Master of Color Abstraction Kenneth Noland Dies at 85

Kenneth Noland to many of us was best known as an wonderful abstract artist who’s paintings hung in many outstanding interiors and museums around the world and punctuated the space they occupied with vibrancy and color.  Mr Noland was also known in the design world as being married to Paige Rense the editor in chief of Architectural Digest Magazine.  Naturally, it was not all unusual to see Nolands gracing the pages of the magazine…they lept off the page.
Kenneth Noland’s 1958 work “Spread” at the Grey Art Gallery NYU… image courtesy The York Times.
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Construction Progress – Eco Luxury Home in Montecito …Is Slated for LEED for Homes Platinum

The Steel is going up on our LEED for Homes Eco Luxry Project in Montecito, CA. 
This is a very exciting time to be “out of the dirt”, especially before the really rainy season here in California.

Tallest Building In The World Opens Today: The Burj Dubai

The New Tallest Building in the world opens today The Burj Dubai. Here’s a link to today’s Wall Street Journal Article about the tower. 
I think it is interesting to compare these two charts the one above uses the former World Trade Center in Manhattan in lieu of the Sears Tower in Chicago. Also, the bottom illustration uses Canary Wharf in London.

New Year Fireworks Around the World – Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year. May 2010 be so much better than this past year. Here are some images of celebrations throughout the World. We will update this post with current fireworks displays for 2010 beginning with Sydney who goes all out every time as being one of the first celebrants of the New Year. Usher on 2010!    By the way did you know that Fireworks were invented accidentally 2000 years ago by a chinese cook during the Song Dynasty and were fires used for New Years Celebrations to scare away evil spirits!

Sydney Australlia the 1st to go!


Taipei on Tallest Building in the World!

Hong Kong!



New York City


2010 NICHE Awards are announced by Niche Magazine

2010 NICHE Awards
Celebrating Excellence and Innovation in American and Canadian Fine Craft
Lotus by Lilach Lotan from Nanaimo, BC …Category Lamps and Lighting
Until Next Year by James Sagui, West Palm Beach, Fl…Category Furniture
Niche Magazine is the exclusive trade publication for retailers of American Craft and Canadian Craft. For the 2010 NICHE Awards program, jurors selected 161 finalists out of nearly 1000 entries in 36 categories. Here’s a link to the Complete List.

A Decadent Holiday Brunch, Lobster with Chipotle Mac & Cheese, Caviar and Melon & Prosciutto

One of my favorite things to do in Santa Barbara in the wintertime,  especially around the holidays, is to host an afternoon Lobster Brunch as Pacific Lobster is in season. We recently did this to celebrate Gregg’s December birthday. We prepared Barbecued Lobster with Chipotle Macaroni and Cheese. This is a fantastic combination as the Chipotle in the Mac and Cheese really offsets the Lobster nicely. Just forget about calories and cholesterol  for the afternoon! Throw in some Caviar while your at it.
Make sure to prepare a beautiful Green Salad with lots of colorful veggies, it will plate beautifully by providing contrasting color and give your guests the illusion that there is actually something healthy on their plate.
Even if you don’t live in Santa Barbara find a great Shellfish company in your area that will prepare lobster for you to take away, cleaned and prepped ready for cooking because it takes all the work out of the preparation. Just be careful not to overcook the Lobster. Use a large spoon to “baste” the lobsters while shell side down on the grill. Squeeze lemon over the lobsters as well. Flesh side down for only a couple of minutes and use tongs to rotate them back on their shells careful to not pull flesh out of shell because it may stick to the grill. More butter and lemon then when done, serve hot.

Start with a really nice prosciutto thinly sliced wrapped around a ripe slice of melon. This makes a beautiful preparation that can be prepared in advance and set on the table prior to quests arriving. It takes patience to pull the slices of prosciutto apart without tearing them, but it will make for a more pleasing “wrap” on the cantaloupe. 

If you really want to be decadent and generous with your friends prior to seating, serve Champagne and Caviar with appropriate condiments. We like to serve caviar with diced onion, sour cream (or creme fraiche) egg yoke diced, egg white diced and blinis to pile it all on to. Everyone plows through this elegant presentation in about 30 seconds. Please make sure that you purchase Farmed Caviar, this is a link to a great New York Times article sourcing farmed caviar for us in the Dining & Wine.
My day started out at the The Santa Barbara Shellfish Co., on Stearn’s Wharf where I had called in an order for 10, 1.5lb lobsters to be cleaned and prepared for grilling. They always give you clarified butter and lemon wedges to go as well, this saves so much time. The city had erected a beautiful Christmas tree on the wharf. 

A stately  California Brown Pelican just outside the restaurant.

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Best of Houzz 2014 - Design
This professional's portfolio was voted most popular by the Houzz community.
Awarded on January 30, 2014