A personal tale of trial and error and how design history can help us out when searching for great design. Insert George Nelson. The latest bilingual post by Ceci Henrique
La silla Eames de fibra de vidrio, tiene el estilo y la versatilidad que estaba buscando para mi comedor con mis 2 pequeños comensales.
The Eames fiberglass chair has the style and versatility I was looking for in my dining room with my 2 little dinner guests.
Last Thursday as co-founder of Florida Modernism + Design I sat down with architect Max Strang to talk about Modernist influences in his career, his ideas resonated on a larger scale.
Meet Ceci, our other team member here at The Empty Apartment, and read about her toy selection as a Mom of 2 and choice of materials. - Our first bilingual post for all our Hispanic readers. Que lo disfrusten!
A side project I work on Florida Modernism + Design, how it began and the latest post on the blog on the Lido Beach Casino in Sarasota.
There are lots of real estate investors buying up properties in Miami, renovating them and flipping them for a pretty penny. For a buyer, having to remodel a home might be cumbersome but there are a few issues with the renovation jobs you typically come across in Miami.
A. Renovations are typically done in the cheapest possible way, cheap tiles, cheap cabinets, mostly Ikea that won't last more than a few years, or that fake wooden flooring that echoes under your shoes, which is just horrible and not long lasting.
B. These real estate investors don't usually have the historic appreciation nor the aesthetic sensibility to know what to preserve nor know how to enhance the architectural details that actually make the house charming and unique in the first place.
Last weekend I did a house tour with my friend and realtor Estefania Grigio from The Good Egg to the historic home above, located in the neighborhood of Coconut Grove in Miami. It was a rare find. From her list of homes built in the 40s and 50s this one actually had most of its original features such as bathrooms, flooring, and archways. I pointed out a few minor decorating tips that even though cosmetic, would really enhance the original features of the home. As a homeowner and my mission with The Empty Apartment is to share ways in which a home can be personalized through collected items and story telling. Architecture plays a large role in the way we perceive and live in space so it would only make sense that we personalize the architecture or better yet choose a space that we can really make our own. A kitchen or bathrooms that are already remodeled like so many others, out of cheap materials doesn't seem appealing to me. A much less expensive home waiting to receive a personal touch could be a rewarding project for a place to truly call home.
I recently met art historian, curator, and art consultant Tami Katz-Freiman here in Miami. I was excited to be introduced to her not only because is she the former Chief Curator of the Haifa Museum of Art in Haifa, Israel, she was also appointed to curate the Israeli Pavilion in the 57th International Art Exhibition (this year, 2017). I haven't met too many Venice Biennale pavilion curators and as one of the most, if not the most prestigious art event in the world I was interested in hearing her speak more about the experience. We exchanged information and upon reviewing the many essays she has written for exhibition catalogs on her website, I came across one that really spoke to me. “Collecting is a Form of Uprooting – An Encounter between Self and Object” a catalog essay for the exhibition Shelf Life co-curated with Rotem Ruff, featured at the Haifa Museum of Art from February to July in 2010.
I'm constantly talking about collecting as opposed to just purchasing on The Empty Apartment. I think the idea of collecting holds a heavier weight, value, and meaning to the object at hand whether it be an artwork, furniture art, whatever you decide to bring into your home. I've hosted panel conversations with art dealers, interior designers, and antique dealers to get different perspectives on the idea of collecting and using the home as a space to collect hence why I find this essay by Tami Katz-Freiman so interesting. In this case a perspective from artists in the practice of conceptual art in the general context collecting.
The exhibition Shelf Life featured a group of artist's approach to analyzing the aesthetic and psychological complexity of what it means to collect and represent it through their artwork. The essay went beyond just featuring the ideas of the exhibition but also dove into the historical complexities in the meaning of collecting and quoted some of the great writers and philosophers of our time on collecting. Here is an excerpt from the essay:
The philosopher Jean Baudrillard argued that the purchase of an
old piece of furniture, for instance, is akin to
purchasing a piece of heritance. Such an object,
according to Baudrillard, ”is not useless or
poorly decorative but plays a special role within
a system, it is a sign of the time.“ 1
Susan Sontag similarly related to the magical power of objects,
which seemingly enables one to experience life
during other historical periods; she described
the world of collectors as authenticating ”the
existence of other worlds, energies, domains,
epochs, different from the one in which they live.“2
The history of the act of collecting as well as defining parameters for what a collection is and who a collector is, is also highlighted throughout the text as an important component to the exhibition's purpose as noted in this excerpt:
The question of what defines an accumulation
of objects as a ”collection“ is essential to a
discussion of ”ShelfLife.“ Gideon Ofrat aptly
defined the difference between accumulating
and collecting by noting that the owners of
numerous houses or diamonds are not collectors.
Even the gallery owner whose storage space is
crowded with artworks is not an art collector. 3
Whether collecting is an obsession or disease or a casual past time, there is no doubt that during the act, the beholder is contributing to the collected item with an additional value. This added value is what I believe makes the art or furniture unique and special to that particular home and becomes part of a context. The exhibition Shelf Life took place 7 years ago, however, the topic on collecting and the exhibition's complexity is extremely relevant. The essay written by Tami Katz-Freiman is a great collection of perspectives on the subject. To read the complete essay and learn about the exhibition Shelf Life please visit the link here and to learn more about Tami Katz-Freiman visit her website here.
1 Jean Baudrillard quoted by Olivier Coron, ”The Collector and His Passion,“ in Flowers of Our Lives )exh. cat.(, Torun ́, Poland: Znaki Czasu, 2008, p. 66.
2 Susan Sontag, The Volcano Lover, New York: Anchor Books, 1993, p. 82
3 Gideon Ofrat, ”Collect or Die,“ in Washington Crosses the Jordan, Jerusalem: Bialik Institute, 2008, p. 120 [Hebrew]
Many thanks to the author, Tami Katz-Freiman for permission to feature this essay.
Every year Pantone descends on the interior decorating and design world with a single color selected in December for the following year. As a leader in the Color Industry, Pantone follows the trends and makes a selection based on the forecast and general mood. 2017s color of the year is called Greenery a color that reflects optimism, growth and revival. One can only hope this general mood is accurate.
Greenery is a bit of a lighter and vibrant green, however the color Green in general for design can be a subtle and relaxing addition to any room. Tones such as forest green, moss green and olive green can be great neutrals that blends into any interior setting. Living with house plants adds natural green to any room, not to mention oxygen. The tropical climate of South Florida is prone to celebrate greenery, but also if you live in a wintry city a dark moss green can be a cozy comfort from the cold whiteness outside. Pantone color of the year or not, Greenery and greens in general make for a great color choice to use for years to come. Classic and timeless, highly recommended.
From The Empty Apartment Collection here are some great vintage options that can be added to any living collection: The Danish Chair upholstered in a Japanese natural motif of lotus and cranes, a Wingback Chair in olive green velvet and a classic Art Deco club chair in a moss green corduroy. To compliment in natural tones the Ingemar Tillmark Armchair in distressed leather and teak adds a great mix to the materials and pairs nicely with any vintage or contemporary match.
I am very excited to be presenting on The Empty Apartment the Miranda Lounge Chair, a contemporary collectible option with the characteristics of a vintage classic.
The Miranda Lounge Chair is the first in a series of hand-carved and assembled sculptural furniture made out of Florida Keystone by stone mason and designer Andrew Johnson. The Johnson family history in the masonry business led Andrew to re-purpose the material he is so familiar with in a new direction, towards that of outdoor furniture.
Florida Keystone is a marine limestone sourced in the Florida Keys, a building material commonly known for its use in garden walls and walkways in South Florida. The stone is composed of fossilized layers of calcium carbonate and coral polyps creating organic patterns of coral and shell within the stone.
The Miranda Lounge Chair is the perfect combination of a classic outdoor furniture style (that of the Adirondack) and the re-purposing of a traditional local material.
Depth 28in (71.12 cm) x Width 28.5in (72.39 cm) x Height 35in (88.9 cm)
Seat Height 18in (45.72 cm)
Delivery estimate 4 - 6 weeks
For inquiries and orders please email email@example.com
This week Design is celebrated in the Magic City not only with the trade show Maison et Objet in it’s 2nd installment at the Miami Beach Convention Center, but also with a growing list of events hosted by other cultural institutions. Gallery openings, showroom inaugurations, workshops, lectures and of course parties are all going down this week in honor of Design.
Here are just a few venues that are hosting some fun events:
Maison et Objet opens on Tuesday and they have a great line up of guest speakers throughout the week among them: Landscape Designer Raymond Jungles, Humberto Campana from the design duo the Campana Brothers, Bernard Fort-Brescia, Principal of the architecture firm Architectonica, among many other talented and renown key speakers and moderators for more information visit the Program section of the show.
Miami Center for Art and Design is hosting a panel discussion and cocktail on Brazilian Italian Designer Lina Bo Bardi- 05/11 & 05/12
Gallery Diet opens Thursday evening with a second solo exhibition by Miami designer Emmett Moore 05/12
Design Pub hosted by Design Curator Jessica Acosta Rubio is hosting a series of workshops, brunch and cocktail parties, check out her website for detailed information.
This is all very exciting and Miami is due for a proper Design Week. We have world class architects producing masterpieces in our city and some of the top quality design brands are here in the Design District. However, besides Design Miami/ every year during ABMB, there really is no celebration of Design, much less of contemporary design. It will be even more interesting come October when the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) makes it's debut in our hometown. Let's also mention that right now it's New York Design Week (May 3-17), so will Miami Design Week remain in the Spring or transfer to the Fall? I guess only time will tell. Until then we enjoy it all!
If you want to follow along add me on Snapchat: Lina.Hargrett or Instagram