Designers Display Modernist Muscle at BDNY Show

We absolutely loved the BDNY Show at the Javits Center in Manhattan this November.  We met many talented designers and vendors, all with fabulous modernist offerings, ready to wow us – and they delivered.

At left, from the fascinating “Trend Walk” exhibit curated by Stacy Garcia, contributing designers were selected to showcase eight design trends. The result was inspirational, from the “Mid-Century Ideal” exhibit from J/Brice Design International, to the “Acid Hip” (entrance shown below) installation from Dovetail Design.  Our exploration of modernist living continues…

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Modernist Design Styles Evident at Orange County Choppers


Most of us are aware of the reality show “American Choppers” and the legal battle, thankfully now over, between Paul Jr. Designs and Paul Sr. at Orange County Choppers (OCC).

We decided to take a close look at OCC’s showroom in Newburgh, New York, where modernist, classic styling is evident in their motorcycle designs, in a big way.

Materials are creatively used to continue a uniquely modernist theme throughout the motorcycle showroom.  Check out the drop-dead gorgeous jewelry-like exhaust sleeve on the chopper below.  Fabulous repetitive lines exude the impression of speed, a trait of the Streamline era of design.

The power of strong geometry in many of the Orange County Chopper designs help to create some fabulous bikes. We hope Paul Sr. will contact us for interview. Take a look, and please leave us your comments and observations. We also hope to visit Paul Jr. Designs soon, and welcome any invitation to discuss his design philosophy with him, as well….

Lap Lanes and Decks Perfect for Modernist Luxury Environments

Recently, more and more designers and architects have included LAP LANES in their designs as a focal point in outdoor spaces, instead of standard in-ground pools.  The clean, welcoming lines of a single lane pool creates a comfortable, yet modernist environment. With the use of LED lighting and some natural flora, these works of art can truly inspire the guest and resident alike.

Stools and tables made of weather-resistant teak with metal support, designed in the “form follows function” philosophy, allow the space to create a spa-like aura, but these fabulous one-laners will shine no matter what the decor.

Keep your eyes open for more laplanes in the future.  They require less space, are cost-effective, and the use of the design aesthetic is limitless.

Sculptor and Friend Michael Lekakis Remembered

I have great memories of summers in the Hamptons on the East End of Long Island during the 50’s and 60’s as a child.  Both of my parents were involved in the art world.  My dad was an artist of immense talent in his own right (see upcoming story), and mom worked for a renowned contemporary art gallery, The Andre Emmerich Gallery in New York. They both knew people from all areas of the arts.

We summered on Long Island in Southampton.  At the time, the “Hamptons” did not exist as today.  It was majority a close-knit community of artists that I was fortunate enough to know, as many were friends with my parents.

Choreographers, dancers, singers, writers, poets, painters, sculptors all discovered the fabulous enticements of the East End. Everyone became fast friends, and it would not be unusual to play backgammon on the beach with Jerome Robbins in the morning, visit a renowned painter’s studio in the afternoon, and hear a diva sing jazz tunes in our home after dinner in the evening.

We had many parties, some inevitably ended up in big Greek Dance Circles with our many friends, hooting it up till all hours. It was loud and laughter was everywhere. I was the only kid there, but it was great. Often present were Alwin Nikolais and Murray Louis (Nic and Murray) both great dancer/choreographers. These were great times filled with the ideas and conversations of iconic artists. I’m so grateful to have known them all.

Among our many friends, were Greek artists George Constant, Theo Hios, and our dear friend, Michael Lekakis.. Michael was a sculptor, painter and poet. I remember him vividly; he would answer the door with a long (usually blue) apron on, with a chisel in his hands. On the floor would always be huge quantities of long curly-cue wood shavings. Inside, minimalist furnishings were overtaken by his fabulous tall wooden sculptures that would guide you in amazement throughout the house. In the yard, were some of his metal sculptures studding the scrub-oak landscape. He was always kind to me.

A great sculptor, and a great dancer, too. CHECK IT OUT. And imagine these fabulous sculptural forms  in your living room.  They were striking.

Discover more Michael Lekakis works at Parrish Art Museum‘s site, and learn more about one of the early sculptural modernist masters. And be sure to post your comments – always welcome.

Discover Modernist Treasures at Longhouse Reserve Easthampton

Large, cobalt blue spears of blown glass greet you when you arrive at the magnificent gardens at LongHouse Reserve in Easthampton, Long Island.  They stand, striking and tall, to draw you into the over 16 acres of sculpture and gardens.

Through the evergreens, a dome by Buckminster Fuller stands, as if an old UFO, nestled among the trees.

The LongHouse property, purchased by Jack Lenor Larsen in 1970, now displays over 60 works of art displayed throughout the meticulous landscape.  Larsen has recently received the Hamptons Cottages and Gardens Innovator Award for his outstanding contribution to design, which follows an impressive career as textile designer, author and collector. LongHouse is celebrating their 20th anniversary this year, and now is a great time to visit.

As you walk through from one garden area to another, the collection of sculpture is sure to inspire. LongHouse pond reveals wonderfully whimsical treasures, first of which is Dale Chihuly‘s “Blue and Purple Boat”, amazing in it’s color and vivacity.  Jaw-dropping in its beauty, the blue and purple blown glass floats among the water lilies. A wood and concrete bench by Nico Yektai adorns the side of the pond.


Roy Lichtenstein‘s “Endless Drip” sculpture pops up at the entrance to a rectangular pool area, where an upside-down elephant balances from his bronze trunk at the opposite end.

Every turn throughout these gardens reveals new and intriguing works. If you are anywhere near New York City and can make it out to the Hamptons this summer, don’t miss this fabulous collection!

Hepburn’s Classic “Modern” Style

The classic timeless beauty of Audrey Hepburn, coupled with the elegant and modernist styling of her many fabulous costumes, are now being appreciated by a new generation. Many iconic images of Ms. Hepburn have been seen in some new places, introducing her iconic images to legions of new fans.

Snippets of her iconic style are now adorning showroom walls in the New York City area, and will certainly be seen and appreciated by millions. Above, in the iconic Givenchy gown with a string of pearls and long black gloves, in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Audrey rocks.

For old and new fans, visit the Audrey Hepburn official site and Children’s Fund portal; read about and support her great humanitarian work for children.

Modernist Style Evident at Mohegan Sun Casino, Pennsylvania

There are many reasons to visit Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Pennsylvania, other than the obvious casino play and horse racing.  Everywhere are fine examples of modernist design, ready to impress.

Walking into the casino, a floor to ceiling sculpture adorns the entrance.  It is no ordinary piece. The modernist COAL TO DIAMONDS sculpture celebrates the natural resources of Northeastern Pennsylvania and the region’s ancestors who made a living coal mining.

 

Many of the restaurants also have a modernist design aesthetic.  The Timbers Buffet restaurant has a charming ambiance, created by using birch trees and fabulous lighting to draw the eye and lure you in.  It worked.  The LED lighting is skillfully done, and the result is a welcoming, warm contemporary space.

The Pearl Sushi bar is an intimate setting that utilizes color and clean line design philosophy coupled with some bling from the exotic overhead pendants.  The result is a mesmerizing, modernist space.

All this set in the beautiful Pocono Mountains…it’s worth the trip.

Modernist Interiors Designed with Le Corbusier Colors

Pioneering modernist, architect and designer, Le Corbusier (1887-1965) designed some of the early iconic minimalist buildings. Villa Savoye was built between 1929 and 1931 and was a revelation in modern design.  It remains a fine example of Bauhaus design.  Le Corbusier also began experimenting with furniture design in 1928.  He produced a palette of 80 colors (shown above and at  aaltocolour.com)  The discovery that these colors existed, recently caused a frenzy to his many fans. Designed as a modernist swatch collection, it is now manufactured as paint by a Swiss company, KT Color, and gives a new dimension to the modernist discussion about color and theory.

The collection, including colors like Lapis Lazuli and Raw Ochre, will certainly affect modernist interior design palettes for many years to come.

Kleenex Keeping Retro Alive

The iconic brand, Kleenex, has recently revisited styles from a bygone era, producing a series of colorful and retro package designs. Other than the square box design, a slim package for purse or pocket also reflects a distinctly modernist style. Innovative package design positively impacts this brand’s image.