Heiberg Cummings Design // Elegant & Koselig (Cozy) Style

I met Bernt Heiberg and Bill Cummings of Heiberg Cummings Design at an event they hosted for one of their projects in December.  I quickly felt their warmth and style, both from the design partners themselves, and from their interior design work. They describe their aesthetic concept in their recently published book, White Light. It's about "koselig", which "literally translated means cozy in Norway, the word is used to describe everything from a room’s hospitable warmth to the pleasant feeling one gets in running into an old friend."  Koselig, is how Bill described their Chelsea apt. in a magazine article that was featured in their book - and it's how I would describe meeting them and seeing their work. This is their third book,

Their interiors are comfortable, and easy

also refined and elegant

The partnership began in 1990 in Oslo doing interiors in Europe and the US. They moved the center of their business to the NYC's West Village, but retain an office in Norway. The duo blend Bernt's Scandinavian minimalism with Bill's artistic and business background with an appreciation for traditional American design. This has come together into a modern design business with clients and residences from Manhattan, the Hamptons, throughout the Northeast, corporate projects to country homes in Norway.

The core of their philosophy and technique is Conceptual Design. Each project starts with a framework, a concept that is driven by the client and their close relationships. They want to understand what a client is looking for, how they live and how to best reflect their family and traditions. The core concept evolves and it then prevails in each space of the home providing the framework for the physical design which follows.

Each project differs in personality, but the foundation is consistent, warm neutral and natural colors and textiles, continuity throughout the project, which comes from the concept. Warm and quiet, yet a recurring description is 'tension', and it varies from project to project. The tension is a surprise, it may be accent colors, art, the antiques and accessories - and this is where each project suitably reflects its owners.

Naima Boger, a designer with the firm sought me out for artwork for a LETT, by Heiberg Cummings project in Rye, NY. LETT, Norwegian for 'Light" was introduced last year to provide another way for Heiberg Cummings to provide their design services and aesthetic to more clients. The LETT team is hired to provide interior design services on a room by room basis. They provide a beautiful boxed presentation containing customized floor plans, drawings, and tear sheets of recommended items. The client receives a shopping list to execute and manage themselves. The design firm will come in to style and accessorize when the client is ready and the furnishings are complete.

Naima worked on the Westchester project and assisted her client in sourcing artwork and accessories. When she saw Andrea Bonfils' Underwater Mixed Media artworks, she knew immediately they would provide the living room with the balance and the contrast to complete the room and compliment the photographs on the opposite wall, by Katie White Photography.

Ophelia, another Bonfils' piece is in the adjacent foyer.

Xanda McCagg's abstract Tete-a-Tete brought tension, color and contrast to the dining room. The strong modern painting is a counterpoint to the traditional furnishings, and the color balances the sofa, pillows and window coverings.

LETT is a timely and exciting new direction for Heiberg Cummings Design. It is a concept that will make their services accessible to many more people and introduce a new direction in interior design. The firm has an international reputation for the quiet, refined and personalized aesthetic they have created. They have a flair for details that reflect the homeowner, whether it's artworks, accessories or incorporating family items that are lived-in and worn. The spaces they design are contemporary  - yet they're classic and comfortable, a style that creates liveable spaces that at the same time are elegant and koselig!

Intro to LA art - Part l // Bergamot Station

On a recent visit to LA, we spent two afternoons enjoying art in LA. Day l we visited Bergamot Station in Santa Monica and afternoon 2 at LACMA. Bergamot was a very different art experience than our last LA visit when we toured the Getty.  My brother-in-law Neil, who we were visiting, planned the two days, and besides the unusual, searing over-100 degree weather, both days were terrific, and different. Bergamot Station in Santa Monica is a gallery complex that opened in 1994. The train station dates back to 1875 when the Red Line trolley ran from LA to the Santa Monica Pier. Both the Pier and the gallery site retain their original rustic and industrial feel.

First stop at The Frostig Center, to see their 2012 Collection. The 60 year old Center is an internationally acclaimed school for students with learning disabilities. When the Frostigs founded the Center, they created an ongoing series of sculpture and art, annual collections by LA artists that would help support the program. Ray Turner created these 9" sq. paintings on glass of each of the Frostig artists.

Sculptor Ken Price created this small series as a set. Unique for this collection, as he typically works much larger. We saw the Price exhibit at LACMA and learned more about his much acclaimed works.

a Frank Gehry sculpture

Leslie Sacks Contemporary had an exhibit of Charles Christopher Hill's graphic paintings. The linear paintings have "endless layers of acrylic varnish" that create depth and a beautiful texture.

Earlier works combine layers of mixed media, cloth and thread.

Loved the contrast of the next exhibit, Bill Barminski's work at the Robert Berman Gallery. Barminski, an LA artist and adjunct professor at UCLA creates work as a statement on pop and consumer culture. Barminski comments on the "nostalgia people feel towards 'classic' products in the post-war era".

A replica of the surfboard the artist had at 13 from K Mart.

Cardboard Air Jordan's.  I'm familiar with the classics - and have a limited understanding of their place in sneaker history, thanks to my son Brett.

The Lois Lambert Gallery had an interesting exhibition, Dress Code, by Gwen Samuels. Samuels creates replicas of clothing and shoes, using digital images on transperency and then hand-stitched together. She uses mixed media, combining old and new. Loved the corset...

and shoes

Then two photo exhibits. Toshio Shibata at Gallery Luisotti. These powerful images of nature are at once abstract and detailed.

Peter Fetterman Gallery specializes in 19th and 20th century black and white photography, with an emphasis on human imagery. There were two terrific exhibits, Photos de Cinema with a number of images of Jean Seberg  filming in Paris.

and Grace, by Elizabeth Sunday. For 26 years, Sunday has created beautiful images that reflect traditional life in Africa. She uses a flexible mirror to photograph "reflections that blend and dissolve the boundaries between her figures and their environment".

I was thrilled to see an iconic photograph I love in their collection, Girl in the Window, by Ormond Gigli. In 1960, Gigli envisioned this photo as he watched an East 58th St. brownstone being torn down - he placed 47 formally dressed models in the windows the night before it was demolished.

We throughly enjoyed walking through the galleries at Bergamot Station  - in the few hours we were there, we saw very diverse collections, giving us a great introduction to LA art.


Unconventional Nature // Paintings by Andrea Bonfils

Andrea is an award-winning artist whose paintings offer an innovative and unique approach while reflecting her life’s experiences.  Andrea's inspiration comes from the natural world. She breaks from artistic traditions, yet, certain influences can be seen in her work, such as the colors of Wolf Kahn, the water of Monet or movement of Van Gogh.

We met last year and I was immediately drawn to her creative artwork and unique applications of traditional painting materials. Andrea’s unconventional techiniques results in beautiful color, depth and texture in her paintings.  With a reverence for the organic, Andrea utilizes mostly oils and encaustics with some mixed media to realize her individualized look.

Using unconventional hardware, a blow torch, iron and other heated tools, along with paper and natural materials, she emulates her subjects' movement, drama and complexity as she glazes or layers wax over photographs, photo transfers or meticulously renders subjects lost in a waxy fog. Andrea's uncommon painting techniques and personal style results in work that are intense, mysterious and ethereal.

Andrea paints what she enjoys most in nature, skylines, water, divers, surfers, trees and horses.

Nest Inspired Home in Rye, NY, a beautifully edited home shop, will feature Andrea’s work at an event they are sponsoring, along with Serendipity Magazine and Crop Organic Vodka  for the Westchester Children’s Museum.  Bets Miller, Wendy Williams, and Aly Drew of Rye, opened the home decor shop in November and have created a wonderful environment to sell home furnishings, accessories and art. I am thrilled, along with Andrea, to be participating in this event, along with Nest Inspired Home and the sponsors.

Here are a few of the paintings on display this week among the beautiful vignettes at  Nest Inspired Home.


The Color of February // RED in art & design

The color red is filled with meaning.  It’s found in nature - in red roses and robins. It's spiritual -  the symbol for luck and it's the first chakra in Sanskrit.  It has history and special meaning in various cultures around the world.  It’s political - as in the red states, and it's emotional, symbolic of both anger and love.  The red or root chakra provides stability, groundedness and trust, red symbolizes power and strength, it encourages action and enthusiasm. In addition to the inferred meanings, the color red has a significant visual impact  when used in art & design. Artist Anne Raymond, on red and her red paintings,  “Red is strength, it’s the pigment of passion and confidence. Red is energy known, felt and intended.”  Anne spoke with me about the appeal of her red canvases and how some naturally gravitate towards it and others may choose it in small doses.

For those who love it,

or with white, negative space and additional colors, for a quieter canvas, named for the red pigment, Cirrus Cadmium

Photographer Bonnie Edelman captures the natural beauty of red in a stunning sky

Abstract Expressionist  Barnett Newman often used red and other strong flat primary colors in his noted Zip paintings, as in “Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue”

I love the contrast of the flowing red scarf in William Wegman’s, “Red to Head”, one of his Weimeraner photographs

Red has found a place in many familiar idioms, Seeing Red, Red carpet treatment, Caught red-handed, Red flag, Red tape and In the red are just a few. It’s pretty interesting to focus on this and see how this color, and the word are in our everyday experience.

Red is in the name of many iconic brands: for a cause - Bono’s (Red), The American Red Cross, in sports - Boston Red Sox, to signify energy - Red Bull, for achievement - Red Ribbon.

Red is used visually  to create strong brand identitly

for New Yorkers, the fun and much adored Milton Glaser designed symbol,

Artists and designers use red to fill an entire canvas, a product, or room -  when the goal is a bold statement to elicit a strong emotional effect or they use it as an accent to provide a stroke of contrast and energy.

In fashion, like art, red is classically used to make a statement.

Charles Louboutin red soles are iconic. The NYTimes, recently refered to”The Little Red (Litigious) Shoes", The company is suing the YSL brand claiming that their red shoes infringe on the trademarked, “Red Sole Mark”.

Louboutin red,  from classic

to outrageous

Designer Donna Karan is identified with clothing that empowers - red from her Spring 2012 advertising campaign

Double red, Reese WItherspoon on the red carpet in a striking red Zac Posen dress

The use of red in home and furniture design provides impact whether used in large amounts, or sparingly. Iconic modern furniture combines strong silhouette and color.

The Egg Chair, by Arne Jacobsen

The Miniature Verner Panton Heart Chair

Heller’s, Marilyn BOCCA sofa, 1972

A bold use of color in a room, walls painted with a saturated deep red, Benjamin Moore’s, Million Dollar Red and red upholstered furniture in a classic room, by designer, Bibi Monnahan

or red as a dramatic and effective accessory, chairs and wall decor in a fresh Hamptons home by Ilene O’Neil

Why RED?  because it’s February and the color is synonymous with Valentine’s Day - red roses and the celebration of love.

Exhibiting in Times Square for the holiday, a 10 foot tall installation with 400 LED acrylic tubes around a big red heart.

“the interactive art piece pulses with a glowing red luminosity whereby, people's interaction with one another intensify the beating of the brightly, burning heart”

and classic RED - 75 gorgeous red roses












Tangerine Tango // Color of the Year 2012

Last week, Pantone, Inc. announced that Tangerine Tango #17-1463 will be “The Color of the Year 2012”. This was big news and cause for lots of review and discussion in the design worlds.

“Sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango is an orange with a lot of depth to it,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. This robust color was descibed as a “spirited reddish orange”, and will “provide the energy boost we need to recharge and move forward”.

Eiseman continued, “Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy.”Pantone Inc, the NJ company, began as a source for printing guidelines. It has evolved to create standardized color palettes for a number of industries, including graphics, fashion textiles and interior design. PMS, the Pantone Matching System, enables color to be consistent across industries, from paints, to printing ink to textiles to lipsticks.The selection of a particular color is a thoughtful process. Pantone “literally combs the world looking for color influences....including the entertainment industry, art, artists, technology, sports and socio-economic conditions..”  The color chosen will subsequently impact many industries and individuals.Oranges and reds are warm colors associated with nature, with daylight or sunset. Color Theorists describe the usual strong reactions to orange, more so than other colors, it's a “love it or hate it” color. It radiates warmth and energy. Bonnie Edelman’s photograph, Campo Sunset, comes to mind with the description of the energy of the red hues.

and Golden Campo is on the other side of the spectrum, the warmth of yellow.

When I was a textile stylist, creating colors and patterns for fabrics for men’s clothing, I eagerly awaited the trend reports, forecasting the colors of the season to incorporate into our seasonal fabrics. This is true for stylists and designers across creative fields. The result is a consistent theme for the seasons, and it starts here - with the selected colors by Pantone.

According to Apartment Therapy, Tangerine Tango, “.... is a highly-usable color for interiors. It's very easy to incorporate into a room as an accent, although the full wall treatment is absolutely an option for those willing to take the plunge.”.  It has always been a good color for interiors, it works as a standout accessory against neutrals.  Apartment Therapy showed these examples, from a complete orange wall, to a bold orange sofa in a neutral room.

and acessories, a way to introduce a small accent of the warm color to any room

Apartment Therapy

Judy Ross Textiles, a favorite pillow source,  has a beautiful group of hand-emboidered pillows with the uplifting color - perfect for accessorizing

The same is true for clothing and make-up. When my husband wears his orange sweater, (instead of his usual black!) he feels lighter and brighter and the color elicits a smile from others. Expect to see more of this reddish orange in the coming year.

I have seen a strong and positive response to orange in artwork, from the sunsets above to the color-soaked paintings by Janet Mait and Anne Raymond below. The bold color makes an impact, and as the description of Color of the Year says, they are strong and in turn provoke an emotional response.

to the natural sky of Nightlight, by Stuart Zaro

Tangerine Tango, is an early 2012 prediction...and there will be many more in the next few weeks as the calendar rolls to the new year. Pantone Color Institute selected a color  of nature that is warm and has a positive energy - as they suggest, to help recharge and propel us into 2012.

Celebrating Fashion and the Arts // JMcLaughlin with Bonnie Edelman’s photographs

Its been a busy week! Last night, Bonnie Edelman presented photographs from her SERMO PER EQUUS collection at JMcLaughlin in Westport, CT.  A Celebration of Fashion and the Arts - a cocktail event to peruse the beautiful limited edition black and white photographs of horses in Uruguay while also shopping the Fall Collection of equestrian-inspired clothing.

The spacious store is a great backdrop for the photographs...as well as the clothing. A percentage of the evenings sales were donated to Pegasus Therapeutic Riding whose mission is to provide the benefits of equine-assisted activities and therapies to people with special needs. It was a fun night - alot of support for JMcLaughlin, Pegasus and Bonnie.

I always enjoy seeing Bonnie’s captivating photographs, the same now as when I first saw them several years ago, the beautiful images really convey how gentle and special these horses are.

The photographs will be on exhibit through October 13th.