Bathtubs in Vegas

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When my husband asked me if I wanted to go to the KBIS show in Las Vegas last week, I hesitated. Not that bathtubs and toilets aren’t scintillating, but I’m not a fan of the town. Big lights and brown horizons are not my thing. We do happen to be remodeling a house, however, (if tearing something almost to the ground and rebuilding it from scratch qualifies as a remodel), so I said “yes.”
 

I’m not a Kitchen and Bath Show neophyte; I actually attended the same show 4 years ago in Chicago. Back then, though the economy had started to turn around, the lag was still being felt by the folks in the “buttons” and “bows” industries. The show kind of depressed me which was surprising given that I love Chicago (evidenced by my previous blog posts). The attendance was sparse, the booths were sparse and the enthusiasm was sparse. My husband is an architect and we were there to learn about what was new in the industry but it felt a little like attending PSYCH 101 in college; a requirement but not that much fun.
 
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The converse was true last week at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The place was packed. In their infinite wisdom, the show directors had merged the Kitchen and Bath Show with the Builders Show, and the 3-day event was abuzz with high-heeled interior designers and plaid- clad contractors. The mood was upbeat, almost jubilant. We actually ran into folks we knew from the bay area who all seemed to be having a good time. We also ran into LOTS of foreigners; all around us we heard Italian, Spanish, German, French, Japanese, Tagalog, Chinese and something Scandinavian sounding.
 
My favorite booth was a Moroccan tile vendor based in Southern California. Their hand-pieced mosaics were stunning kaleidoscopes of emerald greens and cobalt blues, but at $50/tile they were out of our league.
 
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We were looking for a master bath tub, a wall-mounted kitchen faucet with a mixer (there weren’t any), subway tiles (all “surfaces” were in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on the other side of town), a screen system for our folding door wall etc. etc.
 
Luckily I dressed comfortably because apparently it was my job to climb into the bathtubs to test the comfort levels. I fell in love with a 65” oval tub from China. At least that’s how big we guessed it was… the vendor didn’t speak very good English, the brochure was in Chinese, and the “interpreter” she dragged over to talk to us didn’t speak any English at all; not a great line-up to run a convention booth in North America.

 

Oddly enough, in a massive hall full of folk in the trades, we could not locate a tape measure.

Our Biggest Boyd Gift Guide Ever!

Actually it’s our first ever gift guide…but we thought as we run headlong into the holiday season there might still be a few folks lingering on your list.  

And we are here to help!


 

Spruce up his man cave:

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The Marlowe Table Lamp, his favorite chair and a great Scotch are pure luxury!

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A Pair of Topanga Sconces in Walnut and Satin Nickel whisper “library”
…add a retriever and you have a home run!

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The Crisscross Lantern creates the perfect ambience for a late night refrigerator raid!
Tis the season!


 

Give her the glamour that every woman craves:

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A pair of Cascade Sconces over her dressing table will add just the right amount of holiday sparkle
and bring a twinkle to her eye!

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Show her that you take her seriously and give her the stalwart yet sexy Solas Table Lamp for her home office!

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The Proteus is daringly effective gathered together over her favorite dining table!

 

When you let Boyd Lighting help you think outside the gift box,
the possibilities are limitless!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

XOX …your friends at Boyd

 

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Vive La France!

San Francisco has a lovely nickname – “the Paris of the West” – because our city here by the bay has always been a haven for artists and musicians. 

 

The similarities between the two cities don’t end there. They have the twinkly lights of the Eiffel Tower…we had the twinkly lights of the Bay Bridge …they serve a mean cup of coffee…we practically invented the stuff…they have a country of wine…we have a wine country…I could go on for days…but lately our ties seem to run deeper than a comparable cultural draw.

 

I was caught off guard by our true affinity for Paris in the wake of the horrific goings-on there last month.  When the news broke the Bay Area seemed to choke back a leaden sob for our friends across the pond; a haunting expression of our collective broken heart.

 

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Two days after the shootings mini memorials were springing up all over Sausalito and San Francisco.  As I walked to a business lunch with friends I passed a blue, white and red wooden brie box, propped on a dinner plate strewn with red and blue flowers and a French flag.  Under other circumstances I would have laughed out loud but it was so clearly a nod to our grim solidarity….unbearably sad.

 

In The City one evening last week, we attended the first of what will undoubtedly be many holiday gatherings, and in driving past the windows on Marina Boulevard, we were stunned to see how many homes were flying the French colors.  An Eiffel Tower tree topper, blue white and red Christmas lights, French and American Flags side by side in a wreath…

 

It reminded me of the time right after 9/11, and what it felt like to be living in a country that had been so violated.  I sensed it viscerally; a surge of compassion for my neighbor, my city, my country.  Everyone was kinder for a while.  Everyone noticed it. Mankind was on its best behavior as if to say, “That horror is not the human condition.”  It was an unexpected outcome of the Trade Center violence, and it hung in the air like an unspoken promise to love first.

 

As we hurdle headlong into the holiday season I wonder if they are feeling that same kindred connection in Paris.  It’s hard to imagine that a city on lockdown would feel anything but anger and confusion, yet the human spirit is resilient…and Paris is a city for lovers.  I believe Paris will feel like Paris again, but for now I hope their hugs are heartfelt, their car horns are silenced, their carols are resounding and their Buche de Noels are plentiful.

 

I hope they can feel our national empathy from across the pond.  Merry Christmas to the City of Lights!

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More Hip than Hip Replacement

hipster1

[hip-ster]

noun, Slang.

  1. a usually young person who is trendy, stylish, or progressive in an unconventional way;
    someone who is hip.

 

I looked up “hipster” in the dictionary recently because it’s a term my adult children throw around in reference to their sometimes chronically cool friends.  This makes me laugh because I swear in the 60’s my parents were “hipsters” yet my kids think their generation invented the term.  I’m not so sure my 83 year-old mother isn’t still a hipster.

 

I took my mom to Chicago for her birthday in early September, and we had a blast.  My mom, who had traveled all over the world with my father before he passed away last September, had never been to Chicago.   In the taxi on the way into town from the airport she was like a little kid; completely excited to see a town she’d heard so much about but didn’t know.  Lest you get the wrong impression – ageism lives in the most open-minded! – my mother is sharp as a tack, witty, well-educated and fairly mobile considering she broke her hip (ironic in the context of this blog post) last February.  She has a background in studio-art, reads like a fiend, has great taste and is a sparkling conversationalist. I have been to Chicago a number of times over the years but I too was really looking forward to this trip so we had an ambitious schedule for 3 days in the Windy City, and my brother was flying west from New York City to meet us.

 

Friday morning we ate a late breakfast at the newly re-opened Chicago Athletic Club.  My mom was up at the crack, dressed chicly in black-on-black and sporting a substantial appetite. We were staying around the corner at the Palmer House so it was a short walk to a great cup of coffee, a waiter in a man-bun and a plate of rabbit hash with roasted tomatoes for breakfast.  A note about the Athletic Club – The street level entry which is deceptively simple boasts a black and white tile floor and a plain-ish oak podium manned (womaned?) by a plump-ish, friendly, Midwestern sort of girl.  All smiles and solicitude. One floor up is the main lobby of the club, and the vibe couldn’t be more different. The place was a bastion of “hip-itude.” Gothic fretwork, Victorian fireplaces, library reading tables, velvet cushions on cozy window benches, worn leather armchairs, books piled within reach on every surface, and random paintings – some of them good – clustered on the walls.

 

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Just past the front desk and the hushed tones of painfully bored, metro-looking staff is the game room complete with an oyster shell Bocce Ball court, a rack specifically for dodgeballs (I couldn’t figure out where one would actually play that game), shuffleboard, darts, skittles, foosball and a full bar (obviously). My mom paused between the tap handles to exchange styling tips with the “darling” (her word) bar tender/hipster dude in flat-top afro, split down the middle and bleached on one side for a ½ black ½ white head of hair. Awesome!

 

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We followed up breakfast with a tour of the new Renzo Piano modern wing addition to the Art Institute of Chicago (my mother held forth), and a walk down the Miracle Mile for some shoe shopping. We had dinner at Naha in River North with local friends, (Boyd’s National Sales Director and her husband), who happen to be related to the talented Chef Carrie Nahabedian and her gregarious Operator cousin Michael Nahabedian.  The meal started with a warm soup poured gently over a velvety garlic custard and got more ridiculously delicious with each course. After a day of stunning architecture, limitless world class art and sublime Michelin-starred food we were beginning to love Chicago.

 

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Saturday morning we found ourselves back at the Athletic Club for more hipster vittles, followed by long walks and more shopping – always fun in a hip town.  We went to the top of the Hancock building to see the view down Lakeshore Drive, then had a beer in Millennium Park where my skeptical brother was blown away by the ability of “Cloud Gate,” my all-time favorite example of public art, to completely mesmerize a crowd.  This piece, affectionately known as “the bean,” is made of steel, is polished to look like a drop of liquid mercury and adorns an elaborate staircase that leads to the new-ish Pritzker Pavilion by Frank Geary. My mother was less impressed by the band shell than the bean.  She stood transfixed next to a teal-haired Asian dude wearing shorts, a tie-dyed tee-shirt and army boots…and she didn’t even notice him.  I think that’s the draw of the bean, it caters to the narcissism in all of us…you stare into its side and you see yourself reflected with all of Chicago as your stage.

 

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Saturday night we dined at Maude’s Liquor Bar over the river on the west side.  My mother stepped out of the Uber and said, “I’m the oldest one on this entire side of town, and you two are too old too,” or words to that effect.  We got it. We had just stepped out into hipster paradise.  There was not a clean-shaven face in the hood…or the restaurant…but once again the food was awesome…the atmosphere was awesome…the drinks were awesome…

 

It occurs to me that we spend a lot of time eating in Chicago…hmmm…

 

More food….Sunday morning I had one of the most incredible meals of my life, when we brunched at North Pond in Lincoln Park north of the Chicago Zoo. The quaint little craftsman style building was once a warming hut for ice-skaters, and is now an amazing restaurant with a to-die-for brunch and a to-die-for view of the city skyline over a tranquil pond teaming with turtles.

 

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Sunday afternoon we capped off the trip with a cruise down the Chicago River on one of the city’s famous architecture tours, the perfect thing to when the dogs are tired.  Our guide, complete with (yet another) man-bun and beard, was an architecture student at the University of Chicago. He took a shine to my mom who asked about Jeanne Gang, Daniel Burnham, Fredrick Olmstead, Frank Lloyd Wright, Bertrand Goldberg… between the fire that burned down the “old” Chicago and the World’s Fair that built up the “new” Chicago, innumerable legends have left their mark on this incredible town.

 

Monday afternoon I poured my mom into her plane seat with a smile on her face.  She said that Chicago reminded her of New York, Boston, and San Francisco all rolled into one…but only the good parts.

 

I’ve been to Chicago a handful of times, and each time I find something new to love.  This time it was the food…and the architecture…and the man-buns…and the perennially hipster old lady with her eyes and heart wide open.

 

BOYD Lighting Q3: Evolution of Design

If we know anything about evolution, we know it is constant. Sure, there are peaks and valleys in the course of evolution, but movement defines that course. Movement carries with it hallmarks of the past, and a vision of the future.

 

The creative mind works similarly. BOYD Lighting is, above all else, a connoisseur of creativity, a patron of movement in design. Our seasonal additions to the catalog reflect the course of a designer’s process, where we see specific, classic traits of the designer’s past concepts melded with new, bold ideas.

 

BOYD’s Director of Design, Doyle Crosby, is a bit of a jack of all concepts. Capable of smooth, modern understatement, and bold, cosmological ideas, Mr. Crosby’s adventures into the forms of physics have steadily become classic designs in the BOYD Line. Below, the Newton, Asteroid and Cosmo Pendants each showcase a celestial sensibility:

 

 

  Cosmo Pendant_Detail Newton Jr_6117

 

 

For BOYD’s Autumn launch, Mr. Crosby has conceived of the Proteus Pendant, which incorporates a biological element. Some have described it as evoking pollen pods, bursting into the fiery lines of a heavenly body. Available in four brass and nickel finishes and Gossamer Gold, the Proteus has the added variable of three distinct glass colors, Opal White, Amber, and Smoke, making the pendant supremely versatile.

 

Satin Nickel - White Glass

Satin Nickel & Opal White

 

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Blackened Brass & Smoke

 

Gossamer Gold - White Glass

Gossamer Gold & Opal White

 

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Blackened Brass & Amber

 

Renowned designer Jiun Ho has designed many beautiful fixtures for the BOYD line. Among them, the Soleil Series is emblematic of Mr. Ho’s tranquil aesthetic. I find the Soleil pendants (the Petite and Salon specifically) to be particularly intriguing, as the round lines and bucket-like design of the shade do a fair bit of foreshadowing for his new collection, the To-Ji Series.

 

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Soleil Petite

 

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Soleil Salon

 

We see in the To-Ji Pendants and Wall Sconce slight echoes of the Soleil, and yet, the evolution of Ho’s designs are distinct. The curved metal frame girds the signature shade, and a horizontal bar crosses the frame to create a yoke-like shape, a nod to Buddhist symbolism. To-Ji translates to East Temple, an ancient structure in Kyoto dating back to the 700’s.

 

 

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Available in four brass and nickel finishes, and five gorgeous cord options, the To-Ji Series was originally conceived as a hospitality piece. Residential applications can make use of the smooth, serene design of two sizes of pendants – 24” and 18” frame heights – and the 18” wall sconce.

 

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Living room of new home, city in background

Bedside

 

Resident super-hot fixture collection the Icicle Series has its own new shade of now. The stunning, organic grandeur of architect Tom Nahabedian’s Icicle concept has taken off over the past two years. As a finalist for Interior Designs BOY awards, the dangling, elegiac design of the ceiling fixtures has made a clear (or etched!) impact on the lighting industry.

 

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Modern Bathroom

 

Now, BOYD and Mr. Nahabedian have taken the next leap in the Icicle Series’ evolution. Charting a new course away from the hanging, flowing nature of the cord-supported Icicle, the Icicle Wand Sconce is a stalwart, vertical concept, with the crystalline elements pointing rigidly, downward and upward. The added light splash is significant, and with the dazzling options of six brass and nickel finishes, as well as Gossamer Gold, along with the distinctive choice between etched and clear glass, décor becomes truly a pick-your-passion kind of process for both residential and hospitality spaces.

 

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BOYD’s latest fixtures are available now! Please visit boydlighting.com or visit your local sales rep for more information on the next evolution of BOYD Lighting!

Boyd Lighting: Statement Makers and Advice from Elle Decor

Several months back Elle Décor ran an article on how to balance a room and when and where to make a statement.  I loved the article and realized that it might be fun to look at our fixtures in the context this advice. Here is the article excerpted with Boyd commentary (in bold) and visuals added for clarity:

 

“If you’ve got your eye on a piece of furniture you absolutely love but it’s a bit of a statement-maker, don’t be afraid to buy it. There’s always a way to make even the most eye-catching pieces work in your home, and as the great Bunny Williams said: ‘If you love something it will work, that is the only real rule.’

 

1). Let It Stand Out. Reagan Hayes, furniture and interior designer, makes an important point. “If everything is special, then nothing is special,” says Hayes. “If you’re trying to let one piece be a statement, keep other things smaller or less ornate.”  You can’t fill a room with statement makers; it will feel like the room is shouting at you.

 

The most beautiful, quiet, non-“statement” piece we have in the Boyd line is Doyle Crosby’s Crisscross Pendant.  It’s truly architectural and so refined it doesn’t need to shout…the painting in this room is doing plenty of shouting:

 

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2). Mix It Up. Figure out what type of piece it is and try combining it with its opposite, says Cecilie Starin of Cecilie Starin Design. “Get it clear in your mind what type of furniture it is, old, new, painted, or wooden. Simple or complicated? Then try to juxtapose things,” says Starin. “Organic with geometric. Dark with light. Busy with simple. I think that is what makes a room interesting. Try to do something that is not like a piece that’s already in the room.”

 

The most literal example of “mixing it up” in our line is the Topanga series from Jamie Drake.  These fixtures combine gleaming nickel with nubby shagreen, or blackened brass with natural maple, or polished brass with cerused grey oak…or…

The walnut on the Topanga I Sconces in this sexy bathroom are the perfect counterpoint to all that smooth soothe…

 

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3) Go Back to Basics.It’s time to get reacquainted with your color wheel. “You’re going to want to stick with accent colors that are a complement,” says Hayes. “Whenever I get really stuck with color pairings, I pull out a color wheel and start playing with it. Maybe you won’t be using the same tone, but if they can complement or stay in an analogous color scheme it will create balance.”

 

When a designer brings up “color scheme” we automatically recommend the Grasse Sconce.  The fiery orange, cool turquoise-blue, pristine white and sensuous grey were specifically meant to pull from opposite sides of the color wheel.  The color range was chosen deliberately by the master of color himself, Jamie Drake.

I defy you to design a room where some version of the Grasse Sconce would not be the perfect complement.

 

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4) Stick to the Rule of Three.When incorporating a piece of furniture, forget about matching everything. “We’re in a time now where there isn’t a lot of matching,” says Starin. “Instead, when adding color to a room, it’s good to pick it up in three different accent areas. You don’t have to use that much color to make it feel like there is color in the room. When you start using a lot of different colors, it can be hard to make it all work without looking too busy.”

 

The pop of color inside this Regent Pendant by Roger Thomas – used here in the Greystone Mansion – is totally customizable.  We’ve done it in Kelly Green and Fuchsia.  It’s dramatic and subtle at the same time and can be used as an unexpected place to reprise your accent color (any color) in any room….indoors or out.

 

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5) Play with Pattern.If your statement making piece has a pattern on it, don’t be afraid to combine it with other patterned accents says Hayes. “For pattern, it’s generally best to not mix a lot of pattern that all has the same scale,” explains Hayes. “Instead a large pattern like a bold stripe pairs best with a smaller print; again it helps to create balance, where two or three large patterns thrown together could look garish.”

 

We LOVE to play with pattern at Boyd! Lately our patterns have played in the solid brass cage of the Marlowe (shown here close up in Blackened Brass and Imperial Red), and in the curlicues on the creamy base of the Alhambra and in the rigid geometry of the stacked plates of the Solas.  But look further!  We have bubbles on the Prosecco, swirls on the Catacaos, stripes on the Topanga II, a whole collection of pattern possibilities on the Emanation…etc.etc…. There are many ways to look at pattern…but we don’t do “garish.”

 

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6) Look at the Big Picture.“Take a step back. Sometimes you need to squint and see what is standing out,” says Starin. “You won’t even read the really recessive colors or features. Make sure what you are seeing is what you want to stand out.” Figure out what colors and shapes are visible so you don’t lose perspective. If you’re overthinking the nitty-gritty details the whole room can feel wrong.

 

Well…you won’t have to squint to see an Icicle Ceiling fixture…not matter what the size…and frankly if you’ve got this fixture hanging from your ceiling no one will even notice the nitty gritty details…and that could be a good thing right?

 

Icicle Ceiling Install

 

 

7) Don’t Be Afraid to Play.At the end of the day it’s your own personal style. “Just play with rooms and areas and don’t be so stuck on a plan,” says Hayes. “Sometimes you have to shuffle and sometimes the smallest tweaks can make a really big difference and balance everything else out.”

 

I think we already demonstrated that we here at Boyd like to “play” – see #5 above – and there is something so playful in this lovely “girly” hallway that features the very masculine (Biedermeier? Deco?) sideboard and our stalwart Abacus table lamp.  Unexpected? Yes! Fabulous? Yes!

 

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8) Choose a Focal Point for Your Statement Piece.There are certain pieces that are more secondary like an end table, mirror, or nightstand and it’s a supporting element says Starin. If you’re looking for your statement piece to really up the wow factor make sure it’s a main part of the room i.e. a sofa, bed, etc.

 

Or light fixture? Right?  This Topanga Chandelier really ups the “wow” factor in the lobby of this residential tower…right? WOW!!! Nuf said.

 

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9) Keep Scale in Mind.You want to make sure that you’re really paying attention to scale. “You’re not going to want to combine a very large piece with something that is very small,” says Starin. “Not only does it look out of place in the room, it will throw off the balance and makes day-to-day living harder. You won’t be able to use things like a coffee table, end table, or lamp the way you need to if it’s too tall or too short.”

 

Scale is all relative…so we don’t judge…we mostly ignore rules about scale and let you choose.  We have a full range of fixtures from plus size to petit.  The limelight with its 15 ½” diameter is enormous by most designers’ standards, (yet in this huge kitchen the Limelight makes perfect sense), in fact it’s 3x the size of the 5” diameter optic pendant…but as we all know, size has nothing to do with performance….just look how beautifully the optic (below) handles that bar space!

 

Limelight Kitchen

 

 

 

That’s a lot of advice for one blog post…now go make a statement!

The Design is in the Details

If you don’t look closely, you might miss the authentic craftsmanship of Boyd’s singular line of lighting fixtures. We’re here to celebrate those details that make the design – finishes, metalwork, lamping, diffusers, back plates – all those industrial nouns you see written in specifications are the parts that make the sum of the whole glorious! Take our Steampunk Sconce for example. The lines of the bracket as it leads into the back plate speaks to the intricacy of old-time steam technology. Replete with the Edison bulb’s 19th century feel, but twisted by designer Doyle Crosby, it evokes a post-modern era.

 

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Now, take another Crosby design, the Optic Pendant. Shot from afar we see smooth lines; the fixture has a minimalist presence, and a somewhat optical aesthetic to the concave lens. Move closer, and you can see the wondrous cut of the glass, the classic geometry of the pendant’s lower casing mirroring the human eye.

 

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In the last few years, Boyd has introduced some truly spectacular wood finishes. The variety of textures and shades in wood can do wonders for a light fixture.  While wood evokes an organic, natural sensibility, the many methods of sanding, embossing, polishing, and cerusing in various finishes allows for application in surprising spaces. Take our Gold Cerused Oak, shown here on the Abacus Table Lamp. The espresso back note shimmers with understated gold veins and when combined with the Satin Brass plates, a setting is given a certain modern serenity.

 

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Another new wood finish that is all the rage right now is Boyd’s Imperial Red, shown below on the Marlowe Table Lamp. We get an early 20th century Chinoiserie effect from the design of the metal cage, and the echoes of crimson beneath underline that vibe. The wood is a distressed pine, with the vibrant red stain illuminating the various textures of the wood.

 

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The design is in the details, and what would Boyd’s continually evolving line be without a little preview of some new details, sure to highlight the fall season?

 

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Is Quick-Ship Killing American Made-to-Order Manufacturing?

There is no doubt about it…Restoration Hardware is doing a good job of pretending to be luxury and delivering it at made-in-China prices.  They are the kings of the imitation game.  Parisian peer mirrors, Portobello Road “finds”, African throw pillows, Persian Soumaks, Venetian crystals, Belgian Ironwork, deer heads and elk horns…all hot interiors elements intended to create the illusion of a well-traveled, sophisticated home owner with an eye for design.  But the mirrors aren’t from Paris, the Elk horns are cast in aluminum and the “Venetian” crystals are made in Taiwan.

 

It’s disturbing how well they are doing.  When you work for company that has been genuinely hand- crafting luxury lighting in America for almost 100 years it’s hard to keep your chin up.   If we compare our fixtures side-by-side to the RH lighting, we have, hands-down, the superior product.  We’ve often used this exact exercise to explain the BOYD price point when training our reps and the effect is stunning.  The sloppy welds, mismatched joints, flimsy gage and glary lamping of the RH fixtures are all readily apparent when viewed in opposition to BOYD quality.  Jaws drop.

 

Alhambra Table Detail 2 Limelight Pendant_3059 Tonic_Side

 

But herein lies the problem.  The consumer has to care about quality; has to want an everlasting fixture in a throw-away society.  When you buy made-to-order-to-your-specifications BOYD, with our price points and our lead times you make a considered decision; you choose quality over expedience and disposability.

 

I found a pair of stunning bronze table lamps in my mother’s garage last weekend.  They weigh a ton, are beautifully made and have beige, double-lined silk shades which are exquisite, albeit a little funereal.  I’m going to toss the shades and change them up for rawhide with dark lacing – update! – but the bases will last another 50 years…easy…

 

Don’t get me wrong…I’m not an anti-RH warrior by any means.  On a whim I can be as “Parisian” or “Venetian” as the next guy (gal?).  But maybe that’s my point: RH is a whim factory. Their pieces are intended to be viewed at a distance, like the illusion of stage dressing.

 

On the other hand, I could see someone changing the shades on our beautiful new table lamps 50 years from now…because the stylish sexiness and quality of the Marlowe and the Solas will still be apparent when that made-in-China “Parisian” table lamp has been tossed in the dumpster.

 

Banker's Lamp and a Stack of Books Solas Table Lamp

Summer Jams Illuminated

You want the sound waves crashing inside your head, but you don’t know where to find that right mix of swerve, unreality, and the dusky wilderness of the soul. It’s ok, I do too, along with everyone else watching the summer fade past us beneath the light of Boyd’s illustrious designs.

 

When we see great creative works, we are necessarily inspired. Music and design underscore and inform each other. What would avant-garde décor be without future-seeking ambient sounds, or traditionalism without a blues scale, or mid-century modern without funkadelic grooves? Give me all please. Meanwhile, if you are looking for visual and audial inspiration for your summer adventures, here is the most current codex.

 

Electro-Sex Liquid LightSounds

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Miguel, Wildheart

 

Top Tracks – Waves, FLESH, Coffee (dude, all of them!)

 

If you haven’t heard Miguel’s new album, Wildheart, stop reading this and get on Spotify or download it on iTunes. If you need to dip a toe in first, wrap your ears around the track “Waves.” Sensuality, experimentation, surreality, a cacophony of otherworldy sounds sifting through funk, classic rock, R & B, and hip hop, this is future-soul at its weirdest and naughtiest. Think “Let’s Get it On” circa 2015. I thought that would sound blasphemous, but now that the words are out, it doesn’t read so.

 

Fiyel Levent, Alhambra Series

 

Top Styles – Table Lamp in Satin Brass (spin it 180 degrees and you’ve got a new design kids, ‘nuff said)

 

To cast light on the seductiveness of Wildheart, you’ll need Boyd Lighting’s latest, sultriest designs. The Alhambra Series mirrors Miguel’s latest with its kaleidoscope of influences: Islamic and Central Asian Architecture, post-modern materials, a design infused with classic, lacy, feminine delicacy. Fiyel Levent, the artist behind the Alhambra fixtures is herself a virtuoso across many media, paper goods, architectural screens, and of course, visionary lighting.  Turn your table lamp on, lose yourself in the myriad shapes of the Alhambra’s polymer plates, turn up this record, and let the glowsounds fall all around you.

 

Alhambra 18inBedside table with crystal lamp

 

Future-World Starship GrooveBeams

 

Jamie xx, In Colour

 

Top Tracks – Loud Places, I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times), (again, all of them!)

 

If you’ve listened to the xx, you’ve had a taste of Britain’s best indiepop group. Distinctive production layered with emotive lyrics, the group’s quasi-producer preeminent soundmaker/spindoctor Jamie Smith has also ventured into the solo realm, and In Colour spares no corner of the auditory cortex.  Dancehall, electronica, house, soul, trip hop sounds, this has it all in spades of every color. If you are new to the Jamie xx experience, get yourself started with “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)”, “Loud Places”, or “Far Nearer.” Whether gigging on the beach or watching landscapes float by, this is your soundtrack.

 

Jamie-xx-6-Mix-2014-12-12-600x337 in colour

 

Windsor Smith, Solas Table Lamp

 

Top Styles – Blackened Brass, Base-Lit Only (we call this the neutron star…or I do at least)

 

Have you ever wondered what a table lamp would look like in the abodes of design aficionados in the year 3000? Go ahead and stop wondering, Windsor Smith’s vision beat you to it. Geometry meets ingenuity, lumens shine off of hexagonal brass plates, and components of the imagination take on their shape while considering the Solas Table Lamp’s place in the grand portrait of post-modern interior design. Speaking of the year 3000, Boyd Lighting’s top of the industry engineering makes millennia-old Table Lamps kind of plausible. The top draw here is Blackened Brass, top diffuser turned off, base lit only. New Year’s Eve 2999 kids, we’ll see you there.

 

Solas Table LampBase Finish BB on Dawn Grey 24

 

Traditional Americana through the Handcrafted Looking Glass

 

Father John Misty, I Love You, Honeybear

 

Top Tracks –  Chateau Lobby #4, Bored in the USA (say it with me folks, all  of ‘em!)

 

HowToMakeLove1866x933

 

Father John Misty has toured with Damien Jurado and drummed for Fleet Foxes, but he takes psychedelic folk music to a gnarly, cynical, and sweetly-sung land we haven’t seen since maybe Gene Clark (again we’re nearing the border of blasphemy but not crossing it). The sounds on Honeybear hearken back to traditional American folk, but look forward to modern American malaise. You can’t listen to this album without singing soulfully along, and then later wondering at the now-lovely now-disturbing lyrics. Josh Tillman (nom de actual of Father John Misty) has a pure, lilting voice, and his songwriting accompanies it well. If Chateau Lobby #4 doesn’t twang your heart, I don’t know what to tell you!

 

Alicia Cort, Marlowe Table Lamp

 

Top Styles – You want me to pick just one? Stop it. Okay, well I’ll narrow it down to two: Imperial Red, Satin Nickel, Jet Black with Gold Interior Shade, and give me that Dark Walnut, Satin Nickel and Warm White Silk Shade too, gotta have your morning and evening lighting.

 

Marlowe_Black Shade Red_satin nickel Marlowe_Dark Walnut_SN

 

Has any design ever brought to mind the combination of 1940’s Hollywood, Asian-Americana, high-luxury, and various Ancient Alien theories? Not a chance, and I’ll put money on it (just email me). The design of the metal cage itself is exceedingly unique, sharp angles, closed mazes and sections of a circle that echo Paleolithic creation myths. Beneath the breathtaking latticework you can select strikingly different wood finishes, Imperial Red for the Chinoiserie effect, Grey Cerused Oak for the understated nook overlooking the countryside, and Dark Walnut for sleek, modern interiors. Oooh, child. The many faces of the Marlowe, the dizzying array of Father John Misty’s lyrical adventures, yes, yes, YES!

 

No Fancy Lines, These Two Simply ROCK

 

Courtney Barnett, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

 

courtney barnett SIJS-2400

 

Top Tracks – Pedestrian at Best, Kim’s Caravan (…I wouldn’t be recommending these if every track wasn’t awesome!)

 

If you like Australian people, indie rock, and a musicality that has threads combining quirky, clever, heartwrenching, hilarious, and charming, then you need to be listening to Courtney Barnett. If you didn’t know better, you’d think her lyrics were freestyles. See the following last verse for Pedestrian at Best. “Erroneous, harmonious, I’m hardly sanctimonious/Dirty clothes, I suppose we all outgrow ourselves/I’m a fake, I’m a phoney, I’m awake, I’m alone/I’m homely, I’m a Scorpio.” If you want to try the brooding, beautiful side give Kim’s Caravan a listen, and ride a train.

 

Jamie Drake, Topanga Series

 

Top Styles – I’ll go with the Topanga Floor Lamp, Natural Maple and Satin Brass. Everyday.

 

Topanga Floor Detail Topanga Table_Shagreen peony detail

Topanga Floor Top angled

 

You cannot have too much of a good thing. And the Topanga Series ventures to all genres in lighting, wall sconce, table lamp, chandelier, TWO TIER chandelier, floor lamp, Mothership laser. Okay, well Jamie’s still working on the last one, but forthcoming people! Boyd’s most recent launch, the Topanga Floor Lamp, shines the good light in interior spaces of all shapes and sizes. I personally enjoy the agility of this fixture. Rotate the central hub and move the lamp arm to the desired angle for your quiet reading area, chaotic office space, or secret Moon base operations room. It works in all of them, and did I mention the hub. Guys, you can get this in Peony Shagreen. PEONY! I’ll go ahead and pick up my previously dropped mic, dust it off, spout some Courtney Barnett lyrics, and drop it again. Peace.

The Not-So-Super 8…Getting What You Pay For

We go rounds and rounds here at Boyd rehashing the age old debate of quality vs. affordability.  We know we cost more than the competition, and we know that our quality is superior to the competition, and we think that our customers don’t mind paying the price for perfection.  Boyd is Boyd after all; an age old benchmark of dedication to a craft; pride of product from an American workforce.

 

photo 1

 

I’ve been thinking about quality a lot lately….

 

In January we moved out of our beautiful home of 25 years – built by us to house a young family and no longer relevant for just two – into a rental.  It’s cozy and bright and temporary; a place to pause while we renovate our soon to be next home…but it’s “janky” (as my kids say).  The low-flow shower heads dribble, the knobs on the stove work only periodically, the dishwasher leaks, the recycle bin slides open unprovoked, and the refrigerator is a deep and narrow slot where perfectly good vegetables go to turn bad.  When we signed the lease it was only supposed to be for 6 months, but through the vagaries of the building permit approval process it looks like we will be living there for an additional year.

 

The Twitter, Google, Square, People Soft spillover from San Francisco has driven rental prices through the roof in our town, so I jumped on this place because it was cheap by Mill Valley standards.  Now, in the light of having to be there for what feels like an eternity, I have buyer’s remorse. The lack of a fireplace, the downstairs detached laundry, and the bedroom windows that won’t close – all charming quirks in January – have grown annoying.

 

More and more these days you get what you pay for…

 

A dear friend of mine traveled recently for business and decided to save his company some money. Instead of staying at the hardly-lavish Radisson, he decided to stay at the Super 8.  It didn’t take him long to realize that it wasn’t so super.

 

He texted me some photos that had me in hysterics.  An elementary school-sized desk outfitted with a dial-up internet and a rolling Naugahyde chair in the middle of the linoleum lobby just steps from the swinging front door is Super 8’s idea of a Business Center.   But the classiest part of his stay was the shabby bedside lamp that looked like a prop from Central Casting for the Bates Motel and the corrugated, plastic-wrapped paper cups on the bathroom sink…one towel no hand soap.  My friend decided after a breakfast of Corn Flakes in a Styrofoam bowl that was anything but “continental” that he’d never rest his head on a Super 8 pillow again…he had buyer’s remorse in spades.

 

IMG_2842 WP_20150531_005

 

Here at Boyd I’m proud of the quality.  I love that you can’t see our set screws, that our polish is accomplished with jeweler’s rouge, that a warm body picks up the phone when a customer calls for assistance.  Our pricing is not for the faint of heart, but our customers never have buyer’s remorse, because our fixtures are all about value…hang the expense!