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Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

City of Paris 1900

Long ago there was the City of Paris Dry Goods Company. It later became the City of Paris, an important department store in San Francisco from 1850 to 1974. The building survived the 1906 earthquake and fire but sustained damage. The interior remodel was redesigned by John Bakewell, Arthur J. Brown and Louis Bourgeois, graduates of the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. It was rebuilt with a central, elliptical rotunda that was capped with a stained-glass dome. The skylit dome incorporates the store’s nautical origin and motto, Fluctuat nec mergitur(It floats but never sinks).

Dome SFL B&W

Detail 2

Detail 3

A forty-foot live Christmas tree was placed in the rotunda each year. The front doors of the store were specially designed to be removed and this allowed for an opening large enough for the tree to fit through. The tree was brought in, set up and decorated all in the same night. Staff and their families would help decorate. Scaffolding was placed around the tree to facilitate decorating it. Further reading reveals that the tree would be put outside on the sidewalk on January 2nd and one could walk by it and really get a sense of its size.

People familiar with the store recall the tree as beautiful and have very fond memories of their visits. I recall a similar large tree in the six-story atrium of the Marshall Field’s store in downtown Chicago. This atrium was topped by a Tiffany dome and the tree was known as the “Great Tree”. It was a wondrous sight, particularly to small children. It soared and filled the atrium space vertically. You can see a photo of the atrium here: Marshall Field’s Atrium

Christmas Tree SFL B&W

Christmas Tree in Rotunda SFL

Here are a couple of additional interior images.

Interior 2 City of Paris SFL

Interior City of Paris SFL

What a beauty. It was listed in The National Register of Historic Places as a California Historical Landmark. Alas, this fact and a protracted preservation campaign that went on for several years did not prevent it from being demolished in 1981 by the new owners, Neiman Marcus. The stained-glass dome was restored and preserved by the new owners. It has been reinstalled as part of the store’s entry and Rotunda Restaurant.

The new Neiman Marcus building was designed by postmodernist architect Philip Johnson. I haven’t seen the building in person. I don’t know that I would like seeing the elegant and beautiful dome inside a modern box. What about you?
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See this page for a photo of the current Neiman-Marcus building: California Historical Landmark – Noehill

Read an excerpt from a New York Times article here: NYTimes Excerpt – Review of Neiman Marcus

Wikipedia entry: City of Paris Dry Goods Co.
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In closing, I leave you with these words from Marshall Field & Company:

To do the right thing, at the right time, in the right way;
to do some things better than they were done before – 
The Marshall Field & Company idea.

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I’m an observant person. I notice things around me. Recently I was in a small town to the west of Minneapolis. I saw two homes that have what I refer to as “exterior trimming”. It’s along the vein of tree trimming during the Christmas holiday in that it’s decorative. Some might say these are whimsical or displaying someone’s personality. They caught my eye and made me wonder about the owners and their reasoning for displaying these items, particularly the mirror and its placement above the garage.

A mirror above a garage

A mirror above a garage

Exterior trimming

Exterior trimming

No doubt my eyes will be on the lookout for more of these unusual trimmings. Does your home have any atypical exterior trim?

 

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It seems many people are thinking of remodeling or adding on to their homes rather than moving given the real estate market we’ve had these past several years. If you’re one of these homeowners, here’s information on the Top 10 Remodeling Don’ts. A remodeling project is very often stressful. These tips may help reduce your stress levels and keep you on budget!
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And if remodeling simply won’t meet your needs, give us a call. We’ll be happy to help you make your next move.

Ellen and Kate Walsh
612.220.3304
Coldwell Banker Burnet

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I love this version of holiday decorating. It’s simple yet sparkly!

There’s a bit of organic whimsy here that I find especially appealing. I’ve decided to sell my fake tree and get a branch from nature. How are you decorating your home?

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Summer is waning in the northern states and most people probably aren’t thinking about gardening. I’m fascinated by gardens any time of year. Here’s a post I found on designing garden transitions. If you have a patch of land, why not create a design that enhances it and provides you a beautiful view and a place to unwind, play, entertain, etc.

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The home office. It’s become quite commonplace in homes today. Here’s some inspiration.

A home office in San Francisco

Chalkboard wall on one side and library design wallpaper on another in Vancouver

This one is about the view, and the bookcases.

A bright and airy upper level office in San Francisco

Under the stairs in Toronto

Thoroughly modern in Miami

Creative use of a dish drainer!

Another sunny spot, with room for family or friends to sit and read or listen to music or be creative

Luxury, man-cave version of an office space

Blue velvet and silver silk bring glamour to a woman’s home office

An accessible main floor office in Atlanta

A variety of textures and colors create a sophisticated home office in San Francisco

A closet home office can be closed off when not in use

Room for two in Portland, and both have a view

A pretty desk area off the kitchen in San Francisco

Traditional detailing and a stylish color palette create an inviting space in Minneapolis

An office with a Murphy Bed doubles as a guest room

Light and dark decor and glass shelving

“Homey” home office in Atlanta

An office in a bedroom closet in Minneapolis

Now that’s a view! In Boston

Incorporating the office into the living room with a mix of glamour and modern decor

Eclectic elements come together in style in this home office in Chicago

Elegant gold accents in this home office in Orange County

Floating desk and shelves in a condo home office

Eclectic elements in an interior designer’s home office in San Francisco

ASID-MN first place award winning office, craft and laundry room.

Fun with red and white in Chicago

Snazzy in Seattle

Utilizing pull-out shelves to hide equipment

Minimalist design with an artistic touch in Hong Kong

As you can see, the possibilities for a home office are endless! There are so many styles to love. What style will you create in your home?

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If I had a choice between having a porch or a deck, then a porch would win any day of the week. I’m devoted to screen porches in particular. There’s nothing like having a shaded or sunny spot with no bugs and a breeze. And if it’s raining, you can still enjoy a screened porch despite the weather(provided the rain is coming down rather straight and your porch is large enough to allow you a sitting spot away from the screens).

I spend time on decks but they can get too hot in the middle of the day. The mosquitoes can eat at you in the evening, or even dusk. Forget being out there when it rains, unless you want to be wet.

Here, then, some images showing a variety of porches. Summer is on it’s way after all.

A traditional porch in Boston

Note the blue ceiling on this porch

This one has a rustic feel with its wood furnishings

A conservatory style porch in London

Another conservatory, this one in Philadelphia

A sweet porch in Charleston

An octagonal porch in Chicago

A porch with motorized Phantom screens and a fireplace

A small cottage in Los Angeles with a sweet and inviting front porch

A porch decorated with colors and plants

A wraparound porch in Portland, Maine

This porch feels very open and airy with its high ceilings

I had to include this one because I know exactly which house this is. I’ve been inside this house and this porch! The views are lovely.

 

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