PaperCity Magazine

May 2013 - Houston

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Fabulous Fornasetti ole & Son — purveyors of wallpapers to the likes of Westminster Cathedral, the House of Commons and the White House — launches its second collection of Piero Fornasetti-inspired wallpapers, Fornasetti II, this month. The sizeable oeuvre of the late-20th-century Milanese artist inspired 15 new patterns from Fornasetti's son, Barnaba, who adroitly merges elements of the neoclassical and surreal in an elegantly cheeky fashion in patterns such as wideeyed owls and their young (Nottambule), abandoned keys hanging in thick hedges (Chiavi Segrete), the arcades of St. Mark's Square inhabited by curious monkeys (Procuratie e Scimmie), birds resting in trees behind wrought iron (Uccelli) and engrossed theatergoers in private boxes (Teatro). Most patterns are available in three to four colorways; some are meant to complement several preconceived compositions, such as Balaustra and Macchine Volanti, a combination that unites a dreamy sky full of flying contraptions with a marble balustrade from which one might take in the fanciful scene. To the trade at Lee Jofa at Decorative Center Houston. Seth Vaughan INTRIGUING Trash to Treasure BRENT BRUNI COMISKEY Texas Art Asylum, 1719 Live Oak, 713.224.5220; Not every business can boast that its premises were once Ramona Brady and Jennifer home to coffin McCormick at Texas Art Asylum makers. But that's one of the compelling oddities of Texas Art Asylum, which moved this spring from a Houston Avenue storefront to the 1930s-era HQ and manufacturing operations of Houston Casket Company at a Chinatown-area address bordering the Gulf Freeway. TAA's cavernous new 6,500-square-foot digs are perfect for proprietors Ramona Brady and Jennifer McCormick, who opened their original shop three years ago with the mission of providing free teacher supplies (a nonprofit effort that continues at their latest east-ofdowntown locale), as well as the biz the pair is known for: stocking a wild array of finds that are dropped off daily by those decluttering garages or attics. One man's trash is indeed a find at Texas Art Asylum. On a recent visit, we spied in this curated magpie's boîte: a 1950s leather-bound volume of poetry, beautifully pressed laced-edged handkerchiefs, shelves upon shelves of doll heads, a malachite ash tray (for $4, we couldn't resist) and all manner of buttons, notions, cigar boxes and other endearing bits of bric-a-brac and Americana from the golden days of the dime store. Catherine D. Anspon Design Hearts ART Plus HISTORY Marie Flanigan Interiors, 2525 Driscoll, 713.636.2176; A bright new design destination is the showroom of Marie Flanigan, an on-the-rise designer whose eponymous three-year-old firm scooped up its first honor at the 2012 Texas Gulf Coast ASID Awards. The 30-something Flanigan won for a commercial space under 7,000-squarefeet, but it's the residential field where she's currently making a mark. Take a flight up to her 1,600-square-feet, light-washed River Oaks aerie, an interiors showcase (in the same charming circa-1950s building as Paulie's) open to the public Fridays, 10 am to 2 pm. Hometown gal Flanigan innovatively sources Houston vendors to serve up a wellhoned take on everything from art to antiques, lighting, accessories and rugs, all offered for sale. On our recent visit, standouts included curated canvases from Gremillion & Co. Fine Art, Inc., and Laura Rathe Fine Art; a handsome cubistic porcelain lamp from Circa Lighting; Lam Bespoke's droll side tables with hoof feet; a bulbous 19th-century blown-glass bottle turned into a dramatic vase and a curious 19th-century Chippendale-style side chair, both from Joyce Horn; Madison Lily's understated geometric rug in dove gray; and vintage boxes, historic miniature iron urns from a building façade and other intriguing objets from Mecox and Spaces. Catherine D. Anspon Marie Flanigan in her eponymous new interiors mecca AARON COURTLAND Nicola Parente's Colony Collapse, 2013, at Spring Street Studios $8 to $12 billion annual economic contributions of the honeybee to American agriculture; besides producing hives and honey, the bees are pollinators supreme.) Stay tuned for more meaningful Micro Scope projects curated by Spacetaker founder and FotoFest-exhibited photographer David A. Brown and glass master Michael Crowder — part of the pair's Invest in Houston initiative. Future creatives planned for the micro incubator include Ian Anderson, Mark Masterson and Monica Vidal. Meanwhile, we're mad for Parente's ode to one of the unsung heroes of Mother Nature — it's simply the bee's knees. Through May. Catherine D. Anspon Groves Gone WILD RAINEE ARGUELLE Uccelli Delicious home design shop Biscuit has added all things yummy for kids, gifts for men and delightful bath accouterments, while carving out a new room for things that are "me," says owner Bailey McCarthy. "It's a whole new look with lots of accessories and gifts." Season two of her eponymous bedding collection also debuts this month. And that, my friends, is how the new Biscuit crumbles at 2606 Westheimer, 713.942.9797; … Designing woman Deanna Breaux Gathe brings home design boutique Peluche Décor to Uptown Park at the end of the month. Does her name ring a bell? Gathe was the on-air interior designer for the hit TBS design show Move and a Makeover. After living in Atlanta for more than a decade, Gathe has relocated to Houston and, in the process, met her husband and settled in. Her boutique, next door to Bella Rinova in the former Lenny e Cia space, will be stocked with antiques from Belgium, France, Hong Kong, Turkey and South Africa, as well as pillows and throws, many of which Gathe sources on her exotic sojourns around the world. Megan Pruitt Winder DESIGN Buzz C Teatro Q uoting Einstein, artist Nicola Parente says, "If the bees disappear, mankind would have only four more years." Therefore, the internationally exhibited Houston-based painter (a key player in the Gremillion stable) did something about it: He crafted an installation to call attention to the plight of the bumblebee. Parente's site-specific Colony Collapse inaugurates the project at Micro Scope 1824, a miniscule 8-by-10-foot gallery on the first floor of the Spring Street Studios complex. Part volumetric sculpture, part insistently humming video, the creation is formed from 2,700 prosaic recycled brown paper bags, the kind used for school lunches. The slightly menacing work calls the viewer to investigate the impact of the declining population of the world's bee colonies. (Parente's mission statement underscores the JILL HUNTER COLE & SON Crate & Barrel's stylish new curated collection of cleaning and organizational products, Clean Slate, might just force our hand into some spring cleaning. The collection is comprised of everything from brooms, brushes and bristles with an antique touch (we'll be wielding the hedgehog crumb brush, $13 and goathair round dust brush, $35) to laundry essentials (sprays and detergents from The Laundress, Better Life natural soaps and cleaners, and the chicest, shiny stainless bucket with wood handle for $20) and organizational accessories (twill shoe-bag drawer lined in ticking, $12). Other things that caught our eye: a laundry butler that has us reliving our days in a New York City washateria; a cart for all things gift wrap that's bound to make birthdays a little easier; and the exclusive collection of wicker baskets that give everything a place to call home. This collection just might have you rethinking the help. Clean Slate, online only at; free shipping through May 19. Megan Pruitt Winder Bee's Knees Ultramarine blue is the pigment of choice for Houston Arts Alliance's latest Temporary Art Program RAINEE ARGUELLE A Clean Start H Konstantin Dimopoulos' The Blue Trees, 2013, sprout along Waugh Drive ouston gets its own sacred grove — actually, a pair of sylvan sanctuaries — this spring, thanks to the Houston Arts Alliance, which tapped Melbourne-based artist Konstantin Dimopoulos to create a site-specific Temporary Art Program (TAP) for our fair town. Dimopoulos' project, perfectly monikered The Blue Trees, emits an environmental statement along Waugh Drive, between Allen Parkway and Memorial Drive, as two sizable stands of crape myrtles get the artist's signature touch: a coat of ultramarine blue, which is nontoxic and ephemeral, fading and metamorphosing over a (predicted) period of six to 12 months until no trace of the heavenly hue remains. An ongoing participatory and ecological encounter that launched two years ago at the Vancouver Biennale in April 2011, our Blue Trees marks Dimopoulos' largest transformation of a treescape to date and required hundreds of volunteers to complete, including area schoolchildren from Pin Oak Middle School. Also wielding a paintbrush loaded with cerulean dye was HAA CEO Jonathon Glus. Evocative of an otherworldly Magritte canvas at the Menil, these arbols elicit responses of surprise and delight from passing motorists and have even produced some impromptu picnics. "They represent the idea of mystery," the artist told us. Catherine D. Anspon

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