborator, the French interior designer, Jean-Michel Frank, with more traditional furnishings to create a unique, minimal, and fabulous room. Frances Elkins’ work from the 1930’s to the 1950’s has withstood the test of time. In fact, some rooms that she designed during those years still stand the same today with minimal changes. Elkins was a force to be reckoned with. I’d like to think that I am too (in a good way!) I am thrilled that I’ve had a chance to learn so much from her and Michael Taylor’s work. She helped me determine my career path at a very early age – and it was the right choice! I will forever be grateful for that, and her.

 

elkins-no-4

 
Jane Antonacci

Liz Hager and the Digital MetalType Medium

By , September 16, 2008

Today, our guest blogger is my multi-talented COO, Elaine Triber. Here is what she is interested in right now:

Liz Hager is a versatile mixed media artist who often uses non-traditional materials and processes in the pursuit of artistic statement. As a result, I find her work unusual—because she prints largely on metal, it looks different from a lot of art out there. Her images are witty and imaginative and I always become engaged in the story her work is telling. Continue reading 'Liz Hager and the Digital MetalType Medium'»

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