I’m currently working on a pool house project which, I feel, provides a great example of the full range of services offered by my design firm.
One of the most popular events hosted by the Bruce Museum is the Outdoor Arts Festival.
Now that fall is officially here with cooler days and nights, we tend to start cooking heartier meals.
Zoe Bios works with dozens of artists worldwide, overlaying their prints with elements such as aging, gesso, leafing, and India ink to develop high quality pieces.
We recently went to F.I.S.H. Restaurant + Bar on Bedford Rd. in Stamford and had such a memorable meal!
I’m currently working on a pool house project which, I feel, provides a great example of the full range of services offered by my design firm. Rather than simply decorate a space, we take on a much more complex role, working closely with the client and the contractor to build an environment from the ground up, where every element is carefully thought out and influenced by a knowledge and respect for architecture, the client’s needs, and the surrounding landscape.
In this case, the client wanted a pool house design that would bring to mind an English conservatory, but would respect and complement the existing Georgian home with its gorgeous brick and iconic historical details. This is the part of the process I love, discussing the initial plans with the contractor and creating a new structure with a nod to the family’s home. This involved a lot pre-planning, with multiple site visits and drawings. At first, the design is conceptual — a wish list of goals, wants, and needs. We also have to consider the limitations of the site. Exploring and developing all of these elements leads to the next phase of the design.
During all of this, our client was very involved and thoughtful. She came back to the contractor and me to say she decided the pool house should be in a different location. Because the structure would be in a new spot, we had to reevaluate our design. Not much of the plan altered , but we had to be mindful of the site change. For example, we initially had an open area in the design, but with the pool house in a different place we decided on a new layout that will be more functional and user-friendly for the family.
Now that the structure is finished for the pool house, we can move on to architectural specifications. This is when we choose elements such as tile, appliances, plumbing fixtures, and create the cabinetry mill work drawings. This allows the contractor to give the client an accurate quote as well as to show the scale and layout. This is an exciting time because the client really sees the project come to life. From this point on, the design turns to finding the jewelry of the interior — fabrics, furnishing, art, and accessories.
When you take into consideration the full scope of a project like this pool house and the involvement of the design firm literally from the ground up, you can see how important it is for us to help orchestrate the many components and specifications which are crucial in the master planning of any project.
The Bruce Museum in Greenwich is well known for being an outstanding institution. Their art, science, and natural history exhibits, many of which change annually, are housed in a historic building that was originally the home of Robert Moffat Bruce. Robert Moffat Bruce deeded his property to the Town of Greenwich in 1908 with the stipulation that it be used as “a natural history, historical, and art museum for the use and benefit of the public.” The Bruce Museum’s first exhibition in 1912 featured works by local artists known as the Greenwich Society of Artists. To this day, the museum continues to be a vibrant and active part of the community.
One of the most popular events hosted by the Bruce Museum is the Outdoor Arts Festival. The festival, held on museum grounds, features original works by dozens of artists from all over the country, many of whom personally attend the festival to show their work. This year, more than 85 artists were represented at the festival, showcasing everything from painting and photography to sculpture and print.
There are so many different styles and mediums, making the festival an ideal place to discover new artists and source pieces for specific clients. Sourcing art is one of my favorite aspects of design, allowing me to help a client find just the right piece to finish a space. At the Bruce Museum Arts Festival, many of the artists are on hand to answer questions and talk about their process. I am often fascinated by the various creative forces behind the artwork which makes browsing the festival that much more of an enjoyable experience. I found quite a few artists and works that I am looking forward to sharing with clients. Here are some of the artists and their pieces I found most memorable:
This year’s festival has ended, but if you missed it, plan on visiting the museum next Columbus Day weekend when the festival returns to the Bruce Museum. You can visit their website to learn more about the museum and keep up to date on future events.
Now that fall is officially here with cooler days and nights, we tend to start cooking heartier meals. One that comes to mind is Chicken Cacciatora, or Hunter’s Chicken. Cacciatora means hunter in Italian. In cuisine, alla cacciatora refers to a meal prepared hunter-style with tomatoes, onions, herbs, often bell pepper, and sometimes wine.
What’s great about this dish is that it can be cooked in one pot. There are many different versions of this dish, but the one I go to is from one of my favorite cookbooks: Elodia Rigante’s Italian Immigrant Cooking. It is filled with many wonderful recipes that were passed down in her family for generations, recipes that originated in the Apulia region in southern Italy where her parents were from.
To quote Elodia, “The best cacciatora is cooked slowly for a long time, so that the flavors in the sauce are subtle and perfectly blended, and the chicken is tender as butter. Therefore, even though I say to let this dish simmer for an hour, if you have time simmer it for two hours on very low heat.”
The recipe calls for a whole chicken cut up, but I prefer to use chicken legs and bone in breasts. I also like to cook with cremini mushrooms, but it is one’s preference. The original recipe adds cheese to the dish before serving, but this is optional. I am not one to measure, so always check your ingredients. You may have to adjust them.
1 chicken (5 pounds) cut in pieces, or 6 chicken legs and 4 whole chicken breasts with bones, split in half with skin removed
1⁄4 cup olive oil
1 cup flour
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
1 cup julienned carrot
1 cup julienned green pepper
minced garlic (optional)
1 35 oz can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand
1 6 oz can of tomato paste
3⁄4 cup red or Marsala wine
1⁄2 cup of chopped fresh basil and parsley
1 tsp chopped fresh oregano
2 whole bay leaves
crushed black pepper to taste
salt to taste
grated Romano cheese (optional)
loaf of Italian bread
Wash and dry the chicken pieces. Heat the oil in a deep skillet or Dutch oven. Roll and coat each chicken piece in the flour, and brown each piece on all sides to a golden brown. Transfer the chicken to a paper towel to drain.
Sauté the onion, mushrooms, carrot, green pepper, crushed black pepper, and garlic, if you are using it, in the same skillet for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and sauté for another 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste to thicken (you may not use the whole can), then add wine, herbs and salt, and cook over medium heat for another 5 minutes.
Add all the chicken pieces and mix well. Turn down the heat very low, and simmer, covered, for 1 hour or longer if you have the time to do so. Adjust the salt and pepper to your taste. Remove the bay leaves before serving.
Serve with freshly grated cheese (optional), a nice warm loaf of Italian bread, and your favorite salad. Enjoy!
Zoe Bios Creative is a California firm I learned about at the NY NOW show. They produce art in house, creating repeatable originals in editions of 100. Zoe Bios works with dozens of artists worldwide, overlaying their prints with elements such as aging, gesso, leafing, and India ink to develop high quality pieces.
What I find wonderful about the Zoe Bios pieces is the mix of materials, like the oil paint with metallics. I love abstract art; it’s very contemporary. The various sizes available from this line allow you to play with different spaces, making a bold statement with a larger piece or using a smaller scale to suit a specific area. Their photography pieces offset the abstract collection with additional options.
Many of these prints are beautifully saturated with color. I get tired of seeing the same prints or accessories used over and over again in design magazines, so having such an appealing range of unique choices is refreshing.
My husband and I enjoy trying various local restaurants. One place we love is F.I.S.H. Restaurant + Bar on Bedford Rd. in Stamford. The owners have two other restaurants (Quattro Pazzi and Osianna), and their experience in providing good food and good service is clearly evident. F.I.S.H. Restaurant + Bar has an interior that makes an immediate impression when you step inside — such a cool, edgy environment. The restaurant is small, but stylish, and has a little bit of a rustic attitude with a modern nod. It’s very appealing.
The food, of course, is what makes F.I.S.H. so memorable. The menu features a raw bar, several salads, a range of appetizers, main courses with things like chicken and pasta, and, my favorite, the Naked Fish selections. With the Naked Fish dinners, you choose your fish, the cooking method you prefer, and one of six incredible sauces. The fish also comes with your choice of a side.
My husband had the grilled octopus, which was so delicious. The mussels are a must have! My fish was really fresh, and I loved having the different options for preparing it. F.I.S.H. is open for lunch and dinner, as well as brunch on Sunday.
Published by Assouline in July 2014, ABCDCS features the incredible designs of the late David Collins. Born in Dublin in 1955, David Collins studied at the Bolton Street School of Architecture. He eventually made his home in London, where his design of a friend’s home led to further projects and inspired him to launch his own studio with a diverse team from various design disciplines. Collins called it The Studio, and his projects in restaurants, hotels, residences, and retail locations became known for their incredible details. His studio’s interdisciplinary approach resulted in designs that are contemporary, yet grounded in tradition.
The book is seriously invigorating. Madonna’s introduction was so insightful! Collins was a master at what he did. He was a wealth of knowledge and his work embodied that trait, with interiors that were ingenious and clever. This is just a beautiful book.
ABCDCS presents David Collins’ projects in alphabetical order by design term, giving a spectacular look at the wide range of influences at work in his aesthetic. Full of lush photographs, ABCDCS showcases the texture and restraint of The Collins Studio. This is a wonderful book to add to your collection.
Earlier this year, Taschen released a book of Annie Leibovitz’s photography that is simply epic in scale. Developed over the course of several years, Annie Leibovitz contains the photographer’s most iconic images along with rare and never-before-seen photos. Her work spans decades and captures scenes from the worlds of entertainment, politics, business, art, and so much more.
This gorgeous hardcover edition measures 20″ by 28″ and contains over 250 photographs. Each book comes with a book stand designed by Marc Newson for display and a supplement book of essays and short texts describing the photos. There are five different signed and numbered limited edition prints of Annie Leibovitz available. Prints 1,001 through 10,000 are the Collector’s Edition and have one of four dust jackets: Whoopi Goldberg (Berkely, California, 1984), Keith Haring (New York City, 1986) , David Byrne (Los Angeles, 1986), and Patti Smith (New Orleans, 1978). Prints 1-1,000 are the Fine Art edition and include a print signed by Annie as well as all four dust jackets.
Annie Leibovitz is an incredible work of art. On display and open to any photo, this book is both a testament to a legendary photographer and a glimpse of unforgettable moments and people. For lovers of art, photography, entertainment, and history, this is a must-have addition to your home library.