Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Good Housekeeping/ Slow Cookers

Photography: Anna Williams
Photography: Anna Williams
Photography: Anna Williams
The weather gets a little cooler and all of a sudden people turn to comfort food, slow cooking comfort food. To be honest I never really had heard of a slow cooker before I moved to the USA, but this is definitely not the first time I have shot one of these type of stories since landing on these shores many Fall's ago! 


Now most people would not know that shooting a slow cooker shoot can be a challenge if the slow cooker appliance actually needs to be in the shoot, If you shoot it from above it can resemble a porcelain toilet bowl, not a pretty thought, sorry but it's true! Often we crop into it to avoid it looking that obvious! : ) Luckily for me this time in this shoot for Good Housekeeping we did not need to even show one! 


The Food Styling on this shoot was done by the very talented Maggie Ruggiero  www.maggieruggiero.com who has done amazing work on the late and very missed Gourmet Magazine. Anna Williams, annawilliams.com one of my favorite Photographers to work with shot the story. The story as you can see has quite a rustic feel, always a favorite to reflect the season, I used lot's of woods, vintage bowls, flatware and earthy colors.


So maybe it's time to embrace the season..maybe even time to get a slow cooker? (If I can work out how to turn it on?) : ) 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ceramic Master Bjørn Wiinblad

Bjørn as young man and later in his life alongside an example of one of his many collectable wall plaques
Left: More pieces from my collection, Photography: Marcus Hay, Right: A poster design for the Tivoli Gardens
Left: A piece from my collection, Photography: Marcus Hay, Right: Bird vessel
More pieces from my collection, Photography: Marcus Hay
More pieces from my collection, Photography: Marcus Hay
Various pieces by Bjørn Wiinblad

In Elle Decoration, October, 2010, Photography: Mikkel Mortensen

From my collection on right, Phtography: Marcus Hay

It’s amazing how certain artist’s work can stick in your mind a lifetime, I suppose subconsciously Bjørn Wiinblad’s (1918-2006) work has always seemed familiar to me, perhaps as a child I was drawn to it’s whimsy and a sense of childhood innocence, but I do remember seeing his designs on plates and vases in many homes of my parent’s friends as a kid and always loving his characters and motifs. I am sure many of my German and Scandinavian friends would be very familiar with his work, I believe he even had a store in Copenhagen right up until the late 1980’s.

He was best known as the Rosenthal Porcelain company's chief designer for 35 years, but his career spanned more than 60 years, covering a wide range of mediums including ceramics, metals, glass, stage and poster design, furniture, illustrations, textiles, tapestries and ceramic decorations for hotels and restaurants in Japan, USA & the UK.


Bjørn Wiinblad was born in Denmark, As Wikepedia states “Characteristics of Wiinblad's work include whimsical round-faced people, dressed in vaguely 19th-century costume. They are often surrounded by natural elements: twining vines, floral wreaths, and fantastical trees. When Wiinblad employed color, he did so with great assurance. His colors are saturated and strong--sometimes almost psychedelic and are often supplemented with metallic gold or silver”

I have been collecting with glee, Bjørn’s work largely from Rosenthal for many years. Whenever back in Germany, I gather with vigor as many pieces as I can find as it seems his work for the German ceramic company seems most available here. To me his talent was so profound, his passion so obvious, He is truly and inspiration to me on so many levels. Elle Decoration in the UK www.elledecoration.co.uk, ran a piece on his house “The Blue House” in their October issue last year, As mentioned in the article you can actually do a tour with his niece Tina Wiinblad Richter, 00 45 24 44 16 69, This is something I would love to do on my next trip back to Denmark, It would be amazing to see where he lived and worked for more than 40 years.  


I would encourage you all to get to know and love his work more, He is an artist truly worth celebrating.   

Monday, September 12, 2011

Stockholm, The Story Hotel

Signage and the dining room, Photography: On behalf of The Story Hotel, Marcus Hay
The Dining Room, The morning latte, Photography: Marcus Hay, On behalf of The Story Hotel

The hallway and flowers in dining room, Photography: On behalf of The Story Hotel, Marcus Hay
Our room, The Story Hotel, Photography: Marcus Hay
The dining room and artwork in our room, Photography: On behalf of The Story Hotel, Marcus Hay

The Garden Terrace, so cute! Photography: On behalf of The Story Hotel


I have been back a couple of weeks now and still have not had a chance to blog about my recent European trip to Sweden and Germany, Many more posts to come I promise but for now my second post is about a great hotel we stayed at in Stockholm called The Story Hotel, www.storyhotels.com Wallpaper Magazine calls it “The ideal mix of comfort and cutting edge, It is a bohemian-chic hotel mixing new design with vintage, original details. It’s like a slice of New York, Istanbul or Paris has slammed into Stockholm. The surprisingly lo-cost redevelopment has created a hotel in which the outside world simply pales away. The hotel enjoys a packed bar, full bookings and vibrant atmosphere any day of the week. And why not – everyone loves a good yarn”

The Story Hotel is all that, A small hotel in a redeveloped building, It is filled with original wallpapers and wooden flooring, eclectic contemporary pieces dotted with artistic abandon and an understated tertiary pallet, With design from the Swedish supremos at Koncept, www.koncept.se Story is an amalgamation of heritage sophistication and contemporary innovation. Adapting original features from the period building it is housed in. It is also surprisingly affordable with a range of different sized rooms. I really liked the bedheads re purposed from old office doors, the mailbox slot still intact.

I have to say the staff were also so great, Our luggage was by our airline lost for 3 days and the staff worked tirelessly to help us search, locate and have it delivered to the hotel, we were so grateful. I would recommend this hotel to anyone visiting beautiful Stockholm, What a city!, More to come, stay tuned. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Apartment Feature/ Design*Sponge Book, Grace Bonney

The spread of my Apartment
PJ Mehaffey's Brooklyn Apartment
Most of you would know the wonderful blog/site Design*Sponge www.designsponge.com and if you don't then you are long overdue to check it out! Grace Bonney, the creator has just released her first book, Design*Sponge at Home, You can order a copy at Amazon, www.amazon.com or at Barnes & Noble, www.barnesandnoble.com A constant source of info and inspiration, Design*Sponge, founded in 2006 is a daily Web site dedicated to home and product design. Grace in the past has worked as a contributing editor at publications like House & Garden, Domino, and Craft Magazine.

The premise of the Web site and book  is to make home decor and renovation accessible and affordable and to create unique spaces that reflect our personality and style, The book is nearly 400 pages of creative, fun and do-able ideas featuring 65 apartments and houses, mine is just one of those many! : )

Grace has been working on the book for 2 years and it was quite some time ago she asked me to be part of the project, One of my apartments features in the book shot by super fine Photographer Hallie Burton, www.hallieburton.com It was very exciting to be asked to be featured on such a big project, My friend PJ Mehaffey's, pjmehaffey.com place is also featured, see above. 

Grace is about to hit the road on a national book tour, Congrats and Good Luck Grace! 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Life is a Vase, In Berlin!

Photography: Marcus Hay
Photography: Marcus Hay
Photography: Marcus Hay
Photography: Marcus Hay
Photography: Marcus Hay
Photography: Marcus Hay
Photography: Marcus Hay

Photography: Marcus Hay

My what a year in Berlin can produce! My dear friends Neill Seeto and Damien Miller celebrated their first year living in Berlin and I was lucky enough to be able to meet many of their friends in Berlin and celebrate it with them in their amazing apartment located in Mitte, In Eastern Berlin just last week on my European vacation. I had visited them last year also in 2010, but as yet they had not moved into their current apartment, nor did they have many belongings or furniture either having waited to set up home officially in their new space.

Last year Neill and I had trawled the Flea Markets in Berlin, Having been a seasoned Flea Marketer I was ready, willing and able to collect as much German ceramics as I could stuff into my hand luggage, I would never have expected however a somewhat newbie like Neill to have amassed in a year such a passion for collecting and a knowledge of German ceramics that maybe even surpasses my own. Now I knew there were bargains to be had but with a keen eagle eye and an ability to haggle like there was no tomorrow, Neill has collected and cleaned up with such speed and tenacity, it is truly admirable.

In their Berlin apartment once habituated by German Fashion Designer Wolfgang Joop, Neill and Damien have carefully curated collections in themes of prized Rosenthal in particular. Pieces by Bjørn Wiinblad, Tapio Wirkkala and Bele Bachem. Also acquired in Berlin a fabulous Ingo Maurer bamboo fan light fitting, plenty of Royal Copenhagen, Poole, Murano and beautiful Danish furniture pieces, some bought indirectly from pieces that once sat in the Danish Embassy in Berlin.

I was blown away, I thought that I had the bug, Neill used to tease me about all my “dust collecting” collections but it seems times have changed, ha ha! : ) I certainly felt right at home surrounded by this mass collection of vases and I am so glad to have a fellow appreciator and collector, We joked that we now live our lives through vases, Can a type of spirituality be found in these vessels for flowers, what is their appeal? ..Perhaps I will save this concept for another post : )     


PS: Neill, a Fashion Model expert also has an amazing knowledge of fashion models and has a blog devoted to the subject, check it out at inoubliablemodelarmy.blogspot.com  

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Apartment Feature/ Ideat Magazine

September cover, 2011
Portrait: Jonny Valiant
Photography: Jonny Valiant
Photography: Jonny Valiant
Photography: Jonny Valiant
Photography: Jonny Valiant


Thanks to Tina  www.englishmuse.com for featuring my apartment on her wonderful inspiring blog and also to super cool French magazine Ideat www.ideat.fr for the feature on one of my apartments, It really is such a thrill to read such great feedback and comments.   


Again thanks to Ian Philips at Tripod Agency in Paris www.tripodagency.com who distributed this story also and Jonny Valiant www.jonnyvaliant.com.au who photographed it so well.



Friday, September 2, 2011

Those leaves are turning, Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall!/ Garnet Hill

Photography: Maura McEvoy
Photography: Maura McEvoy
Photography: Maura McEvoy
Photography: Maura McEvoy
Photography: Maura McEvoy
Photography: David Prince

Photography: Maura McEvoy
Photography: Maura McEvoy
Photography: David Prince


Grant Dowse and Pegge Kirschner in 1973 bought a flannel sheet back from an English trip back to New Hampshire and from there started Garnet Hill, inspired by this product they they decided to start a small mail order business. In 1976, working out of their small cottage (without plumbing) in the woods, they mailed their first catalog. It was a tiny die-cut brochure with flannel swatches. They named the company "Garnet Hill" after the rise of land behind their home. The catalogs back then were assembled, stamped and labeled on the kitchen table. 


Things have changed, When you look at the Garnet Hill covers these days the often abstract covers still have a home grown/ crafty feel, Although I have never worked on the covers, I have heard they are a very creative experience. This issue's cover was not styled by me.  


I did however work on a bulk of their Fall catalog out now, www.garnethill.com 


The direction for the catalog this time was 2/3 themes, "American Pie" A crafty homegrown feel that spoke to the designs more homespun with patch work quilts, "Equestrian" A section inspired by horse riding and it's lifestyle and then a section I called "Luxe", More boutique hotel inspired which related to some of the more exclusive high end products. With Garnet Hill we shoot the catalogs still In New Hampshire, This job was a 3 week trip.


I got to work with some great photographers, David Prince, www.davidprincephotography.com, Maura McEvoy, www.mauramcevoy.com and Addie Juel, www.juellphotography.com Often running from set to set working with them in conjunction, I definetley was running with the wind and some leaves caught in my hair ; ) 


Bring on Fall I say!