PaperCity Magazine

October 2013 - Houston

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DECORATION LET THERE be light Over cocktails, San Francisco-based lighting designer Jonathan Browning allowed me to enter his fascinating, exotic and (naturally) well-lit world. The arrival of a martini elicited an understandable sigh, because it seems Browning simply doesn't stop. Following a degree from UC Berkeley then a masters from Southern California Institute of Architecture, he designed and worked in both the retail and hospitality markets, where he created stores and hotels for the likes of Guess, Esprit, the Gap and a large swath of Starwood properties (which he directed from his post as executive VP of design). In 2003, he opted to strike out Jonathan Browning's Falaise pendant on his own with a lighting collection that quickly gained a distinguished following including Robert A.M. Stern (architect for both Rice's McNair Hall and the Hobby Center for Performing Arts), Victoria Hagan, Robert Couturier and Thierry Despont (whose projects have included Claridge's in London, The Carlyle in New York and the Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan). Which brings us back to the martini. After a healthy swig, he explained what his latest collection is all about: a spartan French elegance. In his trademark fashion, Browning intermingles devotions of both industrial design and classicism, emphasizing the restrained and sumptuous attitudes of French masters such as Jean-Michel Frank. Noble materials including bronze, red brass and lead crystal are masterfully applied in the creation of 15 lighting fixtures and five pieces of furniture. Of interest as well is the manipulation of geometrics in the Falaise pendant, pictured, which exaggerates hexagons for an intricate and expressive result. To the trade at David Sutherland Showrooms; Seth Vaughan For the Love of VUITTON the Queen C ue the trumpets, release the doves and summon the angels, because these mattresses are royally fabulous. Enter Vi-Spring and its debut in Houston. Since 1901, this Plymouth, England-based company has handmade custom beds for the most regal of clients; by 1914, Vi-Spring's presence was abundant in tip-top hotels, castles and chalets and even on board ocean liners such as the Titanic and the Queen Mary. More than 100 years later, Queen Elizabeth herself sleeps on one. Today, Vi-Spring continues to craft its bespoke mattresses by hand, with only the highest quality components while keeping an eye to the environment: Renewable, nontoxic, biodegradable materials are used in all beds and packaging cartons. The production process is chlorine free, and shipping materials are 100 percent recyclable. But don't think their ecological efforts cut down on luxury; these mattresses are nothing short of opulent. Think side-stitching by hand that artisans spend years mastering, plus an insistence on the finest fabrics: Shetland Isle and British fleece wool, raw silk, sumptuous cashmere, natural horsetail and supple bamboo. Top it off with an almost unheard-of-in-the-industry lifetime guarantee, and it's a royal flush. From $5,700, exclusively at Gallery Furniture; Caroline Starry LeBlanc D esigner Dianne Josephs has picked up five fabulous vintage Louis Vuitton trunks with assorted amounts of voyage stickers; one has been fitted with a steel-leg platform for instant side-table or end-of bed storage. Also in her Mod nook at Atelier 1505 is a classic midcentury black leather and wood adjustable Naos Italian chaise $10,800 and a black leather vintage Palazetti chaise ($7,200). Atelier 1505 inside Lewis & Maese Auction House, 1505 Sawyer, 713.864.2111; BRENT BRUNI COMISKEY Vintage 1904 Louis Vuitton trunk on stand GREEN ENOUGH FOR Destination Design,VIENNA,1900 PRIVATE COLLECTION, VIENNA O ne of the most talented yet overlooked disciples of design from the fin de siècle gets a reappraisal when the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, mounts "Kolomon Moser: Designing Modern Vienna, 1897–1907." Traveling from the Neue Galerie, New York (the temple to turn-of-thecentury Austrian and German decorative arts), the MFAH is the second and final stop for the exhibition that is the first American museum survey for this remarkable talent, whose career paralleled designers such as fellow Austrian Josef Hoffmann, with whom he co-founded the Vienna Succession followed by the Wiener Werkstätte, and Scottish Arts and Crafts luminary Charles Rennie Mackintosh, both better known to date than the equally brilliant Moser. This exhibition promises to remedy that while showcasing an oeuvre that was broad-ranging and boundless, encompassing decorative objects for the home and personal adornment that reflected a Gesamtkunstwerk view of modern life. Graphic design, furniture, textiles, silver, ceramics, glass, architectural interiors and even jewelry are the areas that caught Moser's eye — and at which he excelled, moving between the micro scale of a delicate silver-and-opal belt buckle to the bold statement emitted by now iconic, circa-1903 boxy beechwood armchair with its dramatic, jaunty black-and-white painted seat. Through January 12; Catherine D. Anspon Georges Briard vintage barware at Bespoke CLINK, CLINK: PALM SPRINGS, 1962 Kolomon Moser's Wardrobe from the Eisler v. Terramare bedroom, 1902/1903, at MFAH What to serve your gin and tonic in? These Mad Men-era, 22K-gold-edged highball glasses are stocked in-depth at Heightsarea boîte Bespoke. Back in the day, these swank '50s, '60s and '70s cocktail accouterments by celebrated American mid-century decorator, artist and designer Georges Briard (nee Jascha Brojdo, 1917–2005) graced the gift departments of Neiman Marcus and Bonwit Teller. We're already curating our bar cart. Set of six $95, at Bespoke by GJCD, 238 W. 19th St. in the Corridor Shops, 713.861.7493; Catherine D. Anspon

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