Favorite Reader Submissions
Above: A 1940’s Italian sofa covered in Dedar silk velvet under a Neal Small faceted mirrored sculpture, side by side with a French armchair embellished with Mongolian long-haired lamb.
Above: 9 mini-video screens in a Sandra Llano-Mejia installation flicker over the acid-washed mirror fireplace.
Thanks to our friend Suzanne Sokolov for reminding our readers that the 2008 Hampton Designer Showhouse opens on July 19 and runs through August 31. And a special thanks to Suzanne for giving us all a sneak-peek at one area of the Showhouse, the sexy and unexpected "private collector's retreat space" created with flair by Gail Shields-Miller of Shields & Company. (Photo credit: Ivy Neal of Ivy D. Photography)
Favorite Great Design Ideas
The 20LTD.com website features the finest designers in the world -- furniture, fashion, architecture, fine art photography, products -- and their limited edition product runs of no more than 20 pieces. It's a great concept for adding unique design to your home. The metallic and sensual antique silver Hara chair from Based Upon and the hand-painted Egg Vase by Marcel Wanders are just two of many superb items available.
Favorite Hot Craftsmen
Eighty years young, master stained glass artist Val Sigstedt works with artist Norma Reichling creating magical stained glass creations ranging from windows, murals, and room dividers to Tiffany-style light shades. Val has a hand-operated pressed glass jewel factory setup and has been creating commissioned masterpieces for years. New Yorkers and tourists know his famous work for Tarvern on the green and Serendipity III; check out the Sigstedt Design Studio website and add stained glass and painted murals to your next design project.
New York's Bespoke Porcelain Company features classic, yet imaginative takes on porcelain dinnerware. We're crazy about their Walker's Wood-Grain Plates (third dining set above), a faux-painted delight.
Watch Design2Share's What Should I Change & Update in My Kitchen? remodeling video, and just under the video window check out our new Great Kitchen Considerations journal entry with special editor picks for what we know will snazz up the heart of your home!
Favorite Green Tips
Discovery has a new channel in their constellation called Planet Green, blocks of programming devoted entirely to environmental issues. Check out their House & Garden section for helpful eco-friendly tips, videos, and articles; also watch Alter Eco, with Adrian Grenier and a team of "eco-friendlies" who put together great green home makeovers on Mondays 9pm EST/8pm Central (see photo of the team above).
Favorite Antiques & Imports
Liz and Jose, newlyweds made internationally famous in the best-selling autobiography Eat, Pray, Love, have a great warehouse/shop selling global imports in Frenchtown, NJ. Visit their Two Buttons website for more information.
Favorite Crying-Shame House
The Hang Nga Villa, designed by architect Madame Dang Viet Nga, is located in Da Lat, Vietnam. Locals call it the Crazy House. The jury is out as to whether Nga, whose house includes wonders like a concrete giraffe tea room, is Vietnam's Gaudi or someone with an overactive kitsch thyroid.