Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Elle Decor's November issue: See Interieurs

Yesterday, I had an "emergency" fabric situation for a client presentation and ran to the D & D building conveniently located near my showroom. I suddenly bumped into my friend Anita (design director of Elle Decor). It came to me that I rarely share when Interieurs is mentioned in national magazines.

So here it is, I just love these pieces, especially the Jose Esteves Mobile chandelier...as always, thank you Elle Decor for your continuing support of Interieurs.

Objets de curiosites, love theses installations under glass. They add so much character to a space, perfect for creating vignettes. Available through my showroom Interieur

I found this driftwood sculpture in thailand, it is now displayed on a console in a Hamptons house

My favorite chandelier by artist Jose Esteves whom we represent exclusively in the US
We received numerous calls from Elle Decor readers on this piece. 
To view Jose Esteves complete collection, check: 

To see some of Jose's unique lighting art see my earlier post here

A Bientot, 


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Bhutan:the land of gentle people

Young monks at play

From Connecticut, I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

I have so many thanks to give and treasure every moment of this life, the good and sometimes not so good... In this last post on Bhutan, I tried to capture images of the simple happiness derived from love and nature.
This journey through Bhutan ends with portraits of its gentle and playful children.

In Bhutan, the GNP is not measured in financial terms but as the Gross National Happiness.
This concept was introduced by the King and has taken the Western world by storm, governments, economists and scholars have invited the young handsome King to speak about the 4 pillars of Gross National Happiness: Environment - Culture - Spirituality - Society.
Bhutan is determined to keep its independence by preserving its culture and its ecology.

Children in school uniform, these young kids walk up to 2 hours each way to go to school they are so engaging and joyful 

Girls dressed up for the religious festival

Little monks getting a break from their studies

Student preparing for his high school examination. From the youngest age, young boys and girls learn english. The brightest student are sent by the king to Colombia (where the king studied), Harvard, Cornell, Yale, UCLA, Stamford, Georgetown, Oxford and Cambridge, Mc Gill, depending on their field of study. No student sent abroad has failed and all graduated in the 10% of their class.
These children wake up before sunrise to walk to school, study for 6 hours, go home for a simple supper, study some more or help their parents with farming duties. The greatest gift is a pencil, they look happy, playful, and love learning.

The people, nature, colors of Bhutan will forever stay with me.

Until next time...there is that one challenging trek (reputed for being the most difficult trek in the world...) along the Himalayas...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Bhutan: A Buddhist Kingdom part II

Tantric Buddhism was introduced as early as the eight century and is based on the same beliefs as other forms of Buddhism:
" the consequences of actions in previous lives, or karma, forces all beings to reincarnate.All human efforts should aim towards enlightenment, which means release from the cycle of incarnations into the state of Nirvana, the annihilation of suffering which accompanies all existence" (Francoise Pommaret)

Punakha Dzong sits at the confluence of the Mo (female) and Po (male) rivers.
Holiest dzong in Bhutan

Religious festivals are celebrated for several days

These graphic penises adorn all Buthanese houses to welcome guests and protect the house and its family members. They are painted on walls, sculpted in wood, hanging from the roofs, to honor a religious holy man Drukpa Kunley a.k.a the Divine Mad Man

Quite an enjoyment for us ladies....


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bhutan: Druk-Yul, Land of Thunder Dragon - Part 1, Nature

The Tiger Nest Monastery

For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated by mountains. When immersed in the majestic beauty of the mountains, I feel a powerful connection to life, to a higher power who entrusted this extraordinary beautiful planet to us, humble humans.

Ever since my experience in Tibet (here), I have wanted to return to the Himalayas which to me reflect the magnificence and power of this beautiful creation we call Earth. 

Its hard to articulate. When I'm in the mountains, I feel as if I'm merged with nature and I completely leave my self behind.  I am able to shed all of the trivialities and mindless materialism of my daily life.

Magnificent conifer forests of the Black Mountains separating west and central Bhutan

I have travelled through Kashmir, India, Tibet, Nepal and experienced Buddhist culture in its many forms. Bhutan is the only country in the world where Mahayana Buddhism in its tantric form is the official religion. Bhutan is a secluded country in the eastern Himalayas between India and Tibet, sparsely inhabited by 700,000 people in a land the size of Switzerland. Bhutan's policy of restricting tourism is to preserve its natural environment and the lifestyle of its people, but it also has much to do with Bhutan's lack of infrastructure.

The first thing you notice as you disembark at Paro, the only airport in Bhutan, is the purity of the air and the nearly complete absence of noise. Immediately, you feel that Bhutan is unlike any other place. With very few cars, just two planes a day and no trains, the bucolic Paro valley is the perfect welcome to Bhutan.

The first paved road was built in 1962 and by 1992 plans to build by hand 1000 kms to link the valleys was put in place... well... driving is a harrowing experience, mostly dirt, muddy frightening steep roads with hair-raising turns cut into the mountains, wide enough for one and a half car, no guardrails, with passes at 16,000 feet and sheer drops... did I mention that supply trucks from India travel though these roads at full speed with little regard for any one coming across their path... I will mention that I had to resort to prescribed calming drugs after my first complete panic attack which went from screaming to shaking to sobbing.... after 2 days of pure terror (but incredible beauty) we finally reached our final destination where our trek started. Mules and sherpas were waiting for us, the poor mules were loaded with our bags and camping gear. The most rewarding adventure started, just us in the midst of Bhutan's immense mystical mountains, crossing rivers and streams, climbing up the steep terrain, our wonderful guide always watching out for bears and tigers. At sunset, we would arrive at a perfectly set up camping spot, wash out the day with utmost efficiency in freezing temperature, a hot meal prepared on the campfire, listening to tantric stories recited by our highly educated and entertaining guide and off to our tent to sleep.

Mules ready for the trek

Trekking is the ultimate way to experience the landscape,
 the nature, the efforts so rewarded

Farming landscape. Prayer flags are everywhere in Bhutan,
on mountain tops, near clearings, temples, rivers...

Dzongs are part of the Buthanese landscape

The Black Mountains trees are several hundred years old.
 Forests cover 72% of Bhutan and it is strictly illegal to cut down trees.

The enchanted forests of Bhutan

Part two of this post on Bhutan will be about tantric Buddhism, its rituals, and the magnificent Dzongs and monasteries. The last post on Bhuthan will highlight the people and their children. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Vicente Wolf book signing at Interieurs

I returned from Bhutan after 2 days flying, just in time for Vicente's book signing. Needless to say, I was delirious with fatigue, 12 hours jet lag, after 3 weeks with barely enough cold water for washing, trekking in mud and very little sleep. Let's just say I did not make the most glamorous image, thankfully both Ania and Estera who entirely organized the event looked absolutely fabulous!!

I was really looking forward to spending a little time with Vicente as I am a huge fan of his work. I also feel a special connection to his lifestyle as we both share the same unquenchable passion for immersing ourselves in world cultures through travel. Part of Vicente's book covers his own travels to Bhutan and we shared some of our experiences.

I am sifting through hundreds of photographs from my trip to Bhutan which I cannot wait to share with you. It is truly a country with a soul, rough, extraordinarily beautiful which does not open itself freely to the ones who adventure on its ground. The lessons I've learned during the endless hours trekking through forest and mountains are a treasure to me.

My team welcoming Vicente Wolf

The evening started with book signing

Catching up with Sean Low of The Business of Being Creative blog

Introducing Vicente for his "questions and answers"

The audience, mostly designers and architects were very involved and asked very specific questions. Vicente was absolutely wonderful, very open, shared his experiences and his know how, even in terms of finance, contracts etc...

Vicente and friend Sean Low

If you have not already done so, I would encourage you to invest in his book Lifting the Curtain on Design. I read it cover to cover. It is a wonderful narrative of his traveling experiences as well as his  inspirations, work methods. As always, his photographs are superb.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Vicente Wolf at Interieurs - Wednesday 3 November 6:30 - 8:30 pm

I am truly honored that Vicente Wolf - one of my favorite designers - will be at Interieurs to sign his new book Lifting the Curtain on Design
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