Friday, March 25, 2011

Time Lapse

While I wait for my replacement camera to arrive, I have to share with you the work of photographer Irina Werning. I can't wait to see more of her "Back to the Future" project this summer. The pictures are haunting, sweet, funny, even cautionary.
The last I couldn't's from another series of her muse/pet Chini. Maybe the best dog portrait ever.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hans Olsen in the HAUS!

I shouldn't tell this story. O.K., maybe I'll tell just a little bit. Last week I accidentally ran across a dining set advertised for sale. No pictures, barely any details. Except it mentioned that the chairs fit into "little cut-outs" along the sides of the table. And I thought, "Huh...that sounds a lot like the famous Hans Olsen for Frem Rolje design." But that would be impossible, right?

Ever delusionally hopeful, I sent my houseboy/husband to investigate, giving him orders to "just get it no matter what". I was getting really strong Danish vibes at this point.

Eventually the owner showed up, and the hubs texted me that it was "kind of interesting". And several hours later I was watching an iconic Hans Olsen for Frem Rolje dining set as it was unloaded into the warehouse.

Note to self: always, always go with your gut!

So, it's a rare model. The table expands with a beautiful, integrated butterfly leaf, and there are six four-legged chairs (the more common version, as seen in top two photos, has a fixed small round table and four three-legged chairs).

The best part (besides accidentally finding it)? Instead of black vinyl, it's got bright blue wool upholstery. And it looks ridiculously good against the teak and rosewood.

I'd love to show you actual pictures of my set, but my camera was just involved in a fatal skate-and-run adolescent incident. Sigh. But I suspect I'll have the pieces cleaned and photographed for auction by next week, so check back!

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Brush up on your Adam Sandler if you're unfamiliar.
Besides being the apex of Winona Ryder's career, this is also how I lovingly refer to Chesterfield sofas. Or just Chester for short. Some of you may have received emails from me titled "OMG THERE'S A BLUE CHESTER FOR $175 GO GET HIM NOW NOW NOW!"

But, never again. You see, I've rented storage space. What I have in mind is that, much as my husband has collected a "quiver" of different surfboards for different water conditions, I will have a Chester for every occasion. Like, one for watching Hoarders on...

You have to get in your car to get to the end of this one. Reportedly from the Nip/Tuck set. Which for some reason always sounds to me like a show about making up beds.

This one's so nice, but very uptight. I like my leather like I like my life; worn out, falling apart, being held up by strong bones and British stalwart-ness.

Slate gray velvet, which I would marry if legal, and I would make a sister-wife out of indigo linen (brass and antique Persians would round out the polygamous household

This Chester belongs to a model and her polo player husband. I know. Don't you just hate it? It thinks it's so great.

And this one is pretty solidly the King of Chestertonfieldville...perfectly aged, striking the right balance between old and hip (I don't relate to this in any way), perfectly patinated brass nailheads.

This was to be the founding Chester in my quiver, but a few episodes of Hoarders later I was mentally prepared to let someone else have him. He is now ensconced in the Brick House, the center of stormy design controversy and the lumpy playground of Iggy and Bowie.

Coming up this week:

brass!!! a burl table the size of an archipelago!!! accidentally finding Hans Olsen!!! will she finish the dining room paint??? MODERNHAUS makes a real furniture purchase over $3.97, and it doesn't have an AMVETS sticker on it!!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

How to Dress for a Gallery Opening

What I would wear: something weird and slightly intimidating. If you're the artist, you should also bring a bunny rabbit on a leash or carry a live ferret. You'll be famous in no time, guaranteed.

all pieces available from Refinery29, if you've sold a painting and have $2000 lying around

Monday, March 7, 2011

Designing a Dining Room

Lately I've been a little distracted by the needs of my own house. It gets so little attention, and it's full of business cast-offs and things dumped "temporarily" that have become permanent due to furniture inertia.

Are you familiar with this problem? It's when you put a piece somewhere "for the time being" and it doesn't move for five years.
You know it doesn't work, that you don't even like it, but furniture inertia exerts a force more powerful than the casual decorator can face alone.

It takes an outsider to tell you that your geriatric side has taken over and turned your house into a rest home for retired Martha Stewart paint colors, unwanted credenzas, and an unfortuantely ornate upholstered headboard from the Marquis de Sade's estate sale. No, having a red light district-themed bedroom does not enhance one's marriage. I have proof.

So, I'm in the middle of a slightly manic whole-house redesign/rearrangement. I know there's a window of time here. A very small window before other needs crowd out this project and the furniture exerts its seductive power once again, establishing itself in position for another five years. The time to act is now. I will triumph. The furniture will obey.

Here is a one hour time-lapse of the dining room transformation from this weekend:

"Hi. I have dentures and drive a Lincoln Town Car. I like robin's egg blue, a color briefly popular in 2002, and Waverly drapes from (GASP!!) Bed, Bath & Beyond. I love to look at them when I've fallen and can't get up and I'm waiting for Life Alert to send an ambulance."

"You embarrass me. You can do better than this. For Pete's sake, your fake driver's license says you're only 28. Act your age!"

Add fiddleleaf fig of Jurassic proportions, and rough oatmeal linen drapes. Am I looking any younger yet? What's that you say? Even Martha is embarrassed by this paint color now?

How's this? "Raccoon Fur" by Benjie Moore (a Morgan color recommendation). Alternately referred to as Rat's A** and Coon's Anus.

Better, right?

Next up...Thomas Jefferson called...Monticello wants its dining set back. And maybe make a crazy light fixture. It'll be great.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Ebay Peeping

Besides the large, very early George Nelson Cigar pendant lamp of yesterday's fame, I'll be listing a Paul Evans-style hand carved Mayan credenza/dresser with matching mirror (it's ethnic, it's chunky, it's perfect!), along with a super-sexy set of six solid teak Danish dining chair. They look so much like Niels O. Moller chairs although they're not. And they have THE BEST original upholstery I've ever seen. It's this very organic-looking woven yellow.
I guess it's ORGANIC MODERNISM week at Modernhaus.
The matching table will be available on Sunday, but I can preview it to you if you're interested.

And, since I quit on you last week, I never did tell you that there are a couple of stellar Paul Mccobb pieces in the shop, as well as some rad "Mid Century Moroccan" side tables and more.
Go to there! See good things!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Eenie Meenie Miney Moe...Vintage Nelson Bubble Lamps

Some people have suggested that sharing finds like this can engender hatred and jealousy.
So, let me just briefly say that last week I super-accidentally found this trio hanging together in an old house near a country club.

They are "pre-patent" which means they are the earliest of Nelson bubble lamps made.
And in shockingly awesome condition. Save a light layer of dustiness on the very tip tops, they could pass as a few years old instead of fifty plus.

In a rare stroke of generosity to myself, I've decided to keep one and list the others this Thursday.
It's a toss up between "cool weird pumpkin" shape and classic globe.

It would hang here, in the foyer, aka place where kids hang from bannisters, aka apparatus for accessing outdoors and lower floors of house, aka the only room in the house where no one has barfed, aka Hall of Fame, the Boogers Edition.

I think it's going to have to be the globe, since my house is from the Mesozoic Era and can't tolerate a lot of modernity.

What thinks you?

If you're interested in the extra large cigar Nelson or giant pumpkin Nelson, check the shop tomorrow evening, or contact me directly!

P.S., would any of you collectors/afficionados care to weigh in on the name of that middle shape and whether or not it's discontinued? I can't find it anywhere!


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