The RobinWood Deluxe Outdoor Collection, self-help programs (for great spaces!), and design ideas from film and art.
Could it be that Sherwood Forest was filled with teak? Creating furniture that takes aim at the Robin Hood tale, iconic designer Philippe Starck has created a contemporary collection with overt legendary references. His RobinWood Deluxe Collection, done in collaboration with David Sutherland, combines natural teak with touches of polished aluminum to create pieces that are modern but suggest a surprising classicism—all alluding to the designer’s irreverent sense of humor and no-fail sense of design.
Garden lovers and movie buffs alike will swoon over A Man Named Pearl, the improbable-but-true story of Pearl Fryar, a sharecropper’s son whose desire to earn “Yard of Month” in a small South Carolina town unleashed his creation of one of most spectacular topiary gardens anywhere. This film about determination, art, work, and gardening will run from August 1 through 7. Jacob Burns Film Center, 364 Manville Road, Pleasantville (914) 747-5555 burnsfilmcenter.org.
In a different media, more than 60 artists will take a look at issues raised by the state of the environment at the Neuberger Museum of Art/Purchase College through July 20. The exhibit, titled Future Tense: Reshaping the Landscape, showcases painting, photography, and sculpture that epitomize the artists’ concerns about a future rife with pollution, poor air quality, climate change, and man-made disasters. While based in the present, the exhibit references the past as well as forecasts the future through artistic interpretation. Neuberger Museum of Art/Purchase College, 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase (914) 251-6100 neuberger.org.
If you’ve no idea where to start the great adventure of art collecting, consider The Guild Sourcebook of Residential Art 6, an annual tome that connects homeowners and design professionals with artists up for commissions. The 376-page volume explores how to determine a piece’s value, when to involve a design professional, and finding, hiring, and working with an artist. The majority of The Guild Sourcebook is devoted to an artist gallery with nearly 700 color photos and provides contact information for 232 artists. The Guild Sourcebook of Residential Art 6 can be purchased for $45 through The Guild’s website, guild.com, as well as through amazon.com.
paint that right
In the nuanced world of “green” products, Bob Torre doesn’t mince words. “I was an instant convert,” to Mythic Paint, says the owner of Bedford Hills’ R. C. Torre Construction, which he touts as the world’s first paint with zero VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and zero toxins, the result of more than six years of intensive polymer research conducted by the University of Southern Mississippi. The paint’s production process improves the latex paint at its core, as opposed to removing toxins at a later stage, “a method practiced by other ‘green’ paint manufacturers that adversely affects its performance,” says Torre, who first learned about Mythic Paint when he renovated the home of its co-founder, Keir Kleinnecht.
The builder was so impressed that he decided to go into the retail business and sell the product himself, today offering only Mythic Paint in his four stores, including four local locations (Bedford Hills, Yonkers, Mahopac, and Ridgefield, Connecticut). “This paint has great coverage and no smell,” says Torre. Which leads to perhaps the most immediate benefit of all: “You can paint the kitchen and have dinner there the same night.”
self-help programs (for great spaces!)
the right space Want to redecorate but baffled about what goes where and how it all fits? Help is on the way with the Canvas Home Basics Homespacing Collection, a series of step-by-step kits and organizers. Inspired by the craft of interior designers, the Room Spacing Kits include quarter-inch-scale repositionable stickers that represent furniture and accessories typically used in homes (think daybeds and cocktail tables), plus scores of color accessory stickers, word labels, graph paper, a flexible ruler, a blank design board, a mounting board, cardstock paper, and a complete instruction guide on the process of space planning—basically, everything needed to create a design board like a pro. Kits cost $7.99 and are available in New York City at Gracious Home and Lee’s Art Shop and can be found online at gracioushome.com and homespacing.com.
sticky design A similar program for those who like their home-design programs without high-tech problems is E-Z DECORATOR Design and Decorating System, which uses a peel-and-place system. A patented sketching tool created by interior designer and decorator Cheryl Howard, ASID, E-Z DECORATOR is essentially a binder filled with thousands of hand-drawn images of architectural elements, furniture, accessories, and window treatments for all rooms of the house. The images are placed onto reusable static-cling “stickies” that are all drawn to the same scale for easy coordination. E-Z DECORATOR products range in price from $299 to $1,475 and are available at ezdecorator.com or by calling (800) 608-7545.
color codes Also for do-it-yourselfers: an easy-to-use, online color tool to help you identify the next “it” hue and differentiate between subtle shades. Enabling visitors to browse palettes and color schemes, Adobe kuler (http://kuler.adobe.com) is a free website designed to help homeowners create harmonious color themes. If the right blend isn’t available online, users can create their own color combos and share them with others on this online community.