Beautiful Places to Visit In Soho

SoHo and its surrounds; a hip, bustling enclave in Lower Manhattan known for its historic architecture, art galleries and designer boutiques. Read below to discover top spots and favorite haunts.

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Exploring BDDW
BDDW is a must for any interior design lover. As soon as you step into the labyrinth-like showroom, you can totally see why the company has a cult following. The solid wood furniture, all made by hand, is at once minimalist and rustic – the kind of pieces you will own forever – and accompanied by exquisite objets d’art, from handmade ceramics to vintage fashion to one-of-a-kind paintings. This is an interiors store like no other – just take a deep breath and enjoy!

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Perusing Roman and Williams Guild
Roman and Williams Guild takes retail to a whole new level with a two-story space that houses The Founding Collection design showroom, French all-day eatery La Mercerie and a florist. At the café, everything from the tableware to the tables is for sale. Diners not only receive a menu but also a dim sum-style card with illustrations of plates, napkins and candlesticks that can be purchased and delivered the same day. How’s that for service?

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Popping in to The Primary Essentials
Next destination is one of Armadillo & Co’s local NYC stockists. Founder Lauren Snyder is a former fashion stylist and her discerning eye is reflected in a curation of artisanal goods that feels hand-worked without being crafty. Lauren is an advocate for independent design and an expert in advising customers on how to organize, spruce up or completely overhaul their homes. This space, like its Brooklyn counterpart, boasts a considered array of tabletop, ceramics, textiles and stationery.

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Lighting jungle at Ochre
A few blocks over is the forever stunning store Ochre, a British brand renowned for its custom light installations crafted from unusual materials like blown glass, chain mail, saddle leather and horsehair. The Broome Street store oozes sophistication, with glamorous chandeliers adorning the ceilings and beautifully refined furnishings lining both walls.

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At home with The Apartment by The Line
The entry to The Apartment is not obvious to the general passer-by, as you have to head up a very small elevator to reach it. Once the doors open, you’re greeted by a high-end atelier laid out like a real home (albeit one belonging to someone with enviable taste in fashion and décor). Intimate, storied objects are dotted throughout the space, which unfolds from a monochromatic bedroom complete with freestanding bathtub, to an elegant dining room that doubles as a home office, and finally, a walk-in wardrobe brimming with luxe basics.

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Lunch dining at Sant Ambroeus
Lunch is at old favorite Sant Ambroeus, a modern Milanese restaurant on Lafayette. With its classic New York style interiors, the atmosphere is lively and chic. The menu puts a contemporary spin on northern Italian cuisine, with signature dishes like vitello tonnato and cotoletta alla milanese.pic 8.pngScents at Le Labo
Fragrance label Le Labo’s SoHo outlet is soulful and irreverent, with raw materials strewn about in sensory vignettes. Their approach is incredibly personalized, with each bottle freshly blended and hand-labelled in front of the customer – but it is their values that I admire most. The brand is 100% vegan, opting for synthetic fragrances that have been lab-tested on humans instead of animal products.

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Pretty in pink at Pietro Nolita
A mid-afternoon slump calls for a visit to the Pinterest-worthy Pietro Nolita, a tiny and very pink Italian restaurant whose candy-colored stone entryway leads into a blush-tinged boudoir. Inside, everything looks like it is being viewed through rose-colored glasses, from the walls to the ceiling, tableware, chairs and bank seating. The bathroom received the pink treatment too!

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Interior indulgence at Ulla Johnson
Venturing off-track, divert north to the beautiful Ulla Johnson boutique on tree-lined Bleecker Street. Like the designer’s soft apparel, the interior feels like a tactile celebration of femininity and optimism. I love this store as much for its interiors as for its fashion, with finishing touches provided by artisans near and far, including a bronze door handle by Rogan Gregory, pendant light from Lindsay Adelman, macramé wall hanging by Taynya Aguiñiga and rotating floral arrangements from Saipua.

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Blooms at Adore Floral Inc.
Neighborhood floral studio Adore brings a touch of color and romance to SoHo’s concrete jungle with an organic flower market feel and a gorgeous selection of rare blossoms, fresh cut greenery and leafy house plants.

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Drawing inspiration from Olsen Gruin Gallery 
The Olsen Gruin Gallery, slightly off-track in Chinatown. The contemporary art gallery was founded by a trio of fellow Aussies – art dealer Tim Olsen (son of artist John Olsen and brother to Dinosaur Designs owner Louise Olsen) and gallerists Emerald and Adrian Gruin. Despite its pristine presentation, it has a familiar and friendly Australian vibe.

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Drinks and dinner at 11 Howard
The day comes to an end with drinks and dinner at Le Coucou. The Parisian restaurant is located within 11 Howard, a boutique hotel known for its “conscious hospitality” – the hotel works with the Global Poverty Project, so every direct booking goes towards fighting inequality around the world. The Scandinavian-inspired bar is perfect for lounging – enjoy the sleek interiors and fabulous cocktails before you head into the restaurant.

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Originally published Armadillo & Co.

Beautiful Photography Exhibit in NYC

Charting the course of photography over the past 150 years is just one of the joys of MoMA’s new exhibition.
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See works from photography’s 19th-century origins right up to more recent masterworks, by artists from Brassaï to Carrie Mae Weems. Learn more

Beautiful New York City Circa 1980s

Steven Siegel has been photographing the streets and subways
of New York City for 30 years, and his Flickr album is a time
capsule of a grittier, feral city — before Times Square was
scrubbed clean and 9/11 changed the metropolis forever.
His photos are remarkable. Siegel and friends created several
dreamlike scenarios (in a pre-Photoshop era) with clever
angles, poses, and accidental exposures. Take a closer look
and visit Siegel’s Flickr page for a trip back in time to New York
in the 1980s.

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All photos by Steven Siegel

Beautiful Architect

The Invisible Architect of Invisible Architecture

At the height of his popularity, R. Buckminster Fuller,
the visionary inventor best known as the father of the
geodesic dome, was on a mission. Fuller repeatedly
referred to his great friend, the architect Knud Lonberg-Holm
—a “really great architect of the Nysky (New York skyscraper)
age”—whom Fuller said “has been completely unrecognized
and unsung,” and whose “scientific foresight and design
competence are largely responsible for the present world
around the state of advancement of the building arts.”
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Knud Lonberg-Holm (1895-1972),
an overlooked but highly influential
Modernist architect, photographer,
and pioneer of information design,
is the subject of an exhibition at the
Ubu Gallery in New York City,
through August 1, 2014.

I stumbled upon a fascinating article about
the architect Lonberg-Holm. He is one of the
most overlooked yet influential architects
of the 20th century.  Knud Lonberg-Holm
told Buckminster Fuller that “the really great
architect will be the architect who produces
the invisible house where you don’t see roofs
or walls,” Fuller explained in House & Garden.
“I’ve thought about this, thought about  it a lot,
the ultimately invisible house—doing more with
less and finally coming to nothingness.”
Lonberg-Holm’s modernity and exquisite
techniques were well ahead of his time.

Read the fascinating article here.

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Chicago Tribune Tower
This design of a side elevation for the 1922 Chicago

Tribune Tower competition, by Lonberg-Holm,
favored a functional composition that was devoid
of historical styles. It featured an abstract,
black-and-white pattern to articulate its frame and a
vertical sign spelling “Tribune” in large block letters,
flanked by two round lamps reminiscent of automobile
headlights. Lonberg-Holm never submitted his entry
for the competition, but it was published in a number
of books by avant-garde architects like Le Corbusier,
Walter Gropius, and J.P.P. Oud.

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Radio Broadcasting Station, Detroit
This design, ca. 1925, was included in the landmark

1927 Machine Age exhibition—advertised as “the
first International Exposition of Architecture to be
held in America.” The New Yorker critic Muriel Draper
reviewed the project and wrote: “The delicacy and
exquisite technique of execution shown in the plans may
have much to do with it, but a glass tower with a visibly
spiralling staircase took me straight up in the air while
the simple, solid proportions of the building itself kept
my feet on the earth. Pleasant sensation.”

 

Beautiful Photography

Ah, gotta have Photoshop. I love that program but
obviously not as  much as Robert Jahns.
These breathtaking moments are beautifully
manipulated through the magic of Photoshop.
Check out more of his work here.
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Beautiful Old Factory

Today I celebrate the Oreo cookie not because
I like the cookie so much but I do love design
and history. Today I did some internet stumbling
and came upon these great images of the design
of the old Oreo Cookie factory in New York.
Sometimes I do wish I lived closer to NYC
to experience some of this first hand but suffice
to say I’ll enjoy the ‘ol factory thanks to
the talents of PATTIBUM.
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The first Oreo cookie was made in 1912 at
the original Nabisco bakery in NYC which
is today the Chelsea Market.
Read here for 13 things you didn’t know
about Oreo cookies
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Present day Chelsea Market
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Beautiful Bansky

Controversy surrounding the new World Trade Center
design is a never-ending source of amusement;
now Bansky has joined in.

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The latest in Bansky’s ‘Better Out Than In’ graffiti series