Monday, March 29, 2010


Start with a bedroom. Not just any bedroom, but this highly chic sanctuary designed by Raji Radhakrishnan. 
Raji was inspired by the paintings in the king's bedroom at Versailles (and why not? say I) to have a detail converted into a sepia-toned photo mural. (You can check out Raji on her blog,, or web site,

Add to this idea my own pointless fantasizing about an ideal dining room, pointless because I don't have a dining room. To which we add my current obsession with a Cy Twombley painting called Quattro Stagioni (A Painting in Four Parts)... well, actually it's "Estate," one of the four parts. It's over ten feet tall and is owned by the Tate Gallery in London, an institution not known for giving away its holdings just because someone asks. 

I am not going to own this painting. Not now. Not ever. So it is my fantasy that I could somehow transfer "Estate" from Quattro Stagioni onto my imaginary dining room wall—not as a simple photo mural (oh, no, that would be way too easy), but as a Venetian plaster installation so that the grafitti-like scrawling and dripping splotches of yellow were actually in the layers of plaster, embedded behind its smooth-as-glass finish. I have no idea how this could be accomplished (I'd probably need Cy Twombley himself and a planeload of Venetian craftsmen), but when it was done, here is the sideboard I'd put in front of it.

It's from Jimmie Martin, my favorite beyond-the-pale furniture designers ( They're Scandinavian, but they work in London, Everything they make is one-of-a-kind and costs about as much as a peerage.

The rest of the room would have to be simple, of course, so I'd paint the opposite wall in some kind of sympathetic yellow, leaving the rest of the "envelope" white. For a table, I'd go with the classic Saarinen table from his 1956 "Tulip" series for Knoll (2010 is Saarinen's centennial, after all, and this table is so ubiquitous it's almost invisible, which means it won't be pulling a lot of focus)... 

... and some simple polypropylene Slick Slick chairs by Phiilippe Starck ( is selling four of them for $468 at the moment). 

Then I'd hang a small, but classic yellow crystal chandelier... or maybe it should be black. OR it could be this so-called Paper chandelier, a witty take on the classic in far humbler materials, designed by Studio Job for Moooi (

And do you think it would be too much to add this contemporary work of art by a British chap who goes by the name of Famous When Dead? Personally, I think it would be fine.

And that's what I call a dining room. Not everyone will want to eat here, but I will, and it's my house. At least in my own mind.—ML


  1. Thanks for the post on the slick slick chairs!

  2. Michael:

    Saw your post about Venetian plaster. Here is a possibility:

    Venetian wall or walls are done in the usual way - plaster is applied smooth and polished but no wax is applied. A faux glaze stain or rust or both is easy and added next in whatever complexity is needed. Final step(s) - many coats of gloss water based acrylic lacquer. Regular lacquer would be great but the gas or volatile organic compounds (VOC) are dangerous to breath and flammable. Water based lacquer if done right is tough and very glossy. Acrylic wax (very little VOC) or regular automotive rubbing/ polishing compound can be next if needed to give a very high gloss. Water based lacquer is sometimes the only way. I would not even entertain the possibility of solvent based lacquer on large scale apartment finishing.

    See my site if you want a consultation:

    Always get/ buy at least a very large or a few large samples from your applicator - this leaves no experimenting on the job.

    For three samples done in your colors and technique I charge:
    $375.00 - three large samples 24" by 24" delivered/ shipped in about one week after payment. Three are necessary because one sample rendered is never enough as in it is usually wrong! But one out of three will usually come close or be great.



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