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Moon Gates

I have a bit of a thing for anything circular, so I have always been fascinated by traditional Chinese Moon Gates. This one in particular I find breathtaking because it only forms the full full moon shape when you catch the reflection of the bridge in the still water of the canal. To me, I think the designer was playing with the idea of whether or not the moon is really there at all, or only in our imaginations… very whimsical, don’t you think?

This Moon Gate is from Purple Bamboo Park in Beijing, China.

Mid-Century Modern Christmas present for that hipster you love

Meet the Jack-Be-Little planter. It is small, fabulously colorful, very Mid-Century, and ever so hip.

It comes in a rich orange-red or a jaunty sky blue and it about 10″ tall, so it is great for sitting on a side table filled with succulents, little pebbles, or even candy. Wouldn’t he just make the perfect Christmas gift for that super trendy person you know, the one who already has everything, the one who it is impossible to buy presents for?

Right now, Steel Life is offering a deal from their Etsy shop– 40% off. That makes him a cool $75. Or, if you want to check out some of his full-sized cousins, here is Steel Life’s website. I just ordered the matchstick planter for my office- I can’t wait to see it (and yes, once I have it here and planted up, I’ll post photos)!

How to select materials to create a design aesthetic

I am very excited to get a chance to teach a course through the Genesis 3 program this March (the 7th and 8th) at the Carecraft Annual meeting in NYC. Yep, right on Time Square. It will be co-taught with Feras Irikat, product designer for Oceanside Glasstile.

If you haven’t come across Feras’ work yet, you need to! Oceanside Glass has an absolute top quality collection, and now with their new Mandala line, a whole new look to explore. Also, they are working on their Blue line, a line of recycled glass mosaics. They have a high percentage of post-consumer recycled glass sourced from within the US: excellent if you are working on a LEED project. My favorite color is Oasis, of course. You know how I love teal.

So, back to the course! Design 311: Applied Materials and Finish Details, will focus on design detail and materials specification for swimming pools, water features, and the surrounding landscape. We will discuss how to better integrate the pool vessel with its surroundings and create a cohesive design aesthetic.

If you are an APLD member, this course would be a really great one for you to consider as a first step towards working with the Genesis 3 group. Knowing more about selecting/specifying hardscape materials will be valuable  on all of your projects. Feras is a genius when it comes to color, and he’ll be sharing some of his insights, so this is not a class to be missed!

Genesis 3 education program in Nordhorn, Germany

I am so proud to have been involved with the Genesis 3 education program in Nordhorn, Germany, sponsored by Riviera Pools. We included three classes in the core Genesis curriculum: Perspective Drawing, Marker Rendering, and Elements of Design.

I would like to thank Guido Rengers of Riviera Pools for being the inspiration behind bringing the program to his Pro-Partners group. He and his brother, Uwe Rengers, could not have been more perfect hosts.

We had a chance to tour the Riviera showroom while we were there and we were all absolutely blown away by what we saw. In the US, I have only ever been underwhelmed by what was being done in fiberglass pools. Riviera is like nothing I have ever seen before: fiberglass swimming pools and spas that are elegantly designed with clean lines and nice forms. The showroom itself is beautiful: a collection of well designed vignettes set up around each spa model with two complete outdoor rooms set up in their garden space (click on the showroom link to see the 360 degree views on their website). Swimming pool showrooms in the US typically feel like warehouses- instead, this felt like a spa resort.

I will try to post more about my trip and perhaps some images of pools done by the Pro-Partners. I was not sure what to expect from my trip to Germany, but I just absolutely fell in love. To my new German friends: I can’t wait to come back!

Hanging globe terrariums

Yes, I know these are trendy, and I usually try not to jump on the bandwagon with everyone else, but this time I just couldn’t help it! I love the terrarium trend!

I am not exactly sure if this is giving credit where it is due, but I first saw them on Flora Grub’s blog, and I have been wanting one (or, um, five actually) ever since. When one of my favorite local stores, Pigment, set up a DIY terrarium station, I was hooked.

These little lovelies are now happily hanging in my office, where I have to say, they do in fact brighten my day. My office is all decked out in teal, lime green, and burnt orange- don’t you think that they just fit in like they were made for the place (which, well, they were)? They are planted with a bunch of different types of Tillandsia (some people call them “Air Plants” because they are epiphytes and don’t need any soil, just the occasional misting).

Now that I have five, I keep finding myself wishing I had even more of them. Check out the web shop on Flora Grub’s site for all of the other terrarium options- I especially like the cube aeriums and wall bubbles. I think I feel an addiction forming…