Unofficial BlogTour Milan Boyfriend

It’s worth mentioning that good design often takes human form…

Unofficial BlogTour Milan Boyfriend | CLOTH & KIND

…as in the case of this beautiful Dutch man that was staying in our hotel in Milan. Little did he know that he was quickly to become the heart-throb and unofficial boyfriend of our entire group! Chasen West, our insanely talented BlogTour Milan photographer, gracefully chased him down and asked to take a few photos of him. Thankfully, he not only happily obliged but got rather into the little photo shoot.

Unofficial BlogTour Milan Boyfriend | CLOTH & KIND

Keep your eyes on Kandrac & Kole’s blog which will soon feature an entire post devoted to The Men of Italy. Can you just hear the girly giggles that emerged from our group each time we snapped picts of the gorgeous men in Italy?

But, alas, we digress. Back to interior design, our {ahem} true passion.

BlogTour Milan Sponsors | ModenusBLANCO AmericaGessiClever Storage by KesseboehmerDekton by Cosentino, National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA).

Photo Credits | Chasen West Photography

LCDQ Legends 2014

LCDQ Legends 2014 | CLOTH & KIND

The cat is officially out of the bag! CLOTH & KIND has been invited by the La Cienega Design Quarter in LA to design a window for their 6th annual Legends event. Quite simply put, we couldn’t be more excited about this whole darn thing!

LCDQ Legends 2014 | CLOTH & KIND

If you’re not yet familiar with Legends, it is one of the most anticipated design events in the country. It’s a  3-day celebration of design in May that brings together the top editors of the nation’s most prized shelter magazines – Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, House Beautiful and Veranda to name just a few – with VIPs and tastemakers from the worlds of interior design, architecture, decor, art and fashion for keynote panel discussions, cocktail parties, exhibitions, book signings, personal appearances and receptions. There are 40 windows in the LCDQ that will be transformed by some of the most talented designers on the planet (their words, not ours … we’re still in complete shock over having been invited!) based on the themes of various novels. Legends is the largest design event of its kind on the West Coast, and is a prominent fixture on the national design event calendar.

This year’s Legends theme is Novel Interiors, Storytelling by Design. All designers were asked to choose any novel and to then design a showroom window around that theme. Our window, at Sydney Harbour Paints (which we adore, by the way) is going to be a super luxe tribute to Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger. Yes, that’s right… as in ‘Bond, James Bond’.  Think lavish & sexy meets glam & sophisticated. As designers, the opportunity to be wildly imaginative without restraint has been a wonderfully creative and freeing experience for us and we’re beyond excited about sharing our window with you. Stayed tuned for behind the scenes posts of the installation!

Oh, and another cool little thing that we’re kind of thrilled about… our window will be next to those designed by some of our most admired peers in the industry like Diane von FurstenbergHouse of HoneyKerry JoyceMark D. SikesMartyn Lawrence Bullard DesignTimothy Corrigan to name just a few. AND, several of our blogger/designer friends will be there as Legends Ambassadors which will be so fun.
LCDQ Legends 2014 | CLOTH & KIND
So, to put it politely, we’re frickin’ stoked about this!!! Now on to the most important question… what in the world are we going to wear?!

Inspired: The Palaces of Barnabò & Fortuny

We’re back from our whirlwind trip to Venice & Milan as part of Modenus’ BlogTour Milan. What a truly and utterly incredible journey! Without sounding cliché, there really are no words to begin to articulate what the last 10 days have meant to us… but over the next several weeks we’ll certainly attempt to by injecting the blog with heavy doses of the things we saw and experienced on our Italian adventure.

After arriving in Venice and taking our water taxi to the hotel, we had some time to settle in and explore on our own. Soon we’ll be sharing a BlogTour Milan Photo Album post that encompasses many of our random experiences, but in the meantime we want to tell you about one of our first full days in the city of love. Veronika and Florence of Modenus arranged for us to have a wonderfully personal guided walking tour with Cristina of SlowVenice. She specializes in offering multifaceted experiences of Venice at a slower pace, one that incorporates the history and stories, both past and present, of this culturally rich city. Let us just tell you, she had us all hanging on her every beautiful, Italian-accent-drenched word and oh, oh the places she took us! Aside from wandering through the narrow, cobblestone clad back streets and learning about the vibrant Venetian history and culture, we also had the distinct pleasure of having a private meeting with the Countess Anna Barnabò and seeing, first hand, her family’s stunning (and if we’ve ever said stunning before, we never truly meant it until now) Byzantine style palace, named Palazzo Malipiero.

Inspired: The Palaces of Barnabò & Fortuny | CLOTH & KIND

The palace is located right on the Grand Canal and was originally built in the 11th century, changed hands several times, and was ultimately restored to its splendor by the Barnabò family in 1951 who undertook a substantial restoration, returning the palace to a grand eighteenth-century style. To learn more about this history of this grand home, check this and this out.

We entered the palace from a rather nondescript door on a side street just off of the Grand Canal, but once we stepped into this cool, dark foyer we knew we were in for something very special. Immediately across from the entry door was this monogrammed archway out to the garden which we will show you more of in a bit. You can begin to feel the mood, right? Quiet, serene – almost like a moment frozen in time.

Inspired: The Palaces of Barnabò & Fortuny | CLOTH & KIND

Inspired: The Palaces of Barnabò & Fortuny | CLOTH & KIND

Every detail had us weak in the knees. Like the light fixture and that funky little hand painted bench seat back. Oh my god!

Inspired: The Palaces of Barnabò & Fortuny | CLOTH & KIND

After taking in the entryway, we climbed a set of stairs and stepped into the main hallway of the palace which quite literally took our breath away.

Inspired: The Palaces of Barnabò & Fortuny | CLOTH & KIND

The patina of the cracked plaster walls and that ornate molding painted in lovely pastels took us to a totally different time and place. Oh, yes – and Murano glass chandeliers adorned just about every space we entered in the palace.

Inspired: The Palaces of Barnabò & Fortuny | CLOTH & KIND

Inspired: The Palaces of Barnabò & Fortuny | CLOTH & KIND

Inspired: The Palaces of Barnabò & Fortuny | CLOTH & KIND

The grand living room with floor to ceiling windows that open directly onto the Grand Canal was like a moment frozen in beautiful time.

Inspired: The Palaces of Barnabò & Fortuny | CLOTH & KIND

Inspired: The Palaces of Barnabò & Fortuny | CLOTH & KIND

Inspired: The Palaces of Barnabò & Fortuny | CLOTH & KIND

The sitting room off of the main living room is home to a TV and newspapers, evidence that the Countess enjoys spending time in this space.

Inspired: The Palaces of Barnabò & Fortuny | CLOTH & KIND

Inspired: The Palaces of Barnabò & Fortuny | CLOTH & KIND

Inspired: The Palaces of Barnabò & Fortuny | CLOTH & KIND

Check out the Chinoiserie silk fabric that graces these chairs. To die for.

Inspired: The Palaces of Barnabò & Fortuny | CLOTH & KIND

The rugs throughout the space were beyond anything we’d seen before.

Inspired: The Palaces of Barnabò & Fortuny | CLOTH & KIND

Fabric drenched walls, with an ornate mirror.

Inspired: The Palaces of Barnabò & Fortuny | CLOTH & KIND

Inspired: The Palaces of Barnabò & Fortuny | CLOTH & KIND

The bright and cheerful dining room.

Inspired: The Palaces of Barnabò & Fortuny | CLOTH & KIND

Inspired: The Palaces of Barnabò & Fortuny | CLOTH & KIND

Inspired: The Palaces of Barnabò & Fortuny | CLOTH & KIND

We loved this little bobble head dude… oh, and how about the marbeling in the panels below? Too good.

Inspired: The Palaces of Barnabò & Fortuny | CLOTH & KIND

A view from the gardens, taken above in the dining room.

Inspired: The Palaces of Barnabò & Fortuny | CLOTH & KIND

Just as grand as the interior.

Inspired: The Palaces of Barnabò & Fortuny | CLOTH & KIND

Inspired: The Palaces of Barnabò & Fortuny | CLOTH & KIND

Inspired: The Palaces of Barnabò & Fortuny | CLOTH & KIND

OK, yes, we were being total tourists…. but can you blame a couple of design freaks like us?

Inspired: The Palaces of Barnabò & Fortuny | CLOTH & KIND

After bidding the Countess goodbye, Cristina took us next to the Palazzo Fortuny which is now a museum. For textile addicts like us who adore the sumptuous and always decadent Fortuny fabric line, we were acutely aware of just how fortunate we were that the museum happened to be open when we were there.

This large gothic style palace, the exterior of which you can see below, was transformed by Mariano Fortuny into his personal atelier of photography, stage-design, textile-design and painting. While its own collections are vast and plenty, it remains closed much of the time and only opens to highlight temporary exhibits from different artists. We caught the Spring at Palazzo Fortuny exhibit.

Inspired: The Palaces of Barnabò & Fortuny | CLOTH & KIND

One of the temporary exhibits was that of  Ritsue Mishima’s. The thousand-year-old tradition of making glass in Venice, seen through the lens of Mishima’s Japanese culture, results in works forming a highly contemporary alphabet. All lit up in the dark space, these pieces were a vision.

Inspired: The Palaces of Barnabò & Fortuny | CLOTH & KIND

We appreciated the wide-ranging breadth of art and styles represented throughout the space, many of which were hung on a backdrop of Fortuny fabrics.

Inspired: The Palaces of Barnabò & Fortuny | CLOTH & KIND

Inspired: The Palaces of Barnabò & Fortuny | CLOTH & KIND

Inspired: The Palaces of Barnabò & Fortuny | CLOTH & KIND

What a rare and precious opportunity it was to visit these two Venetian palaces. We count our lucky stars every day to be doing what we love on a daily basis, and it is opportunities like these – so graciously provided by Modenus and their forward-thinking sponsors BLANCO AmericaGessiClever Storage by KesseboehmerDekton by Cosentino, the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), that continue to teach and grow us as designers and bloggers.

Image Credits: All photos taken by Krista Nye Schwartz of CLOTH & KIND. Link With Love, please.

BlogTour Milan: We’re Here!

BlogTour Milan: We're Here! | CLOTH & KIND

We’re in Venice, Italy (pinch us now!) where we’re kicking off BlogTour Milan and it’s already been a whirlwind 24 hours. If this is any indication of how the rest of this trip is going to be, we’re in for the most intense travel pleasure of our lives.

The group of bloggers that Veronika Miller from Modenus has compiled for the inaugural BlogTour Milan trip is seriously killer. We already adore them, and can pretty much assure you that we’ll all be best of buds by the end of this trip. BlogTour is, after all, kind of like a week at sleep away camp. Think total closeness, bonding in an unfamiliar yet fascinating new place, and rapid immersion in one another’s lives all in a very condensed period of time and you’ll get the picture. If you aren’t already following this crew please do as they are a virtual wellspring of interior design goodness with wonderfully varying styles and tastes.

Pamela Copeman | Posh Palettes
Carmen Natschke | The Decorating Diva
Holly Hollingsworth Phillips | The English Room
Joann Kandrac & Kelly Kole | Kandrac Kole
Tamara Matthews Stephenson | Nest by Tamara
Lisa M. Smith | Decor Girl
Robin Plaskoff Horton | Urban Gardens
Eric Schimelpfenig | Sketch This

Since BlogTour doesn’t officially kick off until Saturday evening at dinner, we opted to arrive a day early to allow ourselves the ability to adjust to the different time zone and to just have some free time to take in the beauty of Venice at our own pace. Turns out we weren’t the only ones with the same bright idea. Holly, Pam and Robin were all here early too so we knocked around leisurely and had an absolutely lovely day yesterday. We fell hard & fast for Venice and with beauty every which way we turned it was quite literally impossible not to. Here are some of the things we have loved most so far…

BlogTour Milan: We're Here! | CLOTH & KIND

BlogTour Milan: We're Here! | CLOTH & KIND

BlogTour Milan: We're Here! | CLOTH & KIND

BlogTour Milan: We're Here! | CLOTH & KIND

BlogTour Milan: We're Here! | CLOTH & KIND

BlogTour Milan: We're Here! | CLOTH & KIND

BlogTour Milan: We're Here! | CLOTH & KIND

Starting on Sunday, we’ll be following this kick ass itinerary that Veronika and BlogTour Milan’s gracious sponsors have put together for us. Sounds just about too good to be true (as written by Veronika), don’t you think?

DAY 1 | TOUR OF VENICE
We will be spending a full day touring Venice under the knowledgeable guidance of Cristina Gregorin of Slow Venice (special thanks for the introduction goes to Venetophile JoAnn Locktov) who has arranged for a visit to a private palace, a fabulous luncheon and a walking tour to see the endless treasures hidden in this most romantic place. Cristina has her doctorate in history and foreign languages, has been a certified guide for over twenty years and, as if that weren’t enough, focuses on sharing the real Venice in a tour that incorporates the history and contemporary stories of this singular city.

BlogTour Milan: We're Here! | CLOTH & KIND

Our evening will be spent with BlogTour sponsor Clever Storage US at their showroom outside of Venice. We have their team to thank for our jaunt to Venice, so grazie tutti!

DAY 2 | HEADING TO MILANO
A relatively short train ride will take us through Vicenza, Verona, Brescia and Bergamo as we make our way to Milan. We promise to perfect the pronunciation of these and many other Italian cities before we return. Wine, we are told, helps in this endeavor.

BlogTour Milan: We're Here! | CLOTH & KIND
The Art Hotel Navigli in Milan

To make the transition from Venice to Milan as gentle as possible, we found a hotel on a canal in Milan. The Art Hotel Navigli is located in the eponymous area of Milan that is known for it’s many bars, design shops, art galleries and antiques markets and we’re quite confident our team will have a great time after a hard day’s work.

Our friends and BlogTour sponsors BLANCO are taking us out for classic Milanese dinner at Osteria di Brera.

DAY 3 | SALONE DEL MOBILE
Our first full day in Milan will indeed be spent hard at work with a design filled day at Eurocucina, as we meet with our sponsors GessiCosentinoBlancoClever Storage and the NKBA in addition to exploring other parts of this gigantic trade show.

BlogTour Milan: We're Here! | CLOTH & KIND

Because the show is so big we’ve decided to let the team divide and conquer during the day and reconvene on the hotel terrace after dinner for drinks and sharing of design finds. By the way, every team member will select 3 Top Design Finds for the tour which we will publish on Modenus’ BlogTour page.

DAY 4 | TOUR OF MILAN, VIA TORTONA AND A FABULOUS EVENING
Our fourth day allows us a bit of breathing room and we’ve offered an optional guided tour of the sites in Milan or our team can take the morning off and sleep, shop or explore more design.

BlogTour Milan: We're Here! | CLOTH & KIND
A must see in Milan, Duomo di Milano

We will meet everyone for a cool gelato, courtesy of NKBA CEO Bill Darcy before wandering over to Via Tortona Design District which is only a stone throw from our hotel. Here we will find narrow streets, teeming with design lovers and lots of shops and showrooms that are participating in the festival.

Our evening will be spent at Cosentino’s VIP dinner followed by a drink or two at the fabulous Trussardi alla Scala.

DAY 5 | GESSI AND AN AFTERNOOON WITH A DIVA
Ending our whirlwind tour on a number of high notes, we will spend the morning touring the Gessi showroom in Brera, followed by a lunch with the Gessi team, “somewhere in the neighborhood”.

Part of our afternoon is free to explore Brera and we look forward to seeing our friends at Design Junction and also at Spazio Pontaccio.

BlogTour Milan: We're Here! | CLOTH & KIND

Set against the historic backdrop of Palazzo Morando, in the heart of Milan’s fashion district, EDIT by Design Junction is set to be the premier destination with more than 20 global brands showcasing quality, authentic design across all design disciplines.

Spazio Pontaccio will exhibit live, chef served dining scenes in its windows to amuse passers by.

And then….we meet up with none other than the grande dame of antiques’ tours, the Diva, the one and only Antiques’ Diva Toma Clark Haines for a tour of shops in Brera that ends in, what else, a visit to La Scala followed by the classic Milanese version of Happy Hour, Aperitivi.

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How’s THAT for an itinerary?! Veronika, you’ve outdone yourself!

Lastly, we wanted to sincerely thank the wonderful sponsors of BlogTour Milan who have made this all possible. We’re excited to see some of the friends we made at BlogTour LA again, like Gessi & Blanco, and to meet the new sponsors DektonCosentinoNKBA and Clever Storage.

Please stay tuned to Modenus’ BlogTour for live feeds from all of the bloggers on this trip. For now, bella notte!

Proust on Design: Neisha Crosland

Proust on Design: Neisha Crosland | CLOTH & KIND

what is your idea of perfect design happiness?
HAVING A WHOLE DAY IN MY STUDIO
WITHOUT ANY INTERRUPTIONS.

Proust on Design: Neisha Crosland | CLOTH & KIND

 what is your greatest fear in design?
HAVING TOO MANY MEETINGS.

 which historical design figure do you most identify with?
POPOVA THE RUSSIAN PAINTER ( 1889-1924 )
HAS BEEN A MENTOR FOR ME SINCE THE AGE OF 17 YRS OLD.

Proust on Design: Neisha Crosland | CLOTH & KIND

which living designer do you most admire?
ARCHITECT LUIS BARRAGAN AND
LANDSCAPE GARDENER FERNANDO CARUNCHO.

what profession other than design would you like to attempt?
TOO LATE NOW BUT A DANCER OR PIANO PLAYER.

what is your greatest design extravagance?
PRINTING ON A £500 A METER CASHMERE
THEN BOILING IT TO MAKE IT SHRINK
TO SEE WHAT THE EFFECT WOULD BE.

Proust on Design: Neisha Crosland | CLOTH & KIND

when and where were you happiest with your design?
AT THE MOMENT I CRACK THE REPEAT
PARTICULARLY WITH WALLPAPER.

Proust on Design: Neisha Crosland | CLOTH & KIND

what do you consider your greatest achievement in design?
THAT I AM STILL AT IT 30 YRS LATER.

if you died and came back as another designer or design object,
who or what do you think it would be?
CONCORDE.

what specific design related talent are you lacking
that you would you most like to have?
TO BE ABLE TO DRAW AND PAINT
LIKE THE MARIA GARTHWAITE AND JAMES LEMAN
BOTH LATE 17TH EARLY 18TH SPITALFIELD
LONDON TEXTILE DESIGNERS.

what is your most treasured design related possession?
MY SKETCHBOOKS.

Proust on Design: Neisha Crosland | CLOTH & KIND

 what do you regard as the lowest depths of misery in design?
CONFORMING.

what curse word do you most frequently use?
BLOODY HELL.

what is your favorite design related word?
ELEGANT.

what is your least favorite design related word?
COOL / TRENDY /SEXY.

what turns you on in design?
A NEW ANGLE THAT IS BEAUTIFUL.

 what turns you off in design?
TRYING TO BE TOO CLEVER AND BAD DRAWING.

what is your motto in design?
KEEP IT FRESH
AND EVERY LITTLE PART HAS TO BE BEAUTIFUL.

Proust on Design: Neisha Crosland | CLOTH & KIND

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IMAGE CREDITS | All images provided by Neisha Crosland. Portrait of Neisha taken by Kristin Peres.

ABOUT PROUST ON DESIGN | Answered by our design icons, these must-ask questions come from a 19th century parlor game made popular by Marcel Proust, the French novelist, essayist & critic. Proust believed the direct questions and honest responses that they elicited revealed the true nature of the individual. For this column, we have put a design related spin on the traditional questions. While this method has been used by many journalists throughout the years, we were primarily inspired by The Proust Questionnaire, which appears monthly on the back page of one of our all time favorite magazines, Vanity Fair (also Krista’s alma mater). Read all of the previous Proust on Design questionnaires here.

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