28 February 2008

delicious de gournay

maison21 just started conceptualizing for a fun, new residential design project and while sourcing wall coverings, he ran across these images from de gournay. *sigh* so not right for his hip and adventurous new client, but always a joy to look at, so he thought he'd share some images from the de gournay website with you!

if you are unfamiliar with de gournay, they are a french company that produces the most exquisite hand-painted wall papers and silks. their products are insanely beautiful, and insanely expensive, but so worth it, as they are truly works of art. (oh, and word of warning- if you are lucky enough to have reason to order de gournay, be prepared for their lengthy lead time- the product is hand made and can't be rushed. still, the last time maison21 ordered some de gournay wall panels, he was convinced they walked here from france- stopping along the way, every 15 minutes or so, for a gauloises and cafe au lait break).

isn't de gournay delicious?

22 February 2008

guest blogger: richard (who actually blogs about design, amongst other things)


i'm richard. some of you may not know me because my big sister, mona, seems to get all the attention around here- "oh she's so cute" "look at her roll over", "look at her fetch a ball"...


i don't NEED a human to throw a ball for me- i can throw it and catch it all by myself, thank you very much- and spend many a happy evening doing so. playing chase-the-ball is actually the most fun at 4 in the morning. sometimes i try to get my big sister to join in, but she's such a goody-goody, she won't do it- "but richard- we're not allowed to play ball now, we're 'sposed to be asleep".


right now, my dad is passed out on theraflu (he has the flu for the second time this year, even though he got a flu shot and everything), and my big sis is sleeping next to him (of course- 'lil miss goodie-two-shoes and all), so while they're asleep, i thought I'D take a turn guest blogging.

see, i've been paying attention- when i sit in front of the computer monitor, i'm not just blocking my dad's view- i've been watching. and reading. and planning...

so i know this is a design blog, and that's what i'm going to blog about- design! unlike other guest bloggers who blogged about stupid things like dog treats and squirrels and stuff (well, squirrels aren't that stupid a thing to blog about, i guess). you know she doesn't even type, right? that my dad has to help her with her posts and stuff? not me- while i've been walking across my dad's keyboard, having fun turning his emails into "adsfsdjk;kfdassssdfadffaaazx", i've also secretly been perfecting my touch typing! i'm pretty good now, too. and the computer mouse? puhleeze- i'm a cat- we're born knowing how to use a mouse!

anyway, i've been searching for some great cat furniture, as handsome as me, richard the cat. i want a cat condo, and a cat tree sooooo bad, but my dad says no way- that stuff is too darn ugly to come into the house! so i've found some hip and modern suggestions to prove him wrong! i really like this cardboard sculpture/hidey hole and this sleek walnut cat house, both via, but at $330.00 and $480.00 respectively, i don't know if he'll go for either (though i'm quite sure he'd spring a few bucks on me if i could just locate a pagoda top cat condo):

cat cocoon by one form design

eddie's room (cat cave no.2) in walnut by the pet project

though i found the above items via stumbleupon (i like to set my interests to "cats" and surf mindlessly for hours), they were also listed on this this awesome blog devoted to nothing but cool products for cats called moderncat- if you have a hip feline like myself, i suggest you check it out! (my dad's favorite cat website is "i can has cheezburger" but frankly, i just don't get the whole lolcats phenomenon. it's not very dignified OR very funny, for that matter).

båstis blond scratching post, ikea, $89.99

while on moderncat i saw the above hella cool wall mount cat scratcher with climbing perches hidden behind it. i really, really want it, and it's totally cheap 'cause it's from ikea so i thought my dad couldn't object. but he said "no way" AGAIN because "it wouldn't go with our decor". i then helpfully pointed out that since he's such a fancy decorator and since he says his personal style is "decidedly eclectic"- mixing the modern and the antique- that he should be able to find a way to make it work with our decor. that ALMOST got him, but at least he said he'd think about it for an upstairs balcony off our bedroom. first he said he needed to figure out an aesthetically pleasing way to screen the balcony in, so i don't jump off. i PROMISED i wouldn't jump- i came from the streets and i don't want to go back- but then he pointed out a big, fat crow on the lawn below, and i realized he had a point, 'cause i really did want to pounce on that thing and make a chair of it!
sleepypod cat carrier from meowme, $149.99

i wish i had deleted my browsing history, because my dad went onto moderncat, and discovered the chic sleepypod cat carrier (above). if he thinks he can fool me into getting into a cat carrier just because it converts from a bed, he's got another thing coming! i remember what happened the last time i got into a cat carrier, and no thank you! though i gotta admit that sleepypod does look kinda comfy...

so i have to run now- my dad might wake up soon, and i have to go play a game with him called "regret" that only works if he is deep asleep. here's how the game works- when i was a little kitten, not much bigger than the above photo, my dad took me to the doctor where they proceeded to remove certain bits of my anatomy. now, it didn't really hurt, and i don't even really miss them, but hey- i was just a kid and i didn't even get a say in the matter- so now that i'm all growed up, i play the "regret" game: i like to sneak up on my unsuspecting dad and with all 16 pounds of me, jump right on the most sensitive area of his anatomy! get the name of the game now? as long as i'm missing mine, he'll "regret" having his! totally fun! i never get sick of it!

ok- it's been swell, but i'm outta here...

maison21 will give you all the juicy details...

he might even mention the rugs!

maison21 was excited to receive the above invite in the mail. though the actual event is still in the future, he thought everyone might be interested in seeing the invite to get a sneak peak at what the collection might hold. what do we think? (the invite is much prettier than my scan would indicate- thick board stock with engraved metallic ink- quite chic, actually)

18 February 2008

FREE PRETTY!!!! the 1st ever maison21 sweepstakes spectacular!

if you read our last post "todays word is tessellated", you'll know maison21 ended the post with a teaser regarding how to get some pretty tessellated fossil stone of your very own, for the low price of absolutely free! well, maison21 is making good on his promise, and he'd like to announce the 1st ever maison21 sweepstakes spectacular!

maison21 is giving away a chic vintage tessellated coral stone box (in the style of karl springer) from his very own collection! this fab little 5" x 5" box is one of the jewels of his collection due to it's rich coral-y red color (somewhat of a rarity for the this style of box, as they usually beige-y or beige-y pink). boxes of all sorts are one of maison21's favorite decorative accessories for chic tablescapes, so we're sure the lucky winner will find a use for this little guy in their home. or they can regift it to their favorite decorista if it's not their own personal style, or they can toss it in a drawer and never use it, 'cause who cares? it's free!

now before we get to the specifics of how to win this little beauty, maison21 would like to acknowledge a couple of his fellow bloggers, from who he stole this idea, and give a little background for his contest rules:

back when maison21 was a wee 'lil blogger of just two weeks, he ran across the blog of ed & doug from swank lighting (via this is glamorous), who created quite a stir amongst the design blogging world by giving away a pair of gorgeous vintage murano lamps from their amazing, one of a kind stash. maison21 almost had to hate ed and doug for their treasure trove of lamps, but he begrudgingly ended up admiring both their luck, and their marketing skill, in creating the contest to announce the opening of the new swank lighting showroom! what a great way to grow readers for their blog, gain shoppers for their store, AND create a mailing list for future events, like the subsequent opening of their ebay lighting store! you clever devils...

(you can visit the lamps in their new home here. they were stolen from maison21- oops, i mean- they were won by the lucky patricia gray, who will probably
steal- oops again- win my humble box, should she decide to enter my somewhat less glamorous, but still free- so don't complain- sweepstakes).

my second acknowledgment for the theft of this idea goes to my good blogging friend, the inspiring and prolific, felicity, of all things bright and beautiful. in her FANTASTIC and informative series of posts for new bloggers (brilliant idea, felicity), amongst the great tips she gives for growing blog readership, was to post as often as possible,
visit other blogs frequently and leave comments on them, and to hold competitions on your own blog. since maison21 is too busy running his interior decorating empire to post and comment as much as he would like, he figured that the competition idea was the quick and lazy way out! hence the free pretty!
but, maison21 while wanting to increase readership for his blog, is far too selfish to just give something away without any gain for himself. so while the box is totally free, there is a small catch to entering the giveaway: with your email entry, maison21 is hoping you'll include a pic of your favorite piece of furniture, lighting or decorative accessory- any object, any style, any setting. you see, maison21 is a compulsive collector of images he finds inspiring and has built a library of hundreds of images of individual pieces scoured from the sites he visits. m21 is so obsessed with design that this is his idea of a fun and relaxing hobby, but he finds it useful for his work as well- when he is involved in a project, and needs to design a custom piece of furniture, he can just steal an idea- oops, he means, draw inspiration from- an idea in his files (btw, isn't m21 lucky that his hobby and his work are one and the same? he could just pinch himself sometimes).

the idea is get others to email him images so maison21 can get inspiration outside of his own point of view, so please make sure your pic is of something you love, not something you think m21 would like. he thinks these pics might be especially handy when designing projects outside his own idiom- as an example, commissioned to do a little decoratin' work for a home in the rocky mountains, maison21 adapted the design of these vintage 80's milo baughman lounge chairs to suit the asian modern-meets-mountain craftsmen vibe of the client's requested decor- not exactly his own personal style, but he thinks they worked out rather well:

so if you are still with us, here's how the contest is gonna work:

the 1st ever maison21 sweepstakes spectacular rules for entry
  • enter via email on the link in the sidebar on the right of page. your email address will be not be shared with anyone, and maison21 promises not to spam you with future emails (well, maybe an email to invite you to a special event or somethin', but in all likelyhood, you'll never hear from maison21 again).
  • with your contest entry, maison21 would appreciate it if you attached a picture of something you think is pretty- it can be anything- an antique chair, a modern table, an urn, a sculpture, a lamp, a teapot- anything decorative you find inspiring.
  • contest entries must be submitted by march 31st, and winner will be selected on april 1st (april fool's day- because maison21 must be a fool to give something away for free!)
  • one entry per person. two if you can't decide between your two favorite things. 3 max, ok?
  • winner to be selected at random, unless the piece you send is so spectacular that maison21 decides you are the winner in the sheer good taste category and you simply must win. (hey, it's his contest, and m21 can make the rules as he please- he promises he won't cheat and just pick his best friend or somethin', though).
  • just kidding- we really will select the winner at random. maybe we'll give out a honorable mention award for good taste if your selection knocks our socks off.
  • box will be mailed anywhere in the world through united states postal service global priority mail.
  • please enter- maison21 will feel like a fool if his contest inbox remains empty!
  • good luck! and thanks for playing!

14 February 2008

today's word is tessellated! (learning new things on the internets)

today's word is: tessellated! tessellated is basically a fancy way of referring to a tiled or mosiac surface, and it's one of maison21's true favorite design-y words, alongside such great words as eglomisé, singerie and cerused- those big designer words you'll have to look up yourselves if you don't know them already, but here's the free dictionary definition of tessellated:

tes·sel·late (ts-lt)
tr.v. tes·sel·lat·ed, tes·sel·lat·ing, tes·sel·lates
To form into a mosaic pattern, as by using small squares of stone or glass.
[From Latin tesselltus, of small square stones, from tessella, small cube, diminutive of tessera, a square; see tessera.]

Adj. 1. tessellated - having a checkered or mottled appearance
2. tessellated - decorated with small pieces of colored glass or stone fitted together in a mosaic; "a tessellated pavement"

the art of applying stone as decorative pattern has been around a looong time- witness the following floor mosaic from pompeii, dating to the first century a.d.:
how modern looking is that?

the art form of mosaics applied to decorative objects probably hit it's zenith in the 16th century italian renaissance with the art of pietre dure, and at roughly the same time, the eastern masterpiece of the taj mahal (above images via wikipedia).

here's where tessellation comes into today's post- maison21 posted a while back on his ever increasing love for high-style furniture from the 80's, and he thought he'd post a little more in depth about one of his favorite furniture styles popular in that decade- furniture and accessories covered in tessellated fossil or coral stone. maison21 loves these pieces because they bring this ancient art form into the twentieth century, and we love modern takes on traditional styles. the late, great karl springer is largely responsible for the 80's trend of fossil stone pieces and he in turn borrowed a page from jean-michel frank's playbook by combining strong modernist forms with old world craftsmanship and luxurious materials.

(Karl Springer Tessellated Stone And Brass End Table, offered by assemblage, chicago- $5,250,via 1stdibs)
(Tesselated Stone Box with a wood liner and Brass Stringing, drake, palisades, NY, $950, via 1stdibs)
(Woman's Vanity Clad in Tesselated Granite, lobel modern, nyc, $6,500, via 1stdibs)

(Large Stone Tile Coffee Table by Maitland Smith, fat chance, los angeles, $3,400, via via 1stdibs)

the fossil stone pieces designed by mr. springer in the 70's & 80's were handcrafted in the philippines, and inspired a slew of others to produce similar items- from the high-end 1980's & 1990's pieces by maitland-smith, to a multitude of anonymous knockoffs available at mid-price retailers. because of the handmade nature of the stone, furniture-sized pieces were never really offered at mass market level, though smaller accessories were sold at retailers like pier one and cost plus (and still are available to this day- maison21 saw a tessellated capiz shell mirror at target a while back). the tessellated stone furniture industry still exists in the philippines (and one assumes, probably in china, too, since everything seems to be made there in 2008), and tessellated fossil stone or coral stone pieces can occasionally still be found in the lines of various furniture importers - maison21 knows that at least one company,
ironies, has tessellated stone still in their line, and there are probably others as well (loving the wood grain fabric on the chair in the ironies ad, btw):

(Game Table with Sculptural Legs in Tesselated Fossilized Coral, lobel modern, nyc, $9,500, via 1stdibs)

(Signed Maitland Smith Oblisk Lamps, vermillion, miami, $2,300, via 1stdibs)

maison21 himself has sold some great vintage tessellated pieces over the years to high-end boutiques, as well as to some of the top designers in the industry, but generally tessellated fossil stone pieces from the 80's are still relatively unknown, and thus undervalued (maybe not on 1stdibs, but you can find bargains available in other outlets, like ebay, flea markets and the like).
large tessellated fossil stone box sold by maison21

large tessellated coral stone bird sculptures sold by maison21

recently, maison21's friend, and fellow ebay seller, swellpad, sold a great fossil stone console table for a song (below), and maison21 usually has a piece or two of the stuff in his store at varying price points. maison21 has a feeling (and maybe a bit of inside knowledge) that these vintage fossil stone pieces are going to become very HOT very soon, so his advice is to snap them up now if you see them!

tessellated fossil stone console table sold by swellpad

(glam tessellated fossil stone writing table offered by maison21)

now, if you like the look of tessellated fossil stone, be sure to visit back in the next few days, because in our next post, maison21 is going to tell you how can score some tesselation for your very own- absolutely free! how about that? (sweepstakes is long over, sorry).


a happy valentine's lick to all!



ps- my dad thinks it's a great day to visit, and bring a little love into your life.

it will be the best valentine's gift, ever!

11 February 2008

tippi, i'm scared! pt. 2 (unsettling art furniture)

if you read our recent post about the scary flock of crows that might or might not have caused maison21 bodily harm last saturday, you'll understand why the above chair sent a shiver down m21's spine. creepy, yet kinda cool, no? the wingback chair covered in black feathers is entitled "portrait of george 1", 2007, by elyse hochstadt, and is available at the FIVEten studio in oakland, ca. ($7500.00).

maison21 discovered the FIVEten studio because he had a design magazine emergency today, having read all the new issues of the design mags he subscribes to- so off to the newsstand to purchase all the regional design magazines that he buys pretty much only when desperate, as they can be a bit hit or miss, editorially speaking (though he'd be MORE than happy to be published in any of them, thank you). he picked up a copy of california home + design, which he's not sure if he's read before, and it was pretty good, actually. he might have to subscribe!

here's some other cool things from FIVEten studio:
"pig bank", Harry Allen- Reality series, 100% Resin and Gold plated, ($220.00).

"4L Combo - Dining Table", by Robert Austin Gonzalez, Hand Rubbed lacquer,($10,500).

08 February 2008

los angeles modern auctions preview

maison21 just returned from visiting the preview of the latest los angeles modern auction at the pacific design center (sched. this sunday, feb. 10th). we went with a friend to see if there was anything we couldn't live without for his home (or maybe even for our own). tucked in amongst the usual charles eames/george nelson/mid-century stuff the lama auctions are known for, there were some great nakashima pieces, and a couple of really rare examples of rudolph schindler furniture, but actually we were more impressed by the art- lama seemed to have brought the level of art up a notch for this auction- including a series of insanely great alexander calder jute rugs/hangings like the one below:

Lot 120
Alexander Calder
Bon Art, 1974
Handwoven maguey jute fiber
#58 of 100
56 x 84
estimated at:
$3,000 - 5,000

maison21 was also drooling over a pair of shiro kuramata vases he has long admired, but doubts that his minuscule bid will win one:

Lot 153
Shiro Kuramata
Flower Vase #3
Ishimaru Ltd, 1989
12h x 3.75 x 10.5

$2,500 - 3,500

amongst the art maison21 recommended to his friend was this great sam francis litho (recommended in part because m21 loves the work of sam francis, but also, maison21 is ashamed to admit, because of the chic lucite shadow box framing (you can't see it in the following photo, but trust us it was chic. we know you aren't supposed to buy art for the frame, but whatever- we aren't eli broad here, just a decorator who filters his appreciation of art through the rooms it will beautify...):

Lot 99
Sam Francis
Color Lithograph
Signed lower right; edition lower left
#4 of 115
33 x 21

$1,000 - 2,000

though not usually the biggest fan of danish modern, maison21 also was quite taken with these fab bright red leather chairs by jens risom:

Lot 244
Jens Risom
Pair of red leather chairs
Jens Risom Design Inc., designed circa 1960
Retains Risom label
Each 39h x 28w x 24d

$4,000 - 6,000

also loving this whimsical george mulhauser desk chair:

Lot 270
George Mulhauser
Desk chair
Pycraft, designed circa 1965
Retains label Plycraft Inc. designed by George Mulhauser
27h x 22.5w x 24d

$1,000 - 1,500

maison21 was NOT loving this c. jeré light sculpture as it is missing the stamen-like spiky clusters that should normally crown the upright rods that compose the piece- shame on you lama! you should know better!

Lot 139
Curtis Jere
Floor light sculpture
Signed C. Jere 1977

$2,000 - 3,000

the shonda of the c. jeré sculpture notwithstanding, you should definitely check out the catalog online, and see if there is anything that catches your fancy- you can bid online through ebay live auctions, or if you are in los angeles, head on over to the pdc this sunday as the auctions are lots of fun (and rather exciting) in person!

05 February 2008

super-graphic super-tuesday (more pretty in 2008!)

maison21 the blog is not about political causes- the only position we will publicly take a stance on is that we are in favor of pretty things...

but with the primary here in california and it being "super-tuesday" across the nation, we were reminded of the following posters from the huffington post a friend sent us a while back. we loved them because of their crisp, bold, black and white graphics, and admired the fact that they didn't look like every campaign poster we've seen for the last 40 years. why must politcal advertising always be so ugly? the same old generic red, white and blue designs with sayings like "for change" and "for america". ugh- boring, and bland, and like most politicians themselves, they cater to the lowest common denominator.

so this political season, whether democrat or republican, conservative or liberal, maison21 is asking our candidates to make america a little more beautiful and give us cool and interesting graphics for our windows, lawns and automobiles! no more generic, red, white and blue- how about black and white like the posters shown, or go crazy with a little orange or aqua! maison21's campaign mantra is:
more pretty in 2008!

04 February 2008

maison21 has come into an unexpected fortune (so don't expect new posts, because he's busy spending his monies...)

so maison21 recently came into an unexpected inheritance! via the following email:


We wish to notify you again that you were listed as a beneficiary to the total sum of £10,600,000.00GBP (Ten Million Six Hundred Thousand British Pounds) in the codicil and last testament of the deceased. (Name now withheld since this is our second letter to you). We contacted you because you bear the surname identity and therefore can present you as the beneficiary to the inheritance.

We therefore reckoned that you could receive these funds as you are qualified by your name identity. All the legal papers will be processed in your acceptance. In your acceptance of this deal, we request that you kindly forward to us your letter of acceptance; your current telephone and fax numbers and a forwarding address to enable us file necessary documents at our high court probate division for the release of this sum of money.

Please contact me via my private email: so that we can get this done immediately.

Please send the details and call me to discuss more.
Yours Faithfully,
John Max.
102 Donegal Place
Belfast, Ulster
Telephone +44-70457 59907
Fax number +44-700-5976560

yippee! maison21 gots all the monies now- he can finally pay his amex bill!

seriously, do they think anyone will ever respond to this bullsh*t? maison21 is quite over this crap. he doesn't want his "inheritance", nor does he wish to "grow his member" or buy an "officine replica watch".

just stop the spam already, ok? nobody is stupid enough to answer back, so what's the point?

(image from tracy o., via flickr)

02 February 2008

tippi, i'm scared! (unsettling urban phenomenon)

there are dozens and dozens of crows outside the windows of the maison21 atelier this morning, making a god awful racket. they are agitated and obviously quite angry about something. maison21 has seen "the birds", thank you, and he and mona are not going outside anytime soon...
maison21 grew up in southern california, and the mornings used to be quite peaceful- the cooing of mourning doves and the songs of robins were the sounds one awoke to, not the raucous cawing of an army of angry crows. i haven't seen a mourning dove or a robin in years. we don't even seem to have pigeons (another urban blight) around anymore- the crows seem to have driven them away, too. we do have a big flock of brilliant green wild parrots in the 'hood, that seem to holding their own (they are just as loud as the crows, btw), and luckily, the adorable lil hummingbirds are still abundant. maybe they don't compete with the crows for food, so are left alone. maison21 wishes he was a hummingbird right now, so he could leave the house unnoticed by the vicious gang of crows waiting to attack him the moment he sets foot outside...

is this crow monopoly restricted to maison21's urban los angeles neighborhood? or are they taking over everywhere in north america? tell me, tippi, is m21 just paranoid? or is maison21 scared with good cause?

ps- to the city of los angeles and the local utility companies, to whom maison21 writes large checks every month: it's 2008, already! can we please get rid of the urban blight of unsightly poles and wires strung everywhere? it's so last century...