Friday, April 22, 2011

Cuckoo for Designer Ryan Korban

Ryan Korban is a self-taught interior designer with an impeccable eye who's been making waves in the NYC design scene for quite sometime now. His bold, sexy approach to layering textures, mixing finishes, and artfully arranging tablescapes results in his unmistakable signature style.

{The designer looking comfortably chic in a bedroom of his own creation.}

 {Graphic black and white looks oh-so glamorous when Mr. Korban pulls it together.}

{Admittedly, Ryan is an animal rights activist's nightmare; his love of animal skins, horns, and taxidermied creatures is hard to avoid. I personally applaud any manufacturer who creates faux versions of animal products. Their appeal is strong, but the cruelty is undeniable. At the very least, acquiring vintage animal skins avoids directly supporting the industry.}

{A freewheeling mix of periods, materials, and scale keeps things interesting.}

{Mr. Korban obviously appreciates art, and leaves enough neutral wall space in his interiors to avoid competing with it.}

 {Stacks of books, a variety of finishes including glass, various metals, and wood, plus plants and texture create a rich, almost Parisian vibe.}

 {A tablescape in Mr. Korban's own apartment, via WSJ}

 {The designer's apartment, via WSJ}

{The designer at home, via WSJ}

Mr. Korban runs a fantastic fashion accessories shop in Tribeca called Edon Manor, with the concept being "English Country library turned urban," to quote the designer. He opened the store while he was still a student, with the help of a private donor! Click here to read an interview with Ryan and Davinia Wang, with whom he co-owns Edon Manor.

{Edon Manor attracts customers as much for Ryan's interior design as for its designer accessories!}

{Edon Manor}

Here's an old-but-good article about Ryan in the WSJ.

All photos from Google and Ryan Korban's website

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Canadian Interior Designer Sabrina Linn

I recently rediscovered the interior work of Sabrina Linn. I really like her clean, elegant style and the touch of glamour she brings to her projects:

{Another example of the romantic combination of soft silver, grey and blue most recently seen here. I love the molding work in these rooms, and the decorative restraint.}

{I love vibrant orange, and here it looks fantastic with David Hicks' classic print!}

{The femininity of the Venetian mirror and wallpaper are balanced by the dark wood desk and chair.}

{I love her use of round elements and the glamour of the mirrored toe kick. Yellow and white is a bright, fresh combination for a bathroom.}

Check out more of Sabrina Linn's portfolio here.

Partner Links:
Interested in studying interior design? Check out this site to learn more about obtaining your Bachelor of Interior Design.

All images via Google and Sabrina Linn's website.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Stylish Retro Cars

With global climate change making headlines at every turn and the price of gas skyrocketing, I'm beginning to think that the cars we know and love today are dinosaurs in our midst. Nevertheless, my love for a gorgeous car persists as I wait for ever-more-stylish eco-friendly designs to emerge in the marketplace. Knowing that we're in the midst of this sea-change, I'm feeling a bit nostalgic about certain cars I've known and loved, or at least admired from afar. I'm no automobile buff, but I know an interesting car when I see one. Here are a few standouts:

{The 1966 Jaguar XKE has to be one of my favorite cars of all time. It somehow manages to be classic and yet still sporty, retro and futuristic, masculine and feminine, and extremely cool. The embodiment of brilliant design!}

{The convertible version is equally mind blowing. When I was growing up, my friend's family down the street had a silver version of this car. I remember her dad zipping around town in it--sheer perfection! It's definitely not family-friendly, and sensibly, their other car was a station wagon.)

 {I can't help but mention another unforgettable Jaguar similar to the XKE. This car is the one from the film Harold and Maude. Remember when Harold freaks out his mother by converting his Jaguar E- Type into a hearse? Priceless--and most definitely the envy of every mortician in town!}

{Here's the closing scene of the film with the Jaguar-hearse in action. Warning: SPOILER ALERT!}

{This 1970 Porsche 911S was used by Steve McQueen in the filming of Le Mans, in which McQueen portrays a race car driving tooling around the French countryside, reflecting on life and death. The actor subsequently acquired the car to add to his choice collection. The classic lines of this neatly sized model are unforgettable.}

 {While we're on the subject of Porsches, the 356 from the 1960's has to be my second all-time favorite car, after the Jaguar XKE. Engine in the back, trunk in the front, and those beautiful lines. I've never seen one in person with the buckle closures at the trunk--these days, buckles aren't generally regarded as adequate theft prevention. But you have to admit, they're very Euro-stylish!}

 {Here's the hard top model. I pay a lot of attention to a car's "face," and this one is a very friendly one. Almost like a frog.}

 {The 1987 Mercedes convertible is a gorgeous classic. I used to catch a ride to middle school with a kid whose parents let him drive this! I guess that explains the origins of my love of nice cars. The burled wood dash and leather seats elevated the whole experience of driving. Now if only I could've controlled the radio during the trip to school...}

{This luscious 1964 Aston Martin BD5s was used in the early James Bond films Goldfinger and Thunderball. Among the options included on this model: guns that poke out through the taillights, a license plate that rotates to show different sets of numbers and a removable roof panel to allow easy egress for a passenger in the ejector seat. That's my kind of car!} 

{This 1957 Jaguar XKD is from Ralph Lauren's personal automobile collection. Talk about sexy curves! Cars like this remind me that there's no sense in waiting until I'm elderly to start living.}

{Here's another shot of the same Jaguar. How slick would it feel to get behind the wheel in that little cockpit?}

{The Rolls Royce Silver Shadow was my dream car when I was a teenager--did I mention I was an odd kid? Strangely, I went to visit my older sister in L.A. when I was 16, and she happened to have a friend who drove an old one of these. He was a paparazzi photographer who apparently thought the car would help him blend in better when he was tailgating celebrities! In reality, this car must guzzle fuel, but it does evoke associations of old world luxury and glamour.}

{This 1956 Silver Wraith Rolls is the exact car used in the film Arthur, with Dudley Moore. (A new version of the movie, starring Russell Brand, was filmed last year.) It was auctioned off in Boca Raton a few years ago, with an estimated value of $200,000.}

 {Perhaps the most memorable Rolls of all was John Lennon's 1965 custom Rolls-Royce Phantom V, complete with psychedelic paint job.}

{Lovelier still is the Bentley S2, once fittingly owned by former James Bond, Sean Connery.}

{For nostalgic reasons, I still love old Volvo station wagons. My mom drove them throughout my childhood, and they lasted for years, as every hippie and prepster will attest. The dog fits conveniently in the far back, and can hang his head over the back seat and slobber away. It's a family classic, especially when you add bumperstickers.}

{Again for sentimental reasons, I still love the behemoth Jeep Wagoneer. It's another preppy family classic, and is ideal for schlepping friends and family around Cape Cod & the islands. Environmentally friendly? Not so much. But Arnold Schwarzenegger converted his 1987 Jeep Wagoneer's engine to bio-diesel, and Neil Young is converting his 1960 Lincoln Continental into a biodiesel-electric hybrid (aiming to get 100 mpg!). So if you're just as passionate about the environment as you are about old, clunky cars, you don't have to sacrifice!}

{Last but not least, I still love the original Super Beetle from the late 1970's. Like many people, the neighbor across the street from us when I was growing up drove one of these. Hers was bright yellow, which is still my favorite.}

All images from Google

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Isabel and Ruben Toledo's NYC Home

Consider this Part II of my coverage of the fascinating duo, artist and fashion illustrator Ruben Toledo, and his fashion designer wife, Isabel. I felt my blog post wasn't complete without mentioning the couple's NYC home in the flower district. The turn-of-the-century loft space houses Isabel's work rooms and studio space for Ruben, while the couple sleeps upstairs in the penthouse.

 {The generous skylights in Ruben's studio afford a view of the Empire State Building.}

{The sunny dining room doubles as a work room. It features charming little coverlets designed by Isabel to conceal cat scratches on the chairs.}

{More of the dining room-work room, with mannequin and illustrations by Ruben.}

{It goes without saying that Ruben painted the headboard and screens. That fantastic pair of streetlights were given to the couple by a friend, and originally came from the Watergate Hotel in Washington.}

{This is Isabel's work space. She uses the hula hoops to exercise.}

To me, their home is the quintessential (successful) artist's loft, complete with a great deal of character, coveted work space, and evidence of creativity bursting forth at every turn.

New York Magazine's Wendy Goodman has the full scoop here.