Here, There, on the Ground, in the Air
Design in unlikely places.
A GARDEN TAKES TIME to grow, so modernist San Francisco landscape designer Katharine Webster, at her new outdoor furnishings showroom on Sacramento Street in Presidio Heights, offers instant gratification in the form of artisanal works by Andrew Molleur and Birch & Brush at Dash Lane. Also displayed there are curated selections of garden accessories and outdoor furniture from global brands such as Dedon and Hawkins New York that can be special-ordered. Open by appointment. 415.757.0794; Instagram @dash_lane
THE JEWELED ISLE: ART FROM SRI LANKA, an exhibition organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and on view through June 23, is a rare showing of the fabled island’s Buddhist and Hindu treasures. About 250 works, including paintings and colonial British photographs addressing nearly two millennia of Sri Lankan history, shine a new light on this Indian Ocean island that has suffered many cultural battles. The latest, a 30-year-long ethnic and religious struggle, ended in 2009. A decade later The Jeweled Isle celebrates the island’s resilience as well as its creativity exemplified in bejeweled gold and ivory artifacts and rich textiles known and admired even in fourth-century B.C. Greece.
HONG KONG–BASED DESIGNER Michael Young designed Silk, a new collection of glazed hexagonal wall tiles for famed Turkish tile company Gorbon that lists Foster + Partners among its clients. Young’s riff on geometric Islamic patterns and arabesque swashes was developed with 3D modeling software. The low-relief indented glazed Silk tiles can be combined to form a lively monochromatic or multihued surface. Prices to the trade range from $40 to $65 per square foot. Instagram @gorbontiles
IT TOOK A GLOBAL VILLAGE to create Hotel G’s three new loftlike black/white/gray open-plan penthouse suites near Union Square in San Francisco. Los Angeles designer Gulla Jónsdóttir, who is originally from Iceland, worked with Chicago artist Charles Nitti on metallic wall finishes for distressed concrete walls that add a gritty urban air to the establishment, where bleached oak floors and hard-edged Dalmata marble details are juxtaposed against floor-to-ceiling wood shelving, brass fixtures, and curvilinear room dividers, lighting and furniture. The bedrooms feature fireplaces, and several terraces with fire pits have city views. From $699 to $1,899 per night.
HENRYBUILT FOUNDER Scott Hudson has launched a new line of furniture in the spirit of the streamlined handmade kitchens the company is known for, but with innovative details that vary from piece to piece to suit a variety of moods and create consistency without monotony in a space. Finding balance in the imperfect match is his holy grail. Credenzas and freestanding storage can be combined with built-in pieces for customized effects. Prices vary per finish.
ALESSI’S COLORFUL JAPANESE-STYLE Food à Porter bento boxes will make brown bag lunches less drab. Designed by Sakura Adachi, each thermoplastic resin box set has three stackable, lidded dishwasher- and microwave-safe containers that can be held together with optional, colorful silicone straps with or without handles that make the ensemble look like a clutch bag. Available in three colors — red, gray and blue-green — each set costs about $50.
OTHER WALKS, OTHER LINES, through March 10 at the San Jose Museum of Art, has an intriguing premise: walking has become politicized and, as at the 2017 Women’s March on Washington, D.C., can be a mark of protest as well. Mass migrations touch on issues of urban planning, immigration and the French notion of dérive — a walk toward a less monotonous life. Curated by Lauren Schell Dickens, Rory Padeken and Kathryn Wade, Other Walks, Other Lines also highlights work by global artists who use walking as a creative leitmotif. Topics include pilgrimages, processions and protests. Other Walks: Gabriel Orozco, consisting of photographs and videos by Orozco, is a tandem exhibit showing through February 17.
LONDON-BASED BRITISH DESIGNER Luke Irwin’s exclusive line of distressed mosaic-patterned handwoven silk and wool rugs — inspired by extraordinary geometric Roman-era stone mosaics discovered three years ago under sections of his Wiltshire country home — are now available in reconfigured, affordable woven versions through Williams Sonoma Home. Prices vary by shape and size.
THE NEW RAVENNA stone and glass mosaic company in Exmore, Virgina, has recently developed a new line of stone, glass and shell mosaics called Tissé (French for woven) that replicates the feathery effects of cotton ikat textiles and other texturally rich rattan, jute and esparto weaves. Some of the pattern names are illustrative of what to expect: tweed, gingham, chevron, cabin weave, wicker or twill ombré. Thomas, corduroy and cane weave are more heavily textured and meant just for walls. The mosaics, made of custom hand-cut, tumbled, long and short pieces that are carefully assembled into 23 different patterns, are either tape-faced or mesh-backed for installation. Prices, through the trade, range from $30 to $129 per square foot.
SPEED IS AT THE CORE of AS2, a conceptual 12-passenger supersonic passenger aircraft that the Aerion Corporation, paired with Lockheed Martin, GE Aviation and Honeywell, hopes to fly across the Atlantic by 2023. Powered by GE’s still-in-the-works supersonic engine, the AS2 will presumably travel over 1,000 miles per hour — outpacing its predecessor the Concorde. That translates to about 60 times faster than most commercial jets, with time saving of three hours across the Atlantic and five across the Pacific.
GREENS RESTAURANT at Fort Mason, a Bay Area landmark since 1979 and owned by the San Francisco Zen Center, was closed for four long months due to a kitchen fire. Restored in time for its 40th anniversary, the restaurant proudly retains the original details by Zen Center carpenters, including Zen priest Paul Discoe. A black walnut front door, a carved redwood installation by artist J. B. Blunk, landscape paintings by Willard Dixon, and an entryway designed by Jason Lees are all intact. As if the design and chef Annie Somerville’s organic vegetarian fare made from Green Gulch Farm produce were not lure enough, Greens has a grandstand view of the Golden Gate Bridge.
EDWARD BARBER & JAY OSGERBY designed the Bellhop lamp for the London Design Museum’s Parabola restaurant. Now, the take-it-anywhere 8-inch-high dimmable LED table lamp whose polycarbonate form evokes a hatted hotel porter is made by FLOS. Cordless, it has a rechargeable 24- hour battery and is available in white, gray, burnt orange or dark brown. Costs about $295 at Dzine.
FRENCH ARCHITECT AND DESIGNER Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance has created an understated dark-edged tableware collection for French purveyor Revol to mark its 250th anniversary. Called Caractère, the collection has a design that starts with charcoal circles and shapes drawn on paper that are then translated into porcelain cups, plates, oval platters and a centerpiece — replete with the imperfections of the charcoal line — in colors of seven different spices. Individual pieces range in price from about $20 to $120.
JOIE DE VIVRE Hospitality founder Chip Conley, who is also former Global Hospitality leader for Airbnb (where he was surrounded by staff half his age), has predictably gotten older. And with age has come a cumulative wisdom that he shares in an insightful new book called Wisdom @ Work: The Making of a Modern Elder. Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky’s foreword calls it an effective guide by a sage counselor who knows how to cultivate “a beginner’s mind.” One of the book’s key directives is that because your “vintage” is always growing in value, nurture it and rewire — don’t retire. Taking his own advice, Conley has postponed retirement and designed the Modern Elder Academy in Baja, Mexico. Currency, $27
SAN FRANCISCO interior designer Jay Jeffers’ latest book, Be Bold: Bespoke Modern Interiors, written with Vicky Lowry, has a foreword by Michael Purdy and principal photography by Matthew Millman. It gives some insight into Jeffers’ taste for vivid colors, patterns and textures at home and for clients. Fourteen sumptuous interiors, filled with beautiful objects, offer a voyeuristic high. Gibbs Smith, $50
HEARD OF CLIPPINGS? This clever startup from London founded by Adel Zakout and Tom Mallory might revolutionize the way consumers buy furniture and furnishings and the way designers source and manage such items for interiors. From inspiration boards to actual purchase to installation, Clippings is designed to reduce management time, friction and cost, by offering transparency and tracking for anyone planning a particular project or simply placing an order. You can identify, source and buy products from anywhere on the web, yet get a single invoice and arrange group deliveries. Design teams from firms such as Foster & Partners are already on board. There are 6.5 million products, like this Era sofa from Normann Copenhagen, to choose from.