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a second look: matthew lew

Last May we featured a profile of artist Matthew Lew—but almost a year ago did we have any idea of the quantity and the diversity of the projects we’d collaborate on?

To get the very latest on Matthew, see his profile in the CS Interiors, Winter 2011 issue and check out these new pillows and rugs on


todd selby exhibit: atlanta

What: Photographs by Todd Selby
When: January 21 thru March 25, 2011
Where: Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta

Opening reception with the artist, this Friday, January 21st, from 6-8pm.

There will also be an informal artist talk, Saturday, January 22nd, at 11am.

Call ahead!


designer profile: michael solheim

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
It depends on your definition of design. Modern Formula 1 cars are the best designed item from an engineering perspective, and maybe some of the Apple or OXO products from a usability perspective. But for pure aesthetic sensibility I like Jasper Morrison’s Low Pad chair for Cappellinni, the 1961 Ferrari 250 Berlinetta, and Naoto Fukawasa’s humidifier for +/- 0.

Form vs. function?
Both, but function comes first.

What are your sources of inspiration?
Music, movies, traveling, art, and culture. Often I try to think about products I’d like to own myself. I recently saw an exhibit in Tokyo called Memories of Cartier, which was very inspiring.

What one item do you wish you owned?
A vintage wooden bar.  It would be fun to play bartender and mix a few drinks for friends.

Where was your favorite place to live?
Rome is hard to beat for all of its history, art, design, and food. I spent a summer there learning Italian, traveling to see art, drinking espresso, and making friends.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
The kitchen. I love food and drinks.

What’s your favorite possession?
My espresso machine.  Morning with a good cup of coffee is my favorite time of the day.

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
Travel.  I indulge in going places rather than buying things.  My recent travel indulgence was subletting an apartment in Tokyo for a month.

What is your signature?
Lacoste.  I have a baby picture where I’m wearing a green Lacoste polo, and I’ve loved the brand ever since.  Happy to wear the clothes whether they’re in or out of style at the current time.

What’s the best career advice you ever received?
My Dad always told me “work hard, be smart, have fun”.  It’s also important to dream big.  You will have setbacks, but never give up.


designer profile: verity freebern

Where was your favorite place to live?
Denver, where I live now. I’ve lived in some interesting places, but Denver has the best mix of climate, culture, progressive politics and great neighborhoods.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
We live in a 1950s mid-century modern house, and the living room is my favorite room. It has floor to ceiling windows which face west, so we get great afternoon sun puddles. There is always a cat or two basking. We can see the mountains in the winter, too, and snow storms seem magical.

What are your sources of inspiration?
I’m constantly inspired by serendipitous combinations of patterns, shapes and colors that I see in nature and the built environment. My kids’ Lego creations and art; the cat; the tile pattern on the floor of an old theater — I’ve based patterns or palettes on all those things. One recent piece for CB2 was inspired by the shape of the plastic water squirter thing in the bottom of our dishwasher. If I get stuck for an idea, I will usually turn to one of my books of 40s or 50s design, or take a walk at the Denver Botanic Gardens.

What are your interests outside of design?
I have a collecting problem… metal cabinets, vintage maps, random ephemera from the 50s and 60s. So I love going to estate sales and thrift stores, finding unusual things, and then making them into collages and jewelry. I also have three kids, so I tend to get interested in things they are interested in, or that impact them: animation, music, movies, theater, education.

Your personal decorating style is _____?
50s modern/vintage industrial plus meaningful objects and an unusual color palette. I hate white walls.

Who are your design icons?
Lucienne Day, Ray Eames, Stig Lindberg, Charlie Harper, Dr. Seuss.

What do you drive?
A Volkswagen Eurovan. It’s a newer version of the classic VW camper van. It has a fold-out table and a little refrigerator.

What’s your favorite element/possession?
My iPhone. I know it’s clichéd, but that device has changed my life.

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
It used to be the Sunday New York Times, but now it’s my iPhone.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Think creatively, and don’t be afraid to use things for a different purpose than they were intended.

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
I have a long history of advising people to quit jobs that they hate. There is nothing sadder than a talented person in a soul-crushing job. I’m a firm believer in the “Figure out what you’re good at and what you love, and then figure out a way to make money doing that” line of thinking.

To see all of Verity’s current designs for CB2, go here.


artist profile: mary belknap

In partnership with San Francisco’s Creativity Explored, a nonprofit visual arts center where artists with develop­mental disabilities create, exhibit and sell art, artist Mary Belknap’s creation—originally an oil pastel with bold strokes of color—is reinterpreted as a hand-tufted wool rug.

Mary Belknap was born in 1944 and has been a studio artist at Creativity Explored since 1995. She’s adept with many mediums—including fabric creating lively works incorporating embroidery and soft sculpture—but works mostly with oil pastels and pencils.

Mary makes intricate compositions and deftly integrates small geometric color planes to create two-dimensional works that resemble textile art. Trees and other organic forms are often found in her mostly non-representational paintings and drawings.

With an incredible eye for color, the warm tonals of red/orange radiate toward a cool blue/green center while brite white geometry focuses the eye making the artist’s signature woven into a corner an intergral aspect of the composition.

To spend one minute with Mary Belknap in the Creativity Explored studio, go here.