RaeChild

Calligraphy and Design based in NYC

NYC Design Week

This past NYC weekend was a big deal for anyone interested in the world of interiors. The annual International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) was held once again at the Jacob K. Javits center on the West side of Manhattan in Hell's Kitchen. This fair features hundreds of booths with designers ranging from well known names such as Fritz Hansen to up and coming contenders like David Gaynor Design and Wren & Cooper - two first time exhibitors who I am proud to say I graduated with from Rhode Island School of Design's Furniture Department. It's exciting to see their tremendous work evolve into viable creative businesses. Simultaneous to the ICFF convention (which is only open for four days), NYCxDesign is a 12 day long celebration of design with events and shows held throughout the five boroughs. With so much going on, I focused on my own company, Herman Miller, and the exhibits they held in and around the Standard Hotel at the Southern base of the Highline showcasing this year's upcoming product launches.

 Baguette Table with Eames Molded Fiberglass Side Chairs with Dowel Bases

Baguette Table with Eames Molded Fiberglass Side Chairs with Dowel Bases

 Bolster Sofa with yet to be released Girard Pinwheel Ottoman

Bolster Sofa with yet to be released Girard Pinwheel Ottoman

The vast, wood paneled space of the Standard Room on the 3rd Floor featured swanky low couches and casual dining areas, all accented to perfection with smart, youthful props. I felt one cocktail/cigarette combo away from a Mad Men set, which is fitting considering the growing amount of post modern Herman Miller furniture featured on that show. Fast company wrote all about it here

 Eames Aluminum Group Lounge Chair with Eames Walnut Stool

Eames Aluminum Group Lounge Chair with Eames Walnut Stool

 Bevel Sofa and Maharam Pillows

Bevel Sofa and Maharam Pillows

 Bevel Sofa, Nelson Swag Desk and Mirra 2 Task Chair

Bevel Sofa, Nelson Swag Desk and Mirra 2 Task Chair

 Nelson X-Leg Table with Eames Molded Plastic Side Chairs with Wire Base

Nelson X-Leg Table with Eames Molded Plastic Side Chairs with Wire Base

 Tuxedo Sofa revamped with wooden legs

Tuxedo Sofa revamped with wooden legs

 Eames Molded Plastic Chairs, released in new seat and base colors

Eames Molded Plastic Chairs, released in new seat and base colors

The showroom extended onto the terrace where the company's growing portfolio of outdoor furniture was featured. The Eames Aluminum is one of my favorite indoor pieces, so I was happy to see it's outdoor cousin debut. 

 Eames Aluminum Group Chair with Nelson Pedestal Table, both for outdoors

Eames Aluminum Group Chair with Nelson Pedestal Table, both for outdoors

 Spun Chair by  Thomas Heatherwick - yes, it's a chair, and yes, it spins!

Spun Chair by Thomas Heatherwick - yes, it's a chair, and yes, it spins!

As if I hadn't already been spoiled with great design, they also set up an Alexander Girard pop up shop located just around the corner (at 446 West 14th Street) to feature archival pieces as well as reissues which will be produced in the fall. This more intimate show will be open until May 28th and is a "must see," if not for it's inspiring artifacts, unique color palette and 70's mexican music, then for the espresso bar, La Columbe, in the back serving complimentary cortados! Dwell magazine features more information here

A brief video for a taste of the music... it was wonderful!

 A look at Alexander Girard, Herman Miller's Textile Man

A look at Alexander Girard, Herman Miller's Textile Man

 Lots of great color and textures

Lots of great color and textures

 Espresso Bar and Gift Shop

Espresso Bar and Gift Shop

 A detail from an original 1972 print

A detail from an original 1972 print

 Girard's branding suite for Braniff Airlines

Girard's branding suite for Braniff Airlines

 The barista station complimented by Girard wallpaper

The barista station complimented by Girard wallpaper

 A cortado is equal parts espresso + milk (like a baby latte)

A cortado is equal parts espresso + milk (like a baby latte)

 An Eames Molded Fiberglass Shell on a wire base... yet to be released

An Eames Molded Fiberglass Shell on a wire base... yet to be released

 An original Girard silkscreen

An original Girard silkscreen

 One of Girard's decorative panels with four leaf clover

One of Girard's decorative panels with four leaf clover

I truly am a lucky gal to work at a company with such a tremendous design legacy. To be inspired everyday by unique stories, stunning visuals, and equally wonderful people is a humbling thing.

Back to Basics

Many projects have begun at the 'ol homestead since I last left you with the story of a snow cleared driveway... New furnace, new electrical, new plumbing, bathrooms being torn out, doors in walls being found (yup - images below), and finishes being selected as we work through the previous owners illogical, slap-job repairs and bandaid fixes, not to mention the realities of 100+ year old construction. With so much requiring attention, Mr. RaeChild and I decided to take my birthday week off for a staycation at the house (read: camping with a roof) at which point I decided to treat myself like any birthday girl would and order a port-o-potty. Happy birthday to me: 

 Realities of homeowner construction!

Realities of homeowner construction!

 I am now obsessed with vintage kilim rugs since my office rug hunt a few months back, how fun is this rug?!

I am now obsessed with vintage kilim rugs since my office rug hunt a few months back, how fun is this rug?!

I set to work creating a sitting area upon arrival, complete with an Eames Lounge and Ottoman and vintage turkish kilim, a place to rest amongst the mayhem. But it didn't take long for the sanity of a sitting room to be overruled by loud drilling, banging, and heated bathtub, faucet, and tile talk; three highly emotional subjects in my book. I've been spending a lot of time researching and carefully selecting each of these as we are currently focusing on renovating both the main bath and half bath. I'll take you through my design process in a series of posts. For now, here's my take on bathtubs...

 Glamour shot while cleaning the old tub in an effort to convince everyone it just needed a good scrub!

Glamour shot while cleaning the old tub in an effort to convince everyone it just needed a good scrub!

I hands down wanted to salvage the existing cast iron tub, easy! ...Not so easy. Cast iron bathtubs weigh over 300lbs so fitting them back into a demo-ed space requires extra man-power on site, meaning our plumber was going to charge us more for the labor alone to re-install the cast-iron tub than the costs to purchase a new one and install it together. Not to mention his concerns about potential leaking around the fittings. This was frustrating as it meant that the tub area became an open slate to pinterest ideas for several days... I would have opted for a large open shower with partial glass door and omitted the bathtub altogether, an ever increasing choice amongst homeowners; bathubs are becoming extinct. However, this is the only full bath in the house so after much deliberation we decided on a simple new tub

Bathtub material options include either plastic (fiberglass or acrylic) or metal (steel with porcelain enamel finish or cast iron with porcelain enamel finish). I'm a purist and of course wanted metal. As it turns out, steel bathtubs (the metal option on the market today) extract heat from the tubwater causing your bath to go colder faster than a cast iron tub because unlike steel, once cast iron heats up it stays hot, whereas steel continuously cools and continues to extract heat. This information left me preferring a plastic tub. Within the plastic category, acrylic is less likely to crack than fiberglass and also more commonly found, so this is what I settled on despite all attempts to spiff up the existing American made cast iron tub...

 I love the underside of the tub where it calls out "Made in United States of America" - you don't see that very much anymore!

I love the underside of the tub where it calls out "Made in United States of America" - you don't see that very much anymore!

The home-ownership learning curve has been extreme with this many tasks under way, but seeing so many healthy improvements to an old house is very satisfying. Below are some progress shots of the Full Bath as it went through an entire floor to ceiling gut job. It's in a much better state now, with a dead level floor. We found a door in the wall (!?) and some vintage sailboat wallpaper under many wall layers. And don't think these 100+ year old floorboards were tossed, this girl now has a wood heap, after all, it was my birthday!

Dallas Love

Last weekend I took a spontaneous trip to Dallas, TX after University of Kentucky (UK) men's basketball team made it to the Final Four tournament. Having gone to art school, I was never fully immersed in what Division 1 college sports were all about, so I was lucky to meet a friend that is a huge UK fan who was also willing to get me up to speed on the topic (read: I now know what "March Madness" is all about). I've never followed a team that's made it to the championship game of any sport, so watching this team play the whole season, many of them just Freshmen in college, was really impressive. 

Purchasing a plane ticket just four days before the tournament is something I never would have done if it weren't for my Kentucky friend's passion for UK basketball, and my Dallas-based long time friend, who I've have been dying to visit.  

RaeChild_Del's Charcoal Burgers

"Dallas Kate" is born and bred Texas. Which means, she knows a little something about southern hospitality. One of the highlights of our weekend together was getting takeout from "Del's Charcoal Burgers" - an adorable Richardson, TX based burger joint. This place had me swooning the minute I stepped out of the car. They've been in business over 60 years and their authentic "Texas-proud" decorations let you know you've landed somewhere special. The tables inside were filled with older local gentlemen enjoying a quiet Saturday lunch. We ordered a little of everything (which included a fried twinkie!) and were handed homemade rootbeers in frosted glasses while we waited. I felt like a kid in a fantastically Texas decorated candy shop. This is the kind of small town, good food, great service, spot I relish when on a NYC getaway. 

RaeChild Del's Charcoal Burgers
 Love the old signs

Love the old signs

 Rootbeer refills - only 50 cents

Rootbeer refills - only 50 cents

 Of course there was a shot gun hung above the door...

Of course there was a shot gun hung above the door...

In the end, UK made it to the Championship game, but didn't win, which only means I'll need to find a new lucky something for next season. Apparently my faux Princess Di ring wasn't lucky enough. 

I loved visiting Dallas, if not for all the basketball excitement, but for all the friends I got to visit while I was there. It's great to have people in your life that encourage you to step outside your comfort zone, try something new, and be spontaneous! You never know what kind of adventure you may end up on! 

...I didn't mention I scalped my ticket. SCALPED. Good thing my friend, "Kentucky Miller's" dad showed her the ropes at a young age, I had floor seats!

 So NOT the typical RaeChild scene... AT&T Stadium is where the Dallas Cowboys play! That scoreboard monitor, folks, is the 2nd largest TV in the WORLD!

So NOT the typical RaeChild scene... AT&T Stadium is where the Dallas Cowboys play! That scoreboard monitor, folks, is the 2nd largest TV in the WORLD!