Monday, June 27, 2011

Chic Insider Travel: Venice Now

Secrets of La Serenissima, plus exclusive information and images of Villa F, the ultra-private long-stay residence hotel launched earlier this month by Francesca Bortolotto Possati. Exclusive to THE STYLE SALONISTE. 

The brilliant Venice hotelier Francesca Bortolotto Possati is admired as a key figure in the Venetian luxury hospitality, philanthropy, architecture, fine restoration, and arts worlds.

She owns and directs the Bauer hotel properties (the only privately owned super-luxe five-stars) including Il Palazzo on the Grand Canal where I often stay, as well as L'Hotel, and the new Palladio Hotel and Spa on Giudecca.

I first met Francesca in 1997 when she was launching the elegant new Il Palazzo, and at the same time re-inventing the grand old Bauer hotel. I always maKe a point of seeing her and catching up whenever I've been in Venice. I've had the pleasure of visiting her Palazzo Mocenigo on the Grand Canal, and witnessed the debut of her latest ambitious projects. She's a visionary and a dynamo.

Now, the chicissima Francesca has just opened the divine Villa F, with long-stay apartments in Giudecca.

For a honeymoon couple, for extended families, or for travelers who want to settle in for a month (or a year), this is a great discovery. It’s an instant style-setter and the ultimate romantic hideaway, with a private garden, swimming pool (one of only two hotel pools in Venice), and the most glorious rooms, with views of San Marco and the lagoon. Oh, the romantic possibilities. 

Villa F was named for Francesca, who spent five years on this restoration of an historic series of handsome buildings.

Note: At the end of this text, see Francesca’s fabulous insider tips on ‘my favorite things to do in Venice all year’.

From Villa F, guests can follow in the romantic steps of John Singer Sargent and Henry James, explore palazzi, peer into secret gardens and porticos, and live the fantasy and privacy that Venice so indulgently offers. 

Villa F
Villa F features eleven residences (luxury villa-like accommodations). Several of the ‘villas’ can be connected to make them even more accommodating for families, groups of friends.

Villa F is set up for long stay residences, and guests can book for four days or longer. 

Situated on Giudecca island, it is a five-minute boat ride across the Grand Canal from the Bauer Il Palazzo and Piazza San Marco.

The Giudecca, once considered the ‘orchard’ of Venice, was historically the summer country escape for grand Venetians. Best, it's delightfully serene and tranquil, an escape, a place apart, but with up-close views of San Giorgio, the Punta della Dogana, and San Marco's Campanile. Today, it is still rather a secret and is sometimes referred to as the SoHo of the Lagoon by the bon vivant crowd who appreciate the calm refuge. It provides a lovely escape from the bustle of the Venetian swirl. 

‘The way to enjoy Venice is to follow the example of Venetians and make the most of simple pleasures. Almost all of the pleasures of Venice are simple: walking to an historic church to look at a fine Titian, or wandering to another church to look at a dramatic Tintoretto. It is of such pastimes that a Venetian day can be composed.”—Henry James, On Italy. 

Each residence features living room spaces and kitchens that provide guests with a home away from home and allow them to experience Venice as a true Venetian.

Highlights of the property include a glass-enclosed atrium and winter garden, a romantic outdoor garden patio, and a swimming pool, a rarity in Venice. (It is said that the only other swimming pool is the one at the neighboring Cipriani.)
“Venice is instinct with soft seductive textiles, like the silks that Wagner hung in his bedrooms—the velvets, taffetas, damasks and satins that her merchants brought home from the East, in the days when all ravishing delicacies of the Orient passed this way in a cloud of spice”—Jan Morris, Venice (Faber and Faber, 1960). 

“I’ve been visiting Venice for fifteen years to buy Venini and Barovier & Toso glass as well as rare ethnic jewelry, and on every visit I find an exciting new glass designer, a great source for antiques, a dazzling art gallery. Every square and lane offers a new discovery, a new design surprise. I dine late with Venetian friends at hard-to-find restaurants and enjoy the freshest seafood and salads and regional wines. I walk from campo to campo at night, go gallery hopping, or take the vaporetto along the Grand Canal as the sun is setting. Nowhere is more beautiful.”—Federico de Vera, owner of de Vera galleries in New York. 

Villa F Features 

Three-acre private garden, the largest in Venice

Outdoor meditation pool

Reading room & wine bar with working fireplaces

Winter garden lobby with open views of the city and garden

Original wall frescoes

Pure linen and silk fabrics by Rubelli, Donghia and Jesurum

Oversized tubs

Spacious closets

AC; complimentary WiFi; iPod docking station; satellite TV; DVD/CD player; movie library

Private Concierge service

Laundry service

Butler service and shuttle service available

From $950 for an elegant studio apartment overlooking the garden. 

“The view from my windows is una bellezza; the far-shining lagoon, the pink walls of San Giorgio, the downward curve of the Riva, the movement of the quay, the gondolas in profile"—Henry James, in a letter to a friend, 1901. 

Working on a Project and Research to Venice: My favorites 

I’ll be heading to Venice this summer to conduct research. I will also immerse myself in the Biennale art presentations and concerts, and will meet talented artists, musicians, and the fine traditional craftspeople that bring Venice alive.

I’ll drop in to Codognato, the fabulous jewelry treasure chest, to chat to Attilio Codognato, and to view antique gold rings with carnelian stones, and try on snake bracelets encrusted with diamonds, and chunky Deco rings sparkling with diamonds and sapphires.

I’ll take a traghetto over to the Longhi bar at the Hotel Gritti Palace in the early evening to meet friends and sip on the bar's famous Bellinis, the best in Venice. Fresh white peach juice!

Later, I’ll gather a friend and find a table beside a piazza column (never out in the open square) to listen to hauntingly romantic Carlos Gardel tangos whipped to a frenzy by the Caffe Florian orchestra.

I will score a private visit to the Barovier & Toso glass museum, nibble on crisp sardines at chic Da Fiore, and stroll in the secret vineyard at the Cipriani. An essential stop: the shockingly beautiful gilded chapel of San Zaccaria, and later Francesco Guardi’s charming 1752 painting of San Zaccaria nunnery at Ca’ Rezzonico.

I’ll go in search of Bevilacqua’s extraordinary tiger pattern silk velvets and sumptuous brocades, still woven by hand on centuries-old wooden looms. Ann Getty is a fan of Bevilacqua’s theatrical velvets in baroque patterns in colors like eggplant, verdigris, crimson and cerulean. A must.

As darkness falls I will find a table at the Danieli roof terrace and watch the reflections of San Marco and Castello flicker across the water. On the menu: sweet spider crabs from the lagoon and bitter salad made from arugula and endive from nearby Treviso.

Henry James wrote to a friend in 1872, “The simplest thing to tell you of Venice is that I adore it—have fallen deeply and desperately in love with it. I have drunk deep and the magic potion has entered into my blood.”

I’m in love. I can’t wait to arrive. 

Francesca’s Favorites

Inside Scoop from Francesca Bortolotto, owner/president of the Bauer properties in Venice. 

-- Take the vaporetto line LN from Fondamenta Nuove to Burano. After a one-hour ride you reach Burano and have lunch at Gatto Nero restaurant (041-730-120).

--From March to October take a boat (ask your concierge) and cruise, departing from Venice, along the Brenta Canal to Padua. With At the first blossoming of wisteria in the spring, noble Venetians of old went up the Brenta canal to their summer residences. The Gradenigo, Pisani, Widmann and Rezzonico families dressed up their country dwellings on the Brenta Riviera as if they were palaces on the Grand Canal, exploding into grandeur. The villas on the Brenta Riviera represent the splendour of the Most Serene Republic. My favourites are Villa Foscari (La Malcontenta) on the right bank (ph 041-547-0012). The owner is a great friend of mine. Make an appointment and you might be lucky to meet them at the villa and have a cup of tea with them. Villa Pisani, Strà, left bank, (041-502-074). You get a fine view of the Villa Pisani at the entrance to Strà. Particularly worthy of note is a ceiling, by the great Venetian artist, Giambattista Tiepolo.

-- Lunch at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, Ca' Venier dei Leoni, San Gregorio, Dorsoduro (041-27-71303). Milionairess Peggy Guggenheim bought the property, made it her home and opened an art gallery there. Today, the Guggenheim Foundation houses one of the finest collections of 20th-century art in the world.

--Santa Maria dei Miracoli Church, recently restored by Save Venice Foundation. I am extremely proud to be one of the Board of Directors. Built between 1481 and 1489 by Pietro Lombardo and recently restored to its former glory, Santa Maria dei Miracoli is one of the hidden gems of Venetian Renaissance architecture. This jewel box of a church, with its multi-hued marble facade, is squeezed on the narrow edge of a canal.

--At least once a year I visit the Convento S. Francesco del Deserto ( 041-528 68 63) on Torcello. It’s one of the most important Franciscan convents on one of the most beautiful lagoon islands. Magnificent garden with age-old trees. Lunch there, and perhaps make a reservation to sleep in the convent cells.

--Fondazione Giorgio Cini: visit the incredible library Biblioteca del Monastero Benedettini, a must visit destination.

--Bevilacqua. The famous and oldest tapestry and silk velvet house. Arrange a visit with Mario Bevilacqua to see the original 17th century treadle looms still in use in their workroom, used to make the most exclusive and elaborate fabrics. For an appointment contact the showroom in Campo Santa Maria del Giglio ph 041-241.0662

-- Visit the museum of 18th Century Venice, Ca' Rezzonico (Dorsoduro 3136 (041- 241-0100) on Tuesday nights after 8pm when the palazzo is lit by candles.

-- A must visit on Saturday morning is the fish and vegetable market at the Rialto Bridge where I do my own shopping and have the best Venetian lunch at the trendy osteria Banco Giro ph 041-5232 06. Venetians meet there at around 1 o’clock where they enjoy the fresh catch on big wooden table.

-- Archivio di Stato, adjacent top the Church of Santa Maria dei Frari (San Polo 3002 ph 041 5222 281) recently reopened the splendid Chiostro della Trinità with the monumental Vera da Pozzo (Venice well) from the beginning of the 18th century by the sculptor Francesco Cabianca. Free. Guided visits from 11am to 12 noon.

--On any week day I like to go to Sacca Serenella in Murano island and walk to my favorite glass factory, Gianni Seguso ( 041-739005). He crafted elaborate sconces and chandeliers for Il Palazzo at the Bauer Hotel. I love to browse through historic designs and view their collection of glass samples.


Photography courtesy Villa F and Bauer Hotels. Published here with express permission.

For more information: and

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Picasso’s Picassos come to California

Painter I Love: Pablo Picasso 

The stunning now show, ‘Masterpieces from the Musee Natiional Picasso, Paris’ is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to come face to face with some of the most important and exciting paintings of the twentieth century. I attended a preview recently.

It’s a jaw-dropping show. Overwhelming.

I could have gazed for hours at the tenderly loving brushstrokes of pale mauve paint on ‘La Lecture’. And in the same romantic and sensual painting there's a pale blue shadowing of brushstrokes outlined with black that stopped me in my tracks.

I pondered the compositions, the dramatic modernity of works from the early twentieth century, and the mastery of expression, the originality, and the daring control.

I was entranced by the movement of color, and his use of juxtaposition and counterpoint. Frissons of delight! 

Pablo Picasso
Portrait of Dora Maar, 1937
Oil on canvas
Musée National Picasso, Paris

The superb new exhibit of Picasso’s 150 finest paintings, prints, sculptures and drawings at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, offers the crème de la crème and masterworks of Pablo Picasso’s eight-decade art career. (Through October 9.)

These are the paintings Picasso (1881-1973) kept for himself. He wanted to control his legacy. He hoarded his finest paintings. The works are now the jewels of the Picasso Museum in Paris.

And while I’ve seen quie a few of the iconic paintings in museum exhibits over the years, this new show is startlingly comprehensive, elegant, and magisterially powerful.

The Picasso Museum in the Marais in Paris is closed for renovation; two shows will be on view in San Francisco. A second Picasso exhibit follows the current one.

This summer is a feast for art lovers, a shot through the heart of pure creativity. 

Portrait of artist Pablo Picasso June 2, 1954 in Vallauris, France. 
© Arnold Newman/Getty Images

Ranging from informal sketchbooks to finished masterpieces, this unique collection of “Picasso’s Picassos” provides significant proof of the artist’s assertion that “I am the greatest collector of Picassos in the world.”

At the preview of the show, I walked in an exalted state from one painting to the next. My teeth tingled. Some moments I had to step back, in awe of a painting. Sometimes I had to look away. It’s one great painting after another.

Best of all, this show presents the paintings in a very straightforward style. It’s kind of chronological, but the paintings are given full attention, without a lot of overblown graphics, explanation, or biography. No obvious themes are spelled out, and no geography and personalities and strife and mayhem that are often such a distraction in blockbuster art shows today. 

Pablo Picasso
La Lecture
Oil on canvas. 1932
Musée National Picasso, Paris

I loved the simplicity and directness of the presentation.

“This is how the director of the Picasso Museum wanted it—with no embellishment or biographical complication,” I was told by John Buchanan Jr., director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. ‘The paintings are the key element, not the parade of his life or any thematic distractions.” 

Pablo Picasso
Portrait d’Olga dans un fauteuil
(Portrait of Olga in an Armchair)
Oil on canvas. 1918
Musée National Picasso, Paris

The exhibition is comprised of works from every phase of Picasso’s career.

“We’re showing masterpieces from his Blue, Rose, Expressionist, Cubist, Neoclassical and Surrealist periods,” continued Buchanan. ‘You can understand his career over seventy years.” 

Pablo Picasso
Le Baiser
(The Kiss)
Oil on canvas. 1969
Musée National Picasso, Paris

Pablo Picasso
La Célestine (La Femma à la taie)
(Celestina [The Woman with One-Eye])
Oil on canvas. 1904
Musée National Picasso, Paris

Pablo Picasso
Chat saisissant un oiseau
(Cat Catching a Bird)
Oil on canvas. 1939
Musée National Picasso, Paris

Among my favorites: portraits of women in his life, who get his full attention on each canvas.

There’s wife Olga Khokhlova, realistically and with grace and classical artistry, depicted in Portrait of Olga in an Armchair (1918). It’s a lovely, poetic and arresting opening for the show.

Marie-Thérèse Walter, whose relationship with Picasso began when she was 17, is portrayed in voluptuous curves, pastel colors and soft sinuous volumes in Reclining Nude (1932).

On plinths are a series of five bronze busts created in 1931 that range from recognizable representations to nearly abstract. It’s a glorious period of his life, and to stand before the Reclining Nude portrait, is to see Picasso’s master of color, line, composition, emotional engagement and a captivating moment.

Dora Maar is represented in works characterized by hard-edged, jagged lines, angular forms and acidic color's such as Portrait of Dora Maar (1937). 

Pablo Picasso
Les Baigneuses
(The Bathers)
Oil on canvas. 1918
Musée National Picasso, Paris

Pablo Picasso
Nature morte au pichet et aux pommes
(Still Life with Pitcher and Apples)
Oil on canvas. 1919
Musée National Picasso, Paris

Pablo Picasso
Deux femmes courant sur la plage (La Course)
Two Women Running on the Beach (The Race)
Goache on plywood. 1922
Musée National Picasso, Paris

These works present eloquent testimony that Picasso, constantly experimenting and leaping forward, transformed the definition of art.

Be sure to click here to read my feature on 'Chasing Picasso' and view his Chateau de Vauvenargues that I visited in Provence. Insight!

“The exhibition Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris lifts the curtain on the first act of our partnership between the Musée Picasso and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco,” says Anne Baldassari, general commissioner and president of the Musée National Picasso. 

Pablo Picasso
Paul en Arlequin
(Paul as Harlequin)
Oil on canvas. 1924
Musée National Picasso, Paris

The Musée National Picasso’s collection preserves the highly personal works that Pablo Picasso loved to have around him as he forged ahead with new canvases. 

While I doubt that Picasso stopped for a moment and said ‘now I’m inventing Cubist’ or ‘now I’m in my Rose period’ or ‘time for surrealistic paintings now’ (that is for academics to formalize and expound on and intellectualize), the show featuring the various media in which he worked, this, and offers a survey of painting styles, subjects, periods and infatuations. 

Pablo Picasso
La Chevre (The Goat)
Bronze. 1950
Musée National Picasso, Paris

Pablo Picasso
Tete de Taureau (Bull's Head)
Bicycle saddle and handlebars. 1942
Musée National Picasso, Paris

Included in the far-ranging exhibit: 

One of his earliest Paris works—The Death of Casagemas (1901)

The Blue period—La Célestine (1904)

The Rose period—The Two Brothers (1906)

African-inspired proto-Cubist works were studies for Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907) and Three Figures Under a Tree (1907)

Analytic Cubism—Man with a Guitar (1911)

Synthetic Cubism—Violin (1915)

The Neoclassic period—Two Women Running on the Beach (1922)

Surrealism—The Kiss (1925)

The war years—The Weeping Woman (1937), and the sculptures Bull’s Head (1942) and Death’s Head (1943)

Work from his ultra-dynamic and bold late period including the self-portrait The Matador (1970) 

Pablo Picasso
(The Acrobat)
Oil on canvas. 1930
Musée National Picasso, Paris

“I haven’t got a style,” Picasso claimed, but over the course of his long and prolific career, he created revolutionary works that laid the foundations of modern art. 

Pablo Picasso
Grand Nature morte au guéridon
(Large Still Life with a Pedestal Table)
Oil on canvas. 1931
Musée National Picasso, Paris

The Musée National Picasso  The Musée National Picasso, which opened in 1985 in the elegant 17th-century Hotel Sale in Paris, is the repository for nearly 3,600 works from the artist’s personal collection that passed to the French government (in lieu of taxes) following his death in 1973.

As the collection is so vast, only a small collection of works of art is on display at any point. For that reason, the de Young exhibit is particularly thrilling and rewarding. Many of the paintings currently at the de Young are not permanently on the walls of the Hotel Sale.

Catalogue  An excellent illustrated catalogue of the exhibition Picasso: Masterpieces From the Musée National Picasso, Paris, co-published with Flammarion/Skira is available through the museum store. This makes a fine informational overload combined with the excellent catalogue from the 'Steins' collection show at SFMOMA. 

The de Young Museum, San Francisco

The de Young Museum  The de Young, designed by Herzog & de Meuron and located in Golden Gate Park, is the nation’s fourth most visited art museum. It showcases American art from the seventeenth through the twenty-first centuries, international textile arts and costumes, and art from the Americas, the Pacific, and Africa.

Golden Gate Park, 
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, 
San Francisco, CA 94118 

Tuesday to Sunday, 9:30 am – 5:15 pm
Friday, 9:30 am – 8:45 pm
Closed Monday 

All photographs courtesy Musee National Picasso, used with permission.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Oh, Baby!

New Design Store I Love: Restoration Hardware Baby & Child 

Restoration Hardware debuts its new Baby & Child gallery in Corte Madera, Marin County, just across the Golden Gate Bridge from the new Resto gallery in San Francisco.

It’s chicer than chic, a childhood utopia of dreamy, aspirational gilded lanterns, plumped up duvets overflowing on antique-inspired beds and walls stocked with pristine white linens.

The Palladian-style gallery draws customers in through the arched interior doorways and galleries with shimmering Venetian-style mirrors, brilliant crystal scones, fantasy beds a la Polonaise, baby-sized and whacking-big chandeliers, graphic polyhedron lanterns, optical tests turned into wall graphics, and enough industrial-inspired desks and bunk beds to fuel teenage lust forever.

Love it. 

Resto opened the store a couple of weeks ago—and it is a profoundly bold statement.

A new RH design gallery is opening in Los Angeles in two weeks, followed by more Baby & Child galleries in Southern California. Coming soon to a neighborhood near you.

Pink and blue, let alone any pastels, have been banished. This is not pretty-in-pink, My Little Pony or Hello Kitty land. Rather, it is a cohesive and cool taupe-walled dream of classic Libeco Belgian linens in white and cream. (Resto is said to be the largest retailer of fine Libeco linens in the U.S.).

The gallery, a down-sized version of the Palladian San Francisco RH gallery (originally Ed Hardy Antiques) is a rigorous plan of sisal-on-concrete floors, and a glitter of chandeliers and tranquil pale wood. Cribs are in white with all-white linens. Louis XV-style chairs are upholstered in pale natural linens. There’s no pattern, no gimmicky, no prints or frou-frou in sight. 

Gary Friedman

I can only imagine that Gary Friedman, head of Resto, called a meeting with his design crew and directed, ‘No pink, no childhood clichés, no bubblegum colors, no fear of spilled paints, just dream and make it elegant.”

Probably he was also thinking about what his twin girls might love—or at least his wish for what they should have. I can only imagine hordes of new mothers are going to follow. 

Interior designers are buzzing.

“It is so fabulous and thought-out,” said noted San Francisco interior designer Stephen Shubel, who attended the gala opening party. “It looks like a baby boutique you’d see in London or Paris. The concept is daring. They really pulled it off.” 

Some of the Baby & Child collections, shown in the store in complete vignettes, are mini-me versions of the adult-size furniture in the catalogs.

Restoration Hardware Baby & Child collections include the industrial loft bunk bed, Jameson and Flatiron desks, mini 1950s Copenhagen chair, Belgian linen bedding, grand mirrors, chandeliers and desks. 

And before anyone shouts ‘Axel Vervoordt’ let’s go over this 'Resto copied Axel' misperception once more. I corrected this canard in my earlier feature on the new San Francisco Restoration Hardware opening, (click here).

Axel Vervoordt is not a decorator. He told me so himself. He sniffs when he says it. “I am not a decorator. I don’t ‘decorate’. I’m an antique and art dealer.”

Nor did he invent, and nor does he own the natural Belgian linen/poured concrete floors/sisal rug/ linen-covered overscale sofa ‘look’.

Anyone who has been within miles of Antwerp or Brussels or Bruges would know that natural linen and bare floors and plaster walls are time-honored and ubiquitous there. It's practically a required national style. It’s a wonderful antidote to French gilded glitz and rococo Italian antiques.

Belgians like sober, unflashy and plain decor. Done! Resto pulls off plain hand-crafted plaster walls, lavish use of linen (it's the Belgian national fabric), and plain wood, with the bold scale and understated approach to interiors that is centuries old in Belgium. Page after page of interpretations are on display in Beta Plus design books (produced in Belgium) that decorators collect by the dozen.

Let’s get this: Restoration Hardware adopted a low-key, beiger-than-beige, natural linen aesthetic, but it is rather their antidote to elaborate gilded excess, not ripping of Axel.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject: a design editor reported to me from the latest High Point market that ‘everyone is ripping off Restoration Hardware now’. And so design goes. 

Design inspiration: Important to note that clearly much of this Baby & Child collection is created from re-imagined French and Danish and other European antiques.

Four-poster beds, curvy sofas and Louis XV-style are all familiar. Industrial-inspired chairs and desks and bunk beads are also part of the common contemporary vernacular. No-one owns that look, the tradition-inspired style, the pretty Frenchified curvy benches or the Flemish slipcovered sofas, all now following centuries of decorating history.

Industrial design, by nature, was mass-produced. Modern lighting, crystal chandeliers, and turned wood tables are in every High Street design shop. 

This is a great look applied to children’s rooms and newborns’ cribs.

Resto is totally upfront about copying or adapting vintage and antique pieces they find in Asia and Europe or around the US.

About that ‘copying’: Like most other designers who work in a traditional frame, they find and buy and pick and scavenge everywhere for inspiration. Flea markets, vintage stores, auctions, pickers’ lofts, dealers’ dens, design magazines, design books (mine, included), antique shops, are all sources for them and every other design firm.

That is how design moves forward.

Few, indeed, are true originals. Top fashion designers like Azzedine Alaia (hello, Mme. Gres), Marc Jacobs, Yves Saint Laurent, Dior, Givenchy (Balenciaga-inspired), have all looked to antique, vintage and historic styles for ideas.

Top California designers like Michael Taylor (wonderful and often derivative), and Frances Elkins (loved Roche), and John Dickinson (an admirer of Jean-Michel Frank), and Rose Tarlow and Barbara Barry and others have all found and appropriated and adapted and copied historic and existing designs. It’s no secret. So does Resto. 

I love the white linen, the downy beds, the generosity of the scale, and the glitter of glass-framed mirrors and little chandeliers. The hand-troweled plaster walls are divine. Taupe, yes. Poured concrete floors make a fantastic background for furniture and family life. 

A couple of quibbles on the new Baby & Child products and store.

That massive antique wood double propeller-turned-wall-hanging is terrifying and heavy-handed. Reconsider. Please take it down. Or mini-size it and use it for a desk display. Or not.

I see it hanging on the wall, seemingly by a mere rope, and imagine it plunging and slicing and dicing an innocent child. There is the industrial repurposed look (the great-looking desks, the witty bed on wheels fashioned after an industrial dolly) but there is also clever gone wild. 

The zinc pots with the overly aggressively fake clipped topiaries are not worthy of these chic interiors. Silly. Please banish them.

Wittier, would be carved wood topiaries either in bleached wood or painted wood, antiqued somewhat. The faux zinc looks a bit heavy-handed, too. 

Welcome the new Baby & Child. It is off and running. I can’t wait to see what develops next in the fast-growing world Restoration Hardware. 

All photography courtesy of Restoration Hardware.

The Village at Corte Madera, 1700 Redwood Highway, off Hwy 101, Corte Madera, CA. It’s opposite the new Restoration Hardware design gallery.

The Baby & Child Gallery can be reached at 415.927.2659 and is open Monday through Friday 10am–8pm; Saturday 10am–7pm; Sunday 11am–6pm.