In Food, Media on May 7, 2011 at 4:09 pm
I grew up cooking out of Gourmet—one of many subjects that Susan and I bonded over at my very first magazine job. Susan was the managing editor, and I was the assistant to the editor in chief. But it was Susan who gave me my first break, lobbying to our editor to promote me to assistant editor. I owe much to Susan. And now I owe her even more. A couple weeks ago, three large boxes arrived outside my office doorstep.
Inside were carefully wrapped binders containing Susan’s collection of vintage Gourmet magazines, spanning from 1971 – 1985. I laid them all out on my office floor, and then spent the next several hours leafing through them. It’s extraordinary just how progressive the magazine was. Looking through the issue from the month/year I was born, I stopped on a page with Susan’s handwriting.
She had made notes next to a recipe for pumpkin flan—which must have made quite a splash at a dinner party in Chicago 30-some years ago. But what was truly wonderful, and just a little bit weird, was that the previous evening I’d made a pumpkin flan from Gourmet, November 2005 for a dinner party here in Los Angeles. Something tells me these magazines will be very happy in their new home.
In Design, Fashion on July 26, 2010 at 2:56 pm
I realize that I never posted pics of the finished office! I’m sitting here at my desk writing my December column for Bon Appétit and feeling so blessed. I love my job. I love this office. And I love staring out the French doors at our tomato red vintage lawn chairs by the fountain. I should figure out how to record audio to share because all I can hear is the trickle of water, some birds chirping and the hum of a lawnmower somewhere nearby. You would never know we are smack in the middle of Los Angeles! Here are a few more pics. I’m super happy with the way the bookshelves turned out.
One side of the bookcase is devoted to food/wine and the other to fashion/design. Tucked in are a few favorite mementos, like these feathered Venetian masques we wore on New Years Eve at Lucques back in 2006, the night we got engaged.
While I’m no Einstein, I’m happy to quote Albert when he asks, “If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, what is the significance of a clean desk?” Yours truly has never been accused of having a clean desk, though I do like to think there’s order and—better yet—inspiration in my chaos. When I’m stuck on a story—like, um, now—I find myself zoning out on this awesome vintage Gucci attaché from the 60s my dad gave me, or this snow globe my sister brought back from Paris last week until I figure a way back into the story.
Bingo! Okay, back to work……….
In Design, Media on June 22, 2010 at 8:51 pm
Sorry for ducking out like that. I’ve been sick as a dog fighting a wicked summer cold for almost a week now. During the midst of which I’ve been researching and writing an upcoming column for Bon Appétit (thank the lord I wrote my tasting notes before I lost all sense of taste and smell). Which is why I haven’t had time to finish unpacking my office or hang pictures on the walls or take photos or any of that fun stuff. But even amid the chaos, when I sat down yesterday in my sparkling new office chair and pulled up to my newly arrived and assembled George Nelson Swag Leg Work Table, I was ready to write. Would this sublime desk, by osmosis, make my prose any prettier? I wondered. “Might be more effective if it were a Nelson George desk,” replied my esteemed colleague Eric Asimov of the New York Times. As with yesterday’s column on American Gewürztraminers, the man has a point.
In Baby Love, Design on May 29, 2010 at 11:20 am
It’s been a busy, busy week with a three-day weekend arriving just in time. To see what we’ve been up to and for the latest pictures on the home office, head on over to Herman Miller’s LIFEWORK blog for a look at the garage doors and the beautiful azores-colored paint—the color of sea off the Portuguese coast, the Schoolhouse electric cage lights (above, and more on those later), and the bookcases (here and here). Hope your weekend is off to a gorgeous start! It’s sunny here, and Tiny G and I are heading out to blow some bubbles. But first we need to put on his shoes…
In Design on May 25, 2010 at 3:38 pm
Now that the paint has dried on our gorgeous red lacquer bookcase, I’ve been unpacking box after box of books, magazines, more books, more magazines. Firmly rooted in the Type A camp, I wanted to streamline all my back issues of Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Saveur, Los Angeles Times Magazine and various other pubs containing clips from yesteryears. I found these untreated wood magazine files at Ikea:
You can stain or oil the magazine files. I’m leaving them untreated. But speaking of color, I also unpacked three of my favorite nail varnishes, which used to live on my desk at Bon Appétit, in case of emergency: Chanel Ruby Slipper, Laura Mercier Caviar Dreams, OPI My Private Jet. Also from my former office, a Friedlander poster from the 2005 exhibit at MoMA, which was AMAZING. Beside it sit 10 individual French press coffee makers, just in case 9 of you would like to come over for brunch…I’m ready.
Today I’m alphabetizing books (uh huh). I can’t wait to press this little guy into action, a ceramic frog bookend from Alpha on Melrose:
Tomorrow, my desk arrives!
In Design on May 20, 2010 at 4:07 pm
About a year ago, Modernica announced a 20th anniversary special edition “Prince Charles Chair” (as in Charles Eames) to much ire in the design community. I mean you should have seen the vitriol splashed about! What’s the fuss about? Los Angeles artist Peter Shire blended the classic molded Case Study fiberglass shell with traditional Queen Anne legs in walnut. Sacrebleu! I think it’s gorgeous, and I just ordered one in oatmeal fiberglass for a guest chair in the new office. It will be the perfect bridge between an antique Bokhara rug I heisted from my parents and my reissued mid-century George Nelson Swag Leg Table in walnut veneer, which arrives on Monday. Unfortunately the oatmeal-colored shells for all Modernica’s Case Study chairs are back-ordered, so my new piece of blasphemy should arrive in early July.
In Design on April 29, 2010 at 9:06 pm
Sorry, sorry! I promised exciting paint photos, but I’m waiting for them to go up over at Herman Miller’s LIFEWORK blog before I share here. Also, the 15 mph winds today slowed down our paint progress considerably. In the meantime, I’ll show you what isn’t happening. And that’s this Poppy paint from Benjamin Moore. I seriously love the color, but it is skewing too pink? Do I need something a little more BLOOD RED with more black in it? I need to make a decision on the red for the book case in the next 36 hours. So please—if you have any thoughts on shades of red, would love to hear!
In Design on April 28, 2010 at 4:20 pm
This is what happened over the weekend. But wait until you see what happened today! Check back tomorrow. It’s really, really exciting. I promise. Hint: It involves…….. PAINT!!!
In Design on April 24, 2010 at 12:13 pm
I have a favorite pair of Lanvin ballet flats that are the prettiest shade of red I think I’ve ever seen. It’s almost a tomato, or, more accurately, what the Ben Color Capture app on my iPhone calls “Poppy.” (There are fantastic applications for this fantastic application, like when my friend Katie photographed our friend Hugh and discovered that his skin tone was akin to Benjamin Moore’s “Coyote Trail” and “Nutmeg.”)
But back to my shoes. According to Farrow & Ball, the color is called Incarnadine, or blood red. Whatever it’s called, I want a bookcase painted this color in my new office—and I love how it pops against the above shade of F&B’s Pigeon gray, which is one of the contenders for the office walls.