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Quote of Note | Andrée Putman

“Having to do a hotel where I was given an almost incomprehensible [very tight] budget, so ridiculous, led me to black and white. I had to use the lowest priced tile in the United States. At first they brought me little pink tiles for the bathrooms. My voice trembling with despair, I asked if they came in white…They said yes! Suddenly I realized, that’s going to be horribly dull!…And in black? Yes…A-ha! We’ll do the bathrooms in black and white. A sort of potluck, with a nice metal washbasin and a few good lights…Suddenly, we had a really nice bathroom. The black and white label comes from there.”

-Interior designer Andrée Putman, who died Saturday in Paris at the age of 87

Inside IDEO Founder David Kelley’s Ettore Sottsass-Designed Home

In a recent 60 Minutes segment, Charlie Rose and producer Katherine Davis profiled IDEO co-founder David Kelley (and revealed that even Steve Jobs himself struggled in getting AT&T to activate one of the first iPhones). This part of the piece, in which Rose pays a visit to Kelley’s Ettore Sottsass-designed home near Palo Alto, ended up on the cutting room floor, but CBS has released it as an online extra. “It’s supposed to be a humble, private house, where you don’t make a big deal out of it,” Kelley tells Rose. “That’s why it’s so plain on the front.” Sottsass studded the living room with bluish green boxes, to break up the space and make it more cozy. Here, Kelley reveals what’s inside them. Plus, his teenage daughter has an entire little (Monopoly-style) house to herself. Notes Kelley, “Ettore thought that if you were a kid you should have your own house rather than your own room.”

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New Websites for Calder Foundation, ASID

Nothing says “fresh start” quite like a new online home. On the sculptural heels of its 25th anniversary year, the Calder Foundation has debuted a new website at with the goal of creating a “more visceral, firsthand experience of Alexander Calder‘s work.” A splash page features videos of mobiles in motion, and amidst the foundation’s trove of images, cataloguing info, and historical texts are new features including a blog, a timeline of the artist’s life in pictures, and a selection of rarely seen historic Calder films (check out Hans Richter‘s 1962 experimental short From the Circus to the Moon).

Also ringing in 2013 with a new website is the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). Part membership hub, part design showcase, the upgraded, launched today, begins with a homepage that highlights rotating designer portfolios based on a user’s location as well as the option to view portfolios and search for designers by specialty and expertise. Head to the “Knowledge Center” to bone up on topics such as sustainable design and to browse case studies that illustrate how interior design can address specific physical, psychological, social, and economic needs.

Pentagram’s William Russell on Designing for Alexander McQueen

In a sea of ever more opulent emporiums designed by the usual luxemaster suspects (think Peter Marino, Bill Sofield, Michael Gabellini), Alexander McQueen stores swim against the high-gloss current. Bold, vaguely apocalyptic, and often shot through with a distinctively ghostly take on baroque exuberance, the shops are the work of Pentagram’s William Russell. In the below video, the London-based architect reflects on a decade of work with McQueen–both the PPR-owned house and the man himself, known as Lee to friends. “He wanted a collaborative relationship, rather than someone imposing a look or a feel onto him,” says Russell of developing the initial store concept with the designer. “He was a true genius–you don’t meet many in your life, and he was an extraordinary man.”

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Jim Olson, Tom Kundig Among New Members of Interior Design Hall of Fame

Interior Design magazine is gearing up to add five members to its Hall of Fame: hotel interiors whiz Alexandra Champalimaud, product designer Patrick Jouin, Seattle-based architects Jim Olson and Tom Kundig, and the multitalented Michael Vanderbyl, who currently serves as the Dean of Design at California College of the Arts (having taught graphic design there for more than 30 years). They’ll be honored at a gala on Wednesday evening at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, where the inductees will join the storied ranks of ID Hall of Famers such as Thierry Despont, Frank Gehry, Albert Hadley, and Andree Putman.

Then, on Thursday, the magazine moves downtown, to the Pei Cobb Freed & Partners-designed Goldman Sachs HQ, for its Best of Year Awards. Among the products and projects up for the honor–which comes with a snappy Harry Allen-designed lightbulb trophy–are Gensler’s offices for Facebook, the LED-embdedded swoop that is the Taj lamp designed by Ferruccio Laviani for Kartell, a riveting metallic wallcovering by Phillip Jeffries, and Zaha Hadid‘s London Aquatics Centre, which is something of a ringer in the “hospitality: beauty/spa/fitness” category.

Quote of Note | Frédéric Malle on Home Fragrance

“A home fragrance is first and foremost a good smell. It doesn’t have to mingle with the skin. Furthermore, it doesn’t have to last and evolve in the same way. Home fragrances are more one dimensional. The most technical aspect of working on a home fragrance is to develop a perfume that marries itself well with the supporting base, for instance the wax.

In other words, when working on a home fragrance one just concentrates on beauty and on comfort which is simpler than doing a perfume. However, evaluating candles or perfume guns is a tedious and long process. You can only smell one at a time (or one per room), rather than smelling four of them on your arms!” -Perfumer Frédéric Malle

Million Dollar Decorators Returns with a 3,000-Pound Dining Table, Black Patent Leather Drapes

Tonight Bravo kicks off a second season of Million Dollar Decorators, the wildly amusing docu-series that follows quiptastic interiors gurus Kathryn Ireland, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Mary McDonald, and Jeffrey Alan Marks as they go about their appointed rounds (Nathan Turner, the fresh-faced kid brother of the bunch, has been pruned from the cast). The season opener follows the progress of Jimmy Choo co-founder Tamara Mellon’s Manhattan dining room to be. The space is Bullard’s “disco frenzy” wink at the red lacquer library that Albert Hadley designed for Brooke Astor, but it’s out with the chintz and in with black patent-leather drapes, a suite of Paul Evans chairs recovered in red leather, zebra-stripey chevrons, and a custom white marble dining table that, at 3,000 pounds, will need to be hoisted through the living room window. “Good grief!” says a wide-eyed Bullard, when his assistant relays the news. “I’ve never, in my entire career, had to use a crane before.” Will the $50,000 table make it safely into the penthouse? Can Bullard locate the man who has apparently absconded with $10,000 and Mellon’s future fireplace? Will McDonald’s mercurial client change her mind, again? Can Ireland and her Diana Vreeland-esque housekeeper find relaxation in wine country? Will a tipsy Ross Cassidy locate the ice cream he seeks? Tune in tonight to find out.

Inside Scoop: Dwell Partners with American Society of Interior Designers

Dwell is looking inward for its latest partnership. We hear that the shelter magazine-turned-bicoastal media empire will announce tomorrow that it’s teaming up with the American Society of Interior Designers. With a membership that includes around 18,000 practicing interior designers and 10,500 students, the trade group will move its national conference to Dwell on Design, which caps off Dwell Design Week in Los Angeles. The leaders of 500 ASID chapters nationwide and board members of the organization will join the eighth annual installment of modernism-infused home tours, product demos, and presentations, set to begin on June 21, 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Derek Lam Designs Green Room for Emmys

And the Emmy goes to…Derek Lam! OK, so the fashion designer won’t take home a statuette tonight at the 64th Primetime Emmys, but he could surely land a hefty discount on a new Audi S4. The maker of German-engineered luxury vehicles tapped Lam to design the green room at this year’s Emmys, which will be held at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. He sped into action, defining the entrance with curving metallic fabric and tricking out the space with vintage furniture. The design elements nod to Audi vehicles and a company that Lam says shares his own brand vision of “modern luxury and uncompromised quality.” Get a closer look at the Audi Green Room tonight on “Backstage Live,” a slate of online programming that will run in parallel with the Jimmy Kimmel-hosted telecast.

(Photos: WireImage/Charley Gallay)

Five Things You Didn’t Know About Peter Marino

Business is booming for Peter Marino, the architect that every luxury brand worth its heavily burnished heritage story has on speed dial. His 150-employee firm completed 100 projects last year, and none of them had budgets under $5 million (only ten had budgets under $10 million). That’s just one of the revelations in Amy Larocca’s excellent profile of Marino that appears in the August 20 fall fashion issue of New York magazine. Here are five more little-known facts about the man, the myth, the leather-clad legend that caught our eye:

5. He deliberately avoids the news: “For me, it’s worse than religion.”

4. His motorcycle obsession (and penchant for wearing codpieces and chaps to the office) was triggered by an odd doctor’s appointment. “[The doctor] said, ‘If I told you right now that you had cancer and a month to live, what would you do?’ And I said, ‘I would get a bike and ride, and if it was painful I’d go off a cliff and die happy.’ And he said, ‘You better start doing that right now.’” explained Marino. “For the first 30 seconds, I was like, Where are we going with this?, and then he was like, ‘You don’t have cancer, but you’re getting to a certain age, and I want you to enjoy your life.’”

3. He’s not above a starchitect dig. “Where are the clothes?” asked Marino of the Rem Koolhaas-designed Prada flagship in New York. “And by the way, has Rem Koolhaas ever been asked to design another store?” (Note to Pedro: Yes. And Coach recently tapped Koolhaas and OMA to design its Tokyo flagship as well as an in-store shop at Macy’s in Herald Square that is slated to open next month.)
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