Archive for April, 2011

Red Hot From Milano … LC Series Outdoor

April 30, 2011

“Observed as an ensemble, this first Cassina Outdoor collection set on a lawn, a beach, under a patio exudes a regal air, an aristocratic family portrait en plein air. The collection consists of six pieces that are all part of the history of contemporary design and architecture. Each piece with its strong personality, features a story and an attitude. One way to occupy space, to define it around yourself, in such a strangely natural way yet at the same time both high and noble. An extraordinary ability to overcome time both in body and spirit. Highlighting the essence of a thought at the apex of a highly refined architectural journey, next to the perfection of natural forms, living, changing, highly mobile, unpredictable, eternal. Nature. Culture. Side by side, showing each other respect, vitality, dialogue, communion.”

Extreme outdoor durability in stainless steel, technical fabrics, and naturally resiliant wood.  Extreme elegance for outdoor living.  Only from Cassina. View the complete LC Outdoor collection of sofas, chairs, tables, and chaise by clicking below:

My Maserati does 185……

April 29, 2011


One word says it all.  Luxury inside and out.

Maserati GranTurismo Convertible

Like the rest of the car, the leather is the best of  best-like butter.  The  quality of leather, stitching and attention to detail is a work of art.  The fact remains the same, it’s a machine, a car and though you may struggle and even shed a tear or two, eventually you sell it or trade it.

Well dry your eyes and fasten your seatbelt darling.  The interior of Maserati is pure Poltrona Frau.  You can bring the Maserati interior right into your own home with a little help from your friends at SR Hughes.

“To sit in a Poltrona Frau chair is to be enveloped by something that is both softer and stronger than you imagined possible, something that quickly comes to feel like an extension of your very own skin; and to behold such a chair, rendered in shades both subtle and stark, soothing and invigorating, is to invite your eyes to a gala spectacle. Quite simply, Poltrona Frau must be experienced to be appreciated.” (

Chester One
Massimosistema Sectional
The best craftsmanship Italy has to offer.  The finest leather you can buy.  When you’re ready to trade up and keep your furniture around for the next generation to enjoy, come experience Poltrona Frau at SR Hughes.

Ready to start your engines?  Shop now through March 20th, 2012 during the Poltrona Frau Spring Sale and keep 20% for yourself … maybe fuel up that Gran Turismo?

Win a Stay in Venice with Foscarini!

April 28, 2011

At SR Hughes, we’re always helping clients imagine what a lamp would look like in their home, office, or outdoor environment.  Now, you can snap a photo of your space and add any Foscarini light all by yourself.  Better yet, you can win a little something for your creative effort!  Click below.  Imagine, create, and vote from April 20th to Aug 31st, 2011.  You could win a stay in Venice and admission to the Venice Biennale, a visit to Foscarini, or a Foscarini light fixture.  Create your own photo using the new Foscarini App or choose your favorite photo and comment to win!

Tolentino Travel … The Old and New

April 26, 2011

So, I had the good fortune to be in Tolentino recently.  The small medieval city center is enchanting.

I came here to tour the Poltrona Frau factory which sits just outside the old city walls.

I’m amazed by the seamless interaction of craft and technology at Poltrona Frau.  Whether building a Chester sofa from the historic archive …

… using much the same materials, craftsmanship, and technique as has been done for the past 100 years at Poltrona Frau …or,

working at the Interiors In Motion division of the factory to outfit a yacht, train, airplane, or car with the most technologically advanced methods …

…the end result is beautiful craftsmanship.

From a simple dining chair to a race car seat … workmanship is the common bond.

Seating for your home, office, or in the finest public and private spaces … Frau’s work with 10 Pritzker Prize winning architects on some of the world’s most revered projects speaks to the capabilities of a large corporation.  But, its only because of the capabilities at the hands of the local craftsmen and women …

…that Frau maintains its feel of the finest quality money can buy from zero to five hundred miles per hour.

I Chiostri

April 19, 2011

I had the morning to stop by the Chiostri dell’Umanitaria for an out-of-body experience in color, texture, and composition from Paola Lenti. The company is conducting an ongoing restoration of this 15th Century Franciscan monastery. Indoors or out, flooring to furniture … when you want a unique expression, Paola Lenti delivers.















New Corbu!

April 18, 2011

Hello From Milano

April 16, 2011

As usual, its been action packed.  The past 36 hours we’ve been, as my friend Stacie says, blowin-and-goin.

However … we’ve had time to stop and smell the roses.

The B&B/Maxalto factory tour was amazing … looks like they’re going to build you a car rather than a sofa.  No pics from there … super secret, but I’ll show you the fruits of their methods in the coming days … lots of great ideas.

Kartell‘s booth was fantastic … fun energy and ideas …

…and plenty of freshness for Tulsa in a mere few weeks!

Dinner courtesy of Alias and Giorgetti at Trattoria Arlati … crazy good as usual!

Excited to see Alias under original ownership and ready to meet the USA all over again!  The Manzu chair taken for the first time from a prototype of a sports car seat from 1967 is pure Italian style … with substance:

Brilliant lighting … Flos steals the show!

And tomorrow, its a scoot South to Tolentino to see the craftsmanship of Poltrona Frau:

So if you’re looking for me … you’re likely to see this as a blur because there’s still plenty to do before I fly on home!

Stay tuned … more to come!

Corbu in Cages?

April 14, 2011

Outdoor spaces are truly special around this city … whether a park or a private courtyard, Milan always amazes me in this respect.  But, when I arrived for my 11 o’clock appointment at the Milano Design Village … I was truly surprised!  During Salone, this cavernous warehouse space is especially outfitted to show the new ideas from Poltrona Frau, Cappellini, and Cassina.  However, I never expected this:

Charlotte Perriand’s wooden outdoor chaise lounge inside the cage mirrors the indoor LC4 outside.  There were also LC3 chairs, LC10 dining and coffee tables, and even the LC1 “sling” chair all re-designed for outdoor use!  It even rained inside the cage to show that these pieces are made to withstand outdoor elements!  I was enthralled and loved the playful nature of it all!  Please … download the iPhone or iPad app for Cassina and check out the “Events” section to see more from the Milano Design Village.

The other unexpected treasure for me today was Spazio Rossana Orlandi.  This is a Milanese design legend … and after many years travelling here … it was my first visit.


The courtyard was full of people enjoying the food, drink, atmosphere, and design … the space had great energy and there were treasures everywhere … inside and out.  There was this beautiful Bocci chandelier:

But the thing that just took my breath away was this life-sized needlepoint horse and rider from Frederique Morrel:

A great way to cap the day walking around the city!

Salone Sit Down

April 13, 2011

I have to say, that after a day of running hither and yon, it feels good to take a seat.

Some favorites from the day …

Denny from Giorgetti:

High back or low.  With ottoman or without.  Seemingly Scandinavian influence, but detailed in Canaletto walnut as only Giorgetti can.  Supremely comfortable.  Warm style.

Then, Mobius caught my eye, so I gave it a try…

Saddle leather with zigzag stitching stretched as structure over the frame.  A sculptural walnut set of gams and this is one handsome seat.  I think it becomes a flat-out show stopper when it grows up to become a wing chair:

And finally (nobody can resist) you can relax at the end of a long day at the Salone with a glass of Prosecco at the bar in a Philippe Starck bar stool from Kartell…  My Ghost barstool prayers have been answered!

That’s all for now … Off to Zona Tortona tomorrow to investigate what’s shakin down by the Navigli!  Stay tuned!

Good Morning Milan!

April 12, 2011

This is always an exciting trip for me.  Well, truth be told,  I’ve always loved to pick up and go … wherever.  Car, bus, plane.  Doesn’t matter.  Its and adventure to depart the daily routine.  A chance to see with new perspective!

A few layovers, one change of airports via bus in New York, and before I knew it … I woke up as the flight was descending over the Alps into Milano!  One crazy-slow guy checking passports in my lane is all that keeps me from picking up by bag off the carousel. 

Oops, he shut his door right as I stepped up!  I’ve been eyeing the guy next to him was shouting for people to run through his line and the satisfying “thunk” of his approval stamp at oh say “allegro” pace.  It’s actually been kind of comedic relief.  He got frustrated with the immense gaggle of arriving passengers and decided to just bull them all through.  I put on my turn signal and merge into that lane.  Aahh!  The accepted me!  I’m in!  Good to go!

Its spring here, just like back home in Oklahoma …

And I’m lucky to arrive to a clear, mild, sunny day.  Spring can be wet, but they’ve all been telling me its been a little bit warm lately.  I show up to meet Attilio who is renting me his apartment for the week.

As with much of Milan … the treasure is behind the buildings that line the streets … inside, there are magnificent courtyards everywhere.  Its the hidden city.  I’m up on the second floor where all the plants line the walk.

Behind this door.  The light is fantastic … its quiet and the windows are all open to catch the breeze.  Atillio and his wife have offered to come cook dinner for me tonight.  I can make myself right at home here … walk down to the corner for groceries (my Gringo habit of early breakfast is not something one does outside of hotels here), listen to a selection from Attilio’s CD collection.  This is nice!

I’m right by Parco Sempione and all the Milanese seem to be out enjoying the weather, running, walking the dog, etc.  I toodle right by the Castello…

… on my way to the Palazzo Dell’Arte which houses the Triennale exhibition.  I’m coming here because I’ve read about a fantastic design exhibit called “Dream Factories” about the people and ideas behind Italian design.  Let’s go upstairs and into the show space.

And the show does not disappoint

It’s meant to create a dialogue about design, but particularly what makes this region of the world so singular in that context.  Within a 50-mile radius of this city, there are a special group of small to medium companies, often are generations old, whose output is characterized by fine craftsmanship produced with the aid of machinery.  These companies lead the world of design because they take creative risks that the majority of mass-production companies would never dream of.

I especially love the use of the good gardener metaphor on the wall which greets you as you enter.  “The metaphor of the good gardener, sensitive, attentive and patient, can be helpful in understanding the practice of Italian Design Factories  The good gardener sows, of course, what he things is right, but above all he tills the ground carefully to receive the new crops and takes particular care when the first shoots begin to appear, nurturing them carefully to enable them to express the potential they have within them.  Moreover, the good gardener knows he can count on unexpected seeds brought to him by the wind.  Good products usually arrive when they want to.  It is difficult to produce works of art to order.  Despite all the efforts, good projects follow their own rhythms, which are often inscrutable and can rarely be planned … good projects cannot be commissioned at will:  there has to be inspiration and sensibility, and if these are lacking there’s nothing to do but wait.” 

Can you imagine this as a corporate way of thinking?

The exhibit also shows all kinds of innovative results of the Italian Design Factories.  One of my favorites is Parentesi from Flos.

Though it’s a consummate exercise in simplicity … it creates surprise and wonder.  The taut steel cable (due to the rubberized lead weight on the floor) creates just enough friction with the double curved tube holding the light that you can simply slide it vertically wherever you like and it will hold its position perfectly!

What a great way to start the adventure!  A little eye candy and brain candy all rolled up.  Add a happy stomach … and you’re beginning to get the feel for Milan!

Stay tuned … the camera is coming with me everywhere!  Tonight off to see the new Giorgetti showroom, then dinner with my landlords … and finally a full night’s sleep.  Tomorrow morning its off to Bergamo to visit the Alias factory, then off to the fairgrounds to see the lights fantastic!

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