interior design

Eyes Wide Open at Sight Unseen OFFSITE!

Eyes Wide Open at Sight Unseen OFFSITE!

New York Design Week was a whirlwind of design adventure, one highlight was the neon post-modern utopia of Sight Unseen OFFSITE! Monica Khemsurov and Jill Singer of the website Sight Unseen also co-founded this show in conjunction with NYCxDesign and ICFF. It enchantingly combined the works of independent design studios alongside those from established, forward-thinking brands, creating a small but well curated venue for industry professionals and design enthusiasts.

6 Tips for Anti Spring Cleaning

Let's be real. Every year we dread the daunting task of spring cleaning. So this year, I turned to Paige Loczi for a few of her go-to tips on cleaning your home for spring in an untraditional, yet rejuvenating way.

In the Studio with the Talented Mary Wallis

Recently featured in Vogue's Heirlooms of Tomorrow: Ten Contemporary Designers to Collect Today, Australian-born Mary Wallis' interpretation of lighting design comes from a diverse background in genetics, traditional Chinese painting, and manifesting one's path.

Artist In Residence Series with Tahiti Pehrson

Tahiti is the largest island in the Windward group of French Polynesia. It is also the name of an artist who uses number 11 blades to create cut-out kaleidoscope works of magic. He has been doing so for nearly 15 years. We had the chance to chat with Tahiti Pehrson about his work and how he was born to be an artist.

Where are you from?

"I am from Nevada City, California. I lived in the Bay Area for about ten years or so and decided to move back."

What’s your background?

"My parents are both artists and my dad was an art teacher. He went to California College of the Arts back in the late 50’s/early 60’s. My parents were the bohemian type so I lived without a television until I was about ten-years-old... I had a lot free time and art was always around in the house. But I didn't end up going to the San Francisco Art Institute until I was in my 30’s.

What’s your process like?

"These days I work so much—it’s crazy. I just finished two months of 16 hours days. The work in Vineet's remodel [pictured above] is a 4' x 10' piece, so it took a lot of long hour days to complete. The work that I've been doing lately is based on a fairly old type of Geo pattern; the kind you see on money. So a lot of my work is around that concept. And it seems like the piece worked really well in his place. I actually ended up working up with Vineet through Aimee Friberg, the curator at K. Imperial Fine Art. It was a great match and worked out really well. "

How would you say your artistic style has evolved?

"I always painted, growing up as a kid, and even throughout my 20’s. I was also into skateboarding and most of my friends were professional skateboarders. So it was only natural that I ended up doing a lot of skateboard graphics.

While traveling in Europe I went to several squatter-type art galleries in Berlin and in Geneva. All the energy there was really inspiring. But I never felt that kind of energy in school. Painting [at the time] seemed so flat and antiquated. I wanted something more. So I started doing street art in San Francisco and it was more exciting and invigorating. The exploration was a lot of fun and I started doing stencils and then grew from there.  I found that the stencils were so beautiful all white.  And here I am now—been doing this for 15 years."

What does being an artist mean to you?

"Being an artist means having the abilities to explore your ideas. It means that you can work one day, or have the day off, or just really be in the zone for hours on end. For me, the biggest and greatest thing is just being at home. It’s amazing—being an artist and getting to do what I want to do. But there was a time where I didn't think I would be able to actually do that. Now that I have a six-year-old daughter, being home with my child means a lot. So structurally, to be able to be with her and involved with work is perfect. But the structure of the [traditional] workforce gives me anxiety so it's nice to not be around that."

What’s the most memorable reaction from your work?

"People generally react positively. And although I appreciate kind words, I feel like I’m my worst critic so it's important for me to keep a level head about it. Having art shows are kind of like your birthday so it feels very congratulatory. But it's nice that my art appeals to a lot of people. Someone might like it and their mother might also like it as well! Some people respond by saying, 'I want to be inside of that'. I like that idea. Reactions like that help me move into other directions and evolve. I want people to feel like they are a part of my art."

What would be your ideal project?

"I would like to do something in the public works and public arena. I've applied to the San Francisco Arts Commission - Public Art and Collection... I’d like to try something that’s more permanent and large scale—so that people can interact with it. It seems like a good idea since my pieces have that universal element that is both seen as spiritual and scientific. It's the kind of art that is open to everyone’s interpretation. You start as a young artist telling your own story and then it comes to a point where you want to engage with your audience through your work."

If not an artist, what would you be?

"I have worked terrible jobs before, just to get by. But I was always still producing art. I feel like there’s no other option for me than to be doing what I'm doing now. I feel like there’s no other way. There was a point of time in my life where I felt like I had to either stop doing art, or do it for real. You have to set up your life so that there's no other option. I just decided to go for the work ethic. And that's how I'm where I'm at today.

...You know how people say, 'Live everyday like it's your last'. Well, I really feel that way. If this were the last day of my life, I wouldn't do anything else than what I'm doing now."

If you'd like to see Tahiti's work in person, his show Active Synchrony goes on from January 4th - March 10th in the Thacher Gallery at USF. It features his large scale hand-cut paper pieces and installations that have also been featured in San Francisco Magazine Modern Luxury's March fashion issue!

In the spring/early summer he will be having a solo exhibit at K. Imperial Fine Art in San Francisco from June 5th through July 15th. Too, if you're in the Washington State area, his group show titled Love Me Tender is currently at the Bellevue Museum of Art.


London! The Source for Design Inspiration

There's nothing like a little travel to motivate our inner designer. Whilst away on holiday, I had the chance to see London in all of its holiday glory. Come along for a private peek into some of the sites and sounds I came across on my travels...

Since we stayed on the west side of town, our first stop was Liberty, an institution in the UK. Each level was filled with beautiful objects, inspiring and inciting, expertly layered to delight the senses with scale and sparkle. True to form, the Brits do style with just a hint of humor.

Our next stop was Kate Spade. I love the kelly green desk chair and the gallery wall in the office display. Another huge hit was the large floral wallpaper in the stairwell. Almost every pub we came across showed botanical prints- whether juxtaposed with traditional chandeliers, or modernized with bronze glowing Kenneth Weingard'esk starburst lights, it's hard to go wrong when adding this dramatic statement.

The folks in Graham & Green couldn't have been nicer! Their vintage- inspired shop was stocked with lovely little gems. Metal and Mirrors and ivory-inlay furniture mixed with linen displayed their eclectic, timeless style.

We hit Portobello Road for some shopping (oops!) and to check out the local art scene. A little like the Mission in SF, Portobello had loads of antiques, local shops, galleries, great restaraunts and colorful graffiti. We especially loved the gallery Graffik, hawking urban graffiti for the discerning connoisseur. We were equally inspired by Atom Rooms' beautiful photographs lining the street. When you're ready to eat, head over to Soho Houses' Pizza East. The interior design is effortless and the food is exceptional.

Last but certainly not least, we really came to London to meet up with some of our friends. They graciously took us in providing us with not only shelter but additional design inspiration. My friend Angela's shabby-chic flat provided endless design possibilities and showed once again, that it doesn't take a lot to make a big impact. Her vintage mirrored chest and crystal chandelier- show both panache and restraint.

Not known for its sun, Londoners seek access to light & nature and bring the outside in however they can. Our friends Katy and Robbie extended their house by enclosing their dining area in glass. This well-insulated atrium warms the soul, regardless of the weather outside. Their open plan takes a page from industrial kitchens with its racks for pots & pans and utensils. I love how the color-break with this subway tile elongates the space. It reflects a style that is both fresh and timeless, just like Katy and Robbie.

Filled to the brim with ideas, and happy to have returned to some sun of my own, I celebrate the newness that comes with this season of growth. -Here's to reigning in the new year with beauty and delight, gathering inspiration from all around. Three Cheers to London, for showing us a roaring good time and Three Cheers to good design, for keeping the creative juices flowing! Drink deeply my friends, drink.