Share This

Friday, February 27, 2009

...Nothing But A Fig Leaf

At the Palm Beach Annual Arts and Antiques Show,

I saw something that stirred a sweet childhood memory.

When I was little, I lived with my Grandmother ( I called her Bebe ) she was so beautiful and sweet. I was an only child, so needless to say, Bebe indulged me in many ways.
We had a huge wisteria hedge, and there was an opening in this hedge where I would hold court with my imaginary friends ( don't worry, there were only 2, and it was age appropriate for a 4 or 5 year old ).

When lunch time came around,

my Bebe would bring me little cucumber sandwiches with the crust cut off ( I hated crust ).
She would hand little sandwiches to my 'friends' as well.

And I remember , even at the time , how sweet she was.

Bebe would look right into the faces of these imaginary friends, and ask them questions and talk to them, while nodding and smiling.
Don't you love her ???

I did, and I always felt loved by her.
This woman was so kind and loving to me.

I loved her more than anything in the whole world.

Spoken just like a child , I know.

Anyway, this is the 'something' that stirred my memories. I found this an amazing piece of functioning ART !

The Brilliant Artist is Tord Boontje

The Fig Leaf by Tord Boontje for Meta
Nominated for the Brit Insurance Furniture Award 2009

How is this for a fabulous coat closet. I can see a few furs hanging right now....

I can also see myself hiding inside, while my Bebe brings me and my little friends tea and tiny sandwiches

This is exquisite workmanship in my eyes.

The element of whimsy , makes it feel timeless to me .

Like the The Mad Hatter at The 'Mad Tea Party' is timeless.

The Devil is in THE DETAILS.

To me, this looks just like the under-side , or my secret place, in the wisteria hedge.

"The monumental fig-leaf encrusted doors open to reveal a bronze tree arching up and outward against the background of a peaceful landscape in silk. The Fig Leaf wardrobe reflects a time when craftsmen vied to outdo each other in demonstrating their skills in the hope of attracting wealthy patrons. This piece is widely viewed by the talented artisans who have undertaken its challenge as one of the most difficult and exceptionally finished enamel works of recent memory.
The 616 hand-painted enamel leaves, varying across 10 basic shapes, and each with a unique colour-way, use no ‘transfers’ which are otherwise the mainstay of nearly all enamels done today, but instead rely solely on hand painting of both front and back – another exceptional undertaking as rarely do makers apply as much attention to both sides of an enamel work. The colours used are bespoke mixes and not otherwise available. The overall size of the larger leaves as well as the enormous surface area to be painted were originally thought impossible tasks, but with ingenuity and perseverance, this has been overcome. The delicacy of essentially 616 pieces of glass suspended individually from a complicated tangle of hand-formed supporting vines required development of a novel mapping and hanging system. The matching of colours across bronzes, silks, enamels and iron challenged the ateliers to develop new techniques for finishing and matching.The interior is dominated by a lifelike lost wax bronze cast of a hand-carved tree upon which to hang clothing. The interior back-drop and base are upholstered in a custom hand-dyed and woven silk with an earth-to-sky motif. Each wardrobe also includes a bespoke bronze hanger as well as a custom set of handmade tools for adjustments and maintenance. The exterior rear of the wardrobe is finished with a hand-stippled trompe l’oeil."

Tord Boontje
Tord Boontje has long cultivated a delicate marriage of design with emotion that is as broadly accessible as it is enticing. His work draws from a belief that modernism does not mean minimalism, that contemporary does not forsake tradition, and that technology does not abandon people and senses. Boontje’s designs often temper edges with softness, borrow inspiration from nature, and employ a décor of forms and layers to engage and
entice an observer’s imagination and emotions.
Many of his seminal works are held in public collections throughout the world including multiple pieces in London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Groninger Museum. Tord has received a number of public and private commissions and clients include Alexander McQueen, Murray Moss, Pearl Lam, Nadja Swarovski, and Ian Schrager.
Tord Boontje was born in Enschede, Netherlands in 1968. He first studied industrial design at the Design Academy in Eindhoven (1986 –1991). Following several internships, including Alessandro Mendini’s Studio in Milan, he returned to studying and completed a Masters at the Royal College of Art in London (1992 - 1994). He later taught at the same school on invitation from Ron Arad who was Professor of Design Products at the time, before eventually establishing his own studio in 1996. Tord Boontje lived and worked in London from 1995 to 2005 and currently lives and works in Saint Etienne, France with his wife and daughter. A biography of Tord’s work was published by Rizzoli New York in 2007.
dutch born
Meta's blue-sky philosophy allowed Tord Boontje's limitless imagination "a unique opportunity to design very special pieces in the knowledge that they are realized without any compromise but every time enriched by the most skilled hands".

Part of the assembly process.

Can you imagine the task at hand ??


Tiny, Tiny, Tiny and tedious, tedious.

The enameling process.
Thanks for indulging me. Have a sweet weekend.

For More: and then just poke around

( enlarge any picture for more info and a closer look )

Renee Finberg 'TELLS ALL' in her BLOG.....

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Pits

Sometime in the 1970's 'Pit Seating ' or 'Modular Sofa's ' became popular.

Gotta' tell ya' , I never liked it.

But mainly because people would just put this giant BROWN U shaped sofa ( the color of the 70's ) in the middle of their living rooms.

Then again, I was not a designer yet, I was just a teenager, and I guess I was hanging out with the wrong crowd......

People with ZERO DESIGN SENSE, or put more simply, people with no sense of style .
And in my opinion, a fate worse than death !

Anyway, I love this room,.

When you use individual pieces, like a sofa , end tables, chairs and ottomans, you need space.
It seems this room has little, but it does have great elements to it.
Like the exposed brick, and the stairs with the library style book-case.

I think this seating style is absolutely the very best choice for the space.

If there were a giant TV in this room , you could have great movie parties
with your best girlfriends ( or boyfriends ).
This PIT SEATING arrangement, is big AND COZY.

You just need a few bowls of Kettle Corn and Raisinettes, beverages , soft pillows , a few throws ( for the freeze babies ), and you would be ready to HIT PLAY.

Renee Finberg 'TELLS ALL' in her BLOG.....

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Not So Secret Compartments

These are the 'not so secret compartments' I could keep my papers in.

Papers with my little stories on them , about my little experiences ,and my little & big feelings about those experiences.

Some stories I will read again and again, and some I will conveniently never find again.

One of my little stories will be so shocking that I will have to rest here.

( enlarge any picture for more info and a closer look )

Renee Finberg 'TELLS ALL' in her blog of her Adventures in Design



I was trolling for something new and fun, and
look what I caught ?

This is so EURO, and fun.

Gotta Kid ?

Get a Le Beanock @

Renee Finberg 'TELLS ALL' in her blog of her Adventures in Design


Monday, February 23, 2009

Everyone Really Needs A Dressing Mirror

Have you ever seen someone and thought to yourself ;

' GEEEZ .... doesn't she own (and use) a mirror ?'
or how about ; ' It is obvious, someone lied to her ( or him ) this morning ! '

Please don't tell someone you care about ; " No , really , you look fine. " ,
" Sure, it matches ".

So, everyone does need a dressing mirror, especially with friends like that.

There is always a need for a dressing mirror.
Finding one that is beautiful in it's simplicity, timeless ,
and a real bargain is not always an easy task.

I have found one.

This is it.
(WM692 $ 179.00 65 x 30 @ Ballard Designs)
You can hang it on the wall about 12 inches of the floor, and it will make it possible to see your entire image, from shoes to your chapeau.

WM545 $349.00 @ Ballard Designs

I know that this doesn't look like much in the picture, but this is a show stopper. I was walking by the store and had to go in and check it out.

It is really unusual , and beautiful !
Impressive, really.
I think it is worth every penny, and it will take many !
Sophia Mirror 70 x 39.5 $999.00

Renee Finberg 'TELLS ALL' in her blog of her Adventures in Design


Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Tides In South Miami Beach -Architectural Touches

I grew up in South Beach, we would skip school ( at Ida M. Fisher Junior High) and go for ice cream at a place called 'Dipper Dans ', which was about 2 blocks from the ocean, and around the corner from The Tides Hotel on South Miami Beach.

Do not water the gold palms in the corner !

I think this is a great architectural touch, I see these as architectural accessories.

Really glamorous !

Turtle soup anyone ???

Seriously elegant, but I am hoping they are fake.

I love these dividers, and they are easy enough to recreate.

A suite at The Tides.

A super long chesterfield....more classic elegance.

The Martini Bar at The Tides

Notice the DECO touches.

( enlarge any picture for more info and a closer look )

Renee Finberg 'TELLS ALL' in her blog of her Adventures in Design


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Infamous Flamestitch

Just Another Infamous Flamestitch

When in a jam finding a pattern with all the right colors that you are working with, you will always be able to find the infamous FLAMESTITCH. ( with just the right colors)

And in a small dose, even I, who really dislikes it, can tolerate it.

And in the end, when everything is all pulled together it actually looks great.

It can really be a LIFE SAVER.

I speak from experience and a few bald spots that I have from pulling my hair out over a few jobs/projects/clients/rooms/bad dye lots/poor installatiions , yadda ,yadda , yadda name it, but we can stop there.

Just give it a chance, you will be pleased.

This works beautifully with contemporary.

This one is pretty darn sharp, but it is not a typical FLAMESTITCH.

Yuck-O, .......this is a typical flamestitch.

( enlarge any picture for more info and a closer look )

Renee Finberg 'TELLS ALL' in her blog of her Adventures in Design


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Designer's Eye ( Wide Open )

All fabrics in this post are Clarence House ( which I love, love, love )

Fabric can be tricky, you can dislike a fabric when looking at a sample so you avoid it. You discard the possibilities of that particular fabric tying things together , simply because you do not like it for some reason.

An interesting print and colors, and I can only say that because I am seeing it with an open design (mind) eye. The Designer's Eye.
KILIM sku-34305 rep: 47 " H rep: 27" - Clarence House

This is what got me all excited . How great is this ???

Maybe it is not itchy . That would be awesome.


Some people really hate paisley. I love PAISLEY. I always have .

People react to pattern much like they react to color.

Take the FLAME-STITCH ( flamestitch ) for instance.
You like it , you can tolerate it , or you HATE IT. I have seen so many reactions from clients who don't know the name of the pattern, but they know how they feel about it with just one glance. I have had clients say things like ; " I hate it, my grandmother had something like that ", blah , blah ,blah....whatever......

Some just say; " I don't want that in my house", some say; " it's okay, but let's keep looking ", and I have yet to hear the words; " OOOHHH , I love that ! "

The Flame-Stitch ( or flamestitch )is a really funny one. Just for fun , carry a memo ( sample) around with you and show it to your clients . Watch their reactions, it is funny.

More of them will dislike it , than like it.

The reason for this segue :

When in a jam finding a pattern with all the right colors that you are working with, you will always be able to find the infamous FLAMESTITCH. And in a small dose, even I, who really dislikes it, can tolerate it.
And in the end, when everything is all pulled together it actually looks great. It is really a LIFE SAVER.
Give it a chance, you will be pleased.
Especially if you are like me who who layers pattern, upon pattern,upon pattern.

*And never forgo your trims, they are the secret to using multiple patterns ( or pulling in another color ). When you have a pattern that does not have all the colors that you need in it, ADD A TRIM, and voila !!!!
Suddenly, everything comes together, and you are a genius!!!


(Deco Anyone ????)
Being objective with patterns is a must, it's a difficult thing , but it improves your work.
Otherwise , you can end up doing what you love over and over. And that's not great, and that's not designing.

Just learn to stretch open the designer's eye inside you .

ZAZA - silk

Clarence House

( enlarge any picture for more info and a closer look )

Renee Finberg 'TELLS ALL' in her blog of her Adventures in Design


About Renée Finberg

I have been in this business since the age of 22.

I love what I do and cannot imagine my life without Design.

Design Challenges are great.

And because of those challenges

I have imported fine antique pieces from Paris,

Designed and Manufactured Furniture,

Created Fantastic Window Treatments,

And solved all kinds of spatial & architectural issues

With my unique style.

If I can't find it, I create it.

My rooms would make excellent movie sets.

I am a visual, tactile and audio sensitive individual.

Creating is what I live for, not math, not spelling, not science.

Just Great Design.

Just imagine how it would be if each of us,

If only for a few hours of everyday,We could be in a space that is our very own.A place that is exactly the way we want it to be

Surrounded by all the things we wanted to see,

The atmosphere we wanted feel, smell and the sound we wanted to listen to.

Private Paradise



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
Renee Finberg 'TELLS ALL' in her Adventures in Design by Renee Finberg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at reneefinberg@gmail.ocm.

Protected Journalist