House and Home Roundup: Spring is in the Air

House and Home Roundup: Spring is in the Air

Maxwell Ryan
Apr 23, 2004

Blah, blah, blah...just show me something good. I hate going to yoga classes where the teacher talks to you for 10 minutes about life and spirituality before getting to why I am really there: to move my body. I feel the same way about homes and design. Show me. Don't talk about it. With that in mind, here we go.

Barbara Smith is an interesting character who I confess to liking in this lead article, "A Move Up (Martha Who?)". I haven't heard much about until recently. She is a large company already with books, television and design, but she loves her husband and the degree to which she brings him into her picture is strikingly different than the eponymous Martha. You can see it all at Let me know what you think.

Meanwhile, at the Milan furniture fair there is a lot of talk, cocktails and politics which is lost on me ("Softening the Cutting Edge With Petals and Patterns"), probably because I am not part of the crowd. That said, I often find high end design as useful as high end fashion, which isn't much. Practicality is key. However, everyone in Milan is getting happy again after a disasterous few years of furniture sales following 9/11 and there were a few neat new designs, including the Bloomy chair (pictured right) which is based on a desert flower.

For some designers of note showing see: and, Paula Lenti, Frank Gehry for Emeco, and Ingo Maurer.

Rents are going up! Watch out New Yorkers! As a result of prices being so high for purchasing apartments ("Betting on Rent Over Mortgages"), people are opting to rent instead - saving their money for when the market is more tolerable. That means rental availability is getting scarce again. Time to SELL or stay where you are.

My favorite section, Currents (which you can't link to - which sucks), has some great things, the best of which is a statement by the architect Peter Gluck, "Color is not a cost factor."

Which means that color doesn't cost any more than non color, and is one of the few decisions you can make for maximum impact without changing the cost. USE COLOR or don't be afraid of it, is how I take it. And as the ICFF draws closer and Brooklyn Designs opens April 30th, these birch plywood boxes with anodized aluminum frames are spotlighted (@$350 each) and are from 54 DEAN.

Also very cool lighting if you live in a warehouse. From Mathieu Lustrerie in France.

Though I can't vouch for the craftsmanship,

as this Armed Chaise Bed comes from Urban Outfitters and only costs $320, this to me is a great design for a sofa/spare bed.

And though we don't have children, I love nightlights anyway, and this one caught my eye because it slowly changes colors: The Glowbug for $13.50.

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