Going Once…Going Twice…Sold! A Frank Lloyd Wright Home Saved

 Many of you have heard about the looming threat by a Phoenix developer to demolish the David Wright House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Yesterday I learned that the home has been spared the wrecking ball.   It’s been reported that an unnamed buyer who plans on restoring the home to its original slender is currently under contract.  The selling price: $2.4 million!

Photo by Scott Jarson,azarchitecture.com ©2012 Photo courtesy of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy

 It’s a hefty price but considering its historical importance and the uniqueness of this particular FLW home, still a wise investment.  You simply shouldn’t delete history!

Photo by Scott Jarson,azarchitecture.com ©2012 Photo courtesy of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy

The home holds an abundance of memories for the Wright family. They occupied “Spiral House” until 2008 when David’s widow passed away at the age of 104.  I hope its new owners create a centuries worth of memories to add to this home’s rich past.

Photo by Scott Jarson,azarchitecture.com ©2012 Photo courtesy of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy

 The house has a spiral design, with a long curved entry ramp that serves as  a precursor for the famed cylindrical design of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.

Photo by Scott Jarson,azarchitecture.com ©2012 Photo courtesy of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy

The iconic rug designed by Wright for the living room has been separated from the house.  It was put up for auction by a previous owner in 2010.  The rug sold for $16,000 much less than it’s estimated value of  $40,000 to $60,000.

Photo by Scott Jarson,azarchitecture.com ©2012 Photo courtesy of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy

A quick Google search lead me to the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, where I discovered a hoard of information on FLW as well as a list of some Frank Lloyd Wright residences on the market. Below are just a few other Frank Lloyd Wright historical homes being offered for sale.

T r a c y   R e s i d e n c e

Normandy Park, Washington


Nestled among mature trees on a water-front property with views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains you will find the Tracy Residence.  The home is an example of Usonian Automatic design consisting of over 1,700 concrete blocks.  The Tracy’s cast the blocks themselves.  Tracy House is called the “Jewel Box”.  I imagine it’s because of the light that literally pierces through and floods the home, reflecting off its tiled floors.  The home is full of rich textures, geometric properties, and wonderfully enchanting details.  The asking price is $949,000.

Tracy Residence Photo courtesy of Larry Woodin, Executor

Tracy Residence Photo courtesy of Larry Woodin, Executor

Tracy Residence Photo courtesy of Larry Woodin, Executor

A n d r e w  &  M a u d e   C o o k e   H o u s e

Virginia Beach, Virginia


As one approaches the Cooke house they’re welcome by a copper cantilevered roof, a sweeping curved 70 foot great room with vaulted ceiling, and large fireplace.  Cooke House is a variation of FLW’s hemicycle style.  Designed in 1953,  construction started in 1959, two weeks before FLW’s death.  The furniture for this home was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, including, my favorite feature, the incredible 40 foot sofa in the great room.  Can you imagine the memorable parties one could throw in this house?  The asking price is $3,750.00.

Cooke House Photo courtesy of Daniel Duhl flwrightbeachhouse.com

Cooke House Photo courtesy of Daniel Duhl flwrightbeachhouse.com

Cooke House Photo courtesy of Daniel Duhl flwrightbeachhouse.com

Cooke House Photo courtesy of Daniel Duhl flwrightbeachhouse.com

Cooke House Photo courtesy of Daniel Duhl flwrightbeachhouse.com

Cooke House Photo courtesy of Daniel Duhl flwrightbeachhouse.com

A.  W.   G r i d l e y   R e s i d e n c e

Batavia, Illinois


Nick named “Ravine House” because of the ravine sloping wildflowers of the south end of the house.  The Gridley Residence is a very good example of Wright’s Prairie School style.  One unique feature of this home is that is has clear glass as opposed to stained glass, because Wright wanted the owners to view the beautiful trees around the property.   And what a property it is!  The home is situated on 2.3 acres of land.  The original plan included a stucco wall surrounding the front  which has been removed and a barn that was never built.  The house is currently under contract.

Gridley Residence Photo courtesy of Linda Mahaney Coldwell Banker Residential

Gridley Residence Photo courtesy of Linda Mahaney Coldwell Banker Residential

Gridley Residence Photo courtesy of Linda Mahaney Coldwell Banker Residential

To find more information about Frank Lloyd Wright and other residences for sale please visit the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy.

Is there a particular Frank Lloyd house you would like to see more of or perhaps own? Let me know.  The comment button is at the top right of this post.


All photos used by special permission.

An earnest thank you to the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy and the owners, brokers and executors of these unique American treasures, for allowing me to share these photos with you.


Techno Tuesday: Who’s the Fairest of Them All?

Bathrooms are at the top of our to-do lists when it comes to home remodeling projects, and more design clients are considering high-tech options.  These sometime pricey gadgets feed our increasing urge to stay connected in and wired.  Here is a sampling of bathroom mirrors designed to enhance our experience in the bathroom.

from amazingdecoration.net

The TV Mirror takes multi-tasking to a whole new level.  Now you catch up on the morning’s news while shaving, applying makeup or brushing your teeth.  If you think about it the application could extend to other rooms of the house.  Rather than covering you flat screen TV with a mirror, the mirror could become the TV.

The mirrors and TV are available in a wide range of manufactures shapes and sizes.  So does the cost.  I presented this idea to a client 7 years ago, and the price has come down considerably since then.

anti mist LED mirror Eccleston Square Hotel from Eccleston

Luxury hotels like the  tech friendly Eccleston Square Hotel embraced this technology rather quickly, as an added amenity to an ultra-modern experience.

The Maitre Mirror from Stocco

Now you can take your iPod to the bathroom with you.  Stocco of Italy designed a mirror with a touchscreen console to control, a built-in radio, clock, barometer, and MP3 player. 

Tooth Guardian Brush from gizmag.com

This concept tooth-brush designed by Yu-Hsin Lin, Chu-Che Chang and Shang-Hsuan Lu that allows you get up close and personal with your teeth.  The LED integrated camera takes a look at your teeth while you brush, and displays an image in the bathroom mirror.  You can see how well you brush, and spot oral problems early.

Reveal Mirror form R&D Labs

New York Times R&D Labs has taken the bathroom mirror concept even further by integrating interactive computers with a mirror. By using a special semi-reflective glass surface, a client is able to see both a normal reflection as well as overlaid, high-contrast graphics. You can view calendars, news feed, as well as personal data.

I think these mirrors are just a mere “glimpse” into the future of bathroom design.  Soon we will question how we ever lived without them.  So sound off and tell me what you thinks?   Would you consider incorporating these products into your bathroom remodel?  The comment button is at the top right of each post.


“Hello Lover!” Luis Bustamante

It might not come as a surprise that we Interior Designers develop crushes on other designers all the time. It may be a fascination with a designer we admired while in design school, or a designer we just stumble across along our own careers.  Here the first introduction of one of many of my design crushes.

L o u  i s   B u  s t a m a n t e

Bustamante is an Interior Architect based in Madrid.  Luis studied fine arts at the University Complutense of Madrid.  After school he began his career as a sculptor and painter.  In the ’90 he decided to turn his sights on Interior Architecture.  First he design in Madrid for 8 years and Mexico for 5, then returned to Madrid as  a jet-setting  designer, completing  projects in London, US, Mexico, Switzerland,  the UK, , and Venezuela.   

Luis combines superior materials, and furnishings with classical elements that creates a simple and sophisticated space that expresses a tasteful level of energy through the use of the color red.

At first glance one can not help but notice the plan of this room is arranged for comfort, conversation and relaxation. The clean white fabrics and window treatments along with the reflective mirror and high gloss paneled ceiling give the room a well-balanced glimmer.  I can only imagine what it look like at night with artificial lighting.

 In the kitchen, the basic color palette of red white and black fabrics and finishes serves as an aesthetically pleasing  back drop allowing the sculpture and art work attract attention.

Again restraint and tasteful elegance are exercised in the selection of textures, finishes, furnishings and fabrics.

Everything in this bedroom contributes to an atmosphere of peace.  As with each of these rooms, I can imagine myself happily occupying the space .

So there you have it, the first of my design infatuations. If you would like to learn more about Luis Baustamante and see more of his Interior Architecture you can order his book by clicking on the book cover below.

Luis Bustamante: Interiors [Hardcover]

All photos from Luis Bustamante

As alway comments are encouraged and appreciated.  Tell me what you think?  the comment button is at the right of each post.

Black is Beautiful And Not So Spooky

Ok it’s a bit ironic that as Halloween approaches, I bring up black as a wall color. But I dare not jest.  Black is a bold, demanding, and a sophisticated color choice. Sure it could be dangerous, but it won’t flop if you let the characteristics of black work to your advantage.

Cindy Gallup in her bedroom, all black apartment,  from Cindy Gallup

If unconventional defines your design style then drive it home with all black.  Black walls, black ceilings and black floors.

living room, Cindy Gallop all black apartment, from Behance Network

It took little convincing from  Designer, Stefan Boublil to get Cindy Gallup to step over to the dark side in her Chelsea, New York apartment.  He painted the space a high gloss black to reflect the light in the space.  The high gloss or lacquer finishes are applied with a paint sprayer and requires a coat of lacquer-based primer, two coats of lacquer-based paint and 3 coats of clear lacquer.  This is serious business.

dining room, Cindy Gallop all black apartment, from Behance Network

pink chair, Cindy Gallup all black apartment, from Cindy Gallup

gallery of art, Cindy Gallop all black apartment, from Cindy Gallup

flowers, books and accessories, Cindy Gallop, all black apartment, from Cindy Gallop

The concept work masterfully.  Everything pops, from the fabric, to the art, even the most simple belongings.

Black is not just for the brave or avant-garde clients.  It works well in traditional homes too.  Again the art, furniture and light burst off the canvas.

black, white and grey stripes from fancycribs.com

You can test the waters with a “subtle” effect of black, grey and white stripes reinforced with glossy black doors and molding. Did you notice the sofa?

yellow tufted headboard against black wall. from freshome.com

The same concept works in conventional environments with the same results.  Black as an accent wall color makes other colors pops and the fabrics, furnishings, and art come alive.

Perhaps you’re a wallpaper person. This digitally created designer wallpaper by, Iris Maschek  plays with depth and illusion in a room. The mixture of black and white in a woven pattern creates an almost curtain-like effect.

Belgravia Dahlia black wallpaper

A black-based wallpaper with a print in white and grey is more delicate but  still dramatic application of black.

Hollace Cluny Showroom, Toronto, from housetohome.com

Black takes on a new dimension in the retail showroom of Hollace Cluny.  The layered effect was achieved by painting plywood slats a matte black and stacking them on the walls.

Hollace Cluny Showroom, Toronto, from housetohome.com

 The lighting casts shadows and defines the depth of the walls. Amazing!

black bathroom with color accessories.

What stands out notice when you see this black bathroom is not the walls but the colors.  The orange towels, the rich wood framed mirror, and the Celadon garden stool take the forefront.  Think how amazing this photo would be with you standing in it?

opulent gold stand out against black bathroom

The wave motion on the walls and the princely gold fixtures and accessories of this bathroom embraces you in opulent splendor.

So there you have it, bold black spaces that not only shine but let, your fabrics, colors, furnishing, Art and even you become center stage.

I can’t wait to hear what you think.  Would you dare…?

The comment button is at the upper right corner of every post.


It’s a Jungle Out There! A Recurring Trend in Designs at the High Point Furniture Market

“Blue is Back”,  “Earthy is In”, or “Mad Men Inspires Market”!  There are as many declarations about the new design trends at High Point Furniture Market as there are Bloggers, Designers, and Style-Spotters.  Even among 2,000 exhibitors and 10 million square feet of show space, It’s not hard to spot the trends that are going to go viral.  But I spotted a trend that has been around and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Animal prints and hides!

zebra print side chair, Alexa Hampton, Hickory Chair

Alexa Hampton accented a zebra print with vibrant red trim for Hickory Chair.

Hadley Bench, Oly 

Oly pairs a hammered crossed leg iron frame with a stamped leather seat in the Hadley Bench.

Sophie Lounge Chair, Oly

Sophie Lounge Chair, faux zebra is a stamped leather hide, also from Oly

Anne’s leopard print shoes, Wedding, September 2012

I took note of the jungle fever in fashion a couple of months ago. I was at a wedding in Winston-Salem, North Carolina when I snapped a photo of these leopard print heels, with matching grosgrain ribbon bows.  Anne, the shoe’s owner, she said, “I’ve had them for years, and I don’t even remember where I got them.”  Hmmm, a recurring theme that’s stands the test of time.

Market goer’s shoes, at Lorts Showroom, High Point Furniture Market.

I spotted these shoes on a Buyer my first day at Market.

Recent fabric pull for design client. Using S. Harris, Turkana 01.

A recent fabric pull I did for a design client using S. Harris, Turkana #01.

zebra print books, E. Lawrence, Ltd.

pillows from Elaine Smith

Leather wrapped table lamp in Faux leopard, Ralph Home, for Visual Comfort

And they are showing up in accessories too!

1. Zebra print books, E. Lawrence, Ltd.

2. Pillows from Elaine Smith.

3. Leather wrapped faux leopard skin Lamp, Ralph Lauren Home, for Visual Comfort.

Leather hide chest, from Ferguson Copeland Ltd.

Here’s a sampling of animal print hide on a case good with nailhead trim from Ferguson Copeland LTD.

animal print rug, Billy Baldwin, from Billy Baldwin Decorates

As I mentioned, this trend has been around for a while.  Billy Baldwin was using animal prints years ago.

Elsie De Wolfe, Villa Trianon

 Elsie De Wolfe  tossed a sprinkling of animal prints  in her elegant Villa Trianon.

Sarah Williams with Elizabeth Gordon

…and more recently Sarah Williams used a zebra print rug in her collaboration with  Elizabeth Gordon.

So if your feeling confident and want to make a wild and powerful statement in your decor, consider a bit (you want to keep it tasteful) of animal print!

Remember if you spot something you like, would like to own, or want more information, contact me. I’ll be glad to help.  In the mean time, please be leave a comment about your own impressions of Design trends.  The comment button is at the top right corner of each post.


From High Point to Your Home: A Showcase of Unique Designs at Market

In the vast sea of bankable designers, beautifully appointed furniture showrooms, and fabulous cocktail parties at the High Point Furniture Market, lies some of the most wonderful small vendors with incredible designs.  My second post on the “Market” focuses on them!

It’s from these vendors that Boutique Shop Buyers discover that one-of-a-kind vase you will give as a wedding present and Interior Designers find a “knock-out” pendant to go over your dining room table.

First up on our tour is SkLo.

Hold Vessels & Hooks, Karen Gilbert & Paul Pavlak Designers, SkLo Studio

SkLo is the brain child of Pavel Hanousek, founder of Fusion Z, and husband and wife design team, Karen Gilbert and Paul Pavlak.  They’ve come together to produce hand-blown glass designs using traditional Czech glass blowing techniques. By the way, Sklo is Czech for glass.

Side view, Hold Vessels & Hooks, Karen Giblet & Paul Pavlak Designers, SkLo Studio.

The Hold Vessel & Hook are clean, simple and modern.  And since they are handblown, no two vessels look exactly the same.

Front & Side views, Double Lasso Pendant, Karen Gilbert & Paul Pavlak Designers, SkLo

Imagine having this work of art hanging above your bathroom vanity.  Talking about amplifying the mundane!

Lasso Table Light, Karen Gilbert & Paul Pavlak Designers, SkLo

A sculptural table light that would be perfect for accent lighting on your entry hall table or on your bar.  This is bespoke design at it’s best!

Another glass design that I found to be both unique,  trend-setting and a great design is the Phantom Dining Table by Glassisimo.  I love love this table, but the question is do You love it?  After all you are the “end-user”!

Phantom Dining Table, Glassisimo

While this table is “happening”, trust me, the Phantom Dining Table has more applications than in just a contemporary setting.  Put it with the right chairs and it stands out as a one of a kind and sophisticated piece.

Paramount Extra Large 3-drawer chest, Bungalow 5

The Paramount Extra Large 3-drawer Chest, (Yes, that’s its name.)  Certainly made its way onto almost every style-spotter and market blogger list!  It certainly earned the bragging rights. It’s show-stopping lacquered painted finish, offset with silver ball pulls and carved facade come together to make it an extraordinary Market find.

faux-shagreen dresser, Regina Andrew

Accented with a gold base and gold twig handles, This faux-shagreen dresser is a no-brainer among good Market designs.  Oh and guess what?  The drawers are self-closing.  Neat!

Bluhm Credenza, Bevara Design House

The organic door panels of this teak credenza , by Bevara Design House,  gives it 1960’s form, with a splash of ’70’s vibe.

Mercer Dining Table. Artesia

While not a “new” Market item, The Mercer Dining table, made from reclaimed teak, is still one of my favorites.  It’s family friendly, stylish and it can go out-doors, under a covered porch.   That kind of versatility makes it a safe choice for a great Market design.

Collectors Cabinet, Global Views

It seems that every Market Global Views comes out with one stand-out design.  This Market, it’s The Collector Cabinet.

Cabinet, Camilla House Imports

Finally, the mirrored cabinet from Camille House Imports.  It would look great against a richly painted wall in your home.  Perhaps Benjamin Moore’s Autumn Purple.

So there you have it. A roundup of some of Market’s incredible designs from small vendors that will be making its way to homes around the world soon!

As usual, if you see something you like, would like more information, or want to know where to buy,  contact me and I’ll be glad to help.  In the mean time feel free to post a comment on the designs you love.  The comment button is at the top of each blog post.


A Designer’s Mecca; High Point International Home Furnishings Market.

High Point, North Carolina  is where the World comes twice a year, to preview the newest in furniture and home decor.  If High Point didn’t invent furniture, it certainly invented the furniture industry.  I started my three day visit to the High Point International Furniture Market with The Phillips Collection.

The Phillips Collection offers innovative and striking designs that have in international flair.  This is just the place to look for unique items that can serve in both a transitional decor or a hip urban loft.

Wicker Screen Divider, The Phillips Collection

The Wicker Screen Divider can be used as a piece of art against a wall, as a headboard or to actually separate a large room or loft into two smaller sections.

Gallery of stools The Phillips Collection

Gallery of stools.  The Phillips Collection

These stools can add a touch of a natural element to a room.  Again they work in a variety of settings, not just a contemporary space.

Nuttapong, Seatbelt Chair, The Phillips Collection

When I saw these chairs by Thai Designer Nuttapong, remembered them from the movie “The Hunger Games”.  I sat in one and the are comfortable!

The Phillips Collection, Seatbelt Chair in green from the film “the Hunger Games”

Here the chair is shown as a dining chair, but I could easily envision it as a desk chair  in a child or teenagers bedroom.

If you ever visit  “Market” it’s best to come up with a plan to map out your days, but you know what they say about the best laid plans…  My next stop at Market was a bit off plan, but I had to see Phoebe & Jim Howard’s  Collection of furniture with Sherrill Furniture.  The collection was actually introduced at the April Market, so I’m a little behind on the news , but who’s keeping score.  Mr. & Mrs. Howard didn’t disappoint with they’re “new to me” collection.  They served up an  assemblage of upholstery and case goods blended with current and traditional, timeless designs.  It’s also notable that the collection is made in Hickory, North Carolina.

Mr. & Mrs. Howard for Sherrill Furniture

Rennie’s Side Table shown in washed linen, Mr. & Mrs. Howard for Sherrill Furniture

I want this side table beside my bed.  Everything one would need for a Sunday afternoon in bed is easily accessible. The table works flanking a sofa as well.

Oval Dining Room Mr. & Mrs. Howard for Sherrill Furniture

Living Room vignette,Mr. & Mrs. Howard for Sherrill Furniture

I think it’s universally agreeable that Mrs. Howard’s design style is refined, comfortable and uncomplicated.  I could do a post on this showroom alone.  Hmmm!

From Sherrill, I ventured around the corner and down the street to Hickory Chair, another American made line of furniture.  Hickory Chair  features collections designed by Alexa Hampton, Suzanne Kasler, Mariette Himes Gomez and Thomas O’Brien.  Wow, what a line up!  Each of Designers are in the Showroom during Market,  are approachable and, just like me, love to talk about design.

Thomas O’Brian, Marc Stool, Hickory Chair

Top view, Thomas O’Brien, Marc Stool, Hickory Chair

I almost tripped over this stool, and I fell in love in the process!  The Marc Stool, by Thomas O’Brien, with its ever so gentle curves and ash frame construction  is  a nod to Scandinavia.

Truman Sofa, Alexa Hampton, Hickory Chair

In my never-ending quest for the perfect sofa, I came across two candidates.  First this 1940’s inspired beauty by Alexa Hampton.  A simple, modern silhouette is essential for me, along with comfort and the ability to lay on it after a long day of work, or to watch a good movie.  The Truman Sofa certainly fits the bill.  You’ll learn more about my search for the perfect sofa in a future post.  Alexa told me the sofa was introduced three years ago, and that it’s a good thing they “mix things up from one Market to the next”.  How could I have missed it!

9th Street Sofa, Hickory Chair

Arm detail, 9th Street Sofa, Hickory Chair

Second is the 9th Street Sofa inspired by a vintage 1960’s Hickory Chair sofa.  Again this sofa has been in the Hickory Chair line for some time now. Which leads me to my very first bit of advice as a Designer.  Walk trough a showroom, or shop twice.  You will always see something new the second go around.

Next Directly across the street is the Baker Showroom.  Or as a friend of mine calls it Bakah!  Regardless how you say it, Baker is a must stop at every Market.

Baker Showroom, Highpoint, North Carolina

Neatly nested behind Ivy laden walls, and a simple pair of french door, there’s no doubt where you are.

Tony Duquette Collection, Baker Furniture

I had the fortune of being escorted through the Baker showroom, by Vanessa, a former Design School classmate of mine.  She showed me the place from her point of view and the first stop on our tour was Tony Duquette.  “Babette’s Feast” for the eyes!

for the eyes.

From there Vanessa showed me, with a glint in her eye, The Thomas Pheasant Collection.  It  contained one of my favorite Market finds, a reinterpretation of the Starburst Mirror.  Finally!

Blossom Mirror, Thomas Pheasant, Tony Duquette Collection, Baker

His interpretation is loosely inspired by a kimono with cherry blossoms. It is truly an eye catcher, that is bound to be the new “must have” mirror to smartly finish a room.  Juan Carlos, Thomas’ partner, described the intricate detail that went into getting the look just right.  They resorted to post-it notes to indicate where on the mirror each gem would be placed.  Pink for the medium-sized gems and yellow for the large ones.

Juan Carlos, me and Thomas at the Baker Showroom.

Finally I’ll end today’s post on the Market with yet another American Made Furniture Company, Vaughn-Bassett.  The Bassett family has  been making furniture in Virginia & North Carolina since 1902, Vaughn-Bassett has been designing and building bedroom furniture since the 1920’s.  They are an American Furniture Dynasty.

Vaughn-Bassett today and tomorrow. Ann Yancey Bassett, Wyatt Bassett; President, and McKinely Bassett.

My favorite collection is the Cottage.  It’s cute, fun, and transitional.

Cottage Collection, Vaughn-Bassett Furniture Company

I can picture a pair of these bed’s in a child’s room at a beach house. I love the added storage for blankets and sheets.

The Cottage Collection, Vaughn-Bassett Furniture Company

Cottage Collection, Vaughn-Bassett Furniture Company

In the next post, I will share a couple of other great  showrooms, some of the Boutique Vendors at Market,  home accessories, and some Market trends.

If you see an item you like, would like to own, or want to know where to buy, contact me!


Hello world!

Hello and welcome to my blog.  I am Benji, an Atlanta Interior Designer.  My design aesthetics was nurtured by my Mother at an early age and cultivated over the years and turned me into the design nerd I am today!

Part of my work requires me to do lots shopping, research and, exploring to find new, old and unique items to share with clients.  This blog will give you some insight into the world of an interior Designer, the experimental development that goes into design projects, and where I find furnishing and decor I use in my work.

In this blog you will have a first hand view of trendsetting styles and design inspirations. Design is a never-ending learning experience.  With that said,  I hope you learn a bit in these pages; I have no doubt I will.