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Archive for November, 2012

Glass House

I would love to be one of those people who live in a glass house. And no, it has nothing to do with throwing stones. I have always been intrigued by the transparency, the clarity, the openness and the wide open space of a glass house. It’s something to think about as you’re cocooning on this last day of November. Here’s to a wonderful December.


image via.

Illumination: Lindsey Adelman

Lighting is like music. It sets the tone. If the analogy holds, let me say that Lindsey Adelman is a rock star or an impressario. Adelman designs have a wonderful Calder-esque mobile feel about them. It was no surprise to learn that all the lighting designs evolve through a model-making process. The team plays with shape and movement. Form and materials are fluid and sculptural. Hand-blown glass and brass have been favored materials, but more recently designs include more mixed media. Imagine: jewelry, tiles, porcelain and precious metals. Oh my!  Here at LSI, it’s music to our eyes!

visit Lindsay Adelman.


Boho Holiday

It may be time for Norman Rockwell to move over. I’m thinking of that quintessential Thanksgiving Day painting with the 1940’s family expectantly ’round the bird. This year, I plan to hold on to the tradition, but shake it up. Goodbye Windsor chairs; hello blankets and rugs. Fire pit, not fireplace. Sprinkle in good friends with family members. Spread the menu wings beyond turkey. Maybe the gravy is a curry concoction. Our Thanksgiving holiday wish for you? Shake it up and pass it along.

Fire Extinguishers Ignite Creativity

Safety is never on holiday. That’s why I’m mad about these smoking-cool fire extinguishers. Don’t you love it, as I do, when highly functional basics get a make-over in the hands of a creative designer? When the broiler is going at my house, it’s always good to know that a fire extinguisher (fashionable and functional) is in the vicinity. It’s my new kitchen basic!

Conversations with Friends: Tom and Sabine Verellen

Do you know Verellen? If not, I’m delighted to make an introduction. And if you do know the name, get ready for a treat. Tom and Sabine Verellen are the husband-and-wife creative masterminds behind this wonderful upholstery brand. They are extremely talented and very private people. Tom and Sabine prefer their upholstery creations to take center stage. And Verellen upholstery always does. Verellen is all the things I love: modern and timeless, haute and everyday, picture perfect and oh-so comfortable. See more at And come join me now for the latest Conversations with … Tom and Sabine Verellen.

Lisa: What’s the backstory? How did you launch Verellen?

Tom: Well, the true start of Verellen was a bit accidental. No, I take that back. It was meant to be. Here’s what happened. Sabine and I had another company. We imported fabulous one-of-a-kind Belgian antiques. We were getting ready for the High Point Market and realized we needed some upholstery to show with the wood – you know, to create an inviting setting and evoke an atmosphere. Well, the upholstery was a hit, a homerun as you say here. Our first style, Camille, was born and so was the Verellen of today. 

Sabine: I’ll just add that our collaboration really started quite a bit earlier. Tom and I were born six months and six kilometers apart in Schilde. It’s just outside of Antwerp. We met in what would be your grade school, started dating in high school, and well, here we are today. Really, the essence of Verellen is based on our point of view, our aesthetic: Belgian conception and American perfection.


Lisa: So many of your styles just take my breath away. I wonder, “How do they do it?” So tell me where do you find inspiration?

Sabine: Oh, it’s everywhere. Actually, we don’t really have to look. The ideas that find you – that tap you on the shoulder or hit you over the head – are always the best. Travel. Travel is really important. We like to get out in the world.

Tom: Yes, and I’ll add that the world of fashion is a big inspiration. Verellen upholstery is tailored like clothing, custom, made-to-order. We love the furniture industry, but we don’t look inside the industry for ideas. Customers come to us for what’s new and next. Pressure! But we love it. 


Lisa: So I have to ask. You are business partners and husband and wife. Not all couples could manage that. How do you make it work?

Tom: Simple. I always defer to Sabine.

Sabine: Is that what you call it?

Tom: Seriously, I could not imagine any other partner in business or in life. You ask about inspiration. Sabine is my inspiration. She is Verellen. Plus, she is a brilliant manager, CFO, tastemaker, mother, wife, and on it goes.

Sabine: Verellen is about the melding of opposites. I think that’s one of the things Tom and I bring. We are not the same people. But there is chemistry to how we manage the company together. Our team has been working on some new graphics lately – stay tuned for more on this – but shape-wise, Tom loves the square. I am solidly a circle. Maybe we’ll come away with an oval! You see, it’s that little bit of positive tension that can produce great and unusual things. At least I think so!


Lisa: What is your favorite piece in the collection?

Tom: That’s easy. The next new design is always my favorite. I love what’s next!

Sabine: Well, I do feel like they are all little like my children, but I do have a few favorites. Camille because she was our first, for example. Right now, I’m all about Owen – probably because he is a great new addition to our family room. Oh, and anything in Belgian linen, neutral with a great hand. Yes, love them all.


Lisa: Speaking of which, all Verellen styles have actual names, not numbers or SKUs.

Tom: Absolutely. Names not numbers. And, why? Because each Verellen is unique. Each style has a personality. We have a Lawrence – Larry would never do. Madeline has modestly flared arms. I think she looks best slipcovered. But, Alois must always be slipcovered and preferably in leather. And so it goes. 

Sabine: Actually, there are many family members with namesake sofas. But the company’s grown and we’ve expanded the repertoire!


Lisa: Verellen is a family business. You have two children. What’s the plan for the next generation?

Sabine: We have two sons. One is a teenager with no interest in the family business. He wants to make his own way (just like his dad). The other boy still believes in Sinterklaas – Santa Claus, you know – so it’s too soon to say! 

Tom: We are a family business, yes. Sabine and I put our heart and soul into Verellen. It’s a passion. But it’s one that is also shared by about fifty people here at our atelier. Building a team – sort of an extended famile – is one of the best parts of my job. The team is the future, the next generation.



Luxe Pancake

A recipe for a fabulous fall weekend: Why not stay in on these brisk mornings and make yourself a scrumptious breakfast, just because. Recipe: here.

I’ll Take Door No. 4

I am a great believer in personal style. And, I’m an individualist. So, it’s no small thing for me to say that the house you see here is move-in ready for me. In fact, if you believe in those science fiction stories that suggest we all have alternative lives simultaneously occurring in alternate places, well, I’d be calling this place home (deux).

Thanks to Victoria A.K.A. SF Girl By Bay for getting this on our radar. (I know that you love this place too and hopefully we can decide who gets to live there – you or me – peaceably!) It’s designer is Marie Olsson Nylander’s work. Well done!

Why do I love it? Let me count the ways. While there are wonderful color treats throughout the space, white prevails. It’s my perfect palette. I love the layers of detail — all without clutter. The more you look, the more you see, but the eye never wearies. It’s funky. It’s random. Yes, the space has a clear personality. Modern and tradition do not need to be brought together by marriage counselors. Different colors, styles and provenances reside harmoniously.

Ahhh, at long last home. In Sweden!


photos via.

Pantone Queen Reigns Supreme

Queen Elizabeth is not afraid of color. You go girl! Truth be told, we tend to think QE2 is a bit monotone, so this pantone swatch deck turned our collective heads here at LSI. One wonders if HRH’s knickers are tidy-whitey? Or do they follow the palette? Quite agreed, too much information. Hail Brittania and all the best for a colorful weekend ahead.

Photos via.