Archive for February, 2011
How great is it when 2 perfect strangers offer to take you around a city you are visiting to the exact shops you are looking for? One seems to forget at times how great the design community is and how we do all support each other.
Patricia Gray & Albarosa Simonetti are perfect examples of this. They gave up their day to show me around Vancouver for the sheer joy of being kind. I thank them very much for their generosity.
You can read there post about our day of shopping here
On Tuesday night I went to see the much talked about Spider-Man, expecting to walk out during intermission booing and complaining. Much to my surprise, I was entertained and wowed by Julie Taymor’s imagination and the theatrics. When I did walk out (at the end of the show) I felt I had gotten my money’s worth.
In all fairness there are some problems with the show, for me the music was not very interesting, it was about 15 minutes too long and needed tightening up all around.
It is no Sweeny Todd….but after all it is about Spider-Man.
I wanted to share this interview I did for Nader at Doris Leslie Blau, as you may remember he did a wonderful guest post while I was on my trip. Many of you enjoyed Nader’s post so I thought you might like this too.
It was said to me many years ago by Doris Leslie Blau that a good rug is like a poem on the floor. With antique rugs, the lives that have been lived on the rugs and the histories of their makers are what give them meaning, while their beautiful patterns, colors, and weaves can be interpreted as their rhythm. Several years ago, when I was asked by Ms. Blau to create a rug for her designer collection, I was so inspired by the idea of a rug as a poem that I created a rug that had an actual poem woven into it.
Read full interview here
As you all know I’ve been away for a bit and haven’t a lot of attention to this little corner of the blog so let’s get back to business! The next order of business is: Lighting
I typically work out the lighting and electrical plans after I have designed the furniture plan, this way I can locate the fixed ceiling and wall fixtures in a way that feels balanced and natural and place outlets where I will actually need them. For general overhead lighting I prefer adjustable fixtures which allow me the flexibility to aim and accentuate particular design features; fireplaces, coffee tables, floor inserts, hallways, etc. In this house I wanted to place as much lighting as I could in the ceiling so I would not have to rely on table and floor lamps since our square footage was limited and a great deal of it lost to circulation space.
The advantage of a wood construction, as opposed to a poured concrete, is that it allows us to place recessed lighting between the beams throughout the ceiling without having to lose precious overhead room. I’ve also located junction boxes where I know we will have decorative pendant fixtures, although said fixtures are still to be determined.
For exterior decorative lighting we narrowed it down to one of these handsome wall sconces for the front and side entrances. I have a preference, which one do you think made the cut?
When I returned from my trip I was so saddened to learn that Judy Neidermaier had passed away. She was always energetic, always open minded and always willing to give somebody a chance. When I went out on my own she was the first person to give me a chance by letting me design some pieces for Neidermaier. The industry has lost an amazing asset and we have all lost a fabulous lady.
Why is it that when you return from vacation it seems like it never really happened at all?
I’m left wondering which is my true reality? Being back in the office doing the same thing I did before I left or traveling around the world and having fresh and unique experiences? I know which reality I prefer. Which is not to say that I am not happy to be back at work, meeting with clients and creating again…but WOW, it sure is hard being a grown up again. Maybe I’m just being immature but I really do love that other reality so much more than this one. How bizarre is it to go from one to the other so quickly?
I have always been fortunate enough to be able to travel for long periods of time, I truly sympathize with someone who has only a week or two vacation. How can you really escape your everyday reality in such a short period of time? By the time you start to regress into childhood it is time to come back. I guess I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth, instead just enjoy what a higher power has given me and be grateful. Looks like this is one of the lessons that I get from traveling, that what is here and what is now is what counts…although it would be nice to be back at the pool at the Oriental or in Ubud, Bali walking through temples with the sounds of chanting and bells in the background…
I better stop now before I run to the airport and get the hell out of here!
I have been desperately trying to get tickets to Placido Domingo’s show tonight but of course they are all sold out. Now I am left in a quandary about what to do? Since I am currently on the BluePrint Cleanse, ( an all liquid diet) going to a luxurious dinner is out. I have been searching to see who is performing and not sold out, not sure how good my chances are.
What are all of you doing? Hopefully it’s something romantic and maybe a little imaginative…
The Art of the Interview…
Hello lovely Vicente Wolf readers! It’s such a pleasure to be posting here today on a blog that has been quite an inspiration and resource as a young designer and fellow blogger. My name is Cassandra LaValle and I write coco+kelley - a blog where I post on interiors, fashion and entertaining. A few months back, I began an interview series called Vignette, and was lucky enough to kick things off by having Vicente as my first featured designer. The post was a huge success due to two things – the talent of my writer and interviewer, Annie Lou Berman, and Vicente’s willingness to be candid and thoughtful in his responses to our questions.
Whether you are a designer or a blogger, you have probably been on one side of an interview, and you know how quickly things can go bad, fall flat or be poorly edited. Today, Annie Lou and I wanted to talk a bit about what makes an interview successful and interesting so that both parties get the most out of the experience!
1. Do your homework.
Before you sit down to interview someone, it’s important that you research them as much as possible. You would think this would be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how truly unprepared people are! Read past interviews to see what types of questions they’ve already answered (and avoid the ones they’ve answered a million times!). Look at their work – and not just recent work, but the progression of their entire career. Don’t forget to look at interests beyond their professional life as well, so that you can make a connection on a personal level. And most of all, once you take in all this information, be absolutely genuine in how you use it to start a conversation. If you are being interviewed, you should always know the audience you’re speaking to as well so that you can keep the conversation relevant to the readers or viewers. Which leads to tip #2…
2. Have a conversation.
Yes, interviewers should always be prepared with a list of questions, but think of all the information you’re missing out on by not having an actual interactive conversation! Instead of shooting off your usual list, pick up the phone or meet your subject in person. They’re much more likely to give you some fantastic stories or tidbits of information. This goes for the person being interviewed as well! As much as you’d like to be prepped for an interview, in order to come off as genuine and thoughtful it pays to be a little unprepared. And if there are questions you don’t want to answer or prefer to go back to, don’t be afraid to speak up and say so! Which of course leads to (the most important) tip #3…
3. Ask original questions. Give original answers.
When Annie Lou and I sat down to structure the Vignette series, we decided to leave room for an open conversation in the beginning of the piece, and end it with a few consistent questions that people would always enjoy reading. For the first half of the interview, we sit down and think about what it is that sets this person apart from others who are doing the same thing as them and pursue questions in that direction. Annie Lou does an amazing job at letting the conversation flow naturally and letting it go wherever it wants to. We don’t have an ‘agenda’ when it comes to this first part of the interview, and it has led to some fantastic little anecdotes.
For the second part we came up with a list of questions that provided useful or ‘behind the scenes’ information for our readers, like, “What was the biggest mistake you’ve ever made on a project?”. And, if you’re the one giving the answers, take your time in responding. I know that I sometimes end up giving quick go-to answers in interviews, and later I realize it comes off as so typical or (gasp!) boring. A successful interview depends on both parties, and by really processing the questions being asked, you’ll be surprised at how much you’re able to connect with readers by providing more interesting examples, stories or insight into your personality and creative process.
I’ll end by saying this – if you know you’re not the best at interviewing, then do what I did – go out and get someone who is! Annie Lou makes this series that much more successful because this is her passion. And if you’re being interviewed? Just remember that in a very produced world, we are all looking for genuine. Don’t edit yourself too much. We want to know who you really are.
I was just in Macau visiting the Wynn Hotel as I may be working with them in the future. Roger Thomas’s design for this hotel is just amazing, he uses such wonderful vibrant colors! While I was there I was treated to a sumptuous 4 hand massage (2 hands on your left hand side and 2 hands on your right hand side), that was quite a wonderful experience, thank you Roger. I would highly recommend including this destination in your itinerary if you are ever in that part of the world.