PaperCity Magazine

October 2013 - Houston

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Page 60 of 95

FOUR FAVE DESIGN WEB SITES. The Sartorialist, Interior Design,, Glasstire. DESIGN PHILOSOPHY IN A SOUND BITE. A reverence for the past, with an irreverence for the possibilities of the future. ARENA AESTHETIC. Creating many layers like the peeling of an onion. As each layer is revealed, it becomes more transparent and the content, more exposed. Hopefully the tears will be of joy! MOST OVER-THE-TOP COMMISSION. Painting the nude body of Cloris Leachman for the cover of Alternative Medicine Digest. The location was the L.A. studio of photographer Richard Todd. The year was 1996. THE ONE THING YOU REGRET NOT BUYING. A beautiful antique ring in Bangkok. I hesitated, then tried to locate the vendor once I had decided it was for me, andI couldn't find the shop in the enormous indoor market. ON WORKING WITH SUSAN GUTFREUND AND BUNNY WILLIAMS. Susan has impeccable taste and often relies on me to interpret her ideas, which are often vague and always interesting. For the Kips Bay Show House, [2007], it was Susan's idea to use jute as the wall covering. The scale of the cavernous room dictated the need for a heavy texture, and the results were stunning. Bunny, I had the pleasure of meeting many years ago while she was designing the apartment of a friend in New York. I had just begun my fabric collection, and it was far from fabulous. She went through the samples with me and was very kind. I remember her making suggestions of colors and textures. Many years later, I was so pleased when she ordered Avatrix in one of the standard colors we offered. YOUR PROCESS TO BIRTH A FABRIC PATTERN OR WALLPAPER. DO YOU DESIGN AT YOUR ATELIER? It always begins with a flash of inspiration. I usually sketch a rough idea, then mull it over before I go to sleep. I often wake with the detail in my mind and simply make it a reality when I get the time. I rarely have a quiet moment at my atelier. It is much more like a factory with many interruptions. I prefer my home for tranquility and clarity. TRADEMARK APPAREL ITEM. My eyeglasses. LUCKY TALISMAN. A wonderful Celtic ring I often wear around my neck on a long leather cord. I purchased it in Nice at an antique shop and was told it was once used for currency. IF YOU WEREN'T AT THE HELM OF ARENA DESIGN. I would spend more time painting, sculpting and still making prints. Inspiration strikes in the office. Metal geometric ceiling fixture from High Fashion Home. Lions head on wall is a plaster copy of a Renaissance original from Florence. The chair opposite Arena is covered in his cotton-velvet Amaranth. The original porcelain tub, circa 1910, is embellished with a star motif and finished to complement the plaster walls. The cosseted sitting room's settee was upholstered in Maja in the late 1980s and offers testimony to the longevity of Arena textiles. Cotton-velvet pillow Niosh in varying shades of thistle and taupe. French Modern lamp, from the St. Vincent de Paul store, fashioned in seagrass and brass. At the entrance, the crystal chandelier bequeathed by the original owners was recently refurbished and illuminates the iridescent hand-printed Pavé wallpaper pattern on the ceiling. To the right of the front door, Arena's wooden sculpture Blue Streak Striped Top with Yellow Needle Poker, 1987. OCTOBER | PAGE 61 | 2013

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