Friday, September 5, 2014

Confessions of an Absentee Blogger

Forgive me blog followers for I have sinned. "How long has it been since my last blog," you ask? Well embarrassingly, it's been 2 months, 1 week and 5 days. 

I can do penance and promise to do better, but you know how that goes. Life and work happen - like being slammed with work (yea!), going on vacation (yea!) and moving the office (double yea!). What I will do is try to provide entertaining and sometimes informative content for your amusement and ultimate dismissal.

For those of you who haven't heard, we have been in the Hurt Building now for one month and are ecstatic about it (Yes, Andrew, you were RIGHT, this once). And, admittedly, I  fought moving here tooth and nail (Yes, Andrew, I was WRONG, this once). 

For those unfamiliar with the building, it is a classic example of an early flatiron skyscraper. Yes, 18 floors in 1913 was considered a skyscraper. It is also one of the few remaining pieces of historic architecture in Atlanta to remain unscathed — if you don't count the rather unfortunate renovation in 1985 by a local design firm that shall remain nameless. But, miracle of miracles, the point entry and grand staircase were left intact. I'm guessing the cost to demo the marble was cost prohibitive. It's also as green as it gets, receiving a LEED platinum certification this year. 

The energy level and urban vibe are pretty fantastic. There is non-stop filming (I have yet to be "discovered"), GA State students EVERYWHERE, a bounty of nearby parks and restaurants, and pretty much a festival (some alcohol related) every weekend. Consider me a convert to downtown life. It ain't Manhattan, but it beats the @$#% out of Buckhead! Trolley ride, anyone?

Who doesn't love a Flatiron?

What can you say? Just a simple little place we like to call "home". Please ignore the "catacombs" (aka "unfortunate renovation") below the stairs.
I wasn't making up that LEED stuff. This is proudly displayed below the directory in the Lobby.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I am the Gatekeeper...

On a recent trip to Charleston I had the opportunity to revisit one of my favorite streets, Legare (No — this has nothing to do with the fact that it is my middle name). 

While the draw to Legare for most tourists are the famous (to Charlestonians, anyway) Pineapple and Sword gates, it's easy to overlook some of the other gems that can be found along the way.

Pineapples — the sign of Southern hospitality — what they don't tell you in SC history is that they were displayed to tell the lady of house's paramour that her husband was back in town. I have this on the best authority.

If you can't afford pineapples, add ball finials.

Nothing says "Welcome" like swords and spears.

Ahhh... perfection. Just the right mix of color and crust.

Scale be damned... I want a big ass lantern, and I want it here! What's not to love.

...the neighbors across the street answer in kind.

...and shouldn't Widow Jones be told to keep her window shades all pulled completely down?
While not exactly on Legare, this guy is the ultimate "Gatekeeper".

Around the corner and oh, soooo quirky. When you can't decide on an iron detail, use them all.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

"You wake up in the dark and hear the screaming of the lambs."

I just returned from a Memorial Day sojourn to the sprawling metropolis of Parkersburg/Vienna, WV — Belpre/Marietta, OH (don't ask). To put the ambiance into a context with which you can relate, think of the moody West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania site shots used in Silence of the Lambs (which incidentally is one my favorite movies of all time - yes, I scare even myself) and combine that with the Silver Bridge failure over the Ohio River featured in The Mothman Prophecies and you get my drift.

But, even the most dire of places can offer a few gems. Marietta, Ohio, the first settlement in the Northwest Territories (1788) has some charming, if somewhat abandoned, architecture. There are also a smattering of fun antique, "art" and furniture shops to explore, not to mention the wonderful stay at the Blennerhassett Hotel in Parkersburg. 

Beautiful Belpre, Ohio.
We found this primitive back-painted window salvaged from an old country church at Found in Harmon Village. I LOVE this little lamb... and it ISN'T screaming! It almost followed me home.
Uhhh... I think this is where design goes to die.
and the piece de resistance... I just don't have the words to describe how this makes me feel. 
Oh and the turncock switches the light on!
No home decor is complete without one of these. I had to sneak this shot at a graduation party.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Another Walk in the Park

Seeing as our last 2 throw back (OK, recycled) posts were centered around "controversies" at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, I thought we might as well complete the circle and post a current one about them. If you haven't been to see Imaginary Worlds, I would suggest doing so as soon as possible. The "Mosaicultures", a new twist on the traditional "stuffed" topiary, are nothing short of amazing — forget those silly things you see at Walt Disney World.

I heard from a completely unreliable source that Atlanta's brutal summers weren't taken into consideration when last year's installation arrived from Montreal, and, well, you can imagine the rest.  Being someone who has been known to kill even a silk plant (not that they don't deserve to die), I would be the last to criticize such an oversight. Anyway, whether it's true or not, they have been replanted and are even more stunning than when I first saw them. They are joined by some new additions that you don't want to miss.

So get out there... NOW!

Last year's skin has been shed, revealing King Cobra's new clothes. Maybe it's time for that chemical peel.
This guy made me "Misty". My apologies to Dian Fossey.
Who doesn't love a dancing orangutan?

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Leftovers.... AGAIN?!?!

It's been a CRAZY week hear, and recycling is good for the environment. So, in that spirit, I present to you Part 2 of last weeks throw back blog. I was forced into recanting some four months later upon attending an evening event at the gardens. See reheat and enjoy...

Sticker Shock Redux

I attended an event at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens with the Andrew Harris (note: this was written during the heady pre-GraysonHarris era) last evening. What I noticed upon arrival forced me out of my blog sabbatical. Those of you who read my earlier post (ranting) about UL stickers will remember that I threatened to attack the entry sign with a bottle of Goo-Gone. Well, someone beat me to it! HALLELUJAH! My faith in man is somewhat restored. I'd like to think they read my blog and were shamed into removing those hateful things. Well, one can dream. Below are pics taken by Andrew on his phone along with one from my original post in case you don't feel like referring back to it (too many clicks can be very exhausting). Let's keep up the momentum — get out your Goo-Gone and help to make Atlanta sticker-free!

Before: UL stickers create visual clutter and are just plain ugly.
After: A sticker free sign is a happy sign

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Friday, May 9, 2014

Throw Back Rant

I was feeling nostalgic this morning and thought I would re-post something I wrote about 4 years ago while flying solo (ahhh... those were the days). I actually had to recant this post some months later and will revisit that at another time. I was totally having an Andy Rooney moment and it went something like this...


Sticker Shock

You can file today's observation under "Rants". One of my pet peeves is the UL sticker that seems to pop up in the most conspicuous places. I know it sounds like a small thing, but I think these photos make my case.

At first glance, it appears that someone forgot to remove the price tags.
Are those what I think they are?
UL strikes again!

Here some simple backlit signage is destroyed by the ubiquitous sticker. I understand the regulatory needs that must be fulfilled, but do we always have to sacrifice aesthetics to be compliant? Could they not have been placed elsewhere — like the top of the letter, unseen to anyone except the inspector who is looking for them (or better yet, on the inside where the light source is housed)? I'm just saying.

If you hear about a crazy person being arrested at the Atlanta Botanical Garden with a bottle of GooGone, you'll know who the perp is.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

We Also Clean Gutters

If the last few years have taught us anything, it's that customer service makes the difference between staying in business  or flipping burgers. Not that there's anything wrong with flipping burgers — I'm just not cut out for it. My one and only attempt was a two week stint at Wendy's that ended in disaster. But, that's another story.

Here are a few of our war stories and we're sure that you have some of your own.

The "Master Electrician"

We recently ordered a pair of clear glass chandeliers for a client that were PERFECT. Unfortunately, the electrician that she hired to install them had other thoughts. After he declared them "uninstallable", we had to take the project on ourselves or return the fixtures to the manufacturer. A $13 off-set screwdriver from Home Depot came to the rescue and all was well again.

Don't EVER tell us something can't be done!

A Weighty Matter

We were so excited to finally purchase furniture to be used on a 22nd floor terrace for a law firm in Mid-Town, Atlanta.  Prior to pulling the trigger our client (being an attorney) expressed concern over the furniture being blown over the 42" railing and crashing down on unwary vehicles and pedestrians below. OK. So we contacted our sales rep and asked if there were weights available for purchase. Of course the answer was "no", but they did provide us with a "recipe" for making and installing weights from PVC pipe and concrete. You can imagine the rest.

Thirty feet of PVC Pipe and three 50 pound bags of concrete later.
The view is killer... let's hope the furniture isn't.

Leave the Driving to Us

Yes, we'll even schlep furniture, art and accessories in a rental truck to places near and far for those "special" clients.

It's a glamorous career path we've chosen

We Don't Do Windows... Or Do We?

Actually, we don't.  But, in this instance I think Andrew would have been happy to hang outside Unit 45B at the Mandarin Oriental — Atlanta just to say he did.

Wait a minute... is that Andrew?


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Friday, April 25, 2014


After being handed our share of lemons over the years, we've become experts at making lemon-aide. After fighting the initial peristaltic response that usually accompanies receiving something damaged, having Sketch-Up not sketch-up at all, and having buyer's remorse the instant you pull away from the roadside rug seller, the following came into fruition...

This table arrived from Arteriors with the top sheared off...
... after a trip to Lamp Arts, we have a one-of-a-kind table lamp ready for a charity auction.   

A Sketch-Up malfunction (user error) produced this when attempting to design a custom cocktail table for a client... 

... so we just went with it.
Why did we buy that hide rug from this guy?
So we can use it here...
... and here...

... and here.

That will be 10 cents, please.
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Friday, April 18, 2014

This Resin-ates With Us

We love to promote our favorite artists and artisans. This week we'd like to introduce you to Aaron Whitehouse. We've known Aaron for years and recently featured his pieces in our project at the Residences at Mandarin Oriental - Atlanta and our latest installation on South Beach.

Design: GHI+D  Photo: Erica George Dines

Design: GHI+D   Photo: Erica George Dines

Design: GHI+D  Photo: Courtesy of Dorsey Alston
Design: GHI+D
What we love about these pieces is the depth that Aaron is able to achieve with the various paints and resins that he utilizes... we kind of know how he does this, but have been sworn to secrecy.

Aaron is being featured at the upcoming show at Huff Harrington Gallery. The show is entitled "Resinate" (we had already titled this post prior to learning of this - great minds, we guess). The show opens on April 25.

Photos can't do the works justice — you MUST see them in person. Oh yeah, and buy one while you're at it. Sir Elton John and Ed Roland already have!

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