RaeChild

Calligraphy and Design based in NYC

Filtering by Category: RaeChild: designs

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!

For the love of rugs

I have a confession to make... I've been MIA on a mad rug hunt. It began innocently enough, just wanting to spruce up RaeChild's HQ by the end of January. My love affair has, however, taken over all common sense and "Cotton Dhurrie" has become my #1 google search. Here are some of my latest considerations:

The brass pull, paint chip + ribbon selections are for a custom credenza and window treatment. My current desk chair is an  Aeron Chair from Herman Miller  + tufted ottoman from Target (no longer available).

The brass pull, paint chip + ribbon selections are for a custom credenza and window treatment. My current desk chair is an Aeron Chair from Herman Miller + tufted ottoman from Target (no longer available).

My pinterest "Business Time" board is where I stash office inspiration images + potential purchases as I'm cruising the internet. Collecting these images over time has helped me shape the look I'm going for in this space: clean + bright. I hear a lot of "wasted time" jokes about pinterest but it's a great tool for brainstorming and visualizing a project in it's entirety. These are two pinterest kitchens that got me thinking about a grey storage credenza and antique rug combo for my office: 

Top Row Credit:  Terracotta Properties  Bottom Row Credit:  ISUWANNEE

Top Row Credit: Terracotta Properties Bottom Row Credit: ISUWANNEE

So what do I do? Do I stay true to my original intent and splurge on a colorful antique kilim, like the one shown above from Amber Interiors? Or do I compromise on a basic cotton dhurrie, like the b/w herringbone patterned one shown from World Market, which would get the job done with a graphic punch? "You need to get that look for less." was Mr. RaeChild's statement upon seeing the $845 kilim price tag.