Friday Favorites 12/9/2011

December 9, 2011

Karin Lidbeck Brent, Contributing Editor
I had the wonderful assignment this week to style the home of textile designer Rosemary Hallgarten for one of our future issues. Her home, a renovation of an old Connecticut cow barn, mixes contemporary design and materials with the original rustic structure. Big, airy, light-filled rooms are a wonderful canvas for Rosemary’s striking custom rugs that feel like paintings on the floor.

In preparing for the shoot I took a trip to Rosemary’s Westport studio to collect additional textiles to shoot in her home.  I pulled out dozens of pillows and throws that worked with the sensibility and color palette of her home.

These wonderfully graphic and sensuous pillows are made from luxurious materials like alpaca, alpaca bouclé, wool and silks. These pillow designs offer a sneak peek into the beautiful home of Rosemary Hallgarten, another exciting design story that we can’t wait to share with you.

Paula M. Bodah, Senior Editor
If you want to go green and buy local in your holiday shopping, you can do both with a cozy Rhody Warm blanket. With the decline of New England’s textile industry, Rhode Island’s sheep farmers were having a hard time selling their raw wool. In 2006 the Rhode Island Sheep Cooperative asked the state’s Resource Conservation and Development Area Council to come up with ideas for making use of almost a ton of raw wool that was ending up as compost or being buried in landfills every year. The result is the Rhody Warm blanket.

The wool from nearly forty Rhode Island sheep growers (who knew such a tiny state had so many?) is gathered and sent to South Carolina for cleaning and processing. Then it comes back to New England where it’s spun into yarn in Millbury, Massachusetts, and woven into blankets in West Warwick, Rhode Island. This year’s design, called Richmond, is a subtle plaid of white and brownish-gray. This is one way to give your loved ones the warmest of holiday wishes.

Richmond Dark; photos courtesy of Rhode Island Sheep Cooperative

Richmond Light

Richmond comes in a range of sizes from baby blanket to lap-throw size to king-size.

Kyle Hoepner, Editor-in-Chief
A brief tale of two Brads: Not long ago over coffee, Boston architect Brad Walker recommended that I check out a blog by interior designer Brad Ford. So I did, and wow! It’s called Design Therapy (not to be confused with Apartment Therapy, another nice but very different resource), and I’m very chagrined that I somehow overlooked it before now. Ford’s visual perspective is carefully considered and deeply sophisticated; if you are the sort of person who responds to designers like Vicente Wolf or John Saladino, you’ll find much here to ooh and aah over. (Proof of my own affinity was immediate–Ford’s most recent post includes a cover from Modern magazine showing a detail of the Joseph Walsh Enignum II table I just posted about two weeks ago.)

Here are three taster images from the past three months. First, Rosa Muerta, a vacation rental in the desert near Joshua Tree, California, designed by architect Robert Stone.

All photos from

Second, this massive wooden “cocoon†sculpture by Brazilian designer Hugo França.

Finally, a New York City loft designed by photographer Anita Calero.

Ford doesn’t update all that often, but it’s well worth subscribing so you’ll know when he does.

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