Techo Tuesday: Burned by Desire

With winter only a couple of weeks away, I can’t help but  think of pleasure a nice warm  and inviting fireplace brings.

 In my apartment in North Carolina I use to curl up on the rug, with my dog, and sleep in front of the fire.  My new apartment in Georgia has no such luxuries, but never fear, with each design problem is a solution.

 Today well look at eight new breakthroughs in the home design have revolutionized the fireplace; some with little or no installation, or dried wood for that matter.

globe fireplace

Globe fireplace from Vauni

globe fireplace

Globe fireplace from Vauni

Cupola fireplace

Cupola fireplace from Vauni

 Vauni makes it easy to curl up next to the fire with a book or cocktail with these unique and unforgettable fireplaces.  Best of all; they are mobile and require no ventilation, so they can be installed anywhere.  The flame is fueled by bio-ethanol Alcohol.  One can adjust the heating effect and flame size. They are designed from lightweight aluminum and available in two finishes cast iron and polished black granite.

Brasa Fireplace

Hudson fireplace from Brasa Fireplace


Mercer fireplace from Brasa

Avanti by Brasa

Avanti fireplace by Brasa

The Hudson, Mercer and Avanti portable fireplaces, all by Brasa are fueled by denatured alcohol fuel (Bio-ethanol Alcohol).  Since there is no wood, they are environmentally friendly and fuelled by renewable green energy. They can be use both indoor and outdoor and no vents or installation are required. The flame is regulated and can be controlled or extinguished at any time.

Sloaris Gas fireplace from Heat & Go

Sloaris Gas fireplace from Heat & Go

Levitating flame Solaris Gas fireplace from Heat & Glo

Solaris gas fireplace

Solaris gas fireplace from Heat & Glo

Inspired by the sunset, Solaris is a contemporary fireplaces from Heat & Glo, What’s so clever about the Solaris is the “levitating infinity flame”. It is a direct vent gas fireplace and does require professional installation.  The fireplace is available in two models. Solaris36-ST, a thin see-through fireplace and Solaris 36-MR, a two-sided fireplace featuring the infinity flame, which provides a 6-foot deep illusion of flame and lighting effects.

Antraz Fireplace

Bubble fireplace from Antraz


Bubble fireplace from Antraz

Brilliant product designer Andrea Cosetta has Designed a fireplace that also hangs on the wall for Antrax.  With over 100 colors available there one to suit every decor! The new fireplace is also eco-friendly since it needs no dry wood and match to lit the fire. Instead, it uses  a bioethanol as its fuel.

Areis stainless steel fireplace by Cocoon

Areis stainless steel fireplace from Cocoon Fires

Aeris stainless steel fireplace from Cocoon

Aeris stainless steel fireplace from Cocoon Fires

Aeris from Cocoon

Aeris stainless steel fireplace from Cocoon Fires

 Aeris  is a definite head-turner.  Designer, Federico Otero, for Cocoon Fires,  blended beauty and functionality to create a contemporary fireplaces made of stainless steel.  The Aeris  can be installed in any room of the house and also works with biofuel.   It’s completely smoke free making it clean and environmentally friendly. The product stores up to 1.5 liters of fuel and produces fire for up to six hours. Best of all is that the fireplace can be used all year round, as an ice bucket, to store bottles, glasses and even food!  Now that is clever design.

Let me know what you think.  Would you consider…


425 Million Dollars and Dorothy’s Dream House!

Well it’s happened again.  The Powerball Lottery is over 200 million dollars and I went to the convenance store, with fanciful ideas of winning dancing around in my head, and bought a ticket.  Each time this happens I dream about using my massive winnings to build my dream home.  If you’re familiar with Dorothy Rodgers it will come as no surprise that  my thoughts drift to her saga of the pleasures and pain of building her dream house.  The book, The House in My Head, written in 1967, tells her story.  But the home even today proves to be well ahead of its time, and has become required reading for anyone who is considering building or even remodeling their own home.

Rodgers thoughtfully designed, the glorious Fairfield, Connecticut home for her and husband, famous American Composer Richard Rodgers, has new owners and a new designer, Susan Zises Green, in tow.  Lets have a look at the house then and now…

Dorothy And Dick Rodgers Home Fairfield Connecticut.

It seems a bit ironic that I begin the tour with exterior of the home since Rodgers and her Architect did just the opposite; they designed the house from the inside out.  In fact it was well after the rooms were configured and finished chosen that thy even gave a thought to how the outside would appear.

View of entry hall, Dorothy and Dick Rodgers house. From The House in My Head

The hall connecting the bedrooms with the entertaining area and the service areas of the house.  If it had been my design I would have had a much larger & longer hallway.  One of the best parties I attended took place, for the most part, in the hallway.  But Dorothy wanted this house to function like a machine with as little maintenance and housekeeping as possible.

A view of the Living and dining area from the built in buffet, Rodgers solution to Servers at dinner parties.  From The House in My Head.

One of the “unique” designs for the time was the buffet that connected the pantry to the living & dining area. Dorothy wanted this house to function with as little household help as possible. By having a buffet installed, it enabled dinner guest to help themselves, eliminating the need for Servers at dinner parties.  Rodgers also did away with a formal dining room; now doesn’t that sound like a 21st century concept.

A view from the swimming pool of the central living area flanked by an outdoor sitting porch on the left and dining porch on the right.  From The House in My Head.

The swimming pool was central to the design of the home, and large windows from the Great room offer an indoor/outdoor feeling.  The pool was where the Rodgers entertained during the summer months, it also offered  sweeping views of the valley below. The Private quarters are to the left and the service room on on the right side of the house.

Side hallway connecting the bedrooms.  From The House in My Head

Dorothy was particularly fond of the strategically placed skylights throughout the house.  “There’s a fascinating, almost continual change of intensity that moves, in a row of skylights, from the first to the next, then the next as the earth turns away from the sun”, said Rodgers.

A view of Dorothy’s Bedroom.  From The House in My Head.

Dorothy’s Bedroom.  Not only did she and her husband have separate bedrooms, but separate baths and dressing rooms also.  A very outdated arrangement, but for every passé idea, but I’m sure many wives today would opt out of sharing a bathroom with their husband.

Dorothy thoughtfully designed and decorated here home herself: the new owners recruited New York Interior Designer, Susan Zises Green to give the home a 21st century appeal.  Here’s what she came up with…

A View of the new living room decor. Photo used by permission Photo by John Kernick.

The result; a much more cozy room.  It’s easy to spot the minor architectural changes, a couple of bookcases removed, the enclosure of the sitting porch, and the addition of a chandelier, but I must say we’ve come a long way in the area of comfort in our interiors.  It seems as if there’s not an uncomfortable seat in the room.

New entry hall, photo used by permission, Photo by John Kernick.

Dorothy wrestled with the idea of wallpaper, thinking white to be “more effective”.  Today the subtle green & white wallpaper seem to obtain the same effect.  The ferns, flowers and rack full of straw hats give the house a country home feeling.

seating area in living room, photo used by permission. Photo by John Kernick.

A seating area is in what use to be the dining area. The tile floors have been replaced with hardwoods.  One disappointment is that ingenious buffet I raved about earlier has been removed, but was no longer useful when the dining area had been moved to create a more formal dining room.

sitting room, photo used by permission. Photo by John Kernick.

Today the cozy sitting room has been enclosed in what was the sitting porch.  The 19th century prints of hunting dogs and floral fabrics give the room a country air.

A view of dining room in what was the dining porch. Photo used by permission. Photo by John Kernick.

Here is the earlier mention dining room in what was the dining porch.

Mater Bedroom. Photo used by permission. Photo by John Kernick.

 In House Beautiful magazine, Green says, “When you’re the parents of six children, you absolutely need a retreat”.  And what a lovely retreat this turned out to be. I’m certain The parents share bedrooms.

There you have it then and now.  I can only imagine how thrilled Dorothy and Dick must be to look down from above and see this beautiful reinterpretation of what was their beloved country home.

FYI some additional changes to the home; the centrally located pool has been moved, the greenhouse has been removed, and the Spanish Doors at the entry, Mrs. Rodgers took with her when she sold the home, after Dicks death in 1979.

If you’d like a copy of the House in My Head Click on the book cover below to order.

As always, I’m dying to know what you think if you won 425 million dollars, who would you have design your dream home?  Comments are ALWAYS welcome.


Miles and Miles of Redd

Someone has been very busy at 77 Bleeker Street in Manhattan.  In between taking on country by storm with his cheeky yet classic interior decorations, Miles Redd has found time to compile a comprehensive monograph of his work.

I say this with a smirk on my face, because in the spring of last 2011 I attended a symposium of Miles at the Charlotte Country Club.  Miles, suited in a pink woven (most likely linen) blazer, was delightful and amusing while showing slides of his work.  He added personal stories about the his career, the homes he’s decorated and his life growing up in the south.  One story that particularly stood out was of how his mother loved dressing Miles in pastels.  During the Q & A session an audience member asked if Miles was planning publishing a book.  I can not remember his exact response but it was along the lines of, “maybe later in my career.”  Well I guess 16 month is late enough.

Miles Redd’s townhouse NYC via NY Social Diary

 What he came up with is a whimsical and inspirational book filled with photos of his work, that you’ll want to see over and over again.   there’s little background info on Miles in the book but a quick Google search will lead you to “miles and miles” of press clippings. Although you may I be well aware of Miles’ span of work, I decided not to publish various  project photos from The Big Book of Chic.  I think it  would be much more fun to introduce or re-acquaint yourself with his designs when you get your own copy of the book.  Instead I though it would be a treat to focus just one project, Miles’ New York townhouse.

The front door of Miles Redd’s townhouse NYC via NY Social Diary

I always say, “Good design starts with the front door”.  Miles chose a pale green gloss painted for his door coupled with polished silver hardware and flanked by to simple yet classic columns.

Atlanta native, Miles in his Manhattan living room. via NY Socia Diary

views of Miles’ living room via NY Social Diary

Miles’ living room via NY Social Diary

Miles’ living room via NY Social Diary

Miles’ living room via NY Social Diary

details Miles’ living room via NY Social Diary

 There’s so much to see here!  Aside from the upholstered zebra skin doors again with silver nail heads and hardware, pink, blue and red color palette,  along with clever patterned pillows mix the elegant with the uncanny.  A hearty collection of books,  accessories, and Art work round out the room. Note the painted pattern on the wood floors, and the custom red lamps shades that unify the living room.

Miles’ kitchen via NY Social Diary

detail Miles’ kitchen via NY Social Diary

Miles’ kitchen via NY Social Diary

The kitchen merely serves as an extension of the rest of the house.  Inspired by the kitchen of Gosford Park, black gloss wall, cabinets, and ceiling, off set by lots and lots of reflective surfaces.  The countertop is glass , the backsplash is mirrored , and  wood floors are glossy.

Flying high,  It took several jumps off that chair for Photographer,  Paul Costello to capture this now iconic photo of Miles in his mirrored bathroom.  Photo by Paul Costello

vintage sink via NY Social Diary

Miles bathroom via NY Social Diary

vanity via NY Social Diary

Miles found this entire mirrored bathroom ten years ago in a Chicago salvage warehouse, and had it installed in his townhouse.  It was originally designed by David Adler for banker Lester Armour.  He calls the bathroom his “crowning glory”

vestibule via NY Social Diary

details via NY Social Diary

Miles’ Mirrored canopy bed via NY Social Diary

views of mirrored canopy bed with silk tripe taffeta fabric via NY Social Diary

Miles’ bedroom via NY Social Diary

Miles bedroom via NY Social Diary

Miles bedroom, decor books and Rene Gruau illustration  via NY Social Diary

The bedroom is dominated by the mirrored canopy bed upholstered with Brunshwig & Fils’ striped silk taffeta fabric.  The fabric is duplicated on the box spring. Miles believed, “an exposed box spring is like a fly in the soup…unsightly.”  The comfy room is filled with more delights!  Notice the shell sconce above the mirror and the upholstered upholstered grey door leading to Chateau De Versailles.  Oops I mean the bathroom.

Click here to order your copy!

What do you think?  Are there any fine details you noticed or would like to duplicate?  As always your comments & thoughts are always welcome.