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Maison & Objet Comes to America

Parisohlala_CorinneCampenioIt’s like the second-coming of Art Basel, say Miami locals of the buzz surrounding Maison & Objet’s American debut. The highly regarded Paris-based interiors trade show hits the beach May 12-15, 2015. Teresa Laughlin, a spokesperson for the event, hears Art Basel-like references nonstop. “There are so many ancillary events taking place all over the city, officially connected and independent, so excitement is very high. Add to that the exceptional reputation that Maison & Objet has built, and anticipation is very high.”

Maison & Objet Americas sold out quickly, which is outstanding considering the number of U.S.-based design events taking place that same month, including NYCxDESIGN (May 8-19), Collective (May 13-17) and ICFF (May 16-19). That said, it’s hard to compare the size and scope of Maison & Objet, which brings countless categories together.

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The Renovation of Paris: 5 Luxury Hotels

image from
Plaza Athénée (c)Eric Laignel

Recent news from Paris has moved people all over the world. Even as the impact on tourism is debated, hotels are opening in the world’s most visited country. And oh-la-la what hotels they are.

Not so long ago, things looked different. In the 1990’s, says Richard Martinet, principal architect at the local Affine Design which specializes in high-end transformations, European palaces lived their last moments of glory. Lacking sufficient investments to bring them back to their original standards and revive their souls, Parisian palaces were withering too.

Yet even as the recession that dominated most of the last decade was felt worldwide, investments were made by luxury hotel operators. The returns are coming in now. It’s stunning to consider how the money was spent. These aren’t new builds with absolute freedom of structure and design. These are historic renovations, spectacular century-old buildings with many rules and laws, unexpected accidents (some happy), and thoughtful methodology.

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Suit Up, Mr. President

As sometimes happens over long weekends I get into delete and clean-up mode, which leads to finding of lost things, like this story, which never ran (was commissioned as a response to President Obama's tan suit scandal), which means it's unedited, but entertaining enough for me to bring forth, especially since the White House recently recalled the event.

courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue (Abla suit)

In a profession swarming with men in black it’s simple to spot the stylish. And the President has been leading the sartorial charge since he took office, at least when it comes to suits (casually speaking he leans more Blockbuster employee; think back).

Obama’s isn’t the first White House closet full of made-to-measure garments, of course. Four score and forever ago ‘bespoke’ wasn’t merely a buzzword (our forefathers weren’t shopping off the rack), and, as the recent Ken Burns “The Roosevelts” reminds us, TR employed Brooks Brothers to outfit him, for war. Yet we’re trained to expect the frumpy when it comes to politics. So when the President steps out in a seasonally-appropriate tan suit we’re aghast. Or measurably aware.

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You Can Now Build a Multi-Million Dollar Home via Your iPad

HBThere are apps for real estate sales, apps for paint color, apps for arranging furniture, and apps for making the best use of natural light. But until now, there was no app for that most fundamental process of homesteading: creating a new one from scratch. In the coming weeks Al Hamra Real Estate Development will unveil its all-inclusive Home Builder app.
All you need is an iPad and five million UAE Dirham ($1.36 million), to start. Swipe and spend has never been so elite.

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A Patriot's Gift Guide

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The pressure to find the right gift is an inescapable part of holidays. What to give? Where to buy? How much to spend? Fortunately, for U.S. government employees, specifically those who are shopping for colleagues who have more take-home pay than they do, that last question is moot. According to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics (Preventing Conflicts of Interest in the Executive Branch!), $10 or less is the approved spend—but only as an exception to a standing rule that prohibits giving gifts to one's betters.

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Cooper Hewitt Museum Reopens Following 3-Year Renovation

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The Immersion Room at Cooper Hewitt

Founded in 1897, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is the only museum in the U.S. exclusively devoted to design, both historic and contemporary. It’s been part of the Smithsonian since 1967—and has been closed for renovations since 2011. This Friday, December 12, the museum officially reopens to the public at 11 a.m, revealing a massive overhaul by a team of at least 13 firms.

The $91 million renovation created 60 percent more space, meaning a full floor can be dedicated to the permanent collection's 210,000 objects, something they’re never been able to do before, noted Caroline Baumann, the museum’s director, at yesterday's press preview.

“We are a design museum and we recruited a dream team of designers,” Baumann said, highlighting many of the 13 firms involved: Gluckman Mayner Architects (interior design), Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners (engineering, historic preservation), Diller Scofidio + Renfro (cases, shop, entrance canopy, fence lighting), Hood Design (garden, terrace), Thinc (exhibitions), Goppion (display cases), Local Projects (interactive media), Pentagram (graphic identity).

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Urban Plunge: City Swimming Dives into London

Urban Plunge, an exhibit that opened in September at Roca London Gallery, contemplates the trend of transforming urban waterways into public places of leisure.

“Urban wild swimming is very much in the zeitgeist, but this is the first time a series of projects for river and harbor baths, realized and proposals, have been brought together in an exhibition” says Jane Withers, curator of Urban Plunge, noting also the unique opportunity to explore the movement and its projects in depth.

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Heatherwick Studios Opens Bombay Sapphire Distillery

The Bombay Sapphire Distillery at Laverstoke Mill in Hampshire, England—which includes a visitors’ center and a bar—opened to the public on October 1. Designed by Heatherwick Studio in collaboration with GWP Architecture, the distillery sits on the five-acre site of a former paper mill, abandoned for a decade before work began in 2010.

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Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize Names Seven Finalists

1111 Lincoln Road in Miami, Florida, by Herzog & de Meuron
Founded by Wiel Arets, dean of the college of architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), to honor the best built work in the Americas, the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP) is a new honor created in February. In July seven finalists were chosen from a group of 225, dating from 2000-2013.

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Tandus Centiva and Suzanne Tick support Publicolor Summer Design Studio

courtesy of Publicolor

Flooring specialists Tandus Centiva and textile designer Suzanne Tick are working together to benefit the Publicolor Summer Design Studio, a seven-week program for at-risk teens that includes design classes, related work experience, SAT prep workshops, and volunteering projects.

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