Art and Seoul

Wednesday, July 01, 2015 1 comment

Asian elements and influences became incredibly important for Porter and me as we conceptualized the naturalist's pied-à-terre in the Dakota. The walls of the main room were evocative of old Chinese scrolls and we saw the objects (like our beloved taxidermy scarlet ibis) we placed in front of it like three-dimensional watercolors come to life. We used two large Chinese silk panels with birds and flowers to flank the arched window of the master bedroom, a Chinoiserie stand from the 1970s covered minimalist cranes, and countless small tchotchkes. 

For our research, we poured over the collections of Korea's museums featured on the Google Art Project and unearthed heaps of incredible naturalist art, as expected. But even more exciting are the mind-blowing translucent garb and headgear from the 19th and 19th centuries. Here are a few examples of brilliant gossamer beauty and craftsmanship (sprinkled amongst comparative art we love) that are crying out to be mimicked in modern haute couture (particularly that Heukrip). (The descriptions are copied verbatim from the museum's information on Google Art Project since those curators know 100% more than I).   

Portrait of Gwon Gi-su (Detail), Chae Yong-sin
1850 - 1919
National Museum of Korea

19th century
Seok Juseon Memorial Museum, Dankook University

The black hat is worn by adult men after the Clothing Regulation Reform published during the reign of King Gojong (1864-1907). The hat is a complete set of hat, string, hook, Yeong and ties and it is for the nobility. The decorative string is constructed with 18 bamboo beads and 18 transparent amber beads, and a hexagonal ring in the middle.

Joseon Dynasty, 18th century
Horim Museum

Unlike Choi Buk's landscape paintings that depict his character, this shows he was also good at painting animals that required detailed descriptions. The feature of the rabbit, which stopped moving, contains a calm atmosphere with a simple background. In the description of the background, these paintings feature a damp atmosphere, which is a characteristic feature found in Choi Buk’s landscape paintings. These paintings demonstrates his elaborate description skill in expressing an object.

19th century
Seok Juseon Memorial Museum, Dankook University

Heuksamo is one of coronet worn with the civil and military officials' robes for working. Heuksamo is made of black Mora(silk), and two single layered wings are attached horizontally in the rear—this indicates the wearer was the 4th to 9th rank government officials. Gyupsamo is a similar coronet, made with same material, however it has two double layered wings attached horizontally in the rear; this was worn by 1st to 3rd rank government officials.

Joseon, 19th Century
Jangseogak, Academy of Korean Studies

It is a painting of Taejo’s ancestors’ tombs in Northern Hamgyeong province. Only 6 pieces of pictures are found today. Each picture indicates 24 bearings, and writes on the top right the name and location of the tomb, the title of the ancestors’ who were honored as a king, the name of his queen and numbers of children. The picture clearly shows Feng-sui features; mountain ranges and topography is emphasized and composed to look as if the ranges are spread out from the center, and the center is described to show vital force of the earth. This picture seems to have been repainted every time there was a change to the tombs or the surrounding buildings.

Jeogori Baji, Jacket and Pants for Men
20th century
Seok Juseon Memorial Museum, Dankook University

Baji and Jeogori (pants and top) from the time of the enlightenment. Jeogori is made of silk and Baji is made of cotton, but both are heavily padded with batting for the winter.

Joseon, 1888 (year 25 of Gojong)
Jangseogak, Academy of Korean Studies

It was Gojong’s diplomatic letter (June 1888, year 25 of Gojong) to congratulate on the inauguration of French president (3 December 1887). King’s diplomatic letters in Joseon period were mainly sent to neighboring countries like Japan or Jurchens, but after a reform in Gabo year, the diplomatic letter included King’s own letter and treaties sent to the western world. This is part of the letter that was sent to the French president on 3rd December 1887 to congratulate him on being a head of a state. At that time, the French president was Sadi Camot. “Baeklisehcheondeok’ in the letter is a Korean writing of Chinese sound of the word “President”.

Seok Juseon Memorial Museum, Dankook University

This single layered Shimui, made of satin, is the first outfit out of the clothing that the dead wore as a cerements. The skirt of the coat is constructed with twelve panels and this symbolize the 12 months of a year. And the connected structure of the skirt part and the top part symbolized the connection between the sky and the earth. The half width of sleeve is same as the length of the waist-up. Double layered breast ties were sewn in between the bodice and the skirt in the front. The front opening, hem, cuffs and the fabric belt is trimmed with black tapes. The waist is wrapped around with a fabric belt and tied in a knot. Then a braided narrow belt is hooked on the top and hung down parallel. Although the color of a belt is faded, it suggest that many color threads were used to braid the belt.

Around 1770
Seokdang Museum of Dong-A University

19th century
Seok Juseon Memorial Museum, Dankook University
Hakchangui is an everyday clothes for a senior scholar or a nobleman. This single layered coat is made of white Soonin (silk, simple gauze). The collar, hem, front opening, slit and the cuffs are trimmed with black Soonin as well. The sleeve is wide. The black seams have slits up to the same level of underarm, and the side seams have slits in half.

Cows by an Old Tree (Detail), Kim Sik
1579 - 1662
National Museum of Korea


19th century
Seok Juseon Memorial Museum, Dankook University

This Durumagi is made of Sampalju (fine silk tabby), and lined with silk tabby. It is layered with cotton batting for the elderly of upper class for the winter season. This kind of padded coat, the most extravagant outfit for the seniors of 1900s, began to disappear by the time that foreign fabrics were introduced.

Joseon, 1718 (year 44 of Sukjong)
Jangseogak, Acemdy of Korean Studies

A map of a mountain produced in 1718 when selecting a burial place for Lady Choi, a birthmother of Yeongjo and a concubine of Sukjong. Soryeongwon area which is now situated in Yeongjangli, Gwangtanmyeon, Paju city in Gyeonggi province, was selected as a candidate for the burial place and the picture was painted to show that it was a good place. Whenever there was a funeral of the king or the queen, the royal palace would send an official who was good at Chinese geology to look for the good place for the burial. When he was reporting back to the king, he produced such map and writing. Sanron was a written description about the geological factors of certain place. Yeoning-gun (Yeongjo)’s stamp is sealed.

19th century
Seok Juseon Memorial Museum, Dankook University

Salchang-gojaengee means a 'window pane pants', as Sal means a pane, Chang means a window. It is an underpants made of hemp clothe worn by women in souther region, where is very hot and humid in summer. This one has eight openings on each crotchs for air draft. It was originated in Gyeonsang-do region, but generally worn without such reference until 1930s.

White hawk painting (Detail)
Around 1850, The Qing Dynasty in China
Seokdang Museum of Dong-A University

Seok Juseon Memorial Museum, Dankook University

The Dangui is unlined and made of gauze with a lotus motif. The sleeve is widely cuffed with a white fine tabby, and the collar on the overlapping panel is squared but stands straight upward at the end from the front opening, known as Mokpandangko-git. The outer breast ties are made of dark brown tabby silk, and the inner ties are smaller and lighter in color than the outer ones.

Landscape, Yi Jing
1851 – 1951
Seoul National University Museum

Hwagakbit, Decorated Combs made of bamboo and ox horn
Seok Juseon Memorial Museum, Dankook University

19th century
Horim Museum

This painting shows Guo Ziyi of the Tang Dynasty, hosting a banquet. Guo Ziyi lived a prosperous life, serving as a high ranking official and saw all of his children succeed as well. In other words, he enjoyed all the fortune one could hope for in a lifetime, and was therefore considered to be the symbol of good fortune. Guo Ziyi's feast was a popular subject matter for folding screen paintings, as it symbolizes good fortune within the household and was also used in weddings.

Hoveys' Baby (Staging in the Dakota)

Tuesday, June 30, 2015 4 comments
The fact that Porter and I got the opportunity to even step inside the Dakota (the entrance is easily New York's most intimidating. Fire! Gates! Multiple doormen!) makes us giddy; getting to stage an apartment inside it still seems completely unreal. 

This unit, 28AB, used to be two, and now includes three massive rooms - one living and dining area and two others, which we made into bedrooms. Two rooms (the living/dining room and former master bedroom) had floral and leafy wallpaper that had to stay, so we embraced it: This, in our minds, had been the pied-à-terre of a world renown Scandinavian naturalist who adored the building for its history and stone's-throw proximity to the American Museum of Natural History. Yes! (In reality, it belongs to the estate of a very notable television star from the '70s, '80s and '90s).

  We wanted the third room you see here (previously a large office painted a pinky red) to feel completely refreshing and allow the potential owner to walk through the apartment in a progression of light to dark. 

We covered the red walls in Benjamin Moore's lovely peachy white, Onyx White (OC-73), which provided an instant breath of fresh air. With 14-foot ceilings there was ample room for Room and Board's Architecture Bed (this was originally royal blue, but I repainted it with Rustoleum enamel in Almond). We recovered the Eliel Saarinen White Bench with Black and Beige Columns of Leaves Brocade from Mood Home. The pillows are vintage D. Porthault and the linen duvet cover is Ikea's Linblomma (we love these and they're just $80 for the full/queen).

The great geometric side tables are the Tyreso from France & Søn. The flowers are faux from our go-to floral haven CFD in the flower district. 

We took our mom's framed Hermes scarf from our living room and placed it over the working fireplace and flanked it with each of our porcelain cockatiels, Christmas gifts from our Aunt Rita a couple years back.

We used an expensive (it kills me how expensive good shades are) oval mint shade from Just Shades and added a jade leaf finial to an Ikea lamp.

Our dad's oval leather-topped desk also made it in, to sit below an abstract expressionist oil painting that I found in Williamsburg. The chair is from Organic Modernism.

Here you can see the progression into the cozy darkness (and the incredible floors).

The living/dining area was our biggest challenge. Beyond all the wallpaper, the room is dominated by the most massive, heavy fireplace and mantelpiece in the history of fireplaces and mantelpieces. So, we had to choose incredibly simple furniture that wouldn't compete or clash. In a miracle of ebay, we found a meticulous collector of fine, original Danish mid-century furniture in Brooklyn who was selling off a good portion of his collection. We started off with the coffee table and ended up buying the dining room table, the dining chairs, the arm chairs, the JL Moller side chairs and the brass lamp that sits in the other bedroom. 

I've fallen in love with the work of the incredible Aboriginal artist, Tatali Nangala. We were desperate for a large piece of art to fill the main wall, so I painted a version of "Kaarkurutinytja, Lake MacDonald" that belongs to the Museum Victoria.

We found the leather rhino at Erie Basin in Red Hook. The sleek couch is the Cleveland-B from Organic Modernism.

Good omens in the fireplace, it seems.

The former master bedroom needed a major spiff. There was aged wall-to-wall carpet and the back wall was off white, which didn't quite match the leaf wallpaper. To give it some weight and balance, we opted to expose those beautiful floors and go dark with Benjamin Moore's Artichoke. I copied (and tweaked) Sonia Delaunay's Color Rhythm from 1946 to add a "modern" and feminine touch.  

I love these little quartz finials, too; a another feminine detail. 

How fun is Organic Modernism's Flamingo table here in this otherwise very traditional vignette? The little Swedish portrait of a mom and her son from the 1920s is one of my prized possessions and quite lovely in here, I think. 

The kitchen is pretty teeny, but full of mirrors and chrome. We opted to paint it all dark so the objects inside would pop, much like a Dutch still life. 

Below are the official fish eye real estate pics to give you an idea of the full rooms...and some actual historical info: 

Extraordinary opportunity to own a two bedroom, two bath home at the historic Dakota on Central Park West; one of New York City’s finest residential addresses. In addition, this offering presents a very large basement studio with high ceilings and full marble bathroom that could be used as an art or work studio, home office, storage or more. This splendid home is ideally positioned in one of the Avenue’s premier white glove buildings across the street from Central Park and all the best the area has to offer. 

Every residence in this historic building is special and unlike anything else in the city. Apartment 28AB boasts remarkable scale and detail that is truly unique to the Dakota. 

Grand proportions are showcased by over 14-foot ceilings and huge arched windows in every room while keeping the home bright and airy throughout. An expansive formal room creates enough room for both living and entertaining. Elaborate details include blended patterned hardwood floors, two hand-carved wood-burning fireplace mantels with marble hearths, extra tall solid wood doors with original fixtures and etched glass, stunning moldings, original sunburst copper grills, marble window sills, built-in window shutters and contoured window frames. 

Abundant storage has been created by the combination and each bedroom features a full en-suite bathroom; both bathrooms in excellent condition. This remarkable apartment offers an extraordinary opportunity to create a home of your dreams in a superb Upper West Side location in a landmark building. 

The Dakota, is a premier prewar cooperative building located within the Central Park West Historic Area. Truly a unique New York architectural gem and perhaps the most well-known apartment building in Manhattan, its air of elegance and luxury has not changed since its opening in 1884.

For more details, see the full listing for 1 West 72nd Street, Apartment 28AB here.

And here's a peek at what it looked like before: 

Starting Fresh

Wednesday, June 10, 2015 3 comments
Throughout all these years of sporadic blogging, where I've shown the world my aesthetic obsessions and projects, I was actually spending my days and many of my nights deep inside the business of bowels, cancer, obesity and almost every other nightmare our bodies can throw at us. My colleagues and I and Lazar Partners helped companies around the globe recognize who they needed to talk to - the right thought leaders, the naysayers, the regulators, the insurers, community doctors, the nurses and the patients - and how to talk to them each with impact and empathy. In the best cases, these companies ended up changing medicine, saving lives and making surgery easier for patients and surgeons - while their investors got healthy returns, too. We all joke that our jobs aren't brain surgery - and mine wasn't - but for my client that developed a new minimally invasive technology to treat brain aneurysms that's more like angioplasty than going through the skull, it really was...and that's so damned cool. 

Where many people might hit a point where they say, what IS the point? Why am I not doing something that could really help the world? I got to a point where I said, what am I doing helping the world? It's time to take some of your own medicine and focus on making things...beautiful. So after the years of juggling my very fulfilling and legitimate career in healthcare with decorating and design work and writing Heirloom Modern, Porter and I decided that HOVEY DESIGN needed my full-time focus. So, in May, I made the leap. And nothing has ever been so fun.

We've been going at light speed on new staging and decorating projects inside wildly different spaces: The Williamsburg Waterfront Condo, two floors of a brownstone in Park Slope, a two bedroom at the legendary Dakota (we move everything in on Monday and cannot wait to show you this space!!) and this beautiful little two bedroom in the new boutique condo in East Williamsburg, 629 Grand Street.

The developer did a wonderful job with the layout and the fixtures (it's shocking how bad these can be in new developments...95% of the bathrooms we see in these places will be out of date in three years. This will not. It's simple, clean and classic). We wanted to accentuate that - and the great light and airiness - with the furniture, so we kept things clean and neutral. For two gals known as maximalists, this might be as zen as it gets.

We didn't want the art to distract, so I made a series of simple pen drawings: an Italian dog (spinone), a French car (Citroen) and a Danish chair (Frits Henningsen's wingback)...and one abstraction (two stripes made with painters tape and paint pen).

We added strips of Japanese indigo that we brought back from our trip to Kyoto.

It's no secret, but the silk flowers from CFD in the Flower District are beyond compare - and vital when staging apartments that won't be tended to much besides at the weekly open houses. Here we paired a sprig of berries with a white ranunculus. The olive tree by the window is also a fake.

We're obsessed with Les Indiennes block prints. We get ours from the outlet in Hudson. Otherwise, they cost a first child. 

We cannot wait to show you the Park Slope townhouse and the Dakota! Those will be up next week!