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Queen Mary’s Dollhouse

As designers, we often make models of our ideas to better understand the scale and to view from all angles. I grew up with dollhouses and always loved redecorating and imagining how a family might live in the space. The idea that you could see a cross section of what everyone was doing inside was always fun to contemplate.

The idea of Queen Mary’s dollhouse caught my attention.

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alexander calder

Alexander Calder has been one of my favorite artists for as long as I can remember. I love the primary colors he uses in his paintings and the bold, pure shapes in his sculpture. When Sherwood and I stumbled upon an installation of his Cirque Calder in New York years ago— we fell in love with Calder and his playful, clever imagination.

Thank you to SuperRadNow for the article.

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Happiland Paintings blog studio angela adams maine

One of my favorite exercises to do in the studio is to design plants, trees and creatures for a new landscape. I call this landscape Happiland; it is a land I imagine, where the vegetation and the creatures all coexist in a very peaceful way. They need and appreciate each other and more than anything, they celebrate life together and share in the care of the land, air and sea around them.

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bernard langlais

Many of us dream of living a life completely filled with art, craft and creative projects around every corner. Bernard Langlais did just that. He turned his property in Cushing, Maine into a giant sculpture park and studio full of his beautiful wooden creatures and modern paintings. My mother was great about taking me to see art whenever we were on the mainland. She introduced me to the work of artists such as Louise Nevelson and Bernard Langlais,

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Jean Dubuffet (1901 – 1985) resisted authority from an early age. He didn’t see the art world in the way that society saw it at the time. He was greatly influenced by Hans Prinzhorn’s book Artistry of the Mentally Ill and found the art of the insane and of children to be far superior to the works considered to be great by critics, museums and collectors. He coined the term Art Brut,

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I have a dream of filling the nine rooms of Villa la Banane with friends and relaxing on the furnishings of some of my favorite designers- Charlotte Perriand, Jean Royere and Pierre Jeanneret. The interiors and furnishings are exquisite and hold a long history of glamorous international parties and getaways. The design is timeless and a perfect combination of mid century French design and Caribbean luxury.

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“There are places you don’t happen upon just by chance.

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india mahdavi

We all have our favorites. India Mahdavi is mine. Or at least one of my most favorite favorites. She was born in Iran and spent her first one and a half years there, before traveling with her family and living in the United States, Germany and France. Her worldly influences are evident in her interiors and furnishings. I find her style to be feminine, confident and just perfect in an unpredictably surprising and inspiring way.

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Yayoi Kusama’s work is powerful and mind bending. Since the age of 10, as a child growing up in Japan she has had hallucinations and visions that she has turned into vibrant works of art. Her dreams have informed paintings and sculptures. Her life and work are full of stories and wild interpretations of her visions. Along the way, artists such as Georgia O’Keefe and Donald Judd became her friends and supporters. At first look, one might think her life has been full of joy due to the playful colors and shapes,
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abd90319faed7aa99b6ad0f25a303367The concept of designing a house to meet the individual needs of the owner or oneself is a fascinating and luxurious idea. Designing how you want to live at home to the tiniest detail is a rare opportunity. Whenever I have the opportunity to peel back the layers of this in process it is an interesting study not only in design, but in individual style and human behavior. In the case of Villa Mairea,

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It’s hard to compare anyone to Ann Margret. She’s in a league of her own. It’s nearly impossible to take your eyes off of her — even when she is co-starring alongside Elvis. It isn’t simply her beauty that shines. Nor is it her acting or dancing talent. I think what shines brightest is her spirit. She’s happy, positive and appreciating every moment. Two of my favorite Ann Margret movies are Bye Bye Birdie and Viva Las Vegas.

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Collaborating with other artists and designers is a rewarding exercise. The suprises that happen can make for a magical combination of different approaches to the same challenges. I really enjoyed collaborating with Kat Manock, a talented jewelry artist that lives on the island where I grew up. She was so full of fun ideas and mixed media that I wish we could do some form of that collaborating every few months. After bouncing ideas around,
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David Bowie legend music blog fashion design inspiration

Our posts this week are inspired by black and white.  I am not sure why David Bowie was the screamingly obvious musical choice for this series, but I think the answer lives on a variety of planes in which Bowie has explored and experimented. He was a multi dimensional artist and person and I think the music is just one part of it. He had an intriguing alien quality that is captivating and exciting and he exudes a sensitivity that is both raw and protected.

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As the scribe for this blog I have the luxurious task of creating posts (along with Nicole, our designer) that share a theme of our choosing. Betsy another talented member of our team came in one day excited about a new book called Bohemian Modern. That was all it took… I got lost immediately in the idea of whom we would feature as part of our Bohemian series. I knew the fashion designers Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell were in,

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“Celia Birtwell is the textile designer whose floral prints on gossamer chiffons, silks and satins, tailored and cut into romantic dresses and shirts by her late ex-husband, Ossie Clark, defined the ethereal look of the late 1960s and 1970s. Talitha Getty, Marianne Faithfull, Pattie Boyd and Bianca Jagger all wore them. Even Brian Jones and Keith Richards couldn’t resist the odd blouse.” >> Read more about Celia Birtwell and Ossie Clark at Fashion.Telegraph.UK

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2015.12.29 First Snowfall from angela adams on Vimeo.

We all remember innovating with our winter sports equipment. What would get us down the hill the fastest in the given conditions was our after school focus. We had the most excellent sliding hills on the island growing up. The golf course was great on powder days, with a good snow boat that didn’t have scars on it from riding over rocks on boney days.

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The rain in Maine won’t let up. It should be snowing. So this week we are willing it with our snow minded posts.

Sonja Hinrichsen’s snow paintings are fantastical wintery doodles, albeit with a short lifespan. Looking at them, you almost get the impression that small creatures made these tracks while scurrying about their daily lives. A life so happy and light that the resulting patterns read like fairytales.

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I fell in love with Justine Ashbee’s work the first time I ever laid eyes on it. Her weavings are textural, elegant and beautiful crafted. We’re thrilled to be carrying her pieces in our retail store and urge you to come by and see them in person. — angela

 

“Expanding her horizons as an artist, Justine Ashbee is pleased to introduce Native Line, new forms in woven precious metals,

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And we thought the winter days in Maine were short… In Northern Greenland, an Inuit village welcomes the Sun’s arrival after more than 40 days of darkness. Watch the video and the return of the sun. — angela

You may play the video here on Nowness. Article is written, and owned, by Nowness.

“Return of the Sun Filmmakers Glen Milner and Ben Hilton Witness the Greenland’s First Dawn of the Year

Set against the expansively beautiful and iridescent landscape of Northern Greenland,

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Remember being a kid and drawing airplanes? I think the Beech Bonanzas all look exactly like the drawings we did as kids. It’s airplane perfection in many ways. Beautiful fliers and iconic design that still today is an airplane that makes you smile every time you see it. Pilots look at bonanzas in the same way they look at their favorite Uncle, with love, respect and a let’s go flying attitude. Beechcraft was founded in Wichita Kansas by Walter and Olive Ann Beech in 1932.

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balenciaga

Assembling related ideas for the blog is a luxurious task. I love coming at the ideas from different angles. The theme this week is classic design. All three of the classic design posts featured this week were the first three that came to mind… the 911 Porsche, Beech Bonanza airplanes and the fashion house Balenciaga. These three iconic design companies are all in a league of their own. I can easily imagine Cristóbal Balenciaga,

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johnston marklee

Every Wednesday we feature Architects, Interior Designers and inspiring interiors. It’s a great opportunity for us to share some of our favorite designers and to also keep an eye on their latest work as well as works in progress. This week we feature Johnston Marklee.

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We all have our favorite modern architects. There are so many California modernists that come to mind when thinking about a modern house full of modern art and design. Swedish born Greta Magnusson Grossman is one of my favorites. She immigrated to Los Angeles in 1940, where she continued her Architectural work, which was already well known in Sweden. I could easily live in one the houses she designed, filling it with her furniture and lighting.

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I love the sci-fi quality of cacti. I’ve had some magical encounters with them. One in particular where they seemed to hum and glow in the yellow sunlight. Their energy seemed to make a sound that was indescribable. It was one of the most powerful experiences I have had in nature. Saquaros always stop me in my tracks. They seem like grand old men to me, casting a knowing look at the world around them.

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We couldn’t do a series of posts relating to the midwest without one about Frank Lloyd Wright. I get overwhelmed looking at the scope of his work and decided to focus this post on Taliesin, the home he built for his family in 1911. The story of Taliesin reads like a Hichcock movie (“Rebecca” comes to mind)… Wright fell in love with a client’s wife, Mamah Borthwick and built Taliesin for her.

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The City Museum, St. Louis Missouri blog angela adams adventure

This week’s posts all connect to the Midwestern U.S. Our in-house expert on the midwest is non-other than Betsy McDonald, a longtime member of the aa team, whom hails from Missouri. When we were brainstorming about features for this post she suggested the City Museum of St. Louis. From there, I got lost in the imagery and imagination of this amazing place and immediately added it to my to do list on my trip westward.

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The Midwestern US is the root of our posts this week. I’ve always been fascinated by the history, the people and the culture. Flying over the Midwest, I am always captivated by the landscape— the farms, the space, the flatness, the straight roads that connect the small towns. William Burroughs was born in 1914 in St. Louis, Missouri. His journey through life was a wild ride. Like most young men of his era,

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