Thursday, March 11, 2010

Very Therapeutic

For those of you not familiar with Apartment Therapy (I’m not kidding, I know someone who didn’t know AT), it’s an ever expanding online publishing empire dedicated to all things “home.” Whether it’s backsplashes, Bluetooth, or baby-proofing, chances are AT has covered it. As it is home to a vibrant online community, many of its readers will have weighed in as well.
Their philosophy:
–A calm, healthy, beautiful home is a necessary foundation for happiness and success in the world.
–Creating this home doesn’t require large amounts of money or space. It requires inspiration, connection to resources and motivation to do something about it.
–The basic elements of good home design can be learned and achieved by all.
–Simplicity and luxury are not mutually exclusive.

Their mission:
Our goal is to connect people to the resources they need to improve their homes, while reducing their reliance on stuff.

One evening a month, AT’s founder, Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, hosts an offline Meetup, held at Knoll’s downtown showroom, where a designer of note speaks and shows work. Anyone can sign up to go, there's no "attitude," and it’s free!

This month’s speaker was the extraordinary gardener and writer Margaret Roach. Though she’s given up her Manhattan lifestyle and her career as editorial director of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, to live full time in the country, Margaret’s pace doesn’t seem to have slowed one bit. She runs a website and two blogs, teaches, consults, and just finished another book. She talked about her philosophy of creating a garden based not on rules, but on how you actually use it and enjoy it. She showed wonderful slides and explained her technique of creating patchworks of textures and colors with foliage.

At January’s Meetup, textile designer, John Robshaw, took us through his process of producing hand blockprinted fabrics in India. He’s been working with some of the same artisans for years, tapping into their expertise in traditional techniques. He considers the maker’s hand integral to the final design. “When I need to hire someone to help, I pick the old printers. Their hands are shaky and their eyesight is poor, so the pattern comes out slightly off. I want to feel that human touch."

Thanks Max, for the inspiring evenings!

For details on upcoming events, check the Meetup calendar.

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